Thursday, June 17, 2004

i'm torn on the whole Farenheit 9/11 thing. I'm sure that Michael Moore has made a fine film (he always does) but his bias is so obvious that it removes the film almost immiediately from the realm of legitimate public conversation. I doubt that MM unearths hard evidence that would justify an impeach Bush campaign, but if it did his political position immediately creates a distrust outside of his hardcore liberal fans. It does look like an interesting movie and I'll go see it, help make Moore another couple million dollars, if for no other reason than I like to Bush bash.

If anybody has some must read books for me please let me know. I'm leaving for a beach vacation on Saturday and i'm going to need some reading material. Nothing too intellectual please. I'd prefer something on the trashy side.

It just never fails. Give a driver the day off and it gets busy. We've been vehicle slow all week, my best guy leaves to go to chicago for 2 days and it blows up. Jobs going to Napa, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Redwood City, San Ramon, San Rafael and it's only 1:00pm. If you know the bay area geography at all you know that I've basically got deliveries going in every conceivable direction. Must get creative.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Well I've been out of town for a few days. I went down to LA for a friends engagement party. The party was at a beach out in Malibu. Very good people, lots of fun. Too much drinking in the sun. LA in general is a terrible place as near as I can tell. The people are vacuous and concerned only with what they wear and if they're in the right place at the right time. I think people constantly joke about the differences between northern cali and southern cali, but in fact the differences are right on. In LA the weather was beautiful, both the men and the women were beautiful, everything was grossly overpriced (I don't want to think about how much money Tami and I spent down there but at $9 for a cocktail...) and while I'm sure that there's a very interesting vibrant "scene" that I wasn't exposed to in my brief visit I can't imagine that it is as sincere as what exists in the bay area. By sincerity I mean a real love for the music or art or writing that is being practiced and less a love of simply the act of doing it. This can be translated as thus, "ooh, look at me I'm so cool I do this cool thing." A particular lyric by Paul Westerberg comes to mind, "Playing make up, wear a guitar" and that pretty much sums up my impression of LA. The beach, however, was gorgeous. We stayed in a hotel in Hollywood called The Standard which, unbeknownst to us, is a very trendy see and be seen type of establishment. It has a bar which gets very loud and a restaurant which does the same. It was very odd to walk into a hotel lobby at midnight (our plane was delayed out of Oakland) feeling tired and dirty to find a lobby crowded with the young and beautiful sipping drinks, lounging in clear plexi-glass bubble chairs that hung from the ceiling, a DJ spinning tunes, a scantily clad model who was paid simply to lounge in a glass box behind the registration desk (this seemed to me to speak volumes about LA), it was all a bit surreal. Not that all that stopped us from joining the throng for a drink after checking in, it was kind of fun to hang with the beautiful people for a while but I can't imagine living their unless you're an aspiring actor/actress in which case you're delusional anyway.

At the end of this week the family and I head to the outer bank of North Carolina for a little vacation. I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm sure I'll be blogless for that 2 week period so I'll try to be better this week. This will be one of those rare occasions that the whole family will be together, though my sister Chula won't be able to make it she will be replaced by brother and his new son who couldn't make it last year. Fun and sun at the beach.

I got a review published on line by the Trouser Press. A band called Pond. Check out the review

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Hump day of what's been a pretty slow week. Business has that summer feel that starts happening about now. Summer always seems to hit the messenger business particularly hard. Makes for good nap time in the office though.

I'm sorry but I just don't see what all the hoopla is with Reagan's death. He was old. His time had come. He wasn't that great a president. I understand the emotion to a certain degree because he was, after all, a US President and he's the first one to croak in quite awhile. But the extended viewing, the memorials, the people waiting in line to walk past his casket, it's all too much. He wasn't a national hero. At least not in my eyes. I remember being pissed at him most of the time and getting into lots of arguements with my very conservative college friends about his policies. However, I suppose the man was a saint compared to President Doofus.

The price of gas is killing my drivers. I suppose this kind of external pricing pressure is good from my generally liberal point of view in that it forces Americans to think seriously about alternate fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells, hybrids, etc have always been met with such skepticism. But there's nothing like a good whack in the wallet to make people rethink the wisdom of their SUVs, V8's and gas guzzlers. I imagine that oil producing nations are enjoying good profits right now, but the wiser ones (like Saudi Arabia) I'm sure realize that the long term negatives associated with higher gas prices eventually hurts them. If high prices force countries to wean themselves of foreign oil, make conservation a practical matter (thereby lowering demand), and force money into neglected R&D projects in alternative fuels, then oil producers become the long term losers. I think that despite popular perception oil producers want to the price of gas to come down to more reasonable level. What's forcing the price up is the volatile oil futures market. The instability in Iraq, the recent killings in Saudi Arabia produce an unstable environment and lessened risk tolerance by the markets which pushing the price up. I guess my original issue was that high gas prices are really hurting my drivers bottom line, but I'm unwilling to pull the trigger on some kind of fuel surcharge because I'm not sure my customers will tolerate it.

I'm going down to LA this weekend for a friends engagement party. I have negative views of LA (as any Northern California resident should). I have this vision of a bunch of shallow people competing in a big fashion contest. It's unfair but I'm prone to irrational conclusions until I find out different. But I hear they like to party down there.

Friday, June 04, 2004

There's just been a litany of disturbing news in the last week:

1) The killing of Doctors without Borders staff in Afghanistan. What a stupid idea. This just seems to highlight everything that's wrong with both the insurgencies in Irag and Afghanistan. The majority wants to begin moving towards some kind of peaceful stability, while a minority blinded by their cause makes things progressively worse. Please don't read this statement as being in favor of the Iraq war. The US continues to make blunders and decisions as despicable as the actions of those who oppose "us".

2) Bush's trip to Europe. Everytime he leaves the country I brace myself for whatever wrongheaded, misspoken statement he's going to make.

3) The continued success of the neo-cons. Their successes are largely diminished by Bush's absurd attempts to justify what's going on in Iraq. Still the movement of this country away from the idea of a separation of church and state towards a theocracy based on the fact that our president believes he was "chosen" by God. His faith based initiatives are little more window dressing that allows this administration to dispense cash to religous organizations that share its fundamental conservatism on all social issues.

Ok my political rambling is out of the way. Not much to report in the way of work. I leave for 2 weeks of vacation on June 19th. It'll be a nice break. I've been handling basically all the administrative duties while my partner who usually does the books is on vacation. It gets a bit stressful but I feel like I have a better understanding of the businesses big picture. I'm looking forward to giving my newly minted MBA wife the books and seeing what she can come up with.

Here's a good quote from a David Berman poem:

"Maybe we need to give up on these simplistic
'us vs. them' oppositions that we shouldn't believe in,
but in our anger do."

When I read that line it really made me think about things like: patriotism, religion, geography, history, all the little things that we as humans use to create "important" differences between each other. So many of these notions should be regarded as antiquated, as done, as relics of a time when we behaved monstrously towards one another. In this day and age it just seems like these notions should be minor considerations within the larger context of "how do we make sure everyone is treated with equality, compassion and justice". And by everyone I mean just that. I don't think that it's the least bit unpatriotic to try to envision a United States that relates to the rest of the world as brother as opposed to a domineering father.

Boy I'm just full of it today aren't I? These things have been on my mind lately.

For those of you that like dance music or like to blast the most bumpin' summer jams from your car as you cruise all cool style in your car check this track out by a couple of DJ's who hooked up with Chrissie Hynde and made an unbelievablely fun track called Straight Ahead at least there's always music to make you feel good.

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