Sep 032014
 

market-basket  I just visited my local Market Basket for the first time since the now infamous pissing match between the billionaire owners ended.  Can’t say I’m happy about it.

I don’t do a lot of grocery shopping since I don’t cook and mainly eat fast food.  But I do buy three things from Market Basket on a nearly weekly basis: cigarettes, beverages and snack foods.  While I’m amazed by the outpouring of support for Arthur T. Demoulas that the world was recently witness to and was excited to see so many people band together to stand up for what they believed was right, I continued to shop at Market Basket during the whole debacle.  Why?  Because I’m not interested in going to additional expense or trouble to support a billionaire spoiled brat.  But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the punishment and deceit that I (and so many others) saw coming.

On Saturday, the Boston Herald ran a story titled: CEO not in Market to raise prices. Here are the first few paragraphs- Continue reading »

Jun 122011
 
Part of the Cool Books Series - Previous in series         
Norman Rockwell's Swimming Hole (1920)

Norman Rockwell’s Swimming Hole (1920)

One of the great things about being a library book sale addict is that I get to handle about 1,000 books a week and I come across some really cool stuff.  The latest example is Swimming Holes of California: Day Trips With a Splash by Pancho Doll.  As a fan of both water and road trips, this book was a no-brainer purchase for me as it details more than 100 swimming holes throughout California.  Pancho spent nine months traveling California in its entirety, driving more than 25,000 miles to get the skinny on the best (and worst) spots to cool off, relax and simply have fun.  And he’s created a guidebook that’s not only useful and fun to read, but covers a subject/area of interest that has long been neglected, IMO.

Every swimmin’ hole is given three or four paragraphs of editorial content including detailed directions, GPS coordinates, and a copy of the USGS 7.5-minute topographic map of the area.  But that is just the beginning.  Continue reading »

Part of the Cool Books Series - Previous in series        
Dec 052010
 

Pump Up The Volume - Christian Slater

Like many in my generation, my impressions of Pirate Radio were largely formed in 1990 when Christian Slater starred as “Hard Harry” in Pump up the Volume. Unfortunately, Jeff Pearson’s Pirate Radio USAcouldn’t be much farther away from Pump Up The Volume if it had been a documentary about ice cubes rather than one, supposedly, covering the pirate radio movement in America.

Here’s how Pearson describes his film…

Pirate Radio USA is a feature length documentary about the underground world of unlicensed radio in the USA, where people play what they want and say what they want-unless the FCC catches them. On the way see the rise of Big Media, the growth of Indy Media to encounter it, and witness their showdown over the truth during the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle. DJ’s Him and Her, from their live Pirate Radio USA Studio, take you on a rock -n-roll journey inside rogue radio stations across the country to see why Americans defy Federal Law to free the radio airwaves. Seize the Airwaves!

Sound interesting?  I thought so to … until I actually spent an hour and a half watching DJ Him and DJ Her share their tale of failing to keep one pirate station after another on the air.  Continue reading »

Sep 262009
 

Library Book Sales Rock!

Library Book Sales (which I still refer to as book fairs for some reason) are like the floating craps games of the literary world – except everyone’s a winner.  Despite my arguments against coercive funding of public libraries in general and my problems with my local President of the Morgan Hill Friends of the Library I’ve been haunting library book sales since I was old enough to leave the house on my own.  And I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of a single one without new reading material under my arm.

This afternoon I stopped by the Friends of the Milpitas Library Fall Book Sale and walked out with my wallet $25 lighter, but my bookshelf 13.2 pounds heavier (and those were all paperbacks!)  At a price of $1.50/inch I managed to find 25 new books for my personal library.  Everything from the 1977 In Search of Myths and Monsters by Alan Landsburg (with a foreward by Leonard Nimoy!), to The Analects of Confucius as translated and annoted by Arthur Waley, and from Look and Learn French by Anna Balakian  to help Zaira withe her French lessons which are entirely online) to What’s the Number for 911? America’s Wackiest 911 Calls by Leland H. Gregory III (because Z’s mom used to be a 911 dispatcher).  Not to mention more than a dozen “classics” including To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which is required reading for Z’s English class this year, but we’ve been unable to find in a half dozen rips to vaious used book stores.
LibraryBookSale

Speaking of used bookstores… I still have that fetish as well, and since I’m home schooling Zaira now we’ve been making more trips then ever.  But the last time we visited Book Buyers in Mountian View we picked up 10 books for  $65.  We regularly have the same experience at my favorite local used book store: Recycle Books in downtown San Jose. As much as I love them, they just can’t even come close to the bargains available at library book sales.

I just today discovered a great new resource for book sale lovers such as myself.  It’s called, simply enough, Book Sale Finder.  They list literally thousands of library and private book sales around the country all organized by location and date.  Best of all is their Sale Mail feature which will send you an email whenever a book sale is coming up in your area (defined by the number of miles from your zip code you’re willing to travel).  I just discovered the site today so can’t provide any feedback on how well Sale Mail works, but the site’s been around for more than 15 years now and was written up in Woman’s Day magazine a few years back so I’m guessing it works pretty well.

Jan 052009
 
Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series         Next in series

As you probably already know, anarchists, libertarians, and freedom lovers are really big on books. In fact, the written word is still, by far, the greatest influence on the vast majority of converts. The problem with this is two-fold: 1) many of the books are dry and boring, and 2) the books aren’t exactly easy to “stumble across” if you’re not looking for them.  Freedom Book Club aims to solve both of these problems and you can help.

Each month four selections are posted at the Freedom Book Club home page.  All you need to do is swing by and vote for your favorite.   Then, during the first week of the next month, everyone interested will buy the selected book.  Voting for a selection does not obligate you to buy the book that is ultimately selected.

So, how does this help further the message of freedom?  It’s simple really.  Bestseller lists (New York Times, Amazon, etc) aren’t actually based on how many copies of a book get purchased.  rather, they’re based on how many books are purchased within a given time frame.  In other words, it’s velocity not volume.  By having hundreds (thousands?) of liberty lovers all purchase a specific book within the same week we can rocket these books up onto the best seller lists and get them much more attention from the general public.

Additionally, since each month’s book is selected by popular vote we can concentrate our efforts on works that are much more palatable to a general audience. For example…

Last month’s selection, Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression by Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, PhD sold out at Amazon.com not once, but twice. Of course, the Freedom Book Club has no way of knowing if they were the direct cause of such a rush on a 5 year old book, but their efforts certainly didn’t hurt! Healing Our World is, quite possibly, the ultimate primer on freedom. Written in an easygoing, friendly style it still manages to tear apart just about every possible reason one could have for remaining a statist despite government’s repeated failures. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you not only put it on your reading list, but that you put it at the very top.

But I’m getting sidetracked again. Just take a few minutes to check out Freedom Book Club.  Not only will you help spread the message of liberty to the masses, but you just might find a few books to enjoy and enlighten at the same time.

Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series        Next in series