today's REM cycle strangeness

Scene 1:
i was in a very brightly lit bar. the bar itself, the floor, the walls, everything seemed to be made of blonde wood. there were the usual polished brass trimmings everywhere. i was speaking to someone who was making derogatory comments about a middle-aged woman with long, stringy, auburn hair. she was walking away from the two of us, wearing a pair of faded blue-jean shorts with the hem rolled up, pushing a baby carriage. while i didn't join in the "fun" at the expense of this woman, i have to admit she had one of the largest butts i've ever seen. she didn't seem to notice us.

approaching the bar (alone), i noticed a small group of people approaching from backstage- the entertainment for the evening. there were perhaps four or five of them. in the center of the group walked a woman dressed in standard-issue black rock-n-roll performer's attire. when the band took the stage my view was partially obscured. the woman was to my left and mostly obscured; one of the men walked to the center-stage mic and warmed up the audience with a little banter. the man resembled the actor who's played Shaggy in the two live-action theatrical releases of Scooby Doo. the woman somewhat resembled the singer from Garbage (but wasn't), and she had bright pink eye shadow painted on almost new-wave style.

sitting on my bar stool at the corner of the L-shaped bar, holding a drink, i fixed my attention on a large-screen TV that offered a full view of the stage. my attention was drawn away from the screen momentarily, and i looked over my left shoulder to see MiddleAgedWoman joining a companion, taking a seat at a booth in the corner. i saw no baby carriage. she looked directly at me, fixing me for a moment with a stare before acknowledging her companion and joining her in conversation. turning away, i noticed the stools and booths of the entire place were upholstered in white leather or vinyl. as i refocused my gaze on the video screen, my attention was again drawn away, by an extremely tall blonde man, somewhat resembling football coach Bill Parcells, trying to take a seat at the bar. most of the bar stools were mounted by brass pipe to another brass pipe running along the bottom of the bar, and were built like high-backed chairs with no arms. the man was too large to fit in the space allotted, so he looked around for another seat, and found a (similarly-upholstered) free-standing stool, which he brought to the bar and sat down on.

Scene 2:
i was standing in a very large, nearly empty room, performing some kind of job, while talking to a couple co-workers. one man seemed to be speaking about the history of commerce in the United States, specifically of the historical significance of Cleveland as a center of that. when the man finished, i joined in the conversation, briefly giving a speech that might be labelled "How Cleveland's Early Significance In Commerce And Industry Was Overshadowed By The Establishment Of Waterways As Interstate Trade Routes, Leading To New York City's Rise In Prominence As A Commercial And Residential Center." it's factual merit notwithstanding, the others in the room listened intently, and were either enlightened by or in agreement with my position.


more REM cycle ramblings

Scene 1:
i was in a very dimly lit room in an apartment or hotel. i was talking to Christina Ricci while she changed clothes. she mentioned she would be moving to a beautiful new house soon. wish i could remember more of this conversation, it was fairly involved. we seemed well acquainted, as if we'd known each other a long time.

i found myself wandering from room to room in the new house, looking for Christina. wallpaper covered the lower part of the light brown walls like wainscotting. it was intricately patterned like an earth-tone Persian rug, bordered at the top by a yellow paisley pattern. the walls were covered with large paintings in gaudy frames, and an occasional wall-mounted aquarium. the whole place was very artfully lit.

eventually i found Christina. she was dressed very formally in a black dress. this storyline continued but it all gets fuzzy after that.

Scene 2:
i was walking the darkened hallways of a starship with 7 of 9, looking for our companions. turning a corner, we discovered about a dozen of them held captive, bound and sitting on the floor of a room that was lit by an indirect blue light. a "Captain" figure i didn't recognize seemed to be the leader of the group, and 7 referred to him as Cisco. when she began releasing him, i began seeing thru her eyes. as she leaned over his sitting form, visible only in shadow and backlit in bright blue, a squirrel-like creature (also visible only in shadow) appeared from behind his head, pausing momentarily before climbing up her arm and burrowing into her face through her left eye.

that's all.


recent browsing

anyone interested in a little history might want to check out this collection of photographs and essay on the Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889. damned interesting stuff.

one nation redefined

Regardless of the future outcome of Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, 02-1624, I'm smiling. For more than 20 years I've been waiting for someone to bring suit against a school district concerning the phrase "one Nation Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Supreme Court is finally going to consider the matter.

