Bear Droppings
Monday, September 30, 2002
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 2.39
1. Who has authority over you?
Me, myself and I, and I wonder if those folks ever have authority either...

2. Where do you go to get a feeling of community? Old friends in Arizona, a channel on IRC, and DC bloggers.

3. What do you do, or have you done, in your life that "goes against the tide?" Last weeks newspaper story seems like a good example.

4. Guilt can be a powerful weapon. Those who have mastered its power can very good at getting what they want. Have you ever used guilt to get you what you want? Have you ever had it used on you? How did you react? Too broad a question really, people use it or have it used on them often. Luckily I grew up in an environment that wasn't really based on it, so it doesn't effect me much, I tend to respond "Tough sh1t" when people try it. I have been known to use it on occasion, but there are much better ways to get things accomplished.

5. I was walking through the mall Friday night and saw a lot of teenagers who dressed really wild and just acted like idiots - not caring who was looking or what others thought. And I remember being that way, having that kind of freedom. I must have looked like a fool then too. Did you ever do anything in public with your friends as a teenager that you would never do today? Tell me about that. I didn't tip, it was a joke to us, but then we didn't really understand how people made their living off of that, I have been trying to make up for it since.

6. I don't watch the television show "Survivor," but I did notice they allow each contestant to bring one "luxury item" to the deserted island with them (make-up, a book, etc.). If you were to go to an island for three months, what five "luxury items" would you bring and why? Notepad and a pen.

7. If you would have had a choice, in which time period would you have like to have lived? Why? The late 1800's in Russia, all the changes and development that was going on, the social and culture that existed was really remarkable, a shame that it lead down the path that it did. These pictures show such beauty at the end of the century.

BONUS: Where do you dare me to draw the line? Have a Winnie the Pooh coloring book and draw it anywhere you please.

Busy weekend, golf Saturday morning with Hencio, Hungry Couch and Mark with definate proove that I still Suck at Golf.

Yesterday I spent the whole day helping friends move into their house. I got home completely exhausted ate dinner and went to sleep. The result is I completely sore this morning. Not just physically either. I was so tired I had forgotten we were going to have an online memorial for Reemul and now I am rather mad at myself. I know others will forgive me missing it, but me forgiving myself will be a tougher matter.

What makes me all the more mad about the issue is I was late yesterday to arrive at the move, because I was trying to help a friend deal with the loss, then at the end of the day I turn around and forget a chance to share fond memories. My friend thought that others were moving on with their lives, getting back to normal quicker than she could. It didn't bother me any we all morn and move on in proper time (proper by our own speed and healing not someone elses), never forgetting, but finding a way to live with it.

I moved on a lot quicker than I even had expected. Even as I type all this it effects me, but a few hours from now I know I'll be so engrossed in work it will not be in the top of my thoughts. A conversation a few months ago may reveal why I moved on as quick as I did. I was asked by someone what his condition was and responded the following:
He's terminal, it may not be today or tomorrow, but it could be next week, month, year or ten years. We just don't know when.
There was a real bitterness to these words as I spoke them, I felt guilty at the time because I almost felt that they were said in anger to the question, but looking back I recognize what I was feeling. I was bitter because I was going to lose this friend, suddenly, quickly one day with little warning and I didn't know when, but I knew it would be far sooner than I liked.

So now it's come to pass, but I realized, I had been preparing mentally for this time for a while, appreciate his friendship when I could, enjoy those moments I had to talk to him, because there was no future promised.

Now it's just time to value the rest of my friends that same way.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Hmmm, have you noticed a lot of bloggers post recipes, maybe there is something there, like a blogger's cookbook. Have a central blog site that you post hey I have this great chicken dish you'll love and then a link to your url where you posted it. Post by category, not unlike blogcritics come to think of it, but the content remains on the bloggers site. It wouldn't be that hard to organize I think. Something to think about.
Southwestern Black Beans
I was asked for the recipe so it just makes more sense to type it once and share with all. It is based on the black bean dish in the Southwestern Grill a great little cookbook, but with a few chef influenced changes.

Two cans of black beans, well rinsed
Half an onion (red)
1 tablespoon Cumin (to taste though really)
Jalapeno pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 Chipotle pepper
salt and pepper
1 beer (lager works well, but a pale ale might be nice too)
2-3 strips of bacon (okay you got 4 use it)

In a large skillet cook the bacon well, rendering out all the grease, you want the bacon well done, but not burnt. Dice onions. Finely mince garlic and half jalapeno (also remove the seeds from the pepper, the beans will have plenty of flavor). By the time you are done with the onions and everything else your bacon should be finished. Remove the bacon for now, saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the bacon grease, allow the onion to get tender, even carmelize a bit. Add half to three quarters of your cumin. Add the beans and half a beer to the mixture. (Yes you can have a slug of the beer if you like, but if your pan is like mine you can probably only add half the beer at one time). Break the bacon into fine bits, like at a salad bar and add back into the pan. Dice and add the chipotle pepper. Stir regularly, cook at medium heat covered, but with the lid cracked to allow steam to vent for 30 minutes or until beer is gone. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Taste then season as necessary.


