Sunrise over Lake Champlain from Ticonderoga


Support the victims of Hurricane Katrina (click image)


Musings and Meanderings

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

New Toy

For the past couple of years now I have been using my zip drive to ferry my files back and forth from work. I back up all my files daily in the off chance that my computer fails and work. In addition I carry my multi platform chat program Trillian and my Outlook.pst file which is the "guts" of my e-mail program. Unlike Outlook Express, the Outlook which comes with MS Office puts everything into one big mega-file. So if you copy that and ferry it about you can use it on other computers that have Outlook, like the one at work. Practical upshot is that I can catch up with my volumes of e-mail during my lunch hour.

When I was at Comp USA a week or so ago I saw these new Smart Drives, also called Pen Drives. They are USB port smart drives that come in everything from 64Meg up to a full Gig of memory. So I took some of my birthday money and bought a 256Meg one today for the paltry sum of just 59.00. Who would imagine five years ago that you could have a "thingy" no larger than your thumb carrying all that information.

Well because it has no working parts and works via the USB port it has a smoking transfer rate. I bought a USB extension cable so I don't have it sticking out of the back of my computer. I was going to go for a 512Meg one but the price was so good on the 256 I figured I could get another later if I wanted to. Besides the price will probably go down in the interim.




Less E-Mail

As many of my readers know I am very active in the live Progressive Music trading scene. Via Yahoo I am the owner or co-moderator of no less than five trading groups dedicated to the free distribution of live shows. The biggest group I am a co-mod of is a general Prog trading group, which due to its sheer size of membership creates a vast volume of e-mail.

I have not had an active trade via that group for almost a year now so with some regret I have finally shut off a majority of my Yahoo trading groups. It is amazing the decrease in the number of e-mails! Heck I was just deleting the majority anyway after scanning the subject lines for "trouble".




So what Yahoo groups do I subscribe to?

Here is a snapshot of Mike. I subscribe to four groups regarding the Dr. Who phenomenon: most of which discuss the books that have been and are presently being written about the character. Along the Sci Fi theme I also subscribe to a group dedicated to Julian May who wrote the Saga of the Pliocene Exiles, and a Dune discussion group which probably does not need to be explained.

Musically beyond my live show trading groups I subscribe to two discussion groups of my favorite group of all time Hawkwind. Also I am a huge Al Stewart fan so I am part of a great group of people that discuss his music and topics that are related to them. (Al is a folk/prog english musician whose "signature" is music about history - which is one of my passions).

In the miscellaneous department I have a e-mail group dedicated to my new cell phone. I have also created a group over on Topica for a bunch of my friends who have like political minds but who are scattered all over the country and whom I have met over my years of living in so many different states.




OBCD Today: Nada.. I didn't even set up my speakers in the office today. Yesterday was a ton of STS9.

Now Reading: Wolfsbane - a "Past Doctor Adventure" or PDA involving the 4th and 8th Dr with the 4ths companions Sarah and Harry. Published by BBC books. (I finished Gods of Riverworld last night)

Quote of the Day: In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.
-- Edward P. Tryon
posted by Mike 10:02 PM

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Rainy drive

The weekend part two consisted of Alex and my visit to my Dad and Stepmom in NH. We rose and tried to shine at 7:30 and were on the road by 8am. Glad we didn't stay overnight at the camp as it poured overnight.

We caught up with the storm going North on I-91. It poured cats and dogs the whole way up that road.. made the drive a bit dicey. We arrived around 11:00 and met D&K at the church in town. Then we had a lovely brunch at a "hotel" across the street. I had Waevos Rachero's and the other three had some variation of Eggs Benedict, or as Alex calls them "his Special Eggs".

Then we went shopping for my birthday books. Got a Bio of John Pierpoint Morgan (JP) and the most recent Neal Stephenson paperback. Alex got a little kit to make a solar car and then while researching the product in the car on the way home said he was pretty sure he could make it work his GameBoy. Scary smart child.

We were able to spend a couple of hours at the house as well. I set up their DVD/VCR combo for them and we played a couple of games of Air Hockey as my sister has left her kids' Air Hockey table at the NH house. We headed out at 5pm and got home a bit before 8pm.

So 5 hrs driving today.. I'm beat. Just finished folding the laundry and hanging things up.

