Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I'm home today, given that other people in the family have been laid low by some kind of bug or the other. Well, one other person, who made the mistake of checking with WebMD about her condition. The good doc suggested that her aches & other symptoms were signs she was suffering from Neoplastispoziphlebomitisosia. And to find a local practitioner and give him all our money.

So I stayed home to nurse her through her illness. And drive carpool for youngest in about ten minutes.

On a far more salubrious note, I have a Very Important Piece of Advice. Always. ALWAYS. Make friends with the secretaries/Admin assistants. They can make your life outstandingly wonderful, or they can make it a living hell. In my case the former comes true tonight. The CEO's assistant slipped me four seats to a local hockey contest, gratis. And the good seats, not the nosebleeds. (I did drop a hint about getting the skybox, but that is nearly impossible to pull off.)

So, despite the fact that it's an Islanders game, and that they're playing Chicago, I will be sitting front (though not center - the seats are to the right of one of the goals) at the game tonight. We'll have to see if Mrs. will join us - call it a gametime decision.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

T3 - OK Pal, where's the fire?

Late questions, and even later answers:

1. Have you ever been stopped by the police for a driving infraction?

Twice - once about two years ago, and once about two months ago.

2. What was the cause?

48 in a 20 (school zone) and the last one was for driving with my lights off. The latter was kinda freaky - I passed a couple of cop cars on my way home from hockey, and I watched my speed. A block or two later, I get the flashing blues in the rearview. So I signal right & pull over. Officer comes up, says "sir, did you know you're driving with no lights?" No, because I had had the Accord about a week, and the dash lights are on all the time. I didn't notice I hadn't turned the outside lights on. He looks in the back seat, sees the hockey sticks & says, "oh, you were playing hockey down at the rink? Well, please drive carefully. We got a call of shots fired, and when you see a car driving with no lights, it often means something's up." I turned the lights on & drove home very carefully.

3. How much was the ticket?

over $100. I just paid it without fighting it.

Optional: Have you ever taken a defensive driving course to mitigate punishment?

Yep - on that one ticket, which is my only one in 18 years of driving. I did take it once before for insurance reasons, where I sat next to a friend working off a ticket for doing 85. Which would be acceptable, except for one detail. He was driving an RV at the time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why oh Why

is a lawsuit people's answer for everything? I'm in favor of making websites accessible to all. I understand that making things accessible to blind people is not only nice, but a smart business move.

So what happened to normal advocacy? The story doesn't mention if the guy went to Target and asked them to address the problem. Why not approach the CEO's office and make your case? I've spoken to a number of CEO's offices when I have a problem. More often than not they are quick to respond when you can get them directly, which is easier to do than you think.

I understand the point of the law. I do think the legal profession has occasional benefits to American society. But could we possibly try and find a solution to things without a lawsuit? Just once in a while?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Spam can be fun

Very rarely, but it can be fun. Amidst all the offers to make my member grow to positively Brobdingnagian proportions and the various attractive young women looking for my attention, came this intriguing Subject line:

Salmon Disarming

Now, to be sure, they were promising in fact to make me rich. But the very idea of Oncorhynchus tschawytscha laying down their weapons in the name of global peace strikes me as tremendously funny, and worth getting the useless come-on for.

Add to that a google search leading me to the first page of this article:

Greek and Latin Terms for Salmon and Trout
Alfred C. Andrews
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 86, 1955 (1955), pp. 308-318

and spam is suddenly entertaining.


I noticed last night that my two year blogiversary passed last Thursday.

I don't think it means anything either, but I thought I'd mention it in passing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Things that make me Happy

(reg. required. www.bugmenot.com may help.)

I enjoy watching internecine bloodbaths, especially as senior party apparatchiks are part of the stabbing in the back. For those who can't get to the article, The Pravda of Record is under attack by other members of the Politburo. Ted Kennedy is lecturing Arthur Sulzberger because of the gutting of the Boston Globe. How nice is that to watch?

Newspapers are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Sure, the elites of both political stripes read them, but the average person is getting their news elsewhere. Too much can be confirmed or disproven by alternative sources. I don't think they're going away, exactly, but I don't know if they're capable of adapting. Not enough people will pay for stuff on the web to make this work for a lot of these companies, and especially not as people with opposing political views abandon the NY Times and other socialist rags.

The added irony of such a lefty institution being hoist by the petard of capitalism only increases my joy at the infighting.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spare me

the sanctimonious "we're just reporting the news" crapahoola, please. I refer to this blog entry from one David Doss, producer of Anderson Cooper's show on CNN. It's about their decision to air terrorist-supplied footage of themselves playing sniper and shooting our troops.

Mr. Doss writes "Whether or not you agree with us in this case, our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best we can." Your goal, sir, is nothing of the kind. Your goal is ratings. Your goal is to make money and keep your job. I suspect, given the proclivities of the average CNNer, your goal is to take down the Bush administration for being more fascist and jackbooted than anyone ever existing on the planet.

