I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit lately. I’ve basically been busy as hell lately, and I suppose the blog has taken a back seat. So this post will be a rambling one bordering on stream of consciousness. So grab a cup of your favorite hot, cold or lukewarm beverage, get someone to rub your feet, and read on.

The fitness side of things has been going very well. It has been mostly bicycling (more on that soon!) but I have also been doing some calisthenics, push ups, basketball and pilates. However I guess I am drinking enough beer and soda to negate any exercise progress I am making. I am still holding steady at my (healthy) weight but I’ve still got that blasted belly fat. I think at some point I may abstain from alcohol for a month just for caloric reasons.

Now onto bicycling. I am surely becoming better at it. My legs are getting stronger and I am becoming more confident in riding. I let myself go faster down hills and don’t mind small bumps as much. I am actually surprised that I have not gotten a flat from some of the huge goddamn pot holes I have unintentionally gone over. I have also somehow managed to not pierce my tube on all the glass I have seen on the street. Also, yesterday I participated in my second Critical Mass. It is quite an empowering experience. After spending all month being a second-class citizen on the roads and being scared out of my wits several times by inattentive or malicious motorists, it is nice to have the bicyclists own the roads for a change. Yesterday I especially had fun stopping for a few seconds directly in front of some cars in a couple of intersections to let the mass go through. I did have to break off rather early, however, to meet some friends in the Sunset for dinner. On my way there I kept running into break-off massers. I am not sure what you call it, but I went through a group of bikers who were using an intersection as their own personal traffic circle, stopping traffic in all directions. Beautiful thing. After passing through that I had all four one-way lanes of Fell Street to myself. I love Critical Mass. I wish it were two times per month, every week, twice a week, every day. Maybe some day…

By the way, a quick “shout out” to my friend Peter’s excellent San Francisco bike blog.

School has been going well, although I probably need to start working harder at it. Last semester I worked too hard at school; I probably worked twice as hard as I needed to to actually get an ‘A’ and ended up with super duper A’s. Right now I am probably working hard enough for everything to be borderline A/B and I would really like to get straight A’s again. Unfortunately this semester there are no term papers like last semester where we get to pick our own topic. I really enjoyed writing my paper Anarchism in Spain during the Spanish Civil War last semester and I wish I had the opportunity to do something like that again. Unfortunately it is mostly book reviews, midterms, and one term paper on which our topic is rather narrow. School has been rather tiring, for sure. 11 out of my 12 weekly class hours are packed between Monday at 4pm and Wednesday at 10am. With bicycling to/from school most of the time I am pretty exhausted by the time I get out of work on Wednesday. But I keep on truckin’. I think I can wait until December and January for a decent vacation.

In December I will be going to Maryland for about a week. I’d like to be back in San Francisco for New Year’s Eve, and then I’ll be off to Hawaii to visit Kelly, Conor and Caleb. Hopefully Tim will be home by then. I’m very much looking forward to this vacation. But the real doozy will be next summer when I plan to go to Europe for a month, couch surfing as much as possible. I should probably get on getting that passport…

Talking about Couch Surfing, I have been hosting a LOT. The vast majority of the days I will have one or more (sometimes as many as four) couch surfers staying with me in my studio. I am taking a several day break from it right now but I really enjoy hosting people. I have met so many people and I’ve stopped counting how many I’ve hosted. Besides the obvious social benefits of it, I am looking at it from an anarchist perspective. It is essentially a gift economy; the apartment is theirs to stay in with no strings attached. They also get to avoid spending money at a hotel and I get the joy of knowing they kept money out of the hands of the big hotel owners. And to be selfish, I am racking up a huge list of people than can host me in the future!

To change gears here, work is also going well. We are trying to spin off a separate company. I won’t go into the details right now, but it’s involved setting aside a few weekend days to get some work done on our project that we are trying to launch. I don’t mind so much; the solitude while I work is nice and it is what I was looking for when I volunteered all of us to work on the weekends. The regular during-the-week stuff is going fine but I am looking forward to this new company getting launched and hopefully working in that line a lot more.

