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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dreaming, I was only Dreaming, Of Another Place and Time, Where My Family's From

It's hard to find good tunes like Before the Lobotomy anymore, but every now and then words and music line up and you get a 5-10 minute episode of bliss --

Buddies of mine have asked me to catalogue a 'lessons learned' or better phrased 'thoughts thought' from my first stint out in the desert, I plan to create an abstract version of the push / pull tug-o-war that often keeps me awake on sentiments here after a few good nights sleep.  One day I might even try to write a book about it that no one will read.  I can't wait to catalogue this stuff.

Speaking of books, the book I'm reading now asks 4 key questions

1 - Can we identify the problem
2 - do we know our internal capability
3 - does anyone do this well internally
4 - if someone does it well, can they help --

the precursors added --

0 - do we even need to work on this --

or if you want to get philosophical

-1 - what are we doing here?

These questions nor the geopolical challanges that now occupy the flat world won't be figured out today, not even with all the red eye you can drink.


Instead, the focus is on returning home, getting super excited to see family and friends. 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Now when the roses bloom this year and our soul's up in our ears with some newer music sung in a strange place

It's that time of year for the top 10 albums of the year.  It's been a special year, music has been a best friend, the heart and mind open, the tunes plentiful.  A special nod goes out the to the gal from Colorado who's been my first and foremost filter for new music.  Below, a biased look of new music, old but new to me, and of course people that automatically make the list based on preconceived notion.

10 -- Green Day -- 21st Century Breakdown
Rockin' since 1987, the Green Day purists say the band has 'sold out' since its punk days, I say they've grown older with dignity.  It's all relative, Metallica gets hair cuts and still produce things like 'St Anger' and the world throws stones at them, Bon Jovi gets haircuts and sings 'It's My Life' and wins Grammies.  21 Guns, a mall punk'esque ballad is my favorite on the album, a double play on a couple and their relationship issues, and 21 gun salutes for lost lives.  Viva La Gloria is a tune that continues in proper fashion Green Day, lots of mood and tempo changes, pioneers in this 'Green Day' sound, many have tried, but it's not been duplicated. Did I say Green Day enough?  Lyrics span working class heros and the last of American girls, all baked into to the album to near perfection.

9 -- Fanfarlo -- Reservoir

For many weeks, my walk to work and walk home music, looking up at a bright desert sky, thinking MAN, everything is wonderful.  Comets tops the list of my favorite songs on the album, 'Cry Murder, cry what you like, Just let the comets be your guide,' and 'If you look at the horizon there is always something ducking out of sight,' two lyrics that catch me.  The album contains inspiring themes of hope, desire, and ambition.  Harold T. Wilkins's captures the spirit of movin' on with new adventures even when you think you're not ready (In a hot air baloon with a rusty nail, looking over your shoulder setting sail).  There's something omnipresent in a few of the tunes, something that captures the human spirit perfectly.  The back half of the album is solid, they're also approachable.

8 -- Sondre Lerche -- Heartbeat Radio

He's the simple truth, that's why it's hard to understand.  I've seen articles that try to pin a labels on him and his 'fancy chords.'  He is one of the absolute best in the business in a singer / songwriter context.  By means of listening to the words, you get a sense that this guy really gets it, the texture just works as always, a world class band supports him.  Sondre, the radio's perfect pitch makes me nauseous too, we know they'd vote you off American Idol or anything else like that in the prelims, and people would perhaps laugh, but that's OK, that's validation.  You've to this day made enough music to make me happy a lifetime, and I'm forever in debt for the continuing perspective you give me on life.  Like Lazenby has to be my favorite tune on the album, "Like a fairytale, with blood on every page my failures brought about some blessings someone must be watching out for me."

7 -- Roy Orbison -- Black and White Years

Think of it as the most exclusive cocktail party you could ever be invited to in your life.  If I were James Bond, I would have skipped a mission to attend this.  From the starting gate, Roy's perfect pitch belts out Only the Lonely, hence, instant bliss.  You know you're swinging a pair when Bruce Springsteen is your backup singer, and the back row of your entourage consists of people like Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt.  The DVD is pure magic.

