Friday, October 31, 2003
Symbolism like a cannonball, I guess.

Halloween night in San Diego, all the kids out with their moms, cute in Scream costumes, princess outfits and Spider-man plastic. In my neighborhood you don't see any men out walking with the kids.

But across the street, where my neighbor with the camouflage pants lives, there is an American flag proudly jutting from his home. There are no lights on outside, but on the inside there is light from the kitchen and the TV.

He's home, but as far as the kids are concerned he's not.

That's America, as far as I'm concerned.

Fuck it, I got Whoppers, Twix and Kit-Kats. Step right up.
These are entries from last year's Halloween night:

My Budweiser over/under during trick-or-treating is 5.

The line of the night - and perhaps of the year - came after I gave the candy and my standard "be safe" line.

A boy about 6 years old and dressed as a, well, a boy about 6 years old in a sweatshirt, said:

"We will, my dad has a gun."

A kid "dressed" as a heavy metaller came to the door wearing a Suicidal Tendencies hat and Slayer shirt. He might've been 14.
When I said, "Finally, a metaller," he responded with:

"I got a bud, wanna smoke?"

NOFX was all wrong, these kids are just fine.
This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are right and you
need to shut up. Never use "fine" to describe how a woman looks - this will cause you to
have one of those arguments.

This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to
last before you take out the trash, so it's an even trade.

This means "something," and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to
describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and
backwards. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and end
with "Fine"

GO AHEAD (With Raised Eyebrows! )
This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over "Nothing" and will end
with the word "Fine"

GO AHEAD (Normal Eyebrows)
This means "I give up" or "do what you want because I don't care" You will get a "Raised
Eyebrow Go Ahead" in just a few minutes, followed by "Nothing" and "Fine" and she will
talk to you in about "Five Minutes" when she cools off.

This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men.
A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment, and wonders why she is
wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"

Again, not a word, but a non-verbal statement. "Soft Sighs" mean that she is content.
Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will stay content.

This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's
Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you back for whatever
it is that you have done. "That's Okay" is often used with the word "Fine" and in
conjunction with a "Raised Eyebrow."

At some point in the near future, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.

This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with
whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You
have a fair chance with the truth, so be careful and you shouldn't get a "That's Okay"

A woman is thanking you. Do not! faint. Just say you're welcome.

This is much different from "Thanks." A woman will say, "Thanks A Lot" when she is
really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have offended her in some callous way, and
will be followed by the "Loud Sigh." Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "Loud
Sigh," as she will only tell you "Nothing"

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Not to disrespect these bad motherfuckers by intimating that I could ever approach their greatness, but the sounds of Ray Bryant, Bobby Timmons and Wynton Kelly are why I spend the evening playing piano instead of watching LeBron James ball while my girl is away.

Last night I listened to Pharoah Sanders’ 37-minute Black Unity jam. Afterward, I downshifted into Ray Bryant’s Alone with the Blues, and I haven’t been able to spend a moment away from the piano since. This is some very heavy shit, Philadelphia-style.

The fires are still raging here, but the weather has cooled and moistened a bit, and the air quality in better. The Red Cross is still looking for handouts, and the TV networks are shilling for the cause.

I’m gonna burn a couple hundred Ray Bryant CD’s and send ‘em to the Catholic Charities attn: The Hustler Priest, Father Joe.

Stay strong.
God, I gotta get some friends who can start a war for me. It is such a ludicrous, er, lucrative business.
This is a cartoon I received about Kobe. I don't really endorse it, but some people like this sorta thing, so I thought I'd give you the opportunity to look at it.
"We do not understand these Americans who, like adolescents, always speak of sex, and who, like adolescents, all of a sudden have discovered that sex is good not only for procreating children."

Oriana Fallaci, Italian author
We're pleased to announce that the current copy machines will be replaced with new ones, one of which is to be delivered tomorrow, Thursday, the 30th.

PLEASE NOTE: The copier currently located in the mail room will be moved to the West Wing, near the small kitchen. Until the new copier has been fully installed and is functional, please continue to use the "old" one.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. As soon as the new copier(s) are ready for use, we will let you know.

Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Good Morning!

We will need judges for some of the contests being held this Friday. Please respond by checking either, the "yes" or "no" buttons above. We will take the first 14 or 15 employees who respond "yes."

Thank you.
The work fantasy basketball draft is going to begin in about 10 minutes. My friend and I are the co-captains of the team DAVID ROBINSON SUCKS. We are the defending champions, though last year our club was called TEAM BIG FELLA in honor of that crybaby Shaquille O'Neal.

I see that the work guy who parties the hardest has name his team DELIRIUM TREMENS.

We both love the Lakers, and we were talking about watching Payton, Mailman and Shaq laughing on the bench the other night. The Lake Show was up by about a million against the Mavericks, and we imagined that Kobe was just sitting there, thinking, God, I wish I didn't fuck that teenager in Colorado this summer.

It was to have been a fun season.

I have the third overall pick in the draft. (SpellCheck wants to replace LAKERS with LAGERS.)
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
The dormant wreckage of my academic career began like a supernova burst at Temple University 15 years ago this summer, when I took Dr. Edward Glick’s “Intro to Poli Sci” class at the Philadelphia school’s Ambler campus.

Glick’s summer course might have been not only the beginning but also the apex of my academic career, for it was the last time I really remember caring about school, and I was genuinely pissed off when I only got a B+.

