Thursday, November 25, 2010

Market Fundamentalism

Interesting thing about the Washington Consensus and market fundamentalism is that only on economist would see the world that way. Anyone who looks an the world from the view of a political scientist, sociologist, historian, journalist, etc. knows the markets are messy.

A good example of this was the mess of the post-soviet breakup of state companies. The insiders knew how to game the system and became billionaires. The people were pretty much screwed, and the economy completely screwed up to the point of hyper-inflation and ruble devaluation (ruble went from around 6 to the US Dollar to the low 20s).

So market fundamentalism not so much.

Still reading "Globalization and its Discontents" by Joseph Stiglitz, but its interesting how international instituations have used dogma to screw up economies. Will come back to this topic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

15 Top Rated songs

So I am changing this up again and making it all 4 or 5 star songs on my ITunes so getting some good stuff that fits my musical taste.

And I want to hear the stuff you actually like -- so pick a favorite playlist -- most recently played would work too -- best would be the most played or your top rated. Or something like a shuffle that is edited.

(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer.

(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.


1. Express Yourself - Madonna -- **** -- much more appropriate start -- been a not so closet Madonna fan for a long time.

2. We Welcome You to Munchkin Land - The Wizard of Oz -- ADORE the munchkin suite from the Wizard of Oz.

3. Chelsea Hotel No. 2 - Leonard Cohen -- **** -- and now for something completely different -- but another glorious song

4. Smells Like Nirvana -- "Weird Al" Yankovic -- **** -- been a huge Weird Al fan since 12 or so -- adored the Dare to be Stupid album -- feel silly that didn't see him at the "Alapalooza" at the Orange County Fair in 2002 when he played every day and lived 20 mins away

5. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup -- **** -- Nat King Cole -- gorgeous song from one of the great jazz singers of all time.

6. Symphony 9 in D Minor: Op 125 "Choral" -- **** -- Big Beethoven Classical from the London Symphony Orchestra -- Ode to Joy-tastical

7. Oh Pretty Woman -- Roy Orbison -- **** Just a great, classic rock song

8. Fu-Gee-La -- The Fugees -- **** -- Amazing album

9. Someone to Watch Over Me -- Ella Fitzgerald -- Gorgeous -- ****

10. Monster Mash -- Bobby "Boris" Pickett -- **** -- One of the most successful novelty songs of all time

11. Shoot -- George Carlin -- **** -- Shoot is just shit with 2 os

12. The Jazz Cat, Minnie the Moocher -- 3 Mo Tenors -- **** -- seriously great album -- glad I got for 2 bucks when I subbing as a fundraiser for New Orleans -- fun, fun, fun

13. Alpha Surfari -- Man or Astroman? -- **** -- One of the best shows I saw was these guys at the Pomona College student union -- very loud, very fun -- think geekier Dick Dale

14. Kyle's Mom's a B**ch -- South Park Soundtrack -- **** -- Yep this is really the kind of stuff I like.

15. The Score -- The Fugees -- **** -- Another fugees song --

And a bonus

16. Walk Away Renee -- The Four Tops -- ****

ok one more came up

17. I'm Super -- South Park -- **** - seems appropriate after election day.

So all four stars -- none of the 5 star on there -- but that is definitely my music -- yesterday's wasn't


Sunday, October 03, 2010

A prayer for my cat

Went to the pet ER on Friday for my cat.

Was worried he had a UTI.

News was worse.

A heart murmur and fluid in his body.

I hope he will be ok but worried he will not.

You are a great cat, Hunter "Socks" Thompson. We love you.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top 11 favorite dishes -- Portland-land

These are not in any particular order and would love to hear your suggestions.

1)Curried Crab Soup -- Pepperclub, Middle Street, Portland, ME -- delicious, one of the most memorable things I have had here. Would be one of my regulars if lived closer.

2)Poutine, Frog and Turtle, Bridge Street, Westbrook, ME -- I have had better or worse nights with this but one of the best things I have had in Maine. This is also the first poutine I have had --- mmm cheese curds, fries and gravy

3) Pho, Thanh Thanh 2, Forest Avenue, Portland -- My favorite pho in town so far, although I prefer the rest of the food and the service at Saigon across the street. Much better broth and more meat then at Saigon.

4) Fresh Donuts, The French Press, Main Street, Westbrook -- they also serve these at the Frog and Turtle for Sunday brunch -- the 3 I always get are Maple-Bacon, Elvis (banana, chocolate and peanut butter) and the Cinnamon Sugar. I also love getting coffee and sandwiches, breakfast here.

