Friday, December 19, 2008

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: 52 mpg and the darkness before dawn

OK, I don't often take a dive into the auto world, even though I make my living in the motorcycle world, but along with todays $17 billion bail out of Detroit's mess, the Pulitzer Prize winning auto writer for the LA Times has given us a piece on how Detroit gets it right, and then again, gets it wrong. The article is a review of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. He likes it. Alot. But written in his inimitable style, Neil explains alot more than this cars performance. Check him out every Friday in the LA Times Business section. Well, as long as there is an LA Times,. But that's another story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Daily Routines How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days.

Was introduced to this blog via Andrew Sullivan's today. For anyone who is interested in the lives of artists and how they lived their days, this blog gathers information from books, magazines and websites. Worth a look!
Daily Routine

Monday, December 01, 2008


A new video from New York Times Magazine features the work of Robbie Cooper who photographed the faces of children as they played video games. These images of kids playing video games were created by Cooper, a British photographer who employed a Red camera — a very-high-resolution video camera — and then took stills from the footage. Cooper, who says he was inspired by the camera technique that Errol Morris used to interview people in his documentaries, arranged his equipment so that the players were actually looking at a reflection of the game on a small pane of glass. He placed the camera behind the reflection so that it could look directly into their faces as they played.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall in Southern California

Well, fall has officially arrived! And that means the scorching dry, hot winds that bring with them the firestorms that we have become increasingly used to. I have always said to my relatives, friends and associates who live in hurricane prone areas, or cold climes that yes, we do have earthquakes here, but at least there is no earthquake season!

But fire season is now as predictable as any other season. And with it comes the horrible losses of homes and the personal histories that are wrapped inside them. We hear all too often the words, "well at least we are safe, that it's only things." But we should not diminish these losses of "things" as insignificant. Yes, our homes are filed with replaceable things, TVs, furniture and clothing, just to mention a few. But we also hold on to things that matter. Our child's first drawings, baby shoes and although most photos are being held hostage on a hard drive that we can grab on the way out the door as we grab the family pet, many years of photos from generations that have passed turn to ash, and with them, the images that tie our families together through history.

On TV the images of firefighters and helicopters attempting to quell the wall of fire at times can seem enthralling to us who sit in our homes safe from the flames. But once we stop and think of how we would cope with losses like this, the reality is stunning. My thoughts are with all who were affected by last weekends fires, as well as with those men and women that risk their very lives to protect not only our future, but our past as well.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

" Dad, he did it! We did it!"

It is strange to sit and write once again in my blog that I know that maybe fewer than 10 people actually look at, but write I must. Because all that I have noted on these pages over the past year concerning the state of our country and this election was a way for me to put down just how important it was for things to change.

And last night, change it did. My eyes filled with tears, not when results were first announced, but when my daughter called from college with excitement in her voice, "Dad, he did it. We did it! I can't believe it!"

And I told her that the victory was hers. That the energy and hard work of her generation made this possible. That the problems that we have here at home and abroad, and the mess of the environment that we have made must now be attended to. There certainly has been a sea change with this election. And I see that change not just as an incredible lifting of the hatred and fear of racism in this country, but one of the hope for a future for this country and the world. A world that moves forward to offer opportunity for all in it. A world that can deal with the problems and challenges that will occur with strength of vision towards inclusion.

This one man cannot be expected to solve all our ills. But he offers a change from the cynicism that has infected our country for far too long. The problems are many, but with an energized electorate with eyes wide open and a President who understands what this country was built on maybe now we can see ourselves in the reflection of the eyes of the world, and like what we see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Melodious Thunk

OK time for a break. Take the 10 minutes and sit back and listen/watch the great Thelonious Monk with his quartet. I love the fact that this stuff is out there for us to watch for the 1st time.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dylan's Tell Tale Signs

My incredibly informed brother alerted me to the new Bob Dylan release that arrives next Tuesday the 7th. And NPR is offering up free streaming of the 2 CD set. "Tell Tale Signs" is a compilation of some of his most compelling live performances over the past 20 years. Follow the link and stream while you work, or over your Sunday paper.
Tell Tale Signs on NPR

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Story of a SIgn

My friend Jane sent me this link this morning to a short film from the Cannes Film Festival. Before diving into my typical day of madness, I took the 5 minutes to watch it, and was glad I did. As readers of this blog know, I get caught up in all the insanity of politics, probably too often, but this film made me stop and think about all I have to be thankful for. Please watch it and maybe it will brighten your day as much as it did mine!
The Story of A Sign

Monday, September 29, 2008

Canned Soup Index (CSI) Soars!