Note: I bought the canned chipotles in adobe sauce a while back, a little can goes a long way with a lot of peppers in it and sometimes there are no or few seeds in some of the peppers, again remove seeds as you like.
Words have become my passion of late. Especially the process of taking them, shaping them into new constructions from those originally available. Yet I haven't found my path it’s just an early stage of this exploration I must make finding them and how to use them.

I don't have the answers about where this will take me.

I'm abit scared, lost a friend and you look around saying what if today or tomorrow were your day, have you said everything you need you say? Have you found your way, I have known this path was my way for a while, but as buddy Fred says "Even the bravest of us rarely has the courage for what he really knows..." While I have enough time to say I want, learn all I want, I don't know, but I have got to try.

So I am off on a quest to find the passion and voice, not really sure where it will take me much less how I'll pay the way, just knowing that if I want to live, to truly be alive, I have no choice this is the path I need to take. It's comforting and scary, more challenging than I know, nor would like to admit, but that's okay I have seen difficult times before, I'll see them again.

But as Joseph Campbell noted "follow your bliss" and the world will open to you will find doorways and opportunities you had not know existed. And I am confident they are out there.

Have you found your passion? Your voice, find it, grab it and don't let go, time is short and we have a long way to go.

Thursday, September 26, 2002
Busy morning, rainy morning, maybe I'll post the interim, the cutest quote of the week award goes to Audrey Vincent,
"Where is Uncle Tom?"
(Yeah I am a proud Uncle deal with it.)
Let's start off the morning with the wisdom of Homer Simpson.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Poetry Wednesday

Death is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
“Dissolve,” says Death. The Spirit, “Sir,
I have another trust.”

Death doubts it, argues from the ground.
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence,
An overcoat of clay.
- Emily Dickinson (found at Bartleby, where else?)

Miki has the latest on Florida voting technology.
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
One for my Brother...
In regards of the Indian Gaming Bills, I haven't had a chance to look at them, but if you go to Robert's page it should tide you over until I get around to looking at the bills.
How old are those exactly?
In my office there is a file cabinet, the top drawer sticks so I never use any more I ignore it. I can't tell you the last time it was open. So as I was about to go to lunch I got curious, "What exactly did I have in there?" After five minutes of prying and fighting I finally got it open to reveal the following treasures.

Company Policies and Proceedures Manual (dated 9/1/98) - I checked on the network the newest edition is dated 1/1/99, but has been edited as recently as June.
Division Fax Cover Sheet - Under old division name, we haven't used that name since 12/00.
One box of cookies (sell by date 4/1/01) - They looked fine we may use them at a meeting this week. No I am serious, they were sealed in plastic.
3 cans Coke
2 cans Ginger Ale
One box of business cards - Old title I haven't used since 12/00.
One Xmas coffee mug - Given to us in 2000 Holidays, I think.
Half a container of chocolate covered coffee beans - Anyone know when these go bad? Do they ever?

Anyone want a Coke? Any idea if those expresso beans go bad? Nothing like a little office treasure hunt.
Flagstaff is getting a visit by the President this Friday, sleepy little town that it is in a lot of ways that's big news there. The Daily Sun reports on preparations and interesting little editorial on the visit.
Monday, September 23, 2002
Last week's Friday Five was about friends, so while late I'll give it a spin, I just never seem to be able to pull up the site lately, not sure why it doesn't matter location either, very odd.
1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people? I used to be better but I do a decent job.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why? I prefer in person, but email, blogs, and IM are good for keeping in touch. Sometimes you just need to speak to people in person. I am horrid at snailmail.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it? I have trillian and run it constantly, about the only time I don't run it is if I really am under the gun and then I leave it off. It is currently set to use AIM, ICQ, and Yahoo messengers.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away? Far away, too far, working on fixing that, well for a good part of them anyways.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"? I would say when things are going busy full bear I am "out of sight, out of mind", but when things slow back down to normal insanity speed, I remember folks and feel bad about not being in more contact.

PromoGuy's Monday Mission 2.38
1. Do you like to drink warm beverages in the morning or do you prefer yours cold?
Coffee! No matter the time of year, nor the weather outside, even in Phoenix in the summer time the day starts with coffee. Period.

