Saturday, December 29, 2001

Just a great day away from work yesterday. Spent the entire day with Claire. Caught the early matinee of A Beatiful Mind... This was one great movie. A real surprise. GO OUT AND SEE THIS FLICK. Hit the mall to exchange a gift, ate a big Sushi dinner, saw RHS Basketball beat a tough Glastonbury team with an exciting finish.

Ahhhh.... and the weekend has just begun!

Thursday, December 27, 2001

WW update. -2.4 this week; -16 overall.

Looking forward to taking the day off tomorrow. Another long weekend. Check out Marty at the RHS BBall game tonite, spend day with sweety pie tomorrow, probably catch a movie matinee and go out to eat. Back to work Monday, party again New Years Eve, another day off Tuesday... I can get used to this kinda life!

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Long time... no post (again). Nice long Xmass holiday weekend. Started with C's birthday. She got lotsa presents, went to UCONN ladies BBall game with Amy, then sushi and good company with A & G at night. Xmass was nice too. Kids enjoyed opening presents, went to Mom & Dad's for lunch. Also saw Lord of the Rings this weekend. Great epic flick. See review on my Movie Review page.

Had a couple of real bad weight watcher days... but also started an excersize routine. Weigh-in tomorrow... gulp!

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

What's New?
  • Just doesn't feel like Xmass. Better get my ass in gear and buy some pres for kids 'n wifey. only couple o'days left.
  • work... busy, busy, busy. will i make a succesful transition to new position? hmmmm.
  • weight watchers - still loosing. couple more this week. over 11 total in 4 weeks. lots more to go. so far keepin up despite holiday parties.
  • blogger - using this new blogger tool for Mac OS X. BloggerScript is another neat tool for posting to your blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

LasterNet.com gets hacked! Someone hacked my Web Hosting Service and deleted all index.html files. So if you have not been able to get into LasterNet... now you know why. Damn Hackers!!!

Monday, December 10, 2001

Week 4. Lost 3.4 lbs., 11.4 lbs total. Yipee!

Marc asked me to put up Rainbow On My Wall, that he read on Laura's 50th Birthday, on the Web... which I did (linked to the Memorial page). Check it out. Its quite nice. Marc... dude Ya gotta get on the net with email? It would be so much easier to communicate.

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Whoa, its been over a week since the last entry. Whats goin down the brain drain? Keepin up with WW. After 2 weeks dropped 8 lbs. Week #3 weigh-in tomorrow.

Work? Realized, if you want to improve a situation, you need to be proactive. Thats what I did. Long story...short? Proposed a major realignment to my job responsibilities. Result, new job, new title.... Chief Technology Officer and MIS director. Pretty excited about it... if I can pull it off the way I want.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Alright, so I'm a little obscessed with the WW thing. Spend way too much time calculating points, recording them in the journal program on my Palm Pilot... but after the first week, its working. Shed 5.8 lbs this week, and I think I'll drop a few more by next weigh-in Monday. Saved up 2 points so I could have a drink with my sweetie tonite... see what I mean?

BTW, tryin' to make it a better situation at work for myself. Think I made some progress.

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Thanksgiving 2001. A quiet and somber gathering at our house. Along with the Diana's family, Mom and Dad, I also invited Laura's family. Was a little apprehensive about how that would work out. In the end, I was very glad that I had done it. I want very much to keep connected to Laura's family. Especially the kids, which are our living link to Laura. There was a moment or two of sadness, but mostly, we all enjoyed being together, light conversation, good eats. We avoided any heavy conversation of Laura's passing, but looked at some old pictures and reminisced some. A mellow but nice Thanksgiving day. Given the times, I know there are thousands of households that have experienced the loss of loved ones this thanksgiving. My heart goes out to all of them.

Dan, if you read this, I really appreciate the invite. Mark and Alex, I respect your decision too. Its a nice tribute. I downloaded some Dylan yesterday, and I'll enjoy it with you tonite and think of you and Laura while listening to it.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Did it. Joined Weight Watchers. Put down my $100 bucks, got weighed, even went to the meeting. Can't believe how much I weigh. 197 lbs. Ouch, no wonder I feel like shit. I am committed ($$) to doing this for at least 10 weeks. I think it will work... keeping a journal, figuring points, getting weighed weekly. Its just what I need. Not sure about those meetings, though. Thanks Barb!

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

I get into work Tuesday morning, do some routine maintenance on our Internet gateway, and BAM, the damn thing gets hosed. Email - down, FTP - down, Internet surfing - works, but flakey. In addition, I can't get to any of the Administration screens that I would normally use to diagnose and fix such problems.

I call the dreaded tech support. On hold for 1/2 hour, only to find that we don't have a service contract. They transfer me to sales, where I take care of that, and I am told I need to call service back to get back in the queue. grrrrrr!

Call service back and wait on hold for 1 hour and 55 minutes! I kid you not. I finally get some dope who won't try to fix my problem, but just wants to send me a whole new box. That means we will be down for 1 1/2 days.

Next morning box comes in, busy configuring it, somethin' stinks like hell. Of all things, in the middle of this crisis our god-damn toilet is overflowing. Turns out the sump pump that pumps sewage for about three buildings in this hell hole busted, and shit water is spewing out all over our production floor. Its stinks like shit throughout the building, and I am trying to get our Internet up and running so our company can function.

I'm not done yet. I finally configure this Internet gateway, my LAN and WAN connections look fine, diagnostics pass the test, so I try to restore from a backup to save re-entering all the user settings and special services (yeah! I acutally back the thing up every week). Only, the restore does not work. I try it three times to no avail. Finally, I hack into the backup file, and find its all screwed up. Guess things have been screwed up for a while, cause I have to go back to a backup of 3 weeks ago in order to find a good one. Still, that is alot better than having no backup at all.

What a lousy couple of days I've had... and I am in a depressed mood to begin with.

Monday, November 12, 2001

I feel like the events of last week (Laura's death and her funeral) are beginning to pass, and my life can start getting back to normal. Though a dark cloud of sadness still surrounds me, I now feel it slowly lifting, and see that I can move on and get back to work, and the daily routines of life.

I have good memories of my sister, I am glad that I was able to say my goodbyes to her, kiss her and hold her in those final days. She no longer suffers, and rests in a peaceful place. For that I can take comfort.

One thing that has changed is my appreciation of family and freinds. In the past, I had little tolerance for people, and perhaps felt that relationships were more of a risk than a benefit. This is common feeling with a lot of people who are immersed in computers, as I am. Seeing the support and love that surrounded Laura through her freinds and family, and how that sustained her for the last 3-4 years was truly an amazing gift. I can now see the importance of nurturing freindships and a caring family. Laura taught me this in her final days... thanks sister.

I hope the posts that will follow in the next few days, weeks and months will reflect more mundane day to day concerns. Politics, work, the weather, kids, etc.

Friday, November 09, 2001

Laura's funeral was a trying, difficult day. The intensity of the grieving was as great as the intensity of the love and support we all gave each other. I think we have come out this difficult ordeal with a certain peace.

To bring us out of our sorrow, were the wonderful people that surounded Laura during her days before and after her illness. Pam, Sue, and Candy. Candy's eulogy was incredible. I learned so much about my sister that I did not know, through Candy's sharing of her loving experiences with Laura.

And Joanne. When Joanne walked into the room at the Funeral Home, she brought the same spark that Laura could bring. She reminded me so much of Laura; the smile, the caring, .... no wonder they were so close for so many years.

The question remains if we will ever forge a relationship with Laura's children. Alex is a dear energetic, care-free kid with so much life ahead of him . And Daniel... so much like Laura in so many ways.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

My beautiful, darling sister passed away in her sleep last night after a long battle with brain cancer. Rest In Peace. I love you Laura.

Monday, November 05, 2001

The WorldSeries is over, and it was incredible. Great drama, with at least 3 of the games, come from behind victories, with the winning hit at the last at-bat. Great pitching, clutch hitting... many late nights awake and tired days following these games. A good diversion from the many heavy issues that we are faced with these days. Go D-Backs

Saturday, November 03, 2001

Visited Laura today. It was a heart breaker. No one should have to go through this. Not only her suffering, but those around her that love her... family and freinds. It was comforting to me to spend the time with my beloved sister. She is so weak now, that she doesn't have the energy to communicate. Most of the time was just spent embracing her. I hope she finds this a comfort to her, knowing that those around her love her and care for her.

Friday, November 02, 2001

Thinking a lot about death lately. My sister's declining condition and the tragedy of 9/11 still stays front and center in my mind. How would I react if faced with my own mortality? One never knows. I feel like I would be at peace with my death. I have had a good life, have a wife and family that cares for me, my own children will, I have no doubt, grow up to be responsible, caring, wonderful adults. We all must die at some point. If you make the best of the time you have on this planet, have people that care for you, and you in return care and love others... then your life has been worthwhile, and one can face death with a certain peace of mind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Did it! Bit the bullet and loaded Mac OS X. Very cool, very different. I feel like I have to learn how to use my computer all over again. It has a gorgeous look and feel to it.

The Power of Unix, the elegance of Macintosh.

Sunday, October 28, 2001

Went to the Apple computer store openning in WF Mall. Very nice store, well attendend, nicely laid out. Saw their new iPod MP3 player... neato. Lotsa geeks working the store, selling lotsa merchendise. A very creative and classy looking outlet as you would expect from Apple. After that, the whole family went to Tappa's, a mediteranian restaraunt, and stuffed ourselves with a late dinner of hummus, grape leaves, pita sandwiches... etc. Nice night.

Saturday, October 27, 2001

House still turned upside down. It will probably be that way for another week while the floors are being refinished. All the furniture is crammed into other rooms. Computers (and webcam) now in the bedroom. Rach, claire and me hangin together here. Tonite, will go to Westfarms. Dave and I will check out the new Apple computer store, and then go out to a late dinner somewhere in West Hartford - land of plenty.
Posting this message using BloggerBot, a cool new way of posting to your blog using AIM. You can create links, and style text with AIM's controls. Very easy and quick way to post. Nice work, Philip.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

I have been thinking more about the War on Terrorism again. (Why am I doing this?). How can we possibly win this thing. From what I have been seeing and reading in the news, its an impossible situation.

