Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Space Age Bachelor Pad Music

Stopped by the library on Friday afternoon to grab some books, dvds, and cds for the trip "up north" - - or out northwest to be exact. I found this one, and snatched if off the shelf - based on the title alone, Space Age Bachelor Pad Music - by Esquivel. Very cool - as S commented, it sounds a lot like the background music used in the sit-coms of our youth - a sort of Bewitched meets Addams Family thing.

This Esquivel guy knew how to live:
Confined to a wheelchair in the last years of his life and weakened by heavy hardcore partying during his time in Hollywood, Esquivel was still strong enough to marry what he claimed was his sixth wife in May, 2001. He died from the effects of a stroke on 3 January 2002. It's fitting that he lived to see the new century in, since his music was often well ahead of its time:

Perhaps the fact is that my music was too much for the time. The audience wasn't ready for that type of music. Now they are used to the sounds and the technology. I'm glad the young artists are trying to follow my style of writing. I love that.

Nature Notes

Short report on the sightings after our first "cabin weekend".

On Saturday, May 28, great surprise as we spotted a black bear crossing Highway 10, between Cushing and Motely. It's been years since I'd seen a black bear in the wild, that one being in more northern Minnesota.

Sunday, May 29, spotted two Sandhill Cranes in a field north of highway 35 not far from the farm. I was attracted to the cranes by crows who were circling and diving low over the field. When we reached a higher point on 35, you could see them "mobbing" the two cranes who seemed oblivious to the crows.

Monday, May 30, two Indigo Buntings while walking on the "main road" from cabin to 35. They were on the wires.

Catch the Buzz

Buzz - what a wonderful name for an astronaut. For a time, John-John was amazed with space travel, and even knew that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. When I told him that the second man on the moon was named "Buzz" his eyes lit up. At first he didn't believe me, thinking I meant Buzz Lightyear. Buzz - what a great name - a name that appeals to the imagination of a child.

Buzz Aldrin has a new children's book out.

But Aldrin says when he sees kids raised in this high-tech age, they seem more interested in going to space in a virtual reality game than in reality. And if they ever made it to space, they'd be expecting nonstop action and one-eyed creatures.

''Unfortunately, kids are led to believe things are easier to achieve than they really are. ... They want instant gratification, they're not waiting for the bigger and better prize,'' Aldrin says.

He's not done, however, with his own dreams about the possibilities of space travel. Some time between now and 2035, Aldrin would like to see man visit Mars.

Why 2035? Because it took 66 years for science to progress from the Wright brothers' airplane to Apollo 11, and that would allow another 66 years between man landing on the moon and man landing on Mars. NYT (reg req)


[orginal credit: Instapundit]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

So Long San Diego?

The Sis-in-Law and Husband are passing through on the way from San Diego to South Bend, Indiana. Better opportunities, right career move, so long sun, hello winter.

The weather has been getting me down, and now that I'm "off" Z, I'm starting to have moods again. Not always depressed moods, just moods again. Z really smoothed the moods, took away the downs, but probably also kept me slipping on the ladder when I tried to climb up to the good (dare I say great) moods. A few weeks ago and the effects of Z tapered off I was charged. I was buzzed, I had energy to burn. Now, we have the flip side of the happy coin. The weather doesn't help.

Lileks is having similar thoughts and is proposing a 5 (maybe 4) year plan. If things don't improve in that time, it's good by Minnesota, hello Arizona. I wish him luck either way.

Now that the San Diego connection has pulled up stakes, we've lost our warm weather lifeline. Sure we can still visit - lots of nice beach houses. But gone are the mocking calls in the middle of the winter - "Hah, we played frisbee in shorts today, here you guys got 8 inches of snow!" I'll miss that.

What would make me ever want to move? Would my mood be better if I lived closer to the equator? Sun is a very good thing after all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Close to Home

Whoa, this hits close to home:

the great many members of the educated middle class are only too susceptible to a modern version of the affliction known to the Middle Ages as accidie: the emotional malaise and subacute despair that was the typical disease of the clerc who realized, around age thirty or so, that he would be neither saint nor abbot.

Similarly, knowledge workers who, while successful, remain within a specific function or specific discipline until around forty-five or so, often become tired, dispirited, and bored with themselves and the job. . . .

