Friday, June 30, 2006

Spot My Co-Worker

One of my co-workers attended the Rascal Flatts performance on the Today show this morning. Without any clues, see if you can guess which one is her in this video (Fast Cars and Freedom). All I'll say is she's not buried in the crowd.

(Rassem frassem PMSNBC: it won't play on anything but IE 6.)

ETA: Her mom called my office today. I said she wasn't hard to spot. She replied: "She didn't get that from me!"

UPDATE: It appears that the video has been removed. My co-worker was, well, gyrating. Now, any gyrating she does is against her will; she's seven months pregnant.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Give Me What I Need

Beating someone to the tag for the Needs Meme. No need to use my RL name, as "Cygnus" yields plenty:

  • Cygnus needs a signed letter from your employer disclaiming rights to the contributed software.
  • You need to lose 5 pounds about as much as Cygnus needs to be more forthright.
  • At least Cygnus needs to spell out exactly which files need to be to provided in source.
  • Cygnus needs a tool and so they implement a tool. (Better than being a tool, no?)
  • Decisions about what patches to work on integrating has nothing to do with Cygnus's needs.
  • He is asking Cygnus to lease this space for $10,000 for this year. Carrier said that was not something that Cygnus needs.
  • Cygnus needs to find a corporate partner without giving up too much, and to determine the true market potential of its device, the GlucoWatch Biographer, which got approved as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, traditional blood-glucose testing. (". . . Okay." /Wayne)
  • Cygnus needs more presets for commercial value.
  • "We are pleased to have designed and delivered a financing solution so well fitted to Cygnus' needs and goals." (Damned if I've seen it! :-))
  • Cygnus needs a gasmask at mob base, played against a whole team of jacks last nite and it got pretty lame pretty fast. (what. ev. er.)
  • But still Cygnus needs to edit more then. (No argument here.)
  • Cygnus needs a long runway. (Well, I AM 41 now . . .)
  • Cygnus needs a redo. (Some might agree.)
  • Cygnus needs to learn that Assertiveness only works in Business.
And my all-time favorite:
  • Cygnus needs no defending - his position is undefendable.

Won't You Please, Please Help Me?

I was driving through the downtown of a nearby city with my windows down (my first mistake? It wasn't the best neighborhood) when an older woman came over to my car. She first told me that she needed a ride because her pickup truck had broken down (there was a man seated at the wheel). I asked her where she needed to go. To a friend's house, she said, so she could get to another town out west.

For a moment, I considered giving her a lift . . . until her story started changing. Now, the truck was out of gas. I offered to bring her enough gas so she could make it to a station (I have a small jerry can in my car). Now she needed $20.

I left with her pleading me for the money. I kept repeating, "No, ma'am." For a minute I felt like she was going to hold onto my car door as I drove off.

I'm sure she wasn't on the level, although I have this nagging feeling of guilt that maybe, just maybe, she was telling the truth. My wife said I could also have offered to call her "friend." But it just didn't feel right.

It's not that I'm unwilling to help people. There are panhandlers around where I work, and more than once I've offered to take them to Wendy's for a meal. No, they just want the money. And a couple times when I've done that before, I get swarmed on by others who see what's going on. I want to be helpful, but not taken advantage of.

Can anyone else identify?

P.S. We give plenty of money to charitable causes. (Not asking for pats on the back; just sayin'.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Their Big Fat Bronx Wedding

My cousin finally tied the knot with his girlfriend of 7 years over the weekend. To say theirs was an elegant affair is an understatement. Yes, in the Bronx.

They got hitched at the New York Botanical Garden, right across the street from Fordham University where my cousin had a full acting scholarship (not surprisingly, they met in an acting workshop). Guess that had nothing to do with the choice in location. Sadly, we didn't get to see the grounds because of the heavy rains.

