Avast ye cubicle dwellers!

May 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Business | Leave a comment
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A preface: the aforementioned iPod Classic, left unharmed in my center console by the denizens of Hartford’s underworld, is serving me well on this, its maiden voyage out of Connecticut. I have, thus far, listened to nine podcasts, two playlists, and watched several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the battery still going strong.

It was with this miraculous boost of energy that I was able to listen to not one, but two fascinating and related episodes of NPR’s new Planet Money podcast, completing the transformation of direct current into events current and amusing the hell out of myself in the process.

Episode 1, wherein a shipping company executive recounts the negotiation process involved with securing your ship back from a Somali pirate, complete with drama on the high seas, a mid-flight currency exchange, and (swear to god), a pirate in need of a ride home.

Episode 2, a follow-up, aired weeks later, wherein the pirate calls the shipping company executive for assistance in breaking into the business world as, wait for it, I swear I’m not kidding, a piracy consultant.

Which the shipping executive, of course, helps him with. This quote, from the pirate:

“If I become an expert on piracy and try to milk that, I think it is a legit business. The news media and global news media will need someone who is going to be an authority, to report from the inner feelings of a pirate, and to report whether pirates are going to stay around for a long time or not, and how to eliminate piracy.”

It’s just too good for words. You’ve got to listen to these two podcasts, just to hear the calm, measured explanations from both parties as they recount the story of this pirate, hostage taker, criminal…consultant.

I have already created, and encourage you to order, the following, from my new “Pirate turned Consultant” t-shirt line.


Green Hot

May 12, 2009 at 7:59 am | Posted in Life, News | Leave a comment
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I am not, I profess, green. I’m not that into recycling, or biking to work, or properly disposing of old televisions and computer monitors. My carbon footprint was once estimated by some eco-website to be equal to roughly eight people. I should say, in my defense, that the site factored air travel into the results, as if my decision to travel to Ft. Myers meant that they had to charter a 747 specifically for me, so I remain skeptical of my purported environmental shoe size.

Even so, I can recognize the effort that some people are putting forth, and for the most part their decision to be green doesn’t really impact my life so I’m ok with it.

For the most part.

Here, though, is a proposal I read this morning on an industry website on how to immediately and effectively cut US energy usage by 12%.

Do Away with Air Conditioning

Facts about air conditioning:

It perhaps accounts for 12% of U.S. electricity use. You hear about “building energy use” being a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s a way to strike directly at a big contributor and lop it off!

People can live without it. The human race has gotten by without A/C for 99.9% of its presence on Planet Earth. Heck, 5,000 years ago, only the Pharaoh had fans.

People DO live without A/C, right now, on this planet. Large masses of people, billions. Many live in some very hot places.

I swear to god, if you so much as move my central A/C a single degree, just one single degree, above 68 in the summertime, I will foment a revolution.

I will take you down.

Well, the windshield was broken but I love the fresh air y’know

Music and Lyrics

May 5, 2009 at 7:54 am | Posted in Music | Leave a comment
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For a blog titled Lyrical Uncertainty, I don’t actually spend much time discussing music here, as was, I think, part of this blog’s original charter. Or, at least, the charter in my head.

I wish that I believed in fate

I wish I didn’t sleep so late

Part of it comes from the fact that by the time I usually feel like I’ve digested an album enough to write something about it, I get some new album that excites me even more but that I recognize, thankfully, I am not yet prepared to write something coherently about. Seriously, if I put up a post within the first week of purchasing most albums, I would end up recommending to you some very, very mediocre music.

I tremble

They’re gonna eat me alive

If I stumble

They’re gonna eat me alive

One might wonder why I would willingly listen to the mediocre music in the first place. I think that in reality, while I am a lover of music, I am actually more of a lover of lyrics (maybe that was this blog’s charter, I don’t know, it’s all a haze at this point). Which is why, I posit, I am sometimes able to listen to sub-par music if the singer in question says something smart or insightful or funny. And also why I always want to sleep at the symphony. I don’t know. Maybe I should try poetry.

And the wanting comes in waves

What I do know is that if I come across one of these lyrics, a lyric that tickles my metaphorical mental-bone in some way, that song is going on repeat for a long, long time. And if you are around me, in my office, or my car, or my home – you will be made to listen to this new song a lot. And for that, I do not apologize, because these lyrics are good and special and rare.

I don’t even know what I’m in the game for

I don’t even get your T-shirt’s pun

So, I think that what I’m going to do here, the new outlet I am choosing for this lyrical obsession, is to start including random song lyrics that I’ve recently heard into my blog posts. Yes, what I’m saying is that I am extending my lyrical obsession beyond the auditory, and will now present them to you textually. Which, I suppose, is better than sexually.

Because I don’t know you all that well.

Brother in Arms

May 2, 2009 at 7:28 am | Posted in Life, Television, Video Games | 1 Comment
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An excerpt from a blog called “A Life Well Wasted,” wherein Ken Levine, critically acclaimed video game director, offers this glimpse into his mind…

“There was a time when I could get on a plane with a magazine or two. Now, unless I’ve got my DS, my PSP and my iPhone full of apps, Kindle books and movies, I get a bad case of the heebie jeebies.  I’m an ADD baby in a world that’s finally caught up to my inclinations. The ability to get on a plane, or go on a trip with literally thousands of hours of entertainment in tow is something that makes me happy.  There’s a part of me that wonders if it’s making me dumb, that I wouldn’t better off contemplating the universe, watching the sunset or talking to my seat mate. And then I pop in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and forget all about those kind of questions.”

An ADD baby in  a world that’s finally caught up to my inclinations. Something about reading that sentence felt like putting on a warm pair of slippers that I’d been looking for all day.

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