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Friday, October 31, 2003

Bedlam and Mayhem 

That's Bedlam on the left, with his little brother Mayhem on the right. (This is last year's pic, this year's will be up later tonight). Although they appear innocent, believe me, they are appropriately named.

( Note: after 11/04, e-mail me for picture)

Their mother has been away this week in London on business, and they are all mine, which explains the "light blogging".

This guy, had a post describing the "communication" issues between husband and wife, which was pretty funny. I could do a similar one for children..if they would allow me enough time to type it up!

Here's a sample:

What I heard: Dad can I help you "build those shelves" (you can substitute any household chore).

What kids meant: I want to use all the tools you are using as play toys. I really have no desire to see this household task completed. I bet I can do exactly what you don't want me to do.

What I heard: Dad I love you.

What kids meant: I want something I'm not supposed to have. I dropped my juice on the oriental rug, again. I'm reading Raising Cain, and I'm starting to realize, as my parent, you have a really tough job ahead of you.

..currently they are both pounding/kicking/crying/screaming at the locked office door, so this post is now over.

PS - mom comes home this afternoon - yipee!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Legacy or Lunacy 

Let's see, I first noticed I was different in about third grade. No, it wasn't my looks, my table manners, or my mental state, but those are good guesses, it was my phone etiquette. Whenever I called my friends, or anyone for that matter, I had a set way of addressing the answering party. This procedure was drilled into me, and my sisters by my father.

My father was a politician. He was also a stickler for rules, order and everything else that contributes to total. and. absolute. control. He isn't a bad guy. Actually, he's generous and funny and quite pleasant. But back in the day, he needed order.

Like most good politicians, he was working all the time. Our home was indeed just an extension of his office. Thus, using the phone, a business tool, you needed to retain the proper business decorum.

Right about now you are wondering, what I am doing posting this instead of watching the Knicks opener against the Magic. I did catch the first half, and to be blunt, both teams look pretty stiff so I thought I would knock some of the dust off this computer.

Our procedure for making calls was as follows:

ME: dialing

Answering Party ( AP): Hello

ME: Is this the "Smith" residence?

AP: Yes.

ME: Is "William" (insert friend's name) home?

AP: Yes.

ME: May I speak with him please.

From there is gets wonted. But it wasn't long before the typical exchange turned into:

ME: dialing

AP: Hello?

ME: Is this the "Smith" reside....

AP: ( turns head while interrupting and yells )..Billy - it's Jimi Love on the phone.

Even though I would commonly get interrupted since all my friend's, their sisters, their brothers, mothers and even fathers knew "the procedure", I kept doing it until about 6th grade.

I often got kidded for it, but I knew it was my duty to my father to maintain the procedure, the routine, the level of proper etiquette. It made me different, in a very obvious way, when I was just trying to fit in.

I still don't know whether it was different good, or different bad. I'm wondering when I will discuss phone etiquette with my two sons, and if I should pass on a legacy, or just let them fit in.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Updates 

I know I haven't been blogging as much as I should lately and I feel a bit guilty. Initially I started out reading lots of blogs, as I presume most all bloggers do, it was very educational and exciting. I've noticed ever since I started pounding out my random thoughts for everyone to see, I don't get to explore as many new blogs. I guess I'm ignoring posting a bit, to ensure I have the time to explore the blogsphere, and continue learning news things.

Actually that's a lie. I just have been busy with work and my wife is away on business, so I have the kids to watch, and after I get them to bed I am so exhausted I just bail on the whole internet thing. So, I'm not posting or reading much. OK that felt better.

As my father once told me "don't lose sleep over what happened today, you just roll over and say I'll to do better tomorrow!"

I guess I'll see you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 25, 2003

Too Far, Too Fast 

I couldn't leave for the weekend with a skimpy little Elvis post.

OK, we all saw that BA is shutting down it's Concorde fleet, which is unfortunate. It caused me wonder why it didn't work. Not so much the Concorde itself, but this revolutionary idea of going fast - it didn't spawn other advancements in aerospace. I mean, come on, flying to London from NY in under 3 hours, traveling at supersonic speed, having the opportunity to join the 11 mile high club, now that's cool.

Sadly, going fast just wasn't worth the price, and never caught on with the rest of the industry. Which is odd since we all bitch about delayed flights, jet lag, and time wasted enduring the airport security ordeal.

Similarly, the DeLorean had the same impact-less life on the automobile industry. I guess for similar reasons..speed ain't worth the price.

Both were created by visionaries, neigh renegades, tired of the ordinary performance and eager to make a bold statement ( yes, Charles de Gaulle was a renegade too). Both machines sought high performance with a practical but exotic form. Both only came in one color...I initially pegged this as the downfall, but Concorde officials assured me they were rotating the color of the decals regularly. Lastly, both were gas guzzling fiends.

Once again, economics carry the day and the Concorde goes the way of the DeLorean, without the local clubs to meet annually and wax poetically about what could have been.

But the sad part, is once again society has turned its nose up at the price of speed. Internet connections, toll booths, turnstiles, are all faster, but cheaper. Speed is just not to be conspicuously consumed. A lesson well learned, twice.

