Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chani's social studies fair

She did a presentation on her unkle Frank in Vietnam. Complete with Lego helicopter.

Sent from my Windows Mobile phone

Type A Kernability

Put up the Arial for better reception. I still like Bob Marley's version better. Sorry Eric.

Friday, May 29, 2009

1 rescued Wash. dog helps another lost dog

Happy News for the Weekend:
Blewett the black Labrador retriever knows what it's like to need a little help.
Blewett the black Labrador retriever knows what it's like to need a little help.
For nearly a week last March, the lost dog barked for attention on Washington's Blewett Pass, capturing the hearts of dozens of travelers who fed him and tried unsuccessfully to catch him. After he was finally captured, Jay and Janie Smith of Plain, Wash., gave him a home.
On Monday, Jay Smith says his wife was walking Blewett on a trail above the Wenatchee River when the dog started barking and raced down the steep bank to sniff an animal near the river's edge. Janie Smith thought it was a dead bear, but it was an old, arthritic black dog - and it was alive.
The dog's tags showed it to be Pepper, an 11-year-old dog lost since Saturday. Carol Hurt, who lives nearby, had been baby-sitting Pepper for the weekend. She thinks the old dog was swept away by the river while taking a drink. She calls the rescue "pretty heartwarming."
Information from: The Wenatchee World,

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

You may be a Geek if...

You tattoo HTML code on the back of your neck.
I don't want to know how his private structures are coded...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

No excuse, but I've been pretty busy at work lately building software.
So I haven't been blogging that last couple of days.

I saw the CA Supreme Court decision to keep Prop-8. It kind of sucks, but the court also described a path for finally legalizing same-sex unions while letting the religious keep the word "marriage" to mean what ever they want it to mean. So there should be hope in California, especially if Iowa can get it right.
Here in Washington State we have a new Civil Union Law that gives same-sex couples everything but the label "marriage". Interestingly enough there are groups already trying to overturn it because it lets gay people get married without using the legal terminology. And that freaks them out. They are calling it the "Everything But Marriage Law".
Everybody just needs to remember that what goes around comes around. Let's be respectful of each others' choices as we wade our way through this issue. But I think history proves that trying to keep civil rights away from groups of people is a delaying tactic at best.
Broader Horizons -- Deeper Understanding -- Higher Love

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stereo Tribal

Teenage engineering
Kick it into gear
Display your colors
Ride that rocket
Leave a sexy corpse
Unless of course
You want to get old


Credits: Poem and Collage by Jay Larsen

Entropy brought to you by the Law Office of Thermal Dynamics

Icons are like Poems

I’ve been designing icons at work the last few days.
Icons are a lot like poems—you have to concentrate a lot of stuff into a few well chosen images. Even the tiniest change can make or break the effect of the thing.
Hopefully my icons are easier to interpret than my poetry. But then again, the audience is completely different.
I don’t usually put my work work up here, but what the heck.
Credits: Icons designed by Jay Larsen while entirely within the employ of corporate overlords, so they legally belong entirely to the corporation. Any trademarks or brand names are the sole property of the corporate entities that have the legal muscle to maintain them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So Strange

Summer comes and pushes out the rain
Yet some damp rot remains in my bones
My mind, my joints are filled with ordinary pains
And today they seem so strange
Today they seem so strange

While black birds pick through ripening grain
We talk affairs of state and business for hours
My heart, my lungs filled with ordinary pains
Insignificant yet they seem so strange
Small and yet they seem so strange

The sun hides behind the river trees
We sit, resting in gathering twilight
Looking at you, I see universal oneness
Even as your personality drives me to fight
Our relationship seem filled with ordinary pains
Like everyone’s yet they seem so strange
Mundane and yet they seem so strange

The stars come out of hiding once again
This poem, this complaint, this life
Has no beginning and no end
Facing a sea of such howling infinity
Perhaps all I can ask for is to be your friend
Is that so strange?
Tell me that is not so strange