Now onto the “having fun” part of this post. As I posted before, I have recently launched a San Francisco drum and bass blog where I am keeping track of the different drum and bass events upcoming in the city, posting pictures and writing event reviews. I had a tremendous time last Sunday at Compression at The Cellar. I hope to go to more drum and bass events now that I am keeping track of all of them for the new blog.

A few fun things that are upcoming for me: Next weekend I am going to Monterrey for a night with a few friends for a birthday. I’ve been to Monterrey a few times but never spent the night. I think I won’t go to the aquarium again, even though it was great last time. I want to check out other parts of Monterrey, whatever they may be. The weekend after that I’ll be in LA visiting Alyssa. I haven’t been to LA for a while and I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure we’ll have a great time.

Now just some comments on our current political atmosphere. I become more and more turned off by mainstream politics every day. I am especially jaded by the Obama campaign. I can’t stand to see Obamamania going on here in San Francisco. If I had more time (how many times have I said this?) I’d challenge the Obamamania. I want to put up posters that say “Obama is a warmonger.” I want to make t-shirts to the same effect. I want to challenge the Obama street table volunteers to an impromptu debate.

What, you didn’t know that Obama was a warmonger? He has voted to fund the war in Iraq. The same war that has killed an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis, many more than you may know who have been killed directly by American soldiers. The same war that has made five million Iraqis flee their homes, internally and externally. Well, surely, you might think, Obama will change all of that when he takes office. Think again. He plans to keep thousands of troops in Iraq, including in the Green Zone, thus completely ignoring the will of the Iraqi people and destroying any hope of Iraqi sovereignty. Obama also seems to think the Iraqi people should be paying us money for our war that is essentially no more than mass murder. Should someone with this mentality be our president?

But it doesn’t stop with Iraq, of course. Obama’s effort to be “tough on terror” includes sending more troops to Afghanistan. Send them there for what? What are more troops going to do over there? It doesn’t take tens of thousands of troops to combat Al Qaeda, who are evidently holed up in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. I’ll tell you what more troops will accomplish however. They will, intentionally or not, murder more Afghan people, like the close to 100 that were killed a couple weeks ago by an American bomb. Is this who you want to be president?

This is the same man who thinks it is wise to leave “all options on the table” with regards to Iran. The same Iran that several years ago agreed to stop all nuclear activity if we would only promise to not attack them. We reprimanded the third party diplomat for delivering the message. Are we really going to consider bombing Iran, too? Or maybe we’ll just starve them out like Bill Clinton did to Iraq. 1 million dead Iraqis thank Clinton for that, and the rest of the Iraqis thank Clinton for making them more dependent on their dictator, making it extremely difficult to overthrow him. And this is who the San Francisco “liberals” are so excited about?

This is the same man that actually wants to increase the size of our military. Our military expenditures are already higher than the rest of the world combined. This is our idea of a presidential candidate that stands for peace, that wants to use diplomacy to settle our differences with the world? Diplomacy at the barrel of a gun, maybe. Change, my ass.

And just a bit on the economy here. I am actually kind of excited about the state of the economy. I think economic collapse would certainly be painful in many ways but it would also be a time of opportunity. An opportunity to make a change in our lives on an individual level and also an opportunity to replace what we have on a systemic level with something at least slightly better. We’ll see what happens, but my opinion is that the current bailout plan will make the decline of the American economy happen slowly rather than suddenly. Either way it’s going down the tubes.

Lastly, a quick comment on some stuff I am reading right now. I am reading Living My Life by Emma Goldman, an autobiography if the title didn’t give that away. An excellent book so far, talking about all of her travels, lectures, romance and more. I certainly like Emma Goldman much more than Lenin after reading his biography. Lenin was essentially a mass murdering elitist who did it all in the name of the working class. One thing I am getting out of all of this, however, is that I think I would admire someone much more for their actions rather than their words. Emma Goldman, until this point in the book at least (I think she’s about 30) has mostly done lecture tours. Anarchist lectures are generally meant to agitate the working class so they take action. Seems like a bit of a cop-out to me. But I still like Emma Goldman.

