Hear I Go Google!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama in writing: The man can write on the spot too!

This is courtesy of Passport a blog by the editors of Foreign Policy.
It is a very well written and brief message to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial.

Just another piece in the Obama story/history.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

21st Century Search: Too 'Cuil' for Goo-gle

The 21st century is here in the form of Cuil, the new websearch platform. I had just heard about it, on TV, the one now I can barely watch because we are sans cable. (So try 4 channels and nothing on...)

Back to Cuil, pronounced "Cool", the sleek design of this platform is pretty nifty. You can search with 2 or 3 columns shown, it has an interesting way of showing results and you currently are not shown a bunch of advertising for pills or whatever impulse buyers want. It works - and the searches are bringing up more relevant results. I put in "Obama" and got what I wanted. I put in "Sabermetrics" and got more interesting hits than on Google or Yahoo!. I put in "Franklin Delano Roosevelt" and got to see his house/mansion and that history....Cool!

Anna Patterson, President and Founder, worked for the "Evil Empire" - aka Google - and was the architect of TeraGoogle. Russell Power, VP of Engineering and Founder was also instrumental to Google success. Louis Monier, VP of Products, ditto. So, what gives? Not knowing these techies/business developers/scientists at all, I suppose there was a difference of opinion on the future of what Google was doing.

Cuil says they will not keep search history on your computer. They have 3 times as many pages stored to choose from. (That's a bonus!) They have good organization by category embedded in each search. And well, they're cool!

It will be difficult for me to get too excited, but I feel I'll give them the standard galactic trial period of 1 month to win me over. (And of course, giving me a free website for promoting theirs would go a long way to making the trip to China I'll be planning if things don't turn around soon in the United States. Might as well be a rich communist instead of a poor capitalist.)

So hit Cuil! They are too cuil for school!

Cuil means knowledge

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Brief: A Song, A movie and a lark

If you are expecting depth, go to the Mariana Trench (above) some 35,000 feet under water.

Nope, just a song:
The Duke Spirit -The Step and The Walk

A Movie (based on Hunter's book): Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

A lark: I think I'll get shit faced on Mad Dog and Old English 800, go to the casinos tonight, blow my $40 in hard earned cash at the BJ table, and pick up a $5 dollar tranny on Rush street in Chi-town. Then, do some blow in the alley, hoping to get mugged by some street thug (penniless at this point) and luckily, won't be dead before sunrise. Sounds like a plan, and maybe, a book.
Happy Weekend to you! Happy Weekend to you! Happy Weekend to (put name here)! Happy Weekend to You!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Local Politics: Budget causes Public Services to be Cut

In today's NWI Times, I got to see an example of politically expeditious action about eliminating 27 part-time public defenders. Story here.

My response to the NWI Times:
Public Defender Misses The Point of Public Service

The Times recent praise of public defender/councilman Tom O’Donnell is overblown. While he can be commended for his “sacrifice” of $20,300 in assured state pay plus benefits to reduce budgetary shortfalls, the undermining of the fragile scales of justice received little scrutiny.

That, with the reduction from 27 part-time to 5 full-time public defenders sounds optimal, the shifting of this workload would seemingly defy sound operation. If each of those part-timers assisted 15 hours/week, the 5 full-time representatives would work 81 hours to maintain the same caseloads. If a Times article from the recent past is to be believed, one PD, Dolores Aylesworth, carried 272 cases. This leaves aside competency.

Maybe more telling is O’Donnell’s desires:
“My goal to do better public service overrides my desire to be a public
Serving an indigent alleged criminal may not seem like much of a public service, sir, but what other public service has the possibility to set free an innocent person, and serve a more profound, greater good? The cards are stacked heavily against true criminals going free with policemen, probation, forensics, prosecutors, criminal psychologists and judges fighting on behalf of victims. Public defender services are easy to dismiss; but rarely, without a human price to be paid.

Overall, it is necessary to cut the budget. I feel it is unlikely that those with no voice afforded them will get fairness in this round of assessment. So I lent mine.

(Not to be included in response to the Times)
P.S. I would seriously like The Times to do more thorough research into the budget. For example: I noticed zero reductions in prosecutor staff was mentioned? If the goal is to cut excess, I can'timagine every prosecutor is at their wit's end.

Police force, fire, administrative help, vehicles sold for recoup, assets underutilized or ignored but could be swap/sold to other municipalities, are just for starters.

