abraham lincoln abraham maslow academic papers africa aging aid alexander the great amazon america android os apple architecture aristotle art art institute chicago astronomy astrophysics aubrey de grey beck beer berlin bernacke bicycle BIG bill murray biophilia birds blogs bob dylan books bourdain brewing brian wansink buckminster fuller bukowski cameras cancer carl jung carl sagan cemetary change charter city chicago china christmas church civil war climate change cologne construction coop himmelblau copenhagen cornell west cps craigslist crime crown hall cyanotype cyrus dalai lama darkroom data dbHMS death design build dessau detail Diet dogs dome dongtan douglas macarthur drake equaation dresden dubai ebay eco economics economy education einstein emerson emily dickinson energy experiments facebook farming finance finland florida food france frank lloyd wright frei otto freud frum funny furniture games gay rights gdp george w bush george washington germany ghandi glenn murcutt goals good google government graphic design guns h.g. wells h.l. mencken hagakure halloween health health care henri cartier bresson herzog and demeuron honey housing human trafficking humanitarian efforts hydroponics ideas iit indexed india industrial design industrial work internet investments japan jaqueline kennedy jim cramer john maynard keynes john ronan john stewart journalism kickstarter kings of leon kittens krugman kurt vonnegut kurzweil lao tzu law le corbusier ledoux leon battista alberti links LSH madoff malcolm gladwell marijuana marriage masdar city math mead medicine microsoft mies van der rohe military milton friedman mlk money movies munich murphy/jahn music nasa nervi neutra new york nickel nietzsche nobel prize norman foster nsa obama occupy open source paintball palladium print paris parking party passive house paul mccartney persia philip roth philosophy photography picturequote pirate bay pirating plants poetry poker politics portfolio potsdam predictions prejudice presidents process photos prostitution psychology public housing q and a quotes rammed earth randy pausch reading reddit regan religion rendering renewables renzo piano restaurants revolution richard meier richard rogers robert frank rome rubik's cube rule of 72 rumi san francisco sartre sauerbruch hutton saule sidrys schinkel school science screen printing seattle sesame street seth roberts sketch social media soviet sparta spider spinoza sports stanley kubrick stanley milgram statistics steinbeck sudhir venkatesh suicide sustainable design switzerland taxes technology ted teddy roosevelt tension terracotta tesla thanatopsis the onion thomas jefferson thoreau time lapse tommy douglas transportation travel truman tumblr unemployment urban design van gogh venezuela vicuna video video games wall street war werner sobek wood woodshop woodworking ww1 ww2

30 December 2008


Crazy Czech dude's blog about living in the Alaskan wilderness by himself.

If I had a few million dollars I would rip off this idea and build this testosterone fueled "theme park" in the US.

I want this persons job.

Google Yourself

I must have done something pretty terrible in a former life... why? If you google my name the search results are dominated by a gay Australian pornstar who happens to share a name with yours truly. If however you know a little bit about me and add a term like "paintball" to your query, this is the first page related to me that comes up. Which as it happens, makes it number 2 on the list. It is interesting, or sad for paintball rather, that the professionals are lower on the list than some 15 year old kid who lists paintball as his hobby. I don't think that would ever happen to an NFL player.

29 December 2008


"The consequences of our actions take us by the scruff of the neck, altogether indifferent to the fact that we have 'improved' in the meantime." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

It is with great displeasure that I admit that Nietzsche is most likely correct yet again.

I like black and white film because it doesn't quite depict reality as we experience it. There's something much more ethereal about film. It gives us a somewhat false memory of an event just as our actual memory does, but we believe both because they're so vivid! I made this image at the Lincoln Park Zoo two years ago and I chose it to be my first of, hopefully, many images I'm selling on Etsy.

The Economy

So I have one avid reader of my blog and we banter back and forth about economic policy and the like. This reader works for a division of the Obama organization and is a very provocative thinker and writer. There's actually a lot more I could say but that's just to let you, the reader, get an idea of where these ideas come from. My commentary is the italicized portion of this two part email:

I now read the Freakonomics blog are least once a week . . . Today I read something that was reflected in my own life last week, and that I had actually consciously thought about at the time:

"If you're looking for a silver lining in this bad economy and especially in a dismal Christmas retail season, you can at least console yourself with the thought that there will be less deadweight loss this year than in past Christmases — that is, less inefficiency generated by people spending money to buy things for other people who value the gifts at significantly less than they cost."

