Saturday, June 26, 2010

I am really glad we don't have tails...

Yesterday was National "Bring Your Dog To Work" day.  As a result, many of my co-workers brought their dogs to work.  Having dogs in the office is not conducive to productivity but it is a lot of fun.

One of the things I noticed though, is that it really must suck to have a tail.  It kinda looks like they (the dogs) do not have any real control over their tails.  The tail is sort of like this useless body part that has a mind of its own.  It goes into seemingly uncontrollable spastic movements whenever the dog is stimulated (which is always).  These crazy tails were smashing into file cabinets, desk legs and chairs all over the place.  Don't they feel pain in them?  I know I would.

Do four legged animals really need tails?  I am sure I could google it and find all kinds of reasons why they should have them.  I don't buy it.  Tree dwelling animals sure, but ground animals?  No.  I am NOT saying people should go cutting these tails off (I freaking hate that).

I suppose that ancestors of humans at some point had tails (we were monkey like once, right?).  But I sure am glad we do not have them now...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Church Bulletin Bloopers

Whether these are real or not (they claim to be), they are too funny not to share...

• The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.
• The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
• Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
• Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
• Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
• Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
• For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
• Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
• Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
• A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.. Music will follow.
• At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
• Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
• Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
• Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
• The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
• Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
• The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
• This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church.. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
• Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
• The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
• Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
• The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
• Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
• The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Lost" Opportunity

If you, like me, are a mega-fan of the TV show "Lost", then you, like me, are today asking the next big question to the producers and writers of the show:

"What the hell were you thinking last night?!"

Last night's episode featured the long awaited backstory of the two pivotal characters around which the entire mystery revolves - Jacob and the Smoke Monster (aka "Man in Black").  Not since the backstories of Benjamin Linus and Richard Alpert was there so much potential to unlock the many unanswered questions that we only have 3.5 hours remaining to answer.  This episode could have been the Rosetta Stone of the entire "Lost" series!

But instead?  Snooze-fest.  And not just any snooze-fest, not at all. A super snoozer which not only did not really answer anything, it actually only makes us ask more questions (and scratch our heads going "WTF?!")!  In fact, at one point, Allison Janney (normally I love her, btw) actually says to "Claudia"(Jacob and MiB's mother) that "answers only bring more questions" (or something like that) - I muttered "oh no" when she said it.  She makes this ominous, not remotely hidden by the writers display of foreshadow right after the dialog reverts to English from the ancient Latin it started in (thankfully for me, because I never really took Latin in school.  I mean, it seemed unnecessary given it was a dead language and all and I was not expecting to watch a show where characters would speak it).

I should have realized then and there that "Lost" and I were not going to get along last night.  The outing was an utter disappointment. Examples of what we learned:
  • Jacob and Smokey are brothers born of a woman (possibly from ancient Rome given the Latin) named "Claudia" (a friend pointed out that the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were also born of a woman named Claudia - obviously this matters - but we will never know how).
  • Jacob and Smokey were raised by a woman other than Claudia (Allison Janney) who killed Claudia to properly raise the boys away from their fellow Romans and live away from them for like 14 years before they accidentally bump into them while running around unsupervised as boys often do.
  • The island hides an enormous halogen light that a river runs through - probably to keep it cool and prevent it from starting a fire that could burn the house down, as these lights do sometimes.  This light must be protected or all mankind will cease to be (I really dread where this is going).
  • Somehow when you drink wine on the island you understand everything about it (you are better off not asking - and I am better off not thinking any more of this).
  • Even if magic is preventing you from killing someone you can still do it provided that the dead person turns into a smoke monster and re-appears as human in dead person form (their own dead self included).
  • When faced with a giant underground light source, build a giant pinwheel to make it help you get off the island - because as we all know and we learned in Physics, "pinwheel + light source = means of travel" (ok, we already knew the pinwheel could get you off the island and send it jumping through time - but now we know WHY.  See? The source of my pain).
It basically just left me wondering why I have been bothering.  I find this funny because during the first season of non-sense (when the non-sense was still intriguing) I told myself that I would stop watching if the show ever went down the road of "absurd" (and I believe I used time travel and alternate realities as examples - imagine that).

I am beginning to worry about how this show will end.  There is just so much left to answer and I have invested some serious time in this show.  This final season has just been a mess - it feels like they have no idea what they are doing (the writers I mean).  And this is unfortunate because last season was so good.

The show is all about redemption.  And I hope it redeems itself in its final hours.  It started to feel like it was starting to in recent episodes.  But now it has lots of work to do.

I hope "Lost" finds itself before the end.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

Recently while practicing the sacred ritual of working my ass off on the elliptical machine at the gym, I realized I was a captive audience.

There were three televisions in front of me, the one to my right showed some hockey game.  The one to the left showed some talk show on CNN.  The one directly in front of me?  An infomercial for a baking oven of some kind that featured all kinds of wonderfully delectable pastries.  I was listening to my iPod, so was not really doing anything other than drinking in the images.  And it suddenly occurred to me that I could not change the channel, nor could I turn it off.  I suppose I could have left, but still had 20 minutes left on my routine.  So there I was, watching the pastries - and getting nicely hungry.  And that hunger was only going to be satisfied by the consumption of pastries.  And it is the consumption of pastries that forces me to regularly go to the gym to do this routine in front of this television.

It was while thinking of this horrible endless cycle when I realized the truth!  It is a conspiracy between the Fitness and Fatness industries!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bad Medicine

If Edie Falco does not win an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama (or is it comedy?) for "Nurse Jackie", I will kill myself.

OK, not really.  But this new half hour dark comedy from Showtime is one of the best new shows in ages.  And Edie Falco is great in it.  Even better than when she was my one time favorite television matriarch, Carmela Soprano.  What Falco does as Jackie is make us feel sympathy for a character who steals drugs, does them on the job, cheats on her husband (to facilitate the stealing of the aforementioned drugs), and lives a double life.  I have even read that her character is a very accurate portrayal of what a functional drug addict who is trying to hide her dark side might actually be like.  Kind of scary.

But another great thing about this show is the excellence of the supporting ensemble cast.  I do not think there is any character on this show that I do not enjoy watching (except maybe Kevin and Eddie - because I hate them).

I know where I will be on Monday nights - All Saints Hospital.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Current Favorite Spam Message

Received at work today - classic. I never knew an email address could inspire such emotion (and she clearly does not know me very well - lol).

Hello,


How are you? i hope all is well with you, i hope you may not know me,

and i don't know who you are, My Name is Miss Aminata, i am just

broswing now and i see your email address and it seems like some thing

touches me all over my body, i started having some feelings in me which

i have never experience in me before, so i became interested in you, l

will also like to know you the more,and l want you to send me a email

so that l can give you my picture for you to know whom l am.I believe we

can move from here and see where nature will take us! I am waiting for

your mail (Remeber the distance or colour does not matter but love and

good caring matters alot in life).


Miss Aminata.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hugs and Kisses

It's been a while since I posted any update on the Bird, this blog's official mascot. Honestly, there has not been a lot to report. However, a recent development is somewhat amusing (to me).

Rick loves to get his head kissed, touched and tickled. He makes kissy noises when he wants a kiss, or starts screeching (or he just calls me by name). Whenever he gets into one of these kissy moods, if you go up to him, he extends his cheek out to get a nice big smacker right on his cheek. Sometimes I will mutter "what a bird" to him while I do this.

