Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This morning in the shower, like every other regular Joe, I started thinking about the global economy. A buddy in class and I were talking about The World is Flat and how more people are working from home, and how more and more of our cushy service jobs will and are moving where there is less upward pressure on salaries, just like the United States' manufacturing in the 1980's. It seems obvious to people my age, I suppose, but for the older generations this is a new paradigm. Someone in New Zealand or Croatia or, more likely, India or China, could do his job as well as he could, whether it's manufacturing underwear or auditing a 10Q or building a new computer operating system. Leaps in transportation and technology has given a plant foreman in China the power to decide what goes in our toothpaste, what our dogs eat and what chemicals are used to manufacture the toys that our children play with. It's a little scary and a lot ubiquitous.

These are not thoughts that consume my day-to-day life. I eat packaged food (I even eat McDonalds a couple of times a month) and I wear clothes made in Pakistan. But the faltering dollar and my choice of career paths has gotten me thinking that the old hippy standby, "Think globaly act locally" might not be such a bad idea, even if 'locally' only means making sure that I buy toothpaste manufactured in the United States.

This is a list (from memory, at 7 in the morning, grain of salt etc) of products in or around my shower and where they were made:

Aveeno: USA, Aveda: USA (thank goodness), Herbal Esscenses: USA (though it's the old bottle, and this is now a P&G brand), Kerastase: Spain, Roommate's toothpaste, Colgate maybe: Canada, Our toothpaste, Crest, Proctor and Gamble: Not on package, My soap, Zest, Proctor and Gamble: Not on package, Wife's smelly soap: England, Band-Aids, Johnson & Johnson: China.

So, not so bad, except the P&G, who's website only states that all P&G toothpaste is manufactured in 'North America.' Next time we might try Tom's of Maine, who is actually 84% owned by Colgate-Palmolive, but who's founders and natural policies were retained following the buy. If you know of any other easy ways to be a hippy and promote our national currency, please let me know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Reading is fundamental.

Oh well, at least the blog is still funny.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"I don't own a television. You'll notice that I called it a television and not a T.V., that's because T.V. is a nickname and nicknames are for friends and television is no friend of mine. CD's? I don't listen to CD's. The only way to truly appreciate music is on one of these."

Friday, November 16, 2007

You want some more records to make people look at your funny while you're rocking out in your office, staring out the window at the beautiful fall day, wishing you were at a roof party in bizarro-Madrid, where Jay-Z and Stephen Malkmus are best friends and popping fucking bottles of Dom together on the roof of some sick billion-dollar villa paid for with equal amounts old political money and drug money, and then they suddenly decide to start jamming together?

This is it, ladies. DJ N-Wee mashes up the fucking classic, the forever, Slanted and Enchanted, with the classic, highly praised Black Album. It's been, like, three years since this found it's way on the internets and it is still awesome. Go on, brush your shoulders off.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scenarios in which my listening choices ostracize me from the rest of my office:

Scenario 1:
Older lady> *Funny face* What is that you're listening to?
Ben> Um, NPR?
Older lady> Oh, I thought it was in a different language or something.
Ben> Palmface.

Scenario 2:
Woman in office beside me> What is that you're listening to?
Ben> Uh, long story.
WIOBM> Is that blues?
Ben> Well, sort of, it's this autistic kid from Texas who's been making music all his life. It's pretty good, huh.
WIOBM> Oh. Okay.

Soultion: Styx.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I recently got the iPod and iTunes set up properly and started trying to listen to podcasts in the morning because I can only pick up NPR in my office until about 10:30 (which is kind of bizarre). In addition to listening to Arthur's ListenUpCast, I've become fascinated with Kevin Smith's Smodcast. It's just Kevin Smith and his buddies sitting around talking about nothing, but it's interesting as hell. It's like having a regular conversation except it's interesting. I suppose that this is similar to the people who watch the YouTube blogs, but I always thought that those people were assholes and I can't watch some d-bag talking to a camera for fifteen minutes.

Anyway, you should check it out if you are into the whole podcast thing, and you should recommend me some new things to listen to, too. I liked Benjamin Walker's Theory of Everything, but I think he quit doing it. I also just found the TED Talks series, which is fucking awesome (though a little pretentious).

Also, I took the Color Personality Test Friday when I was bored as shit. I generally write these off as less trustworthy than horoscopes and internet IQ tests, but this thing is almost dead on. Aside from the "blaming others" part, the results were pretty scary. Check it:

Your Existing Situation
Sensuous. Inclined to luxuriate in things which give gratification to the senses, but rejects anything tasteless, vulgar, or coarse.

Your Stress Sources
Seeks independence and freedom from any restriction and therefore avoids obligations or anything which might prove hampering. He is being subjected to considerable pressure and wants to escape from it so that he can obtain what he needs, but tends to lack the necessary strength of purpose to succeed in this.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Relationships rarely measure up to his high emotional expectations and his need to be made the center of things, leading to disappointment . Always has mental reservations and tends to remain emotionally isolated and unattached.

Your Desired Objective
His need to feel more causative and to have a wider sphere of influence makes him restless and he is driven by his desires and hopes. May try to spread his activities over too wide a field.

Your Actual Problem
Feels restricted and prevented from progressing; seeking a solution which will remove these limitations.

Your Actual Problem #2
The tensions induced by trying to cope with conditions which are really beyond his capabilities, or reserves of strength, have led to considerable anxiety and a sense of personal (but unadmitted) inadequacy. He reacts by seeking outside confirmation of his ability and value in order to bolster his self-esteem. Inclined to blame others so that he may shift the blame from himself. Anxiously searching for solutions and prone to compulsive inhibitions and compulsive desires.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ahahahahahaha. First missed connection ever?