Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pulling something out of my Year End

I hate the arbitrary assessments that come with certain dates. They are obligatory in some sense and as a conventional nonconformist I thought I would chime in. 2008 was alright in the end. More up than down. I was never able to get more than a few hundred miles on the bike trips but the idea of that was laughable just a few years ago.
I had a good year creatively. While I didn’t make much head way on the DJ project I did put out some good short stories, I had some tough nights in the wilderness but the good times more than made up for it. The video front has been fun but I need to put forth more effort in scripting and editing. The Radmul channel has been fun to build on YouTube and is starting to take on a new shape that I like.
I had forgotten how oppressive it is to be depressed when everyone else is happy so the end of the holiday season is always welcome . I still hurt too many days. I have lost any conditioning that I had gotten and have gained too much weight.
The year in politics has been interesting. I have enjoyed my debates on Dkos and Hufpo. I have a post in the works wrapping up my political thoughts for the year. For now I am out for some fun on the last day of the year hope you are doing the same.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why the sex trade will stay illegal.

Today is the international day to end violence against sex workers day. The key to this in my opinion is to destigmatize and decriminalize these activities. I am sad to say I see neither of these things happening anytime soon.
The rich need to have low cost whores available to the rabble or they will agitate for enough money to have the same access to sex that others have. Once they stigmatize an individual through a criminal record the worker has many fewer options for making a living. They keep the options limited they keep the prices down and prevent the workers from garnering enough resources to change their life in a capitalist system.
The second factor is the prison industrial complex. Many parts of rural America are dependent upon incarceration for their economic development. We lost our manufacturing and built prisons and those cells need to have occupants. The police exploit the poor at all levels forcing them to become informants and extorting the poor workers for favors. This is more control of the underclass.
If legalized the workers would be entitled to police protection like any other commercial enterprise. The policing of the lower classes is punitive not protective for the most part.
The moralists are too wrapped up in their superstition to allow reason to get in the way of punishing sin. These are a powerful constituency and sex workers are not. The patrons that have a modicum of power are shamed into silence so the puritans get their way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fall Fallacies

A long list of random thoughts for a fall Friday. On a sad note Bettie Page died on Thursday after a heart attack a few days ago. A free spirit that was tormented by the puritans and exploited by the photographers of her day. This Bio book is pretty good if you are unfamiliar with her or check out this web page.
The Senate failed to Put together a bail out package for the Big 3 and now the shrub in chief is saying that the TARP will work out some sort of kick the can down the road loan. The parting shot of the free market mystics at union busting will probably give us a total cluster fuck to the bread lines. Unrestricted no strings attached money is so much better than a planned bill but hey I was against the plan anyway. I have written before about a bottom up approach to these bailouts rather than top down.
The more I read about this current financial meltdown The less sense I am able to make of it. I have more research to do but my take from readings so far leads me to think fraud is the cause more than anything else. People lying about value, capitalism in a nutshell is the root of this mess. The bond raters being paid by the bond sellers enabled a huge fraud to be perpetuated on investors. Appraisers and lending brokers getting paid on the transaction rather than the success of the transaction led to loans being made to people that had no chance to repay them. The ponzi scheme nature of our economy came tumbling down due to lying by the institutions that established the value. Putting the CDS, (credit default swaps) out of the reach of regulators by Phil Grahams Enron loopholes meant that nobody was responsible for minding the store. Greenspan robbing the poor to pay Wall street with interest rates kept the bubble building and when oil prices spiked the house of cards collapsed.
Corruption reared it’s ugly head in Illinois politics when the Gov tried to sell a senate seat. Quoting Captain Renault I am shocked , shocked to see crooked politicians in Chicago. The sad part is that it has given the right wingnutosphere the opening it needed to begin delegitimizing the Obama presidency. I do not think we are in a post partisan era, in fact the idea of a post partisan era is stupid. We are back to the Rushbo era of, “Clinton is holding America hostage” and nothing will get done. Yes I am a pessimist and the lame group of DLC and Clinton era holdovers that populate the Obama cabinet give me zero reason to question my skepticism. As I am getting a large COLA next month deflation works for me right up until the government collapses and we got to anarchy. I am way to old for that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stupid is as

I tried to watch Mad Men. I am always interested in trends but as with most things in popular culture it left me cold. For the most part it is just a commercial for cigarettes. Look smoking is cool, remember when all the cool cats smoked and wouldn’t it be nifty if they did again? In the end it is just a mediocre soap and that is a thing just not my thing. Would like to find out if the tobacco companies financed the show from jump but the show does lead into my larger point.
American’s do not like facts but instead they like a story that fits what they already believe. I am not immune to this most American of delusions so my take should be examined in this light as well. The Ad agency guys in the show spend their time looking down their noses at the little guy while they try to fool him into buying whatever widget this weeks account is for while they do the typical soap opera plot over and over. The one thing it does get is the contempt that marketers have for the target of their propaganda. The point in time that marketing became more important than the product was the end of the advance of the middle class. I will include those pesky numbers and facts at the end but for now I am telling a storey and do not wish to break my rhythm. It is my point that you do not actually give a crap about the facts anyway and if the storey is not conforming to your preconceived ideas you will have already tuned it out.
With the end of the 2nd world war there existed large industrial capacity to match pent up demand and the modern middle class exploded in the U.S. The G.I. bill fueled education and government investment in infrastructure made the perception of unlimited potential for growth reality for an instant. That bubble burst in the late fifties and we have been on a bubble to bubble ride ever since but something happened in the seventies that altered the equation and we have never owned up to it. We reached the point that there was not enough cheap energy to go around.
The timing of the first oil shock is etched in my mind as I was a California boy about to get the key to life my first drivers license. Freedom, riches and above all sex all flowed from this magical achievement and as the price of gas went overnight from 29 and 9/10s to 59 and 9/10s all that evaporated in an instant. My father was in the Gas selling business at the time so for us it was sort of a total collapse of the world but it didn’t last. The resultant recession ruined demand oil prices once again crashed and we went back to the same old waste it ways with one exception. The marketers had sold us the idea that conservation was evil. Ronny Raygun and his morning in America bunch had tapped into the idea that we like to be told that we are better than everyone else. We are really into the manifest destiny American exceptionalism nonsense and we would rather live like shit and believe things are great than fix things. Yes we could out compete anyone that had been destroyed in a war of unprecedented scale. The being born on third base and believing you have hit a triple mentality permeates our experience. The latest example was John Sydney McCain 4th generation privileged son of admirals trying to claim his man of the people mantle when running against the elitist son of a divorced mother. 57 million idiots bought that lie but the fact that the marketers sold us that idea is the problem. We want to believe the smart guy is an elitist. For some reason we do not like people that are smarter than us running things. Is it that we are afraid that the smart guys will screw us over? The dumb ones fronting for the republicans have screwed us repeatedly and for some reason we don’t seem to care but let a smart guy want to run things and we freak out instantly. I think the marketing folk figured this out quite a while ago, that is why all smart people in popular culture are portrayed as idiots or social misfits. Television needs to sell us that reason and education won’t make you happy other wise the old nonsense of religion and nationalism will fail to satisfy and the rabble will demand competence and facts as opposed to faith and dreams.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Car wreck economy