Only real downsides were the air conditioning (all the women were complaining that it was too cold) and the minister. We knew going in that this would not be a Christian wedding, but this lady wasted more time peppering statements that the couple made to her (that was nice) with quotes from Alice Walker, T.S. Eliot, War and Peace, the New York Phone Book, etc. (Okay, I made the last two up.) What a DAW. The ceremony (!) lasted almost as long as the full Mass that we had almost 11 years ago.

I didn't know whether they had a wedding party or Fordham's basketball teams. Seven groomsmen and bridesmaids and a junior groomsman.

The music was impressive: a chamber quartet for the ceremony, a jazz trio for the cocktail reception, and a 9- or 10-piece band for the main reception (which, to my mom's delight, played lots of swing music). And we could have filled up with the food that was served with the cocktails, much less the cod or filet mignon as the main course of the multi-course dinner. We weren't very hungry thereafter.

And? My cousin and his wife paid for the whole dang soiree themselves. Maybe they needed 7 years to save up all that money.

Who says there aren't big weddings anymore? Are they a thing of the past now?

Some sidebars:

  • We stayed at a Hampton Inn in Noo Joisey, across the street from the Meadowlands Race Course and Gi'nts Stadium. In the parking lot was the Noo Joisey State Fair . . . or what passed for it. It was really a glorified carnival with no ag exhibits or anything of the sort, but plenty of obnoxious barkers. In other words, an underwhelming experience. To get our money's worth, we lingered long enough to watch the pig races.
  • This marked the first time I'd ever driven on the Cross Bronx Expressway, I-95 in the Bronx. Wow. Those tunnels have to be the darkest I've ever seen, especially "under the apartments." And as I figured it would be, it was also s l o w.
  • We took a different route out via the Mosholu and Hudson Parkways. That was a faster route than the Cross Bronx, but it cost us $2.25 on the Hudson for some reason. To get to the George Washington Bridge, we had to do a 1440 (or so it seemed) around a seemingly endless series of ramps.
  • At Mass the next day in East Rutherford, we committed the Ultimate Sin: we took Someone Else's Pew. These regulars muttered about it all before church. (See also: Bingo night.) Didn't see their names engraved on the pew, however, so feh.
  • The priest, a Franciscan, talked about the need for us to read our Bibles. Afterward, I tried the Kathleen Madigan line on him, "Catholics don't read the Bible; they read -- the Bulletin!" He replied, "They don't even read that!"

Water, water, everywhere

Finally, we're starting to dry out some from the drenching rains of the past 4 days.

But this poor town of Myersville, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains not far from where I live, only seems to get in the news when something really crazy happens:

First, a bunch of missiles fell off a truck.

Then, two guys named Muhummad and Malvo tried to catch a nap.

Now, a terrible story of a water rescue gone awry.

Folks, when it comes to flood waters, be water wimps. Don't think just because you see folks on the Weather Channel driving through high standing water that it's OK. You. can. die.

My Dad's Sounds Of Silence

A little late for Father's Day, but . . .

One way in which my dad is an unsung hero is that he struggles very quietly with a personal battle. He's more than half deaf, and has had to deal with that all his life.

It'd almost be better if he were totally deaf. He wears a hearing aid, but all it does is magnify every sound, ESPECIALLY BACKGROUND NOISE. As a result, he can't participate much in family get-togethers because he can't hear what any individual one of us says. And it takes an incredible amount of concentration for him to be involved in any conversation.

I'm not sharing about this to victimize my dad, only to say that hearing difficulty is not a disability that one can see. And to his credit, he's never complained about it or used it as any sort of an excuse. I've recently discovered that my older brother has inherited his hearing loss also, and have had to learn to be sensitive to his same difficulties in certain social situations. That's one reason I like playing golf with my dad; by and large, he can hear me on a golf course.

In heaven, my dad will be able to hear clearly. Not that I hope he gets there anytime soon!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

OK, I did it

I've leaped feet-first into the world of blogging. Ooof! That hurt! *limps away*

Anyway, I hope I have some decent things to say that might be worth your time to read. Enjoy!