The Incontiguous Brick

June 22, 2010

How can the President stop drilling? Easy!

A New Orleans federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Let me say that again: A judge in New Orleans decided that the President can’t tell a company to stop drilling in our Economic Exclusion Zone (200 nm from our coast) even though the judge has no jurisdiction there either.

However, the President can order the execution of American citizens overseas at will. Overseas is anywhere beyond 12 nautical miles of the coast.

Easy fix: President should order the execution of all drillers who are operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Easy Peasy! They can legally drill all they want to but we can’t promise their survival when the Predators are flying.

April 29, 2010

The next generation of music marketing

Filed under: Life,Money,Music — iknowkeith @ 10:18 am

Gone are the days of bands and solo artists needing to “get signed” by a major record label.  The internet and websites like Reverbnation.com are allowing artist to direct market and promote their talents directly to fans and grow their own fan base without a signed contract.  Although there is not CD in Wal-Mart to brag about, it is a good alternative to signing with a traditional label.

Reverbnation has its own charts that artists can climb based on web traffic, song plays, widgets, and unique listeners.  These provide inputs for a ranking method that places artists on the chart as well as determines how much Reverbnation pays their artists.

Many artist on Reverbnation have joined together to “cross-promote” one another by forming their own online music labels.  This allows them to play each others songs, climb the charts and then gain more exposure.

The artist known as “Grout” is one such example.  Having joined 14 different online labels as well as started one himself, Grout has propelled himself to the top 150 pop artists in the world (on Reverbnation) and is currently #2 in San Diego, CA.  Not bad for a musician that has never released an album and has never done a  live show.

Will musicians like Grout ever be signed to a traditional label? Unlikely.  But with the growing number of artists that are bypassing the old business model and getting their music out there with the web, it is a new ball-game and the old corporate structures will have to change with the times.

October 19, 2009

Only in Thailand

Filed under: Life,Our World — iknowkeith @ 12:06 pm

On a recent trip to Phuket, Thailand…

Baby on motorbike

This is a very common scene. I even saw a man driving a scooter in traffic with a woman and two small children (one on each leg) sitting side saddle. But if you are thinking they are not concerned about safety… think again. Check out this safety warning on a Patong Beach street corner…
Drunk Crossing
See? Thailand cares about safety.

Here is another example of good motoring sense…

kids in sidecar

January 18, 2009

Irony

Filed under: Life,politics,Ramblings — iknowkeith @ 10:47 pm

I love the irony of our modern world… Especially when government gets involved.

After years of attempting to eradicate the very existence of marijuana, it might be the one plant that saves humanity.

Scientists in Italy and the U.K. have recently discovered substances in marijuana that show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called “superbugs,” without causing the drug’s mood-altering effects.  Great going “War on Drugs”  Maybe we should have a “War on education” so these dang “scientists” will stop embarrassing our policy makers with new discoveries.

But the irony doesn’t end there…

Mere days before a new law goes into effect banning the sale of all children’s products that have not been tested to be lead free a new medical discovery changes the game.  The slow build-up of lead over a long term exposure is likely to cause serious developmental problems in children.   A child who swallows large amounts of lead may develop anemia, muscle weakness and brain damage.  Where poisoning occurs, it is usually gradual, with small amounts of the metal accumulating over a long period of time.

Now South Korean scientists may have found a way to remove dangerous heavy metals such as lead from blood by using specially designed
magnetic receptors.  The scare is over.  It isn’t so much that lead toys, paint, etc. is not a bad thing.  But now, lead may not be an untreatable threat to little ones. 

Once again, government may be jumping in to save us when we weren’t really drowning. Once again, you gotta love the irony.

May 9, 2008

Mommy sure is gonna miss us!

Filed under: Life,Ramblings — iknowkeith @ 5:59 pm

As the senior editor-in-chief and the main contributor, I reserve the right to indulge in some personal stories of a whimsical nature. I realize that this is not the sort of article I typically write but I also know that there is nothing you can do about it. You can’t even take back the time you have already spent reading this post so far. Therefore, you may now continue reading about my personal life and I will go back to pondering the greater questions of the world (after I have told my story).

