One After 909
(30 June - 9 July 2006)

9 July 2006
-The new Jewel album ("Goodbye Alice in Wonderland") is fantastic & may even win over past critics of Jewel.  She's been through some odd phases, but this one's a keeper.
-While seeing it this evening, I was planning on posting that everyone should go see "Who Killed the Electric Car?".  But then the film spent the last five minutes being absurdly optimistic & hopeful about the future of legitimate renewable fuel sources gaining traction in this profit-based vortex called the USA.  There was no evidence presented, no good reasons given, merely some Bush-like rose-colored paint to spray over a reality that had been carefully portrayed for the rest of the film.  Why do this?  The same thing happened in the far worse movie, Al Gore campaign video "An Inconvenient Truth".  They told everyone they were almost guaranteed to die, then started blowing smoke around about American resourcefulness & the possibility to overcome all the power & money in the country that was working against what the movie advocated.  I understand that no one wants to make a movie that makes people want to bawl & hide under the covers when they walk out, but people seem to have forgotten that anger & outrage are really the only valuable political motivators in an era when everything's wrong.  You don't motivate people to fix a broken system by telling them how badly the system is broken & then capping it with five minutes on how the system is really open to change & that all it takes is one or two small actions.  No wonder there's no leadership or vision in this country anymore!  In today's world, Rosa Parks would have been advised to send a polite form letter to her Congressman & told that she should expect the world to change shortly.

8 July 2006
-It is now officially possible to purchase Mep Report merchandise!!  We have 5 different designs, which can be purchased on a shirt, mousepad, mug, or bag.  Soon, there will be Country Quiz result merchandise as well, but that's taking a little longer to ramp up.  This could be a very exciting era for the web projects, or possibly a total flop.  But if it's a flop, it will still be a fun one.

7 July 2006
-Slipped into the midnight debut of "Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man's Chest" this morning at the Grand Lake.  They almost had the 600-person theater filled, with hordes of teens & college kids dressed up in their favorite pirate garb.  If only we'd had this as a backdrop for the Brandeis tourney in 2001!  Regardless, the film was good, though there was more swordplay & less wordplay in this one, which was highly disappointing to me.  The balance between the two was near-perfect in the first film, but pretty much anything they did this time around would have been a bit of a letdown after the quality of the opener.  The sea-creature pirates are one of the coolest inventions ever put to film.  & the movie still had its desired effect of making me want to immediately fly from the theater to Disneyland to move into New Orleans Square for about a week.
-New graphic up top, to honor my first extended period of time spent in SF.  It was either this or an accurate picture of the Tenderloin with more of a "Desolation Row" theme.  I like the graphical drama of this depiction far more than the actual human drama that would be displayed in the alternative.  A rare choice for me.

6 July 2006
-Piiiiiiiirates tonight!
-The Powell St. BART station, where I disembark for work in SF each day, sells its entire advertising space to a different company or group every month.  May was iPod, June was Windows Mobile, & now July is the Hilton family of hotels.  But whoever came up with the slogans for the current ad campaign should be knackered.  Half of them don't make any sense & the ones that do are lame.  The underlying theme of the campaign is "Be Hospitable", which is fine, though it makes one wonder why SF hotels are advertising to SF commuters, since the campaign is laden in why people from SF are more likely to be hospitable than others.  The only thing that makes sense to me is that Paris Hilton came up with the campaign, which is why it's carried off with the linguistic skill of an inebriated panda.
-My back has now hurt for nearly three weeks without a break.  I'm really done with this.

5 July 2006
-I saw a mother & daughter clinging to each other on BART today, both looking saddened in the relative ways that the experienced & the innocent look sad.  There was a touch of fear in them as well, especially in the daughter, & they seemed for all the world like they were escaping some abusive situation, perhaps at the cost of being separated, in the anonymity of morning rush hour.  The daughter was about five years old, the mother maybe thirty.  They may have just been having a hard day, or be very emotional people, but there was that glint of stealing away into a day that will change all others.
-I never anticipated that this translation stuff was going to be such a struggle.
-Keep your ears out for Mep Report 37.  I have a strange feeling that it will be what they're calling these days an "instant classic".

4 July 2006
-It is quite nice to have a day on, a day off, & then just three days on.  That's about the only thing making me happy about today, given all the other significance.  But it's fun to have a day to try to catch up on things.
-Very exciting things could be in the works soon for both the BP & the Mep Rep.  Details hopefully within days, if not hours...
-Every time I think I could be a radio personality or a baseball announcer, I have to remember that I would have to do things like congratulating veterans on July 4th.  That just wouldn't work.  I could never keep a job like that for very long.
-North Korea tested three missiles on July 4th.  Hot diggity.  Things are about to get really interesting.
-I've been meaning to link Fish's new blog, which can be found on Fish's new site, which is a Weakerthans reference.  Took him a long time to finally get on the webpage train, but it's never too late to hop on board!
-Lots of updates on the BP; everything should be just about up-to-date at this point.
-While posting Fish's new page & blog to the BP People page, I just had to send no less than 5 blogs to Italics Purgatory.  This cuts the total number of active blogs to 15.  & I know my updates were only on pieces of paper for the last two weeks, but remember that the threshold of Italics Purgatory is 40 days.  I'm just sayin'.

3 July 2006
-I think my boss Googled me & discovered this webpage.  This is me waving to my boss.
-It's really hard to work with other people.  Maybe I don't really play well with others.  At least I know that talking with other people is always going to be better than trying to work things out over e-mail.

2 July 2006
[from Train Mountain, Oregon]
-Heading home today after a brief stop back up here from the hotel for one last ride.  I would enjoy these train rides so much more had my back not been hurting for so long.  Still, it was nice to run when it was a little quieter & Em & I could travel around slowly.

1 July 2006
[from Train Mountain, Oregon]
-I guess it wouldn't hurt to put on the record that Train Mountain is just outside Chiloquin, which is outside Klamath Falls, where we're actually spending the nights.  Functionally spending all the time at the Mountain, though.
-Got to drive one of the trains for the first time, which was really unsettling & scary at first, but quickly became old hat & then really fun.  They do make these things quite easy to drive & one has to be seven years old to drive, so it's not that challenging.  But when one thinks of much these trains are worth & how unpleasant it would be to derail or collide...
-It seems that years later, all my best stories are still from high school.  Unless they're debate stories, which are from college.  It's been quite a while since I've had really good story fodder.  Which is probably fine, because it means less turmoil & strife for the most part.

30 June 2006
[from Train Mountain, Oregon]
-Came up here starting this morning after picking up Will in San Jose.  It's been a whole mess of driving.  Still got a chance to run on a couple of trains & meet up with the whole old RMI crew.  It's going to be fun, though this place is nothing like I pictured it... there's a lot of train, but very little mountain.  Or, you might say, had a lot to do with Trains, didn't come close to a Mountain, & I hate bears.
-Wow, going on one of the trains at night is quite something.  Spooky & fun.  The idea of them doing a Ghost Train thing for Halloween, though, with haunted house themes in the dark woods of southern Oregon... wow.  That would be tremendous.

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