Wednesday, April 30, 2003

ELSEWHERE: Not much to say today, but check out the enlightening mini-essay on computer geek over at the 'fez. I chimed in on the comments to good effect (so says I.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

TWO SIMPLE IDEAS: With respect to Thomas Payne, I propose two simple ideas that, while not revolutionary, are still what I would deem worthwhile.

1. The US military should be offering cash money -or any other incentive that may prove enticing for that matter- for its personnel -especially those serving in the Gulf region- to enroll and complete Arabic language training of some sort or another. The "us versus them" attitude will only intensify as we increase our policing activities in the region without understanding a word that our new charges (for wont of a better word) say.

2. The NRA or some other like minded civil association (not necessarily American) should heavily promote gun responsibility in Iraq. Now, I'm not a gun advocate, but if any people deserves the constitutional right to bear arms that we enjoy for the reasons that our constitutional framers intended, it would be these citizens and former citizens of some of the most oppressive regimes on earth. Ideally, of course, the massive amounts of weaponry would be eliminated or at least reduced, but let's also be a bit pragmatic here. Not every AK will be eliminated, but wouldn't it be nice to have those fortunate remaining owners of shiny new assault rifles be instructed in the proper use of the weapon? Some tips might include: Refrain from ceremoniously firing your weapon in the air near heavily armed and nervous foreign soldiers; let children play with toy guns, they'll be just as happy as if they were given the real thing; when bringing your gun with you on routine grocery shopping, perhaps it would be prudent to remove the live ammunition clip and point the thing downwards; and much, much more! By co-opting the indigent gun population, perhaps they can be brought into the fold of the civilized and thusly mitigated as a threat.

As usual, I invite Thom Friedman (who has thus far refused my entreaties) to comment.

STANDARD DEVIANT: Isn't that an oxymoron? Deviant Standard -a good name for a newspaper devoted to fetishes. Hah! I crack myself up!

Monday, April 28, 2003

INTERACTIVE DESIGN: (Or, In the newfound spirit of Democracy.) Just in time for Summer, I'd like to redesign my site by changing over to a new template. Fret not, however, as all the watery content will remain the same and only the "gingerbread" will change. As I do not posess any design flair of note, I invite you -my adoring and miniscule readership- to post your choice of template right here in round one of my design nomination event. Please nominate one or more templates for final voting (if it ever gets that far) by posting links to the designs in the comments for this post. Embellish your selection with any verbiage deemed neccesary. You may find template choices at Point of Focus Graphics; Blogskins or on Blogger. If you know of any other sites with templates you'd like to nominate, feel free. In the immortal words of Frank Bartles: (or was it Ed Jaymes) "Thank you for your support." PS The prize for the winning entry is TBD, but will definitely not be in denominations of Saddam Dinars.
MELTDOWN AVERTED: Ah, I'm feeling much better now. I think the seasonal shift (read: warm weather = more exposed female flesh) is throwing me for a natural loop. I'll be fine. In other developments, I've just came from a leisurely lunch with a good friend of mine in which we touched upon all matters of the political spectrum. Suffice it to say that said friend raised some salient points regarding our country's current bout of xenophobia. While I argued that our dynamism makes such "swings of the pendulum" inevitable, (and 9/11 only exacerbated/exaggerated our current swing to the right) we differ on the longer term ramifications of the current swing. I remain staunchly optimistic that the pendulum will swing back to the center, as it historically does. My friend, not being an American, isn't as confident of this as I and thinks that the current "damage" (and I use the term euphemistically) may be more lasting. I will agree that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, though. (In fact, I made that point myself.)

Sunday, April 27, 2003

FRUSTRATION: Watching Roger Dodger, Reading in the pornoblogosphere. Alternately, what doesn't disgust me makes me wonder. How come none of this even remotely happens to me? Sigh, I need to get out more. UPDATE: Serious pontification ensuing, will get back to y'all. Now where'd I put that bottle of Grey Goose? UPDATE UPDATE: Grey Goose, gone. Saranac, gone. Hmm... Brooklyn Lager, <sound of cap opening> Ahhhhh.
BLAIVEN: I just took the Simpsons character buddy icon IQ test. Apparently, I'm Frink!

A good hearted and benevolent genious, your inventions are always unique and clever! On face you seem like you know what you're talking about, but most people suspect that you're full of shit.

