Friday, December 29, 2006

Brother Jim

has proposed a T3-mini edition, to be run on Friday instead. So we're all screwed up, but it's a short week anyway, so play if you want to:

What is the best/worst thing about the first day back after a holiday?

Well, as I have said earlier in the week, if it's a week between holidays, the best part for me is no traffic and lots of parking. I've even risked taking the highway to & from work this week, which I would never do under normal circumstances. If there's no traffic, it's always faster. It's just that normally, there's never no traffic.

If it's a one-off holiday, I sometimes find the worst part being confused. I'm not sure what day it is (I think it's Monday since I just had a day off, but it's really Tuesday), and I have no memory of what I was doing when I was last in the office. I can usually live with the confusion, but it makes it even harder to get the week started than normal.

Neat Little Tool

If you're a Firefox user, as I am, this little number is kinda cool:

Favicon Picker

You have probably noticed by now that the cool kids' sites (like Jordana's) have these little icons that appear in your bookmark list if you've bookmarked the site. I don't have one myself, but I noticed recently that several sites I have bookmarked had them, but the wrong one. Terry's site had a Yahoo icon, and our company intranet had a google icon for some reason.

The Favicon Picker extension allows you do edit, change, and delete favicons from your bookmark list. All it does is add the favicon property to the properties of your bookmark, and gives you the option to get rid of the icon. So I'm sorry, Terry, but you're not really Yahoo anyway, so I removed the icon.

Incidentally, if you'd like to make your own favicon, this site looks promising, though I haven't tried it. You basically need to be able to save a graphic image at the right size as a *.ico file, but most graphic programs won't do it. There's some shareware out there that will do it too, but I think the site I listed will do it free and give you the code you need to make it work on your web page/blog/whatever.

Skinnyblog - your site for even less useful stuff than Possumblog

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why is it

that I finally have time to blog, and nobody is around? The internet is as quiet as the office these days, and there's almost as much parking available.

I have nobody around to amuse but myself, and thus I will post this one article about global warming. Or the environment. Or something.

Researchers: Baking impacts Puget Sound

The only answer, of course, is to stop having food so the fish don't have to smell the cinnamon.

Four Years ago

today, my second child made her entrance into the world in a big ^&%^$ hurry. I may have told the story before, but we very nearly had her in the month-old car on the way to the hospital. Needless to say, she's been in a big rush every day since.

Regardless, she is a joy, a delight, and has absolutely the best giggle on the planet.

Happy birthday, kiddo.

Hey everybody!

Welcome to the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three! Everyone's favorite internet...


It's just not the same.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chanukah Wrap-up

Get it? Wrap? Oh, I crack me up.

Chanukah was very nice. The Sunday of Chanukah was insanely busy. In this order: We had a bris (circumcision ceremony) to go to in the morning; Youngest had a birthday party to go to; oldest went to a Chanukah party at one of the local synagogues; we went out to Mrs. Skinny's relations in Westchester for a Chanukah party; back home for a Chanukah party locally. And we skipped my brother's Chanukah party in Brooklyn. All in all a busy day. Naturally, oldest got sick as a dog that night (I blame the latkes and donuts she ate all day), but at least she had off of school the next day. Youngest was kind enough to wait to get sick until Monday night.

Both were thus home with Mrs. on Tuesday, while I was off gallivanting at another all day meeting. They did risk the mall so oldest could get her ears pierced as her birthday present, which I consider a fairly significant milestone. They are both awash in presents for both Chanukah and their birthdays, so I don't think they're suffering much overall. I received one gift (other than the cash my folks handed around in lieu of presents they couldn't come up with. Mrs. bought me Cars, which I had been meaning to see and never got to. I love animation (certain types, anyway) and the Pixar stuff has always worked for me.

My idea for the wife's present has yet to come to fruition. She's been complaining for a while that the FM transmitter for her Ipod doesn't really work that well in her car, and she gets a lot of static. I checked in at a few places nearby & they claim I can't get it to play through her car stereo, but according to Crutchfield, this setup will work (warning - sound file plays automatically.) Problem is, there's a new version out and I can't figure out if it will work on the Honda. Nobody at the stupid company will get back to me, so I can't get an answer yet. If they ever let me know, there may be a little in-dash work for me in the future.

