Friday, April 28, 2006

Monster Ballads and the Stations of the Cross

Borrowed lyrics from the Josh Ritter song, "Monster Ballads"

Ones and zeros bleed a mesa noise
When you're empty there's so much space for them
Turn it off oh then a still small voice
Comes in blazin' from some vast horizon

Out on the desert now and feelin' lonesome
Bonnet wears a wire albatros
Monster ballads and the stations of the cross
Sighin' just a little bit, Sighin' just a little bit

You really should hear it with the melody. You can if you go to the link above. Streams the entire new album from a flash music player.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Faux Real

When we saw the Spearmint Rhino, we were driving around town on a tour of architect designed homes. There's an architects professional association that organizes this tour every year. We were in one "loft", kind of modern, with stained concrete floors, exposed trusses and ducts, etc. At the display area, on the kitchen counter, was a flyer for one of the design firms involved, Faux Real. Yes, on the same day we saw a strip club named Spearmint Rhino and a design firm named Faux Real.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Spearmint Rhino

Today we were driving with some friends on a street that passes a "gentleman's club." I noticed its name had changed, because the new name was hard to miss . It was Spearmint Rhino Gentlemans Club. I pointed out the new name and expressed puzzlement. Our friend interpreted for us:

Spearmint Rhino -> fresh and horny

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Amazing Grace

Jae and I were discussing what to us are the greatest pieces of music, and we agreed "Amazing Grace" is in the top echelon. Jae mentioned that it had been written by a slave trader. If I had heard that before, I had forgotten. Wikipedia has an interesting article on the song.

We have a cassette with the famous Judy Collins rendition, which is hard to beat. Among my farvorite reditions is one taped for me by my sister Anna, I think it a tape she sent me back when I was in college. Maybe it was little later than that. Anyway, its a favorite version.

Do you have a favorite rendition of "Amazing Grace"? What is it?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Platinum Rule

The management training was OK. As we so often do, though, I am going to focus on the negative :-)

The speaker introduced us to the Platinum rule. See, Christ ALMOST got it right, and a helpful management guru improved it for us. OK, you're dying to know what the Platinum rule is, right. Well, I'm not going to tell you. It's exactly as stupid as you think it is and the specifics are irrelivant. The sheer hubris ... its staggering.

Right before I started this post, I googled for the platinum rule and discovered its the foundation for a whole business. You can check it out yourself at

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bragging, part II

Jae has a one person show at Weems gallery that officially opened today and runs to the end of the month. I say officially, because as they've been hanging the the pictures this past week, they've been selling them. Jae painted 20 new paintings for this show. As of 1pm today, 19 had sold.

You can see a picture of a portion of the wall-o-Jae at the gallery, and poor photos I took of my 2 favorite pictures in the show:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Management Training

Today I'll be in a managment trainging seminar from 9am-4pm. I'm trying to keep an open mind and not write it off as all bullshit before I get there. Signin is at 8:30am, 30 minutes earlier than I go to work, which is not improving my predisposition.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Josh Ritter has a new album

I've written before about Josh Ritter on my website. He could really be one of my altime favorites. He has a new album shipping this month, and you can stream the whole thing from his website if you have Flash.

Bragging, part I

Last night was the opening of the New Mexico Masterworks show. It is an interesting show. New Mexico is a big art state, and its not surprising I guess that you have some fragmentation. There are the state art societies, like the New Mexico Watercolor Society, the New Mexico Pastel Society, there are the galleries, there are various annual shows, there are amatures and professionals. The Masterworks show brings a lot of those elements together in a way that doesn't happen much the rest of the year. It only started a couple years ago, but its quality and popularity is up every year.

All this is really to say that Jae was awarded Best of Show for Masterworks 2006.

Note: OK, that's weird. If you google for New Mexico Masterworks and click onthe ABQJournal link, you see the article. If you click on the link to that page above, you get the page that says you have to be logged in.

Warm Beer and Cold Women

"Warm Beer and Cold Women" is the title of a Tom Waits song that I heard yesterday for the first time. Does that convey despair, or what?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Is there an artificial God?

A littl while back, my brother blogged about dealing with his anger. He has a child with cancer, so he has cause to be angry, or does he? Really, the post is about what life is and how to deal with it, and ultimately, I guess, wisdom. Money quotes are:
I'm angry that the reality of my life doesn't match the fantasy that I was living out and expecting to continue.

Life is messy. Get over it. Give up the fantasy. Embrace the beautiful parts of reality. Love is real and beautiful. Love cannot be fantasy.

A friend of ours, Jim, wrote a comment to that post about how his belief in Christ helps him deal with life. I can't link directly to his comment, but you can find it in the comments to the post I linked to above. Money quote:

For me, my faith in Christ--symbolized here with the act of communion--is what I desparately need and what helps me live.
Both men are struggling with, yes, the meaning of life, and how to deal with the pain and disappointment that is such a part of life. Many people, including Jim, find at least part of the answer is religous belief and a spiritual life.

I recently read, The Salmon of Doubt. It is a collection of miscelanious stuff written by Douglas Adams, published after his death. There is one piece titled, "Is There an Artificial God." The note at the end says it is an extemporaneous speech given at Digital Biota. It is a rambling piece filled with half-formed arguments and ideas. There is one thread running through it that fascinates me. Adams talks about how we are used to this top-down idea of God. The first mover creates the universe than sits astride the pyramid. Many people these days do not believe this. It is also not an original idea that God might be made in humanity's image. What Adams points out is that our understanding of the physical and biological world is teaching us that order and complexity are derived from the bottom up. What we percieve as smoothly functioning, complex systems at one level, are often the aggregate of simple and messy systems at lower orders. What if God is an emergent phenomenon arising from human culture?

Clearly this is the thinking of someone who does not accept the idea of God as taught by the great world religions. A startling consequence of this line of thinking is that not believing in a creator God, or a supernatural personality does not neccessarily lead to theconclusion that God is unimportant or does not exist. God might be a vitally important phenomenon that emerges from human activity.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

strength comes out of weakness

You should reason this post of Susan's. It is mostly the contents of an email from someone on a neuroblastoma mailing list. The heart of it is:

strength comes out of weakness

love is forged in the fires of battle

patience comes through trials

wisdom comes through loss

grace comes through pain

kindness and compassion come through having been wounded

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