Crazy hair

If I’m lucky enough to live to be old and crotchety (well… lets go with more crotchety) I would like to have crazy hair. My go-to look would be that of Arthur Schopenhauer…


…complete with mutton chops and a look that suggests he might ‘cut you’ if you mess with him.

I love Schopenhauer. He was convinced that humanity was some sort of ‘mistake’. A notion I could likely get behind. He raged about people who arrive late in theaters and complained bitterly to management that people who coughed during performances should be censured (if not banned). He also loved his dogs. In these things we are simpatico.

In 1813 Arthur Schopenhauer was introduced to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by his mother. Von Goethe is fascinated by the young Schopenhauer and composes a couplet for him:

Willst du duch des Lebens freuen
So musst der Welt du Werth verleihen

If you wish to find pleasure in life
You should attach value to the world

Schopenhauer is unimpressed by Goethe’s verse and writes in the margin a quote from Nicolas Chamfort that can be translated as

‘Better to accept men for what they are, that to take them for something that they are not’.  

Misanthropy level, expert.

The Candle-stick Rorschach Test

Staring at Candle-stick graphs all day is the modern day equivalent of watching clouds and imagining dogs.


One day (when I am big) I will endeavor to create a Candle-stick inspired Rorschach Test for Day traders that have burned their shadow into the wall behind their work station. The correct answer (insofar as Rorschach tests have correct answers) is of course gently swaying boobs.

Although maybe this just tells you I played a lot of 16 bit games when I was younger and that my brain automatically converts pixels into things I like.

How to address a conqueror

I’m a big fan of Steven Pressfield. The War of Art is one of the best ‘business’ books I’ve ever read. (I’m not sure the word ‘business’ is an entirely fair niche to get pigeonholed into… but a book about being a professional and getting your shit-together feels a little wordy). In any event he’s written loads of great books I’ve liked.


In The Virtues of War, a fictional historical account of Alexander the Great’s life, Alexander comes to a ford in a river only to be blocked by the philosopher Diogenes. One of Alexander’s men shouts at Diogenes, ‘Get out of the way, this man has conquered the world’. ‘What have you done?’. Diogenes calmly responds, ‘I have conquered the need to conquer the world’.

I love this line.

And even if it is a work of fiction. I can imagine the barrel dwelling Cynic saying something along these lines. It has a similar feel to the famous ‘You’re blocking my sun’ remark historically attributed to Diogenes when addressing Alexander for the first time.

Rise of the robotic pot plant

I don’t covet a lot of things. Especially largely superfluous (gimmicky) things that serve no real purpose or add any real value…

But I want one of these!


Its a robotic pot plant that will follow the sun around your house. It will also retreat back into the shade when it feels its… eh… host has had enough. Part of me wants to use the word ‘symbiot’. But I think that might not be a real word… and potentially something I’ve picked up from science fiction. Besides I think symbiotic references only mutual dependence… while host is a more one side living arrangement… as far as I can remember.

Now that I’ve contextualized my broad ignorance about all things biological… I can speculate as to why I am so enamored with this contraption. Likely a childhood colored by dystopian anime coupled with the devices apple-esque aesthetic. Also I like succulents (since I find them harder to kill).

Christmas is coming.


Fifteen Love

I know in modernity there is a common convention that requires you to have a dogmatic opinion on everything. And taking up a posture where you straddle two positions just opens you up to a swift kick to the groin from either proponent… which if you’ve ever taken a solid shot* to the nether regions is a less than desirable circumstance.

*I was going to say ‘blow’… but I thought that might open me up to ambiguity.  (Jo takes a moment to laugh at his own joke)


I just wanted to give props to this guy! Without having to venture an opinion on either Palestinian or Israeli statehood. Armed with a bandanna, tennis racket and a lackadaisical sense of self preservation this individual brought his overhead volley to the fight.

As an aside.

The war time use of CS is prohibited under the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention signed by most nations in 1993 with all but five other nations signing between 1994 and 1997. Only four nations have not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and are therefore unhindered by restrictions on the use of CS gas: Angola, Egypt, North Korea and Somalia. Domestic use of CS by police is mostly legal as the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits only military use. 

I’ve been tear gassed (in the army) and I didn’t really like it. Definitely made my list of things to avoid in the future (along with bullets). But this guy either has a hardened constitution and is made of sterner stuff… or this is his first hoedown and after this picture was taken he sheaths his Wilson and heads home for a much deserved eye bath (and maybe a hug)

Unfortunately I have no idea what happened to him. Its entirely possible an Israeli sniper expressed his cranial matter into the atmosphere about his personage shortly hereafter.

Or not. I actually have no idea what the IDF rules of engagement are for tennis rackets.  But its likely they take a dim view on returning ordnance.

Adam Long

I really like firefighters.


This picture was taken thirty years ago (1988) by Ron Olshwanger, a fire district director who took pictures of fires in his free time. It also won him a Pulitzer prize.

The firefighter is Adam Long who had just pulled an unresponsive two year old girl called Patricia Pettus from her burning home in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. He is busy trying to resuscitate her with mouth to mouth.

Patricia clung to life for six days in St Louis Children’s Hospital before succumbing to her injuries.

While Mr. Long was branded a hero after the incident he said he didn’t feel very heroic. “For about a year, I second-guessed myself: ‘Did you really do all that you could have done?’” Long said.

Mr. Long eventually became a Battalion Chief for the St. Louis Fire Department and Fire Chief at Lambert Field.



I’m a bit grouchy because I filed my tax return today. *grumble*


I’m guessing the people that have drowned in the pool are analogous to… the people who have been denied some form of (tax funded) service and have died as result because the lifeguard (the libertarian) on duty was unwilling to help because… its not his problem? Maybe I’m interpreting this wrong… but I think this is the gist of it.

That’s a pretty monstrous indictment of libertarianism.

Continue reading “Misconceptions”