6 -- Leonard Cohen -- Live in London

75 years old, still a kid with crazy dream...A man who has studied the philosophies and religions until cheerfulness creeps in.  A man who covers all the hard bases and uncovers every stone, understands the Freudian nature of $ex and violence, yet reasserts love being the ultimate disease and cure.  Seeing the man live this year was magical and enlightening.

5 -- Crooked Fingers -- Dignity and Shame

Sleep all summer, such a warm tune, the imagery that comes to mind is one of man and woman singing to each other, gazing into each other's souls, and constantly coming back for more as the proverb suggests, starting out with a fire and commencing to a slow burn.  Twilight creeps...I'd say it's a good way to represent typical night life from the lens of a 30 something, further affirming that I don't want to be that 'old dude' in the clubbing / dating scene.  Something about them reminds me of Roxette, and for me, that's golden.

4 -- Luna -- Luna's Greatest Hits

Guitar Harmonies are the gist of this band, I can't believe how tight and phenomenal they sound.  It's the party buzz sound, the sound that is echoing in your head at the party when you're having a good time and don't even know it.  Pop it in, listen, and every now and then you'll catch yourself going, damn, that's slick.  The instruments and illusion are what carried this band.

3 -- Blind Pilot -- 3 Rounds and a Sound

While working in an old busted up dictators palace, I'd have this on while troubleshooting various things broken.  Throw a capo on 5 and play derivatives of F and that's what I call the palace at night sound.  I haven't heard a finely produced album like this since Travis' The Man Who -- Blind Pilot's instrumental reverb coupled with crystal clear voice add nuance to the ever evolving trickery in making things sound good. Oviedo, Paint or Pollen, Two Towns from Me, and 3 Rounds and a Sound are the standouts.  Two Towns from Me echoes the sentiment of people in love, who would do anything for each other, even spend the night running two towns over for a visit.  Put in on repeat for months, you won't be disappointed.

2 -- Mason Jennings -- Blood of Man

The Field, Tourist, Sunlight and Blood of Man are what catapult this surprising very dark themed album to the top of the field.  At first glance Mason Jennings appears to be a 'NWB' Naive White Boy.  Once you get under the hood you have the most soulful balanced artist in the game.  Hands down 'The Field' is the best war song I've heard.  It's not political or ideological or abstract for that matter, it's purely emotional, raw, and hits the bottom line.  People die in war that other people care about, this song is an articulation of this -- Bob Dylan / Neil Young, and you have officially been 'one upped.' Although Mason brings out the electric guitar for the majority of the album, he's also true to his roots and songs of love.  The album very much reflects the true opposites of the unadulterated world, hope and despair.  Tell me where's your heart, now that it's stopped's right here, right here, right here....

1 -- (And by Blowout) -- Roman Candle -- O Tall Tree in Ear

Skip along with his wife and bro bring a sincerity, purity, simplicity and understanding to life seldom seen, but it is there in common voice if you care to listen.  At least every other line is metaphorical, and as it should be, he is a solitary man with his pride.  From the opener Eden Was a Garden to Early Aubade, the album has a flow, contemplative, curious and whimsical.  I could write a dissertation on what this gang from Chapel Hill does for me, but mentioning captain wafers and lipton tea in song takes the cake!

I leave 60% of my Iraq time behind with a shrug of the shoulders, these guys help me put ANYTHING and EVERYTHING into perspective, even this.

"And the last thing we'll leave is a love song for this vacant room sunk in the walls, and trapped like the ocean enshelled - with everything else we ever exhaled..."

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tell me what you think about this song --

Lots of abstract ideas floating around today -- Interesting what the mind thinks when there is no expectation from anyone, anytime, anywhere. -- I've always perceived speaking in absolutes was bad, but on the contrary, I find it easier to determine what's important with no expectation, -- rather acceptance. --

What about restaurants?  Ever think about, say, if the seating area is 500 square feet, how big does the kitchen has to be to accommodate a couple hundred people, etc - What's behind the curtain?