First, all of the Muslim people in that part of the world hate our guts and want us out. The ruling parties in that part of the world, have been mostly silent in supporting us because they are afraid of uprisings from their own people for supporting the US. Fifteen of the twenty two hijackers were Saudi's... supposedly one of the moderate nations that is supposed to support us. So Saudi Arabia is obviously a nation that harbors terrorists! Then I hear that 15,000 Pakistani's (again a country that is supposed to be our ally in this struggle) are volunteering to help the Taliban! Thousands of Pakistani citizens are demonstrating each day against their governments role in helping the US ferret out terrorists in Afghanistan. The Pakistan government is trying to put an end this war quickly in order to save their own skins.

Secondly, the Taliban is controlling the all-important propaganda war. I read today that the Taliban has convinced the poor starving Afghani's that the Americans have tainted the Humanitarian Food Drops with poison to kill the Afghani people, and these people actually believe it. How ass backward is that... we are getting hit with Anthrax, likely from mid east terrorists, and they are convinced that America is poisoning food for the relief of Afghani starvation. That is how effective these Muslim leaders have brainwashed their own people in order to keep control.

Other accounts that I have read, are convincing me that these people do not want to be freed from a Muslim Fundamentalist society. They feel that it is the US that is the infidels... the Evil Dooers!!! Its a culture gap, so wide that it is inconcievable to us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Lots goin' on these days. Actually had a decent day at work. Haven't said that in a long time. Things might even be turning the corner with a couple of good months under our belt... but that still remains to be seen. Other stuff goin' on... House is a wreck, as we are having the wooden floors refinished, and all the furniture is jammed into other rooms. Will have to move the webcam into the bedroom (hehe). Car (mini van) transmission bit the dust ($$$). Wanna get rid of that piece of crap as quickly as possible. I'll be looking for a used car.

Monday, October 22, 2001

Visited L again this weekend. Unfortunately, nothing to be optimistic about.

Driving home tonite, the dusk skies were an erie shade of redish grey. A light rain was falling, whisps of rain clouds coming in, streams of red lights from the traffic ahead, flocks of birds flying south. I was blasting fusion jazz on my CD player, while driving down the highway that winds through the rolling hills covered with red, yellow and orange autumn leaves... A very beautiful and sureal environment surrounded and engulfed me. NO, there were no drugs involved.

Saturday, October 20, 2001

I've been watching much too much news lately. For the last couple of weeks, its Anthrax, Anthrax, Anthrax. Same information over and over again. Syptmoms, exposure, comunicability. One "expert" after the next spewing the same old info. But now... small pox is creeping into the news picture. Does the media feel it needs to tweek up the scare factor in order to keep up the news interest?... or is their something going on here that the government is not yet willing to completely disclose??? Guess I'll just have to keep watching the news.... grrrrrrr.

Actually, if you can get the BBC World news (we get it on Public TV at 6 AM and 10PM) you will find much more balanced and in-depth reporting on both Afghanastan and other world issues, as well as coverage of the Anthrax cases reported in moderation. I highly recommend BBC for your news source.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Visited L today. The good news is that her seizures are much less frequent and she has a good full time caretaker. The house is cleaner and more organized than I have ever seen it. D, B and Dad have been instrumental in getting that done. On the negative side, L is much weaker than the last time I saw her, just a couple of weeks ago. Still, her demeanor is good, she has her wit and intelligence and is a delight to be with. L has an acceptance of the state of her condition, but a bit of sadness in her voice. I hope to spend as much time with her as possible over the next few months. I know that she will not get better, but hopefully she can spend this time free of pain, seizures and other aggrevating factors. That is the best we can hope for.

Monday, October 15, 2001

DSL... it is sweet. Downloaded this MacOS upgrade, a 71mb file in 17 minutes. Yeah baby! Modem would have taken all day, if I could get it at all.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

The end of a VERY stressful week. Don't want to whine, but work was a bitch. Covering for my production manager was tough enough, but also getting a new printer installed, other printers breaking down (can I get service?), more 401K woes, working with programmers on VP job, fighting with other production ee's... On top of that had a talk with sis Di, about L's worsening condition... just about hit the breaking point. Got it all outta my system Thursday night... now I feel better.

Oh yeah, more anthrax cases and warnings of pending terrorist strikes sure helps our state of mind.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

I am not usually one to applaud military action under most circumstances, but in this case, I feel good about how the US is conducting itself in Afghanastan. The Taliban government which not only harbors, but encourages terrorist acts is evil by any civilized standards. America must remained focused on:

1. Surgically dismantle the Taliban regime, while avoiding civilian casualties.
2. Disarm the notion that this is a war against muslims by keeping up the humanitarian aid, and conducting an information campagn with leaflets and radio broadcasts.
3. Finally go into Afghanastan and take out the terrorists.

It sure would help the cause if just one of the Muslim countries came out publicly and enthusiastically for the war on these terrorist groups.

Now, must we be concerned about a terrorist release of Anthrax? Just what we need... one more anxiety producing event that the media just loves to hype beyond all reason. Oye!

Saturday, October 06, 2001

I know this only shadows in importance to events going on around the world, but it is a thrill to see the Home Run record being broken once more by Barry Bonds - now 72 HR's. Funny how Ruth's record lasted 34 years, than Maris's record lasted almost 40 years before McGuire took the crown. Now Bonds has broken McGuire's record in only 3 years. Sammy Sosa has belted over 60 HR's the last 3 out of 4 years with little fanfare. It seems like hitting 60 HR's, which used to happen once in a generation, will now be commonplace. Incredible!
Party'ed last night. Went to a great jazz concert with C & D (thanks Di) to see Tribute to Miles and Coltrane, featuring Herbie Hancock-piano, Michael Brecker-sax, Roy Hargrove-trumpet. Layin' down the backbone were John Pattitucci-bass and Brian Blades on drums. First time I had seen or heard Blades... cat plays much like the late Tony Williams. Close your eyes, and you think you are listening to Miles great quintet from the late 60's. Incredible solo performance by Brecker doing Coltrane's classic ballad Naima. They also did a cool number melding the melody of Trane's Impressions phrased as Mile's So What. Great night. Got a chance to talk to Di over dinner about her day with L.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Have I mentioned that my sisters are angels, heroes, goddesses?!! They are some of the best human beings I have ever known. I wish I could do a fraction of what they are doing to support L in her time of need. I feel totally inadequate next to them. Thank you.
My depression is transitioning over to anger. Things I am hearing about L's treatment (or lack of it), problems at work (on several fronts), and of course the world situation are about to put me over the edge. Actually I think that anger is making me more productive. Beats being depressed, and tired.

Sunday, September 30, 2001

Visited my sis in Boston yesterday with my family. A somewhat sad visit. Her health has been failing, and it is evident that things will probably not get any better. It was frustrating to see the lack of involvement in her care taking by some of those close to her, but after thinking some more about the situation, perhaps they have all accepted the inevitable, and chose to have my sis, and her family lead a normal life as long as it can last. I will feel more at ease, if a home nurse could be available to look after her often during the day. She is so housebound with so little stimulation. I wish I was closer and could offer more help. My sister does have an odd peace about the whole situation, which is comforting. Perhaps she has transitioned from fighting for her life, to accepting what the future will bring. She has been through so much in the last 3 years.

Friday, September 28, 2001

TALES FROM THE GEEK SIDE
Dave had a left over 10 gig hard drive that I wanted to put in my iMac to replace the measly 4 gig drive that came with my computer. The iMac has to be the worse case design ever made by Apple. It was unbelievable what needed to be done to get to that hard drive. I had to:
  • Pull the chasis out of the case
  • remove the processor from the motherboard
  • remove the entire motherboard from the chasis
  • unplug every wire from the motherboard to any other piece of hardware in the computer
  • dissasemble a side panel from the chasis
  • remove the cd-rom drive
  • remove the hard drive (finally)
As bad as that sounds... its 10 times worse. Everything on the iMac fits together so tightly its like a goddamn Chinese puzzle!

Halfway through the project Dave wants to bail out on me to go party with his buddys. I wanted him to hang with me for support... because I was sure I could not get the iMac back together in one piece. To prevent him from leaving... I stole his car keys!!! Ha!

Two hours later... everything was back together, and the sucker booted up on the first shot. I got my 10 gigs, Dave got his keys back and that's how I spent this lovely Friday evening.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

OK, one great thing happened today to take my mind off things and lift my spirits...DSL. Finally, broadband Internet access hits the Laster household. Also, I returned that crummy Linksys router for a more Mac friendly one, Macsense/Xsense. Now I am crusin' at lightning speeds on the net and doing it wirelessly with 3 other 'puters on our home network. Is this a great country or what!
Haven't posted to the blog in a few days, and its not because I don't have anything to say. Its just all too depressing. With the terrorist disaster, the economy, my work situation, concern over the health of loved ones... there is just not much to be happy about. I cannot remember a time in my life where I have felt as concerned, somber, stressed, and have as little faith in what the future holds (both personally and on a global scale) as I do these days.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

Give to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund Today I gave... It feels good. I felt it to be a more sincere and worthwhile gesture than waving a flag or wearing a R,W&B ribbon. For me, all of that patriotism is not the appropriate response. I like what the Red Cross has done with blood drives and supporting the families of the dead and missing.