After that, and as a young man from the West Coast spellbound by the poisonous beauty of the East Coast, it was all downhill as I repeatedly fell in love, passed myself off as a Wharton School student to gain acceptance with the Main Line girls, went to Italy and flamed out of school before the first President Bush was out office.
Notes on a barroom memorial:

Because he listened to and played good music – rare double qualities these days – because he respected women and because he had an infectious, self-deprecating sense of humor, I am saddened by the loss of Cranford. He was refreshingly authentic, a man of flesh and blood trying to fit into an artificial world.

But I am not really sorry about his death, if that makes any sense.

I believe Cranford would have chosen no other way to go out, and I applaud him for – unlike a lot of us – being true to himself.

Cranford wrote a song called “Suicide or Alcohol,” and his lyrics are filled with self-loathing and innumerable references to drug abuse and the seeming pointlessness of life. For these reasons do I say his end was inevitable. He courted death, taunted it and, ultimately, embraced it.

But as anyone who knew him can attest, Cranford was not the type of guy who walked around with a rain cloud over his head: You didn’t know him if you would describe him as gloomy. Instead, he sported a an omnipresent dumb mischievous grin, the face that assured you the world’s problems could be solved with a stiff drink, The Replacements and a no-good woman.

And he was right, only perhaps he didn’t believe it.

He would probably get a kick out of the fact that he outlived uber-punkers Darby Crash and Sid Vicious by some ten years.

I miss him every day.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Jason Cole of the Miami Herald is seeking free-lance help for the Dolphins-Chargers game.

Looking for two stories. Pay is $150.
impassible \im-PASS-uh-buhl\, adjective:

1. Incapable of suffering; not subject to harm or pain.
2. Unfeeling or not showing feeling.
The office will be open again tomorrow.

It has been reported that all San Diego County Schools will be closed again tomorrow due to unhealthy air quality. We wish to permit some flexibility for those with children at home and no day care alternatives. Should you find yourself in a difficult situation, please check with your supervisor to determine your specific schedule. Some supervisors have been able to provide assignments allowing a team member to work from home.

We have implemented an employee information line to enable you to obtain emergency and other information, as necessary. The Info Line may be accessed by calling ____. Any questions? Just let me know.

Thank you.
Some good friends of mine got married July 6, 2002, and right now at work I’m listening to their gift CD each wedding invitee received.

The first song is Lenny Kravitz’s “Let Love Rule,” and it seems like such a long time ago that I first heard it. I guess it was 15 years or so. Lenny was in love with someone different back then, and so was I.

This second song is Frank doing “Fly Me to the Moon,” which reminds me equally of a Portuguese woman I once knew too well and the opening-credits sequence of “Wall Street.”

Now it’s Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend,” which seems like a really good love song, though I’ve never really liked Queen all that much – certainly no where near as much as the groom in this wedded pair. Now we're on to The Boss and "The Fever."
With half a mind thinking that the air quality would be better at the modern, efficient office where I occasionally work than at my ancient home, I made the 30-minute drive north to Carlsbad today. On the way up the I-5, I quickly realized how much car air conditioning is not part of my life – it was impossible to open the windows because of the smoke and ash, and I didn’t want the forced air to stir up all the soot that got in the car when I did this morning.

Traffic was lighter than a usual Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., but people still drive like they have sex – haphazardly and without regard for anyone else. When I got to work, there were several of my people outside smoking grits, and they did look kinda humorous. I quit 10 months ago.

The air at work is better than at home, but not by a whole lot. It just feels like you’re in a mesquite restaurant, like Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin.

My Outlook was filled with messages from Human Resources like these:

Dear All Employees in the Office Today:

Thank you for coming in to the office! Please keep all doors closed, stay inside as much as possible and use only those lights and that electricity absolutely required to enable you to do your job and be safe.

Just an FYI, the deli is open today but Judy said she may close early this afternoon if traffic is especially light.

Dear All Employees:

Please submit all timesheets and related payroll information no later than 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. Given the situation today with corporate offices on mission critical operations only, we will be on a very tight timeline to get payroll information submitted in a timely manner to Ceridian.

Please make this a priority.

Thank you.

The office will be open today; however, we will be understanding of those situations where children are out of school and daycare is unavailable. Also, those employees impacted by closed roads/freeways will be allowed flexibility.

Please speak with your supervisor regarding your specific situation and departmental needs.

Thank you.

Good morning,

As planned, the flu vaccine will be available today at 10:00 in the upstairs Board Room.

The company has generously offered to pay the cost of the flu shot for employees. If you want to get a pneumonia or Tetanus shot, you will need to pay the $35.00 fee.

Reminder: Please complete and approve timesheets by 10 am this morning.
I appreciate your help in getting payroll completed on such a tight schedule.

During the current crises, we are being reminded to drink plenty of water. Today only, water is “on the house” - please help yourself but be considerate and conservative as our supply is limited and many employees won’t be joining us until later in the day due to individual circumstances.

Thank you.
Monday, October 27, 2003
The They said that all the schools are going to be closed again tomorrow because of the fires, but a lot of people are going back to work.

If I were as greedy, evangelical and evil the president appears to be, I would wait until I was assured of a second term in office before I started wars that enriched my friends and family at the expense of poor people duped by the idea of "patriotism."

I mean, why not lock it up, and then run the country into the ground? Wait until the second term before cutting taxes on the super-rich at the peril of the middle and lower class.

But I'm not president, and my dad was never president, so who am I to say. (This president's dad didn't win his second term either.)

