Sunday, June 30, 2013

Liverwurst

I was at the supermarket yesterday and as I passed the deli counter, as I do maybe once every couple of years, I though about a cold cut called Liverwurst.

Liverwurst is not all that popular and is definitely not for the faint of hard. The word liverwurst translates into "liver sausage". The picture here is Boars Head brand "Lite Braunschwiger Liverwurst" made primarily from pork, pork liver and bacon. Are you salivating right now or throwing up in the back of your throat? That's how it is with liverwurst, there is no in between, you either are going in full steam ahead or running as fast as you can.

I remember liverwurst from when I was a kid. My mom never really bought it, though it's cousin Bologna was a staple for most of my youth. I recall a couple of kids in school eating liverwurst sandwiches and it making me curious enough to ask my mother if she could buy some for me. A few folks in the neighborhood were more familiar with it as well - I can't pinpoint my first time trying it but I do know that calf liver was something I ate pretty regularly as a kid, so the idea of liver being in my lunch meat didn't phase me at all.

I know that I liked it when I first tried it but didn't have it often, though my mom would get it for me each time I remembered to ask for it. Later on in my 20's, I went through a brief liverwurst phase after working with an older guy who would have a liverwurst and tomato sandwich at lunch and I recall how appetizing that looked; it soon became one of my every so often lunch sandwiches.

At this point in my life, it's become a nostalgic thing. Organ meat is delicious (to me) but really unhealthy, especially with a risk factor profile such as mine; so I stay away from it for the most part with only an occasional indulgence.

I stopped at that deli counter and was greeted by two older women. I asked for a quarter pound of Boar's Head Lite Liverwurst, and then one went to grab it and placed it on the slicer. After the first slice, she help it up asking me if the thickness was okay, I reached over and said, "let me sample it and I shall let you know. (trick to get a free slice). In chatting with the lady slicing, I explained that I order this stuff about once every two years just to remember a piece of my youth. The lady stopped slicing and really appreciated that whole idea; we talked very briefly about "how things were" and how they've changed. I was handed my neatly packaged processed meat and the lady wished me well and said, "enjoy your memories".

I had one sandwich yesterday, then another today and that was that.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Inspiration at the Farmer's Market

Organic, locally grown, community supported agriculture, local arts and music...these are some of the buzzwords that vibe at the local farmer's market. I took myself down this morning to take a stroll, see what the local farms and vendors were pushing, and just to be outdoors.

I made a couple of rounds, stopped to listen to a local musician singing her songs and as I was about to make my way off the grounds to go across the street to the library, something hit me; i stopped, pulled out my cell phone and just started poking out words that were coming to me. I walked over to the tent where there was shade and a seat, shuffled around some of the words and added a few and before I knew it, I had written a poem.


At the Farmer’s Market

Kissed by a gentle breeze
on a weather confused day
strolling through the farmer's market
skies are cloudy and they're gray

Troubadour is singing songs
of love and hope and life
the quiet contemplation sometimes
cuts me like a knife

Momentary lapse of sunshine
peeks on through the sky
I thought I almost found myself
until I started asking why

I guess I'll keep on wandering
in search of something more
I wish I had a clue
what I am searching for

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tavern Burger

I heard stories about this burger, not served on a bun but baked inside a bread dough along with the toppings of your choice.

I had expectations, none that I thought were unreachable but as I poke this out on my phone I am sad to say that not only did the Tavern Burger not live up to expectations, it just wasn't worth looking forward to.

Now for some live acoustic music that I'm sure will make it all better.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

TBTL Again

On the 15th, I wrote here about how I thought TBTL may have run its course and has stagnated, that Luke Burbank may not have been in it any more.

Yesterday, Luke make the announcement he's leaving his morning radio show, in part, leaving him more time to make TBTL a better product.

Coincidence?

Recipe: Cheese Waffles

I ask my daughter what she wants for dinner and as usual, her response is "What are the choices?" I throw a few things out there and she implies she would like something "different". I take a moment and blurt out, WAFFLES!

Mustering up a confused but intrigued mug, she throws out the idea that she's in some kind of mood for cheese. I then immediately fire back, "CHEESE WAFFLES". Again, the mug, eyes bunch up and she utters, "is there such a thing?" I say, "I bet there is, and if not, there will be after tonight."

