May 31, 2005

The Book Meme

B2 at Toner Mishap plugged me. Not to be snarky, but I think that I did this once. OTOH, I can't find it so I am going to do it. Maybe I didn't and just think that I did, sometimes my memory fools me. Anyway I love books so this should be relatively easy.

1. Total number of books I've owned.

Oh lord, that is tough because I have always had a ton of books. Inside my home I have seven book cases that are filled to the brim and another six or seven boxes of books in my garage. Call it 2500.

2. Last book I bought.
I purchased The Runes of the Earth (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 1)
I wrote about here.

3. Last book I read.
The Bourne Legacy By Eric Van Lustbader

4. Five books that mean a lot to me.
This list is too short and I feel like a deer in the headlights because I am having a hell of a time coming up with names. I am sure there are better choices for me, but I am just stuck.
1. The Torah
2. The entire LOTR series
3. Lord Foul's Bane
4. Huckleberry Finn
5. The Martian Chronicles- Ray Bradbury

'Deep Throat' Revealed

The Washington Post has confirmed that W. Mark Felt is/was the source known as 'Deep Throat.'

Do Men Have Emotions?

One of the recurring themes of people who stumble onto my blog is a simple search entitled: "do men have emotions?"

The blog entry that they find is my post called Love That Takes Your Breath Away. It is number five on the page, not that it matters.

What I find so interesting about this is just how many women seem to really wonder if men have emotions. It is a common storyline in sitcoms, dramas, soap operas and the stories that my female friends used to tell me about dating. I'd hear things like:

"I don't understand how he can be so cold and cavalier about this."

"How can he say that he loves me when he doesn't show me?"

"Why can't he communicate with me. Why can't he tell me what he is feeling?"

The last comment always grabbed me because it sounded like they had an answer to the initial question of whether men have emotions. The simple answer is yes, we do and we always have. As to the communication gap that is a different story.

I am not going to give the pat answer of saying that men are socialized to keep our emotions to ourself because that is only partially true. I think that one of the key elements is feeling comfortable sharing those thoughts and feelings.

No one wants to be exposed without feeling supported and if the guy you are seeing doesn't feel that support can you blame him for keeping his thoughts to himself. And that doesn't suggest that one side or the other is to blame for this.

Another thing that I have noticed through time and years of conversations with both sexes is this desire to be understood is not always accompanied with the understanding that mind reading is not universal. If you do not share your thoughts than how can you expect your partner to understand you.

I really do not know where this post is going so I am going to try and wrap it up. Men feel. We hurt, we love, we cherish, we share, we laugh, we cry in both joy and sadness. We are human too.

A Story Using Song Lyrics

I have decided to write a story using the song lyrics from the music listed in the post below. It is an evolving story so I may adapt and adjust it numerous times. And I should add that I will pull from different sections of the song and may use the same piece several times.

It is the story of a boy and a girl.

Here is the start. More to come.

"There are places I'll remember,
all my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better,
some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments,
with lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
in my life I've loved them all."
In My Life- The Beatles

When I was seventeen
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls
And soft summer nights
We’d hide from the lights
On the village green
When I was seventeen

It Was A Very Good Year- Frank Sinatra

Billy left his home with a dollar in his pocket and a head full of dreams.
He said somehow, some way, it’s gotta get better than this.
Patti packed her bags, left a note for her momma, she was just seventeen,
There were tears in her eyes when she kissed her little sister goodbye.

They held each other tight as they drove on through the night they were so exited.
We got just one shot of life, let’s take it while we’re still not afraid.
Because life is so brief and time is a thief when you’re undecided.
And like a fistful of sand, it can slip right through your hands.

Young hearts be free tonight. time is on your side,
Don’t let them put you down, don’t let ’em push you around,
Don’t let ’em ever change your point of view.

Young Turks- Rod Stewart
I've fallen in love
I've fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it's for real
I've fallen in love yeah
God knows God knows I've fallen in love

I Want To Break Free- Queen

Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)- Green Day

Look at us we're beautiful,
All the people push and pull but,
Let's just go out and ride,
Talk about the things we've tried
Look at us we're beautiful,
All the people push and pull but,
They'll never get inside,
We got too much to hide

Beautiful- Moby

Babe, baby, baby, I'm Gonna Leave You.
I said baby, you know I'm gonna leave you.
I'll leave you when the summertime,
Leave you when the summer comes a-rollin'
Leave you when the summer comes along.

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You- Led Zeppelin

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don't understand what happened to our love

Boys of Summer- Don Henley

Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

Boys of Summer- Don Henley

Won't you please talk to me
If you'd just talk to me
Unblock this misery
If you'd only talk to me
Don't you ever change your mind
Now your future's so defined
And you act so deaf so blind
Come on, come talk to me
Come talk to me, come talk to me

Come Talk To Me- Peter Gabriel

'Deep Throat' Reportedly Comes Forward

I am old enough to be very interested in learning if this is true or not.

NEW YORK - A former FBI official says he was the source called "Deep Throat" who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, Vanity Fair reported Tuesday.

W. Mark Felt, 91, who was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s, kept the secret even from his family until 2002, when he confided to a friend that he had been Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's source, the magazine said.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told lawyer John D. O'Connor, the author of the Vanity Fair article, the magazine said in a press release.

Felt was initially adamant about remaining silent on the subject, thinking disclosures about his past somehow dishonorable.

"I don't think (being Deep Throat) was anything to be proud of," Felt indicated to his son, Mark Jr., at one point, according to the article. "You (should) not leak information to anyone."

Felt is a retiree living in Santa Rosa, Calif., with his daughter, Joan, the magazine said. He could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

The Washington Post had no immediate comment.

Felt is one of a number of people who have been named over the years as the source whose disclosures helped bring down the Nixon presidency. Others include Assistant Attorney General Henry Peterson, deputy White House counsel Fred Fielding, and even ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer, who then worked in the White House press office.

