Wednesday, August 26, 2009

They drive the same road drifting over to your side

Your dreams will become part of the future and coincide with the past, You spend all your time by the radio waiting for the signal, But inside, you’ll always feel the same, even when you wake up.

Lyric from Fanfarlo's tune Harold T. Wilkins, or How To Wait For A Very Long Time

I ponder the motivation for writing. I like...

1 -- Parsing through 600-1000 RSS feeds in my feed reader, I've come to appreciate prose that's going somewhere. Ranting facts, regardless of truth is certainly merits for snoozing. Reading boldface that has relevance / good title is great, which would allow you to sniff the info, then decide if you want to take the plunge.

2 -- Reading personal accounts, especially of friends. I can count my friends on one hand that keep and maintain a personal blog. A few take that hard look inside, those people I feel very close with emotionally even though we're miles away.

Keeping in the spirit of bullet point #2, I've been probing for years and plopping that out on the internet as fodder, learning about myself, giving others a lens into what's going on in my mind.

Seems like I've been going in circles lately without chasing any tail, no pun intended.

However, call it what you will, I believe these personal sentiments all add up to one big goal, or one big coincidence, all you have to do is keep chuggin' away and meander that river in the right direction.

My boy Brendan Benson has a new album out, and like he says, all it takes is a Tiny Spark, and I'll be writing with purpose and theme, till then, how bout' another concentric circle outward.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trading gossip with the twilight creeps, Killing the flowers that were planted for you

Rounding out the month Ramadan here, I bet the Mosques are full.

I keep going back to this amazing piece by Neil Postman about Technology, something that was written I believe in the 80's, but rings true now more than ever.

Technology enables.  For those who aren't familiar with the capabilities of technology, you get 'greats!' from people who have a vision.  While there are many resounding 'GREATS!' out there in the world, the contrary viewpoint suggests, 'wow, this has many implications that possibly haven't been taken into account.'

Postman says we know everything the 18th century didn't know, and we forgot all it did know.

The other day I was heading the DFAC with some comrades, I pull out the iphone and begin to play a game of risk.  A friend says, 'what the hell are you doing?,' implying thier presence isn't good enough for you to leave the phone alone.  Back home its always been a queue for me to exit stage left when someone begins to play with their phone, and I've always tried to extend that courtesy to the next fella.  Next time I'm out with mates and dates and friends, I'm not going to text, tweet or facebook at the expense of company.

It's amazing the sheer volume of content out there, and amazing how diluted it has become.  Post a quote from a Roman philosopher, you get nothing back, post 'I farted' and you get 13 responses.  Idiocracy has come true.

The new web technologies, esp. twitter is a mechanism that lets you expose your inner soul, so as the tag line says, and a rhetorical questioned posed for all, are you going to trade gossip with the twilight creeps at the expense of the figurative and / or literal flowers that were planted for you?



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well my wife still respects me even though I really misused her, I am having an affair with the random computer

Coming to the desert has given me TIME.  Time to collect, time to plan, time to gather, time to access.  Sorta like the weekend getaway but much, much longer.  Complaining about the enviable or things unchangeable has become a thing of the past.
Once my time is up, I plan to explode in the direction of my next goal, the next plan, and do more than strive for the extraordinary, but take that next step, doing it decisively and with great conviction.
While moving in that direction, finding like minded people is tough.  One day the white noise left my head, which lead to malaise in body and spirit.  Overcoming these personal mile markers is the ultimate triumph in human spirit.
While striving pragmatically towards a goal or mission, personal prejudices almost always shine through, diluting the goal to something in your head that's manageable.  For instance, if your pursuit is the almighty dollar, things like politics only become an excuse for the weak: Mark Cuban says, 'Getting rich is the most patriotic thing you can do, and it's a hell of great problem to have.'
We're living in times like Mark Twain suggests, 'where you're more loyal to a political ideology than you are the country', if that's what the populous wants, that's what they get.  Issues in the world today transcend politics, and if we don't we refuse to accept that, someone else will take the ball and run with it.
Sensationalism is what's been killing the pragmatic mind in America.  Words that you hear on the news, the speculative frenzy of media lies and twists, and the dumming down of every problem into a sound byte that's digestible by pop culture.  'Hey, look what I saw on tv, hey, look what my favorite pundit said, or even hey look what i read.'  Somewhere in the hearts and minds of all of us, regardless of if we're a plumber or a computer guy, we're now the subject matter experts on health care, global warming, jihad or any other issue currently at hand.
The opposite of sensationalism is ideas.  The idea virus shy's away from sensationalism, and as society evolves and clumps together, who wins is now who speaks the loudest and uses the most absurd words to exclaim their point.  Meanwhile the idea bubble will form somewhere else, and the money will follow.
What it means for me moving forward:  Ideology doesn't play nearly as huge of a role in my goals as relativism and transcendentalism.  This mindset has allowed me to have conversations from all spheres of ideas from smart people that I'd never sit at the table together, for arguing ideological semantics is destructive to transcendental thought.
Regardless of your definition of progress, we will do so when the mass demand it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Deal me in and I'll pick my cards up off the floor I'll see a lucky coin And raise a pack of lies