I just got home from an awesome four day vacation at Disneyland. It was by far the best trip I have taken in a long time. The lines were so short we were able to walk up to many rides and get on without any wait at all. The ones we did wait for were usually less than 5 to 10 minutes. I think we did 13 rides yesterday along with a couple of shows and relaxed meals. Not even lines for food!

Anyway, those of you who have been longtime followers of the Brick already know that I have two children. I took the older one (4.5 years old) on Star Tours. This is a full motion flight simulation of a space ship ride with a clumsy robot pilot. At the moment when our impending doom seemed unavoidable (a scary collision with a comet) my daughter said:

“Mommy sure is going to miss us!”

I am convinced that she was completely sincere and these were her last words (she thought). There is nothing like experiencing a ride like that with someone who really believes we were in outer space. That is what makes these rides fun. I can’t wait to take her on Space Mountain and really scare the crap out of her. Does this make me a bad parent?

October 30, 2007

Earthquake!!!

Filed under: Life — iknowkeith @ 8:32 pm

Run for the hills!

No wait the hills are falling! Run for the wide open spaces with no tall buildings or sharp objects!

I lived not lived in California too long so this was my first real earthquake! Okay, I suppose there are earthquakes here all the time, but this one rattled the plates, caused the light fixtures to sway and vibrated the floor. Actually for a split second I debated whether I should run upstairs and grab the kids or just run outside and save myself. Is that bad? Should I have even considered grabbing the kids?

So it turned out to be a 5.6 magnitude about 85 miles away. So it wasn’t too extreme. But for me (and my first real shaker) it was pretty damn exciting.

Earthquake!!!

September 10, 2007

My new truck

Filed under: Environment,Life — iknowkeith @ 11:24 am

“Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature. We’re not the brain, we are a cancer on nature.” ~ Dave Foreman

I buy vegetables grown locally.

I ride my bike to work a couple times a month, or at least I try too.

I replaced all my light bulbs with CFLs.

I recycle almost everything that is recyclable.

So what did I do yesterday to help out the environment? Ummmm…. I bought a 2001 Dodge Dakota V-8 4X4 dual exhaust gas guzzling monster.

It was below blue book and I couldn’t resist. I promise not to drive it too much. 😉

“We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyones arguing over where they’re going to sit.” ~ David Suzuki

Sorry planet. I call shotgun!

Dodge Dakota 2001

September 7, 2007

A gratuitous plug for a good cause

Filed under: Life,Money — iknowkeith @ 9:52 am

A friend of mine is doing a 200 mile bike ride for Breast Cancer Survivors and Cancer research and could use all the help he can get to raise money for this ride. (more…)

August 28, 2007

broken toes and crushed dreams

Filed under: Life,Ramblings,Uncategorized — iknowkeith @ 9:17 pm

I broke my toe last Saturday. (more…)

August 21, 2007

Man in tights

Filed under: Humor,Life — iknowkeith @ 12:14 am

My three-year-old daughter’s best friend had a birthday party last Saturday. A “princess” party. It was possibly the coolest party a four year old girl could ask for. All the kids were dressed up as princesses (thanks Disney) and even the little boy had a prince outfit.

As it was explained to us (by the parents of the best friend) everyone was dressing up. My wife understood this to include adults. So off to the costume shop we go…

My wife came back empty handed. No luck finding one she liked but she was sure she had something at home that would suffice. I was not about to be put off by the tremendous price tag on the only decent “prince” costume (as in royalty, not the singer) so I looked for alternatives.

robin-hood1.jpgOf course, who could doubt my sincerity as the “Prince of Thieves”? That’s right, Robin Hood! I couldn’t help feeling a little silly in this one but what the heck it is for the kids. And all the adults will be dressing up so it will be fun.

We all get ready for the party and the outfit is even gayer than I first thought. Still, I refuse to be ‘that guy’ and be the one curmudgeon without a costume. On the drive over I finally ask my wife, “The adults are supposed to dress up for this, right?” She says, “I think so.” Uh oh.

Ring the doorbell and the dad opens it wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Rats. His eyebrows raise slightly but he played it cool. The mom came downstairs and immediately busts out laughing. She is also not dressed like royalty.

I did the only thing a man can do when he shows up for a party dressed like Robin Hood for no particular reason… I stay that way and try to act cool.
The one consolation was the four year old who said, “Wow, you look really cool!”

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