I also started reading a journal I subscribed to, Anarchist Studies. An article in the current issue discusses Leo Tolstoy’s Christian anarchism, which is something I had never heard of until now. There’s a lot about laws, slavery and non-violence in the article. I am skeptical of some of Tolstoy’s arguments, especially the one that declares that laws are slavery. I think the term slavery is cheapened when it is used so broadly like this. Having said this, I’d like to read some of Tolstoy’s books and articles that this journal article mentions.

Until next time, faithful readers…

As I laid in bed a few minutes ago, unable to sleep before work like usual, I came up with an idea. Usually the reason I cannot sleep during these times, I think, is because way too many things are running through my head. Most of them are just dumb little things like “Oh I need to get my car registered in California” and “Hmm, how should I do this or that particular thing at work?” I think this stems from the fact that I generally cannot concentrate on things very well for an extended period of time. From this madness, I managed to pull one lucid idea. I am going to attempt a bit of an…experiment, if you will. I don’t have much faith that it will work, but it is worth a shot.

What if I could concentrate on doing one (and only one) thing remarkably well each week? For instance, I currently want to buy a mountain bike. If that happens to be my goal for next week, I can attempt to forget about everything else and just do a really good job at buying a mountain bike. I can concentrate on going to several stores, meeting with one or more people off of Craigslist, reading about different mountain bikes online, et cetera. By the end of the week, the job I will have done will be so thorough that I won’t need to even think about it any more. Instead of dedicating just a few hours to buying a mountain bike, which is absolutely possible, I will have dedicated a week. I’ll not only have a mountain bike, but I will have a helmet, some hooks for the wall where I can hang the bike, and I will know the basics of mountain bike maintenance.

But that was just an example. I could tell myself any number of things to do. It doesn’t have to be an errand-type thing. It could be something like learn how to make a new dish or a new style of food. Or it could be to read “Atlas Shrugged” (which I am currently reading at the pace of about 10 pages per week, literally).

Now, as for the problem of my wandering mind, I think I may have already come up with a tool to help me with this. On my web server at home, I have set up some software (the same software used to run Wikipedia) to manage all of these damn ideas in my head. It has definitely helped some so far. I wrote down my to-do list, grocery list, short-term schedule, books I want to read, among many other things. It helps at least a little bit to clear my mind.

As I said, I have little faith that this “plan” will work very well. But if I am able to pull it off I think it might just reduce my stress level, which for some reason has been going up lately. Actually, I think it is the holidays that is doing it to me.

As I showed you all in a previous post, I have obtained some turntables, a mixer, and some records. Well, after a little bit of practice mixing, I am still not all that good, but I think I am getting better.

I am going to broadcast a live show weekly, starting tonight (2005-11-23) on my Internet radio station FourMajor radio. It will be held every Wednesday night from 2200 – 0000 PST. I will mostly be playing drum & bass and trance, but you might just hear some industrial and rap in there as well. I will broadcast at 160kbps, 128kbps, and 64kbps

I am also going to be recording all of the shows, and making them available via podcast.

To listen to the live broadcast you will need a mp3-capable audio player program for your computer and a broadband Internet connection. Please visit FourMajor radio for links to the streams.

To listen to the podcast, you will need to run a “podcast receiver” such as Juice and add my podcast feed (which I will link to later). You do not need a broadband Internet connection to listen in this way.

Anyway, I hope at least a couple of you tune in each week. I will be going record shopping soon to expand my collection. As for tonight, I will be running through most of my records to fill the two hours.

I am writing this now so none of you let me get away with not doing this: I am going to put up a Festivus pole in my apartment this year, and write a detailed tutorial (with plenty of pictures, of course) on how to do so.

I tend to get these really dumb ideas in my head sometimes and then take them to extremes . . . and have a really good time doing so. So, five minutes into this idea, I have thought of a good extension of it. I also intend to write a detailed article on Wikipedia about the Festivus pole.

Damn it, I wish it were Saturday already, when I will have idle time to waste on such frivolties!