praise for
days of naze


days of naze 

 

 

 

 

essays.

five good ones:

i blame them

the longest mile

my affair with a greek woman

pleasure victim

a night on the town

 

my old intro: an introduction

christening naze.net: i am naze

...

wish list

december 31, 2002

east side / west side

After much sweat and toil, recycling and disposing, organizing and arranging, I have switched rooms with the boys. After nearly 12 years in the east upstairs bedroom, my windows face west, where in the distance I can the red blinking lights of the radio and t.v. transmitters on top of the west hills along with a smattering of porch and streetlights along those hills.

This room is a bit cosier which is fine by me. My PC has adjusted to its new home, perched now on the short end of the rectangular table. I faithfully cleaned each component of the system and arranged them in their new configuration in front of the raggedy arm chair that is their neighbor. The old 266 had lived its entire life next to the window where the moon rose over the townhouse apartments below. Over the years I have fed it new memory, a graphics card, and a new hard drive, along with a nice set of peripherals. With each new addition, I lovingly open the tower, give it a nice dusting with the compressed air and snap in the boost.

The fact is that it does everything I need it to do. Sure, it can't play Grand Theft Auto. And it won't support USB2. I know it's metal and plastic that comes alive with a current. But somehow it feels like an old friend. I hope it likes its new home. +10:23 PM

 

embarrassment

Mighty Girl, a days of naze favorite, pops up all over the web with a pleasing regularity. Today, in the {fray}: Chagrin and the Men I Have Loved.

The question at the end: when have you embarrassed yourself? You'll find my answer in there. Why don't you add your own? +9:54 AM

 

december 30, 2002

when you're crappy and you know it clap your hands

No, I'm not a bandwagon guy. Oregon is my team, win or lose, but sometimes you just gotta admit when you suck. When you lose 5 of your last 6 games, and then you get your ass kicked by an unranked opponent, 38-17 -- well, you suck.

Same story: get burned deep multiple times a game plus an erratic passing game. QB Jason Fife is a good guy with decent physical skills, but he has definitely lost the confidence of the team. When redshirt Kellen Clemens comes in, surging with adrenaline, he makes a few rookie mistakes, but he moves the ball and makes completions. The irony is that way back, before we became the PAC-10 powerhouse, we lost to Wake Forest in the lowly Independence Bowl many moons ago.

It's hard to come off last year where we were undisputed #2 in the country (with legitimate claims to having been cheated out of the national championship game) to this place we are now. My hope -- no, my prayers are -- that the people who say that our defensive secondary is bad is because any freshmen, no matter how talented, would be shredded by elite PAC-10, are right. Until we can stop the long pass, it doesn't matter how well our offense plays. We'll find a way back. Not giving up on my team. Go Ducks. +11:56 PM

 

december 29, 2002

the stigma of questionable competence

George W's men think merit should be the primary criterion of college admission for everyone, except, of course, George W. [via kottke] +6:40 PM

 

december 26, 2002

simpson's genesis

This Portland Tribune article has some fun drawing out many of the Portland landmarks and people Matt Groening mutated into Simpson's characters and places.

Missing from the article is one of my favorites, Reverend Lovejoy, named after Lovejoy Street. The street gets its name from Asa Lovejoy, who along with Francis Pettygrove, shared the claim to what is now downtown Portland. They couldn't agree on what to call the new place, so they flipped a coin. Pettygrove won, otherwise we would be called the name that Lovejoy wanted -- Boston.

Now that I think of it, Asa Phelps is one of the Flying Hellfish from the episode Curse of the Flying Hellfish. With Google and some persistence, I'll bet this game could go on a long time... Here's a goofy map of Portland that shows more Simpson's connections. +9:08 PM

 

december 25, 2002

alma mater - football dynasty

"We're going to take a few months off and start thinking about how we're going to do it again," the coach [Sean McNabb] says.

Sean, who has led the team to 3 AAA state championships in the 4 years he has coached the Indians, graduated from Scappoose High in 1983, one year after me. Scappoose is a very small town (about 8000 people?) halfway between Portland, Oregon and Longview, Washington, on the Columbia River. His player development is phenomenal to be getting his guys to achieve at those levels given the population he has to draw from. Prior to this, Scappoose did not have a tradition of being a strong football program (it does, however, have a long track record as a very strong wrestling team).

