Remembering Tavis Riker

Tavis Riker playing at the Landmark, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 9/18/88

Tavis Riker died Saturday in a swimming accident. Tavis was a good friend, an awesome musician, and and endlessly inventive, wonderful guy. We would talk for hours, watch videos, jam in the garage – he played guitar at our wedding – we were working on a song remembering warren zevon, hell, the world is an empty place this morning.

Tavis Flickr stream

Flipped open a book of his poetry and found this.

I'm fine with the wolf at the door
the color of confusion's aura, six strings strong
soul on the distant shore, today is burning
and a careless tongue told the tale (broken bottles)
dawn presents "now," lure of the crippled projector
mating call to disaster

from Radical Shadows, 1991, Penships Press.

When all you can ask for is a better idiot.

Expectations of competence in government may never have been lower than in the wake of the botched response to the Katrina tragedy.

Via the Washington Post
"Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area," Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, said on CBS's "Early Show.""So I'm asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."

The buck brakes briefly here, then speeds off...

Trent Lott accused "papers like the Washington Post" of making political hay, while Jesse Jackson, clearly exhausted, tied it to the tail of just about every policy of the Administration from environment to war. When his handlers sent W out to admit the mistake, they pointed him, like a guided back-slapping missile, at the most likely fall guy...

Maureen Dowd in the NYT
Michael Brown, the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA - a job he trained for by running something called the International Arabian Horse Association - admitted he didn't know until Thursday that there were 15,000 desperate, dehydrated, hungry, angry, dying victims of Katrina in the New Orleans Convention Center.

Was he sacked instantly? No, our tone-deaf president hailed him in Mobile, Ala., yesterday: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

Translation: "Brownie, you're going to take one for the team."

Disaster and [lack of] response

Yesterday, Daily Kos had this post calling attention to indifference of the Administration to clearly articulated, highly public warnings. This was not a disaster which was unforseen. It really makes you wonder if anyone with a functioning brain works for Homeland Security or FEMA.

Via Daily Kos, from the October, 2004 National Geographic

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however--the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm... .

Ignoring the obvious seems to be this Administation's strong suit.

Jack's monetarist fantasy...

In the car this morning, Jack was musing out loud. "I wish we were really rich," he says. Pauses. "I wish we had M dollars."

Parents gushing about their kids is standard fare, but it is frightening when a 5-year-old appears to understand economics better than the President.

Jack and the Rexen

Our last weekend of the summer, Jack and I went to the Roger Williams Zoo. In addition to the wonderful elephants (one was completely submerged, using her trunk like a snorkel) and the perennial favorite naked mole rats ("Just like Rufus," sez Jack), there was a display of Jurassic animatronics. The accompanying "what killed the dinos" copy was fairly predictable, as the curators tried to hew a middle line among the Deccan Traps advocates and the Alvarez contingent. Rubber or not, it really does give you a different sense of them to stand in a clearing with one of the buggers in front of you.

Cory Doctorow responds to (alleged?) use of Palladium in the Mactel OS

I've been an Apple guy for as long as Cory -- used to say that I bled six colors, until that logo was deprecated -- but I think his concerns are spot on.
Via BoingBoing:
People working with early versions of the forthcoming Intel-based MacOS X operating system have discovered that Apple's new kernel makes use of Intel's Trusted Computing hardware. If this "feature" appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple's OS, they'll lose me as a customer -- I've used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.

The wonderful Daily Kos wikipedia...

Okay, so I'm probably the last person to find this, but I'm blogging it anyway. Wonderful political encyclopedia/jargon resource capturing the wisdom of the DailyKos community.

Check out the DKosopedia : "a collaborative project of the DailyKos community to build a political encyclopedia. The dKosopedia is written from a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic point of view while also attempting to fairly acknowledge the other side's take. It was started in April of 2004, and currently consists of 3015 articles."

Father's Day with Thomas and friends at Edaville

The local tourist train-slash-kiddie park in Carver MA, the Edaville Railroad, was featuring Thomas the Tank Engine® and friends this weekend. We took Jack up for father's day and Jack had a blast.

Jack gets gymnastics medal...

The Newport County YMCA does a wonderful end-of-year show and ceremony for all the kids in gymnastics classes and teams, and Jack got to stand up on a podium and get a medal tonight.

It was one of those packed house, everybody clapping, parents-snapping-away events where everyone goes home happy. Jack was very proud and can't wait until classes start again in the Fall.

[Posted with ecto]