I write "consider" rather than "decide" because it's entirely possible they'll decide nothing. At the request of Michael Newdow, the man who originated this suit on behalf of himself and his 9 yr. old daughter, Justice Antonin Scalia, regarded as one of the court's more conservative members, has recused himself in light of his criticism of an earlier ruling favoring Newdow during a religious rally last year.

The Christian majority in this country, overwhelmingly supports the inclusion of the phrase "under God", arguing that this inclusion does not violate separation of church and state. Nonsense! It does just that, for the following reasons.

Codes on both individual school and district levels mandate the daily recital of the Pledge. Children are required to stand (signifying their approval and respect), place their hands on their hearts (signifying the conviction with which they speak), and "parrot" a text of propaganda, most recently codified during the height of the Cold War. Despite a Supreme Court decision supporting individual students' right to opt out of this exercise, excusing my son from participating in this activity has caused numerous arguments with numerous teachers from most schools my son has attended, as well as various members of school and district administrations. In the end the district always balked before suspending my son from school over refusal to recite the Pledge, but not before threatening just that, and exerting their authority in their official capacity as representatives of these institutions in an attempt to coerce his (and my) conformity. Obviously the school systems are not adequately informed of or do not respect the Supreme Court's decision in this matter.

I agree with Mr. Newdow's position that putting young children in the position of opting out of an exercise led by the authority figure in the room unfairly transfers the responsibility to the child, and unnecessarily singles them out from the group based on their beliefs. The authority of school districts to enforce behavior standards on children in their care is granted them directly by the government. Since these institutions are established with and supported by public funds and operated entirely within the public sector, and are directly superceded in authority by (in turn) state & federal government agencies, the authority for individual schools to codify mandatory recitation of the Pledge comes from the highest levels of government.

While the Pledge of Allegiance was initiated informally in the late 19th century, it was originally codified on June 22, 1942, as "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." On June 14, 1954 it was recodified by Congress to add the phrase "under God" after the word "Nation". The fact that Congress literally recodified the Pledge to specifically insert this phrase into what had previously been a secular patriotic statement shows a clear lack of separation between church and state agendas. Following the recodification, President Eisenhower signed the new Pledge into law, writing "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." His language speaks for itself.

The Christian majority in this country would fight to the death before allowing the Pledge to be rewritten "one Nation under Allah" or even "one Nation under Jehovah"- further proof that the god of the Pledge is the god of some (Christians) and not others. Think of the outcry if it was suggested that the Pledge be rewritten "one Nation tolerant of Homosexual Marriage". Insert whatever philosophy you wish to associate with our nation, it doesn't belong there. But regardless of which god is in question here, government's wrongful imposition, mandating my son recite a pledge referencing any god constitutes a violation of his rights, before he even understands what those rights are. Having had my own rights violated in this same manner daily, for my entire school career, I understand what's at stake. Furthermore, I submit that we have progressed as a society past the need to brainwash our youth. Our nation is capable of earning the respect of its citizens without resorting to state-sponsored propaganda.

Schools should spend their time first respecting and then teaching my son and his classmates the meaning of those rights rather than subjecting them to the tyranny of the (Christian) majority, as codified with the authority of the Legislative & Executive branches. Here's hoping the third check in our system of checks & balances undoes the actions of the other two, on behalf of myself and my son and millions like us. That would be something to include in a lesson plan in his classroom.


and let peace-loving people across the world REJOICE

if i was a religious man i might say "hallelujah"- but since i'm not, i'll just give an emphatic HELL YES at the Israeli asassination of Hamas founder and leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin. there's one more fanatical hatemonger excised from the world. Hamas and other terrorist organizations are threatening swift retaliation against Israel and the United States- let them come. let the butchers show themselves, i'm sure we have enough missiles to go around.

another two deaths in Gaza were reported, one evidently on the part of a Palestinian mishandling his explosives. talk about poetic justice!

U.S. State Dept. spokesman Lou Fintor said, "The United States urges all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint." like that's gonna happen. the Israelis were WELL within their rights to off the guy, and telling the Palestinians not to retaliate is like telling a shark not to bite at a bleeding fish. of course they'll retaliate- it's what they DO.