Thanks, Bridget, for the link. Editors note: This post was originally entered on Friday, but was mistakenly deleted.

Friday, April 25, 2003

JUST PLAIN WEIRD DEPARTMENT: Somehow, somewhere, someone entered this query into Google and found my site.
G-D BLESS AMERICA: And G-d bless you, Cheech, the bus "tender" driver who ferried me into Midtown Manhattan today. G-d loves the way you drive that minibus like it's a gold-plated lowrider; listen to your Enrique; and how you jabber on your cellphone whilst navigating the streets of Weehawken with a busload of passengers. G-d must truly love you too, frog-lady, with your gravelly voice; ordering your daily three pack ration of Marlboro Lights 100's. G-d loves the way you peer through your pie-plate bifocals to forage through your purse for change while we all inhale your drugstore counter perfume behind you on the line at the Quick-Check.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

AT LAST: Ray has finally resumed blogging. For the non-digerati out there, Ray Ozzie is one of the true visionaries of the electronic world we now inhabit. Thanks, Ned, for the heads up. Ray also authored an interesting read on C|Net here.

In other news, tonight (and tomorrow in the Jewish lunar calendar) is the sixteenth anniversary of my beloved father's passing. I miss you every day, Dad.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003


-I am the youngest of five, so I was spoiled rotten. -Contrary to poular belief, I am not a Mama's boy. -Lawn Mower is not a Jewish word. -Neither is Belt Sander. -Vacuum definitely is. -I think live near a methadone clinic -I've never actually been inside. -Tattoos and body art do not automatically bestow coolness upon a person. -Oh wait, yes they do. -I have no plans to get any tattoos or body art. -Dogs are definitely smarter than cats.

Monday, April 21, 2003

SCHMUCK DEPARTMENT: I ducked out of my sister's house this afternoon for a quick jaunt to B&N. (I needed a break from serving as a cheese rag for my niece.) Browsing the computer section looking for a good introductory Python book, I came across a dude that was just following people around and burping loudly. I mean really letting 'em rip. I muttered "that's nasty" under my breath so that he could hear me and let it go. Should I have really reprimanded him? Please advise.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

GIMLET, INCORPORATED: Staying with my sister, aka, the prototype, (more on that another time) over the holiday weekend has somehow renewed my determination to start my own software company. I've been toying with the idea on and off for almost two years now, but only recently has my cornerstone application idea really begun to coalesce. The geek in me is grappling with the application foundation details (core development languages, environments, bindings, protocols, storage, etc.) while the consultant in me is making sure that the product will satisfy a well-defined need. I'm trying to keep in mind that a good enterpreneur has to wear several hats. I'm also very cognizant of the need to remain on focus in any entrepreneurial endeavor if this thing is ever going to work -one very good reason that I haven't jumped into this foray sooner. I ramble. More to come...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

THE MISSING LINK: Ah, so this is what's been missing...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

AN SNL SKIT IDEA: Jimmy and Horatio as former Iraqi policemen going through an American police training simulator for instruction on how to patrol the streets of Baghdad. Hilarity ensues as they instinctively harrass women and sadistically taunt and beat random men who are "looking at them wrong."

Sunday, April 13, 2003

RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM THE ETHER: I Just got back from seeing Old School for the second time. It's still funny. Vince and Will crack me up. I bet there'll be a sequel. More thoughts:

--I think the Jetsons would make a fun live action film. -So would Futurama, with real good Star Wars special effects. -I would also like to see an A-list remake of Flash Gordon with the original Queen soundtrack intact. -I got a haircut this Friday. The shampoo lady (real cute) was awesome. I felt like a puppy when she rubbed my temples and scalp. I think I'd like to patent a machine that circulates hot water around my head while massaging my temples and scalp. With some VR goggles, I'd never leave my couch! -When did Billy Corgan form a new band? And what's with the chick in '70's style gym shorts and yellow pumps? -Craig Kilborn cracked me up when he addressed the Iraqi nation. He said: "Welcome to democracy. Henceforth all your streetcorners will now be referred to as Starbucks. -How did Alicia Witt (natch, another fiery redhead) end up on every other movie on TMC?"