2. Have you ever been so upset with someone that you wanted to get revenge? What did you do? Or if you didn't, what would you like to have done? Yes, I did and I did get revenge. I ain't telling.

3. Sometimes I can look back at my past and see so many things that I was too naive to take advantage of. A time where I could have moved ahead in my career if only I'd chosen to move, the High School girlfriend who said she would do anything if I just asked, and so on. Looking back, are there any opportunities you missed out on that you can see now but didn't realize then? Alot but at the same time, it was the person I was then, your choices decide your path, you wouldn't be who you are today with out them, no point to pining about them.

4. Today I tried on my black slacks, and they are just a skosh too tight (yeah it's a real word, look it up). Of course, I wore them anyway. Are there any clothes you refuse to throw away even though they don't (and never will) fit? Why do you keep them? A few shirts from college days, too many good memories. There is an old beat up sweater that is the same way, it's still fits, but it's rather worn.

5. Although my speech classes eliminated most if it, I still have a little Okie accent left. I say "Git" instead of "Get" and "Collar" instead of "Colour." Do you have an accent? Are there any phrases or words you say that tip folks that "you aren't from around these parts?" Not really my accent is fairly neutral Mid-Western American, but if I hang around people of another accent I pick it up without even thinking.

6. Speaking of phrases, it really drives me nuts when folks say "very unique" (Unique has no degrees, it is either unique or it isn't) or "irregardless" (not a real word). Are there any words folks misspell or incorrect uses of words that simply drive you insane? Like, it's one of the most overused words in the english language and usually isn't used in the correct context. I hate when I catch myself, like, using it.

7. I am guilty of using pet names a bit too often, like "honey," "babe," and "sweetie." However, currently, no one uses any pet names on me (and I think I'd like one). Are there any pet names that you like to be called? Any you don't? Do you (or did you) have any pet names for your partner? geist or Tomas (more European version of my name), I do tend with certain friends to call them "Babe", to me it's the difference between formal and more intimate forms of language, a lot of cultures have those forms and English is lacking, so it is a way of conveying friendship and closeness.

BONUS: Why you so fly? Because who else will be?
Flagstaff always amazes me in the little things, I am flipping through their Sunday job ads, yes I know that isn't the way to find a good job but humor me, and I find the following:
ASTRONOMER is wanted for a one year position to operate a telescope at the US Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station. The work is done mostly at night.
Because you know daytime it's really hard to see the stars, well except one big one.

More seriously, I still think it's cool that they have active Astronomers in the area, that the light pollution hasn't stopped their work. It is approaching as you can see the city lights from Phoenix as far north as Verde Valley, but it's great to think that they have ads like that in the paper. Funny thing is I bet they get 10-20 applications from locals, it's just that kind of town, now only if they could turn all those science smarts into jobs, then it would be a happening town! If you are interested in light pollution you may want to check out this article in the CS Monitor. (Thanks Brother)
Ninja weekend, what do I mean by that I was so stealthy I don't even remember what I did, must have been exciting.
Friday, September 20, 2002
The end of the world is near, how do I know? Lex in a tie. (Thanks Donna)
Last night was Blogarama 2 a lot more intimate a crowd than the first one meaning you could breath, but not as many bloggers showed up. It was fun and lifted my spirits and after the news yesterday it did me some good I think. Other than that it has been a busy day get a newsletter out and nothing else interesting to report. I have bearly had the chance to read news sites and maybe a blog here and there.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
While my friend didn't have a long life, I never took it he was bitter about the experience. How can I say something like that? His own words reveal it.

POSTSCRIPT: He would have loved this story about the found chunk of Maya hieroglyphs too.

Fire And Rain
Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Won't you look down upon me, Jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I'd see you one more time again
There's just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I'd see you, thought I'd see you fire and rain, now - James Taylor

Light blogging today I check email and discovered terrible news a friend has died.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
You know all that Traficant coverage I knew would start a trend, Traficant 2004! (at least he's a convicted crook, so there are no doubts)
Poetry Wednesday
Not really all that surprising to those who know me, I picked this selection from one of Warren Zevon's song lyrics. I picked this particular song to both to him and my friends who are fight sicknesses in their lives. It's a tough thing to find a happy Zevon song they are like honest politicians, tough to find, but this one reflects a sentiment that I have had in my heart alot this year.

Don't Let Us Get Sick
Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

The sky was on fire
When I walked to the mill
To take up the slack in the line
I thought of my friends
And the troubles they've had
To keep me from thinking of mine

Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

The moon has a face
And it smiles on the lake
And causes the ripples in Time
I'm lucky to be here
With someone I like
Who maketh my spirit to shine

Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight
- Warren Zevon on the album Life'll Kill Ya

Don't think DRM is one of the most serious issues faces the future of communication today? Then read this because it's only the beginning.
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Who said the Ancient Egyptian's didn't have a great sense of humor?
Monday, September 16, 2002
As I sit here at lunch I updated my blogroll, the main reason I mention it is to point traffic to those good folks.

