Implication of the Red Sox winning

I have now seen the Sox win the World Series twice. (I also saw Bill Buckner do his thing as well. Yin and yang.) Can I still claim to be a “long suffering” Red Sox fan? Now that we’ve won twice in four years, what does this mean for the Sox Nation? If we cannot define ourselves using our suffering, our endless series of broken hearts, how can we define ourselves?

Was Verizon trying to incinerate my town?

I don’t know about you, but drilling into the electrical main supplying juice to a house does not sound like a good time. This whole affair is strange enough, but the fact that it occured in my hometown is even stranger. BTW, my parents got FIOS from Verizon. After a few months of wrangling they finally got it installed properly. Pretty damn fast, but a pretty big pain in the butt.

What could possibly go wrong?

Indonesia to try and plug mud volcano with concrete balls.

First, that headline is in dire need of a comma or two. I didn’t know that volcanoes can spew different things. Mud volcano. Lava volcano. Refurbished iMac volcano. It is truly amazing what nature can produce. Also, I didn’t realize that volcanoes could have balls, let alone concrete ones.

I’ll give Indonesia an A for creativity and effort. I just wonder what happens when the volcano is full of concrete balls. In the future will we read a headline that says: Indonesia pummeled by concrete balls launched from constipated mud volcano. Tune in and see.

Why I don’t travel for major holidays or How the FBI stole Christmas (and our privacy)

Bruce Schneier posted an essay he wrote on Surveillance and Oversight over on his blog.  He compares the FBI’s actions over a potential terrorist threat during Christmas 2003 to the response to a potential riot by the Rotterdam police force.  He illustrates how the FBI’s lack of judicial oversight coupled with FISA warrants and national security letters leads to its ability to consume massive amounts of data about people without their consent and knowledge.

I used to say, it didn’t really matter what the government collected about me as I wasn’t that interesting.  But at some point, something just snapped inside, and I have become fiercely protective of my data and distrustful of the government’s ability to do the right thing with that data.  I am still not that interesting, but that doesn’t mean I want the FBI hoovering up bits of me from hotels, credit card companies, airlines, and libraries.

Okay so we don’t have an explicit Constitutional right to privacy.  The Supreme Court’s ruling have help establish privacy as a basic human right.  We certainly don’t have an explicit Constitutional right to anonymity.  Yes, there are cases around various aspects of anonymity, but nothing overly definitive and nothing explicit.  It would be interesting for someone to write a history of anonymity.  I’d love to see a time-line of when we lost our ability to be anonymous citizens, tourists, and customers.

As Turkey Day approaches, let us be thankful for for what privacy we have, that there are people still interested in our digital and personal freedoms, and that you paid cash for that turkey.

Ian Glazer

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He should be ours

The sad fact of this is that Mickey Mouse should be part of the public domain. But he’s not. He’s part of the Disney empire who sees fit to keep the mouse out of our hands. They have manipulated the copyright laws to prevent Mickey Mouse from entering the space that Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Ben Franklin all reside… the commons.

For more info see Eldred v. Ashcroft


So, I heard that 12% of Americans have a passport. Is this too many or too few in your opinion?

I’ve been rolling this question over and over in my head today as I hiked around Rio De Janeiro. I think I have walked about 6 mile along the beaches. And, to be frankly, I’m not sure how I would answer that question. On one hand, we all need to experience things beyond the Big Box stores, chain restaurants, and strip malls. At the same time, our fat ignorant asses have no right to piss on the customs and cultures of other nations. More ‘merkins abroad or less? It’s not an easy question to answer.

On the cable car up Pao de Acucar, I watched some hawks circle about. It reminded me of John Hiatt and his song “Before I Go,” which I am listening to now. Truly beautiful. Simple. Honest. Download it now.

Rio is part L.A. (the traffic and mountains in the distance), part San Francisco (the hills), part Denver (the smog), and part San Sebastian (the amazing Copacabana beach and seafood). I’m here for 26 hours. I just finished an amazing Italian meal… some of the best risotto I have ever had… sorry, Josh, it beats yours.

I think I have come to an answer on the more or less passport issue. Todd, one of the patron saints of the Tuesday Night Lists, actually, has previously provided the answer. For those of you who don’t know Todd and aren’t part of the Tuesday Night West group, he is dear dear friend who despite his New Jersey facade is a true Renaissance man. Todd explained to
me in a Irish pub in San Francisco which served wicked curry, that either you have wings or roots. Root people look to nest, look to settle down with 2.5 children. Wing people desire the ability to move at any time to anywhere. Each group is admirable. Each group has their moments when they consider changing sides. I am on fence sitter on this issue… but probably would end up in the Wings group is push came to shove. I think Todd would say that more poeple need passport, need to experience more. I want to believe that… I really do, but, frankly, the less fat-ass, ignorant, white-sock wearing, TGI Friday’s eatin’, assmonkies, I have to deal with while I am abroad, the better. Am I the asshole here?

At any rate, I am on the road right now. Just left Buenos Aires for Rio. I head to Sao Paulo tomorrow night… yikes! I think I’ll be in DC for most of May… I hope.

If you are on this list and have not traveled abroad (which I doubt), get a passport, and get the hell out of the States. Go see something different. Put yourself in situations where you are the minority. Put yourself where you are sacred, unable to communicate, and amazed. Find that which is different. Buy a drink. Smile. Enjoy.