Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Call the Gas Company Before You Dig

Word on the internets suggests that the US and world economies are bracing for a major blow in September. Sorry to be a “sky is falling” guy – I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but I do read a lot of internet press and there are alarm bells ringing rather loudly.

Here, we see one of many reports suggesting the imminence of an attack on Iran (US, Israeli and possibly UK) “likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground invasion.” Just skim the bullet points.

And look here this week, under the headline “Video: US Comptroller says America is facing total collapse.” That's on "60 Minutes."

Not mainstream enough for you? Not immediate enough? In the Dow Jones Financial News we see that an anonymous investor last week bet 6.9 billion Euros that European markets will drop by a third (read "crash") by the end of September, 2007. The keyword here appears to be "volatility."

Maybe it’s all just an orchestrated propaganda effort to stimulate the economy – hoping we’ll all go to Home Depot for plywood and concrete to build our shelters, and to Costco for canned goods to stock them.

Or maybe we’re really reaching the end of the new Roman Empire, and the best thing to do is just prepare to adapt. I do like the idea of Cascadia, the new country made up of the region from Vancouver BC south as far as San Francisco. Mexico can have L.A., and half the Midwest is already run by the Taliban.

Sorry to get heavy with you, babies. I see all this stuff, then I look out the window and birds are chirping, the sun is shining, people are saying, "How do you do?" ... just like that beautiful September morning back in 2001.

Politically, with the people of the US so ready now to respond to Big Idea candidates and so interested in local solutions to energy and environmental threats, I find it rather exciting that we may be backing toward the cliff's edge. We seem to do our best work under pressure.

We now return you to that video of Miss South Carolina.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Third base!

I took the train downtown last night to meet Jude, have a little Thai food, and ride home together in the car she drove to work. Heading home, as we got into the Ford, I tossed my novel in the back seat.

"What's the book you're reading?" she asked, very kindly.

"What is the What," I answered

"What's the book you're reading?" she said.

"What is the What," I answered.


It's a fictionalized account of the life of a Sudanese refugee turned U.S. immigrant, by Great Writer Dave Eggers. The story is really engaging, and the title is hiiiiiiiilarious.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Jude got a call last night from Tony in Baghdad saying he was getting on a plane and headed, eventually, after a few stops, home to Eugene Oregon. Needless to say, we're very proud of him and very relieved.

On his way out the door he also sent this note to his entire address book:

>From: "Siebers, Anthony R CPT TF 134, Civil Affairs, J9"
>Subject: I'm Coming Home
>Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 04:28:44 +0400
>Well my tour has come to an end and what a ride it has been. In a few
>short hours I depart Baghdad for my journey to Ft. Lewis, WA and then
>home to Eugene. I anticipate arriving in Washington State by Monday
>Morning (your time) and expect to touch ground at the Eugene Airport
>some time between Wednesday and Saturday.
>I really wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the support while
>I was over here. From care packages, Christmas gifts, Birthday cards,
>stuff for the troops, support for Billie and the kids and even just the
>emails to say hello, your support helped us through an extremely trying
>and nerve racking time.
>Much has changed in my life over the past year and I am not exactly sure
>what that face of change will look like to you all when I return. Above
>all, I hope, and believe, that you find a more humble, confident, proud,
>and thankful man who is determined to spend some quality time with my
>loved ones and use my experience to become a better Husband, Father,
>Son, Servant and Leader.
>Thank you again for the love and support! I am anticipating a time in
>the not to distant future in which I will be able to thank you all in
>Very Respectfully,

Let me add our thanks to his for all the thoughts, wishes and inquiries we've received during his (final, we hope) deployment. Now that he's returning I'm looking forward to crushing him at 8-ball and asking him, repeatedly, "Do you know how I know you're gay?"

