Sunrise over Lake Champlain from Ticonderoga


Support the victims of Hurricane Katrina (click image)


Musings and Meanderings

Saturday, November 30, 2002

_______________________________

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.

-- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

posted by Mike 12:34 PM

Friday, November 29, 2002


Turkey Trot

Well Alexander did something remarkable yesterday. Those of you that know him well know that although he has MANY outstanding personality features.. His unfortunate tendency to crumple when the going gets tough and whine about it is one we have been working on with him.

Well earlier this week he announced that he wanted to run in the Annual "Turkey Trot" which is Troy's Thanksgiving Day Marathon. Now because this is a family event there are quite a few distances people can run. Alexander participated in the Grade School Trot which was One Mile. He did it in just over 10 min. Not bad for a 9 yr old, as his dear old dad's best mile time was 7:47 in HS.

Oh and it was like 20 degrees yesterday AM.

So big kudo's to Alexander for this! I have reinforced just how impressed I was on numerous occasions yesterday.

Thanksgiving

We spend Turkey Day every year at the home of Liza's Aunt Sue and Uncle Ed. Don't create a mental image of a "Grand Aunt" here, Sue and Ed are 8 and 10 yrs older than me respectively as Sue is 13 yrs younger than Liza's Mom. Ed is the oldest of 8 (give or take one) and Thanksgiving is the Annual Farrell reuinion. We are blessed to be able to attend this on an annual basis ourselves as Ed's entire family is very interesting and great to talk to. Watching all the kids grow up is fun too as we see them exactly once a year so it is not difficult to notice!

Hope you all had a great Turkey day as well.

Love to all

Mike

_____________________________________________

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoyes several times the same good things for the first time.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

posted by Mike 11:41 AM

Wednesday, November 27, 2002



Movie Time!!



I have downloaded the full theatrical trailer for The Two Towers. First of all it is very exciting! Second it is very disturbing. I am positive I saw Legolis sliding down some stairs in a battle on a skateboard. Oi! More to the point it sure looks to me like they are really playing up the "love triangle" between Eowyn, Aragorn and Arwen. Please. This was barely a hint in the books. Yes we know that Eowyn pines for Aragorn.. but it is not played up in the books. Thank god. Also there are scenes in the Trailer that I cannot for the life of me place involving Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Arwen (Liv Tyler) discussing Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) having to do with Aragorn not returning or some such nonsense.

Now I had major reservations about the Fellowship of the Ring and I was dead wrong. The theatrical trailer is mega powerful and very exciting. I just hope the Tolkien Scholars that were involved in the movie were conservative. Anyway if you have not seen the trailer in the theatre download it at The Lord of the Rings.net



We went and saw the Chamber of Secrets on Sunday. Yea almost three hours.. but it was rather good. I had just read the first four books before seeing The Sorcerers Stone last year so the entire series was very fresh in my mind. Certainly much has faded over the year but the movie seemed very true to the book. There was much talk of this one being looser and funnier than the first due to the more relaxed attitude of the principle children actors. I really didn't see that but did find the movie quite fun and amusing. The Mega Spider scene and the Slug Mouth scene were a bit much for Liza (she hates spiders) but I enjoyed them. I would give this one 4.5 stars out of 5 for sure. Take your kid. Take yourself if you don't have a kid. Seeing Richard Harris was great and of course sad. I've been a fan of his since my Mom used to play the soundtrack to Camelot around the house. And I've seen Camelot quite a few times. I felt that this role was a wonderful tribute to his career. I'm glad that he lasted to the first two movies. Think if his last role had been the role from Patriot Games! Eeek.

_________________________________________

Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.

-- George Santayana




posted by Mike 6:32 PM

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Gore Speaks!!!!!

"The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party," said Mr. Gore in an interview with The Observer. "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole."

Hmm .. I do think he has something here.

Pity he couldn't speak from the gut two years ago...

__________________________________________

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.

-- Bill Vaughan

posted by Mike 7:38 PM

Saturday, November 23, 2002


Playing PAC man



The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the Pharmaceutical Industry spent 14 Million dollars in soft money on the Republicans this Year vs. 5 Million on the Democrats. I assume that they are expecting some bang for their buck. I wouldn't expect the New Republican Front to disappoint them. So you can pretty much kiss good bye any hope of health care reform for at least two years.. probably longer.

Read the breakdown here.

And seniors. Get used to high prices for your drugs.

