assignments cash and poverty

Weak dollars, selling your life, and failing grades

For those who want to know what the American economy is looking like here is a quick summary:

The dollar has slipped 7.7 percent against the euro and 5.9 percent versus the yen in 2008 as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to stave off a U.S. recession. Oil prices have doubled in the past 12 months, while gold is up 44 percent.

Jim Rodgers, a personal hero of mine who predicted Gold would reach $1000 and Oil would top $100 back in 2006 says to stay away from the dollar futures. Sounds like good advice to me. I just wish my boss would pay me in pesos or euros.
Another update, the guy who was selling his whole life (car, job, friends etc) got $399,000 for it (Austrailian so $379k u.s). Ian Usher decided to keep nothing but his passport and the clothes on his back. Maybe I should get rid of my stuff that way…of course without a house or car…it would hurt to get $17. 25 cents for everything…lol.
Seriously, think about how much you are selling your own life for. How much is an hour of your life worth? What if you knew you would die tomorrow? Or next week? Or next year? Does the price change? Why? Recently I made a list of what I would do the next day if I knew it was my last. Turns out it was just about exactly what I do every day. Wake up, excercise, eat something delicious, go to work (this surprised me too, but I guess I enjoy my job), hope that I could make the day great for whoever my guests happened to be, play guitar, water my plants and garden, pick a mango and eat it, drink a nice glass of wine or tasty beer (or two even), hope to meet the girl of my dreams but not waste any time if I didn’t, do a little reading, a bit of meditation, and maybe take a long walk before bed. Pretty simple…I was surprised to find that there were no “go skydiving” or “take a big trip to as far as I could go” or other such things…give it a try and seriously think about how much your time is worth…
In Britain a student got two points out of 27 on an exam for writing “Fuck Off” on the page and nothing else. The teacher explained that it expressed meaning and was spelled correctly. It was still a failing grade however.




Originally uploaded by chrisdamitio





Originally uploaded by chrisdamitio


we know nothing

Muslims Top New List of Public Intellectuals

Time has its Person of the Year. People has its Sexiest Man Alive. Not to be outdone, Foreign Policy magazine has just completed its online survey of the world’s top public intellectuals.
No. 1 on the list is Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim religious leader from Turkey. In fact, the top 10 of the leading 20 are all Muslim thinkers from countries with dominant Muslim populations.

Muslims Top New List of Public Intellectuals : NPR


Secret Caves, Climbing Banyons, Taylor Camp, No – Tippers, No Shit, and other anti terror devices.

How to start this one…okay, first of all lets start with the hiking group I started here in Hawaii. You can check out some of the videos of our previous hikes at the google group is where the online action happens though…anyway, our next urban adventure is going to be exploring some caves that exist right under the busy University area here in Honolulu.. If I would have known there were caves here…but then I didn’t but now I do. As a kid, my brother and cousins and I used to explore mine shafts in Big Bear Lake, California and the surrounding areas. We would lower each other on ropes, go into water filled chasms, and god forbid that we should find old relics like a box of dynamite. We used to find a lot of cool stuff. Anyway, I’m loving the idea of exploring these caves and if it is a little bit off limits, well…so much the better.

Along the same lines, my friend Sky is doing some really cool stuff with Banyon trees right up the road from where I live. Hawaii’s rocks are generally too crumbly to climb so he has started climbing banyon trees! Check out his site at Very cool stuff.

Sky also told me about Taylor Camp, a camp started by the brother of Elizabeth Taylor on Kauai where tons of hippies in the 60’s and 70’s went and built some cool tripped out commune. There is a movie about it coming here soon…Looks like my kind of deal. My mom told me she was proud of me for being a ‘real hippie’ the other day. Lol. Thanks Ma.

Okay…now on to the not so pleasant. As you guys know, I’m a nature tour guide and the deal with taking a tour is just like eating in a restaurant…we rely on tips primarily because our bosses are too tight to pay us better. So…if you can’t afford to tip…you shouldn’t take a tour just like you shouldn’t eat in a restaurant if you can’t afford to tip. And if that god damn Mr. Pink wants to get in an argument with me about it…well…you can be sure who will shoot first anyway. Seriously, I took a group of 12 people hiking today. They had fun, they enjoyed the tour, out of six couples only one of them tipped me! So that is $10 for 12 people who I basically would have rescued if they slipped off a cliff or that I would have carried out if need be. That my friends is pretty lame…one guy even asked me if we rely on our tips to cover our expenses! Let me just assure you, these folks didn’t tip because they are cheap and have no class, not because the tour was bad. I don’t do bad tours! So, knowing that…if they come hike tomorrow…this is where they will end up. I might even hit them with manure bombs!

All I can say is WTF?

In North Carolina, WTF plates were issued to some 9,999 drivers last year, including elementary school teacher Mary Ann Hardee, who teaches computing and technology, the News and Observer newspaper reported earlier this month.
“She wasn’t hip to the Internet-age significance of her new license plate — until she caught her teenage grandchildren giggling at it,” Dan Kane, staff writer at the paper wrote.
Hardee, 60, told the paper she “developed this real self-consciousness” once she found out what her number plate meant in techno-shorthand.

