30 September 2008

Got It Straight

David Sirota's got it right:

Let me be clear: I have a modest retirement account that I've worked hard to save. I'm worried when I see what's happened to the market. But I also realize that while Wall Street says this is a new crisis, there's been a health care, wage, job and pension crisis that's been going on for the last decade - and so forgive me if I find it a bit ridiculous that while no one said we had to act quickly on those life-and-death crises, we are supposed to nonetheless see this banking sector problem as Armageddon that demands handing over 5% of our entire economy to one unelected political appointee (Henry Paulson). In that sense, all the alarmism - especially coming from such a discredited Washington crowd - rings a bit hollow.


22 September 2008

Demotivated and Downtrodden

I'm not sure what it is; but, I'm so wholly and utterly demotivated at the moment that I just cannot get myself to do anything. Is it because the only time I've seen the girls today is when they've either been asleep or screaming in my ear? Is it the lack of THC running through my veins and I'm going through withdrawal symptoms? Is it the lack of rest as I try to push this motherload of a software release out the door? Is it the general malaise of doing all my hiring in China, Romania and India while seeing really great managers in the US left out in the cold? Is it the perpetual smell of spoilt milk on my clothes and dirty diapers in the bedroom? Its it the lack of hope that even the Hopemonger can change the train wreck of these United States? Gads, I'm low today.

Tomorrow, however, has a bowl lined up in the evening with a friend. So that should be better.

21 September 2008

A Tiring Day

Leia and Alisa didn't nap at all today. That means their fussy time tonight was worse than usual. Every evening between 7pm and 9pm is sporadic bouts of crying between cat naps as they settle in for the night. It took them about 4 hours of crying fits tonight before they finally went to bed. Now I can finally start my work for the weekend.

On the bright side, Friday was the very first time I heard a real laugh from one of the girls. Alisa got into a full belly laugh on Friday night. I came home late from the San Francisco office due to a 2 hour train delay. Hirono had to weather the evening hours alone with both girls. By the time I got home they were both asleep; but, Alisa woke up and immediately became excited seeing I was home. While changing her diaper she started to smile and play, eventually falling into a loud laugh. It was really nice to see her so unreservedly joyful.

15 September 2008

Zen Moment

Chilling. No meetings tonight. Leia is on my lap sleeping while listening to King Crimson's song Moonchild.


14 September 2008

About Those Culture Wars

It seems the "Culture Wars" are coming back into political focus with the popularity of Governor Palin. Well, one good thing about the Culture Wars is that conservatives are really good at losing wars. Regardless of what happens in the presidential election, within 10 years many of today's Culture War battles will have been won by the good guys. Conservatives are just really bad at long term wars.

07 September 2008

They Grow So Fast

So many of my friends tell us to enjoy the babies now, while we can. They aren't babies forever. That is so true.

Alisa is sleeping in the crib here in the family room while I watch over her and do some work. Hirono came down to grab a snack of grapes and Yakult. The sound of running water disturbed Alisa from her sleep. She got up on her elbows and looked around for what was making the noise. A second later she whimpered, turned her head and lay back down.

This may sound very small; but, it is actually huge. She has never been able to lift her shoulders before, let alone get up on her elbows. Its a first for her. She's gaining muscular control and balance.

They aren't babies forever.

Now then, there's a bright side here as well. She can now turn a bit and rearrange her body position. That means when she's a little uncomfortable and needs to move she just moves into a more comfortable position. Before now she would cry until we picked her up and put her body in a different position. This means an extra hour of sleep for us every day! Hooray! (Well, at least it means an extra hour of sleep once Leia catches up and can do the same.)

Happy Baby

For those following the Leia saga, she started eating from a bottle regularly again two days ago. She now takes it fairly easily,though not as easily as Alisa. Moreover, she let loose with a really dirty diaper about fifteen minutes ago. Yeehaw! She's grinning and laughing away now.

06 September 2008

Omnivore Meme

From Very Good Taste, via Toast and Angelos:

1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
(4. I've added my own bit - put asterisks after what you must try before you die. - Tracy)
(5. Put a question mark (?) next to the ones you had to look up because you had absolutely no idea what they were. - Tracy)

1. Venison (An interesting cooking story here. I destroyed the poor creature.)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (There’s a similar Korean dish as well that’s just as good.)
5. Crocodile (can I count alligator?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (Oh, man. About 400 meters west of Kichijooji station’s North entrance is a place that is to die for.)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans (Oh, man! I'm so digging into this particular dish now that I'm not following NHE.)
25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (?)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda (?) *
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (Oh, man. Weekly before the girls were born.)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine *
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (There’s a million varieties of things things all over the world. The best churro is in a back-alley Xiocialato in Barcelona.)
68. Haggis *
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost

75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu (Free bottle for anyone who wants this stuff. I've got one to give away. It actually doesn't taste bad; but, it comes up like a MFer.)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa *
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor (What a waste of a good lobster!)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

As Angelos said, “I now have a purpose in life...” Poutine!


03 September 2008

Cop Attacked

Interesting dynamic going on here. A cop is dragging a protester through the streets. The cop is attacked by an unarmed protester, freeing his fellow protester. The cop then retaliates with pepper spray to fend ensure the crowd doesn’t attack him.

There are a couple of ways to respond to this. It is possible to sympathize with the cop; but, my inclination is to side with the protesters. In my opinion the cop made a dangerous error in judgment. We’re lucky people escaped with just a pepper spray and a few bruises.

* First of all, there is already a really high tension situation. People are becoming desperate in their stance toward the government. More and more of our civil liberties are being crushed. The economy is spiraling downward. Peaceful protest is slow to have an effect. So the protests can easily turn to vandalism and violence.
* Secondly, peaceful groups, some of which really are likely to be innocent, have been targeted over the past year with infiltration.
* Third, extremely reckless raids were perpetrated by the police in the last couple of days against gathering protesters. Sure, some of the protesters were likely spoiling for some vandalism. Sure, traffic was going to be shut down and the convention slightly disrupted. But many of those targetted were not going to do more than block some traffic. That’s hardly worth breaking into a home at gunpoint and carting people off to jail. This one makes even me think about taking up arms against the Police State.
* Fourth, that cop was alone in a volatile situation without backup. He had weapons at his side. People are angry. He was taking much to big of a risk. He may actually be a “good cop”; but, this failure in judgment is not excusable. He’s paid to do his job professionally. Putting himself in a dangerous situation, particularly with a weapon at his side, is not acceptable job performance.
* Finally, his indiscriminate use of pepper spray is probably forgivable given a paranoid mind set. Although he never should have put himself in the position he was in, it is conceivable that he truly felt he was personally in danger. In a country that wasn’t full of WATB he would have been in danger and his blue suited behind would have been pummeled senseless. So he reacted in what he felt was self defense against a hostile crowd. The fact that the crowd was teenage girls and boys in shorts and tee-shirts is kinda silly and shows his paranoia. The few masked people there could have been targeted individually had he not panicked.

So, all in all I do feel the cop had it coming. He performed his job poorly and so lost the arrest and got his ego bruised. He put people, himself and the community, in danger in a context that was way over his head.

Hopefully this coming revolution is resolved before it gets too violent.