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Showing posts from May, 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

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

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 wa

'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

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.

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 Sl

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." & &quo

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 inf

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

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

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

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 transcrip t of a speech given by Sheik 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 P

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 t

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 t

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

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 '

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 area

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

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."

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 spo

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

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 grabb

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.

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: Casablanca On The Waterfront Star Wars Godfather I, II The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Unforgiven 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.

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

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 bein

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 consiousnes

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 cla

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