I’m going to take a break from blogging. I feel like things have gotten a little stale here. I just can’t seem to get thought to keyboard lately for a variety of reasons.
Rather than spend my evenings surfing the net and linking a bunch of crap in the interests of posting something, anything, and becoming just another of the million and one crap linker’s in the blogosphere, I’m going to put down the keyboard and put my feet up for a while, orient myself toward the sunset, sip a little fine bourbon while waiting for summer to make its presence felt, and reflect on what a lucky man I am to be alive as I am, where I am, when I am. There is really no rhyme or reason to it. Just random good luck, and I am grateful.
Hope to see you when break time is over.
Traditionally, commencement speeches are meant to convey a sense of beginning and of optimism to the graduates in attendance.
The Goreacle let’s the University of Tennessee class of 2010 know that we’re all doomed.
The poor man has snapped his cap.
Rumor has it Al cashed in on offsets when the graduating class reduced their carbon footprint substantially by committing mass suicide following commencement, but I can’t confirm this.
H/T Fausta’s Blog
I knew I had seen the tale of Obama’s Presidency before.
Here’s hoping that Leaping Barack and the rest of the democrat bores are banished happily ever after to the lecture circuit starting in 2010.
My wife’s mother passed in her sleep Friday night. She had been fighting some health problems for the past couple of years and seemed to have them under control recently, right up until we received the early morning phone call that we all know will come but are never prepared for. She was a remarkable woman with a heart as big as…well, how big can a heart be. She will be sorely missed.
Michelle is taking it particularly hard as she and her mother had an uncommonly close bond. Losing her father to a boat racing accident at the age of two and with her older brother and sister mostly grown and starting their own lives, it was just the two of them until her mother remarried six years later. She inherited her mothers mischievous, passionate personality and they were co-conspirators in living life to the fullest right to the end. She visited just last weekend for mother’s day and we listened as they sat alone by a fire on the beach, speaking softly and laughing loudly of adventures that they had shared when even after her remarriage, it was just the two of them against a world that couldn’t quite keep up. Tales of Michelle at age seven arranging to aquire and board a horse without her new step fathers knowledge, until he recieved the first months stable bill. He was understandably furious, but Betty negotiated a stay of execution and Michelle got off with a few weeks of restriction. Of secreting a large goose she found wandering a field on the way home from school into her room, begging and receiving her mothers reluctant approval in keeping it, and how that goose escaped from her room, noisily and filthily infiltrating an important business meeting her step father was holding in the living room. Of her mother catching her with her boyfriend ”in the act” as a teenager and instead of being angry, laughing hysterically until the boy in question fled in humiliation. Partners in the crime of life, and although one is now departed from this world, partners still forever.
Rest well Betty Lou. Until one fine day, we meet again.
I found this WWII vintage fly swatter digging around in a second hand store today. Compare the simple sentiment expressed on the label to our Attorney General below and the “lawyerese” he is speaking in attempting to answer a simple question put to him regarding radical Islam. The fly swatter names our objective in World War II, which was victory; the enemy, expressed in the unfortunate parlance of the day as being the Empire of Japan; and the way in which the manufacturer and user of the swatter were contributing to this effort for victory by making the handle out of wood rather than metal.
The only reasonable conclusion to be made is that Eric Holder doesn’t have the intelligence of a 65 year old fly swatter. I think this fly swatter would make a fine Secretary of State as well. Clear, bold, concise. This Victory Swatter has an excellent future in politics in my opinion.
My father instilled in me a somewhat suspicious attitude regarding managerial types. He was a very good engineer at Boeing for 35 years and on occasion would come home after a long day and inform us that he had been offered a position in management, but had again told them to pound sand. It was just not in his nature to tell others what to do or how to perform their work. In his view, your work spoke for you. Results were what mattered, particularly in an exacting field like engineering, and if those results were not forthcoming, a manager was the last one you went to for a solution. He thought that once you removed yourself from the everyday hands on aspect of whatever job you were performing and concerned yourself more with managing those who performed it, your knowledge of that work and what it took to get it done steadily regressed until you became a detriment to the project. A negative factor inserted into the equation. An obsticle to be worked around rather than a part of the solution and he wanted no part of that.
