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Musings and Meanderings

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Took the day off from Blogging.

High note of the day catching up on e-mails
posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Freaky Friday

Oh what a fun movie. I'm sure you know the plot, it's an oldie but goodie, parent and child switch bodies. Here we have Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan as Mother and Daughter. I must say that Lindsay Lohan is very cute in this role. Although Jamie Lee is a great actress (stop laughing) I thought that Lindsay Lohan did a better job playing a mom trapped in a 15 yr old body than Jamie Lee did doing the opposite. The soundtrack really was fun, with a ton of Covers by Alternative bands. In fact I bought it for Alex right after the movie. Another GREAT disney movie in the line of the "Princess Diaries".

Well Alex and I are going to watch the DVD of The Two Towers tonight. Thanks for reading.
posted by Mike 7:26 PM
Alexander Samir Habiby 10 years old.

The multi part Birthday continued this am on his actual day of birth. He came up to the bedroom around 7:30 am wanting to open presents. Understandable but waaaaaay too early on a Saturday of a three day weekend. So he opened one while we were still asleep in the am.

I got up and went to the store for the "Alex's special eggs" ingredients. The rest of the world calls it Eggs Benedict. He loves it. Then he opened presents! We gave him Roller Coaster Tycoon II and a nice silver necklace and cross. Liza took him to the "Great Escape" on Thursday so after wrapping presents last night she is "off the hook". Like I said I made us Eggs Benedict for breakfast and I am taking him to see the new Jamie Lee Curtis Movie "Freaky Friday" at 2:30pm. Then Liza is meeting us up near the theater for an early supper at the Outback restaurant, also his choice.

So far Andrew called from France, with Jeremy and Sophie singing Happy Birthday, and Mom called as well. I don't expect Larry as he is in the Philippines for a Rotary thing. If any family members read this, and miss Alex at home you can call my Cell number, but we will be in a movie from 2:30 to 4:30.

Few other updates of a most trivial nature. Kevin and I did not do the second Satellite Install yesterday, but the first was a good four hours. Celebrated my $30 Apex DVD player last night by watching a Dr. Who upstairs on the bed while Liza was watching her shows downstairs.

There is a lot of shit happening in the world that's pissing me off but frankly I've been too busy to compose more mutterings along Political lines. Maybe something this weekend. Please follow some of the blogs I've found to the right ... the ones lower on the list are often more political in nature and usually carry some eye opening story you may have missed.

QOTD: The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving.
-- Russell Green

Now reading: Well I wanted to start re-reading the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer but I don't seem to have them any more. I think they got water damaged like 15 yrs ago and I never replaced them. So.....

Now reading: Theodore Rex. More Morris. More Roosevelt. Just 50 pages in and I'm totally sucked in again.. this author is amazing.
posted by Mike 1:03 PM

Friday, August 29, 2003

Another Friday.

One possibly two satellite installs today. First one starts btw 9am and 9:30am in Schenectady (that blighted town I used to live in) and then one in Delmar "after". This should keep me out of the office for the day. This is a good thing.

Customer calls yesterday saying she wants to sell her DVD player. I told her we don't buy scrap but we would dispose of it for her. No she says it works.. Her boy friend moved out and she calls herself Old School preferring Video Tapes. How much do you want for it I ask? $30.00. Ok bring it in. Needless to say I bought it not the shop. So now I have an Apex AD-1010W up in the bedroom so I can watch DVD's if Liza is watching something else downstairs. Only problem is no remote, so I have to go find one.

Liza AND Alex walked in the door at 9:45 last night. Seems that the whole freaking day with his friends was a bit much and Liza thought he should sleep in his own bed. Guess the boys got on each other's nerves a bit near the end. Major kudo's to the wife, best friend, mom and lover for doing this for Alex.

Today should not top 80 so I'm in jeans again for an install. Hope I don't regret that. This weekend should be grand and not break 80, maybe more like mid 70's. The nights are so cool that I've turned off the fan so we don't freeze.

Thanks for checking in.
posted by Mike 8:26 AM

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Alex's big day

We are starting the celebration of Alexander's 10th birthday a tad early this year. Liza concocted a wonderful day that I wanted to share.

This am Liza picked up Alexander and his two best friends Lucas and Tyler and took them to our local amusement park The Great Escape. I called them from the office around 9am and they were on the way up there, so they probably got there around 10 or so. Just got off the phone with Liza and they are returning now so they stayed at the park for nearly 10 hours. Liza must be exhausted.

Lucas is Alex's best friend from school, the aftershool program, and sports. Amazingly he and Alex have ended up on many of the same teams in Soccer and Little League. I shouldn't say amazingly because I've drafted Lucas every year I have had the chance when coaching. They play at the same level in Soccer every other year due to Alex's birthday falling late in August, as Lucas is a few months older he always goes up one level before Alex. Lucas is the middle child of three, a girl on either side, so we see Lucas quite a lot on weekends when him Mom wants to go shopping with the girls.

In addition Alex gets to spend the night at Tyler's house as a special treat. It is the last week of the YMCA and this is where he sees Tyler every year as they live in differing cities. Tyler's mom works at the YMCA so hopefully Alex will see more of him in the evenings when I begin to go to the gym again. His mom is a great lady who is working on her teaching credential while raising Tyler herself.

So I got a quiet night to myself reading and watching some football, and Liza doesn't have to worry about getting Alex to the YMCA in the am and can get an early start on her day. Unlike many, but not most, if she takes a day off she has to make it up before and after.

QOTD: There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.
-- Thomas A. Edison

Now Reading: Second Chance at Eden. Short stories set in the Reality Dysfunction universe created by Peter Hamilton (there are some links in earlier entries below)

OBCD today: Live shows downloaded from the live music archive - Addison Groove Project, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Particle and Live Trout.
posted by Mike 9:01 PM

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Fun Bumper Stickers

posted by Mike 12:21 PM

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Robert Calvert saw it, do you?

