Friday, June 30

Quick two links

+ Matthew has an extensive Harry Potter post, including what part of which books to read (that Christine must read, or course).

+ Lance will ride RAGBRAI one day this year. Awesome.

Two major weblogs to watch!

Great day! A lot of stuff happened while I was gone!

+ The world, including me, found Ken Jenning's weblog .

+ Jason is back .

Wednesday, June 28

Out of town

Should have written this about... 4 days ago. I've been near Calgary consulting (!) for the past few days. Headed back home today. More posting after reentry.
I'll tantalize you by saying I've got a post in the works on all the great music I've been listening to.

Friday, June 23

Tools (hand and ref) and toddlers

+ When you read that the official hand tool of Jaq's weblog is Klein , don't forget that mine is Lenox. ;-)

I scored the 6-in-1 screwdriver and the utility knife.

Next on the wishlist: the Tri-Fold Saw (second from bottom), which takes a reciprocating saw blade.

Oh, and they gave me a shirt, too! ;-)

+ Matthew Baldwin has a nice update on the Squirelly at 2 (which Christine - and really anyone with children who are or have been that age - must click through on).

+ I've been too depressed about the World Cup to post about it. I watched the whole match last saturday. Ugh. The best parts were:

1. Wil watching the first half with me. He was very interested in the red card for the bloody head and the own goal (and recounted them to his grandparents last night).

2. Bethy falling asleep in the recliner with me while I watched the second half.

Apart from that, it was pretty lousy. The ref in that game, obviously, totally sucked. You spend years and millions preparing for this think and two red cards can ruin the whole shooting match.

Not that I think it did for us. Could we have beaten Ghana with those two guys back? I doubt it. They're on fire and we're not playing well. We scrapped with the Italians, but...


East Asian economies, aging pop stars, and Google

+ (South) Korea is the new Japan. High quality, high value products led by Samsung and Hyundai. I used to say 'Friends don't let friends buy a Hyundai.' Maybe I was wrong. Maybe they've improved a lot since then.

S Korea's already moving out of the bargain stage to the trendsetting stage. And, of course, the analogy can't hold in the current expansion of globalization. For example, Seoul is (perhaps) the most wired city in the world. So they actually lead in many broadband dynamics, including security problems. Why the Future is in South Korea.

South Korea is on a trajectory to keep innovating and keep rising to Japan-like proportions.

However, something crazy from the nut job up north could set this process back quite a bit, if not derail it.

The next economy to grow up from budget-provider to trendsetter will be China. The cheapest manufacturing jobs are already moving elsewhere, like Vietnam.

+ I know this is super old news, but just in case you missed it, Paul McCartney turned 64, impossible to imagine when he wrote a song about it (impossible for me since I wasn't born yet me ;-).

The REM analog is 'I can't see a life at 30/I don't buy a life at 30/caught like flies'. Wonder if Michael still feels that way?

+ I liked some of the Google Blogoscoped Onebox ideas.

Thursday, June 22

Four shirts my brother, Cory, should wear

(real quick, then off to bed)

Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil
Meat is Murder. Tasty, Tasty Murder
If you can read this make me a sandwich
I'm Considering A Life Of Crime

Multinationals, Mushroom caviar, Machine, and atoM

+ Tom's boss writes about how multinational corporations must change in globalization.

I haven't seen this elsewhere, even in Tom. Maybe I just wasn't ready to see it. I just assumed the corporations would rise up a la Gibson/Stephenson and we didn't really have a choice.

I'm sure he's right. I'll have to ruminate on how this will affect the dystopian future ;-)

+ Seen in Simply Recipes: Mushroom Caviar Recipe. Now that's what I call two gross tastes to taste gross together! ;-)

+ Great names from the Hype Machine:
  • Bhlogiston
  • California uber alles
  • My life with the thrill kill kult
  • Art of burning water
  • British sea power
  • Girlshapedlovedrug
+ Wicked cool scale model of a hydrogen atom with the electron as 1 pixel.

Wednesday, June 21

(some) Great videos on YouTube

Pitchfork Media (as seen EVERYWHERE) says they've got a hundred. I don't see that many. But I can point you to:

Page 1
+ Take on me - one of my all time faves.

Page 6
+ The robots. I'm a new convert to this song, having heard it in a mashup with Intergalactic.

Page 7
+ We will become silhouettes - directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite). Another pretty Postal Service song.

Page 9
+ Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before. Unfortunately, I didn't start listening to the Smiths until 1990 (or so). But I had those glasses in 1987, just like Morrissey!
+ Once in a lifetime. Byrne doing his Bill Nye the Science Guy impression (and, thus, my friend, Bill M). Did you know this video was co-directed by Toni Basil?! She's got two in the top 100!
+ Voices carry. I sure do like this song (thought the video's just ok).