Look, sir, I'm an idiot, but not a fool. Don't waste my time with the idea that "you just want to give it to us straight. The public has a right to know." I've heard it all before. The more titillating the better, and half you jackals would show video of your grandmother being disemboweled if it meant higher ratings. Why not take an hour and go tape American soldiers building schools & roads? Because it doesn't sell, or it doesn't match the prewritten storyline.

As one Joseph Welch, Special Counsel to the Army in the McCarthy trials famously put it, "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Leaving aside

what I think of piercings and tattoos, more of signs to my mind that people who write news articles are spotting trends that don't really exist. I notice they didn't actually talk to anyone at major financial or corporate firms. Yes, the "quirky PR places" will be happy to have Lydia the Tatooed Lady on staff, but I doubt the boys at Goldman Sachs particularly want to see the yin yang on your left buttock you had tatooed to remind you of that bad place in your life that you rillllly don't want to forget but you've moved past now.

I like watching Miami Ink on TV. It's entertaining, the artwork is beautiful, and it kills an hour. I don't want a tatoo, and if I never see another vapid beach bunny on the show getting a koi fish it will be too soon. I don't really care if there's a lifestyle here - let it be reserved for the models and the painters and the bikers and whoever else.

I'm still convinced that the work environment is the work environment. If you have the kind of job where that sort of thing is unacceptable - you work with clients or investors, you're in a management role - you have to look the part. I don't care what you have on your bum as long as no one sees it at work. I'm simply anticipating the lawsuits by some be-holed, be-speckled employee who wants to know why he didn't make partner. They will be here soon, and they are ridiculous. Here's my free advice. If you want to be taken seriously at a serious job (and no, academia doesn't count), a large tattoo of a half-naked mermaid on the side of your head - no matter how artistically or personally inspiring - is probably not the way to go.

Friday, October 13, 2006

More Guessing!

Know what else I did? I yanked the living ^%$#@ out of a muscle in my sacrum. That would be the buttbone to the uninitiated. The pain is mostly in my hip, as I believe the offended bit of gristle connects hip to pelvis.

I was bending over to clean something off the floor, and with barely a move in the wrong direction I was in a world of pain. I literally had to crawl my way over to my bed and figure out a way to get in it. Which I did eventually, but it was not pleasant.

So no hockey, and not much movement last night. I managed to wedge a heating pad under my butt, and by about 9:30 I was feeling well enough (despite a craptastic finish to the Ranger game on TV) to head downstairs and get some dinner. I called in sick today, but I'm feeling much more human. Changing positions is the biggest problem. Once I'm there it's not awful.

And no, sadly, I did not injure myself in the company of Scarlett Johanssen.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quiz time!

What incredibly cool thing did I do this week?

Answer will follow later after I get to laugh at all the wacky guesses.

UPDATE: There were comparatively few wacky guesses, which makes me sad. I was hoping at least one person would suggest I went exploring the Polar Arctic with Scarlett Johannsen in a Bikini. (That would be the delectable Ms. J in the bikini, not me. I can't imagine why she'd consider going with me in the bikini.) Mind you, I'd rather actually go anywhere with her in a bikini than just have one of you suggest it, but still, a guy can dream about what his virtual friends will think of for him.

Regardless, I must now spill the beans on my great adventure. I went to ring the opening bell at the NY Stock Exchange earlier in the week. Our local archivists group was tapped quite late one afternoon to come down the next day to ling the berr. Fortunately I saw the email, and I was able to go. I didn't actually hit the button, but I was there on the podium and have the image to prove it.

It was extremely cool. The Board Room at NYSE is humongous - I think my house would fit in it. A good time was had by all, even if I had to do a lot of traveling to get there.

T3 Potpourri

Isn't it time we found a new word for that mixture of odds & ends? "Freedom Mishmash" or something. Regardless:

1) We know none of you are full of vainglory, but everyone has a little something they like to have around to show off as a status symbol. What thing (or things) do you have that you use to signify your high level of couth and culture?

Hmmm. The Honda Accord barely qualifies as a status symbol. Oddly, I always feel more official & important when wearing my work ID badge. It's meaningless, but it says I belong somewhere. Ah, yes, I have it. Cartoon ties.

I have often said "I have class. It's all low, but it's class."

2) What time do you go to bed at night?

Well, I always plan to be in bed by 10. It never happens. 11PM on a good day.

3) What year did you first experience the Internet?

Whoa, dude, what's with the personal questions? 1993 seems the right time. I got my first email account at NYU before there was an actual graphic web interface - I was vaguely able to search for things with Gopher and I have a vague memory of something called Lynx. All text, but you could look for stuff.

