Saturday, September 05, 2009

Tooling About

My company's dealings with the Middle East are somewhat undermined by the fact volunteers are perceived as relatively unskilled, whereas a way to prove merit is to boast degrees, awards, patents... or a high enough income to enjoy wine and cheese on occasion. Trying to climb out of retirement from diplomatic activities, not so much used since International School days, is a long slog, especially given my training as a spam assassin (one who cuts through the bull) c/o Applewhite and such people.

Be that as it may, Operation I18N (internationalization) is proceeding apace. Too bad I can't really read Arabic (nor farsi), just stare at it like a fish out of water, not remembering what Princeton drilled into my head back when I had the good fortune to enjoy some professional brainwashing (I was getting ready for Egypt).

I was musing about attending an immersive course at West Point or Monterrey in some email today, as some of my friends have done, but Friends aren't normally invited into the military's inner circle. However with distance education circuits... or maybe just go to PSU, which is closer (plus I have a new bus pass, woo hoo).

I've gotten some hoot 'n holler from AFSC, looking into those southern connections especially. The USA hasn't finished healing from the Civil War in my estimation. We still get a lot of Wall Street carpet baggers trying to muscle in where they don't belong (have no competence), which may simply translate to obsolete corporate models, some tracing back to a Mother Church of some kind e.g. some closed shop Cathedral architecture, ponderous, fortified instead of open source and Bazaar-like, nimble, smart -- what activists learn from the art colonies, though it's a two way street in some necks of the woods.

The "starvation = torture" campaign is coming along nicely, as I already have a lot of that Walden Bello material from my pre-retirement stint, as a former program officer (again, volunteer), or "clerk" as we say in Quakerdom. I've got a basement full of boxes.

I stupidly showed up at DEQ after closing today, but that's OK given the sensors needed time to reset. Nissan Nation replaced the starter on first visit. She's in training to become a company car, for continuing in the proud tradition of Robin and Razz, both private car service vehicles for some of the MVPs that come through, sometimes ISEPP related, sometimes more on the DWA side of things. We should have all the paperwork completed sometime next week.

I've added @psf_snake to the list of Twitter accounts I'm following. It's supposed to show up in time for the Django Conference, a visiting totem, a ceremonial presence. We've all seen this kind of thing in anthropology textbooks. Django has a pony. She (the tweeting snake, must be bionic) is adamant that this is not her in this naked snake picture. I'll be looking closely at her markings (tattoos?) to see if I believe her, maybe do like a Donald Trump and forgive her this one transgression? Probably that's Chairman Steve's job as I'm just a lowly freshman senator type (a kind of duck) in this fledgling dictatorship (Python Nation).