Sunday, December 31, 2006

State of the Blog

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow bloggers, I am here to report that the First Lady of the Blog is still sick with strep throat, but other than that, the blog is in fine shape. This will be the 103rd post. In September, I couldn't imagine where I would get enough ideas to write 20 posts. It's a good thing I have all of you to pick on, otherwise, zeflufficated. So, in closing, let me wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. Drive safe, and be sane, please, I need you all back.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Go Figure

The Decision Maker has decreed that this week we are on vacation. I hope you can see the mockery and derision dripping off of the words "Decision Maker" because she is the one that has come home with, wait for it, strep throat. I just brought her back from the doctor's and I have the antibiotic which I have inserted into her throat and then closed her jaws and tickled her throat, taking no chances. And it worked. Now, if it would just work on the cat, who watched the entire process.

Needless to say, we are not taking a leisurely drive down the Shenandoah Valley, or anywhere else for that matter. We're home.

So far, she has spilled my coffee all over my desk, my phone, and two books when she decided I needed more water. I tried to get her to sit down, and then she decided to make soup, where she promptly poured two quarts of water onto the kitchen counter.

I handed her a note saying that I had failed to communicate properly and that she should sit down in the recliner while I made her soup, and she should concentrate on getting better. I underlined concentrate for emphasis. One takes extreme measures when one's spouse is sick. I then escorted her to the recliner and helped her to sit down. I also asked the cat to sit and guard her and not let her get up and walk. The cat understood me perfectly, naturally. I put a blanket over her, and she was asleep before I got to the kitchen.

She is still asleep as I write this, and I can heat her soup up in about a minute whenever she wakes up.

Today was my Grandmother's birthday. It's the day I decided to get engaged oh so many years ago. It is one of my favorite days, falling between Christmas and New Years, as it gives me the opportunity to take stock of where I have been, and where I am going. Glamourpuss just wrote a post about the very same thing, and it is one of the best I have ever read. It is short and quite profound. Go see for yourself! Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In Memory of Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford (1913-2006) died Tuesday. The 38th President of the United States, President Ford has the distinction of returning dignity, honor and respect to the Presidency after the disgrace of the previous administration. In Ford's own words, America's "long nightmare had ended."

Mr. Ford ran the country out in the open in contrast to the previous administration. Mr. Ford probably cost himself the election by pardoning Richard Nixon of all crimes, thereby ending the Watergate Affair for the nation, once and for all. It was an act that required enormous heroism on Ford's part, and he has gone down in history for making the decision to heal the country at his personal expense. Mr. Ford remains the only unelected President to have ever served.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Twas The Night Before Christmas ......

For my 100th post, we have something that you can play for the kids. Here are all four parts of Richard William's Oscar winning animated version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and WKRP - Christmas Carol. Enjoy!

A Christmas Carol Part 1 (7:38)

A Christmas Carol Part 2 (5:35)

A Christmas Carol Part 3 (3:52)

A Christmas Carol Part 4 (7:43)

And for those of us slightly older......

WKRP - Christmas Carol (9:21)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays

Not to start with something alarming, but we lost two more of our 'older' friends since I mentioned my neighbor. The last was the father of the lady who lives with my brother -in-law, so the family has pulled together as it does in times of 'trouble' and I have been largely absent. My apologies, but I don't want those of you who come here regularly to think I am ignoring you.

Miss Britt recently made a very challenging post where she attempted to explain in her own humorous way, and I mean that in sincerity, why she blogs. You can't write about all the crap I have written about for the last couple of weeks and just watch that pitch go by. It's not in my DNA, sorry. ... (hint in mathematics the ... means and after a while of doing that we suddenly switch to this and that's what follows the three dots) and then I realized that I didn't have the faintest idea why I blogged. I'm still working on getting the entire East Coast franchise for Britt's Master Plan merchandising and distribution rights. Blogging is getting tough I tell ya.

And then Mist cleaned up. She got the second highest recorded score at BlogLaughs nosing out other well established blogs with names I have never heard, like Dooce, Ken and Ariel, Go Fug Yourself, all seem to be somewhat lacking compared to Mist. She hasn't returned any of my contracts or phone calls, and rumor has it she dropped Bruce Willis too. C'mon over Bruce, we'll drown our sorrows in water. I mean really, shouldn't she be writing for David Letterman?

If you haven't dropped by MJ's "A Day In The Wind" lately, you have got to see her new look! Between her site and Mist's new site, I was really impressed by the design work, and the execution. Both were done by someone I don't know, but if you are thinking of redoing your blog, I'd consider Dawn. You might start by writing to Mist and MJ, but when MJ posts "Dawn You Rock" I'd say you had a good start. And no, she doesn't have a clue who I am, or that I'm writing this. This is unsolicited.

And last, the business is just getting off the ground! The Wife has decreed that we are taking next week off and spending time together. Expect shorter posts, less intellectual material, and let's see how long the work-a-holic can pull this one off. I'm betting that by Tuesday.....

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We See The World Through A Lens Of Self Perception

We have been struggling for a week now, and part of it has been a few untimely events in my real world, with small exercises in perception. In trying to describe each other, if you didn't know each other before hand, you may have gotten the impression that no one knew what you looked like. Unless you were physically pretty close to the national averages.

This has been a series where the vast majority of the action has been in the comments, and you really do have to keep going back to see where people have added to the comments. Crankster noted that he stopped describing people when he realized that he was using the same preference over and over. More interesting, no person was described as heavy. I will tell you all that I am 255 lighter than air pounds this morning, down from 270. Being heavy is the last great area of discrimination in the American culture, and that is well supported by research that you should be able to find yourself.

Just as interesting, no one conceived of me as being Asian, or any other race. I did grow up here, and I was a quarterback, and I do have a game face to scare other players with their game faces with. Lee, who has mentioned that she has Korean parents, and a miserable ex-husband, etc. really is a female, I believe. No, ma'am, I am not Korean, I was born in Queens, NY.

This is not an inquisition. Call it self-awareness. Please laugh at the craziness that has started.

I then asked about relationships, and how they ended. Here's what I was after. I left it vague. Unless it's a bizarre relationship, and they happen in high school all the time, most of the time longer term relationships end when one person stops working on the relationship. That's all it really takes. It's hard to see. It's hidden. It happens inside someone's brain, there's no flashing sign. There's some proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. It may be large, it may be small. But when it happens, no one ends up happy. The communication has stopped and one person has cutoff the other. That act leaves the former with a lot of pent up emotion and anger. If it wasn't anger, it becomes anger.

You can go to the NIH site and read all about the research that has been going on since the 60's. I picked out a particular piece because you can read various summaries. If you need to see how to deal with children, or how you should have been dealt with, it's there briefly. It's in the Patient's Database, not the Heath Professional's so you can understand it. The entire Grief Cycle is there. And it's clinical enough that you won't get emotional. Very important. I am not ever going to be a therapist. I cannot maintain that 'distance' that is so critical to the process. I'm a coach-type, "go get 'em" is not recommended, in fact, contraindicated. A no-no.

The anger can turn into depression, or you can dissipate it. But, you will remember how you were treated. If you were a woman, and it was a man that treated you badly, you might start seeing the worst in all men. You'd look for it. And in looking for it, you'd confirm your suspicions, reinforcing those beliefs. Everytime you see a man, you are going to see a person with those beliefs attached. And you have just colored another person with your self perception. Over time, you won't even realize that you're doing it. Most time, it won't be bad.

I still believe that Claudia is tall. She laughed when she read that, so i dropped her from 5'11" to 5'7". And since she's Italian (self-reported) and from Florida, I originally thought she might be blond being from Florida, then I made her a brunette being Italian. I am using a friend of mine, Terri Valentini, as my model for Claudia, so I had better drop her another 2 inches to 5'5".

But, if you have just been through a nasty divorce, and now you want to remarry, and let's say you're a guy, and your last wife raked you over the coals, consider seeing a therapist first, and make sure you don't carry any baggage into the new relationship about women.

And that was what the second exercise about relationships was about. Describe the end of someone else's relationship. If you make it too obvious, you get nothing worth looking at. Keeping one's mouth shut lets those who play decide for themself if they have internalized a problem. You just look at the similarities and differences.