Space is infinite
It is Dark
Space is neutral.
It is cold
Stars occupy minute areas of Space. They are cluttered a few billion here. A few Billion there. As if seeking consolation in numbers.
Space does not care.
Space does not threaten.
Space does not comfort.
It does not sleep; it does not wake; it does not dream; it does not hope; it does not fear; it does not love; it does not hate; it does not encourage any of these qualities.
Space cannot be measured. It cannot be angered. It cannot be placated. It cannot be summed up.

Thanks for reading that. It was written by a slightly crazy South African poet named Robert Calvert. Bob committed suicide eventually, but before then he rubbed arms with such luminaries in my underground world as Dave Brock and Michael Moorcock.

SPACE IS THERE. This long mind bend is here because I want to open some minds. And I don't want anyone to think me heartless.

People will die in our conquest of Space. This is tragic. It is not necessary. But it will happen. But if we do not keep pushing the boundaries of our Mother Earth we are surely doomed to die suffocating in our own poisons. To allow their sacrifices, from the Apollo One crew to the Columbia Crew, to go for naught would be a massive shame.

The most recent NASA accident is very tragic. The report published today from all I have heard has not pointed any fingers at individuals or processes. It has said that complex things happen to complex systems.

My worry is that Congress will use this as just another excuse to cut back NASA. One of the conclusions of this report I understand is that Money became more important than Safety. Yes Space is Deep. It does not care. It is a bloody dangerous place to be. Does this country have the courage, the vision and the foresight to see that the best tribute to these pioneers is to continue a robust program? Those Pioneers had all those qualities in spades.

My perspective is always a long one. I suppose I have been reading Speculative Fiction for too long, but in my mind a technological species without a Space Program is one doomed to eventual extinction. Homo Sapiens does not seem clever enough to figure out how to live on Mother Earth in harmony with Nature. So our only alternative is to go to the stars. Maybe FTL is Speculative Fiction writer's fantasy. But I think we should find out, don't you?

posted by Mike 11:05 PM
Boys night IN

Every other Monday night is boys night in. Usually its DVD night as well. We get what we want from the store for dinner (within reason) and rent a movie we both want to see.

So last night Alex had Pizza and cheeze sticks. I had baked chicken legs. (This is a story unto itself, as apparently our stove is not working now, so I baked them in the dish in the BBQ. Yummy!)

We rented Shanghai Knights. Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. What a gas. It's basically a sendup of the late 60's and early 70's english comedys. Something the casual movie watcher would miss completely. Especially the Pillow Fight scene.

I didn't see the first Chan/Wilson movie but I can assume from Chan's character name that name dropping jokes are the running gag. Here we have Inspector "Artie" who turns out to be Arthur Conan Doyle, and an urchin who turns out to be Charlie Chaplin. Highlight the blank spaces if you wish to know the names and have seen the movie.. or will not ever see the movie. They are left white on white so as not to spoil the surprise for those who wish to see it.

Any way very funny flick. Rent it.
posted by Mike 1:12 PM

Monday, August 25, 2003

Yesterday I couldn't spell satellite installer and now I R One

KD and I did our first real satellite install today. I say real because last two were easy. The first was simply intalling a new dish where they had an old one, and the second the customer had already put in a pole and run the cable.

So yesterday we did the whole thing. Sight survey. Picked the best spot on the house. Ran Cable to two spots in the house, one upstairs and one downstairs. Installed the decoders and attached the dish to said house. Then came the fun part. "Hitting" three satellites with one parabolic dish. The key is in the tilt of the dish, getting the signals to reflect properly into the LNB's (those funny little things at the end of a satellite mast that take in the signal.)

This took MOST of the day yesterday. But we were in beautiful "Brunswick" approximately halfway from Troy to the VT border. Very picturesque. Got some good sun too. In black jeans. Don't ask why I wore those! Sweat city AZ!

So we left the office at 11:30, got up there at 12:30 and left there at 5:00. Not bad for half a day's work.

OBCD today: particle shows I downloaded this weekend. These guys are amazing. Some Hawkwind and some Sound Tribe Sector 9.

Now Reading: Second Chance at Eden. A collection of short stories set in Peter Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction Universe.

QOTD: Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.
-- Samuel Johnson
posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Soccer season begins today

I have been coaching for 5 straight soccer seasons. But this year I am living the Life Of Reilly and being just a parent.

Alexander's birthday lands on an awkward date, so that every other year he is the oldest on his team, and the other year one of the youngest. This is an "oldest" year and he is showinging himself quite the leader. This may be a good thing for his ego and skill maturation to gain confidence in his playing. Not to mention that I'm not coaching him...

Ok here are some pictures.. The team did not win.. but did rally to within one goal by the end of the game. You can see Alex in each of these except the last.. where he is blocked. The little redhead is Emily, the Coach's daughter and a real star. She scored one of the two goals in the game.

posted by Mike 4:46 PM

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Writing the Great American Novel

I guess for any GAN you need a Great American Character. I've got one for you, tell me if you think he will have the air of believability needed to be a successful Novelist.

First we will start out that this character is rather a sickly child. He/She will fight this tendency towards childhood asthma and other diseases well into his or her 20's.
He will publish his first book at the ripe age of 17, and have it recognized for years as the foremost source of its material.
This character will be accepted to the best college in their region at 18, after no formal public education.
At 21 he will marry a beautiful 17 year old girl, who will subsequently die just 3 years later.
At 23 he will be accepted into one of the best post graduate programs in his field.
At 24 he will be elected to a state wide office and serve two terms.
At 26 he will be elected leader of his party, and be a king maker at his party's National Convention.
In one single day he will loose his wife and mother from different illnesses.
Shucking his urban life he will decide to live in a different part of his country, and become an outdoorsman.
At 28 he will be a sheriff, large land and cattle owner, and local hero.
By 30 he will have written as many as 7 books and have already re-married.
At 31 he will become a anti-corruption Police Commissioner of a major metropolitan city.
At 35 he will take his first position in a National Government. One of many ascending in order.
At 39 he will be one step below a full cabinet member of his National Government.
At 40 he will nearly win a Congressional Medal of Honor for heroic acts overseas as a military man.
At 41 he will be the Chief executive of his State.
In his life he will start a major environmental movement, and harness anti-corruption movements to his benefit.