How do you feel when the "authorities" ask you to conserve water and energy in times of crises? Do you feel like "pitching in" and being "part of the team"? Or do you think, Fuck you, Water & Utilities, do you ever do shit for me?

Did you really weep for the airlines after Sept. 11?

Of course you did, because you knew it was people just like you who were going to lose their jobs, not the executives with gilded parachutes.

(I was just nearly beheaded when the washing machine lid slammed down while I was picking up clothes off the floor. It scared the bejeezus out of one of the dogs, too.)

Tony Pierce, despite being a Cubs fan, seems to have a good grasp on what is important in life, and today he was nice enough to link this site from his. He is up in West Hollywood, and I am in San Diego, but I feel as if we are close. We both like the Lakers, bad girls and The Replacements, and we have Midwest roots.

So, with a nod to Tony, I here submit my answers to the questionnaire he said he got from Pokey.

1. WHAT IS YOUR Middle name?
Gerard, like that punk French actor.
2. WHAT kind of PANTS ARE YOU WEARING and what color?
San Diego's real jazz station, Jazz 88.
Tonight we went and ate at Ono Sushi.
Burnt siena.
One of my brothers, listening to him cry about how terrible the Chargers are.
I got it from Tony Pierce.
Fine, thanks.
Dark coffee.
Vodka and apple juice.
Basketball, dog racing.
Not anymore.
Three, all younger.
Carne asada.
"Bowling for Columbine"
Scary movies. I'm not that guy who's going to jerk you off about life never has happy endings, because they found that Utah girl who was "kidnapped." But I don't think everything has to have closure. Life is messy, and that gives it flavor.
Too crude to consider right now.
A small plane had to crash-land on the 163 yesterday, and today an emergency helicopter had to set down at a high school in Clairemont. The sky is falling with these fires, and all the politicians can think to do is blame each other for not handling the blazes better.

I guess man does find his true character in times of crisis.

It' still orange and gray outside, but the ash is the air is much thicker than it was yesterday. I haven't watched any TV, so I don't really know the latest. A friend called and said that at least one of the network affiliates has gone back to soap operas, so I guess FIRESTORM 2003 has lost a little of its sex appeal.

Most of the schools in San Diego are closed today, and I think all of the universities -- SDSU, USD, UCSD, Cal State-San Marcos -- are shuttered for business. The streets are still quiet, and those people walking around are wearing their Kyoto dust masks.

The people who don't drive big trucks with American flags all over them are not throwing their garbage into the streets today. The big-truck people are pitching in to the cause today, too.

I think in difficult times Americans have a tendency to try to over-help thy neighbor. It's like we sit in our rooms all year long being told how we hate each other and don't want to get along, that when a true TIME OF NEED comes up, we go crazy in our subconscious efforts to prove that we really do care about each other.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
In San Diego, it’s been pitch-black nearly all day long, and it has nothing to do with turning the clocks back last night. These fires have paralyzed us, and the mayor went on TV to say that all “non-essential” city and county employees should stay home tomorrow. He encouraged employers in the area to give workers the day off to alleviate traffic for emergency services on the overworked highways. My primary employer closed the office for tomorrow.

Some of my friends packed belongings and took their dog to a hotel near the beach, where rooms were comped if you live in an area threatened by flames. They said the hotel people didn’t ask too many questions.

There was no football on TV today, which was kinda weird, until the ESPN Sunday night game started at 5:30 p.m. The network affiliates have been going nonstop with coverage of what they are calling FIRESTORM 2003.

It’s crazy.

The parking lots at Qualcomm Stadium are filled with people who have left their homes. Tomorrow’s Chargers game against the Dolphins has been moved to Arizona.

The airport is dead.

My home is about five miles from the closest flames, and when I woke up this morning at eight, the sky was already burnt orange and there was soot all over the place. Now, the cars in the neighborhood are covered with ash and dirt. The people on TV have told us to stay inside and close all our windows. The have asked that we minimize use of appliances and conserve water.

Our power briefly went out about an hour ago, just long enough to mess up all the digital clocks. My neighbor across the street, the Yankees fan, was out in the street this afternoon with an army-green shirt and camouflage pants on. He was wearing at least one phone on his belt, and he was talking into a headset.

I went out front with the dogs and asked him if he was going to fight the fires himself, and as soon as he opened his mouth I knew he was in no joking mood. He went all Y2K on me, talking about wind directions and updrafts, about how the heat from the fire creates its own weather system, that it was coming our way.

He looked at me as an unbeliever when I said there was no way the flames could bore their way into the concrete city. An infidel, I registered in his eye. I took the dogs back inside and told him I’d talk to him later. I haven’t.

We didn’t start drinking until just a couple of hours ago because we couldn’t really decide if we were going to have to do anything about the fire. Our friends kept calling – some from the East Coast and up north – and asked if we were all right. Everyone here keeps saying it’s like Armageddon or “The Day After.”

We didn’t really get all that bent about it. I mean, there’s not much we can do.

We opened a bottle of white wine and put on “Bowling for Columbine,” and for a while we forgot that the rest of the county was scorching. I think we’ll sleep well tonight and try to enjoy the day off on Monday.

Hope you’re safe.

(Then I read this, which did cross my mind earlier today.)
The chairman of the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks said that the White House was continuing to withhold several highly classified intelligence documents from the panel and that he was prepared to subpoena the documents if they were not turned over within weeks.
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Mr. Atrens's basic argument is that it's physiologically almost impossible for many people to lose weight, as evidenced by a high recidivism rate and the unflagging profitability of diet paraphernalia, from liquid concoctions to surgeons' staples.

