Thursday, January 29, 2009

boo hoo

So, every House republican voted against the stimulus bill, because it did not follow Republican dogma?

Are they totally clueless or totally shameless? I vote for a nasty combination of the two.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

good news and bad news


I got in touch with the amazing people at CorgiAid, Inc. ( and they appear to have a cart that will fit Zacky. It he adjusts to it, it could really enhance his quality of life, as his DM progresses over the next few months.

Not so good:

yikes. For a good (not) laugh, check out the comments from the 'skeptics'.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

somewhat low productivity today...

Here is our house this morning. The snow seems to be tapering off:

Went for a walk in our neighborhood park with Zacky, who loves the snow.
As I may have previously written, he has a degenerative neurological disease, that is causing him to slowly lose control of his hind legs. We just applied for a cart for him, from these amazing people.

He did pretty well today, though, and was SO happy to be out there walking with me.

Pretty slow work day for me, obviously, so I cleaned my desk. Karen returns from LA tomorrow night.

i should be working...

...instead of enjoying the snow this morning, not to mention this.

Here's the view of our back yard, with the tool shed and my car, taken with my crappy cell-phone camera...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a loud movie

Ben has been after me to see 'The Dark Knight' ever since it came out, and it was just re-released, to our neighborhood IMAX theater. We went to the noon show today.

There were probably no more than 10 people in the giant theater, watching the giant screen, and overwhelmed by the giant speakers pounding out giant sound-effects.

I have to admit that both the writing and photography were pretty darn impressive, and Heath Ledger's Joker truly amazing. It's not the kind of movie I generally love, but I'm happy to have seen it.

It's getting cold out there. Time to fix some dinner and settle in for the evening. If only the echoes of gunshots and other assorted explosions would die down in my head...

Saturday, January 24, 2009


There was a big wind-storm around here last week - lots of trees down and roofs damaged, mostly in East Multnomah county. However, our renters in Garden Home left a phone message that a couple of shingles had blown off the roof.

I could probably have attempted to do the repair myself, but not only would the work quality be suspect, but Karen would be angry if I fell off the roof and became a quadriplegic. I called a local roofing company and they sent over a young, limber guy, who did the repair in about 45 minutes.

Here's what I didn't have to do this afternoon:

Friday, January 23, 2009

i pass a test

During today's countless moments of significant activity, let me describe one particular minute.


For months, Ben has been singing the praises of Kenny and Zuk's, a downtown deli. I took him there for lunch today, arriving around 12:10 and the place was crazy with lunchers.

One of Ben's good High School friends (Lincoln HS) works as a counter-man and cashier there. We had our fabulous lunch (1/2 of a pastrami, chopped liver, cole slaw and russian dressing and a bowl of hot borsht for me, and an impossibly large turkey-pastrami sandwich with a mound of fries for Ben), paid, and got ready to leave. On the way out, we stopped to chat with Ben's friend.

Noah asked me if I'd like a complementary dessert, as a Dad-of-a-friend. I instantly turned my eyes to the plate of familiar objects, labeled 'Hamantaschen'.


Noticing my obvious interest, Noah (not a Jew) asked me, 'poppy or prune'?


Without having to think, I instantly replied, 'poppy, of course'.


Noah said, "everyone who knows what those are always chooses 'poppy'".



nice buttery cookie, but too dry

ever get the feeling that your life is boring?

I guess so, compared to these guys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

how sweet it is

Finally reached Zero hour/min/sec.

nice speech

Simultaneously, at its conclusion, I received three phone calls (none of which related to Obama) and one text message (that was).

The poet is speaking now, and nothing seems to rhyme, but it was short.

Just a benediction to go and I can get to work...

finally, it's official


Actually, Katie Couric just reminded us that Joe Biden was officially the acting president for about 5 minutes.

musical interlude

You can just imagine the millions of people, around the world, thinking to themselves, "c'mon, get on with it", and the folks standing in the cold in DC wondering if they have time to make it to the port-a-potty.

joe biden is in!

May he never be president.

aretha! all right!

Sing it, girl.

rick warren speaking now

Sorry, but the image of all these folks, bowing their heads in apparent prayer to a Big Guy in the Sky is quite embarrassing. What year is this?

Thank you, Jesus.

live-blogging the innauguration coverage

CBS just cut to a shot of the unloading of the moving van, by the White House back door, with the information that folks are hurriedly moving the Obamas' clothes and furniture in right now.

Now that's a change of underwear I can believe in.

the perfect headline as Bush leaves town

Sums up the W years pretty well, I think. Watching the TV coverage now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

i challenge you

watch this without tears in your eyes.

didn't think you could do it.