It's kind of fun to watch this unfold. Of course, the downside of success for Scappoose football is that Sean will be heavily recruited by other bigger programs in the Portland metro area. +9:04 PM

 

december 24, 2002

'tis the season

No sooner had we put down Santa's cookies and milk than Elizabeth began snacking upon them. Horrified, Jack tried to stop her. She would not be deterred. Two year olds have a sense of how things works and it is: this is my world and you're just living in it.

"I'm Ho-ho Chi-Chi", she declared, combining her name for Santa with a diminutive we used for her when she was a baby.

I was up until 1 a.m. last night wrapping gifts. Tonight, I figure I'll be done in another hour and a half. The Godfather is a good movie to wrap presents to.

Wishing you all well -- good night. +11:19 PM

 

december 21, 2002

back in the high life

"I love playing," said Feeley. "It's been a while since I've had the feeling of being the guy."

A.J. Feeley was the starting quarterback for Oregon at the beginning of 2000 season, until he was injured. Joey Harrington stepped into the starting spot and that was it for A.J.'s career with the Duck's. Now, Joey is out for the season (with a treatable heart condition) and A.J. is ascendant. Feeley was the Eagle's third string qb until McNabb and then Detmer fell to injuries. Now Feeley has led the Eagles to three consecutive victories and the NFC East title. A.J. has the guys believing in him. He was always a class act at Oregon and we're all very happy for him. Especially the tiny little eastern Oregon town of Ontario where he grew up. +8:17 PM

 

december 20, 2002

damn straight

"If a gun doesn't need to be registered, and a computer doesn't need to be registered either, I would hope that I should be free to use a computer without surveillance just as I should be able to use a gun at a range or hunting without someone in Washington having to know my constant position and what I'm doing with it."

As usual, Matt has it right again. +9:38 PM

 

december 18, 2002

chagrin

I'm still processing it. And I haven't made up my mind completely about the Two Towers film (I'm going to another showing on Saturday), but I am bothered by two specific things.

In the 3 minute Quicktime preview, two musical ideas push back and forth, propelling the rapid fire montage of images to an electrifying height of tension and excitement. The preview opens with the big French horn Fellowship theme. But as the drama unfolds, a marching rhythm played by the string section takes over. Two eighths, a triplet, and a quarter note -- repeated. Rising slightly in pitch and then falling a bit with hard emphasis, like a tramping boot. Howard Shore worries those notes, taking the repeated notes a bit higher with more volume. And then as battle is joined, it's as if the momentum is stolen and the music slips as if on ice, sliding backwards. The rhythm slows into repeated duplets, the strings skidding on the same note. It's perfect. It's as if the music has crashed into the enemy, is stopped and losing ground. And then the march comes back, stronger, louder, more desparate -- but with a huge Wagnerian choir! And then the sliding. March comes back at a thunderous volume when it is cut off by a flash of light that reveals the title and a percussive blast that accompanies it. A - w - e - s - o - m - e. I've watched that thing at least a hundred times and it gets me pumped every time.

Guess how much of that music makes it into the film? Zero. None. Nada. WTF?!

SPOILER ALERT. I'm also unsettled by Jackson's choice for the resolution of the Battle of Helm's Deep. I have no illusions that literature and film are the same thing. It's not about that. Jackson is very conscious of his need to propel the story forward. Jackson has Wormtongue exile Eomer to north Rohan (with a battalion of cavalry -- hmm...). Of course, this creates drama and shows us what a bad guy Grima is. But it's also a setup for Eomer to come charging in like, yes, the cavalry at the end to save the day. In the book, every last warrior is inside Helm's Deep staring into the abyss that is the Army of Isengard, their defenses falling, piece by piece. Gandalf returns, not with Eomer, but with hope unlooked for, unimaginable -- an army of Ents. This is a fantastic way for the battle to end. Unforseen, long dormant forces arise and unite to come to the aid of the free peoples. It's also kind of freaky and Roach Motel-ish: the orcs check in, but they don't check out.

But there are many wonderful things about this movie, especially Miranda Otto who is stunning, and more Eowyn than I could have hoped for. It's impossible to take your eyes off of her. Also, the Gollum internal dialogue externalized is moving and powerful. I guess my expectations for this movie were very much influenced by the trailer. Right now I'm feeling that we have a good solid movie (I'll give it a generous IMDB rating of 7) where I was expecting greatness. After Saturday, I'll let you know what I think. +10:30 PM

 

at the theater

Let me just make this clear: I like watching movies at the theater. It's a great big space for a massive screen and huge speakers. Your *in* an audience -- it's a live thing -- audiences react. You ride this tide of energy and emotion. It's also democratic. We're all peers when we're in the theater. The systems engineer and the guy who sweeps the floor? Can't tell 'em apart -- don't care to.