It was easy to find a recipe, I began gathering the ingredients to discover I had no milk, so I made a convenience store run and was back in business - they were delicious! Here is the recipe as I read it (with annotations by me in red).

Ingredients:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I didn't have cheddar, I had Parmesan Reggiano and Swiss and asked Victoria which she preferred and went with equal parts of both)
Preparation:
Preheat waffle maker.
Put all ingredients, except cheese and egg whites, in a large mixer bowl.
Beat on low until moistened.
Increase to medium, mix until smooth.
By hand, mix in cheddar cheese and then gently fold in beaten egg whites.
Pour 1/2 cup batter over grids.
Close waffle maker, bake until steam no longer escapes, about 3-5 minutes.
Repeat.
Serve while hot with your favorite topping or cream sauce for a special dinner dish.
I mixed all the ingredients by hand, with a whisk, in a stainless bowl. For the egg whites, I used a mixer with a whisk attachment and made a meringue. I used my belgian waffle maker the way I use it, not specific to the recipe.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Topical Day

This is one of those rare days that there are so many things to write about that I have no idea what to write about. Instead, I will list some of the hot topics:

  • Supreme court ruling on same sex marriage
  • Aron Hernandez arrested
  • Windows 8.1
  • Ridiculous Rick Perry in Texas trying to put new restrictions on abortion
  • Paula Deen
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Mad Men
  • Breaking Bad
  • Dexter
  • Where I am with the kitchen
  • My upcoming trip to Las Vegas
I wrote this on FB a few hours ago:
"So much in the news to speak about, but I believe no single more important news story that affects all human beings that the decision made by the Supreme Court today. Clearly, it has the most obvious impact on the LGBT community, but this is a MAJOR accomplishment in the interest of all Human Rights. BRAVO to the Supreme Court, not for making the right decision, but for making the only decision in this case."

I'm disgusted at Aron Hernandez.

Looking forward to seeing the changes in Windows.

Rick Perry needs to be stoned, and I don't mean that he should smoke a fattie with Snoop.

I think that Paula Deen is getting treated unfairly, despite what she said.

Sad about Mandela.

Intrigued at the season finale of Mad Men leading into (a year from now) the last season for the series.

Looking forward to the last 8 episodes of Breaking Bad and see where one of, if not, the best season finale(s) in the history of TV.

Also looking forward to the last season opener of Dexter; this Sunday.

Got a new plan on the kitchen and the quotes. Milling about in thought and strategy on how to move forward.

Vegas soon - glad to get to go to the conference - thankful all of my hard work to get funding worked. I am especially happy to get to hang out with the O'Connor's during my free time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Create When Inspired

A Vine from last night:

It didn't hit me until after it was done that I was doing precisely that!
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There was a special election here in MA today to fill the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. Thankfully, the correct candidate one but once again, it was enlightening to see that 45% of the voters still chose the disgraceful candidate.
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Looking forward to Blackboard World in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks; and to spend some time with the O'Connor's.
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Finally, check out this awesomeness:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nick Wallenda: Superstar or Idiot?

This was one topic of discussion today at work. What are your thoughts? If I have to pick one of those two, I am going with the latter but it's not so cut and dry. I give him credit for being one courageous son of a bitch - either that or the piece of one's brain that dictates fear of falling to one's death is missing (can't rule out the possibility that both are the case).

Thing is, what's the point of doing a stunt such as the ones he is famous for? Is there any actual reason to watch other than the possibility he may in fact fall to his death? I am not in any way saying that's is what me or anyone hopes happens but the mere fact that it very well could is indeed the only compelling reason I can see to watch yet it would not be something I wish to see and I am pretty certain, they wouldn't show...back to my original question then, is there any reason to watch?

More important, does such a stunt and such public validation send a message to our children and if so, is is a positive or a negative one? What kind of message does he send his own family everytime he does another stunt?

Lots of curiousity here. Lots of interesting points of view.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grouponed

Got an groupon offer the other day for a Japanese place near me, Pay $20, get $40 worth of food. I resisted for days and noticed the email today and clicked the link, there were still some available. In hindsight, I am sure it was a craving for sushi, which I hadn't had in a while but I justified further by using the fact that my daughter loves the stuff; I was all in.