I am watching the markets fall again today and the news is reporting another round of government plans for bailouts. There is talk of another stimulus package and a bailout of the big three auto makers. The liberal bloggosphere is now debating how to make the car makers eco-friendly in exchange for the money. More of the too big to fail mentality that is doomed to failure. This will be a horrible boondoggle just as the financial sector bailout is turning into.
The auto industry is not truly in trouble just the American auto industry. Yes all sales are down but in this recession but the big three were tanking long before the downturn. This is a symptom of a larger American attitude that is the root of the problem but first let us look at industry as a whole. Companies like Volkswagen and Toyota are profitable and have been while GM looses billions. If we are going to bail out bad decisions and bad business practices we must abandon the idea that we are a market economy. Rather than pour money down the rat hole let these companies go into bankruptcy and have the government backstop the people at the bottom that will lose out. Don’t hand the idiots running these companies billions to waste instead let them fail and take over the pension and medical insurance payments for the retirees. This should be done as part of a national single payer health care reform that will help to make all American industry more viable and competitive.
The big three have been losing market share due to bad products and poor workmanship. The market does in fact work in cars, make a product people want and it sells. Once you have a reputation for making bad poor quality products it is tough to come back. This brings me back to the larger American attitude that is failing. Marketing will make up for bad product. The big three think polishing a turd is the solution rather than flushing the toilet.
The idea that we are going to bail out these companies seems to no longer be the argument but how the government should determine what they make is the position of the left. The right and let them fail is actually correct but their reasoning as usual is faulty and they do not want to deal with the fallout. Planned economies fail. I have accepted that fact even though I tend toward socialist solutions. The market is pretty good at deciding which types of goods consumers will buy. Badly made poor quality ugly looking boxy hybrids will tank and that is the kind of crap Detroit’s designers will spew forth if the government steps in with mandates in exchange for loan guarantees. The management of the big three are of the same mentality as the American way of life is nonnegotiable wing of the anti environmental party. The automobile is not conducive to a sustainable lifestyle for 6 billion plus people and the sooner we warm up to that concept the sooner we can keep the world from getting too hot.
Let them fail. Force the unions to work out a new deal and let the taxpayers bail out the retirees not the investors. Take the money and spend it on public transportation. There simply are not enough resources in the world for everyone to drive around in their own car. This is the fundamental change that we need to deal with. If we start now we can save lots of pain in the long run.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election wrap

Slept late today and now over coffee I thought I would take a few minutes to analyze the 08 vote. I am glad Obama beat McCain 4 more years of the same old republican nonsense would have been a disaster but I do not see the huge transformation that the jabbering heads are on about. Yes a black man won and that is historic but the world of the redneck is still full of rednecks. In an election that had the worst economy in my lifetime and two failed wars almost all of fly over country still voted as it always does. If the market collapse had been stalled a few more months who knows? If McCain picks a remotely qualified running mate again we will never know.
I think that because I am of the opinion that people are of a single species and that the variation within the group has been shown to be greater than variations by skin color I just don’t find race very interesting. The invective that I saw in the campaign showed me that racism is still prevalent and that we have a huge number of bigots wandering among us. The failure of all of the progressive ballot initiatives tends to prove my point. Equal rights for gays lost even in California. That should not be that big a surprise as once you get 50 miles inland California has become Alabama in some respects. Even when same sex marriage was legal the folks in Bakersfield tried to prevent couples from getting licenses, just one example.
I am a cynic and do not trust anyone that spews the level of religiosity that Obama professes but he has a mandate. It remains to be seen what he does with it. In the meantime the court battles over rights will begin in California and the corporate scum will begin to delegitamize the left with claims of, “America is center right” while the left pushes back. In the end I will not be surprised when a year from now nothing has changed much. We are still a population that cares more about the caged chicken we are going to slaughter than our neighbors.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shakey ideas