Did I miss any?

Wednesday, June 14

Springsteen and Seeger

(More research to come, but I think I'll go ahead and post this much...)

I picked out Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions . I sure do like it. I liked it before Scott S recommended it to me, but props to him, a fellow former Oklahoman, too.

What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin?

A violin is sometimes informally called a fiddle, regardless of the kind of music being played with it. The words "violin" and "fiddle" come from the same Latin root, but "violin" came through the Romance languages and "fiddle" through Germanic languages.


1. "Old Dan Tucker" – 2:31

I like this song, but didn't know it was from minstrel shows. That complicates it...

2. "Jesse James" – 3:47

This song praises Jesse, but I can't see where he was such a great guy.

3. "Mrs. McGrath" – 4:19
4. "O Mary Don't You Weep" – 6:05
5."John Henry" – 5:07

Is there any truth to the John Henry myth?

6. "Erie Canal" – 4:03 Erie Canal (in itself)

Cool diagram of the altitude changes
Good-sized map

Two villages competed to be the terminus of the canal, Black Rock, on the Niagara River, and Buffalo, New York , at the eastern tip of Lake Erie. Buffalo expended great energy to widen and deepen Buffalo Creek to make it navigable, and to create a harbor at its mouth. Buffalo won over Black Rock, and quickly grew into a great city, eventually swallowing its former competitor.

Wil really likes this song and said 'Dad, I changed it to 'You'll always know your neighbor, And you'll always know your Sal.'' :-)

7. "Jacob's Ladder" – 4:28
8. "My Oklahoma Home" – 6:03

I can't resist Oklahoma dust bowl stories like 'The Grapes of Wrath',  Resplendent, and this one.

9. "Eyes on the Prize" – 5:16
10. " Shenandoah " – 4:52
11. "Pay Me My Money Down" – 4:32
12. "We Shall Overcome" – 4:53
13. "Froggie Went A Courtin'" – 4:33
14. "Buffalo Gals" (bonus track only available on DualDisc format)
15. "How Can I Keep From Singing" (bonus track only available on DualDisc format)

I sure like the (what I think of as) hootenanny sound and strong backbeat of songs like 'Old Dan Tucker', 'John Henry' and 'Buffalo Gals'.

My research took me over to Woody Guthrie, who has this to say:

This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.

Unfortunately, ol' Woody has been ordered to cease and desist by the RIAA ;-)

Tuesday, June 13

Assorted thoughts (with links)

+ Jason links to Ricky Jay's website, which has a REALLY LONG article on Jay - a magician, sleight of hand artists, and a bunch of other labels in that vein. I need to do some more research on this Jay fellow. It sounds like his 'tricks' are truly fascinating.

+ Nice, full article on the Littoral Combat Ships in today's State . Here are 34 pictures, worth a thousand words a piece ;-)

This is the best direction for the Navy to go: more, smaller ships (though I doubt we really needed two different models...).

+ What if you wrote a really great comment, complete with links and research, and no one cared? I did. Fell flat on Coming Anarchy, so I think I'll reprint it here:

(Extra points if you notice my brithday in the permalink for my comment. Spooky! ;-)

i find this topic [micro-states] very interesting. makes me think of:

+ Neal Stephenson's enclaves/ phyles/tribes
+ The minimal compact: An open-source constitution for post-national states
+ Emergent democracy

I'll grant I didn't draw out comment as well as I might have, but, sheesh ;-)

Monday, June 12

The Oxford Project

When I saw on kottke that there was once an Oxford [Iowa] Project, with photos taken in 1984 [linked here at the Smithsonian site], I was stunned. I grew up near Oxford and went to elementary school there. A little Googling produces The Oxford Project official website. Dude went back and took after photos - 20 years after. It's a small world. Truth is stranger than fiction. Yep, all of that.

The only person I'm sure I know from the pictures is the town mayor, who taught Business classes at West High in Iowa City.

I've got an inclination who the guy is who's Ashton Kutcher's cousin, but I'm not sure.

Puts me in mind of my sometime project, My Childhood in Iowa.

Friday, June 9

From al-Zarqawi to Greg (!)

+ Tom's got a great post where he ties in his son's surgery with parental love and the importance of remembering that everyone, even al-Zarqawi and especially our soldiers, is someone's child.

+ Mark's got a poignant post about al-Zarqawi's death that is also funny:

The unseemly rush among pundits, partisans, cynics, politicians like Representative Pete Stark (D-Cal.) and carpet-chewing, mentally unbalanced, haters of the Bush administration to screech how Zarqawi's death is irrelevant, a political stunt or a hoax is revolting as well as stupid.