Was thinking about toasting here's to life, but I can't stomach a near beer tonight.  Instead a big fat piece of cake, China Road and Flight 666 on my off time while sitting at work.
Tonight I think about the meaning of success, and the varying levels.  Music for instance, artists used to get a record deal, sell out stadiums and enjoy phenomenal fan bases.  Now in the digital era and the abundance of talent and availability, what defines the new Metallica, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, etc.
There's songs that reach pop culture b/c its all they can digest, songs that reach a plurality b/c they speak to the heart of something substantial, and there's a new breed, something more abstract, that's meaningful yet impersonal and in subtle ways painful and abrasive.  Not painful and abrasive in the sissy Linkin Park way (its like a roller coaster, its scary on the surface, but in reality good family fun.), but rather something that's defining a mindful yet confused faction of society.
Success is where you set the goalposts, for as New Rules puts it, "In a network, the more opportunities that are taken, the faster new opportunities arise" -- no chance in keepin' up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I got the Jeep, She got the two bedroom-mortgage is due-siding light blue palace

Catchpenny is spinning (??) in my MP3 player.  I would say they're a mix between Snug and Fastball with the hometown vibe of Kissenger.
What makes the band special?  They do shows in Iraq.  More than opportunism makes one hop on a plane to do something like that, call it curiosity, patriotism, or just good old fashion adventure.
A few weeks ago I said I'd like to take my judging and critique hat off in more circumstances.  Fast forward a few weeks, letting more in is allowing me to extend dialogue, both verbally and digitally.
Tomorrow I am going to see Mark Chestnutt, Didn't really know his work, but after a couple songs he kinda reminds me of a modern day Charlie Pride.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Let’s get a silver bullet trailer and have a baby boy, I’ll safety-pin his clothes all cool and you’ll grafitti up his toys

Regina Spector seems like the coolest gal ever to hang with.  Not only does she do great duets with my boys Ben Folds and Sondre Lerche, she's got the tunes with the beat, the lyrics with the heart, and we can't forget the perfect body with eyelashes that catch her sweat.
Makes me think of things I'd love to do with a significant other one day, as per dreamy song lyrics and other scenerios--
  • Go check out the coast of Montenegro because it was Steve Malkmus's favorite target in The Hook
  • Catch a bon jovi show in switzerland in a cool summer day with rain included

ahhh, well, that's all i got for now

Sunday, August 09, 2009

In a hot air balloon with a rusty nail, Looking over your shoulder and setting sail

What I had for dinner....hmm -- Now that's a great question --
Peoples perceptions about being out in the middle of the desert lead you to believe bugs, sloppy goo in a bag, prison style porage, etc --
In reality, its easier to eat a balanced / healthy meal here than in the states.  Also, its easier to gorge yourself silly on icecream, cheesesteak, or any other fried goodness.  For the spending record, every Friday night is 'surf and turf' (steak and lobster), lets just round it to 150,000 people.  Not to mention the carbon footprint of getting it from under the sea to here!  WHEW!
Lately its been like Obama's first ride on Air Force One.  The cook says 'what do you want to eat, we have everything' -- Obama's response, 'You got some sandwiches?'
Entertainment --
Nill, other than media from the Amazon lifeline in the form of Iron Maidens Flight 666, a blueray of Roy Orbison and also a concert of The Who circa long time ago.  The actual physical CD has become my friend again, as a typical CD will cost 5-7 bucks online.
Shoes --
Seems like I'm needing a new pair every six weeks, the lenght of walking is tremendous, the dust and sweat, and when rainy season comes mud -- really does a number on the zapatos.
The Near Beer --
Is God's Cruel Joke.  I'm sitting next to a non-alcoholic Lowenbrau which I drank last night for sanity's sake.  Immediately got me thinking of Berlin and finer times where I would cordially go up to the bar and request 'Zwei IceBier', in which two of these high alcohol content beauties would be placed in my hands.
The Work --
Is something for the mind and memory
The Shopping --
Something I had no idea how to imagine before I got out here, and something I still can't wrap my head around after seeing the options, or lack thereof.
Enrichment Opportunities --
Lots of time to work on your trade, they have a testing center here too to get certified on whatever you'd like.  There are arabic classes, salsa classes, and a flurry of related generic'ish activities.
The Weather --
At first glance, hot, dusty and miserable.  After getting acquainted, I'd say there's a mystical quality to it -- So hot during the day, but 6 AM the weather is gentle, as if the vast and open-ness of the landscape allowed this to blow in from....where??  perhaps Turkey?  Who knows?, but its something I've been pondering, consequently while listening to Andrew Bird's 'Weather Systems' --
The Music --
Its harder to stay up with it, considering ONE mp3 takes about 10 minutes to download when you get to the chu's, and what very little bandwidth you have is best utilized for skype, and the courtesy of others.
The People --
Are a microcosm of the real world, good, bad, tricky, movers and shakers, you name it, it's here.  The difference is everyone except for a handful of us roll around with guns.  There's something surprisingly Orwellian about the psychology.
Overall --


Thursday, August 06, 2009

All these things will come to pass When heroes of the middle class Face up to their responsibilities

before coming to the desert, a buddy of mine said 'the people will make all the difference' -- the textures of Islam in the distance, Ugandans playing soccer, plenty of America f*ck yea ice cream in the dfac do little to quell the monotony of the situations, but the personal relationships cultivated are priceless.

I came out here to see a whole different world, in physical reality, mindset, and to see a breath of spirit that is ever expanding into the open mind.

what's going to happen out here, hell who knows, when the money runs dry (o wait, that's happened) and popular opinion dwindles, my guess is some sort of parliamentary dictator will take hold, but we'll have them on strings.

afgan is the place, wow, what a fascinating and sad place the more you dig in -- we've taken their 'banks', i.e. opium fields, hence they're pissed. how's this for a challenge, 94% of your countries GDP comes from opium --


When I'm done here, I think I want to live here, and study here

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

All the Stars Seemed Lined Up in the Sky, Those 4 Letter words are in your Eyes

Facebook has added visibility to my blog presence, 99% of this new base if newbies to facebook, but old friends, etc, etc, hence, adding a very personal aspect to writing. Every time that happens I get writers block.

Back in the old days I could blast out political sentiments, existential thoughts, and other points of contention and societal grind. It's harder to expand your boundaries and still have a plurality with the rapport of your friends and family -- It's easy to blast, blast, blast to the world, it has little consequence.

Society and its labels -- Throughout the years, people just don't know what to smack on me to help them understand what I think or feel. I've been affectionately been called 'communist, hippie, socialist, pacifist', blah blah, yet I work the defense contracting machine. I go to church more than most and yet I don't think the trinity will play a big part in my life, unless it's the matrix trinity.

Where have I been the last couple hell and back emotionally would be an understatement, all self inflicted b/c for the most part I lived a charmed life. Self inflicted hell is what motivates me, it's the hard 20 after the easy 80 has been accomplished is where I find comfort.

Most points of discussion / argument in social culture have been settled in my mind, hence much of what I see and hear is aggregated is skewed, tired and old. Life to me is a pursuit of interest and unique opportunities and conversation. My passion lies in talking about politics, religion and the girl.

I've had several people say I've fell into a bout' with pessimism; I agree, and we can't have that. I've been regaining a positive mental attitude, and I feel that it's going to come back with vibrancy.

Life out here in the desert has helped buy my freedom from economic shackles, putting the world in an oyster. I've had to do a lot of life maneuvering to get here, more cuts and jukes to come.

My blog visibility used to be to 20 or so loyal readers, now critiques come from different people who I had no idea tuned in -- The friends I have in my first few concentric rings of influence I think is an interesting microcosm of people that bring a ton of different perspective to the table.

So the nudging, judging, perceived narrow perceptions of readers and also the writer is all a part of establishing a strong rapport with all dear in my life. Not everyone will like or agree, but I'm thinking it all through, often out loud --

For the foreseeable future, I will focus on the lighter side of things, and the hopeless romanticisms life has to offer --

Monday, August 03, 2009

An address to the golden door, I was strumming on a stone again Pulling teeth from the pimps of gore when hatched

I can't really wrap my head around short selling the market.  This week I'm going to conduct an experiement based on companies that are expected to do well.
Initial capital = 5,000
Expected daily return = 3%
Commission Fees = 26 bucks / day
Stock that I think will perform well per day --
monday - hum
tuesday - ice
wed - axs
thurs - awh
fri - mir
if i'm right, the pflight of 5,000
Monday = $5,124.02
Tuesday = $5,277.74
Wed = $5,436.07
Thurs = $5,599.16
Fri = $5,767.13
There are other points to ponder, on a general level, I'm going to see how this plays out