I like this idea of painting optical illusions on the pavement to slow drivers down.

It’s better than these 10 anti terror devices, that’s for sure…
One last terror suspect…the burrowing muskrat who flooded a town…do you think he did it on purpose?

Art and Beauty big screen, little screen, ipod shananapocalypse

The End of the World? found treasure, falling stocks, Obama's tunes

Not everyone is convinced that the entire world isn’t going to end when the Hadron collider kicks into gear this summer and begins smashing particles together in the hopes of creating stranglets, min black holes, and possibly dark matter. I’ll tell the truth here, as tragic as the end of reality as we know it would be, the idea of it happening this summer cracks me up. Who is ready for that? I’m laughing out loud as I think of it.

The last time I smoked some salvia I had a ‘vision’ that it was all going to end really soon (and for the record I hadn’t seen or heard about this story yet) and it sent me into uncontrollable laughter. The ultimate cosmic joke! Think about it.
The joke might be on Goodwill which recently became $40,000 richer when a donated painting turned out to be a work by Edouard-Leon Cortes, probably from the early 20th century— called “Marche aux fleurs” or “Flower Market” — it was sold for $40,600 at a Sotheby’s auction a few weeks ago.
“It could have very easily ended up put in a pile, marked for $20,” says Ursula Villar, marketing and development director for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc.

And of course, the end of the world would come as a surprise to those individuals who live and breathe the stock market. Maybe not an unwelcome surprise if the general economic forecast doesn’t improve.

another surge in oil prices and warnings of trouble in the key financial, automotive and high-tech industries. The major indexes showed losses of more than 2 percent, including the Dow Jones industrial average, which shed about 250 points and dropped to its lowest level in more than a year.
The Dow fell as low as 11,549.90, well under its 2008 trading low of 11,634.82 and to its lowest level since September 2006. That sent some investors rushing for the safety of Treasury bonds — government debt is regarded as a haven when the stock market is in turmoil.

Of course, if the world does end we don’t get the chance to see Obama as the President of the United States (please! please!) If there aren’t enough reasons to love Obama Rolling Stone Magazine just outed his playlist. Good music in the white house? I would guess that right now it’s all Christian rock. Or nothing…not so for Barack.

But the Democratic contender saved his true reverence for Springsteen and Bob Dylan. He confessed that Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” “speaks to [him],” mostly because of its “political rhetoric,” and that The Boss has stayed true to his roots. Both artists have come out for Obama.
“I’ve got to say, having both Dylan and Bruce Springsteen say kind words about you is pretty remarkable,” he said. “Those guys are icons.”

cash and poverty Crime and Punishment Technology

Worthless Money, World War III, Making Tourists Mad, and shooting rampages.

Quick one today but here is some information that is no news to anyone that has been reading this blog for a while. Inflation is hitting:

“The Fed is caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University. “The economy seems to be slipping into a recession at the same time that inflation is getting worse.”

What that means is that the Fed has pushed the limit of how it can manipulate rates to make the economy look better than it is. Don’t worry though, another World War is just the ticket and John McCain is already alluding to it. It’s been the solution of choice for the U.S. for most of it’s existance.
On a lighter note, here is a wonderful device that senses when the flash on a tourists camera will go off and allows you to project whatever image or message you want onto their device. I want one.
It’s too bad jackasses like the guys below couldn’t think of a better way to express their outrage than with guns. I’ve never understood the killing of your fellow wage slaves who are getting screwed by the man with you. The supervisor, maybe, but why the coworkers?

He opened fire at the Atlantis Plastics factory in Henderson city after arguing with a male supervisor, said police.
Using a handgun he got from his car, the employee killed his 30-year-old supervisor, two other male workers and two females, police told the BBC.

and in Florida, check out this guy …obviously he thinks the crack problem is something else.

JUNE 24–A Florida man shot a teenager after ordering him to pull up his sagging pants, according to police. John Constantin, 54, was arrested Saturday afternoon after allegedly shooting David Mitchell, 18, once in the stomach.

Art and Beauty assholes Ink Dribblers Poor Vago

My latest novel for FREE! Download THE SOB now! And lots of lameness too!