There was a LOT less gift-giving going on at my household, and in the end I think we were all better for it. But while in the short term we learn a lot, in the long term we learn nothing, so I don't expect this to last for too many more Christmases.

Doesn’t it suck how fickle Americans are? As soon as gas prices go down we revert back to our old ways (not as much this time... but we're all broke). I’m an idealist though, I think this current economic downturn will affect the spending habits of American’s for decades to come. How much? I have no idea… but I think the "cool" factor of blowing money will decrease and remain lower than it was before.

Also, I suspect this was the article you referenced the other night, on the Chicago school's response to the current financial crisis:


When passing judgment on Friedmanism itself, to me it ultimately comes down to which of the following is true:

"'Chicago' stands for a belief in the efficacy of the free market as a means of organizing resources, for skepticism about government intervention into economic affairs," [Freidman] said.


[Friedman and Friedrich Hayek] viewed rising government power as a step toward left-wing totalitarianism and wanted to stop it, says Philip Mirowski, a University of Notre Dame economist.

From what I’ve read it was the first. I’m not sure he really had a political agenda. That may be a crazy claim; I know almost nothing about politics. However, I do know that Friedman would give his advice to anyone who would listen and one of those who listened was China. After his visited China: Econ talk laden primer: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20081
Better article about his second visit: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n24_v40/ai_6859648 The country started the slow process of privatization after his visit and talks, or at least in my romantic view of the world Friedman was the catalyst for that. And that’s 1/3 of the world’s population. He may be partially responsible for the greatest reduction of poverty in history. Anyways, he also influenced Estonia and he advocated getting rid of passports and legalizing marijuana. Not really a typical conservative agenda. His ideas do seem to fit with the more antifederalist nature of the republican party (historically, not now), but I've always thought of that ideaology to be part of a more classicaly liberal stance. He just seemed to love freedom (that sounds lamer than I mean for it to be). The mistrust of the government stems from the fact that, historically speaking, as freedom increases so does GDP and ultimately quality of life. To illustrate his all over the place stance on politics (taken from his Wikipedia page): In an in-person interview with both his wife and him in that same month, he said that he opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq: "What's really killed the Republican Party isn't spending, it's Iraq. As it happens, I was opposed to going into Iraq from the beginning. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression." It’s really a shame that super conservative people have jumped all over Friedman’s ideas because they tarnish them in doing so. It’s like Marx. Marx was a great writer and for saw many of the unwanted byproducts of capitalism. Is he to blame for the suffering of millions under botched communist rule? I would argue no. The people who pushed for the implementation of communism used it as a device to control an ill prepared peasant society. The Soviets followed very little of Marx’s “idea of communism” (he was very vague as to what communism entailed). Regardless of how right or wrong Marx's idea's were his name got attached to one of the greater tragedies in history. Back to Friedman; if the conservatives are all about Friedman then why isn’t government spending lower, why aren’t taxes lower, why is border security beefing up, why is marijuana still unregulated, and why is government getting bigger? Friedman advocated freedom and a less powerful government, not a conservative agenda that takes freedom from it citizens (last 8 years).

Is it purely academic, or is there a political (ideological) component to it? Probably it's moot at this point, because Friedmanism has been used as the academic foundation for political ideology for decades now. But it points to what I see as the inherent danger of academia (and I believe I've mentioned this before) -- they don't place with live bullets.

The thing about Friedman is that more than any other person his ideas were implemented, and as far as I know most of them have been quite successful. He fixed China’s double digit inflation, his book Free to Choose was read and put into use in Estonia making it the most successful former Soviet satellite country, and then there was Chile (from Wikipedia, I know I know)…

