Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Hey - What are fighting for?? 

To me, it is clear. Quite simply, we are fighting to help extinguish the leading terrorist regimes that are perpetrating unthinkably gruesome acts. The effort is directed at addressing the hostilities (or potential actions) against Americans. However, since terrorists have expanded their scope of democracy-hating, other countries will naturally benefit...most notably Iraq itself.

To others, it is not so clear. I find it unusual, and the French author Theysann, ridiculous, that there is even the slightest degree of confusion. In an effort to explain this massive difference of opinion, I find an interesting parallel with WWll.

Churchill, the leader of the Conservative party spear-headed his countries defense against the Nazi regime . (Similar to Bush against today's terrorists). After the victory Churchill was unceremoniously ousted in favor of the Labour party candidate. Why? The main issue was a floundering economy, caused by the lack of spoils from the victory. Sure, Churchill saved the countries independence and maintained the principles of their empire, but England didn't get anything tangible out of the war. For Russia, who's aims were stockpiles of goods, a furthering of Communism imperialism thru the Baltics ( along with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), and a shot at capturing Poland, they got it all. The same with the US - sure Nazism was extinguished, but Germany was now open to the US for trade and the ensuing profits. England had no tangible "after-plan". Unfortunately, Churchill couldn't point to a significant benefit other than: their independence, their government, their territory, and their lives.

Perhaps this is why WMD, or the heads of bin Laden and Hussein on a stick, are the litmus test for justifying Bush's actions. The "spenders" seem to be looking for the spoils from the effort (even if only ceremonial). "If we spend another $87bill what's in it for us?" I wonder if the nay-sayers would be happier if the US did colonize Iraqi...."hey - more people to tax!!" Seriously, isn't it enough that our people, our government, and our freedoms are safe? I think its pretty damn clear.

If you want to read more on political parallels produced by perusing Churchill, go here, the 26th.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Fun in the Bathroom 

I must say, I like reading this guy, mainly because he makes me laugh, but also, he reminds me of when I was 21.

Pledging a fraternity I witnessed a very similar situation. The brothers locked pledges in a bathroom, and took pleasure as each pledge endured 2 minutes of alternating hot and cold water as they showered. The brothers laughed, as I imaged Don did, like hyenas, while madly flushing all the toilets and blasting the hot water from the tap.

The only thing funnier than hearing the shrieks from the 4 pledges as the water shocked, then scolded, their skin, was the laughter the pledges had when, 2 months later, they told the fraternity brothers the shampoo bottles they had been using were filled with a moderate amount of the pledges own luke-warm yellow water!

Ahh, the good old days.

What am doing here?? 

Yes, I now have "comments", and thus the avalanche of questions and criticisms will undoubtedly follow. Before you push that enter key, let me explain:

1) I am extremely bored at work. I can't leave, which is a complicated story.
2) You know that commercial, where the guy says: "I have come to the end of the internet."....well I did. When I got there I found "blogging", so with no where else to go, I am posting.
3) I am trying lots of new things..I always wanted to fly a plane..but getting a pilot's license costs $10,000-$12,000, and takes 12 months. Plus, a plane costs $100k, so I decided maybe boating was a better hobby. Boating is/was great. I took the kayak out a lot. I had it for 2 years before I used it ..so, I got that done. However, I realized I'm more of a 'social person' not into these meditative-type things (yeah, I make up words, so what!). I am reading a few books..but blogging keeps me at the keyboard and makes me "look" busy too!

( although this person, Kelley, puts me to shame with this post!!)

4) I am dyslexic, a poor typist, and have read no more than 2 books in my post-college life. So, if I knew 2 MORE words I' be illiterate! ( net, net, you are on your own as far as my spelling and grammar are concerned).

5) I have no idea what I will post about, but I like: my memories, my family, golf, politics, the financial world, sports, and Buffalo NY (although I haven't lived there in 20 years).

ok. now, you can let me have it!

Over 40 and Proud!! 

Yep, 10 times this year the over 40 crowd has pushed its way into the winners circle on the PGATOUR. None more impressively that Tommy Armour III. The guy shot 254, or 26 under par!! That is a new PGA record for lowest 72 hole total. At first I thought he skipped a nine or something, but damn if he didn't go real low! The good news is the older guys are still good enough to win....the bad news, Tiger now has 20 years of 'prime-time' golfing ahead of him!!

Previously, Tommy was famous for:
a) his dad
b) his hair could stand straight up, and
c) his nickname, which was "turd" ( Tommy plus 'the third') spaceman2.jpg
scan0003.jpgskier.jpgmisery market .jpg

The true test on WMD 

I know lots of nay-sayers are coming out of the wood-work calling the war in Iraq a big shame...like Bush was trying to gain some personal advantage or justify the US attack on Bin Laden. They are unfairly using the WMD as a litmus test as the rationale for commencing war on Iraq.