The other day or should I say night I was woken up twice by the shaking of earthquakes. They were small and did no damage but still it was a bit disconcerting. It got me thinking about the vagaries of life and perception. I have friends around the country that ask how I can handle the earthquake thing and they live places that have tornadoes and hurricanes almost every year. The sounds are so odd, the humming of the world on a grand scale. The rocks screaming in a low whine as opposed to the howl of the wind. The difference in energy from one to the other, quick burst or sustained violence are both emasculating in their own way. I think the shaking ground for me is less of a problem because I am good at reacting to things. The other forms of disaster come with warnings and anticipation and the buildup while earthquakes just happen and then they are done. With warning I spend too much time worrying about things and that is wasted energy.
I have been somewhat lucky from the standpoint that the big ones have happened shortly after I departed. The 89 quake that hit the bay area was about a year after I moved away north and there was another big quake in the Seattle Tacoma area about a year after I left for the south. I do not see this as having any greater meaning in the larger scope of things, just random occurrences. Or should I say they seem random. The one truly random event in the universe was the bubbling up of the big bang.
The idea that the Obama campaign is somehow transformational will lead the democrats to the same disaster that the turning of the Reagan win into a religion has done to the republican party. Look at the historic parallels. Bush has been horrible just as carter was perceived as horrible. The price of gas was through the roof we were being humiliated overseas by a bunch of religious fundies and housing prices and mutual funds were in the toilet. The country is rejecting the status quo not embracing some new idealism. The idea that we are fundamentally different is a fantasy of the left. The bigots are still defeating equal rights for gays. The idea that drilling and despoiling our natural environment is a good thing is wildly popular. We are still fighting about god and imaginary friends like they actually exist. The idea that a woman is entitled to determine her own health care is still anathema to huge segments of the population. McCain was actually winning this race until the market collapsed in spite of the fact that the incumbents had destroyed the nation.
The belief that Reaganism was changing America was the trap for the right, the result is now that their philosophy is crumbling as the dogma is disproved. Back when this cycle began the idea that a democrat could lose this election was ridiculous just as the idea that the disgraced Carter had any chance was idiotic. Stop spouting nonsense about transformation and actually govern well. Competence is the only transformation that the electorate is seeking. In closing I will remind the left that even after the humiliation of impeachment Al Gore still won the election before it was stolen
Hope everyone enjoyed All Hallow's Eve.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Socializing risk

There is never a penalty for being completely wrong . Failure is never punished. We have spread the consequences of being wrong out among the nation as a whole leading to lack of forward progress. Henry Kissinger has been getting it wrong since before I was born. Now we have the liberal sycophants falling all over themselves to gush over the endorsement of Colin Powell . They are willing to forget that it was this bag of crap that did more than anyone else to legitimize the war crime that is the Iraq invasion. He was the front man for Cheney in committing the largest war crime of this young century. We will never know how many innocent people this man got killed or had their lives destroyed. We went apeshit over three thousand people being killed and a few blocks being destroyed. Powell and his gang of ass clowns destroyed a whole country and we are just supposed to forget it because now he is fawning over the new messiah.
This is a failure of character by the folks on the left. If we are not going to stand up for any principles we do not deserve to govern. This I think explains a lot of why there is such a large undecided cohort in the electorate. People are not always issue oriented but they like consistency and they like confidence. If you do not believe you are right you are not going to convince others and in this land of ours belief is sometimes more important than the facts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eerie day

Thought I would share this shot from the bay. I was working on my Halloween photo project and looking out and saw this eerie view. Perhaps it was just my attitude at the time but it had the perfect horror film look about it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The End is Neigh

I see a disturbing trend in the making as I bounce around the bloggosphere today. The rebirth of superstition as refuge for the fearful. I would speculate that it was ever thus throughout history. In uncertain times the less educated or less thoughtful take comfort in the simplicity of religion. As I have concluded that religion is a con I get nothing from it and find it unnerving that even the ignorant among us do. The concept that there is a god and he has a plan scares the crap out of me if this is the manner that he chooses to implement it. When one watches the folks arriving at a McCain /Palin event and listen to the hate and fear that they exude I find it disturbing. These are the very people that will get down on their knees and fork the sign of the evil eye or cross themselves or whatever genuflect move they make. It is not just autochthonous to the land of the redneck but seems to permeate the nation as a whole.
What does this say about us as a people? For me it means that we want to be deceived, we desire the lie regardless of the consequences. We are simply not interested in reality if it doesn’t fit what we already believe. Am I immune from this desire based reality, I think not. The more I learn the less I seem to know and that gives way to a desire for simplicity. I wonder if that is why the physicists believe so strongly in the unified theory being possible. The existence of a single unified theory explaining the forces that rule the universe has a mysterious appeal akin to the existence of a supreme being.
The religious nuts are preaching republicans from the pulpit in violation of the law and nothing is done. The folks at health and human services try to redefine birth control as abortion and nothing is done. We have our presidential candidates go to some “Faith Based” crap fest as knee walking supplicants and people are not outraged.
The economic meltdown we are experiencing is the result of one thing, fraud. We are conditioned by the peddlers of god to accept fraud as fact, that makes the world a worse place and we accept it. As long as we live in a faith based society we cannot fix the problems that will in the end cause us all to suffer. As a people we love the idea of , “American exceptionalism”. We want to think we are destined from god to rule the world. For me whenever I hear the wing nuts talk about, “the shinning city on the hill” I want to scream duck brown people the shit storm is coming at you.
The world might become a brutish selfish place without the stupidest believing that they are being watched and judged. It is my opinion that it already is. If we stop praying and start doing we can solve most of the problems that face us as a society but when you think god has a plan you never seem to take the first steps.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blazing Dunes

Across the bay the dunes of Samoa went into Flame on mode. Thought I would put up a little video. Fire is always a compelling visual and as far as I know this fire was contained with no serious injury.

I have not been riding the last two days due to pain in my ribs. Not sure if it is the sternal arthritis or a strained muscle but it is getting me down. Watching the wind whip through the trees as I write this reminds me that fall has arrived. The air off the bay tastes of frost and mint. It chills the marrow as it pinks the cheeks. Hot flames and chill winds I hope all of you out there have a safe harbor to ride out the storm.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Video Plaza

Wanted to Make a video of the event. The 2008 Pastels on the Plaza. walked around the plaza and simply shot the drawings. The rain kept me from getting there early enough to shoot the works in progress but when you want to travel by bicycle you sometimes have to make a few concessions to weather. The event is a fund raiser for the Northcoast Children's Services so drop by their site and help out if you can.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Plaza Pastels

Spent the day out riding in the wind and the rain. Bikes by the Bay was happening down at the waterfront and up in Arcata the 21st annual Pastels on the plaza was adding color to the square. This is a fundraiser for Northcoast Children's Services. They sell squares on the sidewalk to local businesses and team them up with artists to decorate. Here is a little slideshow of some of the works.

