The Hollow Men

:::this is the way the world ends:::

Month: September 2006 (page 1 of 2)

Thanks

JE — Your card arrived today. Thanks. I have that Nature Conservancy card set too. They are one of the very best charities. The one that I support no matter what, even when I’m down on my luck.

The Bride of Music Thursday

I discovered these guys because I saw them featured in an email and noticed they were from Lawrence, KS.  I like to support my fellow Kansan and discovered they didn’t need my philanthropy, because they’re really excellent.  Actually, it’s one of my favorite albums I’ve bought in a while. 

They seem to have a bit of the theatrical about them, akin to The Arcade Fire, Hot Hot Heat, or the like…but they also infuse their songs with moments of greatness.  I start thinking midway through a song that it’s mediocre, but by the end of the song I’ve been corrected.  I love songs that build and change. 

Anyway, I think the only weak song on here might be Track 4.  I hope you guys enjoy!  Put up your responses to the album once you’ve had a chance to listen to it.  Let me know if this is stuff you like, or if my music tastes are dead to you.

White Whale | WW1

01. Nine Good Fingers
02. O’ William, O’ Sarah
03. The Admiral
04. I Love Lovely Chinese Gal
05. What’s An Ocean For?
06. We’re Just Temporary, Ma’am
07. Forgive The Forgiven
08. Fidget And Fudge
09. Yummyman Farewell
10. King’s Indian
11. One Prayer

Verse V of a poem I wrote in college

It’s not very good, but I just felt like posting something different…the following is true and I put it in a poem while I was in college.


V. The police called to tell me my car window was reported “found shattered.” I slip on my shoes and white T-shirt and break out of the front door, heavily squinting in the morning sun. I slowly twist my head through where-the-window-should-be to find glass seeding the front seat. I talk to the police officer; taken:

1 rental tape,

26 music discs.

 

The letter that came this morning:

“Your recent letter came. I have read it and reread it many times. You know you can count on us for prayers for your safety. It’s a problem I have understanding how God answers in so many unusual ways.

Your mother needs you so terribly much. Through her tears is sobbed, ‘I wish he could spend some time with Andrew this summer.’ I really don’t know what else to say.

Congratulations on your graduation.

Love,

Grandma C.”


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Cracker Box Efficiency

Speed Holes I’m home sick with a wicked cold today so I might as well blog.

So on Friday Peters and I were discussing new cars, hybrids, MPG and the like. Then on Sunday I found this ad thumbing through some of Jackie’s (my mother-in-law) old magazines.

According to this, the 1976 Datsun B-210 had an EPA estimate of 42 MPG highway. After doing a little research I couldn’t find one gasoline burning, non-hybrid 2006 model that claimed to do 42 MPG or better.

Peters you blew it. You should’ve kept the Datsun. Now you have to buy a hybrid to best the B-210’s efficiency.

Must have been the “speed holes.”

That saying about life being hard is sometimes true…

I mentioned in the Music Thursday post that I was sorry for my lack of involvement over the last week.  This blog has been a great outlet for me, and I hope to come back in full force soon.  I know there will be ebbs and flows…last week was a tough one for many of the HM.  J.E. and Shotts, I think, had mentioned a tough week also.  This last week was particularly hard for Steph and I, and I’m glad to be able to have a group of friends I can share this with. 

It started out hard, but I thought it’d get smoother instead of more difficult.  I had some deadlines in the beginning of the week that caused a lot of stress.  I still was feeling like I was coming out of my post-vacation pining (which makes it really hard to sit in front of a computer screen).  I had to hit my workload hard, and started up BirdBox activities bright and early Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and worked until 9:30 or so each of those days.  It really takes it out of me to filter my world through an LCD monitor most of my waking hours.  Steph knows I’m not much to talk to after days like that.

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New Music Thursday

I discovered Post-War a couple of days ago.  I hope you like M. Ward.  I’ll post individual tracks if you guys can’t listen to the album by clicking on the cover.

Update — I added the tracks 😉

Sorry about the lack of additional posting on my part over the last week.  It’s been busy and hard, perhaps I’ll write soon about it.