I'll point this out explicitly, where I was implicit before. Gottman is a therapist in Seattle who has published some self-help tips for couples. Of the nine he published, one goes into some detail about men needing to accept influence from women. In the original comments on CMHL's board where this came from, the anonymous poster focused on this point and embellished on the reasons for its existence. This is a difficult point to make. A lot of things happened to get to the point that you could say that the problem was that the male in a relationship had failed to allow the female sufficient influence in the relationship. Look at Rebecca's comments on her folks, she says that they don't do everything together. They have separate hobbies that they each pursue. I promise you that there are a large number of things that they do together too. I cannot stress this point enough, Gottman put nine items in his self-help guide for a reason, not one. The other eight apply to everyone. They are worth looking at. In other words, if Judy and I broke up after 991 years, and the cause wasn't death, it wouldn't be 100% my fault, even if you asked her.

If your parents divorced, did it affect you? First, let's separate out death and divorce. Two very separate issues. Odat, write me anytime you'd like to discuss this. I'm taking non-anticipatory death of a parent off of the table now. Children do not understand divorce. There is no way that they can understand divorce until they are old enough to have children. Until then, your divorce is a threat to their well being, unless you handle it well. Both of you. Everything is age dependent. The children need to know that they didn't cause the problem. Even if you think they did, they really didn't.

We see people have reported that one parent was not such a good person and that the other was better off. Others have reported that the two were better off not being married, but were better friends afterwards. Playing it straight seems to do little if any damage to the kids. This was not my area, but I do know the other side a little better. I know a kid whose father took off when his mother was four months pregnant. The kid is now 16, and very angry. He wants to know why his father has rejected him, has never bothered to meet him, or see him since he has been born. He wants to know what he did to deserve this kind of treatment. Telling him that he didn't do anything to deserve what has happened has not mollified him at all. He has, in fact, turned out to be a carbon copy of his father as we remember him. This child sees the world through a set of eyes that sees things very ugly.

Does that tie the last couple of weeks together for you?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

One More Time

Remembering that we're talking about perception here, and that you have answered tow questions about relationships so far, I am now going to ask you one more series of questions. Were your parents divorced during your childhood? Have they divorced since? If your parents did divorce, what effect did it have on you?

We'll see what you all reply to these questions.

Friday, December 15, 2006

You Have To Keep Playing

As things are starting to wind down for folks, we have a pretty nice sample going so far about what you think would cause a relationship to end. The vast majority described a personal experience. You can describe a relationship, but it must be someone else's relationship. Less personal.

End of a relationship. Two people may not be able to divorce because of their religious belief, but I can assure you that the relationship is over. We have all been in relationships that have ended. Some of us knew it, some of us didn't. That's part of what we're looking at. I'll put this up now, and leave it over the weekend. Please make sure you have commented in the previous post, and this post for comparison.

Here's Gottman's self-help tips if you want a reference point.

Thanks, and have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Your Opinion Counts Here

CMHL has asked a very pointed question on her blog dealing with when do you give up on a marriage. With all that we have seen about philosophy, and particularly communications, when do you think that a relationship is over and why?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

If You Haven't Switched To Beta Yet

Old Blogger accounts that haven't switched to Blogger Beta are having problems commenting. You can't login. If you are logged into your blog, you won't be able to comment. Your password won't be found. Logout of your blog. Make a comment, and select "Other". For name, put in your name, and for URL, put in the URL of your blog. It works fine. And now back, for more angst, mirth, and meaning of life shtick.

I Believe In Tai Chi

Last Friday, I went to the ophthalmologist to have my eyes dilated and checked. This is a big deal. He came back and said the magic words to me, "NO DIABETIC INVOLVEMENT". It's not like I need a reason to hug and kiss my wife.

Today, I was supposed to have a small procedure where they put a form of Novocaine into the facets in a section my spine. I had tai chi yesterday. I was asked to rate my back pain from 1 to 10, and i said a "1". The male nurse, who in September had seen me almost carried in asked me to touch my toes, and then bend over backwards. Then I did a bunch of big hip circles, and I picked my knees up just about to my chin, while I was standing. They wanted to know if I could tell the difference before and after the injection. I stuck to the truth and told them I didn't know. So the procedure was canceled because I wasn't in enough pain.

The nurse walked me to the waiting room so the lady at the computer wouldn't bill me, and he announced to everyone, including my startled wife who was going to drive me home since I wasn't going to be able to drive myself, that I was being sent home because I wasn't in enough pain. I was sooooooooo bad, my wife just looked at me like I had committed a crime. She said, you have screwed up my entire day, and this is going to cost you. I immediately blamed the doctor, and the physical therapist. Nothing doing, she was getting dinner out no matter what. All of the way out of the waiting room, I kept saying, "Really, the doc is way too good...."

Somewhere around the car, it dawned on me, and i started laughing. They cancelled the procedure because I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH PAIN.

Does this happen a lot to you all? Or I am living in the Twilight Zone?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Selective Perception

The environment we all live in generally has too many stimuli in it for anyone to process all of them. That simple. Fortunately, we don't have to process all of them to survive. If we miss a fly, we're probably OK. Miss a truck speeding down the highway. not good if we're standing in the highway, maybe.

You can see when we ask people to describe each other on the Internet that we got different descriptions of the same person when we had no idea what they looked like. No reason for them to be the same. Where did they come from? There's really no way to answer that question in general.

A really fascinating piece of research was done at Dartmouth in 1960 around the Presidential Debates. There were four, one was radio only, three were televised. Dartmouth took there Debating Society and only allowed them to hear the debates. Their job was to determine who won the debates. Then stratified samples were constructed, so that there were both Republicans and Democrats in each group, and one group watched the debates on TV, and the other listened to the debates on radio only.

After the debates were over, and the groups were all interviewed and the results tabulated, the researchers were astounded. The Debating Society had clearly scored Nixon the winner of the debates. So had the group who had only heard the debates on the radio. But the group who watched the last three debates on TV gave the debates to Kennedy. The election in November of 1960 also went to Kennedy.

Nixon had looked haggard, tired, he had been on the campaign trail. Kennedy looked like he had just come from a Bermuda vacation. He was young and tanned with a wonderful smile.

Subsequent research has shown that in a visual situation, tonality accounts for approximately 55% of what is 'heard', appearances account for about 30%, and the actual message itself, the so called content may rate as high as 15%.

I don't suppose that anyone here ever thought that someone wasn't listening when they were talking to them recently? Or that people just weren't getting what you were talking or writing about?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Putting A Toe Back In The Water

It has been a nasty week. I thought I'd stick a toe back in the water and see if I remembered how to work the machinery here. The latest Zogby Poll, a telephone survey dated 12/5/6 through 12/8/6, finds that the President's approval rating has dropped to 30% as key demographic groups jump ship. Now you too can read what Zogby, probably one of the best pollsters out there, has to say. Get it from the horse's mouth, so to say. Have some donuts with your coffee or tea! And, if it's after 12:00 pm, a little cognac.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

An Announcement

I will be gone for a day or two. We have had a death on the block where I live. A long time resident has passed away in her sleep. Friends who have lived on this block are coming back for her funeral. I will resume publishing in a day or two.

I left a comment in the last post. Here it is:

I can go anywhere. There is some desire to look at perception. Perception is not a huge field in itself, it supports everything else. I'll touch on it because so many people are suddenly writing about their self-perceptions, and others are talking about anorexia and bulimia, which are diseases where typically women starve themselves so they can be so skinny to live up to some societal norm they perceive, being skinny. You can't be too thin.

These perceptions can be lethal. Typically anorexia and bulimia are diseases, like alcoholism that are symptoms of underlying problems. You need to get to the root issues. Now, I am not being formal here, so any real psychologist can nit pick. That's not what I am after.

Personally, I was going to head to the Communications Model, how we communicate when we are face to face. And look at the differences between there and how we do it on the Internet.

I should make this comment a post, shouldn't I?
A little editing on my part, and I hope you might keep commenting here. I'll be in and out as events dictate. Thanks for bearing with me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Summary

I am feeling like I almost need a break so some of this settles in. I have picked a line through existential philosophy into psychology through Zen and into perception. I tried to tie it back in an easily relatable way to things you can relate to and even participate in. Participation really counts, as you may have noticed, as it really adds to what is going on. A lot more action happened in the comments than in the posts.

A weakness I have let stand and should rectify is the I-R model To make this as easy as possible, I am going to skip a lot of the thinking that precedes it, namely Transactional Analysis by Eric Berns, which is an interpretation of Freud. When a child is born, that child has potential that can be developed into almost anything. It's almost limitless. The environment we put that child into and the training we give that child contribute to what the kid becomes. This is the "I" in the I-R model, that potential that the human being possesses.