Trade Journals -- I recall a scene in The Aviator where Leonardo is playing the role of Howard Hughes, who is attending a holiday at girlfriend Katharine Hepburn's house.  The aristocratic  family asks Howard if he reads Vanity Fair, his rebuttal, no, I read trade journals.  He begins to talk about the bleeding edge state of the art engine in the new airplanes only to be ignored.

Game theory and candlesticks are something we bump up against every now and glaze over -- the more time you devote I'm assuming things like this get easier to understand.

Lots of meaning and lots of different subjects can be attained by the study of support and resistance.

The transient nature of life can often be maddening, people come and go, old friends new friends, motion without movement, thought leading to emotion and vice versa.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blinded by lovedust What did I see? A million, a billion, a trillion stars

Life is good, life is long -- desperately waiting for stimuli.  Chalk this year up as a time of learning tactical patience.  Robert life button pause, everything else on play.

Fast forward, I can't wait to be working IT generalist crap in Stuttgart while learning about the world, emerging nations, and all kinds of formulas and theories regarding free market capitalism vs. state sponsored capitalism in Prague. --

I look forward to sitting with a net book at a cafe in Stuttgart, I look forward to joining my 'classmates' on pub crawls and things like this in Prague.

Above all, I'm looking for a nice permanent address, at least for a year or so, something with indoor plumbing -- no guns, ammo, grenades, rockets, mortars.

Monday, November 23, 2009

happiness waits outside the gates, watching each thing we do

-- i really am happy here, sometimes it sucks though --
-- ate at an iraqi generals house last night, it was the first time i felt free in 197 days, i had a glass of hot tea, and some food with touch --
-- 3 weeks to the day i begin the trek back to civilization, for a while --
-- looking forward to seeing the family, catching up with friends --
-- looking forward to christmas eve rituals --
-- looking for cool things to do new years eve --
-- wanting to catch some gigs --
-- looking forward to doing a lot of listening --
-- exciting about sitting on a clean wood floor --
-- broadband!
-- walking around shiner and seeing what's changed --
-- a clamour about perhaps hitting up new orleans --
-- san antonio perspective
-- austin perspective
-- watching some live concerts on a bigger tv screen and laying on the couch --
-- watching my 5 dvd series on doing business in china
-- sitting on the front porch playing josh ritter and roman candle tunes
-- kicking around the soccer ball with friends and family
-- a good beer buzz early in the morning like cheryl crow --
-- schoolin' some folks at pool
-- hanging out talking with the family about nothing and everything
-- taking the family to mr taco, guadalahara (sp?), jaliscos, and other places to eat
-- buying pants and shirts that fit
-- having a night out with the bro in law and defining our typical 3 goals for the evening
-- seeing how the nieces and nephews have grown, changed, see the additions to their vocabulary, etc
-- catching up with the music collection
-- getting my shoes shined in frankfurt
-- drinking a das boot with the scooter store peeps
-- 1000 other things, the little details --

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Like a wizard the sea, casts a spell of salty dreams on me, No more will I float - now I view my fate through a periscope

A contrary observation and stance gets you far in life.  What's on my mind?, The Kite Flying Society, T&A, and shorting gold --

Stance 1 -- The Kite flying Society's 'Where is the Glow' is an example of one of these stances.  Convention throws them aside, they have NO reviews on Amazon for an album that's been out almost FIVE years, they're not new, not only do they not make MTV or VH1, they don't even make the Indie rock magazine of choice, and they're not playing your favorite bar or festival.  The path of a deviant is lonely, there's nothing to argue about, b/c society at large forgets the relevance in objects, hence deeming them as not important to critique.  I compare this to a stock I sat on all summer, looking at the numbers (as I do lyrics of songs) and going, damn, this is perfect.  Sure enough, all of a sudden I'm up big.  I'm not going to win, or even partake in for that matter in most conversations that toil over weather something is hardcore or ironic enough, nor right or wrong.  Societies association of the object doesn't speak to me, the object has a conversation with my soul, and the brain follows.

Stance 2 -- NOT talking about T&A and high fiving with the gang is unique out here.  You always have to tolerate meat heads in the world, you just hope few and far between.  Yea she's hot, yea, blah blah blah, look how awesome I am talking about girls like this, I'm just IT!  The respect of women brings you closer to them, I would say that's a contrary view, especially out here in this cage.

