Saturday, January 03, 2004

Red Ferrari Laptop

This thing looks pretty hot. I love the fact that it makes a car sound when it starts up.

P - U

There's something stinky in my garbage can. Better go figure out what it is ... only thing worse is that mysterious stinky smell that hides in your fridge sometimes and you throw out 50 things and you STILL can't figure it where it's coming from.

Got A Rocket In Your Pocket

More West Side Story -- they wrote the book on COOL.

I swear the next creep who calls me hoodlum...

You'll laugh. Yeah, now you all better dig this and dit it good. No matter who or what is eatin' at you, man you show it and you are dead. You are cuttin' a hole in yourselves for them to stick in a red hot umbrella and open it. Wide. You wanna live in this lousy world? You play it cool.

I wanna get even!

Get cool!

I wanna bust!

Bust cool!

I wanna go!

Go cool!

Boy, boy, crazy boy
Get cool, boy
Got a rocket in your pocket
Keep cooly cool boy
Don't get hot
'Cause man you got
Some high times ahead
Take it slow
And Daddy-o
You can live it up and die in bed

Boy, boy, crazy boy
Stay loose, boy
Breeze it
Buzz it
Easy does it
Turn off the juice, boy
Go man, go
But not like a yo-yo school boy
Just play it cool, boy
Real cool

Boy, boy, crazy boy
Stay loose, boy
Breeze it
Buzz it
Easy does it
Turn off the juice, boy
Just play it cool, boy
Real cool

Toy Story

The retail numbers on toy sales for Christmas were not good. I bought a lot of toys -- NOT from "toy stores" -- but from big discount stores or online stores.

"He Killed Your Brother"

Tony loves Maria. He's white, she's Puerto Rican. Big trouble. Maria's brother Bernardo tells her not to go out with him. Long story short -- Tony ends up holding the knife as her brother lies there bleeding to death in the rumble. He tried to stop it. One of the gang guys comes to tell Maria (Natalie Wood) what happened and spits out "he killed your brother!" Not good. Not good at all.

Cut to the song, "There's A Place For Us." Yeah, there's a place for the two lovers, but it might be up the river at Sing Sing -- that's the problem.

West Side Story

Watching the DVD, loving it. I'm singing along. Hard to shut me up.

Won't Be Just Any Night

Flirty Thing

Keep meaning to point to this ... something's happening here. Keep doing whatever you're doing, CrystalFlame.

We Quit Drinking

Something for a Saturday Night. I'm blogging at a new blog "We Quit Drinking" at the invitation of Joi Ito, Japanese mega-blogger and VC. Here's the link, check it out. There's already a lot of interesting stuff on the blog.

For some background on this, here's a link that explains why I quit drinking a few weeks back in sympathy with Joi's decision to stop.

Time Sex Love

As a friend suggested, how can you go wrong with a new album from Mary Chapin Carpenter called Time Sex Love? We all need a lot of all three.

Slow Sleepy Morning

I'm spoiled, sleeping in and feeling sentimental. Lovely Saturday from what I can see.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Oh Yes, Another One

Thanks to a friend for reminding of this one -- Clapton's Wonderful Tonight

Itís late in the evening
Sheís wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make up
And brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me
Do I look alright
And I say yes, you look wonderful tonight

We go a party
And everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady
Thatís walking around with me
And then she asks me
Do you feel alright
And I say yes, I feel wonderful tonight

I feel wonderful
Because I see the love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just donít realize
How much I love you

Itís time to go home now
And Iíve got an aching head
So I give her the car keys
She helps me to bed
And then I tell her
As I turn out the light
I say my darling, you were wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight

Eric Clapton

In Case You Didn't Know

This has got to be one of the most romantic songs ever written. Girls love this. It's corny as shit, but it's has a certain way of looking at women that really scores you points, guys.

Music & Lyrics : Chris de Burgh

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your head that catch your eyes I have been blind
The lady in red is dancing with me cheek to cheek
There's nobody here, it's just you and me, It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I'll never for get, the way you look tonight

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled, It took my breath away
I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight

The way you look tonight
I never will forget, the way you look tonight
The lady in red
The lady in red
The lady in red
My lady in red (I love you.)

Thanks Doc

Earlier today I clicked on Doc's site and a picture of a watch that lets you shoot stuff -- called a catapult watch -- appeared. My son walked by my computer when I was in the other room and totally FLIPPED for this thing.

Thanks, Doc, now he wants one more cool Xmas present that I'd be more than happy he never knew about!!!