So that is how I have it mapped out to 40.
Ok Ok I lied.. no one would ever buy a book about a character who did all this. Don't you think it would be just a tad unbelievable?
Well gentle reader.. this is a true story of a most amazing human. His name is just above the horizontal line below. Highlight it with your mouse to read it. For those who wish to guess I have left it white on white so you can ponder my riddle.
Theodore Roosevelt

QOTD: What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
-- Oscar Levant

posted by Mike 8:30 PM

Friday, August 22, 2003

What I did today - aka my thrilling life

I defragmented my Hard Drives at home.

At work I processed paperwork for Electronic Doc. LOTS of paperwork. I worked through my lunch and left at 4.

Three people came in and got their TV's.

Alex had soccer practice. 1st Game is Sunday.

Alex spent the night at Tyler's house.

Liza and I had chicken kabobs for dinner.

We watched the "summer finalie" of SG-1

I watched the tape of Sci-Fi's Riverworld movie. (interesting now I have to dig up the book series and re read it).

I went to bed at 2am after reading more of the Roosevelt book.

Thrilling eh?
posted by Mike 11:59 PM

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The sheer unmitigated gall of some people

Hamas declares an end to their cease fire. Oh this one is rich. Hamas has declared that their "cease fire" is off since the Israelis killed one of their leaders today with a helicopter mounted rocket attack. What cease fire??? This helicopter attack was precipitated by the most recent suicide bombing.

How incredibly absurd for these criminals to have the gall to say that they were observing a cease fire. All the while continuing their policy of filling their young people full of their poisonous and hateful propaganda, which takes the lives of their young men and women and the lives of the innocent. Nothing is more intractable than the problems in the Middle East, but the Arabs do themselves a huge disservice with these acts. How can they possibly take the moral high ground in the eyes of the World while they continue to kill women and children going about their daily lives.

Alabama Judge Ray Moore refuses to remove statue to the 10 commandments. This man is particularly disturbing. Sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land this redneck bible thumper has refused to remove a religious monument which he erected on State owned land (in the dead of night I might add). The sheer gall of this man!

One of the tenants of this great Republic is the separation of Church and State. Some of the greatest thinkers of their day upheld this truth to be self evident when they created the Constitution of this great land. Apparently Judge Moore thinks himself much cleverer than our founding fathers. But what is worse, is that when faced with the decision of his own peers who have upheld this separation, this great juristprudential mind refuses to uphold the rule of law. And this person is a Judge? Very disturbing.

A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist regardless of which god he or she follows. Fundamentalism is in my mind the biggest threat to the continued survival of the human race. Fundamentalism creates nothing good, and creates religious, social and racial strife. I reserve my greatest disdain for people like Hamas and Judge Moore. They take their religion and twist it into their own purposes. It is despicable. (Common Mike tell us how you really feel....)

OBCD today: Lili Haydn's new CD. Particle's CD. Really didn't have much chance to listen to anything else today.

Still reading Morris' Roosevelt.

QOTD: The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
-- Kilgore Trout

posted by Mike 10:25 PM

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Check out the A through Z of me here. A cute thingy appropraited from Project 2501
posted by Mike 1:14 PM
Concert Review

Well Perk and I had a grand time last night. Slinky Tripp didn't show for the show, not sure if they were ever scheduled to appear, there was some confusion there even though it was on the web site.

Runna Muck was pretty pathetic. I think Perk was more forgiving than I. It was generic Jam music with no direction. Although the bass player had some very funky stops and licks the guitarist was totally lost and probably should just stick to whatever day job or college he is going to. Very uninspiring.

Inspiring is not even a word that can begin to describe Lili Haydn. Supporting her (literally that night) just released new CD "light blue sun" she tore up the stage. Combining progressive, classical, jazz, techno and trance she wove a spell on many in the audience that was mesmerizing. The fact that she is "five foot nothing" and very beautiful certainly helped keep the men in rapture, but her energy on stage was like a dynamo. Her band consisted of a drummer who started the night off on the floor playing bongos, and a "laptop guy" as she called him who provided the lively trance/techno supplement to the drummer, a bass player with funky jams and a very etherial keyboardist. Lili's writing has a very strong eastern background as well. Her voice last night reminded me much of Kate Bush, however hearing the CD this am it is more unique. Overall this was one of my better live experiences this year. Her new Cd is on Private Music and you can pick it up from various places including Spun Music

particle came on around 11 so I didn't stay for the whole set but they are a great Jam type band. All instrumental all the time this band was so tight! Of course compared to Runna Muck any band is tight. However their compositions, as Perk said, sounded like complete free form jamming, but had an underlying structure that was well written. I was fast dozing off however (Great Jam Space Rock like this makes me close my eyes to enjoy it more) and we bailed at 12:30

Please trust Mikey and take the time to track down Lili Haydn's old or new CD and support this girl. As Perk mentioned she opened for the Page and Plant tour in the late 90's. When Perk asked her "what happened after your first CD" she told us that she had the second in the can but didn't like what the record company was doing with it so she cancelled the contract. Now that type of musical integrity should be supported!

More laterz.
posted by Mike 8:44 AM

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Random thoughts

Perk and I are seeing Lilli Haydn with Particle at Northern Lights tonight. Lilli plays killer violin and PP is a jam band that was at the Bonaroo Festival The small world is that one of the opening bands is "Slinky Tripp" and one of the members is "client" of Liza's. The other band is Runna Muck.

My "distant friends" inspired me to say that the writing in the last season of Babylon 5 was fantabulous.

Dave Brock is going to be 62. This means the leader of my favorite band in the whole wide world is four years younger than my mom.