So when is my weekend???? ;-)
posted by Mike 11:37 PM

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Sun Fresh Air and Fun

Hey there sports fans. No blog since Wednesday! Go figure. Work has been awfully busy. I spent part of Wednesday doing a Satellite Install on top of a two story flat roof. Mission Accomplished.

Thursday was spent on the road mostly, picking up and delivering work to my business customers. Who needs weight lifting when you are lugging 27 and 32 in TV's in and out of your car.

Friday was a typical Friday. Busy with lots of paperwork...

So on to today's blog. Alex and I got up early today and drove up to the Rotary camp to meet up for a day of fun with the cub scout and boy scout troops. We played some fun competitive games.. the kind only boy scout troops can come up with .. lots of fun. Then we had grilled hotdogs and (others had) hamburgers. THEN was the really fun part, as part of a "scavenger hunt" we hiked nearly 6 miles total through the hills and valleys of Upstate NY. I had a grand time although I am very very sore. The killer part of the hike was about half to three quarters of a mile straight up hill.

Being out of contact with computers, TV etc was very refreshing. Though ironically there was no where in this "wilderness" that my cell phone was not getting at lest two bars on its antenna display. Not that I used it, but it was ironic that there were places on the mountain that I was getting better reception than I do at my home.

I had been complaining about not having much time to "slum" around this weekend but I'm thinking that today may have been some of the tonic I need.

Tomorrow Alex and I are off to NH to see Dad and Kathy. We are getting going as early as possible. When that is exactly is open for discussion.

Now Reading: Gods of Riverworld - book five of the Riverworld series

OBCD (in the car to the camp and home) - some chill/lounge music with Alex professed to enjoy, and the "live at home" silver CD from Sound Tribe Sector Nine, which Alex obviously liked.

QOTD:Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
-- Mark Twain
posted by Mike 9:32 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Fun Birthday

So MW arrived on the train at 5:15 last night. Picked her up at the new Albany Train Station and whisked her home. We unloaded the car and got Alex from the F's down the street. Fooled around at the house for a while with MW's AOL program and her POS Toshiba computer and then headed out for dinner.

We went to Garcia's for dinner. I love Mexican food, even denuded East Coast Mexican Food, and Garcia's makes some great dishes. I ordered three enchiladas - Spinach, Cheese and Chicken. I got Beef instead of Chicken, but they replaced it with TWO chicken which went home in the "people" bag. We also had Nacho's grande so I was beyond stuffed last night. I got the obligatory birthday song from the employees and some "fried ice cream" for dessert.

We went back to the house after dinner and had some presents too. Not bad for 42. Then everyone crashed around 10:30, me doped up on NyQuil due to a chest cold and cough. Got up at 615am to take MW to the Airport and then treated myself to Denny's for breakfast this am. I feel pretty crappy today, but a heck of a lot better than yesterday.

I'm megadosing in Vitamin C and echinacea as well so hopefully I'll have shook this off by the weekend as it is very busy and very planned.

Out

posted by Mike 3:26 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

42 Years old Today

As a birthday present the Raiders got their asses handed to them yesterday by Jake Plummer! Jake Plummer??? Sad and Pathetic. Please note that I Told You So before the season. The Raiders are a shadow of their selves from last year. They are team that showed up to the SuperBowl not the team that got to the SuperBowl.

So what does it mean to be 42? This will be a bit maudlin so bear with me. My hip aches pretty much all the time now. Its bursitus from when I was younger. I WILL be getting bi-focals soon, as every once in a while my eyes just refuse to focus up close. My virility is just not what it was 10 years ago. (prob too much info there eh?) My father is 70 now, and it makes me sad that at the most I'll get another 20 years with him, if I am very lucky. (On the other hand my mom is 65 and her mom is 90+ so I get 30 more with her!)

Lets look at the positive now. I am a hell of a lot wiser than 10 yrs ago. I have ALL my hair. Thats right ALL of it. I am not greying in any shape or form. Both James Gandolofini and George Cloony are within 2 months of my birthday and both look years older than I. I don't have to worry about menopause. (ducking). I don't have to retire for another 23 years, so I am just this side of half way in my normal worklife span (65 - 21 = 44 / 2 = 22 yrs is half way or at age 43). I consider this a plus by the way, not a negative becuase I really have no savings to speak of.