In 1999, Felt denied he was the man.

"I would have done better," Felt told The Hartford Courant. "I would have been more effective. Deep Throat didn't exactly bring the White House crashing down, did he?"


If I am not mistaken I thought that Woodward and Bernstein said that they would reveal his/her identity upon their death.

Everywhere I go There They Are

I can't remember if I mentioned this in a prior post, but I have noticed something odd. I find myself bumping into the same bloggers all around the blogosphere.

In some respects that sounds like a no-brainer. People have common interests, they look at my blogroll and find new blogs to read, I look at theirs and find new blogs to read and we all end up moving in a circle.

But what throws me is that I encounter people in places that I would never expect to see them. I stumble onto blogs from the various corners of cyberspace and suddenly there they are.

It is a little spooky.

Bush Calls Human Rights Report 'Absurd'

I have some strong opinions on this topic and not enough time to review all of them.

WASHINGTON -President Bush called a human rights report "absurd" for criticizing the United States' detention of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and said Tuesday the allegations were made by "people who hate America."

Ok, I can live with absurd but the line about people who hate America just rubs me the wrong way. To me it elicits the worst images and generates a bad impression and I am someone who has always supported the war.

There are better ways to address this topic than to make comments that are so simplistic in nature.

1000 Bars in A Year

This guy is looking for Norm, Sam, Woody and Cliff.

May 29, 2005

Bump And Grind

It was a busier day than I intended it to be. My daughter is sick or teething or sick,or sick of teething. It really doesn't matter, all I know is that I got about 3.5 hours of sleep last night and somehow I am still awake now. I am tired, but lost in thought.

Jack is a dreamer and tonight is a night in which I have turned off the more serious part of my brain and am just listening to music and getting lost in memory and fantasy.

I was going to put up an elaborate post about my thoughts but I don't have it in me, so instead allow me to share a list of music that helps to illustrate what I am thinking. These are some of my favorite songs. The list is incomplete, but it is a good start.

At a later point in time I may weave a tale using the lyrics of these songs to tell the story.

Knockin' on Heaven's Door- Bob Dylan
Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan
Whiskey Lullaby- Brad Paisley
Save a Horse Ride A Cowboy- Big & Rich
In My Life- The Beatles
Golden Slumbers- The Beatles
Forever Young- Rod Stewart
Young Turks- Rod Stewart
Boulevard of Broken Dreams- Green Day
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)- Green Day
My Way- Frank Sinatra
It Was A Very Good Year- Frank Sinatra
What's Going On- Marvin Gaye
I Want To Break Free- Queen
Float On- Modest Mouse
Beautiful- Moby
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You- Led Zeppelin
Nobody's fault but Mine- Led Zeppelin
Mr. Brightside- The Killers
Visions of Paradise- Mick Jagger
Suspicious Minds- Elvis
Burning Love- Elvis
Boys of Summer- Don Henley
Born to Run- Springsteen
Tunnel of Love- Springsteen
Come Talk To Me- Peter Gabriel
Cry- Faith Hill
The Fire Inside- Bob Seger
A Song for You - Ray Charles
Crazy Love- Ray Charles & Van Morrison
If You Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot
Love Ain't for Keepin- The Who

Ring of Fire- Johnny Cash
Hard To Handle- Otis Redding
Where The Streets Have No Name-U2
Walk On-U2
Uninvited-Alanis Morrisette

He Makes Me Laugh

I have been meaning to mention The Monkey for a while now. The man has some very funny material and is usually good for a laugh or two. Here are a couple that made me smile.

"Profound Monkey Thought of the Day (PMTD): Have you ever jumped out of bed and fell on your ass because your leg or foot was "asleep" and turned to jelly when you stood up? I can BET this "falling asleep" of limbs does NOT happen in the animal kingdom - I'll bet they have evolved out of that "glitch". Imagine Mr. Eagle wakes up from his nest 300 feet up in a tree or cliff and he jumps out of his nest and finds his wing is asleep and he crashes to his death!? I don't think so. Or Mr. Gazelle is laying around sleeping when the warning is given that a lion is fast bearing down on him and his buddies - up they jump and "Holy shit!!! My back right leg is asleep fellers - wait up on me I can't run! Help me! Help me! HELP MEEEEEEE!" I doubt it."
&
"If you were on a hot Mississippi prison chain gang, I don't think the "road boss" would like it too much if you went up and told him your hands were getting dry and chapped and does he have any Avon Soft & Sensual Replenishing non-greasy hand cream in his truck?"

Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, The News Is What?

If you read this blog with any consistency than you know that I often begin by saying that I should be asleep and it is true, I should be asleep. I am not 25 anymore and the morning is going to hurt, or more likely 39.5 pounds of 4 year-old boy jumping on me is going to be harder than it used to be.

One of the greatest blessings of my life is having had so many grandparents for so many years. Unlike so many of my friends my grandparents have been there to witness the biggest events in my life. But nothing goes on forever and I find myself staring off into space, lost in memory.

Two of the three remaining grandparents are in failing health. They are both over 90 and old age is catching up with them. The end of the race is in the future, but the exact finish line is not quite in view.

The doctors tell us that they are doing all they can to continue to ensure a solid quality of life and that they cannot tell us when they will pass on but that we should expect it. I find it infuriating to hear stuff like this. I recognize that they are not clarivoyant and that given the circumstances they cannot say when or give any sort of guarantee and I am not sure that I would want it.

I am happy with their medical care. I don't think that their providers are incompetent or stupid, but it is hard to hear these things and frustrating to know that there is very little that I can do to help.

I don't have the education, background or training to keep up with them. I can research and ask questions and I have. I can point, poke, prod and cajole them to my heart's delight but it doesn't matter. And it makes me sad.

I started lifting weights more seriously again. I can feel the strength returning to my body. I am starting to venture back into the heavier weights. On the dumbbell press I can pound out three sets of 7 with a weight of 80 pounds in both arms. I can curl just under a 100 pounds and on the lat pull I can pull just short of 200 pounds.