Sheesh

_____________________________________________

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?

-- Art Hoppe


posted by Mike 7:00 PM

Friday, November 22, 2002

And so it begins

He is not waiting for the dust to settle..

1) Whitman announced major rollbacks of the Clean Air act.. thank god the States in the Northeast are going to challenge it.

2) Then there is that good ol Homeland Security thingy.. sounds very Mein Kampf to me.. where in the Freedom of Information act looks like it is getting a major diluting.

More Time on the Road

Did the 9 hrs on the road today. Albany to Lodi to Newark to Oakland to Albany (NO you Californians this was in NY and NJ not the bay area). What I didn't mention in my rant of a week ago is that I spent the last three "road days" listening to the unabridged Silmarillion.. which I have on MP3. The whole dam book on less than one CD.

Anyway it was great to listen to and I got a better grasp on the whole Mythos by having it read to me.

Bye bye!!

posted by Mike 6:34 PM
And awawaaaaaaaaaaay we go!!!!




________________________________
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.

-- Daniel J. Boorstin

posted by Mike 7:58 AM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Today is Jam Band Day

Started by listening to the Other Ones from Alpine Valley WI - The "first" shows... Last night.. dug it.

So I brought my Jam Band CD Binder to work.. been listening to String Cheese Incident all day.


Damn I love this stuff somethimes.

Out
posted by Mike 3:01 PM
Why does this just NOT suprise me




What Kind of Coffee are You? by Medox



Thanks to my good friend and brother-from-different-mothers Project 2501for the link to this great and fun quiz.

_______________________________

The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best.

-- Will Rogers


posted by Mike 1:09 PM

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

MAKE THE PIE HIGHER

Thanks to my dear friend VacumKitty for passing along this one. it is so funny.. and very sad too.

You have probably read most of the presidential quotes below
somewhere before, but this poem is composed entirely of actual quotes from
George W. Bush.

The quotes have been arranged for aesthetic presentation by Washington
Post writer Richard Thompson.


MAKE THE PIE HIGHER
by George W. Bush

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pit bull on the pant leg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

posted by Mike 10:42 PM

Sunday, November 17, 2002

The Other Ones

No that is not a bad horror movie. It's the core of the Grateful Dead with out Jerry of course. Jimmy Herring stands in for Jerry's guitar and there were two keyboardists: Rob Boroco and Jeff Chemeti. The band really shared the vocals around with even Mickey singing and Phil doing a very mellow Terrapin. Of course Bobby (beard and all) did a majority of the vocal duties.

Those who know me well understand that I am just not good with song titles. Heck I knew 100% of the songs that we heard tonight but not all the names so bear with me. As I said we got a very tight and mellow Terrapin which really hung together well. They followed Terrapin and ended the second set with an instrumental Stella Blue that was very beautiful. I suppose it was the tribute song to Jerry. Allow us heads to hear the song with Jerry singing it in our memories.

It was a bit jarring not having Jerry there of course. Something was definitely missing, but Jimmy Herring did a fine job standing in. I am surprised they didn't get the guitarist from Jazz is Dead who toured with Phil Lesh and Friends because I thought he did a much better "Jerry" than Jimmy however.

We also got a Estimated and a great Scarlet Begonia's. The middle of the second set was a couple of late 80's songs whose titles escape me, but they were Bobby songs and they really worked out well. Overall as Liza said on the way home they were a lot mellower than she remembered and I agree. I hate to use the word but they are much more mature as well. I think being apart for a while gave each of the core band an even better personal musical identity. With each of them bringing this back to the group setting the band meshed superbly.

This was a family outing so Alex came along as well. This was his first real exposure to this crowd and music so it was interesting to see he found it enjoyable. Liza took him around the Pepsi during the first set and he seemed to enjoy that. He also enjoyed the music but fell asleep after Drums during Space LOL. He was out cold in the car almost immediately after we got going.

All in all a great show and night for all. Read a professionally written and very positive local newspaper review in the Albany Times Union HERE. Or a less professional but still nice article from the Schenectady Gazette HERE..

