What is it about a little rainfall that makes Californians forget how to drive?
Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.
The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete.
Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure.
We are today not far from a disaster. Our unfortunate troops, Indian and British, under hard conditions of climate and supply are policing an immense area, paying dearly every day in lives for the willfully wrong policy of the civil administration in Baghdad but the responsibility, in this case, is not on the army which has acted only upon the request of the civil authorities.
-T.E. Lawrence, The Sunday Times, August 1920, writing from Falluja
Is the operative word “doomed” or “ignorant”?
Thanks to Jason for the Lawrence quote.
I went to IKEA over the weekend for the time in a few years (Jennifer was looking for a TV stand. There’s one in Emeryville right near where I am working. The last time I was there I almost got into a fight in the parking lot over a spot. It’s a long story that I don’t want to get into, but suffice it to say that the IKEA is very popular.
They’ve built a new parking structure to handle the crowds, but the inside of the massive store is a still a scrum of people looking for quality Scando-design at bargain basement prices. And that’s the problem, at least from where I’m standing.
IKEA stuff looks great, from a distant. But the closer you get, the facade of quality falls away. Their hole showroom reminds me of a Hollywood set that looks great on camera, but up close looks like it fall over in a rain storm and if you go through a door, there’s nothing but air. It’s all style and no substance.
A chest of drawers might look nice, but when you open any of the drawers, it feels rickety, like the thing is going to fall apart. And these floors models are put together by trained IKEA folks. What happens when you take your box home and assemble your new desk or cabinet in your living? I’m sure you know.
I saw some nice things that I might go back to get some day like a colander or a goose down comforter, only things that require no assembly or engineering. The only thing I left with was a bottle of Swedish mustard.
God is love
Love is blind
Ray Charles is blind
Ray Charles is God
This little piece of misguided logic that I recall from my youth came flooding back to me the second I saw the streaming piece news on CNN that Ray Charles had passed away.
It’s always sad to note the passing of great talent. Mr. Charles was a musical genius, a inspiration not only for his unique style, but also for his great sense of humor. Ray Charles might not be God, but he was a musical god and even before his passing, had taken his proper place in the pantheon of soul. Godspeed, Ray Charles.
Coke has come out with C2. Coors has Aspen Edge. Krispy Kreme is had their first losing quarter and the parent company of Ronzoni filed for bankruptcy. “Carb-free” and “low-carb” labeled products are ubiquitous. Kraft has signed a deal with the South Beach Diet. And on and on and on.
This and much more is the crazy legacy of the Atkins Diet craze where carbs are the enemy. They are evil. The purest form of the stuff. Wouldn’t want to eat that sandwich. It’s evil.
This diet is nothing new. Bodybuilders have been going on carb-fast. protein laden diets to burn fat, but only for short periods of time. The reason? Well, it’s three-fold. One is that bodybuilders frequently change their diet dramatically to shock the body. Two is that a diet of protein and fat is particulary bad for the internal organs, most notably the heart, the liver and the kidneys. not to mention the vascular system which supports it all. Three is that carbs not only are not evil, we need carbs for energy.
So what’s the net result of this? Are we going to turn into a country of listness no energy waifs? Doubtfully. Because the truth is that while people might be tuning out carbs in their diet, we are still essentially a country of lazy people who want to find a miracle lifestyle where excersice is not a part of good health. Fat chance.
I’ve always had a philosophy about books on tape (and now CD) that they were the spawn of the devil, would eventually lead to wipespread illiteracy and were best avoided, unless made necessary by an excessive long solo drive and then I would only listen to a book that I had previously read in traditional paperbound form. But I’ve changed my tune.
My new theory about audiobooks hasn’t changed all that much. I still think they are essentially evil, however I’m now willing to listen to something different, a new genre of literature I like to call, things I will never read in a million years. With that in mind, on the drive down to San Diego, I listened to a book called “The Bushes”, an unapologetic profile of America’s right wing dynastic family, starting from S.P. Bush, down through Prescott, Prez #41 and all the way through to W and Jeb.
Most of it was laughable, histories, scandals and affairs glossed over, defeats taken with incredible humility and victories with uncompromising character, all delviered in assured deep baritone of Harry Chase. So much of the known history of the family, especially recent events in the lift of the current commander in chief, was ignored. I would have loved to hear something more revealing and perhaps truthful. As Jon Stewart said, you can’t spend most of your adult life in a drug and alcohol induced stupor and wake up in your 40s and decide to become president. Wait!
On the other hand, the portrait painted of the family was interesting in that they are so competitive, hard working and ambitious in a way that I and most of the people from my generation can hardly comprehend. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but with a few notable exceptions, most of my friends and acquantainces don’t want to conquer the world, but merely want to carve out a comfortable niche for themselves. That’s all I really want.
This post is specific to my friends and former colleagues in Samoa. Sorry if you feel left out.
It’s been over 7 months since I left Samoa and yet I can’t get some Samoan words out of my head. When something is finished, it’s not done, it’s uma. When you are correct, you are sa’o lelei and I when I want to get someone’s attention, I think sole. It’s frustrating that no one will know what the hell I’m talking about.
Yesterday I was at the Wells Fargo ATM and I was shocked to see “Hmoob” as one of the language choices. Hmoob? I consider myself well-traveled and generally knowledgable about these sorts of things, but Hmoob through me for a loop.
A simple check on Google this afternoon revealed that Hmoob is actually the language of the Hmong, a hill-tribe people in Southeast Asia. Which begs the question, what the hell is Hmoob doing as option on my ATM? Not that I have a huge problem with it or anything. It just seems bizarre.
I visited the Hmong people on a trip through Northern Thailand. I stayed in the Hmong Guest House near Chang Saen. I know that a certain number of them have emigrated to the US, especially in and around Minneapolis. However, I wasn’t aware of any presence of Hmong in Northern California, let alone one significant enough to have a presence on my ATM.
Anyway, as they say in Hmoob:
Niam txiv npluanuj tubki tsis kawm txuj.
Do ya think maybe I have a spam problem? Here are some of my favorite headers:
Dog treats so good your dog will never want to stop eating
(is that a good thing?)
Watch your friend’s Hot Mom get Naked
(how do they know about my friend’s hot mom getting naked? freaky.)
Experience The Passion Of Christ At Home
(is that a good thing?)
feasible hot milfs caught on camera (feasible?)
And this is whole the collection from Saturday:
I can remember that when I moved to Atlanta in 1996 that it took me a long time to figure out what to do with myself when I wasn’t working, which was rare since I was suffering through an internhip at CNN during the day and working at an insanely busy restaurant at night. The reason was that when I was living in Santa Cruz, whenver I had any free time whatsoever, I was surfing. It was simple. I never had to think. Not doing anything. There are waves. Go surfing. Simple.
Now I’m in the same situation. When I wasn’t photographing skiers on the mountain, I was skiing. On my days off, I was skiing. I never had to figure out what do. But now that Vail and Beaver Creek are closed, I’m experiencing the same feelings all over again. I read books and watch movies and play with the kittens, but I don’t really know what to do beside that. It’s not like it’s nice outside. It’s been cold with rain or snow all week. There’s no place to hang out. I’ve actually gone into work each of the last three days to grab some photos for my portfolio, but that gets old real fast. You can’t imagine how unbeleivably boring it is to sort through thousands of pictures of one horrible skier after another to find the gems. I gave up.
I know the weather will improve and there will be more to do, but in the meantime I’m going a little stir crazy with idleness.
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