I’d like to sincerely thank the one person that actually paid for my book (Mom? Mink? – I’m guessing it was one of you) and on the sarcastic side, I’d like to ‘thank’ the three people that asked me if they could proofread it and then never bothered to respond to my detailed questions such as “How did you like it?” or “Hey, did you ever get a chance to read my book?” Also on the sarcastic side, I’d love to offer even more ‘thanks’ to Baen books who set up a complex submission process, asked that the book not be submitted anywhere for up to nine months and then never responded. Pretty lame.
So here is the link to download The SOB for free:
On the subject of lameness. I thought it was pretty lame that Honolulu Magazine expressed interest in an article I was willing to write for them about Islam on Oahu and then didn’t respond for six months to my further queries about what format, etc, I should write in. Then, when they did respond, I mentioned that I was going to walk around Oahu and they again expressed interest. I asked them about the advisability of sending out press releases and doing PR and got no response until almost two weeks later when I sent out a Press Release and then got a response saying that my press release had ruined their sole submission requirement. Pretty lame, they might have let me know about that.
It all boils down to the fact that in this life, you can do lots of cool things or try to do cool things (like write sci fi novels that address social issues or walk around an entire island in the hope of showing that the worst parts aren’t as bad as some people claim they are…) and mostly, folks just don’t give a rats ass about it. A few folks do, some because they love you, some because they are on a similar trip in life, and some because they like you or what you are doing and it resonates with them. But mostly, nobody fucking cares whether you are working as a stock broker, making babies, taking a trip to the fucking moon, or discovering the meaning of reality.
As you guys know, I’ve been trying to get rid of my stuff. I’ve offered it for trade, offered it for sale, and asked for offers of what people think its worth. Nobody cares or wants any of it. A couple of years ago, I was able to sell books pretty easily online. The books haven’t changed and the prices have gotten cheaper, but no one is buying them anymore. Is it that people aren’t reading? WTF?
I’m certainly still buying books. I just finished reading Hardcore Zen, The Way of Zen, We the Living, Conceptual Blockbusting, and the Pillars of Hercules. I finished them all this weekend and this morning. I’m still reading The Job by William Burroughs, The Long Trip: A short History of Psychedelia, Nine Chains to the Moon by R. Buckminster Fuller, and a couple of other books that I pick up when I sit on the toilet.
Maybe it’s that I don’t have TV or the internet at home. Probably.
A friend of mine the other night told me that some people think I’m a druggie. I said to him that those people are right. I’ve smoked pot half a dozen times in the last year (once with him actually, he brought the drugs and offered them!), dropped acid once in the past ten years, and lately I’ve been playing around with some herbal substances that mostly haven’t had any noticeable effects. The exception of course were the Oh pills and the Salvia. The Oh pills are suitable for recreation, the salvia, certainly not for recreation.
I find that salvia is actually an aid to me in putting down my fragile ego and experiencing reality even though it has the effect of actually blurring what we call reality. I don’t want to be tripping on salvia for hours or every day or even for more than 15 minutes in a week or month. The stuff scares the hell out of me. It’s not like the enjoyment I get from drinking a beer or having the occasional cig. Every hit of salvia is terrifying. What I found from it though is that having the experience allowed me to conceptualize and understand the inconceptualizable and ununderstandable. Let’s just say it provides a suitable frame of reference for solving certain philosophical problems that I have been pondering for nearly my entire life. For instance, if you have never seen a cat it doesn’t matter how well you use your imagination, you still won’t be able to know what a cat looks like. Same thing with the true structure of reality or the lack thereof. Emptiness is the form and the form is emptiness.
Or as the old zen joke goes.
How many zen masters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
The plum tree in the yard!
So yeah, download my book. Maybe even read the god damn thing! And if you think it might be as good or better than a lot of the books that are out there then maybe you can email your long lost cousin the publisher or agent and tell him or her about this insane writer that works as a tour guide in Hawaii (but who works for a company that can’t sell any of the tours and so isn’t real sure how he will pay his fucking rent) and who some people who use a lot of drugs think is a druggie, who walked around the entire island of Oahu and found out that no one cared (the Honolulu Advertiser put my press release on their blogs ‘user submitted’ page with a picture they had of me from 2004- thanks for asking for a new one assholes!) and who might actually have discovered the real secret of everything but who is loathe to tell anyone because his fragile ego is tired of realizing that nobody fucking cares and would hate to share something so profound only to have it end up being the #7 reason people come to his blog. The first six being all having to do with a George W. Bush buttplug that does really hot on search engines but that no one actually wanted to buy.
I won’t hold my breath.

Food and Booze

Waking up to Smell the Coffee Good for Brain too

I feel like this somehow justifies how much better I feel when I wake up to the smell of coffee. I figured it was just an artifact of addiction, but turns out it might actually be more!

Just smelling the aroma of coffee is enough to change the activity of several genes in rats, researchers report this week in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The affected genes appear to help the animals deal with resistance to the stresses caused by sleep deprivation.

Waking up to Smell the Coffee Good for Brain too : NPR

Art and Beauty big screen, little screen, ipod Technology war is waste

'Frequency Hopping' Showcases Screen Siren's Smarts

Hedy Lamarr was the teenage trophy wife of one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers. She used the information she picked up at his elegant dinner table to later patent a means of encrypting information for her adopted country, the US. A new play uses this technology, “frequency hopping”, as a metaphor for life and relationships.
There unfortunately doesn’t seem to be a transcript of the story, but it is worth a listen.

Screen siren Hedy Lamarr was more than just a pretty face. She also co-invented a secret communication method, based on spread spectrum technology, which is used to guide torpedoes. A new stage play, Frequency Hopping, looks at Lamarr’s unusual life. Playwright and director Elyse Singer talks about her dark comedy based on the collaboration between Hollywood’s glamour girl and “bad boy” composer George Antheil.

‘Frequency Hopping’ Showcases Screen Siren’s Smarts : NPR