The Mayor of our small town paid a visit to my office the other day and while she seemed a very impressive woman, running last November as an independent on a platform of pragmatic fiscal restraint after the previous democratic administration had broken ground on a new fifteen million dollar(?!) city hall to serve our hamlet of eight thousand, she was surrounded by the usual gaggle of brown nosing bureaucratic apparatchiks who answered every question put to them in the typical language that even small town politicians seem to either master quickly or were born with. That of the double speak, answering questions with questions, talking much but saying little, always with an eye on the boss to gauge her satisfaction or non-satisfaction with their level of obfuscation. The quintessential middle managers.
On occasion, when the sun is shining and I’m feeling especially optimistic, I think that maybe I should quit bitching in this blog space and actually go out and get involved in helping to get representatives that reflect my political views elected to local office. These optimistic moments are tempered however by scenes such as the one above and in the realization that to get involved would mean dealing with these middle managers of other people’s lives on a daily basis, and in the further realization that to join with them is to face the very real prospect of becoming them.
Bollocks to that.
Update: Hmm…the embed’s not working, but you can view the vid on youtube by hitting the link on the screen.
Seven minutes of a day like any other, San Fransisco, circa 1905.
Looks like the cops hadn’t yet figured out that traffic enforcement would be a much more profitable enterprise than shaking down the local merchants for apples.
It is with a creeping sense of my own mortality that I realize my birth year of 1957 was nearer the date this film was shot than the current year of 2010 is to 1957.
H/T Word Around The Net
Via Ed Driscoll and Maggies Farm, an interview of Mark Steyn by the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. 38 minutes and worth every second.
To my progressive readers, I realize that the name of Rush Limbaugh is invoked in the first few paragraphs so try not to panic, engage your left brain, (I fail to understand how the side of the brain used for logic and reason was ever designated as the “left” side) and listen to the whole thing.
Modern architecture often suffers from a perception of being cold or somewhat sterile due to the influences of the European Bauhaus movement of the 1930′s. ”Machines for living” as Le Corbusier was famous for stating, were beautiful to the eye but in many cases were designed without much thought that people are not machines, that pure reason and logic does not a home make.
As modernism evolved in this country, regional architects who practiced in this genre adopted local historical precedent and the materials they found around them to develop a more people friendly architecture that could appeal to the soul as well as to the mind. In the case of Northwest Modernism, the influences of native American culture, aesthetics of the far east due to a thriving Japanese American community, and an abundance of natural materials such as cedar and basalt stone, led to a body of work by a handful of architects entering practice in the post WWII years that is uniquely our own.
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry is featuring a documentary highlighting the work of a few of these visionary designers.
If you are interested in the history of modern architecture in our region, go here to learn more.
Take a look at these two homes designed by iconic architects widely recognized for their genius in different genres. The Farnsworth House by modernist Mies van der Rohe, and the Vanna Venturi House by post modern architect Robert Venturi. Whether or not you could feel comfortable living in either of these homes, one is most certainly beautiful to look at and the other is not. It is obvious to even the most casual observer that one was the product of a careful discipline. Universal laws of symmetry, geometry, and historical precedent all coming together to form a unified whole. The other looks like it was built off site with spare parts gathered from demolished homes and dropped in with a helicopter without care or concern of how the home’s parts relate to the whole or how the home relates to the site. Of course this is the whole point and the goal of the post modern relativist. Who is to say what is beautiful and what is not. My suburban McMansion is no better or worse than your falling water aesthetically speaking. Anyone with eyes to see knows that this is ridiculous.
Venturi’s work in my opinion is a denial of architecture as a discipline or an art at all since anybody can slap together a design like the Vanna Venturi house. Like I said, this is always the post modernists intent. When everyone is special…no one is, and the perception of equality is achieved.
Post modernism in all contexts is the realm of the envious and self-indulgent. Of those without the vision or talent to create something beautiful from nothing.