Instead of those flags I see popping up on web pages all over the Internet, I will put up a Red Cross banner on all my web pages with a link to the National Disaster Relief Fund. Who knows? Maybe one or two people will click on it and make a donation.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Birthday today... whoopi. Guess what, I feel the same today as I felt yesterday. Got the George Foreman Grill (Jumbo size) for a BDay pres. Yes, its just what I wanted! Cookin' tonite.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Its been over 1 week since the terrorists struck, and this event still dominates my being. I just can't get it out of my mind. I try to go about business, play around on the computer, even watch some baseball, but I constantly drift off thinking about what has happened, and fearing what is yet to come. I just can't feel happy again untill I sort all this out in my mind. Does anyone else feel this way?

Some interesting comments I have heard this past week:,
- My friend JM said "We should be looking for justice and peace". I agree, its Justice NOT vengence we should be after. I will not feel good about bombing Afghanastan to ashes. Over 6000 innocent lives have perished in NYC. I won't feel very good about thousands of more innocent lives lost... just because they are arabs.
-A British commentator "Americans brag too much. They brag about how much money they make, their cars and houses and boats, their way of life, the most powerful nation, the most freedom, their high standard of living." I think there is truth to that, and that is why we are hated by many. We should just shut-up and live a more humble existance.
- Frank Rich interviewed on Imus this morning said, Look at what dominated our news and media just one week ago. Gary Condit, Ann Haish, a handful of shark attacks, Survivor Series. We live in a dream world where we have been manufacturing so-called News stories to entertain us.

Americans lived in a fantasy world... Now this must change. We must look at the world and ourselves in a new way. We have to understand where we fit in, in relation to other countries and cultures and understand how our actions, personally, politically and economically effect the rest of this world which we live.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Got this Linksys DSL Router with Wireless AP. It was a ballbuster to set up to work with the iBook, but with a little help from Dave... got it working. Now I am surfing without wires attached, from anywhere in the house. Very cool. Now all we need is our DSL to be turned on. Can't wait. Last time I will buy a Linksys product though... lousy Mac support. Minimal Appletalk networking support. I read that better devices for the Mac are SMC or MacSence.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

I feel like I am finally getting over the funk of the terrorist attack, though I still am drawn to the TV reporting, and feel deeply for the families of the fallen. I was supposed to go on a trip with a couple of freinds to Baltimore for a weekend of baseball games at Camden Yards. Thankfully, Baseball cancelled all games this weekend. I was in no mood to do that. We will get a chance to do this at the end of the season. That would mean we will see Cal Ripken in his last game of his career.

Spent a great many hours moving web pages that were hosted on my Earthlink account to the provider that hosts Lasternet, in preperation for DSL as I will be dropping Earthlink. What a pain in the ass that was. All the corresponding links on so many pages needed to be changed and tested, and pages notifying that the site was moved were put up on the Earthlink sites. Only pages left to switch over are my Blogger ones which could be the most challenging.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Early this AM, I was watching the BBC's coverage of the WTC tragedy. I saw the European-wide gesture of 3 minutes of silence to mourn the passing of Americans killed in this disaster. It was followed by statements from Tony Blair, and other leaders from England, France, Belgium and other nations. The show of unification and support for Americans, and the resolve to fight against terrorism worldwide was very touching. This was, to me, a real bright spot in all the sadness I have been feeling. To see the country and the world finally come together to fight this scourge against humanity, to prevent something like this from happening again, is one positive thing to come out of this nightmare.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

I don't think that the magnitude of the WTC dissaster is being reported at this time. I could not sleep very well last night, thinking of the horror of 2 buildings, each 110 stories filled with people (maybe 50,000) imploding so quickly, with such force. Its hard to believe that the rate of survival could be very high. Over the next few days, we will experience the human tragedy and it will weigh heavy in our hearts. I listened to a hospital worker express surprise that only a few hundred patients have come into the hospital when they were expecting thousands. I think that statement foretells the fact that there are few survivors to be treated, and many many deaths. It is so foolish to build structures like the WTC (and there are many like that). Such concentrations of life in stuctures so vulnerable to terrorism, war, earthquake, fire, etc. Maybe we will learn from this. I think this is an event that will change things forever in many different ways.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

OMG! What horrific and tragic events have occured today. I can't think of any thing as significant as this happening in my lifetime since the assasination of Pres. Kennedy. Lunchtime I saw the film of the WTC collapsing, it litterally raised the hair on the back of my neck. There is so much going through my mind, that I need time to process all the info. It will probably take months to figure out what actually happened. Are we now at war? Who do we strike? Will we get support from the world community? How will this event change our lives and the political economic and social landscape of our country. This is really scarry!

Monday, September 10, 2001

First day back to work after business trip... and it was the most wacked out, screwed up day I can remember. The good, the bad and the ugly all happened today. Unfortunately there was more bad and ugly than good. I'll have to go back into work later tonite to repair our network after technical problems caused a major network switch to crash. I've got to remember... its just work, its just work,its just work.

On the positive side, we are getting DSL in our neighborhood (finally!), and I have already placed my order. By the end of the month, I'll be surfing at near T1 speeds (broke, but happy). Yipee! Thank you SNET... F*ck you ATT Cable!

Sunday, September 09, 2001

Back home from the trip. Thursday night was the hilite of the week. Started with the Chicago Chop House for steak and lobster tail dinner. Then later that nite went to my favorite blues club, Kingston Mines. Saw Charlie Love and the Silky Smooth Blues Band. They were kickin'. As Jay said, "They were so tight it hurt". Add to that, sushi lunch, couple of good games of Risk, and getting the Benji Awards from the PIA, and it was a pretty good trip. Oh yeah, it was a business trip, so we went to the Print01 Expo, PIA banquet, and a couple of sales calls too. I put up some pics of the trip for my work's web site.

Here is that big pic of me right near the entrance to the Xerox booth. I call it "Me and Mini-me".

Thursday, September 06, 2001

I'm here at the show. whoopi.My big ugly face is plastered all over the Xerox booth. What a joke! Saw some old print buddies (but Jimbo's not here yet, maybe tomorrow). Going on a sales call this afternoon, then hope to hit the Chicago Blues clubs this evening. Hope to party tonite.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Off to Chi-Town. I don't really look forward to business travel. Just a homebody. Will miss family and routine.

Monday, September 03, 2001

Message for this Labor Day
As the economy began to stall last year and companies laid off workers, chief executives of big corporations still got hefty pay raises and were rewarded for making job cuts.

There has been a particularly blatant pattern of CEOs benefiting at the expense of their workers. Chief executives of the 52 major companies that announced layoffs of at least 1000 employees earned some 80 percent more on average than CEOs at 365 big corpoations surveyed by Buseness Week magazine. The layoff leaders recieved an average $23.7 million compared with $13.1 million overall in this group. These top job cutters got an average increase in salary and bonus of nearly 20% compared with average raises for US wage earners of around 3-4% for salaried employees.

excerpted from Associated Press, by Marcy Gordon

Sunday, September 02, 2001

Last night, we had a great night at our minor league baseball park. Rock Cats rock! - Hey Gordon! Feelin' pretty good last night?

Saturday, September 01, 2001

Well, it looks like Danny Almonte is 2 years older than his peers on the Bronx Baby Bombers and his Little League opponents. Shame on the father of this child, and if the coach knew about it, shame on him also. Although I haven't heard anyone come out and say this, I believe that this situation is very common. I know it happens in leagues I have been involved with in Softball and Basketball, and I am sure it happens throughout childrens sports. I never liked it when I saw it happening, and often criticized coaches for doing it, but I know it has happened on some of my daughters teams (never in a team I have coached).

I wonder about the kids that may have had the experience of LL World Series semi's and finals, but were elliminated by Almonte's pitching in earlier rounds. These kids may have been denied the experience of a lifetime all because one parent or coach chose to *bend the rules* (aka cheat) in order for his team to win. Shame, Shame, Shame.

As a parent and sometimes coach of kids sports, I know how we all want to win (i am probably one of those parents that gets a bit carried away with winning), but these programs are for the kids... not us parents. Now its the parents and coaches who have put a black cloud over this Little League program... one of the greatest pastimes for kids all over the world, and an organization that has been important to kids for generations. Little League will survive. I hope that parents and coaches learn from this sorry event. I know it has given me a better perspective that playing fairly and making a good example for the kids, is far more important than winning ball games.

Friday, August 31, 2001

Xx, Take your stuff and get it out of my shop. I am tired of your bullshit. Lets end it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

First day of school for the kids. Its one of those life events that, still after 13 years, tugs at your heartstrings. It reminds you of the joy of bringing up a family and takes you back to your own childhood feelings of that day. This year is somewhat special, with Dave's last year in HS, and Rach's first. You could see in their faces the anticipation. For Dave, going in with the privelidged role as a senior... taking his own car to school and driving his little sister. For Rach, the excitement of a new school, new environment, new teachers, great expectations. She already has been going to tryouts for JV Volleyball, and expects to make the team.

We ran out this morning to take a picture of the kids going off to school. Of course they were mortified. The kids ran to Daves car, rolled up the windows and drove off as quick as possible!

Monday, August 27, 2001

Kinda strange weekend. In a bummed out mood over different things goin on. Didn't feel like going out much, so I pretty much vegged out. 'Cept for Friday... went to Pilot Pen Tennis. Saw Venus Williams win. That was cool. Also, enjoyed watching the Little League World series. The whole Daniel Almonte - Baby Bronx Bomber thing, and the Japanese team with back2back come from behind wins in the bottom of the last inning. Much more fun to watch these kids than to watch a regular pro game.

Friday, August 24, 2001

Its official! Our house is ours free and clear. One less big monthly payment. Yippee.. Of course, we are facing bills for vacation, insurance (one more car), years of college tuition, a career goin' down the tubes... Just shoot me!

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Its rediculous! There is this *news* media frenzy going on about the Condit Interview. This is a non-issue. Its no more news than your average People Magazine article. We know the guy is a slime ball from things that have occured over the last couple of months. Why is this NEWS now! With the economic crisis, Arab-Israeli conflict, Macedonia, and other news worthy events... how does this justify the amount of coverage dedicated to this non-issue. I don't get it!

