Hilly Moves

Hilary and her friend Emily moved to Portland this weekend to seek new fortunes. Yakima seems to do weird things to people, and I’m glad they chose Portland. They’re in a cool neighborhood in Macadam, and can see the river from their apartment. And they both seem to have some form of employment lined up, which is pretty amazing. Welcome!

New Stove

We’ve been without a stove for 2 months now. Well, one burner has worked periodically, but not in a predictable manner. Plus, its the small one in the back that isn’t level so if you try and fry an egg or something, it all runs down to the side of the pan.

Anyway, the landlord finally found a contractor that was willing to take some time out of their prosperous and profitable schedule to fix it. Starting Sunday.

The existing unit is a 30 year old POS with a grill on the left side. Who really grills indoors? Well, we started to once we realized it was going to get removed and we wouldn’t have to keep cleaning it. Plus, there aren’t any stove top replacements that fit the existing hole, so we’re getting a whole oven/stove combo, which is nice because our oven is probably 40+, too small to cook much, and occasionally starts things on fire.

We’re moving up.

Capital Cycle

One important requirement for success in a capitalist system is efficiency. To be successful is often to be the most efficient at one or more factors (labor, resource acquisition or allocation, distribution, etc.) in one’s economic enterprise. Its odd then that those who are the most successful in a capitalist system would then choose to use their accumulated wealth in what seem to be non-efficient ways. The choice of automobile, home, appliance, property and so forth seem to unravel the overall efficiency the individual sought in the first place.

Sure, this is an obvious observation, but its part of something I’m working on. I’m not saying its wrong either. Maybe its part of some cosmic balance?


My father-in-law stopped by on his way back from a fishing trip and gave us a large quantity of individually wrapped king salmon. A few hours later, an explosion across the street and the loss of power in the neighborhood suggested it might have been the wrong time to get a freezer full of fish.

Luckily, PGE was here and had the transformer fixed in less than an hour. I’m not sure I could have eaten all that salmon, especially if I had to keep all that beer from going bad first.

one down, one to go

One down, one to go.

Although I’m glad the Red Sox won, I’m almost as excited that the Yankees lost. Now that one evil empire has fallen, lets have another. yeah, you know who I’m talking about Rudy.

Oldies Radio

I loathe oldies radio more than just about all other uses of the FM band. I hate it even more when its piped into the bus and you’ve no escape from the over played music, droning yet upbeat chatter, dumbed-down political advertisements, and furniture sale commercials. We’re waiting to merge into a mass pile of cars on the interstate and I can only bring comfort by remembering that I’m “ridin’ on a bus.”

Ready like a date

On a lighter note, I just got ready for visiting the doctor like I was preparing for a date. Is that normal? This is only my second official doctor’s appointment.

Oh, I guess there was that time back in 4th grade and I was wearing my best tiger striped purple briefs. In my defense, I wasn’t expecting to go to the doctor, I chose them for comfort. Nor was I expecting the doctor to know the name of the cute girl in the class and goad me about dressing for her.

I guess this is another part of the mother’s wisdom of always wearing clean underwear. You should always wear non-incriminating undies as well on the off chance that you’re doctor is also your friend’s dad.

The “L” word and the “F” word

The “L” word is being thrown around so much right now that I can’t help but wonder if the ghost of Joe McCarthy is being channeled by Karl Rove. I personally don’t believe that John Kerry is that liberal. But I would like to bring up another loaded term. Yup, the “F” word.

No, not that word. Though it could just as easily be used to label the Republican candidates. I’m talking about Fascism. I know most people think primarily of the Nazis, but the jackboot, genocidal warmongering image is a little excessive…

Well, I suppose you could argue that requiring a loyalty oath to attend political gatherings, massive campaigns of misinformation and propaganda, ignoring the genocide in Sudan, and labeling people based on their religion a very Gobbles thing to do, but that’s not the Fascism I’m talking about.

Fascism proper is characterized by the following traits which I’ve borrowed from Wikepedia:

  • Exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual
  • Uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition
  • Engages in severe economic and social regimentation, and
  • Espouses nationalism and sometimes racism (ethnic nationalism)

I know how dramatic this sounds. I generally get annoyed by the zeal with which people throw hyperbolic labels around, but really, how much further do we need to go? We’re well beyond traditional conservatism now.

Vienna Circle, where are you now?

In the 1920’s, a group of logical positivists formed the Vienna Circle. Positivism is the belief that nothing can be considered true until there is empirical evidence for it. This outlook of systematic doubt is anti-authoritarian because it will not accept anything without scientific evidence.

As is the case with most rational groups, they found themselves at odds with the Nazi party, which formed policy and carried out scientific experimentation tainted with its own ideology and mysticism. As you can imagine, most of the Vienna circle were driven from the country.

I bring this up because the Union of Concerned Scientists finds itself in a similar place. The Bush administration is also loading scientific panels and federal agencies with scientists with similar ideological tainting.

I also bring this up because in capitalism, any limitation based on discrimination impedes efficiency, the near-utopian goal of the method. This definitely includes ideologically-bent policy.