Thursday, February 28, 2002

The Bad News: I've been too busy lately to blog.
The Good News: Thank God, I'm finally getting busy. Things are picking up for me in the tuning biz. Also, we just got our tax refund check. It was nice to dump a whole truck load of money into the bank today. I just piled it up in the lobby and said "would y'all take care of this for me, I need to get back to work." They're pretty good about that sort of thing at Wachovia.

Tomorrow I'm off to 3 more tunings, including one at the Hilton. It's looking like March will be good as well. Now if I can just do something about this weather . . .

Monday, February 25, 2002

I think I've always assumed that I would be too stunned for speech at the death of a very close loved one. Time will eventually tell, I imagine. Mrs. Pearl, however, speaks fairly coherently and is quite touching.
G.K.C. on the "science" of eugenics, which was quite popular at the time:
I never heard a man say: "Anthropology shows that I belong to an inferior race." If he did, he might be talking like an anthropologist [ . . .] I have long hoped that I might someday hear a man explaining on scientific principles his own unfitness for any important post or privelege, say: "The world should belong to the free and fighting races, and not to persons of that servile disposition that you will notice in myself; the intelligent will know how to form opinions, but the weakness of intellect from which I so obviously suffer renders my opinions manifestly absurd on the face of them: there are indeed stately and godlike races-- but look at me! Observe my shapeless and fourth-rate features! Gaze, if you can bear it, on my commonplace and repulsive face!" If I heard a man making a scientific demonstration in that style, I might admit that he was really scientific . . .
This qualifies as news, I suppose, in the same sense that the sun rising this morning qualifies; it seems our universities are an intellectual breeding ground for terrorist thought. While I am, in theory, in favor of a free exchange of ideas, I just really want to slap anyone who gave positive press to this book. I guess terrorism is ok as long as you don't bring a god into it.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

It's somewhat difficult to even describe what we saw last night, but I'll give it my best. I took my wife to the UNC campus for a free showing of a play. There was no writer credit for the play, so I'll have to assume it was written by the director/producer or the cast members. In any event, here's the general idea. The group had been planning to do a performance of The Wizard of Oz, but discovered at the last minute that they couldn't obtain/afford the performance rights. Given that they'd already spent so much on sets and costumes, and they wanted to keep the show going, they went out and found the cheapest thing they could find, which happened to be a rock musical called Oedipus Rox. They went on to perform said musical on the Wizard of Oz set with WoO costumes.

After the opening number and first scene, I thought it was going to be just unbearable, but it managed to pick up steam (and humor) as it went. I don't have the playbill in front of me so I can't give you the cast member's names. The part of Scarecrow/Oedipus was played quite well. Dorothy and the wicked witch ended up playing his daughters. Dorothy was particularly upset about being transfered from the lead to such a minor role and kept bring up her "wizard" lines. She was particularly upset at Creon, as he wasn't even a cast member in WoO, he was the set carpenter. He ended up having the strongest performance of the bunch. The chorus was somewhat equally divided between people in togas, munchkins, and flying monkees, the latter wearing skirts and red vests. All in all not a bad night out on the town.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Thanks to Jim Hart for pointing out to me that I didn't put the code for my hit counter back in my template when I changed formats. I'll peek out of my blog hole now and see if I have a shadow.

BTW, I brought in Chesterton today because I just had to share this one

I cannot understand the people who take literature seriously; but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this book. It is a collection of papers upon current, or rather flying subjects. Their chief vice is that so many of them are very serious; because I had no time to make them flippant. It is so easy to be solemn; it is so hard to be frivolous. That is why so many tired, elderly, and wealthy men go in for politics. They are responsible; because they have not the strength of mind left to be irresponsible. It is also easier. So in these easy pages I keep myself on the level of the Times: it is only occasionally that I leap upwards almost to the level of Tit-Bits
Ahh, there's COPS and then there is this
I'm getting the feeling that my format change didn't go over well as I've gotten no page hits in the last three or four days. I guess no one loves me anymore. I'll just crawl into my little blog hole over here . . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Why is it that I find so many witty and profound things to blog about during the day when I'm out driving or working, but when I'm on the computer I'm too lazy or forgetful to write about them. There have been SO many quoteworthy pieces in my Chesterton book, but it's out in the car and I'm too lazy to go get it. I suppose you'll have to make do with this one from Hume:
I must confess, that there is a strange supineness, from long custom, creeped into all ranks of men, with regard to public debts, not unlike what divines so vehemently complain of with regard to their religious doctrines.



Last night I happened upon a captivating book title: Hope is not a Strategy. It was a book about sales in complex environments. I read, I suppose, a quarter of the book, and the thesis seemed to be that one must, to maximise sales effectiveness, think critically about a great host of potential problems and opportunities. Sales is not just a matter of learning your stuff and throwing it out there. It's about talking to the right people, in the right way and at the right time. It's also about being aware of competitors, of existing and potential clients, about political situations, about relationships and many other things.


