Plane Time

Posted in Travel on February 13th, 2009 by Дмитрий

Nothing like taking a flight on Friday the 13th… Thru Minneapolis the day after another plane crashes in icy winds in New York…

Google Map iPhone App for Desktop?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10th, 2009 by Дмитрий

Does anyone know of any utility that has the “pin drop” functionality of Google Maps’ iPhone app? For instance, I want to know the distance between a certain address and “this place I’m pointing to on the map but have no idea what address it is”. And I might want to know the distance walking, or as the crow flies?

As I Was Walking to Work This Morning…

Posted in San Francisco, Sods on February 9th, 2009 by Дмитрий

… I was thinking, “Why am I being cruised so much this morning? I haven’t even shaved in five days…”

Then I remembered what always happens the same week as my anniversary…

Our Precious Fluids

Posted in Russophilia, Sods on January 23rd, 2009 by Дмитрий

It’s interesting that, despite having much better scientific screening resources in place,, America still bans healthy homosexual men from donating desperately needed blood, whilst most of the rest of the developed world, including Russia, whose social attitudes toward sexuality are somewhat more conservative, allow it.

Please Endulge Me One More Bleating

Posted in A Life More Boring, Americana on January 23rd, 2009 by Дмитрий

This piece really sums up my feelings of late toward the generation that ruined our lives:

Boomers might be on the dark side of the cemetery lawn. The rest of us will be taking their name in vain for the mess they bequeathed. “The psychology of Boomers is, ‘There is no future, we are it,’” Males says. “That’s an easy way to excuse your behavior.”

This is not some new fetish for hate-mongering over Ma and Paw, though it is fun to find someone appropriate to blame for all this crap we’re going through. Rather, I seem to only of late have realized quite to what extent the Bush years reflected the intellect, demeanor, and morality of the “Boomer” generation: a belief in limitless wealth accumulation, limitless debt facility, and limitless consumption which could buy health and happiness in retirement, ultimately paid for by me and my generation, and the aggrandizing of blamelessness in all spheres of villainy, from launching wars without any call for social sacrifice to gutting civil society and civic virtues for the sake of isolated suburban harems.

It only recently dawned on me how my own father has spent years moaning about how horrible his life is because he can’t yet (at 63) afford to retire (at a lifestyle involving 3 homes and a couple SUVs). Sorry dad - it needs to be said. My generation will not retire. That relic of a habit lasted a century or so - it’s gone, man. So forgive me if I can’t weep for your generation’s coming “hardships”…

My Generation’s Finally In Power…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21st, 2009 by Дмитрий

…Let’s not fuck it up like the last one, m’kay?

The Federal Reserve Note is People…

Posted in Economics on January 16th, 2009 by Дмитрий

We are being harvested. One reason to reconsider the benefits of a wholesale conversion to a ’service economy’ (aka, one that produces no tangible goods) is that we end up here: spending trillions of Federal Reserve Notes to support our only remaining large domestic businesses - banks. Meanwhilst, the only large manufacturing industry we have really retained (automobiles) is one that produces shoddy goods with a short life that require a disappearing resource to maintain their usable value.

And what about the goods that have real durable value? What about clothes, furniture, appliances and farms and houses? We outsourced the first three so that we could move the workforce into our new specialization - financial services. Meanwhilst, we have converted our best farmland into fuel crops for a dead industry and the only houses we build anymore are shoddy imitations totally dependent on that dead industry for their continued utility.

As the collapse commences, our remaining ‘industrialists’ (aka, bankers) and political leaders realize that creating Federal Reserve Notes via the debt markets does not always result in the creation of actual wealth. To delay the day of reckoning, we harvest our remaining wealth, left over from previous decades when we actually produced any, to maintain the illusion of solvency. But no real solutions (aka, durable, green industry and infrastructure) have been offered by anyone, including our great, charismatic incoming leader in whom we’ve vested such religious belief.

Can anyone stop the harvesting before we’ve no energy left to bear a real future economy? America is not the only country that should be asking this question…

Head for the Hills!

Posted in A Life More Boring on January 14th, 2009 by Дмитрий

I sometimes chuckle at the people who are out there stocking up on guns and ammo in case Obama gets tough on the Second Amendment (which I’m sure is a huge priority for him…), or in case an economic collapse leads to civil unrest and general social unpleasantness.

I also chuckle at those who are stockpiling tons of freeze-dried food and nitropak meals from REI. The whole idea of mass survivalism is somewhat laughable in general.

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Yet I’m probably on the more pessimistic side of the scale about the prospects for the economy at this point: I don’t see the housing market ever recovering, but in fact probably falling about to its mid-late-90s levels and staying there for the long haul; I see the coming oil crash and its dire effects on the large swathe of suburbia that would become uninhabitable without affordable gas; I understand the total lack of any sort of long-term innovations in energy or resource infrastructure (we’ve basically been an economy of fossil fuels and copper wires for well over a century now, and most innovation depend on that paradigm) and the fact that this will cause an enforced simplification of our society for at least the next couple decades.

But I feel pretty safe about my position within that world.

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Golden Gate Park

Posted in San Francisco on January 10th, 2009 by Дмитрий

A view from my walk today.

Debasing Our Currency

Posted in Economics on January 9th, 2009 by Дмитрий

I find it fascinating to learn that Mexico is the only country in the world that still uses silver in circulating coins. It definitely makes me consider the Peso as a hedge against the inevitable inflation we’re going to experience once all this bailout largesse filters into the money supply.

It’s interesting that Americans think the Mexican economy and Mexican workers are not valuable, when it’s a country whose local expatriates send gobs of earned income home, whilst America sends tons of treasure to it voluntarily by buying almost as much oil as it buys from Canada.

And obviously Mexico has enough faith in its monetary policy to include a metal of real value in it.