Why I wrote this I don't know. But I will definitely be able to get back to sleep now, as will you.


Friday, October 24, 2003

King - me 

Even dead, he's still the king.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Mysteries 

Why does this happen??


Thank goodness this site helps explain the mystery!!


More Stupidity 

He covered up the JFK assassination. He was behind the death of MLK Jr. Now he's responsible for protecting Israel, some 30yrs ago. The implication of the latest charge is that he started the subservient behavior, which now Bush, and the rest of us, are blindly following.

No, LBJ was not responsible for covering up this terrible accident . But what really intrigues me is; isn't the timing of this "discovery" a bit convenient? People sit back with knowledge of these huge lies and misdeeds weighing on their minds for years, no decades. But now, when the world is accusing the US of being a puppet for Israel, they somehow need to come forward and set the record straight?? Yeah right.

Not that I'm a big fan of LBJ, actually quite the contrary. But I can't stand to see "piling on", and further notions of the US conforming to Israel's demands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Buffalo is Thicker Than Water  

I was born, raised, and educated in Buffalo, New York. This means:

a) I can eat bizerk nuclear hot chicken wings.
b) I have shoveled oceans of snow.
c) I am comfortable driving in the snow.
d) To me, drinking beer is a way of communicating.
e) I do not turn away when the Buffalo Bills are on TV.
f) I don’t talk about the Sabres, not even the French Connection, it hurts.
g) I have been in Memorial Auditorium when it gets “foggy”.
h) I have been in War Memorial Auditorium ( aka The Rockpile), way before they filmed “The Natural” (btw, Robert Redford is surprising short).
i) I never expected to see the sun from November until April.
j) I can pronounce; Cheektawaga, Scajaquada, Chautaugua. ( a local, town, highway, and lake, named after Indians)
k) I also understand why a local high school is named West Seneca East.
l) I know the significance of; “Nickel City”, “Queen City”, “City of Good Neighbors”, and “42.5 degrees North Latitude”.
m) I have scrapped ice off the inside of my bedroom windows in the morning.
n) I saw a picture of a man impaled on a flag pole the day after Halloween.
o) I threw snowballs at cars for 4 months of the year. I also pogeyed, a lot.
p) I have seen dead fish floating in Lake Erie.
q) I know all about the ”lake effect” snow storms.
r) I lived through the winter of ’77, storm of ’85, but missed the winter of ’01.
s) I appreciate all the beauty in Canada; beaches, ballets and beverages (not in that order).
t) I faced the humiliation of getting looked down upon by people from Cleveland.
u) I know there is a “grand” island in Buffalo, along with a “peace” bridge .
v) I know what being embarrassed by the political leadership really feels like: “grab a six-pack and wait out the snow storm at home” ( Mayor Jimmy Griffin, ’85).
w) I never had a “seasonality “ to my wardrobe.
x) The first thing I did before getting up for school was listen to the radio to see if it was a “snow” day.
y) I remember the Buffalo Braves, Ernie D, Randy Smith, Adrian Dantley, Bob MacAdoo, et al.
z) I know the special bond most people from Buffalo share: “Buffalo is Thicker than Water, and most of that is frozen”. ( copyright JimiLove, Inc.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

golf memories 

I have been golfing for as long as I can remember. Why? Because it was a lot safer than this, but mainly because my parents were "golf nuts".

My father would go golfing early on weekends at our club, with "the men". At 1pm, Ladies were allowed to play, so my Dad would swing by the pool and pick up my Mom for a quick 9 holes. At 4pm, when Children were allowed on the course, my 3 sisters and I were expected to be out of the pool, dressed, and ready to with our clubs. (The whole golf-privilege based on age/sex was a bit extreme, but this was the early 70's!)

I was 8 yrs old, and I loved those weekend days. I waited with great excitement for 4pm to roll around. Often times I spent the whole day, 10am 'til 4pm, on the putting green. I would practice all kinds of crazy putts, or putt against my buddies for Cokes, but usually I just practiced alone. I would imagine I was a putting against the pros, or for the Masters Championship.

These are the things I remember about those 9 hole rounds played with my father, mother, and 3 sisters.

1) we played as a six-some, and you needed to keep your eyes open!
2) we would put on bug spray every 3 holes. I can still remember the smell.
3) my sisters and I usually cried at least once per round.
4) I had to choke up on my clubs.
5) we (kids) all "whiffed" now and again, but didn't admit it.
6) I had to play around the water hazards, because I couldn't hit over them.
7) we had canvas bags, and only a few clubs.
8) we would run to the drinking fountains on the course, because they were fun!?!
9) inside the drinking foundation basin, was the word "Taylor", I thought they made the water!
10) we needed mechanical devises to keep score.
11) my Mom would give us her wedge so we could get our shots off the ground, and stop crying.
12) I cried when I hit my favorite ball in the water. My Dad took his shoes and socks off and, with a sand rake, pulled out a few dozen balls before he got my mine, "Spaulding Rebel".
13) I loved when my Dad would yell "golf swing", after I hit a nice shot.
14) we would tap our initials into the golf benches using a tee and a golf ball.
15) my Dad would always rake the sand traps when we finished, even if we had raked them.
16) my Mom always knew where we hit our shots, and helped us find our balls. Since we finished at dusk many times, that was not so easy.
17) I once saw my Dad hit a tee shot along the ground. Once.
18) I always played form the men's tees, with my Dad.
19) we all got Cokes after each round.
20) Once, on the last hole, my sister said hopefully, "seventy five", while putting a 2 footer. When it didn't go in, she dejectedly said "oh darn..seventy six". My father said cheerfully..."that's the spirit"!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Wifey 

I guess it's going around because, I too, spoiled a birthday - my wife's. We had a long day planned; a trip to her favorite outing The Hunt, then a night in NYC at a swank hotel, and dinner at Lutece. I'm getting a bit old, but certainly I can handle one measly day of partying right?? Wrong.

I was fine with the 5-7 glasses of champagne and the beer chasers. I endured the 2 hours of NYC traffic to go 10 blocks. The sight of a $330/night hotel room, not big enough to swing a dead cat was sickening, but I got over it. It was that damn Cuban cigar. I usually handle them with ease, but at about 8:30, right before dinner, I got a "pale" feeling.

My wife noticed it, and said "you're going to be sick aren't you?" I love my wife. "Yes" I groaned, happy that she took me out of my misery. I laid on the bed and watched her change from her fancy sheer something-er other outfit back into jeans and a sweater. She offered to get pizza and she spent the night, her night, rubbing my back and talking. She never said a word about my stupidity.

Not that she is even expecting it, but I'll make it up to her soon. I just love how she put my feelings above hers. I never would have said anything, but I guess she figured it wouldn't have been much fun looking at a sickly-suit all night.

My wife has a movie star face and trailer park feet. She couldn't be in this contest, but could damn near win this one hands down! The thing is I have grown to love her feet, as much as her face. I often rub them, sans socks. The look of pure and utter content on her face is quite satisfying, but I still can't not make direct eye contact with them. Can you?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Urges... 

I was watching THE game last night, naturally. I was surprised by yet again another fan interference play. OK, it wasn't as dramatic as the Cubs fan, but it did adversely affect the home team.

You know what I'm talking about, when Matsui hit a shot down the 1st base line that seemed headed for the zenith of right field. It was sure to enable the runner at first base to score, but no. A fan, doing what fans do, reached over and knocked the ball down. Automatic ground rule double, runner remains at the 3rd base. The announcers mentioned it casually, nothing like the lambasting they gave the Cubs fan. Nonetheless, they questioned why fans would do such a disruptive and harmful thing.

New ballparks are designed to get the fan closer and make the "experience" more intimate. But hands off the ball, which sometimes comes hurling 50 mph at your head. You need to be mindful of the score, the men on base, the number of outs, and all important momentum. Whatever you do, don't interfere and adversely affect the home team. Remember fan, you need to make the "smart" play. Do something stupid and you'll end up letting your teammates down, or worse, losing the game!

Seriously, aren't fans just doing what fans do....getting caught up in the game...acting, or rather, reacting naturally? These fans aren't running on the field, taking swings, or even throwing batteries at the players (those were the bad old days). These people are excited to be having the "experience" and they just want to be closer to the game. MLB has addressed these issues with rules on fan interference, and requirements on fan restraining structures.

My point is, as long as fans are placed in a position to affect a game, they will. Not out of stupidity, or malice, or even sympathy for the home team, but simply out a desire to get closer to the game. Remember those desires, or urges, are what line the pockets of MLB participants. If MLB wants to stop the fan interference and the newly established fan-notoriety, make the appropriate, and modest, changes in the ballparks. Don't expect the fans to stop being fans.

Note: I have the same issue with blogs. I am a big fan. In an effort to get closer to the "experience" I often times find myself leaving comments that are otherwise unwanted. Perhaps a modest amount of restraint, on my part, is in order.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Cubbies 

After reading on the FRONT page of today's WSJ the blight of the young fan that interfered with the Chicago Cubs destiny, my heart goes out to him and the whole city of Chicago. They must all be hurting something awful. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and we won't see the kid's head on a stick, or a repeat of Boston's city-wide shunning of the "Billy Buckner family".

Unfortunately, the only way Chicago will get that long sought after parade now, is if they host Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 2. Oh well, there's always the Bears!!...uh, the Bulls!!..whoops, uh next year...that's right, there's always next year. Good Luck.

Note: the t-shirt for sale on eBay the reads "Anger Management....is not killing the Cub fan who keeps the curse alive!", is probably not sponsored by our Don of Anger Management. Although, being the opportunist that he is, you never know!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Fair Play 

Although it's probably in bad taste to post this, I feel obliged to show ALL stupid fan behavior.




If the Cubs do lose this series, and they blame this guy, that's a sad commentary on the state of thinking in Chicago, and of baseball fans in general.

One more thing...just look at the people around the kid...if the ball was hit a bit more to left a few others might have reached out the exact same way!! Perhaps his reaction was...uh, normal? Hmmmm.


Birthday Boy 

Frank had his 48th birthday ruined yesterday. The prosecution, namely SEC lawyer Peikin, has exposed way too many inconsistencies in Frank's story. They took Frank's own words, and with only a modest amount of twisting, shoved them back down Frank's throat. They questioned Frank's frankness by citing his inability to answer simple questions directly. They have even attracted others hungry for a fight, Elliott “Spitfire”, et al. Needless to say, Frank hasn't seen any of his presents yet.

I think Frank's lawyer, Keker, is way off the mark, although there are other opinions.

I can tell you, from seeing this type of situation up close and personal, (not specifically from Frank's vantage point mind you), Keker should never have let the issues drift so far into the inner-working of Wall Street. We all know there is a ton of politics in business. Since Wall Street IS big business, internal e-mails are replete with political implications. The writer actually counts on the reader to interpret the true meaning.

Was Frank "controlling" the allocation process, NO. By corporate organizational law, which dominates, he was not in charge. Did he provide his opinions, his suggestions, his requests and even his demands? Sure, that's how business, both internal and external gets done. However, a lay person will read an internal e-mail and translate it literally. In a few internal e-mails Frank appears to have some control of the process. This directly contradicts his statement that "I have nothing to do with the allocation process". Why Keker even played this card so hard is questionable, but certainly it hurt Frank’s believability.

In his summation, when Keker really needs to win the jury over, he misplayed a metaphor opportunity..."don’t' blame the guys down at the bottom of the food chain". Huh? Yes, Frank is down on the food chain of authority on legal matters, but few people can see past his $120mm income and think he is anything less than the big kahoona. Couldn't Keker say, "don't blame the guy in the trenches"?

Like I said, it doesn't look good. I am surprised at how over confident Team Frank was. I am surprised that they left Frank so exposed to image bashing. More importantly, I am surprised that they didn't strike harder at the CSFB legal team, and it's inability to live up it's obligations to guide the company during these legal inquires.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Sick as a Dog 

I felt crappy all weekend. I thought by playing in a charity golf outing on Long Island today I would feel better. As I sit here with a high fever, I realize that was another gamble gone bad.

More on health when I feel better. What does "sick as a dog" actually mean anyway? uh Jen?

Monday, October 13, 2003

Andy..Thank You 

I remember sitting in my parent's house and listening to them criticize a television broadcaster. He had an odd face, with puffy features, and he was very serious looking. From my parents near fanatic tirade, I gathered he wasn't making too much sense.

My father would say, mocking Andy Rooney's whinny voice: " don't ya' just hate it when someone takes a little bite out of each one of the pieces in a box of chocolates, then puts them back?? Like, it wasn't good enough for them, but sure someone else might find it delicious." To which, my mother would roar with laughter.

I was surprised at how antimated they got. I found it easier to simply change the channel or leave the room. But to them the fact that he was putting his pointless and ill-conceived notions on national television, well that was unacceptable.

I hate it when I sound like my parents....I really do. Last night I was flipping the channels, trying to forget another half-hearted effort by the Buffalo Bills, when I stumbled upon that same old man, still very serious looking.

He was babbling something about "apologizing for apologizing" and then went on to criticize Bush about starting a War....oh great another "Ted Kennedy come-lately", I muttered. He went on imply that Bush's actions of defending our country against terrorism would cause our great nation's demise like the Roman and Greek empires.

I was dumb founded. Was his point that stepping forward to meet a direct challenge head on, holding firm our resolve while others criticize us unfairly, and sacrificing our own for the good but others, is somehow demonstrating a moral fiber that is inconsistent with the ideals on which our nation was founded?

I made some quick cutting quip...and was just about to really launch in when I noticed my son at my feet. In the same vain as my parents, I decided to use this talking head for what it's worth. I asked my son to look at the man on the T.V. and I asked him, "what are those bushy white things over that man's eyes?" "They look like birds nests", he said.

Although I really hate sounding like my parents, the chance to get three generations worth of amusement out of Andy Rooney's senseless commentary was worth it.



Friday, October 10, 2003

Cowboy Up - 2! 

Not that I think she needs any help, but I see this just way too much!


So this little guy is being sent to even the score!! Got a comment?


Orange and Blue 

Yes, size does matter, she should know. But it's also a matter of location...


...Woo Hoo..I picked up my NY Knick's tickets today, and I was pleasantly surprised that I got moved up. Yep. I now have a better vantage point from which to watch them self-destruct. Section 218. You can get a picture of the "new view" by going here, and plugging in 218 - its cool.

I am not that excited about the Knick's season for a number of reason:
1) currently they have 6 power forwards ( Harrington, Lampe, McDyess, Sweetney, Thomas, and Weatherspoon), who combined, can't put up all star numbers.
2) they have another guy that should be playing PF, but can't ( Van Horn).
3) their best defender (Ward) is a second stringer, and he's a Heisman Trophy winner (that's a football award, right??).
4) they have a great Assistant Coach, that he's acting as Head Coach (Chaney), again.
5) after finally getting a quality center (Mutombo), the current power forward, who always bitched about playing out of position makes comments like this:

"He's got to come in and fight for this job. He can't beat me down the floor. I'd have a field day (against him), pull him out, shoot my jumper or blow right by him. I'm not going to hand my job over to anyone." -- C Kurt Thomas, in the Oct. 6 NY Post, before the Knicks signed C Dikembe Mutombo

I am excited that :
1) my 4 yr old might be old enough to "hold down" his cotton candy and popcorn.
2) new seats mean new neighbors ( see above).
3) the players may now be able to hear my screams for DEFENSE, and play better!?!
4) I'll have a better view of her.jpg .
5) yes, they got a quality center (Mutombo), but wasn't he 4th on the Net's depth chart?? oh nevermind.
6) next year's lottery picks look pretty good.


Thursday, October 09, 2003

Who Really Wins 

They have been "losers" for as long anyone can remember. In fact, they are each held up as the epitome of "non-winners", mainly for the length of time they have each been accomplishing that feat. Their fans are renowned for their acceptance of the ringless results each season produces. I am talking about none other than the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. Unless you were dead, you probably noticed both teams confidently making their way through the MLB post season.

Although I dropped out of the MLB fan-based, a casualty of the 1984 strike, I have recently been drawn back on a temporary basis. I am stunned by all the people who are hoping for a "Losers" World Series. I'm sure most of the fans are waiting to see which team reverses their losing ways, however, I have a different perspective.

Naturally, the losing team would be disappointed. But I think it would be an absolute travesty, which would be impossible to overcome. If you can't beat an opponent that has demonstrated a prolonged inability to win, who can you beat? This reality would cast them even deeper into despair and hopelessness. Tragedies attract.

Additionally, I don't think that this series could produce a real winner. Sure, the locals would have a ticker-tape parade down Federal Street or tip over all the cars on Michigan Ave, but what did their team really accomplish? They would have simply managed to beat the new winner of the biggest "loser" award. Because of their opponent's ineptitude, I think baseball historians would brand them as not worthy of "World Champion" status. Together with the likelihood that they would repeat the fate of the previous longest standing "non-winner to win a championship" (AKA the NY Rangers, who after holding the Stanley Cup over their head proceeded to drop straight to the bottom of the league and haven't been heard from since), there really isn't much to celebrate.

OK perhaps I'm still a little pissed about that strike.




Untitled 

Initially, I thought this blank screen was some sort of editorial comment. It wouldn't be out of character for this author to make such a statement. Perhaps he was pointing out the vast wasteland of public opinions on the internet, or the value to society of blogging in general, or simply living up to his word of - "I yield the floor to Rob". Alas, as the days turned to weeks, then months, I realized his editorial was growing stale...which, indeed, was out of character.

Recently, the mystery was resolved, apparently all the result of a normal turbulent life of any young, hard headed Irishmen. Having been the same, only many years removed, I was both sympathetic and amused. It was all just a couple of tough breaks that were probably caused, as well as cured, by his powerful insights, humor and principles. ( notice how I avoided saying beer, as to avoid his rath in the future!)

As detailed in the comments section of the post linked above, a helpful hand will not be accepted. This is not out of character, and quite frankly a bit impressive given how many "hand-out cups" are thrust in our face everyday. However, I was thinking of another tact which might be suitable. Each day we provide "handouts" to local editors to read their self serving, factless, blather ( I'm thinking of the NYT and LA Times as examples), perhaps we can redirect those payments to our friend.

I think, and I'm sure you would agree, that there is a strong demand for a few short stories about....the causes for his departure, an in depth look at the techniques for communicating with leaders of the Haitian community, and 50 ways to prepare Romain Noodles. Since all NYer's know there are no "free lunches", I believe a payment to receive such riveting stories would be rightfully accepted.

If nothing else, I am certain creating an expletive filled response to this unwanted post will be incentive enough for him to get back on line...quickly.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Updates... 

Congratulations to all those Republicans out in California, you did it. You wrestled the reins of your state leadership away from the dim-witted, self serving Demoracts! Congratulations to Arnie, of course. I wish him well. It will be a difficult task, cutting budgets is never fun, especially when the short-term reward is simply fiscal control!

Lots of doubters will come out of the wood work, trying to blow a lot of smoke about another recall, but all you have to do is be decisive, be fair, and never waiver in your convictions. Also, read the new book on President Reagan. It points out how he matured as Governor. Sure, he made some mistakes ( signed an abortion rights bill too soon), but ultimately was viewed by all, as a great leader for the state.

My prediction: Arnie will not grope anyone as governor, or sign any pro-nazi legislation. HAHA . Actually, I think he'll do OK, one term, but that should be enough to get the state headed in the right direction. OK, that's it for California I'm sick of reading and writing about that circus...where's Hillary?


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Blame Game 



Just a quick interruption to let you know how the Frank Quattrone obstruction of justice trial is (probably) going to shake out. What?? you don't care. You 'd rather have your tongue split than hear more about Frank Q? Ah...well, the positives?? Uh...at the very least and you can throw this opinion around at cocktail parties and not get hurt. Plus this blog addresses what I'm interested in, remember? OK, I'll keep it brief.

Frank will say , through his lawyer, that CSFB's legal department, Mr. Brodksy, should had been more explicit with Frank by informing him about the SEC subpoena and implied duties as an officer of the firm. The argument to that is....”hey, he knows what a subpoena is, he was told it was a matter of dire importance, he should have taken steps to protect the firm and retained the documents."

OK..here is the crux of the defense. Frank was following corporate policy...ie periodic document purging, which was designed, no doubt, by the legal /compliance teams, or at the very least approved by legal. If order for Frank to suspend, or not comply with said firm policy he would need to get approval from the proper authority within CSFB. Hence, it was the legal department's, i.e. Mr. Brodsky's, duty, neigh obligation, to instruct Mr. Quattrone, as well as other CFSB business unit directors to suspend their actions with regard to stated company policies, including but not limited to document purging, at the moment the subpoena was issued. (*applause*)

On Wall Street everyone specializes, just like on an assembly line. Frank was required to understand, the laws of human nature, the laws of supply and demand, the laws of survival of the fittest...but securities law was left to the lawyers....AKA Mr. Brodsky. Viola! Frank walks.


Its not just Beer... 

...it's an "Oktoberfest beer"!


Yes, this is a great time to be in Bavaria..more specifically, Munich, Germany.

I caught the event in September of 1997 , but each year around this time I am mentally transported back.

I think the attachment came from experiencing both the expected:

lots of St. Paulie girls,


lots of lederhosen,


lots of wurst, and



big beer tents, with tons of people( notice the clouds, cool), and finally



another beer tent.



..and the unexpected:

a huge amusement park, with rides galore,



some where quite scary,



not many drunks, (and no fights whatsoever, can't image that in NYC!!),

, and surprisingly,

Europe does have fat people ( they all live in Germany!).



Oktoberfest..its all about the beer, but you meet some nice people along the way!


( sorry, I am not in any of these pic's, I'm too lazy to scan in my own!)

Monday, October 06, 2003

WMD 

As the facts roll in, it will be interesting to see how far down Sen. Kennedy's throat we can stuff them.



I think this is a good start.


Krazyfornia - part2 

My slogans for the Republican's;

"Californian's need another Democratic Governor, like Mike Tyson needs another tattoo on his face!

or "yes, we're stealing the election, but it's for the good of mankind....sort of like how the US stole the Panama Canal !"

Jokes aside:

Big day in Krazyfornia tomorrow. Can the underdog Republicans take down the long standing Democrat's money guzzling machine?? The latest polls say they have a good shot, but as I stated previously; polls don't vote!!

The lesson for both Demo and Repub parties is already clear, neither has strong state leadership at the top. Both parties needed to unify themselves in order to secure a "party victory" and the related spoils, "party favors". Both sides lost the big picture and allowed individuals to divide their respective power.

Davis properly polarized the campaign in the beginning..ie " the Republicans are trying to steal the election". However, with Bustamante's "vote no" message getting lost along with his "official campaign" contribution records, and the attack on Arnold uncoordinated between Davis, Bustamante and Huffington...the democratic loyalists found it difficult to get behind "one" voice.

Similarly, the Republicans were vote splitting from the start. Although not strategic, this may have worked to their advantage. As we all know, the Demo's main weapon is slander. The initial wide cast of opponents, caused this weapon to lay idle.....'no need to waste good dirt on guys who are going to drop out, right?' Couple that with a false sense of security from that legal maneuver, which was all Demo initiated, and the Demo's got caught with their pants down.

Can the Repub's capitalize/steal the election?? It is too close to call, but for the sake of the residents, not including the illegals (one needs to specify this in Krazyfornia), I sure hope so.

da Jills 

If you had cheerleaders that looked like this, would you play hard??



OK that's a bit of a cheap shot... but they aren't pretty, and neither was yesterday's win.

( old joke: why are the Bills' home field always made of astro-turf??
ans: so the cheerleaders won't graze at half-time!!)

If you have to go to OT to beat the Bengals , when you're at home no less...you got some problems. The defense is getting soft, and the offense is lost. Thank god I couldn't watch the game ( thank you Jets/Giants TV monopoly), or surely I'd be more upset.

However, with the Jets/Bills game coming up next week...and plenty of trash talking e-mails to fire out and respond to...I 've got to stay positive and hope for plenty of Jet mistakes. On the plus side...the game will be televised ..WOO HOO. Unfortunately I will be in Philly, god knows why. At least I can tape the game and see each play instead of ESPN highlights.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Stepping around the Traps 

Reading Bill's blog, and his lastest "100 things" post, has reminded me of my past, and some moments I'd rather forget. For example, I don't think my wife would have liked looking at this picture all that often...but that's what almost happened.



One Thursday night, in tenth grade, I drove this guy home. We were friends. Well, not 'call you on the phone' friends, but we were both on the basketball team and respected each other. We was a tough city kid, and I a suburbs' boy. We really didn't have that much in common, he was from a blue collar background, and attended our HS on a football scholarship. I was the opposite, but I admired his ability to "fit in" at our preppy, snobby school, and felt people needed to be more tolerant of his background.

As I drove him home, we picked up a couple of his buddies at a bus stop and cruised deep into the industrial part of town. We stopped off at a bar and headed inside. Where were our parents?? I don't know, but somehow I felt alive that night, like I was my own person and had all the freedom in the world. I was 16, sitting in bar drinkin' beer, having a good time. The fact I was driving my parents car or that I had to go home to my parents house that night somehow was forgotten.

As the night progressed the conversation took many turns, but I realized why I was there, it was for the adventure. The conversations were about topics I never encountered before; fathers hitting sons, family financial issues, jailhouse visits. The way the 3 of them talked, life was much more desperate, and real, it was something I felt I was missing.

At one point I think we all realized we needed to go home...I was proud I hadn't brought up the subject...but my friend had one more thing to show me - his tattoo. It was a tiny little cross. It looked so strange on his large arm, I laughed. His friend showed me his...it was a circle with the phrase "death before defeat" in cool gothic lettering. I could identify with the sports theme. They asked if I had one. "No?...oh you gotta get one", they pleaded. Naturally, seeking a deeper bond with this new, more real life, I complied. I had no idea what I was saying. Perhaps I had too many beers, but I muttered something, and then next thing I knew we were in the shop.

It was a converted barber shop with only one room facing a busy street. It had the bright neon lites and a beat up wooden counter....behind which sat 'the chair'. "That's were they tie you down and shock you Jim", they said, "are you ready". I should have turned back right there, but I didn't. I loved the open wild feeling of freedom which grew inside me with each decision I made...with each word I spoke.

Something made me pick it....perhaps it was my catholic background...or my infatuation with the phrase 'go big or go home', which I had heard just last week.
I said, "it's gotta be that one". I stood there stone faced, ready to do whatever it took, ready to face whatever life was going to hand me. I'm really not that brave. In my mind it was all surreal, like a scene from a movie being played out in slow motion.

The shop owner lowered the tattoo of The Last Supper, and placed it in front of me. Wow, was it big. That was the first time I got nervous...not for what getting a tattoo meant; the permanence, the stigmatism, the pain, but for the fact that it probably wouldn't fit on my back. I didn't want these guys to think I was a skinny punk. This pointed to my lack of self confidence, something I ignored.

Then came the words that saved me..." ok boys that'll be $220 bucks, and it'll take 4 hours, but I can sketch it out tonight". All I heard was "$220 bucks". I took the news hard, like I really wanted it, but there was no way we could afford $220. Settle for a smaller one?? No way.."its go big or go home for me", I stated disappointedly.

Thank. god. As I got back into the cold night air, the reality of how close I came to royal stupidity hit me hard. I was shot 'mind first' back into reality... thoughts of my father yelling; "where the hell were you", "what were you doing with my car", "you're grounded for a week" were just the beginning.

I think about it from time to time. It makes me shutter to think how stupid I was.

Its Pay -off day 

Yes ..it's better to give than receive, so here a few charities I am proud to promote and support! Here they be:

Breastage...yes, I paid the $50 and you should too. I am not sure what to expect....uh, that's a lie.... but I better not see any a pop up ads for penis enlargement while I'm there.

I should be going here this weekend. I have participated for the last couple of years, but family commitments prevent me from going this year. I feel bad because it is a great cause, and these are my ski buds from Steamboat..give generously!


Thursday, October 02, 2003

The rest of the "50 things" 

Susie's blog as discussed at great length the trials and tribulations of her Tracer. The descriptions are so vivid and captivating they have brought the Tracer to life. This has caused a ground swell of interest and has prompted a "50 things you always wanted to know list" about her dear Tracer.

I see her list has stopped at 15, so thanks to exhaustive research and a leak at User Car headquaters, I have collected enough information to complete the final 35. So , here they be:

1) My hatch back has been there for 16yrs - and hasn’t hatched a single thing.
2) My back seat hasn’t seen any action either!
3) I don’t get much company, my passenger seat is like new.
4) My Drivers seat is always jammed up under the steering wheel...my Susie is slightly “vertically challenged”!
5) My Susie is really good to me though, see #15 (on original list)
6) I hate my aerial antenna, it makes me look like a dork.
7) I get 28 mpg in the city :( , up 35 mpg in the country :) yes!!
8) My Greenhouse rating is about 6.3 tons – so there!
9) On Yahoo, my review said: “a very solid older car”..uh, ok that’s a negative :(
10) On cold nights my Susie actually lets me sleep IN the garage.
11) I have side view mirrors, which I really don’t use cuz I’m not that vain.
12) One of these days instead of EASYPASS….it will be “age before beauty”!!
13) Zero to 60mph...yes!
14) I can do corners.
15) Hills are a bitch.
16) I will never get a racing stripe. I don’t believe in cosmetic body work…once you leave the assembly thats it!
17) I was once molested by a mechanic….( and Susie thinks those mufflers are free!).
18) Thank god I’m blue, red oxidizes way too fast.
19) I’m middle-aged, but my bumpers are still tight!
20) I was in love once with a Ford Bronco….man talk about 4x4’s ..wow!
21) When I was younger, I jumped started myself one night and drove thru the neighbors sprinklers…..I never felt so alive!
22) My favorite gasoline in Shell regular…hey, I’m from the mid-west!
23) My favorite oil is Prestone...cuz a girl has to live a little.
24) I tried diet anti-freeze but it gave me gas….no not that kind!
25) Don’t even think about rear ending me on the first date!
26) I am quiet when I first meet someone, but around my friends I can’t shut up.
27) I am non-confrontational, but I like to stick up for my friends.
28) I don’t run with scissors
(I really didn’t want to say #25-#27, but everyone else did it on their “list of 50 things”.)
29) I am a conformist , see above :(
30) I like driving past schools, playgrounds and other low-speed zones.
31) Speed bumps are another example of our government trying to run our lives.
32) I get skerid when we go past a Used Car lot.
33) I have lots of brothers and sisters, but I don’t see many of them around anymore.
34) I also have a lot of young rich cousins, we don’t talk much.
35) I hate Bob Barker because he coined the phrase: “it can be yours if the price is right!”...(I wonder if Susie has a price in mind.)