Windows Live Spaces

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another old man screams at the clouds

Some random things that are irritating me. People sighting the continued ads for credit as evidence that the credit markets are not ready to collapse. The point of the bailout is to prevent the collapse. If you wait until the system has collapsed and jobs are lost and companies fail it is too late. The rich are going to make out better on any bailout put forward. Life is not fair get over it. We can go back later and try to impose some taxes and surcharges to attempt to balance the pain but if we allow the credit system to fail to stick it to the wall street bunch we will all be screwed and it could take a decade to pull out of it. The Paulson plan sucks and I have outlined my ideas to improve it but to argue with nonsense just pisses me off. If you can’t think through your argument and see that they at least are coherent shut up and let the adults in the room deal with it.
People telling Sarah Palin to step down as the republican Veep nominee for the good of the country. This has got to be the dumbest thing I have heard in politics since , well Sarah Palin trying to answer a question. Caribou Barbie meets the constitutional requirements to be the Vice President. Would she be terrible? Is she undereducated and lacking in deliberative judgment? Yes and yes but that is not the issue. If the majority of Americans want a moron to run the government than they have every right to vote for a moron. I am not worried as I think more people value a well run government and will not be fooled by McCain and his blatant pandering. People voted for the dumb one in 2004 and it was a disaster for some poor folks, think New Orleans after Katrina, but life was going to suck for those folks even with a good president. We have the opportunity in this election to change the course of the country for the better but if most people want to vote for someone that shares their views on the imaginary friend nonsense that is their right. If the morons win and the old man dies the country will go on. We have had a moron in the big chair for 8 years and if the voters do not see that that is not a good thing than they get the government they deserve.
The people not taking responsibility for their part in the nations problems. I have no desire to castigate those that seek instant gratification and get what they want damn the consequences. You only get one life and it can go to shit for reasons beyond your control at any time but if that is how you chose to live don’t piss and moan when it blows up. “Live fast die, young and leave a good looking corpse” is a fine philosophy but if you don’t die and your body is screwed it is on you. If you bought a house that you can no longer afford because the interest rates reset it is your fault. Prices do not go up forever. You gambled and lost, there is no shame in that just in trying to blame someone else for it. If you are bankrupt because you lived beyond your means for years buying toys it is your fault. You have your priorities wrong and you need to adjust your lifestyle. Yes it sucks that they advertise things that you can’t have. If you think that the material crap will make you happy than by all means attempt to get it but as I said above life is not fair.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apocalypse when?

Like all good mushrooms they keep us in the dark and bury us in shit.
I am not always very good at the suspension of disbelief. A necessary talent for watching modern television shows and movies. Also necessary for watching political debates without throwing a shoe through the screen. I am more concerned with what is being said than how they are saying it and this year I am very disappointed in what I heard. Neither Candidate gave any real specifics and both are going to go for the big hand out to the rich investors on Wall street. I cannot stand the way McCain and his ilk have destroyed the country so I am not surprised that he has no clue but again I am disappointed in Obama. If he wanted to actually stand for change rather than hand billions to the same bankers that have boned us a bottom up solution would work better than more trickle down horse shit.
Let the banks eat their bad investments and instead set up a mortgage adjustment fund. Buy up the vacant houses in foreclosure for the pennies on the dollar that the abandoned hulks are worth and bulldoze them. Those that are still livable and haven’t been gutted for the recyclables can be rented to low income people and the homeless to keep them occupied and prevent further devaluation of neighborhoods. Any house that goes into receivership going forward buy it up at the face value of the loan and rent the home to the current resident at a negotiated rate. This will eliminate the further failure of the credit default swaps that are crushing the investment houses. In addition the federal reserve can reset interest rates to prevent A.R.Ms. From resetting to avoid further foreclosures.
Step 2 will require the creation of an emergency lending authority. Existing firms with lines of credit that they are servicing but they cannot get renewed due to the liquidity freeze would be eligible for federal funds for short term operation. These same circumstances could be extended to small farms for 6 month operating budgets. This would fend off the disaster that Ben and Hank have wrought.
Step 3 will involve expanding the social safety net to help those at the bottom that do lose their jobs and can’t find new ones. Increasing the amount of funds available for food stamps and support to food banks. Expanding health insurance benefit programs such as Cobra and SCHIP. I would rather see a single payer system instituted for all but that will probably take more time and political will than the Democrats have. Extending unemployment benefits will also be necessary.
Step 4 the recovery will be more complex but here are a few things to start with. A bipartisan commission to analyze what went wrong and develop new regulations to prevent it from happening again. A serious commitment to investment in public infrastructure. Rebuilding and modernizing the electrical grid. Retrofitting our bridges and public buildings. Research and development of renewable energy to include wind farms and solar collectors. Expanding our public transit in the form of high speed rail and commuter systems.
I am aware that my ideas have zero chance of happening but I wanted to get my thoughts out there before we are screwed by the political class tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still in recovery mode from the weekend. I need to get back to into the fitness regime that I was on but I just don’t seem to be able to get motivated. Went out to the woods to think and got some writing done. I am just in a funk that has no seeable end. I am reluctant to make any decisions at this time of year but I am also reluctant to continue to drift in the sludge of my own thoughts. I have started remembering my dreams again. For long periods of time I sleep and wake remembering nothing of the minds battles in the night. Now when the morning comes I am aware of what I have been sorting through and it has been unpleasant. The feeling of oppression, the claustrophobic dreams of being buried or drowned haunt my mornings now as well as my nights. This combined with the ache in my legs each morning now makes it tough just to get my sorry butt out from under the covers each day. It is two separate things that I must deal with. Why am I now remembering the dreams what significant thing has changed. and why are the dreams so negative. Why are dreams of Cary so vivid. I know perhaps why they are here now, a matter of timing.
The chemistry of the mind and whether or not to mess with it, that becomes the larger question of the moment. For now I need to keep riding daily ,plan another trip to the woods and take things in small chunks. Work each day on the writing as well. Even if it is not particularly productive I need to get into better habits. Working will beget better work of that I am confident.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Foggy beaches and divided brains.