So how much does he love this? Well, recently, we heard him mumbling "what a bird" to himself in the mirror and then making a kiss sound. We peeked around the corner to watch. Every time he said "what a bird" he would extend his cheek into the air and make the kiss sound. He was PLAY KISSING - exactly the way he would get kissed if I was doing it myself.

What a Bird.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some Things I Hate....

A quick venting before going off to bed:
  • Facebook Groups that pray for the death of Barack Obama (I mean, come on!).
  • Drivers who do not use directionals.
  • Pedestrians who push the button requesting a walk signal but then do not wait for it.
  • The obsession with puzzle pieces by the producers of "Survivor".
  • Bicyclists who demand to ride in the streets of Boston but do not abide by traffic laws.
  • People who walk and text/talk on their phones oblivious to what is going on around them.
  • The Apple Store (see previous post for why).
Thanks for letting me vent. Good night!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fruit Flavored


I have been experiencing an annoying problem lately with my iPhone (my most important appliance), so I decided to take it to the Genius Bar.

The Apple Store is a scary place. Since the start of my PC to Mac conversion (which you can read more about here), I cannot escape its clutches without spending money there. It is almost like I have to pay to leave. I walk in and am immediately surrounded by pleasant sights and sounds, friendly smiles and that ever present Mac lover attitude that there is nothing better on this Earth than something produced by Apple (which might not be wrong).

But I am determined not to spend money! I purchased AppleCare for this device and intend to get it fixed without cost and not buy any unnecessary accessories (or yet another MacBook). So I proceed directly to the Genius Bar and do not look around (despite the fact that the MacBook Pros immediately started to call to me and the new 24" iMac kept taunting me all the way from the second floor).

The problem I was experiencing was a major problem for me. When listening to music for more than 30 minutes or so, the Voice Command would start popping up, looking for input. Every time it did, it would force me to hit "Cancel" to get my music back - and NOTHING gets between me and my music!

Some quick online research indicated that there might be a problem with my headphones (and particularly the microphone for for the phone part). I knew this was probably the cause, as I have sent my headphones through the laundry at least five times. Of course, I did not tell the Genius who attended to me about this fact, as I was fairly sure this info might void my AppleCare coverage and plan for getting a free replacement. The Genius did give me a new headset, but also spent some time explaining (in detail), how I could completely restore my iPhone to eliminate any software glitches. I smiled and nodded a lot, as I had already done this and only wanted my free headphones.

I escaped as soon as I had the headset, but naturally stopped at the accessories wall and bought my second case (I need color options...).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It Makes No Census


About six weeks ago (or so), on a Friday, I received an envelope from the US Census Bureau. Knowing that 2010 was a census year, and it had been advertised all over the place for some time, I assumed it was the census form.

It was not. It was a mass mailing (to I assume all American households) that let us know we could soon expect the census form, with a nice reminder that when we do receive it, we should fill it out and return it as soon as possible. For easy reference, we shall refer to this mailing as the "pre-census form form". This mass mailing reminder was filed appropriately.

The next Monday (2 mail days later), the full form was received in the mail. That was, indeed, "soon". So soon that I feared that some Americans, if they had gone away for that weekend, might confuse the pre-census form form envelope with the actual census form envelope and "file appropriately" the wrong one. "No!" I screamed at no one in particular. "What will happen?!" I questioned my front hallway. I decided that I would go fill out the actual census form and return it immediately to take my mind off the situation.

About two weeks later, I received a post card from the US Census Bureau, politely reminding me to fill out my form and return it. We will refer to this post card reminder as the "post-census form form". I was annoyed now. I actually did mail mine in and was certain they had received it by now.

So I started really thinking about how much this whole effort is costing us (taxpayers). I am sorry but with all the on the ground manpower - media and print advertising and online presence that this year's census has got going for it, did BOTH the pre-mailer and post-mailer really need to get sent (and paid for by us)?

It does not make census to me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First Contact

I recently made the jump to contact lenses, freeing myself from the chains otherwise known as my glasses.

Wisely, I decided to make this transition during the first half of April, a time in New England where the air is filled with some magic powder called "pollen" that I am apparently very allergic to. This magic powder apparently fuels the life cycle of the various plant beings. It also irritates my eyes terribly - I must keep this substance from my enemies.

This year, there are record pollen counts. These record pollen counts are not due to the weather conditions we experienced this winter, as the mystic meteorologists claim. These high counts are being experienced to make my contact lens transition as difficult as possible.

Despite this obstacle, I have taken to contacts better than I thought I would. I have never liked even the thought of putting something in my eyes. And any time that I tried to put drops in them, I just got the drops all over my face. So instead of soothing my eyes with them, the result was looking as if I had balled my eyes off.

Apparently this is not uncommon, so the Optometrist's office provides training for new users. When the "trial contacts" were ready for me, I dutifully appeared for orientation. The Optometrist's assistant first showed me how she removed and applied hers. She was sporting colored lenses, a yellow gold to go for that appealing "Cullen Vampire Family" look we all aspire to.

She made it look so easy - in and out in seconds. Me? Different story. I fumbled for about 15 minutes before I got one in. But when I finally got both in, blinked a few times and looked at my iPhone, a new world appeared! I could see! Without my glasses! I was so excited that even though it looked like I had been crying for 30 minutes that I could not wait to get back to work to tell everyone! But, NOT SO FAST!

Now, I had to get them out. Ugh! I had to demonstrate to the vampire-eyed assistant that I can put them in and get them out. Oh well, eventually I got it done.

The first few days were terrible - I struggled getting them in and out and my eyes constantly felt like there was a small brush fire in them. I did make a great discovery though. Once you can get the drops to land in your eye, they feel really good.

However, two weeks into the mission now I can plug em in, pull em out with ease, and no longer need the drops every day. I sometimes forget they are in there.

They are high maintenance though, and I am not. So wondering how long this future will last. It better last at least a year - I bought that many!

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's About Time, Part 2

So right after I publish the last post, I go back to watching tonight's episode of "24" (no, I was not really watching that Discovery Channel show) and it occurs to me that if there is any evidence of time travel already in existence, it is all over "24".

"24" has always taken creative license with the concept of portraying events in "real time". But this season it is just ridiculous. I mean one minute the President is in her office, the next (minute, literally) she is in her car being whisked through Manhattan and on the phone with CTU and the very next minute (yes, minute) she is arriving at CTU (which appears to be across one of the NYC rivers). No one, not even the President, can manage that. And don't get me started about last week's sexual congress between Jack Bauer and Renee Walker. Because that encounter when from "Status=Clothed" to "Status=Finished and Cuddling" during one commercial break. Having us believe that about Jack Bauer's "skills" is, well, cruel.

Unless....., they (CTU and/or the Secret Service) have time travel capabilities. That could explain a lot on that show.

It's About Time, Part 1

Tonight, the Discovery Channel's show "Sci-Trek" is going to explore how time travel could actually happen.

This is good, as I have personal need for time travel and look forward to its availability. But even if I did not have that need, I would support any effort to explore the feasibility of time travel. Because the concept itself is just so damned cool.

However, I can see how the introduction of time travel into the mix could cause some problems. I have watched enough "Star Trek" to know we can't all just go around changing events in the past, right? Other than me, that is. It is the whole "step on a mosquito one million years ago" problem after all.

I know what you are thinking - "it's time travel", you'll say, "if we screw something up we can go back again and fix it". "Hmmm", I would respond then ignore you. Although this worked well for Doc Brown and Marty McFly, I do not see it working in real life time travel applications. In order to manage the process and avoid the accidental elimination from very existence some Earth based life forms (such as us), we must create an international agency to manage it.