UPDATE: well, what do you know? Corporate America is not amused.

LATER UPDATE: Here it is, with Italian TV intro.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

good shabbos

a chilly Saturday morning, but golden sunlight is streaming into the kitchen, where my first cup of coffee is finished, the kitchen is cleaned, the cornbread is just about done, the dog and cats are fed, and I can go food-shopping later this morning, and buy anything I want.

And it's the last weekend where George Bush can do damage.

It doesn't get much better than this, or does it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

three oaxaca photos

One of the hundreds of displays at 'Noche de los Rabenos':

Interior of Santo Domingo:

Along the trail on the 2-day mountain trek:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

humans are often stupid but...

Can't argue with this poor approximation of the incredible sunrise, visible from my driveway right now:

Monday, January 12, 2009

that voice

The first thing I do EVERY morning, before getting out of bed, is to reach for my little earphone-radio, plug in, and scan both KPOJ and KOPB for any significant news. Yes, it's compulsive, this behavior dating all the way back to Watergate, when every morning just might bring some new tidbit.

This morning, I hear George W Bush holding what must surely be his last news conference. The questions, as always, are lame, and the responses, as always, are shocking in their cluelessness, distortion, and "aw-shucks, we're all friends and insiders in this room" attitude.

And that voice. That hideous, smug, self-confident voice. His crazy way of enunciating multi-syllable words, aside from the distorted perspective the words convey. It's so grating, so insulting, so infuriating.

Begone, I say, and never darken our towels again.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I have NEVER commented on Israel on this blog. Having never been there, I always felt totally unqualified to voice an opinion.

That being said, what the hell are they doing over there? Have they never opened a history book? You can't oppress and bombard a people and expect any reaction other than hardened resistance.

I don't get it - are they really that arrogant, that blind?

he's baaack

OK, OK, I know h0w tiresome it is to hear someone else moan about being depressed.

All it took to get me beyond it was a couple of phone calls and emails yesterday morning, from my two primary clients, throwing several complex programming challenges at me.

I spent most of the day tweaking a bunch of code I had previously written, to handle arcane data situations, inscrutable user requirements, and, yes, previously-introduced little buggies.

It was, again, totally fulfilling, and there's more to come today.

So, what is the antidote for depression? Being useful to someone. As St. Vonnegut so often reminded us, the purpose of human beings is to simply help each other get thru this.

In other news, my oldest son, Ben, came over for dinner last night. The two of us cooked together, using a jar of black mole that we bought in Oaxaca, and the chicken mole was good, as were the mashed potatoes, broccoli, avocado salad, and, yes, whole wheat fig newtons.

After dinner, Ben sat us down in front of the tube, and insisted that we watch the entire first season of 'Arrested Development', which I had never seen. I have to admit, I had to laugh out loud.

Back to the Visual Basic editor now, to work more magic. We all do what we can.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

it's the weather, stupid



feeling very disconnected. there have been three family deaths in a row, over the past month.

getting work and life back to 'normal' is turning out to be more difficult than I expected - so many loose ends still to be resolved.

not only that, but I have a dentist appointment in a half-hour.

is bush still president? what's wrong with this picture?

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Woke up in Oaxaca Saturday morning, and, three flights and a scant 17 hours later, I am in my familiar computer dungeon in Portland.

It's kinda amazing, but I am too tired to appreciate it fully.

Night, night.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

winding down in oaxaca

New Year's day and all is reasonably well.

Sylvia, my 97 year old mother-in-law, has been under the weather the past couple of days, and today is my turn to stay with her while the others are checking out a couple of neighboring villages.

Today is the last full day, then we have a full day of travelling on Saturday, before arriving home in Portland late Saturday night.

It has been a relaxing interesting trip, with several odd coincidences, many surprising sights, and a lot of corn tortillas, eggs, refried beans, avocados (especially wonderful) and chicken. Last night, at dinner at a local place, we ordered a bottle of wine and it (a Chilean Cabernet) was actually quite a delightful change from the frequent beers.

We've made a number of interesting purchases, and I have taken hundreds of photos, one or two of which may end up here soon.

Two weeks is a long time to be away from home, staying in the same place, but, coming after the hectic and stressful events of the past 4 months, a welcome trip. The day spent at Monte Alban was especially perfect, a major surprise being the incredible chicken-and-garlic platter we had for lunch at the airy, quiet cafe, overlooking the distant mountains, valleys and clouds.

Nothing more to say right now, except that it's another beautiful sunny afternoon in this ancient place, and my half-hour on this computer is about up.