Monday, August 20, 2001

She gave her heart and soul into an organization, and expected just one break... and it just doesn't happen. Job probably went to a total outsider. Life can suck sometimes.

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Despite the heavily pro corporate environment in government these days, there is still some Justice in the court system. You lose this round, Micro$oft.

Saturday, August 18, 2001

Not much to say lately. Its been a great week off chillin' away from work. Beach days... bought a car for Dave... today, visit folks and party with friends tonite.

Keep fingers crossed ... don't wanna say too much or might jinx her. More on this Monday.

Here is a pic of Daves Jeep.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

Here are some pics of our three days at the beach. VERY relaxin'. What is it that draws us to the sea? The hot sun and sand, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. OHHH it was fantastic. Ate plenty of lobster. Read Rog's book. Way to go Rog. Excellent. Read it in two days... couldn't put it down.

Monday, August 13, 2001

Off to the beach for a couple of days. Got all my electronics ready (cam, mp3, iBook, cell, palm...). Will try to post a couple of pics if I can get a connection. Also, will try to read Rog's book. Looking forward to some good summer reading. Lots a lobsta, I hope!

Friday, August 10, 2001

Finally, Vacation time is here. It couldn't come at a worse time, with all the crisis goin on at work... but its also a good time. I am stressed to the max, and emotionally drained. It seems so long since my last week off, I don't even remember what we did. We'll spend a few days at Rockport, and some time just chillin' at home. I already feel the stress melting away.
X may go straight to Hell... Do not pass Go... Do not collect $200K dollars.

Thursday, August 09, 2001

Helped my son buy his first car. Its a beauty. A '92 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. Its got a lot of miles, but it was kept up meticulously. The body has a new paint job, and the interior looks brand new. Its a six cylinder and 4 wheel drive. I helped out Dave some, but basically he paid almost 75% of the car himself. He has worked and saved for nearly a year at his job, and now he gets to reap some rewards. I am proud of him.

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Monday, took the day off to go with my son for his wisdom teeth extractions (all 4). He had all the anxiety and nervousness you would expect going into it. The procedure took only 1/2 hour. After that, surprise... instead of him being tired, in pain, swollen, grumpy, downed out from the Percoset... This kid was energetic, talkative, wanting to party... What is this kid made out of!! It was very strange. Spent the day driving all over town looking to buy a car for him to drive. I was exhausted ... and he was ready to party.

Back to work today. The X-men still have a gun to our head (going on our 2nd week). There has been some positive movement, but we are still down for the count.

Sunday, August 05, 2001

Spent practically the entire weekend watching Rach's Softball Tournament. Six games in two days. What a weekend. It was rainy, hot, humid, 7 hour days... Some might say that makes for one lousy weekend... Not so! This was such a wonderful tournament. These girls are such great kids, skillfull, competitive, fun loving. We had a blast rooting for them. They came together (kids and parents), peaked at tournament time, and went undefeated for all six games, winning the Championship. Check out the links to the pictures. It was a great time. Congrats to Rachel and all the Vernon Girls.

Saturday, August 04, 2001

I have learned that high level management in corporate finance is no better than mafia thugs. When push comes to shove, they will do the equivalent of breaking your knees, and holding a gun to your head till they get what they want.

Went to see Planet of the Apes last night. Another dissapointment. Screenplay was really lame. Ape makeup and mannerisms were cool, and a real good ending, but, its just a concept that you can't repeat twenty years later and have the same impact.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

A bitch of a commute to work this AM. Terrible traffic ... took over 1 hour to get here. Don't know why. Then almost plowed into a car in front of me. I don't know where my head was at... but, man, it was close. Good thing there was a shoulder on the road to swerve into, or I would have been toast! Need a shorter commute!

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Strange day. Xerox sends photographers to our shop for a photo layout for a marketing program. We are being annointed as "Xerox Heroes". Ironinc!...In one stroke they kiss our ass, and screw us up the ass. Go figure.

Sunday, July 29, 2001

This weekend, we were invaded by kids... little ones... a couple of 1 yr old twins, and a 4 year old (not to mention, mike, illene and geri). The kids kept us on our toes. You can't take your eyes off them for a second. They see something, they'll pick it up and throw it, or put it in their mouth. See some wires... they'll unplug em. Cats had tails pulled, legs stretched, lifted by their hind quarters.... They are very good kids... just regular 1 year olds. After less than 24 hours of this, claire and I are beat! It was fun though... just tiring!

Saturday, July 28, 2001

I have got to see Planet of the Apes this weekend. Hopefully it will make up for the dissapointing AI.

We'll have a house full of people this weekend. Gerri, Mike & Illene, and the kids Christian and the twins. Should be fun. Glad they are coming.

Friday, July 27, 2001

Today, work ended on a very depressing note. I am just glad its friday, and I have a couple of days to get my mind off it.
Had a big discussion with friends at a bar last night about today's music. What I object to in much of hip-hop and punk is the glorification of gangsta-ism, pimpin', street violence, gay bashing, mysogeny, guns... etc. I understand that a lot of this is the expression of rebellion of today's youth. Music has been the platform for that for generations. BUT, how about rebellion for positive social change. Remember the songs of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, U2 and others? Unfortunately, the discussion got ugly, and one person made the accusation that he was being attacked thereby making himself the "victim", diverting the discussion away from the issue, and making it personal. Anyway, it was never meant as an attack against any individual at the table... only against the music makers.

Speaking of music - My mp3 player is way cool! Hopped to a couple of libraries to borrow CD's, rip em to mp3's, so I have plenty of tunes to load up on my player.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Ouch! Doc cut me a second belly button. Now all kinds of wierd goo is seaping out of the drainage canal now installed. I am waiting for a scene from Aliens where some creature will soon explode from my abdomen.

Got my new mp3 player. Putzed with it and my computer all night, much to the dismay of wifey... with whom I ingored all evening.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

In a somber mood. Last night, learned that my sis, Laura's cancer has returned. After many months of optimism that it had not progressed, a new tumor has been found. She will undergo treatment immediatly. I am not one that puts much stock in prayer. But prayers or positive thoughts and energies are in order today.

I am also off to the Doctors today. I have had a cyst of some kind on my stomach that recently has been changing and irritating me. Sure its nothing.

Sunday, July 22, 2001

Weekend recap
SAT
- Mom & Dad over for lunch (they look great - but tired).
- Bought a beautiful piece of furniture (more on that later).
- Dinner with Amy and Gordon. They are great friends. Good and generous people. Been our best friends for nearly 15 years. Sushi was great... and they picked up the check (thank U gift for coaching the kids in softball). We'll get 'em next time.
SUN
- Drove Rach to Providence College for BBall camp. Spoke with Carla Berube (one of our favorite UCONN players and ABL Blizzard too).
- Set up our new hutch (buffet), enclosing all our stereo equipment, CD's, and printer in the living room.
- Ripped a bunch of old Vinyl records to MP3. Need to retire my turntable and records. Weather Report, Shakti, Pat Methany are first to go.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

There are hundreds of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts stores in the US. There are none in Connecticut, Massachusettes or Rhode Island. Bummer!

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Another pilgrimage to Macworld Expo NY. Always a great time. New OS X 10.1 is shaping up nicely. Lots of new apps and stuff for it. Getting anxious to try it. New iBook is hot! Saw some great software, printers, cameras, MP3 Players...bought one!. A great day in NYC with David. Best of all... had a Krispy Kreme!!! WOW!! Took some pics. Maybe I'll put em up this weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Time to weigh in on the Chandra Levy matter. This IS a legitimate news story. Rep. Condit's affair with a 20 year old intern, while not illegal (in fact, now seems commonplace), is still not appropriate for a high ranking government official. That in itself, however is not newsworthy. What is... is the witholding of information from the police, and conspiring with his staff and others to withold and even lie to officials about his affair. What is amaizing to me is that other members of congress are not clamoring for his resignation or censure. Tom DeLey actually comes to his defense. That is despicable.

On the other hand, while this is a story worth reporting it is obviously being blown way out of proportion. FOXNews in particular is just playing this to no end... trying to make another OJ story out of this. Every news cast starts with an opening screen, VANISHED: CHANDRA LEVY, and sound track that has the feel of an afternoon soap opera. Now, they are playing up this incident where a Condit staffer spoke of Chandra's "one night stands". Its bad enough that a staffer made such accusations, but the manner in which Fox News has been exploiting this, makes them (Fox) just as guilty of being slime balls.

Monday, July 16, 2001

Weekend in review. Went berry pickin'. Neat place. No pesticides... uses netting to keep out birds. Lotsa blueberry in the house. Sunday went to a Daylilly farm. Just someones house in Somers. Beautiful garden of all daylillies. Bought some, planted 'em. There huge. Went to see FINAL FANTASY : THE SPIRITS WITHIN with kids and Gagne kids. Visuals are stunning and awsome. Story, though complex was a little weak. You have to like this movie, though just for the animation.

Week ahead should be an eventful one. On Tuesday... opportunity knocks... Thursday, MacWorld expo... one of my favorite days of the year.

Saturday, July 14, 2001

It looks like both parties of Congress have worked in concert to prevent a vote on campaign reform. The most important legislation regarding cleaning up our election system is being squashed by a system that feeds on influence pedling through campaign contributions. Of course, this issue is hardly reported at all and is completely overshadowed by the Chandra Levy story. Are our priorities screwed up or what!
Celebrated David's 17th birthday yesterday. Went out as a complete family unit to dinner at Dave's venue of choice... Outback Steakhouse. Except for the cheese fries, dinner was unexceptional... but never mind that.

David is exceptional. I know I constantly give him a lot of shit, and am awfully critical at times... but this kid is extremely bright, hard working (except school), and has very good judgement. Basically, he is one teenager that has his head screwed on correctly, and for that, I am grateful and proud of him. Love ya Dave!