+ Want to know where all the cool kids are logging? The Vox beta. Holy (weblogging) A-list Batman! Start with your favorite A-lister. For mine, I'll pick Greg Knauss. Then click through to other people you've heard of.

I think of Vox as similar to MySpace (social media native) with a big helping of Web 2.0 Ajax and (decent) design.

Haven't made the plunge and requested an invite yet...

+ This is weird. And a little awkward.

See Greg Knauss up there? He's been back weblogging for 3 months and I didn't know. He's one of my all-time faves.

Christine really likes him too, and she must go over and read the last three months. One post that made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, June 8

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead

First thought this morning upon hearing the news on the radio while waking from sleep:

Go to hell. Go directly to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200$.

Next thought:

Zarqawi is burning in hell right this minute.

Not the 'right' responses. Not the 'Christian' responses. But that is what my honest, un-premeditated responses were.

Tuesday, June 6


Read an SI article about Ronaldinho, arguably the best soccer player on the planet today. The author talked about watching clips on YouTube, which appealed to me, and I thought I'd pass 'em on to you:

Ronaldinho...the very best of

Ronaldinho The Man With The Golden Feet

Ronaldinho, El maestro

If that's not enough, you know to search YouTube for 'Ronaldinho', right?

Unknowns in Israel, Shakespeare, Spreadsheet and neologism

+ Israeli scientists discover underground ecosystem with previously unknown species . Interesting story.

+ Two from kottke:
+ My contract requires me to link all Google releases, so: Spreadsheet.

+ Awesome, with some great pix (via Coming Anarchy):

Some of Japan's top sumo wrestlers are in Israel for a week-long tour of the country under the banner of "Fellowship and Peace" to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Sunday, June 4

Music, mp3s (and the Mavs)

+ Congratulations to the Mavs on making the finals. Hope they take down the Heat/Shaq/Riley show. Do you remember I'm a closet Mavs/Mark Cuban fan? Avery Johnson has obviously done a heck of a job. Special congratulations to Scott S, who even has some tickets...

+ Kelly of Looking at Them has a post with mp3s of her country phase from the 80s. My experience therewith wasn't a phase so much as environment, but I sure can relate. If you can, you should check it out.

When I think about how much I love music and how good my taste is and the humble beginnings I came from, the indoctrination I am giving my children and their potential to be really world-changing music lovers makes me very happy.

Example: Wil and Elizabeth were singing along with my singing of the Postal Service's 'Nothing better' today, even doing their own little riffs for where they thought the melody should go. I have a standing offer to them, if they want to form a family band, I'm in. Elizabeth said no way, but Wil has expressed a little interest.

Note to Walter: does this motivate you to engender more Stokes grandchildren? ;-)

+ Speaking of mp3 weblogs, Heather has a nice post about daddy-daughter dates . Daddy-daughter dates are awesome. In a perfect world, every dad would have a daughter. But, I'm serious when I say Elizabeth gets enough or our time that I have to find the money and time and childcare to date her mom more before I prioritize doing more with Bethy.

Saturday, June 3

Pretty much all old guy pop culture

+ Iowa Boosts Ferentz's Pay, Makes Him Among Highest Paid Coaches. As much as I am conflicted about semi-professional collegiate athletics, this is probably the way to go if we want to keep Ferentz. He joins the ranks of Stoops (Iowa alum!), Spurrier, Meyer, Fulmer, and Brown. If he was amenable, I'd rather see them put that money into creating a stronger program that would draw higher caliber recruits.

+ You-know-who has a review of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure which is a movie I also really love. I know it pretty well, but not as well as him.

+ Speaking of movies, we watched Sky High last sunday night and really loved it. The soundtrack was obviously for me with covers of 'Everybody wants to rule the world', 'Melt with you', 'Please, please, please', 'Voices carry', and more. You might read the quotes or watch the trailer to see if you like it.

[Note: this recommendation is not for Macon unless he's already watched Gattaca ;-)]

+ I was drawn to One Louder for the a-ha mp3, but really liked this post on the summer of 1985 and how a-ha fit. We must be the same age, because I think that was my summer before eighth grade, too.

Great names (and a little music)

I think, while following the Hype Machine, I'll post some of my favorite band names:

Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
Newfound Interest in Connecticut

Here's a music weblog title I like: clever titles are so last summer

Finally, pride of place has to go to Iowa Super Soccer, via mp3hugger. They're a funky, male/female, acoustic POLISH band with great artwork that sound a little like the Sundays.