Category Archives: news

Remembering

If you haven’t read it yet, check out “The Falling Man” on Esquire.com – it’s the story about some very iconic images from 9/11 that have sort of been “buried”.

All the photos from 9/11 are powerful, some much more than others. I have a
collection of photos, links, thoughts, etc from 9/11 when I was trying to make sense of it all – and among them is this and one other “falling” photo. I forget they are  on my website until I go looking for something and find the folder, simply named “wtc”, silently waiting for me to click on it, which I occasionally do to reflect on what happened.

RIP, Steve Jobs

Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs


Like a lot of people, I’m a fan of Apple Computer. I buy their products, I own stock – I even worked there in college as an intern in their Customer Relations Department (one of the best years of my life). If cut, I know I’d bleed six colors (*). I never knew Jobs personally – he was still in “exile” when I was at Apple, instead working during the end of Michael Spindler’s tenure. But enough of the full-timers I worked with – friends even now – have shared stories, and there’s more than a few stories about him online. All of them awesome. All of them inspiring. When he stepped down in August, he looked a little bit… less Steve. Now the world knows why.

Thanks for being insanely great, Steve.

Government “waste”?

CT Lawmakers "goofing off"

I received an email today from someone, which included a photo:

As you can see, it’s government at work – someone is talking, and then there’s a bunch of people listening – including at least two people playing solitaire. Nothing really out of the ordinary, when you think about it: you’re stuck at a meeting, someone is going on and on about something or other, and you decide to zone out for a bit. No big deal, right? Wrong. Like many other Government activities, there was press there. All over the place. Some of them have cameras…. And some of them work for the AP. Oops!

The email also included this text:

Can you believe this??? This picture is worth a trillion $$

House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two…he’s on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores.

These are the folks that couldn’t get the budget out by Oct. 1, and are about to control your health care, cap-and-trade, and the list goes on and on….
Should we buy them larger screen computers – or – a ticket home, permanently?

This is one of their 3-DAY WORK WEEKS that we all pay for (salary is about $179,000 per year).

KEEP THIS GOING! DON’T LET IT STOP WITH YOU!

The problem I have with all of this? The photo was taken in 2009.

I have no problem with calling out waste or stupidity in government, but at least get your facts right – don’t claim that something’s happening NOW when it’s something that happened two years ago…. Ugh. It also doesn’t help with the current economic woes here in Connecticut……

How to… mess up your knee?

So, March 18th our lovely dog, Skeeter, apparently discovered how to get out of the back yard. Jen came back from taking Ethan to school and went to let him back into the house – and discovered he wasn’t there. She was leaving out the front door when a neighbor was walking up the front steps, carrying Skeeter. Joy.

Abby has dance class right after school, so Jen took Abby and the boys right to the studio, and Emma let Skeeter into the backyard, unaware of the hole in the fence. She discovered he was out, and was heading out when… another neighbor was bringing Skeeter back again. More joy. Emma put some extra pavers from the patio in front of the holes in the fence – she wasn’t sure which was “the one” – and I figured I’d get the fence patched up as soon as I could.

That night was our Cub Scout Pack’s Pinewood Derby, so I didn’t get a chance to fix the hole in the fence. Saturday morning I was still a little groggy and let him into the yard. He wandered around for a bit, and I kept an eye on him for the first few minutes – and then I kept checking on him every 5 or so minutes. He was fine.

And then he was gone.

I grabbed some shoes, told Emma and Noah to get dressed and be ready to head out. After a quick check in one direction, I decided to go another way and look for Skeeter by his “friends” houses – he loves a good smack talk session when he’s on a leash and mom or dad are around. The other dogs give as good as they take, so it seemed a very likely possibility that he’d be over at one of those houses trying to raise a stink. While jogging around that neighborhood – the dogs are spread apart – I did something to my knee. After checking the last house, I hobbled home, only to discover….

Skeeter in the neighbors yard. The look on his face said “Hey, how’s it going? Have a good walk?”