The accomplished knowledge journeyman, at forty-five or fifty is in his physical and mental prime. If he is tired and bored, it is because he has reached the limit of contribution and growth in his first career--and he knows it. he is likely to deteriorate rapidly if left doing what no longer truly challenges him. It is of little use to look to "hobbies" or to "cultural interests" to keep him alive. Being an amateur does not satisfy a man who has learned to be a professional....To be a dilettante has to be learned in childhood as all aristocraties have known.

Photon Courier quoting Peter Drucker.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Oh Say Can't You See

Good news, bad news on the vision front. The bad news is that I now need bi-focals. To paraphrase SDMoose, "I'm not 15 anymore."

Good news is that I'm getting some very cool (and expensive) new specs. I think these are the pair. The web site is a lot more confusing that the simple glasses shop where I purchased them, Juettner Optical Inc. [No web site - yet - maybe S and her partner can create one.]

Friday, May 20, 2005

Oh Yeah!

Lately, I've been branching out a bit in the fashion area. Last weekend I bought this shirt at Target. I don't think it "works" for S too well, but she didn't laugh out-right at me when she saw I was wearing it to work today. I wore it Saturday, and M commented, "Wow Dad, you look so thin when you wear that shirt. Not like the other shirts that you usually wear. You look kind of fat in those." Thanks - - I think.

So far, 2 hours and 3 compliments.

Still kind of hard to wear styles I wore in Junior High, circa 1975.

Ratzin' Fratzin' Phone

The old expression, "my better half", used when referring to one's spouse - usually the wife - comes to mind this morning.

S was out at "book club" last night. That meant I was home alone with the kids and THE PHONE.

While S never listens to the messages, I couldn't resist. It's like a scab I can't resist picking.

I listened to two very nice messages (kudos to those folks) and then thought I'd like to change my voice mail. Those who left messages seemed a little "challenged" about telphone operation. They apologize for the confusion, sympathize with our plight, but tell us they are calling the number displayed on their caller ID.

I started by leaving a message clarifying whole long distance concept - you know, you must dial a one before calling the numberr. I never get my message right the first time, so I tried a few variations - settling on a message that contained the name and phone number of the VP of the Pisa Group, urging folks to call her. (She had promised the problem would be taken care of.)

S arrives home, and inform her of my actions, and she does not approve of my leaving the name and number of the telemarketers since we had not "warned" them we might take this action. -- Honestly, I don't know where she gets the patience. - - I go off in a huff to change the message again.

Since our message "administration" menu is a bit of challenge to me, press 4, then press 1, then press 3, then stand on one leg while reciting the message, or something - it took me about 4 times to get the thing right. Needless to say I was pretty worked up about the whole mess. It took me about an hour and half to calm down enough to fall asleep, and I woke up every hour after that.

I don't know why this particular incident (THE PHONE MESS) bothers me so much. Perhaps it comes at a bad (or perhaps goood) time in my life. I'm finally getting the whole MOOD thing under control. Off Zoloft about one month, feeling much more energetic and in control. Starting to lose the weight I gained on Zoloft. (I forgot that I jumped about 8 to 10 pounds in the first few months of that med a few years back), and generally feeling much more in control. Along comes something over which I have little or no control. The only control I can exercise is changing my phone number, or dropping the landline service altogether, and going 100% cell. That strikes me as a surrender of sorts to the telemarketers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

OK, OK - I'll Read the EMail

OK - so maybe some of those e-mails are (or were) important. Just got burned by one I should have read earlier. I'm now wading through all the others.

War and Rumors of War

Kids and I had an interesting war talk in the car last night returning from an art/science fair event at M’s school. S had remained behind to oversee events in the library (I love that they call them libraries again. My elementary school had a library until I reached 4th grade – circa 1972 or 73 – when it morphed into a Media Center. From then on, through Junior High and High School, we all checked out books at the Media Center. All they really had at the time were books – unlike today’s “libraries”. I just like the name library—everyone knows they have computers.)

Back to the story: M states that her friend has an Aunt in the “Army” who is pregnant. “Better not tell Mom,” says the Dude. “No,” we can tell her says M, because, “She is leaving the Army to have the baby.”

A little background: Mom has earned the reputation of being a militant pacifist in our home. Apparently the kids are “on to her” and now avoid talk of war, and war like things – including service in the military.

I said it was nice that she was getting out to have the baby. The Army is a dangerous place to raise a family, etc. . . Despite my efforts at nice talk and diversion, the Dude asks, “Why do we have armies?”