“Naomi Klein, in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine, went further than Letelier to argue that repression was necessary to implement Chicago School economic policies in Chile" .[41] Friedman encapsulated his philosophy in a lecture at La Universidad Católica de Chile, saying: "free markets would undermine political centralization and political control."[42] According to his critics, Friedman did not criticize Pinochet's dictatorship at the time, nor the assassinations, illegal imprisonments, torture, or other atrocities that were well-known by then.[43] Later, in Free to Choose, he said the following: "Chile is not a politically free system and I do not condone the political system ... the conditions of the people in the past few years has been getting better and not worse. They would be still better to get rid of the junta and to be able to have a free democratic system."[44] When he went to receive his Nobel prize in Stockholm, he was met by demonstrations. In an interview on the PBS program Commanding Heights in 2000, Friedman attributed these demonstrations by opponents he recognized from earlier occasions to communists seeking to discredit anyone with even the slightest connection to Pinochet — such as himself — adding that "there was no doubt that there was a concerted effort to tar and feather me".[45] Friedman defended his role in Chile on the grounds that, in his opinion, the move towards open market policies not only improved the economic situation in Chile but also contributed to the softening of Pinochet's rule and to the eventual transition to a democratic government in 1990. That idea followed from Capitalism and Freedom, in which he declared that economic freedom is not only desirable in itself but is also a necessary condition for political freedom. He stressed that the lectures he gave in Chile were the same lectures he later gave in China and other socialist states.[46] In the 2000 PBS documentary The Commanding Heights, Friedman continued to claim that criticism over his role in Chile missed his main point that freer markets led to freer people, and that Chile's unfree economy had led to the military government. Friedman argued that the economic liberalization he advocated led to the end of military rule and a free Chile.[45]”

Although on the other hand there was a lot of deregulation that has led to our current mess. Keep in mind however that the last 25+ years has been referred to as "the great moderation" (as in a less volatile business cycle punctuated by fewer and less severe recessions). I don't know, there's a lot to say here. I'm not fully aware of what programs were carried out in Friedman's name.

Is the stock market evil?

That's a question I keep coming back to lately, although "evil" isn't really the right word. Maybe "unhealthy" is a better choice.

One of the things I've been considering is the difference in priorities between public and private companies, and the way they approach short and long-term decision making. I think there's definitely something there, although I'm willing to allow for the possibility that I'm romanticizing privately owned businesses.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that privately owned businesses can’t be scaled up like corporations can. It can go both ways good or bad, but it does exist. Examples would include In and Out Burger and my Dad’s business. Also, private companies tend to be entrenched in nepotism which multiple studies have shown decreases overall company performance. Although I guess it isn't shocking that inheritance often has little to do with ability...

I'm thinking an alternative (and perhaps better) construction is this:

Whom should a company value more:

a) its employees
b) its stockholders

The problem with valuing “a” over “b” is that without the shareholders the employees don’t have a company to work for because no capital was invested. Of course this is a chicken or the egg problem. I’ve always thought of it like this; initially, think about the early days of the industrial revolution, employers are going to treat their employees badly because they can. At the time the government was on the side of big business because that’s who had the money and you know, politics and all that stuff. Then Henry Ford came along (and he wasn’t a great person in many regards and this is probably romanticizing the idea) and said… “shit, if I pay my employees more, then maybe they can afford the cars they make.” And over the next few decades the power shifted towards employees and now… the employees in the American auto industry are helping to choke their employer. There is a balance to be struck and finding it is hard. If your employees get paid too much and are treated too nicely it makes the widget you produce more expensive and less competitive. Competitors flood the market and you're out of business. So the answer isn’t “a” or “b”. The answer is, employees and employers would ideally work together in as transparent a manner as possible to make the company viable while providing the employees with the maximum amount of whatever it is they want. So maybe stockholders should stand for something other than profit? I know there are investment groups that only invest in companies that uphold certain standards for a variety of measures; environment, charity, etc. I know the Methodist Church has a retirement fund for it’s ministers worth several billion dollars that it only invests in companies that operate according to it’s standards. What we're talking about here is essentially a shift in cultural thought. Americans, really the world, has to start valuing something other than money in return for their investments. This won't be easy. Ha, like Winston Churchill said, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing... After they've tried everything else."

In practice the answer is clearly "b", and I would argue that therein lies much of the blame for the current gap in income (wealth) distribution. When you have a system in which business decisions are made with regard to the wealthy (stockholders) over the not-so-wealthy (workers) the outcome is really no mystery.

Although I've never actually viewed gross imbalances in income distribution as a failure of capitalism -- I always kind of thought that was the point.

