Sunday, May 31, 2009

Earth (movie review)

Water Tower
Disneynature launched its new brand around this nature film and treats it as a flagship. I saw it as it was meant to be seen, with children present.

The theme is family teams aboard a swiftly tilting planet, lots of single moms especially, struggling to make ends meet, dad off taking stupid risks somewhere, ends up in walrus hell (in the one case).

Sometimes I chose to disbelieve the narrator, James Earl Jones, who really sounds like he knows what he's talking about, has the music on his side.

Most of the funny parts I agreed with, but when he made it seem this huge ordeal, to trek thousands of miles or whatever, I'm thinking what else would one do with a gorgeous bod like that, if not take it for a spin, a real workout.

Nature doesn't hatch these gorgeous specimens just to have them sit idle. She really goes for the gusto, tests herself mightily.

Mom and baby whale seem to have the best life. It's a long way (well duh) and mom is "ravenous" but when they flap their arms in the storm like that, I don't think it's that scary, not an economic crisis. They're just goofing off, enjoying the stormy weather. Maybe they're just waving at the silly helicopter.

And if you're really equipped to fly right over the Himalayas like that, then hey, why the hell not? It's a privilege, an adventure. Your instinct is to school with a huge peer group and take on the world, follow the good weather to greener pastures. So listen to that urge, use the force. It's what geeks do too, using engineering.

Nature films always make it sound like the animals hate their day jobs, get dragged through life kicking and screaming the whole way instead of just towards the end (and even then, some go peacefully). Left to their own devices in the wild, most animals are actually quite professional, know what they're doing, although those birds of paradise looked pretty crazy doing it and the lynx just seemed lonely (and beautiful).

Given I'm always thinking about the peekaboo invisible camera, the faux "3rd person" of novelesque origins (knows what everyone's thinking, some spy on steroids, every gossip's dream vantage point), I was gratified to see some of those "dork outtakes" at the end, reminding us that humans are making this show, and we push to extremes as well, just to get this film in the can.

But pushing the envelope in the human sphere is not like what that cheetah does, so slender and graceful. When it comes to outward athletics, we're more like that gazelle, one long slow fumble, very NFL -- and so then onward to something new? (or repeat the same level? -- no I'm not an authority here, go ask someone with a badge maybe)).

Back to mom and calf whale (not sure "calf" was a good name for those), we've generally moved from semi-happy camper family to possible predator in the wings, so when the water starts boiling and our storyteller turns ominous, I'm thinking "oh no, what now? -- whalers in submarines?" (only half joking).

Actually, humans don't star as vicious predators in this movie (not Fast Food Nation), more just as uber-voyeurs (what they're best at -- spectating), watching papa bear die without any friends, instead of throwing him a TV dinner or something, some government program...

No, not whalers, and actually it's bait and switch, because what gets eaten in the end is an innocent seal, just swimming along minding his own business. Maybe watch the Youtube trailer (46th second), or don't let me spoil it for ya and see the whole movie, on a big screen with children.

Any little ones, their first time to a nature film, and who thought Planet Earth was an entirely safe ship, won't think that upon leaving (or so we hope). The world is a dangerous place. That's what Disney always does so well: professionally scares children -- including those inner ones adults cling to -- all while keeping that golden G rating.

Mother Nature: having some no kidding fun in the sun.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Coke and a Smile

Originally uploaded by holdenweb.

Tim Peters, Python Nation MVP

Friday, May 29, 2009

Corner Office

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Summer Marketing Campaign

[first posted to Synergeo, enhanced blogged edition]

I think we'll try marketing XYZ as "old fart math" and the hypercross version as "XYZ on steroids" ergo by the transitive property "old fart math on steroids". Of course this is somewhat juvenile, but we go with the army we've got in the summer (not the most serious krew).

What we need for Synergetics is: (a) trig (b) GIS/GPS (c) stats (d) some topology (e) some chemistry and (f) some physics. We're free to mix physics and chemistry as a higher level brew called biology, use "biomass" as an entry point to the general systems theory basis for Home Economics (high school subject in Pleasantville USA, home of the Square and Qyoobist Authoritarians aka "old farts").

These manga ideas go with some of the others I've been storyboarding, blogging about, including a certain castle with a moat and everything, httpRequest and httpResponse suitcases traveling too and from (a kind of Spirited Away scene, like where they come on the boat).

