Feelin' Genki

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

...and I Don't Wanna Swim

A few years ago, in one of my Geography courses, we talked about rivers and how they erode and deposit material seasonally, necessitating periodic changes of course, as the elevation changes. Gravity, doncha know. Kind of a market correction for waterways. We specifically talked about the Mississippi river and the problem in New Orleans. See, the river has been trying to shift for decades now (actually, more like centuries or millennia), and we've built dikes, levees, and pumping systems to try and stop it. The whole Mississippi delta has lost much of its buffer of coastal wetlands and is not as stable as it once was. And it will keep getting worse. Unless you can stop it from raining.

Seems the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, in early 2001, issued a report (see link above) listing the three catastrophes most likely to hit the United States: a terrorist attack on New York, an earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane in New Orleans. Eep. Katrina makes it two out of three. As sad as I am for everyone dealing with this disaster, I'm especially disheartened to read that Bush has been cutting funds for flood and hurricane projects presumably to fund his war (which he now says is actually for oil).

Perhaps it's just optimism on my part, but I always thought that good governance involved getting the most comprehensive information available and working with experts to find answers. That's what JFK did. The current president, however, seems to only listen to people with a specific, ultra-conservative agenda and a narrow range of interests, not to mention they seem to be morons. By morons, of course, I mean the classical dictionary definition of a person with subnormal intelligence. Not that I'm a big fan, but even George Bush Sr., when explaining why he didn't keep going into Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, said that he didn't want to get stuck in a hostile environment with no exit strategy. Bush Jr. is actually on record as saying he did not discuss it with his father before he went and did just that. Even if he did get some sound advice, I suppose he just would have ignored it anyway. Just like the hurricane preparedness. Just like the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." memo. For the sake of millions, let's hope he doesn't ignore any earthquake memos he gets.

P.S. I just found another blog discussing this very issue in greater detail. Thanks, Martian Anthropoligist!

**Title of this blog courtesy of The Tragically Hip's "New Orleans is Sinking..." from the album Up To Here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm a Fast Dog

I love McSweeney's. The quarterly and the online version, not to mention their wonderful compilation books, consistenly make me burst out in laughter whenever I read them. McSweeney's is at least as clever and funny as The Daily Show With Jon Stewart or The Onion but slightly more subtle and eccentric.

On one of Jeff's posts (Hi Jeff! Genki desu ka?), he thoughtfully linked to an article called Comments Overheard at a Brainstorming Meeting between Ted Nugent and the Editors for Gourmet Magazine Where They Were Discussing the Upcoming Book Gourmet Magazine's Vegan Cooking With Ted Nugent. I found it funny, but I know who Ted Nugent is and my wife was vegan for years.

Of course, when I think of McSweeney's, I think of when I bought a book for my sister for Christmas several years ago. After everyone had gone to bed, the three of us sat up drinking wine and reading sections aloud. It must have taken us an hour to read Dave Eggers' series of letters written to CEOs from the point of view of a dog named Steven. I was laughing so hard I was weeping and the tears were making it impossible to see. As far as memories go, that one of three well-educated and literate people incapable of reading more than a few words at a time is a pretty good one.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Plugging Away

Here, in no particular order, are several items that are almost blog topics but that, for various reasons, I don't have time to do justice.

Erin and I took Milo to the beach the other day - his first trip to the beach ever and my first of the year, if you don't count the Kindergarten class I took to the beach in June. That one doesn't count because it wasn't exactly relaxing. Now what, you may say, is a person in freakin' Vancouver doing going to the beach for the first time at the end of August? Aaah, Milo.

While at the beach, he had his second date with a future romantic possibility and seemed to dig her. Korae is eleven days the older woman and showed a lot more interest in Milo than she did last time. I think she's falling for him.

Hello wider blogging community. Now I have people all over linking to my blog and inspiring me to stay current. Do you feel the pressure?

I mailed off three more resumes today. Yes, I feel like I accomplished something. And yes, I'm a little freaked out at being unemployed at the end of August. There are lots of postings out there, though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh yeah, and I intended the title of this blog to be a whine about how terrible I feel about giving Milo a soother when he clearly wants one but strangely enough, here, sitting in the silence and watching him half asleep in his little rocking bassinet, I just don't care. Man, he's cute.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Practically Perfect in Every Way

Milo has slept through the whole night for, like, ten days in a row. The way I see it, who cares if he's kinda fussy in the daytime. Maybe he's just active. He sure seems to be waking up from newborn world and noticing more and more every day.

That's not to say he doesn't have a downside. Erin chronicled a few of them on her blog, and the Google Ads on the side of her page, which are selected automatically based on the blog content, showed "Heart Attack Symptoms," and "Stop Angina and Strokes." I know that all new parents worry this much, and I know why: babies have sophisticated survival systems.

First of all is the cuteness. Do you know the old joke, "Why are babies so cute?" "So you don't kick 'em." Why am I the only one who knows that joke? Anyway, the cuteness is obivious and effective, inspiring strangers to act irrationally making absurd faces. The other strategy is the crying.

Everyone hates the sound of babies crying. It inspires near panic in some people, including, at times, me. I heard a pre-natal class teacher say that her friend used to bring in and play a tape of a baby crying for exactly three minutes then ask everyone how long the baby just cried for. No one ever guessed under six minutes. If you've seen the film Eraserhead, by David Lynch, you know what I mean. I recall the baby crying for the entire movie but I think it's only about seventeen minutes.

That being said, he's been stunningly cry-free all day today. And Erin says she saw him smile. Happy Two Months Old, Milo!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blogging - It's Like Talking To Your Monitor

Okay, I have an iPod, now I guess I need a blog. I mean, my wife has one, my old roommate has one, Wil Wheaton has one...

First of all, as of June 25, I am a father. Not only am I now responsible for a new, tiny, cute human, but for some reason I feel compelled to keep updating the Wikipedia disambiguation page on his name, Milo. So many Milo's for a name that we thought was pretty uncommon..

I suppose I'm going to use this blog to just start writing about Milo and see where it goes. Music, hobbies, my career, etc. Now that I've started and had four visitors, it can only get bigger.

That's it for my first post. Gotta work on my resume and dance with the baby.