October 01, 2005

If you will...

A moment of silence.

Sternbach, the inventor of a revolutionary new class of tranquilizers that included Valium, one of the first blockbuster "lifestyle" drugs, has died at his home in North Carolina. He was 97. Sternbach, an award-winning chemist who helped the Swiss drug conglomerate Roche Group build its U.S. headquarters in Nutley, New Jersey, after fleeing the Nazis during World War II, died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after a short illness late Wednesday.

They Look So Happy.

September 30, 2005

JENNA TURNS 8 -- BLOGAPALOOZA!

It was a big week at our house. BIGGER because of you. Because of "the bloggers!" as you are known to our little lot of three.

It was a big week because Jenna's 8th birthday was marked with box after box arriving from Amazon not just holding the coolest of the cool presents, but also the most amazing show of hey kid, we know you long time and we think you're pretty cool, and lots of things matter to the people you're gonna run in to day in and day out, but us guys, we we're here to say you're special. We're representin' for who can and who can't send, and we want you to know that we think you are pretty cool and your mom is pretty neat and your dad is too, in fact your whole family is a lot more interesting than you'd imagine at your age--except what about those hamsters kid, you really have to keep a lid on that Coco because she's turning your mom grayer than she was with all this escaping and pooping under the Kitchen stove. Can we work on that between now and 9? What do you say?

That's kind of how we imagine you all talk. And we imagine you all the time.

Except for those of you whom we've met. You have real names and faces and hotels that we think you live in all the time.

Some of you do live in hotels a lot. We like hotels. A lot. But most of all, we LOVED our eighth blogapalooza birthday and we'll be sending along thanks in other ways, but it seemed only nautral to say thanks here and KISS AND HUG YOU ALL and when are we going to have a party in person is what jenna would like to know? Because you can never have too many parties.

JENNA TURNS 8!!!!

Every grown up brings with them a suitcase from their own childhood full of monsters and silver coins, of tauntings and toy trains, of dread and dreams, the weighty and the lofty, and no matter how long or hard I sit on that suitcase, it pops open sometimes and I show my child who i really am, or who i once was, it's still a mixed bag and mostly i don't know.

Sometimes I think that's a good thing, the showing, but other times I wish I could keep it from happening, because I don't want the junk inside of my suitcase to spill into hers. I want her suitcase to stay light and easy, a clean cloth liner with a flower pattern, plenty of side pockets filled with cotton candy and washable markers. I want the demons and claws to stay locked in my samsonite. it's not always hard to keep them contained. Some days it's near impossible though.

And that's what being a mother is I think--the half showing your child who you are and half protecting them from who you're not.

Today I watch my little girl growing and growing and growing and growing and I can't believe she was ever small enough to have been cut from my belly with a knife. And I remember the milisecond I saw her and thought, it can't be, she's okay, oh, oh, look, she's alive, this is it, I have a daughter, oh, oh, my god, am i okay, this is it, i am a mother, i can never ever go back, no return, what am i supposed to be feeling, i'm so cold, she's so small.

There is at once the singular, languishing, lasting moment of childbirth, and life fast forwards from there.

Tonight we had a party at Chuck-E-Cheese. It is a place of sensory overload and kinetic mania, but that's okay. It's also a place of startling supply chain efficiency. Workflow, family flow, present flow, pizza flow, dance flow, tokens flow, prizes flow -- it is business process perfection in search of a visio diagram.

Tonight we played like kids with the kids and clapped to song ripoffs that don't deserve the air that absorbs them. Except for the smiles so big that nothing else matters--just the smiles and smiles and smiles and smiles and smiles--miles of them.

I love my sweet Jenna so much.

Morality is a tricky thing too

They're at it again, and thank goodness, someone is watching them, 'cause I didn't hear any of this. Read Tony on republicans thoughts on aborting black babies to reduce crime and on the Klan's race-sensitive bylaws.

I wonder if aborting partially black babies would affect Mr. Bennett's race-to-murder ratio? My partially black baby turns 8 today. Fuck you, Bubba Bennett.

[[Bennet says]] racism is a tricky thing, he's right. you have to open your mouth, stick your foot in there, and shove it deep down your throat while singling out one minority race to unjustly stereotype in a negative, and oftentimes, violent way.

September 29, 2005

Well if there's one guy who can speak for all non-profits...

It'd have to be RB. In fact, if you've been around the internets the last couple of years, you might know him as Mr. Non Profit. How fitting then his latest endeavor.