At the core of the castle is our SQL "keep", or maybe it's a CouchDB thing for a throne, but either way, the client wants to visualize, which is where the guilds come in, the templaters and boilerplaters (hammer men).

In Django we talk about MVT, which is really just MVC but toning down on "controller" (more just passive switchboarding).

These castles appear in my posts about Boosting Bandwidth e.g. giving students more continuity in terms of a place based education, mixing fantasy worlds with their more immediate environment (not willy nilly, but in a constructive way i.e. simulations impart real skills). Supermarket Math has to do with that biomass, sun-powered and dirt fed, water cooled, ending up as food groups with lots of vital stats on the label. Kids learn their arithmetic less in terms of dollars and cents and more in terms of calories and amino acids.

Focusing on food without feeding them would be cruel of course, so that's considered criminal, out of bounds (not a real school, more a prison or torture chamber in design -- or an under-served hospital).

Where the Synergetics comes in is where you'd expect in many cases, and we have ways of attributing to Conway and Guy where they think Synergetics is too subversive, certain zip codes in Massachusetts maybe? The uphill battle in Lower48 is around NCLB, as teachers don't want to do much around Phi or "golden cuboid" and yet this is critical to higher order thinking, not to mention reading Da Vinci Code (or see da movie with Tom Hanks).

The "NCLB Polynomial" and "NCLB Polyhedron" were brushed aside as so much silliness, as those crazy teachers went on and on with their droning, teaching their Old Fart Math (OFM) and, in college, OFM on Steroids. Really stinks, to be so bigoted and non-inclusive of others all the time (but then hobbits are like that, both parochial and proud, Rivendale coulda told ya that).

So the solution was to say "fuck Loser48" and go with the Anglophone Philippines, other places, and this is really paying off. What fun to work with people with some IQ for a change, plus it overlaps with the OLPC and AFSC work we're doing. I feel like one of those cypherpunks back when public key was verboten, pumping out PGP from New Zealand. Very hip hop, very gangsta rap, very "talk like a pirate".

Synergetics fits in other places too, but I'm mostly just using it as a vehicle for Pythonic Math, helping to jump start interest in blander topics (e.g. "casino math" aka "probability" (= stats)) with the coolest eye candy on the block, bar none ("we've got the bling!").

Teachers in other schools don't do Watermans (really pretty), don't play with free and open source software (FOSS), have never heard of the octet-truss (e.g. Tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, also Bell's stuff).

So our tech track feels faster, better, stronger, more packed with useful tips and tricks (e.g Django on SQL, Ruby on Rails... what ya need for that school intranet you're supposed to already have). We have better toyz, brighter vistas. Let them vote with their feet (where voting is permitted, not saying in your zip code, where you may be oppressed by know-nothings, the status quo in many a backward swamp -- maybe try to escape?).

Monday, May 25, 2009

After Life (movie review)

This exquisite film inherits from Spirited Away, Beetle Juice, Defending Your Life... Lost, or one could see it that way, though it's also plenty original and deftly executed, a highly competent work of art.

Every week a few more of the recently dead trickle through the facility, and the only goal for the staff is to assist these individuals in choosing that one memory to carry forward, with all else to be forgotten. That one memory is to be staged in a short film, to be shown to the staff and guests, and those completing the process move on at this point.

You might imagine a dryly bureaucratic process like this would have a somewhat dreary building and a skillful staff that nevertheless has its own interpersonal dynamics, just like in a real hospital or school.

You would be right in this case.

"Lots of mirrors" would be an easy review, lots to think about in any case. During the ensuing discussion, Nancy mentioned appreciating the gentleness of the process, whether successful or no. I had to agree with her there.

As a close viewer (like a close reader), I think I followed the director's eye in falling in love with Shiori, a shining gem in a "man's world" of yawners. What appears the great self-discovery of the guy she's tracking, proves somewhat a re-enactment of his earlier mistake I thought, so yeah, like Groundhog Day.

"Kiss the girl dammit" was all I could think of, from my death bed er chair.

The venue was fantastic. The final meetup after a seven year run, with some striking Jungian making this her own swan song, leading the discussion. We met in a branch public library, at no cost, on a Memorial Day weekend. Some of us had been to cemeteries recently.

Nancy and I repaired to the McMenamins on Xavier, to speak more of the living and the dead, enjoying a bright Portland spring, feeling lucky to be here. I wore my USPO Marvin the Martian tie, seeking to blend with my toontown context.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Show Me the Polyhedra!