Otherwise things are quiet. Kids had school yesterday and I was off, so I got a little quality time with the Mrs. Most of which was spent cleaning the house for my MIL, who arrived yesterday for a week's stay. I spent gobs of money at the store yesterday (and I think Christians all over New York are grateful for all the Jews - there are always a few places likely to be open even on Christmas day) for a kiddush we're sponsoring at our usual synagogue this upcoming weekend. I believe the usual translation is "collation", which is a polite way of saying we're offering a ton of food for people to gorge on after services. I'm not sure why, but this is the first we're sponsoring in the nearly 5 years we've been there. I should be embarrassed by it, but it is what it is. This is in honor of the kids birthdays, which conveniently enough are three days apart.

We're making up for the delay by providing hot food, which usually makes people happy. There's a caterer who will be bringing that in with a warming oven, and I just have to bring in associated drinks, cookies, candy, etc. Kiddush is a funny thing, at least in most places I've been. People stuff themselves full of the same food they have sitting on the stove at home for lunch. If I know a hot kiddush is coming, I don't even make lunch at home. We eat at shul and just go home for salad and/or dessert.

Anyway, I'll think of you all over the cholent this weekend.


I live for the days between Christmas & New Year's - workwise, anyway. There's next to no traffic, and nobody's actually here. It's much easier to blog when nobody is calling, or emailing, or interrupting.

It's been several weeks of aggravation around here thanks to a large intranet project, so I'm happy to have a week or so to goof off a bit. I actually had a long post about the project in the hopper that I think I will not post. It was written at the height of frustration, and on the off chance somebody reads this thing who knows me, I don't really want to blow off steam quite that publicly. There's something to be said for self-censorship. In these days of instant communication, many people don't know when to hold off hitting that "send" or "post" button. I pride myself on thinking these things through carefully before committing things to electrons, and in the case of that post I think it best not to vent quite so obviously.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Creaky old T3

For many, many reasons the last 10 days have been quite hideous. T3 represents quite a departure from that, which should give you some idea of how ornery I'm feeling.

1) What sorts of things will you be doing this year to bring the year to a close? Any special traditions or such that signal the end of the old? Parties, football games, airing of grievances, Twister?

Based on the last two weeks, beating my head against a wall. Certainly I've been doing that metaphorically, now it's just a question if I do it literally or not. New Year's eve of the secular sort has never meant much for me as a rule, so I don't expect to do much. the 31st is oldest child's birthday, so there may be associated cake type things.

2) What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

I had been hoping for some financial reward from the employer, but that seems to have hit red tape of the unpleasant kind. A month ago I might have said the implementation and conclusion of a large project at work, but since I have doubts that we'll get started, much less finished in 2007. Do I sound cranky at all?

3) And since we missed talking about such things at the end of last month, what things that came your way in 2006 were you most thankful for?

Certainly the new car was cheer-inducing, and as always the continued good health & well being of my family is always something I'm grateful for.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Whatever You're Celebrating! T3

As I sit here at home, able to breathe only intermittently, what better way to celebrate a sick day than answering the Thursday Three?

1. Best/worst Christmas/holiday party you have attended?

Nothing is really standing out except the first one I went to (six years ago) at my current job. Invited to the boss' house in Greenwich, CT (very chi chi, trust me), we're driving up from our then home in the Bronx in the midst of a miserable rain on sneaky back roads with no lights. We get to one road we had been told to use (through a country club, naturally) and the road is under about 5 feet of water. Mrs. is nine months pregnant, we nearly hit a deer, and we're struggling in the dark to find a way around to where this guy lives.

All this to spend two hours with people I barely knew.

2. Best/worst religious Christmas/holiday activity.

I love the religious part of Chanukah Light the candles, sing Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages to the unlearned, and all six stanzas thank you very much) acknowledge God's assistance in allowing our ancestors to defeat the pagans and cleanse the Temple. I've grown to dislike intensely the commercialization. Don't get me wrong, I love watching my kids get gifts and their joy, but we've had to get them to calm down and wait while we take care of the critical part of the holiday. There are too many people in the Jewish world who treat Chanukah like the Jewish Christmas, and I can't say I love that.

