April 27, 2007

Brain Dump

Note to men: it’s either suspenders or a belt. Not both.

It is both counter productive and bad public policy to have words that are either acceptable or catastrophically unacceptable, depending on the race of the speaker.

Military service should be a mandatory 3 year tour between high school and college. Not only will our young people be better prepared, mature, and disciplined when they enter college, with a better developed sense of what they may wish to study, but we’ll also have a highly trained civilian population much more capable of addressing domestic violence and terrorism. I can’t help but think that if the students at Virginia Tech were armed and experienced they wouldn’t have needed to wait for the police to deal with an unbalanced shooter in their midst. Additionally there would be the added benefit of ensuring more people have a vested interest in using our military sparingly and intentionally. Endless, fruitless wars that have little impact at home just don’t provide enough impetus to end conflict.

Poor Britain Is that our fate? Ever decreasing relevance following a period of extraordinary impact?

TSA found a swiss army knife on a middle aged woman as I was going through security. Though the likelihood of her being a threat was low, she had a knife, and they found it…

How much longer will our elders cling to the old models, the old way of doing things? While Record Execs push through laws to limit ingenuity and change, while politicians cleave to overwhelming force as a tool for change, the world around them has shifted. Polar bears recognize their ice is shrinking, but our leaders don’t.

Speaking of which, did you know that 70% of our kept-bee populations have disappeared? May have something to do with cell phones and electromagnetic fields.... Anyone want a post on how quickly 90% of humanity dies if bees cease their pollination routine?

Barack Obama has an African father and American mother, and is an American citizen. Yet African-Americans haven’t embraced him as “one of their own.”

April 21, 2007

Live-Blogging Palm Desert

With less than two hours of sleep I’m off on my first warm-weather vacation in many years. Being preternaturally warm, operating at several thousand degrees Kelvin as my normal body temperature, the last thing I generally consider to be relaxing is someplace hot; I’m the guy that went to Alaska in the winter and found it quite refreshing... None the less I’m on my way to Palm Springs to sit by the pool and wander aimlessly through the palm corridors. Also looking forward to spending a week with my cousins Donna and Ed, whom I don’t see often enough and whose company I enjoy tremendously. They’ve invited me to spend the week with them at their timeshare dealie, and so I’ve temporarily suspended my general rule of hot = bad for Dan.

Perfect timing for a vacation too. Everything has been hectic and fun at work this month. Lots of late nights, lots of early mornings, and non-stop activity for a few weeks now. I’m about half-way through a crash-implementation of a new system, and it’s been a crazy blend of extraordinary over-planning and on the fly decisions. Other projects haven’t stopped while this one has accelerated, and so I’ve been busier than usual, and my usual is so much busier than I’ve been for years. Still getting used to the new level of activity.

To help me out a bit this month I co-opted one of our departmental assistants, initially for a few hours here and there, and now she’s spending whole days at a time taking administrative work off my plate. She’s been doing great and graciously not complaining about the tediousness of some of what I'm asking her to do for me, and I’m hoping I get to keep her permanently once everyone gets used to the idea that there is indeed that much work to do.

Like everyone, I can easily complain about the effort and hours, but no one believes me. I’m smiling from ear to ear as I tell folks how busy I am, and how horrible it is. No one is buying it, I'm clearly having a great time. I really do prefer being busy…. Boundaries give me something to work from, time constraints in particular inspire my best productivity. The busier we get, the more I've been enjoying my work. Though I'm certainly going to enjoy this week off as well.

Continuing to take it easy on the dating front. I've had a few drinks here and there and continue to meet interesting women, but moving slowly and without any particular goal in sight. I've made it through April completely second-date free, and only two or three first dates. Seeing May fast approaching, I consider my dating break over.

I had a drink with someone early last week and we didn't click much at all. She is a self-described “entrepreneur” who has several online businesses going at once. She works for herself, doing her thing and seemed to look down on the 9-5 grind. Meanwhile, that lifestyle of hers is just not for me; I like structure, I like the consistency of expectations, effort, and reward. I think it has to do with how I grew up, and what worked for me and didn’t work for me in my parents' parenting style. In work, in relationships, in life I like to know where I stand, I like to know what’s expected of me, I require clarity. That’s not to say I can’t function in ambiguity -- like a vacation, ambiguity is a fun change of pace --but much like Las Vegas, while ambiguity is fun to spend some time in I wouldn't want to live there. I like my unplanned, boundary free experiences to be fully planned and circumscribed.