Naturally, Jean-Claude Van Damme will head this agency. Until this organization is created and in place, be wary of any day-to-day changes around you. They could be caused by rogue time travelers.

That is, unless you run out of time .....


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Get Lost

If you, like me, are a fan of the ABC show "Lost" (currently playing out its final season), then you, like me, are asking yourself the big question...

What the f..k??!!

Really, when this show started six years ago, were the writers actually thinking to themselves (at that time), "seriously, it will all end with two alternate realities working themselves to some common ending that will resolve a space time disruption caused by a nuclear explosion that will result from a miscalculated detonation inspired by the Hero"? I sort of don't think so. In fact, I am pretty sure that when they started, they had no clue how this was going to move forward.

Despite this, we all still watch the mess. Possibly because nothing else since "Melrose Place" (the original) has made us wonder what writers were smoking. The fact they brought back Desmond and Penny has made up for the horrible start to the season. Let's just hope the last episodes can make five years of loyalty worthwhile!

I suppose in this case, I can even look forward to being disappointed.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Back from hiatus (ok, not really)

OK, so not really a hiatus so much as I blew it off for two years. However, I am going to try to start this up again. I find writing therapeutic, and I am starting to do it again at work, so I need the practice.

I might slowly backfill some highlights of the past two years, but for now let's just say they were good and bad (what years aren't?). All you need to know:
  • The Bird is still around, and will continue to inspire
  • The Partner is too, but so is the cancer (six years now) - he will also inspire (he always has)
Love,

Jack

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Flying High


I flew today from Boston to Los Angeles via American Airlines (which despite all its problems I still like, usually).

When I booked this trip, I did not consider the timing very well - it is school vacation week and apparently lots of people now take their kids to Disneyland in CA rather than Disneyworld in FL (damn them all!). When I get to the gate (after my usual battle with airport security), they are announcing the flight is overbooked and they are looking for volunteers to move to another, later flight. AA teases us with a free flight voucher, but I say NO. I want CA.

I board the plane and cannot help but notice the plane right next door (above) - Look at all the patch work holding that tail fin on! I hate traveling by air, but not because of fear of flying, just because I hate the whole process. But looking at this patchwork makes me suddenly worry about the act of flying itself.

Despite this, I have an very uneventful flight to LA - and a very nice week to escape the Boston winter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Angels in the Outfield

Today I got to go the only 2009 season game at Fenway Park. My first game of this season, and my first post season game ever. I was hoping this would provide some luck for the Sox, as they were trailing the Angels 2-0 in the series and this game they could face elimination. However, I hoped their return to Fenway would help turn it around.

Alas, it did not. It looked like the Sox could close this game - I had a tweet ready to go to Twitter telling LA to put their brooms away. It is a good thing I did not send it because then Jonathan pulled a Papelboner and it was done. The Angels finally beat the Red Sox in the ALDS, to send them against NY in the ALCS. And where did they all celebrate? Out in the field in Fenway Park. Angels in the Outfield.

Bummer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Carnival, 2009

Great week lounging in Ptown for Carnival 2009.










Saturday, August 15, 2009

Off to Bird Camp

The Partner and I are off for a week to Provincetown, so we know we had to do something with The Bird. An entire week is a long time to have someone come by every day and feed him and provide him with some company. So what do we do? Take him to Bird Camp!

Well, Bird Camp is really more a small animal veterinarian hospital outside Boston that also provides Kennel services. We had put him up here before, during our last visit to CA, and the staff were already used to him and his "eccentricities". So they were happy to have him.

The last time we had him there he shared a room with several other parrots and he was extremely excited about it. This time, however, he was put into a room with about 10 cages. One was for him, all the others had cats in them. I was surprised, but did not think this was a problem. Cats and birds do not always get along, but they would be in cages, so everything should be fine. However, I did get concerned when I started realizing that the cat beneath Rick's cage was a loud, constant meower.

I really did not want The Bird to start meowing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Finally, the Light at the End of the Tunnel


The Buffoonery will soon be over, and a real Leader - one with intelligence, poise and who can inspire will take over. The Dark Times are coming to an end:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fluffee Talks on YouTube

If you have not seen this guy's videos yet, check him out. He is so damned funny. A YouTube phenom:

Fluffee Talks

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Plan

We plan to move forward with the Plan. A detailed plan of the plan can be found in the planning folder entitled “Plan”. Please plan time to examine the plan prior to implementation of the plan. We apologize for the unplanned planning, but we had planned on providing plans to review the plan but unplanned planning for another plan got planned.

For planning purposes, please plan on an alternate plan in case unplanned events cause the plan to go not as planned. Please plan to provide the planners with a copy of your alternative plan so that they can plan to plan for the unplanned.

As planned, should the plan go as planned, additional planning for the next plan will be planned. Please plan to attend the planning.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain's crap is starting to really smell

Who does McCain think we are?

You know, I really, really dislike John McCain. But the people I probably dislike more are the nutjobs on his campaign who either a) encourage him to do the stupid things he does or b) are not gutsy enough to stop him from doing them.

How much crap do they think they can pull before people start to smell it? At first, the Sarah Palin choice seemed like it might have some real punch. No one knew her yet, and you gotta hand it to John, he stole Barack Obama's post acceptance speech thunder and squashed it! One of the best political speeches in ages (it got me completely converted) and no one spoke of it again. So if that was McCain's goal, he totally scored. However, if choosing a sensible running mate was his goal, time is starting to show that he blew that one. I suspect the debate will only blow that wide open. Do their handlers really expect, I mean REALLY expect, that we will believe that because Alaska is closest to Russia, that she has "foreign policy experience"? I studied political science in Germany for a year - I have more real foreign policy experience! Do they think we are so idiotic that we would consider a refueling stop in Ireland to count as a visit to a foreign nation?

So while we are all trying to get through the ridiculousness that is the Sarah Palin nomination, we now get the whole silliness of the "suspended campaign" and attempt to put off the debates ridiculousness last week. Is McCain getting advised to do this crap or is the old maverick finally firing his last neuronic activity in that old brain of his? He goes through this grand effort to look like he wants to do the right thing, stop everything and go save the economy. Let's forget, momentarily anway, that he basically got this idea when the Obama campaign reached out to his campaign suggesting they issue a joint statement of solidarity. What followed was a crystal clear attempt to steal the thunder from Obama again (after all, the polls clearly show that Obama is pulling ahead, especially in the areas of the economy). So McCain just figures he will pull one of these stunts. It worked briefly with Palin. The funny part is the all the photo opps show McCain looking like a useless idiot, where Obama (who was clearly set up to be ambushed) looked positively Presidential. Oh, and McCain ended up having to show up for the debate after all, the one he wanted so badly to blow off.

Oh, and boy I can only imagine how badly he wishes he could have stayed away - talk about a poor performance. How many people could actually still want this team to be President and Vice President now?

People are starting to see through the smoke and mirrors now. McCain's Crap is starting to smell.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Word or Two About Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani's seething torrent of whining sarcasm at the Republican National Convention pretty much used up any remaining 9/11 credits he had left. I have a hard time believing that he actually supports the Sarah Palin nomination. He must feel pretty slighted, I mean, he has such a high opinion of himself. However, I think we now know he is mostly irrelevant.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Barack - love ya, but really...

It is your election to lose. I only fear that you are peaking with your extremely hot performance overseas at the same time that McCain is bottoming out (I mean, really, can you get any lower than going to a German restaurant to compare to your Berlin appearance?).

