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my life

January 27: march on Washington, D.C., to tell Congress to end the war

Thousands of people will come to Washington on January 27th to tell the new Democratic Congress to do the job for which it was elected: to stop Bush's war. Demonstrators are asked to assemble on the Mall, between 3rd and 7th Streets, at 11 am; march begins 1pm.

Flyers can be downloaded from

compassion, the self, and the meaning of life

From a Slashdot thread that started with a question about uses for a software "dead man's switch", and went off on a tangent about the meaning of life. Quoted material is from Slashdot user lukas84.

Whatever these little consequences are, they can't concern me anymore, since i'm already dead...This thinking can, of course, lead to amoral decisions, and that's why we have invented religion :)

The fact that consequences of your death can't concern you when you're dead, in no way means that reasonably foreseeable post-mortem consequences should not concern you now.

That's why even people who don't believe in any sort of "afterlife" still buy life insurance to take care of their kids.

You don't need any sort of supernatural belief to end up with behavior that most people would call "moral", just some compassion and a reasonable ability to foresee the consequences of your actions.

Which takes me off on a bit of a tangent...

Foreseeing the effects of our actions is of obvious use; if you can't do that to at least some degree, you'll quickly end up dead or institutionalized.

But compassion? What's in it for me, you wonder.

Kagami Biraki, shiatsu class, this week's Zelda's, and topological romance

Did my "Shiatsu for friends and family" class today - it went quite well, had 12 people come by. Apparently that's the most so far for a workshop at the Well. Yesterday was Kagami Biraki at the dojo, special New Year's class - started with 1,000 punches and went from there. Yes, I'm sore. And that's not helped by still having my car window busted out (note to all: do not take your car to Russel Automotive for any sort of work) and having to crawl in from the passenger's side, since the driver's side door is all taped up.

note to a friend

Note to a friend who asks, "you seem so centered and peaceful. everything about you... you have a very deep color about you. it's crazy. in fact, it drives me crazy because i would like to be as calm but thus far it has eluded me. what's your secret?"

Oh, the irony...I've been feeling anything but calm and centered the last week - ended up dateless at the last minute on New Years, got my car window busted out by some random punk, have been dealing with idiots at the body shop trying to get that fixed. GRRRRRRR!!!!! Today it was an accomplishment to have not punched anyone in the nose. (Well, the day's not over yet...)

OMFG! Telesma and the Senators!! Jan 20th 8x10!!!!!

Ok, I'm excited. It's the booty shakin' funk of longtime local superheroes The All Mighty Senators meets the primal futuristic "electro-acoustic psychedelic world dance music" of new B'more phenom

Oh. Yes. Thank you Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Apollo, whoever, for the musical bounty we are about to receive, Jan 20th, doors open 8, showtime 9pm, at the 8x10.

Oh, what a way to start the year

So my paramour and I get our wires crossed and I end up dateless on New Year's Eve. Well, that sucks pretty massively, especially since I don't find out until December 30th, not much time to make another plan. But I ended up going over to visit my friends Mike (my oldest and one of my best friends) and Cat for a quiet evening of converation and celebration. Ok, that's nice.

'Round about 2:30 I figure it's time to head home. Say my goodnights, walk out, and find that my driver's side window has been smashed in. Broke the wing mirror, too.

Mike and Cat, bless 'em, helped me clean up the glass, called the cops, and offered me a place to crash. But I was wanting to get home to my own bed, so drove the twenty minutes home getting rained on. Got the car into the shop today but it will be at least two days to get it fixed.

my old quotes collection

Every so often, I engage in a little net ego-surfing - type "Tom Swiss" into Google or Yahoo and see what comes up. I've found a few other notable people named Tom Swiss this way, but since I've been on the net much longer than they have, most references are to me, mostly from old USENET or mailing list posts.

Today I stumbled across an old version of my collection of quotations, must have posted it to USENET way back when. Share and enjoy.

post-gig journaling

Just finished my gig at Leadbetter's...generous tips and heavy drinking for the holidays made it a relatively profitable afternoon, my take on the bar was $19 and I made $29 in tips. Still, at $48 for four hours, $12 an hour, I'm really glad the day job pays a lot more than that.

Older guy, I'd guess 55, two stools down from me, here with a much younger woman (he's totally grey-haired, she I would guess at about my own age), his date or girlfriend. Wait, I see a ring - his wife? As I get older I take more pleasure in seeing people (both men and women) with significantly younger paramours. I suppose it makes me feel less guilty about been attracted to women ten or fifteen years younger than me...or five or ten years older...

easy holiday giving with makes giving charitable contributions easy. You can cut down on your junk mail by giving anonymously; you can search for groups that do work relevant to your favorite causes; and you can do it all with one-stop-shopping convenience.

Xmas journaling

(transcribed from scribbled notes)

I do some of my best thinking on barstools, perhaps. Or maybe just the loudest...

Xmas, oddly a time for introspection. Scrooge and his spirits, George Baily and his angel...all of us reviewing Xmases past, thinking of Xmases future...where have I been? Where am I going?

If, as they say, Xmas is a time for children, then it brings more questions, about family destiny. Will I ever watch a son or daughter unwrap presents on an Xmas morning? Is that what I want?

If Xmas is a time for family, what sort of family do I want? What sort of family has accrued to me, family partly of blood, partly of spirit, over the years?


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