There is one new woman that suddenly seems promising, but our schedules make it challenging to spend significant time together; I'm out of town this week, and she's likely out of town next week... so it'll be slow going. But I really enjoy her company, and she gets all fun and cute when we're together, so I'm looking forward to seeing what might happen. She's also got this blog address, so we'll need to come up with a nickname for her...

More to come!

April 17, 2007

Sit tight...

Dan has a whole week off next week, and several airplane flights. You know what that means don't you? Yup, live-bloggin!

Spending a few days in Palm Springs by the pool with my cousins and then a few days in San Fran. Plenty of time to catch up on current events, and current Dan-events. Though in fact, Dan-events are thin on the ground... Been staying true to my "not so much dating in April" plan, so no juice for you there. Other than a Passover seder (and freshly-crafted haggadah), a company softball game (made a decent catch in the outfield) and a lot of work, very little going on.

I'll be heading back to Men's Wearhouse again this week. Bets on whether I regret it?

April 06, 2007

The greatest video since...

It's clearly the greatest video since this one; I love it when stars don't take themselves too seriously. Especially the normally serious ones...

First, read this.

Then, watch this:

Alanis finally seems to have grasped what "ironic' actually means. Such a simple and clear reminder that substance trumps style any day... I actually like the song when Alanis sings it.

April 04, 2007

Dating update -


No dating update, cause I haven't been dating. Honest, I haven't.

After spending nearly a grand on dating in March, I've decided I need to take myself off the market - at least until my tax return comes in. I know many of you will foolishly say things like "let her pay half" (date-suicide and you know it) or do cheaper dates (there's only so many times you can take someone on the Staten Island ferry) but rather than date badly, I'd rather not date at all. I bring the A-game, or don't play; that's just how I roll, yo.

The pool of potential partners is shallow these days anyway, and though I've been thinking about diving back into Jdate, I talk myself out of it each time I get close. It's good being single these days; I really don't have the time to put into a relationship anyway, which is an attitude I have on good authority annoys the crap out of women. I'd hate to end up back in that place again - the "she likes you more than you like her" place that's so familiar to me.

So for those of you living vicariously through my dating life, sorry to disappoint. I'm going to be single and stop dating altogether for a while.

Check in again in May, we'll see what Spring does to this great plan of mine...

April 03, 2007

Who's minding the store?

So many things wrong with last week's "MC Rove" performance at the Radio and Correspondents dinner, which made the round of the websites and news shows. The right-leaning outlets all thought it was a fun bit of whimsy, demonstrating Karl Rove's sense of humor and play, while the left... well, the left felt otherwise.

Much of the criticism was based on the "white man rapping" angle, which I personally have no problem with. White men can rap along with the best of them - the talented ones can. However this... this excruciating debacle demonstrates that the list of things Karl Rove lacks include rapping talent as well as a soul.

My concern with this event isn't focused on Rove making a fool of himself, mocking Afro-American culture, joking about his ability to get away with multiple felonies and undermine the laws of the land, or even his modern equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns. Nor is it the otherwise very talented Colin Mochrie making a fool of himself; he's a comedian, and no one expects him to have integrity.

No, what really got me was David Gregory making a fool of himself. The entire premise of the Radio-Correspondents' Association dinner is suspect, and this year's event does nothing to dispel the very real suspicion that the press only wants to get closer to the politicians they are tasked with reporting on.

In what I consider a grievous breach of professional distance, we see David Gregory camping it up along with the criminals that currently administer this great nation of ours. How can we possibly expect David Gregory to be impartial in his reporting when his professional detachment so easily goes out the window; he is clearly deriving such pleasure from his near-orbit with power can we still count on him to report on an event that may jeopardize his relationship with those whose company he covets?

When the history of the early 21st century is written, there will be chapters and chapters on the disgraceful abrogation of responsibility by the press during these past 7 years. As our freedom of speech and assembly are slowly but overtly eroded, freedom of the press is compromised from within, traded away in exchange for access and favors.