Spent the last few days shivering in the woods as my planning was undermined by bad intelligence. The weather dudes had predicted dry sunny and mid 60‘s, what I got was wet, foggy, overnight rain and mid to low 50’s. Still had a pretty nice time at Patrick’s Point State Park. I had stayed there in their Hiker Biker camp ground but always on my way to or from someplace else. This time I thought I would spend a day exploring the park.
My fitness level has deteriorated after the lung frying of the fires so when I finally made it to the top of the hill I was wiped. The sun would make its only appearance around that time so I made camp and collapsed. After a nap I got up and wrote for a while. Another installment of a new obsession will be up later in the week on the rude blog. Today I am really feeling it as my legs are aching and my joints are swollen. But the Raider’s are winning and the codeine has kicked in so things could be worse.
The harsh weather limited the filming out at the ocean. I climbed down the trail at Wedding Rock and got some good footage of the shore break but most of the out to sea stuff was pretty washed out. The vids will be up on the Radmul channel on youtube. Earlier in the day I rode over to the Sumseng village. A preserved Yurok village with some dugouts and plank style houses. The amount of labor involved in making those planks with an ancient adz must have been enormous. They are kind of dark dwellings without windows and kind of hobbit hole doorways.
Out at wedding rock a few months ago I spent a little time up top doing some whale watching. Wasn’t able to get any photos but did see a few of the leviathans. Thinking about consciousness and having some odd dreams out on the point put me in mind of the brains of whales. Whales never sleep, they have to come up for air 24/7 so if they were to nod off they die. They do dream, or put half of their brain into a REM state. Our brains are divided into hemispheres as our a whales but while ours are constantly interactive through the corpus callosum the whale brain can operate as separate halves one side dreaming while the other stays alert and remembers to surface. That duality would be a very alien intelligence. To have one foot in the world of dreams and one in the realm of reality would be very cool.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cruisin Eureka

Dropped over to the car show in old town for this years Cruz N Eureka. thought I would share some photos of some of the more exotic hot rods. I am off of the internal combustion engine for transportation but I still can apreciate the hard work and effort that some folks put into their machines.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Some Redwood pictures

Earlier today someone put up a diary on the Redwood parks of California. It was gone in a blur amidst the Palin bashing so I thought that I would share some of my shots from the region. A little respite from the bickering.
The Redwood State and National parks are home to some of the tallest species in the world.
tall tree top
Diverse dense growth from Mill Creek State Park
The view above Cresent City
Crescent vista
The Big Lagoon State Park near Orek shows some of the diversity of the park system.
Big Lagoon
The parks are home to the largest herd of Roosevelt elk in the nation the Davidson herd.
Elk by Orick
Patrick’s Point State Park offers a great Vantage for whale watching above Trinadad.
Trinidad view3
The Avenue of the Giants near Garberville.

The Vanduzen river and Grizzly Creek Park. Location for the filming of the Ewoks of Star Wars fame.

Tall trees and beautiful beaches abound. In the network of state count and national parks. Most parks have hiker biker campgrounds that accommodate ride or walkup campers. If you must come in a car I recommend a reservation.

A Dawn Redwood, once thought extinct this one is near Phillipsville on the Avenue of the Giants.

You can see more at the following locations.
My Live spaces page.
My photo bucket stream
My Flikr page

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Loss comes to us all

One of my online friends lost her husband recently. I am not going to get into details here. Even though she was one of those people that lived as an exhibitionist some things are private. I would like to be able to send her words of comfort but I have as of yet been unsuccessful in composing that letter.
The pain of loosing your spouse is different for everyone. I can only talk about my own experience with authority and that is of necessity shaped by my understanding of the universe. For me the pain has not gone away, it really has not lessened . At times I can block it out and the periods that I can block it out for have gotten longer but when I stop and reflect the wound is still as raw.
This is not the concept I want to impart to the rest of the world. I do not wish to add to the despair that the human condition unleashes upon the hapless world. I do not wish to deceive though, I do not want to hand out the platitudes and false hope that the religious toss about with such arrogance and callousness. That well meaning people spew without any knowledge of the truth. She is in a better place ,the pain is ended, you will see them again some day. Cruel words that have no meaning.
Cary suffered in life and so they feel this will some how relieve that suffering. What in fact it does is diminish what she went through. Life’s a bitch and then you die is not a very satisfying philosophy but it is what it is. All you can do for a friend is listen when they talk, hold them when they cry, give them their space when they want it and forgive their outbursts. It is about them and their place in the grand scheme and they will muddle through as will we all. Or they wont. That is the realization that is the hardest. Nobody gets out unscathed ,unscarred, unchanged. We go on in our own way and in the end No one gets out alive.

Friday, August 29, 2008

End of August

The tavern stank. Those were the three words that began the journey I am on today. That was 10 years ago and the Dragon’s Justice project was born in a time of great despair. Since that time it has changed form, title and lost three of the 4 original contributors. 2 Died and one quit. The futility of it is not lost on me. The soft laughter of the fairies long since relegated to the dustbin of ideas. I am rededicating myself to its completion. My joints will not seem to permit the crisis to travel as far as I had first wished. The lost coast is going to be a large enough realm for my mind and body to wander and the story will be told. I owe that much to Cary and her memory.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Manic Murals

Windows Live Spaces
Decided to ride around town and take some photos of the many murals that add to the local color. In keeping with my desire to become a new media douche bag I thought I would co opt the creativity of another to express myself. Thanks to the Ink peoples center for the arts for sponsoring many of these.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The how doesn’t always lead to why.