24-trapezoidal combo
of 7.5 RT & 6 RD, color coded

by David Koski

Sometimes the PR around the concentric hierarchy we like to jazz about runs into resistance from skeptics, who say polyhedra are not all that relevant and maybe lead to gayness to boot, so lets get back to algebra, easier on the eyes and our delicate constitutions.

However, polyhedra are merely the canonical stand-ins for a non-virtual world of dogs, dishwashers and racoons, all with moving parts, all modeled with polyhedra in the virtual analogs (like in Over the Hedge). They're everywhere in other words, very hard to get away from them. You're sitting in one, 24/7, if we might agree on that grammar.

Sometimes in my 2nd or 3rd grade classes (following along with my daughter), I would have us think about V, F and E as distinguishable topological features in any scene or painting, also with tactile aspects e.g. an F is a flat surface, possibly smooth. V + F = E + 2 makes more sense once you've imbued it with all this "surround sound" and taken it out in the jungle as it were (edges = vines, good for swinging if you have a Tarzan complex, possibly short-lived).

The pre-frequency versus frequency distinction we make in similar terms, of reality versus verisimilitude. On low budget special effects, you'll simply substitute a model boat for a real one and splash it around, simulating a perfect storm. Because of sliding scale powering rules, relating 1st, 2nd and 3rd powering according to topological aspects again (radials, areas, volumes), the physics changes as we range through the size spectrum.

Strategies that work for a real-sized praying mantis, wouldn't work at the Godzilla scale, but that doesn't keep the motion picture studios from messing with the physics. They do it in Star Trek all the time. People pay good money to see reality distorted (good therapy, good escapism -- take your pick).

So in pre-frequency, where we care only about shape (angle), we don't really have any physics to speak of, just pure geometry. We might do some literary allusions, talk about cyber stuff, in keeping with the ethereal nature of this so-called "Platonic realm" (some cultures wouldn't call it that though).

In frequency, we don our BS detectors and start smelling the fishy stuff. Science is a lot like police work in that folks will dream up all kinds of moneymaking schemes, and yet the science just isn't there to back them up. AI gets to be like this. OLPC makes a lot more sense.

In my own case, Isaac Asimov was an influence in that he harped on using credible science in his plot lines a lot, not just fantastic elements. This gave his science fiction a satisfyingly didactic flavor in that you knew some of his speculations might be transferable to a real world context someday, i.e. you might use what you'd learned, reading in the car, to pass a chemistry test down the road.

We're fortunate in the Fuller School in that our geometry works, checks out, and the literary stuff is of high quality, and furthermore the physical specimens, the domes and trusses, the house and the car, do a lot of credible load-bearing, i.e. there's nothing all that bogus on the M-side or the P-side in our U=MP.

That high level of metaphysical integrity means our curriculum is fairly easy to teach, compared to a lot of the competing material, which is far more obfuscatory and riddled with pitfalls.

Go ahead and poke around, see what you think after an hour or two. We know a lot of you come back for more, sometimes as paying customers.

We thank you for your business.

EuroPython 2009
28th June to 4th July 2009
Birmingham, UK

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lost in Oregon

This was a time for the Swedish side of my family to converge, to a church in Cornelius. Uncle Bill Lightfoot was there, and the Hancocks, Wilma and Howard, Bo, some of the July 4 circle, which overlaps the Thanksgiving circle. We were there in support of the Person family, in memory of Martha Jane Person (April 1, 1943 - May 16, 2009).

I got a late start then got all turned around in a beautiful and bucolic scene, turned it into an opportunity for worship and communing with nature. I got to thinking about dad, his mother Esther Person, Carl... a continuing conversation.

Bill Hancock briefed me in on Humphrey Bogart's operations, Portland bars where they served you drinks from your own bottle, while you schmoozed with other customers. Humphrey seemed always just coming or going, so you felt his presence.

Bill named two of the bars he'd been at. I'd like to learn more.

Vis-a-vis Washington, Oregon was the more untamed state, less under the boot of the killjoys.

Exploring my heritage, recording what I find, is a big part of what I do. Call me an historian in that sense.

Barbara Hancock used to be a nurse on long distance trains. She taught herself to ski to keep up with Bill and they ran a dynamite ski school when not running the small business (surveying).

