Gypsies & Stick Shifts

When I was a kid, my cousin Mark and I were playing in my grandparents’ yard. While we crashed our bikes into trees or played Land of the Lost, a woman walked onto the front porch and knocked on the door. She spoke to my gram for a little bit, then left.

So we both ran into the house.

“Who was that lady?” we asked, breathlessly.

“It was the woman from the adoption agency,” my mother replied, matter-of-factly. (Though I am sure she will deny this, it is true, trust me.)

“What’d she want?” we asked, a bit scared now.

“Well, if you two don’t behave, she’s coming back to pick you up.”

Horror! Read More

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Pharma Voodoo & Frankenfoods

Checked out an article posted on FB by my friend Cheryl — In a nutshell, it’s about the fact that a healthy diet can reverse all sorts of ailments. No shit.

The HuffPo article talks about a severely diabetic woman who literally turned her health around through a plant-based diet.

According to author John Robbins, the great whole foods guru:

The physicians she was seeing for her diabetes took a look at her numbers, were amazed, and wanted to know how she did it. “I told them I had adopted a completely plant-based diet. They didn’t seem surprised at all, and told me that plant-based diets were helping to reverse diabetes. When I asked why they had not suggested it, they told me because it isn’t practical.”

Aghast, she asked her doctor, “Do you think it’s practical to be 30 years old and lose a leg?”

She walked out of that doctor’s office and never went back. “Everything changed from that moment,” she recalls. “I slowly decreased all the other diabetes medicines I was on. I lowered my blood cholesterol without drugs. I lowered my blood pressure without drugs. I corrected my hormonal problems without drugs. Many diabetics go blind, but I reversed the nerve damage in my eyes. And that infection in my leg? It completely healed. The arthritis in my feet? It went away.”

Ironically, this sort-of ties into an absolute rage-fest I had last week. Read More

Not-So-Tall Tales of a So-Called Wild Child, v1

It apparently snowed last night. You wouldn’t know it – it’s just wet and rainy now. Sort of feels like summer in San Francisco! I think I spent six months soaking wet, riding through puddles halfway up the bike rims. It was El Ninõ, and being a messenger in that kind of stuff makes you feel invincible, but soggy.

Of course, that was before unionization, so you had to ride or you had no money, no matter what got in your way. I got hit by six cars, and each and every time I got back up and kept delivering somebody’s divorce papers, or contracts, or whatever was so important it had to be there a.s.a.p.

I remember riding in an elevator with a woman, probably a few years older than me, maybe the same age, who can tell? Most of the suits ignored us, moved as far away as possible so as not to get the city streets and sweat on their thousand-dollar suits.

“I used to be like you,” she said, turning to talk to me.

“Really?” I asked, curious.

“Yeah, I was a messenger for a while, but now…” she looked down. You could tell she’d rather be huffing fumes up and down Market than sitting in some cush office.

“It’s the best job in the world,” I said, and I meant it. Of course, the unsaid sentiment was that it was also the worst, like living a manic-depressive episode ten hours a day. Read More

Was J-School Worth It?

Interesting HuffPo piece to mention: dude writes about getting a journalism school – or, j-school – master’s degree and whether or not it’s worth it.

I read it, thought it was okay, if a bit short of much more than personal stuff, and then started thinking.

“Sooo, am I glad I got my j-school master’s?” I asked myself.

Well, let’s see – there’s the stuff in the piece, and its comments, about going to this or that school and therefore having connections. Yeah, I got connections, lots of ‘em, with my fancy Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications piece o’ paper, which currently resides in storage, incidentally, along with the equally schmancy BFA from SFAI.

Thing is, the news industry has changed so much – far worse than anyone could’ve imagined – that if I’d ever gone to school, undergraduate, graduate or otherwise, with the thought of the big bucks shining in me peepers, I obviously got it very wrong. Read More

Gadhafi Must Go

Maid of the Seas

The cockpit of Pan Am flight 103, found across the street from Tundergarth church in Scotland

On December 21, 1988, 259 souls were torn from the cold night and thrown six miles to the terra firma of Lockerbie, Scotland, as the 747 they were in was blasted to pieces. Part of the fuselage with 60 passengers inside landed between houses, a jet engine crashed to earth on the other side of town, while a wing vaporized three houses and its 11 occupants after bursting into a fireball, leaving nothing but a crater.

In Lockerbie, they’ll describe that night as hell on earth, a nuclear-seeming holocaust. One woman nearly vomits at the smell of leather – she was a child, and her mother carried her, screaming, through the flames and raining fuel while wearing a leather jacket.

Bodies, body parts, contents and pieces of the plane, luggage, presents, teddy bears and jet fuel rained down, covering an area of more than 800 square miles. Rescuers describe dead found clutching handfuls of grass, others with arms wrapped tight around each other.

According to Libyan ex-justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi gave the direct orders to bomb Pan Am 103 from the sky, according to the Associated Press. Read More

How to Stop an Oligarchy, v2: Madison, Wisconsin

What the hell is going on in Wisconsin, huh?

Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine guitarist

"Mubarak of the Midwest" is the name Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello - who will play as part of a concert for the protestors - has given Wisconsin Gov. Walker.

Democratic Senators fleeing the state en masse, 40,000 people, as of Friday, taking to the streets to protest, and the tea party shipping in good conservative souls from all points to counter.

It almost sounds like the Middle East, with one glaring exception: we have the constitutional right to gather and make our voices heard without repercussions.

Apparently some of the protestors have signs decreeing non-violence. Let’s hope it sticks.

Because the fact is, these public employees have a just cause that goes well beyond the land of cheddar.

Straight and simple, the budget cuts the state is trying to vote on, which would cut health and pension benefits, are not the core issue.

Included in the vote is something that is very important to anyone currently holding, or hoping someday to again hold, a job. Let’s cut the bullshit and call it what it is:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is union busting.

Read More

The End Result

Another byline in print, another clip to add to the roster, and a lot more information learned.

Such is the end result of my information-gathering expedition on CIOs and CTOs, the dudes (and dudettes) who run the technology show at just about any company modern enough to own a computer.

(Not sure what company wouldn’t be digitally hooked in at this point, but I bet they exist … and they’re probably a lot less pressed for time!)

You can catch my newest article in Certification Magazine’s May issue.

And now, as always, back to work!