Stance 3 -- Shorting gold is a play I'm looking at in the markets.  We always hear contrary rumors, one says India traded tbills for gold, others say Germany sold gold to pay down their national debt, who really knows.  I do know there's never a shortage of 'the sky is falling' people with 'sky is falling ideas', that suggest 'this time its different', that say, 'o trust me' that go 'my daddy is a banker, and he knows', etc, etc.  While these folks are watching infomercials on Superbowl advertisements that say to melt down your gold chains, we'll do it for 99 bucks and ounce, or buy the gold plate, b/c the GOLD plate has GOLD in it, it keeps its VAULE, GOLD GOLD GOLD.  The idea of owning gold is gilded, the shorties will pound it down, guess you could call it a 'beauty' of market forces.

The world decided to play the fiat money game sometime in the 70's, which has worked well, but every time there's a slight hiccup in the system, or their politician doesn't get elected, or whatever, the whole world comes crashing down.

The fiat game will come back to order, and the massive imbalance b/w gold and silver, and gold and energy, etc will all come back.  This assumes the balancing effect is just more than the USD.  The world as a whole is coming out of a growth slump and will return, decreasing the price of gold, and innovation and energy then again become center stage.  Short gold, long on energy and innovation, I'd say that's the contrary viewpoint.  THIS is the inverse of THIS, I'm going with the latter for 2010.

Random Rant on the Markets

Time dictates the patterns of the market, and not really anything else.  It's not about new product lines, or sales, or price earnings ratios, and all this technical stuff, however, the art and science behind these patterns seem predictable (support and resistance levels), I have some more time to perfect and automate these to the point where hopefully one day I'm sitting on the beach in Acapulco sipping a Rita making the rent.

It's been about a year since my brother in law and I had a contest on  My END OF US DOMINANCE portfolio = UP 92%, his US WILL RECOVER portfolio = UP 28%, US BLUECHIPS = UP 41%. That was then, the END OF US DOMINANCE portfolio train has left the station.  My thoughts for 2010, WORLD RECOVERS, and the burden will never be put on the US consumer again, which is a good thing.

My practical stance moving forward, half goes to the plan below, half goes to violently risky (but well thought out) bets on RED (China that is) --

Core Segment (25% Total)

Cash = 5% (Money Market)
Total Bond = 15% (US T-Bills)
Total US Stock = 20% (Spider)
Total Intl Stock = 60% (Spider)

Target Market Segment (25% Total)

20% - Gold - DZZ
30% - Energy - IYE
10% - Agricultural Commodities - DBC
10% - Real Estate - ICF
30% - Emerging Markets - EEM

Monday, November 16, 2009

When I was young my mama sat me down and told me how it goes, You'll walk the world but most of what you're looking for is under your nose

Today the term Celestial Bureaucrats caught my ear, made me laugh tremendously, so much so that I went out registered the domain name -- Interesting concept when taken into account what they actually are, perhaps after watching my 5 DVD set of doing business in China, I'll have a plan...if only i knew Mandarin.
In the course of my morning, another funny, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which brings new meaning to 'milf.'  These dudes are the reason I'm cutting the Southern Philippines out of a world tour.
Also thought about growing up and what it means, post pending -- In the meantime, I'm going to go enjoy some of this Baghdad rain Andy Dufrain style --

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spend my natural prime, thinking money and time, wondering where they go, and they go

