Saturday, November 01, 2003

How cold?
"We had summer on Tuesday, fall on Wednesday, winter on Thursday and snow on Friday..''

Now, I know this is because a LOT of people prayed long and hard for cooler weather and rain in the Southland (SoCal) to help with the fires.

And so it came to pass.

With the result that its cold as all getout elsewhere.

Helluva transition, said the natives, claiming theyve never seen such an abrupt change in weather in a place known for abrupt changes in weather.

I know, I know, I should be able to handle it - I grew up in Chicago.

Where it's warmer right now.

Friday, October 31, 2003

See?! See?!

Berkeley Today
at: 4:52 pm PST

50 º F

Feels Like: 37 º

Overheard all day

"Its fuckin' FREEZING!"

Aha! Now its so cold, we are in serious wind chill territory! Scarves, parkas and hoodies abound!

They cant deny that its cold here, huh? Huh?!

*grump* Fine, this 'victory' is phyrric at best, but still, this is a mighty fine cold snap we're having here. From 90 to 50 in one day.

PLUS wind chill!


The Old-Timers werent shitting about how quickly winter would come around these parts.

*sigh* Although it is beautiful as the sun sets among cloud layers that look classically painted, bathing everything in a godly golden light, the denizens playing dress up (any excuse will do) to go out for halloween.

But did I mention how cold it is?

It feels like *Christmas*, I tells ya.

Yah, now lemme tell you about Chicago and The Hawk, and how closely this resembles both.

And bring Grampa some bourbon.. its freezing.
A scream, then gasping, then ...

"Goot evenink. Your Berkeley Public Library is now closing.. *bruhahahaha*"


Im starting to like this goofy little town.

Today's horrorscope
This is a quite wonderful time for you. So much is possible.

However, Saturn in your dominant sign is once again making you wonder if you really have what it takes to succeed, and if you let these negative thoughts take hold, you won't accomplish half as much as you should.

Keep telling yourself you're the best and the brightest - it's not far from the truth.

Whoo. Good.

I keep thinking Im not gonna do what Ive set out to do..

Of course, thas utter nonsense.

Ive come too far.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

A pet peeve

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Yeah, but I like how Harvey Pekar put it in an American Splendor strip...
"I think I know the answer.

She had good intentions, but good intentions come cheap. It's easy to make promises, give assurances. Her execution was lousy, though.

A person with good intentions who promises things and is too lazy to come through is often more harmful than a malicious person. A malicious person is easier to spot. You can be on guard against him.

Plus, if he's interested enough in you to try to hurt you.. if you can convert him, maybe you'll have a friend..

They promise you things because they want to seem agreeable. They dont keep their promises because its too much trouble. They keep on breaking their word because theyre seldom penalized for it.

It's accepted behavior in our society, like being fashionably late for dinner."
- Harvey Pekar w/Robert Crumb, American Splendor comics

Hypocrisy disclaimer:

Ive done all of the above, Im sorry and I promise never to do it again.

Say that after me.

But the keen thing about writing that makes it better than arts and crafts at Bellevue..

"I was gonna write this jive woman a nasty letter, but a guy at work talked me out of it..

So I sublimated by writing this story... That's about what I can do when things bother me --

Write stories about them."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

"You cant write about LSD if you havent tried it.

Of course, if you try it, how can anyone trust what you say?"

- Timothy Leary

"NO. You dont wanna do drugs. No, its not all that."
"Someone who is trying to kick the habit, said I should try it once.."
"No man... *heeeeeeeeeeeeeee*.. Ok ok, it is a lot of fun. But still.. DONT"

"Problems? I have no problems with drugs. I have no problems finding them, buying them or using them."

I read somewhere today that users stay at the social age that they started using drugs.

I see that.

Winter weather

Winter weather, in Jamaica, happens around November, December, January.

Not much changes really, except that the temperature drops to the 60's and the wind gets real brisk (in the speed as well as temperature sense).

Sometimes, there is a hurricane or two.

In practical terms for me, it was sweater weather and kite-flying weather. An occasion to build bamboo and rice-paper kites (usually a hexagonal frame with a long stabilizing tail made of knotted strips of cloth, with a 'buzzer' strip). A winter tradition.