It is not quite where I was, but it is getting there and I feel so freaking strong. I really do. I feel like I can pick up car and throw it. But all this strength is useless, meaningless and insignificant. I can't share it with them, I can't give my grandmother a new heart, I can't give my grandfather legs. I can't fix them. They have done so much for me and I can't give back the way I want to and it just hurts.

So I have tried to be nothing but positive, to focus on the time that we have and not hold my breath. It is pointless to wallow and I will not. I'll use this blog to voice my frustrations and concerns. I'll scream in cyberspace and then go to my garage to work it out on the heavy bag.

And as we all prepare for the moment when my grandparents transition to wherever they go, to the moment when they go from being real people to memories of real people I have a plan.

We have started to film them, asked them to tell their stories on camera so that my children and the generations to come can look back and know a little something about who their relatives were.

Don't get me wrong, I am not mourning the living, just trying to accept the news. It is what it is and I'll be fine. Death is a part of life and overall I am very happy because they are still here. But it is hard to be told to prepare yourself.

Should I be freaked out that Knockin on Heaven's Door just began playing on my iTunes.

May 28, 2005

First Saddam In His Underwear and now this

***Updated- There was a cool picture here that is no longer showing up, so instead of wrestling with the computer you can look at this.

Special thanks to Arms and Influence for this.

May 27, 2005

Qadhafi: There is No Global Terrorism, Just Islamic Terrorism

If nothing else Qadhafi is a character. I spent some time perusing Memri TV and came across this video of Qadhafi and thought that I would share it with you. For those of you using dial-up or are unable to access the video here is a link to the transcript and some highlights. Here are his opening remarks.

The following are excerpts from a speech by Libyan Leader, Mu'ammar Qadhafi, at the Arab League conference. Al-Arabia TV (UAE) aired this speech on March 23, 2005.

"The issue that worries us is that the entire world talks about terrorism, morning, noon, and night. We are not dumb, we can talk.

What is terrorism? Has any American blown up an airplane? No. Has any American strapped on an explosives belt and gone to Cairo, Tripoli, or Algiers, to blow something up? Such a thing never happened. Has any Indian gone to China to blow something up? No. Has any Russian done such things? No. Has any Italian, any Frenchman...? No.

So who carries out terrorism? Who are the ones who blow up things – which is called terrorism? Terrorism is clearly limited. It takes place in Palestine, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.

Therefore, terrorism is Islamic. Why do we say only "terrorism"? We should say "Islamic terrorism" because beyond these two areas there is no such thing as terrorism."

Qadhafi then provides some background:

"The IRA, which Libya has supported with weapons - this matter has been settled by negotiations between Britain and us in Cairo... Libya supported the IRA with weapons for Ireland's independence. Of course it is a terrorist organization, but it never had a bad reputation and international claims were never leveled against it. Ireland has been fighting for 300 years, but we've never heard of global terrorism there.

The Red Brigades in Italy killed people, and even kidnapped and killed the Italian prime minister, whose body hasn't been found to this day. No one claimed this was terrorism.

As for the Basques, fighting for the independence of the Basque region between France and Spain - although ETA, which is affiliated to them, is considered a terrorist organization, there has never been talk of [global] terrorism there.

These movements have been operating for decades. So where were the calls against terrorism, and the campaign against terrorism? They didn't exist. Therefore, when we talk about "war against terror," this means war on Islamic terrorism. We must be clear about this.

As for what terrorism is, what its causes are – this is another matter. But the current war and the campaign against terrorism - There is no global terrorism, there is Islamic terrorism."

I cannot help but wonder where the MSM was in reporting about this speech.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say that the Palestinians… Where is Brother Abu Mazen? Ah, I see you, don't be angry – but the Palestinians and the Israelis are stupid. Why? I'll convince you, and explain to you why they are stupid.

First of all, the Israelis paid no attention to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 20 years, and showed no interest in them. They declared statehood and called it Israel in 1948, and put aside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since they considered [these areas] dispensable and unimportant, why are they fighting for them now? This is stupidity. Dozens of Jews are killed by Palestinian fedayeen even in Tel Aviv, because of their presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. If the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were so important, why did you abandon them in 1948? You abandoned them. They were unimportant."

I disagree with him regarding his thoughts about the West Bank and Gaza, as will many people, but for now we'll set that aside.
"As for the Palestinians – they are stupid because these territories were theirs. They were in their hands for 20 years. Why didn't they establish a state there? Why are they dying now by the dozens in order to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip? The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were yours. The West Bank was Jordan's, and Gaza belonged to Egypt since 1948. Why didn't you establish a Palestinian state then? Where was this problem until 1967? This leads to a moral, fundamental, and legal problem. It is impossible to recognize either. Both parties are guilty of stupidity."
So what do we make of this. What do we do with this public acknowledgement of the elephant in the room. Not to mention what does old Mo plan on doing, if anything to help stabilize the region other than make speeches.

Lots of food for thought here.

Protesting The Desecration of the Koran

Am I the only one that is troubled by stories about Anti-American Protests in the Middle East in which we read of thousands of people rioting and dying because of the desecration of a holy book, especially when we really do not know if it happened once or many times.

I find it troubling that people are up in arms about this yet we do not see the same rallies over suicide bombers, honor killings or the lack of real democracy in many of these countries.

"In Washington on Thursday, investigators confirmed five cases in which military personnel mishandled the Qurans of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. But they said they found no "credible evidence" that a holy book was flushed in a toilet.

Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hood, the Guantanamo Bay prison commander who led the investigation, said five of 15 alleged incidents were substantiated. Four were by guards and one was by an interrogator."


A handful of incidents and look at the chaos it created.

The Agony of Construction

Hi Folks,

For those few people who were not fortunate enough to take a vacation and have subjected themselves to reading this it is clear that this little corner of cyberspace has been mutilated, bent, twisted, hammered, kicked, slammed and mistreated.