-- Karen Stabiner, review of "Don't Diet," by Dale M. Atrens
Friday, October 24, 2003
"It's a sexual paradise for the socially bankrupt," says Laurena Cahill, who covered child sexual exploitation for Bangkok's the Nation at the time Rosser lived in the city, and is now a journalist in Europe. "It's a center for a lot of sexual deviance."
Read this question, come up with an answer, and then scroll down to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met this guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be just that! She fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him.

A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive in killing her sister?
(Give this some thought before you answer)

She was hoping that the guy would appear at the funeral again.

If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly. If you didn't answer the question correctly, good for you. If you got the answer correct, please let me know so I can take you off my e-mail list unless that will tick you off, then I'll just be extra nice to you from now on.

CHICAGO -- People who chew gum are going to experience some inflation -- and it won't have anything to do with blowing bubbles.

Wrigley is raising some of its suggested retail prices by a nickel in the company's first increase in 16 years.

Prices for Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, Big Red and Winterfresh brands will go up in January. Meanwhile, the company plans to shave 5 cents off the suggested retail price of its Extra sugarfree gum.

The changes will put the prices for all those Wrigley brands at 30 cents for a five-stick pack.

Wrigley is the world's largest maker of chewing gum, with global sales of more than $2.7 billion. The company markets its gum in more than 150 countries.
arbiter \AR-buh-tuhr\, noun:

1. A person appointed or chosen to judge or decide a dispute.
2. Any person who has the power of judging and determining.
Don't forget to ensure your name is clearly marked on any food containers in the refrigerator(s) -- it's "Clean the Fridge Friday"!
Thursday, October 23, 2003
United We Stand (My Ass)

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ridiculed his court's recent ruling legalizing gay sex ...
"One of the major reasons that I'm not a Christian is that I don't consider myself an evil and worthless wretch who has no ability to change himself or the world around him. I am not a Christian because I believe in hope and humanity."

-- Daniel G. Jennings
NEW YORK -- When newspapers reported this week on poor medical and living conditions for Americans injured in Iraq, it might have come as a shock for some readers. For months, the press has barely mentioned non-fatal casualties or the severity of their wounds.

E&P reported in July that while deaths in combat are often tallied by newspapers, the many non-combat troop deaths in Iraq are virtually ignored. It turns out that newspaper readers have also been shortchanged in getting a sense of the number of troops injured, in and out of battle.

"There could be some inattention to [the number of injured troops]," said Philip Bennett, Washington Post assistant managing editor of the foreign desk. "And obviously if there is, it should be corrected. Soldiers getting wounded is part of the reality of conflict on the ground. I think if you were to find or discover that those figures are being overlooked, that would be something we'd want to correct."
This might be the real The Firm. Click around a little bit, and you'll see what I mean.
The Eighties marked a return to Single Dad TV shows' focus on the relationship between Dads and their kids in the home environment. Careers of the Single Dad took the back seat in story development.

Novel mixes of "tag-team Dads" appeared, slightly altering the definition of the Single Dad. Could you really identify someone as a "Single Dad" if they lived with another "Single Dad?"

Also, notice the downsizing of the TV Single Dad families - most of the families in the 80's shows had only one child. Quite a paring-back from the 60's troikas.
There will be something for everyone on Friday, October 31st.....

Contests to prepare for are:

Departmental Costumes Contest - 1 winning department
Pumpkin Carving Contest - 1 winner
Pumpkin Baking Contest (3 categories; 3 winners)
Individual Costume Contest (3 categories; 3 winners)
Categories are: 1) Most Original 2) Funniest 3) Scariest


Choose the sign-up sheet nearest you.....either downstairs on the Employee Bulletin Board or upstairs in the kitchen. The deadline for signing up is Wed., Oct. 29th.

Beginning Monday and continuing through Thursday, a little MRM (Monster Riddle Madness) will happen. Watch your Emails for additional details.

Friday morning's contest timelines will be provided in an upcoming email. All contests and judging will be completed by midday, however.

Plan to join in the fun! Don't be left out in the ghould or you won't stand a ghost of a chance!

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual.

George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet
This is both surprising and shocking.

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little said he is not sure he wants to be back with the team next season, according to a published report.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
The World Series is fixed in favor of the Yankees, no question about it.
"They've got to move quickly," Edmonds said. "It has been alleged that the White House leaked Plame's identity to the press in retaliation for her husband's vocal criticism of Bush Administration policies in Iraq. Before the people's trust in the presidency can be restored, they demand that a scapegoat be brought before the media, given a cursory and farcical trial by association, and pilloried before their eyes. Without the White House at least going through the motions of some sort of judicial accountability, how can we maintain our faith in the nation's leaders?"

"The administration is in a muddle," Edmonds said. "They've changed tactics several times since the leak surfaced. First, they vehemently denied that anyone from the White House was involved. Then, they made a public show of agreeing to hand over documents and other evidence to the Justice Department. Then, Bush even suggested that Bob Novak was to blame, for using the leaked information in his column. It's time for Bush to choose a scapegoat and commit to the decision."
panacea \pan-uh-SEE-uh\, noun:

A remedy for all diseases, problems, or evils; a universal medicine; a cure-all.
I wonder if Rick feels the same way about those awaiting execution on death row?

"Today we have reached a significant victory as we continue to build a more compassionate society and a culture that values every human life," said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., the bill's sponsor.
As a result, the defense companies in which I own stock are going to need another $87 billion ...