Flying your kite in stiff breezes, hundreds of feet high, running to get it aloft (sometimes hopping aboard my schwinn to get the necessary speed), our faces burning in the chill.

The stiff chill breezes that have returned to coastal california must be allaying the fears of the people afraid of a conflagration in the hills. They turned on the air-conditioning in their vehicles in celebration. (America, trust me, I didnt misquote. Dont ask me why.)

But for me, it brought back memories of sunny days, chilly weather and flying kites in the tropics.

Summer is over.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Indian summer sweats

I love this weather. Forest fires and earthquakes, the threat of them not-withstanding.

Hot days. Warm nights. You know, weather thats *normal*.

Give me three months of this, and Id like it here. But feh, it only lasts a short while.

"God, the heat is killing me."

These fog-house flowers wilt when the temperature gets above 80 degrees. America, laugh if you will, they do.

Weather that is normal elsewhere is aberrant here.

They like to think of this weather as "mediterranean", but when true mediterranean weather comes, they freak.

A warm, balmy night will have them in fucking histrionics, I swear.

*sigh* Its not gonna last.

"Im leaving the Bay Area as soon as possible."
"Why did you decide to come to Berkeley?"
"I was tripping."
"Hahaha! Why do you say that?"
"I was tripping. I thought this would be a cool place to live. Now I know better. Im going back to America, where I know the rules."


"Im going back to America, where I know the rules."

Hee. Great line.

Oh yeah... he's moving back to *Utah*.


In a mood

"Joe.. everything awright?" they asked, backing me up.

"Fine", the lebanese guy, stood up and left.. our cordial relationship ended.

They had never heard me raise my voice before. I dont, usually.. but no one blamed me for this. The guy was being an ass.

Normally, I avoid displaying my temper - and in retrospect, I coulda handled it better. I thought.

"Nah" said my friend, "you were being way calm for a long while, so much so I walked away.. but then I heard you growl from all the way across the room, oh man.. I had to come back."

Ive had to growl at a few people the last week or so. I dont tolerate silly shit.. but I still try not to lose my cool.

I just need to be around people who dont piss me off.

Im not in the mood.

Daylight Savings Time is messing with my laying out in the grass in the park time.


The sun is setting before my tootsies have time to get all warm and toasty.


*sigh* Soon, the Cold and the Wet ('winter' in Bay parlance) will soon be here.


Monday, October 27, 2003

The Bottom Line

"While I wrote in poverty, my Ph.D pals and Baccalaureate buddies were wearing J.Press suits and gargling with Tangueray Gin (or at least Beefeaters), while I was maintaining vital life signs in blue jeans, paisano wine and all the other good chemicals grown in sunny California.."
- Oliver Lange


There are only two ways to escape the system. One is to be super-rich, the other is to live economically enough that you dont need a lot to live.

Otherwise, we are naught but pods feeding the maw of the matrix.

The trick is to combine the two..
"If youre a fool you may not want to make money. The whole notion of struggling and being poor to do art is a myth. I have desires in my life other than my art.

I think living well or living the way you wish breeds the best art. Being poor inhibits the making of art. Its simply not true that success makes artists less hungry and creative..."
Rodney Ripps, 1981

Breakeven Formula

Find out your overhead expenses and gross margin

Your Gross Profit would be your Total Sales minus your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) - or Cost of Sales for Services - and add your direct costs.
Gross Profit = Sales - COGS

Your Gross Margin would be your Gross Profit as a percentage of your Sales


Add all OTHER expenses, indirect or fixed (rent, utilities, insurance, benefits, etc).

Breakeven Overhead = Gross Profit

Gross Margin = Gross Profit / Sales

Gross Profit = Sales X Gross Margin


Your Overhead is Breakeven Sales X Gross Margin and your Breakeven Sales Figure is your Overhead divided by Gross Margin

"But, at this stage of development you must have a plan.."
"I do"
"but youre supposed to settle down, have a place, take care of your family"
"That isnt my plan."

Ive started...