I am not completely satisfied with the look in both IE and Firefox, but I think for now that I have probably finished the major reconstruction. It is time to resume life and return to working on something other than this.

There will be some changes here and there and if I can convince someone with more knowledge and expertise in HTML there may be some bigger changes, but for now this is what we will be working with.

Thanks for your time,

Jack

May 26, 2005

More On The Construction

Well I don't want to admit to how long I have been tweaking, tinkering, hammering and smacking this blog around. It has been hours and while I feel like I have made some progress I am not satisfied with it.

When I was younger I was darn close to fluent in Hebrew. I used it on a regular basis and was very comfortable reading/writing/speaking. At some point in my 20s I stopped using it with the same consistency and like any foreign language I watched my proficiency shrink.

Within the last year or two I have had occasion to use it more frequently and have tried to make an effort to force myself to do so. I can feel the progress, yet I know that I am missing a ton of things. Simple conversations require much more effort and I get the feeling that there are times when I have really sounded foolish because I used the wrong word.

The real point of this story is that as I have been stumbling through a crash course in HTML and CSS I feel like I almost understand the conversation. I feel like I am just about the point where I can really engage and then suddenly I find out that I was wrong.

It is like the guy that goes to the kiosk in Jerusalem when it is 98 outside, desperate for an ice cream he asks for some gevinah (cheese) when he meant to say gleedah (ice cream). He is able to communicate, but he doesn't quite manage to get his point across.

And that is where I am at, almost getting the code to function the way I want but not quite. I am done for tonight. But I'll rejoin the battle tomorrow am.

We are Under Construction

I am trying to fix this so that it looks good in every browser. It is a work in progress, especially since I am teaching myself.

Peace In Israel- Not With this Kind of Talk

Not unlike many people I have watched my political beliefs evolve over time. When it comes to Israel I have swung from the right to the left to the center and then a little closer to the right again.

In the early '90s I favored Oslo and thought that it just might be the dawn of a new era, but I was wrong. I still believe that peace is possible but under different terms than I thought then. Right now I am less optimistic given the language that is being used in PA broadcasts and in other places within the region.

Here is a link to the transcript of a speech given bySheik Ibrahim Mudeiris. It was aired on PA TV on May 13. Alternatively you can watch the video with subtitles here.

A couple of selections for your review:

"Ibrahim Mudeiris: Allah has tormented us with "the people most hostile to the believers" – the Jews. "Thou shalt find that the people most hostile to the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists." Allah warned His beloved Prophet Muhammad about the Jews, who had killed their prophets, forged their Torah, and sowed corruption throughout their history.

With the establishment of the state of Israel, the entire Islamic nation was lost, because Israel is a cancer spreading through the body of the Islamic nation, and because the Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers.

You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations."

This is not rhetoric or language that is used by or about people you wish to make peace with.

"We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world – except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."

I take this very seriously. There are many other clips in which have been translated from Arabic to English. If you are interested you can find them here. We must find a way to stop this kind of talk. If it is allowed to continue it only feeds the hatred. Until we can devise a way to see/discuss the humanity in others we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Unfortunately I expect that to reach that point is going to take much more bloodshed in conjunction with diplomacy.

Rickey Henderson is Still Playing Baseball

In his younger years I was never a big fan of Rickey Henderson. I always respected his athletic ability, but he just rubbed me the wrong way. But in recent years that has changed because in an era in which so many athletes fail to show a love for the game he still has it. Or so it seems to me.

Not to mention that I love reading about a man who is ten years older than me and still playing with the youngsters.

ESPN is running a great column today about how old Rickey is. Here are a couple of highlights:
"Henderson is so old, he once played a major league game the same day as Lou Brock and Jesus Alou, as well as Bud Harrelson and Vic Davalillo. Not to mention Mark Fidrych, David Clyde and Catfish Hunter.

Henderson is so old, one of his former teammates (Tommy John) and one of Babe Ruth's teammates (Lefty Gomez) shared a teammate (Early Wynn)."

Yes, that was Babe Ruth's teammate he spoke of. Kind of like six degrees of separation here.

"Henderson is older than Isiah Thomas and Mark Aguirre.

He is older than Clark Kellogg and Ralph Sampson.

He is older than Danny Ainge.

He is older than Sleepy Floyd.

He is older than Kurtis Blow, for heaven's sake.

Rickey Henderson is older than Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe. He is older than Tracy Austin.

He is older than Nadia Comaneci.

He is older than M.C. Hammer, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Sheena Easton.

He is older than Tatum O'Neil.

He is older than Nastassja Kinski."

And in case you are wondering Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Shameful Treatment of Nannys

A large percentage of the families at my son's school have two parents who work. It comes as no surprise to anyone as it is common knowledge that supporting a family can be financially challenging and sometimes these financial concerns lead to a need for daycare for the children.

One of the more popular forms of daycare is to try and hire a nanny. If you are really lucky you just might find Mary Poppins.

Since I am lucky enough to work in a building next to my son's school I am a frequent visitor and I see just how many families have managed to hire a nanny. In my perfect world one parent would be able to stay at home with the children and the nanny would not be necessary.

Lately I have been appalled at the behavior of some of these parents in regard to the nannys that take care of their children. Their treatment of them has been shameful. I have heard the parents denigrate their nannies, belittle them and speak so poorly of them that I am amazed that they would allow them to care for their children.

I recently caused a few waves because I couldn't tolerate the stupidity and blather coming from two different parents and took time to suggest that they work on fixing their cranial rectum problems.

If you are going to hire someone to take care of your children you should hire a professional and by the same token treat them as a professional. I have no tolerance for listening to the whining about how they could do more and be more helpful.

