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My other blogs [Apr. 29th, 2006|07:50 pm]
I haven't really kept up this LJ thing; I kind of have the feeling I'm only writing for my sister when I post here (hi, G!).

In particular, I didn't want to go on about programming languages, Linux and that kind of stuff here, because the people who aren't interested will slog thru it (or not) here, and the people who are interested, well, if they manage to find it they'd have to slog thru all my personal ramblings.

So here's my tech blog. I'd like to come up with a better name: I'm open for suggestions.

Similarly, I have a blog for thoughts about things I've read, and stuff which I don't think will get very personal.

Most important is the mostly-photo blog I'm keeping about my son Henry, which I'm hoping will serve to keep all the relatives (and other interested parties) up-to-date with the latest cute pictures.

If I ever get around to writing about music again, that will probably go over at last.fm. I wish there was a way to use RSS or something to automatically copy my posts from there to a blog on my own site ... but hey, that's a topic for my tech blog, right?


a random memory [Aug. 13th, 2005|04:22 pm]
Once, when my sister Germaine was about eight years old, our Dad (whom I typically called by his first name, Delwin) brought her up to Athens with him to visit me in my apartment. My brother Brad (who also lived in Athens ... still does, in fact) came over with them.

Us grown-ups were sitting around the table drinking beer and chatting ... I don't remember what about, but my Dad does like to wax philosophical, so I wouldn't be suprised if the "ultimate true nature of reality" or some such was the topic at hand.

Germaine was sitting off by herself, not included in our conversation. At that age, she was proud of what she was able to read, and came up to us with some advertisement or something, and said "I can read this!"

"You interrupted me!" complained Delwin. "Can't you see we're having a conversation? You need to wait your turn to speak!"

Not wanting to exclude my sister, I came up with an idea that would incorporate her desire to read, and would distract her for at least a couple of minutes so us grown-ups could continue our sophisticated conversation.

"Germaine, if I write a sentence, can you draw a picture of it?" I asked. Germaine was excited about the idea.

Patches can swim underwater.

I wrote on a little yellow writing pad, near the bottom of the page so there was plenty of room to draw a picture above. (Patches was her little chihuahua.) Sure enough, G. dutifully went off to draw the picture, and us grown-ups were able to continue to drink beer and have our grown-up discussion for an extended period of time. I figured all I would have to do would be to keep feeding her sentences every so often, and everyone would be happy.

But something strange happened that I never would have predicted. When Germaine came back to the table and triumphantly annouced that she had finished her picture, everyone wanted to see it. This game, which I had hoped would just keep her busy, caused her to become the center of attention.

Delwin annouced that he wanted to write something for Germaine to draw. He wrote


in all capital letters near the top of a page. I guess he wanted to see her idea of what God looked like, but after puzzling over it for a minute Germaine had to ask "is God an angel?". Delwin said he just wrote that as sort of a joke. Germaine drew something like an angel.

The game expanded so that we were all taking turns writing sentences for another one of us to draw. Germaine was now fully included, an equal in drawing and writing sentences.

I only remember one more picture, the one that kind of wrapped up the game. Someone (Germaine?) had written "Dad is sad" and it was my brother Brad's turn to draw the picture. He drew an R. Crumb style man with tears flying off his face, holding an empty beer mug with a sign pointing to it saying "Last Beer".


read the linked article; you won't believe it [May. 28th, 2005|09:53 pm]
[music |Burning Sky: Crystal Fire Child (Enter The Earth)]

This is outrageous. A couple is divorcing who are both Wiccans, and the judge has ordered that their child not be exposed to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals." WTF? The case is on appeal, and I'd be very surprised if the appeals court didn't uphold the First Amendment ... but damn, I hope this judge gets thrown off the bench; he is obviously incompetent.

This is my "World View" according to one of those quiz thingies (although I don't know how I could be even 1% "Fundamentalist"):




Cultural Creative














What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

one dollar CDs at Target [Apr. 10th, 2005|09:53 pm]

As an avid music collector and an interested observer in the transformation of the music industry, I was very interested to find one dollar (yes, $1) CDs at Target. There are CDs from independent musicians playing popular styles of music, as well as classical CDs and "nature sounds mixed with soothing music" CDs.

The label is PCTMusic, but there's not much up at their website. I found this page geared towards retailers at their parent company's website. I bought two of the popular music discs (with a logo proclaiming "America's Best Independent Artists") just to see what's up.

The packaging is cheap, of course, but I think it's kind of clever given their price constraints. The CDs come in cardboard boxes which are the size of a standard jewel box, with writing on the spine so you can file it in your collection. Inside the box is a paper envelope with a clear circular window to show the disc. The disc itself has four-color printing over its entire surface, looking much nicer than many $18 discs. Clearly the intention is that you can throw away the outside box if you want.