After fixing up the fence (chain link is easy to work with, thankfully) – and after discovering that Skeeter was trying to hide another exit point – I went inside to ice up the knee and hope that it was just a strain.

Fast forward to Monday morning, when my knee was pretty swollen and it hurt quite a bit to walk on it. I called out of work and managed to get an appointment with the same Orthopaedist who I’ve seen for some shoulder and – ironically – knee issues. The same knee.

The x-rays revealed no issues, but he was concerned with the swelling and how I responded to his…. handling of my knee (pushing, pulling, poking, proding, and trying to move it ways that I wasn’t sure it could have done before I did this). He then ordered an MRI and said to try to stay off it. They even gave me a fancy knee brace to wear.

Meniscal Tear - Torn HornThe next day I showed up for the MRI and managed to fall asleep while they were doing the scans. Ten days after doing the damage, I met with the doctor again – he said that I have a “Torn Horn” injury in the meniscus, and that he’d like to do arthroscopic surgery and remove the hanging bits of the meniscus off – they were, as he put it, like bits of hangnail – the more they are touched as I move around, the more they will hurt.

What’s killing me about the situation now is that the knee feels better overall. It hurts to walk, yes, but it doesn’t hurt near as much as it did originally. And based on conversations I’ve had with several people, I’m not entirely sure that surgery will be the answer – especially since more than a few of those people had surgery and are still dealing with issues.

Anyone have any advice?

Church Group or Hate Group – which is it???

So… Elizabeth Taylor died, and apparently the Westboro Baptist Church will be at the funeral to protest, because… I don’t know, apparently being friends with gay people is enough. Oh, and her work as an activist against AIDS.

What caught my eye in this write up in Time, however, was this nugget:

Margie Phelps, daughter of the hate group’s leader Fred Phelps

Are they saying that the Westboro Baptist Church is similar to other hate groups, like the KKK? According to Wikipedia, they are. The Anti-Defamation League agrees. And so does the Southern Poverty Law Center.

So, if they are a hate group, then doesn’t that mean that their protests at military funerals are hate speech, and therefore not protected by the First Amendment?

More zero tolerance: Girl’s arrest for doodling raises concerns…

CNN reports….

“There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker.
Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Glad to see that they’re addressing the REALLY big issue of desk graffiti….
When did we become a society that can’t just sit down with a kid and find out why they did something, explain why it’s wrong and just move on with our lives??

Binary message…

0100011101100101011011110111001001100111011001010010000001010111001011
10001000000100001001110101011100110110100000100000011010010111001100100
00001101111011011100010000001101000011010010111001100100000011101110110
00010111100100100000011011110111010101110100001000010010000001010111011
0000101101000011011110110111100100001
(If you need to translate it, I suggest that you use the almighty Google)

You don't see that every day….

Five-figure bonuses stun Chicago plant workers
CHICAGO – Dave Tiderman wondered if the decimal point was in the wrong place when he opened his $35,000 company bonus. Jose Rojas saw his $10,000 check and thought, “That can’t be right.”
Wow, a company doing right by the people that got it where it is today. Go figure….

RIP, Paul Newman

Legendary actor Paul Newman dies at age 83.
Wow. I didn’t know the man personally, but growing up in Westport – his home for many years – he was certainly well known around the town. And he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, would pop into various establishments around town, so I did get to see him. He seemed like a nice enough guy, especially with regards to the whole “Hole in the Wall Gang” charities.

Palin treatment is not sexist: it's realist

Commentary: Sexist treatment of Palin must end
Oh PLEASE. They’re not being sexist – they’re just afraid of what she’ll say when she opens her mouth. Why else have they been so controlling about her public appearances?
I think that at this point in the campaign – especially with McCain now “suspending” his campaign to worry about the economy – we’re all past Caribou Barbie and pitbulls wearing lipstick. She gives bad interviews. Deal with it. Let’s move on to our failing economy, shall we?

Republitards….