To celebrate my Mother is coming up from NYC where she is doing a seminar to have dinner with us. My Dad is in the States at his new home in NH and Alex and I will be running out there on Sunday or Saturday night. So I get to see both parents in the same "birthday" weekend.

QOTD: Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
-- David Lloyd George

OBCD today: (spacerock), Mister Quimby's Beard, Harvey Bainbridge and Afresco Mantis live shows. Good stuff!

Still reading: The Magic Labyrinth




posted by Mike 9:32 AM

Monday, September 22, 2003

"Boys Night"

Is tonight. We have a very special visitor coming tomorrow so Alex got to sit and watch the DVD Cody Banks (the part I saw was very good) whilst I did the finishing touches to the house.

Dinner was my favorite Chicken Legs baked in Salsa with Spinach Souffle. Alex had BBQ Chicken wings.

Work was a scream today. It just screamed past. It appears that someone came in over the weekend and disconnected the video and internet cable streams somewhere in the building. We have Time Warner coming in to see if they can't figure out what's happened today. So I'm on dialup at the office today. I've got a pretty good suspicion what happened but I won't be more specific till I hear what the cable guy says.

The Raiders are playing tonight. I have high hopes for them but I do think they will loose but at least cover the Spread.

I've got 10 out of 13 this week which is pretty damn good. If I keep a steady pace of an average of 9 wins a week I should be in line for at least getting back my $65 entry fee into the "Grid Iron Club". I could win a whole lot more if I stay steady. I have a history of doing very well in these sorts of pools. When I used to play "sheets" I would always either break even or end up a head over the course of the season.

QOTD: Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence.
-- Robert Frost

Reading: Vol 4 of the Riverworld series. The Magic Labyrinth

OBCD at work: Mostly some shows from NJ in June.....



posted by Mike 8:59 PM

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Cleaning Day!

For no other reason than it seemed a good idea I spent the day house cleaning. Well we all did.

Alex cleaned (with guidance and help) the Living Room as he is the major contributor to the mess there.

Liza did the Bathroom as that is her specialty.

Yours truly did the following:

Vacuumed the entry hall, front stairs, dining room, living room, kitchen, back stairs, upper bathroom, and sunroom.
Dusted and polished with oil the wood in any of these rooms, including cleaning the front door for the first time in five years, Damn that wood shines lol.
Cleaned the entire kitchen including some micro cleansing of the coffee pot and toaster oven. Oiled all the cabinets.

As I said it was time to do some cleaning. Yes I could have done all this Monday afternoon through Thursday Evening but I really never expected to go back to work so quickly. Besides I enjoyed my time off loafing.

If I was younger I could make a decent living cleaning homes. Well I wouldn't really do that, but my point is that I'm quite the Taz when it comes to house cleaning. Kudo's to MW for training me well. In fact my College Sweetheart used to joke that I came "pre trained" before she got me. Needless to say this has been contributor to the reasons that Liza has put up with me for these 16+ years (we lived "in sin" for almost two years before we got married).

Reading: I finished the third book in the Riverworld series last night, so I am starting The Magic Labyrinth today. Complaint: The author pads the last two books with too much recapping of events. The books were not published that far apart originally and people DO reread previous books in series' before moving on. I blame the editor.

OBCD when not vacuuming: Camel, Flower Kings and Glass Hammer from June of 03.....

QOTD:Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.
-- Laurence J. Peter
posted by Mike 9:30 PM

Friday, September 19, 2003

Survivor Guilt

First of all accept my apology if you have been watching the story of the company that went to the dogs. I've had news since Thursday night.

The CFO called me around 5:15pm on Thursday and asked me if I wanted to get back to work. I did ask, doing what, as I had heard through the gapevine that things had totally gone to the dogs, and all deals were off.

The details of just how the CFO convinced the owner to turn over JUST Electronic Doc to him must alas go unmentioned.

The deal itself is simple. The CFO, the ED tech and myself are continuing the commercial electronic repair "division" as a new entity. Apparently it is being fully funded so we can launch marketing and advertising for the Echostar "dish" sales and installation that we can do.

The reason that this entry is titled survivor guilt is that we three are the only ones who will have gainful employment from the wreckage of the previous company. And I am feeling it big time. The least amount of time I've worked with any one of these great people was a little over a year, a guy who came over from one of the Cable companies and a man I admire and respect. Others I have known since my start at the old company, two of which I have considered my business "family" and have a great deal of affection for.

