When you can wake up at 4:15 am and get to work early and then leave at 1pm to go out and enjoy the day. That’s when it’s kinda rad that I work in a research lab. When does it blow? Well most of the time I guess.

This is what the sunrise looked like over portland this morning in case anyone cared.img_2148.jpg

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So I just received an email from my mom, a real estate agent, about the house I grew up in. Click HERE for a link to the listing so you can get the context of the reply I sent her.I also tried to make it a pdf so you could view it on the blog but it didn’t work, but here it is anyway. my-old-house.pdf

This is what I wrote back…

Ewww…

OMG that is disgusting. My chest hurts from the dry heaving induced upon seeing that disaster. The front yard looks normal except the grass is dead, but that’s the wid-west for ya.

WHAT! did they do to the kitchen? Did they shop at the bargain basement outlet of marble and the only selection was feces brown. It gives the impression that a roman had diarrhea all over the counters. Well at least the “back splash” protected the walls. And what’s with that olive/bone-white contrast in the addition? I couldn’t even look at the pink-on-pink candy stripped room.

Did they install that fireplace in the upstairs of the addition (master bedroom) and what’s with those black curtains not to mention the ones in the dining room (all the window treatments and furniture skirts are in desperate need of some combustible fuel and a match)? I didn’t see a picture of my old room WTF? IMHO That was the best room in the house. But I will say the basement looks much better, they must have worked out that little flooding issue.

In any case I hope the residents are to blame for the schizophrenic decorating (especially the color schemes) and not some actual decorating business.

Well now that I think about it… if it were a company, they did an excellent job convincing the owners to part with their $ for all that crap. In reality, the only excuse is that a blind family has moved in and thankfully their seeing-eye-dogs are color blind.

And the fact they decided to sell just when the market is cooling down. It should be interesting to see how long it languishes on the market and how low they will have to drop the price. Maybe they should be reimbursed by their interior “decorator”. But with a Jr. High School of Nipher’s caliber someone will probably snap it up just to get in the kirkwood school district.

I like the end of the description “this is a special home”. What does that even mean?

So Seymour Hersh has a new article in the new yorker magazine called redirection. You can click HERE to read it. Just turn off the TV for a half an hour and read it OK. But if you are like me and deal better with auditory stimuli then there are 3 yes three podcasts you can listen to where he is interviewed about the article. He was interviewed on fresh air with terry gross and you can hear the interview HERE. Then I heard him on democracy now click HERE to listen. One of my favorite podcasts which I have written about before is open source with chris lydon. He interviewed seymour hersh and you can hear it HERE.

PLEASE read or listen to this information it is the only place you will hear this very important information. I hope that my bike blog is showing you a simple way you can change your life so that you do not have to support the actions of ALL these demented rich people.  And at the same time all the fun and crazy stuff that you can do for free and without supporting evil.

Just in case the links above don’t work I am reprinting them below:

The article:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/070305fa_fact_hersh

The NPR interview:

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=27-Feb-07

The democracy now interview:

http://www.democracynow.org/streampage.pl?issue=20070228

The opensource interview:

http://www.radioopensource.org/making-the-rounds-with-seymour-hersh/

I would like to point to this article by Juan Cole.  Where he essentially restates all the assumptions that I outline in my last post that got so many negative comments. Also he talks about boycotting gas stations. In that vein check out my bike blog and my flickr page which have just been updated finally.

In the late 80’s and especially in the 90’s the middle east was relatively stable. There were forces in place that kept each other in check. This allowed countries like china, russia, and india to begin to strike deals with and invest with countries in the region. China and india need raw materials and energy to fuel their booming economy’s. Russia has raw materials and energy but since the U.S. controls shipping they have to transport their exports across the middle east and central asia. In all of these bilateral trade agreements and gas and oil pipeline deals amerika was getting cut out. Amerika’s strength lies in it’s air and sea power that are like an insurance policy on exported goods, but if the area is secure the U.S.’s military might is unnecessary.

Who will want to prop up the U.S.’s economy by buying their debt when peoples in india and china can fill the consumer gap?

So on 11.09.01 some religious fanatics hijacked planes like many have done in the past but in this case they flew the planes into some big buildings in a big city in amerika. The hijackers were mostly from Saudia Arabia and belonged to a fringe neo-conservative group.

The response from amerika’s neo-conservatives was to invade afganastan (a country) and remove the taliban from power. Then invade Iraq (another country) and removed saddam and the bath party from power. And of course don’t forget the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid goes to israel who have pissed off lebanon, syria, and palestine directly and just about everyone else indirectly.

This is all leading to my point about the upcoming war against iran. I have heard that the eisenhower and stennis battle groups are both in the region. You can read for yourself on their website. Retired air force colonel Sam Gardiner recently said, that if you hear that the nimitz battle group is being deployed to the region then he is 100% certain the U.S. will attack iran in the next few weeks. Surprise surprise I can’t get to the nimitz homepage. Colonel gardiner’s reasoning on this stems from the fact that you don’t send 3 carrier battle groups to one region because that uses up too much of your overall capabilities. He goes on to say that another indicator of a war with iran would be the deployment of the new airforce F22 raptor out of langley, virginia.

This is all mildly interesting but the part I find particularly hilarious or malicious however you tend to view things is that the U.S. is doing all of this and no one in the U.S. seems to mind much.

Go look at google maps of the middle east. Amerika took out iran’s sworn enemy to the east, the taliban. Then it took out iran’s biggest enemy to the west, saddam and installed a friendly shia government where no shia power had existed. It seems like we did everything possible to make iran look powerful in the region.

In doing these things the U.S. really pissed off the sunni arab countries like saudia arabia, egypt, jordan, and the gulf states (kuwait, bahrain, oman, yemen, qatar and the U.A.E.) not to mention israel. Why does this make sunni’s mad well for instance Saudia Arabia has a significant population of shia’s who live right on their oil fields in the east along the gulf. All they would have to do is break away and join the shia’s in iraq and bam saudia arabia is a desert with no energy exports. This scenario is played out in most countries in the middle east. Think lebanon with shia (hezbollah) probably the majority of muslims and the sunni the second largest faction of muslims there.

I have to run but in closing I just have to say that if you are placing your bets on amerika then you better hope they crush iran and divide up saudi arabia or else the neo-cons little plan to control india and china’s growth will end up bankrupting the U.S. and you might want to practice eating dirt for two meals a day because they don’t let you have lunch in the sweatshops.

Go read my portland bike blog about my recent rip out of the country.

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Snowboarding and bike stuff, of course! Hit the mountain on monday and today (wed). Conditions were spring-like, meaning sunny warm and soft fast white stuff. The terrain park is finally in prime condition after some base-building and then a few dumps. snowboardjump.jpg

See how happy not working can make even the most cynical pessimest.

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You can read about some bike stuff I did on tuesday night on my bike blog (the link is on the side of the page).

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I made a list of links to podcasts I listen to every week on the right side of the page. “Democracy Now” thankfully is updated daily and covers a wide range of news with in-depth interviews that everyone should listen to. A recent episode of special note is from Jan 16th featuring a speech by bill moyers. Ian masters is a BBC trained journalist and he secures some outstanding interviews. He has two shows “live from the left coast” and background briefing”. An informative recent episode is the background briefing from Jan 7th. On that show colonel chamberlain talks about how in ancient rome people were born into the senatorial class but they couldn’t become a senator unless they served in the army for 20 years. Think about how it would be if that were the case today. I for one think decisions about going to war would be much different.

Moving on to something a bit lighter we have “this american life” (tal). Now lately it seems they are just playing reruns but if you haven’t heard them I would check them out. One of my favorites is an old one you can listen to in their archives episode 307 from 2/3/06 called “in the shadow of the city”.

The first podcast ever (seriously) is from chris lydon and his show “open source”. This guy seems to know everyone and covers everything from music to sports to politics to I don’t know, but it’s really interesting and it is updated every day so listen to a couple of them already.

Let’s see what else, oh of course I have a few bike podcasts the “KBOO bike show” from portland and “bikescape” from San Fran. They are both excellent and have informed me about many of the issues in the bike community but they are only about once a month shows. I think I mentioned in another post my favorite episodes from KBOO were “cycling and weight loss” and “biking through loas and sharing the road” from the 2006 archives. Here I know most of you won’t go looking for this stuff so just click HERE and scroll down.

The last two sort of go together since they are more straight news. First is “war news radio” from swarthmore college. It does stories about iraq and the middle east that you won’t hear about anywhere else. And then there’s mosaic from link tv, not really a podcast but a once daily compilation of tv news shows from around the middle east. Very Very informative to see what each one of the countries focuses on and how they spin the facts just like the U.S. media. I try to watch it during my lunch break at work every day but usually only catch it a few times a week.

Finally I thought I would share this interesting history lesson/podcast I found on digg. It is a history of the byzantine empire explored through 12 of it’s leaders and as most of you already know when you study history it makes the present look that much more ridiculous. Well that’s what I listen to when I’m walking the dog or transferring liquids from one vessel to another at work. I hope someone takes a look at some of these, especially DN and open source. Maybe now you can understand why I was freaking out in an earlier post about my ipod dying.