Robert Gregory a friend of mine from Arizona, good to see reenforcements out there as bloggers have been dropping off the map out there.

Zeli who I learned of due to the Blogathon, if you like Elijah Wood, Hobbits, or just cool Brits check her out.
Correction: While I noted Elijah, Zel informs me it's Tobey Maguire she is really hot for...just so there is no confusion.

I also realized though I read Crookdimwit fairly regularly, I some how had missed adding him, the oversight has been fixed. I also added mighty Asian Viking Girl!

Da Rapmaster a lawyer and a blogger, who would have thought it possible.

Cool folks one and all go check them out.
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 2.37
1. Do you have a favorite piece of poetry or prose written by someone else? Care to share it?
I do that every Wednesday, but last Wednesday's poem I really did like, nothing like a bit of Walt Whitman from time to time.

2. In High School, did you enjoy creative writing? Do you currently do any other writing in addition to your Blog? High school I really didn't do much writing, these days I do alot more in fact I probably write 2-3 times a week outside of my blog. It's not everyday, but it is getting there.

3. Have you ever noticed that the Blog entries you least expect to get the most comments do, and those you expect to generate a lot of feedback don't? Which Blog entry of yours surprised you by getting a lot of comments? Which one did you think would generate a lot but didn't? Yes, it happens all the time, a recent example is the media free September 11th image I posted, from Promoguy, I didn't expect it to start a conversation on my comments section but it did.

4. Sometimes you get a chance to make a lifestyle change that has a huge impact on the course your life takes. That is, a moment where something became very clear to you, and that realization changed your life, such as: the need to leave a relationship, to stop an addiction, to bond with someone, to start a new career, and so on. Have you ever had an "awakening" moment in your life? Yes, the most recent example was in August at dinner with a bunch of friends in Arizona. I had already decided I was leaving DC and moving back, but as I sat there enjoying the dinner it really struck me how much I missed getting to see all these people and my family regularly. That seeing them once or twice a year was not enough.

5. Then there are other times where you can have a huge impact on someone else's life. You suggest they see a doctor, stop them from taking that last drink, or maybe just say some kind words at the moment. Have you made a lasting positive impact on the life of someone else? Fray day, I think we all inspired each other with our stories.

6. Are there any charities or organizations which you support? How did you come to be involved with them? I currently help out at the American History Museum as a docent and I teach the occasional class at Byte Back. Docenting I read an article in the Post a year ago and it interested me so I volunteered. The other has been driven by my interest in technology and seemed a good way to match that interest with a helping others.

7. Care to collaborate with me? Help me out and write the rest of this poem:

I drifted though a dream last night,
visions full of colors bright.
My thoughts began to drift to you,
and in an instant we were two.

I touched your hand,
We began to blend,
Filled with a feeling
that should have no end.

Years ago with did part,
remain you have in my heart.
All I know that is true,
I will always love you.

BONUS: Hey cutie, what's up with this attitude? Attitude, I'll show you attitude!

USA Today has a pretty good interview about Zevon and his life, not a bad little read.
Good Weekend
Fun weekend between Fray DC 6 back to my weekend docenting and general running around. In fact Fray Day 6, DC was a blast. Tom Cheng dragged me into the front row, where I quickly asserted myself as the group smartass for the night. I was a bit nervous because I had not practiced what I was going to do and then in the middle of Kelowna story she inspired me to do something completely different than I had thought about before and it worked out well.

Don demostrated his singing skills and let's just say that if James Taylor ever decides to give up music one day, we could put Ratbastard in as a replacement. Any difference people would notice would be seen as an improvement.

Missy has pictures from the night and highlights Eric's story. Since the whole thing was recorded, I'll have a link once it gets posted online. I am a bit disappointed Missy didn't include the picture of the ceiling in her collection. ;-)

After Fray we hunted the elusive party animal JenRaj, no sightings to speak of, but I ran into this drunk guy who yelled at me "BLAU!" which is German for normally for blue, but in the context meant I am drunk. I looked at him and replied back in German "really?". He was even more confused by the fact I understood him and said "Blau" again, so I replied the same thing. We nodded to each other and went out seperate ways, a rather odd experience. All and all a very fun weekend.

Friday, September 13, 2002
Eric Olsen at Blogcritics has more on Warren Zevon. The AMG bio is especially good with a number of his songs and a live interview you can hear.
Imagine you are a school district in Arizona a state where there is a budget short fall, especially in education matters. So you careful examine all expenses and trying to focus on the students helping them prepare for the future. Perhaps work to help the teachers at the schools have the tools they need and resources to better educate themselves?

