Notes from the Surf

Founder of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods transfers business to employees
his 209 employees now own the place and its 400 offerings of stone-ground flours, cereals and bread mixes... "In some ways I had a choice," Moore said of what he could have done with the company he founded with his wife, Charlee, in 1978. "But in my heart, I didn't."

Vancouver Olympics: Arrested for Torch Desecration
Blasphemers should know better than to f**k with the Holiest of Holies.

New Mexico House Passes Sweeping Funds Bill
"The bill enables a possible switch of $2-5 billion of state funds into CUs and small banks... Sources said that despite the support for the bill, it still may face quiet opposition from the large bank lobby which may seek to stall or defeat the measure."

Must the Rich Rock On Forever?
In a relatively equal society, with little difference in income between the rich and everyone else, monopolistic vendors have “little to gain from selling only to the rich.” But that all changes when the rich go mega. Vendors can charge more for their wares — and not worry if their less affluent customers can’t afford the freight... the same dynamics of inequality that aggravate rock fans help explain why so many people can’t afford AIDS drugs or stay in college or buy a home.

The Onion: Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion
Sources at the White House said President Obama was "still trying to get his head around all this" and was in seclusion with his coin collection, muttering "it's just metal, it's just metal" over and over again.

Foreign demand for US debt drops by record amount
"China cut its holdings by $34.2bn - meaning it is now the second-biggest US debt holder after Japan."

Haiti’s ongoing struggle to recover
"the French-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) stated that a photographer from Le Nouvelliste, the oldest and largest mainstream Haitian daily, had a camera physically taken from him by six U.S. Marines. The reporter, Homère Cardichon, was taking photos of a protest by Haitians at the U.S. ambassador’s home in the capital."

History Repeats: Committee of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared of Honduras
"Back then... paramilitary groups and death squads would assassinate and disappear people in a clandestine manner, so that it was difficult to point them out as the criminals. Today, they do it in broad daylight... Less than 24 hours after having been sworn in, Minister Álvarez carried out one of his infamous madrugones, or pre-dawn raids."

Venezuela: "The communes aren’t something you decree"
a commune, which is made up of several communal councils, is local, community self-government, “where we, the people, we are the ones who decide what our community wants and what the improvements are that we want to work on in our area... It’s not the state that comes and decides; its us”

Dunkerque: Employees Take Control of Total Refinery
At least 150 workers stormed the buildings this morning... "We aren't crooks, it's out of the question that we'd damage our equipment. We have been peaceful since the beginning of this action. We aren't calling for violence."

Earlier today, I had a look back through some of my older essays and papers, stuff from as far back as middle school actually. I was quite sure of myself as a kid.

I can kinda remember what it felt like to be so sure of something there was pretty much no point in even discussing it.

"Finally, Thoreau’s anti-materialistic attitude strikes me as old and worn out. Even if you do manage to destroy every consumer product in the entire world, someone will always want something they don’t have. Human beings are naturally envious, and it would be folly to think this fact can be changed. "

Here I made an interesting argument - flawed, but still interesting. I assumed that the only way to acquire goods or services was by purchasing them.

Looking at my ideas from when I was younger puts stuff into perspective for me, so I figured I would write down some of my thoughts today to read in a few years and reflect on "how silly I was."

Today, I'm thinking we should do away with the Department of Education, or at least change its function. Rather than providing public school for everyone and funding these schools with tax money, the Department of Education should instead accredit private schools to make sure they are up to standard and provide incentives for the opening of more private schools to encourage competition and make education more affordable.

Too many kids wander through high school because they take it for granted. They don't take it seriously because their parents aren't shelling out their own money to pay for it. Well, they are in the form of property taxes, but not all of them and not directly. Anyways, the cost of sending the average American's 2.2 kids to school is far less than we end up paying over our lifetimes in the form of taxes.

The argument of most people for public schools is that education is a basic human right that everyone is entitled to, up to a certain degree. Everyone just assumes this, but nobody really asks, "Why?"

Okay, maybe some people might, even after questioning the premise, still come to the conclusion that education is a basic human right, and that's fine, they're entitled to their point of view, but at least put that matter to vote to see what the community really thinks. Leave it to individual counties or cities to determine whether or not to implement a public school system. After all, I don't think there's anything about public schools being controlled by the federal government in the Constitution.

That's what I've been thinking about today.

I found a frog in my garden.
We are uphill from the park across the road.
It is quite a hop from the creek.
Small, brown, patterned and quick.

As I've said before, coincidence is very cool. Today was Dr. Suess's birthday. I was actually told yesterday that it was his birthday then. What a good excuse to write! Yesterday was, of course, March 1, which in 2003 was the last time I wrote anything on E2 that wasn't a daylog. There is one coincidence, but first, even though Dr. Suess didn't create it, I wanted to share this excerpt I found from The Land of Fruit.

