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Friday Haiku

Thank God it’s Friday

It’s been a long week at work

Coffee is perfect

My Haiku

It’s really Monday

There is not enough coffee

To make up for it

Cool Sustainability Item of the Day — Underwater Tree Harvesting

oct_10_green_building_magazine.jpgOnce a month I get a very cool magazine at work called Green Builder. It’s full of articles on solar power technology, recycled building materials, sustainability, and the like. The September issue had an article called Wood from Water –Loggers Harvest a New Kind of Sunken Treasure. Written by Carol Ekarius, it talks about a British Columbia company called Triton Logging. It seems that there are 200 to 300 million trees standing under water in reservoirs around the world. The trees harvested from these reservoirs are of great quality and simply need to dry out a bit.

Triton has a remote controlled, underwater logging vehicle that plucks the trees free of the reservoir bed and then floats them to the surface with reusable inflatable bladders. The process is safe and cost effective. Lumber from these recovered trees is comparable in price to conventionally harvested trees. How cool is that?!

If you’re interested in sustainability, you should check out this magazine. You can download back issues for free. You don’t have to be a builder to get some great ideas from it!

Portland’s Burning – A Tribute to The Clash

z-mofuckingclash.gifLast night a friend and I hit the Clash tribute at The Doug Fir. What a fun event! Each band played three songs or so and the set changes were pretty quick. The show still lasted until after midnight, but I hardly noticed. After all, Thursday is the new Friday! The crowd was a little more push-and-shove than normal for a Fir show. In spite of standing back by the soundbooth, it seemed like I was being bumped a lot.

There was a band with a couple of horns that I particularly liked but I have no clue who they were. All I can really say about them is that they had a ska vibe going on and sounded good. All of the bands seemed to be having fun and some were better than others but since I have no idea who any of them were, it’s pretty tough to say anything else about it. I was also maybe a little distracted by conversation during a lot of the show, but heck, if I’d wanted to be in my own little world, I’d have gone by myself!

Big thanks to the Doug Fir for hosting such a fun event for free!

The Devil Made Him Do It…

I normally restrict my political and religious remarks to other people’s political blogs but I just couldn’t resist this one. Reverend Ted Haggard lost his position as head of the New Life church in Colorado Springs today. It reminds me of a CEO/founder of a corporation being fired by his board of directors for misconduct. Since the mega-church evangelical movement is nothing but big-business in sheep’s clothing, I’d say the comparison is pretty accurate.

For those who would like some background, Harpers published a fascinating story about Rev. Ted in May 2005. While people like myself find it all very creepy and sad, I doubt most of his followers found much to complain about in the article. I checked out a Seattle mega-church many years ago at the invitation of a coworker, and what I read in Harpers matched my own experience. I come from a Christian background, having attended several Christian schools and having been an active member of Young Life, so I feel reasonably well qualified to spout off on the subject. These people seem to have taken the concepts put forth in the Frank E. Peretti novels (Christian fantasy) and made them gospel. It’s bizarre. It’s like if someone decided that Tolkein’s tales of Middle Earth were historical fiction instead of literary fantasy and then lived their life accordingly. Anyway, back to Rev. Ted.

My comment on this story is that in spite of this man’s hypocrisy, he’ll be back. He may have to start over with a new ministry, but I have no doubt that he’ll use the repentant sinner approach to regain his wealth, status, and position. I won’t be surprised if he ends up wealthier and more powerful than he was before, and here’s why. From the Houston Chronicle,

“Church member Christine Rayes, 47, said the congregation had hoped the allegations ‘were all lies.

‘We all have to move forward now,’ she said. ‘This doesn’t make what Ted accomplished here any less. The farther up you are, the more you are a target for Satan.'”

See, he can just blame it all on Satan (aka, other gay men) and continue to try to eradicate his own personal demons by eradicating the free will of others to live and love as they choose. So much for personal responsibility. So much for worrying about the log in your own eye before you worry about the splinter in someone else’s. Why can’t these people leave the rest of us alone?

Random Thought of the Day

I was just sitting here thinking that I haven’t been to a show in ages, and then I realized it’s only been a week. I may have a problem. On the other hand, for the first time in I don’t even know how long, there are no tickets clipped to my fridge. This must be remedied ASAP. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d be happy to take recommendations. No Rose Garden shows though please. Thanks.