I'm twenty minutes early to an afternoon showing of Two Towers out on 166th & SE Division. I choose a spot way up front. About 10 seats down, a twelve year old girl and (presumably) her mother. The girl is so excited she has got to tell me about it. "I've been waiting a year for this movie!", she beams. The movie Fellowship of the Ring inspired her to read the Trilogy, which is really cool and reminds me of how X drove me to read Haley's Autobiography of Malcolm X. The lights go down and the previews begin. A number of people in the area continue to gab during the previews, which bothers me, but I cling to the hope that they are just rude during "commercials". (The previews go for 19 minutes -- that's *19* freakin' minutes -- I timed it. WTF?!)

The movie that the entire audience has waited one year to see rolls. Two twenty-something guys 7 seats to my left continue their chitchat. No whispering. Not leaning over to the other's ear. Having a conversation over lunch loud. Crap. I give it a little time. When the action gets loud enough on the screen, they stop talking. Until things quiet down when they continue this apparently critical conversation. I shoot them the dagger eyes more than once.

Now, I know many of you have met me. For those of you who don't, it will be hard for you to gauge how out of character my next move is. I've had it. Done. I stand up, walk down the row and stand in front of them. "Are you going to talk through the whole goddamed movie?!" Blank stares. (Ah, of course, what would you expect from the clueless?) "Shut. Up." I stride deliberately to the other side of the theater and sit. Really pissed off, heart racing, but glad I didn't sit and take it. A little corner of my mind wonders if we'll meet up after the movie. I do have my leather jacket on... +9:54 PM

 

december 17, 2002

utopia/dystopia

This Wired article on the future of Google encapsulates the essence of what is truly beautiful about the Internet (i.e. things of great value given to all for free) and the sociopoliticoeconomic physics that work to slow/wear down/diminish/erode these things that make us so happy. +9:51 PM

 

december 16, 2002

locke on?

If you want to know the score, do your history. But don't expect it to be a pretty gift-wrapped package.

John Locke was a primary influence on the authors of the U.S. Constitution. I'm intrigued by his thesis that slavery is simply an extension of warfare.

And yet, despite his essays on liberty, he profited from the slave trade. As with Jefferson, I believe it is important that the failings of this man be weighed against what of him endures. +9:35 PM

 

joey has heart

"'He said to tell you that Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice scared him, and that's when his heart started racing,' Mornhinweg said."

Joey Harrington was rushed to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat, just prior to yesterday's game against Tampa Bay. He's going to miss the last 2 games of the season, but he should be fine. Apparently, others in his family have this condition and you can live a normal life with it. +9:10 PM

 

december 15, 2002

i want lance's shoes

"No one else in the world could possibly wear these shoes like I could wear them, plus they felt so goddam comfortable and looked like hot, wet, perfect sex."

I read Lance's shoe story a couple of weeks ago. It's so good I've been back twice since. Go there now before it's dropped from his front page, never to be seen again. +9:43 PM

 

december 14, 2002

puppet master

Who is Karl Rove? I wouldn't say he was an American Joseph Goebbels...but Wayne Madsen would. And I wouldn't say that he reminded me of Adolf Eichmann...but that's Cathy assessement after reading the January issue of Esquire. But there is no dispute that Karl Rove is the most powerful presidential advisor in 100 years. It would not be a stretch to say that he is the most powerful man in the world.

John DiIulio, one of the most intelligent and respected conservative minds in the nation (and a former Bush official): "When policy analysis is just backfill to support a political maneuver, you'll get a lot of oops".

Die-hard, 100% conservative true believer in the West Wing: "Don't you understand? We got into the White House and forfeited the game. You're supposed to stand for something...to generate sound ideas, support them with real evidence, and present them to Congress and the people. We didn't do any of that. We just danced this way and that on minute political calculations and whatever was needed for a few paragraphs of a speech." +8:01 PM

 

december 12, 2002

scylla and charybdis

Portland Public Schools are under siege. The irony is that PPS is among the best major metropolitan districts in the country.