I just want to be sure you can pull this off through the actual election. Sounds great right now that you can be so presidential, but McCain (ick) does seem to be pulling up in polls. I do enjoy watching you right now, but I remember a time that I loved watching Michael Dukakis driving a tank - and we know how that ended up.

Jack

What A Bird (the video)

Almost three years into this blog (and yes, I know it has been "sparse" this past year), I finally have a video of the Bird who inspired it. Meet Rick...


video

With Election 2008 running into high gear, you will be hearing a lot more from me (and Rick). Hopefully I can reconnect with some of you who I have corresponded with over the last few years.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tornadoes in New Hampshire!

And Rhode Island? Anyone still wondering about climate change problems?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Facebook, Part 2

Man this Facebook stuff is addictive! A quick recap of my first month:
  • Contrary to what I expected, I actually have reconnected with old friends that I have not heard from in many years. In fact, it has been fun. That alone has made the awkwardness of setting up, revising and re-revising my profile worthwhile.
  • Currently, I have 70 "friends". Some of my "friends" have hundreds of "friends". Some of my "friends" are people I have spoken to once or twice. Ever. People I have hardly ever spoken with have accepted my friend requests and conversely, people I hardly know have sent me friend requests (which I eagerly accepted). Do not get me wrong, I would be friends with these people under any circumstances. Most are traditional friends, and the rest are people I would be friends with. But I completely see how cyberspace has changed what a "friend" is. Maybe I just take the whole friend thing too seriously.
  • I learned too late that every profile change you make is broadcast to your "friend network". I managed to find the control panel for controlling that behavior (I am in IT after all).
  • The social gaming online in Facebook is completely addictive. But what in Cyberspace is not?
So if you are on Facebook, drop me a line, maybe we can become "friends".

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Generation Kill

HBO's new mini-series "Generation Kill" is based on Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright's best selling book about his experience as an embedded reporter with the first recon marines during the early days of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

This is a true story being told from the point of view of an outsider who was allowed to ride along and write what he saw. As a result, we see a very narrow view of the Marines as they carry out their mission. When the war started, I very hesitantly supported it. I had a very hard time believing our president, even this president, would commit our men and women to war without a good reason. I also had a brother in the Marines, and he was part of the initial invasion. He was, in fact, part of the first recon Marines being depicted in "Generation Kill".

So 5 years later - we know there were no WMDs, no harbored terrorists and the tentative faith I put in George Bush that month have been replaced with contempt and a desire to see him in prison. And my brother survived this invasion, and a second deployment to Iraq a year later. And I am a fervent believer in ending our involvement with this war. But I do watch this series and see what it wants to tell us, because they were doing what they do, and I want to have an open mind about it.

I suggest we all do.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Riding the T

So the Partner has been car-less for a while now, and he has also been getting very involved in the antique and collectibles business. So I pretty much have given up my car to him on weekends and even during the week sometimes because I can get around on the "T" (MBTA - Boston Transit system).

One recent change on the "T" is that they announce at each station when a train is "approaching" and then again when it is "arriving". Other than the words "approaching" and "arriving" these announcements differ by about 5 seconds. I mean really. Really? Do we need both announcements?

I like the T - it works for me most of the time. Even when that moron stands in front of the subway door acting like they did not realize it just opened to let people on and off. Even when that person who just can't quite manage the personal hygiene thing sits next to you. Even when I get to the station just as a train is leaving. Even when..... do I have to go on?

But I love the Partner so I put up with it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Solstice

On Fathers Day, one of my Brothers and I visited my father on Cape Cod for a nice waterfront lunch. He mentioned that his neighborhood association was going to have a "Solstice Party" on the first day of summer (today).

I asked him jokingly if there would be dancing around a bonfire inside a circle of stones. He smiled but did not deny it. He did say there would be a fire, but that it would be the one cooking burgers and hot dogs.

OK, I can totally get the "any excuse for a party" rule. Mine is called "Friday". But if you are going to have a Solstice Party, I personally feel you should observe some simple druid rules:
  • There must be a bonfire. It should be in the center of festivities and be at least 20 feet high.
  • One virgin must be present (gender is irrelevant). Just be present, nothing else, god what is on your mind people?
  • Chanting is required.
  • A minimum of one High Priestess must be present.
  • No Witchcraft allowed.
  • A semi-circle of 3 ton granite blocks set on short ends will represent the party boundaries.
See? Very simple. Get with the program.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Facebook, Part 1

So I am finally going to set up a Facebook account. I have been blogging long enough, why not go to the next level, right?

Some of my friends use it and lots of my co-workers use it so I am always being told I should set up a page. So I decided to do it. Before doing it I decided to gather together some stuff to post and realized right away that I have no recent photos of me and very few digital photos. I have some (gads) film photos from way back (even as far back as the 80's - gasp), but not many recent ones. I had some that were scanned as part of a family project I did last year, but most of those were from my childhood. I know photos of me exist, they are just not in my possession (which might be a bad thing?).

I also realized quickly that filling out an online profile that will be read by anyone quite intimidating. How much to reveal? Did that sound too gay? Do I say that I am gay? I guess it will be a dynamic learning experience, kind of like everything else we do in life.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I am entirely open.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

California Dreamin, Part 2

Visting the Brother and Family in San Diego


A Day at the Zoo


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Perfect Season?! - Blech

You know, too much has been focused on the Patriots having a perfect 19-0 season. The problem now is that they managed to get all the way to the Superbowl but no one cares about that. "Yeah, well anyone can get to the super bowl these days" is what you hear. But the reality is that - hey, they got to the freaking super bowl - but because of the "perfect season" crap, no one cares.

I cared. In December, I was in California watching a game with my father and brother. There was discussion about the perfect season. I was thinking about it in terms of odds and percentages and logic etc when I dared to say "maybe it would be better to lose a game now (in Dcember) than in January, when playoff loss meant immediate elimination. I mean, so? One loss? But no - the goal was perfection. I was afraid that this goal meant humiliation, and I was right.

Oh well, next year, hopefully the Patriots will only worry about winning one game - the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hillary or Barack?

Ever since she announced her candidacy for President, I have been a Hillary supporter. I even sent her some money and ordered a bumper sticker (but did not put it on my car, as I would never do such a thing - it is over my desk at home).

However, as time goes on, I really want to vote for Barack Obama. I have to admit that I am torn between the two. It is very possible that I was initially moved by the idea of returning to the Clinton era (or any pre-Bush era for that matter), that I was more focused on going backwards and not forwards. In my defense, Bush does kind of motivate us to invent time travel. Obama initially seemed like a fringe candidate - I was familiar with him and liked what he represented but I figured he would not be a real contender. But now I am not so sure and as I prepare to vote in the democratic primary in MA, my once concrete vote for Hillary is now up for grabs.

What to do, what to do....?

Update (2/5/08) - I voted for Hillary after all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Seasons Greatings

To you and your Kin. I finally got my replacement LCD TV, so I am very happy this Christmas, even with the clown crap and all. I forgot how awesome it was watching my crappy little 13 inch kitchen TV.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Watch Out Rockies!

OK, so the funniest thing just happened. The Red Sox beat the Indians to go to the World Series.

Why is this funny? Let me explain. In 2004, the Red Sox were 3 games down to their arch rivals the New York Yankees. They (the Red Sox) had just completed a sweep of the Angels before appearing before the Yankees. And somehow, miraculously, they won four straight and went on to win it all. In 2007, they swept the Angels again, and then went on to Cleveland (who defeated NY in a very riveting series - remember the bugs?). Cleveland made sure that the Red Sox would earn a World Series appearance though.