The two discs I got were Supernova by Liquid Blue (labeled "alternative pop"), and Harry Best and Shabang (labeled "caribbean"). Interestingly, the Liquid Blue CD is available from CDBaby for $10, and a CD which shares the cover picture and over half the tracks with the Harry Best and Shabang CD can be had for $15. (Presumably these at least have real jewel boxes, but who knows?) I've bought from CDBaby before, and although I've generally been happy with my purchases, I've always wondered how these artists with no exposure can presume to sell their CDs at the artificial major label cartel price point. I guess they've realized that another strategy is called for, and I'm really happy to see this "shot across the bow" in the music wars which really favors the consumer.

The music? Oh, it's ok. I haven't finished listening to either CD, but I've heard some of each. While from what I've heard so far, I won't be running out and telling anyone oh you've got to hear this, I still think they're both good enough for repeated listening, and well worth a dollar. I think I'll probably complete my collection of "America's Best Independent Artists": what the hey?


Some things I've found amusing ... [Apr. 7th, 2005|10:04 pm]

This great send up (direct link to mp3) of an old Cat Stevens song had me laughing more than I'd care to admit.

Ok, a direct link isn't working for this one: go here and find the link labeled "Let's Roll/GWO2002/The good, the bad and the dubya" under "mp3z download". It's an excerpt from The University of Minnesota's Radio K show Some Assembly Required. The mp3 contains several political trip-hop pieces made from cut-up George W. Bush speeches. Definitely worth a listen.

There is an animated short film called Delivery (link to html intro page this time) which is well worth downloading. Great animation, great music, clever plot. (I found out about this one from Media Girl.)

As long as I'm posting links: it's mildly amusing to watch the skateboarding bulldog do his thing.


Interesting reading ... [Jan. 24th, 2005|11:14 pm]
What You Know About 9/11 (If You're Like Me) by Leo Brodie.

The Christian Right, Iraq, and the Second Coming [Nov. 3rd, 2004|09:57 pm]
Lately I've been worrying that the evangelical christian base which helped get Bush II re-elected president really believes -- at least subconciously -- that the current war in Iraq is part of the big war in the Middle East that's supposed to bring about the end of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

I've been surfing around for sites that talk about this, but I'm still coming up short. I came across a sarcastic editorial which is disturbing reading but doesn't get inside the heads of the evangelicals (or come anywhere near).

I read this Newsweek article about the authors of the Left Behind series of novels, which is when my concern really started to gel. Best selling? I guess there are a lot of people out there who believe in this end-of-the-world stuff. Bush's re(?)-election kind of confirms that.

Then there's the fact that Bush has proposed producing new nuclear weapons we can actually use: that seems to fit in nicely with Armegeddon.

Here's a site called Rapture Ready which is by and for folks of the Left Behind mindset. It's a little overwhelming for me to jump into, though, not knowing the whole mythology. And it's more than a little scary.

The best site I found was theocracywatch.org which is full of facts about the Christian Right and how they took over the Republican party. I really have to study it more, but it doesn't seem to connect the dots between Iraq and Armegeddon.

Oh, and on a lighter note, I found this. Although that too could be taken seriously.

Update: Apocalypse Please is an article which makes it all clear.

These people have infiltrated the poltical system too much. It's time to start paying attention and do something. Oh, what? Hmmmm ... let me think about that ...

Henry's Diet [Nov. 1st, 2004|07:35 pm]
  • The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out
  • John Coltrane: Olé Coltrane
  • World Lounge (Putomayo compilation)
  • Bill Frisell: Quartet
  • Country Joe and The Fish: Live! Fillmore West 1969
  • Yes: Close To The Edge (oops, Mommy doesn't like it!)
  • Norah Jones: Come Away With Me (Mommy is happy)
  • Norah Jones: Feels Like Home
  • Apsaras: Apsaras
  • John Lennon: Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
  • Jan Garbarek: In Praise of Dreams
  • Yo-yo Ma: Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazolla
  • Michael Hedges: Breakfast in the Field
  • The Moon and the Banana Tree: New Guitar Music from Madagascar (Shanachie compilation)

Oh yeah, there are a few more pictures at the bottom of his photo page now.


Henry Rong Cahoon [Oct. 26th, 2004|07:57 pm]
My son, Henry Rong Cahoon, was born last Saturday.

(no subject) [Aug. 12th, 2004|11:53 pm]
OK, I'm still working on my book review post ... but I recently came across this study about the D.A.R.E. program, which finds that it has no lasting effect in keeping kids off drugs, but had this interesting observation:
In a totally unexpected finding, those students exposed to the D.A.R.E. program in the sixth grade had lower levels of self-esteem ten years later. However, the researchers say that finding cannot be accounted for theoretically and is most likely a chance finding that is unlikely to be replicated.

This comes as no surprise to me. I don't know the details of the D.A.R.E. program, but it's a brainwashing program right? I bunch of authority figures come in and lay this heavy-duty morality trip on the kids. How is someone -- especially a very young person -- supposed to distinguish emotionally between the hypothetical guilt feelings he's supposed to have if blah blah blah and guilt feelings in the absolute sense?

That's a role for reason, not emotions, and perhaps I misunderstand the D.A.R.E. program, but I would guess it's got a lot more with using authority to impress emotions into young people than it has anything to do with reason.

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