Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Also, I figure I should mention somewhere that MLW is ecstatic that it snowed. Even though neither of us got to stay home, like dear cousin A. Did I mention it couldn't have been much more than an inch and a half...? *sigh*
Monday, January 15, 2007
In other, slightly less depressing news, there's been this scientific development, which, I'd imagine could be used to climb the tall buildings which may or may not be above the new water line...
More to follow...
Friday, January 12, 2007
In unrelated news, I got this cool gizmo yesterday from the fine folks at ThinkGeek.com. It's going to let me rip all my cassettes and vinyl (records) into MP3's (and/or CD's). Coolness.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I've been mulling over an appropriate response. I think regardless of whether you supported the war from the beginning or not and regardless of whether you still think it's the way to go or not, the one thing we can all agree on is that the troops we have out in the various combat zones (and here I refer not only to Iraq, but the others around the world... anybody remember Afghanistan?) are the ones getting the short end of the stick.
So before I get up on my soapbox and rant, let me take a moment to encourage you all -- especially those of you who think a magnetic ribbon on your enormous, gas-guzzling SUV somehow means you've done your part -- to check out AnySolider.com (and before I hear about it, there's a separate domain for each branch of the service, so AnyMarine.com, etc. But they're all interconnected, so try to remember AnySoldier.com). It's a charity that MLW and I decided to support this year, and it's somewhat addictive. As the site will tell you, it's not about "stuff" or money, it's about showing the men and women who are out there getting shot at and blown up simply by virtue of wearing the uniform, that some of us folks over here... well, care. And I think we should -- beyond the stupid magnets. It's not their fault they're over there. So, that's AnySoldier.com. Do your part.
And now our regularly scheduled program, already in progress...
The following poem(?) was originally broadcast on CBS News on March 15, 1971 (yes, I know I was a staggering month old, and already watching tv news...) -- the SALT disarmament talks (look it up, kids -- that's what the Internet is for...) were going on at the time. I came across it by way of a 10th grade history teacher, the late Mr. Keiber. It was something I hung on to. Eventually, I took the mimographed copy (yep, I'm old) and typed it in and sent it around several times in college. Sadly, I believe it to be a message that is still relevant. It's by CBS newsman Charles Osgood.
The family of man was once at war with the family that lived in the cave next door. And they fought that way for many a year until they learned to conquer hate and fear... and teamed their forces that they might meet the looming presence across the street. And the looming presence became a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and combined their armies to go put down the evil force from the other town. With that evil force, they fought a war that was even worse than the one before... and they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear.
And when it was done they knelt down to pray... but some men worshipped in a heathen way. And religious difference became a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and built great navies that they might free the captive peoples across the sea. And with ships and guns, they fought a war that was even worse than the war before. And they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and nations prospered and empires too, and the size and scope of the conflicts grew. And conflicting interests produced a war that was even worse than the wars before. And they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and built defenses to guard their shores... and they fought a war to end all wars. And the war they fought to end all war, was even worse than the war before... and they fought that way for many a year, till they learned to conquer hate and fear... and they counted down and set the stage... and they gave the world the Atomic Age.
And if there comes an atomic war, it will be far worse than the wars before. There's an ancient, deadly pattern burned...and the question is... HAS THE FAMILY LEARNED??
My hat's off to Charles Osgood. He hit the nail right on the head. And I think we all know the answer.
Now, what are you going to do about it?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
As I may or may not have mentioned last year, I've always been somewhat ambivalent about New Year's. It's not terribly exciting to me, I don't really see the point in celebrating what is essentially an arbitrary start point on the calendar (which is also a human construction). I mean, if anything, one's birthday is the beginning of the next new year (for you, anyway).
Invariably this time of year also means a bunch of folks doing columns, filing reports, etc. on New Year's Resolutions. As you might guess from what I said in the previous paragraph, I'm not a huge believer in these either, but for some reason this year I happened to assess things all at once, and at this time of year (perhaps it was in the writing of the last post/Xmas letter).
So then, without further ado, or much fanfare, herewith are my...
Resolutions for 2007:
1) Do a better job of staying in touch with my out-of-state friends. While I have lived in the Commonwealth for 11.5+ years now, I still consider myself as being "from New Jersey." I have many friends and associates in the Garden State still. I also have friends in other states scattered around the seaboard and country. And the fact of the matter is, I've become a lousy communicator. I used to be a compulsive communicator and somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit. I carry a cellphone, I have multiple e-mail accounts, and I have a couple of blogs. So I know my intent is there. But somehow I stopped keeping in touch with folks the way I used to. Could be the geography, could be my "focus issues," could be the simple fact of Life's inertia. Doesn't really matter why. I'm going to try to do a better job of keeping in touch with those farther away. So expect a call or an email. Soon.
2) Devote at least one day a month to myself -- reading, writing, drawing, whatever. It seems that I never have enough time. This is, I'm sure, a common enough problem, made perhaps slightly more acute by my particular quirks. But even after spending six months off (while I was job searching), even though I had three weeks between one new job and the second (better) new job, I still never managed to spend a day reading comics. Or writing -- I never write anymore... well, just this thing, and we know that's more rambling. I've been trying to learn to draw for many, many years now ("trying" here defined as "spending money on books and supplies, even sometimes carrying places with me, but never actually investing any time doing it"). I owe it to myself to actually spend a minimum of one day a month on myself (and no, laundry doesn't count... it has to be something creative.)
3) Do something about this mass forming around my waistline... So there's this soft, squishy stuff forming around my waist, just above my hips. And curiously all of my pants seem to have shrunken at the same time (which means the dry cleaner AND me have both made simultaneous mistakes.) Fact of the matter is, my legendary metabolism is finally slowing down. And I kinda liked my waistline where it was. So a little more attention must be spent on getting to the gym. And working ab's, I guess...
4) Try to post to this blog (and the other one) more frequently. While my stat's indicate I've averaged more than one post a week, it hasn't occurred in such a regular fashion. More like a bunch at once and then a long gap of nothingness. And I'm really going to try to override my obsessiveness, and not wait until I can do "the perfect post" with all the links and colors and bells and whistles and whatnot. There are so many off-the-cuff posts that never happen(ed) because I didn't "have time" to do it. Which isn't true -- I just didn't have time to make it "just so." One of the many epitaphs of my life.
So, there you are. I think four is enough. That allows me to mess up one a quarter, before I've failed to achieve them all. I mean, if Ultimate Brian can't make it work, what chance does someone as undisciplined as myself stand...
More to follow.