This post was generated by a discussion from Dkos about the nature of superstition and its effect on politics in America.
I am an antitheist. I try to combat the ignorance of faith with rational argument whenever I encounter it. I feel we will never solve many of our problems as long as we live in a faith based society. I am aware that this puts me at odds with the vast majority of the populace but truth is not democratic. I do not claim to have a monopoly on truth but once something is falsified it is over for me.
Even though I live an unconventional life I am bound by convention. It inhibits my creativity and prevents me from reaching my full potential in some ways. I fall into habits from fear or laziness, I am not prepared to answer which. I think it is to some extent a function of my chronic depression.
These people trying to claim that the universe has been fine tuned for life are driving me to distraction today. It ignores the way in which life happens. These physicists are deliberately ignorant of evolution or so it would seem. They have this desire to make a, “God.” We do not like the world not to have meaning. We are not happy when there is a how but no why. We want a why and we want a complete story. I have heard it said that we are constantly making predictions about the world around us and that that was what intelligence was, making better predictions. . Science is about the what and the how not the why. The universe is not well suited for life. Most of the universe is unable to sustain any form of life. The very idea that it is fine tuned for life is on its face laughable. It took about 8 billion years for our little corner of the universe to get around to creating life. It seems that once the suitable conditions developed life evolved pretty quickly on earth. 300 million years after it first formed. It then took another 4 billion plus to get to what we call intelligence. We will probably never know exactly how it started as the data is not well preserved. We will also never know why other than the fact that the laws of physics permitted it to happen. If we ever find life elsewhere we may be able to conclude that these same laws required it to happen but until then that at least remains an open question.
Our present understanding of the formation of the solar system leads us to think that this type of formation has happened elsewhere many billions of times over. If that is true then the probability that we are unique is very low but it is not zero. As Fermi asked, “If the universe is full of intelligent beings where are they?” or words to that effect.
I have been looking further into Quantum mechanics of late, listening to some lectures and trying to learn the math. Uncertainty and probability waves appear to be the latest refuge of the sellers of superstition. God in the gaps allows for the industry of ignorance that is religion to continue to sell its idiocy to the uneducated. The god wads will say that the concept that life exists because the universe and the laws of physics allows for it is intellectually lazy. I say the idea that there is a creator is intellectually lazy in the extreme not the other way around. Biological fine tuning is an invention of the charlatans. It is encompassant on them to explain why it took 2/3 of the life of the universe to get to life if it so brilliantly fine tuned for the purpose of our existence. . We as humans have existed for .000000014% of the life of the universe. The fraction of space that we occupy is so small I would compare it to the space one electron takes up in your body. So the concept that an all-knowing all powerful being sucks that bad at creating a universe insults even my feeble intelligence.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dropped down the hill to check out the loud annoying whine of motors and screech of tires that shattered my peaceful Saturday morning. Seems a group of geeks on rice burners were attempting to repave the parking lot of one of the local pot lot auto sellers with the rubber of their back tires. I know this sounds like a bit of a futile pursuit undertaken for the amusement of the rabble but as part of the rabble I was indeed diverted from the mundane pattern of my day for a brief moment. And in the end what more does one really expect from ones entertainments but a moment of distraction on the road to worm food? We are born, we grow, the world takes its periodic dumps on us and yet we go on living each day searching for a reason to do so. Some days it is easy, we have friends to meet, loved ones to love, children to nurture. The things that fill up the days and warm our nights then one day are gone. If one is lucky the days will be many and you will become old. In the fullness of time you will come to the end and be satisfied, surrounded by the things and people that seemed to matter but you will still be alone. I have been at the side of a great many folks at that moment. Some were friends, some were family, some were lovers and others strangers. At that one moment no thing can comfort you, no one can take away the loneliness that falls from the darkness. That is the one truth we must all conquer and once conquered we can go about filling up our lives and be truly happy. Here is a bit of video from the material world to fill up some of your day.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some new rudeness

There is a new website out there I saw on buzzfeeds about tree porn. Here are a few of my porniest shots from the woods.
Also on the adult entertainment front I put up a new piece of adult fiction on my rude blog that you can read here. Signup is free if you are over 18. It is not all that racy a story but I don't want to put up an age restriction on this blog so I will err on the safe side until the rest of the world is a little less uptight.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Random thoughts on a Thursday

Feeling blah on another gray August day trying to write but having little success. Thought I would share some random thoughts on the issues of the week. Senator Obama has turned into "bend over Barry" never having met a principle he will not compromise. Now it is offshore drilling. It is clear he will be possibly be the worst Democratic president in my lifetime and I was around for LBJ. I say this because he will not support civil rights, He failed to support the 4th amendment in the FISA battle, he does not support the 8th amendment in that he supports a separate but equal civil unions system for the LGBT community. He already caved in on national health care before the election was even underway and now he will sell out the environment to the oil companies. He will hand millions more to the religious right in faith based bullshit so I guess he is unfamiliar with the first amendment as well. Kind of sad for a constitutional scholar 0 for 3. Bait and switch Barry might be better. If I thought it would do any good I would work for a third party as it appears Ralph is right there is not a dimes worth of difference between the corporate stooges. Yes McCain is still a tool not a top gun but the lesser of two weasels is still a fracking weasel. Yes I am a flaming liberal, Human rights includes women and gays, there is no good fucking war, there is no environmentally safe way to drill for oil in the ocean, and medical care is a human right not a profit making modality. Did I mention that I was in a crappy mood. I will leave you with a little George Carlin on the political process and selfish ignorant citizens and the state of hope.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Streak