By the way, if you're interested in what his assignment has been while in Iraq, Newsweek did an article on it here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


With hurricane Dean blowing into Mexico about now, I'm reminded that just shy of two years ago we all
or most of us saw Katrina gathering in the Gulf. (That's the Gulf of Mexico, not the Gulf where we sent the world's best military and a trillion dollars.)

A few days after the storm hit, a co-worker and I wrote a little song about it to the tune of The Who's "Athena." If you don't remember this terrible song and you want to find the groove, you can hear a snippit here.


Katrina, took my house and made me wait for FEMA
Feels like treadin’ water for a week with emphysema
Just one nudge from her and those levees were long gone
I get my galoshes on
She's just a whirl; Superdome

Katrina, I waded into Wal Mart to get some beans-uh
They chased my black ass out with an M-16-uh

And Dubya told us what the good folks need to understand
He said, "Brownie, you the man."
She's just a whirl; neo-CON. Neo-CON!

Just a whirl, just a whirl
Just a whirl, just a whirl
Just a whirl, just a whirl
She’s just a whirl

Well I seen her, churnin' up the Gulf like an angry 'tweener
With Condi out buyin' shoes and George roastin' wieners
And Dick's got his eye on the oil and all of the petrol gas
Is he a Halliburton psychopath?
She's just a whirl; the new EnRON
She's just a whirl; the new EnRON

Friday, August 17, 2007


I've been trying to decide whether to move some of my action out of collateralized debt obligations and into trebuchets. Now, it's a no-brainer.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Not a Big Fan, Really

I heard something about Barry Bonds breaking the all-time home run record, but I don't really know the details. I'd like to be able to chat about this with my co-workers. Can anybody help me out with a little background?

Like, who was the opposing team?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mark Your Calendar

When September 11 rolls around this year, would you like something to distract you from the fact that, since that watershed moment, our government has abused the sincere good will of the entire planet and has chosen instead to fear- and war-monger, and edge us ever closer to fascism?

Well I've got just the thing.

There is one man willing to stand up and fight the creeping forces of tyranny. There's a man who won't accept the slow, steady erosion of his rights. This man has a date with the dark side of the law: September 10, 2007.
That's the day when our man Keith will go to court to dispute the speeding ticket unfairly administered to him by a pudgy town cop with a Napoleon complex -- I'll call him trooper VonStrasburg. Our young Keith was doing a little driving on a Sunday, helping poor people and heading to our Mother's house for a nice after-church dinner, when he was suddenly confronted with the demand to see his papers.

Keith handled the encounter superbly, asking the officer what type of equipment he had used to clock him, when it had last been calibrated, how fast the cruiser was going at the time. The officer responded with increasing annoyance and high-handedness, calling Keith "brother" while Keith called him "officer" and "sir."

I wanted to volunteer, "His name is Keith, your majesty. Like in Toby Keith?" but I kept my mouth shut and just took this awesome photo. Can't you just see the angry red marks those NASCAR shades must leave on his porcine little face? Oh, you've met this Jasper before. You remember this guy!

Come September 11, 2007 we'll know if justice still breaths in the Strasburg jurisdiction, for mighty Keith Everyman will have told it to the judge. In fact, he has vowed to die rather than pay this fine. At least I'm sure he'd vow that if you asked him, so don't bother asking him. Just watch this space and prepare to be inspired.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

An Informed Citizenry

I was driving down Sandy Blvd yesterday and passed Pirate's Cove, a nekkid lady pub where the building is shaped like a two-story lil' brown jug. Although the place looked the same as it ever has, the reader board sign out front said:

I thought it was kind of funny and also,
because I'm an idea man, I thought they should have tied the stripper and pirate themes together with, "YO HO HO" or something about the giant jug.

But anyway, I forgot all about it until this morning on my drive to work when I saw THIS sign next door to the State Motel and the bowling alley on 82nd Ave -- fully three miles and a hard right turn from the Pirate's Cove:

And thus my faith in humanity was once again renewed. Tonight my beer dollar goes to the very funny people at the Red Room.