Marillion REALLY WAS GOOD back then. You know.. when Fish (not Phish) was fronting for them. I'm listening to the live "The Theiving Magpie" right now. I hate the term neo-prog but this is neo at its' best.

The recent Dead tour I thought was just not as good as the previous Other Ones tour, this from listening to all the shows from Now I feel that they were just taking longer to warm up. Consistently the 1st set on the 1st leg left me unimpressed but the 2nd sets did impress me a lot.....

I keep having dreams about sinking ships and crashing trains. Last night I almost had to leave the cat on a train that was going to crash cause she was being so stubborn. All you arm chair dreamcasters can send me your analysis of this. I have my own theories regarding the ships and trains.

My boss just asked me if I knew any good lawyers. Think things are gonna get interesting around here.

posted by Mike 12:48 PM
Blog Rolling

Thanks to my friend elfslut for this one. This is a great service that keeps your links all neat and orderly as you change templates from time to time. It uses anything from Java to the most sophisticated code available depending on your level of expertise.

As I find new blogs I like and as friends give me their blog address' (not mutually exclusive of course) I will be adding them to the menu bar at the right.

Honestly though its tough finding good blogs. They seem to come in three flavors. The first is of course foreign language ones, there seems to be an extraordinary amount of ones written in Spanish. I have found a few French ones and am trying to read those to stay boned up on my language skills.

Next are the teeny bopper ones. These are by far the most prevalent. Overwhelmingly so in fact. Go ahead to that link I have on the menu bar at the right and hit random blog... you will find oodles of these. Mostly written by angsty teen girls and they are all about boyfriends and random goings on in their lives. (YES I know a significant portion of my blog is about me and MY boring life so I'm not being hypocritical here. But this type of blog has no other feature than the intricate details of teen age life).

FINALLY I am finding one in 25 to one in 50 have something to say. Of those a surprisingly large number are Christian proselytizing and/or Right Wing. So we will leave those out as well.

So as a service to you the readers I will be marking those that actually have something intelligent to say and putting them in the menu. In my HUMBLE opinion of course.

Gosh that was longwinded.. eh?

(Just did the spell check for this one. How much sence does this make? Blogger Pro spell check does not recognise the word "blog". Now that is stoopid.)

OBCD: Philip Glass' "the Low Symphonies" A bloody marvelous CD taking the three best songs from Bowie's Low album and doing them up Glass style.

I think that I shall never see
a billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
-- Ogden Nash
posted by Mike 10:33 AM

Monday, August 18, 2003

Funny picture

Don't ya wish you could do this sometime?

Give this a min to load!

Thanks to friend George for this one

posted by Mike 10:09 AM

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Quite and interesting few days

Actually Thursday was the day from hell, and I had decided to write it up Thursday night but of course all hell had broken loose. Thursday started with an barely announced visit by our Echostar Rep and his boss. I usually like to be mentally prepared for these things so the hour warning that they were coming was not fully welcome.

Then about 10 min into the meeting an Electronic Doc customer came in the door. Now to give the man fair hearing he had come in two days ago inquiring about his projection TV that we were working on. This was another of our mystery jobs and my tech was frankly having a bit of a time fixing it. So Tuesday I had promised the customer I would call him back and frankly I forgot.

Well this had put he man in to paroxysm of rage. He started by calling me a liar and then proceeded to cuss me out with every four and six letter word in the book. When I asked him to not cuss in the presence of my guests he practically called me out and said if I wanted to I could call the Police. Oh my. Thank god my boss heard this interaction and pulled us out into a different part of the building. The abuse continued for about 15 min, with me silently taking it so I would not loose it myself. Finally he left but my time was up with the Echostar people whom I apologized to profusely.

So then we tried to order the part that we needed for the job and discovered that we were on "credit hold" due to what I assumed was an administrative error. This assumption was made because my boss had told me that he was paying the Toshiba invoices on a timely basis. So I spent a good portion of the day rushing around getting invoices together and on the phone with Toshiba (whom were more not available than available, and who do not seem to return their voice mails). Finally I had the whole thing reconstructed and brought it to the boss, who I might add had sent me on this bookkeeping errand to begin with. Then he mentions that he had not paid it. Oh!

Of course at 4 ish the power grid went down. Now this is a bad thing for us because our server is so antiquated that it is a major effort to restart it AND there is always that niggling possibility that it will not start up again at all. The power fluctuated twice so we finally shut it down completely.

As I mentioned below OUR power was not an issue, but I sure felt for the friends I have further south who were without power from anywhere from four to 48 hours. I figured that the Net was down because the backbone runs though NYC. It wasn't till Friday night that I determined that my computer had forgot the networking protocols that are needed for it to communicate with the cable modem. This has happened before so once I know what was going down I was able to rectify it fairly quickly.

On to Friday. A decent day at work but then I rushed home (as usual) to get Alex from the YMCA. Today was to be his first Soccer practice. I went to the field.. and no team. Went back home and got the coach's phone number.. no answer. Finally I just bagged it as I met Liza back down near my office so she could drop off her car for service.


My new phone started acting weird on Wednesday. Kept saying that I needed to Change Battery even though it was charged. I plugged it in Thursday night to charge it and it went dead. Figuring it was the battery I went to Verizon and stood in line to get a new battery. Friday the same thing started happening again! So I spent a half hour on the phone with technical and got a return authorization. So today I spent another long line waiting to get the phone replaced as we had determined that it must be a software issue with my phone. I think that my car charger was scrambling the battery or software so I'm not going to use it for two weeks. If the problem doesn't reappear I will try using the car charger. I told Verizon that and they said go for it, and I could get another phone if the problem happened again.

I have to give some kudo's to Verizon Customer Service. It's been fairly impressive. Well enough musing and meandering for the three days last. Thanks for reading.

Quote of the Day:We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic.

-- David Russell

posted by Mike 12:10 AM

Friday, August 15, 2003

All are well

We were out of power for only about 20 min here at work and at home. Not bad for Upstate NY

However our connection to the net at work and home - Time Warner's Road Runner Service - is still down.