If they do not do what you want then you should fire them. Get them out, get rid of them, not sit there crying about how bad their performance is or suggest that there is a reason why they are what they are. Racist talk couched in platitudes is still racist talk and you should be embarrassed that you are doing it just as I am at witnessing it.

But I grant you fair warning. When I hear this crap come out of your mouth I am going to point it out. Unless you change your attitude life is going to be unpleasant around me .They deserve courtesy and respect.

Fortunately the people who I am excoriating seem to be a minority, but I am not the only one who hears this and should not be the only one who speaks out against it.

It Is Time To Wander Again

I just finished watching the season finale of Lost. I thought that it was outstanding. I have a real appreciation for a fine story accompanied by acting. It left me a little revved up so I am taking a moment to sit down again and cry out to the faceless masses of cyberspace.

So I thought that I would share a few of the things that I have been thinking about. As I was cruising through the archives I came across a few stories that caught my eye. This USAToday article about the Iranian Hostage crisis really grabbed me.

"On a Sunday morning 25 years ago, U.S. diplomats in Tehran looked out the window to see hundreds of young Iranians, fired by a love of Islam and a hatred of America, spilling over the walls and through the gate of the embassy compound.

The Americans did not know it, but they were staring at the future — a militant Muslim fundamentalism that would one day replace communism as the greatest threat to their nation.

That was Nov. 4, 1979, the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis, and a date on a timeline that would stretch to Sept. 11, 2001, and beyond.

Fifty-two Americans were held captive for 444 days. Although none was seriously hurt, many were beaten, blindfolded, isolated and lined up for mock firing squads. Never had so many representatives of so powerful a nation been abused so flagrantly.

To better understand the impact of the crisis on the hostages and the nation, reporters from USA TODAY and Gannett newspapers around the nation interviewed more than half of the surviving hostages. Although they don't agree on everything, most have reached these conclusions:

The Iran crisis taught Americans little about Muslim extremists. “We don't understand how they think,” says Dave Roeder, 65, who was an embassy Air Force attaché. Several hostages recall that when they came home, people were more curious about what they ate than what the crisis said about the use of Islam to compel terror.

“The very people today that are standing up and saying, ‘We've got to do something about this terrorism,' are people that did not listen to those of us that had actually been out there fighting terrorists for the past 30 years,” says Alan Golacinski, 54, the embassy security chief.

•The crisis taught the extremists that terrorism works. When the crisis ended with the captors unrepentant and unpunished, “we were teaching the Middle East what could be gained through an act of terrorism,” says Rick Kupke, 57, who was an embassy communications staffer. The lesson was simple, says John Limbert, 61, an embassy political officer who later became ambassador to Mauritania: “You can break the rules and get away with it.”

As a result, many hostages say they expected a disaster like 9/11. Bill Daughtery, a CIA agent in the embassy and now a college political science professor, describes his reaction to the 2001 attacks this way: “ ‘What took them so long?' ”

For many former hostages, Sept. 11 was particularly difficult. “It made me physically sick,” says Paul Lewis, 47, a former embassy Marine guard. “I thought, ‘They finally found a way to get here.' ”
I read this and wonder what have we learned if anything and how are we applying it to the world around us. I think that it is fair to ask what we have to done to create problems but again will not stop stressing that wars of ideology are not always rooted in someone having done something wrong.

In simple terms, sometimes it doesn't matter what you believe when it is not in line with the ideology of another.

In different news I am still kind of smiling/chuckling over the discussion we had regarding Star Wars and the LOTR. Of course Haloscan shows '0' comments when we know that there were far more than that.

A house full of sick children is an excellent way to sow chaos. Somewhere I hear someone yelling unleash the dogs of war or maybe that is the sound of cranky children, I don't know.

Tomorrow night I promise to get to bed before 1 am or should I say that I am hopeful. I get up before six am so these late nights are beginning to catch up with me. At 18 I could live on 4 hours a night for months on end. At 36 I just end, or at least it sometimes feels that way. I can still go on less sleep than most people, but I certainly feel the difference.

By tomorrow afternoon I am going to be hurting at the office and may have to get the caffeine fed to me through an IV. And with that I am going to try and get some shut eye.

Lailah tov from Los Angeles.

May 25, 2005

Anger Management

I post this story every couple of months because it just makes me laugh.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know.

It all started one day when I was sitting at my desk and remembered a phone call I had forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.

A man answered, saying, "Hello."

I politely said, "This is Chris. May I please speak with Robin Carter?"

Suddenly, the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her. I had transposed the last two digits of her phone number. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again.

When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're an asshole!" and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an asshole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID came to our area, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop.

So, I called his number and said: "Hi, this is John Smith from the Telephone Company. I'm just calling to see if you're interested in the Caller ID program?"

He yelled "NO!" and slammed the phone down.

I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!"

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I had been waiting for the spot. The idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his car window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial), I thought I had better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"

"Yes, it is."

"Can you tell me where I can see it?"

"Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th Street. It's a yellow house, and the car's parked right out in front."

"What's your name?"

"My name is Don Burgemeyer," he said.

"When's a good time to catch you, Don?"

"I'm home every evening after five."

"Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"

"Yes?"

"Don, you're an asshole."

Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call. But after several months of calling them, it wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be. So, I came up with an idea.

I called Asshole #1.

"Hello."

"You're an asshole!" (But I didn't hang up.)

"Are you still there?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said.

"Stop calling me," he screamed.

"Make me," I screamed back.

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"My name is Don Burgemeyer."

"Yeah? Where do you live?"

"I live at 1802 West 34th Street, ASSHOLE! It's a yellow house, with my black beemer parked in front."

He said, "I'm coming over there right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers."

I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole."

Then I called Asshole #2.

"Hello?" he said.

"Hello, asshole," I said...again, without hanging up.

He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are!"

"Yeah, you'll what?" I said.

"I'll kick your ass," he exclaimed.

I answered, "Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now."

Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 1802 West 34th Street, and that I was on my way home to kill my gay lover.