You thought we were “joking” when we said invest in canned goods. Also, we never make jokes — who do you people think we are, John McCain? And then Campbell’s shares started to soar, and then the market collapsed in the biggest pool of blood since 1987, and guess who was left standing? Bloomberg reports: “The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 8.4 percent, the most since Oct. 26, 1987, as only Campbell Soup Co. gained.”

Apologies and thanks to Wonkette

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Art of Driving

A break from my political rantings in today's post. Came across the work of photographer, Andrew Bush and his series of images taken while driving,of other people driving. Startlingly personal photographs that seem to peer into the seemingly private lives that we have while getting from point A to point B. Enjoy Drive 66

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ghost Bikes

As gas prices continue to climb upwards to the $5.00 mark this summer, more and more people are hopping on their bikes for shorter trips or even to work. I have taken it up a few days a week to save gas as well as try and reduce inflation around my middle.

So when you are driving through the streets, be especially cautious of more bicyclists as well as more inexperienced cyclists that may be on the road. I just came across this group that memorializes those who have been killed by drivers by erecting a "permanent" marker at the site of such fatalities. Hopefully, people will realize that the roads are to be shared by all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Portland Minds Their Ps and Qs

Folks up in Portland are "hoppin" mad. Seems they've had enough of the local publicans shorting them on their promised pints. Those who have been to the northwest know that some of the best brews made come from these environs. So a local beer blogger has instituted a sort of watch list for local suds fans to spot check their favorite pubs and make sure that a pint by any other name is a pint. If you're in the area, lend a hand by tipping a "pint" or two and e-mailing your findings. Because next thing you know, that 32 pints of gas you are paying $4.00 for through the nose for isn't exactly a gallon! Beervana

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Most Unwanted Music

A couple of Russian-born conceptual artists had determined, via a poll of listeners, what the most unappealing kinds of music were -- then created a piece embodying all of them. For example, people hate songs about holidays, choirs, and kids singing. So there was a passage where a children's chorus singing about Labor Day.

Here's a quote of an account of how the sonic parameters were selected:

The most unwanted music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and "elevator" music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays, and the most unwanted listening circumstances are involuntary exposure to commercials and elevator music. Therefore, it can be shown that if there is no covariance--someone who dislikes bagpipes is as
likely to hate elevator music as someone who despises the organ, for example--fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population would enjoy this piece.

You can stream it here:

Most Unwanted Music.MP3

I must admit after listening to it, I was not as disturbed as I thought I should be. Which immediately made me curious about what would be the most "wanted" music. Alas I was not disappointed as this link was provided:

Most Wanted Music.MP3

So give them some of your valuable time and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Write a Letter This Week

A few weeks ago I was given a bag full of old letters that I had received as a teenager. They had been stored somewhere in my parent's house and recently discovered by my brother. In reading over a few of them, I came to think of how this generation will not have ever received or sent a personal letter. E-mail, IM, MySpace and Facebook as well as text messaging are the defacto means of communication. These letters, from Aunts, old girlfriends, cousins and friends are a time machine of sorts. A way of looking back at where my head was 30 plus years ago. Will kids ever look back through old e-mails? The physicality of the letters themselves is as important as that of a book, or even say an LP (as opposed to an MP3). I must admit I haven't written a letter in a long time. But having said that, I promise I will write one this week. And so should you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What is Art?

Was sent this video last week, and enjoyed it immensely. It's a little long, but well worth it.