The proof, in my mind, was uncovered well before we shot any bullets or fired any missiles...and it was in Hussein's actions not his arms. When asked to show the world his countries stockpile of arms, which he initially agreed to, he ran. He decided not to cooperate, knowing the consequence was war. I cannot believe he was so mislead by his advisors that he thought he would win. Thus, I presume, his actions were the lesser of two evils. The world was destine to see all the corruption...(with or without WMD) the torture chambers he maintained, the mass graves, and his not so adoring public (the national soccer team, which was tortured for poor performance, comes to mind first!!). So, it was either give himself up, or put the Iraqi army in between himself and jail.

Whether we find WMD or the remnants of previously held WMD, is of little consequence. The torturing as been uncovered and been destroyed. The Iraqi people and peoples other law abiding countries can rest easier. The evidence and verdict, are already in.

Poll's don't vote 

This was a phrase popularized during Gerald Ford's campaign for President, when the Poll's came out strong against him..he ultimately lost.

However, that is no reason to get excited about the most recent poll by Gallop that reviewed the California Recall election. Although I wish it were true, I can't find any speech, debate, or, more appropriately for California, a photo-op, that would explain the results swinging so far and so quickly to the republicans favor. Alas, we'll have to wait and see, but all should be reminded; Polls don't vote.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Golf: trying to forget 

Yes, it is my favorite sport and indeed the source for many a memory....not all good.


was perpetrated on a golf course. It was April of my freshman year in college. I was playing for my college golf team, and the tournament was at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York. Oak Hill is an exclusive country club with an excellent golf course, the site of several US Opens: 56, 68 and 89, and the 95 Ryder Cup.

Unfortunately, I played for the University of Buffalo, and our golf team was somewhat less exclusive. Instead of a week practicing in Florida, our coach arranged a breakfast meeting and told us to "go hit wiffle balls in the gym." So, with a free breakfast and no time at the gym, the next day we piled into the van for a huge interstate tournament, at the prestigious Oak Hill.

Most tournaments call for "scheduled tee times". This allows players to practice hitting or putting before the round. Well, since this was April in western NY, the practice range and putting greens were closed, due to heavy frost. With nothing to do but wait for the start the round, all 100+ players from 14 colleges stood next to the first tee drinking free coffee.

At 10am, after the frost delay, they call the first player. The first player hits the initial tee shot, and signifies the start of the tournament. Since it's an honor, the selection is traditionally a home town player, a senior, or the captain - or all three. Not this year. Since this was the inaugural tournament hosted by the state, as opposed to a college, they drew the name. No one wants to be first, no one. Guess who the lucky guy was??? "Gulp."

As all the blood in my body raced to my feet, and the moisture from my mouth out my ears, I walked over to my bag. Golf is ninety percent mental. Naturally, tons of thoughts were now running through my mind..none of which was good. I did notice I wasn't cold any longer. I also remember thinking; what will I do if I shank it - scream, act pissed off, pretend I was drunk...or still asleep, run away, or just melt.

The tension in the air was so thick it pushed out all the oxygen molecules. I couldn't breathe. Actually, I hadn't taken a breath since they called my name, so I didn't miss the oxygen.

Light headed, rusty, shaking like a leave...I sliced the crap out it!! It was a high arching shot that was ugly the second it left the club. Inside, I was just happy I didn't whiff ( miss it totally.) Up to this point it was only mortifying, but it got worse. The announcer, also the state sponsor, said: "OK we can't start off such a prestigious golf tournament as this, like that...who wants to get it started right." As about 30 hands shot in the air, I sulked off not making eye contact with anyone. Truly the lowest I have ever felt, it was like I wasn't there, or didn't matter. To top it off...I thought no one wanted to go first!

Mid Am Weekend 

Like many of you, I too, am glued to the NYSGA.ORG website this weekend. Never heard of it ..pull up a chair. As mentioned previously, Keith our famed technician, is rippin' it up. He is within' striking distance of the top spot, which will be awarded after tomorrow's third round. While 10 stokes out of a State-wide tournament may not seem like a great accomplishment, please consider: a) because I pay Keith poorly , he cannot afford a hotel and is driving 2 hours to the course, each way, only to then walk the 4 hour round, b) Keith didn't even start playing golf seriously until after college, and c) Keith has never had a lesson - his game is all self taught, not considering the unless pointers I give him. All these other guys are career golfers..playing in high school and college..with teaching pros giving them advice all the way.

So lets root for the underdog..the grass roots guy...he pulled himself up my his own golf spikes and made it to golf's, off-off-off Broadway's center stage.

