Friday, November 28, 2008

Monumental

Abandoned Places


Eden and I just spent an enjoyable and kind of creepy hour looking at abandoned places around the world on this great site Web Urbanist.
You can explore Asia, The former USSR, the US, EU and more.
The photos come with stories and often have onward links for more information.
Enjoy

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving
























At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
---Albert Schweitzer

Thank you for reading my blog. And thank you for all the things you do each day, big and small, to make the World more coherent and beautiful, peaceful and just, homey and fun. Even if you don't think you do anything all that special.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Off to New Orleans


Krista is stomping around the French Quarter today. She's visiting NOLA with her friend Amy the poet who was runner up in the Faulkner Award for poetry.
They're staying with a friend of Amy's and attending posh receptions and readings in swanky hotels. Actually, Krista is attending some of them but also touring solo.
We spoke early this morning and she said it's bitter cold there today, balmy yesterday. She's been to several voodoo shops--some cheesy tourist traps and then the real authentic one (which had a beautiful altar to Erzulie).
Krista said the city reminds her of a cross between Chiang Mai and Haight Ashbury. Sort of gritty and crumbling and funky, but way cool. And way different from your average US town. Which made me happy. If you're going to the trouble to visit someplace, it should be a little exotic, don't you think?
As a reward for winning runner up, Amy gets to sit down with a major book publisher and pitch a book. She's chosen to pitch The Painted Tongue Flowers, her collaboration with Krista.
I'm not a huge poetry fan (sorry to admit that) but when I read Amy's poems--each one inspired by one of Krista's paintings, they knocked my socks off. I still can't find my socks and I'd love to see that book get picked up for national distribution.
But even if it doesn't, Krista is in the final stages of self-publishing it on Lulu.com and it should be available to purchase on-line very soon.
Meanwhile, Krista is off on another adventure. Send her some warm thoughts for a cold cold day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Poster































MoveOn.org is selling these commemorative posters as a fundraiser. Here's their ad:

Get Your Obama Victory Posters

We're now offering gorgeous, 24" x 36" posters to commemorate Barack Obama's historic victory, designed by Shepard Fairey—the groundbreaking artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster for Obama.

You can get one poster for a $20+ donation. For a $35+ donation, we'll send you 2 posters. For a $50+ donation, we'll send 3 posters. Posters are printed on Royal Fiber Cream 80 lb. Text stock, and may take 5-7 weeks to arrive.

I wish we had nabbed one of the original Obama Hope posters! But this will be awesome too. And I'm always happy to support MoveOn. Krista and I went down to see Mr. Fairey's show in San Francisco awhile back. He's an awesome artist.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Gobekli Tepe - Check This Out!


A German archaeologist by the name of Klaus Schmidt has claimed discovery in Turkey of the world's oldest temple. Called Gobekli Tepe, it predates Stonehenge by six thousand years, and Smithsonian magazine writes that "the find upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization:"
Here's a quick read on Huffington Post with some photos, or click the link above for the Smithsonian article.
The columns and carvings were made when humans supposedly had no metal tools. Hmmmm.

Friday, November 07, 2008

While We're At It....

There's a movement afoot to strip the Mormon church of it's tax exempt status. This seems fair to me, since the just spent tens of millions of dollars in California to get their hateful legislation passed. If a church really wants to be involved with the state, well, let's tax the bastards!
Here's a link for more information.

Let's Give Joe Lieberman the Kick in the Ass He Deserves!

I just faxed a letter to our wonderful California senator Barbara Boxer (who happens to be on the Senate Steering and Outreach Committee) to strip Joe Lieberman of his leadership positions in the Senate. I didn't even use the word 'asshole'--I'm proud of myself.
If you live in California and feel so inclined, you too can contact her and ask her to stop coddling this jerk. If you live somewhere else, this DailyKos article has the background and numbers for all the committee members.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wave Farming in Portugal


World's first wave farm now generating power for 1,500 homes!