$15 million should be across the board - no dept. left alone.

A finance committee is politically motivated. Take care of buddies...barter over protection of each other's area of control. Don't rock the boat.

It was too easy to just say, "cut the PD staff." They are lawyers that want to spend less time on poor people who made poorer choices.

A councilman isn't losing his job, but gaining a stronger foothold in the political psychology of the locals. "He gave up his $20,000" for us. Bullshit. He gained $20,000 in his next political campaign - via donations and free media...from you.

Cynical I am, but right I also am.

Monday, July 21, 2008

More 'Chicago' Music: Rachael Yamagata & David Gray

Electronica got big in the mid-1990's, IMO. Songs 3-5 are a reflection of that.

Worn Me Down - Rachael Yamagata played in Chi-town for 6 years. I can dig it. 'Alias' video with her beautiful, driving song supporting the action. I never watched Alias.

David Gray's Babylon (Live in Chicago): Has had quite a successful career. 3 or 4 solid hits.

Born Slippy -Underworld (Live in 1999) - Trainspotting...

Treat Infamy - Rest Assured - Is a favorite of mine. (Bittersweet Symphony sampled and enhanced...)

Madonna doing Bittersweet Symphony with The Verve

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A few songs coming back around: Born of Frustration

James- Born of Frustration. "Stop, stop talking about whose to blame..."
James made a good living off quirky, poppy stuff. Like this more serious one...

The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary. Probably hit this one before. Its got just a drive in it. I could be in a convertible driving 95 down I-95...and wouldn't give a damn if I got pulled over.

The Killers - Somebody Told Me. Good sound. Another one that gets the blood pumping.

Proper Education - Eric Prydz. What's a dance mix without a Pink Floyd send up and environmental warning mixed together.

Morgan Page feat. Lissie - The Longest Road. Dance Clubs are putting this in heavy rotation.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Having a Bad Day: Watching TV and reading probably isn't helping...

It seems we all are victims of the media and being junkies to the fix of news that makes us seem smarter, but in reality, likely depresses. (Unless you are making way more bank that I am...continue reading.) How do we stay happy? I suppose not watching the tele, and riding around with Arthur Fonzarelli, might work to our benefit. Reading these damn blogs that point to our future destruction (guilty am I) is likely a sure causation of your malaise. Hey, it sucks to learn (or hope to learn) why people will fail you, take you for granted or hurt you to no foreseeable end.

So, what can I do? Nada.

I am stuck in the same Hate it Boat you are. No shiny and new answers. No Isaac on the prominade deck pouring you drinks to your heart's content and liver's demise. I wish, oh I wish, someone could make me a real, real rich dude in the Grand Cayman Islands. But that's entertainment at the price of knowledge. Foregoing the actualities of where we are, where we might be going and the rest of being a caring human being on the waves of this stormy time. (It has been stormy before humanity...it just feels like the first time. And not pleasurable like sex is...or is suppose to be, the first time, but isn't.)

I should tell you to stop reading and watch that TV. The source of such pain and painful images. To tune out in these nefarious times. Turn to your inner goodness and try to think happy thoughts and live a happy life. But then someone else, yet to be met, will gouge your eyes our and skull fuck you right out of a normal, happy existence. (Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick homage)
Then, you'll meet the media, tell your story of pain and tragedy, possibly sue for enormous damages and likely, will not forgive that transgression until your old, senile or give up the idea that person can make whole your life. You'll be depressed. You'll turn back to TV or books to figure out why.
Don't. It doesn't help. Just try to move ahead. Leave behind all that bile and get back to being happy.
Being informed about crises is just our way of being a the guy who slows down to see the police handle an accident. We don't care so much as we like to stare...Back to TV!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Scooped! : Going to Wordpress was a Messy Affair

Yesterday, in anticipation of moves to be made by MLB teams (Cubs), I was busy posting, “(K)Night Moves: Big trade means the chess game is on, and another big splash is possible.” But, as often is the case, the post was confounded by technology, and my inability to rectify the situation. (The post is a day old...but written actually Sunday Night to be posted Mondayish...)

I post all my blogs from the Lowell Public Library. Their new ID system limits computer usage to a maximum of 2 hours per day. So I must read articles, write/revise, respond to blogs/emails and craft posts in a matter of that time. (I am financially strapped for cash. So much so, that paying $20/month for internet isn’t possible.)