TO: Gen. Dick Myers
Paul Wolfowitz
Gen. Pete Pace
Doug Feith

FROM: Donald Rumsfeld

SUBJECT: Global War on Terrorism

The questions I posed to combatant commanders this week were: Are we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? Is DoD changing fast enough to deal with the new 21st century security environment? Can a big institution change fast enough? Is the USG changing fast enough?

DoD has been organized, trained and equipped to fight big armies, navies and air forces. It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution, either within DoD or elsewhere — one that seamlessly focuses the capabilities of several departments and agencies on this key problem.

With respect to global terrorism, the record since Septermber 11th seems to be:

We are having mixed results with Al Qaida, although we have put considerable pressure on them — nonetheless, a great many remain at large.

USG has made reasonable progress in capturing or killing the top 55 Iraqis.

USG has made somewhat slower progress tracking down the Taliban — Omar, Hekmatyar, etc.

With respect to the Ansar Al-Islam, we are just getting started.

Have we fashioned the right mix of rewards, amnesty, protection and confidence in the US?

Does DoD need to think through new ways to organize, train, equip and focus to deal with the global war on terror?

Are the changes we have and are making too modest and incremental? My impression is that we have not yet made truly bold moves, although we have have made many sensible, logical moves in the right direction, but are they enough?

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?

Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions.

Do we need a new organization?

How do we stop those who are financing the radical madrassa schools?

Is our current situation such that "the harder we work, the behinder we get"?

It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.

Does CIA need a new finding?

Should we create a private foundation to entice radical madradssas to a more moderate course?

What else should we be considering?

Please be prepared to discuss this at our meeting on Saturday or Monday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.

-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist

Sick, Injured Reservists Rip Army Care

The World Series, the pinnacle of America's pastime, is on television right now, and the FOX announcers are having a phone conversation with a British guy who became famous for telling people how much they suck at singing.

They are promoting some sort of cell phone while the New York Yankees are playing baseball.

Fair. Balanced. Classy.
Paul Westerberg has a new album out today, and you can listen to it here.

Westerberg's place is secure among the great American songwriters.
In the spirit of national unity -- UNITED WE STAND, MY ASS -- the president's mother is in the news:

WASHINGTON – Former first lady Barbara Bush and mother of President Bush described Democrats trying to unseat her son in the the White House as a "sorry group" of politicians.

"So far, they are a pretty sorry group if you want to know my opinion," said Mrs. Bush in an interview aired Monday by NBC's "Monday" show, when asked about the Democratic line-up for the 2004 presidential election.
Monday, October 20, 2003
Tony Pierce celebrates Snoop Dogg's birthday in style, and tomorrow is my girl's b-day.

Please wish her the best. I will.
Somewhat unbelievably, my three favorite songs Clash are ones sung by Mick Jones, not Joe Strummer.

They are:

"The Card Cheat"
"Police on My Back"
"Stay Free"

My second three favorites are sung by Strummer:

"White Man in Hammersmith Palais"
"I'm So Bored with the U.S.A."
"Washington Bullets"
A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams.

-- Umberto Eco (b. 1932), Italian semiologist, novelist
I'm not a hippy (I wash my body), but I like love, and I think we need more love. I found the following treatise on love here.

Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.

When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.

When someone loves you, the way she says your name is different. You know that your name is safe in her mouth.

If life is 'A,' love is the whole alphabet.

Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs.

Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don't yell at him because you know it would hurt his feelings.

Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.

Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss but they look happy and sometimes they dance in the kitchen while kissing.

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who hates you.

Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no.

When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared she won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only does she still love you, she loves you even more.

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.

Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they've know each other so well.

Love comes from people's hearts, but God made hearts.

During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.

My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.

Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.

Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.

When you're born and see your mommy for the first time. That's love.

You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.

I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her.

Love cards like Valentine's cards say stuff on them that we'd like to say ourselves, but we wouldn't be caught dead saying.

When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.

Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.

Love makes you sweat a lot.

You never have to be lonely. There's always somebody to love, even if it's just a squirrel or a kitten.

You can break love, but it won't die.
This might be a good read.
Sunday, October 19, 2003
"It's the first time I had a chance to see him in person. He's a pretty good player," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "If you get the count 3-0 and lay a fastball down the middle, I think you could be a pretty good hitter, too."
This is easily the worst movie I've ever seen. Which is funny, because his TV show often is great.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Griles was an oil, gas and coal lobbyist.

The letter claims that he is still being paid $284,000 per year by an "old lobbying company ... which we feel is a pretty big conflict of interest." names that company as National Environmental Strategies.
Billy Ashley, courtesy of

Billy Ashley was a big lop of shit. At 6'6", 245 he was more suited to be a dam than an outfielder. He spent parts of six seasons with the Dodgers, who refused to give up on him. Yeah, really smooth... you give up on John Wetteland after a season, but keep Ashley around for six. The guy made embarrassing mistakes in the outfield, and his hit totals were exceeded by his strikeout totals every season he played. Ashley hit .221, .243, .333 (6 ABs), .237, .200, and finally .244 in his last year with the team. Last we heard, he finished up his remarkable career in Boston, where he was being considered as a possible replacement for the Green Monster.

LOS ANGELES - Eight Marine reservists stationed at Camp Pendleton face charges ranging from negligent homicide to making false statements in connection with the June death of an Iraqi who was held at a detention facility in Iraq.