“To protect us,” I say. “They help us with ‘bad guys’ and sometimes help clean up natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.” Even in Mom’s absence, I was trying to put the best spin possible on the subject.

“Do they shoot hurricanes? How does that stop them?” said the Dude.
I explained that they don’t stop natural disasters by shooting at them; instead they use all their heavy equipment to clean up. The Army has lots more “big stuff” that helps when there is a big disaster.

Now for my side of the story: Since I’m not the militant pacifist in the family, I thought it would be a good time to discuss war in general. “Grandpa was in the war you know?” They kind of know this, but I wanted to make sure they understood. My father served in the Army in WWII, seeing combat in France and Germany.

I explained Hitler (M had seen a TV show with him the other day on PBS), and how he tried to “take over the world”. The Dude has watched enough videos to understand that “taking over the world” is not a good thing. I explained Austria, Poland, Norway, France, and England – how the US got in to help beat the “bad guys”. I then explained how we chased them back into Germany where they surrendered.

I explained that Grandpa fought against Germans.

“Germans?” asked the Dude, a little shocked that we could fight an entire nation of people. “Why didn’t they just try to shoot Hitler since he was the bad guy.”
“Well, they tried – or actually they tried to blow him up.” OK – here I’m getting in pretty deep. Didn’t expect to have to recall the plot to assassinate Hitler. I explained that it didn’t work, and Hitler lived, but it wasn’t too long before they Germans surrendered.

Then, as quickly as the conversation started, it jumped the war track and went on to more mundane subjects.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ten Calls Today

Ten calls today - despite the fact that the "problem" should have been solved Monday. S put in a call to the Pisa Group. Our main contact Jeri was out.


I guess the next step is reporting to the AG's office. Cripe, I'm almost out of steam on this one.

Blair's
idea, dropping the land-line is sounding better everyday.

When is Enough - Enough? Thoughts on email

I work for an email-dominant company. Friday was a vacation day. On Thursday I cleaned out my in-box leaving only one item. (I rarely do this, but was feeling the need to purge.) I activated my "Out of Office Assistant" telling those who e-mailed that I was out on Friday, but would return Monday, etc. I also changed my voice message to reflect my absence. Come Monday morning I had zero (0) voice messages, and 135 e-mails.

I’ve been busy as a beaver since Monday morning, but I have reached the point where I can’t keep up – and to make things interesting, I don’t care. As of this writing (close of business Tuesday, I have 158 items in my In-Box, 111 of which are unopened.

What fascinates me is that I’m in “the zone” working on a few really big (and highly visible) projects, getting things done, receiving praise from my boss and colleagues, and oddly enough not feeling overly stressed. In short, it’s been a good few days.

Question: why the hell should I try to address 158 unopened e-mails that arrived over 3 business days? It’s like the “boy who cried wolf”. I’ve stopped believing in their importance. Even the ones with the little red exclamation points attached. I’ve become desensitized. It’s like working in a bell factory – and I can’t hear the ringing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Piece of Me?

Good News/Bad News

The good news is that the Dude is developing a sense of humor, the bad news is that he has been watching too many rock-em, sock-em Justice League videos.

As we were driving to pre-school this morning, the Dude says - in a tough guy voice, "Hey Dad, you wanna piece of me?"

"What the . . " I say back to him.

"I said, 'you wanna piece of me?'" he responds.

Just then he leans forward to had me a hang-nail he had just torn off his thumb.

Today's Times

I'm obviously not much of a blogger, since I usually start my day glancing throughth the NYT - - the "old grey lady" - home of all that's wrong with the main-stream-media according to some bloggers.

That said, two cool things this AM:

Fonts : Never much cared for Comic Sans, but I wouldn't go to this extreme:
When it comes to font rants, though, nothing is quite as bizarre as the Ban Comic Sans movement. Comic Sans is a jaunty-looking font, offered gratis to rebels and free spirits by a little outfit called Microsoft. According to the Ban Comic Sans Web site, the spread of this childish font in inappropriate places threatens "to erode the very foundations upon which centuries of typographic history are built."

Poor Republicans: This from David Brooks (no - he doesn't pay me to plug his pieces - though I do a lot.):
The Pew data demonstrated that people at the top of the income scale are divided into stable, polar camps. There are the educated-class liberals - antiwar, pro-choice, anti-tax cuts - who make up about 19 percent of the electorate, according to Pew. And there are business-class conservatives - pro-war, pro-life, pro-tax cut - who make up 11 percent of voters.