Nope, let's spend that money to close a sex shop. Great use of funds Deer Valley School District. An outstanding show of leadership when you are done if closing the shop if you have any money left you might consider putting it into teaching children. Just a thought.
Friday Five:
1. What was/is your favorite subject in school? Why?
History hands down. Maybe because it told stories of the human condition, all though I wouldn't have understood it in such fancy terms at the time.
2. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? It's tough for me to say because I went to so many different schools in different town for any one to stick out. Probably my political science professors in college there were three that really challenged me and I learned the most.
3. What is your favorite memory of school? In high school there was a student who won a scholarship from Milky Way candy bars, on top of three or four others that we knew of, at the same time we knew the guy was a jerk and a cheat and we didn't want to be associated with him or the matter in any fashion. The school held an award ceremony for him in the auditorium one day and my friends and I managed to get our hands on a number of newspapers before the ceremony. We then found our way to the very back of the room and opened the papers and read them not watching the ceremony before us, the teachers gave us the option of stop disturbing the ceremony or leaving, so we left to read our papers else where. We got out of the ceremony and no further action was taken against us. Poltical action in power, one of the funniest memories of school I have. Well that or perhaps the simple matter of delivering some chairs, another story for another time.
4. What was your favorite recess game? Hide and seek or when as kid you pretended you were various charaters.
5. What did you hate most about school? Math class sophmore, the guy was the most boring teacher on earth.
The worst words I hate to read from a fellow blogger is I am taking a break, yet I understand this is a habit and a dangerous one if you do it with alot of heart and honesty. The advantage and disadvantage of a blog is that there is no editor to correct your statements or your writing, as is obvious nearly everday here at Bear Droppings because I am the first to admit I make typos, grammatical, and spelling errors. But to not have an editor and expressing ones self also means you can inadvertental hurt someone, especially if you care about them. Because this is a stream of consciousness medium, while it can show cutting insight to a person that razor is double-edged and can do damage just as easily. It's true in my own case where I have friends going through medical treatments, I think about them everyday and I often ponder blogging about it. But what to say? How to approach this issue a properly delicate matter and the truth is I know they stop by here on occasion so anything I would write they will know sooner or later. So I say nothing which is worse because while I care and would like to show support, I have this wonderful opportunity to share with the world and I don't make adequate use of it.

To my friends, I care, you are in my thoughts and prayers every day. Get well soon.

To other bloggers taking a break, do what you need to do, but when you get back, blog with all your soul or don't bother, half measures are so wasted.

POSTSCRIPT: That last sentence sounds more harsh than intended. I suppose that I am just used to the way some people riff and their style that I would rather see them do there thing at a 100% than holding back.
Check out Jill's blog, pretty funny.
Lileks has a bleet about the social culture of DC, as usual he's pretty dead on, well for social life in the political crowd. Also read the bit about Bush and the UN.
Thursday, September 12, 2002
How we face death is said to reflect our nature, so what did Warren Zevon say to the press when he discovered he had terminal lung cancer?
"I'm OK with it, but it'll be a drag if I don't make it till the next James Bond movie comes out."

The news still sucks but at least he has his sense of humor.

He is one of my favorite musicians, as Scully who oft gives me grief over the fact, and his recent album My Ride's Here is one of his best albums ever. I am sure that critics and fans will note that maybe he had a feeling the end was near because of the last two songs on the album entitled I Have to Leave and My Ride's Here. As I listened the first few times I wondered, does he have a medical problem or is it just his typically morbid humor.

I wrote a review of My Ride's Here in May and rereading it 3 months later I would say my opinions have stayed about the same, but Sacrifical Lambs and Basketcase have grown on me over the last few months. In addition, I really have enjoyed You're a whole different person when you're scared. Over the last few months it really has become a staple of my listening to and from work each day.

I think my biggest regret with his passing will be that I had never gotten to see him play live in concert. A sad day, his music I associate with alot of good times from my college days.

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money. The Shit has hit the fan.
A little more follow up on the Buzz Aldrin story. Remember folks he's 72 vs 37 and the younger guy was bigger than him, nobody messes with Buzz! I suspect it's all that Tang he had as an Astronaut.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Train to New York...
I took the train up to New York for the Blogathon a few months ago, it was the first time I had been in New York in a year and half. I knew better than to try to get a look for the WTC, I knew it was gone and looking an object that wasn't there, just seemed, I dunno silly. At the same time right before we crossed under the river half the people in my train car rushed over to the South side of the car to see if they could see where they used to be. It seemed like alot of folks were not sure where to look into the first place. The New Yorkers just looked up in an odd bemused expression and went back to what they were doing. Not out of spite mind you, but I think they thought it silly that people would looked for the towers and perhaps pleased that they tried.
Poetry Wednesday
I decided against an obvious September 11th poem, more of an examination of poetry and life from the master Walt Whitman. Please enjoy.