Hamas issued a statement that "The Zionists didn't carry out their operation without getting the consent of the terrorist American Administration, and it must take responsibility for this crime." terrorist administration? that's a laugh! Americans aren't in the habit of bribing our young men to strap bombs to themselves and go kill people in the street...that's what separates US from YOU. and this latest development is proof positive that Israel doesn't desire our approval or need our assistance. Yassin got what was coming to him. may all bloodthirsty bastards the world over get the same.

i have no problem with the idea that the Palestinian people have a right to exist, peacefully, and deserve a patch of ground as much as any people do. i'm certainly not alone among Americans in this opinion; and i suspect many (if not most) of the "Zionists" agree. but you relinquish the right to claim the moral high ground the minute you start killing women and children at random in the name of your independence. lay down your arms and the world might take you seriously; or even confine your use of force to military targets! the court of world opinion condemns you as long as you treat unarmed civilians as enemy combatants. until you realize this, you're just a bunch of thugs with guns.

i lay heavy odds on a redoubled effort on the part of the still-breathing terrorists. they don't really want an independent state. they don't want to negotiate from a position of mutual respect and tolerance; what they really want is all the "Zionists" to die under their knives.

U.S. gov't & military spending at the end of the Cold War

I ran across an article in U.S. News & World Report (Oct. 6 2003) concerning a change in U.S. military deployment due to a foriegn policy shift from a "containment and deterrence" strategy, wherein the the U.S. generally operated large bases in friendly territories, to a strategy of "pre-emption", wherein a widening array of smaller bases are being spread across an area the Pentagon dubs the "Arc of Instability". While the article itself is fascinating reading for the main message it was conveying, I was struck by statistics they showed of the U.S. military budget as a percentage of GNP in the latter half of the 20th century and its reflection of the Reagan administration era and the supposed inflation of military spending during the Cold War. I was unable to accept the data at face value without some corroboration, so I did a little digging and turned up a similar set of (corroborating) figures from another source.

Basically, U.S. gov't spending (all expenditures combined) remained stable (growing steadily at a very slight rate) for peacetime periods from the advent of our society until about 1930, having spiked during major conflicts then returned to pre-wartime levels. Then it rose sharply during the depression years, then again dipping slightly before spiking to nearly 50% of the GNP during WWII. Instead of returning to pre-wartime levels (about 5%) it only lessened to about 15%, and began steadily increasing. I fully expected to see a spike in gov't spending as a whole during the Reagan administration years (1980-88) but the fact is there was no spike.

the source of this information is here; the article is interesting reading, but this is the graph.

US Gov't spending, as a percentage of Gross National Product

According to the figures in the U.S. News & World Report article:

U.S. defense spending for 2002 was $348.5 billion, or 3.3% of GNP. China was next on the military spending list in actual dollars ($55.9 billion, at 4.1% of GNP) followed by Russia ($50.8 billion, 4.8% of GNP).

During the Reagan administration, military spending progressed from about 5% of GNP to peak at about 6-7% (best estimate from the graph I'm looking at) and returned to 5% by the time Bush took office. Military spending continued to fall steadily throughout Bush's and Clinton's administrations to a low of about 2%, and has since risen to approximately 3%; it's projected that the end figure for 2005 will be about 3.5% of the GNP.

Bearing in mind that military spending has actually decreased steadily over the last 25 years, it's interesting just how much gov't spending on the whole has increased!

My main point though, is that from the figures I've seen, contrary to popular opinion (including my own), any increases in military spending during the end of the Cold War must have been from cutbacks in gov't spending in other areas and/or the economy must have been growing proportionately- because the gov't's overall spending wasn't significantly impacted.

Doing a little more digging, I found the U.S. Dept. of Defense budget report for fiscal year 2003, in PDF format (available here) and pulled this from it. The report generally uses Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rather than Gross National Product (GNP) when contrasting the military's allotment of gov't spending to economic indicators. From the dictionary definitions I can find, the two terms seem interchangeable. GDP is generally considered to be the standard indicator of the state of the economy, and is defined as the "total market values of goods and services produced by workers and capital within U.S. borders during a given period, usually 1 year".