Just kidding -- this is really a way of telling you I love your blog and thanks for all your blogging this past year and you have a new fan -- my kid.

Things I Learned This Week

I have a new friend who's been an air traffic controller and is a pilot and I learned a ton about how you they communicate with planes close to the airport, between airports, on landing, etc. from him this week. When I flew down to Atlanta recently, I listened to the audio channel that United features with the pilots talking to air traffic people and I wanted to know more about it. Of course, there's tons of information on the net about it and I could have decided to look it up, but it wasn't interesting to me until I met someone who knew about it and could tell it to me in a personal way.

To rely on personal contact to spur your learning or curiosity seems a haphazard way to increase your knowledge, but it happens all the time in our lives once we are out of school. These days however, blogs are doing just that -- making a wide range of subjects interesting, engaging, accessible and fascinating simply by the fact that you sense an intimate connection and a personal voice at the other end of the information.

Everywhere But Here

I've been blogging a bunch, but not here today. Over here and over here. Snowing today in Boston -- that fantasy that we could avoid winter melted today -- or froze, I don't know which. I can't believe we had a late fall bike ride yesterday.

We're cuddled in here watching The Iron Giant, a favorite.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Scoble on Ole

Thanks to Scoble for reminding me about Ole's great blog. I'm FINALLY blogrolling it, sorry to be so slow man!

Diet Time?

Oh, no, don't fall for all these helpful diets, powders and potions, torture racks and weird exercise equipment. Just try this secret formula -- move your body more, eat less food -- it works.

Sir School Dad

One of the dad's in my kid's school has been knighted. Weird, eh? I don't know him personally, but all the parents say nice things about him. He doesn't do his kids' science projects or anything, from what I hear, which would put us all to shame. I hate parents like that.

Abundant Sunshine

I ask my kid to read the weather on The Weather Channel to improve his newly developed reading skills. He's got most of the "partly cloudy" and "snow and sleet" and "scattered showers" lingo down for Boston.

This morning we had a prediction he hadn't seen lately in winter -- "abundant sunshine" -- which got us out the door early on our bikes,a bit after 9:45am. To enjoy a long bike ride in Boston on January 1st is nearly unheard of. A snowshoe expedition -- yes. A cross-country ski tour -- sure. But a nice, dry road, bracingly cool but sunny bike ride! Wow! We had a great trip.

The temperature was around 45 but has started to fall and should reach the high 20's tonight.

Luck of the Draw?

Why are young reservists the likliest soldiers to die in Iraq? I put them in my prayers and their mothers too.

Happy Brand New Year

Open the door.

"Hey, look ... 2004!"

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Dean Battle of The Bloggers

The official Dean bloggers are having a fundraising war tonight in Dean HQ in Burlington, VT. I know a bunch of them and it's so funny to read their bat sites and check out their different styles of subtle and not so subtle persuasion.

Kiss Her

Oh Lord, do I have to write a whole new chapter for you Alpha Males for New Year's Eve?!?! I'm sure you can figure it out yourselves tonight. I mean New Year's Eve is all about getting women in sexy little black dresses and high heels drunk, wobbly and kissable. And a lot of us are practicing the kissy part without the benefit of alcohol this year -- uncork that sparkling cider!

I can't resist one hint -- by 10:30 you better have touched her shoulder, arm, wrist or hand at least once -- that will get you ready for the midnight lip and lipstick attack. And don't be on the other side of the room for god's sakes right before the clock strikes 12!

Year Of The Blog

I see someone agrees with what I wrote below. Yes, 2003 was the year of the blog tipping point I think.


Call me crazy, or call me right on, but I'm calling 2003 "Year of the Blog" for sure.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Why's Everyone So Mad At Dean?

This story is interesting. Perhaps soon they'll realize a Democratic Party that continues to play "politics-as-usual" is OVER. Perhaps after Dean wins Iowa and New Hampshire and just about every other primary, the other Dems will realize we don't want to elect a politician, we want to elect a LEADER. We've had more than enough of politicians and their nasty habits.

RSVP Big Time

I'm getting so many last minute "Can I Come To Your Party?" requests. It's so cool, because people can find me on the Dean website and quickly drop an email. The answer to "Do you still have enough room for me?" was YES this morning, but now it's getting a little crowded all of a sudden. If you plan to attend, please let me know.

Political Horoscope?

On my Dean House Party day I have the following horoscope, weirdly enough. Be sure to email me for directions if you're coming tonight -- my place is not easy to find.