Oh, yeah... It was an absolute pleasure having Dave and Rach with us for dinner last night. These are great kids with great personalities, that are just fun to have around. Had some good laughs, which is just what was needed.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

My company's web hosting service, BiznessOnline blew off our DNS entry, thereby making miller-johnson.com dissapear from the Internet. Why this happened, I will not say... but, it made my day a living hell. No email, no FTP, no Web site - since yesterday morning. OK, so someone here messed up... but they were real fuckers about it. BiznessOnline may go to hell.

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Testified in a hearing in front of the Dept. of Public Utilities. At issue, is AT&T's breach of contract, by not providing cable internet access to the Vernon, CT region. The point I tried to make is that AT&T has lied... they have acted in bad faith time and time again, and therefore should have the cable franchise revoked and given to another cable company. Only three people showed up to testify from the community, myself, a school teacher and someone from the Economic Development Committee. Not a great showing. I was not very happy with my own presentation... just couldn't hit my public speaking stride. Oh well. On the way home, I kept thinking... what in hell am I doing? There is world hunger, threat of nuclear war, an AIDS crisis... and I have chosen Broadband Internet access as my BIG ISSUE to make a stand on... What a geek!
The All-Star game helps me reflect on why I am so enthralled with baseball. I will be the first to admit... the game can be boring. It is not the fast paced excitement of this MTV age (like basketball). Its a pastoral game, ever so rich in tradition. Its a game of summer, played on grass in the sun or on a warm summer night. It develops throughout the season, or over many seasons, like a good novel.

This year we have many great stories unfolding. Will Bonds break McGuire's HR record? Cal Ripkin... the Ironman, homers in his last All-Star Game. The Red Sox, once again will make a run for the World Series after being denied for nearly 100 years. Great Japanese players like Ichiro are taking the US Major Leagues by storm. Baseball is a game to be savored.

UGGHHH! I'm a little spaced today after last nights MJBL Fantasy Baseball trade meeting and all-star game at Rookies sports bar. A good time had by all. The suds were flowing, the hot wings were HOT!!!, and the trades were goin down fast and furious. I was really hurting last night and the AM.

Sunday, July 08, 2001

Just realized that I never made an entry about our Softball party. Last weekend (july 1), good friend Amy P had all the softball team over for swimming and pizza. then I presented them with trophies, and a "Year In Review" sheet that had all our scores, stats, etc. It was a great ending to a great fun season. Its also the end of my Softball Coaching career.
Nice day at the beach at LI Sound yesterday. Connecticut beaches are not the prettiest, or cleanest... But the sun was out, the sand was warm beneath the feet, and the company was great to be with. A great day with pressmans, gagne's, and folks. Thanks Barb.

Spent a few hours doing a minor revision to my home page. Changed the pic, to one of my favorite shots of dave's sillohette in front of the Pollack painting at the MOMA. Any change to my home page is a challenge because I code it entirely by hand to keep it W3C compliant, and to make iCab smile!

Friday, July 06, 2001

Lately, there has been a lot of traffic to my movie review page. Although it was intended for mostly the Laster family's viewing pleasure, I have had a few submissions from net surfers everywhere. Pretty cool! I should really do something to spiff up the page, and enhance its functionality.

Thursday, July 05, 2001

Its been a real nice holiday week. Starting with a BBQ at our house last weekend with the Gagne's. Fireworks Monday night in Vernon, another nice BBQ at Diana's with Barb and Rog showing up. Bought a recliner at RandF. Experimented with recipes for some kick-ass Marqueritas. Relaxed a lot with some great weather.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Once again... I have that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that all is not well. I have no tolerance for others... just in one of those grumpy moods. Maybe it has to do with the funeral that I will attend tonite. Anyway, a day off tomorrow for 4 JUL. Hope to go to the beach or something. I already know that Thursday will be a ball-buster day at work.

Monday, July 02, 2001

This review of the movie AI sums up my feelings. Reviewer Mary Pols also did not like the ending, but says..."A.I. should be seen and judged individually. I didn't love it, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, either." ... me too!

Saturday, June 30, 2001

I went to see Spielberg's new film AI on opening night. I was so psyched, as this film seemed like it would be a classic sci-fi flick. But it wasn’t to be... What a lame ending. It started out so freaking great, and then got mired in this *Pinochio* shit that just became tedious. Read my entire review here. If you have seen AI, I'd be interested to get your impressions.

Friday, June 29, 2001

Just informed that a co-worker, one of the nicest, sweetest individuals you could know, just passed away. He had been fighting cancer for just a couple of months. The cancer won. He was about my age. Life is as fragile as it is precious. I will miss you, Lee.
I feel alot better today than I did at this time yesterday. To all those that I told to *Go to Hell*... sorry 'bout that! Today is Friday, and I really look forward to this weekend. Need a couple of days away from MJ to unwind. Dying to see the movie AI. Since wifey is goin out wit da girls, maybe I can hook up with a buddy to go to the flicks. How bout it Kirk, John, Al, Gordon...somebody!
Sucks... doesn't it? Its not surprising in todays political climate, steeped in corporate quid pro quo. Micro$uck's court imposed breakup has been overturned. The good news is that the decision did reaffirm that Micro$hit IS a monopoly, and has used its status to crush its competion in an unfair way. It is just the penalty phase that has been overturned and remanded to a new trial and new judge. Like I say, in today's Pro-Business (therefore anti-consumer) environment, it is unlikely that Micro$tink will get any meaningful penalty out of this... we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 28, 2001

I could use some good news... well here it is. Miller Johnson Digital has won the prestigeous Benjamin Franklin Award. Actually we won 2 Bennys. That is quite a feat. For those of you not in the printing industry, the Bennys are to printing, what the Oscars are to the Film industry. You are lucky to win one in a lifetime... we won 2 in one year. The icing on the cake is that although MJ entered in over dozen catagories, It was the Digital pieces that won BOTH awards.
Watch out... I am in a pissed off mood. I just feel like everything is NOT right. Kids ignore me, wife rejects me. I feel fat and don't fit in my clothes. I am uncomfortable with my own body. People around me irritate me. Work is spiraling downhill and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone comes to me to get things done, but when it is time to reap some rewards... I am passed over (that goes for in and out of work). So... everyone can just go to hell. .... have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

I know, I shouldn't be whining... I've got it pretty good here... but I have this inescapable feeling that I must move on. My expectations and aspirations will never be achieved as long as I remain at this position. Then there is the security, or lack of it, unless something really big can cause a turn-around. Opportunities at this venture have come and passed me by, there is no reason to think that those types of opportunities will ever be presented to me here (and maybe, with the state of things, I wouldn't want them anyway). Therefore, I will forge ahead and seek new ground. Change is good.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

Listening to the Doors. What a great band they were. Such a unique sound. It rocks-takes you back to some good, crazy ole times! Think I'll spend the day listening to 60's psychedelic rock. Jimi Hendrix anyone?

Saturday, June 23, 2001

Went to see Lara Croft: Tomb Raider last night with Dave... It was pretty bad. Only redeeming features are the opening sequence... and Angelina Jolie's hot looks. That opening sequence did have the feel of the game. Her movements were like run/run/duck/roll/jump/flip...etc-if you've played or seen the game, you know what I mean. After that its all down-hill. I think I actually dozed off for a little bit during the flick.

Nice to go out with my son to the movies. We went to the new cinema in Hartford. Bit of a rough neighborhood, and tough looking crowd, but the seating and sound system is awesome.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

If I can be a proud poppy for a moment... just got back from Rachel's Scholastic awards night. She raked 'em in. Here is a sampling. The coveted Whitlock for French, an honored Bonano Mathematics award, the Presidents award (signed by dubya), and the creme de la creme... the VCMS Scholar award (high honors in all 12 semesters at Middle School). Where did she get such smarts? Actually, she worked REAL hard. What a girl!

BTW, by popular demand, the webcam is back. Dave confiscated it to do god knows what, but I stole it back.
Rach is as bubbly as freshly poured champagne, and its infectious... it has lifted my spirits this AM. She is excited about school ending and the anticipation of High School next year. She spent all night talking to her freinds comparing HS schedules, and all morning in the car reading notes written to her in her yearbook ... its a joy to see her so excited.

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

THE situation worsens... both for myself, and the enterprise. I feel almost totally out of the loop. Disgusted and disenchanted, I have been exploring new pursuits, one could be encouraging. Sorry for being so cryptic... but must be carefull.

Despite that, I got into developing a data format for a customer DB that can be easily updated, merged, synced with handhelds, exported for mail merge... and the application is free on all Mac's. I want to roll it out quickly, but need support from management. We'll see if I get it.

Sunday, June 17, 2001

Its been a full weekend. On friday night, I went to Mets Yankees game with three buddies from work. Great game, great fun, but Mets lost 5-4 on a stupid base running play in the 8th inning by Mikey that would have tied the game. Man, I am beginning to hate those Damn Yankees. Anyway, Shea Stadium was packed, and the house was rockin'. On the way to NYC though, I hit a log that was laying in the road, and blew a tire. That was a bummer, but the rest of the night was a blast.

Got home at 2AM, and woke up a few hours later to take off for a 6.5 hour drive to Rachacha for the wedding of one of my nephews. I really hate weddings. I think bridesmaids outfits look stupid, as do their buffant hairdos. I hate the shlock Karen Carpenter and Kenny G music they play. I'm tired of the bride and groom cutting the cake and smashing it in each others face. I don't appreciate everyone telling us to dance when I don't feel like it. Then, you always have that one pissed off relative that doesn't like the seating arrangement. I just don't like these affairs. I guess I am just a social dweeb... I am glad everyone else enjoys themselves, though! ;-)

Writing this blog while driving home. Between NYC and Rochester trips, I will have logged twenty hours in the car this weekend (though C and D did almost all the driving). Oh, yeah... its Fathers day... happy, happy!

