Posted December 20, 2010 by Mike
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I’ve become an xkcd devotee.  Funny, smart, and it will occasionally surprise you with it’s depth.  The last two panels of this one are throwaways, but the second one hits a chord.



Posted November 19, 2010 by Mike
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Rag Time

Posted September 16, 2010 by Mike
Categories: Music

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Who would have thought that searching my collection for “rag” would turn up not just the Dead song (which was stuck in my head at lunch) but also two other great tracks:

* * *

The Grateful Dead – Doin’ That Rag

The Band – Rag Mama Rag

Brock Butler – The Boston Rag [Steely Dan]

The world is filled with wonder

Posted August 23, 2010 by Mike
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Note: don’t ask how I ended up at this page.


Posted August 18, 2010 by Mike
Categories: Politics

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This is the second Democratic presidency of my lifetime (my infant self missed Carter by days), and we’re long enough into the current one that I’ve begun to gain some perspective.  No matter who’s in power, I complain about Democrats cravenness and ineptitude and I am horrified by Republicans’ dishonesty and the immorality of their social policy.  They are liars and hypocrites, the lot of them.  The only difference is that, were Democrats to somehow actual enact every liberal policy they purport to believe in (say The Rapture comes), I’d be thrilled, on the whole.  Whereas if the Republicans actually implemented everything they campaign for (say YHWH sends another flood), I think it really would be the End of Days.  But, as both sides are far more interested in raising money and making noise than in doing much of anything, it’s a moot point.

I realized all this about a decade ago.  But Bush, Jr. was such a bad president (or rather, headed such a bad administration), it was impossible for me not to tip farther into the Democrat camp.  And if the Republicans nominate Palin (unlikely) or some similar lunatic (fairly likely), I’ll punch Barry’s chad again–2000-2008 taught me that we have to at least have an adult in the office, no matter whatever else is at stake.  I’m back where I started now, though, throwing my support behind the most viable third-party candidate (one qualifier: they must be sane.  I’m looking at you, Ron Paul.)  Not that a Centrist bloc in congress or an Independent president would guarantee meaningful change, but there’s no chance of improvement if we just keep letting Rs and Ds shadowbox.

PS note to self, for a future post: do modern corporations represent an existential threat to American democracy?

Percy Hill – Chrissy Reid [Color in Bloom]

Posted August 16, 2010 by Mike
Categories: Music

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I really dig a couple tracks on this album, which I’ve had for years but only blow the dust off of a couple times annually for whatever reason.  The band didn’t last very long, but the keyboardist, Nate Wilson, went on to anchor the Assembly of Dust.  Sadly, he departed that band last year and his new band is pretty ordinary.  One of my all-time favorite keyboardists and he hooked up with excellent lyricists/singers in both Percy Hill and AOD.

Percy Hill – Chrissy Reed

If you like this track, exercise your skills, and listen to the catchy Ammonium Maze and 313 off the same album, Color in Bloom.

PS: does anyone actually read my blog anymore?  Drop a comment or email me if so.  I may let the music posts wither and die if not, just continue to use it as my personal space to get a rant out of my system every once in awhile.

Arthur Phillips – The Egyptologist

Posted April 23, 2010 by Mike
Categories: Book Reviews

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Arthur Phillips – The Egyptologist

“Tonight, I toil in the clamour of a little cabaret where the chicha smoke forms jinn who embrance their puff-cheeked masters with massaging fingers.  I watch the smoker by the door: a nest slowly coils around his head, the faint echo of an ancestor’s mummy wraps, but each time the door opens to his right, all at once the smoke rushes out, away, up into the star-flecked, plum-coloured sky.  The door closes and he begins again, shrouding himself top to bottom with smoke; the door opens and invisible plunderers again unravel his work.”

That’s a hell of a descriptive paragraph.  Sadly, that level of authorship only bursts forth erratically, as the book is a bit amateurish.  Engrossing, yes, but I was disappointed as each of the characters revealed themselves to be nasty and brutish as the story progressed.  A good mystery works no matter when the reader figures it out–this one wasn’t very fun for the most part after I solidified my guess about 2/3 of the way through.  Still, it wasn’t bad, just not great.