I have made one promise to them. And that is to ramp up the new company as quickly as possible with other services so that IF they have not found other jobs we can work together again. I will be turning over all the fiddling little paperwork details that have taken up so much of my life at the old company to the CFO so I can go out and SELL.

So I spent the day at the old office. Cleaning up open orders, massaging angry customers whose work has not been touched for a week. Scheduling and rescheduling Satellite installs. The day was a blur. In addition the CFO is actively looking for a new place for us. The building we are in now is a terminal case and we cannot stay. Either the Bank is going to repo it from the owner or the Power is going to be turned off, either of which could happen as early as Monday or Tuesday. Either way we have to be out of there as quickly as possible.

So there ya have it. The backstory is that apparently Wednesday was a tumultuous day for the principles as a deal for the whole shebang (cable repair and consumer electronic repair) was first On then Off then On then Off etc etc. Finally one of the principles just gave up on the owner and his lawyers.

Thursday AM the CFO and the owner met one more time and as I said, things were said that convinced the owner it would be in his best interest to let us take the consumer electronics repair division with us, without his participation in the new firm. God I'd love to have been a fly on that wall.
posted by Mike 9:48 PM

Thursday, September 18, 2003

People must still buy this stuff or they wouldnt sell it would they?

TOO FUNNY








posted by Mike 11:49 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Fuck it

Sorry for the strong language. It has been more than 24 hours since I have heard from our CFO as to what the final disposition of the old company and the new "entity". In that time I have spoken with a number of key players and they had not heard from him either.

I called the office today (the CFO had still been going in) on numerous occasions as did the players I spoke to today and no one had answered the phone. One bit I had forgot to mention is that the owner had come in yesterday afternoon to change all the locks on the place, with the obvious, though never admitted intention to lock out the CFO as well. The CFO did end up with a key but I wonder if the owner came back again later than night and changed them again.

Locked in that building, with no one to work the merchandise is approximately 1500 converter boxes belonging to CableVision and Time Warner and about 30 pieces of consumer goods belonging to (now pissed off) Electronic Doc customers.

Basically it looks like Ned (the owner) has had is final screw to the rest of the employees. I also heard from one of the key players that the money man for the new "entity" is having major second thoughts about said new entity.

I am going to apply for unemployment and then get registered as a substitute teacher.

Now reading: The Dark Design - book 3 of the Riverworld series.

OBCD - Live Glass Hammer and Kraan from Trenton NJ in June 2003

QOTD: Fuck it
- yours truly
posted by Mike 10:24 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Daze off

First of all thank to all family and friends who have called or written to express support and concern on the job front.

So I got up this am and helped Alex finish his homework. Then I took him to school. Then I came home and mailed out some shows I've recently "found" to some non trading community friends. I listened to one of the shows on the road as I bopped around doing some errands. Like trying to cash my paycheck from LAST Thursday. NOT. Maybe tomorrow. So I got home around 11:30. And then I.. No I... umm.. I...

DID NOTHING. :)

Just what the doctor ordered. If you want to find out what's happening with work well then you will just have to read my entire blog today cause I'm going to put it randomly in the middle of the blog. No really, I have no idea what is happening. Probably updates tomorrow



Riverworld

I am reading the Riverworld series again. Now I say "again" but in reality I have not read these books since I lived in California in the early 1980's. I think I either lent them to a friend and never got them back, OR I did get them back but they somehow got water damaged. Either way after looking through the book boxes in the attic two weekends ago I determined I don't have them anymore.

So I went off to my favorite used book store for a used set, and promptly bought the newly republished large paperbacks. Ummm what? Don't ask. Ok I tell ya. Part of my collector neurosis for books is that series' MUST all have the same cover art. Its a MUST! So the only way to get the four Riverworld books to all look the same was to buy the new set. Yes there is no hope for me.

So I as soon as I finished Theodore Rex I delved into the first book. (I am on the third now - yea I read fast). I was inspired by the tape of the Movie Riverworld that was on Sci Fi a few months ago. I taped it and finally watched it. You know the syndrome. See the movie.. gotta read the books again. So don't see the Movie. Only a MINOR relation to the books. VERY minor.

