"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Robot Overlord Watch

Perhaps it will be the Koreans who first develop giant Mecha solders...

Apparently these are designed for deployment along the DMZ. Still kind of creepy though.

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Sucking My Will To Live

This week I've been having a hard time getting up and at 'em. This is in contrast to the past several months where I've been up by 8am at the latest on most weekdays.

I dunno... it feels like some kind of weird senioritis-like plague. The holidays are coming up; the business seems to be working; pressure's off. I'm kind of in a lonely little limbo personally, pent up, a little horny, feeling like I should be getting creative instead of squareball workin' my life away. Raaar!

Well, I get out of town this weekend, down to SF. I've been here nonstop for six weeks, so maybe I just need a break, a little city energy to charge the old dynamo.

It should be fun. I have a cool summit on transparency, and the Girth is getting his Bar Results back (party!) and the Airman of the Year will be in town on leave. We'll no doubt get into some fine trouble.

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More Archival Brilliance

Oh my god, I wrote some good shit back in the day: Monkey Summer 2002:

He talked about seeing one of his peers almost drown recently at the pool near his house and how they hadn't let any of the kids see the CPR. He talked about emailing the President and NASA, trying to get his point across. He talked about how it was sometimes hard for him to connect with the other kids, about his parents and how it was sometimes hard to relate to them. He told me, "sometimes when you think your going to get the greatest reward, you just end up getting into trouble. And sometimes, when you think you're going to get in trouble, you end up with the greatest reward," neatly summarizing a whole morning's contemplation of the previous night's fiasco. The conversation naturally drew to a close. He was 12 after all and our prospective topics were rather limited. I thanked him for his time, asked him to look for us next year and bit a fond fair well to KC. I couldn't help but wonder how adolescence would treat him. Trouble vs. the greatest reward. Pure genius. I sat in the grass and contemplated his brilliant rendering of my fitful evening prior.

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Hillary is In

The doubting is over, Hillary Clinton is almost certainly going to run for president:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is to step down soon from her position in the Democratic leadership, a move that clears the deck for her ambitions outside the Senate.

Clinton is also keeping her campaign offices in New York and Washington operational despite the fact that she does not face reelection for six years, and had scant opposition last Tuesday.

Many in the progressive online community will wince at this. She's not very well liked, and a lot of people have The Fear about her. They both doubt her worth as a leader -- too corporate, lacking in principles, too related to a recent President with an iffy policy legacy -- and fear her power as a totem to rally the orcs at the GOP base. The dittohead horde has been fed for a generation on tales of "the Hildebeast." She would stoke their passion like almost no other.

To me, Hillary has been a rather unexciting politician since getting kicked around on that Health Care thing back in 1993-94. I find her public persona to be almost unbearable -- a transparent exercise in very bad acting -- although I've been assured by more than one person who's worked with her closely that in-person she's great. If that's so, she'd better start showing some greatness in public, because really if you try and watch her do her thing at a podium it's pretty piss poor.

Perhaps this is because on the inside she longs to be a revolutionary firebrand, and because (like a certain former Veep who worked with her Husband) she doubts this inner flame and calculates her positions to retain her position, rendering her hopelessly without courage or any semblance of conviction. I dunno. I really have no idea who these people are or what drives them. I just know she's a C+ performer at best on the stump.

Start practicing, Hill. Dig deep.

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Classic Content is Back!

Oh man. It's baaaaaaack.

Thanks to me remembering how to use sed and bash (handy dandies from the hardcore geek toolbelt) and updating a few PHP scripts from their clunky 2001-style coding, I've resurrected my "classic" content!!!

This is really good stuff, the first two years of outlandishjosh.com. That was a special time and place to be: North Brooklyn in 2001-2003, right in the sweet spot for the second-wave, before the war, and before the eurotrash and Single Guys In Finance started showing up.

Some of this is of course fantastically out of date, and my intention at this point is to bring it all into the new system... it's a TODO I may or may not ever get around do, but I'm happy to make the juicy stuff available again. Heck, if only for myself. It's as good as an old journal. Personal archeology.