Then I called Channel 9 News to let them know about the war going down on West 34th Street. I quickly got into my car and headed over to 34th street.

There I saw two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six squad cars, a police helicopter, and a news crew.

NOW, I feel better.

Anger management really works!!!

The Shmata Queen Speaks

The Shmata Queen, she of Walking Kleenex Fame has contacted me to ask if there is anything I can do to adjust the size of the fonts on my blog.

I appreciate her concern and understand that the blog may render strangely in Internet Explorer but it does not do so in every other browser.

More to the point I spent hours wrestling with code yesterday and finally reached a point at which I felt it looked fair enough to leave alone.

If nothing else the larger size should help her older eyes. Hee hee.

More About Being Disappointed

In the prior thread I wrote about being disappointed with reviewing my blog. I received some very nice feedback and am appreciative of it and instead of responding within the comments thought that I would provide some elaboration on the intial post.

Not unlike many people I am very hard on myself. I have high standards that I try to live up to and I do my best to hit the mark. Sometimes I fail miserably and sometimes I exceed expectations, I am only human.

In my life I have found that many things have come easily to me, but in varying degrees of ease. If we were to use school marks as a way of measuring this you could say that I average a B+ in life. I do well, but there is better. There is always better.

Since so many things have been relatively easy I have at times given in and taken the easier path. Sometimes that is ok but it is not a practice I want to make a habit of. I know that if I made the extra effort I could benefit from it and that it would help me in many areas. But sometimes I just seem to muddle through when I know that I if I only pressed a little harder I could improve things.

I don't think that it is any different from most people, but I don't want to be like most people and I don't want to always settle and sometimes I think that I do because it is the path of least resistance.

So yesterday when I reviewed hundreds of posts it appeared to me that I had settled in a number of places when I didn't have to and that irked me. I don't expect every post to wow me or you. I don't drive myself to constantly be the best but to constantly feel good about what I do. And I felt like I had let myself down here and there.

It is going to happen for one reason or another, there will be things that trip us all up, but I don't have to accept that or make excuses for it. If I am going to strive to improve than I have to be critical of myself.

Life is about growth and I am still growing.

May 24, 2005

I am Disappointed With What I read

I spent a chunk of time today trying to figure out how to add a drop down menu to my blog. In theory I wanted to find a way to organize the best out of more than a 1000 posts as well as provide myself with an easier way to reference stories/posts for future use.

What I found was that I am far more repetitive than I had realized. The same topics continue to pop up with little to no new insight. There are no new angles, just a slightly different way of saying the same silly things.

It made me feel foolish. It made me feel disappointed in myself. I can do better. I love the interaction. I love knowing that people are reading this blog and that I am able to engage in a dialogue with people I might not ever encounter.

But ultimately this is one of my places of refuge. It is a place I come to in times of happiness and sadness. It is a place that I use to gain a better understanding of what my thoughts and feelings are about life, parenting, religion and myself.

And if I fall short of the mark it is not you who is being sold short, but me. Ultimately I am the judge and final arbiter of what is good and I haven't produced enough quality relative to the number of posts.

I am going to try and do better because if I do not improve then this becomes a pointless exercise and a waste of time.

I am Still Laughing At This Story

As I was messing with my blog I found these two stories and couldn't help but laugh again.

Story #1

"BERLIN (AP) — A woman doing handsprings hurled herself into two art installations at the controversial exhibition of a collection belonging to the billionaire heir of a Nazi-era arms supplier, damaging both pieces, organizers said Thursday."

Still Tweaking My Blog

It appears that things are relatively settled in IE, but Firefox doesn't look right to me. I am ready to tear my hair out. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. But I am going to figure this out, somehow.

Reality TV Rejects: What Happens Afterward

I found this article about what happens after you have been on a Reality TV show to be interesting. It is junk television, but sometimes you need mindless entertainment.
"After you get the inevitable boot, you won't skulk off-camera back to your home in Anytown, U.S.A. First, you'll be banished to a hotel or some such place where you'll be forbidden from leaving and your every move will be supervised by a casting staff, tasked with keeping the show's secrets confidential.

That doesn't mean you won't have fun. During a past season of NBC's "The Apprentice," fired candidates and their chaperones populated half a hotel floor, which included a communal suite filled with food, beer, video games, DVDs and books. The firees were frequently escorted to dinners, concerts and shows while waiting to go home.

"We basically just kept them entertained to keep them from getting bored," one "Apprentice" casting staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the show's lengthy nondisclosure agreement, tells The Associated Press.

Before they're booked a room at Hotel Reject, eliminated contestants usually undergo a chat with a staff psychologist, who's on-call 24/7, to assess their mental state and smooth their transition from potential millionaire to inferior flop."
To me the harder part is certainly not being sequestered but what happens when you re-enter normal life.

"After production has wrapped, you'll finally be sent home with your newfound reality TV knowledge. Because there's usually a few months between the end of shooting and when the first episode airs on TV, you won't be able to reveal where you've been for the past few months. Nobody will know you've just had the experience of a lifetime.
"You come back and you're really excited, and you have to go back to your regular life that you've left for two months," explains Lynn Warren, who was eliminated with his teammate and boyfriend Alex Ali during the latest "Amazing Race." "We would do so much in 12 hours on the race. Then, you come home and sit around for 12 hours. In 12 hours on the race, you've already visited three countries."
"It's hard to keep the secret," adds Ali. "We don't get to see it. We don't know what they're going to put on."
Most reality show rejects find it difficult to discover normality again after having cameras in their faces 24/7.
There is an adjoining article to this that discusses how to get on to a reality television show. I found it to be rather sad.

Moving, Shaking, Baking and Quaking

Hi Folks,

As you can see we are in the process of making some adjustments to the Shack. A number of you have supplied some helpful hints and I am busy working on trying to fix things up so that they look nice in multiple browsers.

In Firefox things are cool but IE seems to have a problem with the layout. We are on top of it and tinkering away.