The point of capitalism is to provide maximum incentive to its participants. But like they say, wealthy is making more than your brother in law. Here’s my rant. The problem with letting the government run things is that it’s a relatively small circle of people with a limited view of the market as a whole. Small numbers of people can more easily become corrupted. The current problem stems from the fact that a large number of people became essentially corrupt or really just greedy. They knew what they were doing. The problem is that when things are going wrong people look around to their peers to see if anyone else is alarmed. If everything seems okay then they calm down and go back to business as usual. Our financial system has become quite complex and if you don’t understand its workings you’re not going to be able to see what's wrong. So even if you can diagnose the problem, you then have to be able to divorce yourself from the bystander effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect) and be the whistle blower. In the end not enough people fit that criteria (everyone always looks at me sideways when I say my degrees are psych and econ but they’re the same thing, one just has the added dimension of money thrown in). Capitalism will show triumphs and errors in human judgment. The role of the government should be to learn from our mistakes and minimize them in the future. We’re going to fail our way to perfection or destruction and people will be hurt along the way. Economics just keeps score and makes rear-looking reccomendations.


"From love of man one sometimes embraces anyone (because one cannot embrace everyone): but one must never let this anyone know it..." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I wonder if reading that would have been as profound if I had read it a year ago? I'd like to think not.

This is what film looks like when I scan it. I've been playing in my darkroom a lot more recently, so maybe I'll throw some photos of that up tomorrow.

17 December 2008

Chicago's Parking Meters

The Tribune ran a story a few weeks back about a plan to privatize Chicago's parking meters. The city will receive a check for 1.2 billion in return for a 75 year lease on the meters. While I do support increasing the rate for parking meters this isn't how it should be done and here's why.

Our current meters have to go. They're archaic and they don't support variable rates. Every block with meters should have one of those pay stations that accepts credit cards and prints out a parking sticker. I've seen them along Columbus Ave. and in Seattle (the Seattle ones are better). You just hit a button, 15 minutes per push, and then pay with a credit card or coins. Then you take your ticket and stick it on the inside of your window. Here's my twist. Parking spots are a commodity just like anything else. Their relative use and therefore value fluctuates throughout the day. The meters should track how many spots are open and raise prices as spots become scarce; shooting for roughly a 10% vacancy rate. This should help businesses as it would allow customers to find a spot more quickly, or really a spot at all. It will also have the added benefit of reducing traffic by encouraging people not to drive around in circles looking for a spot. Higher prices will also create an incentive for people to not bring their cars downtown further reducing overall traffic and therefore accidents. It would also boost the usage rates of public transit.

Why am I against privatizing it? No doubt it will become more efficient. Private companies need to be viable whereas bureaucracy do not. I'm not actually against privatizing. I just know what Chicago will do with that money. Chicago politicians are going to spend it instantly, and most likely on bad programs or debts on older bad programs. Don't be so naive as to think otherwise. So the money will mostly be wasted and now the future parking revenue doesn't even go to the city. This is basically our city taking a lotto-like lump sum instead of the full payment over a longer term. What rush are we in? This is essentially borrowing money, and you should only borrow money when the immediate influx of cash is invested in something that will, in the long run, be worth more than the principal and interest. So what are we investing in?

I am aware that our city is facing huge budget problems, but who/what company/what government isn't right now? Selling off government property such as parking meters, parking garages, and the Skyway just delays the problem. This isn't partisan crazy talk. We need to balance the budget or we run the risk of stunting our future economic growth. Essentially, we can't sell or tax our way out of this. We need to stop spending so much, period.

Progressive Taxes

This is a short synopsis of the progressive tax system in the last 30 years.

In econ. money is given in terms of 'real' and 'nominal'. Real money is money in terms of what it can actually purchase at any givn moment in time. Because inflation is the general rule a dollar today will buy you less than it did yesterday. In real terms a dollar a year ago is worth roughly $1.03 today. Nominal money is just money without the extra dimension of time. It's just the actual numbers. Its like saying GDP last year was 13 trillion and this year it was 13.5 trillion. That's GDP in nominal terms, but it really means nothing in real terms if you don't know what inflation/deflation was.