As a result, in the process of doing this posting, my article was distorted on this website. It looked horrible; and the links, many researched in short order, were all missing. It honked me off to no end.

Highlights of that now “old news” post:
  1. Milwaukee’s acquisition of CC Sabathia. In chess, ‘a powerful queen moved’ on the board.
  2. Pitching in the post-season trumps offensive juggernauts. (Table of recent powerful offenses – greater than 900 Runs scored.)
  3. Acquiring a top-flight pitcher, a queen, from Oakland. (Rich Harden.
  4. Giving up SP Sean Gallagher and minor league C John Donaldson, both of whom have bright futures as discussed in prior posts on this site. The rooks and pawns of a mega deal.

I write this now as a reminder to those writers who likely learned this tidbit eons before I: get the story in, even if it isn’t perfect. I messed up formatting and my links were gone, but I had the right idea. My struggles with Wordpress are limited to a post here or there. Somehow, it seems to jumble up my best work – with tables and images important – when I need them most.

At the root cause of this dilemma is my own personal flaws. With ample income and requisite time to complete such easy tasks as research of this sport, I could put together well-thought out and structured posts. Even do it as my daily bread. But that’s the cookie crumbling around me. 100s of thousands of writers are fighting their demons – message crafting, self-esteem issues, addictive behaviors and so on – and manage to not get 'scooped' on a story.

Why I mention all this?

Because it is always a writer’s dream to make observations about a circumstance that few (if any) are thinking long and hard on. And have those musings come to a head, with the pertinent facts in place and the foundation undisturbed. (It wasn't completely a shock, but I did have several postings back in late May and early June related to the pitching hunt...)

In sport, everyone has an opinion. Anecdotal observations are constantly made. Some expand it to include actual statistics – though they usually leave out anything detrimental to their thesis. It doesn’t behoove many to break apart the arguments, get down to the nitty gritty, because after all, it is just a game.

But since I write about it, and hope to predict and project where these Cubs are going, I am glad to see that this trade went through.

Good Luck to Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson.
And say hello to Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Politics: 2009 Faux Inaugural Address

[History of our Country’s Patriotism]
The time was mid-summer, 1776. A powerful nation stood as an insurmountable barrier to the prosperity and operation of a 170-year old colony of thirteen, then divided. The previous decade had seen tumultuous and dangerous circumstances rule the day. No one felt free; and the far away King did not listen. Crisis was assured.

The wisest course of action would have been to accept the situation as is: to not infuriate and throw off the mighty government that held sway; to give up in the darkest hours of a fledgling Nation under haphazard leadership; to deny the Dream of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom. But our Forefathers determined that it was a time to break those bonds and strike a new accord. To declare it could do better and should be free to design its future.

In our 232 years as a Nation hence, we the people have forged an everlasting union to the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence. That we shall evince an equitable design for all Man to see; to make Freedom our truest value; that a single Proclamation can change the Course of human events; and that all Men shall be Equal under God Almighty.

In those same 232 years, we have past through trying times and evolved through the world events and the ingenuity of Man, of America. That even in conflict, we reached for the same founding ideals, the same credos, the same hope to guide us to a better day and build upon the unshakeable foundation we shall never succumb, and never allow to be compromised.

We are the generation of settlers born out of Plymouth Rock. We are the Puritans and Lutherans. We are the merchants, the farmers, the toilers in the trades. We are the writers and founders of American Independence. We are the Natives of this land. We are the downtrodden and the dreamers. The Immigrants of Europe, Asia and Africa. We are the Gilded Age, the voices of tired laborers, wounded soldiers, Western prairie settlers and the caregivers in times of war, and of peace. We are survivors of Two World Wars. The people of the hardest times, The Great Depression. The Boomers who came after them. We also bore witness to a hidden war; we bare witness to a nation still divided by color, creed and disproportionate prosperity since Vietnam. And we continue to forge ahead, through crises, and the completion of our inspired mission.

We have also found fellowship in our mutual belief in humanity. The cause of designing a new Nation. The dreams of our fathers and mothers. And the sacrifices of our sons and daughters made time and time again. This hearty experiment in Democracy, which has spread to the far reaches of the Earth, has been buttressed on the unfettered and unquenchable fire of liberty burning in the bellies of the American people. We are all responsible for its existence.