Please be patient and the ride will resume shortly.

-J

Drop Down Menus- Does Anyone Have the Code?

Hi folks,

I want to make some adjustment to my blog and am interested in adding drop down menus. Does anyone have the code for doing so? I have a rudimentary understanding of how to make things work so any help you can offer is appreciated.

Thanks,

Jack

May 23, 2005

Instead of a Rant- Silly Videos

I had planned on sharing a 1000 word rant about many things but have instead decided to share links to some videos that make me smile. Some of them are a little off-color, but so am I.

Will Ferrell- The Cowbell

Pleasing Your Partner

Garbageman

Tagged For The Film Meme

Gail tagged me to do this film meme, so here is a short rundown.

Total number of films I own on DVD/Video: Roughly 100.

The last film I bought: LOTR: Return of the King Extended Version

The last film I watched: Return of the Jedi

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me: It is a hard question to answer but I would include Casablanca, LOTR, All of the Star Wars, On The Waterfront, Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers, Animal House and Stripes.

This little meme is open to whomever else wants to participate.

Dating Etiquette

During my always too short lunch break I spent a few minutes surfing the blogosphere. As I had recently finished reading about the bear who wanted to be Mark Spitz I decided to wander over the domocile of the only bear I know that is circumsized.

Instead of the usual rants against Bush and company I found him discussing the story of a cheap date and decided to spend a few minutes reviewing the commentary there. The impetus for this story came from a story on Gawker which told the sordid tale of a man who has spent an enormous amount of money on dating.
When the BILL(S) came she sobered up fast. I caught a glimpse of hers, 5 drinks plus a little finger food $319.00 I think it was. She looked shocked and sick to her stomache when she saw 2 bills. Guess she thought I was buying. Think again...Her face was beat red and she was speechless. She left the bill on the table and excused herself for the restroom... Sure enough my date was heading out toward the front door. I slowly grabbed my coat as the waitress ran after her. Then security or a bellman grabbed her at the door and a small shouting match ensued. Can you imagine, she was trying to leave - without paying!

Now it has been a number of years since I was in the dating pool but I certainly remember the days in which I would find a young lady to take out on the town. In my younger and less graceful years my friends and I discussed the best places to go to impress our dates and engaged in typical male banter of how to best get her engines warmed up so that she would be receptive to a little affection.

Those of you who did nothing but go on shidduchim managed to avoid some of the comedy and calamity that this form of dating involved, but I digress.

We heard stories of gold diggers who our friends and older brothers warned us about dating. She would deign to dine with you provided you paid and if you paid then you might really pay in multiple ways.

It was generally understood that if you asked a woman out than you were responsible for taking care of the bills that evening, and thus began the dance. If you were like me and money was tight you strove to come up with ways to pay for a nice evening. You wanted to do something that was fun, that would allow you to show off your personality, make her laugh and hopefully impress her so that she would be interested in continuing to see you.

And if you had female friends you might even quiz them for their suggestions and ideas about what to do and what you could expect from such a date. And the reality was that there were always expectations and you hoped that her expectations matched your own.

I never went on a date such as described in the story above, but I did go on some in which I felt a little taken advantage of. They were moments in which I took out a girl who I was really into and very hopeful that the feelings were reciprocated. And though it may not be fair, I admit to expecting something to happen at the end of the evening and admit to being disappointed on a number of occasions.

During those moments I tried to remind myself that I had sisters and that my sisters were on the other side of the fence, but I couldn't very well think about my sisters in the same terms as the women I was with and sometimes the hormonal overdrive won, at least as far as the thought process went.

That is, I was always good about not being pushy. I could keep that in the forefront and it was not a problem, but the thoughts and desires well........

One of the reasons for making friends with women (among many) was that they knew other women and would set you up with their friends. They could also provide key advice on what to do with said friend on a date, but they also could really screw you up with advice as they often contradicted each other.

If nothing else I often found myself banging my head against the wall because I couldn't make head or tail out of any of what they were saying.

So to end this ramble I finally found that the best and easiest way to date was to avoid the high pressure date night until after we had spent some time together doing more casual things. It took away the pressure and made it all more enjoyable.

Still I can look at this story and smile and thank all that is holy that I was never dumb enough to spend that kind of cash on a date. What a waste.

Besides, if she needs to drink a case of beer to spend time with me I am out with the wrong girl.

Bear Takes Dip in Suburban L.A. Pool

I am sure that this bear was just looking for a picnic basket.


LOS ANGELES - A 140-pound bear wandered into a suburban neighborhood and took a dip in a swimming pool before being tranquilized and returned to the wild.
The female bear ambled into the San Fernando Valley's Porter Ranch area shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, bumping into doors and windows before taking a few splashes in a backyard pool, fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

The Shmata Queen Loves Paul

The Shmata Queen is quite upset that she is not going to see her favorite Beatle, Paul McCartney, in concert.

How silly, everyone knows that Paul is dead.

Time Lists Top 100 Movies

Time Magazine has a list of what a couple of their critics consider to be the Top 100 Movies of All-Time.

For those of you who are interested some of my favorite movies are included on this list:

  1. Casablanca
  2. On The Waterfront
  3. Star Wars
  4. Godfather I, II
  5. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
  6. Unforgiven
  7. LOTR
Not on the list but still in personal list are classics such as The Blues Brothers, Animal House, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters and The Indiana Jones series.

May 22, 2005

A Father's Fear/Concern

I shouldn't include fear in the title because it suggests that this is a bigger issue than I think it really is. But since I use this place as my Fortress of Solitude I have to vent a little.

In a few weeks my son is going to begin his first Summer at a new camp. It comes highly recommended and it has a number of things about it that I truly like, but, there is always a but I am nervous.

I am nervous because no one will love him or care for him like his family does. I am nervous because he is a kind and sensitive boy who I really do not want to see hurt or upset. I want camp to be a wonderful experience that he loves and treasures.