"The elongated metal contraptions bob up and down with the waves, while internal pistons, attached to the sea floor, remain stationary and pump hydraulic fluid. This drives electric generators, whose power is brought ashore by underwater electrical cables. The wave farm is now tapping into enough constant, renewable energy to power 1500 homes."

One Last Fight


Just when you thought it was over...I just donated $10 to Jim Martin's run-off campaign in Georgia. Having once lived there, I am delighted at the prospect of a progressive democratic senator taking the place of yucky old Saxby Chambliss.
I've read that Chambliss is totally out of money. A surge of funds from enthusiastic Obama supporters around the US--even if it's just a few dollars each, may give Georgia a chance to be part of the real change we're all hoping for--from DailyKos:

There isn't a single sitting senator whose career is more antithetical to Barack Obama's -- more predicated on exploiting the worst fears of Americans -- than Saxby Chambliss. From his despicable attacks on the patriotism of war hero Max Cleland, to his barely veiled racial appeals during the weeks leading up to November 4, Chambliss has built himself up on a steaming pile of lies, half-truths, ugly resentments, and fear. He represents everything that's wrong with the discredited Bush era of American politics, and on December 2, Georgians will have a chance to repudiate him and his petty ambition by electing a true candidate of hope -- Jim Martin.

Jim Martin isn't just a guy with a (D) next to his name. He's a true progressive, in the mold of President-elect Obama, who will give Georgia a Senator who can work with the new Administration to achieve real change. He got this far by asking Georgians to vote for their loftiest aspirations, not to vote against their basest fears. And he now offers Georgia an opportunity to join in the tide of hope that is washing across the United States. But to get there, he's going to need money.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We Did It!


Last night we celebrated the election returns with Krista's family, hunkered around her dad's laptop, watching MSNBC on the internet, with occasional forays over to Krista's laptop to check in with DailyKos and Huffington Post.
When they called it for Obama at 8pm PST they began showing crowd reactions around the US and even in Kenya we felt swept up in a wave of euphoric relief and even ran out to scream and holler at our quiet Santa Rosa neighborhood.
I remember watching the moon landing when I was little. I remember the fall of the Berlin wall. But this was easily my most wonderful experience of being part of an historic moment.
It feels so damn good, after so damn long, to have hope again.
For me, one of the most startling high points was an brief interview with Michigan's governor (I think) who declared 'America needs to be the country that develops the battery to power electric cars'. This is a sea change and one we desperately needed. We have a chance now, to turn things around. To reverse climate change. To save the planet for our children.
We will have wind and solar power, algae-diesel and carbon sequestration. We will achieve universal health care. We will get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan and restore the military to its proper function and the military budget to its proper size. And we'll get rid of those goddamned voting machines. It won't happen overnight. But it will happen.

The one really sour note this morning is the possible passage of Measure 8 in California, the 'smear the queers' constitutional amendment. This is a measure funded by the Mormons (founded by polygamists) and the Catholics (led by child molesters).
All the pro 8 ads and lawn signs feature an attractive yellow color, reminiscent of those pretty yellow stars the Jews had to wear in Germany way back when.
As of this posting it has been called and then uncalled. The opponents have not conceded as there are millions of late absentee and provisional ballots left to count. There is still hope California can escape another humiliating blow to our reputation and character.

Here's a quote from DailyKos:
"Perhaps the best solution, and one mentioned before, is to give all couples civil union licenses. Gay or straight, it's irrelevant. Then leave the "marriage" thing up to individual churches. They can decide if they want to be bigots or not".

Monday, November 03, 2008

Don't Let Them Keep You From Voting

I don't understand why Pelosi and the dems didn't tackle this problem full on. We've still got people waiting for 8 hours in voting lines. And more to the point, people NOT waiting. Not voting. Which is what it's all about.
I didn't really understand it before. I knew that the machines were hackable (and that Kerry, not Bush, won 2004). But I didn't get that just having the damn things, even if they work perfectly, severely limits the number of people who can cast a ballot at any given time.
Canada uses paper ballots, #2 pencils and cardboard privacy screens. They have their results in by 11pm.
We need to BAN all voting machines and adopt Canada's system.