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Paul Nendick
19 February 2008 @ 01:01 pm
This little site of mine is just a reminder of that time I was fortunate to enjoy a good deal of the world. I learned then that travel is not about places visited but life experienced - invaluable moments shared with others seeking the same. It's serendipity and magic and the bonds tend to last forever.

Today I've lost one of the greatest of them, my good friend Alex Staeubl. It's a loss that's hitting me terribly hard and personally. I'm writing this entry today as a sort of epilogue to the travelogue prior.

Alex is being memorialised on this facebook page.

Unlike the travel experiences previously documented here, I'm not willing to have this particular moment mis-interpreted by the masses. Please only comment on that page if you are one of the lucky people to have known Alex.

The rest of you feel free to say what you will right here instead.
Paul Nendick
05 December 2006 @ 03:35 pm
It just occurred to me that the recent Lancet estimate of 655,000 Iraqis killed by the American invasion there is nearly three times the estimated 229,000 killed in the tsunami of 2004, the deadliest natural disaster of this century. Now consider the world's - much less America's or Britain's - reaction to the plight of these victims.
Paul Nendick
04 December 2006 @ 04:14 pm
So I'm in Dublin at the moment where things are progressing slowly but steadily toward an established lifestyle. But not without a sidestep first. I'll be in London from this Wednesday through to the weekend - and possibly for good if the interviews go well. So if you're among the 3-5 people still left reading this page and you live in London, ring in. I'd love to partake of your hospitality!
Paul Nendick
26 November 2006 @ 09:33 am
Maybe someday I'll put something of heart back into this page. Until then be satisfied to know that I'm in Dublin interviewing for work. That's going rather well; better than expected really. And should things go my way for a bit I hope to be in London soon for some more interviews. Wish me luck as I flirt with the 'real world' once again.
Paul Nendick
23 October 2006 @ 07:58 pm
Paul Nendick
02 July 2006 @ 07:40 pm
Today things have taken yet another dramatic turn for the worse and I have yet to regain the desire to these details here. I get a lot of criticism both online and off for not updating this weblog to the satisfaction of my readers. I counter you get what you pay for. There's long been a disconnect between the energy I receive from this place versus what I put in. Until that changes the forecast calls for nothing.

Fortunately the more vapid thoughts are still happy to come out and dance for everyone. Today this is particularly true as someone has done the writing for me. Curious about my take on America ? Those that really know me will be shocked to find I have not personally penned this. The United States of Total Paranoia by Jeremy ClarksonCollapse )
Paul Nendick
18 May 2006 @ 01:07 pm
FYI I'm largely silent these days because my life is consumed with things I don't feel comfortable sharing here. This situation will hopefully improve soon.

But in other, light-hearted news, today marks a moment I thought would never come: I have now desire to visit Florida. What epic event has occurred to overtake my healthy aversion to America's appendix? They've sunk an entire freaking aircraft carrier as an artificial reef. Oh my this is on my list. I think I might have to combine a visit here with one to the U-352.
Paul Nendick
08 May 2006 @ 04:22 pm
I'm killing time in the range of an unprotected network, so why don't I keep my fingers warm with a good rant.

Recently Chicago (nes "The Jungle") banned the sale of fois gras citing concerns of force feeding and otherwise unethical treatment of the birds. It's hard to argue against the practice of ramming feces and remnants of other farm animals along with shredded Chinese newspapers down cute, cuddly geese gullets to the point of their internal organ damage. Of course that's not the whole story but it's all that matters to the stimulus-response relationship of the media and public sentiment. I just wanted to write today to remind us to be careful of the slippery slope people. You don't want to know how your food is prepared. Don't go there. You will end up an emaciated vegan. Can't we just agree fois gras is insanely delicious and damn the moral consequences?

OK, at this point in the choose-your-own-adventure, you may choose to disagree. If you think there's a moral line somewhere around here I suggest you consider what's done in neighboring Iowa at a kosher (read: supposed to be better) abattoir. If you protest and say "I only eat fish!" I would like you to consider the global fish crisis. If you're already a vegetarian, I say well done - and ask if you have found a way to keep from being tired all the time?