Check out what he's up to with Net Squared -- a community for the non-profit web -- the offspring of CompuMentor, TechSoup, and some smart folks Chris describes thusly (URL for smart folks - http://www.netsquared.org/about/team):

If you're warming to the idea of helping to grow web-based nonprofit communities, you could do worse than to check the links in the bios for Marnie Webb and Alexandra Samuel, a couple of very cool people who know their way around tech and social networking. I'm learning a lot from them. There's also a bio for Christopher Locke, but it's the same old self-serving crap you've already heard ad nauseam. Safe to skip over that one. This thing really is quite exciting, though, and it's just now lifting off. Please do come around and kick the tires. Sign up, subscribe to the blog, like that. For, as the beatles once said (not quite true yet, but it could happen): It's a thousand pages, give or take a few, I'll be writing more in a week or two.
ZOUNDS! Did he say he's learning? And what's more, he appears to be the chief blogging spokesperson (CBS) for the site. How brave (or unsuspecting) these non-profits are:
I just wanted to set your mind at ease from the outset that you're in good hands here. Knowledgeable. Been around the block. Self-starter. Management material. Yup, that's me. Pleased ta meetcha.
Oh my.

September 28, 2005

Shelley On A Mission

Shelley's about to be deployed by the American Red Cross to places and peoples unknown who really need the help. I'm proud to know Shelley and proud to be somehow ushering her off--if only via these little tiny pixels in a box--on her unfolding journey. She did mention that she had a bit of fear about running out of underwear. Perhaps we should take up a collection?

The great thing about Shelley's post is that in all my readings, surfings, callings, and even my two days at a Red Cross shelter here before it closed, No One, But No One, explained how this relief effort stuff works like shelley has in her post.

Go fight the good fight, Shelley. We look forward to getting you back safe and sound--and with clean underwear.

What a bunch you are

Thanks to Uncle Rage blogging Jenna's upcoming birthday, kinda like he did when she was 4 turning 5, a bunch of you have responded with packages, and let me just say in advance of the pending big day -- which is friday -- THANK YOU!!! She is BEAMING, she is freaking, she is celebrating this day and year, and she is remembering the time she still talks about when she was five, and she cannot believe she is seeing it come around again some 3 years later. It's magic. It's "the bloggers." It's the thing she tells her class about that they don't understand; It's a thing that she will tell her kids about that they will understand.

Funny thing is, and this didn't occur to me when I linked to her wish list, or when RB said he was going to -- being that I've been around here for a long time and so has my kid (blogging half her life) -- that some people would see RB's post as unseemly, greedy, nasty, or even as someone said in email, "Disgusting."

Yes, a real live person said that, one who apparently works in marketing for a living. I better never run into this person. Does everyone understand that?

I'll say it again in case that person visits here. I better never run into this person.

The simple fact is, and you know it if you get what's going on here, is that NO ONE can hijack joy away from this place, that no one has that permission, at least not while some of us are here. You can professionalize, you can sensationalize, you can rationalize, you can sanitize but you cannot remove this medium's ability to evoke childlike joy. Not as long as I'm still around.

I bet this person has never, not once, cried for a fellow blogger, probably hasn't talked to one on a phone, or had their kid ride a hotel elevator up and down and up and down with a blogger, or shown other bloggers' kids pictures to her kid on flickr, or told anyone about the great artist known as Pippa that the world awaits, or has never been on the toilet while talking about blogging, or has never lost sleep over a post, or worried when another blogger doesn't post, or doesn't show up when or where you were expecting them to be.

But the other ones of you, those of you who sent and who didn't send, who come here regardless, who know me, who see me here, who understand what I did when I showed you our baby girl five years ago, what I did when I showed you me, all of us, you understand what it's about and what it's not about. What you see shimmering is me seeing you. What a bunch you are.

September 27, 2005

The Bad Teeth Economy

Here's my theory. America is setting itself up to be a nation of people with crappy smiles, as George Bush has ushered in the bad teeth economy.

Here's what I mean. Used to be people worked for companies for many years, and they valued their precious benefits, among which, especially in the established companies that everyone wanted to grow up and work for, included dental benefits.

Then came the dot-com rush, and the talent war was on, and nimble companies pulled benefits out of their tushies in order to get people to come to work for them. Dental was a given. A new car was a deal maker.

Then came the bust, and the aftermath of layoffs which have left many folks who once worked for those old established companies 20 years ago, and the newer dot-com refugees, SOL in terms of benefits. The young refugees and the old folks and the people who'd been through both economies -- lots of us who had work done back when we had all the free dental work we could swallow -- struck out on their own. Maybe not penniless, but beniless.

So, we bite bullet and get health insurance on our own, with premiums for $1,000-deductible plans now over $700 a month for a family. And that doesn't include dental.