PS Keith plays in those sandal-spikes. He is also prone to wear tee shirts instead of the traditional collared shirts. When he comes walking out a sand trap, with his dark tan, shorts, no socks and sandals...he looks like Charlton Heston playing Moses in the 10 Commandments...it is really quite funny.

Editors note: Keith finished in 5th!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Resident Pro 

As I mentioned previously, I retain a golf pro/technical advisor, Keith. Mainly, he helps me say in touch with my single digit handicap. Every once in a while he attends a conference out of town. You can cheer him on here..although you then gotta hit "results" and "real time scoring". Go Jeeter!!

Read between the lines 

As expected , McCall, dropped out yesterday. No, not from the California gubernatorial race, from the New York Salary Exchange, of course. Others will indeed follow as the bright lights of reality uncover the cookies missing from the cookie jar…along with set of board rules constructed to perpetuate the thievery.

In today’s reports the lines of gentlemanly decorum and rules of no public back stabbing are indeed present. However, if you read between the lines…

On McCall and the NYSE board:

McCall says…I was “not asked to step down”. His superiors, Reed and Donaldson, had “expressed surprise”. Additionally, he said , “I've done my job. I was able to participate in picking new leadership. I think it falls to John Reed to complete the reform process. I look forward to it.” The WSJ reports, “Reed is scrapping a special board committee’s report on overhauling how the NYSE is governed”.

BTW the lines, Reed is saying: No Carl, and others, you are corrupt. The self-enriching process will be stopped, and I am happy you are leaving.

On Grasso:

Grasso, on his ridiculous pay, reported by the WSJ; “It’s not my fault. I didn’t do it. The compensation committee did it.” Like he had no idea how much he was paid, or why? But when the bright lights of reality strike…
Grasso: “I didn’t say I was resigning, Carl, I said I would leave if the board voted me out.”

BTW the lines, analysis on Grasso: although he had very little knowledge about the compensation process, he somehow knew enough to structure the separation as a termination so I could retain the rights to all his contracted compensation , current and deferred.

....you get a truer picture!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Another reason....I love NY 

Hey UN, time for you to get Bush - Wacked.


I love that state, if for no other reason than every time I read about it, I am glad I live in New York. Last night the "super bowl of debates"....was more like Romper Room. Yeah they finally got around to the issues, but the personal give-and-take was pure high school.

I think McClintock looked good, making his case clear, but he can't win. Arnie a was a bit rough, but OK. He kept is constituency happy but did nothing to pull anyone else in - even the undecided. Bustamante was happy to get through it without having to discuss his campaign contribution slip-up. Huffington was quite transparent, manufacture drama = manufacture attention. She tried to link Arnie to Enron - oh please. BTW, California got played in the Enron parlor game primary because of the power crisis the Democratic government created!!

So, the front runners all had a great change to move up, but played defensive, and moved votes to "no". California's next governor will be a B - player no matter who wins.

What do I do now?? 

I am a bit hesitant to post today. Why, you ask? Well...frankly, it's you. That's right, people looking at my blog who are not me or Keith, my technical supervisor and resident golf pro. You're there, I see you on my site meter, your sitting, watching, mocking me - and others continue to join. I was not prepared for visitors, yet. Thus, my dilemma.

Flashback....I'm in MSG, it's the NBA playoffs against Chicago ( I'm down with orange and blue!!). I gotta take a piss. No denying it, as amateurish as it sounds, I gotta go - and it's half time. There is no way out, so I sheepishly get in line. Eventually, I enter the anticipated "relief zone". The stench of urine is so powerful, it casues you hold your breath. This makes so sense, but somehow you feel safer. Perhaps there might be "urine induced lung cancer", I don't know, but you feel better knowing those "urine-soaked" molecules are not bouncing around inside you.

After such a long build up, "the moment", becomes, well, pressure packed. You step up and expect "relief", but inexplicably your caught standing there struggling to produce. Oh God!! It is a very strange and traumatic feeling, let me tell you. If you didn't know this already, let me tell you: guys listen. We listen for no other reason than to be sure that somebody isn't up there passed-out or something. If you're not making a sound...there is lots of pressure; one - you are trying to make something happen (which is one big stomach crunch), two, your neighbors are looking at you - wondering what's wrong ( they don't hear "it" first), and three, the 50 guys behind you with stopwatches aren't exactly pulling for you either!

So, you see I got an issue. Thankfully my stage fright passed...I just thought of something else, like: jail cells, or gym class showers, or visits to the proctologist....kidding....I thought about the god damn Niagara Falls!!!

My point is, the crowd can't make you do, or not do, anything. You just gotta block them out. Concerning my blogging; I'm just going to think of something else and let IT flow!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Loose Screws 

Ok - having some technical difficulties here, so lets keep the blogging simple...hence the links to yesterday's news!

This guy has a screw loose Durst.

This guy has a different screw loose Phil Spector.

These two guys are lost loose screws Ben and Jen ( Georgia??, can you say "blend")

And from another, I really didn't need to know about Yahoo survey; east coast singles are more likely to be out during the week looking for a screw, than west cost singles.

What do I make of all this? Finders keepers losers weepers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


Ya know, there is nothing I feel like blogging about today. Actually, there is alot I feel like blogging about, but first, I really want to see; the layout of my blog change, my archives get fixed, and pictures added.....ahh Keith??

So, in the meantime go here. This guy is young, funny, smart, but oh so naive about human nature.

PS this is my first "blog" link....he should be honored. More likely, he'll send me a terse note informing me I broke a 1000 cyber rules about; sharing, lurking, being nosy, and lots of other things I do so well on a regular basis.

Monday, September 22, 2003

WMD, I found them !! 

Yep, they do exist. No, not in Iraq or totted off to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. They are in my head! Golf is 90% mental, so there is no other explanation for shooting a 97, including a 10, while hitting the ball well. Putting was fine, good rhythm with my irons, a little lazy with the driver, but nothing chronic. It was simply a matter of each hole finding a way to blow myself up. And dammit if these WMDs aren't clever. Each hole a new twist or turn, undetectable and uncorrectable, but present none-the-less.

I have no idea how Saddam got them in there, but I'm sure glad I figured this out - now the search is over!

Friday, September 19, 2003


Visiting some friends in Bean-town this weekend, well Shrewsbury, which is 43 miles due west ( the locals still say Baaaston, so its Boston). My kids love their two kids. Since their kids are older, mine treat them like idols..which is quite funny to watch.

For the adults, a little golfing here....a little wine tasting uh, I mean apple picking, here. Should be fun.

Oh - good news, my eldest son isn't coughing incessantly anymore. We took him to a pulmanologist and it appears the little bugger had more asthma than allergies!! Some new medicine and a new "inhaler", and he is as good as new.....which makes nite-time much easier!!

Now, the punch line; the new inhaler...which is a long round plastic cylinder with a hole for a push-spray medicine to be administered....looks a lot like a bong. In fact, thats what we call it..."hey kiddo, time to suck down a few hits on your bong". I tell you, kid will do great at college. He fires them down with ease, and hits the carb just right!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Quick Hits ...time for a recap

On Grasso....he resigned, with pay, big surprise on both. Won't be long before the "walking poster boy for nepotism" follows.

The Bills and ex-Patriots vs the Dolphins....big game Sunday nite, I get to watch it on TV - woo hoo!! I'm taking the BillsandexPats since I believe they can contain Ricky Williams - who is the heart of the Miami team. Unfortunately, Travis Henry will probably not do much, but I hope Bledsoe can come through against a poor Miami secondary. We will need the points, but I think we can squeak by!

Kookifornia Recall....when you have the 9th circuit court of appeals on your side, it just isn't fair..Democrats win w/o a vote!

and finally, thankfully;

Isabel - I'm a tolerant person. I can usually see, and empathise, with just about anybody. (Sorry Hussein, Bin Laden and the Boston Red Sox). However, if you live on the water in North Carolina or Virginia..and you are told by the Police to evacuate...GET OUT. I really have no patience for those who stay behind. Ok, I agree, the newscasters over-hype the storm and it may turn out to be all a big exercise in hysteria. But you don't need to risk your life to prove a point. I don't care if you were a 20+ year veteran of the Navy - that don't mean squat when 100mph winds pick up your house and give you a new zip code! Really, you people risk your lives, the lives of Police and other Emergency services workers, who are called upon to go in and save your ass, plus all this eats up tax dollars - which are not really plentiful at the moment. So, after reading this, please start packing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Fun Site

Not busy at work??? Even if you are, take time out for this fun site...try to beat my life-expectancy projection - 87 years young!!! I really don't care how old I live to be, I just want to live long enough to dance at both my son's weddings!!
What do you think??

I used to be into real rock and roll...the Who, Doors, Stones, etc. Then I went to/thru the habitual Grateful Dead stage, blocking out anything "not-Jerry". Then came a smattering of Neville Bros, Stevie Ray Vaugh, tons of new music....Smashing Pumpkins, Crash Test Dummies, tons tons tons. I like it all, even rap - Nellie is tiiight! (maybe not)

On our recent family vacation, we left with only one CD in the car. It was slightly traumatic, with 2 young ones and a 3 hour trip ahead. Always courageous, our plan was to see how the trip down went and, if need be, hit a music store to pick up the Wiggles, or something, for the kids.

"Lets check out the radio"..I said optimistically. Wait, the CD...I pushed it in, not knowing the horror. Bam!! the electric guitars and strange lilting voice of Liz Fair hit my ears. No it's Liz Phair stupid..oh yeah, right.

Confession time. After listening to the CD more times than I care to admit, I got totally hooked. I can't believe it, I'm embarrassed to say it. I like the nutty little spark plug. Ok- lots of guys like her ..right?? It gets worse. In listening to her latest album, I find myself admitting that I can identify with each song! Yuck! I relate to the inner musings of a pseudo rocker chick, from the mid-west with a classical music background from Oberlin College, who is 37 years old, divorced with a kid!

Oh the shame.......oh well, anyone got tickets to the next Lilithfair???

p.s. In the car, on the way home from vacation, after the 20th listening, I turned and noticed my youngest Max singing along to her songs. Now we listen to them on the computer at home. He sings the last word in each line, with his soft, little voice....it's so cute.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I Can Fix it!!

Hey, if you didn't notice we have a couple of disasters pending.

The California Recall

Problems tracking the votes??? Just track voter selections as they go through the toll booths. I know it sounds crazy but, it'll work. Everyone drives all over the place in California, and you can't get anywhere w/o hitting a toll. So getting all the voters to participate ain't a problem. In fact, since Gray Davis gave illegal aliens in California, the right to a drivers license there should actually be an excess amount of voters!! That will counterbalance all those Californians who had to give up driving due to the extra "car registration tax" Gray Davis also imposed!! Viola!! Disaster averted.


Uninvited and unwanted, this bitch might ruin my family weekend in Boston...along with countless homes along the southeastern coast. Have no fear, I have the solution. Since disturbances of this nature are nothing more than hot air and high winds, that circulating counterclockwise in an unpredictable pattern, all we need to do is neutralize those forces.

I volunteer to send down my 2 senators. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. They are both unpredictable and possess the most potent blend of hot air and smoke, one could ever image. They can spew their rhetoric, which is always directed to the right with a masterful spin, and within half an hour Isabel will be on her knees!! ( and if that doesn't work, we get a good laugh out of seeing Chuck and Hill shot out over the Atlantic!!)

The Game:

OK. I watched the NY Giants football game last night...didn't see it all, but caught the end. As I relished in the poetic justice of the Giants last minute loss, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the kicker, Matt Bryant. Although the vaunted NY Giants defense allowed a no-name newbie to throw for over 300yrds and "the Cowbells" to run up 35 points - they have to blame the kicker.

The key play was the kickoff. Had it stayed inbounds, Dallas almost certainly would not have been able to tie the game. "That was (supposed to be) a deep middle squib (kick)," Fassel said. "I didn't plan on having the ball at the forty yard line with no time off the clock." "I was told to kick a hard squib, shade left," Bryant said. "I kicked a hard squib shade left and it shot right out of bounds."

Why not the coach?? Excuse me, but we all know "the squib kick" doesn't reduce field position, it enhances it!! And of course the press can't blame the defense; "those guys give us good interviews and..and..and...their big - I aint messing with them!!"

It's funny, the last time the Giants got burned on a last minute play (SF playoff game), they ran OUT of time....last night, they got burned because they left TOO MUCH time. Poor time management. That's probably the kickers fault as well!!

I visited Penn State in the Fall of 1994 to make a presentation at the business school, or something. That Saturday night after, a lopsided victory over power-house Northwestern, we ventured out to the local nightlife. Mainly, it was an unmitigated drunken debauchery. At one point I found myself bumpin' shoulders with Collins, KiJana Carter and few other "bigger-than-life" Nittnay Lions. My musing??.. the only one drunker than Kerry Collins that night was an older guy leaning up against the pool table. The old guy was talking to two young co-eds and looked a little out of place, until Kerry said "watch yourself with those two... Dad!!"

Monday, September 15, 2003

Wall Street 101

Ahh.. the compensation question, it is as old as the hills right? I guess not. The rule on Wall Street is: "you are worth whatever someone else pays you." In keeping with another adage, you can never be; too tall, too thin, or too rich....ya gotta go for the big money! Hence, it is quite intriguing that Dick Grasso finds himself in hot water over his $138mm retirement-pay package. What is more interesting however, is how he accomplished this feat..take notes everyone...it could happen to you one day!

1) If you can't bear all the partying and sex in college....dropout. However, since you are only qualified to lick stamps, be sure to seek employment in a good-ol-boy industry were favors matter more than brains.

2) Work in the same company for over 30 years..because by then, you will have accumulated enough back-scratching credits to do some real damage at the top.

3) Make sure you are on the boards or your friend's company, and likewise, they are on yours. This way you can keep them honest and under your sphere of corrupt influence.

4) If there is an issue with said arrangements ( #3) make certain you have another Patsy eager to step-in and play the role as circus master. (Also remember in work as in poker, if you don't know who the Patsy is, stop playing, its you !!)

5) Said Patsy needs to be someone who looks the part, but has a sorted history of their own that can be used, out of context, against them.

6) When you get caught, have a concession already in place. You never want to have to quit or retire..because that shows poor form and will curtail any further corruption. The piece offering will re-knew public opinion, and restore the smoke screen you and your allies hide behind. However, do not make said piece offering anything that really hurts you ...it should be a neutral or free object like: previous unknown, unused and unwanted money.

7) There will be sacrifices. Others must make them. Nothing is more important than your career of corruption. Nothing.

(Note to self: Thank god you sold those two seats on the NYSE in 2001..so you dont have to feel associated with this in any way!)

Sunday, September 14, 2003


I don't recognize them either, but damn if it doesn't make me proud. Yes, I love my ex-patriots; bledsoe, mallory, gash, etc. The Buffalo Bills just chalked up another easy victory over Jacksonville and things are looking good. Don't get me wrong, I still expect to be brokenhearted at some point this season. Most likely that will happen while we're playing the lowly Jets, but at least this year I got a shot a making it until Christmas!!

BTW, to all the Patriot fans that called me and said.."ya couldn't have done it w/o all those ex-Pats you stole", let me tell you this:

1) you let them go...morons!
2) the last time I checked, you had a few ex-Bills...Antowain Smith, Ted Washington, etc - suckers!!!
3) You still have Belichick , who in my opinion is one of the best defensive coaches in the league. So quit your bellyaching.

For now, things are rolling right along...but the Bills still gotta strengthen the running game...Henry is looking a little weak. The proof will be in the interdivisional games ON the road. Hey, is that a dolphin in the middle of the road ahead?

ps "Grogan sucks!!"

Friday, September 12, 2003

Muslims and Martyrdom

This article gives some insights into how the al Qadea - Muslims feel. I think most of us figured that out after 9/11.

I was outside the NYSE during the crash of September, 1987. A fanatic was yelling:

"down with Wall Street"
"down with Yuppies"
"down with Personal Computers"
"up with Freedom"

I interjected..."I thought Personal Computers gave you freedom". The crowd all laughed, he paused, then turned and just went on yelling. The al Qaeda-Muslims remind me of that fanatic.."Prosperity hurts the defense of their faith??" Huh??

Stephen Wright was correct "kill all fanatics!!"
No joy

I am quite drowsy. I can't tell anyone since the people who would care are the main cause of the problem, or in another case, the solution (and no one else really gives a damn). My wife has been away on business for a few days and I have the job of putting our 2 little boys to bed. No joy in that task. The eldest, 4 and a half, is developing quite a nice allergy to something I can't: see, hear or touch....smell, taste or get any doctor to admit too. "It" appears each night from 7:30pm to about 6am, and causes him to cough incessantly. My youngest, 2 years, has just this week moved to sleeping in a "big-boy" bed, and is discovering the joys of roaming the house while everyone else sleeps.

Accordingly, I have been greeted by bed side visitors multiple times each night...sometimes coughing, sometimes announcing they are scared, sometimes looking for "ma-ma", other times just lurking in general. In conjunction I am summoned to their bedside because: they are coughing, scared, want "ma-ma", or just demand a visitor in general. The schedule of these "home" and "away" games is indeed brutal.

Upon my wife’s return last night, I expected some relief. No joy received. Throughout the night we were greeted by little visitors, who were quite thrilled to see a their beloved servant "ma-ma" had returned and demanded her "home" game services. Thankfully, the 3 of them adjourned at 5:55am, deciding to open their unannounced, but fully expected, gifts.

At 6:30 I had yet to fully recuperate. I was awoken by my wife, informing me that the DVD's purchased in London didn't play on our DVD machine. "Not suitable for this region" she said. I agreed it was unfortunate and sympathized with her, although I didn’t say a word. I made sure to keep my eyes open as she said "when I told the kids we couldn't watch the DVDs because they weren’t compatible, they cried. I tried to make them happy, but I made them cry !!"

At that moment I decided perhaps a shower would bring me joy.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

9/11, Atom

On 9/11/01 I worked across the street from WTC II, at 130 Liberty Street. The buildings were actually connected by a walkway over Liberty Street. Although very large, the span was not used too often. I crossed it a total of 3 times in the 10 years I worked in the building. Its gone now. An obvious result of the disaster. Those physical losses were noticed right away...2 mammoth structures filed with cubicles, desks, phones, computers...all gone, reduced to dust so fine you could scoop it up in your hand and blow it away. I have lots of memories, but two specifically that I wanted to share.

I was sitting in my office, facing south toward the Statue of Liberty. We had just gotten back to our desks after walking halfway down 19 flights, only to be instructed to return to the safety of our work area. There was a lot of debris in the air and on the ground, and some small fires so it was logical to stay inside. "An accident", we all thought. Perhaps a pilot had a heart attack, "poor guy."

