Friday, April 08, 2005

Taxes are done... well, handed off, at least

I spent a bunch of time plugging away at paperwork and the numbers are handed off to the CPA so it's out of my hands until she calls and asks for (a) more info or (b) our signatures on the forms. Dad--who's here for the next couple days for the Eugene Knife Show--helped sort checks and so on, which sped things up considerably, but I'm missing about half the checks for last year in one box or another, so I'm losing a ton of money I *could* be recovering for all of this, I'm sure. Poot. :( I can always refile if I find the checks, though, so it'll work out.

OTOH, it's really great having Dad here. I'm having a terrific time.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

One last thing tonight -- fun stuff

Okay, this one last thing and then I'm grabbing a few hours of sleep before getting back to finishing the tax paperwork. (BTW, I've been looking for boxes of financial papers and so on that are still sitting in the garage after the move because we don't have a place for a lot of this stuff... which is why we're building the new house, of course. And as a result, I've debrided a fair amount of the garage: there are a lot of boxes and debris that have gone out to the recycle bin and a bunch of boxes that are stacked up and taking less space and I even have been able to empty a few boxes, too. It's very satisfying work and I didn't strain anything in my back slinging all these boxes of books around in the last few days.)

Anyway, this is something I need to share with you if you like guerilla street theater. There's a very cool group called Improv Everywhere. (Their motto is "We Cause Scenes!") Here's an example: several of the Improv Everywhere agents turned a McDonald's into a 5-star dining experience by adding a bathroom valet and amenities.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Slices of my life

Many years ago, I was watching a documentary on the folks at Warner Bros. cartoons, those amazing folks who brought us the best cartoons in the world. (Side note: they didn't rely on audience surveys, focus groups, or test marketing--they said that they just made cartoons that made them laugh. That's all it took.) As part of this, the documentary showed some film of the bunch of them, shot some time in the 40s, that showed them hanging out in the parking lot doing all sorts of silly things with each other.

It was a rare and delicious slice of their lives and ever since seeing it, I have always thought that that's the kind of thing I'd like to leave: the biggest, grandest picture of my life that I can. I want to be able to go back to the pieces and show people what it was like. Mostly the good parts, of course, but I want for there to be a lot of good parts. And you know what? So far, so good.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Neologism du jour

Here's a term that'll be helpful: theo-con.


Buffalo wolves

I used to tell a story about Microsoft whenever they'd done something that disenfranchised their users or screwed the public in general. I was thinking about that same story again today with respect to Wells Fargo. (I was printing out a scathing letter about the incredibly shabby quality of service their Home Mortgage group seems to specialize in and the story came to mind.) And, thinking of the fascists in our country who are currently on the ascendant thanks to a somnolent population, I'm reminded of it even more.

Many years ago, I went to Wolf Haven in Tenino, WA. It's a great place: they provide sanctuary for captivity-born wolves, raise awareness about wolves, and provide protection for wild wolves in a variety of ways. While I was there, I saw a buffalo wolf.

Buffalo wolves, we were told, are "triply extinct." (It makes me sad to write this, even now.) Their habitat's gone (the plains), their food source is gone (buffalo), and at the time I saw them, there weren't enough left to form a viable captive breeding population. If they're not gone from the Earth now, they will be soon. But that's not the point of this story.

Buffalo wolves (canis lupus nubilus), also known as "Great Plains wolves," are a subspecies of gray wolf. They hunted buffalo. Buffalo, in case you aren't familiar with them, don't take shit from anyone. Bulls can weigh a ton or more. They stand 5-6' high at the shoulders. They're incredibly agile and they can sprint at 30mph. They can jump over a 6' fence from a standing position. They are tough dudes.

Nevertheless, buffalo wolves would hunt, kill, and eat them regularly. This went on for thousands of years (before humans came along and screwed things up). How did they do that to an animal that could kill them just by stepping on them? The answer is that, like other wolves, buffalo wolves hunted in packs. They didn't need to face down a buffalo singlehandedly. No one wolf had but a fraction of the strength and power of a buffalo, but a lot of them together were able to whittle a buffalo down, kill it, and eat it.

This story gives me heart and hope. I'll never be as strong as a buffalo myself, but the buffalo wolf has taught me that I don't need to be. I just have to be part of a big-enough pack of other buffalo wolves focused on bringing down that particular buffalo and we'll win every time. It's a very appealing image.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Starting Monday off with some good news

Here's an interview just published for the Firefox book. It came out very nicely!


Monday in the wee hours

My body still thinks it's 12:50 and not 1:50am so I'm not nearly as sleepy as I could be.

An old friend asked me if I'd be the emcee at the CASA (Cascadia Alternative Spirituality Association) Spring Fling on May 1. Sadly, I had to say "No," as I'm going to be travelling a lot in the subsequent two weeks and won't be able to squeeze in a second trip to Seattle. But you should consider showing up--it should be a fun event.

CASA's mission is "to establish and maintain an urban physical facility for alternative spirituality communities to hold worship services, classes, meetings and social events, as well as to host offices for member communities." Given the difficulty that minority religions sometimes have in finding suitable meeting space, it's a boon to the community. Go check them out if you live in or near Seattle.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday morning--it's later when you think

Went out to see Guess Who last night, a movie starring Bernie Mac, who I like, and Ashton Kutcher, who I'm surprised to find that I'd pay money to see, much less enjoy in anything other than "That 70's Show." But it was a really good movie, definitely worth the money.

As the tax paperwork gets more and more complete, the office is getting cleaner and cleaner. Stacks of paper that have accumulated since the start of the Firefox book are being whittled down, sifted, and filed or discarded. I'm even getting some dusting done. BTW, my former next-door-neighbor commented that "Firefox and Thunderbird Garage" sounds like the title of a Sherman Alexie novel.

I need to set a bunch of clocks forward today.