As we grow up, we are socialized by our parents. If we are scolded for doing wrong, and rewarded for doing good, we start developing an 'image' of ourself. I'm a good boy, I ate all my green beans, regardless of how they tasted. I leave the craziness of the mixed message to your imagination.

We go to school, and we get evaluated, and we get grades. We get report cards. A role, and we're being evaluated at it. We grow up, we go to work, we volunteer, and all of the other things that fill our lives. We are seen as the sum of our roles. But, as CMHL so succinctly stated, we are so much more than that. The "R" stands for roles in the I-R model. It gives us a view of how we see ourselves and how the world sees us. It's also a way of seeing how our self-esteem comes into being, and ought to be a starting place for goal setting. Just a thought.

Returning to the major theme, a nice summary might include that time is precious; we all live under uncertainty; the best we can do is to educate ourself and to try to take advantage of the best opportunities available to us; that everyone struggles, no matter who they are, or how good it appears they have it; the journey is the whole thing, and that trying is everything.

Eastern, Western, ancient Greek or Roman Philosophy the bottom line really is Know Thyself. Sounds simply, it's about as difficult to do as anything on Earth. It is an Ultimate Life Goal.

Finally, we started looking at perception. The Internet many of us the ability to communicate with each other yet to remain anonymous. When we do remain anonymous, others view us with the viewer's idealized view of us, which tends to follow national averages. Some traits about us are deducible from what we write, the majority of the traits that make us who we are, aren't discernible. We tend to focus on the content of the message we write.

That concludes the summary. I have cut out an enormous amount to keep this as simple and straightforward as I can. If I continue this, you will never believe where we go from here.

But why make the journey this far? Remember the initial challenge about writing a story about a woman and her struggles? Have you read about Pickled Olives struggles with her house, and the painting of the house? There's more to come. Have you read about Cindy's affirmations in an attempt to deal with her huge workload between school and work, and how she's going to handle it? How about Claudia's struggles with a woman on her team who screwed her around about a deadline on a class project? That never happens to anyone else, does it? I was going to describe Lee as an artist with both hands intact. Go read her story about trying to help a kid who had caught his hand in a print maker, while waiting for an ambulance. Spoon had a piece about men not understanding what happens to women. CMHL wrote a pensive..........

What do you think, is this a worthwhile exercise for us as bloggers to see, and think about? Should I go on?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Busy Sunday

I have been sitting here writing a summary of this week's post, and I doubt I will finish in the next several hours. I hope you all think it was a snap to thread my way through as much philosophy as I did to end up where we did, and that I did it in my spare time. Right.

I started the summary last Monday when I started the first post. I have blown the editing a few times, my bad. Is there anything you'd like me to include? I'd appreciate hearing from you below! Look for the summary tomorrow. Thanks.

In the meantime, enjoy this:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

FYI: Cindy

Cindy is a regular here, and you may have noticed that she has been here once in the last few weeks. She has been posting irregularly on her blog. She is a full time employee at a place in Wisconsin that makes snow plows, so she is in their prime season. she is also a full time photography student at Milwaukee Tech. She just posted her December 'resolutions, which are really positive affirmations. Along with a beautiful piece of scenery from Wisconsin.

If you're so inclined, this is a nice time to say a nice word and support an over-worked blogging friend and artist in their formative, struggling years. I remember when it was me, only yesterday......

What did you think of her photo?

An Interview With The Real Person Behind The Mist 1


The setting is an island in the Indian Ocean where the person who would be CEO
was sitting having a beer with the person who would be Mist 1.

1: So what brings you to my island, 0? Why the interview?
0: You bring a certain genius to comedy in the way you write. I just had to meet you.
1: Genius, that's a pretty strong word, don't you think?
0: No, but I don't want to give away any trade secrets. Where do you get you humor from?

1: Shhh, before I feed you to my cats. This is a tiger preserve.
0: I didn't mean to suggest.........(laughing)
1: My dad's the funniest man alive, and so is my mom.
0: ...................(holding up hand)..................
1: Are you OK? Seriously, are you breathing?
0: It's in your delivery............

0: Why haven't you put your picture up on your blog?
1: Why should I? People laugh at me without seeing me. I might intimidate them if they saw me.
0: Why would you say that?
1: Well. like my step-sister, I'm taller than most guys at 5'9" and even when you look this good, the purple color mystifys too many people. That's why I live out here, near Sri Lanka. I have everything I want here. I'm working on my fourth degree, and I have all the men I want, not to mention well-trained house boys. What else could a girl want?

0: I never knew.
1: That's because you're that blechy color.
0: Are you going to hold that against me?
1: Not if you bring begals next time.
0: Next time?
1: Yeah, if we're going to keep this up, we should start working out Burns and Allen routines, the way you laugh, it'd be a monologue anyway, but at least we'd both get paid.
George: Say good night, Gracie.
Gracie: Good night, Gracie.

SO what do you think of my vision of Mist1?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ideas I Got From This Exercise

I never used this word once, but we develop expectations. By expectations I mean, we hate vacuums, and we fill in gaps. I was going to write a dialog between me and Mist1. If you think that I actually know Mist you'd be wrong. I know her just as well as I know you, whoever you are who is reading this at the moment. But, some of you aren't quite as anonymous as others of us. Take my bloggy sister Alison. You can go to her blog and see pictures of her, videos of her, and hear her talk. Not me. Not Claudia. I don't know what Lee looks like, or Mist, or Pickled Olives, or Glamourpuss.

Yet when I write about Mist, I have filled in a picture of her in my mind. I have expectations of what Mist looks like in my mind. Same thing for Lee, and Odat, and Glamourpuss. 123Val has pictures of herself on her site so I know what she looks like. So, pick a few of the people that you read on a regular basis, and have never met, and write a description of them in the comments section. Include me. I have my description of Mist written, and I'll put it into comments tomorrow towards late evening. Something is wrong with blogger at the moment, so I can't put any of your links in.

The Zen story is about expectations and discrimination, as you have probably guessed by now. I'm looking forward to this. It's very zen you know.

Clare From London Did This One

This piece comes from Claire in London, and follows the same them of a female cat dealing with angst. Even Kafka had a little humor in his most depressing pieces. You too can be a brilliant philosopher on your blog, just takes a little insight!

Tao Te Ching: #33

I am trying to put up a few little story ideas today, but when Lee mentioned the "Tao Te Ching"....and seeing as how someone has borrowed my copy of "Zen Flesh:Zen Bones", well, I just couldn't help myself, honest Officer, it was this or the chocolate.


Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

When you meet someone that's into philosophy, and you say can you reconcile Western and Eastern philosophy? you can see smoke coming out of their ears. First, they can't decide which Western philosophy to pick, existentialism, phenomenology (American School) etc. and please don't worry. Same problem with Eastern. The really smart ones suddenly seize upon a realization, Western philosophy focuses on the individual and his relationship to the environment and society, and the differences. Eastern philosophy tends to focus on the environment and making the individual part of it. Any thoughts?

Idoiotic Human Moron

She sat on the floor of the bathroom and looked at him in the shower, with utter disdain. No matter what she did, no matter what she tried, the moron kept insisting on getting into that damn torture chamber every day, and ruining himself. What did she have to do?

Wait, the door was opening, and there he was, dripping wet, again. Don't touch me, you moron. At least get dry first, you helpless idiot. When would he ever learn not to get into that insipid contraption. Humans were such idiots, and this one kept doing it over and over again. She really deserved better. She really ought to leave. At least the food was good, even if he didn't appreciate her. Maybe she'd feel better after a nap...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

An Introduction to Zen

The University Professor came to the door of the Zen Master at the appointed time and knocked on the door. The Master opened the door and invited the Professor in. The Professor said, "I have come to learn Zen from you!"

"May I get you some tea?" asked the Master, showing the Professor into his den and offering him a seat. "Yes, thank you, I'd appreciate that," said the Professor.

The Master returned with a large teapot and a cup, which he set in front of the professor on the table. Then, the Master poured the tea from the teapot into the cup, and continued pouring the tea as the cup filled and then ran over the side onto the table, and then onto the floor. The Master continued pouring the tea. The Professor could tolerate no more, and jumped up yelling, "STOP, the cup is overfull, the tea is pouring all over the floor." The Master put the teapot down, and said to the Professor, "Just as with the teacup, before i can teach you anything about Zen, you must first empty your mind of all of your preconceived thoughts and notions."

