Monday, November 29, 2004

Back to Normal?

Finished Half-Life2 yesterday and while the end was a bit of a letdown, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I may play it again in a few months on the hardest level since it was so much fun. Sure is nice to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I bought the new U2 cd How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb last Tuesday and it is wonderful. If you liked All That You Can't Leave Behind you will enjoy this as well. I also picked up the 4 DVD Live Aid Concert from 1985 and watched disc 1 over the weekend. The last number is a very young U2 singing Sunday Bloody Sunday and Bad. The live version on Bad is easily one of my favorite U2 songs and this performance reminded me why I am such a huge fan of theirs. Bono's energy and passion are flat out incredible. Go see them live when they tour to support Atomic Bomb. I know I will not miss them.

I hate to sound like a shill for my company but I saw the number 1 and 2 movies in the country over the weekend and it sure is nice to see Disney kick ass with National Treasure and The Incredibles. Message to Messrs Jobs and Eisner, give in a little and work something out please.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving Day

pilgrim_kids_sitting_at_table_md_whtI am thankful to live in a country that allows free speech like this blog. We take it for granted that we are able to say what we want in such a public forum. Despite the current wave of political correctness, right or wrong, good or bad, we have the expressed freedom to use our voices. Thank you founding fathers for this tremendous gift.

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and wonderful holiday season. Spend it with those that you love. I know I will and I am thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Behind on my posting as Half-Life2 has become my every free minute life. Playing way too much of HL2 into all hours of the night. This has led to ass dragging, falling asleep in meetings and movies and blood-shot eyes. I can't remember when I have had this much fun.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Out Cold

BJ Sleeping

This is our watch dog Black Jack. Any time you like you may come over and watch him sleep. Sorry for the soft porn photo, but BJ truly is a guy. Out cold, without a care in the world, showing off his manhood to the world. Personally, I think he looks like he got hit by a car.



Simply put, Half-Life2 rocks. Big time. Stop what you are doing and go buy this game now. Incredible graphics, great action and a shitload of fun. If you only buy one game this year, this is it. If you like to solve puzzles and blow the shit out of things you will love Half-Life2.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

R.I.P. O.D.B.

O.D.B., 35; Co-Founder of the Wu-Tang Clan

I suppose O.D.B. now means Ol' Dead Bastard.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Local Delicacy?


I am pretty sure that everyone in Ensenada is smoking these cigarettes because that town stinks. Beyond the stench it was a fun and restful weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Going away for the weekend. Middle of the ocean and then Ensenada. Leaving the laptop at home. No computers. No Internet. No kidding. I haven't disconnected in a while so this will be good. Bringing a novel and a camera. Must fight off the geek withdrawals. Beer and boat drinks seems to be the prescription.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Smoke House. Garlic Bread. Overdose. Heaven.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

T-Minus 365.25 Days

Wednesday. November 10th. Birthday. Numero 39. Sounds old. Ok, 40 sounds old. 39 reminds me that I have one year left before that milestone.

I keep wondering how I got to be this old. I remember being a child looking forward to being an adult. Looking up to people in their twenties and thirties. Camp counselors, teachers, parents, uncles. All role models that shaped who I have grown to become. When I turned twenty I realized that it was time to grow up and start acting like an adult. Take on responsibility. Think twice before doing something and consider the ramifications. My twenties were a good time. Freedom, maturity, love. When I turned thirty, I focused on my career. I looked at where I was and said, I don't want to being doing this when I am forty. Happily I am not. I changed careers, parlayed a hobby into something meaningful and am proud of what I do and who I do it for. My thirties have been about being a provider, a husband and best of all a father to three wonderful people. If I could only be one thing it would be dad. When you think of it I always will be. I could stop being a husband (not that I have any plans to do so). I could quit my job. Sell my house. Donate all my worldly possessions and cut ties with everything I know. But I would still be a father. And a son. And a brother. I have enjoyed my thirties. I have become grounded. And selfless. I sleep lighter, have eyes in the back of my head, and hear every little sound. I have developed the sixth sense of being a parent.

As I look back and now forward, it strikes me that the coming years will be more of the same. Forty sounds so old to me. Older brother Scott is 42, but he doesn't seem it. Wife Debby is 47 and still seems as young and playful as the day we met 15 years ago. I know in my heart that I will always be young. Sometimes too young to a fault. If youth is wasted on the young lets just say that I am trying to make up for wasting mine being a scared, gangly, fish out of water. I am still shy, still crappy at small talk, still quick to make a wisecrack to hide those things, and still insecure about many things. I try not to sweat the little things, but I can still be petty, petulant and punitive. I suppose if I keep up those last three, I really don't have to worry about growing up.

I like the path I am on. I like that I am writing again. I like who I am with and the life we have made together. I miss my mother and my uncle horribly. That has been the hardest part of getting older. As I age, everyone around me does so as well. As the years go by, so will the people. I know I am pained with worry by the thought of loss. I know I can do nothing about staving it off. Perhaps it is that awareness that says stop worrying about the years and start living the days.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The 5th Amendment Simplified

Good Advice

Here's some good advice from an attorney advertising in the Los Angeles Times. Direct, to the point and he didn't use a bunch of confusing legalese. Kind of hard to argue with his logic. When you think about it you really don't even have to be arrested to follow his advice.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

How's Business?

