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2 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I visited the Catacombs while in Paris last month; a series of old mine shafts under the city of Paris.  In the late 1700s, and again throughout the 1800s, the cemeteries of Paris were emptied and the occupants moved to these old mines and the remains of generations of Parisians are stacked inside the maze of tunnels.
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I can think of no better reminder of my mortality or relative insignificance than walking through chamber after chamber of skulls and bones from millions of people who came and died long before me.

Later in the same week, we visited Pere-Lachaise, the cemetery where notables such as Sarah Bernhardt, Jim Morrison, Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Marcel Proust, and Oscar Wilde are buried.  The cemetery covers acres of land with convoluted tombs, crypts and graves. Giant, ornate funerary structures celebrate names that mean nothing to me – famous people from another time, often other century, whose fame has faded but their engraved lettering has not.

I know a number of people who expend large portions of their lives building something – anything – which will last beyond their lifetime:  children, fortunes, art, writing, songs.  An effort to reach beyond the limited span of a single human life, this seems to run contrary to the reality that in a few decades, perhaps a century, we too will become like the piles of bone in the Catacombs.  Even the most architecturally sound monument to our presence on the planet will disappear.

Perhaps one of the most frightening and enlightening experience of our human experience is to look directly into the reflecting glass of our own mortality.  We will without doubt experience the terror of our own demise and at the same time, in the same moment, may exist the liberation which comes from comprehending that death removes all meaning from life.  And in the absence of preordained meaning, we can fill our lifespan with whatever we choose.

If we voted to take a national holiday, a day in which we would reflect on our own mortality, the comparatively short amount of time for which we pace this earth, and the ease with which we can be dispatched, I wonder how many people would want to return to their jobs the next day.  Would we continue to want to spend hours inside cars idling in traffic, wandering to and from the mall to purchase yet another import from China, staring at computer screens and wondering if the boss will choose to move our jobs to Malaysia?  Or would we decide to do something different?  What exactly?

When I leave Life’s Departure Lounge, please stuff my remains in an oven and send me up the chimney.  If a memorial must be constructed, mix a bit of my cremains with cement and make a bench and put it in a place with a view.  And if you don’t mind, I’ll have this poem inscribed:

I do not write
That my words
Might save
Some small
Piece of me
Beyond the grave.
Oh, I shall
Be quick long
Past the day
The last reader
Has put the
Book away.
And with use
These words
I write shall be
Happy mementos
Of mortality.

- Mementos of Mortality, Carol Lynn Pearson

3 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I’m sometimes baffled as to why the major media conglomerates are taking so long to extend an offer to host my own children’s television show. 
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6 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I’m experimenting with some new technology at  The new live internet camera is streaming from my office in the Financial District and Rail Tripping now includes my first attempt at providing video clips via the internet.  (Sorry Mac users, I’m only providing Windows Media content for now.)

I’d appreciate any comments about how well these bits of digital fluff are working.  Send me a note and let me know.  If you aren’t able to access either the camera or the video, let me know what system and browser you are using.
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Later this week I’m going to try my hand at converting VHS to digital video for streaming. If it works, I may offer even more video from

14 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

While not surprising in its ferocity, the outrage over Trent Lott’s remarks is somewhat curious.  One would have had to hidden for decades on the fringe of Tibet not to have known Trent Lott comes from the old school of white power and entitlement.  That he would make a public remark in this vein is expected, much like an earthquake in California:  everyone knows it is coming the only question is when. 
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An interesting corollary is whether or not the remarks he made deserved the attention they drew, but that is a subject for another day.

If one of my corporate clients hires a worker and that worker then assaults another worker, the corporate client bears some responsibility.  If I employ a gardener who damages my neighbor’s trees, my neighbor is certain to come to me looking for reparations.  Americans like to conveniently forget we are the ones who select our public employees – including politicians.  Trent Lott serves because the people of Mississippi voted him to office, arguably knowing exactly who he was.  Should not some responsibility and a good portion of blame fall on the good citizens of Mississippi for electing this man to begin with and even more so given they’ve elected him time and time again?

