Thursday, March 29, 2007

Funny photo from yesterday

My former spouse took this picture of my daughter and I playing our air instruments in the kitchen yesterday while listening to The Dead playing "Hey Pocky Way!" Ah, like father, like daughter!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mike Watt on Kelly Clarkson album

Okay, so I'm four months late hearing about this. I was scanning through magazines today at Barnes and Noble, and I saw Mike Watt on the cover of Bass Player Magazine. I was surprised to learn that he appeared on Kelly Clarkson's album.

Watt is one of my favorite musicians. The first time I saw him was with his band, fIREHOSE. They were incredible. This man lives and breathes music. (I think I've seen him before eight or nine times now, and each time is a joy.)

I think it's cool and unexpected that he took part in this project.


I'm very excited today. It is our son's third birthday! I can't believe how fast the time has gone!

I've been busy running errands in preparation for this evening. I'm hoping to grill some hot dogs and hamburgers for us and our guests, even if we get some rain.

I have a little quiet time right now and I'm listening to the August 3, 2003 Dead show that I took my daughter to.

There are two things that are special about this show for me. The first was that I was my daughter and I got to listen to the music that I grew up with. We ran into one of her best friends there and her parents. We had a great day!

The second is that this show was one week after Melissa and I found out we were going to have a child together. I was processing the fact over that week, and it was an intense week for both of us. It was during Eyes of the World that I felt a sense of peace that everything was going to be okay. :)

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,

The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings,
But the heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.

Lyrics by Robert Hunter

I: The Music Never Stopped > Dupree's Diamond Blues > Minglewood Blues, Big River
*, Desolation Row*, Johnny B. Goode*, Aiko Aiko > Althea > Cosmic Charlie

II: Jam > New Speedway Boogie > Brown-Eyed Woman > She Said She Said > Cold Rain and Snow > Smokestack Lightnin > Eyes of the World > Drums > Space > Standing on the Moon > Samson and Delilah
E: And We Bid You Goodnight
*-w/ Bob Dylan (keys and vox)
(Bob Dylan opened)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lots of action, much less thinking...

I have had a great last week, as spring has finally arrived, we have gotten some much needed sunshine and biking, and so forth. Last week we had a large project (insulation) completed, and I had an interview.

I enjoyed blogging when I had plenty of time to think, but as I am getting busier with many things, I am going to blog only occasionally. I think this change is due to moving from winter to spring, and I am thankful for that! Although the winter was neither a brutal nor long one, I was so ready for the sun to return!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who has read "The World is Flat?"

Yesterday I received a piece of advertising email from MK Press for a book called The World is Flat? Note, this is not by Thomas Friedman. Rather, it is a critique of his book.

Part of the email read:

Thomas Friedman’s recent New York Times bestseller, The World is Flat, asserts that the international economic playing field is now more level than it has ever been. As popular as it may be, some reviewers assert that by what it leaves out, Friedman’s book is dangerous.

“The world isn’t flat as a result of globalization,” say Ronald Aronica and Mtetwa Ramdoo, business analysts and authors of a critical analysis of Friedman’s book. “Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution,” says Aronica. But by what Friedman’s book ignores or glosses over, it misinforms people and policy makers.


I am interested in checking this out, as I enjoyed Friedman's book, and I would like to read this critique. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reflections on The Omnivore's Dilemma

On Monday evening I finished reading the last few pages of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. I had had a busy week, so it was good to relax and finally complete it. It was a both an enjoyable and thought-provoking book. I consider it an equal with Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat in terms of its importance.

Dilemma has become a well-talked about book. For example, our weekly alternative newspaper, City Pages, had an article last week, You Are Where You Eat, which discusses some of the Twin City area grocery stores, including Whole Foods. Pollan's experience with shopping and eating food from Whole Foods was one of the four meals discussed in his book.

That experience wasn't highly praised by Pollan, which created some public dialogue between Pollan and Whole Foods' John Mackay. (Some of that discussion is highlighted in the City Pages article.) I think Pollan's critique is important, especially since Whole Foods is a major player in the organic food market.

From a personal standpoint, I appreciate that I had the time to read The Omnivore's Dilemma. I have been made more aware of how my food choices affect the ecosystem. On a practical day-to-day level, it helped me be more appreciative of cooking. Our family's life is often very busy, and I have been taking a more conscious effort in preparing better meals in terms of higher quality ingredients and some presentation to make that family time special.

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma , family life

Monday, March 12, 2007

TCCL 2006-07 is now completed

I would like to thank David Kuhns, the tournament director, for running this excellent event. The Twin Cities Chess League is an enjoyable experience and one of my favorite events of the chess year.

I would also like to thank my teammates, Kelly, John, and Blaine, for giving it your best each week. We had many good games, and although we didn't end up with a great score for the season, I feel like we learned plenty this year, and I look forward to next September to play stronger chess.

Thanks also to Will for subbing in December.

For those Minnesota chess players who have not yet heard of this event or who have not yet played in this, I would highly recommend it.

Tags: ,

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Final Round: Number Seven of the TCCL is this Friday

We will be playing our last round of the season this Friday against The Defrocked Bishops. I have very much enjoyed this season and look forward to next year.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spring is only two weeks away!

I am getting enthusiastic about the arrival of Spring. Although there are a couple of feet of snow to melt in my neighborhood, the temperature this weekend will get up above 40 each day. So, there will be slush aplenty, but that will only bring us closer to the 20th! I am getting excited to start bike riding again and getting outdoors regularly with my family!

Reaction to latest FDA decision

Yesterday I saw a little snippet running along the bottom of my TV as I was watching CNN. The Washington Post reported that the FDA will be approving an antibiotic for use in treating a bovine respiratory disease. This antibiotic, Cefquinome, is also used as a last resort against certain human infections.

I am not pleased with this, and this helps to make me willing to only buy beef raised from cattle that are grown free-range. There are plenty of reactions to this story, including this one, which illustrates how antibiotic resistance develops.

It seems that the FDA is not practicing science in the public's interest!

Tags: organic food, FDA, antibiotics