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Time To Answer The Mail And The Rest Of You!!

"How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it, why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?"


This beautiful quote was at the end of a wonderful e mail that I got last night. I'm just taking the other path. Take as much freedom as you like. Write any form that you like. Make it short, make it long. Make it a poem. Make it yours. Does that mean it's your own personal story? Not necessarily, you just have to write it. And, it needs to be about a woman or women, because that's the restriction I put on this.

Some questions have been:

Why did you bring up this guy's Kennedy's research....?

Fair enough. Existentialism, briefly is about the human struggle to find meaning in people's lives. Anxiety or angst arises in people as we're the only animal that knows that we will die, we just don't know when. So why put up with this crap we all do? What moves us along all these years? You can start by looking at the people that wrote the existential literature to begin with. Sartre wrote "No Exit" and then decided to write the ever-popular "Nausea". Why bother with the second book? Why not just kill himself and save himself the taxes and the grief with the government. I mean, he did live in France, and that meant bureaucracy. The existentialists look like the worst pessimists on Earth. But if you scratch a pessimist, you find an optimist, because there's no other reason to get that involved in something and to try to keep looking for a way out. Really. Gives a little more meaning to the thought "Never Surrender".

In Psychology, Kennedy provides us with the same motive for movement, namely humans need to affiliate, hang out with others, exercise power, get others to do things; and achieve, technically this is taking on risk and reducing it within the organism. You can think of it as risking failure to achieve, like, going to school to learn, writing a story for publication, finding a way out of your comfort zone or setting goals that stretch you.

I hope you can see the relationship now.

What possessed you to do this?

A couple of things and people did. One is Misanthropster. She is a much better writer than me. She ought to be writing more. She started a blog about things she wanted to complain about, and you know there's plenty that needs attention drawn to it, but she has talent vastly beyond that. So I filed that away in the back of my mind. I didn't put up her blog because she isn't writing much anymore. A real shame.

And then there is my bloggy sister Alison, who like Misanthropster is also smarter than I am. She graduated from college and should have gone into TV, but went to France instead where there this dude, and she had kids and ended up teaching English. She passed some government test that had nothing to do with anything, and became a civil servant. If you know that I am into Friedman as an economist and that I hold Republicans and Democrats in equal disdain, then please don't expect to warmly embrace the French bureaucracy. Skipping unless details TV work was not available in France, and now that she is here, there has not yet been an opportunity for any TV work here. We all are constrained by the opportunities available, it's not like you can always make something happen.

There is something terribly wrong with that dialog that you wrote yesterday, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Can you tell me what's wrong, please? And why?

When I was in grad school, the head of the doctoral program was also my statistics professor. The first day of the semester was a Thursday, and our course met Tuesdays and Thursdays. The course was Baysian Statistics and he thought we should do a general calc review. So he gave us one problem to do. Solve for the integral of 1 over the formula for the normal curve. Looked like it could be done, just sit down and do it. Maybe take an hour. I want you to know that he and I sat on a committee to pick a new minicomputer for the School of Business for two hours after class, in fact, we were the committee, just he and I. He kept a straight face all the way through as we chatted and talked about alternatives. We were on a first name basis, even in class. Never let being on a first name basis go to your head when you are working with people with International reputations. When they are that good, they don't care what you call them.

I got home and decided to knock out the home work that night and get my own course work going for my students. So, I broke out the parts, and, wooops, that won't work, so then I tried......and this went on all night. And I broke and went to school and taught class, and answered questions from the undergrads as I tried to cut my class size down from 135 to under 50. Rule 1: No smiling. Yes, there is a paper in this class. How long? As long as it takes to cover the subject. How many pages is that? I don't know, what's the topic you're writing on? (I am creating panic to get them to go to other people's courses, or to drop out of mine. I had the reputation of hard but fair. Those majoring in the subject wanted me because IBM would hire out of the second class up the line of they could earn a "B" or better. I also had to turn to the board a lot because there was no door at the back of the room for them to sneak out. On the other hand, for being such a nasty bastard, I did cancel class one day because it was the first day of Spring, and another year, we had class outside. I'm just vicious, making them think and all that).

I spent the entire weekend and tried everything I could think of to solve a problem in calculus that it turns out can't be solved. A perfect problem to review calculus. So if you think that the dialog with the 'goddess' is wrong, then by all means, re-write it. You'll get the idea that I'm not a writer. You all are writers. Life makes us all thinkers.

Why are you so late today?

The Center for Disease Control called after I got home from physical therapy and wanted to talk about doing some statistical work for them. I have been having trouble sleeping, I keep waking up in the middle of the night sweating bullets. I think I'm having an achievement deficiency.

Let's see what comments we have now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Phone Call

me: Hello
(the red headed female sexual goddess of my dreams since puberty hereafter known as the Goddess or 'her' is on the phone)
her: Hi, me again

me: How's it been?
her: fine, I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind?

me: I have never minded anything you've wanted since I created you all those years ago.
her: thank you, you've always been my biggest fan! You've really been into the existentialism lately, haven't you. What's wrong?

me: Why do you think there's something wrong?
her: Take yesterday's post. You're trying to give everyone therapy and teach existential theory at the same time. That's a tall order for anyone, particularly for people you can't even see.

me: If I was going to do that, I'd ask them to write their own obituary, wouldn't I? Nice try Goddess, I'm impressed. I'm really just sharing here.
her: Sharing? You're trying to beat the system existentially, we're all alone, you know. We use sex to break the illusion of being alone, because we're temporarily connected. But, we're all alone, and we all suffer.

me: Now you know how much I like sex, Goddess, and you know how much I practice. I need to check to see if I can get my insurance to pay for repetitive stress syndrome for masturbation staying in shape. But you're looking at this like a literary intellectual, which I respect. There was a psychologist named Kennedy at Harvard back in the 50's who said that humans had three motives, reasons to move or do things, affiliation, power, and achievement. I'm just sharing so I can affiliate with some people. Perfectly acceptable existentially.

her: psychology? So what are you really trying to get away with here?
me: I was thinking about getting people to write a piece about a woman and her struggles.

her: Really? Why a woman? And why her struggles?
me: I think a little bigger than normal. I keep hearing that famous actresses keep bitching that there's no material written for them to showcase their talents. What I learned form blogging is that there are a ton of people who can write out there. Better than I could ever hope to write. And write a piece. The only rule is it's about a woman/women.

her: And then?
me: I publish the winner here to undying fame and adulation!

her: you will figure out how to announce this?
me: I'll ask the board.

her: And judging it?
me: I'll ask the board.

her: why do you think anyone will do it?
me: did you read the comments? CMHL told everyone the I-R Model (Internal-Role Model) in Psychology in two sentences, spoon laid out reality in that no one know what's coming, we all just react to whatever happens, Claudia and almost everyone else talked about the need to take risk. They don't need me at all. I look like Caspare Milkqtoast in this group. Even Puss is in there. Tell you what, I'll ask them to sign up. OK, maybe tomorrow. Let me think about this.

What I wrote above is a sort of existential play, and it also starts a discussion about what I have in mind for a writing idea. I'm sure most of you can write better than me. What do you all think?

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Thought For The Day

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."
Henry David Thoreau

I keep reading and hearing in discussions that people don't know what they want out of life. I throw my two cents in by adding that I want more. A lot more. I don't want to be specific because I really don't want to limit myself. It's one of the reasons I don't like memes, whatever they are. Asking where I'd like to go is really the same as asking me where I'd like to go today. Today, somewhere warm, let's go to Hawaii and hit the beach and have some drinks. But I digress.

I have a really good friend in California who is 27. She really wants to be married. I can't figure out if it's because she wants a companion, or she wants children, or she thinks that's what is expected of her. Ten minutes later, she will explain that she doesn't have a clue what she wants to do, but she is positive that she wants to be out of debt including her college debt. She also wants a house in Ventura, California. None of these are "things I want to do with my life" as she has been working at temp jobs since she got out of school and hasn't picked a career yet.

This little composite ought to sound familiar. Unless you graduated from college and went to a school learn a profession such as law or dentistry, etc., most people end up in business somewhere, and it's pretty hit or miss. Some of you might have gone into Education, and gone into the Public Education System somewhere. If so, unless you are in a University, you don't have the time to blog.