Friday, June 15, 2001

Tonite! Going back to Shea Stadium for Mets v Yankee game! One of the toughest tickets in NYC, and I got 4 of 'em. Going with some guys at work, and in our Fantasy Baseball league. Should be a BLAST!

Thursday, June 14, 2001

A "must read" article -- The Seattle Times: Microsoft and AOL duel for the Internet crown. In short Microsoft is trying to control your access to the internet with its technology, while AOL is trying to control the content through its acquisition of Time Warner... the worlds largest media provider. Both companies want to control the Internet by limiting your choices of what you can see, and how you will see it... and pay for it. A POX ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES!

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

OK, the softball season is over, and so is my 5 year career as a coach of U14 girls softball. I have to admit, I feel a sadness and a huge void now that it is over. This year was such a joy for me (and I hope the girls). This last year I was fortunate to have the greatest group of kids to coach. The enthusiasm, joy, dedication, fun, skill, intensity was so evident you could feel it all around you. We placed second in the league with a 9-2 record, beating every team but one. Those 2 games could have gone either way. There is no doubt that we had the best team overall... best hitting, fielding, baserunning. That "other" team had one great pitcher that no one could hit--thats all. By the end of the season, our team was awesome. We won one game by 40 runs, and the last game against one of the better teams 16-4.

Like I said, the end of the season creates an emptiness in my being. The right thing to do is to fill that void with renewed enthusiasm towards my professional life. I will try to place that same energy into my career... whether that means at my present job, or in a search for new opportunities.

Monday, June 11, 2001

Listening to CNN live about the McVeigh execution. Its such a strange thing. I feel a compelling urge to listen, though I am sickened by it. I doubt if this act will heal the wounds of the families of the victims, or bring closure to their suffering. I don't see how this accomplishes anything positive at all. Yet I feel the man deserves to die.

Sunday, June 10, 2001

Got my hair chopped yesterday. I had this strange feeling since Friday, that if I cut my hair, I would release some of the negative energies that were making me feel down. So, early Sat morning, I had my hair buzzed real short. I think it worked. Nothing but peach fuzz on the top now.

Full day yesterday. Besides the buzz cut, Mom, Dad, Di and Andy came over for lunch... went to "A Day at the Park"... all the kids from town were out and we watched Andy in a break dance show. Then went to a minor league baseball game (New Britain Rockcats). Rach and friend went with us. It was Blues Brothers night. Everyone at the ball park got free Blues Bros. Sunglasses, and Blues Brothers look-a-likes entertained between innings. It was a gas!

Friday, June 08, 2001

I am in a bummed out mood. Not real happy about my professional situation. Can't be to explicit here. I feel a deteriorating situation exists. My concern is in two areas. First, the state of this company in general. Second, my own place in the company's hierarchy. The effect of all this is it is more difficult to be motivated, and to stay on task... a general melaise and depression sinking in.

It is Friday, though, and I should try to get pumped up for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Bought Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon DVD last night. We watched it 2 times, switching audio between Manderin, English, and Director narrative. IMHO, this is one of the greatest films of all time. A perfect balance between Asian mysticism, romance, martial arts, gogeous music, beautiful cinematography. I can't get enough of watching the fighting scenes. They are more like an intricate modern ballet than martial arts. Amazing... no computer generated special effects. All done with wires. A wonderful, wonderous movie.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Ahhh! Our girls softball team wins 44 - 4. The game was a real embarrasment. It was actually uncomfortable playing such a blow out. The game ended in the top of the 4th inning by the other team giving up... not wanting to play anymore. There are some nice pictures of Rach playing ball on our Photo Page that I added yesterday.

Monday, June 04, 2001

Weekend Update - Softball win against Stafford 18-1; Shampoo basement rug, cleaning out weeks of sick cat vomit and poop (aren't you glad to know that!); Sushi, Borders and Books - Excellent!; Drive a bucket of balls with David... more Sushi; Mow lawn in the rain; Help out at softball practice for summer league.

Sunday, June 03, 2001

If music is a big part of your life you have GOT to check out the All Music Guide site. I've killed a few hours here over the last couple of days. Its got album reviews, biographies, discographies, music maps... etc. Its a site that is put together very well for just surfin' around.

Last night... Sushi. Tried rainbow roll and spicy salmon hand roll... mmmmmm! C says "sushi good... blogging bad".

Saturday, June 02, 2001

Here is a first hand account of the Living Colours, Kaycee hoax. Its a pretty amazing tale. I had seen the Living Colours blog the day after it was announced she had died. I read back a few months of posts, and was actually moved by it all. At first, I chuckled when I found out it was a hoax... but now I see how elaborate it was, and how many people really got sucked into it.

Now, I am an admitted web geek, but its hard for me to imagine all these folks who have such deep emotional relationships with people that exist to them only in cyberspace. whew!

Friday, June 01, 2001

Long time... no blog. Just not much to say. Get up, go to work, come home, veg out. Only excitement these day's are our softball games. On Wed. we won 18-1 without 2 of our best players. Rach hits monster HR. Speaking of which, Rach's school team season is over. She hits 2 dingers in her last game. Our travel team has another game tonite in Stafford, one of the better teams. Looking forward to that. Nothing planned for the weekend. Will have to go out to a movie or dinner or both... any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Rachel got home from Quebec around 9 PM last night. We (me, claire and rach) sat and talked for about an hour. She went through her entire trip with us, and told us every little detail... everything she saw, ate, friends she made, etc. While she spoke, and we drank our tea together, I kept looking at her and thinking how grown up she is, how intelligent, poised and beautiful she has become.

Monday, May 28, 2001

Slow paced relaxin' weekend. Caught a couple of movies. Went to bonsai exhibit at Eliz Park... very interesting. Gotta give this another try (1st attempt at bonsai failed miserably). Ate greek food at Tapa's. Stopped in at Di's. This morning, updated some web pages, and just hangin out. Sun's out for the first time. Maybe it'll stay that way - will have to mow lawn if it does. Pretty much a kidless weekend. Rach away in Quebec (returns tonite), and Dave has discovered Drivers License = Freedom.

Saturday, May 26, 2001

Visited Mom & Dad today. I brought some Boston Chicken for lunch. It was a very nice time. So many people bitch about their parents... truth is, I really enjoy spending time with them. We always have good conversation, I enjoy their company. They are never judgmental. I appreciate their depth of experience and knowledge in so many things. They are just plain good people. Thats why they are so well liked by those around them. I love my parents dearly.
Probably the best collection of Blogs is the ageless project. Its a collection of blogs referenced by the age group of the authors. Its a great idea and a great site. Check out the 1950's for mine.
My latest *Waste of Time* is reading other peoples weblogs. It an addicting pastime (and I guess Voyeuristic). Best way to do this is to go to Weblogs.Com or to Blogger and click on one of the Most Recently Updated links. You have to wade through a lot of junk to find something good, but its kinda fun. Already wasted 1 1/2 hours this AM doing this.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Woke up early this AM to drop off Rachel at the bus for her trip to Quebec, Canada with her french class. Its her first time on an extended (4 days) trip away from us. She was really psyched about going. No doubt we will miss her and worry about her! On the other hand, she is thrilled to get away from us. So it goes!

Oh happy day. Laura got her MRI and it shows no further tumor growth. A great relief. Maybe she has beaten this thing.

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Read this little tidbit in Emily's Blog. -- How true, and very well stated.
"Dilbert's "Salary Theorem" states that "Engineers and scientists can never earn as much as business executives and sales people.

This theorem can now be supported by a mathematical equation based on the following two postulates

Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
Postulate 2: Time is Money.

As every engineer knows Power = Work / Time

Since Knowledge = Power
Time= Money
Knowledge = Work / Money.

Solving for Money, we get:
Money = Work / Knowledge.

Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of work done.

The Conclusion: The less you know, the more you make."
Listened to Sen. John McCain on the Imus show this morning. What a refreshing anti-politician this guy is. It made me reflect on what a lousy pair of candidates the two parties threw at us last election. Al "Cinton Butt-Boy" Gore and George "Corporate Bought and Sold" W Bush. Shame upon this country for getting to this state of affairs. Anyway, McCain (Rep.) actually defended Jeffords switch to the Dems, saying that the cause of this is the Republican strong arm tactics to try and force its members to toe the party line and to stifle any descent. That is what drove Jeffords to his decision. McCain also reiterated his views that Corporate money and special interests have corrupted the system, and until that is addressed, the will of the voters will never be heard, and the American people will be disenfranchised.

I applaud Jeffords for his move. It will make a tremendous effect on policy making, with all the senate committee leadership and the majority leader moving away from Republicans. Hopefully a Bush backlash has begun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Beware Road Warriors - David got his drivers license.
Some significant job cuts have occured at work. There were good reasons for doing so... still you don't like to see it happen. Fortunately, it did not affect me or my department, since we have downsized recently. I wonder about some organizational changes that have happened, and ponder my own future at MJ. Need to speak with SM about all this later today.
A tragic accident happened over the weekend to a Rockville HS kid at a post prom party at the beach in RI. The kids had dug a 6 foot hole in the sand, and were diving into it. Matt Gauruder dove head first into the pit, and the sand collapsed around him. The other kids (there were lots of friends with him) tried to dig him out, but the sand kept coming in around him. When they finally pulled him out, he had been buried for over 10 minutes. He was rushed to the hospital and kept on life support for some time, but they finally pulled the plug yesterday.... chilling. 17 year old kid, just horsing around. How does it affect the kids that were there with him and tried to save him.

Despite the tragedy at my son's school, it is a big day for Dave. He is running for class President (if they have the election) today, and he also has his test for his Drivers License. GOOD LUCK DAVID!

Oh yeah... we won in softball last night 15-2. Rach hits HR and double. I had a couple 6th grade kids from slow pitch playing up on our team. Sarah played an incredible defense in the infield.