These affluent people are pretty well represented by their parties, are not internally conflicted and are pretty much stuck in their ways.

But poorer voters are not like that. They're much more internally conflicted and not represented well by any party.
. . .
Already, we've seen poorer folks move over in astonishing numbers to the G.O.P. George Bush won the white working class by 23 percentage points in this past election. Many people have wondered why so many lower-middle-class waitresses in Kansas and Hispanic warehouse workers in Texas now call themselves Republicans. The Pew data provide an answer: they agree with Horatio Alger.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Monday?

Had a nice conversation with the telemarketing company this morning. They said all our troubles should go away come Monday - well not all our troubles - seems my right knee will still hurt like hell after a day of chasing the kids around and climbing stairs - but those pesky phone troubles will be but a distant memory.

Their solution - they will change their calling computer from the area code XXX to the area code 314 - the other number they commonly use. So, assuming the prefix and number stay the same and only the area code changes, it's going to be a busy few weeks for phone number 314-XXXX. Feel sorry for them.

I continue to tweak my voice mail in order to stem the nasty messages, but every change seems to "get the goat" of another sub strata of society. My latest message had said something to the effect of "we have caller ID and can see your number" so don't leave a threatening message, etc. Received two voice mails this afternoon. One said, "I've got caller ID too, and I know you're calling me, so cut it out" (she called twice - a real sweety). The other message, "Hey, just missed your call. Since you have caller ID you can call me back." WTF - I think my next voice mail will include instructions on how to put your name on the No-Call Lists. Oh - brother.

Sad, Sadder, Saddest

This is just sad. I was angry at first, but after blasting away on the topic in Word (not Blogger because I feared posting my initial anger), it comes to this.

St. Paul police Sgt. Gerald Vick had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 -- twice the legal limit to drive -- when he was shot to death while working undercover last Friday on the East Side of St. Paul, police officials said late Thursday.


We (and I mean the greater Minnesota community) just gave this officer a hero’s funeral. Now it turns out he was drunk on duty. This raises several questions: How much did the drinking impair his judgment that night? Was he even “working”? Early reports said he was serving a warrant, but those reports fell off the news within hours. Was this just a barroom fight with this murderer?

Granted – the fact that the victim was drunk (2x the legal driving limit in MN) is not a defense that the killer can use. But – I feel somehow betrayed. I teared up listening to the reports of his funeral on MPR. As I drove home from work listening to reports of his funeral and burial on MPR, I saw at least one hundred cop cars from all over the state heading south (home) on 35E. I got a little choked up. Now I’m just pissed off - and saddened.

Don’t get me wrong: One of the good guys was killed by one of the bad guys. But dammit, don’t mess with my emotions. The story has gone from fallen hero dies in line of duty, to cop shot while drunk on duty.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Warning: Touchy-Feeling Zen Management Post

Stumbled upon this while reading Business Pundit the other day. Find myself going back to the article over and over again. Probably because it appeals to me on a couple different levels: as a manager, and a yogi - you don't get too many discussions of the importance of breathing and management. The subject of the article is Jagdish Parikh, (Harvard Business School MBA '54) is a director of the Lemuir Group of Companies in Bombay, India, as well as Allied Lemuir, DHL Danzas Lemuir, and TechNova Group of Companies.

Breath is a life force, he continued. If managers try to maintain awareness of their own pace and depth of breathing, it could help them observe a difficult situation from a new perspective.

Stress - got a lot of it where I work. The busier you are - the more successful you seem to some. Those that can't handle stress are seen as not having what it takes to make it in the business world. For example, I've told my manager that I might be having "Mood Issues" but they are related to Thyroid problems, and they now see under control. Never would admit to depression or being on Zoloft. (FYI - I am now off Zoloft but that's the subject of another post.)

Does stress make you strong?

"Does stress bring out the best in us?" Parikh asked. Many executives, he said, buy into the myth that being stressed-out is an asset and means they are dedicated to their job—they use stress as rocket fuel. Parikh said he too adopted this mindset when he was an MBA student. As a child he had been taught the opposite by his family: that the most important thing in life was to be happy and content, to do his best but not fret about the results. But at business school the mantra was "Don't ever feel satisfied." Stress, he was told, would help him set goals and reach them.