2008_thursconvention.jpgLike many people, I have multiple email addresses. I’ve been having a small problem with one address – it’s apparently tied to some demographic profile of my wife and I, so I occasionally get crap sent to it. It’s one thing when it’s a local car dealership – at least it’s quasi-local, and makes some sense.
But how is it that I am getting emails from the John McCain campaign, asking me for money? Technically, I’m an Independent voter – perhaps that’s why?
I’ve commented before about the junkmail before, but this is the first time it’s invaded my Inbox. And I have to say that opening an email titled “57 Days Until Election Day” that allegedly comes from John McCain, and then finding his lying face in the message – that was a bit of a shock.
Click here to donate to Barack Obama…..

Not a good way to start the weekend…

0320081705c.jpgI was stopped at a stop light – 2nd in line. The car in front of me put their car into reverse – I didn’t do anything. A second later, they were still in reverse – so I got ready to honk the horn in case they started to move backwards. Then they did start to reverse – so I laid into the horn. The woman driving started to look around – left, right – but still kept coming. The results are above.
She got out and apologized, explaining that she’s lost and trying to get to the hospital to get her mother or something. Not really my concern, but whatever. I told her to turn the corner and pull over, since we were blocking the lane we were in. I got her info, and she was very emphatic about going to get her mother and dealing with this later. I told her we would talk later, and as she drove off, I called the police. A few minutes later, they were there, listened to my tale of woe, and took my and her info.
Since we had exchanged phone numbers, she called me twice – once to make sure she hadn’t erased it, and the second time to find out why I had “lied” to her – by calling the police, I apparently broke some sort of promise between us. I don’t remember that – I remember telling her that we would talk later. She was very upset and doing lots of yelling, so I didn’t really understand what she was saying – except that she was apparently coming back to the scene.
When she did arrive, she came from down the road, and I didn’t recall seeing her pull up. She glared at me as she walked by, and then went to the police officers. After a minute or two, the responding officer brought my paperwork and notes back, gave me my case number, and told me that she hadn’t wanted to hang around because she was….. driving with a suspended license. At this point, I drove off – cranky, but able to move still, so happy for that – the last accident I had resulted in a car that I didn’t really feel safe driving in.
Fast forward to today – four days later. After making a few calls, getting the insurance company’s estimate, getting my own estimate, and making more calls, I got a voicemail this afternoon from my insurance agent. Their auto-accident person was calling me back – I had asked for help figuring out which of the many companies with the same name she was actually using for her insurance. It turns out she doesn’t have insurance. Of course.
Now, look, I’m not saying that she didn’t have to go get her mother or whatever. But if you’re license is suspended, and you don’t have insurance, DON’T DRIVE YOUR CAR. Simple, straightforward, and easy. With my last incident, I’m waiting for the insurance company to “subrogate” the claim – meaning that if they ever manage to get money from him, and we all know it will take more than a couple of weeks – then I’ll eventually get my deductible back. Maybe.
AWESOME.

RIP, Arthur C. Clarke

io9.com reports…
Arthur C. Clarke, Futurist and Scifi Legend, Dies
Arthur C. Clarke, author of scifi classics Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey, died today at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. Not only did Clarke create a legend with 2001 (he worked on the film with Stanley Kubrick too), but he also predicted many of the scientific inventions of the twentieth century such as telecom satellites. He was even knighted in recognition of his many mind-bending contributions to the worlds of literature and science speculation. [LATimes]
What’s most disturbing to me is that I was browsing some Wikipedia articles about his novels: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, 3001: The Final Odyssey) at about the time that io9 posted the story. Weird.
And did you know that he was among the first to posit the idea of a geostationary communications satellite?

