To use a finite lifetime to worry and grieve over the chaos of the world is like weeping into a river to increase its water in fear of it drying up.

-Lao_tzu

translated by Thomas Cleary

We should end Medicare, not tax Corporations!

The Tax Haven That's Saving Google Billions - BusinessWeek

The heart of Google's (GOOG) international operations is a silvery glass office building in central Dublin, a block from the city's Grand Canal. In 2009 the office, which houses roughly 2,000 Google employees, was credited with 88 percent of the search juggernaut's $12.5 billion in sales outside the U.S. Most of the profits, however, went to the tax haven of Bermuda.

To reduce its overseas tax bill, Google uses a complicated legal structure that has saved it $3.1 billion since 2007 and boosted last year's overall earnings by 26 percent. While many multinationals use similar structures, Google has managed to lower its overseas tax rate more than its peers in the technology sector. Its rate since 2007 has been 2.4 percent.

Got to get me some of that.

Vital Signs - A Good Massage Brings Biological Changes, Too - NYTimes.com

Does a good massage do more than just relax your muscles?

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

Which reminds me....

Yeah the rain came...

There is something that I just love about waking up to a cloudy, rainy day.  Something about it just makes me move a little slower and more deliberately.  To take my time and notice things instead of the daily rush about mucky muck crap I can get caught in. And well, the leaves are falling in the yard and it's raining with the gutters doing their splunk noise. Which all tells me summer is rapidly coming to a close up here in the NW.  Don't tell the wife, OK?

With this in mind I wrote a little piece in the old pen and paper journal (not this fancy digitally, whop-di-do one) and I think it's a nice fit for the day.

"Now and Next is so yesterday

It's all about Forever."

Then on Metafilter this morning I find this Allan Watts gem.

The Unsettling Truth About Life

Title of this post is from "My Town" by Jane's Addiction.  If you caught that you are old.

On Routine

I like routine. I like structure in my life. I guess this is because the nature of my work is anything but structure. When I first started in photography, one of my first assisting gigs the First assistant said to me to think of this job like a volunteer fireman and that pretty much sums up the business. Each day is it's own minor crisis for my clients and nothing is ever planned ahead of time. It can wear a person out some days and be wonderfully surprising the next. But I digress, I like routine and structure so I impose it where I can. I have a certain wake up routine that I like to follow.

• Coffee. Strong, locally roasted. Currently addicted to Ristretto Roasters to anyone curious.

• Light exercise of some sort. Dawn sessions at the local skatepark (I'm the old guy who just goes fast) or some stretches and such at the house if I'm trapped with work.

• 20 minutes of rudiments on the drum set. Reverse paradiddles are all the rage right now you know.

• On good days I get some journal writing done.

And lastly, before I start on the work I like to try to dredge up something inspiring from the interwebbies. Usually I hit the links over on the right to start and then branch out from there till the hunt is over. This is the hardest part of my routine but also the most consistent. I need to find some beauty out there before I can start the day.

All this is done by 8:30 usually so I am around for the clients. Then I am ready to go.

So that is that. Now go get yourself a routine going.

Harvey Pekar - October 8, 1939 – July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar has passed away this morning.

Some pretty weak news that someone else will no doubt write a better tribute about. Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame was found dead in his Ohio home early this morning. Many will remember the 2003 movie starring Paul Giamatti based on his life and work. My Uncle was an avid collector of his when I was a kid, so I got to appreciate his work as I grew up. For fans of the non-hero comic genre, this is a dark day. His well documented battle with prostate cancer, as well as recent bouts with depression have taken it's toll. Check the link for the full story, I just wanted to say thanks for all the great work. Farewell Harvey, you really knew how to make us laugh. The author of American Splendor found dead at 70.

Tales of Hippie Crack

Inside the Nitrous Mafia, an East Coast Hippie-Crack Ring - Page 1 - Music - New York - Village Voice

Throughout the year, the Nitrous Mafia travels from state to state, selling balloons at concert sites. The scene in Williamsburg is only a small preview of what happens in summer, when the outdoor festival season kicks into gear. During these campground events, which last two to four days, the Mafia, which is divided into two rings, based in Boston and Philadelphia, can burn through hundreds of nitrous tanks. With the ability to fill up to 350 balloons per tank, which they sell for $5 and $10, they can bank more than $300,000 per festival, minus expenses. Year after year, security guards at these events attempt to crack down on the illicit business, but, in most cases, they're outmatched by a phalanx of menacing gas dealers who have little regard for unarmed concert personnel.

Parents are less happy than non-parents

From the perspective of the species, it's perfectly unmysterious why people have children. From the perspective of the individual, however, it's more of a mystery than one might think. Most people assume that having children will make them happier. Yet a wide variety of academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so. This finding is surprisingly consistent, showing up across a range of disciplines. Perhaps the most oft-cited datum comes from a 2004 study by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist, who surveyed 909 working Texas women and found that child care ranked sixteenth in pleasurability out of nineteen activities. (Among the endeavors they preferred: preparing food, watching TV, exercising, talking on the phone, napping, shopping, housework.) This result also shows up regularly in relationship research, with children invariably reducing marital satisfaction. The economist Andrew Oswald, who's compared tens of thousands of Britons with children to those without, is at least inclined to view his data in a more positive light: "The broad message is not that children make you less happy; it's just that children don't make you more happy." That is, he tells me, unless you have more than one. "Then the studies show a more negative impact." As a rule, most studies show that mothers are less happy than fathers, that single parents are less happy still, that babies and toddlers are the hardest, and that each successive child produces diminishing returns. But some of the studies are grimmer than others. Robin Simon, a sociologist at Wake Forest University, says parents are more depressed than nonparents no matter what their circumstances-whether they're single or married, whether they have one child or four.

All Joy and No Fun. Why parents hate parenting.

I'm not saying anything here you know, but I'm just saying....

VIA Kottke.