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X Sinister

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Almost 4 years since I've posted [Oct. 1st, 2010|04:48 pm]
X Sinister
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |United States, Massachusetts, Malden]
[mood |indescribable]
[music |Christian Death - Only Theatre of Pain]

It's been so long since I posted. I forgot my password and had to recover it. Life has changed a lot. I suppose I should post up a new photo of myself. Maybe you can't tell from the present picture, but I had long hair tied back. I've cut it to about chin length, but it's disorderly and needs to be dyed. I trimmed back my beard a bit as well. I am back in school, finishing up my degree. I am not quite happy with where I am living, and am depressed with the Boston scene. It's like everything has started to die since ManRay closed. Or maybe it's just my viewpoint on things. I am supposed to be getting a decent amount of money in soon so I'll do some buy some new clothes and feel motivated to show them off at Ceremony or X-Mortis or some such. Does that make me shallow? Perhaps I need some shallow meaning in order to become comfortable again.

I was walking up to the bank the other day, that is, I was walking through 'Downtown' Malden and I stumbled across this very nice window scene in a pub. It was gothic photos & dolls by my friend Matt Towler. I know he lives in Malden but I hardly ever seen him. Who was the subject of one of the photos on display was none other than another former housemate, Mitzi. I miss Mitzi. I miss Sinister House. It seems so far away now, as I live in a very ordinary house in a somewhat dilapidated section of an inner suburb. I need to change, to grow, but also return to that which has made me comfortable in the past; my Gothic scene.
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crazy media politics of alternative energy [Oct. 18th, 2006|03:03 pm]
X Sinister
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Seattle]
[mood |chipperchipper]

First, the background: I've been interested in alternative energy since I was a kid, first with windmills and later in photovoltaic solar cells. Once I started driving, I became more interested in alternative motor fuels, and wondered why gasohol had been such a flop. With the recent energy crisis, this interest had been renewed, and using the wisdom I have gained about the way humans act, I was able to answer some of my earlier questions.

It's true: The U.S., and the industrialized world in general, is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, petroleum in particular. It is one of the "motive powers" of the economy, and perhaps the only one of these motive powers which is tangible and quantifiable. Like interest rates, the price of energy is both a knob and a gage of economic activity. OPEC and other oil-producing interests naturally want to maximize the amount of money they receive for their resources. Petroleum is almost a complete commodity (there actually are differences between petroleum from various oil fields, but modern refinery technology and the highly sophisticated petroleum market make it seem that petroleum is all interchangeable). It is not surprising, then, that various producers have set up agreements and cartels to benefit the petroleum-producing interests, at the expense of the oil-consuming groups.

Maybe it shouldn't come as a shock, considering the amount of money involved, but these petroleum interests have far-reaching plans to protect the value of petroleum as a commodity. However, one should note that the interests of the individual organizations often diverge on specific issues. Oil exporting nations have differing interests than public, multinational corporations. Petroleum has long been used as a tool to further other, long-term plans on an international scale. Russia is an obvious, contemporary example but Venezuela and Saudi Arabia also play this game. Nations also have far more sophisticated and troublesome needs than corporations. An example of this is Bolivia, where development of extensive natural gas deposits has stalled because of socio-political problems. Corporations are beholden to their shareholders, to merely make the price of stocks and bonds high by raising confidence in the payout of high dividends over the long term.

Petroleum corporations such as Shell, Philips, British Petroleum, etc have diversified their holdings since the oil crisis of the 1970s. Particularly notable is their activity in the photovoltaic solar panel industry. While there was certainly some political and media pressure applied to these corporations to invest their "windfall profits" in a socially acceptable manner, there was also practical business sense in doing so. Diversification protects a corporation from certain sets of bad economic circumstances, but there has to be some investment during good times when there is surplus capital.

One potential drawback of such diversification is the way that many investors, particularly in large mutual funds, classify corporations. The funds themselves want to diversify, and it is often easiest to do this by investing in 'pure play' stocks which are often valuable at opposing times of the economic cycle. For instance, domestic automotive stocks suffer when the price of petroleum is high, but petroleum companies benefit. Such fund managers only look at the increase in stock price when the market is in favor of that corporation's particular niche. However, there are other schools of though in the investing world which take a close look at specific corporations and gage expected performance based upon assets and competence of management. Warren Buffet is famous for this type of corporate valuation.

What does this all mean? It means that various nations are often at odds with multinational public corporations even though they are ostensible allies in the petroleum industry.

[more later]
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Last grasp [Aug. 2nd, 2006|05:07 pm]
X Sinister
[Current Location |Central Square, Cambridge]
[mood |angryangry]
[music |Brighter Death Now - Necrose Evangeliac]

Today I braved the unbearable heat to meet up with a city councilor here in Cambridge. I met up with her to give my ideas on what needs to happen to make the city's wifi project (a.k.a. a "Municipal Wireless ISP") come along. It's been moving very slowly. I've been involved with the people who are in charge of it, the city's IT department. Things have been moving slowly, and I haven't received any money from them since April. $5000 for my work doesn't go very far, and I felt like I deserve a lot more considering this is what I do. But anyhow my suggestion was that a separate, non-profit organization be set up, and that the city and all of the other organizations which have said they are interested in the project work with the organization, which I have named "Cambridge Public Internet Foundation", CPIF. CPIF would take donations of money, time, resources from the City, Harvard, MIT, Housing Authority, etc, and grands from federal, state, and private organizations to build out a municipal network. It would allow lots more funding to come into the project, which is ham-stringed by the city's budget at this point.