Their daughter Alice has been living across the lake, having lived in Hong Kong in an earlier chapter, and discovered the container shipping business, big in Seattle, even bigger than Boeing.

As the reception wound to a close, my relatives popped back into regular clothing. Howard had his bib overalls again, just like always. We were the informal family again, keeping on keeping on.

Uncle Bill, the maritime historian, is starting for Florida in the morning, caravaning along I-84 to I-80, then I forget how it goes, ending up on I-75 in a week or so. He'll fly back, although I suggested he rent something and drive it a different way, take a month or so why not? He said he'd never thought of that, sounded intrigued.

Gordon and Susan had me over for lunch today. Susan heading for yet another visit to the dentist, got a kick out of Steve Martin's rendition of that Little Shop of Horrors character, which she'd not seen before. It's fun being able to old movie scenes of the ether and share them, in addition to just telling old fashioned stories -- those still work wonders as well.

I shared an XO from the back of my car with Barbara & Bill as we prepared to disperse. They'd not seen one before, though were aware of the idea, and happy about it. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) was a topic on edu-sig today as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Developments

:: for guido, from chinese user group ::

The Oversight Committee meeting went well this evening, with several impassioned speeches (rants), including one of mine -- something about not wanting to be like Dr. Phil, but you had to be there I think.

This idea that Quakers just say quiet and polite things to one another is maybe stereotypical, but somewhat far from the mark in many cases.

We also use cell phones (I did from the meeting, called Andy re Friends Peace Teams), Facebook, Twitter, you name it.

Per PSF minutes (not a Quaker organization, but the idea of "minutes" is common to both), the NiceTime proposal failed a second time at bat, and now I'm urging we dump Gattegno for a more radical masthead (lets turn some more heads).

Do we really want to pander to that younger crowd? Don't Scratch and Squeak have that demographic covered? Monty Python isn't Teletubbies. Guido isn't Mr. Rogers or Captain Kangaroo.

I'm concerned that our product placement campaigns might be most effective at TV-14 and above, more like Jay Leno (i.e. late night TV).

We've been batting around the airport concourse idea, as a place for the logo.

Speaking of Jay Leno, I caught Katie's appearance as his guest last night.

Yeah, I agree the brave troops have an impossible job getting between the opium crop and fundamentalism, even while promising schools, jobs and health care, winning hearts and minds all around (Operation Valhalla).

This level of security is hard to accomplish, even in the homeland (we're not there yet), let alone as some stranger in a strange land with minimal relevant language skills. I was just writing about that yesterday (see below).

This is like mission impossible on steroids, makes you wonder what else those so-called policy gurus have up their sleeves in DC. They think soldiers are superheros don't they? Too much TV growing up? Too many Marvel comics?

The merciful thing would be to discover a civilian political process that incorporates religious fanaticism somehow, Israel a good model (ultra-orthodox have a role).

Don't balance your books on the backs of your military, if you know what's good for ya (I think the First Lady would agree). Use TV effectively, to foster national debate -- let people see for themselves who the players are.

I'm sure the Pakistanis have some thoughts on these matters. In a recent interview I saw by Lara Logan (also CBS) of Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari, there was some thought the out-of-towners should have visas, including if appearing in some combat capacity (not recommended).

Non-visa bearing troops seem a tad like an invading and/or occupying army, which builds sympathy for the locals (we saw this in Iraq as well), including for its more radical elements.

Smart commanders know better than to lose the battle for hearts and minds so easily, so I'm guessing the visa situation is being addressed -- not my area of expertise, but there's probably something in the papers about it.

On the ISEPP list, we've been chatting about some Endogenous Economics out of California. Terry thinks this guy Romer makes a lot of sense, and he does.

Although I feel somewhat superior towards Californians (am a typical Oregonian in that way), I could nevertheless see applications of EE to the brand of Home Economics we've been cooking up for Portland Public Schools (PPS).

Our stuff may be more futuristic than some people are used to, but we could still have some Julia Child videos, Martha Stewart too why not? Maybe also Roz Savage? We focus on joules and/or calories a lot, so-called Supermarket Math. Guys get to play too.