Where I'm going with all this is that over time our tax system gets out of whack. The gas tax is not tied to inflation so it stays the same nominally every year but actually goes down in terms of real dollars. The afformentioned article shows that the progressive tax system needs further tweaking in order to keep the burden of taxes evenly spread throughout society. Basically, the gap between the rich and poor is increasing, so even though the top 1% are paying a similar percentage (nominally) they are playing less in terms of total burden (real dollars).

Why aren't all tax systems tied to inflation and income distribution? It seems like it would take the heat off politicians. A simple formula would decide what strata pays whats percentage on any given year. At the same time we're talking about income redistribution and whenever I mention that word my conservative freinds go nuts, but isn't that just denial of the obvious? Not mentioning a certain 'R' word doesn't make social security or a graduated tax system of income redistribution any less real. And while I'm beginning to rant, why are people against this? Do you really want someone making $20,000 a year to pay the same amount in taxes as Warren Buffet? I know I know... you work hard, but that kind of income discrepancey can't be explained by hard work. One can only work so hard, and I don't know any pipe fitters that make over $100k. Do investment bankers really work that much harder? Born on third base, acts like they hit a triple.

Stuff Worth Reading

If you're a dork like myself someone made a working model of the Antikythera mechanism.

This is a blurb about a study that says cars make you fat... not really counter intuitive. However, I liked the stats they gave near the end.

An asteroid most likely didn't kill the dinosaurs. The endless debate continues. Can't an asteroid on one side of the earth trigger volcanic reactions on the other side? Yucatan Peninsula is where the asteroid hit, and India is where the volcano supposedly was.

Econ geeks only. The MLB's Giants are trying airline style pricing for their seating. There's something a bit sad about professional sports eroding consumer surplus with PSL's and pricing like this. Good economic policy seems to have that soulless efficiency effect though.

12 December 2008


I really need to get some wider angle lenses. Actual panoramic cameras are pretty pricey, and thy tend to be film... which is cool, but dying none the less. There's still one more I need to put together too, so check back if you're into this sort of thing.

10 December 2008


Hoh Rain Forest in early December. This photo is not edited in any way.

Reading Bukowski is in some small way is like reading Nietzsche for me. I love it, but you really have to limit your intake.

for the broken egg on the floor
for the 5th of july
for the fish in the tank
for the odd man in room 9
for the cat on the fence

for yourself

not for the fame
not for the money

you've got to keep chopping

as you get older the glamour recedes

it's easier when you're young

anybody can rise to the
heights now and then

the buzz word is

anything that keeps it

this life dancing in front of
Mrs. Death

... And the Rest of Seattle

Seattle has been great and I'd love to post all the photos as I did before, but for the time being I'm going to be an introvert.

This, scary shoreline near Lapush, WA is where I camped for a night. It was a great experience, although I wouldn't recommend it for most.

05 December 2008

Seattle Day 1

Yesterday was my first full day in Seattle. Chris and I had an omelet cook off then we headed out in to some book stores I wanted to check out. The first one was a travel book store called Wide World Books and Maps and the second was Open Books, one of only two book stores in the US dedicated entirely to poetry. I ended up buying a collection of works by Rumi.

Then it was off to find Chris some caffeine (he's a heavy user) at Cafe Fiore. Chris drove me through some really nice neighborhood who's name I can't remember, but he stopped at some see off point and I took a few washed out photos that I could stitch into this panoramic.

We drove just a bit further to the Pike Place Market which was awesome. It's an open air market that houses mostly fresh produce and seafood vendors. There's a lot of free samples to be had so we ate flavored olive oils at probably a half dozen locations. There was also smoked salmon belly jerky. I'm not a big fan of salmon but good god was it good. It's way expensive so we ended up buying only a quarter pound. On our way out we sampled some cheese at Beecher's Handmade Cheese then walked by a bunch of street musicians playing in front of the original Starbucks. It's worth mentioning that most people who live in Seattle don't frequent Starbucks. Everyone seems to have their cache of favorite independent coffee places.

We then entered the Queen Anne part of town, which is mostly goldrush/klondike era original buildings, and found a nice seedy pub. After stopping at the Chinese grocery store we returned home to sleep, go beer shopping at Bottleworks, drink said beer, and cook.