—-update—-

94.7 just announced their December to Remember lineup. SNOW PATROL is coming back!!!!! The English Beat is playing the next night so I’m all manner of set. Soon– soon there will once again be tickets adorning my fridge!

She Wants Revenge and Placebo at the Roseland

placeboWow, what a great show! This was my fourth time seeing She Wants Revenge in the last year. I never tire of watching them. These guys are either touring nonstop, they really like Portland, or maybe it’s both! I can’t even seem to see Stars of Track and Field four times in a year, and they’re local! I hope they stop touring long enough to record a new album before they burn themselves out.

I’d never seen Placebo but I knew several of their songs from the radio. Let me say again, wow. Both bands sounded great live. Placebo had a great stage presence and were very engaged with the crowd. The crowd loved them! There was a girl behind me who literally screamed all of the lyrics to their songs and every time they kicked into a new one, she screamed and jumped around like she’d just won the grand prize on The Price is Right. She was so excited I was worried she might explode a la Spinal Tap! There was another guy standing near us that I don’t even know how to describe. He was probably in his 50’s, white hair, alone. This dude was into it! Hand clapping, fist shaking, foot stomping into it! I had to seriously watch out for his flying elbows. Both of these people seemed incredibly happy to be there so one couldn’t help but smile at them. Surprisingly, there didn’t appear to be any obnoxious shoving up front this time. It was pretty much a perfect show. Excited energy from the crowd + sexy showmanship from the bands + great music = a fun time for everyone.

As an added bonus, I got to take my friend’s son and his buddy to the show with us for their 13th birthdays. It was Jordan’s first real rock concert and She Wants Revenge was not only one of his favorite bands, but it was also an awesome show, and on a school night to boot!

Maybe She Should Move to Portland!

Loretta Nall, Libertarian write-in candidate for governor of Alabama, wants to get her state’s National Guard out of Iraq, legalize marijuana, and among other things, ignore the Patriot Act. Apparently, she also has no problem with her sexuality!

From the Seattle PI,

“Her campaign is offering T-shirts and marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo of her with a plunging neckline and the words: “More of these boobs.” Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor – including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley – and the words: “And less of these boobs.”

Her Web site has a cartoon of someone stuffing bills down the front of her low-cut top. And for $50 donation she apparently offers to show a cartoon of herself flashing her breasts.”

Loretta, if they run you out of Alabama, come on over to Portland!

One Thousand Pictures and Mew at Berbati’s Pan

MewTuesday night my friend and I caught the latest 94.7FM “I saw them when” show at Berbati’s Pan. It was a chance to see One Thousand Pictures again and also a chance to see Portland’s own To Live and Die in L.A.

To Live and Die in L.A. were part of the Rock Kills Kid show that was canceled last month so I was happy to have another chance to see them. I liked the second and last songs in their set. The rest sort of ran together for me because the songs all sounded the same. The tempo changes were a bit jarring and at times it felt like the drummer was having trouble keeping it all straight. Was that on purpose? If so, I didn’t get it. I was perhaps distracted by people-watching but even that to me is a sign that I wasn’t engaged by them. As far as the showmanship goes, I don’t think they were served well by the poor lighting. They were lit by a stationary disco ball, which means that the stage was in shadows except for the dots of white light covering everthing and everyone. I amused myself by pretending that the lead singer was actually the character Charlie from Lost. In the dim light and from a distance, he looked just like him!

One Thousand Pictures actually had real lighting, thank goodness. I enjoyed their set and … continue reading this entry.

How I Got iTunes Video to Stop Jerking Me Around

I finally got iTunes video working on my laptop. No other video format has ever given me this kind of trouble, and I’ve used all sorts of players, formats,and codecs.

I had to disable DirectX in Quicktime, lower my screen resolution to 1024×768, change my iTunes preferences to play videos in the main window, and then from there click the thumbnail view and widen it to fit the screen. Since I have a wide-screen display, I don’t actually get a full screen experience but at least it’s watchable. It’s also ridiculous. The resolution of the video is pathetic for this day and age. I’ve never been an Apple fan, but this experience makes me actually despise them. The second there’s a legal alternative, I’ll jump ship.

Update: I knocked my screen resolution down to 800×600 and was able to go full screen with only occasional video stutters.  However, the quality of the video was still grainy.  Booooo Apple!

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