YET ANOTHER pitch for Roman Candle, who's album has SKYROCKETED to perhaps my top 5 of all time.  They're talkin' to me, I'm listening intently and reading what they have to say, just so much to skim off the top.  It's truly like having a conversation with a best friend I haven't seen in a while, as if they went on a trip and came back and shared all kinds of perspective with you, minus the ego, glitz and glamour.
In the matrix of time, circumstance makes me think about folks who are fixated on money, contrary to popular belief, it really isn't myself.  A story that makes me cringe when I think about it -- I know a man from rural Shiner who amassed 77,000USD in his lifetime, only to die with it, all the while the family lives in near poverty conditions.  While it's a conscious choice to devote too many eggs to one basket, its beneficial to see those who are standing on one leg.
The Renaissance approach is a pursuit of balance.  From this standpoint it makes sense to 'quit while you're ahead', so to speak.  I recall leaving Austin Texas one blistering hot summer afternoon, a change of destiny, lots of cultural experience in tow and a wallet that was flat broke and busted.  I recall the anxiety of living with that imbalance.
These days, I don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and the tides have switched, now what I lack in culture and aesthetic is made up monetarily.  I've seen exploitation at it's finest, and it renders VERY unfavorable results on friends, family, egos and souls.
The imbalance either way sucks, and I'm happy to have been beached on two shores on the path of self discovery thus far.  I've learned many lessons on the path.
Next things to bake in are spirituality, This pursuit will take 20 years to a lifetime, and excited to continue the journey, the soundbyte that makes sense to me the most thus far, there is a god, you are not him.
Having a family of one's own is the perplexing wonder of cloud computing to me.  It's inevitable, progress, great perspective, etc. -- It's very scary to me having to be responsible for someone else, but for those of you who are, again, I tip my hat, y'all are awesome.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

round the world round the world is a tangled up necklace of pearls

The Woodface album was on rotation during my inclined run at the gym.  It's amazing the texture of a good love song, Neil Finn has it down better than most.  It's even got some pesky digs at us AmericansTime on Earth proves to occupy the same themes, with a wonderful baby grand telling half the story.
Mark Twain (who's now haunting the Mighty Mississippi with Jeff Buckley) once said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
I've been doin' this bloggin thing pretty heavy for years now which has included a mish mosh of thinly disguised idealistic and egotistical blather.  I've always explore concepts of love to the same end, going off in some complicated metaphor of self knowing and knowing what I want with an underlying tone and action of self sabotage.  It's perspiration, that's for sure, and I definitely and defiantly back myself in a corner with idealism, and I probably alienate those who care about me the most -- *thinking about my sisters here* -- They probably read some of this stuff and go, yea, don't know what to tell ya.
I've spent my entire professional life aggressively pursuing a desired end state, an end state in which the journey was never the end destination.  Today it occurs to me I've never really put myself in a position to succeed at intimacy.  I used to think before you loved anyone else you had to love yourself; this has been proven a fallacy due to the loving yourself has a selfish connotation, the kind that doesn't promote a unity of sorts.  The new thought, you never know love till you surrender to it, I know in the future that that check box needs to be checked before hitting purchase, no exceptions, little looking back.
End state in intimacy allows personal battles to be fought where they need to be fought.
Bar hopping and fraternizing seems to be the same as channel surfing with 57 channels and nothing on, so the cliche goes, it'll come when you least expect it, etc, etc, etc -- Something I've found to be a fallacy, if you want it, you have to pursue it, aggressively if need be, throw out the skip in the record, throw out the victim, throw out preconceived notions, and most of all throw out all excuses and execute.
Looking at my friends and family, great people who got it down, I always use y'all as an example, you have taken the fight to other areas in life, living and loving it in tandem.  To those of you who are there, I salute you, its a long hard road, but fulfilling and new, providing that foundation to build empire (if you so choose to).
Things will change when I'm back in the free world, I figure this out as I go, I like John and Paul's rhyme and I like their history, and I want my history to repeat itself.  I'm a sentimental guy and I'll get that back, but it's going to require me moving past the Revolver and Rubber Soul portion of my life and on to Sergeant Pepper, and infinite metaphor of a different variety. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

I go to all the parties, I never have a good time, It's like we're acting out a movie, Mystery and Crime

As of late The Joel Plaskett Emergency's album Truthfully Truthfully has been on heavy rotation.  One tune on the album reminds me of a going to the local 'Circle K' to play Gyrus, Gun Smoke and Choplifter on big arcade games as a kid.  Mystery and Crime's texture reminds me of bad hair days, and a simpler life when 4 quarters for 4 games was one of the highlights of the week.  O but boy do those harmonizing guitars sound great.
From a literary sense I've been, as the quote says 'biting off more than I can chew and chewing like hell.  Books on the hook currently --

-- The Audacity to Win -- A political strategy book I've waited for with intent.  Reinforces that all politics are local, and finding your people and reaching out to them is just as effective as gerrymandering.  Winners are winners, I'd say we can learn from em' all ..--.. if we choose to do so. 