Our final act was a bike ride to the U District and go to some singer songwriter hipster bar that doubled as a cafe. I've been told that the bar/cafe/venue/etc. mix is a common one here. It's funny, with things like liquor and book stores Seattle tends to have very specific store for each genre contained there within (for example: a seperate store for wine, beer, etc.), but then they mix things like coffee shops and bars. Also, I've now seen at least two people who play a saw (the tool) with a bow (like from a violin).

This is a poem from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman that Chris showed me that I really liked:


The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me—he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.1330

The last scud of day holds back for me;
It flings my likeness after the rest, and true as any, on the shadow’d wilds;
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.1335

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.1340

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

01 December 2008

Gas Tax Theory

I'm not providing evidence for this yet. It exists, I'm just lazy at the moment. Okay, here goes: I posit that American automobile manufacturers, in part, built and invested their resources in SUV's, trucks, and large cars because gas is and has been historically cheap in the US.

My logic is this; the cost of gas for the average household is about 5% of their total income. Everything in the market tends to have a kind of "natural rate" of consumption. For example the unemployment rate tends to hover around 5%, inflation tends to sit around 3%, and mortgages tend to (well up until now) cost the average person 25-30% of their take home. These things fluctuate over time, but my point is that people are only willing to give up so much of their income for certain things. In Europe, along with almost the entire rest of the world, they tax their gasoline heavily resulting in prices that are usually about 2-3 times what ours are. Not entirely suprisingly Europeans end up buying cars that are more efficient and subsequently drive less. My hunch is that they too spend about 5% of their salaries on gasoline.

American car producers have for a long time sold cars abroad that they don't sell here. For years my father has been telling me this story about a small car produced by Ford that they drove all over England that got 40 MPG. He said he loved it and he'd buy one here if only they sold them in the US. But whatever, back to my theory...

The tax on gasoline isn't adjusted for inflation. It's fixed, so essentially every year it decreases. Combined with the fact that the tax is ridiculously low to begin with. Side note: when you do something like pollute, you are causing an externality. An externality is an unwanted product of your consumption of a good. If you can quantify these unwanted things, such as pollution, you can tax them. This way the consumers of said good pay the cost that their consumption imposes on society. For example, semis pay a lot more for a license plate because they do more damage to the road than your Toyota. Charging them more limits the number of semis to some degree and raises more money to repair the damage they've done to the road. Leading economists in America think the gas tax should be around $2 a gallon. Yesterday gas cost me $1.70 with tax.

So what? Basically American auto producers have been, in some part, kind of screwed by a low gas tax. The low tax has enabled all of us to consume more of it, thus enabling the manufacturers to produce cars that burn more of it. While foreign car companies had to inovate smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient cars we focused on power, SUV's, planned obsolescence and Hummers. Why hasn't this been the case for foreign auto producers in countries where the gas tax is low? Simple, they don't exist. The auto industry is based in the US, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

So there you have it America. Your thirst for cheap gas has to some degree contributed to the demise of our auto industry.

EDIT: I'm not changing the origional post, however the origional does give the impression that this wasn't the American auto manufacturers fault. But of course they are in large part to blame. They lobby congress for these things. What I am saying is; be willing to pay a lot more for gas because it's better for everyone. I'm just a really bad writer. I have no dilusions that I'll ever be great, or even good. But one day I'd like to be able to communicate counterintuative ideas to people so that they understand them with as little bias as possible.

Aaron Goes to Afghanistan

"In war you win or you lose, live or die - and the difference is just an eyelash." -Douglas MacArthur

I'm not entirely sure of Aaron's details but he's leaving for Afghanistan tonight. He's in the Army Reserves as an infantryman with demolitions training (the actual designation escapes me).

I've considered joining the military before, but a multitude of factors have prevented me from taking that leap. The largest of which was, suprisingly enough, paintball. The above quote is dead on. Years of training, weekend after weekend of play, dozens of games, and the difference always came down to something like slipping at the beginning of the game, breaking a ball, or catching a lucky bounce. Paintball taught me that sometimes you're doing everything right, and that's a subjective term, and you get shot anyways. Or as Hass told me one time in Denver, after we blew a 6 on 3 lead in the finals, "it doesn't matter [if it's the right move], it either works or it doesn't." I could ramble about this for hours. Bottom line, even the most prepared throw dice in war.

Aaron and me. Aaron is into polaroids.