I am sure to be dating myself somewhat but back in my high school days there existed a fad known as streaking. At its height it inspired a parody song by Ray Stevens and interrupted the academy awards appearance of David Niven. The point was to strip down and run naked through some large gathering of people to piss off the squares. Many of the fads of the young are about pissing off the squares, tattoos, men piercing their ears and nose rings for women to name just a few. But today I want to talk about a different kind of streak, the kind that the superstitious revel in to everyone’s detriment not the young nudes running thru the crowd that don’t hurt anything.
This is the story of a sour old man that lives in a cave kept warm by hate for the new and the love of the streak. Just another square yelling at the kids to, “get off my lawn” wrapping himself in the certitude of his beliefs with his superstition as the belt tying it all together. A grim tale indeed.
Long ago in a land of sand a man discovered the rituals. He learned them from his father and his fathers father and he learned them very well. He practiced and practiced until he knew them inside and out. As his family was friends with the ruler in the land with the sand they lived a good life and were very, very happy.
The tall young man practiced the rituals and then one day he heard about a far off land that also practiced the rituals. All I know about the land I learned in Kipling poems and pictures of poppy fields on the news. And the news was bad, very bad. Some evil men from an evil empire were attacking the land of mountains and poppies and men of the ritual. These evil men had the wrong answer to the meaning of life the universe and everything. They did not follow the ritual these evil men and that is bad indeed.
Now part of the ritual that the man followed every day in every way was to go to the aid of the fellow followers. Since the man was faithful to the ritual he felt that he must pack up his goods and go to the land of the mountains and poppies and fight the evil empire.
After many battles and many setbacks and with the help of some men from other far off lands the evil empire lost. As with many that had come before the mountains and the poppies and the barren landscape proved to much. Battered and bruised the evil men tucked their tails between their legs and slunk back to their own lands defeated by the man in the cave.
The man in the cave had been true to the ritual and become a hero in the land. The bad men were gone and the killing could stop and he married many wives and fathered many children and told all that would listen about the rituals. He was a humble man and he gave all the credit to the streak and the faithful following of the rituals. And so the pitcher wears the same undershirt unwashed for every game and the Giants win the world series for the first time in San Francisco and. Hey I am telling this tale and so I get to include my fantasy so piss off all you Cubs whiners.
Time passes and the man does the rituals everyday and convinced of he rightness of the streak the man in the cave decides he must share the good news with all the world. He took a look at his new friends, the ones that had given him the food and the guns and the money to drive out the evil ones. Did they know the answer to the big question? Did they know that the ritual and the streak would tell them the answer to the meaning of life the origin of the universe and everything?
He had tried to tell the evil men about the streak and the rituals giving them the answer to the great question, the meaning of life, the universe and everything but they had not cared. They had just wanted to get stuff that might be valuable and eventually once the man in the cave succeeded in making it cost more than the hills and poppies were worth they had split. But now the land was run by armed men that believed in the rituals and were convinced of the rightness of the streak. Part of the rituals was to embrace the enemy of my enemy as my friend but now my enemy was gone. Were they still my friend? He looked hard at the new friends and found them lacking.
They did not have the right answer and they were kind of pushy these new friends. What was this good man that lived in a cave to do? He thought and he thought and he finally had an idea. He would make a video, of course. And in the video he would explain to his new friends that thank you for giving me the guns and the money and the food. Thanks for showing us the cool new gadgets to drive out the evil men but now we have a problem. You guys have the answer to the great question wrong. You do not have the right answer to the meaning of life the universe and everything. You guys don’t know about the rituals and the streak and if you are going to hang out with us and get the stuff that has value it is imperative that you get it right.
So he made the video and he found one of those Ted Stevens tubes. I think that’s what they are called that lead to the Algorenet and all around the world people saw the video and went yawn., “Dude you live in a cave.” Time passed and the rest of the world went on with their lives while the man in the cave did the rituals and kept the streak alive and waited for everyone else to get smart.
Time passed and the man in the cave kept making videos telling his new friends, “you really should put down the Stephen King and the El Ron Hubbard for a couple of weekends and read our book and learn about the rituals and you will see that we are correct and we will all know about the streak and we will all do the rituals and we will always win and everything will be wonderful. If you can’t do that at least honor the streak and get your jinx guys away from our really cool places where the streak began back before any of us were born all the way back at the beginning. And they kept shoving them up the tubes to the Algorenet and they waited and watched and kept the streak alive and did the rituals and turned their attentions to reeducating the locals that had lost their way.
They blew up some statues that some other guys that had the wrong answer to the question had spent a really long time working on and did not even have the courtesy to say, “my bad’. The loud bang woke up some of the dudes in the , “Intelligence community”. I don’t know where this community is but it probably has gates and a guard and fresh water and lots to eat and cool toys to play with so when guys that live in caves start to throw rocks they go, “Dude he lives in a cave” for the most part and went on about taking the stuff they wanted from the place that the streak began.
But even in a place called intelligence by the law of averages there had to be somebody that had some. Sure enough there were a few. They remembered some of the old ways of the , “Cold Times” and they knew some of the magic that they kept to themselves and their masters had been given to the man in the cave and they began to watch him. To look and learn and gather the mysterious ranting that came to the Algorenet from the many Stevenstubes. They heard about guys at the magical schools that taught man how to fly with the birds and not be like Icarus but these guys didn’t care about not crashing and how could that possibly be right. The only reason anyone learned the magic is to make money and people with money always want to land and not crash so that must be a mistake because, “no one could have imagined.”
Time continued to pass as it always does and the man in the cave and some of his friends got tired of waiting. Time passes really slow when you live in a cave keeping the streak alive and so they decided maybe just maybe these great Satan people with their women drivers and stupid cartoonists were never going to get to 42. So they made another video and sent it up the tubes and said if you aren’t going to do the rituals and honor the streak you must go away.
The man in the cave had been in the cave for a very long time and as any of you that have spent time living in a cave can tell you it can have its moments but dude it’s a cave. Even with the rituals and the streak, “come on people wise up and get the answer to the meaning of life the universe and everything.” “Let me go see some of those wives that I married when I was still the newest Idol winner before I moved back into the cave.”
So the man in the cave sent his friends out into the lands to call attention to the streak. Since they had been in the caves for quite a while thinking about the old days they forgot to get on the cell and call the Dolly Madison Avenue guys and ask them how they disguised disgusting chemicals as food and made them so popular that people would still eat them and think this is way better than the bowl of fruit I was eating last week so please give me more food that will give me a big belly no. They used the same tactics that they had used to drive out the other bad men. They bombed and they taught the streak in the schools and they planned and they plotted and the sat in the caves and they kept the streak alive. They shoved more of those videos into the tubes like little fishes to be caught in the nets and the few warriors that thawed out their brains in the far off land of intelligence began to look and learn.
And why didn’t the men want to learn the comedown magic? They always wanted to learn that first and so they sent up the smoke signals to warn the frozen soldiers in the community of Intelligence to watch these dudes from the land of the man in the cave. The few dudes put their pointy little heads together and wrote a PDB which should not be confused with a PDF but both are full of words and words is for reading and reading is good as the leader of the great land once said. But maybe he had eaten a little too much Rice and destroyed the integrity of his Colon and spent to much time on the thrown. So when they read the PBD with the ominous title of, “The man in the cave really, really, really wants to kick you square in the nuts so maybe we should kick him in the nuts first.” He couldn’t hear them over the sound of his own farts.
The different tribes of the national security gated communities had the old computers that couldn’t read each others smoke signals and come on the only people that put smoke into their computers are the kind of people that live in caves and believe in different kinds of streaks like get off our manifest destiny you people that have lived here for thousands of years. You obviously don’t have the right answer to the meaning of life the universe and everything so I can lie to you and peanut butter jelly dance peanut butter Jelly dance.
So the man in the cave did the rituals and cast the sooth and said to the cave guys this will get these guys to realize that they have the wrong answer to the question . And like all the guys that live in caves and cling to the streak and practice the rituals and are sure that they are right about the answer to the big question they sent out their dudes to shove their answer up the asses of the unbelievers. They never think that killing a whole bunch of the unbelievers might not have the desired effect but instead might make them come and bomb them back to the stone age. So next time dude maybe we should think this through?
It is highly possible that they did think about it and said hey we have the streak and all you guys have been going around and beating the crap out of everyone that screws up the ritual so the streak is alive and dude we are already living in a cave, how far back is the stone age anyway. So they decided to say “GFI”
So the man in the cave got a lot of people killed and made a horrible mess and made the world suffer all because he never could get the fact that your side didn’t win because you all wore the same colored socks. The streak is just a coincidence.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Samoa All Bike Weekend