5) Ham and Anchovy Small Pizza, Angelone's, Main St, Westbrook -- Across the street from where I live. Very fresh tasting, call this my salt-lick pizza. Also has location on Washington Avenue (off peninsula) in Portland -- haven't tried it there.

6) Seafood Vietnamese Noodle, Saigon, Forest Avenue, Portland, --- Absolutely delicious from one of my great discoveries recently. Love the service here, this is my favorite dish so far, satisfying, spicy, delicious

7) Chicago Dog Meal Deal, Chicago Dogs, Route 1, Scarborough, -- Love the relish and snap of this dog, with excellent fries and draft Eli's Root Beer -- really delicious, nice atmosphere -- wish was still at Clark's Pond -- just south of Route 1 and 114

8) Meat Papusa, Tu Casa, Washington Ave, Portland, ME -- another one of my great finds recently. One of the most cravable things in Portland -- even better on the deck on a nice day. Its a filled masa cake with meat, some swear by the cheese papusas. Really good. Odd that a Salvadoran place is my favorite Mexican place in Portland. Reminds me of Mexican places in LA, family owned, speak Spanish, fresh, simple, delicious. Other Mexican places in Portland area, good for chips, salsa and beer.

9) Moo Shu Pork, China Villa, Main Street, Westbrook -- this resteraunt has some tables but you mainly go to get take out and delivery. One of the places me and Lanna go to the most. Very good, huge, huge portions. Party tip -- flour tortillas work well if don't get enough Chinese "pancakes"

10) Small plates, Nosh, Congress Street, Portland --- did have my first hiccup with the meatloaf sandwich as Nosh, but have been very, very happy with small plates including: egg, couscous, beets, poutine, onion strings, tuna ceviche, oysters. Love that this is available in downtown and open late.

11) Hot Pastrami Special, Full Belly Deli, Brighton Ave, Portland -- delicious hot pastrami the best I can remember, grew up in New Jersey. Salty, flavorful, delicious. Also love the potato salad, and cole slaw with the special.

So those are my 11 -- do you have any favorites I need to try?


Monday, January 25, 2010

First ten songs on IPod - Or make it 13

So still have all my songs from my ITunes but lost all the ratings when I got the new Gateway.

So I thought I would try the first 10 songs on my IPod after hearing a Dead Air Podcast with 3 songs from his IPod

So here goes:

1) "Lover Come Back" by Ella Fitzgerald - off 25 Jazz Greats, Disc 2 -- quick jazz number by Ella -- not my favorite from her -- very uptempo ***

2) "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles off "1" album -- **** Good early Beatles

3) "The Stripper" by Joe Loss & His Orchestra -- off "Full Monty" soundtrack -- great silly fun song ... makes me want to dance and be silly and stuff

4) "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" by U2 - off "Achtung Baby" album -- **** -- great line "Because a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"

5) "Why Add A Worship Service" by the Unitarian Universalist Association - off "Lay leader drive time essays 1" -- Very interesting 4 minute post about why 2 services is a good or bad idea for growing congregations. Has worked well as Allen Avenue UU in Portland and happy that we are a growing congregation. Good piece. ***

6) "Guess Things Happen That Way" by Johnny Cash from the absolutely excellent "2005-The Legend of Johnny Cash" album that was engineered by Rick Rubin and also includes "Hurt" -- ****

7) "99 Ways to Die" by Megadeth from The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience album -- for me its just OK -- *** -- for Beavis and Butthead it would be "heh heh -- cool"

8) "There It Is" by Barry White from the "Icon is Love" album -- one man with a voice deeper then mine -- just a little bit different -- pure make out song -- ****

9) "I'm Sticking With You" by the Velvet Underground from the "Juno" soundtrack -- *** - not my favorite Velvet song -- next

10 "Favorite Thing" by Shift Music from album "Get In" -- pretty awful -- probably from a grab bag CD at Bull Moose - **

11) Bonus track since one of my songs wasn't a song at all "Prelude and Maine Title March" by the London Symphony Orchestra -- From the "Superman: The Movie:" soundtrack --- this is just some John Williams awesomeness -- *****

12) "Glass Onion" the Beatles - Love album -- has a remix-y quality --- kinda fun ***

13) "Luke and Leia" by John Williams off the "Star Wars Trilogy" album -- **** -- pretty John Williams tastic ****

14) "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2 off "The Joshua Tree" album -- arguably the best U2 song, off without question U2's best album *****

I personally really enjoy time-wasters like this -- interesting the the Beatles, U2 and John Williams showed up twice -- Edmund