In general, dear Aquarius, you tend to be critical of the way the government and politicians handle social issues and institutions. Your goal is not just to be critical, however, you would like to see some positive changes in these areas. The aura of understanding and comprehension in the air today helps you to realize that if you want the world to evolve, you're going to have to get people to react.

Getting Ready For My Political Party

Cleaning house, ugh. My Dean House party is tonight. Not easy getting the house in shape with an 8-year-old busy UNdoing anything I manage to do. Ah, the good old days when you could put them in their prison -- I mean -- crib, and actually get something done.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Swiss Dinner

Eggs and bacon for dinner. The perfect comfort food. We call it Swiss Dinner for some reason I can't remember. A family term based on nothing or something I used to know. I love breakfast for dinner.

This Is Not A Drill

The sound of my son's videogame comes drifting from livingroom into kitchen. He's a fighter pilot, the air traffic tower says loudly, "This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill" the music driving and solemn. "Mobius 1, Fox 2." "I've got them in my sights."

The bacon is cooking, making sppsspsppsps noises. The scrambled eggs are ready to go into the pan, not yet though. "Scramble at once." they tell the jets.

The Secret

And when will the real secret get out? I think the men involved in the Dean Campaign don't want others to know. They're being selfish. But the secret's sure to slip. All you have to do is go to a Meet-up or a Dean House Party or any basic Dean event. You'll get it. You'll see us. The best-looking women in the country are Dean supporters -- smart, pretty, funny, young and not-so-young. We're talking the babe party here. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dean Comedy Central

I still can't figure out why this story says it's from the AP -- it's obviously a joke. Was it written by the Onion? Maybe someone like Jon Stewart wrote it -- right? Comparing what Dean did in Vermont with what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Halliburton are doing in Iraq?!

I have to say the most fun thing about the Dean Campaign is watching the complete meltdown of traditional bought-and-paid-for zombie political journalists. Where will they work when this is done? McDonalds? Wendy's? Bickford's?

Witnessing these jaded journalists falling on their faces as they continue to report idiotic stories like this, is just insanely entertaining. They can not stop reporting this like a sporting event featuring the Delaware Donkeys and the Beltway Elephants. May I say, for people who are supposed to "get the story" they are clueless? Only more entertaining is watching, the Beltway Boys -- both politics-as-usual Dems and Repubs -- who continue to think this is a political campaign when it's a complete overhaul of democracy.

Pin-Up Girls

Here's a page with all the classic pin-up girl artists. They might remind you how sexy women can look with their clothes ON! Seems like we've forgotten thanks to the Net. I think it may be a new trend -- with movies like this -- a romantic sexy story where they leave their clothes on.

Here's one on the phone. And one at work. And here's a girl freshening up. And here's one having fun in Florida. These girls know how to have fun, I must say. Nice life.

2004 Right Around The Corner

Do you know these guys -- Graphique De France -- they make nice calendars. Have you got your 2004 calendar hanging up in the kitchen? Check out this one and I like this too and I'd love to spend some time in paradise here.

Calendar Girl

Did you put up your new 2004 calendar yet? I put mine up. She's my favorite.

Shoes For New Year's Eve

Start with these and believe me, your dress will hardly matter. These shoes assure you won't be able to walk and must cling to someone's arm most of the night. With any luck, your partner will help you take them off as the evening draws to a close. They are completely unwearable he'll explain to you sensibly, then pour champagne in them. I've never gotten the logic here of drinking from someone's sweaty shoe, but this may be a region way beyong logic.

And About Your Car Alarm

Read this. You've got time.

8:51 And Enough Fun For One Morning

Well, I don't live in Boston for nothing. I guess I'm a bit of a Puritan. I'm beginning to feel guilty. It's getting close to 9:00am and I better get to work here. I have a few things I really need to do and really don't want to do.

As I taught my son -- put those on the top of the list under the heading DO THE WORST FIRST. Then if your day goes to hell, or a DVD of Pride & Prejudicce mysteriously ends up in the player and you find yourself watching 4 hours of it, at least you got the important and hateful things done first.

Good Ways To Waste Time At Work

When I taught 1st Grade, the kids had a perfect time wasting manoeuvre -- actually two -- that they employed on a regular basis and I used to smile secretly at all the effort they put into both activities.