Windows Live Spaces
Went on a nice ride to the Pacific side of the bay and the all bike weekend at the dragstrip. The show was pretty good for this area lots of bikes a few impressive hot rods. They had a bike race a helicopter, the bike won but it was kind of a bs kind of start. The weather was cold and foggy with a bit of breeze but I had a good time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Redwoods

Windows Live Spaces In honor of the new list of wonders of the world I have put together a little slide show of the wonders of Redwood State and National Parks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Economy Rant

As part of my efforts to become a new media douche bag I have entered the realm of podcasting. My Virtual midlife crisis first episode is up here a rant about economic deception.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Indepenence thought

Independence day in a nation devoid of independent thought. I should actually say critical thought in that none of us take the time to examine our beliefs and biases. As I ride the highways and byways of the north coast I find that the ass with the control the boarder bumper sticker is the same moron rolling down the road at 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. This is just an example of what I wish to explore in this ramble that was inspired by an episode of Blogging heads TV.
I am not a libertarian even though I agree with some of their ideas the idea that a complex society can run effectively without strong governments is ludicrous to me but that is my bias. I like to think my bias is based on data, something the objectivist capitalists don’t seem to believe in. The right is not the only group guilty of belief in that for which there is no evidence, they are just the most destructive. The left and their insistence on spiritualism as a valid excuse for some of their nonsense are just as guilty. I listened to Arianna Huffington today claim that life after death had evidence to support it based on her spiritual experience. Sorry this is first order bullshit. No testable evidence exists for life after death period. Near death experiences are not death as much as the spiritualist want to claim they are, (When someone has one in a PET scanner showing zero activity, the only device we have that can detect all biological activity in a brain and comes back with an out of body description that is verified by recorded video tape describing a unique event that they could not possibly have seen on TV I will be willing to reassess this claim. ) If you need this idea to get up and live by all means cling to your nonsense but don’t preach about living in the fact based world and then put that crap out. It makes a lie of your claim and undermines the larger more important issues that effect real peoples lives.
Life has no meaning other than what you as an individual impart to it. We all seem to need external validation, hell I wouldn’t be blogging if I didn’t want others to know what I am thinking but it will not give my life meaning one way or the other. Again I have drifted off topic, but bias is the topic and the trap.
Most of us will not spend any time assessing our views based on the proposition that we might be wrong. I have tried to look at the idea of assigning a probability to my beliefs recently from the angle of my blog commenting activity and here are a few thoughts to ponder. I have a tendency to be a smart ass, “Snarky“ in the vernacular. I am too quick to be dismissive and will lay waste to someone else’s idea with a sarcastic retort rather than educating and that is probably counter productive to my aims. I am not in the minority in this form of discourse just better at it than many, bias will out. Insert your favorite laugh out loud emoticon here.
There is one difference that jumps out at me from my behavior as opposed to the general behavior of the sphere and as the blogs tend to be echo chambers I find this disturbing. I am willing to asses the argument of the other individual based on their evidence and am open to being convinced by evidence. When someone says the reason they want the immigrants rounded up and sent back is because they are breaking the law while flying down the highway as a scofflaw I will call it for the hypocrisy that it is. When someone catches me in the same type of sophistry and calls me on it I will at least think about their point before I continue the same line of argument, I hope that crisis followers will consider doing the same.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Foggy Fourth

Have been feeling decidedly horrible since the Grizzly Creek ride with sore throat and burnt lungs so not much to report. The 4th of July was rather uneventful, it is one of the holidays that I enjoy as it is secular in nature and is supposed to be about freedom. "When in the course of HUMAN EVENTS", and all that. Also I love to blow things up and watch fireworks. I know it is a horrible waste but I still enjoy the big shows even when the fog blots out most of the patterns. The waterfront show was almost canceled for lack of a sponsor and the weather screwed with the show that did happen. It was loud and wet and the sky blurred with vibrant colors to the mixed oohs and ahhs of the crowd. It reminded me of the shock and awe videos from CNN as I shot some video. Of course the result was much more pleasant and as far as I know we all got home just fine unlike that other disaster we call the Iraq war. Hope you enjoyed your freedom day celebrations whatever the form.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Smoked Radmul

Rode out to the east and into the smoke of the California wildfires. Grizzly Creek Redwood State Park is 17 miles out highway 36 east from highway 101. Sort of an up and down ride with one big hill that seemed to sap my energy. Riding up there just was no oxygen in the air or so it seemed. My throat is sore today from sucking smoke. That being said the park is spectacular home to some of the tallest trees anywhere in the world. I camped right next to the Van Duzen River although the river is little more than a creek due to the drought that has hit California. The Radmul channel on Youtube has some video.
The park is not very big and sits right along the Hwy for the most part. There are 30 campsites and the place is almost never full so if you want to camp in Cali on any given weekend without a reservation that is the place. The trees are awesome and the place just has a lost in the woods feel to it. The pictures are from the visitor center and the immediate campground area. I will put some others from the surrounding up on photobucket.