-- The Cluetrain Manifesto -- Great book on the psychology of digital conversation, although a bit dated provides a SOLID foundation that, to me, reinforces, technology = slam dunk, the blank canvas that it creates for you to paint on, well, that's another story.  One thing I find first hand to be true, It is soooo hard to break out of the initial anxiety phase in delivering prose, thoughts and ideas that are represented of yourself.  Your friends, family, employers, etc, etc are your critics, which by natural inclination makes you want to throw up barriers, barriers that lock you in to a mindset that's not per se of your own, but what your interpretation is of what others (your target audience wants to hear) --- What you get is a flat / sedate depiction of who you are, what you want to be, and a piece that is potentially boring, irreverent.  To quote a bad Wendy's reference, to me, the book not only asks 'Where's the Beef?, but let's frame the question in a way we can talk about it ... Don't write it well and walled up, write it open ended.

-- Fool's Gold -- Shows how some 30 somethings'  at JP Morgan that are good at 'credit default swapping' can really throw the world a breaking ball, the world swings and misses, by two feet.  Think the computer geek that rounds the fraction of a cent into his bank account is a crime, multiply that by a million and that's what gets by with 'innovative financial products.'  Bulls and bears are fine, but invisible hands, that's something else, the maggots in the system.  Knowledge is power, and as an individual investor, being aware of the silliness that happens, especially in small cap growth stocks, makes me shake my head in disbelief. 

-- The Post American World -- Not the popular spatter of typical intelligentsia or critics of the current administration as one may think.  It of course suggests the pie still grows, but a greater percentage is rightsizing abroad.  It suggests that America has been successful beyond its wildest dreams in pushing an agenda of democracy and open markets to dark corners of the world, now it has to open up even moreso to the game its mastered and continues to promote.  The US has the economics to do great things, the politics of the matter is a unique challange.

-- The Perfect Portfolio -- Doing your homework these days is not enough.  Looking at balance sheets, sales, cash flow, EPS and all these snappy technical indicators and a couple bucks will get you a bag of chips and a headache.  Back to those invisible hands and the role they play in manipulating the market is what makes predicting the market just as impossible as predicting the weather.  It suggests diversifying around 9 asset classes instead of the typical 3, and have a 'target market portfolio' for the shifting for the trends of the world today.  My target market currently is the Chinese Agriculture plays, CGA, YONG, CAGC, I've been happy with it, early next year (Feb / March), my gut says the tech sector will lead a faux recovery... In the age of derivatives, a fake recovery is equal to a real recovery, perception is reality, you look behind the curtain, there's another curtain with another curtain... how deep do you want to go with it?
-- Thinking Outside the Grid --  Pure and simple, the new power grid will be the greatest wonder of mankind one day.  Meanwhile Boone Pickins sells Texas wind to China.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I think that you're forgetting the blood that you'll be letting Has a price on it no one knows

Dad served in the Army, Prince Rupert as a postman during WW2.  We didn't get to talk about his experiences and travels, I'm sure it was an interesting time.  I certainly miss that fella, I wish he was still here, we'd have a lot to talk about.

The ironic nature of life on many levels lands me on top of the Victory Over America / Victory Over Iran palaces at a mass flag flying ceremony, a mixture of emotion that's made me sick to my gut.

Many times I reference a U2 song 'Running to Stand Still,' and think about the underlying tones and implications of many things on many levels.  It again makes me think of the Jerry Macquire brief 'the things we think and do not say,' and suffice to say I'm happy to think I tell everyone I care about and everyone who is special in my life how I feel about them.  Life tends to create abstraction as a coping mechanism for the things we feel and the things we can or cannot say.