Oh, and I absolutely LOATHE Christmas music.

3. Best/worst gift--given or received?

I'm sure there is, but nothing specific is coming to mind right now. Although the huge boxes of Godiva Chocolates we used to get at my last job were fabulous.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Umm, what have you been doing up to now?

A question I would like to ask Mr. Annan, who thinks his erstwhile employer needs to address Darfur.

You've been in charge of the joint for almost a decade. Darfur has been a humanitarian disaster since 2003. Why on earth have you decided now that something must be done? I grant you there's little the guy could've done to corral the misbegotten horror show of an organization that he oversees, but what's with the loud pronunciations of moral righteousness when the door is about to hit you on the posterior? What happened to the buck stopping there? Oh, that's right, the bucks did stop there in the acclaimed Oil-for-Kofi's-Retirement Fund.

This joker said in his speech

"I urge you to lose no time in sending a team of independent and universally respected experts to investigate the latest escalation of abuses," Annan said in a recorded video address opening the meeting.
Because everyone knows machete-wielding militias are in terror over universally respected experts. Yes, and the soon-to-be-delivered UN resolution is likely to stop the pillage.

The organization is a joke. Its efforts are meaningless. And this particular "leader" is the same as all the rest of them. Venal, self-righteous, and full of platitudes. I'd say good riddance, but I doubt it matters. I suspect the next cowardly time-server will be just as bad.

Airport security at work

Smith Can't take Heisman on the Plane

Because, after all, you never know when a terrorist might disguise a bomb as the trophy given to the best college football player of the year.

Weird things

It occurs to me that I may be the only person on the planet who loves mushroom barley soup but really doesn't like mushrooms. I spent more time than is reasonable picking the mushrooms out of my lunch today. I would ask if that's normal, but I think it's quite clear that it isn't.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Hammer has Come Down

As well it should have. I blogged some months back (here and here) about a Rabbi at the school I went to who was accused of child molestation over a period of 20+ years.

Well, he's been arrested.
(Warning - video file).

Apparently there is now a charge not only from 20 years ago, but a recent case in 2002-2003. The nonsense will now commence - denials, he doesn't work here anymore, we never knew, etc., etc., etc.

Everything I said back in May remains my position. We are now faced with the public Chillul Hashem (desecration of the name) caused by our community's failure to take care of this properly before. You will see some reporter standing in the pitch black AM in front of the yeshiva I called home for 10 years. I have not been proud of it for some time, but I am now ashamed to be associated with it. An institution of Torah represents Torah above all else, and this school and its management have not been true to the Torah.

The word of God remains sacrosanct, however we delude ourselves into thinking we are not beholden to it. Dance around this all you want, boys, but you dropped the ball on this one big time. Pray for mercy from God, as you and all of us will need it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I rouse myself from several crises involving a Board of Trustee meeting this evening and a number of electron-related failures. Plus a few actual human screwups. Making this week's Potpourri a perfectly tuned timewaster critical thought processing exercise.

1) Have you ever been removed from a public conveyance for breaking rules regarding passenger behavior, such as Miss Windybritches on the DC-Dallas flight?

Not that anyone told me.

2) What is the latest movie you've seen (theater, broadcast, or video) and how did you like it?

High Fidelity with John Cusack. Not bad on the whole, but somehow missing something.

3) What is your favorite soft drink?

As a general rule I avoid them, but when I do indulge (responsibly, of course) I would trade most liquids for a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda (scroll to the bottom). Nectar of various pantheistic deities, at least when a Corned Beef sandwich is involved. Please note that half-sour pickles are an invention and tool of the devil.

And since these are all so pitiful, we'll even throw in an extra question that you can use as a substitute or as a bonus question--

4) Who do you consider to be the worst United States President in your lifetime?

I will join the herd and vote for Jimmuh Cracked Brain. Treasonous, poisonous, ignorant, biased in the extreme, and unable to keep his mouth shut. Hands down winner, despite my deep distaste for WJ Clinton.