Marine Staff Sgt. Bill Lisbon said the case involves an Iraqi man who died while being detained by U.S. authorities. He would not say whether the man was a 52-year-old Iraqi prisoner of war, whose death at a camp run by the 1st Marine Division near Nasiriyah was reported last June.
dilettante \DIL-uh-tont; dil-uh-TONT; dil-uh-TON-tee; -TANT; -TAN-tee\, noun; plural ilettantes, also dilettanti \-TON-tee; -TAN-\:

1. An amateur or dabbler; especially, one who follows an art or a branch of knowledge sporadically, superficially, or for amusement only.
2. An admirer or lover of the fine arts.
"Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
Friday, October 17, 2003
"America owes talk host Rush Limbaugh a debt of gratitude, Libertarians say"

WASHINGTON, DC -- The entire nation owes radio
broadcaster Rush Limbaugh a debt of gratitude,
Libertarians say, because his ordeal has exposed every
drug warrior in America as a rank hypocrite.

"One thing we don't hear from American politicians
very often is silence," said Joe Seehusen, Libertarian
Party executive director. "By refusing to criticize
Rush Limbaugh, every drug warrior has just been
exposed as a shameless, despicable hypocrite. And
that's good news, because the next time they do speak
up, there'll be no reason for anyone to listen."

The revelation that Limbaugh had become addicted to
painkillers -- drugs he is accused of procuring
illegally from his housekeeper -- has caused a media
sensation ever since the megastar's shocking, on-air
confession last week.

As the Limbaugh saga continues, here's an important
question for Americans to ask, Libertarians say: Why
are all the drug warriors suddenly so silent?

"Republican and Democratic politicians have written
laws that have condemned more than 400,000 Americans
to prison for committing the same 'crime' as Rush
Limbaugh," Seehusen pointed out. "If this pill-popping
pontificator deserves a get-out-of-jail-free card,
these drug warriors had better explain why."

Given their longstanding support for the Drug War,
it's fair to ask:

Why haven't President George Bush or his
tough-on-crime attorney general, John Ashcroft,
uttered a word criticizing Limbaugh's law-breaking?

Why aren't drug czar John P. Walters or his
predecessor, Barry McCaffrey, lambasting Limbaugh as a
menace to society and a threat to "our children?"

Why aren't federal DEA agents storming Limbaugh's $30
million Florida mansion in a frantic search for
criminal evidence?

Why haven't federal, state, and local police agencies
seized the celebrity's homes and luxury cars under
asset-forfeiture laws?

Finally, why aren't bloviating blabbermouths like
William Bennett publicly explaining how America would
be better off if Limbaugh were prosecuted, locked in a
steel cage and forced to abandon his wife, his
friends, and his career?

The answer is obvious, Seehusen said: "America's &&&&
warriors are shameless hypocrites who believe in one
standard of justice for ordinary Americans and another
for themselves, their families and their political

"That alone should completely discredit them."

But there's an even more disturbing possibility,
Seehusen said: that the people who are prosecuting the
Drug War don't even believe in its central premise --
which is that public safety requires that drug users
be jailed.

"The Bushes and Ashcrofts and McCaffreys of the world
may believe, correctly, that individuals fighting a
drug addiction deserve medical, not criminal
treatment," he said. "That would explain why they're
not demanding that Limbaugh be jailed.

"But if that's the case, these politicians have spent
decades tearing apart American families for their own
political gain. And that's an unforgivable crime."
by John Updike

In walks these three girls in nothing but bathing suits. I'm in the third check-out slot, with my back to the door, so I don't see them until they're over by the bread. The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs. I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. I ring it up again and the customer starts giving me hell. She's one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, and I knowit made her day to trip me up. She'd been watching cash registers forty years and probably never seen a mistake before.

By the time I got her feathers smoothed and her goodies into a bag -- she gives me alittle snort in passing, if she'd been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem -- by the time I get her on her way the girls had circled around the bread and were coming back, without a pushcart, back my way along the counters, in the aisle between the check-outs and the Special bins. They didn't even have shoes on. There was this chunky one, with the two-piece -- it was bright green and the seams on the bra were still sharp and her belly was still pretty pale so I guessed she just got it (the suit) -- there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn't quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes, and a chin that was too long -- you know, the kind of girl other girls think is very "striking" and "attractive" but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they like her so much -- and then the third one, that wasn't quite so tall. She was the queen. She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round. She didn't look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prima donna legs. She came down a little hard on her heels, as if she didn't walk in her bare feet that much, putting down her heels and then letting the weight move along to her toes as if she was testing the floor with every step, putting a little deliberate extra action into it. You never know for sure how girls' minds work (do you really think it's a mind in there or just a little buzz like a bee in a glassjar?) but you got the idea she had talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yourself straight.

She had on a kind of dirty-pink - - beige maybe, I don't know -- bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down. They were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her, so all around the top of the cloth there was this shining rim. If it hadn't been there you wouldn't have known there could have been anything whiter than those shoulders. With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty.

She had sort of oaky hair that the sun and salt had bleached, done up in a bun that was unravelling, and a kind of prim face. Walking into the A & P with your straps down, I suppose it's the only kind of face you can have. She held her head so high her neck, coming up out o fthose white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn't mind. The longer her neck was, the more of her there was.