More later but all are well and easily survived the blackout of 03
posted by Mike 8:57 AM

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Some funny links

A really cute Pussy

Odessa Filmworks Jesus Christ Vampire Killer
posted by Mike 2:17 PM
Global Warming

Scientists tell us that there is NO global warming. Oh thank god. I know I will sleep better at night.

But.. Lets just say IF there was such as thing.. Which couldn't be possibly happening because the scientists say so, and our fearless leader does too... But if there was such a thing.. What would the model be?

But before we do that lets just put our head around a closed system that has a temperature increase. Temperature is energy so we can assume with some certitude that in a global warming model there would be an increase in the violence of weather events. Ok so due to the circulating currents in the Pacific and Atlantic there will never be a simple average rise in temperature in a global warming model. Various areas of the planet will be warmer or drier or wetter or cooler depending upon where they are.

So the models that I have read predict the following. Circulating currents in the Pacific will create "El Nino" and "El Nina" effects with increasing frequency and alteration. The East Coast of the US will be wetter overall, with longer winters and cooler more wet summers. Western and Central Europe will be much warmer due to the Atlantic heating up and depositing lots of warm air over it. Hold it.. This sounds vaguely familiar.

Boy I am SO glad there is no global warming....

I feel so much better especially since our fearless leader has declared to the world that there is nothing like that happening so the largest user, producer and polluter on the planet will keep going business as usual. He told us that adhering to the Kyoto accords would hurt the US economy. Common bub, could ya hurt it anymore than your administration has already?

Again the REAL reasons behind that refusal (you do remember that right? Before the Twin Towers incident?) was so his well paying buddies in the Energy business would not have to get down and start being responsible citizens of Planet Earth.

No chance in Hell

Picked up the Economist (no I still haven't renewed my subscription) yesterday to read at lunch. Although they are much more conservative than I, they are often very insightful with American Politics. Seems that the Centrist Democrat is an endangered species. And the Dems are about to take that long walk in the Wilderness unless one comes along.

Energising the "faithful" is the arugment that Dean supporters use to say how they are going to win the White House. Poppy Cock. 33% of America describe themselves as Democrats, the worst % since the new deal. AND 35% of Democrats consider themselves "liberal". (By contrast 65% of Republicans consider themselves conservative). If you energise the Right the Republicans win of course. If you energise the LEFT..(and alienate the Center) the Republicans win. Energise the CENTER and we win. Its that simple.

So NO Mr. Dean. You have some great ideas, but you are the Walter Mondale of the 21st Century for the Democrats. Time to start supporting Edwards or Kerry or a Edwards Dean ticket my fellow Dems. Or we are going to see the White House in Republican hands for not just 4 but maybe 8 or more years.

An ya know what's really pathetic? Only 45% of Americans think we are headed in the "right direction". 39% think the Economy is headed in the "right direction". And only 48% of the voters think Bush should be re-elected.


OBCD today: Lots of official release live Hawkwind

Still Reading and will for a while so I won't put this up every day: The rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Quote of the Day:Her grandmother, as she gets older, is not fading but rather becoming more concentrated.
-- Paulette Bates Alden
posted by Mike 8:26 AM

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

America's Pastime

Gosh I had forgotten how fun baseball can be. Alex and I attended Scout night for the NY-Penn League (Class A) local team the Troy Valley Cats. Allie Cat... Valley Cat.. I thought of this in the AM I should have gotten something for my niece.

Anyway Alex and I had a wonderful time. Did you know that Troy is one of the first cities in the US to have had a professional baseball team? I did of course because I have read a ton of baseball history. The Troy Trojans were that first team.

They (the baseball pundits) say that it at this level through the farm teams that the "real" game of baseball is played. The historical environment of small parks, low paid and dedicated players, and tons of family fun are surely present at our local Troy Valley Cats games. I could actually hear the opposing players from their dugout shouting encouragement or epiphets!

The players are YOUNG.. oh my. All their birthday's fell within 1980 to 1983. My college years. I was able to see the whole game and I did "score" it. This is a method of using symbols on a score card that allows anyone who understands the symbols to tell exactly what happened in the game. I enjoy this for live baseball. Alex had a great time with the Scouts and talking to the ball boy.

After the team won they let the children attending run the base paths. The players sign autographs etc. All and all a great time.

OBCD today:
Eclectic Part II
Simon House: Spiral Galaxy Revisited
Peter Gabrial UP
MohoDisco: Kaloomith (NOT disco)
Bowie: Heathen
Angalard: Epilog
Hawkwind: White Zone

Presently reading: The rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Morris. (WOW what an amazing writer he is)

Quote of the Day: The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them.
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, Diplomatic Immunity, 2002
posted by Mike 11:28 AM

Monday, August 11, 2003

Missing Jerry

Been listening to "the Dead" as you know from reading my blogs. I put on a New Years from 85/86 on Saturday because I wanted to hear Jerry. Though Jimmy Herring is doing a fine fine job on the guitar, Jerry's voice was unique.

From Phil Lesh's solo album sighted below I copy these lyrics written by Warren Hayes from "Patchwork Quilt" I was gardening last summer with this on the headphones when I first really "heard" these lyrics. Warren is very passionate about this stanza and it did make me cry.


We were at Jones Beach when we got the word
Saddest sound that I've ever heard
The bluest note that nobody could play
Ravens sang with us that night on the stage
Tears of sadness Tears of Rage
But nobody spoke, we all felt
Old and in the Way.


And the blood of his music
runs through the veins of our guitars
Bright lights, dark star


posted by Mike 12:04 PM
What does not kill you makes you stronger.

This is just not right.

Got a call from MW Sunday night with the news that my cousin's widower had passed away hiking. First of all this guy was under 50. Just a few years older than me.

More horrid is the fact that my cousin, his ex-wife predeceased him two years ago. (She was only two years older than me). Now all four kids have lost both parents in the what must seem like a blink of an eye. The older two probably (I can't say for certain) will be able to cope with this. I feel for the younger two, one is right around Alex's age. Apparently the reaction for these poor children was "oh not again"....

