by bicyclemark 2 Comments

I believe it was an early summer afternoon, and me being the part-time king, I had just finished up a cool slice of watermelon and the usual soup & a sandwich university canteen lunch. As I went down the conveyor belt of garbage separation, plate cleaning, and tray return, I was just glancing back into the kitchen to see if I could spot the Portuguese guy and say “ent?o p?… tudo bem,” but sure enough he wasn’t there. At that very moment, like a sign from the heavens, my spider-sense started tingling and over my shoulder I sensed something magical.

Rushing to throw his dishware into the machine, he seemed to move like a movie star not wanting to get caught by the paparazzi. But it was too late.. I had made eye contact. Once I realized it wasn’t a vacuum cleaner, I knew I was face to face with my first ever – live – SEGWAY.

Of course I’m slow, so by the time it hit me, the segway owner guy was already outside. I ran after him like a nut, pushing clueless Dutch students to the side. “HEY!” I shouted towards him. He half looked at me, as though he was thinking- oh no, another fanatic. I didn’t wait for a response.. shouting “HEY… That’s a…. A SEGWAY.” And all at once he unfolded it, winked at me, and said with a smug tone – “yes it is.” And BAM – in one swift move he was gone.. leaving behind the echoes of kinetic energy, or whatever that thing runs on. I stood there.. turned to anyone around me who would listen and kept repeating, “Did you see it.. that was a segway?” Few cared. One girl took pity on me and asked what a segway was… but I was too “in it” to respond.

That was it, my brush with greatness. Ever since that day nothing has been the same. I love my bike, but I long for a segway. Maybe I should take a segway tour.

Keeping with the tech theme today, I’d like to talk about a man and a company I’m not sure I like. Richard Branson… yes.. the Virgin. No, it’s not his planes, trains, disappearing megastores, or balloon rides that I’m upset with. Rather it’s his new plan: Virgin Galactic that I find asinine and wasteful. Somebody help me feel better about a billionaire starting a space tourism company that invests big money to send other billionaires into space for 5 minutes. The rocketman even waxes lyrical about one day putting a resort on the moon.

My problem with all this fun and alleged futuristic initiative? I consider it a complete waste of resources. Instead of spending money… private or public.. on advancing space research, this guy chooses to give some rich types another fancy thrill. He could create his own Mars Lander.. or fly the first private shuttle to the moon. But no no… crazy eccentric Swiss millionaires have to experience weightlessness first. I wish there were some international agreement that prevented this type of business move. Heavy handed? For Richard Branson.. I sure am.

Today’s Music: Jobim/Morelenbaum – Casa


by bicyclemark 0 Comments

Normally a Sunday morning wake-up call is not something to look forward to. But this past weekend I was most pleased with the digital voice of one Mart in Sweden.

Mart loves the man in black, and taught me to appreciate Live at Folsom Prison. He also loves his Swedish girlfriend… and I think she’s great too. Way back before the move to Sweden, I remember the boys being impressed because she collects comic books. Everyone take notes, if you’re doing a sociological study of the male psyche… female comic book collecting is hot. Apparently… I mean.. I’m just the observer.. the Margaret Mead with a penis, if you will. (that should get me more search hits, everyone looking for a hermaphrodite anthropologist)Anyway, he was and is one of my closest friends on this sometimes green earth, and the conversation got the memory banks working overtime. Again I’ll go look at how much flights to Stockholm are. Seems to me there’s a forest in the middle of that city.

As I was telling the torontonienne last night over ye ol MSN, I’ve been listening to blogosphere radio from Edmonton. YES.. blogradio. Boring you say? Nerdly you say? Perhaps. But hey, I like listening to the latest news about the blogosphere and blog software. And they also interview other bloggers, which is fun. Consider it the Johnny Carson of blogging. Don’t know Johnny? OK then.. the Conan O’Brien? Still nothing… maybe more like the Oprah.

Discussing United Nations Reform via email (yes we have these discussions) JAck and I agree on a certain standard, an international law “Killing people is bad.” I think from this starting point we can make a better world. As far as the Security Council is concerned, I say banish the current permanent seats and veto powers, create a permanent seat for each continent, and require a consensus to pass resolutions. That way the world will be more culturally and geographically represented, and resolutions may actually be respected by each country involved. That’s just one of my reform ideas, which is pretty simple but all you get before 10am. If you’d like to get involved in the email discussion, it can be arranged.