Credits: Collage and Poetry by Jay Larsen

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When All You See is Fog

From by Douglas Rushkoff :
There are two economies--the real economy of groceries, day care, and paychecks, and the speculative economy of assets, commodities, and derivatives. What forecasters refer to as "the economy" today isn't the real one; it's almost entirely virtual. It's a speculative marketplace that has very little to do with getting real things to the people who need them, and much more to do with providing ways for passive investors to increase their capital. This economy of markets--first created to give the rising merchant class in the late Middle Ages a way to invest their winnings--is not based on work or even the injection of capital into new enterprises. It's based instead on "making markets" in things that are scarce--or, more accurately, things that can be made scarce, like land, food, coal, oil, and even money itself.
Because there's so much excess capital to invest, speculators make markets in pretty much anything that real people actually use, or can be made to use through lobbying and advertising. The problem is that when coal or corn isn't just fuel or food but also an asset class, the laws of supply and demand cease to be the principal forces determining their price.
When there's a lot of money and few places to invest it, anything considered a speculative asset becomes overpriced. And then real people can't afford the stuff they need. The oil spike of 2008, which contributed to the fall of ill- prepared American car companies, has ultimately been attributed not to the laws of supply and demand, but to the price manipulations of hedge- fund speculators. Real jobs were lost to movements in a purely speculative marketplace.
This is the reality of speculation in an economy defined by scarcity. Pollution is good, not bad, because it turns water from a plentiful resource into a scarce asset class. When sixty- eight million acres of corporate- leased U.S. oil fields are left untapped and filled tankers are parked offshore, energy futures stay high. Airlines that bet correctly on these oil futures stay in business; those that focus on service or safety, instead, end up acquisition targets at best--and pension calamities at worst. Such is the logic of the speculative economy.
As more assets fall under the control of the futures markets, speculators gain more influence over both government policy and public opinion. Between 2000 and 2007, trading in commodities markets in the United States more than sextupled. During that same period, the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission overseeing those trades was cut more than 20 percent, with no corresponding increase in technological efficiency. Meanwhile, speculators have only gotten better at exploiting structural loopholes to engage in commodities trades beyond the sight of the few remaining regulators. Over-the- counter trading on the International Commodities Exchange in London is virtually untraceable, while massive and highly leveraged trades from one hedge fund to another are impossible to track until one or the other goes belly- up--and pleads to be bailed out with some form of taxpayer dollars. Government is essentially powerless to identify those who are manipulating commodities futures at consumers' expense, and even more powerless to prosecute them under current law even if they could. People, meanwhile, come to believe that oil or corn is more scarce than it is (or needs to be), and that they're in competition with the Chinese or the neighbors for what's left.
The speculative economy is related to the real economy, but more as a parasite than as a positive force. It is detached from the real needs of people, and even detached from the real commerce that goes on between humans. It is a form of meta- commerce, like a Las Vegas casino betting on the outcome of a political election. Only in this case, the bets change the costs of the real things people depend on.
As wealth is sucked out of real economies and shifted into the speculative economy, people's behavior and activities can't help but become more market- based and less social. We begin to act more in accordance with John Nash's selfish and calculating competitors, confirming and reinforcing our dog- eat- dog behaviors. The problem is, because it's actually against our nature to behave this way, we're not too good at it. We end up struggling against one another while getting fleeced by more skilled and structurally favored competition from distant and abstracted banks and corporations. Worse, we begin to feel as though any activity not in some way tied to the corporate sphere is not really happening.
Collage by Jay Larsen

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Permanent War Economy

Every year, every one of our Congressmen and Senators should be forced to distribute a pie chart displaying how much of the current budget is going to the Pentagon for "defence".
Every year it has been more than 50%.
I don't think most Americans know that half their tax money goes to war spending. That it always has. And that it always will.
I for one, have some different priorities, and I am sure you do too. If I spent half our family budget on guns and ammo, I would quickly be divorced. Yet we stay married to our Military Industrial Complex as if this kind of spending is okay. Not only is it a waste of resources, it is immoral.

Monday, May 18, 2009

No Man is a Rainbow

Collage by Jay Larsen

Jurist Fury Sounds Hollow Already...

Obama hasn't made a pick for the Supreme Court yet, but many on the Right are indicating their fury that Obama make pick someone more liberal than they would pick.
Bush got to pick his guys, and they have been pretty damn conservative. So why shouldn't Obama get to pick a more liberal candidate?
There is too much "Your candidate is an activist hack, my candidate is fair and balanced" going on here already. As far Right as the court has moved lately, any centrist move will be a move to the Left. But regardless of Left, Right or Center, it is a good bet that any Supreme Court Nominee will be a certified Corporatist and will make sure that business continues as usual.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