RIP Mr. Whipple

mrwhipple.jpgLATimes.com brings the following obit:
Dick Wilson, a character actor who turned “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” into a national catchphrase as exasperated shopkeeper Mr. Whipple in the TV commercial campaign that ran for more than two decades, has died. He was 91.
Remember:
Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin!

don't be afraid

the show by ze frank sums up quite nicely what’s going on in the world today. Well, almost three weeks ago.
I had meant to post this back then, but then I got sidetracked by the details of what you can and can’t do to travel. You know, that whole “remove all liquids” before you get on the plane thing? I can’t help but wonder if the TSA is trying to help the airlines out a little bit here:
a) if you have to buy a drink on the plane, then that’s a little extra money that they get to keep
b) if you don’t bring beverages on board, then maybe the plane will have just a couple gallons more fuel when it lands – again, giving them a little change in their pockets.
I’m not saying that it’s the case – although it could be – it just seems a little severe to say “Hey, you can’t bring that bottle of (insert liquid refreshment product here) on the plane because of ‘The Terrorists'”. Whatever.
All I’m saying is that it would be much easier if they sedated you when you got on the plane and woke you back up when you got there. They could pack more people on the planes and quite honestly, I think it would be a bit more fun if I knew I’d be getting decent sleep out of the deal. But that’s just me.

What the hell?

So, it’s obscenely early and I’m getting ready to head home (I was in San Francisco for work, for the 99.9% of you that didn’t know) and I’m watching the news while I wait for the shower and limo service back in CT to open so I can confirm things.
They’re doing a snippet on the new travel restrictions on CNN, and it’s basically lots of people taking their banned items – mostly women and their makeup – and throwing it out.
WTF? If I know that something is banned from travel in the cabin – like, say, makeup – and I know I’m going to be traveling, then….. Why not just put the banned item into my checked bag?
Sure, not everyone ends up taking a checked bag, but if you have one, then why not USE IT?
Additionally, why do you actively take something you know you can’t bring past the security checkpoint? These women are complaining about having to throw out hundreds of dollars of makeup when they’re the ones who decided to throw them out!
I myself plan on finishing my bottle of water in the terminal before security, then buying more on the other side (where I’ll have to finish it before I get on the plane, of course).
I’m also a little unclear: we’ve got info on a plot to blow up a plane from the UK traveling to the US – so why are we making all the people traveling inside the US dump their precious liquids? And how funny is it to say that they’re dumping their liquids?
More updates on the other side. Maybe.

Terror plot: an interesting detail

CNN.com – Agent infiltrated terror cell, U.S. says – Aug 11, 2006
Among those arrested were a Muslim charity worker and a Heathrow Airport employee with an all-area access pass, according to Britain’s Channel 4.
This furthers one of my arguments about the whole terror plot concept: if they can get people with access to all areas to the airport involved, then it’s just another step – and completely possible – for them to get someone ON the plane involved. It could be a simple matter of getting the right member of the crew, or even one of the ground crew to put something in a certain place (which, it should be noted, has been done repeatedly in the movies).
These terrorists are smarter than they are given credit for. Sadly, it won’t stop until we’re all getting on the plane naked and just standing around like cattle.

The military blocking websites?

I got this info from Wonkette, but it’s apparently not yet been reported – or confirmed – elsewhere. While I would like to have confirmation of something like this before sharing it, the information seems credible, so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to put the links and some of the info out there and see what happens.
Our Boys Need Gossip! – Wonkette
We’re Bringing the War Back Home
Wonkette Blocked No More! – Wonkette
We Aren’t Free Speech Martyrs, but We Can Be Just as Self-Righteous
A partial list of blocked sites:
Wonkette – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.wonkette.com/) is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards, Politics/Opinion.”
Bill O’Reilly (www.billoreilly.com) – OK
Air America (www.airamericaradio.com) – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.airamericaradio.com/) is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
Rush Limbaugh (www.rushlimbaugh.com) – OK
ABC News “The Note” – OK
Website of the Al Franken Show (www.alfrankenshow.com) – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.airamericaradio.com/) is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
G. Gordon Liddy Show (www.liddyshow.us) – OK
Don & Mike Show (www.donandmikewebsite.com) – “Forbidden, this page (http://www.donandmikewebsite.com/) is categorized as: Profanity, Entertainment/Recreation/Hobbies.”

What’s so very interesting is that Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are “ok”, but Air America and Al Franken are both blocked because they’re “Political/Opinion” sites – which, if I recall, is what Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are. Or am I crazy?