Picture 201
:: visiting china, early 1970s ::

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


JetBlue Bizmo, Blues Festival, PDX 2005.
Photo by Don Wardwell

Just to review the structure of these three blogs of mine, BizMo Diaries (this one) is supposed to be about me 'n my crew in this "traveling circus" except more corporate and button down in some ways, as we're advertising attainable futuristic civilian lifestyles, and no, not "just like on Star Trek" (too 24th century) nor "The Jetsons" (when?) either -- although both would be influences.

We're just slightly ahead of our time, more like orchestra conductors (or like "mad men"). We read the same tea leaves you do, steal ideas from the same theme parks.

The bizmo is like an RV. Some say it has military origins in dark budget projects, which adds to their mystery (the black ones with no license plates compete with the black helicopters for attention on Coast to Coast).

Be that as it may, they're oft decorated with comforting decals, from companies we know and love. You'll see these things on the road even today, just not in caravans maybe, unless military, in which case we're back to square one.

In going into the schools, we're doing like an event, for assembly, but we're mainly there to empower peer teachers, in the sense of giving them more interesting stuff to work with down the road, starting then.

Our DVDs are exclusive firsts, or, if compilations off the Internet, lovingly edited by people who really know our business. We have good games, cool toyz, work opportunities of clear benefit to others.

A curriculum isn't just a hodge podge. We have high standards. That's why it's a lot like a circus (like Monty Python's flying one) and yes, we might sometimes have helicopters, as disaster relief includes using those, as does simply getting from here to there sometimes.

In Control Room, we're aware of control room lore (in science fiction movies especially), There, I focus more on providing bizmos with their various criss-crossing itineraries, a negotiation process. In actual practice, many companies might be involved in this kind of scheduling (many control rooms), including some religious ones e.g. revivalists of some description might field their own mobile Church of Elvis or whatever.

Honk If You Love Elvis

As a Quaker subgenius type (not quite the genius I'd like to be -- I cut myself slack), I count myself as one of these "true believers" and often think how Quakers used to own Cadbury's, Lloyds of London, maybe even Quaker Oats itself (we don't at the moment, though you might imagine how that might seem a holy grail of sorts).

Grain of Sand
is of course a Blake allusion, and signifies "one among many". Like I'm not wanting this lifestyle for "just me" and in a lot of ways copied it from Charles Kuralt, which CBS is well aware of my doing (no lawsuit threatened, just saying they know).

I'm a big believer in "institutional wealth" like airports, like libraries, and yes, like aircraft carriers. If you own your own personal submarine, then you're like Dr. Evil in the those Bond movies, or at best like Paul Allen or one of those. You can't just be another dweeb on the beat, not that I'd cop to being a dweeb in every dimension but you know what I mean.

I'm not hoping to own the only bizmo in town (or even own one at all really -- I'll check it out from the fleet), nor even the most wowy one, with pipes sticking out. This isn't about me being one of the super rich, in other words. I'm pretty studiously middle class, only eat caviar once in a blue moon, when I'm invited to a party maybe.

Despite the darth vader undertones, the circus bus fleets don't leave the garage much these days because Gnu Math sounds too hippie. The generals think once my fleet is on the road, it'll just be freaks chasing a Grateful Dead concert all over again, and we know how that goes.

In other words, lots of stupid projections are keeping our lifestyle in check, while they go over our curriculum with a fine tooth comb, looking for things to nitpick about.

In the meantime, USAers wallow in intellectual squalor, not learning Gnu Math or understanding much about World Game in general (they still think it's about aping Rome or living out some other antiquarian fantasy, something about 24 Hours, which I rarely look at -- but has a control room I notice -- go Team America, World Police!).

So should we do this in Russia? That'd be fine except I don't speak Russian or any of those, so would be like Family Guy in that episode where he applies for a Macarthur grant (for geniuses) but ends up two standard deviations on the other side of it (he makes the most of it). Plus I am a family guy, don't really want to move to some Gulag just yet, like my base.

I'm pretty sure the "bizmo phenomenon" will continue spreading, as we gear up around delivering better health care. The clinics will have them, some dentists already do. Whether we call 'em "bizmos" (business mobiles) or not is not really up to me, and I'm fine with "RVs on steroids" or "whatever Dave Ulmer has, except maybe smaller", whatever descriptoids. How about a "geek bus"?

The Control Room krew has to be pretty smart though, lots of GIS (i.e. global data). You don't want to promise all this Internet connectivity, get a school all galvanized, and then discover there's no affordable way to supply even minimal DSL.