M. Ward | Post-War

01. Poison Cup
02. To Go Home
03. Right In The Head
04. Post-War
05. Requiem
06. Chinese Translation
07. Eyes On The Prize
08. Magic Trick
09. Neptune’s Net
10. Rollercoaster
11. Today’s Undertaking
12. Afterword/Rag

On My Way

This is just an official post to say that I have set my flights to and from Kansas City. My itinerary is as follows:

Friday, October 27, Northwest #2808, Depart MSP 4:05 pm, Arrive KC International 5:30 pm.

Sunday, October 29, Northwest #1496, Depart KC International 3:55 pm, Arrive MSP 5:18 pm.

I hope this fits with everyone else’s schedule. Toby, I hope you might be able to pick me up, and then drop me back off, at the airport, if it’s not much trouble. Let me know if there’s anything I can do or bring.

I’m already looking forward to a pint or two, some good tea, good discussion, long walks, the leaves falling, and a pumpkin bar perhaps. Glorious it will be.

–Shotts

Humble Request Regarding Food and Going Hungry

Hello All,

Speaking of food and going hungry, just thought I’d mention that I’m doing a three mile CROP walk this October. I’m supposed to have sponsors to raise money. I Don’t know too many people here to whom I can appeal. I’m trying to get people to send ten dollar checks made out to CWS/CROP Walk. Our goals are for ten people to raise a hundred dollars making a thousand per church out of twenty-two participating Eau Claire churches which will amount to twenty-two thousand dollars, or more…

For those of you who don’t know what this is: CROP Walk is intended to fight world hunger. Twenty percent of what you send will go to regional food banks, sixteen percent will go to administration costs and the rest to purchase seeds, farm equipment, land, drills for wells, water pumps, and other equipment intended on making communities self-sustainable mostly overseas in struggling countries where war does not prevent assistance and stability such as Malawi Africa. In other words, if you donate ten dollars, two dollars will go to local food banks, a dollar-seventy will go to administration, and the rest to fight hunger worldwide.

This is not the most efficient charity to fight world hunger, but it ranks as one of the more effiicent. CWS stands for Church World Service (an inter-denominational organization that includes all denominations, including Aglican and Orthodox, with the exception of Catholics who have a myriad of their own organizations) and if some of you are uncomfortable giving to a Christian based charity, I understand. It may also bother you that this organization also receives approximately 18-20 percent of their annual funds from the U.S. government. Again, I understand if this bothers you. Although, this situation arises because CWS has a much more effective manner of using funds than any direct governmental agencies do.

Despite these aspects, I do believe the organization does a lot of good, and I’m walking whether I get my hundred or not. Again, if you want to send a check, send it to: 2028 8th Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703, and make checks to CWS/CROP Walk.

If you aren’t interested in this for political, personal, financial reasons, or because you give time and money to other causes, no need to explain yourself in a blog. I know we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. I’ll be grateful for anything that arrives before the October 8th deadline. Just know that if you pass on this. Spectra has already won.

Thanks,

Ned

Novel Inbox

I thought this was an curious idea. it’s interesting how literature is trying to employ the tools of modern internet to thrive.  In fact, the first blog I can remember took the shape of posting Samuel Pepys’ diary in daily increments.

Anyway, there’s a depthful flurry of information and content out there…I find so little of it really valuable to me other than an instantaneous visceral experience.  I think that’s one reason this blog has surprised me, because it’s got me excited about something online again.  That hasn’t happened for years.

What do you think?  Do you think this is an interesting tool, but not one that anybody will use?  Do you think it can help bring significance to a space that seems devoid of it sometimes? 

Sister Choreographer

You guys might have seen these before, but those who haven’t I think it’s worth putting it up.  Ok Go is the band, and legend goes, their sister is a choreographer who helped them out on the first video.  They distributed this first one on burned Cds at their concerts and it spread.

The second is unique in its use of a gym:

You can see a millions ways they perform this on stage, too…it’s over on YouTube.

McPherson Music Thursday

Here’s the selection for this week, introduced to me by my sister, Traci.  The band is from McPherson, and they’re good. 

Click on the cover to stream the whole album, or click on individual tracks to listen to them one by one.  Enjoy!