My AOL account followed soon after, and I used to hang around a Jewish singles chat room. Never met any women, but there were a few people with a sense of humor there and we used to trade one liners. I think it was a year or so later that I was asked to help build a website for my department, and I got HTML for Dummies, which led to my now vaunted & stellar career as a quasi-web guy.

Fun with Headlines

University instructor likens Bush to Hitler

In other breaking news, the Sun will rise in the East this morning, and the Sky is, in fact, blue.

Updates as events warrant.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Here's something

worth reading if you're interested in the difference between Jews & Christians. I certainly am, but I'd never thought about this particularly until someone at the Corner posted this today.

At its heart, the article argues that in Christianity all is forgiveable, and probably should be forgiven. Judaism, on the other hand, believes that there are things out there and people who commit them that are beyond forgiveness. To paraphrase him, Christianity argues "forgive them for they know not what they do," and Judaism argues "forgive them not, for they know full well what they do."

Anyway, read the whole thing.

I finally have time

for a T3. Thus, this week's everyone's-favorite-escaping-the-nazis-with-a-nun inspired set of questions:

1) What is your favorite color? (Yeah, I know it’s an easy one, but they get a LOT harder.)


Okay, now you can start humming the song.

2) Of all the items on the following list:

Raindrops on roses
Whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
Warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
Cream colored ponies
Crisp apple strudels
Sleigh bells
Schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring

Which item is your favorite, AND, which item is your LEAST favorite? (See, told you it gets a lot harder!)

You have to ask? Girls in White Dresses, all the way. Least favorite? Wild Geese, moon or no moon. The Canadian Geese around here are loud, brash, and leave far too much of their output around for my tastes. Shove off, eh? Hosers.

And finally,

3) What are three of your favorite memories from childhood?

1) Grampa Abe & the roller skates. To the best of my memory, I am the only grandchild to actually get Grampa to take me to Toys R Us and buy an actual present - two as I recall. A set of roller skates and a large scale model of a Rolls Royce (I forget the name of the Italian toy company that made them.) Grampa was good about gifts, but predictable - the same number of dollars as your age, and a birthday card with happy birthday in about 7 different languages, laid out as neat & straight as a pin. Maybe there's a blogpost in here about Grampa.

2) Ghosts & Goblins. A variant on cops & robbers, but I can still sense the late twilight, the smell of summer, and running up & down the block with the neighborhood kids.

3) The girl. The first crush, back in second grade. Lord, she was cute. I have no idea what I thought I wanted from her, but she was the ONE. I've completely lost track of her - last I knew she was living in Israel.

There you have it. I can only presume next week will be equally inspired - favorite Great Escape moments or something.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This is news?

Some dopey bunch of terrorist wannabes post a video and the AP thinks this is news? YouTube has thousands of videos - perhaps a press onslaught is in order to announce someone else has posted clips from old Dr. Who episodes?

Go out and get a real job, would you?

I got sent

this article yesterday by a superior. I'm not sure what to make of it, or if said superior thinks we're supposed to work that way too. While I can appreciate the unique approach Google has taken to business, I'm not sure chaos is a strong platform to build a successful enterprise on.

Nimble & inventive is fine, but it's a long way down off the highwire.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

America's evil plot

against Islam continues. If we cannot defeat them militarily, we'll increase their cholesterol. I can only imagine the screaming about torture coming from the great unhinged. And in the meantime, our own citizen soldiers are making do on MREs and food packages from home.

Remind me again which side is the captured terrorists and which are the free citizens of the greatest nation on earth?

And to answer

Jim's question, the season begins this coming Thursday, October 5th. The Rangers open at home against Alex Ovechkin and the assorted scrubs calling themselves the Washington Capitals. It's a pity, but typical, for a great player like Ovechkin to spend a lot of his early years surrounded by a terrible club - lousy team = high draft pick, after all. If there's some patience and shrewdness in Caps management, they'll build him something to work with before he gets fed up and demands a trade.

I expect Jim's Cup-champion 'Canes are in for the usual post-Cup hangover. They also lost some key character guys, so we'll see about their chances of a repeat. I'd expect them to be competitive and make the playoffs easily, but I don't think they'll pull it off again. I don't see the kind of strength to them that previous dynasties had - Detroit, the Devils, etc.

My beloved Rangers are probably in for a rougher road this season. They surprised a lot of people last year, and I think other teams will be geared up more for them this season. Everything hinges on Jagr and Henrik Lundqvist - as they go, so go the Rangers. If Jagr's shoulder is not up to snuff, their already worrisome Power Play is in deep trouble. My guess for them is a 5-6th place spot in the playoffs (i.e. 2nd in their division), and I expect a much better playoff performance from them this year.

Consider this my NHL Season Preview.

I am back

and much better fed & watered than yesterday. I would like to say Yom Kippur was filled with the awe & dignity it deserved, and largely it was. As always my concentration was not exactly where I wanted it, but as usual I did my best.

G'mar Chatima Tovah, all.