Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Don't miss out on a free scoop of ice cream and help out a good cause at the same time. Go to participating Baskin Robbins between 6pm-10pm on April 30th and get your free ice cream. For every scoop given out, Baskin-Robbins will make a donation to FirstBooks to provide books to underprivileged children. More at http://www.firstbook.org/cause/fsn2003.shtml

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I've made the news locally. Well, that is, I'm quoted in article about an organization I'm on the board of. The link may only be up for a week, so take a look quick before my fifteen minutes of fame is up...

Los Gatos Weekly Times

Monday, April 21, 2003

I've just got to share this with somebody. On one of the writing & publishing lists I'm on a conversation started on Friday about businesses being open on religious (Christian) holidays. It didn't take long for the more conservative posters to come along and add something stupid about those ignorant liberals.

I replied to one such jerk off-list, because it's off-topic, first of all, and I didn't want to start a flame war, second. But I just had to share with somebody:

Dear B*** (name changed for protection),

You are most welcome to your narrow-minded, hateful, and paranoid vision of America, but I believe you do need to be called on at least this little clip from your posting:

--- In Print-On-Demand@yahoogroups.com, "B***" wrote:
> ...
> It's not so much the separation of church and state that causes businesses
> to stay open on religious holidays. It's the influence of the political
> correctness movement, a vocal group of self righteous bigots whose objective
> it is to make the lives of knowledgeable people miserable.
> ...

You are correct that the separation of church and state has nothing to do with businesses being open on Easter; it has everything to do with government offices being open, however.

Businesses, particularly retail, long ago discovered the magic of being open when others are not. Quite long ago; in fact, well before the political correctness movement took hold. How young are you? The "PC" tag in not even 20 years old, yet businesses being open on holidays goes back at least twice that.

And then there's your description of the PC movement as "a vocal group of self righteous bigots whose objective it is to make the lives of knowledgeable people miserable."

Rather than respond at length to defend a group of loud mouths that I agree with about 70% of the time, and am annoyed by about 80% of the time, I'll just assume that this was your ill-timed attempt at humor, and that you don't really believe that they're all out to get you.

Should you have been serious with that quip, I'd first suggest that you consult a mental health professional about your paranoia, and second I'd ask you to consult your constitution about freedom of speech. Isn't it at least possible that these people are exercising their right to participate in our democracy, and not just trying to persecute you?

Have a nice day,

- Ken
(A liberal Jew from CA's SF Bay Area - I may not be everything you hate, but I'm close. And no, It's not my goal in life to make you miserable. It's just a hobby.)

Saturday, April 19, 2003

It's been a full week now, in the new house. I apologize for going on and on about it, but that seems to be the only thing on my mind. The other day at work my boss walked by and caught me telling somebody something about it and she said, "Is he talking about that house again?"

So, instead, let me tell you about living in a forest. This week, just on and around our property, I've seen several deer, a couple of banana slugs, and an incredible array of birds. All this just within the ordinary course of a day; not even hiking around looking for the stuff.

"Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus). Banana Slugs are Mollusks. They are the second largest slug in the world, growing up to 25 cm long. They are so named because very often their coloring resembles a banana, bright yellow body with black spots." --- Locally, they typically don't have the spots, but have very vibrant colors. The Banana Slug is also the mascot of University of California, Santa Cruz, from which Leslie and I each graduated.
banana slug - fiat slug

Monday, April 14, 2003

We're officially moved in and living the new house. (There's still some small stuff for us to go through, clean up, and pack at the apartment, but it's no big deal). Saturday - our main moving day with the big truck and extra guys to move the furniture - was pouring rain, and a bit of stressful hell unloading the truck from our muddy driveway and one-lane road. But we survived. The Sunday was the big Home Depot run. As Leslie said, "It's like a giant candy store for homeowners."

Meanwhile, out there in the crazy, terrifying world, are we, or are we not, going to invade Syria next? Our president, George W. Bush, was asked that question and gave a very clear and concise answer:

"I think that we believe there are chemical weapons in Syria, for example. And we will -- each situation will require a different response and, of course, we're -- first things first. We're here in Iraq now. And the second thing about Syria is that we expect cooperation." (from Yahoo News)

I feel much more secure now, thank you.

Friday, April 11, 2003

So much going on, and with such contrast.

Personally, the big move officially starts the moment I finish typing this and shut off the computer. We're incredibly excited to be leaving apartment life and moving into our first house.

What am I looking forward to? My own plumbing. No more sharing a water heater with the neighbors, waiting for them to finish showering before I can get in, or - worse of all - having them turn on the shower or flush a toilet while I'm already showering and I'm left covered with soap and only a trickle of either boiling or freezing water. Laundry, as well, will be a thrill with machines of our own. No more sharing three lousy machines among thirty apartments and having to save up all my quarters for the occasion.

In contrast to the personal excitement and happiness of the house, is the world situation and the continuing war in Iraq. Sure, Saddam has been toppled, but the fighting goes on - and will go on for some time. Anarchy, suicide bombings, assassinations of religious leaders, unrest among our allies (Turkey's not happy about how big a role the Kurd's played).

All, unfortunately, what I predicted would happen. A quagmire that could continue, not for weeks or even months as the administration would have us believe, but for years and possibly even decades.

And, also as feared and predicted, we're already setting our sites on the next target, with broad hints that it "may be Syria or Iran's turn next." I'm sure the North Koreans were happy to miss that short list.

Anyway, my friend Bill has combined these contrasting events - personal and world, thrilling and fearsome - into one graphic image: Saddam toppled into his concept for landscaping our new house:
my new house with toppled Saddam statue in the yard
To see the house as it really is, click here

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Sorry, not much time to post over the past week. Every spare moment is spent packing up boxes - or, better, taking stuff out to the dumpster or Goodwill collection site. Our goal is to only take about 50% of our old crap to the new house. A fresh start; that's what it's all about.

This morning, before work, I did bring over the guitars. Now, it's home. Home is where the strings are? I suppose it's got a ring to it.

Well, that's enough of a break. There's more boxes to fill...

Twitter Feed