OK. I'm done for now. Good night everybody!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

GODZILLA MOMENT: Last week I caught some of Jurassic Park 2 on the TV. An otherwise forgettable movie with Speilberg's typical great cinematography. I couldn't help but chuckle when the T-Rex was stomping through San Diego (at least I think that's the city) and a bunch of Japanese folk started screaming and running. Sigh, that brings me back to my youth in Hokkaido when Godzilla would routinely, snack on our power lines. [Editor's note, the preceding sentence may not be true.] Citizens of Tokyo! Run Away! Run Away!
MY AMAZING FAMILY, PART II: So I have this brother, see. He doesn't want me to use his name or divulge any personal information about himself or his family. I can understand that, the internet can be a scary place -especially for someone with a family to protect. So, how can I crow about how great this guy is without revealing too much? [Sidebar: Now I have an inkling of what those embedded reporters with the Third Infantry Division (The Big 3) had to contend with.] To begin with, my brother has served as my male role model after my father (of blessed memory) passed away when I was a mere pup of fifteen. To date, I have not found (nor do I intend to go looking) for a satisfactory individual to replace him in that capacity. My brother has a beautiful family, a successful career and leads a virtuous life. All things of which I am currently (sadly) lacking. Additionally, my brother has a special rapport with kids that is amazing to behold. To put it succintly, he speaks their language. Its not uncommon to find children of all ages enraptured by his "[NAME DELETED]-ese" a pidgin language he developed with his best friend as a child that is still fascinating to this day. His childlike fascination of all things (especially giving me a dead knee or tapping me on my shoulder the moment I turn my back to him) always keeps things interesting. This is not to downplay his intellectual side, which is formidable. I guess that's why his office keeps him at work to ungodly hours and calls him in a lot on weekends. How he finds time to attend a daily Talmud study group and devote attention to his family I'll never know. But he does, and does it well. Perhaps that's part of the mystery of my Big Brother (caps intended) that I'll never fathom. Stay tuned for additional installements of <reverb>MY AMAZING FAMILY.</reverb>

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

RAIN, RAIN: Go away, come again some other day. Like, Thursday.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

REALITY CHECK: So I'm building a really nifty computer. The idea is that I'll have a media center that connects to my TV and plays and records DVDs, CDs and MP3's, along with storing all of my CD's in a 40 gigabyte hard disk jukebox. The unit itself is a tiny cube made out of aluminum with a Lucite front and soft blue indicator lights. It really looks like a piece of high-end stereo equipment. Unfortunately, one or more of the myriad parts I am using to build this sucker isn't working properly. This brings me to my rant: Why is it that when building a PC from components, at least one of the component parts is always defective? I'm oh-for two thus far in PC building in this regard. Despite being extremely satisfied with the product of my first attempt at building a custom box, an AMD Athlon, dual CPU-capable monster, I am finding the process of homebrew computing very irritating due to poor component quality.
UNSUNG HEROES DEPARTMENT: Installment II, Carlo Urbani.

Monday, April 07, 2003

THOSE MAGIC MOMENTS: I spent this weekend with my brother and his family. While this is noteworthy in and of itself, this weekend was special because I had what I like to call my "bonding moment" with my brother's youngest -a toddler- Bruiser (Name changed to protect the innocent.) Let me explain: My brother's kids are more emotionally complex than, say, my two married sisters' broods. While my sisters' kids are instantly friendly to anyone who walks in the door (Sidebar: It's a good thing my oldest sister lives in a sheltered community in Israel, her kids would be more than happy to jump into a stranger's car right quick.) my brother's need to be coaxed into worshipping the ground I walk on. [Sigh, being an uncle these days requires more legwork than it used to.] But I digress. Bruiser, a stubborn little guy, used to hide behind his mother's skirt whenever I came near him. I should also mention that at a mere 6' 1" I am the tallest member of my known family (immediate and extended) and I am probably the tallest being he has ever set eyes upon. This weekend, after the Friday night Sabbath meal, I stretched out on my brother's new couch and was coerced into reading a story for Princess (not her real name,) another of my brother's little people. While reading, Bruiser sized up my lanky body and decided that I make a perfect jungle gym. And so a bond was formed. By the end of the evening, the only way my sister-in-law could get the little guy to bed was to promise him that he could wake me up and play with me first thing in the morning. Thankfully, he didn't seem to recall the deal in the morning as I'm told he's quite the early riser and I -as you can image- prefer to emerge as close to noon as possible on a Saturday morn.