[Challenges of the past eight years]
As we take stock of our most recent events, the designs and desires of various masters, it is best to separate ourselves from that, and those, that have done us greatest harm by understanding our needs for Justice must not be at the price of our Principles. As President Kennedy intoned: “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.” [Amherst College, Oct. 26, 1963.]

Our nation’s power comes from an abiding strength in it, and the wise frugality of its use; but also the knowledge that the repository of our power is vast, and can be unleashed with rapidity. To garner Justice we will do whatever it takes without hesitation. In the use of such power we will employ that which will protect us, and keep us Free as our Forefathers rightfully designed. But the Poetry of America is to decree Our Rights are sacrosanct; untouchable by foreign and alien ideologies. We shall prevail over all enemies with our adamant poetry and our indomitable spirit. Our Security will be eyed clearly; under a will, resolute; and our Nation shall carry forth a strong message to all that would seek to do us harm. But our everlasting American spirit is promote Justice in our relationships; cultivate peace and harmony; and to seek out prosperous alliances iron bound in fairness.

[The present & future agenda]
Within the boundaries of this great Nation, lie incalculable resources and an innovative spirit yet untapped. America’s necessity always breeds American innovation. It runs in the blood of all of us. That is why in our present environmental and energy confinements there are opportunities to grow beyond the dogmas of the past, which lack the ability to confront the stormy present. That is why we will beat back our future’s most perilous foe, that of economic instability from scant energy sources, before the year 2020. Hindsight will see this day, this moment, as the point where America decided on the best course to free ourselves from a five-score dependence on fossil fuels. But it is that greatest resource of all, our ingenuity in the face of greatest peril, which will win the day.

We will also forge a new path to make it possible for all Americans to survive in the worst of unforeseen circumstances: that of ill health and debilitating hospital stays. Our government has often succeeded in giving a hand to those less fortunate in the worst of times. To create jobs; to revitalize the markets; to make a New Deal for Americans. It is time to do the same for the sick and unable to pay their medical bills. As we are all too aware, our personal health is at the foundation of our economic vitality. Nearly 20% of our economy is tied to deterioration of health. But with this enormous price, one-fifth of America cannot continue to achieve greater prosperity. It is vital that we address this shortcoming before my first term is out. Achieve a balanced solution that gives the best care at the lowest possible cost. And utilize again the best minds and opportunities to achieve universal healthcare in America.

More measures will be taken to secure our Nation’s future. We will not lock out those who desire access to the promise and prosperity of America, but we will not allow foreign passage to make a mockery of our laws. We will forcefully hold our sovereignty by the standards laid in the Constitution of the United States of America. We will hold clear and open discussions about the legitimate right to seek legal asylum in this great nation and remedy those that are here all ready under inauspicious terms.

We will reinvest in our educational systems; build better, and up-to-date transit systems; and make fair the tax laws and legal precedents of America, for all Americans. Yes we can reach for the stars and fill our breadbaskets. We can reconstitute an age of volunteerism, building infrastructure and homes and levies so they will not break. We shall make a promise to assist those in need and ask only they put their best foot forward. We can and shall help our Veterans who toiled bravely thousands of miles from their homes so that our streets and towns can remain prosperous and free.

[The greatness of America harnessed again]
We can do this all with the humble sacrifice and the forceful temerity that bore our Forefathers so well in their most trying times. It is the nature and depth of their sacrifice that brought us to this auspicious moment as the greatest Nation on the face of this Earth. A Nation that shall not perish with the undoubted sacrifices made by those that properly ask what they can do for this country in continuing to make it a Nation for the People, by the People and of the People.

God Bless America!

Ideas from Kennedy, FDR, Lincoln and Washington are included in the passages. Apologies for my butchering of them...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Resurrected and Restructured: Phoenix Rising of a blog

After a month long hiatus, I have decided to keep up a blog, just not necessarily this one.

I had resisted the temptation of moving over to my Wordpress blog: Bringin' Gas and Dialin' 9: No More Mr. Nice Guy. It has much more to offer in uploads than blogger. Most of what I plan to do can be uploaded to there.

Also, after a month-long job search in the writing field, I found, not surprisingly, that no one is interested in an ex-Industrial Engineer who thinks he can parse together two (or more) thoughts in a semi-coherent sentence.

That, I'll have to somehow monetize these little endeavors and address social issues while I still can. (And while my mother, aunt and I still have a roof over our heads...they missed the mortgage payment last month. So, you know what that means...they ain't no joy in Mudville.
So I invite you back here or to go over there.