So we let go what we have to let go. Our teeth. And we make due. And we're glad if we can just make our health insurance premiums every month. And those of us who once wouldn't be seen without perfect enamel and every six month cleanings smile a little less often these days.

And the smart ones watch out for caramel candies--because they can do a number on crownes, which can run $1,000 or more each.

Out of pocket.

In our beniless, bad teeth economy.

Did I Mention...

The dentist who put the crown on my molar 8 months ago wants to charge $83 to put it back on?

Is that fair? I mean, what's his incentive to use good cement if he can collect another $80 and change if it gives out?

If it's not one thing, it's a hamster.

Synchronistically Speaking

Tom's talking teeth in lost tooth. And don't miss the fun there!

Why Crazy Glue Might Work Better

I got a tooth crowned last November. It wasn't fun. I didn't like it at all. The root canal was much worse than the crowne though. Do they spell it with an "e"? I'm thinking so. You pay more money for things that end in "e".

It's almost paid off. Are we proud of me?

Today I'm sitting in a client meeting (Hi Guys!), chewing on a milky way mini-bite, and something starts to not taste/feel like nugut, or caramel, or chocolate, and I realize it's my tooth, or my prosthetic tooth better known as my expensive crowne.

I had already slipped it into my purse when I decided the right thing to do was to fess up and show it off. So I did. Is that gross? Bad client etiquette? I'm thinking that's standard operating procedure, but I admit my boundaries are fuzzy these days.

But HERE's where the story gets interesting. Are you ready? The strange thing is, I was sitting next to a woman whom, just two days prior, was sitting with my business partner at lunch when HIS crown came off.

Same woman. Two days. Two crowns.

That's just spooky.

That is way far away from being right.

If It's Not One Thing It's a Hamster

As I hinted at below, Coco has escaped, again. She has learned yet another means to freedom. Once she stopped trying to chew through the six intricately-braided bread twisties George used to fasten her front door, meaning that I have to now remove her water bottle to feed her by dumping the pellets and seeds in the hole at the top, she began looking for another way out.

Well she's gotten better than ever at dislodging the little petting box at the top of the cage where she sleeps. Now she can pop the top, which she did twice the other day, the second time during which she disappeared.

I came home today and George said he had seen her come out from under the stove 3 times. One time he even tried to catch her, but then backed off. He doesn't have a fondness for getting bitten, even though I assure him she doesn't bite. Never mind.

The point is, once again, she's eating well from the scraps the ants have missed - AKA crapping at will throughout my house.

And that's not even the bad hamster news.

The bad hamster news has to do with an idea I had after I spent TWO HOURS with George cleaning and scouring three hamster cages (one for the mom, one for the dad, one for the two brothers). The idea was, BOYS SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE TOGETHER. So I put the dad hamster in with the two brothers. In a big cage. With two food dishes. And two wheels to run on.

What's to fight about?

How happy was I to have one less cage to clean.

We thought they were going to make it. Then the noise started--a horrible grunting and gnashing noise that had me dropping the dust cloth and running back into the living room, lickety quick like Mayor Nagin says, and the first thing I see is the blood coloring their blonde hair AND the white wire cage I had just spent a half hour bleaching.

The dad and one of the boys were going at it.

Somehow, don't ask me how, I scooped the dad hamster up with a piece of wood--don't get that hamster blood on me!--and put him back in his cage.

That's when I noticed how bad brown-head (that's what we call the baby hamster we don't call Runt.) looked. If you've never seen blood dripping from the mouth of a hamster, well we can have lunch and talk about it. Because it's a pathetic scene.

GEORGE!

I called George down, and we watched brown-head for a while. He looked like he was in shock, just curled up in the corner until he got up and started walking towards us.

He got to his food dish in time to swirl his little hamster tongue around and spit out his tooth.

That's right, his tooth.

"Holy crap--George, how many teeth do hamsters have? I mean, is this bad?"

"That old man knocked his boy's tooth out," he said in a state of marvel. "Look at that. Knocked his tooth out."

Today brown-head is doing much better. I haven't been around enough to see if he's able to eat with one of his front teeth gone, but he can still use his hamster wheel just fine.

The Dad? He's back in his luxurious landscaped cage, solo, just how he likes it.

The moral of the story: Don't get any frigging hamsters if you can help it.

September 26, 2005

In my house it would be nose plugs shaped in the form of doggie biscuits...

Because our dog stinks so bad.

But you may have a better idea.