Off we went for dinner, an enormous plate of sushi/sashimi/tekka maki that we shared; it was yummy, especially the salmon sashimi. The Vickles super enjoyed herself so that made it all worth while.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Paula Deen Thing

I'm going under the assumption you know the story, even peripherally. I am not justifying any use of the derogatory language she chose to use, but I am certain that there are certain parts of culture and upbringing that include language and philosophies that are instilled in us. Now Ms. Deen is a 66 year old woman and has been on television and in the public eye for more than a decade, even if she herself is not educated enough (not saying she isn't), there must be enough people around her that should be coaching her public persona.

Again, I am not condoning anything she said or did, nor am I implying that it okay to do what she did but be sure it stays hidden - but I think that this particular series of events had deteriorated exponentially because of a real lack of understanding and ability to communicate effectively; a bigger surprise considering her windfall came from being given the opportunity to communicate.

I don't believe Paula Deen has been the only person, even the only "celebrity" who has made racist remarks. While the words are severe, and damaging, that is only true because when given meaning, they become hurtful and derogatory to people, cultures, human beings. What I don't know from any of this is how Paula Deen really feels. It may be that her upbringing in the south when she was raised instilled racism into her, the thing is, if that's true, the society she was raised in didn't consider themselves racist even if they were and as such, those raised with those poor values and judgements are not consciously racist. I know, that does not make any of this right, but I do think this is a bigger problem not just in this country, but in the world; the best examples we see are in the radical acts of terrorism that sadly have become so commonplace.

I think instead of focusing on Ms. Deen specifically, we as a human race need to understand the nature of the greater problem and start with education and finding some way to bridge that cultural gap across all cultures and instill in all humans everywhere that people are people.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Drive Time

As I was driving in the thick of traffic, I developed this theory that everyone else on the road really did not want to get where they were going. I feel that if everyone wanted to get where they were going, and simply accelerated to the speed limit, everyone would be moving along and get there. But, Noooooooooooooo! Not everyone does that, there's texting behind the wheel, rubbernecking, and every other stupid thing but actually driving, the one thing you are supposed to do while driving a car.

I could go on my loner rant about how we allow too many cars on roads that weren't every but for that many but before we can take cars off the road (it can be done), we need to upgrade infrastructure to support significant public transport, then incentivize people to take public transport over personal.
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I guess rumors of the death of James Gandolfini are not so much rumors as truth. As the story went viral, I chose to ignore it as there had been so many hoaxes of late. Rest in Peace!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Presumptions

last evening I posted the folling line to Facebook:
"I forgot that I ate asparagus for lunch time, until a few seconds ago."

That was the entire post, nothing more or less. Here were the replies:

Suzanne: Omg, Bruce will like this status!!
Bruce: Magical vegetable. Lol
Gina: Lmao
Paul: Nature's tracer bullet.
John: Your stomach knows
Daysie: Gross
Jill: TMI
Helio: Did you also have corn?
Aron: Eeeewwwwww

Is it not possible that all I was implying is that I remembered what I ate for lunch?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recalculating

We did an exercise at this workshop I was at today....to keep this brief and not bore you with all of the crap you don't give a crap about, part of the problem with the teacher in the scenario is that she kind of lost her way - her intentions were good, she knew where she was but she wanted to go somewhere different and didn't really carve out a new path.

I came up with an analogy saying that she apparently never used a GPS. If I am going somewhere with my GPS and I make a turn onto an unfamiliar road, off the beaten path, my GPS bellow, "Recalculating".

A slew of my colleagues all lit up, it was an instant hit and quite frankly, I felt really good about that. Better, later in the day, I was quoted - made me feel accomplished :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Free Pizza Funny

Last Wednesday I talked about how I was getting a free pizza for my "heroic" efforts, I cashed in on that today getting a large "Bertucci's Ultimate", of which I consumed 2 slices along with a side salad and a pizza roll (just a bread roll made from pizza dough, they are especially delicious when warm and dipped in extra virgin olive oil).

I then shared the rest of my pizza with co-workers, because I am nice that way. Down to the last lice, one that had ham on it and I run into someone who I thought it might bear mentioning that it had this final slice had ham on it, in case their being of the Jewish persuasion factored into following all of the tenets of that faith (or at least the pork one). Turns out the ham didn't matter but there were a couple of entertaining quotes that followed:

Them: "Ham, kind of like prosciutto only less fancy."
Me: "Yeah, just like worn t-shirt and cut-off jeans - kind of like a tuxedo only less fancy."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Has TBTL Run its Course?

I remember one of my blog pals Sprizee making mention of this Seattle based radio show called TBTL - which was also available as a podcast. I instantly took to the show becoming a fan and loving the way Luke Burbank, Jen "Flash" Andrews and "Japan's Favorite Mixer" Sean DeTore interacted.

Jen and Sean left the show some time ago and while they make random infrequent appearances (that are always welcome), the show focuses now on Luke and a guy named Andrew. The show still has some of the essence and quirkiness that made it joyful to listen to since the beginning but it just seems to me that it no longer has the same heart.

I feel like Luke has lost his real love for the show and finds himself in the awkward position of not knowing how to leave it behind and move forward. The problem, is he is moving forward with other projects and so many of the shows when he is focusing on other things are just traces of the show that don't hold up.

I find myself as a long time fan in the predicament of wanting to just stop listening but I too am finding it hard to do, even though I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I once did and I know it's lived past it lifespan. Perhaps it is selfish of me to linger and lurk hoping it will die before I kill it from my play list. I feel partly like I am betraying my loyalty because I do genuinely like Luke, who is very likable. I also desperately miss Jenn and Sean who each moment they are not on the show make it painfully obvious how important to what made the show work with the original trio.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Waiting for Godot

Well, not really Godot, actually Mc Queary. I made my last pitch yesterday hoping to get funded to the Blackboard world conference I've attended each year since 2006 (with the exception of one). I sent a note to the sales rep. from Blackboard - today I got a brief note from her that was hopeful; it was a single sentence, "I am checking into what options are available and will be back in touch next week." We spend over $200k per year with this company and the conference is filled with significant information and great contacts - and is fun. All I can do is wait, and so I do.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I haven't effectively thought about vacation time! I should have but just kind of forgot to. I would love to get back to the Chicago area, I feel like I need to visit family in AZ (though doing so in summer seems strange) - who knows, I am open. There are places I'd like to go, people I really want to see - I need to figure some of it out.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
With Father's day coming on Sunday, of course dad is on my mind. This picture cracks me up for two reasons:
  1. Dad would often doze off on his chair like that. Looks like he may have had a bit of a headache here.
  2. I now sometimes doze off!
Abrupt (ish) post end.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm Getting a Pizza

Things have gotten a bit out of hand over the wheelchair incident I spoke of a few days ago. Several college officials have thanked me for my "heroic efforts" and then of course I was slammed with paperwork having to fill out a 5 page worker's compensation form (despite no severe injury or treatment) and a campus police report. I have repeatedly stated that I didn't feel like anything I did was heroic, in the moment, I reacted to a situation and fortunately, we were able to stop the wheelchair before it could go over the stairs, do any more damage or worse, cause any serious physical harm to anyone. All I saw before reacting was an out of control wheelchair and a staircase going down all too close and everything else was doing what needed to be done to ensure that woman in that chair didn't go down the stairs.

I did complain enough about the paperwork that I was promised a pizza from anywhere I want with any fixin's I want, so I will be taking advantage of that. beyond that, it's just a somewhat exciting story to what would have been an ordinarily dull day.
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I had the opportunity to participate in a brainstorming session on developing a MOOC to serve as an introduction to eLearning - that turned out to be a great meeting filled with lots of intelligent banter.
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Tomorrow I will be contacting the vendor whose conference I am currently not able to go to because the college was unable to fund it this year. I have been to this conference many times and always bring back valuable information and contacts worth far more than the cost of the conference. I've exhausted a number of funding sources but one last try tomorrow, the vendor them self - wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

10 Minutes

There may or may not be a point to the words that end up on this post but what it is, is a free write exercise. I began typing at 11:05pm and will continue until 11:15 and whatever gets typed, remains.

I spent my day doing what needed to be done but throughout, at the top of my mind were the thoughts I had of you. There was a question the other day about the tel colored silicone bracelet I wear which led to an extended conversation about the whole bracelet thing and the whole cancer thing.

I was a little miffed at the person I conversed with who after hearing that I was wearing a bracelet to raise awareness for Thyroid Cancer responded with a smarmy tone saying,"oh, the good one". "The good one?" I repeated, baffled. "Yeah, they say if you are going to have cancer, that is the cancer you want".

