My brother Dan and I had a spirited debate as I drove back from Winston-Salem today. He started off with a conspiracy theory (here we go…) that Obama was “briefed” for two days shortly after being elected, and was somehow influenced to do a 180 on all his campaign promises. I was lit and ready to go at it…
I just realized, several toe-tapping hours after the end of this movie-trip-around-the-world, that there wasn’t a single spoken word of English in it! It was that good that I didn’t even notice. I want to see this one a hundred times more! Fortunately, I found the web site for the...
A gritty web of tension from start to finish, half this film is shot in slomo, with gorgeous camera work, and it crackles. How do you survive hopeless situations with your morality intact? Bits of Trainspotting and Guy Ritchie are the...
I didn’t pick up on this song until TapTapRevenge gave it away for free, and I realized I already had it on my iPhone. 10 years ago, my friend Zac didn’t appreciate the subtleties of Massive Attack, instead preferring more-direct bands like slipknot and Powerman 5000 that got right to...
Andrea fell in love with Franz Ferdinand after seeing them on SNL – the fact that they’re Scottish didn’t hurt their chances any – and she got me hooked. We went to see them last night. They rock the house, capital L-O-U-D. Totally contagious energy. The drummer and bass...
Nobody else liked this, but c’mon, beautiful badass girls kicking butt on beautiful waves? I can’t get enougha that! Until I looked it up on IMDB, I was totally convinced they just recruited three surfer girls for this flick. Go ahead and believe it yourself…we are we...
I’ll say it again, Woody Allen has made my life richer. He’s on track again with this one. It springboards off an intellectual discussion around a table at a NYC restaurant with Wallace Shawn proposing that “we run to comedies to hide from our deep dark fears of our...
Yeah it’s a decade-old 5-hour romance miniseries. Dudes, chill out – crack open a beer, kick back, and enjoy the razor-sharp...
I need a louder stereo. I just threw out my beautiful ancient massive Bose speakers, from back when they made massive speakers, over 20 years ago, because they had literally disintegrated. This song demands a replacement. Not optional. This song must be...
My newly-purchased house is 700′ from the road where Time Warner’s cable runs. Because they have a virtual monopoly, they want me to pay $3250 to run cable to my house before they will ALLOW me to pay for service on top of that.
I would like to express my outrage that you did not veto the recent bill that restricts municipalities’ ability to develop broadband solutions. It is abominable that you vocalized your disapproval of the bill but did not find the backbone to veto it. Many of us contacted you with our concerns but were not heard. Special interests have taken further root as a result, and our state will pay the price and lose further technological footing. I am now directly, severely impacted – along with many others. The Time Warner rep claimed that they are getting many people to actually pay these kind of extortionist fees to fund the build out of their own network – further increasing their monopoly.
Broadband service is of such fundamental importance to our communities that we must find a way to do better. Not vetoing the municipality restriction bill was a major step backwards for us all. I hope you can find a way to move us forward again.
I’ll be posting this to my blog, facebook, etc. and getting the word out wherever and whenever possible.
Thanks for listening,
Addendum: Yes I am using Time Warner services to host this blog. Yes they have provided me with great service for 11 years. But some corollary of Murphy’s Law applies to broadband access. It should be getting better and cheaper at a faster rate than their monopoly allows.
Would I be writing this if I happened to get an easy service hookup? Probably not. But I did send a previous note to the Governor when I heard about the ridiculous bill.
The bottom line is that broadband internet access is too fundamental a need of the people to be left to a few corporations and a bought-off government. Just like with other basic utilities, the people’s government should ensure that everything is in place, including free market competition as well as government oversight, to provide the people with the best-possible service over shared resources like easements and lines. Municipal broadband, where the people come together to create something good, is an excellent means to that end.
Yes I am a Beastie Boys fanboy. As Johnny Cash said so well, “until you know my shame you really don’t know me”. I grew up on New Jersey playgrounds, cursing (not “cussing”, that’s what rednecks in FL did) my head off since I was ten. To me, my brother’s actual name was jerk-off. I just didn’t know any better. I hit punk right on the mark around the age of 12 – I remember my dad walking into my room and hearing someone on my favorite NY radio station say something rude and what in the world was I listening to and me replying “I don’t listen to the words, just the music”. New wave was next and swept us all up, smashing molds and bringing sweet melodies and new sonic fabrics. And then came hip hop in the form of Run DMC and Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, and it was loud and strong, and continued to rip the fabric of everything that came before it – literally in this case. The industrial music of Ministry and Meat Beat Manifesto was the last great one for me. From then on, everything else was just recycling – Grunge, Shoegaze, LoFi, whatever – I’d heard it all before.