CHERISH your time on Earth. CHERISH the people you love and those who love you. You never know when they will be gone forever.

posted by Mike 10:50 AM
Eclectic Mix

I brought the following silver Cd's to work to listen to today

The Ventures - a best of type CD
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - Live at the Quick
Phil Lesh and Friends - There and back again
Heather Nova - South
Trey Anastasio - Trey

posted by Mike 8:55 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Could life get ANY weider??

Want one? Go HERE
posted by Mike 4:05 PM

Saturday, August 09, 2003

We went to NH today.

Please click here for the Photo Essay of our trip to NH to visit Dad and Kathy.

I didn't want to clutter up the primary blog with this trip for people who were not as interested.

If you have any problem getting the pics to show please email me immediatly. These are the things I need to know.

OBCD in car. MORE DEAD.. finally Liza got tired of it and made me turn it off lol

Now Reading: Both the novelization of the movie "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and the massive first part of Edmund Morris' Teddy Roosevelt Biography. Part one is The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Part two is Theodore Rex.

QOTD: Damn five hours driving is tiring.
-me at 8pm when we got home.

posted by Mike 9:57 PM

Friday, August 08, 2003

Just a reminder

To My Fellow Americans
In this day of Presidents who award huge reconstruction contracts to his cronies, of Atty Generals who have forgotten what the Constitution stands for, of Administrations who bend the truth or outright lie to get the country to believe in their agenda (bloody sheep), or conveniently look the other way when the facts don't fit their World View....

Presidential Criticism This quote was part of an editorial he wrote for the "Kansas City Star" during World War I.

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American Public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star",
May 7, 1918

You know I wouldn't be so damn mad if the Republicans had not set the table during the Clinton years. Bloody hypocrites. It's ok for them to spend 8 years sniping at the previous administration's agenda but god forbid they get sniped at. All of a sudden the criticizer is Unpatriotic. In that thinking just how more unpatriotic can you be than to launch a failed attempt to impeach a President?

They did everything in their power to bring down a President whose mistake was to mess around behind his wife's back. Actually gentle reader you and I both know that was the smoke screen. Rich Right Wing Republican's from the PRIVATE sector put the present administration in their sights for (god forbid) being LIBERAL. And they did everything and anything they could to discredit that administration.

I will give you my quote of the day -

I'd rather have a President that "does" an intern than one that "does" the country.

Some of the stupid stuff I have to deal with

We are selling our building at work. It is much too large for our needs and besides I think the owner wants the money. Now very few of you have visited my office, but its kinda "grotty" as the English say. Heck its an industrial building. The rugs are a bit mildewed from years of leaking roof problems and the main part of the building is a warehouse cum workshoppe anyway. So here is the stoopid (sic) part. This is an e-mail I got from the boss a few weeks ago.. as if how I look will make the building sell better.

As you both know I need you to wear a tie from now on when in the office. This will be the dress code from now on, until you hear otherwise from me. As you know I am trying to sell the building & if I do we will be relocating, hopefully to one of the Watervliet Arsenal buildings. There will be people coming through the building throughout the next few months, some without any prior notice. These people will include people from Fleet Bank, NYS Empire Development, Numerous Realtors (hopefully with prospective buyers) as well as people from the Arsenal. It is in our best interest to portray a professional appearance, there for ties will be required Monday through Friday.

My life is a twilight zone episode sometimes....

Mike Vs Mike

I did a google search on the exact phrase Mike Montfort and Mike (other name) and guess who won? Mike Montfort by two to one, not counting the contributions to the web by Mike Montfort of TX of whom I am certainly not...

55 questions every Jehovah's Witness should be asked using the NWT

QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! - 55 questions every Jehovah's Witness should be asked using the NWT: "These questions have been put together using information from many different sources. All verses are from the NWT so that the translation of these verses cannot be questioned by Jehovah's Witnesses. If the Watchtower Society decides to change any of these verses (like they did with Heb 1:6), then the obvious question for the individual Jehovah's Witness is why did the WTS change their own Bible."

Thanks to my friend Sandnemo for this one. What a hoot.

OBCD: More dead shows. awsome

Still reading: Colony of lies.

QOTD: See above
posted by Mike 9:29 AM

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Conversations with the nonagenarian

So maybe twice a month or once a week I call my Grandmother. She is an amazing woman. At 90something she is still going - strong would to strong a word - and sharp as a tack. I catch her driving home via my cell phone my time which is mid afternoon her time and we usually talk for about 15 to 20 min. Well I talk and she listens as she just "loves your stories Michael" as if I lead an exciting life. (Any regular reader of my Blog surely knows I don't).

So the story I want to convey is short and I think very cute. I told her how my domestic partner, my best friend, my wife of 15 years gets home around 7 to 7:30 every night. Oh she says the poor dear, and then she has to cook dinner. Now my generation is gapping big time. Silence. I say Grammie, has MW not told you what I do around here? No she says. So I tell her about my evenings M - F. Leave work, pick up Mr Alex, go shopping if needed for dinner, chill for a half hour, make dinner, eat dinner, usually clean up after with Alex. OH she says. Isn't L lucky to have such a good husband.

That from my pre-depression era Grandmother. What a gem she is.

QOTD: Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with it apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.
-- Norman Podhoretz

Currently Reading: Colony of Lies - Colin Brake - a 2nd Dr. "Past" adventure (more Geek creds here)

OBCD: More of the Dead tour downloaded quite legally from FurtherNet
posted by Mike 9:12 PM

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

But I still don't believe in Astrology

Libra-Aquarius Relationship

Libra's indolently sensual nature is stirred to life by Aquarius's bold and experimental lovemaking. And these two have all the makings for a beautiful friendship: harmonious vibes in socializing, artistic interests, even in involvement in public affairs. These two will enjoy the friendship side of an affair as much as the romantic part. Indecisive Libra is delighted with the fact that quick-minded Aquarius likes to make likes to make decisions. With a satisfying love life and mutual enjoyment of living

Ok and here below is one that didn't work out (Though we are still friends) ...