The horde of assailants:

  • A Republican controlled state legislature that sent tax rebate checks to taxpayers during the height of the Oregon economic boom instead of establishing a rainy day fund.
  • The same Republic controlled state legislature, that instead of demonstrating courage and leadership by voting for or against measures to prevent savage cuts to education, demonstrated cowardice by instead sending a half-assed measure to the voters.
  • Unusually apathetic Oregonians. One of the true iconoclast states. One of the last hold-outs with no sales tax, Oregonians rebelled against escalating property taxes with a lid (the infamous Measure 5) that capped increases, but created a tectonic shift of tax burden from businesses to individuals. School funding, once locally controlled, shifted to the state. Small rural districts greatly benefitted -- at the expense of urban districts that disproportionately serve low income and special needs students. And that's where we've been stuck for 10 years.
  • A vicious downturn in the Oregon economy. Oregon is no longer dependent on timber as it once was. However, we have become very dependent on computer hardware -- largely chips and memory.
  • Decreasing birth rate. No kids? Who needs cares about schools?
  • Profoundly irresponsible legislators. Guess who, instead of granting a pay raise to public employees, guaranteed (guaranteed!) a minimum 8% annual rate of return on the public employee retirement system? Which is now crushing the state like a python.

    The defenders at the walls:

  • Teachers who, day in - day out, are in the trenches with kids, bringing advanced, progressive curriculum and a brave face -- not letting on that they are taking heavy casualties every year. Support staff, school maintenance, music, art -- hacked, gone.
  • Parents who care. Volunteering to help in the classroom. Fundraising to bridge the huge cracks -- well beyond the point that reason should demand. Just caring enough about education to help with homework.
  • Citizens that believe it's not enough to take theirs and leave others to scrape up the crumbs that are left behind. +10:06 PM

     

    december 7, 2002

    hey, i resemble that remark!

    "First off, there's all you slackers who've lapsed into blogging. You went from some real writing to basically cutting pictures out of magazines and sticking 'em up on the classroom bulletin board. You lazy bastards are climbing your way sideways into imposterity." +10:35 AM

     

    december 4, 2002

    hampered

    Cathy and I squared off. She had a handful of our children's stained clothes. It wasn't the first week that some of the kid's clothing came out of the dryer and went into their drawers stained. And it wasn't the first week that we had thrown some of them away. To top it off, a couple of weeks ago, a crayon in a pocket made it through to the dryer where it wreaked havoc on a load of laundry that included one of just about everybody in the family's favorite clothing item.

    She was pissed. And she was pointing the finger at the laundry person. Me.

    And that finger pissed me off. I was bummed about the problems, but had adopted a philosophical attitude towards the casualties of cloth. Doing all of the laundry in a family of five is no picnic. She was taking over the laundry and I was having none of it. I was plenty angry at the end of that fight, but I did what works in many confrontations -- I walked away. If she wanted the job, I'd let her have a taste of it.

    Three days later... "Um, laundry is a lot harder than I thought it was." Ah, yes. Sweet validation.

    The washer and dryer are in the basement. It can be kind of cold and dark down there. Hamperfuls of laundry have to be carted down over the week. Hundreds of items are sorted and washed, then dried. Then carted back upstairs. Sorted, folded, stacked, put on hangers, carried to rooms to begin the cycle anew. Hundreds of socks to be matched.

    That fight probably needed to happen sooner or later. +10:48 PM

     

    december 3, 2002

    know your islam

    "...to those who know it, is anything but strait-laced. Islam produced Rumi, a 13th century Sufi mystic and poet who wrote verses such as, 'When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe.' Nowhere in the Koran does it say adulterers should be stoned. Nowhere does it say that women should be completely covered." +9:44 PM

     

    december 1, 2002

    plague

    The Link and Think Project made me do a little bit of both this morning. It reminds people that AIDS is still killing millions of people around the world and that it is not over.

    I was a bit surprised to find that the highest incidence of AIDS in Oregon is in men exactly my age, 38.

    Portland's own Frykitty features some very interesting information about AIDS from her husband, who has done research in the field. +8:55 AM

     

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    christopher at naze.net

     

     

     

    May you never

    be more active

    than when you are doing

    nothing.

    -Cato

     

     

     

    They may forget

    what you said,

    but they will never forget

    how you made them

    feel. 

    -Carl W. Buehner

     

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