XL Lawn

The forecast says sun and it is spring.
So the odds are pretty good that I am on the John Deere mowing the lawn.
Because lawns don't cut themselves.
And Uncle Jay says ,"You shouldn't ever cut yourselves, kids! That's what cruel friends and enemies are for."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Little Boy, Big Hat

The winter sun has over stayed it welcome.
She has to go and so must this hat and heavy coat.
Little boys should not be burdened so.
Illustration by Jay Larsen

How to Watch

I like to watch
I like how the TV
Is always watching me
Beam me into space
Upload my ID
I like how the Internet
Is always watching me
Put me in a jacket
Warm in your magazine
Fire me from your gun
I’m content
With other people’s content
It’s how I watch TV
Credits: Poetry, Collage, and sense of worldly sleep by Jay Larsen
Cathode Ray Tube by Ferdinand Braun
Delivery of an apparently innocent thermos flask to an old friend in Helsinki by Harry Palmer, aka Michael Caine in the Billion Dollar Brain

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Like to Ride

I like to ride
I don’t want to walk
I like to eat
I don’t want to cook
Head like a bowling ball
Morals like pins
Sell me some goods
Stick your thumbs in
Go for the strike
Pick up the spare
I’m the only ball in the rack
That still has its hair

Where do you want to go for dinner?
Poetry and Collage by Jay Larsen

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Now Playing in a Freeway Near You

Go play in the freeway
Take that long walk
Stop peering into my window
I'll call a cop
Just see if I don't
If you want to hang out here
You have to move on

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek Redo is worth a Review

I will admit to being a Star Trek fan. I grew up on the original series which was in reruns when I discovered it at 8 years old. I was a huge Mr. Spock fan. I admit that once I was old enough to own a VCR, a Sony Betamax, I spent the next year recording every single episode. I rode that rollercoaster that was Star Trek films. Some of them sucked. Some were pretty good. I watched every episode of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise—even when they were not very good episodes, it was fun to visit the Federation again. But it has been a long time since we had really good Star Trek and I was beginning to resign myself to that fact.

So it was with some trepidation that I waited for the latest Star Trek movie to come out. I avoided the hype and the behind the scenes websites. I just waited for the film. And when it finally came out I took my wife and kids and got in line with a lot of other people and sat down and watched.

WOW! I felt like a teenage again watching this movie. The action was great. The actors were better than the original cast. The writers came up with a fairly clever way of keeping everything we know about classic Star Trek and still restarting the franchise in a way that will let them tell new stories without having to bend over backwards to keep the continuity in place. Did I say, WOW!? I wanted to go right back in and watch it again.

If you have never watched Star Trek, this would be a great place to start. If you are an old fan, even a disillusioned fan, go see this film—it will respark the Trek flame. As soon as I can, I am going to find a way to see it again. The ships looked right. The old shuttle craft were back—gotta love that. The characters were right on without seeming to be imitations. In some ways the characters felt more genuine than the originals. It was funny without being slapstick. It was intense without being melodramatic. I really think this film is going to restart the Star Trek franchise the way the Dark Knight films have restarted Batman.

Did I say, WOW!?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Also Available in XL

Another Tee Shirt design I saw today.

And a girl on a lion. Cause that happens every day...
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

XL Meaning

I need a new ironic tee shirt
Something quirky and hip
Bold and dripping with wit
By an artist so obscure
It is assured
Of him you have never heard
It needs a political message
Some social commentary
So pithy and surprising
With Xtra Large meaning
That it hits you where you live
Changes all your preconceptions
Poignant, sharp-tongued optimism
With boots in the street
And no embarrassing corporate connections
That’s what I need
A mighty new black tee shirt
To change the world
To fully express the irony
That is me
In an organic fair trade tee


Credits: Poetry, Collage and Credits by Jay Larsen

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rendezvous at the Hotel El Tejon

These things are never black and white
Sometimes you do what you need to do
Instead of what is right
But cut those corners too many times
And you become one of those guys
One of the regulars at the bar
Running up a tab that can’t be paid
At the Hotel El Tejon


Credit: Collage and Poem by Jay Larsen

Trust me, the Hotel does not look like that any more...

Monday, May 04, 2009

In Your Hands

I like this feeling
Even as I lose the boundaries of my body
Even as I forget who or what I am
I like this feeling
Resting, electric ice flutters
Blow across my naked skin
Resting, melting heat flickers
Rise from our shared heart beat
I like this
Especially the feelings
Resting, in your hands
Poetry and Collage by Jay Larsen
I love you Evelyn!