One of course was the classic PENCIL. SHARPENING ACTIVITY. This meant you could get up and go over to the other side of the room and lollygag around in the line for sharpening pencils. What I loved to watch was the pre-activity to pencil sharpening, which, I'm sure you're familiar with, is the industrious pencil point breaking. They would go to great lengths to break the points off their pencils and then look as it it they had no hand it in, rather it was a sorrowful fate that had befallen them and must be reconciled immediately.

The second of course was BATHROOM VISITING with a partner. This was way more fun because it meant you got to take a friend to go cruise the hall for what seemed to me like hours some days. It's a teacher's deal with the devil, as the ones who abuse this privilege are most often the ones you are praying would leave your classroom anyway. It would be against the health codes to keep them from accessing the facilities, right?

So finally to the important subject of wasting time at work. I'm not going to do very well on this subject unfortunately. I don't work in offices much anymore. I've worked on contract and a project basis so long, my tendancy is to never waste time at work . If I'm working, I work and finish what I'm doing as quickly as possible and get out of there. I have stuff at home and a son to keep me busy for real in my life. Everything changed once I had a kid. I want to work at work and get home to play.

Let me think back. Oh yeah, elaborate rituals around the making, procuring, sharing, rating and drinking coffee figured into advanced work shirking if I remember my pre-mom days. And on those days when I was pretty much useless anyway, a great deal of office straightening up and cleaning was a good way to make it from the deadly Christmas week through the equally dead New Years week on into the new year with a terrifically clean office. Actually it was probably NOT a waste of time, but a fairly good idea come to think of it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a great supporter of wasting time at work. I'd just rather be home wasting time at work ... if that makes any sense.

Belligerent Blogging

Yes, I'll tell you the truth. I'm doing all this blogging just to keep you from getting anything done whatsoever if you are at work this morning. It's true.

It's called Belligernt Blogging. Belligerent, from the Latin, belllum, for "war" -- bellicose, belligerent, ante-bellum (before the war) and Blogging from the Latin "bloggeratum" meaning in the state of wearing flannel morning garments, blogging -- to write words in your pjs to waste other people's time.

When You Least Expect It

Strangely joyful things can happen to you in this life when you least expect it. Things that defy reason. Things that defy logic. And these things seem to happen to the most reasonable, logical people, setting them in a direction they would never had anticipated. I guess it's good to remember to take one joyful day at a time, and just as you were surprised to have something unexpectedly wonderful happen to you, you should also let go of any expectations of the future. The older I get the more I realize this is a great front row seat to a much better play than I might ever dream up. Sit back and enjoy it.

Party Plan

Need to guestimate my party attendance and then figure out what to do about liquor, beer, wine. Two very confusing issues. Number 1: This the the first party I've ever thrown where I was absolutely sure I would not be drinking any alcohol; Number 2: It's a political fundraiser, not just a regular party.

Better think about that ...alcohol ... fundraising ... hmmm ... better check on the Dean website for FAQ's about houseparties and ideas on that. They have great resources on their site. Really a knockout. I'm sure they will clue me in.

What's The Big To Do?

Well, my kid's back from his Christmas trip with his dad to California and that means something not unlike a visit from a thousand hungry locusts. Better get some food in this house or I'll be in big trouble. This kid can eat and eat and eat.

Start the TO DO list. Top of the list -- FOOD -- top of the food list -- Gogurt. Also to do ... ugh, I'm not ready to think of that. Thank god house is relatively clean.

Monday Monday Monday

This will be a good one. I know it. I can feel it. Now that first coffee. Mmm, that first tea. How about an English Muffin, yes. Wake up sleepyhead. Did that crazy thing of getting up around 3:00AM, did some writing, did some email, slipped back into bed, fell asleep like a log, and boy oh boy oh boy is it hard to wake up now.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Religious Freedom And Religious Fervor

Noticed this interesting post by Jonathan Delacour on religion, after writing my "How To Pray" post below. He covers a lot of ground and it's good reading on a Sunday afternoon.

When I was 14 or 15 I incurred my fatherís disapproval by suggesting at the dinner table that one religion was as good as another, that the only important issue was whether or not one behaved honorably. A few years later I might have added that, since the religions of the book appear to exacerbate and alleviate human suffering in roughly equal proportions, the best idea might be to have no religions at all. But since that is unrealistic, the Japanese solutionóof believing in multiple gods and allowing Buddhism and Shinto to peacefully coexistóis a fine alternative, particularly since it also subtly underscores the arbitrary nature of religious belief.

Robert Scoble, probably the best known blogger resident at Microsoft, for those who don't know him, takes Rob, a young man who wants to put religion back into the schools, to task about his views on religion and the need to force ones God on everyone else. Very interesting post as well.
19-year-old Rob advocates putting religion back into schools, and other public displays.