As I Ponder’d in Silence

As I ponder’d in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me, with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said;
Know’st thou not, there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers?

Be it so, then I answer’d,
I too, haughty Shade, also sing war—and a longer and greater one than any,
Waged in my book with varying fortune—with flight, advance, and retreat—Victory deferr’d and wavering,
(Yet, methinks, certain, or as good as certain, at the last,)—The field the world;
For life and death—for the Body, and for the eternal Soul,
Lo! too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
I, above all, promote brave soldiers.

(From Bartleby) If you like the weekly reading you might check Eve Tushnet's blog she has been participating as well.

Like alot of good little bloggers I read Lilek's writings pretty regularly, I don't point to him nor list him on my bookmarks because everyone else does and I hear when he writes something good, which is nearly everyday.

Today's is particularly poignant, go read it if you only read one bloggers account of September 11th and the last year make it this one.
A serious day for sober thoughts, but this is not one of those stories, go get'em Buzz. The best comment I saw on the story was on MiFi "can we expect 'buzz fightyear' action figures by christmas?".

Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I love the comics, I read them nearly daily and they are my favorite part of the paper. That is why I enjoyed this post Why Peanuts kicks Garfield's Sad Furry Ass which discusses the obvious. As a kid I really liked Garfield, especially his early material around books two and three, I really think he hit the best work the strip did. Since then, it really has never been originial or as fresh, heck Garfield was actually fat back in those cartoons. Yes Peanuts is annoying in their 'golly, gee whiz'ness Schultz really did provide more character depth. Garfield just seems to get more and more shallow as time develops.

Maybe I am just bitter that Liberty Meadows, Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side are gone...
Week One Wrap Up...
I know one week a season does not make and especially in fantasy football, but I can't help but be happy with the results of week one. Both leagues had big victories! Interesting thing is the league with more players had higher average point totals, though there are few players available to each coach. Things continue like this and maybe I'll have to move on to coach the big leagues okay not really, but it sounds good.
Just a friendly reminder to folks, Saturday is Fray day. Fray is a site about telling personal stories and Fray day is a live version of the idea. Herr Ratbastard (aka Don) is one of the organizers of the event locally. I know I'll be dropping by and probably even get up on stage for a few minutes. I still need to work out what I will do though...luckily I still have a few days. I have not been on stage since college, but it looks like a lot of fun! I even hear there will be a bit o' music. So if you are in the DC area stop by hear a few stories and if your feeling bold tell one of your own.
Monday, September 09, 2002
From Promoguy

One further thought, if you want to remember those we lost, try to spend the time you would watch media donating blood, volunteer with a local organization, or something a little more productive. Just a thought...

Monday Mission 2.36 via PromoGuy dot net
1. Where were you and what was happening in your life the moment when you first became aware of what was happening at the World Trade Center in New York City last September 11th? What was the first thing you did when you heard the news?
I was at the office and someone mentioned it and I went down to a conference room with a television to watch the headline portion and then I went back to my desk to search the web for more detailed information.

2. When those truly responsible for the attack are apprehended, what do you think would be the most fitting form of justice? Justice, funny term considering that we don't have a justice system, we have a legal system, I doubt any real justice can be achieved.

3. This will probably be much like when our parents respond to "Where were you when JFK was shot?"- an event never forgotten by those who were there. But how do you think the history books should present the 9-11 attacks? Should it be included for all future generations? How can we truly convey the shock, the outrage, the emotions and pain of that day to the children of our children? Books? Wrong medium entirely. The web told the true story in a much clearer fashion than any other, besides the brief press clips on the day of, future generations will likely view this event through archived media playings and then the stories of individuals preserved on the web in various sites.

4. No one in that building, in the Pentagon, or on the planes (other than the terrorists) knew that 9-11 would be their last day to be alive. For me, it brought home the reality that I could be gone at anytime, without any warning. Now, I really want each day to have some value. Did the events of 9-11 bring about a change in the way you live your life? Not really, I have understood that fact since a friend of mine was buried in Arlington cemetary and other friends fight for life each day. It's why I will be moving shortly, I enjoyed my time in the city, but hit a wall, a point that I need a change of life and so I will see where it takes me.