I was on the phone....telling people I was "over it", "time to get back to work." I was on a call with our Jersey City office located on the other side of the Hudson River. I was looking out my window, watching people on a smaller building's rooftop take pictures of the WTC. What a weird thing to video tape. I was chatting away and happened to see a plane flying rather lower, teetering north toward the WTC. I thought, "wow they got a water dropped organized quickly." As the plane flew over head, seemingly clipping the top of our 39 story building, I was over come with the noise of the engines. Then came the explosion. I could see the faces of the people on that rooftop, and I will never forget the way they scrambled like scared animals to the lone exit. The voice on the other end of the phone spoke of the reality; "Oh my god, I just saw that plane hit the WTC, the other one."
On a personal level, I lost a friend. It wasn't until a few days later I learned that Adam Ruhaltor had died on that day. I worked with Adam for 8 years at 130 Liberty Street, but in early 2000 he took a job with Cantor Fitzgerald.

It is difficult to express the loss. Adam was a unique person, everyone who met him knew that....instantly. There was such purity in him, such a trueness, all the way through. Never fake or phony, never hedging his bets. He was a full out "Queens-boy"; Bayside all the way! Even when he knew it made him different in the Wall St World, he never changed - perhaps even to a fault.

I will always remember the first time I met him.
Maybe because he was the first guy I met at work, that caused him to leave such a lasting impression. More importantly, he was the first guy at work I think a lot of guys met. He would walk right up to any knew face, stick out his meaty hand and say .."I am Atom - nice to meet you". He wore the standard issue gold chains, and had the "new yawkka" accent. But he always had a smile on his face and an open heart.

We sat alone in a bullpen. Four desks, with computers and credenzas arranged two by two. I sat behind Adam and began staring at the reports I was supposed to study and create the next day. The first day awkwardness of not knowing the systems, the process, or the meaning of the massive amounts of abbreviations was paralyzing. Naturally, I was going slow thru the pages. Adam was twitching his shoulders, turning his head on an angle, to one side until he felt some sort of relief in his neck. First to the left, then the right. He was breathing heavy. I could tell something was going to happen. I sensed he was going to cross the imaginary "new guy" line. You know ..."don't talk to he new guy" (everyone is your enemy on Wall Street).

Sure enough he wheeled around and spit out his opening salvo: "you like to workout?". I could see the neck muscles through his shirt and pictured the nauseating hours on the treadmill in those stale-air workout rooms at the local NY Health and Fitness club. "Ah, no" I stated, not wanted to encourage any of that, "I don't get a chance with work and all, but I like to play sports" hoping to get some sort of approval - besides it was the truth. He said nothing, and turned back to his computer. I put my head down thinking that was it, no more conversation.

I was surprised when I heard him say "hey, you like food", showing me 1/4 of his face but not looking back at me. It was a rather open-ended question, but I knew exactly what he meant - the emphasis on FOOD, gave it away. I felt bad because I am not into food at all. It is sort of a joke with my friends. "Ah, I am sort of addicted to it, ya know!". No laughter, although I'm sure he got the joke.

I was uneasy about the exchange. I thought - "do I even have a personality? What the hell DO I like to do?" I could see it was bothering him too. Later, I learned it was for a different reason. Adam needed to feel like he knew each person, even new guys. He needed to make a connection, something, anything, a life line to ensure that he could stay involved and enjoy life with you. It was an amazing drive that sat inside this blue collar son-of-a-butcher from Queens.
He wanted to be a part of everyone's life.

Like all New Yorkers, he was nothing if not persistent. In a last ditch effort to make "it" work with me, he swung around and uttered in a sarcastic kind of way:

"You're not gay are ya?"

"No", I laughed. He broke out in a big smile and gave me a thumbs up. "We're gonna get along just fine" he said. I will never forget the joy in his eye, I think he even shook my hand.

Today I was in Rockefeller Center on 5th Avenue. I go there at least twice a year, and dread it each time. Yes, it is also where my dentist, who happens to my uncle, has a practice. Upon each visit to this historic building, with its grand marble entrance way, I am welcomed by a large heart-felt inscription from a hero, Charles Lindbergh. It is embossed on the wall, in gold, high up above the top of the escalator. It reads:

Science, beauty, freedom and adventure
Aviation combined all the elements I loved
What more could you ask of life

It is quite impressive and poignant. Unfortunately, when I now think of aviation, I also think of terrorism. That, my friends, our lives did not ask for.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

What do you expect?

These guys are out there, like you and me, just doing a job. You do your job ethically, right? So what makes you think The Press has an obligation to print “your” side of the story…otherwise they are not fulfilling their professional and ethical obligations? There are so may people bitching about this topic, it is hard to take it seriously.

Look, we all know the game (or if you don’t, listen up). Newspapers are a business. They are designed to make money. Hence they print news, not just the facts, to attract a paying audience. The news is focused on a factual presentation of current events. Everyone. I mean everyone. Knows facts can lie, or can be constructed to purport an untruth. So why do people get upset that one particular newspapers’ construction of the facts differs from another, or from either own? Look, newspapers themselves are just brands, like toothpaste. If you don’t like the taste or results, get another one. Typically, their conclusions or implications, which you see as missteps, are not egregious, but the result of an editorial style (see example below). Writers need to get published to get paid, so they conform. This process also preserves the brand and hopefully the target audience.

“Don’t believe everything you read”. We have all heard that before, so we are all forewarned. Facts are not subjective, but conclusions are. Without conclusions though, articles would be dry and unreadable – hence unprofitable. Newsmen aren’t perfect, a la - Jason Blair. However, neither are businessmen - Andrew Fastow, or athletes - Pete Rose, or Presidents - Bill Clinton. But to think the public can’t access multiple informational sources and evaluate the different brands to produce their own conclusion is ridiculous.

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism1 , perhaps. Unchecked, pathological liars, conspiring to thwart the truth...no.


NY Post page 14 on 9/9/03 : "Boost for Arnie as also-ran quits", implies, and indeed reports Ueberroth quits race and his supporters transfer to Arnie. While true, also not complete. This article in the CBS/News.com: "Ueberroth quits support splits", is more complete and describes how the supporter-transfer went in equal portions to Arnie and Bustamante, and a third smaller portion to McClinton.

1 Vice President Spiro Agnew ,1970

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


I just re-read my blogs for the first time, in anticipation of opening myself up to other readers. I was appauled. My writing is verbose, atrocious, and several other adjectives all meaning piss-poor. I vow to make all future entires; coherent, concise and complete.

Oh who am I kidding I'm a piss-poor writer. However, I will try to turn my perfunctory pointifications into pithy profunity.

You're welcome.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Vacation Thoughts

Back from a long vacation, and well rested. I have had a lot of time to ponder the question: "to blog or not to blog". Not wanting to be a slave to the internet chasing down today’s latest events and constructing some witty insights, or writing for the sake of actually having to use my thesaurus, I have concluded simply to blog for fun. That’s right, fun. It's my life, preserving my thoughts about my life, history, current events will be fun. Additionally, this will make for good material to put into a time capsule....along with the my clogs, earth shoes and "Nixon Now more than Ever" bumper sticker.

Now that we agree on that...well there really isn’t a we, but you what I mean. You?? Ok. I know what I mean. Here are some quick thoughts on my vacation.

#1) I need to buy a beach house in Cape May , NJ. The place is great. Lots of fantastic beaches, not as good as Long Island, but no Joey Butafuccos shooting off firecrackers on the beach.

#2) Kids swim until they are waterlogged. If you let your kids swim until they say " I want to get out", you will test the water resiliency of your epidermis. My two boys swam, i.e. floated, until their eyes were closing from exhaustion. Thank god, I had their life jackets balanced so they remained upright, a no-no for advancing their swimming skills, but essential in keeping them from "sleep-drowning".

#3) As I get older I get better? I gained true "manly status" for eating the entire "Cowboy Steak" at the Waters Edge. It is a 30 oz porterhouse, stuffed with some sort of brie-type cheese and red peppers. It is accompanied with mashed potatoes and a medley of sautéed mixed vegetables, all severed on a large white porcelain plate, which resembled a white manhole cover. (I kid you not!)

Anyway, I didn’t think much of it, I was hungry. I finished all but a bit of the mashed potatoes, which weren't that tasty. As the wife and I left, and I staggered toward the front door, I noticed two things: one, a familiar challenge of finding my equilibrium due to the bottle of red wine and the sudden rush of all my blood out of my head and toward my stomach to help break down the 'lil-cowboy I just ate, and the second, a gentle tug on my arm. As I tried to break free I noticed it was an older man trying to get my attention. I thought, oh no I'll have to give the Hiemlick Maneuver, and I never really paid attention to those signs. Luckily, he just wanted to repeat his question to me: " how did you do on that steak??". Obviously, they had seen it being wheeled over to by table, but since my back was to the room, I hadn't noticed all the commotion.

I turned to the gentleman, noticing several other heads straining to hear my response, and felt a sudden surge of self -importance. Similar to how Jesse Jackson must feel when he gets recognized...you did something, but you still haven’t accomplished anything. Realizing the stupidity of my achievement I played it down..."it was great, but no dessert tonight". It got a laugh, and I felt good. But deep down, it was really nothing to be proud of...right Jesse?

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