It seems to me that many of these things apply to ay form of business, or many other aspects of life. If you really want improvement, hope really isn't a strategy. Thoroughness is a strategy. Gregariousness is a strategy. Kindness and gentleness and forcefulness and inquisitiveness and learning from others who are in similar situations and developing relationships are all stategies. Something to ponder.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

What a fascinating article on the nature of risk and the responsibilities of the science community. It's long, so be prepared. I found it quite fascinating though.

Friday, February 15, 2002

I'd just like to thank Deacon Paul for the opportunity to correct grammatical & spelling errors on this weblog. It is the fulfillment of a life-long dream [of my mother's].

I will not be responsible for sarcastic-run-on-phony-website citations, however.

--The Deacon's Wife
Testing format changes.
Alright, it's time for me to come out with it. I've been hiding it too long and no longer wish to live a lie. Here goes: I hate the Olympics. There, I said it. Man do I feel better. Why on earth should I get excited about the idea of young people from all over the world sacrificing their youth and potential productivity just so they can be in the spotlight once every four years. Mind you, it isn't sporting competitions per se I dislike, its the "amateur" pretension of the Olympics. If someone should be so fortunate as to be able to make a living playing sports, more power to them. If people want to compete in sports with their friends and neighbors, that seems healthy to me. But to throw away years of your life just to be on tv for a few minutes just seems like madness.

If you really wanted to be on tv, here's an idea. Find a way to get yourself hired as a security guard for a live tv show or event, then manage to sneak in front of the camera. Not only will you be on tv, you will be earning a paycheck and performing, I suppose, a worthwhile service, i.e. keeping morons from getting on tv.

If you have angry comments, please send them to www.I-wish-to-stand-up-for-the-olympics-at-any-cost-even-if-it-actually-reduces-business-levels-in-the-host-city-and-creates-false-hopes-for-our-youth-and-pre-empts-potentially-better-programming.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Sorry to not have a good link for this (and I did look for one), but the Earth Liberation Front has been named by the FBI as the largest active terrorist organization in our country. To this I say "hunt 'em down and throw 'em in jail like other terrorists." These are the people who bomb the research facilities of universities which are trying to find solutions to food growing problems in the third world. If you get a chance, check out the PBS Frontline special called "Harvest of Fear" (or something very close to that). It was very well done and made evry effort to be balanced, but it made me want to hunt down these ELF creeps.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

I suppose that since I am the only man in America to have both seen The Count of Monte Cristo and finished reading the book the same day, that I may be entitled to comment on it. My comment would be this. DON'T READ THE BOOK AND EXPECT THE MOVIE TO BE LIKE THAT. Sorry for the shouting.

My opinion of the film is entirely colored by the book, and is therefore probably worthless. I have heard film reviewers praise it, so it might be good entertainment for those who don't have preconceptions of what the plot should be. Admittedly it would be something of a challenge to present an eleven hundred page book into a two hour movie. But to me, at least, the whole sense of the thing was lost.

To illustrate, in the novel the title character, having made his escape from prison and finding his fortune, works invisibly behind the scenes for YEARS, preparing intricate plots, assuming many identities, and creating a fabulous reputation for himself to assist him in his goal of revenge. In the film, he states to his servant that he will not simply act in direct violence against his enemies, but rather will find out everything about them and proceed to bring them to ruin and despair. Yet what he actually does is set up one quite simple plot, followed in fact by direct violence agaist said enemies.

Again, I don't know if you will enjoy seeing the movie. I can tell you this though; if you want to see a thorough and subtly plotted revenge story, read the book.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

I say HA!! Finally a review on a subject close to my (professional) heart. There are actually some important issues buried in here about the relation between God, man and music.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

My favorite pithy libertarian saying I've seen yet is "Be glad we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

Some members of our congress seem to expect us to pay for a lot. And while the expenses noted here are not enormous, the whole attitude just makes me scratch our head. I think we need to beef up congressional ethics enforcement to the point where at least one or two reps are booted out each year. Let the districts who voted them in just go without representation 'til they can send someone who behaves themselves.

Sunday, February 03, 2002

Why is it that I just now noticed that Marvin Olasky has a web column?? I really like this one since I think Kurt Warner is about the best hero figure we have right now.

Friday, February 01, 2002

From Opinion Journal:

Many Americans headed for church after the Sept. 11 attacks, but in one corner of American Protestantism the faithful have been fleeing the pews--at the insistence of a powerful spiritual leader. According to Harold Camping, members of Reformed churches--which are attended by about two million Americans and include the Dutch Reformed Church and various Presbyterian and Baptist congregations--should stay home on Sundays. Perhaps it's not a surprise that this former elder is picking up converts, along with a host of critics.

Mr. Camping is sounding the trumpet over his Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio network, which boasts 40-odd stations plus satellite, short-wave and Internet capability. Lest anyone believe that Mr. Camping hopes to become the patron saint of Sunday morning golfers and fishermen, it should be understood that he believes church attendance may be injurious to one's spiritual health. Indeed, he assumes that we may be in the End Times, when false doctrines are everywhere preached, often at Satan's instigation. There is little choice, he argues, other than to "depart out" before it's too late.