Gotta love anyone who distrusts corporate vision statements:

Corporate vision statements are fine, he said, but most statements of this kind are so general and so vague as to be virtually meaningless. You could mix up various companies' vision statements and no one would be able to tell the difference, he said. Few of them possess the power to mobilize the energies of employees within a company.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Shana - every patient soul - tells me to calm down about the phone thing. I'll try. Still so pissed off that the dude last night had my wife in tears and M too scared to go to sleep. And to hear from the cop that the guy apologized - - Oh, that makes everything better.

Oops - I wasn't going to blog about that.

The nice thing about this weather is that it makes the traditional start of school essay (What I did on my summer vacation) so much easier to write. Instead of trying to recall all the fun things you did over 3+ months, all you have to do is recall the events of last week, and set them down in glorious detail.

So, as November begins, and the temperature hovers around 36, the rain (could be snow any minute) continues to fall, here's my report.

Summer was short and sweet. On Sunday I wore my tevas and shorts. Got real sweaty mowing the lawn and savored my single post-lawn mowing beer at the end of the day.

The end.

And not a single mosquito bite.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Well - - Not Quite Yet

Hobbled Runner returns home from nice evening stroll to find wife in tears and very upset on the phone with local police.

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, S has been answering the phone the last several hours - setting callers straight, and telling them it would stop soon. So, I'm out of the house and a fine Roseville citizen calls (we have his name and number - caller ID you know) and started screaming at S about "our" telemarketing efforts. S tried to stop him and explain - - he would have nothing to do with that. Man threatened some sort of harm, S screamed at him that she was going to call Police - and she did.

Police officer calls from his cell phone in patrol car, listened to our story and took the name and number of our fine citizen. The cop then called this asshole and asked what was up, told him we were not telemarketers, etc. . . . After that call, the cop called back and spoke to S - apparently Mr. G**** was very sorry, etc. Felt real bad about calling us, etc. Asshole!

If this doesn't stop tomorrow - - I don't know what we will do.

(AHHH - that felt better - and I didn't even post the name and phone number of the fine citizen who screamed at us tonight. Gallant husband offerred to call this man back too, but S turned me down. Shit!)

End in Sight?

Things are finally coming together on our telephone saga. Brief update. A telemarketer somewhere in the St. Louis suburbs is calling (via "computer) to local Twin Cities residents. The residents don't wait for the computer to "pick up" and usually hang-up on the caller, or think that the caller has hung up on them. Some get curious (these are the proverbial suckers that are "born every minute"). Using the number displayed in their "Caller ID", they call back the number to find out what's up. Here's where it gets confusing.

The phone number of the telemarketer is (not the real number) 123-456-7890. The problem is that when you hit "redial" on your phone it dials the first seven digits; it does not put the necessary "1" in front of the number that would be needed to actually call long distance. So instead of calling Missouri, they call our humble home - - because our number happens to be 123-4567 (the last three number don't matter - - try calling someone you know and add a few extra digits - pretty beep sounds is all you get).

Most of these wayward callers hang-up upon reaching our home. A few leave odd messages. One person left threatening messages (the third coming today - but more about that later). After receiving about 20 or more calls every day for a week, we called Qwest - our phone company.

Qwest - "Real big help" - they told us that the problem would go away after a while, when the telemarketers "moved on" to another area code. Didn't happen. The only other solution Qwest offerred was to change our phone number - at our expense of course. Not a huge initial outlay of cash - but what a hassle having to change your personal phone information at work, schools, etc. . .

Called the number itself, 123-456-7890 - you only get a busy signal.

This past week, Shana was able to determine (based on some voice mails left by the callers - and talking to some directly) that the calls were meant to sell the Pioneer Press. She was going to call the Pioneer Press in a day or two to see if they could help.

Today (1:30) - the third threat - Stop calling, blah - blah - blah, I know you are affiliated with the people trying to sell something - blah - blah - blah. If you don't stop, "Harm will come to you." The last phrase definitely got our attention.

Shana gets home, calls Pioneer Press. They seem truly horrified, and say they will put a stop to it. Shana talks to me and suggests we call the Police - it was a threat, the person could easily find out where we live.