Running to stand still is a popular sentiment in pop culture today which suggests an Iphone laden clan textin', blackberry'in, facebooking or twittering no matter the environment, venue or surroundings.  It implies a transient nature of a generation that cannot be satisfied.  Standing Still to run is a better analogy for the life lived out here.  We're in a race in which the words are echoed, 'read, set, go' and you're still tied to the starting block. The crowd laps you, throws a 'Hi' out, only to be lapped several times.  Once you've been released from the starting point, the track already has a groove in it, and often times it's hard to find that groove.  Many times you're left to pick up the pieces of wreckage, often times it takes time to re-integrate, turning your groove into their groove and / or vice versa.

Both running to stand still and still to running have distinct advantages and disadvantages.  Out here I miss out on instant communication.  On the other hand, time has permitted me to tap into the wisdom of the ages, unadulterated and without distraction. A mixture of both combined with the compounded interest of attention span is what I want to achieve from my time here.  De facto vibrancy and incandescence hopefully will follow suit as a result of this experience.

Some days are better than others anywhere you go or wherever you are, and people get lonely regardless of physical locality. Today I write on an occasion where feelings are a wash, or something else that I can't describe, or wish I had the vocabulary to articulate.

My rambling prose for the day, all over the place, detached.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in

48 laws of power has been on my mind since a buddy of mine has been reading intently.  Ran through the list and picked out my favorites, or at least the one's I have put emphasis on as of late.

Edge of the World, a nice little piece by Josh Ritter is what I've been toiling over on the guitar to occupy my time.  It seems to capture the essence of the life of a Spanish conquistador out at sea discovering new territory.  Imagination is wonderful.

Speaking of sea faring individuals, Ragnar Danneskj√∂ld of Atlas Shrugged comes to mind quite often.  Complicated and interpretative symbolism surrounds the man and his mission, I often apply this thought not to the government vs. market fundamentalism sentiments, but rather day to day musings of politics and posturing and the push pull effect b/w a leaders engagement vs the white noise of the pirate.  The key is to be able to distinguish when a crack needs to be patch, rebuilt or exploited.

I suppose circumstance dictates which postures and law's carry relevance at what time. 

The Six Laws of Power that Stand out to me Currently

-- Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker. Seem Dumber than your Mark --

Seems the be the role I am in more so than not, sitting back listening going, 'o, that's how that works, wow, really, tell me more,' even if i don't agree -- then apply the information for what your judgement says is a utilitarian purpose

-- Discover Each Man's Thumbscrew --

Like Sayid torturing Sawyer in Lost, everyone has that pressure point.  I recall one tennis match I had in high school playing the first seed in the tourney, I was warming up with this guy and thinking 'Holy Shit', I'm going to get WAXED.  He had it all, UNTIL I hit a few to his slice type Steffi Graf backhand.  48 or so consecutive backhands later I won that match 6-0, 6-1 to the dismay of his onlooking family.

-- Despise the Free Lunch --

Last job we had meat, candy, cake, cookies every month, the tables of food were plentiful.  Although it was a 'pay meal,' I didn't care for it much at all.  Warren Buffet after purchasing a company once busted up the cigar smoking high five fest and said, 'we have work to do, we'll party when we earn it' -- Great deviant minds have articulated to stay away from that water cooler talk of company politics, its full of undertones of fear, backstabbing, threats and disappointments.

-- Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others --

How's the family?  O! You were a star cricket player in high school?  You like pullups?  I LIKE pullups too!  Finding commonalities is always more fruitful than finding differences.

Building grassroots campaigns is where it's at, and the institutional enemies of this philosophy don't even know that a battle is at hand.  A terrible man once said 'A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire,' and provided an example of how the poor will protect the wealthy.  The OPPOSITE of that is what is necessary, grassroots initiatives for the benefit of mankind.

-- Enter Action with Boldness

A wise man once said, and I paraphrase a paraphrase, 'You can either kill it or leave it alone,' I'd say a lot of people (management) go around kicking people in the junk, yea, it hurts and the recipient is hunched over for a while, but when he gets up, you just have a pissed off individual with a vendetta on their hands.

-- Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge

Finally, giving emotion to something is the best form of validation, ignoring them is the ultimate insult.  I used to think the sweetest revenge is to live well, however I've found fault in that -- by making an object, person or idea irrelevant is a win win in many cases.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Don't fall into all those sad stories you write, Your voice is so pretty When it gets caught in the right rhyme

A wise sage outlined the phases of life, and volunteers that I'm in 'Phase 2' -- First instinct says, damn, I should be further along, however, thinking about it I'm glad I'm past phase one and understand there are move levels to aspire to achieve.  A tip of the hat to The Veils --

I came out to the desert, and my friends jokingly say I have a girly french cap and hipster douschbag sweater (I don't think Kohl's had hipster douschbag clothes, but its all relative, and I stand corrected.)

In keeping with the literal fashions of the world, I offer the shirt, the way of dress, the way clothing is percieved in an office, and the company policy -- and move that through the phases of life.

Phase 1 - idealism - i'm going to change the world!

I'm out of Academia!  Yee Haw!  I'm going to take my nice little project and run it through the 'Systems Development Life Cycle' (SDLC) and I'm going cross reference it with all these key words and concepts, and I'm going to be the one that KNOWS, regardless of all the empirical knowledge around me.

My boss says I need to wear a collared shirt, I'm happy!, I'm officially 'white collar' -- I am dressing for the job I want, the job I have, and I will move up by providing 'valuable' input to these people in authorative positions.  I am a team player, I'm self motivated, I work great with a team OR by myself, I know all the right things.

Are my slacks nice enough?, I forgot to iron this one little piece, wow I hope no one notices --

Phase 2 - screw it - the world cant be changed

The SDLC hasn't been working out, my boss handed me a big clump of shit and said here, sculpt it.  So I've been sculpting away, all the while others have differing opinions on how the legs, hips, theighs and buttox should look, all the while I'm the one holding the sculpting tool.  OK, we'll make the butt bigger, yea, it does make a disconnect with how the hips and butt fit, ok, bigger hips, gotcha -- oo, now that's too hard on the knees and the pants don't fit, roger that, working on it right away.

You begin to awknowledge that world is a tactical nightmare of people arguing over semantics while never truly seeing the need to step back and have a coherent strategy for life, love, work and whatever else have you. 

Screw the company policy for making me wear a collard shirt, its not reasonable in these conditions.  The world is all about reason, right?  How can Kant be wrong, why aren't people seeing this?  I'll wear my pink and green long sleeve no collard shirt UNDER my nice collard white polo to say 'F You' to the system, yeat that's it.  I'll work around the system, b/c I'm sly like that, and they're not going to get the best of me. 

I'm smarter than that, yes-sir-ree.

phase 3 - acceptance - the world may not change but i can still scratch my itches

At some point do we all sit back and realize we love big brother,?  just like the protagonist in 1984? - I think there's a big portion of that --

You one day being to realize you have the illusion of freedom, but yet you're enslaved to your own devices, but that's OK.  I have BBQ, I have a good job, a great family, and people who love me.

That collard shirt looks nice on me, I think I'm going to wear another one tomorrow, just a different color.

phase 4 - understanding - getting what you want is meaningless - wanting what you have that's the trick

To fully understand this understanding phase is something I hope to achieve by age 50.  It's very very difficult, much moreso than the simplicity implies.

It means don't hate the players, hate the game -- and if you don't like the game, you can always opt NOT to play, or invent your own game.

It means hard work surpasses all games and shannagins, and you're always picked for the team based on merit, PERIOD.

To me it means framing reality in a way that accepts and embraces percieved shortcomings of people.  As in Goodwill Hunting when Robin William's tells Matt Damon that his wife once farted and it cleared the room...that and 1,000 other things made her special in the perspective of life.

To me it means knowing that I can hope on a plane anywhere and anytime, and it be a choice not a necessity in the quest for self actualization.

To me it means the grass will NOT be greener on the other side, b/c this is the side I'm cultivating, fertilizing, trimming weeds and rain dancing for.

To me it means turning family into friends and friends into family.

At the end of the day, I realize life is good in the morning, life is good when I go to sleep, and it really doesn't matter what shirt I'm wearing.