5. Several who loved to fly in planes will not step foot in one anymore. Many parents are more protective of their children. A year later, do you find yourself feeling more secure than back then? Or is it just a matter of time before something else happens? Security is generally a joke, people are losing their freedoms and not gaining any real security in the process. We may die, but we aren't dead, so let's live free or not bother. I have flown a number of times without worry, I am a little more cautious when I am having lunch in downtown (DC) but you have to live and move on in life, no point to worrying about things you can't control.

6. The best way for me to honor the those impacted by the attack will be to refrain from any media that day. No papers, no radio and especially no television. Others will light candles, and others will attend special services. What, if anything, will you do to personally reflect on the tragedy? I may go to the Capitol at the reflecting pool where there was a memorial service last year, I don't know that anything is planned, but it will be quiet at that time of the night and it's a good place to remember. As for mass media I will spend the day ignoring it.

7. One of the visuals that touched me the most were the walls and walls full of hand made "Missing" posters. What image will you always have in your mind when you recall the events of 9-11? Walking home from the office and seeing the smoke from the Pentagon on fire. I also think the memorial service at the reflecting pool, very respectful, people walking around with candles and songs being shared in the evening.

BONUS: Who's gonna come around when you break? My guide to renew the voyage.

Access Denied
9:00am - Our office got a message Friday afternoon from the MIS director saying that he would be doing work on the server at our office over the weekend. Immediately I sensed to quote Lucas "I feel a disturbance in the force". As par my expectations, I came in this morning and while the computer starts well and fine, it is not connected to the internet, no email, no IM, no web pages, and no blogs. It's not that I blame the guy, I am sure he intended well by whatever he did over the weekend, but since it was Micro$oft any time you do an ungrade it screws up your computers and I was mentally prepared for it.

Luckily since I can't access my work I do have a few other things to keep me busy like editing a cover letter for a job. Unethical perhaps, but people are already having conversations in the hall in liu of work that can not be done. Funny thing was the work was just supposed to be done on the email server, which I thought was different than our webserver, but what do I know, I type in pencil.

9:18am - Microsoft Software Update - translation? scheduled network outage

It's a blessing and a curse, blessing that it gives us the opportunity to examine how the modern office environment relies upon it's networks and access to them. (Yes I am bored and just pondering stuff at least the coffee is decent)

9:25am - Our IT guy normally rolls in around 10:30 or so, I don't begrudge his schedule because I do know he usually is here into the evening and often on weekends. It is rather amusing to see him running around the office before 9:30am though...

10:24am - Email in theory works...although I have yet to get a message, I have half a mind to walk over to our neighborhood internet cafe to post this...web is still down, I bet we don't get access for a good chunk of the day.

11:30am - Hmm back online we will see how long this lasts...
Friday, September 06, 2002
Arizona Blogging
You know what thought keeps me awake late at night, no not really but just play along, by the time I make it to Arizona I will be on the only blogger out there. First Desert Pundit goes silent and now Zonitics.

Then again maybe their computers just melted like at Uncommon is a bit warm out there at this time of year.

Watch out for your computer Gail!
Football started up again last night and in a pretty good match up of San Francisco and NY Giants it was a better game than I had expected. Not that I am a fan of either teams, but it was still fun to see a game go down to the wire.

The biggest reason though I am pleased about the return of the season, besides cheering the Browns, is fantasy football. I started playing 4-5 years ago mostly as an excuse to network and get to know some coworkers, because while a Browns fan I otherwise hadn't really followed it. After a year or two I became I admit addicted to playing, normally I am in 3 different leagues from free to money, web and head to head. I still haven't gotten great at it, but I enjoy it far more than I had first suspected.

This season the Draft Gods were incredibly kind to me and I had first pick in both drafts, which means I have Marshall Faulk on both teams, this also means I fully expect him to have a season ending injury around week two. Otherwise, look out I am winning both leagues this year, SHOW ME THE MONEY!

But for you fellow football fanatics this is how my teams shape up...

Cactus League (Arizona friends)
Favre, Brett (QB-GB)
Harrison, Marvin (WR-Ind)
Bruce, Isaac (WR-StL)
Ismail, Qadry (WR-Ind)
Faulk, Marshall (RB-StL)
Davis, Stephen (RB-Was)
Gonzalez, Tony (TE-KC) 
McNair, Steve (QB-Ten)
Burress, Plaxico (WR-Pit)
Mitchell, Freddie (WR-Phi)
Staley, Duce (RB-Phi)
Elam, Jason (K-Den) 
Stover, Matt (K-Bal)
Philadelphia (DEF-Phi)
Cleveland (DEF-Cle)