My friend just alerted me to this Idea Fetch contest for the pet-a-holic in your life. You have a chance to submit a product you've often wished you had for your little furry munchkin and if you're voted in as top "petpreneur" you get $40,000, plus your product (with your pet’s photo or yourself – you choose) on the shelf of every PETCO store in the U.S.

$40,000 for nose plugs? I'm in!

(Or, since Coco the hamster escaped AGAIN today, perhaps I might suggest one of those little ankle bracelets they put on Brat Camp participants to keep track of them when they attempt the prime-time get away. Do they make those in hamster size "M"?)

Anyway, I pass it along. All part of the service.

happy happy happy all the time

Don't Go Rockin' My Boat [audio]

Huh, please don't you rock my boat
'Cause I don't want my boat to be rockin' anyhow
Please don't you rock my boat, no
'Cause I don't want my boat to be rockin'

I'm tellin' you that, oh, ooh-aah, I like it a-like a-this
Can you miss?
And you should know, ooh-aah, when I like it a-like a-this
Am I really it? Ooh yeah
You satis- satis- satisfy my soul, morning time
Evening cold, -fy my soul
Yes, I've been a-tellin' you, bake me the sweetest cakes
I'm happy inside all the time
Oh, can't you see what you've done for me? Yeah

You make me feel like when we bend them new corners
We feel like sweepstake winners, yeah
When we bend them new corners
We feel like sweepstake winners

And I said, oh, ooh-aah, I like it a-like a-this
Yes, I do
And you should know, ooh-aah, when I like it a-like a-this
I've got it, just can't miss, ooh
Satis- satisfy my soul, darlin'
Make me love you in the morning time, yeah
If ever I treated you bad, make it up to me one time
'Cause I'm happy inside all the time
I want you beside me, yeah, to be mine

One thing you've got to do, is when a-we holding hands together
You've got to know that we love, a-love each other, yeah
And if every time you should walk away from me now
Uh, you'll now I need your sympathy, yeah

Can you see? Do you believe me?
Oh, darlin', darlin', I'm callin', callin'
Satisfy my soul, satisfy my soul
Never, never, never give it up now

All in the same boat
Rockin' on the same route
We gotta get together, join each other
And can't you see what I've got for you? Yeah

I'm happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, and not you can turn me blue now
Come a little closer, satisfy my ...

September 25, 2005

It's still about search

I love google, example #204.

George told me a few years back about seeing this 8-year-old drum prodigy they were showing off at the music store and then he started seeing more and more of him over the years, but I never knew who he was talking about til I searched on drum prodigy and found his site, and sure enough, there's the Isaiah Williams Project, with Isaiah now about 13. His playing is beautiful at any age.

Enjoy the mpegs.

Jenna just finished watching them. Her daddy is adding Isaiah to his list of husband candidates. (Look out Gabe!)

haliburton watch

hadn't seen this.


In 1 year, Halliburton's stock doubles as troop deaths double
20 Sept. 2005

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Since the beginning of the Iraq war, Halliburton, the Texas energy giant once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has seen its stock price more than triple in value. When the U.S invaded Iraq in March of 2003, Halliburton's stock was selling for $20 per share. The stock price at the close of market activity on Monday was $66. In the last 12 months, the total number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq almost doubled as Halliburton's stock doubled. Halliburton's stock rose from $33 per share in September 2004 to $66 yesterday while U.S. deaths in Iraq increased from 1,061 to almost 1900. Three graphs at this link starkly depict the dramatically similar rise of Halliburton's stock price, revenue and U.S. soldiers killed during the past thirty months of war in Iraq.

Halliburton's CEO also enjoyed an incredible personal gain from Iraq and the commensurate rise in gasoline prices. A HalliburtonWatch analysis reveals that CEO David Lesar's stock holdings in Halliburton increased by a stunning $78 million since the Iraq invasion. As U.S. citizens march on Washington this weekend to protest the 30-month anniversary of the war, a recent poll shows 52 percent of Americans want an "immediate" withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

The big money Halliburton has made from the war, along with the widespread belief that the Bush administration lied about Saddam Hussein's purported weapons of mass destruction, has helped fuel public sentiment supporting the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Polls show a majority of Americans do not think the war is worth the cost in lives and taxpayers' money. Halliburton has been the focus of heated criticism from members of Congress and even the Bush administration over its handling of war contracts. Pentagon auditors have issued at least nine reports slamming the company's inept and possibly fraudulent accounting system for work in Iraq. In September 2004, the U.S. military called for the immediate termination of Halliburton's most lucrative contract with the Army because of poor performance. Additionally, in January, the U.S. embassy in Iraq threatened to terminate Halliburton's contracts because of poor performance. However, both recommendations were ignored by President George W. Bush.