If the shareholders of corporations were held personally and financially responsible for the actions of the companies in which they own stock, the standards for executive and corporate conduct would rise quickly and exponentially.  Imagine what would happen if each shareholder in Enron was required to reach in their own pocketbooks to cover the debt of their failed enterprise. 

Perhaps the same standard should be applied to states which elect backward leaders and send them to battle for dollars in Washington.  If Trent Lott deserves censure then so does Mississippi. 

This principle applies on a wider scale as well.  As our president prepares for a war based on the barest of evidence and the flimsiest of reasons, should we as a nation not hold ourselves responsible that we allowed this man to ascend to an office where he now wields the power to destroy virtually any nation on the face of the planet?  The consequences of his actions will be felt in faraway lands and the few American households unfortunate enough to have children killed in the fray.  The rest of us will feel no impact beyond that which can be induced by video montages on the nightly news. 

Perhaps the greatest benefit of American-style democracy is that voting places no tangible burden or responsibility on the citizens of the nation.  We make our choices, feed our ballots into machines and return to our lives.  When our leaders fail us we send in our media buzzards to pick over the remains for our nightly entertainment. 

If accountability extends no further than the desk of the person we hire to handle our affairs, either political or business, then we have only negligible stake in their conduct.  We can pretend to be distant observers, waiting for the gaff that boils our distant employee for our amusement.  The gladiators enter from the side of the arena while we recline and reach for another grape.

16 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

As reported once before, I frequently look at the server logs to see how people found  Here are some search engines queries which brought visitors here in the past 12 hours:Click for larger image

  • sister use dildo with me first time 
  • street hookers in chicago
  • jobs in Malaysia 
  • crochet afghan stained glass window
  • da san francisco a vancouver
  • mobile home park in san francisco
  • photos of crystal meth addicts
  • mormon missionary photo sister -elder
  • inspiring thoughts and sentences
I've been up to my neurons in pixels for the past few days - encoding video and recovering a site from a remote server in a distant land.  (I'll say more about both later.)  So, there will be a noted lack of inspiring thoughts or sentences today. 

18 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

To: Sister Betty Does, LNM
Subject: Contact/Feedback Form

comments: Please accept God's grace through faith in what Jesus has done for you.  He loves you and doesn't want you to spend forever in hell.  But he will not force His will on you.  It will be your choice.

God Bless

It is good to know I have fans in many places.
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I visited Monterey for the first time today.  Beautiful drive, impressive aquarium, sunny day. 

19 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I've been pushing pixels all afternoon and completed one of four web projects. 

The new Ba-da-Bingo website is now up to date (take a look).  Also, make certain to check out our Great Virgin Bingo Toaster Drive.

My congratulations for all who marched yesterday against war with Iraq.  Economic recovery will not come from the barrel of a gun - for the United States or Iraq.

23 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I wonder if importing a bit of the French Revolution to Washington, D.C. might not be such a bad thing.  The royalty and their courtiers have stayed too long and become much too fat.

(Even this abstruse statement probably runs contrary to some obscure provision of the USA Patriot Act.  I shall bar the doors...)
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You can see the low-resolution version of my very short film on jellyfish by clicking here.

31 January 2003 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

I spent the last week creating a new site for my professional role.  The beta version is here if you are interested.

Having spent the entire week staring at pixels, drop down menus and endless text, today is for laundry.  I have a general distaste for websites with photographs of pets. You’ll find perhaps one picture of my cats here.  Today, however, is an exception. Havana loves laundry and will spend an entire day burrowed under the warm clothes as they come out of the dryer.  I leave the clothes on the bed for her as long as possible (which provides a convenient excuse not to fold anything until much later).
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Last night I discovered two interesting websites thanks to a tip from a friend. is a social group for gay men over six feet four inches tall.  This might seem a bit odd – unless of course, you meet the criteria for membership.  The weblinks say:  “Ceiling fans make you nervous?  Join”.  The site is the handwork of Quartknee, someone who I’ve met before who also runs the second site, Quartknee measures in at six feet eleven inches – one of the few people I can talk to without having to look downward.

And now, back to pushing pixels in other domains


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