I guess this is the definition of being old. I have become one of those “classic rock” fanatics that I never understood during my youth. But when we were young, each of those early changes meant something to us, ripping off the lid on something brand new and knocking us to the floor, winded.
And I could feel my roots when I turned up the Beastie Boys. They are smart-ass New Yorkers with ADD. Like FAMILY. :P
If your sophomoric sense of humor remains intact, you may continue to enjoy their craft. This album went through extra refinement (due to MCA’s cancer battle, keep on good man) like a fine wine. Peace out to life-lovin’ cancer-fightin’ vegan-tryin’ Yauch, who directed this joint… WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT, this is not for women or children or anyone else with any sense or maturity whatsoever. Self-parody at its finest. And check the crew they brought for this one, stellar.
Had a great weekend, starting a little early on Thursday with dinner with Sammy at the Raleigh Times. A great veggie burger with great toppings (avacado, grilled mushrooms and onions, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard, mmm), and the beer list is to die for. I had a Belgian triple – three times the hops and barley of a normal brew. It was delicious and effective, one beer was plenty. Then we went to Escazu, the chocolatier I’ve been obsessing over for a year or more. They have the best bars at Whole Foods (out of 200 or so, it seems), and the actual shop, on Glenwood Avenue, is adorable – a converted house with a display case full of painstakingly handcrafted chocolate delights. Then it was time for Halloween, and we partied like twentysomethings. You’ll have to hook up on Facebook to see all the good semi-clean fun we had. :> Except for this one blurry picture I found on my iPhone…
This past weekend soccer was rained out by a tropical storm, so we switched to blueberry pancakes and board games. After a game of Carcasonne (with Andrea as the sneaky victor), the weather cleared up. The girls took me to the stable and I got a turn on Sundance, bareback! Takes a lot of balance! I stuck to trotting. Maybe next time I’ll put a little more speed on. :>
I cleaned up the header of the blog a little, stuffed a little thumbnail of a random bit of artwork from the girls in the upper left corner. The art’s really old and there’s only a few to start. I will add more over time…
meloncully writes “YO unc, here are my euro trip pictures for andrea
and whoever else would like to see em. only about 30 of them , i didnt have enough space to put up all 100.
so here ya go
Ken posted to my site! Ken, that means you can do no wrong! Get posting to your OWN site, you madman!!! :> Gimme a buzz if you need help…
Ken Etterman writes “Mike, nice job keeping up you blog, I notice you’ve been very regular (with the blog I mean). I would like to jump start mine again, you as always motivate me in that direction. Hope you guys are well – lets get connected soon.”
I’ve been to Vegas once or twice. It’s fun to play, but I would never bet more than I expected to lose. You can see how people get addicted to it though – it’s easy to start fantasizing and lose track of reality. Case in point…
I thought I had perfected my gambling angle to the point where it couldn’t fail. The idea is to shift the long odds to shorter by decreasing the payout. Here’s the details, it’s pretty simple.
First, some basic Roulette. You can play red (or black) with a 2:1 payout. What this means is that if you bet $1 on red, and the little ball lands on a red number, you win $1. If it lands on black, you lose. All the numbers are either red or black, so it’s pretty good odds – the only down side is the 00 number – if that comes up, EVERYONE loses. OK, now for the angle.
If you lose, double your bet and play again. Keep doing this until you win. Once you win, if you do the math, you will see that you have won $1 since beginning the round of betting. You ALWAYS WIN $1!
OK, one bad assumption has ruined many a scheme, and the same is true here: you can’t double your bet indefinitely. Therefore, it’s just a matter of time until you lose several times in a row, doubling your bet each time, until you hit the betting limit and you’ve lost your shirt. Losing your shirt is typically seen as a BAD gambling strategy.
It’s still not too bad though, if you look at the numbers… UPDATE: yes it is… move on, nothing to see here…