I was beside myself at this idiot and had to restrain myself from punching the idiot in the nose and even engaging in any way. Before walking away, I left these words, "Until someone you love has had to bear the burden of this cancer (or any other for that matter), and as close minded and clueless as you appear, believe me, I hope that never happens, don't make a generalization on something you know nothing about. I wear this because someone I love knows first hand what it means to have it, battle it, and survive it. Think carefully about what you said, and maybe open a book or do a google search - just get out of my face because I can't stand to look at at you right now."

TIME

The day this incident actually occured was last Friday. I wasn't sure if I was going to ever post about it but clearly it had taken a spot in my brain and through this exercise, apparently needed to come out so that I can release the frustration brought on by it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wheelchair Goes Nuts

Just last week I posted a video of a student's inspiring and touching commencement speech. Today, she came onto campus and lost control of her wheelchair and in a very brief moment, knocked a water bubbler (fountain) off the wall, ran me down, and got her leg caught.

Fortunately, her leg was fine, I ended up with only a bruise and some soreness, and she is safe (the water bubbler doesn't matter).

Turns out a part on the handle where her joystick sits was replaced and it shifted to the right, as a result of that shift and Mary's poor motor skills, she temporarily lost control of her chair. What makes this very dangerous is she was pretty close to stairs - so many bad things could happen - she could just as well be near traffic, small kids, whatever and someone can get very hurt or worse.

Me and the employee from the office of disability services got her to call the company that services her chair and report this, and ask them to fix it right away. Mary was concerned with the damage to the water bubbler and wanted to be sure my leg was okay - I told her I was fine, and I think we were able to convince her how serious this could be and that her first priority should be to get the chair fixed.

Somehing to liven up a summer day I guess!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

This is No Time for Politics

Argeo Paul Celucci died yesterday from complications of ALS. If you know anything about ALS, you know that it really doesn't matter who is stricken with this gruesome death sentence, it would be hard to justify that it was a fate they deserved; much less, their family and friends who also bear some of the burden of suffering.

For those of you who haven't read the story on the wire and/or are not from Massachusetts, you may not know that Argeo Paul Celucci server as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1997-2001 before being appointed Ambassador to Canada by George W. Bush .

There's been a lot of talk about Celucci's political life and public service and while I suppose it's a natural turn for the conversation in some respects, the fact that t is politics easily subjects it to bias - and while bias may be appropriate in political speak, it is not in the case of a human being who died from a horrible disease.

The fact is, everyone can have an opinion on whether or not Celucci was a good or bad politician, nobody can deny that that from the moment he was diagnosed, the man Argeo Paul Celucci chose to send a very clear message and leave a real legacy that had nothing to do with politics. As an advocate and spokesperson, Celucci used his diminishing physical abilities to raise millions of dollars for ALS research and be a spokesperson for the disease.

The talk right now about Mr. Celucci, should be one of a respectful tone, may he rest in peace and may his family and friends find peace in their lives to carry on through this difficult loss for them.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Life is Hard Sometimes

Sometimes life is so fucking confusing. Things just don't always make sense and I don't expect every damn thing to be clear cut but shit, it just seems that too often bad things happen to good people far more often than bad people getting their due.

I'm not going to bring this post into the depths of darkness, fear not.

RADICAL TOPIC SHIFT....

Have any of you watched "Maron" yet? The show is really great, very well written and very funny - I have been a fan of Marc Maron for a very long time and it's been a long time coming for him to get the notoriety he is finally getting; deservedly so!

As a brief update to my post from earlier today, I've given Verizon an ultimatum, they came back with a counter offer and while it's an attempt, it really is a big fuck you to me from them - solidifying that as a current customer, I mean nothing to them and they would actually rather give up my business to their competitor rather than give me what I asked for. By the way, I did not ask for anything unreasonable, just the exact same deal I would get were I signing up for the first time. I'll be talking to the competitor to firm up a deal this week and unless the Verizon supervisor calls me and changes his stance, I will tell them to go fuck off for a while.

I feel like there's to much anger and negativity in this post. Sorry!

How about a few more Vine's? Here's the last few I've made:

This one is called, "walking down the corridor":



 
And this one is called, "Oliver meets Vine" and features my cat Oliver; his neck doesn't really move that radically, I created the effect that makes him look freaky!
 