But I know that as part of his socialization he needs to learn how to get along in many different situations and that sometimes he will be in places where people may not be as nice or as caring as they could or should be. So it really is important that I allow him to participate in things that help him grow and help him learn how to take care of himself.

Of course he is not being sent to a place that we have not checked out. He is not being sent to a place where I have any real fear for his safety, aside from the normal concern of any parent. And that normal concern is enough, it is the kind of thing that can be paralyzing if you allow it to be. So you cannot constantly focus on what can happen. All you can do is try and provide some guidance and try to make sure that they are as safe as they can be without forcing them to live in a bubble.

So what can I say, I am just another concerned father who loves his children very much.

Do You Know Me?- Anonymity ReVisited

It has been quite a busy weekend and I really haven't had enough time to blog so I have compromised by responding to a few comments here and there. Now at last I have a few minutes to share a few thoughts with you.

I just finished watching The Contender. It is a favorite show of mine because in spite of being reality television it really is, real, or at least that is my understanding and feeling. The people participating in it do not come across as playing characters, they strike me as just being themselves, or how I envision they would be in person.

And that brings me to the topic of the post which is Do You Know Me. I wonder if you met me in person if I would shatter your image or match up with it. Would my manner and personality reflect your expectations. Would I be who you think I am or do you have some skewed idea of Jack.

And of course I cannot help but wonder what would happen if I met some of you in person. There are a number of bloggers who I think of as being my kind of people. You strike me as having similar values and interests, a sense of humor that tickles my funnybone. You appear to be the kind of person I would want to have as a friend. Maybe you are and maybe you are not. It is impossible to say and who knows if we will ever find out.

I cannot say that I will ever meet or not meet any of you. Maybe one day, but until that time all this will remain just some of my most recent musings about things that may not or may be important. It is just a lot of random thoughts- do they matter and do they have meaning?

May 21, 2005

Caddyshack- Movie Quotes

Bill Murray has a great line in Caddyshack that I have been chuckling over for the last couple of days.

"So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one---big hitter, the Lama---long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consiousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice"

Appeasement Versus Imperial Intentions

There are many different opinions about how to solve the problems of the world and quite a number of them are currently focused upon the war in Iraq and the larger war on terror. There is a real effort being undertaken by proponents of the two sides to simplify this to a question of utilizing a policy of appeasement or hegemonic design

For the sake of this example let's use the definitions below:

appeasement
A political policy of conceding to aggression by a warlike nation. A classic example of appeasement is the Munich Pact of 1938, negotiated between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain, the prime minister of Britain, allowed Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia to Germany.


Hegemony
hegemony (hĭjĕm'ənē, hē–, hĕj'əmō'nē, hĕg'ə–) , [Gr.,=leadership], dominance, originally of one Greek city-state over others, the term has been extended to refer to the dominance of one nation over others, and, following Gramsci, of one class over others. Conflict over hegemony fills history from the war between Athens and Sparta to the Napoleonic wars, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War. Gramsci's use of the concept extends it beyond international relations to class structure and even to culture.

For the sake of clarity when I refer to two sides we can say that the side that promotes preemptive strikes and supports the war in Iraq views the other side as having taken a position of appeasement and the side that does not views their opposition as having imperial, colonial designs with hegemonic intentions.

In simple English that means that they have boiled this down to saying we have got to get them first or you are pro-war, militaristic and intent on using force/violence to create a world in which the US remains dominant.

I think that this is an over simplification of the various positions that exist and I think that this is to our detriment, regardless of position. There are few things that are black and white in life and this is no exception.

In recent times I have been dismayed to read posts which accuse the US of having fabricated 911 to launch a war, suggestions that our involvement in Afghanistan has nothing to do with protecting our nation and an assortment of comments that follow similar lines of thought.

I have been especially disappointed to see that some people are so threatened by points of view that differ from their own that they attempt to shut down dialogue so that no opposing view can be heard, it does not speak well of them.

But on topic as it relates to this post I have some very strong views. I don't think that you can stop a bully by offering him a compromise such as the classic example of Chamberlain actions with Hitler.

At best this does nothing other than provide you with some breathing room, but it is only momentary because sooner or later the bully comes back to your neighborhood looking for the same deal only this time you have shown weakness that you can be certain will be leveraged by the bully.

Sometimes you are forced to confront the bully headon. And sometimes you are forced to acknowledge that the reason that they are angry with have you have nothing to do with their having been bereft of a loving family, nice childhood, education or any number of other excuses.

Sometimes it is a battle based upon divergent ideologies. And when that happens diplomacy may no longer be a viable option.

May 20, 2005

Tai Kwon Leap- Boot To the Head

Click Here to learn about Tai Kwon Leap.

Or Click Here to watch a silly video about a boot to the head.

Roller Coaster Fanatics

When I was a little big younger I loved them, just loved them. I still enjoy them, but I admit to having nerves that fray a little bit more easily now. I am not real sure why, but I know that it is relatively recent phenomena for me.

I just read about the worlds fastest and tallest roller coaster.


"...the maiden run Thursday of "Kingda Ka" -- the world's newest, tallest and fastest roller coaster.

Installed at the Six Flags Theme Park near Trenton, New Jersey, the monster ride uses a hydraulic launch system to slingshot riders horizontally from 0 to 205 kilometers (128 miles) per hour in 3.5 sickening seconds.

The momentum flings the 18-seater train into a 90 degree climb to a height of 139 meters (456 feet), followed by a vertical plunge through a three-quarter spiral and a final jaunt over a 39-meter (129-foot) high "camel hump."


And for some perspective

"To put the velocity of Kingda Ka into perspective, a Ferrari 360 Modena takes one more second to accelerate to half the speed.

A fighter plane launched off an aircraft carrier gets to 150 mph in about two seconds, while a Top Fuel dragster car can reach 100 mph in less than one second."

"