habeas corpus

THIS ARTICLE is why the government scares me.
It reinforces that some of the most bizarre plots that you think come from Hollywood or some conspiricy theorist nut-case, might in-fact be real.

About 10 min after I posted this, I read THIS ARTICLE. Seriously, does this freak anyone else out?!?!?


Happy Music...

Some music just makes you feel relaxed and good.
Kings of Convenience are my new favorite group of the moment. I've never seen their albums, I've only found them on YouTube. I should probably use part of that iTunes gift card in my desk and actually buy one of their albums so I have it with me on the road or something.
Music is amazing in it's ability to manipulate you. When I hear this song, I'm compelled to relax. There's another blog entry about lyrics buried in me somewhere, but not today.


Conflict of Interest...

I was reading this ARTICLE today.
Am I the only one that sees a SERIOUS conflict in this? The state is paying for cancer treatments for a guy with terminal cancer, who is ON death row. And NOW he gets a stay of execution because the medication that they are giving him to save his life MIGHT interact with the medication they would give him to kill him? WTF?


Blue Skies

During a recent business trip, I was struck by the fact that people who work on airplanes always have beautiful weather. Once you get over the clouds, there's always clear blue skies around you. The rain and the grey are below you. You look down on puffy clouds and have sun shine all around you. How cool is that?


Adapt or Die

This article basically shows what I think is fundamentally wrong with the Republican party. I should make this note... I'm not a Democrat.
I'm a capitalist and I'm a realist.
I believe that everyone should be able to pursue their dream, make a good living, contribute to the creative world, and do it all with as little government involvment as possible. I run into some problems with the idea of social programs. As a small business owner, I believe that we have an ethical obligation to pay a good living wage, provide health care coverage, and retirement and savings options for our employees--BUT I think that what I do as a business owner should be dictated by my ethical ideas of what I should do... not by legislation. In the world that is in my head... everyone would do the right thing because (a) you should always do the right thing and (b) because people should support the companies that share those philosophical ideas. And I do try to live out this concept of corporate/capitalist democracy.

  • I look at the HRC Equality Scorecard each year, and I avoid companies that are yellow or red. I think that it's important for me to support companies that have proactively taken a position to recognize value of the GLBT community and the diversity of their employees. This directly links my thoughts on what a business should do with what my business does do like provide complete family health coverage (I use that phrase instead of 'partner' benefits because I already have a business 'partner,' but when I have someone I'm going to spend the rest of my life with and raise children with and sit in a rocking chair on my front porch when we're 80 with... well that's a family, so I call it a family).
  • I shop at Costco instead of Sam's Club because they pay their workers a living wage. good article
  • I shop at Lowe's instead of Home Depot because I believe in 'value added service' and hiring people who know what they sell. good article
  • I shop at Target instead of WalMart because they have cool stuff and I think that good design has more value than the mundane. good article

But to pull this post back to where it started... the Republicans have basically refused to show that they are anything except the white, Protestant party. The reality is that America has always been a country of immigrants. 100 years ago, the irish were cleaning the houses, not the Mexicans. That's what's awesome about America is that we keep changing. Everyone started as a minority and eventually blended to become 'American.' By refusing to acknowledge blacks or hispanics as an important voting demographic is just dumb. Adapt or die, because the people you think don't matter, will matter.


When Harry Met Sally

Best line for describing how I think love should work.
And there is a longer blog entry buried here about friends vs lovers--which comes first and can one really come before the other....
anyway... here's the clip



Kate Hepburn

I'm a goober. This is one of my top 5 movies of all time... and this, the opening scene just makes me laugh every time I see it especially when he lays her down at the end of it. i like how there's no words, just cheesy tuba music and drums.

I'm a Kate Hepburn fan in a huge way. I guess that should've been a clue I was gay years ago. I don't go for the normal diva's. Madonna annoys me. And Barbra Streisand is about as obnoxious as Bill O'Reily. For some reason though, Kate Hepburn movies entertain me without a good reason. Adam's Rib. Bringing Up Baby. Desk Set. They just are entertaining to me. But at the same time, given their context, several of her movies were really progressive and tackled social issues very directly, like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Kate Hepburn is one of my 8 Fantasy Dinner Guests, but that's another blog entry for another time.



Recently I was having a conversation with my good friend Kevin about life, the universe, and everything. On the topic of happiness, he offered up a simple and unappologetic perspective on how to be happy. His theory on happiness boils down to two things. Find love and have a lot of money. With those two things you can be happy.

Other theories discussed were that you needed 4 things to be happy.
1. love
2. enough sex
3. working out
4. enough sleep
And when you really think about it... if I had all 4 of those, I think I might be happy.

Ultimately we reached a Darwin based theory on happiness. Evolution has made it such that our happiness is driven by wanting something more. Complacency leads to extinction... so you have to be improving or evolving. We're genetically tied to thinking the grass is always greener somewhere else. Thus the happiness theory is that you can't achieve happiness because it can't exist. Only the anticipation of happiness can exist. Once you achieve a milestone, you can't perpetuate that feeling of happiness because the achievement isn't the sustaining part, it was the anticipation of that achievement.


I Want One!!!

File this under 'things I want.'
I'll credit Towleroad with turning me on to this one too.
For the record, it's a 3'x8' multi-touch computer interface.
Here's the inventor's research site.

The thing that whets my appetite is what this could do for the creative process.

Architecture (with a capital "A") used to be about creativity and art, but along with technology's increase in productivity has come a decrease in creativity.

Today, we get bogged down in the details because the computer lets us see everything down to the 1/256th of an inch.

Details are important; I'm not saying ignore the details, but in first year studio, you are taught to start exploring a design using fat markers and pencils on paper.

