Archive for July, 2008

gonna go see the fire tomorrow night

chicago fire

a friend is turning 30 and we are headed to see the fire.


July 19, 2008 at 3:26 am Leave a comment

Cynthia McKinney Accepts Green Party Nomination

Illinois will go to Obama. I’ll again vote my conscience, meaning, should Cynthia McKinney make the ballot, she’s got my vote. I hate the democrats’ corporate cowardice. I do indeed want change I can believe in. In addition to my membership in the Chicago Socialist Party, I have now also joined the Greens. Visit the Green Party, here.

July 15, 2008 at 2:35 pm 2 comments

Joe Hill

Joe Hill

From John Dos Passos‘ novel 1919:

Joe Hill

A young Swede named Hillstrom went to sea, got himself calloused hands on sailingships and tramps, learned English in the focastle of the steamers that make the run from Stockholm to Hull, dreamed the Swede’s dream of the west;

when he got to America they gave him a job polishing cuspidors in a Bowery saloon.

He moved west to Chicago and worked in a machine shop.

He moved west and followed the harvest, hung around employment agencies, paid out many a dollar for a job in a construction camp, walked out many a mile when the grub was too bum, or the boss too tough, or too many bugs in the bunkhouse;

read Marx and the I.W.W. Preamble and dreamed about forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.

He was in California for the S.P. strike (Casey Jones, two locomotives, Casey Jones), used to play the concertina outside the bunkhouse door, after supper, evenings, (Longhaired preachers came out every night), had a knack for setting rebel words to tunes (And the union makes us strong).

Along the coast in cookshacks flophouses jungles wobblies hoboes bindlestiffs began singing Joe Hill’s songs. They sang ’em in the county jails of the State of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, in the bullpens in Montana and Arizona, sang ’em in Walla Walla, San Quentin and Leavenworth,

forming the structure of the new society within the jails of the old.

At Bingham, Utah, Joe Hill organized the workers of the Utah Construction Company in the One Big Union, won a new wage scale, shorter hours, better grub. (The angel Moroni didn’t like labororganizers any better than the Southern Pacific did.)

The angel Moroni moved the hearts of the Mormons to decide it was Joe Hill shot a grocer named Morrison. The Swedish consul and President Wilson tried to get him a new trial but the angel Moroni moved the hearts of the supreme court of the State of Utah to sustain the verdict of guilty. He was in jail a year, went on making up songs. In November 1915 he was stood up against the wall in the jail yard in Salt Lake City.

“Don’t mourn for me organize,” was the last word he sent out to the workingstiffs of the I.W.W. Joe Hill stood up against the wall of the jail yard, looked into the muzzles of the guns and gave the word to fire.

They put him in a black suit, put a stiff collar around his neck and a bow tie, shipped him to Chicago for a bangup funeral, and photographed his handsome stony mask staring into the future.

The first of May they scattered his ashes to the wind.

July 6, 2008 at 1:56 am Leave a comment

how to win at Magic the Gathering


4:22 AM on a stormy, sleepless night and my mind wanders to lessons learned in youth. Here then, is a primer on how to win at Magic.

You must decrease the variables.

There is always one unknown variable: what cards your opponent will be playing. It’s entertaining to think of this as the 1st deduction you have to claim for yourself when you do your taxes. It’s always there. No getting around it.

In order to win at Magic, it’s best to understand that you’re actually playing against yourself. The decisions you make prior to the duel will determine your success.

Here are some guidelines:

1.) Never play with more than 60 cards in your deck. Remember those bad variables? Every card over 60 is one of them. You don’t want to be in the position of guessing what cards you’ll be playing in addition to what cards your opponent is playing.

2.) Always distribute your manna in a 2 cards to 1 land ratio. It’s perfectly legal to stack your deck with the 2 cards to 1 land prior to the shuffle. Not lacking manna removes another variable.

3.) Play with only one color. Black or Red are highly recommended. This used to be somewhat less important when dual lands were more prevalent, but even then, it was best to eliminate any chance of not getting the cards you need.

4.) Your deck should do one and only one thing extremely well. Again, limit the variables. If everything in your deck works, then everything works. Whether it’s a rack or land-fucker deck, only stick to relevant cards with an inexpensive casting cost.

5.) You should always strive for the fastest possible deck. If you can’t cast it on the first or second turn with a dark ritual, forget about it. Big creatures are a waste. They’re far easier for your opponent to dispel than they are for you to summon. If you can beat the other duelist to the punch, it matters much less what cards she has. Don’t let her use them.

lord of the pit

He looks cool, but won’t help you win.

If you follow these rules, you will win more at Magic. Your dorm room or corporate prestige will grow. And in less time, with my system, you will command a superior view of the plains of Dominia.

I’d close by wishing you luck, duelist. But I hope I’ve shown that in fact your success rests upon the elimination of variables. And that’s something you can control.

This post is affectionately dedicated to J.L., with whom I crawled the early morning streets of Williamsport PA because somebody somewhere was looking to trade.

July 3, 2008 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

Strangelove McCain

July 2, 2008 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

awesome examples

this modern world

July 1, 2008 at 5:06 am Leave a comment