He says it's war on Christmas and Christians.

There are few ideas more repugnant in today's society than this one.

First, there is a geek angle to this. The reason I'm sitting in the midst of the most powerful conglomeration of geeks anywhere in the world is because of this issue. It is no accident that my wife's family moved halfway around the world to here. They are geeks. Their country was run by religious leaders like Rob who thought that religious and political systems should be one and the same.

An Alpha Male Must-Read

Thanks to Bacchus for this link and Sarah for this interesting view of the world of men and women.

Catch A Lift

If you're holding back from coming to my party because I'm not exactly on the T line, I'm asking some folks to give rides to carless people (you guys are geniuses not to own cars BTW) from the end of the Red Line T at AleWife. Just ask.

Party Getting Started

Even I'm getting excited about my Dean House Party on Tuesday. All these great bloggers I love will be there and a lot of folks I don't know at all. I honestly HATE giving parties and really hate all the fussing and cleaning up required before the party. The problem with parties for me is trying to be hard-working hostess which I find in direct conflict with fun-loving party goer. I'm afraid I don't want to be the first, only want to be the later. That said, it occurred to me yesterday and it burst on me like good sunny weather, a big smile rising on my face, "Hey, all these lovely people I like so much and never get to see enough will be here!" and that suddenly won me over to the whole party concept.

Carol Our Christmas

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
Water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
Sing a nativity summer can reach!

Shepherds and musterers move over hillsides.
Finding not angels but sheep to be shorn;
Wise ones make journeys whatever the season.
Searching for signs of the truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
Made in the moment a woman gives birth;
Hope is the Jesus gift, love is he offering,
Everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth.

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Church Rocks

I forgot today was CHRISTMAS CAROL SINGING SUNDAY. Instead of the usual service, we have some standard service to start then the middle is "Name That Christmas Hymn" -- that is you can call out your favorite Christmas carol and the whole congregation gets into a sing-along. I love to sing and it was great to do everything from classic New Englandy carols to old Englandy carols to carols in Latin and carols in a variety of languages, even an interesting Down Under carol about having Christmas during summer in New Zealand and Australia wihich I didn't know at all and I'll try to find the lyrics and post them.

How To Pray

I was talking to a friend the other day about praying and he said "You know, I don't believe in God" as if this would disqualify him from praying, but I said, "No big deal, you can still pray." I suppose a lot of conservative believers would not agree with me. But I think praying is a verb which can take many forms.

There is a fixed protocol for many types of prayer -- like this one for praying with a string of rosary beads in the Catholic religion. Notice what you do with your hands and how you speak the words is key here.

There are ways of prayer in religions like this, where how you position your body relative to the floor and even relative to the geography of the earth have great importance.

There are times to pray when even non-believers and those who rarely pray reach out for a way to understand suffering in this world. It's hard to imagine there can be a good side to suffering, but as this site mentions, perhaps to be reminded that you live in a world where others can comfort you and you can let them do that is very joyful. In events of terrible suffering like war, terrorist attacks, fatal diseases, car crashes, murder and all natural disasters, I always feel more sad when people take the opportunity to rail against a seemingly unjust God, instead of appreciating the way their fellow men and women rise to the occasion to comfort others in so many creative, loving ways.

When I talk about praying, I am talking about getting into a quiet, meditative state in order to hear the inner wisdom of God's intention and your own quiet heart and belief. With the overabundance of noise in a city, the conversation of people around you or the constant flow of data in your life, whether it be via email, chat, instant messaging, cell phone, tv, radio, videogames, finding a quiet place and a quiet moment is no small feat.

Just keeping in the practice of interrupting all this flow of noise and information, so you can control it and it does not control you, seems to me to be a worthwhile pursuit. Something like a spiritual work-out session at the mental gym.

What do you hear when you stop the flow?

You finally hear that most sweet of sounds -- silence.

You hear nothing if you are lucky. You might hear rain hitting the roof, or that swirl of tree leaves stroking the walls of your house.

You will hear your heart -- both your heart beating and your heart's longings.

You will hear your heart's good sense and wisdom -- an important data feed completely personalized for you and you alone.

You may hear the words of friends and relatives no longer with us, whatever that means. You'll notice when you pray, how they are most decidedly "with us" but you haven't quieted down enough lately to hear them.

Really, I don't know what you'll hear, but I do know you should try to listen now and then.