She must have felt in the corner of her eye me and over my shoulder Stokesie in the second slot watching, but she didn't tip. Not this queen. She kept her eyes moving across the racks, and stopped, and turned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron, and buzzed to the other two, who kind of huddled against her for relief, and they all three of them went up the cat-and-dog-food-breakfast-cereal-macaroni-ri ce-raisins-seasonings-spreads-spaghetti-soft drinks- rackers-and- cookies aisle. From the third slot I look straight up this aisle to the meat counter, and I watched them all the way. The fat one with the tan sort of fumbled with the cookies, but on second thought she put the packages back. The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle -- the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything) -- were pretty hilarious. You could see them, when Queenie's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed. I bet you could set off dynamite in an A & P and the people would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering "Let me see, there was a third thing, began with A, asparagus, no, ah, yes, applesauce!" or whatever it is they do mutter. But there was no doubt, this jiggled them. A few house-slaves in pin curlers even looked around after pushing their carts past to make sure what they had seen was correct.

You know, it's one thing to have a girl in a bathing suit down on the beach, where what with the glare nobody can look at each other much anyway, and another thing in the cool of the A & P, under the fluorescent lights, against all those stacked packages, with her feet paddling along naked over our checkerboard green-and-cream rubber-tile floor.

"Oh Daddy," Stokesie said beside me. "I feel so faint."

"Darling," I said. "Hold me tight." Stokesie's married, with two babies chalked up on his fuselage already, but as far as I can tell that's the only difference. He's twenty-two, and I was nineteen this April.

"Is it done?" he asks, the responsible married man finding his voice. I forgot to say he thinks he's going to be manager some sunny day, maybe in 1990 when it's called the Great Alexandrov and Petrooshki Tea Company or something.

What he meant was, our town is five miles from a beach, with a big summer colony out on the Point, but we're right in the middle of town, and the women generally put on a shirt or shorts or something before they get out of the car into the street. And anyway these are usually women with six children and varicose veins mapping their legs and nobody, including them, could care less. As I say, we're right in the middle of town, and if you stand at our front doors you can see two banks and the Congregational church and the newspaper store and three real-estate offices and about twenty-seven old free-loaders tearing up Central Street because the sewer broke again. It's not as if we're on the Cape; we're north of Boston and there's people in this town haven't seen the ocean for twenty years.

The girls had reached the meat counter and were asking McMahon something. He pointed, they pointed, and they shuffled out of sight behind a pyramid of Diet Delight peaches. All that was left for us to see was old McMahon patting his mouth and looking after them sizing up their joints. Poor kids, I began to feel sorry for them, they couldn't help it.

Now here comes the sad part of the story, at:least my family says it's sad but I don't think it's sad myself. The store's pretty empty, it being Thursday afternoon, so there was nothing much to do except lean on the register and wait for the girls to show up again. The whole store was like a pinball machine and I didn't know which tunnel they'd come out of. After a while they come around out of the far aisle, around the light bulbs, records at discount of the Caribbean Six or Tony Martin Sings or some such gunk you wonder they waste the wax on, sixpacks of candy bars, and plastic toys done up in cellophane that faIl apart when a kid looks at them anyway. Around they come, Queenie still leading the way, and holding a little gray jar in her hand. Slots Three through Seven are unmanned and I could see her wondering between Stokes and me, but Stokesie with his usual luck draws an old party in baggy gray pants who stumbles up with four giant cans of pineapple juice (what do these bums do with all that pineapple juice' I've often asked myself) so the girls come to me. Queenie puts down the jar and I take it into my fingers icy cold. Kingfish Fancy Herring Snacks in Pure Sour Cream: 49¢. Now her hands are empty, not a ring or a bracelet, bare as God made them, and I wonder where the money's coming from. Still with that prim look she lifts a folded dollar bill out of the hollow at the center of her nubbled pink top. The jar went heavy in my hand. Really, I thought that was so cute.

Then everybody's luck begins to run out. Lengel comes in from haggling with a truck full of cabbages on the lot and is about to scuttle into that door marked MANAGER behind which he hides all day when the girls touch his eye. Lengel's pretty dreary, teaches Sunday school and the rest, but he doesn't miss that much. He comes over and says, "Girls, this isn't the beach."

Queenie blushes, though maybe it's just a brush of sunburn I was noticing for the first time, now that she was so close. "My mother asked me to pick up a jar of herring snacks." Her voice kind of startled me, the way voices do when you see the people first, coming out so flat and dumb yet kind of tony, too, the way it ticked over "pick up" and "snacks." All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room. Her father and the other men were standing around in ice-cream coats and bow ties and the women were in sandals picking up herring snacks on toothpicks off a big plate and they were all holding drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them. When my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with "They'll Do It Every Time" cartoons stencilled on.

"That's all right," Lengel said. "But this isn't the beach." His repeating this struck me as funny, as if it hadjust occurred to him, and he had been thinking all these years the A & P was a great big dune and he was the head lifeguard. He didn't like my smiling -- -as I say he doesn't miss much -- but he concentrates on giving the girls that sad Sunday- school-superintendent stare.

Queenie's blush is no sunburn now, and the plump one in plaid, that I liked better from the back -- a really sweet can -- pipes up, "We weren't doing any shopping. We just came in for the one thing."

"That makes no difference," Lengel tells her, and I could see from the way his eyes went that he hadn't noticed she was wearing a two-piece before. "We want you decently dressed when you come in here."

"We are decent," Queenie says suddenly, her lower lip pushing, getting sore now that she remembers her place, a place from which the crowd that runs the A & P must look pretty crummy. Fancy Herring Snacks flashed in her very blue eyes.