Color outside the lines, and let your sketches be messy! You're judged by the scribbles in your sketchbook as much as you are by the precision of your final presentation.

Sketching is the creative process and the creative process doesn't begin at the 1/256th of an inch level.

While computers and CAD were great for efficiently creating drafted plans, it sucked for creating concepts. Blueprints aren't Architecture. Blueprints are an instruction book for creating a concept or thought that originated in someone's mind or was fleshed out in someones sketchbook. Think of it as a word processor, not as a pen. Recently some tools have started showing up that help the creative process using a computer, but the interface has always been the bottleneck.

My hand and a pencil will always be faster than a keyboard and a mouse.

Speed and flexibility is important because the design process is about iterations--it's about following tangents and exploring 'what if'. This video makes me drool because it has the potential to let me communicate things as fast as they evolve in my mind.

Creativity unfettered...!

(Plus it would be really cool to pretend I'm Tom Cruise in Minority Report.)

Discover Music

... I discovered Musicovery on Towleroad a week ago. It's a flash based internet radio that has a great user-interface. It makes for a great way to discover random playlists based on a matrix of tempo and mood.



This News Article
from the paper today is a footnote to the Valentine's Day post.


Valentine's Day

I'm not the most mushy guy. I find that friends and family are generally enough to keep me motivated and moving in a forward/positive direction. Truth be told, I haven't made a big deal out of Valentine's Day in probably 15 years, and it looks like I'm not going to start this year either.

I would be lying if I said that being single didn't suck sometimes.
Generally,I don't have that empty feeling inside that a lot of people talk about.
Of course I also don't want to die alone--and I doubt I will.
I have a family and friends that are basically family who will make sure of that!
I am blessed beyond words in that area.

The only thing that does hit home on a day like this is... occasionally I want to spoil someone.

I guess that's why I have a dog.


Plan B

Plan B, the back up plan to Plan A. I'm realizing that most of life we spend working on a plan and only occassionally do we have a Plan B. For a lot of people (myself included) there is a huge motivator in making Plan A work--an overwhelming fear of failure. For the most part I don't usually have a back up plan. But recently, there's a dissatisfaction in the pit of my stomach that makes me think that Plan A isn't where I want to be anymore. I suck at pinpointing these gut feelings.

Maybe it's professional--I've already been burned out on Architecture twice. The first time I ended up getting a History Minor and a Japanese Minor. The second time I ended up getting an MBA and doing the dot-com thing. While historically my attention span has cycles of 18-24 months, when you actually START the company and OWN the company and ARE the boss, it's rather hard to quit and try something else. In the first place, you have obligations to your partner and your employees. In the second place, you need to have an idea of what you want to do next. I'm restless. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Maybe it's social--I've been out of any kind of relationship for several years. My married friends are fully suburban, and my single friends have almost all moved away or are now part of the married group and dropped off the planet. Sometimes I feel really lonely so maybe I need to find a new social outlet.

Maybe it's the house--I'm ready to actually FINISH a project! I finally have the wood for the rest of the deck. Maybe if I can actually mark a renovation project off my to-do list--there will be a sense of accomplishment and the restlessness will go away?

I just hate this feeling in the pit of my stomach, and not knowing what it is or how to fix it.
....or maybe it was just bad chinese food?


You Tube

Here's my first attempt at embedding a video in my blog.
Let me start by saying I don't watch TV. But seriously... this is funny!
I like how she's so drunk she almost falls out of her chair twice--and the interview starts out "good morning Paula Abdul!"

Celebrity Playlists

I was browsing my iTunes store and happened upon the celebrity playlists.
Most of it was pretty common. I wasn't suprised by who listens to what, for the most part. Some of it was insightful. I think that Annie Lennox's list shows her influences. I was actually suprised that Liv Tyler had an Aerosmith song listed. What I did find interesting was that Bill Mayer's list was noticably gay with at least one show tune and a Barbra Streisand song while Andersen Cooper's was tactfully balanced with only a nod towards anything with his selection of a New Order song.

As any of my friends will tell you, I have very poor musical tastes and tend to listen to my satellite radio before anything else. Factoring out the Tower Records Fire Sale when they went out of business, i haven't bought a CD in 3 or 4 years. (even then, my CD purchase was classic Whoopi Goldberg stand-up from the mid-80's) This is why I'm not asked to be DJ in the office--we leave that up to Dean, the understated yet uber-hip intern.


Caught Orange Handed

After a night of much drunkeness, friend 'X' crashes with a drinking pal 'Y' (subject of another blog down the road), at another friend's 'Z' house. (Note: I am not part of this night of drunkeness--I'm an old boring guy who stayed in that night.)
X and Y end up making out and having 'happy fun times' that night EVEN THOUGH a 'pillow barrier' had been erected by X between them to keep both X and Y honest & pure. (Note: the pillow barrier's effectiveness has not proven well with either X or Y.)

I go to pick X up for church the next morning. Later, walking to brunch, I notice that his hand is VERY orange--disturbingly orange--like a rash gone REALLY bad.

Me: What's wrong with your hand?
X: I made out with Y last night when we crashed at Z's.
Me: The pillow barrier didn't work again?
X: Yup.

Me: So what did you do to your hand?
X: I borrowed some lotion from the nightstand and didn't read it well.
Me: Self-tanning lotion?
X: Yup.

A friend couple is going to brunch with us.
As we're walking to brunch, Kevin looks over at X's hands.

Kevin: It looks like you made love to a cheeto.
X: I know, it's bad, isn't it?

I'm kind of glad I stayed in that night and went to church the next day.
I wonder if Y will panic when he sees his cheeto?
I wonder what Z will do with those sheets?