Anyhow, the councilor agreed with me that it the idea had merit, but said that nothing could happen till September at the earliest. Even then, I didn't get a feeling from her than this organization would pan out the way I had in mind, or pay for my time.

So, this is it. I quit. I am no longer giving a shit about the city or its networks. I don't think their network is going to amount to a hill of beans, and if there are piles of legumes they are years down the road. Yet another project I wish I had never become involved with. This, coupled with a bad end to a three year relationship, is just another bond broken between me and the area. Another root holding me in this hellhole of Boston has been severed, and it was the last substantial root. Come the slightest breeze and I'll blow away.

OK, have a nice day, and just remember to be glad, because you are not me.
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Diarists and Correspondents [Jul. 28th, 2006|12:17 am]
X Sinister
[Tags|]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Anenzephalia - Lyse]

I've never been one for keeping a diary, or for writing letters. I kept a diary once, when I was ten, and it fell into my brother's hands and was kept from me in an attempt to taunt and tease. In reality, there was little in it that was private. To my brother, it was merely the idea that he had some sort of secret of mine that made it valuable. I was eventually able to retrieve it from his secret hiding place, but never wrote in it again. Many years later I did come across it, and was reminded of the incident, but I don't know where it is now.

Neither have I been so good at writing letters. I remember when I was eight, and my best friends Jeffrey and Debbie moved away, and we were supposed to write letters to each other. Oh yes I did once to each, and Jeffrey never responded, and Debbie did, late but in earnest. I just never knew how to finish the letter I wrote to her - I felt I had to match it, if not surpass it. I never even finished. I still have the picture she sent me, of her in her bicentennial get-up. I feel bad for not having been able to keep up the correspondence. But I also resent my parents, and my friends' parents, for not having had enough concern for their children's relationships. My life changed after eight, from a world that I felt was fundamentally good to a belief in a world that was fundamentally hostile to me.

Yet, now, I see all the journals that have sprung up on the Internet in the past eight years or so. And I feel an outsider. Why? Because I don't know the audience. I don't know what to keep secret and what to reveal. I have no idea of what I can consider common knowledge and expressions and what is arcane and personal. What if I offend? What if I alienate? What if I reveal secrets of others (it is bad enough that I might reveal my own).

I think of the past, when the great thinkers of the world (and some not so great) had a specific way of writing letters. When paper and postage were expensive, when telephones and e-mail didn't exist, there was a real style and personal craft towards writing a letter. Perhaps this has all been lost. Perhaps, through the efficiency of modern equipment, the written word has become so cheap that we spend little time crafting our words, and less in the formation of letters on paper. This goes for both diaries and correspondence. I know my handwriting has gone to hell, when it was, at one time, halfway decent. There has been no pressure to keep it good, and in fact the advent of the computer has made it difficult to keep my handwriting even legible.

Who out there, among my dear friends, would appreciate a hand-written letter? Perhaps if I knew I was crafting an artifact that would be kept for a lifetime or longer, perhaps to be studied in the distant future for clues about me, my correspondent, or the times we live in, I might be more attentive to detail. But with so much information in the world today, my scribblings get lost. Perhaps as these words will. But there is something to be said for it: If no one but me sees them, at least I have an audience of one, and that is myself. Somehow, by committing words to paper or keys to an email, ideas become, somehow, more real. But they are also distorted. When the exact phrasing or word doesn't exists, or the truth of the thought is too much to commit in an exact and explicit manner, for that moment, the true nature of the thought can be forever buried in the minutiae that surround it.

Perhaps I need to read more of Samuel Pepys to get a good grasp on diarism (is that a word?), though I do not know who I would study for correspondence.
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Apartment woes [Jul. 24th, 2006|10:17 am]
X Sinister
So I just found out that the people who I was going to get an apartment with have backed out. WTF? I was all ready to go see apartments today. Now I have to find a place on my own. Not a whole apartment, but a room in one. And I want to live with 'my type' of people - the place I live in now (summer sublet) is okay enough but the people are just random. And I can't stay here...they just rented out the spare room, and the guy moved in...yesterday! But I can't stay here anyhow, the leaseholder wants to get a dog this fall and I am allergic.

This really ruins my day. Between financial woes, apartment troubles, and ex girlfriend problems, my life is not good right now.
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Ducks [Jul. 22nd, 2006|06:46 pm]
X Sinister
Anatidaephobia : The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

I don't know why, but I found that really funny.
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Arrival [Jul. 22nd, 2006|03:02 pm]
X Sinister
[Tags|]

Here I am on, in Livejournal. I was really irritated about how many of the names I wanted were taken. I could have used my real name, but I might say something here that would look bad to someone who was doing background checks for a job.

I've got writer's block when it comes to describing myself. I am going to have to work on this. It's sort of like working on my resume, which I also have to force myself to do.

Let me add that it is raining and about 65 degrees out. I love it. Screw that hot weather!
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