the compartments of a diabolical mind:
stupid things i have done
strung out: my life as an
brush with greatness
spawn of '64
silence & cigar smoke
'i've never known a person who spoke fewer words.'
my letter to jiang
In which the Author lays the ground for the release of the EP-3 hostages.
i am naze
sf part 1 - no rice-a-roni
my old intro: an introduction
february 28, 2001
One last thing: in spite of his tough new 'no skeezer' policy, Todd is in truth a streetwalker with a heart of gold who just turned 30 and needs some lovin'. Go visit and let him mess with your mind.
Oh, yeah. There was an earthquake today. I could have blogged moments after the 10:57 a.m. event, but somehow it just didn't occur to me. The floors in our building at work are notorious for transmitting vibration. So if a heavy-footed person clomps down the hallway, you feel it. Some of the offices on our floor are being renovated so I figured the construction guys were just a little excited. Then the blinds started banging against the window. Earthquake.
It lasted a good long 20 seconds or so. That gets people pretty excited. I'd been through the 5.7 we had in '93. I stated flatly that it couldn't have been much more than a 2. A temp who had lived through 2 major quakes in Southern Cal insisted it had been a 4. Well, the fact that the damn thing was centered 150 miles north really made both of our guesses moot. It sounds like things really shook in Seattle and the measurement seems to be settling towards 6.8. That's a pretty solid shake no matter where you're from.
The irony of choosing a .com instead of a .org domain name is apparently lost on this neighborhood church.
february 27, 2001
The Bush pardons: They include a Watergate felon, a Cuban exile terrorist and a Pakistani heroin dealer. But where was the outrage then?"
february 26, 2001
A list of things not to do in the locker room:
Ignore the 'Please dry off in the matted area' sign in the locker room. Drip all the way to the tiled area in front your locker. Allow puddles to form for others to step into or perform gymnastics around to reach their locker.
Review all of the vacant lockers. Pass by the groups of empty spaces and choose one directly above the sole occupied locker in that row. It's easier to meet people when they are irritated and naked.
Use the hair dryer on your feet to remove the moisture between your toes.
Ventilate the steam room through frequent entrances and exits. All that steam reduces visibility and increases the likelihood of accidents. And, oh, that steam is just too toasty without outside air mixed in.
Set your gym bag on the bench. Benches are for luggage, not people.
february 22, 2001
Saw it at the intersection of Burnside & Grand on the way to work this morning: a day laborer hungrily eating a ginormous piece of corn bread in the back of a moving pickup and a tall thin guy on the sidewalk with a beard and plaid wool shirt speaking to the passing cars with his teddy bear puppet.
february 19, 2001
The Play is the Thing
I'm having an unreasonably good time with a PC game released more than 4 years ago. Diablo (yes, kids, that's Diablo, not Diablo II) is a game, that on the face of it, is antithetical to me.
I am a role-playing game snob. That means that I've found the real magic of RPG's (mostly Dungeons & Dragons in my case) is in the theater of the moment and the interaction among the players and the denizens of the game world. Most players I have encountered really never got past the baby steps of hack and slash. Now, I enjoy the thrill of simulated combat as much as anybody, but hour after hour of just rolling dice and marking off hit points ain't role playing.
Although many are categorized as such (Baldur's Gate, etc.), I've never seen a PC game that is a role-playing game. Playing a role requires live dialogue, interaction and spontaneity. So Diablo, in no way shape or form resembles an RPG. It's a simple hack and slash game with an engaging story framework and an insanely easy interface. And for some reason that's exactly what I need right now.
The other reason that Diablo makes me happy: my outlook on life is that we live in an age of wild abundance. There are more quality books, movies, plays, performances and games available than I can ever hope to experience in a lifetime. That's why I'm impatient with people who say they are bored. Visiting these old titles is like rummaging through the treasure chest. It's another confirmation of the wild abundance. So the beauty of a 4 year old game is: a) that it is new to me - I don't care how old it is; b) bargain bin!; c) it runs flawlessly on my 2.6 year old PC. Ah, the simple pleasures...
february 16, 2001
I'm not much of a jazz connoisseur, but Ken Burns' Jazz piqued my interest. So I'm driving David to school with Thelonius Monk's 'Well You Needn't' in the CD player -- a spare piano/bass/drum combo sound, brightly colored but with a structure and a twist. David (4 years old): "Dad, I like this music." And I'm thinking the exact same thing.
So I just finished paying off my 1999 federal taxes. Whee!
february 14, 2001
Oregon is 142 years old today. Two things I like about Oregon: 1) Nobody is absolutely sure where the name Oregon comes from.
2) The strongest freedom of speech rights in the U.S. (and thus probably the world).
Take a look at this bad boy -
Oregon Constitution, Section 8. Freedom of speech and press. No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever [my emphasis]; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.
You've got everything you'd want in there plus the reminder that big freedom comes with responsibilities. I dig that.
february 11, 2001
Hypothetically, let's say you are feeling a little blue and end up at a drinking establishment. And, by chance, at that drinking establishment some people are dancing. Well, not people but one person. Someone who isn't always completely wearing clothes. And say that that individual chose only songs from shows you watched as a kid covered by new bands. Like 'Pufnstuf', 'Sugar' (from the Archies), and 'Let the Sun Shine In' (Pebbles Flintstone's big hit). Wouldn't that cheer you up at least a little bit? Hypothetically?
february 8, 2001
I received a wonderful e-mail from Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo in reply to my praise and thanks for his performance on Sunday:
"So often, especially when the audience is a blur and so far away, itís hard to tell if thereís a reaction...Iíve saved your comments as a reminder that our Art touches our hearts and wakens the mind."
You know, I feel that way about you guys too.
I don't recommend trying this at home. Denial is much easier.
I calculated what it would take for me to pay 100% of Jack's (now 7) tuition at a private college. All I have to do is start saving the equivalent of 140% of my mortgage each month until he is 18. That's just wrong. Of course, that doesn't include David and Elizabeth. Damn.
february 5, 2001
Yesterday, Jack and I attended Portland's celebration of a Japanese New Year ritual known as Mochitsuki. Mochi are little pieces of dough that are made from a soft sweet rice pounded with a giant wooden mallet, combining 2 favorite activities of people across the world: 1) smashing stuff, and 2) eating stuff. (I haven't found a good link for this year's event, but this is a nice piece on Mochitsuki 2000.)
I loved the taiko (traditional Japanese drumming) and the dance, but was enthralled with the story-telling of Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec. In the first half of the program he kept the audience of the edge of their seats with his tale of a little boy staying with his grandparents that are spared the depradations of a thief and a hungry wolf through a pretty comical misunderstanding. In the second half, Robert wove a tale of his summers growing up in Concord, California, planting trees with his father, discovering that a bully that tormented him could become a friend, and how all things are possible "a little bit at a time".
february 1, 2001
If you are one of those people who haven't discovered Greg Knauss' An Entirely Other Day, please go there now and read today's entry and you will understand why I visit every day.
May you never be more active than when you are
forget what you said, but they will never forget how you
made them feel.
-Carl W. Buehner