I wonder how people find what they like doing, and make it a part of their life, since we spend so much time at work, more than any other endeavor we do? Any ideas?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Glamourpuss, You The Man This Week

If you've never read Glamourpuss' blog before, you might take a look while she's gone. Her last post also list several [laces where you might want to shop for fabulous lingerie for those of you so inclined. But if you want to see what the woman is really made of, and why you wish she was your friend in real life, you should read this long post, and wait for what happens when she gets to the club where her friend is dancing. Puss is one of the reasons that I am glad that I blog! Puss, You The Man!

Rule Britannia

Rule Britannia The Long or Complete Version watch for the brief message at the very end

For English Patroits

The British National Anthem a.k.a. God Save The Queen a.k.a. Never Surrender

Time For A FAQ

I am going to think about taking a page out of my bloggy sister Alison's book, or blog actually, and solicit questions from all of you to the following question" What would you like to know about me? Be reasonable. I'll give this a couple of days and we'll see if I can make a FAQ out of it.

I don't believe in the 100 things about me. Everytime I read one of them, I see things like I have 47 tattoos and 191 piercings. Or some sort of a weird medical. I'm just not that interesting. I didn't bother with filling in the profile on the blog form. I don't know what my favorite movie or book is anymore, I'm still looking for it. I am trying to settle on water as my favorite drink. I'm still pretty sure that I really, really, REALLY like women. That's been pretty consistent

So let's give this a shot. And you really want Interesting, check out the Blogroll on the right, there's a ton of interesting over there. Write for recommenedations. Please state your preferences.

Friday, November 24, 2006

In Honor Of Mist 1

It was oh dark thirty and I was putting on my war paint after climbing into my camo for the Super Bowl of the Shopping World, Black Friday. This was the day that retailers everywhere cut prices and increased their volume and in so doing, turned a profit for the year. These were the largest discounts given during the year, and they kicked off the Christmas Shopping Season. Power Shoppers everywhere trained all year long for this day, and finally, it was upon us.

The stores had been sending sale announcements to shoppers to build interest. Shoppers took these announcements and after careful analysis and more research on the Internet and thorough processing on the neural net taking into account the sum of all purchases (gifts and otherwise) grouped by store, and integrated across the the probability mass so you can make sure that you get the highest dollar return for your effort. It's just like having sex with a girl you like where you want to make sure she has multiple orgasms. You can't leave these things to chance, you know.

Costco was offering discounts for the very first time in its existence. But they had a kicker that was certain to make them a hit at the holiday season. They had two pair of Manolo Blahnik Over-The-Knee Suede Boot with a 4 1/5 heel, that zipped in the back and diamond cutoffs on the cuff. The boot retailed at Neiman-Marcus for $1450, but my Costco had two pair size 6 1/2 for $500.
Normal people would not be able to get within miles of that Costco for days. Power shoppers score goodies where angels fear to tread, and this would be no different.

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, I had hidden in the store after it had closed. The trick was to hide the boots in a place where only I could retrieve them and therefore purchase them. Getting to the store was going to be impossible, parking was going to be insane, and the lines at the checkout registers were going to be impossible. Yet the prize was worth it. The boots were to die for.

And now, after all of the preparation, the training, the car modifications, it was game time, and I was prepared. It was time to go to war. I had good intelligence on traffic from Pickled Olives and was prepared for the LOLs (Little Old Ladies) who liked to run you off the road in their Nissan Pathfinders if you dropped below 70 on the Interstate. They liked to sneer at me and call me Sonny while kicking gravel in my face. I don't think they were thinking of the "Godfather" when they were doing it either.

I was ready. I had ordered an upgrade to my DeLorean from Industrial Light and Magic and had the Light Speed Generator installed. Cheap at $9950. At 0230 I started my attack. I rolled out onto the Interstate. I weaved at traffic started getting heavier, and then the LOLs started trying to hem me in. I cut right and down shifted accelerating to 77 miles an hour and then I punched the magic twanger and the car leaped into the air, and all the little dots of light turned into curves. The GPS started beeping when we were over Costco, which was in 0.000003526 sec. Light speed is really fast, 11.2 inches in a nanosecond. I punched the "Land and Park" button and the car wafted down into the best parking spot by the exit door. Next, I set up the self-correcting auto-gyroscopic triple mirroring system that would render me invisible walking to the front door and through it. I had to get in early and the lines were already half a mile long. Deception was mandatory.

The rest was pretty much cake. As the doors opened, I slipped in and rushed to the back where I retrieved my pair of boots from their hiding place at the top of the third rack of the Tide aisle. I was tempted to rush to the front where the cash registers were, but I noticed a high end Kitchen Aid coffee grinder and I was recently clued in to a source for good Cuban coffee by Claudia. And then there was the new Cuisinart blender that I just had to have, and the price was really attractive too! And the LG refrigerator with the built-in TV.....

I am standing here in my kitchen with the vodka sitting in the water in the empty milk carton freezing in the freezer, while I am grinding some Starbuck's Verona coffee. I have to get a hold of Claudia's Mom and get some of the good Cuban coffee so i can get wired every morning and jumpstart my heart n'shit. I am making 8 cups of coffee for myself because I am mixing up some sort of drink in the blender that has Asti Spumanti, Apricot brandy, 43 (a vanilla extract cordial), Grand manier, and some orange juice, with some ice. I just love chemistry. And now, you'll have to excuse me. I'm going to go read your blogs, and kick back, and get loaded, and drink coffee, and laugh a lot. The Manolo boots are sitting right here. I only spent $4235 at Costco, but look at the bargains I got!

All of this happened, more or less. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank You

To The Responsible Deity:

Thank you for another year with my wife.
Thank you for sparing my cat.
Thank you for sparing me.
Thank you for my new found friends here, and the old friends who have always been with me.

Hallelujah Hallelujah sing Hallelujah

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, and to you and yours wherever you may be. I hope to see more of you soon!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

From The CEO's Kitchen

After flying combat mission up and down the Interstate this morning in preparation for Black Friday (when the retail stores break into the black for the first time in the year) or Physical Therapy this afternoon, I have been assailed by people who cannot cook for a recipe they can make to take to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, for those in the States. Fear NOT, this is easy, and you need not spend a fortune by buying expensive wine, although you owe me for this one. Big time.

Go to your local grocery store and buy the following:
4 cans of jellied cranberries
1 can of cubed peaches
you can get them sliced if you want to cut them up into smaller pieces
1 can pitted Bing cherries
1 can Mandarin oranges
1 can Bartlett pears
i small jar McCormick ground ginger

one can of almost any other fruit you'd like to add.
Here's where it gets tough. You really need a couple of tools. You can get by with 1 large bowl, 2 is better. Remember, we're going to dump 4 cans of cranberries in to start. Think a couple of quarts please. And a strainer. A 3" paring knife, and a spoon to stir this up with, think a large wooden slotted spoon, please. Doesn't have to be wood, use your imagination. We will need a refrigerator.

Now, this is really easy, I have made the list so that you don't overlook little things. Really. I figure everyone has a can opener.

Open the cranberries and pour them into a large bowl. Put it on the side.
Drain the first can of fruit of all of its juice. When the juice is gone, add the fruit to the cranberries. Repeat the process until all of the fruit has been added without its juice to the cranberries.

If you bought pear halves, for example, cut them into smaller pieces before adding them to the cranberries.

Add two to three teaspoons of the ground ginger to the cranberries and stir thoroughly. Taste. If there is no tangy taste, add another teaspoon of ginger and stir. Refrigerate overnight and take with you the next day. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or saran wrap before leaving the house. Taste first. you should like it before you take it.

If you want to see a real food pro work with cranberries, Alison
my bloggy sister, started last night with a post called Sweet Jewels and will be revealing her "Plan" tonight. The basic recipe can from a friend of hers who covered hers with chocolate, so there's a lot more exotic food out there to be eaten!

Any other favorites?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Could Use A Little Insight Here

I just posted this issue in the comments section of a different blog, but this has been bugging me for a while. My spam, daily, has at least ten to twelve offers of cut priced Viagra and Valium. Picture this please. There I am, with my wife, or the woman of my dreams, because she answered the ad that I still haven't written, the red-headed female sexual athlete, or black haired, or brunette, nothing against blondes you know, and I pop my cut-rate viagra/valium combo while I am talking, and starting a little foreplay.

For all of the valium and viagra, what do you think is going to happen? I hate running through women like that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Official Completely Serious Totally Objective Absolutely Unauthorized Review of the Tiffany King Blog

Since late Friday afternoon when the elite technical staff of The Morning Meeting was assembled in complete secrecy and darkness (daylight ends at 4:30 PM around here), the most extensive review of both the content and physical presentation of the A dog, a cat, and a girl in fabulous shoes Blog written by Tiffany King, hereafter known as The Blog.

Right away, it was obvious that almost everything was just wrong. Totally, absolutely wrong. When you read the given Mission Statement of The Blog you get : "When choosing between two evils, I like to try the one I've never tried before. ~Mae West" as the sacred mission. This is the standard that we used to measure the success of The Blog against, to be Totally Fair and Completely Objective, Naturally. There's not much to be found in the way of Mae West evils and I mean to tell you, I went looking for some evil. I was particularly interested in the Booty post where a patient tells her she has the butt to die for. I even posted a comment at the time requesting a picture of that butt. So far, bumkus (I know it's spelled with a 'p', think about it). Nuthin'. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Not Nowhere.
Here on the left, is an instruction manual for you Tiffany, for exactly how to accomplish this and spicy up the blog a little. There's also the bending over pose, and well, you can use your imagination. You can get the patient who was so motivated, or even this reviewer to be the photographer. This might also be an opportunity to see some of those fabled "fabulous shoes" from the title. So far, Tiffany had lost 62.4 x 10x23 points dwarfing Avagadro's Number. Things were going downhill fast. Then there's the whole Cool Kids thang. First of all, if you want to hang with the Big Timers, you have to be able to spell. You want to be a K-E-W-L kid, Kids Eating Wicked Lunches, formerly Kids Eating Wholesome Lunches. Both involved massive amounts of protected sex, so there was no ambiguity. This was the desirable group. Cool went out in the 60's. more lost points. Thank Goodness, we have computers to help us tabulate, and Price Waterhouse representatives. And the music, Oh My Lord, I have yet to hear a single movement from Beethoven. Not a single movement from Brahms. I'm talking negative numbers so big that deficit financing is no longer available.

But the killer, the real disaster for The Blog is the color scheme. I cannot tell you the number of investigators that needed sedation. We're using the standard of orange juice, Asti Spumanti and Grand Manier to lay 'em out. We're being merciful. It is Monday Morning after all. Not to worry, we'll get 'em rehydrated if it takes all day and night. I'll see to it myself. Just as soon as I finish this report.

Both the Palomar Observatory and NASA Goddard report the color scheme on The Blog when differentiated have caused the latency and rotational delay of Pluto to degenerate and therefore and more importantly thereby degenerate Pluto into a dwarf. The people at Disney are furious, their stock dropped when they reported their last quarterly results. For giving us a buying opportunity in Disney (DIS), we gave The Blog points.

Last, can I get some of your Mother's pie recipes already? C'mon. I mean, Total Objectivity ain't cheap today. And don't forget the fillings, not just the pie crust.

Now, i could go through the computational methodology, using various interstitial, normalizing measures, and computing, and I could show you the integrations, the triple integration was actually fun, really, and when you factor in the part about hurting men she got points, lost them for not spanking me when she had the chance, got them back for not getting me after the epidurals, got more points after the cat incident this weekend, she scored more points than you can write without scientific notation. Not that I have a soft spot in my heart for cats, nope, I am TOTALLY SCIENTIFIC AND OBJECTIVE and let us never forget that.

If you're looking for hot sex and a lot of skin, The Blog is not the place for you. If you don't like Tiffany's current musical selection and you can't turn your speakers down, and you can't tough out the song, don't come here. You can point at all of the design gurus and they will all say that you should never put music on your site. Correct. That's for professional designers designing professional sites. If you want to see a professionally designed web site here is the Global Transportation Consultancy Web Site and the designers have gone to the trouble of optimizing search engines searches on about 1200 pairs of industry specific words. Their designer, singular, used a color designer found in this article by Lorelle on WordPress on designing with color. In fact, I read Lorelle VanFossen a lot, particularly for blogging tips and a great place to start for any design issue you can dream up. Me, i wanted a simple blog. Look at this. Looks like a book, doesn't it. Black letters, or at least they look black on a white page. Pretty fucking ingenious, wasn't it. Totally by design, I am a designer, by the way, don't you know. Let me read a minute, showed you a professional site where a guy makes a living off the site (I know him and his SO), gave you some references, no you can't use mine, I go straight to the source of all things good and holy, namely Alison, my bloggy kid sister (mom had a love child in her wanning years). There may be a complete sentence in there, but it's doubtfull there's a complete thought. No matter. We forge on. There are more faux Mimosas to drink. Or is it pseudo mimosae? Is it afternoon yet? My Greek is terrible. Being a critic, tough work, I have to tell you. Maybe you just had to read the last review of her site, burp. I'll take another hit of that stuff too while you're standing over me, thank you.

Now, if you are looking for a blog where you can meet a decent person, who works hard, and open herself up, and her family to you and everyone else, with warmth and welcome, you've come to the right place. If you like the humor, can deal with the angst, can deal with the hair styles and the color changes, have a clue what it is like to live alone and away from the people you are closest to, then you have come to the right place. If you want to be a part of something warm wand inviting, then jump in and be a part of it. You'll either fit or you won't. Everyone has been welcome. Tiffany publishes multiple times a day, so I tend to check there more than I check my own blog. She probably has more to say than I do. Why not drop in and decide for yourself, never trust a critic when you can think for yourself. That goes particularly for me!
Just when you thought a post had ended. I got a call from Batman on the Batphone while he was patrolling Gotham City. He said, "CEO, people are complaining about your post because they never read the original critical review. Can you correct that while i am fighting the forces of e-vile here in Gotham?" "Sure" I said. And you can read it here.
And for you Batman, anytime!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Another Way To Look At Things

It has come to my attention that several of the people that I interact with on a daily basis have been harassed unnecessarily. I am not going to mention MJ's name because that's a cause for sudden death. We do NOT mock the WIND and I will NOT tell you her name. Nope, not happenin' . Nay, we defer out of good sense and good taste. So, why would anyone in their right mind want to hassle her in a Starbuck's?

Two I won't mention. I never mentioned Mist's name of the Marvelous Mirth Machine so don't even mention it because she'll just say something like, "I have no idea what he's talking about." And she'd be correct. I'm allowed to be strange, I'm the CEO.

But the piece d'resistance, the one that really torqued my day was Tiffany's Review by someone who admitted to having a hangover. I'm not going to go through that stupidity either. It's hard to spray deer pee on an idiot reviewer who is full of themself. This place would not pass anyone's review. The template is too plain, and my language, well, it's mine.

Accordingly, I tried to emulate Crankster when he created the Douchitudinousness
Tradition but I am not in his league. So, I found this for my friends to use. It's an mp3 and if you go the site and play it, you'll see the best I could do for these folks. I suggest you use this site when confronted by scum such as my friends where. Then, there's the animated version. Just making sure you have alternatives. The other good news was that I found another site that also contained this mp3 as a part of it and you might consider incorporating it too. After a while, the site will try to sell you some t-shirts, so be advised.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In Memory of Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman 1912 - 2006

Milton Friedman is the reason that you can go to sleep at night and not worry about another 30's style Depression. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976 for his work on Monetary Theory. In English, he explained to the World how the Federal Reserve System should work, how monetary policy should work, and how to make sure that another Depression never happened. Before him, no one had the faintest idea how monetary policy actually worked. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have already made public pronouncements about his guiding insights that either enabled Greenspan, or guide Bernanke to running this Countries daily economic affairs.

You might or might not like his politics, but one thing was certain, his economics worked. The last project he was working on was removing government from its last bastion of total power, education. He was a strong proponent of vouchers in education.

One of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century has passed on.

A Little Talk With Freud

Dear Siggy,

It's always good to talk to you again. It's been too long since our last talk. Things have just piled up a bit and some things have started bothering me, so I thought I'd book an appointment, so to speak, and see if I could work a few things out. I know how analytic you are, so if you don't mind, I think I'll begin.

First of all, the news. This dorky guy Federline is offering to sell sex tapes that he made of him and his wife for $30 million. Her name is Britney Spears. They're supposed to be like four hours long. I cannot begin to tell you how not interested I am in those tapes, much less than for $30 million. I'm not interested in sex tapes of me at any price, why would I want them of him? Is there something wrong with me?