Rush off ESPN 

I have to clarify my position on Rush..we're just getting too many calls on this. Rush and I share a lot of the same Conservative values. However, Rush should not be anywhere near football, or any sport.. thus my Goodbye note to him below.

Regarding the merits of his statement: while perhaps not outright racist, it did show his ignorance about players and football. Commentators should know there is no room in the game for racial differentiation. As we all know, the NFL is colorblind..except when making rules that state; teams have to at least interview a non-white coach if a vacancy is created - otherwise they will be fined.

-------------------------------------------------------
Goodbye you ...over-weight, over-paid, over-medicated, I-once-had-something-intelligent-to-say, worn out, deaf, old fool...now go sit in the corner with Jimmy the Greek ( no relation).


Trust your Trustee 

We have all had it up to here *reaches up and touches top of Shack's head* with the whole Enron scandal. Today, the flood of articles focused on retirees, employees, and other interested parties newly minted right to sue both Enron and it's "Trustee", Northern Bank and Trust.

You can read about it here.

This is bad news for Enron, bad publicity for Northern, but it will not truly affect other Trustees. With breathtaking alacrity other "Trustees" will advise corporate clients to substitute a brokerage account for those troublesome "company stock plans". The plan sponsor, corporation ( a different set of Trustees) , will simply advise employees "you now have the opportunity to buy any stock you wish...if you want to buy our company stock great, but it's your choice and risk decision."

My take: there is huge difference between a Trust Administrator ( ie Northern ), who acts at the Trustee's direction, and the Trustees of the plan (ie Enron appointed official Trustees), who approve all the covenants of the trust. The name spells it out. I just though y'all needed to know that...maybe not.

Yes, I use the Patch! 

Eventually we'll all wear a patch, to cure one ailment or another. "Which patch", you ask??

Well, its not the nicotine patch, nor the "rid your body of toxins patch", not even the diet patch... Oh god, don't even joke about this one.

It's this: [style="clear:both;"].....a patch to rid my blogger code from the Evil Scroll Lock!...and, it works.

Thank You


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Quattrone Trial 

This case is quite interesting. It taught us, (those of us in the corporate world); any conversations we have with our internal counsels are not necessarily protected under attorney-client privilege. (Surprising! I know. It came as a shock to me too, because even my internal counsel told me our conversations were protected!!)

Internal corporate counsels are serving the corporations not the employees. Thus, it is the corporations that are asked to make a decision on whether they chose to waive their attorney client privilege. In these scandal-filled times Wall Street firms are typically quick to comply with prosecutors. This is bad news for Martha….more on that in January. The WSJ article on 9/30 covered this aspect pretty well. It goes on to say:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 makes it certain that more lawyers
will testify against their companies or colleagues in the future. The
law requires lawyers representing public companies to report to
higher-ups evidence of wrong doing.


Second, the trial is about obstruction-of-justice, and the main factor is Quanttrone’s “intent” when he forwarded an e-mail directing his staff to “clean up those files”. Surprisingly, the trial isn’t about providing clients with misleading research, or kickbacks in return for hot IPO allocations, but rather how the investigation were complied with. A la Martha Stewart, it isn’t the actual crime being investigated that gets these high-flyers into trouble; rather, it’s their reactions to the investigation. ( note: Martha’s heavy jail time and fines will come from the obstruction and fraud charges, not insider trading.)

So, the SEC and will need to prove Frank’s intent was to hide incriminating evidence….although we are not certain there is any. Hmmmm.

At this point I have no idea how this is going to shake out…but let me say this: many Senior Wall Street execs rely on others to “keep them in bounds”. That lack-of-self-discipline approach often gets companies and people into trouble, e.g. Enron ( “our external Auditors told us we were in compliance with GAAP standards!”). I doubt Frank goes down that path….but how he proves his intent will be interesting.

Porn, the Internet’s Cockroach 

Will it ever cease. You can't surf anywhere these days without seeing some topless pop up ad, or check your mail without being greeted by "hotnsexyme". The fact that porn is the first industry to be banned in Iraq's cyberworld, will undoubtedly cause it's survival instincts to adapt, and consequently make it that much stronger. If it can survive the war in Iraq, it must rank high on Darwin's list.


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