Monday, May 21, 2001

Rented the movie "Antitrust". Pretty good flick. Target audience was young computer geeks... but none the less, it was an enjoyable techno thriller. I knew I would like the movie as soon as I saw the openning credits scroll by as HTML code - nice touch. The plot is a fictionalized Bill Gates taking over the world scenario, and a young hot shot programmer screwing up his plans. The computer scenes were fairly realistic for this kind of movie. Lots of Unix stuff.

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Saw a wonderful movie last night called "Widow of St. Pierre". Sad ending. French flick with subtitles. Highly recommend it. It was a very nice evening of movie and going out for a drink afterwards with my honey.

Unfortunately, killed 4 of 5 fish in my fish tank. I have had a terrible problem with green cloudy water, so I siphoned out most of the tank yesterday and refilled it. I think I contaminated some of the water with a little soap or something. One fish and one sucker fish survive.

Saturday, May 19, 2001

I've been listening to a lot of Miles lately. I love Miles Davis. The man was the greatest.
  • Listen to BIRTH OF COOL -. Strange arrangements, tuba's, french horns... and Miles sensitive sylistic soloing.
  • Hear KIND OF BLUE - maybe the greatest jazz album ever recorded. Miles has a way of kickin back... holding back the beat, creating a strange tension with his playing.
  • Dig MILES SMILES - the great quintet from the 60's. Miles, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Experiments into new rhythms, compositions, soloing, creating moods with his music different than anything done before or since. Tony Williams dancing on the symbals. Footprints is my favorite Miles cut.
  • Groove to BITCHES BREW. The landmark album that started Jazz Fusion. Chick, McLaughlin, Zawinal, Herbie, Airto. Electric, African, Exotic, Percusive, Creative, Inspiring.

All very cool stuff. Get a hold of these CD's. Listen

Friday, May 18, 2001

OK, nothing happened today as predicted. "Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep" (Crosby Stills and Nash [actually I hate CSN]). Its too bad that a good part of my life must exist in a state of paranoia... but such is life. That feeling is not without basis, so I contiue to stay on guard.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Did you ever get that feeling.... something bad is about to happen? A knot in the pit of your stomach, a calm before a storm, a bad taste in your mouth, a tense feeling that can't be relaxed? Something may happen tomorrow. Question is, will it happen to me or those around me (or both).

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Lost "the big game" against TG's team. Feel like we got robbed when two clear outs were called safe, prolonging the inning where TG scored mucho runs. We started to come back, but couldn't make up the deficit. Rach hit a key double clearing the loaded bases for 3 RBI's. Our girls played great except for a couple of defensive lapses. Mary is one hell of a great pitcher, and we still managed to score 7 runs.
I haven't updated much due to time constraints and some blogger problems.

Here is an update. Softball: Big game tonite against other Vernon Team. This is always a close, hard played game... looking forward to some good stiff competition. All our other games have been blow-outs.Work: Situation bad... maybe getting worse. I will know more by end of week. ATT Cable: Met with them Monday evening... These guys are scum. IMHO their only mission is to maximize revenues while investing as little as possible in the system and they will do so with complete disregard to the Agreement they signed giving them the 13 year franchise rights.

Sunday, May 13, 2001

Mothers Day - Its been a really tough year for my Mom. Since the stroke about one year ago, she has had to come back physically through a difficult period of physical therapy. She succeeded in getting most of her physical strength back, but the stroke has paid its toll mentally. Mom's short term memory is weakening. Still, it is hopefull to see she still has her wits about her, and her quick sense of humor. It was great talking with her this morning. With age and health becoming an increasing factor, she is still a strong woman. Love you, Mom.

Had a nice day with our family. Took a ride to the shore line for a great lobster dinner at Abbots.

Watched 60 Minutes. They had a segment on the execution of Timothy McVeigh. I am generally against the Death Penalty... but if anyone deserves to know the horror of taking their last breaths as a consequence of their actions its McVeigh.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Had a day away from the office today. Quick trip to Boston with R & S to look at some digital print equipment. Learned some new stuff which is always nice, but realistically, I don't think we will be buying any new presses at this time.

While away, poor RD gets buried with work... lots of high pressure stuff too. The guy is a trooper.

Meanwhile, SB last night. We win again 11-4. Brought in some younger players as subs. They did great for first timers. Lots of fun watching them light up with excitement playing with the older girls.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

To help get Cable Internet access for the town of Vernon (ATT is trying to weasle out of their commitment to do so), I drafted a letter to the DPUC, and ran it past an attorney friend of mine. He edited my letter, and this is the result. Gordon... you are freakin brilliant!!! I have read this letter a dozen times and each time it just amazes me. GREAT JOB. Thanks a bunch. It goes out registered mail tomorrow.
Haven't blogged in a couple of days. I have been consumed with battling ATT cable and trying to work within the groundrules set by the State of CT DPUC. Its been quite an education. I have talked with numerous officials from ATT, DPUC, Town Council members, press, etc. whew!!!

Meanwhile, another SB game, won 37-9 or something like that. Rach hits another HR... incredible. I had a few catches with her this weekend. The girl throws harder and more accurately than the old man. I had to endure her telling me that I throw like a panzie! Guess in my old age, I just don't have it anymore (probably never did).

Sunday, May 06, 2001

Just got back from Mike Stern/Dennis Chambers concert in little ole' Vernon of all places. This concert Rocked! Absolutely Jazz Fusion at its best. Incredible. Stern is my new favorite guitarist. It was also a real pleasure to experience this with my son. We were both blown away.

Ooops, almost forgot to mention our visit to Mom and Dad's yesterday. A great day... got to see Barb. We are so very fortunate to have such close family ties. This extends through three generations. My kids are so wonderful with my folks. They are thoughtful intelligent outgoing, warm hearted people. Its incredible and rare that grandparents, parents, and kids can appreciate each others company as we do.

Here it is, my recent emails to ATT regarding cable Internet access. A service that they had promised in the Franchise Agreement, that they are now reneging on. Copies of these emails also went to the Department of Public Utilities (DPUC).

Saturday, May 05, 2001

For about 2 years, I have been trying to find out when our region will get cable modem access (we are too distant from phone co. for DSL). The cable companies have been ignoring my requests, lying to me, stonewalling me. About 8 months ago I found a contact that provided me with the Franchise agreement that shows AT&T *Broadband* was required to provide this access by May 22, 2001. All this time, an AT&T official told me that they will make this deadline. Now that the deadline is less than 3 weeks away, AT&T is trying to get out of there responsibility because they do not have the capital to invest in Cable Internet. What bullshit. They signed this agreement that granted them a 13 year monopoly on cable service in this area, and now they are trying to weasel out of their commitments. I have contacted the DPUC (public utility commission), and so far they seem to be interested in following up on this. I will also contact the local newspaper next week... This could get interesting. I may post some of the communications with AT&T and the DPUC up to the web.

Friday, May 04, 2001

It's Friday - Yeeha! The load has lightened at work. Alot less pressure and more manageable workload. Very interesting conversation this morning with AK. Perhaps some interesting and lucrative oportunities may come my way... who knows.

Meanwhile, Dave's condition is not healing all that well. He sees doc later today. Rach not feeling all that well either. Have a big game tonite under the lights. Hope enough girls show up to field a team.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Dave seems to be feeling better. SB game tonite, won by a lopsided 24-3. Rach hits another HR.

Work continues to piss me off. I am getting no support. In fact when I bring up the subject the result is even worse.

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Update: Dave had the cyst drained. He will need surgery, but not until this current bout is healed. Rach had a great SB game, hitting 2 home runs as we won 25 - 8.

Monday, April 30, 2001

Dave's Pilonidal cyst has *reared* its ugly head (arh arh... get the pun). Poor kids in a lot of pain. Seeing the doc this PM. Hope that it doesn't require surgery, but that is a distinct possibility. If this leads to more missed school, that complicates his situation much more. I'll leave early to pick up Rach to go to our SB game while Dave is at the doctors. Busy, busy, busy at work...life is soooo hectic.

Sunday, April 29, 2001

A glorious day and a hot week ahead. Weather is sunny and warm for the entire week. We have three games this week and Rachel has 5. Try to get in a practice today for pitchers. It would be a great day for it.

Saturday, April 28, 2001

First softball game of the season and we lost. Not a bad loss though. They won by one run in their last at bat (6-5). We played against maybe the toughest pitcher in the league and we kept up with them the whole game. Rach hit a double and a single... and Becca hit a MONSTER HR. Next game is Monday.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Watched the movie Contact on TV last night. An incredible underated movie. Not your typical Star Wars/Aliens movie. The essence of this flick is the juxtoposition of science vs. religion... Faith vs. Physical evidence. In the end, the "pure" scientist must rely totally on faith to explain her voyage. While the movie Contact is great. READ the novel by Carl Sagen... its far deeper and significant.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Happen to tune in to see some of CNN Crossfire. It was Dr. Joycelyn Elders v. Rev. Falwell. Falwell actually blurted out "Dr. Elders, you are a NUT CASE". What an egotistical self centered, intollerent jerk this Falwell is. How presumptuous is this guy that he assumes that everyone must adopt HIS "Christian" values. We are not all Christians are we... and he does not have a monopoly on the interpretation of values!

Elders is a couragous women for speaking her mind. She says what most people feel... no holds barred (e.g. "Surveys indicate that 70% of men masturbate. The other 30% are lying"). Nice job Joycelyn. You are a breadth of fresh air. Shame on CNN for constantly cutting her off for stupid commercial breaks. Hope that wasn't intentional. Human sexuality is really a fascinating topic.
Haven't blogged in a couple of days. Nothin to say. Weathers been nice 'n hot, works been a little slow. Softball team had its first scrimmage, and we did great (won!).

Sunday, April 22, 2001

Finished the job. Looks pretty good! Check it out!
Been ripping up the carpet in the livingroom, dining room and hallway this weekend. You can see all the action if you check out the Laster webcam. Nice wood floors underneath that have been protected by the carpet and matting. We bought a couple of Jute mats at Pier1.