Oh and the setup for the Riverworld series is fundamentally simple (for Science Fiction) but yet allows for extremely complicated plotting. Every human that ever lived on the Earth from 20,000 BC to 2008 AD is resurrected on a planet that is one humungous river and its banks. Who needs to invent characters when you can have Richard Burton (NOT the actor), Sam Clemens, Cyrano De Bergerac, John Lackland, need I go on? Why were they resurrected? Read the books!!!
posted by Mike 10:56 PM

Monday, September 15, 2003

"At this point... we still don't know"

Ok so I go into the office this am to do last weeks billing. The owner is in the office talking things over with the CFO.

I left the office at 10am, and have not heard anything since. Go figure.

So maybe I will get my week off... maybe.

Anyway I'm frankly in a daze. This "time off" was not real today because I still went in the office. I did a lot of pacing today, between books etc. This is also getting me out of my rhythm of my blog. I'll pontificate tomorrow.

OUT
posted by Mike 6:42 PM

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Waitin for the phone to ring Pt II

The CFO called me around 1pm or so today. The owner had tentatively agreed to turn over the operations of the company to the new ownership. The term tentatively must be used because at that time the owner had not contacted the new owner to set up a meeting for tomorrow. I never heard back from anyone after that so I guess I won't know till Monday morning when I go in at 8am.

Even with this possible good news the fact remains that I'm sitting on at least two paycheck which I have no idea when they will be good. I was reminded that the new company will not be honoring back payroll from the old. So although this is probably the best news possible for the job front, it still puts quite a burden on the personal cashflow.

I really wasn't planning on ever going back to the building after I left on Friday evening. Part of me is wildly disappointed tht Ned saw reason. Its very selfish of me but it's a fact. 5.5 years of severe weirdness with the CableShoppe has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth and a bit burnt out. I had been hoping that Ned would say no so that it would be a week or two before we found a new place for the the new company (which was going to be formed regardless of his decision).

Oh well. Best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.

(written on sunday but backdated)
posted by Mike 1:39 PM
Waitin for the phone to ring.
The CFO met is meeting with the owner this am. Waiting to hear from the CFO to see if the owner signed over the company.

Tick Tick Tick
posted by Mike 9:57 AM

Friday, September 12, 2003

The ongoing stoooory of a company that's gone to the Dogs....

Check the previous entries of Thu Sept 4, and Mon Sept 8 for initial entries of this story if you are behind on news first, or this won't make much sense. The Sept 8 entry is below, but the important entry is the 4th for which you need to look at the archive to the right.

The CFO is meeting at 9am tomorrow morning with the final ultimatum for the owner. Pony up 40K, close the business, or sign it over to new owners. He will call me in the morning with the results of the meeting.

I am cleaning out my desk this afternoon and backing up all my data. I do not believe I will be working on Monday past 8:15 or so.

Right now I don't give a rats ass whether the new entity is formed or not. As far as I am concerned this moment I can walk out of this building and never look back. However I have made a commitment to the new entity and will honor that commitment. In the mean time I cannot stress enough that I need the week off between entities. I need a mental Q-tip as it were to just read and relax and get my head ready for the new / old challenge.

So that is how it stands today.
posted by Mike 10:59 AM

Thursday, September 11, 2003

September 11, 2003 - are we a safer country?

Nope.

External evidence

* Osama Bin Ladin is still at large. Afghanistan is the "forgotten war" now, why? The shell game, shift the focus to another subject close at hand....

* Iraq is now a bigger magnet for terrorists than any one other country, and certainly more than before the war.
* VP Dick Cheney himself said that Iraq was not thought to be connected to the twin towers incident immed after.
* More US Soldiers have been killed since the "end of the conflict" than during the "conflict".

* Now more than ever America is percieved by the Muslem youth of the Middle East and the world as the bully that beats their people and their culture up. It does not matter that this is not true. What matters is that this is the perception. Things have been handled so badly in "post war" Iraq that this perception is stronger now more than ever. This youth are the terrorists of the next decade. We have not limited terrorism. We have initiated a whole new generation.

* North Korea has been running rampant for the last two years. The world is unsafe if they are exporting nuclear arms.
* The present administration refuses to treat with N. Korea. Why? Insiders know that it's simply because the previous admixture DID treat with them.

* Anecdotal evidence: Seems nothing has been done (except to hide their identities in Congressional reports paid for by tax payer dollars) regarding the support of certain Middle Eastern Countries who are known to financially support terrorism targeted at the US.

* The Palestinian issue is if anything worse, not better, with the heavies both having their way: Sharon and Arafat.

* Regardless if whether you support it or not the Homeland Security department is massively underfunded and toothless.

And what have we got in return?

* Try flying recently. Or better yet ask a frequent flyer what happens if you decide to save money and book one way tickets on different airlines....

* Children shipping themselves unnoticed cross country via those vaunted safe airlines.

* The "Patriot" act. Now there is a hidden oxymoron if there ever was one. No American Patriot would support the wholesale evisceration of their civil rights.

* Massive budget deficits which have conservatives and liberals alike shaking their head in wonder.
* With more requests to come from the present administration even Republican Senators are wondering...

Are we safer than we were on September 10th 2001.

Nope.

Living in America means open borders. Freedom to say what you think. Freedom to just LIVE. It also means that there will always be the possibility that some crazy fundamentalist will acquire a gun, bomb or worse and use it against civilians.

I cannot justify, rationalize nor frankly even explain how the last two years have made this a better place. Eroded civil rights. Massive unemployment. Unilateral wars declared without the support of the Global community.

This is the "trade" we have had to make for a "safer" America? You know what? I want my money back.
posted by Mike 5:00 AM

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Oh how young we were!

15 years ago today. My how time flies. Seems like Yesterday.

I found five pictures to share with you. So here we go






Maid of Honor Jeni, Liza, Mike, Best Man Greg






The new couple with Fr. Samir (yes thats my dad)






The Vows






Post Nuptual Pics






ROCKING at the rehearsal dinner




posted by Mike 12:50 AM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Odds and Ends

15 yrs tomorrow!

15 yrs ago tomorrow Liza Anne and Michael Samir were wedded in holy matrimony. Fr. Samir did the service outdoors at a beautiful bed and breakfast called the Appel Inn in Altamont NY. I think I'll try to scan a few pics of the event tonight and post them tommorow.

Liza and I celebrated our 15th by going to Paris in May, a combination late 40th birthday, 15th Wedding Anniv, and Christening visit. Tomorrow we will celebrate by Liza doing a monster reset for work and me doing a satellite install. So much for romance. We had it in droves in Paris.




Planting Metal

I'm doing the first leg of a statellite install today. I am cementing a pole in the earth. NEVER worked with Cement before, so this should be interesting. However it gets me out of the office for the rest of the day.

More later!
posted by Mike 11:24 AM

Monday, September 08, 2003

Silent Scream.

Just finished writing today's blog. Spent a half hour on it. THEN I hit something and lost it.

This is the first time I've done that.

Ok I'm NOT re-writing it. But here are the salient points. I'm still employed for at least one week. More receivables were discovered to cover the present week's work. This also gives the silent partner and the CFO another week to convince the recalcitrant owner to the "best' point of for the company.

I didn't quit today because I figured it wasn't best for the long term of the family, as it's hard to collect unemployment when you quit your job. Alternatively if I work the week and they can't pay me, well then its a good case for the labor board. Besides I have nothing better to do this week. LOL

So yes the "lost" entry was better, but this was easier to read!!

BYE!
posted by Mike 10:47 PM

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Fearless prognostication

The NFL starts today. Well it started Thursday but that was lame. Not the game mind you but I hate it when they have to jump start the season. So "marketing"-ish.

Everyone knows the Raiders are my team. There is no second place in my heart. Third place is the Niners and fourth the Giants.

That said I predict that the Raiders are not going to be so hot this year. No it's not because Dallas drubbed them in the preseason. Who cares about the preseason. No the problem is the SuperBowl. All the prognosticators are saying how they will be right up there again. I hope they are right.

But I have seen time and time again that the so called experts look only at the paper and do not take the mind into consideration. Especially in baseball, but in football as well, the mental state is everything. I just don't think overall the mental morale of the Raiders is good. Already in the preseason ( I know I know .. preseason ) Mr. MVP of the year but I can throw five interceptions in a superbowl Ganon is throwing more interceptions.

The point of preseason is to see all the squads. The Raiders' first squad, as seen in the first and part of the second quarter, looked anemic at best. Watch for KC of all teams in the West. I think Denver still has to break in Plummer before he shows if Arizona was a unique situation or indicative of his play.
posted by Mike 3:59 PM

Saturday, September 06, 2003

A startling personal revelation

I have come to what I said above. This revalation probably comes as no surpise to my wife, son, nuclear family and my close friends.

My "base" state.. my atomic "state of rest" is that I'm angry at the world.

Often I can arise above this. The older I get the better I am at doing this. But the fact remains.

I'm pretty much angry at the world most of the time.

Guess its about time I faced facts.
posted by Mike 11:43 PM

Friday, September 05, 2003

Backdated Friday Blog - Update

NO update from Thursday. When I left the office Friday the owner had just come in and was talking with the CFO, going over things.

Guess I won't know till Monday. I want to be a "player" but not be "played". So I will decide Monday if I will work next week. The big question is whether there will be enough money to pay us for work next week. The recievables just cover the last two weeks of work.

Blogger was down last night and this am. So I'm making this Friday's blog. So there. Pfftttthhhh.

:-)
posted by Mike 11:57 PM

Thursday, September 04, 2003

AND the clock counts down to zero

Friday is the last day. By Sunday night certain decisions will be made as to the future of the CS/ED corporation. The present owner will be given the following choices in the next 24hrs.

1) Come up with about a $50k immediately. - (this is so unlikely that it is laughable)
2) Shut her down and walk away. - this choice puts every one on the street and is the "vindictive" persons' choice.
3) Close her down and reopen Monday under a new name. His association will be in name only. No more paying his family expenses via the company. No more paychecks for wife and children. He gets a percent of the business and nothing more.

If he takes choice 2 or 3 the silent partner and the CFO and possibly one other will gather $50K to open a new operation. If the present owner is amenable then we will move the company assets and accounts over to the new entity. This will include both CS and ED assets and accounts. We are hoping if he takes the amenable route that we will be able to make only small changes to our accounts with DirectTV, Echostar, Toshiba, Zenith, Time Warner, Cablevision etc, such as changing the Tax ID.

If he shuts her down and walks away we regroup and STILL open under a new entity. This company is sound and cash flow positive given two major changes. 1) No more paychecks for the owner's family and paying living expenses. 2) We move the location. Then the question is do we keep the CS accounts. Cablevision is almost certain regardless as to whether the owner comes along or not. TWC is not as certain but I think I can swing it. The rest of the accounts are probably pretty easy to maneuver from one business entity to another. We then have to go through the whole application process for DirectTV and Echostar again which was time intensive and at a critical time. Echostar is launching their local programming option sometime this month here in Albany.

As for me I need a week off. I need to decompress and get my head around a new challenge. I'm burned out and my "give a shit factor" is at an all time low. I will also start actively looking for another job. The job has kept me here partly due to the extreme outside chance I'd see the large amount of back pay and commissions owed to me. If the new entity does not take on these particular liabilities I don't see why I should stay for my pay rate. But at least there will be a place to go everyday and paycheck till I figure it all out.

I think that covers it. More later if I think of something.
posted by Mike 1:32 PM

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

New Music

Here are some new Jam/Jazz/SpaceRock bands I'm listening to. Major kudos to my friends D-Rider and Fiendeye for getting me into these bands.

String Cheese Incident. This band has been described as Prog-Blues. Hailing from Colorado they play an eclectic mixture of their own stuff as well as some amazing covers. Feindeye had been mostly responsible for getting me into this band as we had traded SCI live shows for my transcribing Stone Trek shows. (long story). They are on tour now so see them if you can. I'll be trying to catch them at the Palace Theater on October 09! They are going head to head against the TicketMaster/ClearChannel monopoly so you can get tickets HERE for them.

Sound Tribe Sector Nine. How do I describe these young guys? You have to hear them to believe them. JAZZY! Jam. Urban. Funk. Instrumental. All tied into one amazing instrumental band. They have one song that just rips me with its amazing melody and harmony called Lifes Sweet Desire. They have just put out a new CD so you Jam heads should support this band while you collect their shows. Remember approved jam band trading is predicated upon the concept that you will buy the CD's if you like the music. Anyway STS9 is loved by both Prog Heads and Dead Heads. Great instrumental jamming.

Particle. Perk turned me on to this band, as stated in a previous post, we saw them headline but originally went to see Lili Haydn. More amazing Jam oriented instrumentality. I picked up their new CD at the show. They play a mind bending arrangement with some very heavy emphasis on old 70's sounding keyboards, which appealed to me greatly. Like lots of instrumental Jam bands I tend to prefer to listen with my eyes closed so I can fully take in the nuances of their pieces.

Lake Trout. D-Rider gets sole credit for getting me into this band. They are a bit heavier than the normal Jammy band sound, but then D-Rider and I are a rare set of twins, both Dead Heads and Hawkwind Fanatics. So Lake Trout fits into both schemes very well. I even tried to start a SHN weed over on the Space Rock trading group with this band. Anyway the rely heavily upon guitar and really rock.

the Addison Groove Project. These guys are pretty much pure jazz. They are also coming to town and I do intend to see them. Week of my birthday no less! They are a Boston based band who does their own music and covers lots of great Jazz standards in their own way.

All these bands have an open taping policy. You can collect their music for FREE and see what I mean about how good they are. Then you WILL go buy their music.. LOL.. See if you do that it supports free taping!!

You can download them from Furthernet or if you have a good Internet Download Manager you can get them at the Live Music Archive.
posted by Mike 4:00 PM
The Comeback Kid!! Also known as Homestar Runner!

The Comeback Kid!! Also known as Homestar Runner!
posted by Mike 3:01 PM

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Talking Heads

That is SUNDAY Talking Heads not the band. Caught up with this week's three Sun AM shows (Meet the Press, This Week with George and Face the Nation) as well as older ones I had not gotten to yesterday afternoon. A delightful three hours or so with Tim, George, George, Bob and the gang. (wink - do you know who I'm talking about?)

What was interesting is that over the last three weeks George has interviewed Gephardt and Edwards. Bob has interviewed Leiberman and Kerry got the full hour of Tim's show this week. Where is Howard??? The Dean machine is missing over the last four weeks of Heads.

May we suppose that the producers suppose he has enough steam already?? Either way I want to hear him. Here were my impressions of the four.

Kerry: His gig is "I'm mad at Bush". It's cute but I'm not sure how well it will play. On paper this guy is Mr. President all over. However I think his handlers are not doing a good job. He did VERY well with Tim's difficult questions and I thought he came out very convincing. But I'm already a Dem. What about Indy's and Moderate Reps? Will he play to them?

Leiberman: Gosh I like this guy personally. But I don't buy him at all as Presidential Material. On Bob's show last week he was mealy mouthed and evasive. Coming right after seeing Kerry it was like night and day. Stay in the Senate Joe.

Gephard. Personally - Ick. Have not liked him since 1988. He did come across as very much more personable on George's show than I remember him to be. He is the second most self convinced that he is getting the nomination. I don't know if it is hubris or just game talk. Either way I'm not a Gephardt fan at all.

Edwards. Young looking and very personable. Absolutely convinced he is the next President. I think he squandered some early leads while he was getting his platform together as he fully admits. Of the four, on the stump I like his style the best. He is Presidential material. Unfortunately with the way George handles interviews vs Bob or Tim I didn't get a feel for his positions. I want to hear these things from their mouths, not from their position papers.

So right now my vote is for Kerry from these four. Edwards a close second. For electability I still feel a Edwards/Dean ticket is a great shot at the Presidency. Nice geographical balance, and a nice balance between a neo and more old style liberal. I can't wait to hear Dean. Maybe this Sunday.

All four are MAD AT BUSH. The present President is in for a long haul if the Economy keeps dragging its butt and Iran sinks deeper into quagmire. And well it should. I have little faith in the Bush Team to get anything positive accomplished for this country unless it is collateral fire so to speak from lining the rich's pockets before they all get thrown out of office. The key points are that the Domestic econ is in the doldrums and Bush has done nothing to set it right. All four candidates harped on that. The other issue is the complete lack of preparation for "winning the peace" as the sound bytes call it in Iran.

Can't disagree.




QOTD:Americans are overreachers; overreaching is the most admirable of the many American excesses.
-- George F. Will

OBCD today: Elfslut's Moody Blues Vine. Copied and burned last night and sent off to AD today. Can't wait to listen to it.

Still Reading: Theodore Rex
posted by Mike 8:38 AM

Monday, September 01, 2003

Took the day off from Blogging

High note of the day an hour and 15 min conversation with MW.
posted by Mike 11:59 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind