Sunday, December 31, 2006


The Demise of Music Stores

This is old news that hit home yesterday when we were shopping. We headed to the nearest metro-ish area, thirty miles from home, hoping to find some music cds. Before we left home, we mentally tried to come up with a list of stores where we could shop for music. We wanted someplace with a broad selection, including the quirkier stuff, like Rammstein. As we went through what used to be a short list of appropriate places, we realized that the list had gotten even shorter. Media Play went out of business last year; the Electric Fetus has gotten all gift-y, and their music selection, which used to be great, now stinks. The mall music store is gone. That leaves us with whatever they've got at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and Barnes & Noble. B&N has a more avant guarde selection than the other three, but the price tags are all about two dollars higher per disk than the other places.

While I realize that the music biz has shifted to the digital age, and I don't mind buying some of my music online, I miss not being able to walk into a music store on a whim and look through the offerings. There's something immensely satisfying in seeing the array lovingly arranged by knowledgeable employees and in finding something unexpected. Now that Tower Records has fallen, I'm not sure we'll ever see a music store of the traditional kind again. What we need is a hybrid. A place we can go to browse, with that helpful music-smart staff, that helps us with our downloads. I'm still holding out hope that the literature that accompanies music will not die, but will transform in some way to match the digital age.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Poor Bathroom Design

The hubby, daughter and I went shopping today. Before getting started, we stopped at Arby's for lunch. Following the meal, daughter and I made a stop in the bathroom. We came out grousing about the poor design. For one, the coat hook was too low on the stall wall and it was directly over the garbage can, such that when a coat was hung, it touched the garbage can. Eeww! The stall door swung directly into a picture on the wall. Someone had already cracked the frame. The paper towel dispenser was so high on the wall that it could only comfortably be reached by someone seven-feet tall. Underneath was an electric hand dryer, presumably for handicapped accessibility, but there was another garbage can placed underneath it so that a wheelchair couldn't get into the space. Such little things, so easy to fix, but the poor design left a really big bad impression.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, December 29, 2006


Social Computing

For quite some time now, using a computer has been a solo experience. Sort of a personal productivity machine - one screen, one keyboard. As more interactive programs and websites have popped up and taken over, it is not uncommon to find several people huddled in front of a computer screen. While watching House Hunters on HGTV the other day, I saw a family of four sitting at a table, each with a laptop, looking for properties. My daughter joked that they were probably IMing each other. People have been predicting the demise of social activities because of computer technology and the Internet, but it's not happening. It may have been happening for a while, but human beings simply can't live without other human beings, so the pendulum is swinging back.

In a related story, there was a discussion on MPR today about the changes in media and news broadcasting brought about by the shift to digital media. The prediction was that people would only seek out the stuff they were interested in if there weren't newspapers or broader TV programs that gave people a well-rounded bunch of stories. While I could argue that much of what is presented as news today isn't particularly well-rounded, what strikes me about this is the lack of faith in the ability of humans to search for stuff outside their direct interests. People get bored really quickly, so once something gets old, it gets old, and we start looking for new stuff. Also, as mentioned above, we are social creatures. If I don't happen to hear a particular news story, there's a sure bet that my husband, my children, or my friends have heard it and will pass it along. We're talking the Internet, here, folks. We are not living in fully separated cardboard boxes with blinders on and earplugs in. The news will get through.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Lovely Time

I had a lovely time over the holidays. Lots of food, including Swedish meatballs and lefse, and lots of visiting with family. Holidays are great for taking you out of your routine. I've had some difficulty keeping up with the blog and I haven't gotten much chance to work on my fiction writing. Normally, I set aside Mondays for that, but both Christmas and New Year's are on Mondays this year, so I've been scribbling a few sentences on my current story during my lunch time at work. Two or three sentences at a time and I feel I'm making some headway. I've been handwriting those two or three sentences, which is not my usual modus operandi. Actually, it IS my modus operandi for when I'm stuck in my writing. When my writing is spurting out of me like hot lava, then I work at the computer, because I can type faster than I can handwrite. It's also easier to read. When I'm absolutely stuck, I can't stare at the screen. Paper and pen become my jumper cables. Once the battery is started (after a paragraph or two), I type what I've got onto the computer and I'm off and running again.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


FtTP - OK Go + Savion Glover

Here's another Frankensteining the Talent Pool from my brother:

OK Go, the band made famous by their treadmill dance + Savion Glover, tap dancer extraordinaire.

Match made in heaven? I think so.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day. As a kid, I wondered why boxers got their own day, never dreaming that the day referred to boxes of the package sort, and not boxers of the pugilistic sort. The hubby and I watched the children open their packages yesterday. Today, we are at the relatives' doing the same thing. I'm not sure there are that many boxes to open, more like a whole lot of bags. (Gotta love those reusable gift bags!) Wikipedia has more on the history and traditions of Boxing Day, if you're curious.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Feeling Prosperous

Here it is, the eve of Christmas, and I've been thinking of things that make me feel prosperous. All in all, they're pretty simple things, and the list seems to grow every time I turn around. Here goes . . .

1. Having a book of stamps.
2. A full tank of gas.
3. High-speed internet.
4. A few dollars in my wallet.
5. A stack of library books beside the bed.
6. Buying double of something I already have at home without realizing it. (Laundry soap, peanut butter, etc.)
7. Twenty dollars in the checkbook by the time the next payday comes around.
8. Owning a big, hardcover dictionary. (Oh! All the potential in those words!)
9. A blank notebook. (Also for the potential.)
10. My collection of CDs.
11. My collection of books.
12. A fabulous meal with the family.
13. Giving something away - be it money or stuff.
14. A full pantry and fridge.
15. Clean Sheet Day.
16. Paying off a credit card or loan.
17. A dozen rolls of toilet paper in the house.
18. A new pair of shoes. (I don't own many pairs & I tend to wear them 'til they fall off my feet.)
19. Socks without holes.
20. Paying for a major purchase outright, instead of buying it on time.
21. Having plenty of supplies for my fiber arts activities.
22. Being able to buy a small something on a whim.
23. Being able to pay bills with no worries about juggling money.
24. Buying gifts when it's not a gift-giving holiday.
25. Having family and friends who love me and accept me for who I am.

Were that everyone felt so prosperous. Happy Holidays!

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 22, 2006


FtTP - Kari Byron + Damien Hirst

I talked to my brother last night and asked him if he had any Frankensteining the Talent Pool suggestions. He came up with several, which I will dole out to you kind readers. Here's the first he thought of:

Kari Byron, the cute red-head on MythBusters, is a sculptor. My brother would like to see her team up with the sculptor Damien Hirst. Kari has some really interesting stuff, very well done. Damien is known for suspending dead animals in transparent boxes in some substance. His best-known work is of a tiger shark. According to Wikipedia, his work has the second highest value of any living artist. I don't know. I think I'd much prefer to buy something of Kari's.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Criminalizing Poverty, Part II

I got a surprise today when I got home from work around 4:10 p.m. (Bear with me. The time's important.) The surprise was not a good one. A while ago, I posted about filling out a MinnesotaCare application. The app went through okay and we got a notice that our coverage would continue. I waited for a bill. It did not enter our household until December 18, 2006 - this past Monday. The statement was dated December 13, 2006, with a due date of December 14, 2006. Got that? We didn't get the bill until FOUR DAYS AFTER IT WAS DUE! We wrote out a check and sent it on December 20, 2006. Today, the surprise. We got a cancellation notice from MinnesotaCare for not paying our bill on time. And, here's the kicker: The cancellation notice was dated December 14, 2006.

I immediately tried to call MinnesotaCare to let them know the situation and got a round-about system that never did give me the option to talk to a real person. I did find out the hours for the office: 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. I guess they figure that poor people sit on our butts all day watching TV. Funny that. I was at work all day. In fact, while there, I heard a program on MPR about what constitutes good design in both objects and systems. You now have an example of poor design, unless, of course, the MinnesotaCare system is purposely designed to criminalize poverty. It succeeded in making me feel like the lowest scum who'd ever slithered on earth. (No offense to you scum out there.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Recycled Fabric

As a fabric artist, I have often wondered what to do with those little scraps of fabric left over from a sewing project. Too small to use, too large to make me feel good about throwing them away. While we donate clothing that's still usable to the Epilepsy Foundation, I never know what to do about clothing that is ripped or has holes. Into the garbage it generally goes. Fabric recycling seems to be the answer for these fabric bits and ragged clothes, but I have yet to find a place that takes anything but the good stuff. The good news is that there IS fabric recycling for the good stuff, but it comes at a price for Africans. Did you do a double-take at that last word? Yes, our clothing recycling doesn't exactly leave a rosy picture for Africans, which I discovered in an article posted on Reddit. It's an ABC News report on what really happens to clothing Americans donate to charity. It still doesn't answer the question about what to do with the crappy stuff. (Sigh . . . .)

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


FtTP - Stephen Colbert + The Decemberists

Okay, I didn't think of this Frankensteining of the Talent Pool, The Decemberists did. They've challenged Stephen Colbert to a guitar-off (is that even a term?). The contest is on the Colbert Report in half-an-hour. I've gotta see this.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


FtTP - Beck + Sonic Youth

This just in from my bro - a suggestion for Frankensteining the Talent Pool. I'll let him take the stage . . . .

Okay Seester Mary...let me know what you think about this FtTP suggestion...
Beck & Sonic Youth
It would be interesting to see what could be produced by the fertile minds of Beck & Thurston Moore et. al. My biggest fear is that, at worst, it would be like any one of those crappy all-star B-movies that you see on TV as filler. Personally, I think it would be one of the coolest musical mind-blowing experiences ever.

Can't say as I know diddly bupkis about Sonic Youth, or how they'd sound with Beck, but I like it when people share their FtTP ideas with me. Rock on, bro!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, December 18, 2006


My, Aren't We All Just So Responsible

Quickie post today. It's a writing day and I want to get back to my story.

Got a new survey in from Gallup Polls that shows what people would do if they suddenly got either $1 million or $100 million dollars. Turns out, most of us would use the money for paying off bills, helping out family members, or giving to charity. Lower on the list was frivolous stuff like buying luxury items or taking trips.
A few people actually thought about paying the taxes on the sudden gift, but I think this almost goes without saying. Uncle Sam always gets his cut.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Stolen from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman posted this in his online journal on December 15, 2006, and I'm totally stealing it. There's a website called LibraryThing that will tell you which books you are NOT likely to read based on the ones you've already read. I plugged in a few titles and found that, indeed, I had not read most of what LibraryThing listed. However, when I typed in Purple Cow by Seth Godin, I found that I had read several of the books listed. Not sure what that means, but the site is fun.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Found Poem

A few months ago at one of my writers group meetings, we did an activity that led to the finding of a found poem. There were only two of us at the meeting, so we couldn't see what everyone else would've come up with. The activity involved taking a couple of photocopied pages from a novel and crossing out the vast majority of the words on the pages, keeping only that which struck our fancy. I wasn't very good at the activity, as I had trouble wrapping my head around the thing, but here's what I came up with that was keepable:

"A moment grasped is the seed that is always left over."

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 15, 2006


Of points & cows & tails

Have you noticed that trend-watching has become a trend in and of itself?

I'm not sure where this started (maybe Faith Popcorn was the culprit), but marketers who watch trends love to name those trends. So do business people. There's Chris Anderson's Long Tail, Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, and Seth Godin's Purple Cow. What would happen if we mixed up a few of these trendy-trends? How would they interact with each other?

The thought comes . . . .

What is the tipping point of the purple cow with the long tail?

Whether this makes sense is anyone's guess.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Manifesto of Fame - Part II

I was checking out my blog feeds on Bloglines and found a nice little post about celebrity narcissism on the blog "It is a numeric life." Quoting the site:

" . . . . on average, celebrities are about 17%
higher [in narcissism] than the general public — with females ranking significantly higher than males. Interestingly, celebrities with the most skill (musicians) were the least narcissistic; those with no skill (reality-show stars) were off the narcissism charts. "

A few items from my Manifesto of Fame come to mind about now.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Glutton for Punishment

Why is it that when I finish a massive project, something that I'm quite proud of having gotten through, I don't bask in the glory of my achievement for a couple of days? Nooooo. I have to share my accomplishment right away and start asking for feedback. Is it good enough? Looking for approval. And, of course, I frost the frog and concentrate on the "this part is not quite right" part of the critique, because there is ALWAYS a "this part is not quite right" critique. You'd think I was a glutton for punishment, and maybe I am. Maybe I don't want to get a fat head, so I've got to have someone burst my bubble immediately. I do want to do things right, but what is right? And, can't I have my very own creation be right for a few days just as it is before others add their two-cents?

Does sharing one's creations with the world ever get any easier?

Labels: , , , , ,


More on Malaria

The topic of malaria in Africa is heating up. President Bush & his wife Laura have just pledged funding from the U.S. in order to fight the disease. I have to wonder if it's really going to happen, though, as I just googled "bush malaria pledge" and found a slew of articles on the exact same topic from a year-and-a-half ago. A sampling:

Bush Announces Initiatives Targeting Malaria, Education, Women's Rights in Africa

Save the Children Applauds Bush Pledge to Increase Aid for Africa
Bush Overstates Africa Aid Increase

Did this aid ever get to Africa? If it did, why didn't it do more good? Hmmm.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Funk Box

The young gentlemen in our household have turned the adults onto a fun little game on Cartoon Network. It's called Funk Box and allows players to create music by putting together selected phrases using a variety of cartoon characters, each of whom plays two instruments. That sounds way more complicated than it is. I have not yet composed a song using Funk Box, but my husband spent probably an hour or so coming up with one. Fun, fun, fun!

Labels: , , , , ,


Mosquito Nets thru Oxfam

An extraordinarily helpful and generous reader has pointed me to the Oxfam website, where, lo and behold, people can donate money to get mosquito nets to help prevent malaria in Africa, a problem I posted about last time. How cool is this? Someone's already working on the issue, at least on the supply side. (They must have some way of getting the nets where they're needed.) If I've got my currency conversion correct, $1.00 U.S. equals almost 2 British pounds. Two mosquito nets cost 15 British pounds, so that works out to only about $7.50 U.S. (If I'm not correct about this, somebody please let me know!) That's a pretty good deal. Oxfam has some other needed supplies that would make great gifts, if you're looking for a cause to support. Thanks, generous reader!

12/14/2006 - Update (in case you didn't see the comments) - I have the currency backwards. 1 British pound equals $2 U.S. dollars. My generous & helpful reader pointed out my mistake. Thanks!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, December 11, 2006


Honestly, What Would It Take to Solve This?

Thus continues my African saga . . . . I got another Gallup Poll today about malaria in Africa and how getting mosquito nets to the rural folks would dramatically reduce this disease. There are barriers to getting mosquito nets to people in the very rural areas - cost, superstition, but most of all, lack of decent roads. You know, last night I was watching a show on The Discovery Channel about the building of a road across Alaska so that the pipeline could be run through. If we can manage this, how hard can it be to get mosquito nets to rural Africans?

Labels: , , , , ,


$50K Will Do

This just in from Gallup Polls: Most Americans don't want to be rich. Hey, $50K per year would make me feel wealthy. What would it take for you to feel wealthy?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 10, 2006


The Rescue Artist

I found a book at the library the other day that I dove right into after finishing American Gods. It's called The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick and is the story about how thieves stole Edvard Munch's painting The Scream from the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway, and the people who worked to recover it. Imagine, me, interested in a book about art and museums. Who would've guessed?

I'm about half-way through. The book reads easily and moves quickly. There's a lot of good description, especially psychological description, of the main investigator in the case, Charley Hill of Scotland Yard. At one point, Charley has to study all he can about Munch's work, so that he can convince those in the art underworld that he knows what he's talking about if he gets a chance to purchase the painting. He also has to study what is known about The Scream itself so that he can identify it properly once he finds it.

One of the interesting things about the painting was the inspiration for it. Munch was walking with friends in Norway and suddenly saw this brilliant red sunset, which he felt was screaming. The painting was created in 1883 and scholars are trying to figure out whether Munch had witnessed the after effects of the eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa, which occurred on August 27, 1883. When the volcano blew and took the island with it, the ash went into the atmosphere and could be seen around the world during the next several months in the form of unusual sunsets. Munch physically felt a scream when he saw the sunset that inspired the painting. He also experienced periods of madness in his life, which leads me to wonder if he was a synesthete. Synesthetes have brains that mix the senses, hearing color, tasting sound & etc. Surely, if an island blows up, the shock wave would be like a scream and Edvard was sensitive enough to pick it up.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Landfill Idea

Had to take a trip to the landfill this morning to get rid of recyclables. We're having a warm day for December in Minnesota, so it was not an uncomfortable trip. We also had to dump an old piece of carpeting. To do so, we had to drive on a scale before dumping & then again after dumping, which determines the cost of the load. When we finished, as we were driving away from the landfill, my hubby shared his idea - which is more of a thought experiment, because he would never really do this. He said he'd like to go to the landfill with a light load, dump the light load and then pick something out of the garbage bins that was heavier than what we had dumped and put it into our vehicle. He wondered if, once we drove over the scale and the landfill employees saw that we weighed more upon leaving, they'd have to pay US for dumping our load. Welcome to the land of my hubby's mind.

Labels: , , , , ,



I've got it! When I first posted about The Killers, I mentioned that they reminded me of some other band. Well, it's not ONE other band they remind me of, more like a cross between a couple of bands - Echo & the Bunnymen and The Cure. Somewhere on Hot Fuss, during some little phrase, Brandon Flowers also sounds like Freddy Mercury. You probably don't think so, and that's okay. In fact, you'll probably think that The Killers sound like someone else altogether.

Why is comparison of the unknown to something known such a human trait? I'm sure a scientist or psychologist could give me a good answer to this. Like our fear of the unknown, like our desire to figure things out & we have to do the comparison in order to understand new things. Blah, blah, blah.

The one place where comparisons drive me batty is when they are used to critique a creative artist. "That painting of a nude by Gesso McPainterly has the verve of a VanGogh with a splash of Renoir and a twist of O'Keefe." This practice of comparison during critique has become so commonplace that it's starting to smack of lazy writing. Maybe that's because the comparisons are made within the same field, i.e. new musicians are compared to older musicians, new writers are compared to older writers, etc. What if critics started comparing musicians to writers or sculptors or movie directors? What if they started comparing songs to books or paintings? You might end up with something like this: "The new album of Band X has overtones of a Coen brothers' movie, with the raw quirkiness of Christopher Moore's book "Coyote Blue" and the scattered notes of an Alexander Calder mobile."

People would have to think about comparisons like these, but they'd sure make the critiques more interesting.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, December 08, 2006


FtTP - Mike Mangini + Carter Beauford

Really brilliant drummers make me want to get a trap set. I'm well acquainted with Carter Beauford's work, having listened long and hard to the Dave Matthew's Band. My husband recently (okay, yesterday) introduced me to the drumming of Mike Mangini, who has recorded with guitarist Steve Vai. You know that song, "Dueling Banjos" from the movie Deliverance? I'd like to see Carter Beauford and Mike Mangini perform dueling drums. How killer would that be?

By the way, the name links hook up to drum solos by each guy on YouTube.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 07, 2006


London Bridge - The Whiny Version

Ever get so tired that the muscles at the corners of your mouth feel as though they're drooping to the ground and you want to cry? I was that exhausted after work today. I wanted to drop on the couch & sleep for several hours, but didn't have the chance. Instead, I plugged through the feeling, while Fergie's "London Bridge" went through my head in a whiny "nya, nya, nya" version. Not pleasant. It made me feel contrary, and not in a good "gotta change the world" way. The exhaustion & the song lifted after supper. All is well.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


American Gods, Part II

I finished reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods today. I savored it this time through. When I found a particularly good sentence, I reread it just to catch its subtleties.

Now, I'm not going to be a nasty spoiler and reveal things I shouldn't, but here's what I discovered during my second reading of the book. I picked up on little important things this time that I didn't notice before. Neil is very good - and I mean VERY good - at throwing in a seemingly insignificant detail somewhere near the beginning of the book and rolling back around to this detail later on. How does he have the memory for it?

Neil's also got a facility for setting an accurate & believable scene. Part of the book takes place in Wisconsin & Minnesota and he's dead-on with his descriptions of the weather and scenery. It makes me trust him when he describes places I've never been.

During the first reading, I bawled my eyes out at one point in the book - broken-hearted sobbing, really. I didn't do that this time; the effect was worn off for the second read. I did, however, almost cry at the ending, which, come to think, I probably did the first time, too. I like it when a writer gets to me.

I was astonished at the number of gods Neil mentions in the book. I was more aware of this for the second read because I was going to try to keep track, but there are so many, it was impossible. Makes me wonder how long the research took for the book.

Finally, I noticed the beats Neil used within his dialogue. This is a writerly sort of thing, but beats are the actions characters engage in while talking to each other. They make the dialogue easier to read and more believable. Neil gave his main character, Shadow, a habit that made for a continually effective beat. Shadow does coin tricks, which gives him something to do with his hands. This use of beats is something I'm definitely going to remember for my next short story.

Am I recommending that you read American Gods? Yeah. And if you've read it once, I'm recommending you read it again.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, December 04, 2006


FtTP - Steffan Lessard + Steve Vai

I haven't posted a Frankensteining the Talent Pool in a while, so here's one worth considering: Steve Vai, guitar genius, with Stefan Lessard, supposed wunderkind. I say supposed because Lessard (a.k.a. "Fonzy") joined Dave Matthews Band when he was sixteen, so the guy's obviously got talent. Trouble is, every one else in DMB is so talented that Lessard's bass line is more often than not overshadowed by the other instruments. (A hint of his ability comes through on the song "Hunger for the Great Light," for which he wrote the guitar line.) I'd like to pull Lessard from the group just to see what he's got. Why would I put him with Steve Vai? I think the personalities of the two would compliment each other. Also, Vai is very good at allowing each instrument to shine, including the bass.

Labels: , , , , ,


Big Knobs on Gas Pumps

Winter floated down to Minnesota, dusting us with a half-inch of fluffy, dry snow. Fun to shovel because it's not back-breaking. You could practically blow it off the sidewalk if you wanted to bend over far enough to do so. If it's going to be cold, we'd better have snow, is what I like to say. Snow makes the cold bearable. Don't like the wind, though. You know how people are always saying, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity"? In Minnesota, it's not the cold, it's the wind because it leads to windchill.

I had to get gas this morning. Gas stations tend to attract wind. So, I've got the cold and I've got the wind and now I've got to take off my gloves in order to push the tiny keypad buttons to start the pump. Whoever designed these keypad buttons didn't take Minnesota winters into consideration. We need to be able to operate those pumps without removing our protective gear. Any good Minnesotan knows that once the temp drops below zero and the windchill is factored in, fingers will start snapping off in a matter of seconds. (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not much.) Here's an idea. How about some large colorful knobs on the pumps that we can push without taking off our mittens? They'd be good for the arthritic, too. Or for those who've lost fingers from frostbite caused by taking our gloves off at the pump.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 03, 2006



Ever notice that something's always lurking around in this great big wide world just waiting to outrage you? You'll be flowing along, all relaxed and mellow, and WHAM! Someone says or does something stupid or mean or unfair or outrageous and you're MAD! Ready to kick some butt. Change the world. Painful as outrage can be, it gets stuff done . . . sometimes. Depends on whether you focus your energy and get moving or whether you rant and rave and let the outrage dissipate without ever lifting a finger. Once the outrage dissipates, you're back to the mellow - until the outrage strikes again.

Here's a story of outrage for you, no matter which side of the fence you sit on. The National Museum of Kenya is being pressured by evangelicals to hide away its prehominid fossils, so the evangelicals can pretend that there is no evolution. I'm for the evolutionists in this case. Museums are not religious institutions. They don't tell religious institutions what to preach. The purpose of museums is to talk about ALL of history, not sweep disagreeable things under the rug and pretend they didn't happen.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Relevance Over Time

I'm very much enjoying The Killers' CD Hot Fuss that I mentioned a couple of days ago. Listening to it obsessively, I am. I've mentioned that I'm usually late to finding music that gains popularity among the masses. I'm not one of the early hordes that makes something popular in the first place. But, so what? Isn't it in the best interests of creative artists to have audiences that discover them over time? Sure, it's got to be lovely to have the big horde find you and love you into financial security and fame, but I wouldn't want to lose relevance over time. Whether in music, or art, or literature, or whatever creative endeavor, the way to immortality is to have your stuff speak to people long after you've made it.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, December 01, 2006


Worldwide Corruption Index

I got an email from Gallup that ranks 101 countries on a Worldwide Corruption Index. The lower the number, the less people feel that their country is corrupt. The U.S. falls somewhere in the middle. Finland has the lowest amount of perceived corruption. And which country has the most? Drumroll please . . . . Lithuania.

My funk has lifted from yesterday. After my post, I did my best not to frost the frog, although he did get a little dab of icing. (Why am I picturing the frosting as pink?) The mood passed completely on my drive to work. When the air is particularly dry in Minnesota, all of nature's details come into sharp focus. (Is that because there's less water in the atmosphere?) Often, while I'm driving to work, I'm in my own world and put most of my attention on the road, not on the long distance. Not so this morning. The trees were sprinkled with hoar frost. The river had a coating of ice with a streaky dusting of snow. The sun filtered through the gray clouds, creating an easy glow. The air was cold and snappy. Heaven.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?