Sometimes a robust intranet is all they need, if extremely remote, with fat pipes for downloading, only relatively thin ones for uploading. Some planning needs to happen, before the roadshow comes in. A lot of what happens is more behind the scenes, of necessity.

I'm not saying it has to look just like mission control in Houston, but given all the video feed coming in from the field, it's likely to resemble something rather familiar to the television industry, the industry most likely to produce these shows anyway, given those stables of celebs already rarein' to go (though in need of training a lot of 'em, some kind of geek boot camp?).

Friday, May 08, 2009


:: we're liking this, looking forward to more... ::

Not that new actually. A next challenge is underway already. Should I enter our Coffee Shops Network? We should be able to attract our own capital given the vendor / consumer alliances presumed in our business model. Let's leave the BFI prize money for projects that really need it. I already got $500 as a Synergetics Explorer Award, along with David Koski.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

:: cinco de mayo ::

Glenn invited me to Tim's and Kym's for their weekly potluck, which was well attended. A lot of people had made the connection to Cinco de Mayo, so we had plenty of burritos, enchiladas, margaritas. I brought Mexican beer with some limes.

This was an upscale Beaverton crowd, very West Hills, very Intel (i.e. cosmopolitan, multi-lingual) if I may be permitted to stereotype (talking zip code demographics).

We were middle aged successful professionals, often with children (Tara had another engagement, but maybe she could come some other time -- lots of kids her age, with their own space).

What I found interesting about the chatter: seems like every guy my age is developing an application for the iPhone; we're really interested in energy, yak about the grid as if it were our shared backyard (which it is, sorta).

I heard very little about politics, either local or global (not that energy is apolitical, except it is, sorta).

Terry wants me to join the ISEPP board, given he's trying to promote his ISEPP salons, has lost Doug Strain among others. I'm to send him a short bio. The salons (per Nirel's nomenclature) will be themed and involve wiki-backed reading programs.

The salons are a way to disseminate multi-disciplinary information through both presentations and schmoozing, Q&A with the invited experts (architects, policy analysts... GIS professionals), something universities aren't so good at (inter-departmental cross-talk is a rarity).

Per our Wanderers marketing:
"Science would be ruined if it were to withdraw entirely into narrowly defined specialties. The rare scholars who are wanderers-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines."
-- Benoit Mandelbrot
Given our overlapping interest in coffee shop subcultures, I see this as consistent enough with my heart's desires to be worth pursuing. Thx Terry, I'll get to work on that paragraph.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

First Day

As I've mentioned before, Quakers went through an ultra-Puritanical phase wherein anything inherited from pre-Xtians was considered "too paganesque" or whatever, ergo "Sun day", "Moon day" etc. were too scary, ergo they said "first day", "second day" and so on.

In retrospect, I think it's all pretty goofy, shades of technocracy in some ways. But then I'm not all that impressed by the metric system for everything geographic, either, so call me a dinosaur, a living fossil or whatever (I'm thick enough skinned).

Hey, I bent a spoon yesterday, first time in awhile. Lost control of it when trying to stir up a vortex, hit the blade in the blender, berry blend everywhere, and glass. Shades of our science experiment. Dr. Nick entered the scene, took a few seconds to process this wasn't blood. Tara also an observer of my "junior moment" (or "senior moment" depending on biases).

Yesterday we had family over, plus I got that date with Larry finally, over Thai food again, comparing notes about Kennedy Space Center, near where Dawn went to high school (Satellite Beach). Then he showed me the two opening episodes of Mad Men (on loan from Gayle) which I'd long been curious about, his dad having been one (on Madison Avenue and everything).

Larry is one of the smartest managers in Lower48 and then some they tell me, though I know him mostly through Quakers. He used to work on McGovern's campaign, has a prospering business, really cool kids. His wife Chris was Tara's Montessori teacher.

Obviously I used the opportunity with a pro to rush through my Providence story then flipped to Coffee Shops Network on Jackalope, popping open the hood. My mind clears when I'm able to serve as tour guide to my own life in this way -- blogging serves a similar purpose (reflection, introspection -- also networking).

Next up: lunch with Laika (saying it that way because of alliteration, though it's also true enough). Follow-up: ate at Than Thao, enjoyed a bloody mary, Glenn joined us, having shown off his new collage. I yakked about FOSS boot camps.

Wednesday: visit with Gordon (reminding myself). Gordon's partner Susan was Tara's piano teacher.