Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thinking About The Past Again: That's Sick

According to something I heard somewhere, the word, "nostalgia," originally referred to an actual sickness. Now we know better;  obsessing about the past can be good for you. Which is great, since the news this week has contained a lot of references to the March on Washington, fifty years ago today. Watching the coverage reminded me that the sixties were a golden age of pictures of cute children dressed in their best to attend their father's funerals.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

From Blue Ice To Just Being Cool

So, it is Sunday and I'm reading the paper. I just turned the page and there's an article about a bike trip and a picture of the exact causeway that Rich and I rode across. How cool are we?  
Above, is a text I sent out to various people. Only one responded: Rich. But he agreed, "We're the coolest."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trail Of Blue Ice In Blue

Here's the track of a ride we took yesterday.  You can see Portage Glacier hiding around the corner from the visitor center that was built to view it. We rode the Trail of Blue Ice, which went by several glaciers. I assume the ice is blue because it's melting so fast.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Biting The Hand: Congress Continues To Get Free Postage

I mentioned once before in regard to the Postal Service that, "even galley slaves don't want the ship to sink." I realized recently that especially galley slaves don't want the ship to sink because they're inside the ship. It's only the people outside the ship that would try to sink it. In this metaphor,  that role is played by the Congress that makes the Postal Service pre-fund retiree health benefits for seventy five years into the future.
Here's an update:
Unfortunately, the congressional pre-funding mandate continues to be a burden. This quarter, pre-funding accounted for more than 100 percent of losses. Continuing this policy just doesn’t add up. No other company or organization in the country has to deal with this issue.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Public Service Announcement

I've been listening to Welcome to Night Vale. I'm often just about done because it sort of seems like a one conceit show. But then, something amazing comes on, and I'm rehooked. Twenty four minutes or so into Episode 21,  Memories of Europe, Cecil starts to talk about "the truth of nostalgia... We don't feel it for who we were, but for who we weren't. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn't take." Then he expands into a metaphor about time that is exquisite. I'm not telling you that you should necessarily listen to Welcome to Night Vale, but it's certainly a possibility that is open to you.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

It's Hard To Believe I Thought That Was a Good Look For Me

Honestly, my iPhone knows where I am at all times, it knows all of my internet activity, it keeps track of my appointments and reminds me when I have to be somewhere. So, why, when I put the music on "Shuffle," can't it remember that it just played that song yesterday?
And here's an awkward segue (still, not as awkward as when I actually rode a Segway). I'm listening to an iTunes U class from the University of Missouri. It's a history of the US from right after Reconstruction into the Twentieth Century. Almost every issue we face now, was faced then: Income inequality, immigration, monopolies, union-busting, racism, environmental degradation, corrupt government officials, insider trading, out of control banks ravaging the economy; there is nothing new under the sun. Except that the sun does seem much hotter now, as we change the climate. We've spent the last few decades dismantling the reforms inspired by the Gilded Age. Maybe it's time for us to be smarter than our smart phones and  not keep playing that same old song.