Thursday, May 21, 2009

On Vacation

At 5PM Friday I'll be off like a prom dress for some much needed and overdue R&R. I'll be away from computers most of the time, so my experiments in digital technology are on temporary hold. Not that there has been a lot of progress lately, so maybe a break from blogging will be good for me too. I'll be back in a week or so.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Geese Are Really Smart

It came to my attention recently, that certain Reno bloggers don't like geese. I would like to remind one and all that geese have several swell character traits. The following video may be old news to some, but I think it will prove my point.
1)It is an established scientific fact that geese enjoy the company of humans.
2) Geese hate Fabio.
3) Therefor, Fabio is not human.
4) Geese, having figured this out, are really smart.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Notes from a Bystander

There’s been some interesting developments in the Reno blogger community lately, regarding first amendment rights and freedom of speech. It all started in an obscure corner of the world; women’s soccer at UNR. As the lawyers gathered, Ryan Jerz weighed-in with an opinion of it on his blog. Since Ryan’s interest in sports far exceeds my own, my initial reaction was something like, “I can’t believe he follows women’s soccer (?).” It was easy to pass it off as just another quirky interest of a fellow blogger.

But, it soon turned into more than that. The hyper-active soccer coach filed a defamation suit, of the harassment type, against Ryan, forcing him to take down his post. Bob Conrad wrote a 4 part post on the whole ordeal, and AG and LB have also written about it. Their posts and the comments sections make for some thought provoking reading.

There are a handful of bloggers that have been a lot of help to me over the past several months, and Ryan Jerz has certainly been at the forefront of that. There have been times when it appeared that Ryan was promoting my blog more than I was. I sometimes wonder how it is that I’ll ever be able to return the favors. It’s clear to me now that I missed an opportunity. Not that I could have offered any legal advice, or gone into high dungeon about the proper role of a free press in a free society. But, a simple note of support would likely have been welcomed, and certainly would have been better than nothing.

I don’t blame Ryan one bit for being disappointed in the general lack of response. The term “blogger community” is probably overstating what we have here. There are some loose-knit bands and temporary alliances, but no real community. In an effort to keep the conversation from fading away, I’d like to point out that along with freedom of speech issues and other high moral principles, there are some basic human principles to consider as well. Two of them would be giving back for what one has received, and sticking up for one’s friends.

It’s true the landscape has changed. It’s also true that we have it within our power to create what we wish, and one person can not build a community by himself.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

About That Government Transparency

Nick Gillespie of Reason, has a video interview with Mike Pickett, CEO of Onvia, who has recently created a new website called It is in direct competition with the Obama Administration's, which to date is reporting exactly zero of the stimulus money it was meant to track. Officials say they hope to have something on the site sometime in October, or maybe early 2010. Onvia's site is already tracking over $40 Billion worth of stimulus money and estimate they will be tracking $100 Billion by October.

Onvia is in business to help small, independent contractors nationwide place bids for government projects. It's in their own self interest to provide a transparent accounting of the stimulus money. You can go to their website and call up any state, county, and/or city and watch the gravy train roll by. In the meantime, score one for the greedy capitalists.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lockwood Goslings

I was out in Lockwood for part of the morning scoping out a spot for Episode 2 of "Tales from the Rue de la Noir." Normally, the geese there stay on the far side of the river where there's less people and no dogs. Today two groups came over to the near side. I got a couple of shots before the parents got nervous.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tales from the Rue de la Noir

In episode 1, a classic masterpiece of Johann Sebastian Bach is taken out of context and cut to pieces for the puerile amusement of the global community.

On a personal note: My first effort is pretty sloppy, with lots of room for improvement, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Towards a Tangible Value Economy

I don't know if it's the fact that politics has become too depressing for me, or my preoccupation with my new digital toys, but I'm still paying marginal attention to the news. On President Obama's plan to reduce the importance of Wall Street though regulation, my Libertarian Thought Leader of choice, Vox Day lays it out in one sentence:
So long as the paper money system exists, the easiest and fastest way to obtain more of it is to play paper games.

Regulating Wall Street beyond that of other markets, will only drive the brightest minds towards those other markets. The root cause of our dilemma is that the Federal Reserve Note has no tangible value. It is only an I.O.U. from the government to the people, based on the people's trust that the government will still be with us tomorrow, presumably to hand out more I.O.U.'s. It's difficult to see the government going anywhere any time soon, so the trust is maintained, if only slightly.

If, on the other hand, the dollar was backed by gold, silver, or any basket of commodities, it would take on a tangible value independent of anyone's level of trust. With a tangible valued currency, the best minds would gravitate to producing tangible assets, as that is where the most value would be. Manufacturing, intellectual property, even farming would assume a new importance. Who knows, newspapers might make a comeback.

It's an idea that used to work, and could be made to work again, if only our "leaders" would try it. What, real assets traded for real money with all having real value? Nah, just another wing-nut idea from the hinterlands.