Self-Help Option: In law, there is a concept known as self-help - which usually involves just taking the matter into your own hands - without police, government, or court internvention. I listened to threatening message #3 on our voice mail while at work, and just hit "8-8" to respond to the caller. I'm scared and very PISSED OFF. I start to leave a voice mail when he picks up. He sounds very "out of it" - kind of stoned to be exact. "Who's this?" he asks. I tell him that I won't identify myself, but that I am the person he has left several threatening messages with. Before he can respond, I launch into my explanation - We are NOT affiliated with the telemarketers. They are in Missouri, we are in the TC area. We finally figured out they were calling for the Pioneer Press. We contacted the Paper and they are going to put a stop to it. He gets all HAPPY for god's sake, "Thaaannnkks Maaannn," he says. - - pause - - Then I tell him that because of the threatening voice mails we called the Police. He didn't say much about that, then I hung up.

Thanks to the adrenline, I'm literally shaking at this point. Call home - and Shana is not mad at me (was afraid she might be) but seemed quite pleased I had called the Dude.

In the meantime, Roseville's finest show up at our door. Very nice, willing to help, please contact if any more messages, etc.....

Moral of the Story:

Qwest = bad = useless

Pioneer Press = villian turned hero

Roseville Police = several minute response time to a non 9-1-1 call. Excellent!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Gummi Bears and the Seven Sins

Here's a cool photo set on Flickr. Discovered via Ninth-Wave.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Guys of a Certain Age

Guys of a certain age (like mine for instance) will immediately recognize the scene:

All my girlfriends lived in houses that looked like this. Inside, the same d├ęcor: the hopeful plant, the cast-off sofa, the bookshelf made of cinderblocks with the inevitable “Our Bodies, Our Selves” and Whole Earth Catalog, the three-tiered mesh basket hanging in the kitchen, the teapot, the shelves full of Celestial Seasonings and kelp supplements, the endlessly detailed panoply of female items you never encountered until you got into a “relationship,” at which point they became emblems of your blessed connectedness. Via Lileks.

When I first met S, her apartment had none of these things. I knew she was the one!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Coffee - It's Changed

First a little coffee humor:
Coffee. What an industry eh? Have young, *attractive girls sell a product that has been proven to be an addictive stimulant - genius.

But seriously, I think coffee is the new fast-food. (Well duh - there's a real insightful observation.) Here's what I mean. This is a totally non-scientific experiment, but I frequent enought different coffee shops to give the argument some validity. It's getting harder to find a good cup of cappuccino these days. As I understand it a cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 frothed milk. First it was the milk. The "baristas" seem to have a harder time frothing the milk. Lately it's usually just very hot milk with hardly any froth. When you add scalded milk to espresso the two mix immediately making some sort of hot coffee-milk drink.

I was sympathetic to the milk problem. If you went to the same coffee shop, the "new" baristas eventually "grew into" the job, learning how to properly heat milk. You knew they had "arrived" when they asked if you liked your drink "dry" - Yes, I do thank you. Lately, it seems that no one knows how to make good milk. The baristas turn over faster than their ability to master the milk steaming skill, or the customer base has become so pedestrian as to not know a proper drink when they taste one. Who cares if one guy gets all cranky and wants to lecture the staff about how to make the proper cappuccino - dry, no less.

Now, to add insult to injury, they can't even get the espresso right. I'm not sure what the problem is (because I'm not that much of an expert), but it doesn't seem "right". Maybe too much water? Not hot enough? Too hot? Whatever it is it has dealt the "double whammy" death blow to my coffee shop visits.

Have I stopped going to coffee shops? Well, no. Not quite ready to fill my thermos with Folgers everyday. There's always tomorrow when they just might ask, "Would you like that drink dry?"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Back to the Eighties

I’m not so sure about going back to the 80’s, but Lileks has no qualms:

I’m still waiting for the culture to rid itself of its tiresome reverence of the 60s and kitschy kicky indulgence of the 70s, and explore the 80s as something other than an era of legwarmers, poufy hair, shoulderpads and Dallas. It was so much more. Like Izod shirts and Members Only jackets, for example. (bada-boom!) But seriously folks. The politics, the music, the movies, the literature, the architecture, video – it was all a clean break, a new look, a strenuous refutation of the previous era, and the fault lines of the modern political and cultural divide go right back to 1984, between those who said it is morning in America and those who said yeah right. The eighties and the fifties have more in common than you suspect

Needed: More Smoke Filled Rooms

“This backroom deal-making model went out of fashion after Watergate, but it is much better than what's come since.”
David Brooks on Sunday.

That’s what I “miss” about politics. Now it’s all about political correctness, litmus tests, and being “right” on certain issues. Gone are the days of believing that government can be a force of good in our life, but that to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. It’s like the old sausage analogy. Come to think of it, I'd like some sausage with my omelet.