The Sailor Sequence | Orange

Yeah You Are
In Time
Angels
Around the Corner
Anchor (For Jesse and Abby)
Happy Trails

Comments on a Few Things

Food:

I, too, like J.E. have longed to be a vegetarian at certain points in my life. Gandhi speaks quite frequently about this and it certainly has re-instated that longing. He refers to the fact that red meat makes people more aggressive, which I don’t think has been proven through science but is interesting nonetheless. It has been tested empirically in dogs. Gandhi states that his rigid adherance to this lifestyle often came at quite a cost. Unfortunately, one of the larger hinderances to this choice in lifestyle is its accessibility for me. It takes more time, more planning, and more money to be a vegetarian where I live. I think it might have been easier to do this in NY but here it is quite difficult. We shop at the local Co-op occasionally, but the food is more expensive (sometimes more than I can afford on my tight budget).

This brings me to another point about choices (NPR had a program about this.) Fast food is really over-used by people who have little money and little time, which adds to their plight by giving them health problems in the long run. All of this may make healthy living sound like more of a luxury than a choice, but I think there are some truths here. I think giving up caffeine, as Jeff did, is an example of a very deliberate and healthy choice. I think one of the questions of morality is how the food was raised and how animals were treated before their slaughter. This is why smaller, local food stores are often better, but because they are smaller, they are more expensive.

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Hot Topic

DSCN7921.jpgIt seems like we’re getting into a topic that Shotts indicated he wanted to explore in an earlier post. So rather than add a comment to The Switch is On, Or The Coming of Autumn I’m starting a new post.

Instead of congratulating our food instincts for being so smart those of us who live in a culture of unlimited food must question them at every turn. We have seemingly limitless cravings for fat and sugar in a world where all instincts are exploited by commerce. In this culture our many of our beliefs about food are as confused and harmful as our beliefs about that other instinct (we’ll save that for another post).

I’ve spent a lot of time over the year thinking about and fiddling with my diet. I think I have a much better diet now than I did ten years ago. As a culture, we no longer have to spend most of our time trying to find or produce food as our ancestors did but we continue to spend a lot of time thinking about food. Biological cravings are inseparable from cultural cravings (and taboos). Our ideas about food carry as much emotional weight as the experience of eating. Unfamiliar food ways can seem like a threat so when someone questions your diet they are questioning your means of survival. Therefore, it should be no surprise how emotional people can become about food.

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LOST?!?

Peeps Like Me

I realize this comment will be lost on many of you, but it is time to make my annual appeal. I know TV ranks very low in most of our lists, but I have one guilty pleasure I wait all year for, the TV series, Lost.

Tob, help me out here.

Sept.27 is the first showing for the season (actually, a recapping of events so far.). Now, I am not a big fan of recap shows, but this would offer a chance to get in and get caught up (as well as one can be, the show has just too many layers, plots, subplots, and sub-subplots all related in an impacting way to the main plot.)

This show is written to be completed in a 5 year timeline and acts as a giant , multi-dimensional puzzle. Every show leaves you guessing, hypothesizing and re-hypothisizing. It is an incredible mental exercise, and I would encourage one and all to give it a trial run.

…No, the cheesy narration is not a show mainstay, but must be included to sum up actions which may have occured over several episodes, so bear with it.

Tob, would you agree that JE is the John Locke of the group?

This is not Freudian!

Time, Part II

Time is elastic, I heard once. I always believed this thought to have some merit.

Recent posts about time and how we spend it got me thinking. Is it truly about how we spend it, or how we experience it? Good times go quickly, bad times seem to move more slowly — that is, if you believe in good and bad times. Or is it all just time, experienced as we choose?

I have no answers, but I do have a recent observation: I should have been careful what I wished for, for now I have it. I have a job I love, a wife I love, a dog I love, and a dozen or so activities I wish I could spend more time doing. Every minute is marrow. There are no scraps anymore, and time feels as though it is whizzing by faster than I can experience it. No longer do I have the sour, which emphasizes the sweet. No longer is there a sweet anticipation of good things to come, simply because it is all good now. Is this a better quality of life?

I certainly never feel like there is an opportunity to rest and reflect; to enjoy the subtleties of my introversion. I think back to the days where I was in class, looking forward to evening activities, dinner, a bike ride. It was as though i got to savor those events, both in the mind and then the reality. Gone maybe is the savoring of the mind.

I am not saying I am unhappy, just that things were good in a very different way.

Thoughts???

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