 


 
That's all for now. In the words of Ringo Starr, "Peace and Love!"

Verizon Ultimatum

Unfortunately, I had to do it. Three months in a row my bill is wrong and I've spent ridiculous amounts of time on the phone to get the appropriate credits. They just do not care about you if you are an existing customer, all preferential treatment is for new customers. Verizon isn't unique in this, all the cable/satellite companies operate as such but since they have competitors in my town, it's time to treat me nice.

I had to ask for the equivalent of a new customer bundle, and if they say no, I cut the cord immediately and call the competitor - who will at least for the initial discussion, will treat me like a new customer and give me the deal I need to keep me happy for a the immediate term. when the time comes, I'll give them the same ultimatum...it's not like they are losing money, they are making insane profits so it's time to play hardball.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Mary Marco

Nothing I can write hear will provide as much value as the words of Mary Marco. Mary graduated from the college where I work, I could go into her story but I'd rather you invest eight and a half minutes and see something really special; have a tissue handy!

This is why I am an educator:


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

eM cEE oH

I attended the MCO (Mass Colleges Online) conference today hosted at Bridgewater State University. I love when I leave a conference fulfilled, with new information that I know is useful, and connecting with colleagues - it makes me feel...I don't know, more like a professional.

the ride to Bridgewater wasn't too bad but decided to experiment with the ride home, and avoid rush hour traffic on some major arteries, and took all streets home (about 35-40 miles). Aside form seeing the deeper side of some towns I've not gone through and having some nice scenery in general, it only took about 15-20 minutes longer than the ride in using highways (but zero traffic); I felt it was worth it.

I am still really bummed that the college is not sending me to the Blackboard World conference this year, it's a real shame to miss that one. I may have run out of chances to find funding too - I may make one last ditch effort and reach out to Blackboard and hope they might help out a good customer - we shall see.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

From the Vine

Are you familiar with this new social netwroking thing called "Vine"? You have six seconds of video you can shoot, then it posts to vine, and if you wishm twitter and FB.

I made two stop motion animations today - very crude, but the first ones I've ever tried.

here's the first, my little rubber duckie taking a stroll:

 
and my next, a little nemo looking fish out for a swim (with a little tail fin wag before leaving the screen):



Usher

Every week watching The Voice, I gain more and more respect for Usher as a musician and as a good dude who gives a shit. It's inspiring to see someone who has succeeded so greatly in a dog eat dog business and give so genuinely in the interest of making some young up and comer's dreams a reality.

Some other TV commentary:
Watching first episode of America's Got Talent, love it!
Five (or is it six) episodes in of Arrested Development season 4 - overall liking it so far.
Still not as in love with Mad Men as I have been in he past, though still love it.
Have to admit to finding the commentary instigated by Michael Douglas compelling.

What have you all been watching? 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Yusuf

I've been listening to Cat Stevens a lot in the past few weeks, more than I have in the last couple of decades combined; I've always loved his songs.

I never really paid careful attention to his leaving the music business and becoming a Muslim. There was a time, I was naive, and thought that was a bad thing. Many years since have passed and I am much older and definitely wiser.

The other day, I got a 4 CD "box set" of his from the library and the liner notes go into some detail about who "Cat Stevens" was, his musical journey and his personal journey. It seems pretty clear that there was a greater calling for him and that he eventually found what it was in the pages of the Qur'an.

The music still stands up, it's timeless it's wonderful, it's meaningful...it's beautiful. If you've never gotten into the music Yusef Islam released as Cat Stevens, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Remove the Earpiece and Nobody Gets Hurt

I don't typically patronize Best Buy stores but I had some time to kill and I thought I'd take a walk around in one.

Is it really necessary for all of their employees to be geared up as if they were on a special assignment with the FBI?

Some dude comes up to me and asked if he can be of assistance, I immediately pulled out my cell phone and held it up to my ear and started talking to him. The thing is, he had no idea if I was talking to him or to someone on my phone. The expression on his face was priceless, after a few seconds, he asked if I was talking to him or to someone else. I replied, " now you understand how I feel when you are talking to me with that silly headset on, I will make you a deal, you take off the headset and I will put the phone away."

He had no idea how to react to that, and literally just walked away; then I begin to chuckle almost uncontrollably.