Dragons are known for their piles of treasure. They are not know for having Brussels Sprouts in their mouth, but I know one that quite frequently does. Of all the treasure on the Dragon's pile, lately it has grown quite fond of a particularly magical mirror. Unfortunately I've never been able to look in the mirror myself, nor do I know anyone besides the Dragon who has. On at least one occasion the Dragon had a mouth full of Brussels Sprouts, looked in the mirror and remarked, "I am A Nacho-Eating Cow."

I have no idea what this means.

The Dragon also has been following the Troll more recently than in centuries past, and I was actually able to overhear a conversation:

"I'm stalking you."

"Stalking implies unwanted attention, which is impossible in my case. You are simply following me, if you were following without giving feedback you'd be lurking."

"You seem upset..."

"I miss the Sponge."

"Maybe the Sponge will visit you sometime. Sugar Pool isn't that far from your little cave now..."

"I don't need a visit. I'm too busy collecting coins anyway, and my cave is too small for the both of us. I'd just like to see the Sponge in my crystal ball sometime."

"Never there when you look?"

"Just the creature he went through The Bonding of the Rings with. I can't remember the last time I actually saw the you hear something?"

At that point I ran away. Recording history is not worth the Troll getting a hold of you. He scares me.

This woman I know who says she is a completist is why I only daylog on E2, or why I stopped trying to fill real nodeshells. I have 10 writeups in node heaven. I'm pretty sure this woman doesn't have a way to look at them. And there is probably a decent chance that even if she could she wouldn't find anything too interesting there. But I don't think that would stop her. I think she'd read all that crap if she could. And maybe, just maybe I made a fart joke in one of those nodes, and maybe it would make her laugh, and then it's all worth it.

I like titles. I don't like looking at my writeups and seeing a bunch of dates and not knowing which entries are about what. But I understand that E2 is not my own personal playground. If I can figure out a way to convince more people to provide feedback, my plans for world domination are just around the corner.

I find myself on occasion still adding "2009" to my dates, despite this being the third month of 2010, and I think it is because my brain cannot fathom the fact that we have reached a year in humanity that was essentially relegated to science fiction.

I'm sure Twain and Edison and Churchill felt something similar in 1900, but there was still something antiquated about the change. There were still so many basic mysteries about life and the universe to be discovered - the electron was found only three years earlier - and they must have known that there were entire worlds of thought and science and culture that would never be approached in their lifetimes.

But today, I feel that anything is possible, and may come at any time. When it was 1989 or 1996 or even 2005, it was still the present, but today I have the slightest suspicion that we are living in the future.

And so sometimes when I write "2009", I don't correct it.

“Hi honey, how was school today?”

”Good, I got picked to go to France next year as exchange student!”

”That’s fantastic honey! Could you put your mother on real quick?”

It looks like yet another journey is about to begin.

It seems that her school has a yearly program where about twenty to twenty five students trade places for a couple of weeks each year and try to absorb other cultures and traditions. I figure with college fast approaching it couldn’t hurt to have these types of things on her transcripts and resume. After all, these days you never know what’s gonna push someone else over the top or become a deal breaker. Every little bit helps.

So after talking with her mom over finances we decided we could swing it. After all is said and done it should cost around two grand. Me and her mom figured we’ll split the cost and she’s gonna have to save some of her own money for things like souvenirs and entertainment.

Freshman year has been pretty easy so far for her. Made the honor roll twice with a 3.85 GPA while taking advanced Math, Science and English, got elected to Student Council, played junior varsity soccer and is in a shitload of book clubs. All of this while managing to keep hold of her first real boyfriend. Things are looking up.

Given our well chronicled set of circumstances, I’m constantly amazed about the things she’s managed to overcome in her short fifteen years. A lot of other kids might have long ago packed it in and blamed their troubles elsewhere. Parents divorced, friends constantly changing, not having what most other kids now take for granted, the list goes on and on.

And yet, she not only preserves, she thrives.

I sometimes have a habit of finding myself wallowing in prolonged funks where whatever I seem to attempt doesn’t work out the way I planned. I guess it’s something like buyer’s remorse because I always thought that what I was doing at the time was the right thing. I get down on myself, my friends and my work suffers from it. I hole up indoors and try and shut out the rest of the world and drown away my sorrows. I often wonder if my life is just one big if statement. It’s the whole coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t scenario that most of experience at least once in their lives.

But sometimes there's the light at the end of tunnel that makes it all worthwhile.

If there’s one thing that there’s no regrets about, it’s that.

So now I’m digging around on the Internet trying to find out as much as I can about some place called Le Harve and what the city and surrounding countryside is like. We all need distractions every now and then and this is one that will be shared between the both of us. Maybe that’s the best kind.

So if anybody out there has some firsthand experience with the daily going’s on in Le Harve, please feel free to share it with me. I’ll be sure to pass it on.

Thanks and peace


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