Some highlights:

  • Ren Fayre: Bugs, Drugs, Neitzche -- a gonzo account of my trip to Luke's graduation-year extravaganza at Reed College.
  • For that matter, the whole Life section is pretty good. That's where the juicy stuff is.
  • Bridgetrips -- I used to do a ritual of writing the thoughts that came from reflections on riding my old first city bike over the W-burg bridge.
  • Performance Texts -- stuff that I wrote to perform in front of people in a theatrical setting.
  • One Year Later -- a rant written on the first anneversary of 9/11

There's a lot of gold in the day to day archive of that old frontpage. Shames me every time I read it. I used to be so good!

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Saturday Sun

After pissing down all yesterday, the sky has opened up. Time to take a last chance to visit with nature sans-rain slicker. Time to clean the gutters!

I spent a quiet evening at home, lounging in front of the fire and contemplating/introspecting. The Love question is getting bigger and bigger in my mind. I've started trying to date -- a truly atavistic endeavor for me -- with mixed results so far; really just getting back out there, as they say.

Still, it's more than enough to remind me what I miss about womanly companionship; enough to set me off on reminiscing, and wondering when and from whence the next big bolt of romantic electricity will come. Who knows. Who knows.

I've had a lucky and full life in love thus far, maybe more than my fair share -- though really I don't believe this is something in finite supply -- but I'm still hungry, dammit.

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Fiscal Solvency

Lots of wrangling around bills lately. Starting this new company (and having about five grand in back-pay outstanding at my old gig) has left me close to tapped out. I'm also switching banks -- no Citibank in the HC -- and I just realized I hadn't paid one of my student loans. Time to take stock:

Accounts Payable

Low-interest student loans:         $12,086.78
High-interest plastic debt:         $9,454.02
Unknown medical bills from 2005:   ~$2,000
Unknown back taxes from 2002-2003: ~$5,000

Accounts Due

Summer back pay:      $5,125
Oct salary:           $6,300

Looming Expenses/Purchases

Monthly minumum bill load:            ~$1,100
Travel to LA for niece's Bat Mitzvah: ~$800
New lappy:                            ~$1,800
Xmas Gifts/Travel:                     $???
Automobile:                            $???
2006 taxes:                           ~$6,000

At the moment my cash on hand is healthy though most of that is in the new bank account for which I don't yet have a card or anything. But that should work itself out. I don't anticipate having to beg, borrow or steal to make ends meet.

This is actually looking pretty good, all things considered. Chapter Three should be cash-flow-positive through the end of the year, meaning I'm optimistic about paying my Oct, Nov and Dec salaries. If my back-pay from this summer comes through I'll be sitting pretty. If not, I'll still get by.

I can be very austere if I need to. My general cost of living really can be as low as $1100 a month, including debt maintenance. I can live without a car for a few more months, and the laptop (while necessary in the next year) isn't needed right this second. If it all goes wrong, I'll survive with my credit rating intact.

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Although I had no gig (a choice I don't regret) in yesterday's election, it was still a sort of big pivot-point for me subconsciously, one of those dates you mentally hang things around, a good arbitrary marker in time.

And so here it is the day after, and life is going to go on. Like some folks I've talked to, there's a possible sense of lightness and hope. I'm no political virgin here so I'm not expecting much (anything) to really happen in the next two years, but it's deeply heartening to win, to understand once again that this country isn't crazy, that there's always a chance for something better to happen.

It's getting me thinking about my role in all this, and my life going forward. I'm starting a company at the moment, that's my job, but I'm not really in it for the job or the paycheck or the work or the elections... I'm in it for the results, for something to happen, for change and effects and excitement (and recognition, sure) and for the prospect of a real step forward for Everyone.

Here's a quote that sticks out from the Kesey book I'm reading of late:

During the decade of our friendship we had shared a vision, a cause if you will. We were comrades in that elite though somewhat nebulous campaign dedicated to the overthrow of thought control. We dreamed of actually changing the human mind to make way for a loftier consciousness. Only from this unclouded vantage, we maintained, could humanity finally rise out of its repetitious history of turds and turmoil and realize that mighty goal of One World. One World Well Fed, Treated Fair, At Peace, Turned On, and In Tune with the Universal Harmony of the Spheres and the Eternal Everchanging Dharma of... of... Anyway, One Wonderful World.

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Final Graphic

Blue wave

Kudos to Mike, Molly and Mark (and Mark's brother) for pulling it together. Onward!

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Youth Power The Wave


It's a wave election. Where's that wave coming from? Millennials:

Millennial wave 2

Republicans were rejected across the board, but the 18 - 29 year old bracket is what made this wave election possible.

Millennial wave

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