Today’s Music: G. Love – The Hustle (still loving it)

Got that Style

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

My brother, the man behind Foggy Recollection, send me a mpeg video of A-Ren being fed. Like any loving and far away uncle, I was captivated. I kept replaying it over and over, each time noticing something different about where he’s looking, how he blinks, how he seems to forget the spoon is coming towards him, because he noticed something far more interesting in the galaxy above. I think it’s time to book my December trip to New Jersey to experience these feeding rituals first-hand. And furthermore we have similar diets, Organic-Soy something something.

Oh and while I’m on the subject, I must welcome my associate in Lisbon, J.P., to the secret society of uncle. ::insert fancy handshake:: He has just become an uncle: Antonio Porfirio is the lad’s name, or as I have renamed him T.P. (nothing to do with Tony Pierce.) Viola, only a few days old and he will already be listed in google after this post.

Before settling down to my long-fall nap last night, I was enthralled with reading this post on Weblogg-ed, which is a great blog for all you blog readers interested or involved in the world of education, nudge-nudge. It concerned blogging styles as well as how using weblogs in the classroom fulfills core curriculum requirements. Here are my highlights of how he breaks it down:

-Engage in the full writing process by writing daily and for sustained amounts of time.

-Use the computer and word-processing software to compose, revise, edit, and publish a piece.

-Write a range of essays and expository pieces across the curriculum, such as persuasive, analytic, critique, or position paper.

-Use primary and secondary sources to provide evidence, justification, or to extend a position, and cite sources, such as periodicals, interviews, discourse, and electronic media.

-Foresee readers? needs and develop interest through strategies such as using precise language, specific details, definitions, descriptions, examples, anecdotes, analogies, and humor as well as anticipating and countering concerns and arguments and advancing a position.

-Demonstrate personal style and voice effectively to support the purpose and engage the audience of a piece of writing.

Interesting no? Let’s get beyond the ol “Put Computers in the Classroom” battlecry, and actually put those computers to use – through weblogs/

One last thought, in politics, or history really, did you know Donald Rumsfeld is on the Watergate Tapes? Yeah… telling Nixon that he had connections with the Gallup Poll people if the president wanted some under the table info. Majikthise was talking about it and I was left with two thoughts, 1 – Never believe polls especially from Gallup 2- Do you really trust a man who’s on the Watergate tapes? Why isn’t he embarrassed and resigning? OH yeah.. he has no shame.

Today’s Music: Azure Ray – Hold on Love (I love sleepcore)

No Stoppin Me

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

It was inevitable, the communiqu? is going DAILY! Yes it’s true. I’m tired of fighting the urge.. everyday I feel the need to blog, so therefore I’m giving daily blogging a go. If it turns out no one likes it, or I suddenly write like crap, I might just revert to my every-other-day methods. But nevermind that.

This weekend I’ve a visitor from Siam… which apparently was renamed Thailand in 1939. Did you know Thailand was the only country never to be colonized by western powers? I did.. I learned it not from Wikipedia or reading history, but in fact from that semi-decent flick Anna and the King. What? It was pretty good, what can I say.. I like Jodie Foster and if she wants me to shoot Reagan… then she is my queen and I will do her bidding.

Umm.. oh… where was I? Oh yeah.. Thailand… my dear Thai visitor is having a fine time in Amsterdam I hope, even though she has to deal with my insisting on hopping on the internet for hours at a time, instead of running around doing tourism. I’ve also decided I will definitely go to Thailand soon, it will be my first destination ever in South-Asia.

During a mad news reading rush I had yesterday morning, I started going through every single little article in the Village Voice… just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. And sure enough, I ran into Ward Harkavy’s blog-style net-column called the Bush Beat. Now although I never got to meet him during my time at the voice.. I did see him often.. I think he’s an excellent journalist. What I do not understand is why his column looks like a blog: published daily, with what look like permalinks, filled with external links, and lots and lots of cursing like a sailor. I love that.. but yet its not a blog. No permalinks.. no commenting system. A blog without comments is like breakfast without soymilk. What are you doing Ward? Is it the Voice that won’t allow you to run a real blog? Do you need my help? I could advise you as to what a blog really involves and how to go about it! Yes. I shall email Ward and offer my help. Maybe I’ll get mentioned in his semi-blog.

Today’s Music: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Old Stuff