US Dept of Defense spending figures from the 2003 fiscal year budget report

According to the data above, the Defense Dept. budget increased from about 49% of GDP to about 70% during the Reagan administration. Another table in that same report indicated that defense spending roughly doubled in absolute dollars during the 1980s. If my math is correct, I believe it follows then that GDP increased by roughly 250% in the same period, or 25% more rapidly than military spending in absolute dollars. See a flaw in my analysis (always possible)? Email me!


dream chronicle

 I used to have a computer in my bedroom, and would type up accounts of my dreams immediately when I woke up. I practiced focusing techniques to the point where I could often achieve a state of lucid dreaming. I remembered the majority of my dreams and was able to consciously influence my behavior in them, sometimes replaying scenes differently before relinquishing control, sometimes just playing along in my own role. The longer you pay serious attention to your dreams- especially taking the time to write them down- the more you'll remember and the more interesting they'll get. I've fallen out of the practice, but I still occasionally remember my dreams in detail. I intend to type them up when I do, and include them here. Anyone interested in playing Armchair Psychoanalyst can email me their take on them. I'd be interested in people's opinions on what they mean. As dreams go, this isn't a very wierd one; some of them get downright strange (and therefore more interesting).

Scene 1:
I was an intangible observer, watching a blonde boy in a red shirt, followed by another, smaller boy, navigate a somewhat perilous ledge aside a large house. The ledge became very narrow around a large, rough textured, off-white, curved concrete pillar. The first boy managed it by flattening himself against the pillar and shuffling past, then he turned to the second boy and attempted to persuade him to follow. The second boy expressed some apprehension, and the first boy sort of shrugged and continued on out of view. The second boy seemed to want help, and it was at this point I became a tangible player in the scene.

I also encouraged him to continue, shuffling around the pillar the same way the first boy did, and convinced him to follow me. Working our way down the path we came to the top of a large stair, which led down to a grassy area containing an old swing set. The view from our position revealed the grounds to be part of a residential neighborhood. The rear area of the property we now overlooked was adjacent to a surface street running parrallel to a freeway. The whole area resembled the residential district west of I-5 in the University District of Seattle. Looking down on the swing set, the right-most swing was occupied by a vague greyish alien with his back to us. He wasn't swinging, but rather sitting there motionless. The next left-most swing was empty, and unmoving, as if it had not been touched recently...and the first boy remained nowhere to be seen. This was obviously the path he'd taken, but we hadn't caught up to him yet.

The boy I was accompanying still wanted to find the first boy, though he was reluctant to make his way down the stair- possibly due to the presence of the alien. I was aware of this without exchanging words. I led us to the front of the property where we would make our way around the block to the back of the grounds by bicycle. We trolled the streets briefly, keeping our eyes peeled for the first boy, making our way around the block, eventually coming full circle back to the front of the property, where we found the first boy engaged in something to do with the mailbox.

I noticed a large television occupying a position in the bushes in front of the house, the screen of which was covered by a light-brown rubbery sheet held in place by a series of small rocks placed across the top. The sheet seemed designed to repel small projectiles in the event they were directed toward it. As I contemplated this, a dark-haired teenage girl, evidently a resident of the house, emerged from her car. She spoke with Red-Shirt-Blonde-Hair-Boy, in a manner not altogether friendly, mildly annoyed at our presence, and proceeded on with her business.

Scene 2:
I was on the lower grounds of the property, though they'd changed. I saw no other people, but felt a presence, as if I was not alone. The perimeter of the area was now a large rockery some dozen or so feet tall. Bright sunshine had given way to shadows and murk. Someone had instructed me on the procedure I would use to subdue the huge black stallions which lumbered ponderously around. I was to shoot them in the thigh with a small device, attaching it to the thigh of the animal. Inside the device was worm-like creature. When the device became attached to the leg of the animal, the worm would inject an organic compound into the animal which would render him susceptible to our mind control. As I ran through these instructions in my head I noticed one of the animals had the device already attached, and seemed somewhat more docile than the rest. I got the impression that the animals were destined to be eaten, and wondered if the compound injected into the animals by the worm might actually make them unsafe to eat.

I don't remember actually carrying out the procedure on any of the animals, but the task was finished, and the creatures were now under our control. The stallions seemed quite friendly and intelligent, even having learned to speak. From the back of one of the creatures, I expressed a desire to get to the top of the rock wall perimeter. The stallion stood on his hind legs, and I clambered up his nose, where he picked me up with his front hooves and placed me atop the rock wall, wishing me luck before he returned to all fours.

Scene 3:
I was in the kitchen of a large restaurant bustling with activity. A girl I used to date was trying to find a place to feed her very young infant. She hurriedly disappeared around a corner, talking over her shoulder to me the whole time, carrying the child. A man in the room she disappeared into, visible to me through a window, seemed quite interested in me. There was more to this scene, in which I learned that the man in the windowed room was her current significant other, but the rest escapes me.

Scene 4:
I was seated at the kitchen table of an apartment I used to live in when I was in 8th grade. My parents were there, as were Former-Girlfriend and her child. Former-Girlfriend and I seemed to be our current ages. The conversation was animated, and I was part of it, but I don't remember the discussion. Again, this scene continued, but it escapes me now.

Scene 5:
I was in a parking-garage beneath a J.C. Penney building. My mother seemed to work there, but she wasn't present. A latino woman asked me to acquire a catalog for her, so she could look something up. I expressed doubt about my ability to accomodate her request, but attempted the task. I climbed down the outside of the structure by monkeying my way down a series of ledges and horizontal steel pipes. Gaining the bottom I crossed the street to the office and rummaged through a desk until I found a catalog. My father was there, and we exchanged words briefly. Bringing the catalog to Latino-Woman, I opened it and tried to help her find what she was looking for. When she told me she actually wanted to take the catalog for herself to use later, I got the impression she'd wanted that all along and had misrepresented what she wanted to get her way. I was mildly annoyed by this manipulative behavior, and I also doubted I could give her the catalog. As I began expressing this to her, my father appeared and told me that it was OK, that's what they were for. I gave it to the woman and she left.

Scene 6:
I was seated at a conference table in an high-rise office building, talking with a neighbor of mine, a man I mildly dislike. He was holding a (still unfinished) sword I made as a gift for my son. [The sword is real- see below- the conversation with the man is the dream.]
unfinished sword i made for my son

I told him the blade was made from a single piece of 1/4" aluminum plate, shaped by hand. He asked me if I filed it into shape, and I explained to him that filing it would take forever, that I'd used grinding tools, and explained the procedure briefly. Taking the sword from him, I held it out in front of me (pointed away from the man). Looking down the flat side of the blade lengthwise, I noticed the shape of the blade was much more complex than the way I'd made it in real life.

Thus endeth the dream. On to life on this side of the veil.


the origin of the smiley has been found :)

this is the original post made to a bulletin board, on september 19, 1982:
19-Sep-82 11:44    Scott E  Fahlman             :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:


Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use

did you catch the miswording? how typical is that? the entire hilarious thread can be read here. considering the hard work done by those fine gentlemen to retrieve that message thread, it's a small thing to archive that page myself. if that link no longer functions, drop me a line and i'll email it to you. nice to remember how the bulletin board systems back then were being used- in the same manner people are using the internet now, to talk and joke and have fun. enjoy :)

anyone want to run for President? you'll have to go through me!

showtime's planning a new reality television show in which the winner will be given $200,000 toward their campaign and invaluable television exposure throughout the series. current officeholders and declared candidates for any public office need not apply. if you can manage to get someone to film you giving a 15 minute tour of your own life, and respond in varying levels of detail to approximately 10 pages of questions regarding your personal life, professional history, ideals, platform, criminal record, & aspirations (among other things) you too can be considered.

i feel it's my civic duty to inform readers that, although nowhere in their materials and information does it state that the intended candidates for their program must be 35 years of age or older by their assumption of the Office of the Presidency AND must have been born in the United States to actually qualify for the office, this is in fact the law. still feel like applying for the job? click here to fill out a brief questionnaire and download the official entry form.

as for myself, I'm seriously considered declaring my official candidacy for the Office of the Presidency. while i entertain no fantasy that i might actually be elected to the post, the opportunity to speak my mind on behalf of the American people is definitely very tempting. if i decide to follow through with my presidential bid i'll be sure to keep readers informed of my progress. i could certainly use the work.

speaking of having too much time on my hands, i took this picture in my front yard today. thanks again to my wonderful parents for the wonderful digital camera. (See Martha, I told you he was a family man!) it's been misting off and on here all morning, and the plants are loving it. (I told you George, he's for the environment!) Chowder couldn't care less- he's sleeping under my chair as i type this, as is his wont. as it should be. readers can find a picture of my faithful companion Chowder here. (That should be good for some of the ASPCA vote.) this is a particularly lovely example of what can be done in a garden when you have no gardening skill but the plants are sturdy. the name of this particular kind of bush escapes me at the moment. i'm sure I just lost the "gardener vote". Perhaps what I gain in the "hobbyist photographer vote" will offset that.

a bush in my garden in my front yard


hallelujah i think i've finally got this thing licked

this is the first real post to my new blog/homepage. i hope it all works out as well as i hoped. turning my existing homepage into this blog was an exercise in frustration. it's amazing how dangerous someone with a little knowledge of code can be.

some things have to be beat to death before they'll get out of my head. so there it is. i think this one has joined the Choir Invisible.

let's see if this posts as i think it will. and just to cover all the bases....

this is one of my old haunts, Richmond Beach on Puget Sound, just south of Woodway, Washington. i didn't take the picture tho- i snabbed it out of some guy's UW webserver folder. don't ask me how i came to be looking through this guy's files...it's a long story. i think he took it himself, and it looks like he was there just at the right time to watch the sun do its thing. gotta love the Olympic Mountains from across the water- beautiful.

richmond beach on puget sound in beautiful washington state


drowning in a sea of code

making a weblog to be read by no one is like painting a picture of blank canvas. it's quite obvious that i have too much time on my hands. nevertheless i am compelled. not obsessed, but definitely compelled. if i didn't feel like i had something to offer to the Universe i would just shrink to nothing and cease to Be. i wonder how many people in the world are feeling exactly like me right now.

it seems to me that the CSS code used in formatting the appearance of the weblogs of most people is pretty much....optional? i don't know. there are certain tags which obviously need to be there. don't know if they'll work without the style definitions in the head of the HTML document or not. some of the khoulest things people are doing in their weblogs are done with PHP and other scripting tools- unfortunately this server doesn't support the use of server-side scripting tools- which they deem "third party applications". the reason they gave me for this is that they won't support them, but i have a feeling it's more like a security risk or something.

most of what the CSS code does is control formatting on the page; everyone seems to have something against tables. what's wrong with tables, say i? they're functional. they format things in the same ways. the benefit to be had from standardizing the look of the output through style sheets doesn't necessarily preclude the use of tables anyway. a combination of both might serve quite well.

it's hard to justify the amount of time i've spent making this whole thing do what it does, when no one reads this. and i mean NO ONE. this is called ThoseDudes blog because i was hoping to get the rest of ThoseDudes jazzed on the idea of sharing some of their collective knowledge and erudite opinion on Subjects Vast And Varied, but at the moment....no one seems interested in pursuing this project but me. it's a catch-22. if this was a decently circulated blog, i could get them to write for it. if they wrote for it, it might be a well-circulated blog.

mayhaps daunted be they at the idea of contributing Time and Effort to a project with no Tangible Benefit. in truth, the futility of writing Diatribes Profound and casting them forth to Cyberobscurity is somewhat discouraging to even my compulsive/obsessive heart. no matter. i shall endeavor to persevere.

stretch your legs, walk around, i could be here awhile. i can go all night. i've never been accused of not being able to talk- and i can type almost as fast as i can speak.

i've begun programming the drum lines for another song. it's an old one that never got recorded properly, though the initial demo turned out fair enough. tried playing it in the band a few times, but it never really caught on. again- no matter. i can do it justice alone. i'm used to doing things alone. it's how i spend the majority of my time.

one thing i do have a decent response to is my music. i recently posted a 21 songs (some newer, some older) here. people seem to be liking them. when i split them out of the "General Rock" category into separate ones, many of them appeared instantly on the "charts". Another of ThoseDudes did me the courtesy of introducing an aquaintance of his with them and she "listened to them all weekend" and paid me some nice compliments. compliments are great. i like compliments.

i'll be posting more music there in the not-too-distant future. i want to wait a little while and see what happens with the ones i posted already. i'm kinda hopin' someone'll check 'em all out and decide their band can't live without me as a guitarist and offer me a whole lot of money to play Big Shows. that will happen right before purple monkeys start flyin' outta my butt.

i guess i'll just have to learn to live with getting the occasional compliment and making music only to satisfy my creative urge and further my musical knowledge. i'm seriously considering giving guitar lessons. actually i've been "seriously considering" giving guitar lessons for some time. quite some time. is it still considered "seriously considering" something after a certain amount of time? or is that called "not-so-seriously-considering". i need a job. actually i need another cup of coffee.

guess i'll take this opportunity to unglue myself from this chair and pursue something else for awhile.

if anyone actually read this....thanks.


let's all rush outside the courtroom...

with our color-coded scarves and our (mis)marked placards in our incredible rush to be the very First to report whether media icon Martha Stewart was found guilty or not on this or that charge- by a few milliseconds!   i don't suppose even one of those fools possessed sufficient maturity to walk out of the courtroom, secure in the knowledge that the average viewer cares Not One Iota who was First to report something that became common knowledge worldwide before any of them finished their close-ups.   i'm sure they all looked beautiful on camera after tripping over one another like 6 yr olds at Baskin Robbins in Death Valley.   what a disgusting display of unprofessionalism; it's really too bad this isn't a singular incident.

everyone hates the media circus that pop icon trials have become (except the media); they should assign an officer of the court to report facts to the media en masse.   sure, i enjoyed watching Martha sulk past the Teeming Hordes with their microphones and cameras, as much as any of my fellow upper-lower-classmates did.   who hasn't had an urge to see a Fat Cat finally get nailed for (their routine) cheating at games most of us will never play?   she most likely deserves any penalty imposed on her (the jury evidently believed so).   nevertheless, Martha's unwillingness to accept a loss of $X on stocks she held is no more damnable a character fault than the kindergarten professionalism of reporters shown on this and many other occasions.   take away their damn recess already, and send a note home to Mom.


re: marriage licenses for homosexual couples

i'm definitely not a card-carryin' Republican, though my views do tend to lean conservatively.   i am an atheist, and an independent in the voting booth.   and i've got nothing against homosexuals (though i'm not one).

marriage originated as a union before god (i use lower case g intentionally) and is essentially a religious matter.   it was never intended by the founders of our democratic republic that our government meddle in the private lives of its citizens, and specifically not in matters of religious observance.   being required to file an application for marriage with the government is fundamentally wrong, and serves no public interest- unless you count the revenue collected from those licenses (which is probably more than eaten up by the bureaucracy which processes them).   government's claim of authority to grant or deny those licenses amounts to tacit approval of a religious custom, and is yet another example of the creeping bloat that eventually permeates all longstanding authorities.

in our lamentable march toward the truncated form of liberty we now suffer, our government has also endowed married couples with special privileges denied singles and non-married couples.   huge sections of existing tax code are intended to promote the financial well-being of families.   in the government's view, marriage is intended to promote nuclear families, and the financial incentives to marry supposedly create a stable societal environment, which in turn promotes society's longevity.   regardless of intent, the practice is wrong. marriage is a private matter between two people and their belief system(s), and civic considerations for individuals should not depend on their marital status.   government's refusal to grant polygamous marriage licenses to people is another example of religious-dogma-based moral posturing on the issue of marriage.

extending the scope of existing wrongs by expanding the class of people they pertain to is a step in the wrong direction.   government should abandon the practice of quantifying a person by marital status, just as it should not measure a person by their other religious practices or their race or gender.

another problem with bearing on this question is commonlaw marriage.   when two people of opposite genders co-habitate for long enough, in many states, regardless of any sexual relationship between them, common law can deem them married and they can be held to the same standards (i.e. child support/parental obligation and spousal support) as others who have actively sought licenses to marry.   sanctioning homosexual marriage poses problems determining matters of common law under conventional models.

i do not support a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals; i'm against any limitations of a person's rights, which should be inviolable to the point they begin to infringe upon another's person, property, or freedom of expression.   extending the Constitution of the United States to act as a barrier toward the free expression of peoples' personal belief systems is repugnant to me.

many homosexuals see marriage as a death blow to conventional moral norms; they actively promote what is essentially a lifestyle choice by any means necessary or convenient- and marriage is a huge step toward societal conventionalization of homosexual behavior.   clearly, many people (easily the majority) don't want this to happen in our society.   i don't personally view homosexual behavior as "wrong" or "bad" but i certainly don't believe it's "healthy" or "normal".   i'd be apalled if schools were forced to openly acknowledge homosexual couples as "normal" family units.   that tacit implication of "normality" would undermine parents' ability to teach their children otherwise.   i know from experience that discussing familial relationships with children is complicated enough, in a society in which broken marriages are commonplace.   fundamentally changing the nature of what is viewed as a familial unit is not in the best interest of children or the vast majority of parents in this society.

tolerance of others' behavior is one thing; embracing it is another.   governmental sanctioning of what a clear majority of the people feel is immoral conduct is an uphill battle to say the least.   while i don't believe government should do anything to hinder homosexual behavior, i also believe it shouldn't sanction it- it should be silent on the issue. the only equitable manner in which government can do this is to remain silent on the issue of marriage altogether.   rather than a step toward civil recognition of homosexual marriages, society should take steps to eliminate policy which acknowledges a person's marital status whatsoever.

that's my $.02 worth.

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