I remember watching Game 2, a bit drunken perhaps, and thinking 'we're gonna be in the World Series' (imagine that I am half naked and dancing to this in my living room - I can see Fenway Park from it after all). Then, disgrace. Once again, Sox are down to elimination and it appears in Game 5 of the 2007 ALCS that would be the case.

It is said that before Game 5. Trot Nixon (former Red Sox player and member of the 2004 championship team) talked to his Cleveland teammates and said they must stop the Sox that night and prevent a return to Boston. Because he knew what the Red Sox can do under pressure.

Sure enough, the Sox brought it home and Cleveland seemed to crumble under the pressure. In a series full of drama, the Red Sox forced a Game 6, then a very satisfying Gane 7. It was a nailbiter and it was fun to watch. Coco Crisp's final out was wonderful.




Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bird Vocabulary Update

This was bound to happen someday, but it still seems too weird. After 18 years of listening to David yell "Jack!" to get my attention, the Bird has finally figured out that he can do it too.

So now, the Bird yells "Jack!" whenever he wants my attention. The Bird is sort of like a dog with me. He waits for me to come home, and then when I do he immediately demands my attention. He likes the way I talk or sing quietly to the top of his head and if I do not give it to him right away, he starts calling me to get me to him.

Ugh (but it can be cute).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's not Sue-Sue

The Partner gave me a Tom-Tom GPS navigation system for Christmas. This is a great gift for me because it resolves my "always getting lost" problem and also tickles the geek in me.

When setting it up and selecting options, I decide I want it to have an Australian accent because that is the hottest accent on the planet.

The Tom-Tom came equipped with maps and satellite imagery for the "US and Canada", and "Guam". I had to think about this for a bit. I could understand if it came with "and Mexico", but Guam? To confirm my understanding that Guam is an island in the Pacific (and not reachable via ferry from Cape Cod), I consult with Google Earth (which rocks). I confirm my understanding of Guam and I decide to uninstall the maps for Guam, as I will rarely be driving there. I mean, even if I fly there, take the Tom-Tom and rent a car, it is a pretty small island. I also do not really see myself going there.

Anyway, enough of Guam. My Australian navigation assistant (Ken) has a real attitude. If I opt to go out of the predetermined path he selects, he gets all in my face - "what are you doing, mate - turn around! you're going the wrong way!" This was amusing the first few times. Now I am annoyed. I am wondering if the British accent voice is the same way (Todd). I expect such behavior of the American accent voice (Rich).

So far I have only used it to find an LL Bean outlet store near me and it worked perfectly. Other than that I have just been playing around with it and getting it mad at me or watching me on the map moving around Boston (it has a pretty cool 3D display).

Remember, it's not Sue-Sue, its Tom-Tom.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Remember Herbie the Dentist "Elf"?

I was watching "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" last night and had to make the following observations:
















Herbie the "Elf" makes a new friend (or does he...?)
  • Has anyone else noticed that the "elf" Herbie is the only "elf" that does not have pointy ears ? He is also the only one who has hair (very gay blond hair too). The other elves all have beady eyes, no hair and pointed ears. Kind of like Vulcans, and Celine Dion. The other interesting thing is his lack of interest in toy making, which we know is an elf's true calling. I am thinking that Herbie must be the bastard son of Santa, planted in the Elf community of Christmastown in order to hide him from Mrs. Claus. That is the most logical explanation.
  • Santa should be ashamed of himself, and not just because of his bastard son Herbie. After Rudolph's nose cover pops off and his deception is discovered during the Reindeer Games, Santa is horrified, and tells Rudolph's father (Donner, as in from "Donner and Blitzen") that he should be "ashamed of himself". I was shocked. I told Rick the Bird that the real Santa would never behave in such a manner.
  • By the way, Donner and Blitzen are my favorite reindeers. After all, their names mean "Thunder and Lightning" in German and that is, well, awesome.
Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Some good news!

David's cancer is in remission! We got the news today from the results of his latest CT scan. As David said, "I got what I wanted for Christmas this year". That means at least three months he does not have to deal with any chemo - excellent. Now we can really just enjoy the holidays without that hanging over our heads.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Funny work story

So if any of you actually read this blog, you know that I work in IT. I am also sure that most of you have heard some of the many "funny user computer support" stories, some fake, some real, that are floating around out there. So maybe you won't think this story is so funny - but I did (and it really happened to me).

I am walking down the hall when one of my co-workers jumps out of her cube (we have a massive cube farm) and calls out to me saying she is having a "terrible problem". Now this user is actually pretty computer savvy and is not prone to dramatics so I immediately assume there is a real problem. I also like this co-worker a lot, so I want to help her right away (I actually like all of my co-workers, for real, but this one is extra cool). She tells me her scanner is scanning everything into blank documents. Somewhat relieved (as this is hardly work stopping type problem, and I have other scanners I can set up), I run the scan and indeed, it gives a blank document.

As scanning documents is fairly important in her job, I decide to quickly remove the scanner and replace it. As I start, I open it up to remove her document to give back to her and discover there is no document in the scanner. I turned and asked her if she had removed the document already. She was totally red faced and said she must have never actually put it on the scanner "platen glass" (for some reason I love the term "platen glass"). Just in case, I take her document and try to scan it. Sure enough, it scans normally.

We both start laughing loudly and, as a result, cube farm "prairie dogging" ensues.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Why?

Why do large, chain supermarkets and department stores install sometimes up to 20 registers for checkout, but never have more than say 6 open at any time?

Just curious, that's all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Air America

I returned to Boston from DC today on the US Air shuttle. I got to the airport early and asked to get on an earlier shuttle flight. They were able to do it but mistakenly issued me a first class ticket. After a moment of hesitation, the ticket agent said, "it's my mistake, take it and enjoy the flight". So I was very excited that I would now be upgraded to "potato chips" from "pretzels" on this flight.

The flight was already boarding so I rushed to it and got to my seat. Lo and behold, who is sitting in the row in front of me? Sandra Day O'Connor! Yep - her, the Supreme Court Justice - my god. So I sit down behind her and can't believe it.

THEN who walks on? Kerry Healy! Soon to be former Lt. Governor of MA, recently defeated by Deval Patrick for the Governorship. Then they close the door, and start the whole airplane safety video when suddenly the video stops, and the door of the plane is re-opened to allow one more passenger. And who was that? Karl Rove! Yes, THAT Karl Rove! I still cannot believe it. He sat down diagonally in front of me across the aisle. I could not look away, right behind Kerry Healy. It might as well have been the republican convention. I was thinking, this Rove guy gets to fly on Air Force One - what is he doing on this US Air Shuttle?

Other than Kerry Healy, I have no idea what brought the others to Boston.

True Story.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back in DC - woohoo and Ugh at the same time

Traveling to DC again today. I arrive at Logan Airport at 2, I have tickets for the 4:45 shuttle, I am thinking that maybe I can get on earlier flight, they suggest the 3:45, I tentatively and timidly agree.... The entire scenario sounding eerily like this terrible experience!

But No! This time things are going my way. The plane arrives, it leaves, the plane is mostly empty, I am tempted by the shameless US Airways/Bank of America VISA promotion being made by the flight attendants, I get to DC earlier than expected and with a pretty nice view of the city coming into National Airport, I must say. Everything was finally going my way with this DC trip, except...