Cancer-Libra Relationship

This pair operates on entirely different levels: Cancer wants love to be emotionally transcendent, Libra seeks perfect intellectual communication. Libra has no sympathy for Cancer's moods, and Cancer is made insecure by Libra's detachment and shallow emotions. Cancer is too temperamental and possessive for airy Libra. They have a hard time establishing real sexual rapport, and that exasperates Cancer. They both love a beautiful home, but Libra also needs parties and people and outside pleasures. When Cancer turns critical, especially about Libra's extravagance, Libra starts looking elsewhere.

What is your compatibility?

The Village Voice: Nation: Muffling the Left
by Chisun Lee
August 6 - 12, 2003

The Bush administration is actively seeking to gag or punish social service organizations that challenge the party line on such matters as health care for poor children and HIV prevention, according to a new report. Nonprofits that disagree with the president's own solutions, or go further and blame him for problems in the first place, have come to expect unpleasant consequences. Those might include audits of federal-funds spending and reviews of content, such as workshop literature.

'If you disagree with the administration on ideological grounds, they're going to come down with a hammer. This has huge implications for the free flow of speech in this country,' says Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, itself a nonprofit, which released the report last week as part of its 20-year-old mission to monitor White House budget and spending decisions.

As dramatic as that assessment sounds, the assault has been nearly invisible to the public. The Bush administration and its allies have hit progressives under the radar, maneuvering in the soporific—if enormously important—realm of nonprofit oversight.

The idea of a right-wing conspiracy to audit nonprofits is more likely to set off yawns than outrage. Yet virtually every imaginable social cause—civil liberties, reproductive rights, affirmative action, accessible health care—relies on a lifeline of nonprofit advocates, fundraisers, and service providers. Since nonprofits operate on a tax-exempt basis and often receive government funding, they have always been subject to federal oversight and are forbidden from engaging in electoral politics. Under George W. Bush, however, oversight has quietly morphed into ideologically motivated intimidation and censorship"

For More click the link above

posted by Mike 9:17 AM

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Finally a new phone

About 9 months ago I was wearing my Audiovox cell phone and had the head set on. I caught the chord on something and ripped the headphone jack off the board. My Electronic Doc guru KD was not able to fix it so I've been stuck with a cell phone that does not allow headsets.

This is a pain for two reasons. One I really don't like putting these things to my head, they are hard to hear and all those waves going through my brain cannot be good. Second in the state of NY it is actually a ticketable offence to drive while using the headphone in a "non hands free manner".

So Verizon told me I could reup my plan two months early. At that point I qualify for a $100 bonus as it were towards a new phone. Today was the day (well yesterday but I didn't make it to Verizon yesterday). I got a really cool flip phone (The VX4400) which was $150, with a $50 mail in rebate.. ie no cost in the end. It's got a color screen and all sorts of cool features. Seems to pull a signal quite well, as good as my last phone, here in the house, which is in a major cell shadow. Was that a run on sentence. I think so.

So Mikey's a happy camper.


It sucketh and bloweth. It is hot and humid. Sticky as all get out. Just plain miserable. NO we didn't put the AC unit it, still saving from last winter's horrid energy bills. Once I get home I'm icky within in the first few moments. Yea we live for the Spring and Fall here in upstate NY cause the Winter and Summer are so horrendous.

OBCD: NOTHING - I had such a crazy day at work that I never plugged the silly thing in.

Still Reading: Timeless - will finish tonight.

QOTD - Where ever you go, there you are
- Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai.
posted by Mike 6:28 PM

Monday, August 04, 2003


Well maybe Powell isn't going to step down. But I think the about face out of State is just damage control and he won't server with Bushy another 4 years if re-elected.
posted by Mike 11:28 PM
A fearless prediction

Powell is leaving in '04. That's a fact.

The prediction is that if Bush is re-elected the entire administration will shift even further right than they are now. Ok Ok I know I'm taking a BIG risk saying this in public LOL.

This will allow this administration to do the all the really nasty things they have always wanted to do. Make life much nicer for the Rich, the Oil and Auto industry and the pour some Fundamentalist Christian Right Wing values down our respective throats. Lower taxes, increase the deficit, wreck the public school system and other Republican Planks - you know the ones they Don't talk about on TV.

It gets worse. I'm betting we will loose anyone with even half a brain if there is a next Bush administration. Except of course Dr. Wolfowitz. Oh Lucky us. Watch out world. If this guy gets Powell's job the Hawks get their most top wonk at State. I never liked this guy and I still don't, but after seeing him on the talking heads shows I AM impressed with his brains. Not his conclusions about the world. Just his brains themselves. Very well spoken etc. So the inside money is Condy Rice or Dr. Wolfowitz. I'm rooting for Rice personally if there is another Bush administration.

No chance Dick is going away. Maybe not the Veep but he will be around. Same with Rummy. So we will still have the Triumvirate of Bushy, Cheny and Rummy and no Powell to speak the sane man's opinion in Washington.

And I bet we will be left with Ashcraft. Yea that guy who couldn't beat his opponent's widow (who had no experience in government) in his Senate campaign, the one who holds PRAYER meetings on FEDERAL property. The one who covers the genitals of classical Greek and Roman reproduction statues. Yea that genius.

Oh my gosh we are in SOOO much trouble....

posted by Mike 3:43 PM
Home and Safe

Alex landed safely last night at 11:50. His bags however never left Las Vegas. So they are going out this am from LV via Chi and Balt to Albany. The bag once again travels further than the passenger. This is the truely amazing part of today's technology.... yea.

By the time we were done with the report, home, had his snack, and into bed, it was 1am our time. Needless to say he is on West Coast time so he was a zombie (more than the usual am zombie) this am.

QOTD:Never give a child a sword.
-- Latin Proverb

posted by Mike 8:38 AM

Sunday, August 03, 2003

The weekend

No political pontificating today. I recorded but didn't watch my talking heads shows today so I'll catch them during the week.

Well as the weekend dawned Brother Greg was scheduled to arrive with Alex at 11:55 tonight. Figuring that it was as good excuse as any for a good cleaning Liza and I did the house a good cleaning. I vacuumed the entire house while she did the kitchen and bathrooms. Its been way hot and humid so I was soaked by the time I was done. Ick. Took a nice hot then cold shower and took a nap listening to Sound Tribe Sector 9 (urban beat fusion jazz jam stuff all instrumental). Barbecued some chicken breasts in Caribbean Jerk Marinade. Yum.

Took it easy last night and watched MIBII on one of the pay channels. I saw it in the theatre with Alex when it came out and didn't think it was very good. Probably from the hype. On a second viewing it was a cute sequel.

Today I did the sunroom and helped with the laundry. I've also been downloading the first leg of the Dead tour and so I burned the Red Rocks shows I have now (they played four or five nights there) and a Little Feat show I also downloaded.

So major house cleaning. For Greg's visit? Well it was the excuse we needed.

The phone rings around 1 or so and it's Greg. He and Mom figured a way to save Mom the flight cost and have Alex fly unaccompanied from Las Vegas to Albany. So Greg flew with Alex to Las Vegas quite selflessly without a firm return time. Last I heard he was on standby to get back to Oakland. I'm a very lucky guy to have such a great brother. Being able to go back to the Bay Area tonight also allowed him to grab another shoot so this is a good thing!

Liza and I went out to Outback tonight. Yum. We listened to the Little Feat show on the way and back. YUCK. I don't know what happened to this band but they have a singer who went to the Janice school of singing. Just shriek enough and don't sing on key. eck.

Just killing time now till Alexander lands this evening late.

I also finally finished American Empire - The Center cannot hold. Big book. One more to go but it's just out in Hardback so I will be waiting till the paperback or checking it out from the library. I ordered the two latest BBC Dr. Who books last week from as somehow I got two months behind somewhere. Reading the current (8th) Dr Who first - I am SUCH a geek. lol. It's a crisis in the Multiuniverse and the Doc is trying to straighten things out before the entire of reality goes poof or arch nemesis Sabbath turns time into his employers nefarious uses. No really it is much deeper than that but we geeks have to keep up appearances.

Now reading: Timeless by Stephen Cole (see above)

OBCD today: Red Rocks shows (see above)

QOTD: Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
-- Malcolm Forbes
posted by Mike 10:20 PM

Friday, August 01, 2003

Daily blah

Woke up late this am because the sun was not shining through the window as it usually does on Summer Am's. Why? Because it was pouring. Now I don't mind a good rainstorm but wow this was biblical. We don't do things by halves here in the East Coast. We get snow 6 mo of the year (last year at least). We have the most beautiful autumns in the country, and when it rains, as they say, it pours. I'm in a decent mood today all things considered. Considering the train is still derailing at work. Considering I haven't seen my son in 5 days. Considering the direction the country is going....

George's homophobia

I have some things I want you to ponder regarding this initiative about gay marriages.

The religious argument: Can anyone show me in the bible (not one of these loosely translated ones by some southern Baptist mind you - but say an RC or Episcopal version) solid proof that says that homosexuality is a sin? And don't try to use the non procreation argument here. If you use this argument every man and woman married who either do not have children or those poor souls where one or the other cannot have children are violating the tenants of the Bible by having sex without procreation. I hope some clever soul uses this point in the forthcoming debates. And that a octogenarian celibate man has also come out against gay and lesbian marriages affects me none at all. Not only am I not RC, but I think that the Pope is very out of touch with this Century.

So as far as I'm concerned the religious argument is specious. So lets look at the real reasons that this latest Bush wackiness.

The Business argument: Simply stated if gay men and lesbian women in the US are allowed to marry then big business (read here Republicans) will have oodles more liability than they presently have with the present laws on the books today. If you don't think for a minute that this is a major motivator behind this initiative you don't know how the Republicans work.

The "Icky" argument: Lets face it folks, there has to some bit of this here as well. Its an easy slam, as many straight men have a visceral reaction to gay men and their sexual habits. Personally what you do behind closed door is your own business, and I am sure many straight couples explore their sexuality in such a way that is similar to gay sex. So much of this in my mind is the simple fact that many straight people take it upon themselves to imagine what goes on behind closed doors in homosexual relationships and find themselves appalled. My fix for that is keep your mind to yourself.

The Elect me argument This is another of what I have been calling "brave stands" by the Bush administration. They come out on talking points or initiatives that a majority of voters agree with. Yes I do realize that over half of America is against Gay or Lesbian Marriages. But it is point of government to protect the MINORITY in our society from the MAJORITY if need be. We did it for women (though they are the majority) with suffrage. We did it for African Americans with Civil Rights legislation. So there is a precedent.

So why should homosexuals be allowed to marry?

1) AIDS. That's right. Stable monogamous relationships reduce the spread of AIDS in the American Gay community. To me this is a no brainer.

2) Its the moral thing to do. Why should someone's sexuality put them at a disadvantage in terms of their civil rights? This is the strongest Legal argument and hopefully the one that will knock any new legislation into the ash can of history by the courts. (I know that is far fetched with this Supreme Court but one can hope).

Are these people inferior to you as a straight man or woman? Can you explain a logical reason WHY they are if you think so? Please email me that bit of thought, I'd love to hear it.

3) Because God would want it that way. Ok now you think I'm mad as a hatter. But this is faith. I just can't believe for a minute that a loving and caring God (be it Hairy Thunderer or Meadow Muffin) would NOT want two human beings who love each other and wish to spend the rest of their lives together to marry.

Still reading: American Empire - The Center cannot hold.

OBCD today: Matrix reloaded soundtrack. The new 3cd Zeppelin release. Some new shows I got in trade.

QOTD: A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
-- G. K. Chesterton
posted by Mike 9:10 AM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind