Sunday, December 31, 2006

Heading West

Driving through the Dakotas…

where solitary brontosauruses…

…are haunted by lonely green giants.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ninja Squirrel Pirate Raider

It’s not like he likes the taste of pumpkin, but rather it seems as though he is compelled to return every few days and check once again if the big orange fruit is just as disgusting as the previous time.

Kind of like me and those Swedish salt licorice vodka candy shots — nasty, yet fascinating all the same.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Minny Trip

The first day of the trip was unseasonably warm and beautiful. Minneapolis was fantastic - an industrial city in the process of being polished and cultured up.

The American-Swedish Institute was very charming, the museums were great.

The trip back — well winter finally arrived and it was interesting. Our four hour drive took nine. We counted 16 cars in the ditches, one of which is visible in the above photo.

We made it safely back without mishap in time to buy groceries and bunker in for a weekend of films and homemade pizza.

At Long Fucking Last!!!

How many of us and them are needlessly dead because of this man’s incompetence? Anyways, this was close to the best Veteran’s Day present that I could have asked for.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Oregon Trip

Hiking, Portland, and the Columbia River Gorge

Today’s Theology

I’ve been watching HBO’s series Rome as well as rereading Karin Armstrong’s A History of God, so I’ve theology on my mind this week.

Religion was an entirely different animal before the coming of the revealed, monotheistic faiths. The ancient myth-based belief systems had an entirely different impact on culture and how their followers saw both religion and the world:

“Nobody expected religion to be a challenge or to provide an answer to the meaning of life. People turned to philosophy for that kind of enlightenment. In the Roman empire of late antiquity, people worshipped the gods to ask for help during a crises, to secure a divine blessing for the state and to experience a healing sense of continuity with the past. Religion was a matter of cult and ritual rather than ideas; it was based on emotion, not on ideology or consciously adopted theory.”

Karin Armstrong, A History of God, p. 91

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Freak Fest a Success…

…here in Madison, according to CNN at any rate. To see their story on one of our favorite haunts (State Street) and learn about a Mad City Halloween with no cars torched or shops plundered, click here.

Sandman Refugees

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Viva la causa (Web 2.0)

This week’s video: The Pixies, re-imaged and lipsynched.

At 10 million hits, this is one of YouTube’s all-time most popular videos.

Go figure…

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lan Su Yuan Tea Garden

Maybe I imbibed too many Crouching Tiger type wuxia films when I was a twentysomething, but standing in Portland’s Chinese teagarden I wanted to fly up to the roof and slug it out with Bridget Lin or Chow Yun Fat, Northern-Shaolin style.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Make’n Videos in Anbar Province

Wow. When 2-63 Armor went to Macedonia back in ’99, the battalion had two issued laptops and probably a dozen or more personal platforms that individuals like me had brought along to entertain ourselves.

My slab of plastic was certainly not Internet capable, and it strained and huffed and bitched just running “Word.”

Seven years latter: IT allows Joe to cut quality parodies of Saturday Night Live videos right in the heart of the Sunni Insurgency.

Without further ado:

Lazy Ramadi

The original SNL video can be found here. That and Natalie Portman serving up thoughts on Jack Daniels, brawling, and live’n high at Harvard. Then there's the whole Laser Cats thing...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Today’s Epistemology

Life is as oft Black and White as it is shades of Grey.

Where I’m coming from with this: A child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up reading that life is most often shades of grey. Robert Heinlein among others argued for the relativity of not only culture, but of value itself. Mostly shades of Grey was the view I subscribed to, and Grey has certainly been the case in many of situations that life has taken me through. Many times there have not been clear cut better options, and the good was often freighted with costs to be weighed and contrasted.

On the other hand, I’ve lived through simple, clear cut times just about as often as I’ve been through murky circumstances. Existence is some times simple, sometimes complex, in about equal measures.

Black and White, and Grey in like portions, thus far.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Funky Tornado Light

I'm sitting at home and writing when my computer flashes multiple weather alerts and the doppler-radar reveals a creeping red blob engulfing Madison’s airspace

Surf Candy

Diverse intellectual amusements and eye-candy sundries:

William Gibson’s blog:
  • Gibson Blog
    The man who made science fiction hip literature brings us surreal You Tube videos, weird and wonderful technology, as well as bleeding-edge underground culture.

    Political cartoons:

  • Cagel's politcal cartoons
    What’s more fun than the antics of a 50-year-old conservative politician in pursuit of his 16-year-old page? Watching the cartoonists make hay with the situation.

    The Washington Post
  • Washington Post
    High quality to noise ratio. And a mean selection of comics.

    US commentary, culture, art, politics -- slightly left.

    Arts and Letters Daily:
  • Arts and Daily Letters
    International culture high and low, art, essays -- a little right of center.

    Red Meat:
  • Red Meat
    Sick, surreal, subversive.

  • Dilbert

    Defense Tech
  • Defense Org.
    A goldmine of mil tech schtupf.
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Devil's Lake

    Fall in the Wisconsin countryside:


    Us in the Windy City

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006