I did not consider the timing that well. My change of flights put me into DC and into DC traffic at 5:20 pm. Apparently, DC rivals Boston in its rush hour travel woes. In fact, it is so similar, I almost forgot I was on some Potomac River road rushing up to Bethesda, and thought I was on Storrow Drive along the Charles River. Alas, it took me an hour to drive what had taken me 15-20 minutes in the past.

Thankfully, the hotel had a fully stocked bar and friendly bartendress to welcome me and nurse my rush hour wounds. I do love this city. There is a Metro station right next door so I am going to run into downtown tomorrow when I get some time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Lion, the Witch and the "Wardrobe"

I was watching the Chronicles of Narnia again the other night (come on now, a geek like me never watches such a movie just once or twice, especially with a new high def TV). I had to wonder, "why a Wardrobe?". I mean, it could have been anything, right?

"The Lion, the Witch and the Broom Closet"
"The Lion, the Witch and the Pantry"
"The Lion, the Witch and the Hope Chest"

By why stop with furniture? The opportunities are endless....

"The Lion, the Witch and the Airport Bar"
"The Lion, the Witch and the Swingers Lounge"

Sometimes I just don't understand where they come up with specifics about titles. Of course, it is pretty specific - not quite so much as "Snakes on a Plane", but still...

To Dude, or not to Dude

Dude (noun), from the biblical Duderotomy - 1. A familiar person or friend. 2. An exclamation of excitement or surprise ("Dude!"). 3. An exclamation of disappointment ("Dude..."). 4. An exclamation of confusion ("Dude?").
Until recently, I have been somewhat intimidated by the word "Dude". I have never been entirely certain when it is appropriate to use it, while others toss it around so naturally. I always feared that I would sound like some geek trying to sound cool, like I was playing with the cool words.

Not anymore! I have been watching this season of "Amazing Race" and I have learned that "Dude" is a completely universal word. In fact, you can have entire conversations using only the word "Dude" and have it be understood by both parties, as is often the case with hotties Tyler and James. It apparently can mean anything, and its meaning is derived completely by the tone with which it is delivered. See the following soon to be used in real life example:
Fancy Waiter: Would you care for another glass of Boujoulais Magnifique 1987 with your Filet du Bouef Marienne, Monsieur?
Me: Dude!
Furthermore, I have learned that "Dude" is NOT gender specific. Despite my initial belief that it referred to males, apparently it does not. Rob on Amazing Race refers to his girlfriend Kimberly as "dude" all the time. See the following hopefully not soon to be real life example (again):
Lady at Airport Security: Sir, you forgot to remove your notebook computer from its carrying case - you will have to step aside and have it swabbed for biologicals.
Me: Dude....
See ya, Dude.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

I have been offline for a while, sorry about that. November has been a long and busy month. Thankfully, it ended with vacation and Thanksgiving - basically I just gave thanks for getting through the month.

A quick recap of some of the high points:

I had to head off to Washington, DC for a conference and it was something else. I had a nice time down there. The people of DC seem so much nicer than Boston. I had a great time there. I have to head back there this week for training. I hope the travel is better this time though, the last time the only shuttle flight that was canceled was mine (naturally). And I had to wait for six hours before another opened up. Ugh.

The democrats took back the house and the senate. Finally, some sanity in America. Of course, the Senate majority revolves around Joe Lieberman, who is really more of a republican, elected by republicans. Having the dems back in power will take some of the sting away during the next two years. How much more buffoonery can we take, anyway?

I had to move into a new, smaller cube at work in a new part of our office. Amazing how much difference 2 feet can make. At least I get more natural light there.

Work has been nutty. We are growing fast, and I have been working hard to be sure that the support systems have been in place to support it. I feel like all I do is work or think about work. Luckily I now have a staff in place to help with the growth. Otherwise I would have been given a nice bed in Shadybrook by now.

Yes, Shadybrook. If there are any other General Hospital viewers out there then you know Luke and Laura were reunited when a miracle drug revived Laura, briefly in November. Unfortunately, she returned to catatonia fairly quickly (no, it is not a former Soviet republic, it is a state of psychosis - I checked). I am a sap when it comes to Luke and Laura.

I bought a high def television, a 40 inch LCD Sony and promptly watched like 16 hours of Star Wars in high definition on Cinemax this month. Hot stuff guys. High def is truly hot. Now I understand what the "HD" channels in the high 800's on the cable channels are for!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Travel Woes

You know, I can't win sometimes. Even with the best intentions, it just won't go my way.

Today I have a ticket on the 4:45 US Air shuttle from Reagan National Airport to Boston. I left the conference early and arrived at the airport at 2. I have to check in at the ticket counter to get my boarding pass, and decide to see if I can get on an earlier flight. As I go there, I realize there is an extraordinarily long line at security.

I get to the agent at 2:15. She tells me that she can get me on the 2:45 shuttle. A fearful glance at security convinced me that I would not get to the gate in time. She said there was nothing earlier than my 4:45. Just before deciding that I would settle for my original time and just get a magazine, she shrieks, "Oh- an opening on the 3:45 just came up" and before I could say OK or anything, she changed my ticket to the 3:45. Well, that is something.

I head to the security line, which has somehow disappeared during the last ten minutes. I easily pass through (remembering to remove my notebook computer for once - I always seem to forget this stupid rule and force a "swabbing for biologicals", whatever that is). I get to the gate as they are finishing boarding the 2:45 shuttle. So it turns out I could have made that one after all. Oh well, it is only another hour, correct?

INCORRECT. As soon as they close the gate for the 2:45, they announce that the 3:45 has been canceled and all passengers need to make alternate arrangements. HA? I had been on the 4:45 and was quite content with that until Miss "I can get you on the 3:45" chimed in. So I rush up to the gate and swear to them that I was originally on the 4:45 anyway. Too bad, all filled up. Earliest flight available now to me was 7 forty frickin five.

All of this because I decided to try to get an earlier flight. The double annoyance is that if I took the originally offered earlier flight I would have gotten out 5 hours earlier. Even if I had touched nothing, and stuck with the original, I would have gotten out 3 hours earlier.

I wanted to punch someone, so I decided instead to find airport internet access and purchase unnecessary things over the internet. But alas, no public internet was available - and my battery was low, and everyone else on Earth was in there hogging the available electrical outlets. So, I was forced *gasp*, to buy a book and read it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Clever Commercial

I love it when commercials are amusing. This one is my current favorite. Look for all the detail.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Any DC Readers?

I am going to be spending some significant time in the Nation's Capitol over the next two months for work (conferences and training). I have been there many times in my life but not for several years.

Any recommendations for good restaurants (something nice to go to with co-workers/clients), as well as any night life spots to visit?

Just looking for some input.

"I only use it for medical purposes"

Yeah, right.

Pop culture is full of references for the use of feel good items for "medicinal purposes" From Granny's moonshine on the "Beverly Hillbillies" to Bones' Romulan Ale in "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan", questionable consumables are passed off as therapeutic. This is wonderful, of course.

I am very grateful for this excuse, it has come in quite handy. Personally, I use chocolate fudge brownies "for medicinal purposes". Oh, and French Fries too. Once I categorize something as "medicinal purposes", all bad attributes (like amount of total fat, calories, cholesterol, etc.) are nullified. After all, when you hear about something like aspirin, you only hear how it prevents heart attacks, not how it also prevents proper blood clotting in the event of extreme bleeding.

Chocolate has well known medicinal purposes - it raises your Seratonin levels, which boosts your metabolism and overall state of well being. French fries just taste so damned good.