Sometime a few years back I developed a severe aversion to hypocrisy which mandated I abandon my vegetarian ways. Having since embraced my inner metro-savage I rarely feel the weight of hypocrisy on my shoulders. Let's celebrate with some contraband French goodness tonight - prepared by an illegal Mexican immigrant chef of course. We'll take my really inefficient motorcycle there. No helmets necessary. Bring some cigarettes.
Paul Nendick
05 May 2006 @ 12:33 am
There's little more disappointing to me than when I travel to a new, far-away place only to find it familiar. As a kid I imagined the furthest place on earth was China - just an endless dig in the ground beneath my feet - so China remains on my short list of must-see-before-I-die destinations. I hope for more unfamiliarity there than anywhere else. Well today that dream is gone.

Hello! China! What the hell is wrong with you? L.A. is the world's living dystopia. Believe me, I come from the future...
Be sure to follow the links in that story to pictures of the development and to the official news story. Note the cute musician girl is wearing what looks like Air Jordans. Bleah! Am I doomed to see the world only to confront poorly appropriated versions of a life I already know?
Paul Nendick
25 April 2006 @ 11:25 pm
"It may be that we have become so feckless as a people that we no longer care how things do work, but only what kind of quick, easy outer impression they give. If so, there is little hope for our cities or probably for much else in our society. But I do not think this is so."
RIP Jane Jacobs, you're one of my heroes and will be missed.

In vaguely related news of another hero of mine, Jack Kerouac's house was recently sold to someone who "(isn't) familiar with the author". I've coincidentally been re-reading Jacobs lately. Maybe it's time to switch to Kerouac. From On the Road:
"I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
Paul Nendick
18 April 2006 @ 11:35 pm
I keep quite a few things in this journal private - it is a journal after all - usually copies of emails or websites I want to save. This post is one of those but left public. It's an advice column I stumbled across that reflects much of what is going on around here inside my head. And no, I am not the advisee.
Where is my home?Collapse )

Paul Nendick
16 April 2006 @ 05:38 pm
As a popular topic here in the states this weekend seems to be the high cost of petrol, I feel implored to vent a bit of my perspective on this dead horse topic. Petrol in America is cheap. In fact, it is TOO cheap.

In Europe, petrol costs much more than the US. This is not due to some market difference or a disparity between America's and European nations' buying power. It is also not due to America corporations dominating the oil industry as two of the biggest players - Shell and BP Amoco - are Dutch and British concerns respectively. So what does a gallon of gas cost in these places? From this relatively recent price comparison the cost of petrol (converted for imperial measure) is just over $6.50 a gallon in the UK and about $6.75 in the Netherlands. That's 2.5 times what it is here. Two-and-a-half times more!

How can this be? My belief is that the American prices don't reflect the true cost to produce that gallon of gas. The difference most likely lies in that the price of a litre of petrol in Europe isn't offset by the massive subsidies an American gallon is. A European litre of petrol carries much more tax at purchase time. That means the American gallon carries the same tax burden elsewhere. Do you know any Americans that get a tax break for NOT driving a car? I don't rely upon a car and neither do most of my friends. Yes, we benefit from infrastructure for things like ambulances and cheap interstate commerce but we also ride bicycles and take public transportation. Should everyone pay the same taxes regardless of their relative benefit of this massive investment? The money to support the cheap petrol is coming from the larger tax pool - the income tax and property taxes. And let's not overlook the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Any action toward "political stability in the Middle East" takes the American socio-political interest in global oil price control for granted. So factor in the American military budget - the largest business in the world - too.

This encourages me to see high oil prices as healthy and to hope they go much higher. Progress environmentally and politically in our world is hindered by a myopic view of high prices at the pump. Let's suffer this financial pain to motivate us to choose leaders that will detangle the inter-relationship of the American economy from the short-lived era of uber-cheap oil. Let's take the tepid improvements made to CAFE standards last week and bring them even closer to what's realistic for the 21st century.

Our current oil-centric economic system is so brittle it's begun to require terribly inhuman and unpopular wars to sustain itself. It will inevitably fail. Just ask the Dutch and the Brits about what happened to their former empires.