Monday, March 28, 2011

Ray Neuhalfen: North Dakota Garbage Man

On his debut album North Dakota Garbage Man, Ray Neuhalfen tells in his uniquely comical style about cooking for his daughter, helping his dad, dealing with his ex-wives, handling Facebook, being on trial, calling bingo, breaking bones, quitting smoking, and having the Greatest Job in the World!

North Dakota Garbage Man by Ray Neuhalfen

Track Listing:

1. I Like the Microphone
2. On Trial
3. You Can't Make Me Eat Them
4. Traditional American Denny's Thanksgiving
5. Lefse and Deer Sausage
6. She Called the Cops on Herself
7. Facebook
8. Every Single Parent Ever
9. Lemonade Stand
10. Brett Favre Did the Same Thing
11. Did I Tell You My Phone Broke?
12. Smoking
13. North Dakota Garbage Man
14. Are You Going to Apologize?
15. Tipped Them a Bottle of Vodka

Sunday, March 27, 2011

message from Japan

"subject: Mongolia

"Hello there. I am an Australian currently writing from Japan and have been given some information that Mongolia may be one of the safest places as far as natural disasters are concerned. As you are aware we got shaken up terribly yesterday...

"Anyway I am seriously considering moving to Mongolia and would like to discuss how things over there are..."


RE: Mongolia

Thanks for your message. It's terrible about the disaster in Japan.

Here is a post I wrote about earthquakes in Mongolia, and particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar:

Here is a recent article on the rapidly-changing society of Mongolia:


2009 October 16
Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
models backstage at Gobi cashmere fashion show
photo by Timothy Fadek / Polaris Images

2010 June 17
Mongolia, worksite near Uyanga
ninja miners playing pool
photo by Timothy Fadek / Polaris Images

2010 June 25
Mongolia, Gobi Desert, Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine
photo by Timothy Fadek / Polaris Images

2010 June 27
Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Tuul River
photo by Timothy Fadek / Polaris Images

2010 July 14
Mongolia, Erdenet
woman with umbrella
photo by Timothy Fadek / Polaris Images

Friday, March 25, 2011

a series of things

"No matter how you dress it up, that's what the world is. A community of idiots doing a series of things until the world explodes and we all die."

--Daniel O'Brien, "5 Things They Never Told Us,", 2011 March 25

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


"To the popular press, 'hacker' means someone who breaks into computers. Among programmers it means a good programmer. But the two meanings are connected. To programmers, 'hacker' connotes mastery in the most literal sense: someone who can make a computer do what he wants--whether the computer wants to or not.

"To add to the confusion, the noun 'hack' also has two senses. It can be either a compliment or an insult. It's called a hack when you do something in an ugly way. But when you do something so clever that you somehow beat the system, that's also called a hack. The word is used more often in the former than the latter sense, probably because ugly solutions are more common than brilliant ones.

"Believe it or not, the two senses of 'hack' are also connected. Ugly and imaginative solutions have something in common: they both break the rules. And there is a gradual continuum between rule breaking that's merely ugly (using duct tape to attach something to your bike) and rule breaking that is brilliantly imaginative (discarding Euclidean space)."

--Paul Graham, "The Word 'Hacker'," 2004 April

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Straw Dogs --> Laozi's reference --> and elucidating commentary

"Heaven and Earth are heartless
treating creatures like straw dogs"

--Laozi, Tao Te Ching

"Heaven and Earth are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them."

--Su Ch'e, as quoted in Lao-tzu's Taoteching: with Selected Commentaries of the Past 2000 Years, translated by Red Pine

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aussie Outback style in Mongolian fashion show

"Bidders Line Up to Purchase World’s Largest Coal Deposit"

"Seven bidders, including Arcelor Mittal, Vale, Xstrata, Peabody, Shenhua and Mitsui, plus a Japanese, Korean and Russian consortium have been shortlisted to develop Mongolia’s massive Tavan Tolgoi reserves.

"The site, owned by Mongolia’s state-owned Erdenes, has 6 billion tons of coal reserves and is capable of producing 15 million tons annually for over 30 years. The site is expected to require an initial US$7.3 billion investment to get it ready for development. A separate IPO is also being planned for the mine, with estimates this could raise at least US$15 billion.

"The Tavan Tolgoi site is in the Gobi Desert, about 540 kilometers south of Mongolia’s capital of Ulaan Baatar. The winning bid is expected to be announced on June 30, 2011."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rest and oblivion

“What I want are rest and oblivion -- or at least, a seclusion amidst ancient scenes wherein I may cast off the actual modern world in a quiet round of reading, writing, and pilgrimages to quaint and historic places.”

--H.P. Lovecraft, correspondence, 1926

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Art by Nicholas Roerich

"My heartiest thanks for the magnificent work which you sent to me. I admire those creations so much that I can say without exaggeration that never have landscapes made such a great impression on me."

--Albert Einstein, letter to Roerich Museum, 1931

The Black Gobi

And We Do Not Fear

Book of Life

Changthang, Northern Tibet

Song of Shambhala

Idols (Pagan Russia)

Issa and the Skull of the Giant

Message to Tiron

Abode of Gesar


Mongolia I

Monhegan, Maine

Mother of Genghis Khan

Most Sacred Treasure of the Mountain

On the Heights, Tumo

Stronghold of Tibet

Descent into Hell

Star of the Hero

Guests from Overseas
USSR postage stamp

1874-1947 Russian