Is the economy good or bad? Is your business successful or not? Two words come to mind, C-U-S-T-O-M-E-R S-E-R-V-I-C-E. I am writing this slowly and in big letters to make a point to anyone that is not doing well or can't understand why they are not more successful. What many businesses and people working for those business seem to forget is the old axiom that the customer is king. (The customer is not always right, but a good business recognizes that and lets the customer think he/she is.) Customers drive businesses. Happy customers drive businesses to success. Unhappy customers drive businesses out of business. So take care of your customers. This is called customer service and it is the most important thing in a service oriented business. How hard is this to comprehend?

This past Monday, I called three tree services and asked them to give me bids to remove the Mexican Fan Palms I posted about earlier. I chose them out of the Yellow Pages and selected them by the size of their ads. You can have the best product in the world and fail miserably if you do not market and advertise your products or services properly. I usually start with the biggest ads knowing that the companies that place them have been established for at least a year and hopefully have the revenue to support the monthly fees. I gave all the three companies the same requirements and both my home and office number, each of which can receive messages. All said that they would get back to me within a day or so. Today is Saturday. After six days of waiting, I receive only one bid to remove the trees. That bid is just under $2000.00. Not as cheap as I would have hoped, but reasonable due to size of the trees, the hauling away of the debris and removing the stumps. Someone ultimately is going to make some money on these trees, but it damn sure isn't going to be the other two vendors I contacted. If they can't even drive by the front of my house and look at two simple trees in a timely fashion how I can trust them to show up and remove my trees? I hope business is that busy for the two vendors that have failed to win my business. I believe in referrals and word-of-mouth. The last thing you want is a customer bad mouthing you.

I don't know if I will go with vendor number three as I want to get competing bids, but I will say that they understand how to service people. I received two confirmation phone calls before they came out and the bid was waiting in my mailbox when I got home. Pretty simple. This company went so far as to leave me a copy of their insurance as well as their contractor's license number. Nice touches that I notice and am always impressed by.

The next time you want to complain about business being bad, make sure you look inward first and ask yourself am I doing everything I can in my position to take care of my company's assests. No matter what job you do, if you draw a paycheck from an employer you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect your employer's business. Plain and simple. If you don't care about these kind of things then you have no business in business and you should try to win the lottery. Until then please find a rock and crawl under it.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

When I Grow Up...

...I want to have this guy's "job". If you like Legos check out Eric Harshbarger's LEGO pages. Amazing stuff!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

November 2nd, Finally!

The big day is finally here! It's about time. I am so sick of all the contoversy in the newspapers and on TV. The bickering, the debating, the mudslinging. All that ends today. Tonight is the Los Angeles Lakers' home opener against the Denver Nuggets and I am going! Woo Hoo!

What did you think I was talking about.....?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Free Palm Trees, You Pick Up

In our front yard we have two extremely tall Washintonia Robusta palm trees. These trees are also known as the Mexican Fan Palm. They really should be called the Fucking Messy-Ass Palm. The trees are probably 50 feet tall and shed little black berries that look like rabbit shit all over our driveway and front yard. For the last 6 years we have tracked this rabbit shit into our house and cars. Walking barefoot to get the newspaper is near impossible because of this minefield. No amount of sweeping, hosing or cursing helps. The berries are so high up that we either have to live with it, have the trees cleaned or have them removed. This torture lasts about 2 months or so every Fall. Astute readers will conclude that the fuckers are coming out ASAP. Its a shame because they are mature trees that look impressive, but in reality they provide no shade and are really just a giant habitrail for the local squirrel population. Debby has wanted to have the trees removed for years but I have resisted as I can't see spending money to kill perfectly good trees. With yesterday's wind the rabbit shit berries came raining down like hail all over my PT Cruiser and the front porch. The defining moment was the dead palm branch that hit the roof of the garage with a heavy thud. Another 3 feet and it would have been the roof of my car. I take my time in making big decisions but when I do decide I am quite decisive in making something happen.

Here's the deal: the trees are yours for the asking, just come over, dig them out and take them home with you. First come, first served. No kidding. Free. Zero. Nada. Gratis. Bupkiss. Zilch.

Free Palms

By the way, you will need a crane, flatbed truck and liability insurance to get the trees off my property. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Always. I'm awaiting bids on tree removal. Referrals welcomed. Updates to follow.


If you haven't figured it out yet, I really don't know diddly poo about HTML and web design. I can just surf the web like a local on the pipeline. I am using free pre-made templates from Blogger to create 6Foot7 and tweaking it ever so slightly to add some personal touches. Tonight's additions are links in the left hand column called Worth a Look. These are shortcuts to the Blogs of people that I know and read. Want me to link you, send me an e-mail.