i blame them
the longest mile
my affair with a greek woman
a night on the town
my old intro: an introduction
christening naze.net: i am naze
march 24, 2003
the hunted - a travelogue
The movies I see are largely dictated by opportunity. I've got a 2-3 hour window. I see a film that fits the schedule. Today it was The Hunted. It's a decent film with 2 great actors: Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones. There are flaws -- I'd give it an IMDB 6.
But, if you would like a very nice look at Portland on the big screen, The Hunted is an 8. A few years ago when they were shooting this, I saw them on the Hawthorne Bridge with the life scale light rail train. The light rail doesn't run across the Hawthorne Bridge (it runs across the Steel Bridge), so they had to rig a model that was pushed across. Portland is all over this movie. Chases through the massive Keller Fountain, scenes in the Federal Building, a northwest neighborhood, a tunnel in the West Hills, and even a view (of the outside) of Portland's oldest strip club, Mary's. Visually, this is the best Portland film. Dramatically, Breaking In and Drugstore Cowboy still reign.
I had a few moments to myself and so I pulled the car next to my favorite park. It's been raining for about 7 straight days, but this morning the clouds gave it a rest and slid eastward. On the court across the lawn, 2 guys shoot and chase down a basketball. The tall slim one in a navy blue hooded sweatshirt and khakis corrals a series of misses from his partner and passes the ball back to reload. The short bearded one in a small gold knit cap starts hitting his jumpers and reels off 6 in a row.
They switch places and continue at a steady pace. They're o.k., not great but really into it. And then passing drills up and down the court.
march 19, 2003
a republic, if you can keep it
Stating a de facto case that opposition to the war equals opposition to the troops is simple-minded, utterly without merit and reprehensible. If the only way you can score points in this debate is to slander your opponent, you are discrediting your side.
War scares people into doing stupid things. But it does not absolve you of fulfilling your duty to your country. Free speech is oxygen to democracy. Citizenship is a gift for most of us, but you aren't really a citizen unless you *work* to uphold the Constitution.
On Talk of the Nation on NPR this morning, a rather smug Congressman lectured the listeners that those opposed to the war should "quiet down" once it has begun. Make no mistake about this: if you oppress dissent, you are a tyrant.
Now that the battle has been joined, I wish our soldiers well, hope for swift victory and a better life soon for all Iraqis.
"As [Andrew Wiles] recounted these moments, the memory was so powerful that he was moved to tears. 'It was so indescribably beautiful; it was so simple and so elegant. I couldn't understand how I had missed it and I just stared at it in disbelief for twenty minutes. Then during the day I walked around the department, and I'd keep coming back to my desk looking to see if it was still there. It was still there. I couldn't contain myself, I was so excited. It was the most important moment of my working life. Nothing I ever do again will mean as much.'"
I've just finished "Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem" by Simon Singh. It is extraordinary in it's breadth and drama. History is littered with the tragic lives of mathematicians who have pursued Fermat's Last Theorem. And yet many built the steps that Wile climbed for 8 long years that allowed him to reach his revelatory proof. Read it. A basic understanding of algebra is all that you need to appreciate the engaging narrative of Singh.
"In fact, the president and his allies in Congress have not even had the guts to tell us that the war is going to cost money and we are going to have to pay for it somehow. Their budget pretends that the war doesn't exist. Why? Because at the same time we are spending hundreds of billions on this war, Bush wants to cut hundreds of billions from the tax bills of the wealthiest Americans -- and leave his successors to worry about how to pay for Social Security and health care for senior citizens. This isn't a mature leader calling for wartime sacrifice; it's craven, reckless irresponsibility."
The flamers are no match for Scott Rosenberg.
march 18, 2003
eloquence in adversity
Robin Cook resigns from the Blair government: "What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops."
march 17, 2003
insult to injury
The job of network news is to trumpet and amplify it's self-importance. After months and months of the Bush march to war, I don't need more talking heads beating this thing into the ground. It was a done deal long ago. I'm done listening until there is something to new to be told. Something that actually demonstrates that Iraq is a threat to American interests.
ABC pre-empts The Practice for more pointless jabber. Bastards. (I turned to PBS and found substantive, intelligent analysis of Bush vs. Iraq. Surprise, surprise.)
brush with greatness - juggled
Remember that guy who juggles and stuff at the place where I work out? I took the advice of my friend, Travis (a former circus clown), and introduced myself.
The man turns out to be Patrick McGuire, a juggler of some renown. He performed in the Cirque du Soleil production, Mystere, which was one of the early 1990 Vegas shows that established Cirque as an entertainment powerhouse. He continued touring with the Cirque show, Quidam, but then declined an invitation to continue touring in Europe. Now, he does gigs locally with Do Jump!, a local troupe, and all over the country. Patrick was rehearsing for a benefit later that night at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.
It's funny what you can learn when you just open a door and say "hi".
march 13, 2003
[Vera] Katz, a three-term mayor and three-term speaker of the Oregon House, called it a "turning point in my long public service career."
"What we are doing today is saying to the state, 'You abandoned us and we're not going to sit still; we're taking matters into our own hands,' " Katz said. "It will mean higher taxes for us, and this is not the best time to raise taxes. But quite, frankly we have no choice."
march 10, 2003
"I still believe that true patriotism involves striving to create a society and a nation that operate on principles of fairness and compassion, not the Big Stick."
march 9, 2003
Elizabeth (2), fresh out of the bath (sans clothes), sneaks to the kitchen table where Jack and David are having a snack of roasted soy beans (don't ask).
She hops up on a chair and partakes. And then turns to Jack (9), looking down at her crotch: "Look at this thing I got."
google and me? we're like this
All this, and yet I happily toil in obscurity...
form? meet function
"The Internet isn't a thing. It's an agreement."
"No one owns it.
Everyone can use it.
Anyone can improve it."
A brilliant essay on the beauty that is the Internet. [via megnut]
march 5, 2003
he's dead, jim
Just took the Star Trek/Myers-Briggs test. And I'm a bit unsettled by the results. I took my last Myers-Briggs about 5 years ago and I was a pretty solid INTJ (Introvert, Intuitor, Thinker, Judger), almost slipping over to an E (Extrovert) NTJ. But now this:
Myers-Briggs would say that you are an ISFJ (Introvert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger). In Star Trek language, you share a basic personality configuration with Beverly Crusher and Chakotay.
People like you are generally highly nurturing and caring. You're gentle and thoughtful, but also cautious, especially about exposing your inner self. You're highly protective of your privacy and share yourself with others as a sign of love. Once comfortable, however, you are quite affectionate. You also desire steady and unstinting love in return.
You're very literal and maintain a high awareness of the physical world. You are quite likely to have a highly developed sense of spirituality.
You are uncompromising about your personal standards and easily offended, especially when you do not feel appreciated or when people violate your personal space. You are diligent and conscientious, organized and decisive. You respond well to politeness. You enjoy productive routine.
Your primary goal in life is helping people in real ways. Your reward is stability in your daily life and people who support your feelings. You cannot have friends who would ever ask you to compromise your values.
Good careers for your type include primary care physician, chief medical officer, elementary school worker[!], guidance counselor, special education teacher, and genealogist.
Yikes! I've become a sensor and a feeler instead of an intuitor and thinker? I used to get along with a former co-worker on a strictly social basis, but when it came to getting work done, it was kind of a nightmare. Later I found out he was literally the opposite of me -- an ESFP (Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Perceiver). Then it all made sense.
However, the scary thing is that the test absolutely identified the job that I am about to take on. Maybe there's something to this thing. And hell, I always did like Chakotay. Mostly.
[via Wil Wheaton]
march 4, 2003
a measure of probability
David (6 years old): How long do you get to be President?
Me: You get 4 years at a time, then if most of the people think you did a good job they'll vote for you and you can have 4 more years.
David: So, 8 altogether...
Me: Yeah, but in rare cases where someone couldn't stay in as President, you could actually get a little more than 8 years. But that's extremely rare.
David: Rare as a boy having no penis?
Me: [?! long pause] I really hadn't thought about that, David...
march 2, 2003
is it cricket?
I love Google and I really like Blogger, so I'm happy for both of them on their recent union. They are both free services, so it's against my nature to complain. However, as a long time user, I am a part of the value that Blogger brings to Google. I've been getting chronic errors since the purchase. I hope things get smoothed out soon.
Icy cold Jack Bristow is a paragon of discipline and cynicism. So when his ex-wife, Irina Derevko, who was deep undercover for the KGB, betrayed him 20 years ago, he became the ice man. Irina came back and turned herself in and eventually won everyone's trust back. Until tonight.
The night before the big mission she melts the ice man with devastating moves. I'm shouting in my head "no, don't do it!", but I'm looking at her and I can't blame him. She played him and now she's free. Damn, I love this show.
wrestling against nature
My brother and a number of my friends wrestled competitively in their younger days. Wrestling is a sport that demands intense physical and mental discipline.
Oregon wrestler Kenny Cox had a promising career. His college coach, either grossly incompetent or simply cruel, trashed it all. This is the type of writing that the widely maligned Oregonian should be doing.
christopher at naze.net
when you are doing
what you said,
but they will never forget
-Carl W. Buehner