My friend Fiendeye sent me the set list Monday AM:

11/16/02 Pepsi Arena - Albany, NY

Set 1: Cold Rain & Snow, Estimated Prophet > Crazy Fingers > Jam > Good
Lovin' > The Eleven ) > Little Red Rooster > Casey Jones

Set 2: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Uncle John's Band > Lost
Sailor > St. Of Circumstance > Drumz> Space > Terrapin Station, Stella Blue
Instrumental, E: One More Saturday Night


Lineup: Phil Lesh - bass and vocals, Bob Weir - guitar and vocals, Bill
Kreutzman - drums, Mickey Hart - percussion, Jimmy Herring - guitar. Jeff
Chimenti - keyboards. Rob Barraco - keyboards and vocals.

Source: TaperRob

_______________________________

We are not the best at what we do. We are the only ones who do what we do.

Jerry Garcia

posted by Mike 12:43 AM

Friday, November 15, 2002

2 days on the Road

As the subj says I just spent two days on the road for the company.. Our normal driver was out with the flu.. so lets get the VP of Marketing to do it.. yea he'll do anything. Let Mikey try it!!!!

NEVER again. I spent 12 hours on the road on Thursday, 7:30 to 7:30 picking up converters in the 5 borough area. I was driving a 16ft diesel truck, the largest you can drive without a CDL. The count was: 3 people gave me the finger, 11 people cut me off dangerously, and 4 people almost hit me! Right now I'd say that all of the roads in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx (the major thoroughfares not the side streets) are being ripped up and there are detours EVERYWHERE. Never have I "met" so many people with their heads so far up their collective arses than what I saw in the boroughs yesterday. Not one act of kindness, say letting someone into a lane. How could these people think that their lives are SO important that their "important mission" is more important than the next driver.

And to rub salt in the wound I missed the Al Stewart show at the local Jazz Club here in the Albany area cause I was so tired. Imagine that I saw him last year in Berkeley, and last spring at a club an hour and a half from the house, and I can't go see him when he plays locally. Someone owes me big time! LOL.

Friday was a lot easier: Just 7 hrs on the road to Northern NJ and back. Much more laid back drive.. though it is still a looong haul up the state of NY. Lucky it has stopped raining from earlier in the week and it was clear, mild and sunny.

Still 19 hrs on the road over two days is enough for me for a while.

Tonight: Alex has WeBelos, Chinese for dinner.

Tomorrow: The whole family is seeing "the Other Ones" - that is the Grateful Dead without Jerry. I hope Alex likes the music. Liza loved the Grateful Dead Live the few times we saw them together. I have the recording from the Shows in Alpine Valley Wisconsin from this spring and they are very good. Hope they hold up over the entire tour. I can't see that it will match seeing YES from the third row (we have balcony seats tomorrow) but it should be fun.

Thanks for reading.

______________________________________________
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

-- Voltaire

posted by Mike 6:21 PM

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


It's been raining for three days straight now.

The weekend was very nice however, warm and semi-sunny, we did up the fall leaves and repainted the front porch. Changed the color too, it was battleship grey and now it is Aircraft Carrier Grey. :-) We created like 10 Leaf bags and that was after we gathered a lot of the leaves around the base of the house. Liza learned this trick from the folks in the more rural areas of NYS while out on her routes for work. This is supposed to insulate the house during the winter better. Apparently they don't get rid of the fall leaves until Spring time. We shall see.

My clever quotes are brought to me each day by the Quote of the Day mailing list which can be found over on Topica. Topica is nice, it is an alternative to YahooGroups and is much less intrusive. Unfortunately it is much less known and therefor has much less available content. This is where I host a private discussion group consisting of some of my dear friends from the San Jose area. We just post to one e-mail addy - the group - and it gets distributed to all of us.

Neat eh?

_______________________________________
Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.

-- William Dement
posted by Mike 8:36 AM

Monday, November 11, 2002

Homeowner Fun and Games

Well Veterans Day. Liza took the day off to spend with Alex and I got to work. The upside is that when I got home instead of hustling around to get out of the office a 5pm, pick up Alex.. go shopping and make dinner, I got to come home to a home cooked dinner. Folks it was VERY '50's! And I hate to say I loved it. Mentioned that to Liza and she just smiled and asked me if played the Lottery recently.

So anyway JUST before we sit down to dinner Liza notices water leaking from under the sink. Homeowner Games! Got to run up to Home Depot and buy two new pipes after Dinner.

Then install them. Weeeeeee. Honestly it was very satisfying. I know that is strange but it was. Oh and for those who think I have no home repair skills (including my dear wife who was almost on the phone with Uncle Ed 10 min into my repair) I was quite able to reinstall the new "s" pipe with out leakage. So there!