I hate Grammar Check

You know, in Microsoft Word, the thing that corrects your grammar or at least points out how bad your grammar is? It seems that everything I type in Word or Outlook now is full of green squiggle lines. I would turn it off, but I do find it useful for locating unnecessary double spaces.

I can see why this might be useful for official memos and other documents, but in email? I do not really want to know about misplaced dangling participles and run-on sentences in my e-mails.

Sometimes I wonder if the green color is meant to convey "friendly constructive criticism" rather than a screaming "YOU'RE WRONG" (like the way red squiggle lines yell at you about misspelled words), but I doubt that the code writers at Microsoft were really thinking about how we feel.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thank you, G4

G4 is my current favorite cable channel. It provides me with daily doses of the best comedy every produced and treated like crap by viewers and its own network, "Arrested Development" as well as all the Star Trek (original and Next Generation), that I could ever wish for.

And now with the newly enhanced versions of the original Star Trek being shown each week, my DVR is busier than ever. And if you have not seen these enhanced episodes, give them a shot. They actually went in and redid the special effects shots using current state of the art CGI techniques, but toning it down enough to keep it in line with the original feel of the show. It is cool though.

So to G4, thanks for catering to a Geek like me.

Lieberman can't keep his own comments straight

Anyone who has read my politically oriented posts know how I feel about Joe Lieberman. But this video, posted at You Tube, really demonstrates why this man must be sent packing.

Unfortunately, it appears that the people of CT are preparing to send him back to Washington, even though he ignored the wishes of his party. He leads in the polls because CT republicans plan to vote for him over their own candidate. You know, that says something right there. With the direction this country is heading, it seems clear that anyone who supports the "stay the course" ineptitude of the failed Bush administration really needs to be sent home.

Check the video - you'll see what I mean.

How can any intelligent people still back the Bush republicans (and Joe Lieberman)? It boggles my mind.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hi Everyone

I have been so overwelmed at work that I have not been able to post any social commentaries. And what a shame - so much to comment on socially:
  • Project Runway
  • Congressional Misconduct with Pages
  • Bridezillas
  • The Massachusetts Gubernatorial Race
  • Etc.
I'll get back to it soon. FINALLY getting some very needed help at work and hoping that things calm down a bit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Project Runway

So I have been watching "Project Runway" on Bravo. My only question is, where have I been? Why have I not seen this show before?

I have always loved the tension on "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" (two shows I happily welcomed back this past week), but this show makes those two look like Sesame Street. I will have to get the DVDs.

Why is it ....

... that the character of the "lost son"/"bad boy"/ "rebel" always drives some vintage car or motorcycle?

I am watching the new CBS show "Jericho" - bizarre and mostly boring doomsday story. But a central character is one of these "lost son" characters, the apparent family bad boy who returns to town after five years to collect much needed money from his family.

When he arrives, he removes a completely unmolested car cover off of a perfectly preserved 1960's era vintage automobile. Why is it that bad boy lost sons always have such cars? Or motorcycles? Can't they for once, just have an Elantra or something? I'd have loved it if he had removed the tarp and it unveiled a new Beetle.

And are we really supposed to believe that this car sat in this city parking garage, covered with a tarp, completely untouched, for FIVE YEARS? And GAWD, he is flat broke.

Monday, September 04, 2006

This is funny

The Smoking Gun decided to highlight an amusing selection of letters to the NY Department of Motor Vehicles that either complain about custom license plates, or better yet, complain how custom license plate requests have been turned down.

This one is particularly amusing. Not only is this person "outraged" that their request for the custom license plate was denied, especially "during the war on terror", but the person also goes on to say to Governor Pataki that the governor as a republican represents the party that protects individual freedoms. Ha! I bet that person feels pretty stupid four years later, when being a republican is beginning to sound a lot like being a member of the Big Brother party.

It kind of illustrates the mind set of the ultra nationalistic American though, which post 9-11 is very scary indeed. Personally, I feel it is in our best interests to understand that the US does not, and should not, "kick butt". Instead, we should recognize where our strengths AND our weaknesses are, then work with other nations to complement one another. That will be the best way to stabilizing relations with more radical nations. I suppose I should now prepare for the Crapstorm I will get over this statement.

On a less serious note, the other letters to the DMV to complain about license plates are quite interesting as well. Why do people waste their time and energy getting so upset about such things?

Happy September

I have been off work the past week and although I did not go anywhere, I did do lots of things. I actually went to the Museum of Fine Arts for the first time since Junior High School, went to the Franklin Park Zoo and did other fabulous friend/family related things. I basically just enjoyed Boston, despite the weather.

I will write this week about the Museum and the Zoo, they were interesting and thought provoking. I actually live less than a mile from these things but have never been as an adult. Stupid me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Feels Like Fall

So it has been sort of cold this week, and wet. This is all my fault, because it is my vacation week.

Regardless of this, I am enjoying the time off. Exercising, going to museums, seeing movies and spending time with family - it has been nice. But because I have been thinking about fall, I was thinking about some fall trips. I am taking two - one to Washington DC for work and one to the White Mountains for foliage fun.

I have been to DC many, many times, but I have always stayed outside the city in Maryland - this time I will be staying right downtown at the Wyndham Resort, which is great. And even though I will be there for work, I will have plenty of free time to do some site-seeing. Most of my stays there only allow me a little time to see the city's many awesome landmarks. The question is, what do I see first?

It has been many years since I headed north to the Mountains. I am feeling a need to hike in the woods and see the "Flume" again. So one weekend in early October I will be driving up and just "walking the wilderness".

Jerk of the Week

Donald S. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense.

Rumsfeld recently had the gall to suggest that people who criticize the foreign policy of the current administration are undermining our efforts to "fight a new facism". He is simply ridiculous.

Our nation is based on the fact that we can (and, in fact must) question the decisions of our leaders. Our leaders do not have an blank check of rule and control. They do, in fact, work for US. We elect them, they are accountable to us and they cannot tell us whether to question their decisions.

Keith Olbermann on MSNBC had a great message to give to the confused Secretary. I say "confused" because Rumsfeld's comments suggests he has no understanding of the liberties our constitution protect. His commentary is worth seeing - Crooks and Liars has it here.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Technical Difficulties

Ugh. Recently I purchased a brand new notebook from a well known technology "super store". My current one, which I had had for two years, was beginning to show signs of impending doom - hard drive noises, sluggish performance. I have been doing IT support long enough to know that I was looking at problems (or so I thought). I figured I would be proactive and treat myself.

I bring the cool notebook home and install all my software and spend about a day getting it up to speed with the old notebook. Then, with the appropriate amount of pomp and circumstance, I retired the old machine.

In the two weeks since, several of the major software programs naturally released major upgrades, including my accounting software. And Monday night, I downloaded a bunch of new family photos from an event that was held this weekend.

Tuesday morning? "Cannot find Windows file HAL.DLL - please reinstall file or operating system. GOD DAMMIT. No warning at all. Just death, pure and simple. Brand new freaking machine with all the software updated. I do some quick trouble shooting (after all, I am an IT guy) and nothing. I pretty much figure that I am screwed (well, I have to deal with technical support, which is similar).

Now luckily, I am a big believer in backups and I had a fairly recent one. So I quickly dust off the recently retired computer, bring it back online and get all the anti-virus and security programs updated. But then I realize that I updated a lot of software, especially my accounting software, over the web. And now, I could not read my accounting data files. GOD DAMMIT.