Friday, April 04, 2003

WINDCHILL FACTOR IN THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION BELT: Temperature high of 100° M1A1 Tank interior temperature realfeel™ 110° Chance of chemical/biological attack low due to Northwestly winds pushing possible agents away from bulk of coalition troops. No need to dress for chem/bio attack, but bring along change of clothes just in case. Traffic heavy but moving. Thank you Fox News for today's Middle Eastern weather report, brought to you by Euphrates Life Insurance: "Get a piece of Iraq!"™

Thursday, April 03, 2003

A DIFFERENT KIND OF VIRAL ACTIVITY: I read about this article last night: Where do they get young men like this? on Rachel's site. Stay with me because this plays out like Six Degrees of Separation (or Three Degrees of Kevin Bacon, depending upon which generation you hail from.) Rachel linked to Donald who found it on Lt. Smash. That was last night. No further action was taken by me. By 11:26AM EST this morning, I had received an e-mail from Charles, a relatively non-wired friend with the story. The story's been making its rounds at the financial concern that he works for. By 12:10PM, Peter -who sits two cubicles down from me at my consulting gig- had posted a link to this article in our shared Kubi Space. Note that Peter, Charles and Rachel have no knowledge of each other whatsoever; nor does Rachel (to the best of my knowledge) even know that I exist. It's simply amazing how quickly ideas spread in the digital age. It is said that "Information wants to be free." Well, if that's so, this particular nugget deserves the George Washington freedom award.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

STOP THE PRESSES: Jake: headline: Explosions heard in Bagdad! Kat: wow! who'd have thought?! Jake: How about: bagels sold in New York! Kat: or: plastic surgery popular in los angeles! Jake: do more!, do more! Jake: Cigarettes cause Cancer! Kat: cars use gasoline! Jake: was working on one like that Kat: heh Jake: Men want sex! Kat: jake's mind is in the gutter! Kat: :P
BOREDOM AND RANDOM THOUGHTS: I've been quite bored as of late. The thing is, the war is so preoccupying my mind that It's hard to be creative and blog about anything else. Since I've pretty much foresworn against warblogging, that doesn't leave much for me to wax on about. Thus, dear reader(s) you see such posts as the one prior to this, a jumble of geekorama. Some random thoughts from the ether:

-I like Owen Wilson's shtick. I'm watching "I, Spy" with Eddie Murphy and Owen and, while I can see why some critics didn't think much of it, Wilson's action hero with an id act is vastly entertaining, especially when paired with Murphy's super-sized ego. -The difference between living in the '90's on the Upper West side of Manhattan and the 70's in a nutshell: In the '90's shooting for Law and Order crime scenes block traffic; In the '70's it's Sex and the City (I just looked at an apartment in the building that serves as Miranda's lobby.) (Sidebar: I've actually complained to the indifferent teamsters running the shoot that my Mom watches L&O and she'd start worrying if she keeps recognizing my neighborhood as the crime scene.) -A lot of the blogs of a personal nature that I've been "blogrolling" are becoming stale and repetitive. Is mine?

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Again, the tag line is intentionally misleading. I use and recommend the Eclipse consortium's namesake IDE (that's Integrated Development Environment for you non-techies who've made it this far in this post without realizing there's really no reason for you to bother.) As of this writing, release 2.1 has been out for several days and I've been itching to get my hands on it. I can't, because Eclipse and its lone mirror site are apparently overloaded. Albeit annoying, I suppose this is a good indicator of Eclipse's popularity. The rival NetBeans project is also a fully featured IDE, but it's too sluggish to be useful on my PC. For those of you who don't understand the significance of the competition between the two IDEs, this article is a a great read on why specific design decisions (aka politics) were made for each application. In short, NetBeans has a beautiful, highly configurable and flexible UI that is remarkably consistent across multiple platforms, but pays a performance penalty for this design elegance. For now, this penalty is one that I cannot bear.
STILL WATERS RUN DEEP: Or, from the department of fortuitous coincidences.

Gimlet Eyes: ADJECTIVE Having a penetrating or piercing quality: gimlet eyes. (From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

I just liked Vodka Gimlets, the preferred drink of Phillip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's gumshoe.