Out

_____________________________________________________________
There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.

-- Arthur C. Clarke

posted by Mike 10:44 PM

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Those FORD commercials

There are two commercials that are bugging the you know what out of me. Ok so maybe you think I watch too much Television but really I have a few select programs that I watch regularly. And I watch sports. Probably my downfall.

Ok so if you are with me so far track this:

The first is the Mustang Commercial with Bill Ford Jr. Dear Bill tells us how after seeing some movie with Steve McQueen he just had to have a Mustang. And because of that he has "oil in his veins". Ok Ok.. hold me back...

Yo Bill! Did you check your last name?? I think you were BORN with Oil in your veins.. and if you can't have ANY Ford vehicle you want when you want it.. then what is the point of being CEO of Ford and having that clever last name of yours??

Second one gets me even more. To me this is a microcosm of what is wrong with America today. So here we have this country singer (first strike against him trust me on that one) crooning on and on about his Ford Truck. He would rather walk 10 miles than ride in a non Ford Pick up. Ok Ok Hold me back.

Just how stupid is that? Ok let me decide here.. Walk 10 miles in my Cowboy boots on a dusty hot road.. or get a ride? Hmmm Gosh.. since I am a COMPLETE moron I guess I will just listen to more country music and WALK.

Sheesh.

__________________________________________________________
If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim".

-- Lyndon B. Johnson


posted by Mike 10:55 PM

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Pachyderm CT

Ok before I explain that one I'd like to commend Rich Gephardt for reading my Blog of yesterday and saying he is stepping down from the leadership role in the House.

Tom Daschel are you listening??

Ok I QUIT SMOKING using the Pachyderm CT method.

Better than the Nicoderm CQ method and a lot cheaper. What does CQ mean anyway?

So what is the Pachyderm CT method you ask????

Easy... Using a will as strong as a Bull Elephant I went COLD TURKEY.

The only way to fly. I used the step down method actually... the first three days of quitting I cut back to a cig or two before bed so I could sleep. Then when the body said "I am ready to finally quit" I just did. Now I was never a heavy smoker. When people hear that I smoked some will be surprised. I was a one pack for every two to three days depending on stress and the day of the week. My biggest problem is that I used to read in the attic while I was smoking. That associated two pleasurable things together.. but I moved the reading lamp into the bedroom and have so far made that adjustment as well.

Yea I still get "crunchy" on a cyclical basis.. but that too will pass.

So there ya go. Another success story. YEA WELL... ask me in a year if it worked.

____________________________
Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair.

-- George Burns
posted by Mike 8:13 AM

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Welcome back on Black Wednesday

I'm in a LOUSY mood this am.

It is patently obvious to me that the general voting populace in the US is a bible thumping, gun toting, jingoistic moron who will blindly do what they are told instead of thinking for themselves. The power of the right wing coalition in the South to elect Republicans is phenomenal. The Democrats have no such grass roots tradition anymore with the loss of power of the Union base it used to rely on. Personally as an Econ major I never liked this base anyway... but that is another story.

However on the other side it is time for Dashel and Gephardt to step down from their "leadership" roles, a term I use very loosely by the way, and make room for someone with some vision and some brains. In any other business of "winning and loosing" from sports teams to marketing campaigns, a defeat of this magnitude is always followed by the resignation or firing the managers. Time for the Democratic National Committee to get rid of it's upper echelon and for these two clowns to sit down and shut up.

________________________________
Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
-- Lily Tomlin
posted by Mike 10:24 AM

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

OMG 3rd Row seats!!

Last night I saw Yes in Albany NY from the 3rd row on the floor. No more than 25 feet from the stage. It was like having my own personal Yes concert. A Yes show is a near religious experience for me anyway because the band is so full of positive energy and good thoughts.

I did NOT have tickets at 1pm the day of the show.

At 2:00 I had third row center on the floor at the Pepsi.. I was no more than 25 feet from the stage.

How did I do this?

Look for tix online 3 to 5 hours before a show. The Promotional seats must be used and if they are not given away they get released during this time frame to the public. I just kept hitting ticketmeiser until these great seats came up.

For those of you that do not know.. Rick Wakeman is back with the band. They played stuff from all 30 yrs of their existence... from Roundabout to stuff off of the new album.

This was one for the memory book. In the end it is impossible to put into words how wonderful this was.

________________________________
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

-- Isaac Asimov

posted by Mike 10:33 AM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind