About Me

My photo

Armchair theorist, poet, and occasional IT manager, Sascha B. is equipped with a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, and is not afraid to use it. His work has been published by the University Press of America, Edwin Mellen Press, University of Texas Press, and a variety of small journals nationwide. He is also the proprietor and baker for 3141 Pie, of which you should eat many.

The Deal

I stopped blogging in 2013, when life overtook me. My father became ill and died shortly thereafter, and my mother was left with increasing dementia. I became the primary caregiver, and now orchestrate my mother's care and our family estate.

Now, I am coming up for air again.

Looking for the next book to read. All suggestions welcome.

My reading list is over here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The New Penny

I just got my first new 2009 penny in my change the other day.

I don't like them.

Normally, I am a big fan of new coinage; I was a collector as a child, and have a fondness for innovative design on our money. And change is always good. But the Mint failed on these. Not for the designs, which aren't too bad: the Lincoln scenes are evocative and certainly a refreshing change from the mausoleum image of the Memorial on the standard penny for the last 50 years. But....it's the font. The font.

They've used a computer font, fer cryin' out loud. They've gone from a rather pleasant engraved font with a moderate serif that for all appearances was designed for use on engraved coinage, to an essentially unmodified version of Arial, a screen font that is wildly inappropriate for use on a coin. It makes the penny look like a debased version of the worst Euro.

I understand the desire to look "modern"---but this just looks crappy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Down The Memory Hole?

"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during president Bush's term. I hope they're not looking at this politically. I do think that we owe it to the American people to call it what it is."

Dana Perino, former press secretary for President Bush, last night on Fox.

Wow. Just...wow. You can watch the clip on TPM here.

After the last decade, and the radical shift in our culture to a permanent ideological war footing, based primarily on the events of 9/11/2001, it's a little much to take, even from a visit by Perino on Sean Hannity's show, to see these people letting a comment like that slide by in order to score political points over the bodies of our wounded and dead.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quote For The Day

"Certainty is the enemy of good wine."

Eric Asimov, Wine Writer for the NY Times.
(And for good wine, I think we can substitute anything of complexity or substance or challenge or mystery.) Read his blog; it's worth the trouble.

Jedi Moves

Apparently, the Airline Industry (via the CEO of the ATA) doesn't think that its questionable anti-consumer practices need review, because in his opinion they aren't anti-consumer.

Isn't this sort of like taking the word of the fox that he didn't eat the chickens, even though he's got feathers stuck to his chin? Are we so complacent and weak-minded as to let this sort of thing become the norm?

This is a small example of a much larger problem: remember a year or so back, when AIG and Goldman Sachs and Lehman were all telling the government that they were in fine shape, and the market would solve all its own problems?