The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Scumbag Thomas R. Caltagirone of Berks County plans to cross party lines to keep anti-voter Republican John Perzel as Speaker of the House despite Dems holding a 102-101 majority.

If it weren't a 6+ hour drive, I'd be in my car right now to march in front of his district office. Fucking anti-American, anti-democratic, arrogant, sure-to-be-bought-off bastard.

Wonder what was in your stocking, Tom? A nice, juicy Committee Chair? Maybe some earmarks for the district? A little lobbying thrown to your wife, or brother, or daughter? Or maybe a nice, old-fashioned suitcase of cash?

If the people of Berks County had any self-respect, they'd be after his traitor ass with pitchforks and torches - a coward who announces this on the Saturday before New Year's, hoping the heat will die down before he has to face the public.

Why I Blame Rio

A year or two ago, I wanted to post about my trip to Brazil, apropos of something on City Comforts. But my thoughts on that brief visit, now more than a decade ago, have always been extensive and a bit complex, so I never got around to writing them up. But this post over at Alterdestiny (which I've been meaning to blogroll - and to read more often) gets at part of why I don't have a lot of good things to say about Rio:
What we couldn't know as she did that was, earlier that very morning, 7 people were burnt to death on a bus in a wave of violence across all parts of the city. Even eerier, the bus that held the victims was the same company as the bus we were on.... And near our apartment, while shooting up a new police stand on the sidewalk, the assailants killed an innocent street vendor.

Much of Rio is rather anxious, tonight and going into the weekend. [...] The theories are not really clear as to the reason for the violence. The article claims either economic struggles or gang-related turf wars, though here in Rio, the most popular explanations seem to be a reminder from traffickers in the favelas to the public of who exercises power and can instill fear here, especially given the high number of tourists present. The general paranoia is severe enough that, while riding back on a bus from dinner tonight, my girlfriend and I saw a cop with an MP5 pointed at a guy who was slowly reaching into his handbag on the sidewalk, something she'd never seen before in her 24 years here.
I have never felt as unsafe as I did wandering Rio de Janeiro, and this includes late night walks in some seedy parts of Manhattan and nearly getting jumped in the projects of my own fair city. There's something palpably broken about civil society in Rio, and no amount of white sand beaches (many of which are too polluted to swim at these days) can wash that away. Throw in truly oppressive heat and humidity (it was late March), and it was not a place I intend to revisit.

[Updated to add obvious title]

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fuck yeah!!!!

Heinz Field grease to fuel city fleet

I can hardly tell you how great this is. When I was single, about 6 years ago, if you could get me to stop talking about underground architecture, I would surely be extolling biodiesel. And not that subsidized soybean shit, either - repurposed fry oil, the good, cheap stuff. I chickened out of getting a brand new Jetta TDI to put it in (voided warranties and all that. I know, I know, but it was my first new car), and, opportunity having passed, I obsessed less. Since then, I've noted with pleasure the burgeoning place of biodiesel in national energy discussions, but this is a whole nother thing. Steelers fry-oil. Converted to fuel right here in town. City cars (and garbage trucks!). 10 kinds of awesome. My only regret is that my wife is leaving the city workforce, so I won't be seeing one of these beauties out front every couple of weeks after evening meetings.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Self-Correcting Blogosphere

This is just egregiously wrong:
Last night we celebrated with cocktails. Iris even had one of her own. We are very, very bad parents. If it helps to know this, J called it a virgin Shirley Temple because it didn't even have fizz, just water, lemon, and a maraschino cherry. Her glass: a votive candle holder.
In fact, there was Grenadine for a little sweetness and red color, and that's a lime on there.

Folks, that's my lovely wife. We were incognito while she worked at the City and I said things like this, but she's quitting, so now we can acknowledge one another.

It's nice to be out of the closet.