Weblogger Football League
Manning, Peyton (QB-Ind)
Brown, Tim (WR-Oak)
Mason, Derrick (WR-Ten)
Faulk, Marshall (RB-StL)
Davis, Stephen (RB-Was)
Pollard, Marcus (TE-Ind)
Bennett, Michael (RB-Min)
Fiedler, Jay (QB-Mia)
Chamberlain, Byron (TE-Min)
Galloway, Joey (WR-Dal) 
Gramatica, Martin (K-TB)
Longwell, Ryan (K-GB)
San Diego (DEF-SD)
San Francisco (DEF-SF)

Tough Leagues so it's difficult to make predictions, but why not. All you suckers are going down, going to lose, give up on the season and make way for me, I am going to rock! *Ahem* Now to make it happen.
Thursday, September 05, 2002
Hey Brother you might want to look for a copy of the Wall Street Journal today there is an article on full service cable offerings vs traditional phone service. Right up your alley. (Back to your regularly scheduled blog...)

(Another blatently stolen post, this time from Tastes Like Chicken)

Back in the office, the conference was not all that difficult, but it was non-stop all day.
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Morning Campers
That's right I am up and struggling to be awake, you know why the call it 0h-5:30, because oh God it's early.

Helping out at my roommate's conference for the day so blogging will be light (read non-existant)

Poetry Wednesday
In honor of the early wake up a salute to coffee, now off to get some...

Caffeine is my shepherd;
I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures;
it leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz;
it leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no EQUAL(TM), for thou art with me;
thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of Juan Valdez;
thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life; and
I shall dwell in the house of Maxwell Trader Joe's (Editorial change) forever.

Postscript: Forgot to give due credit, not an original work, but if you look on the web it's fairly easy to find)

Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Finally an investment fund I can believe in.
Back in the Saddle Again...
Long weekend and I accomplished....hmmm nothing. Mind you I caught up on some valuable missing sleep, a bit of packing, and even picked out some clothes to give to give to charity. Anyone suggest a good one locally? Otherwise I am just catching up on work around the office, exciting no?
Monday, September 02, 2002
In honor of Labor day - "Ever notice that fifteen minutes into a Jerry Lewis telethon you start rooting for the disease?" Jim Sherbert (Directly stolen from Aaron's blog o' coolness)
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 2.35
1. What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you on a date?
And then I am going to share it with 10 million people across the web, okay really only the 5 that read this blog, but still nope, you'll get nothing from me.

2. Do you eat your veggies? Yup I love them, always have, fruit has been the thing I generally don't eat, though I do eat a bit more than when I was younger.

3. Most people are comfortable going to the bathroom in front of at least one person. Has anyone ever used the restroom in front of you that you wish wouldn't have? What happened and how bad was it? I was flying cross-country a couple of years ago and it had been a delayed and then bumpy take off because of local thunderstorms. I was seating in the last row of the plane next to this Russian guy, at some point he lost control of his bladder, the smell was horrid and there was no way to change seats because the plane was completely full. It was the longest flight of my life.

4. Have you ever had a bad online transaction? You know, the item wasn't what you thought it would be, you got totally ripped-off, no refunds, it just plain sucked? What's the story there? Nope, I have only had good experiences online, but then I also tend to buy on Ebay from people who have had accounts for a while and good ratings, else where I look for BBB or Truste symbols to make sure they aren't a fly by night operation.

5. Ever have a current love find any old love letters (or similar item) you kept that probably should have been thrown away? How did that turn out? I have all my old letters, I am a packrat what can I say.

6. A secretary at work was telling me about a trip she took to Mardi Gras. She showed off her beaded necklaces and proudly said she "earned' each and every one of them (for those not familiar with this tradition, ladies walking up Burbon St. in New Orleans will flash people who are upon the balconies, in return the guys will throw them worthless plastic necklaces). I was shocked, I had no idea this quiet gal had a wild side. Was there ever a time when you did something totally outrageous because you knew no one would know who you were, or maybe didn't care even if they did? Yes.

7. Hey, what happened to you last night? I waited forever! Was that last night, I thought it was tomorrow?

BONUS: I know I could break you down, but what good would it do? Sure right, whatever you say (someone call the people in the nice white coats *wink wink*)

Germany in DC
Every Spring my University send a few students over to Germany for language courses, I went about 10 years ago. There was an old student joke about the semster that went "The warmest Winter I ever spent was a summer in Tuebingen". Waking up in DC this morning reminded me of it immediately the humidity, cloud cover and cool tempatures are exactly what I remember, not that every day was like that, but certainly enough that the joke remained throughout the generations of students. It makes me want to take a karafe of coffee, some brotchen, and perhaps a bit of meat and cheese out to the deck and sit out and enjoy the morning. Sadly, the cupboard is bear of most of those things, time to do shopping I suppose. Enjoy the last day of the long weekend.

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