Next, the lady that lives behind me, the one with the 'killer' dog that she sic'd on me that tried to scare me last Spring. I have to tell you that I have no idea how the small herd of deer suddenly showed up in her back yard this morning. Ate all her brand new shrubs and bushes. They were really chowing down all morning from the early hours doc, you should have seen 'em. She tried to get that pit bull to chase them out of the yard, but he was no match for those deer. They peed and dumped all over her yard, and then jumped her fence and went right to the next yard and ate their shrubs too. Peed all over their yard too, then left. You should have heard the second neighbor screaming at the first neighbor. I have no idea what they were saying, but I'm pretty sure that the deer will be back. I wish they would eat some of the ivy in my back yard. Maybe some deer pee back there would work too. I doubt of the deer will want ivy when they can have delicious shrubbery.

One more thing Siggy. I have developed this thing over the name Lola. The name is sensuality itself. Sends electric waves up and down my spine. go ahead, say it with me one. "Lola". Is that not about as sexy as it gets. Lola. Makes me thing of garter belts and stockings with that seam up the back, and a pole. Maybe I should reconsider the sex tapes. What do you think doc? Is there any hope for me?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Latest Update For Tuesday November 14th, 2006

07:30 am Down another pound after drinking an enormous amount of water for the week and not losing an oz. The Potomac River is at dangerously low levels. More to follow.

11:30 am I have returned from tai chi. It was just me and the Ancient One. We started working on long swords after the form today. It seemed smart to agree to never discuss politics again. We discussed allergies instead. It was a wonderful session!

Also, I have a confession to make. CMHL mentioned in comments here that she now drank 99% water, no diet soda, and 1% coffee. I confess that I did give up diet soda, but I cannot live without coffee. I have feet of clay, and weak flesh. I am maybe 150 pounds away from anorexia. Back to work.

3:19 pm I have another confession to make. The American male no longer reads books, and the American female no longer reads non-fiction. I still read books. My confession is that the last book that I read, and I am being serious here, is "Creme Brulee" by Sara Lewis. I will admit that I am sitting here sipping my water as if it were chablis, while fondling my creme brulee torch and aimlessly daydreaming. I do not count my review of "The Prince" by Machiavelli because the neighbor behind me with the cross between a doberman and a "fighting" dog pissed me off; nor do I count the Sunday morning review of Baysian Statistics for fun. I had already read those books.

4:00 pm The Dow, S&P bot6h close at record highs. The Nasdaq closes higher. Have you maxed your 401K? Funded your Roth IRA? Hugged someone you love recently? Commented rather than lurking?

5:00 pm The Republican Party just called and wanted to know if I'd vote for Rudy Giuliani for President in 2008. Given that the mid-term election was LAST TUESDAY, naturally, THIS TUESDAY is the start of the Presidential election campaign for 2008. I politely asked who he would be running against. The person on the phone said that they didn't know. I said that I didn't know if I could vote for him then. This started a waltz.
her: Well, do you like him for President?
me: I need choices, I can't make decisions in a vacuum
her: I don't understand
me: If I had to choose between Bush or Chaney and Rudy, Rudy wins hands down.
her: Mr. Bush can't run again
me: his father can
her: oh, I don't think he'd do that
me: promise?
her: well, I really can't do that. What about a Democrat?
me: which one?
her: I don't do Democrats.
me: we're back to Ground Zero
her: please don't say that
me: tell you what, put me down as a definite maybe considering
her: this doesn't feel right
me: want me to show you how to do it?
her: can you?
me: Ma'am, are you a registered Republican?
her: why yes I am, thank you for asking.
me: Of all of the Republican Candidates that you know of for President of the United States, would you say that Rudy Giuliani is your first choice?
her: he certainly is.
me: would you consider making a donation to his campaign, please
her: I think that would be a wonderful idea, where should I send the check?
me: I think you have the address right in front of you.
her: thank you so much, and have a good day!

6:00 pm There's a rumor that a teacher in Chantilly, VA is teaching an underground class in English grammar. Other teachers are flocking there, but can't find the school, not being able to correctly spell Chantilly for Mapquest. Details may follow.

Monday, November 13, 2006


The CEO has put me in charge of today's Morning Meeting. That's right, I am a Guest Blogger. Why has it taken so long for anyone to ask me to be a Guest Blogger?

First, I'd like to thank the CEO for making sure that I'm comfortable here. I found my dressing room with the star on the door that read "Mist 1" and the fruit basket was a lovely touch.

Monday, I wrote a post about my grandpa. The CEO has suggested that perhaps this is not the right look for my blog. People that visit my blog, want to read about my slightly slutty life. I blog about vibrators and panties and dating and wine and shoes and my a$$. He has asked that I tell a story about Grandpa here on The Morning Meeting. Here, is my favorite story about my grandpa.

Grandpa grew up in the Great Depression. It was a sin to waste food. That lesson stuck with him throughout his life.

After Grandpa retired, he found that he enjoyed cooking. He always made a dish to go with dinner. It never quite fit the meal, and sometimes, it wasn't very good (i.e. prunes in tuna salad), but it was a chance to spend more time with Grandma. Grandma lived in the kitchen. She had done so for years.

His specialty was cole slaw. It was creamy and the cabbage was cut just right. Not too fine. Just right. When he got the taste for his cole slaw, it took a powerful hold on him. He set off for the store to purchase some cabbage.

In the produce department, all the cabbages were too large. He only needed half of a large cabbage for his cole slaw. He found an employee and asked to purchase a half of a cabbage.

"The cabbages are sold whole, Sir."

"I really only need a half a cabbage for my cole slaw," Grandpa protested.

"Then use half and throw the rest away," the employee replied.

Grandpa gave him a brief history of the Great Depression. The man paid little attention to Grandpa's lesson and informed him that it wasn't a waste as cabbages were $0.49 apiece. Grandpa asked to see the Produce Manager.

The employee stalked off with Grandpa behind him. Bursting into the Produce Manager's office, the employee said, "Some jerk-off wants to buy a half a head of cabbage."

My grandfather cleared his throat.

Surprised, the employee said, "and this fine gentleman has agreed to buy the other half!"

Mist 1

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Declare Today Holmes Day

I have received more e mail about Holmes than anything I have written so far. I am posting the only pictures I have used on the Internet so far so you can see her for yourself. I know that everyone that has a cat falls in love with it. We were even more fortunate in that Holmes came with a sister named Watson. Watson passed away in January 2003 from stomach cancer. For just under four years, Holmes has had to shoulder the burden of being the only cat in a house full of crazed cat worshipers. It's been tough on her, but she eventually adapted.

Holmes and her sister were born in West Virginia April 24, 1989. They were born outside at a house where the ended up under foot, and were shooed out by the woman who lived there. To this day, Holmes is afraid of a broom. By the time she was six weeks old Holmes and her sister were 'rescued and brought to the SPCA near where I live. The same Friday that they hit the State of Maryland, my wife's hematologist gave her clearance, after years of arguing I might add, to get a pet for the first time.

The following morning, we ended up at the local SPCA to look at cats. The lady there steered us to a 2 year old that seemed to shy away from us. I wasn't wild with enthusiasm for a cat that didn't want to be with us, not that I knew what I was doing. The woman seemed to think that since we hadn't had any cats before, that we weren't the best candidates for kittens. That also didn't make any sense to me. I have this thing about logic making sense to me. When logic doesn't make sense to me, I start digging to find out why. In the case of this woman, I went to where they kept the kittens. And, I fell in love. I put my arm in, and two kittens latched on to my arm. I pulled them out, and I was holding these two fantastic calico cats. I handed one to Judy, and held the other in my hands. I was hooked.

When you know, you really know. I looked at my wife. She was beaming. We had been picked by the cats. I simply told the woman, we'll take these two. She went into her explanation of all the reasons why we shouldn't take the two kittens. I went into my iterative loop saying, "We'll take these two." I may have varied the accent, but I used this trick. I looked her dead in the eye with that look that says, I am going to get what I want here and there's no chance of you keeping these two cats from me. I bite the insides of my cheeks if I have to making sure I do not smile. This is my deadliest college professor look, aimed at freezing the hearts of 135 undergraduate students. It works on one elderly volunteer worker when I concentrate, and in this case I was heavily motivated holding a tiny ball of love.

The lady at the SPCA put the girls into a cardboard carrier and we drove the girl's home. Earlier, my wife had purchased a liter box and a bag of liter along with a bag of kitten chow. On the advice of the SPCA, we called a vet and made an appointment to have the girls checked out. We now were responsible for two (2) full color calico female cats approximately six weeks old. Training was about to begin.

We put the liter box out on the second floor, and then took the kittens out and put them in the liter box. That ended their formal training. We put food and water out for them and stood back as they disappeared and started exploring the house. Once they found the food and water, it was two days before we saw them on a regular basis again. We'd see one or the other scurrying from room to room, smelling everything.

That's when their personalities began to emerge. Holmes needed to investigate everything. Nothing escaped her attention, not a paper clip, nor a rubber band, a pen was cause for deep investigation. There was some real science produced when it came to walking across the coffee table which has a glass top. Watson was content to watch Holmes and let her figure everything out. Hence, they earned their names, Holmes investigated and figured out everything, like how to open a door, Watson was the one who rammed the door with her head until Holmes got it open.

Holmes was the star athlete. She once saw a moth flying in the house, and she sprang straight up and snatched it from the air about 7 feet off the ground. She spit it on the ground, and Watson promptly walked on it. The dog from across the street wandered over and came to the door. Holmes vanished. The dog was a chocolate lab and weighed perhaps 125 pounds. Watson, weighing in at 5 pounds and a little less than an appetizer for Old Duke, stood there and hissed at him through the door. Instead of scaring him, since Duke also lived with a cat, he walked back home feeling rejected.

And now, our training program was about to begin. We did not know that Watson came with an entire dynamic set of rules that changes according to her needs. Naturally, as with governments, ignorance of the rules was no excuse. Watson was not to be picked up, unless it suited her purposes. Her food was to be warmed to just the right temperature. That took a while to find, but with persistence, we discovered it. Various brands of cat food were eliminated, never to be brought into the house again. Fortunately, I had a piece of 1/2 inch plywood and a few 8 foot 2x4s left over, and we built a couple of platforms in front of windows for the girls to lie on in the sun. They were a big hit.

Then the issue of sex arose. If you close a door and stay on the same side as a cat, it will be OK. We kept the girls out of the basement and things went fine. But if you closed the door to the bedroom and they were outside and you were inside, the crying started and if you looked, there were paws under the door trying to pull the door open. Mass hysteria ensued. The girls just knew that wild and wonder cat things were going on in that room and they were being deprived. They were only partly right. We finally decided that we were just going to leave the door open.

Sex is not an unusual event among married couples no matter what people tell you. Wives demand it. Call it group maintenance, or mental health, or a mandatory requirement for the organism to survive, or tension reduction, or yabadabado, it's right up there with food and 64 oz (not 65) of water a day. And it had been a while due to scheduling mishaps for us. Now, we had an opportunity to really become human again, feel really good. We were both motivated, eager, ready, and well positioned. And then Watson jumped up onto the bed and walked over to where our heads were and looked right into Judy's face as if to say, "where do I go?" Simultaneously, Holmes walked up my left leg onto my left butt cheek onto my back all the way to my left shoulder and peered down into Judy's face, and then into mine. The two of us were laughing so hard that there was no chance for sex the rest of the night. On the other hand, we never had to close the doors again.

We had fourteen years of adventure with the two of them. We were never attacked by a vicious rubber band or an errant paper clip. Watson would periodically slip into the shower stall upstairs at 3:00 am and announce at the top of her lungs that she had killed a mastadon and that she would appreciate some help in carving it up so we could all eat for the rest of the year. We would levitate out of bed the first couple of times, then you get used to it. Then one day, she contracted stomach cancer, and she died after three months of chemotherapy after surgery.

Holmes also changed. She now patrolled the house, but she started talking to the animals at each window. Where she used to chase the squirrels and birds, now they seemed to meet up and talk. There is an entire family of cardinals that seem to come by and they know her, and she knows all of them. We're talking perhaps five birds. But the most unusual is the woodpecker.

If you live with a dog or a cat, you know that they can and will communicate with you. They will come and put a paw on your leg to get your attention, or in Holmes' case, Chatty Cathy will come around the corner at the top of her lungs and tell you that she wants you and to follow her, and she will chatter at you the whole way down the hall until she can show you what she wants you to see. This I have been dealing with for a long time now. But, there is a woodpecker who will fly to the window where I am sitting and typing right now, and if he wants Holmes, he will raise a racket until i go get her, or at least call for her. And when she comes, I swear, the two of them sit and chatter through the glass door. They are probably just antagonizing each other for all I know, telling each other that this is their territory. It's just that it has happened more than once.

Therefore, I am declaring today, November 12, 2006, Holmes' Day. All things being equal, I have been unbelievably lucky, the wife, the two cats. Holmes is really the exception and I know it. I know she won't last forever, but I am savoring what i have while I have her. And this is my attempt to share a tiny fraction of what I have had, with you.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

How To Pill A Cat

I am going to spend some time this weekend on all things cat. Tomorrow, instead of naming someone to You The Man for the week, I am declaring it Holmes' Day. I have cleared this with several well known pets, and they are OK with it.

I was going to write about why you should never, ever de-claw a cat or any other animal for that matter, and why I am so completely, opposed to it. Unalterably, unmovingly, unarguably, irretrievably, don't even bring it up, they ought to string up any vet that would do it opposed. But I am way too happy to go looking for a fight today. Euphoric.

So, I got some stuff together to give you sort of an instruction manual on how to pill a cat. I got most of this from my vet, a wonderful woman who has been with Holmes since we have been together.

1. Pick the cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of the cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and the cat from behind sofa. Cradle the cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve the cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.

4. Get new pill, cradle the cat in left arm holding the rear paws tightly with your left hand. Force the jaws open and jam the pill to the back of the cat's mouth. Remove finger and hold the cat's mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from hallway and the cat from the top of the wardrobe. Get spouse.

6. Kneel on floor with the cat wedged firmly between knees. Pin front and rear paws with your left hand. Get spouse to hold the cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into cat's mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub the cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve the cat from curtain rail, get another pill. Make a mental note to repair curtains and buy a new ruler. Carefully sweep the shattered figurines and vases from the hearth and set aside for gluing at a later time.

8. Wrap the cat in a large towel and get spouse to lie on the cat with the cat's head just visible below armpit. Put pill in end of a drinking straw, force the cat's mouth open with a pencil and blow the pill down the cat's throat with the straw.

9. Call the emergency number for poison control and ensure that the medicine the cat is taking is not harmful to humans. If it isn't, drink a beer to take away the putrid taste, and apply hydrogen peroxide and a bandage to the gash on your spouses' arm.

10. Retrieve the cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place the cat in cupboard and close the door on its neck to leave its head showing. Force its mouth open with a desert spoon, and flick the pill down with an elastic band.

11. Get the tool box and put the door back on the cupboard. Drink the beer, then get the bourbon and the scotch. Pour a shot of each, drink up. Repeat. Make cold compress with ice and apply to face. Check for the date of your last tetanus shot, it's probably with your passport. Put some of the scotch on the ice compress and try to disinfect the cheek. Have another round. Throw shredded t shirt away and get another one from the bedroom.

12. Call the Fire Department to get the damn cat out of the tree across the street. Apologize to the neighbor who crashed into the fence trying to avoid hitting the cat. And take the last pill from the bottle.

13. Tie the little bastard's front and rear paws together with parachute cord and tie tightly to the center leg of the dining room table. Get the heavy leather work gloves. Push the pill down the cat's throat followed by a piece of steak, then two (2) pints of water to ash it all down.

14. Drink whatever is left. Ask spouse to drive you to the Emergency Room for stitches to fingers and forearms, and to have the remnants of the pill removed from your right eye. Ask spouse to order a new dining room table.

15. Call SPCA and ask to trade the mutant cat from hell for maybe a hamster or a rabbit.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Freedom Is Not Free

I had a picture of my father in his Army uniform from World War 2. My wife's father drove a Landing Craft in World War 2. When I was a kid, there was a guy who had fought for thirteen months in Viet Nam and was shot in the head by a sniper walking to a plane to go home. My next door neighbor just came home from Iraq.

Veterans returning from Viet Nam were not accorded this country's best and warmest welcome home. I trust that will never happen again. Today, the New York Stock Exchange will actually halt for a moment of silence during the trading day. They have been doing this since 1954. The Stock Exchange only stops once a year, and it does it only for the Veterans.

It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, a hawk or a dove. You have rights, and they exist, and are guaranteed by the soldier. We the citizen put the political structure in place that makes the decisions. It is the soldier that keeps us free.

I leave you with this thought. I used to work with a young lady named Sara, who lived in Iran. One night, she was picked up and imprisoned for four days. During her imprisonment, she was beaten with a rubber hose, and hung upside down for three hours. Her crime was having a transistor radio. This happened three years ago.