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

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.