June 20th, 2002

abstract butterfly

Suits, suits, suites

I have an extraordinarily busy day today, but based on the high performance of the last two days, I can meet the challenge and feed it raisin bran.

I've been spending my wee hours reading a few news items. As with everything in life, I'm filled with snap reactions. I'm not in the Microsoft hater or the Microsoft lover camp. I tend to see monolithic huge corporations as forces of nature, beyond my likes or dislikes. When they get out of hand, trim 'em back like kudzu. They'll grow back, but there's something about the thrill of the weedeater cutting leaves. This week two Microsoft items catch my eye. In one, MS announces that it will cease supporting Java in upcoming years, which looks for all the world like flexing a little corporate muscle to the detriment of the consumer. In another item,
MS declined to follow a judge's request that it "rank" in order of least distasteful the laundry list of potential remedies for its anti-trust behavior. I'm a big admirer of solid lawyers, and MS has some awfully good ones. But I'm just a simpleton, who imagines that when a judge asks one to do something, one just does it.

I don't mean to beat on MS, which is just one more company
filled with one more set of people with one more set of attitudes derived from one more decade of our profit-making culture. I use MS products, and value their innovation.

But corporate news lately indicates to me that folks just.don't.get.it. Like all these corporate failures laced with cooked books. Corporate CEOs and outsider auditors seem to think that if they can argue that they took a cutting-edge interpretation at the furthest reaches of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, then mistating earnings and the balance sheet must be defensible. Even poor Arthur Andersen, with the well-played but unsuccessful defense "hey, look, only one group of us in our Houston office shredded documents to escape justice, don't blame *us*". I was particularly intrigued by the testimony to the effect that "hey, we wouldn't shred to avoid a subpena, we shred to avoid civil lawsuits learning about our notes". Diogenes is striding through the dark halls of the accounting profession, and the lantern barely glows for all the ink of financial accounting standards board rules.
People wonder why our financial markets have suffered so, but systemic change still looks a long shot to me.

The poor woman who set the forest fire intrigues me.
Let's build a shrine to dysfunction and set it on fire.
If the allegations are true (and it sounds like the only issue is whether she stupidly burned an estranged spouse letter or whether she actually intended to set it), then
I hope this lost soul gets the help she needs. But all that fire!

But I've got errands to run before work, work to do,
and great music to which to listen. scottm burned his little album of music onto a compact disk for me,
so that I am no longer cassette-bound. What great music!
I was born to listen to four track simple roots rock done by
homerecorders singing idiosyncratically. I must get this CD duplicated and pass it out or ebay it or something.

I miss the days, to change the subject slightly, when I could see the dBs and Guadalcanal Diary and the True Believers several times a year. I used to love seeing the dBs play "She's got Soul" ('but I don't know, every girl I know has got a lot of soul') or Guadalcanal Diary play
"Watusi Rodeo" or the True Believers playing "Ringing the Bell". I guess I'm just a sucker for a clever lyric over a guitar, drum, bass array. Those days are gone, though, and my boom box usually has synth music on...or, now scottm.

I am mailing out 2 kazoos, an 8 track, and a corruplast card. Now that is real achievement....
  • Current Music
    "Dumont Network", by Scott M
abstract butterfly

small flashes

Today was an endless and yet largely satisfying array of conference calls, meetings, pleadings, and analyses. I like being in that 'rhythm', the flow from which all work of value proceeds. It's not an emotional thing--that flow happens sometimes even when one is too exhausted or depressed to enjoy it. It's a focus thing. It's those small flashes of 'yes, I get the issue' and 'yes, I think I know what to do'.

Tonight I went to the pro bono legal clinic over at the Salvation Army. I met with x number of people who needed free advice. These were all good, solid people who happened not to have a lot of money. It felt good that I knew the issues they were facing, could roadmap the answers, and move things forward one step.

I tend to do commercial trial work more than anything else, yet I'm very pleased that my horizons are sufficiently broadened since I moved back to Texas to permit me to help with the consumer issues I get in things like this. I thought to myself that I wish I spoke Spanish--I could do so much more good. Then I realized that this sort of wishing is a poor substitute for actually learning some business Spanish. I signed up for next month's clinic, and to take on a case I learned of tonight. I am grateful for LJ, which has made me monitor more carefully how little I get done of what I wish to do, and made me take baby steps to do more. They are just baby steps, though. I have more to do.

Tomorrow will be yet another busy, busy day. I'm so glad with the way my "meeting half" of my office has turned out, now that the table and chairs I got at the furniture place have arrived. It's a good space for clients. Now I just want to get some more art, mine and others', up on the wall. I'll hang the frame with the letter which is the pride of my inner vain self, that letter complimenting my poetry book from the curator of the Cleveland Public Library. Now if only my current ebay auction would go someplace. I'm down to a 50% hit ratio, which is below normal. It's partly a seasonal thing with ebay, but it's mostly a sign that my copy is not silly enough. I will work on that.

Speaking of art, as opposed to my own silly creative urge (i.e., non-art), I'm so pleased that my friend kenmora has joined us on LJ.
I'm not much for the "howdy, neighbor" friends list addition approach (not that there's anything wrong with it, I'm just shy), but I have to mention Ken because he's put on his page a work of art I particularly like. It's called the Angel Columbine, and it's here. As anyone who knows me in person in or LJ knows, I am definitely a semi-tutored "I Know What I Like" type of person (though, unlike that wonderful Genesis song, I usually do not append the phrase "in your wardrobe"). "The Angel Columbine" speaks to me in some language somewhat more comprehensible for me than Spanish and yet very elusive--about media and guns and what is "cool" and what is scary. "Columbine", for my non-US friends, was that high school in Colorado where high school kids went on a shooting spree. I'm glad Ken did it.

I did not get to the post office today. I must go tomorrow.
I did get to hear the incoming president of the American Library Association on the radio tonight. "We choose our books in an effort to offend everybody equally", she said, and I liked her instantly.

Now I must learn to give myself as much advice as I seem to constantly give everyone else, and get busy on an exercise and healthy eating program, and knock out the rest of that "to do" list. I must also find a good novel to read!
  • Current Music
    "Karn Evil 9, Impression 3" ELP