Another call, to another technical support. After much back and forth with the technical support people to get them to understand what my problem was, I was finally pointed to a web site to download all the new software. So I get the old computer back up to speed and get running again.

Then what happens? My backup hard drive fails - an external one that I back up all my data to. Now fortunately this happens after I restored everything, but none the less, it was quite close to being a complete loss. Luckily I had an old one which still worked well, so I could back everything up again just in case I had another crash. Funny that the brand new computer and external hard drive fail immediately but the older computer and external drive work well. I wondered if it could have been a virus but do not believe so.

So after a lot of on hold time (Michael Bolton seems to get a lot of business with on hold music services), I am told by HP that a replacement hard drive will be sent for the new computer. Now you can imagine I do not have much faith. But once I get it, I will install it and go through the whole process of getting the new computer up and running.

I am supposed to be on vacation damit, why am I dealing with this BS?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Creepy

This is creepy - A Daily Kos poster attributes it to global warming and I do not doubt it. Scary stuff - can you even imagine stumbling across a VW size nest of Yellow Jackets?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N....

.... In the summer sun....

I start a full week of vacation Friday, my first in over a year (and boy do I need it). It will be pretty open ended, but I am going to take it easy, if anything of interest comes up, I will report it. But man, I am so excited just to do nothing!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quote of the week (for real this time)

"According to reports, Fidel Castro is alert and being briefed. And I'm thinking, why didn't we get a president like that?"

- David Letterman

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Memo to "That Guy At My Gym"

To improve the overall morale of all the members, please start wearing underwear effective immediately.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Your people will be assimilated as easily as Picard has been. Your attempts at a delay will not be successful, Number One. We will proceed to Earth. And if you attempt to intervene, we will destroy you".



Locutus of Borg, circa stardate 44002.3

Sorry - but it is on G4 right now as I type, and well, it's a classic.....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What is Joe Thinking?

Does Joe Lieberman actually think that people will see him as anything other than a really sore loser? In the best case scenario, he is a pretentious, arrogant ass, who sits on his own self constructed pedestal believing that he knows better than his constituents and therefore cannot let his primary defeat "stand".

Running as an independent, he asks the Democrats of his state to accept the fact that he does not trust their choices. He "reassures" them that he knows what is best and that they should quietly comply.

Joe, go home.

What a drag...

I have been dragging the past few days. Maybe I have caught a summer cold, maybe it is the onset of ragweed allergies coupled with exhaustion from ten straight long days at work (with lots of stressful project work), but I can hardly lift a finger.

I went to the gym after work tonight and just couldn't. Granted, I have worked the past ten days straight installing a massive new system that involved lots of stress and lots of late hours. The work went exactly as planned and no problems were encountered. The transition was pretty seamless, so maybe my body is just decompressing from the high levels of adrenaline it lived off of during the past week. But whatever, I just want to Rip Van Winkle and sleep for days.

I finally get some time off this weekend, and the weather appears to be cooperating. Maybe I will rejuvenate. I was thinking a full body massage and some other spa pampering would help.

Suggestions?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's a Small World After All

If, like me, you have been to either Disneyland (CA) or DisneyWorld (FL), and, like me, you have been through the "ride" It's a Small World After All, then, like me, you are traumatized by nightmares of thousands of Pinnochios, holding hands, dancing and signing that horrendous song.

I feel your pain.

I do not think anything has ever made me hate a song that much so quickly. Michael Bolton did come close, though, with "How Am I Going To Live Without You".

I have a suggestion on how to improve the "ride" It's a Small World After All - turn it into a shooting gallery. Not a graphic one or anything, the standard kind where you fire your air rifle and the target drops backwards. Very simplistic but would greatly improve the overall experience. You just go in and do what feels natural when experiencing that ride - blowing the crap out of everything in sight.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Provincetown, Madonna, the World Cup, 19 Innings, et al... Part Three

Continued from Part Two:

By the time I get home Saturday night, I am exhausted. David and I just crashed on the couch, I opened some wine, and we watched "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel. That show is like a car crash, it's gross but you cannot look away.

Sunday morning I get a nice long sleep in. Since I got to bed reasonably early the night before, I was able to sleep long, but still get up at a reasonable hour - this is a good thing.

My Madonna Sunday

I start this wonderful Sunday off (it was beautiful out), by going to the gym. I figure I need it after a day of debauchery in PTown and want to look my best for her highness, the Material Girl, right?

So, some morning gym and errands, gets me home just in time to find on TV, what else, the World Cup final game. Ugh. So, now after spending the day Saturday dealing with it, I decide - what the hell, let it play in the background while I do some house work. But unlike the Germany/Portugal game - this one was more interesting. I wonder what my Italian friends are doing - how are they spending this afternoon separated from home? Anyway, all my interest wanes quickly when I realize how endless overtime is in Soccer, and that in the end a bunch of penalty kicks can actually determine it all. Whatever. I did run out and get Chinese Food though, which was fun.

Oh, and before I forget, this day was the David and my 17th anniversary. I mention to the Bird (who was with David when I first met him) that it was my Bird anniversary as well. I have lived with David and Rick longer than with anyone else in my life, including members of my own family. That says alot. It still feels like yesterday that we met and went on that first date. To put it in perspective, on that day - July 9, 1989, we went to see Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in "Batman" (yes, the original one) when it was first out in the theatres. That was our first date. God we are old.

In the 17 years we have been together, one thing has always been constant - David is always late. I learned long ago to add 30 minutes to any amount of time we need to get ready to be anywhere.

As I am watching television and the news comes on it tells me two things. First, the predominantly Italian North End of Boston is going crazy due to the World Cup. Second, the Red Sox are still battling the White Sox in the 11th inning. Great. Due to this, I decide two things. First, we will take the subway to the concert and forego the car, and second, I do not want to watch the end of the Sox game.

Naturally we are running late - getting to the subway and then to the Garden right at 8. We run for some drinks and pray we are not too late. We are not. Everyone is loitering around outside and getting drinks. In the background, I see the Sox game is on the TV and I ask a guy - who won? (figuring it was long over by now). He responds with a sneer, "what do you mean who won? They are still playing". Ass. And wow - 19 innings - suddenly I am interested, but, well, Madonna and all. So off we went to find our seats. I would have to read the sad Papelboner story another time (by the way, I hear from a friend of mine he ran into Papelbon's parents while racing home from that very game - small world).

Before this, I had never been in the Banknorth Garden. This Garden is nothing like the old Garden. The old Garden had character and spirit - the new one is generic and bland. We had top row balcony seats, which are really, really way the hell up there. I felt like I was being guided by a Sherpa to get to them - we briefly stopped at base camp for oxygen and medical assistance then continued on.

I love Madonna, but did she have to make us wait 45 minutes? I mean, we all make a reasonable effort to show up on time and all. The concert was excellent. Probably the best stage show I have ever seen (including "The Lion King", which was fantastic.) There was this guy in front of us though, who kept screaming "Yeah!! Yeah!!" at the top of his lungs and pumping his fists in the air. I really wanted to punch his face in. I wondered whether or not he was tripping and thought he was at a Celtics game instead. I mean, he wasn't even singing or anything - just yelling "Yeah!!", like he was watching an orgy. Maybe seeing Her is his equivalent. His voice eventually gave way though, thankfully.

Afterwards we walked through the city and it was a beautiful night. Lots of pseudo-Italians roaming the streets screaming "Italy" at the top of their lungs and flying the Italian flag.

All in all, I must say, quite the weekend.