BTW. Leaped into first place on one of my fantasy baseball leagues... floundering in 8th in the other.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

I lost my temper with my son last night, but he just pushes the envelope with all his electronics and computers. He needs to be more focused on school at the moment. But... I regret getting so angry with him. I need to patch it up.

Friday, April 20, 2001

I have seen some very interesting debates on the internet broadcast of Tim McVeigh's execution. I really don't know where I stand on the issue, but the debate is an interesting one. Maybe it should be broadcast... bring back public executions. If people see the cruel, barbaric nature in ourselves, maybe we would think twice about capital punishment. Maybe public execution would serve to be more of a deterent (i doubt it)? It certainly will bring the debate about capital punishment front and center. If we are going to do it, why are we so ashamed that it is done behind closed doors. Then there is the first amendment argument. How can the government stifle such news reporting on 1st amendment grounds. Maybe it is considered obscene... If showing the act of making love is obscene, surely one man putting another to death is. Then again, we see this acted out on TV and the movies everyday, why can't it be seen live? It seems to me that if we are so ashamed of what we are doing (executions) that we are compelled to do it behind closed doors, we should not be executing people at all.
Feeling alot better. Its Friday, I have made it through a tough work week. Next week will be back to full staff (minus my CSR). The crazy dude from Rochester is coming, and that will make things interesting/fun. Hoping to go out to dinner/movie with wifey and party down!

Thursday, April 19, 2001

Coaching girls softball... is it great or what. Besides just loving the game, I have a great group of kids. They are happy, fun to be around, try hard, talented group of girls (with only a couple of exceptions). They are easy to coach, want to learn, take instruction well... and are there to have fun. The season hasn't started yet, but I have enjoyed the practices and I hope they have also. I think it will be a great season... my last season coaching since our rec league has no program for Rachel next year. My goal is to be more layed back than previous years, and just have fun with it, and put less pressure on the girls and myself to win games... (we will see if I can really do that).

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Ugh, I feel like all my biorythms are at a low. Physically have a stomach ache and muscle pains (pulled something at softball practice), mentally and emotionally drained at work. Meeting today... and I know I will run into some kind of conflict.

Random... Psychologists have developed so many disorders and disabilities and syndromes, that they seem to be used as excuses (or crutches) rather than remedies for peoples problems (IMHO).

Monday, April 16, 2001

Another Monday, and I am not going to be a happy camper. Very shorthanded at work and covering for 2 other people.

Besides being pissed off about work situation, yesterday I raked the lawn and did spring clean-up for most of the day. Now my arms are aching and I have a big open blister on my hand that is nagging me.

Oh, well, I should just stop bitching and get to work, I suppose.

Sunday, April 15, 2001

It's 3:45 AM, and I'm up doin this... Cats been scratchin at the door, so I put em out. Went out to a mexican restaurant with a friend from work and his girlfriend. Had some serious marguiritas and steak quesadillas. They were great, but as usual, that mexican food just lays in the ole stomach like a brick all night. Whew. I guess I'll down some Tums and back to bed.

Saturday, April 14, 2001

Came across Joe Jennet's **the ageless project**. Great idea, Joe! Its hard to find Bloggers of our generation, but they are out there. Thanks for doing this. Hope to see mine posted on your site.
Wasted the entire morning messing around with pics I took from our Day At NY Mets Shea Stadium. Check out the link to see them. Note the panorama shot (3 pics stitched together). Lot's to do today, including getting equipment and uniforms, and calling the girls for our softball team. Better get to it.

Friday, April 13, 2001

Looks like I won't get that cooperation that I had counted on (see last post). Feels like I have been turned on and stabbed in the back. Next week will be tough at work. But that's the way it goes.
Fun, fun night at the NY Mets game last night. Besides spending Q time with my daughter and Gordon & Bethy, it was a great game. 1-0 in 10 innings. Mets won at their last at bat with a manufactured run. Ziele walks, Shinjo bunts him over to 2nd, Ordonez hits a hard liner down 3rd scoring Ziele for the winning run. Great pitching, good defense, some exciting plays. Just a great night, and a great game.

That ride home at 1 AM through a heavy fog was a bit of a bummer, though.

Back to work. That new "team mermber" didn't quite work out. Now I am looking for other options to get the jobs entered and some CSR support from others in the organization. Hopefully I'll see if I can get the cooperation from another department.

It's Friday, get through the day, have some nice plans for Sat. night... Kids have off next week... get my Girls Softball team off the ground with some phone calls, get equipment, and practice starts Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Oh, yeah... Rach did make the middle school softball team, and was made co-captain. She's pumped (so am I). What a great confident, fun loving, smart kid.
The day from HELL. Walked in, we screwed up a print job, our main production mac is screwed up, accounting's Winblows computer got screwed up, new CSR is out sick, I'm running around like crazy trying to fix both machines at the same time at opposite ends of the building.

I hate our Winblows machines. When working, they are not that bad, but when they get screwed up, you can waste a whole day on a simple problem. Today, I put in a modem, and all the networking got screwed up. The NIC card drivers got completely corrupted because I put in a modem... figure that out?

Only saving grace is that I can look forward to going to a Met game tomorrow evening with my daughter. Hope the weather holds out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

What's new... got hair cropped real short (nuthin but peach fuzz left on top!), Softball practice was real nice in 70 degree weather, BTW, Rach finds out if she made the softball team at school today (she will).

Monday, April 09, 2001

Monday AM - New week. Should be a busy one. We have a new Customer Service Rep starting in Digital, probably will ice a deal on almost $100K worth of file servers and network hardware, softball practice, Mets game Thurs., Claire's working all week... WOW!

Good weekend in Fantasy Baseball... 2nd and 3rd place in my two leagues.

Sunday, April 08, 2001

Last night - Passover at Sis, Diana's house. Skipped the religious ceremonies as we do not have traditional religious convictions, but joined my sister Di, and Laura's family and my folks afterwards. Everyone looked real well, and in good spirits. Had a real fun time. Especially staying late at Diana's. After Parents and Bergers left, we stayed later, playing chess, and having some good conversations with the David and Marty.

Disturbing news... one of my nephews is doing something that will potentially have an extreme negative impact on the rest of his life. That has been real disturbing to me. How can a parent let his/her son make such a poor, life altering decision? IMHO, they are taking this far too lightly. I know that a person needs to do whats best for himself, but the needs of other family members (esp. ones in crisis) should also be of concern. I wish I had a better relationship with my nephew, I would really like to talk to him about all this, but I know I cannot. The whole family dynamic here is really troubling... but who am I to judge???

Saturday, April 07, 2001

Saw the movie Pollack, about the Avant Garde artist. Interesting movie, about a lousy guy. Not a great movie, but one that help you to understand his art. We saw his work at the MOMA museum last month, and it was a thrill to see his painting. I really like this kind of art and music. Though if I listen to Free Jazz at home, it drives everyone out of the house.

Friday, April 06, 2001

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. Warm, sunny. Had a nice dinner with Claire at a Sushi bar. Today, have a new team member starting at work. Let's hope it works out. Another Fantasy BB draft at 5 PM. Guess I'll just have to come home early ;-) . Big deal... I have to go in to work on Saturday.

Hoping to catch movie Pollack this weekend.

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

Much better day today at work. Held my emotions in check. Acted much more rationally than I had last couple of days. I definetly got more accomplished that way. Isn't there some kind of saying that its better to fight fire with water than fight fire with fire??? If not, I just made one up! Bottom line is, maybe I can work things out at work, but I also need to be cautious and be aware of other options.

Fantasy BBall... clinched a big deal. Ten player trade. That was fun.

Monday, April 02, 2001

My work situation is getting more and more frustrating. I wish I could elaborate more, but that would not be a good idea at the present. I do need to keep my emotions in check in order to try and make the best of a bad and worsening situation. I'll try to do that and keep other options open at the same time. I have remained at MJ for this period because of my respect and friendship with its principal... but it appears that his commitment to me and the department is faltering. Not sure why, because we have been succesful (profitable).

Sunday, April 01, 2001

Back from Roch. Nice trip. Diaczenko family get togethers are a lot of fun, as long as the family does not fight. Thankfully, they did not. The three nephews, Mike, Mat, Jay, are, and always have been, the center of attention. This has been so since they were babies, children, teens, and now that they are adults with families of their own. Its not much different from when they were 16. Joking, physical, goofy as hell. Got lots of pics and will post them sometime this week. New babies including twins from Mike and Ilene.

Mom and Pa Diaczenko are so oblivious to the modern world. They have such a different set of sensibilities and values and cultural veiwpoints. Its amazing. Not bad ... just different. They may as well be from a different planet.

Was able to listen to the Uconn Lady Huskies on the radio... too bad they lost. They were awsome in the first half, then fell apart. Oh well. This year is over for them, we'll see about next year.

Friday, March 30, 2001

Leaving for Roch-acha this PM. Father-In-Law's 80th Bday. Looking forward to the trip, little getaway, diff surroundings, diff crowd of people to talk to. Looks like nasty weather for the trip, though. Only downside of the weekend trip is missing Lady Husky games.

Bringing Titanium along. Ooooh she's hot.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Whew! Baseball Draft was a success. Good time had by all. Sweated it out a little as there was a potential of 3 no shows... but everyone came out to play. Glad that Spence made it... man, he has not looked well lately -- too many burdens to carry (he needs this diversion)... Also glad Gordon was there. He is a good friend. Stuck around with Gordon after everyone else left for another round. I know this Fantasy Baseball thing is a useless unproductive hobby, but its a good time, a nice diversion... so tough shit!

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

MJBL Draft tonite! I'm pyched, and a little on-edge. I'm in charge, set everything up, reserved the room, printed out the worksheets and other stuff... now, if everyone shows up, we're golden. Got a bunch of newbies commin on board, maybe a couple not so reliable. If we pull it off, a great nite of beer and baseball with the boys!