"Girls, I don't want to argue with you. After this come in here with your shoulders covered. It's our policy." He turns his back. That's policy for you. Policy is what the kingpins want. What the others want is juvenile delinquency.

All this while, the customers had been showing up with their carts but, you know, sheep, seeing a scene, they had all bunched up on Stokesie, who shook open a paper bag as gently as peeling a peach, not wanting to miss a word. I could feel in the silence everybody getting nervous, most of all Lengel, who asks me, "Sammy, have you rung up this purchase?"

I thought and said "No" but it wasn't about that I was thinking. I go through the punches, 4, 9, GROC, TOT -- it's more complicated than you think, and after you do it often enough, it begins to make a lttle song, that you hear words to, in my case "Hello (bing) there, you (gung) hap-py pee-pul (splat)"-the splat being the drawer flying out. I uncrease the bill, tenderly as you may imagine, it just having come from between the two smoothest scoops of vanilla I had ever known were there, and pass a half and a penny into her narrow pink palm, and nestle the herrings in a bag and twist its neck and hand it over, all the time thinking.

The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say "I quit" to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero. They keep right on going, into the electric eye; the door flies open and they flicker across the lot to their car, Queenie and Plaid and Big Tall Goony-Goony (not that as raw material she was so bad), leaving me with Lengel and a kink in his eyebrow.

"Did you say something, Sammy?"

"I said I quit."

"I thought you did."

"You didn't have to embarrass them."

"It was they who were embarrassing us."

I started to say something that came out "Fiddle-de-doo." It's a saying of my grand- mother's, and I know she would have been pleased.

"I don't think you know what you're saying," Lengel said.

"I know you don't," I said. "But I do." I pull the bow at the back of my apron and start shrugging it off my shoulders. A couple customers that had been heading for my slot begin to knock against each other, like scared pigs in a chute.

Lengel sighs and begins to look very patient and old and gray. He's been a friend of my parents for years. "Sammy, you don't want to do this to your Mom and Dad," he tells me. It's true, I don't. But it seems to me that once you begin a gesture it's fatal not to go through with it. I fold the apron, "Sammy" stitched in red on the pocket, and put it on the counter, and drop the bow tie on top of it. The bow tie is theirs, if you've ever wondered. "You'll feel this for the rest of your life," Lengel says, and I know that's true, too, but remembering how he made that pretty girl blush makes me so scrunchy inside I punch the No Sale tab and the machine whirs "pee-pul" and the drawer splats out. One advantage to this scene taking place in summer, I can follow this up with a clean exit, there's no fumbling around getting your coat and galoshes, I just saunter into the electric eye in my white shirt that my mother ironed the night before, and the door heaves itself open, and outside the sunshine is skating around on the asphalt.

I look around for my girls, but they're gone, of course. There wasn't anybody but some young married screaming with her children about some candy they didn't get by the door of a powder-blue Falcon station wagon. Looking back in the big windows, over the bags of peat moss and aluminum lawn furniture stacked on the pavement, I could see Lengel in my place in the slot, checking the sheep through. His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he'djust had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.
I could almost see my reflection in the Jack Daniel’s shine of Maria’s lips when she said that we had to take back the sex and sense of humor.

“These kids have no chance,” she said. “We’re gonna be overrun.”
She was right, a symptom of the obvious.

“We’re getting old,” I told her.

“Exactly, and with age comes an increased responsibility to society, and you and I are gonna start right now. We gotta help these poor fucking kids take back the lives they have barely been given.”


“By taking the message to them,” she said. The fall sun forced its way into the bar’s only door, silhouetting her as she walked to the jukebox. Over a shoulder – and “Someone’s gotta talk some sense into them.”

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the league has determined that it is legal for defenders to tackle Dolphins’ running back Ricky Williams by his hair. Williams, whose long dreadlocks hang out the back of his helmet, has been tackled in such a manner twice this season.

"I never expected a penalty for anyone grabbing my hair,” Williams said. “It's just part of the game. It doesn't happen enough to be that painful, any more painful than being kicked or stepped on.”
Here's that terrible tiger footage of Roy.

Please view at your own discretion.
bedaub \bih-DOB\, transitive verb:

1. To smudge over; to besmear or soil with anything thick and
2. To overdecorate; to ornament showily or excessively.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
You pro-war people are so fucking stupid.

Halliburton Allegedly Overcharges in Iraq
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Two Democratic lawmakers say Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, is gouging U.S. taxpayers while importing gasoline into Iraq.The Houston-based company contends it is paying the best price possible.

Reps. Henry Waxman of California and John Dingell of Michigan complained to the Bush administration that Halliburton's KBR subsidiary is billing the Army between $1.62 and $1.70 per gallon, while the average price for Middle East gasoline is 71 cents.

They also complained that Iraqis are charged between 4 cents and 15 cents at the pump for the imported gasoline.

"Although Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, the U.S. taxpayer is, in effect, subsidizing over 90 percent of the cost of gasoline sold in Iraq," the lawmakers said in the latest Democratic attacks against the Houston company that received a no-bid contract.

The charges cover the purchase and transportation of the petroleum from Kuwait and other countries.

Halliburton, originally hired to extinguish oil fires, has received the expanded role of restoring Iraq's oil industry. The company has been paid $1.4 billion through September for its work.

"KBR is not responsible for establishing the price Iraqi motorists pay for gasoline at the pump," Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said.

She said the company negotiates "fair and competitive prices" with suppliers outside Iraq and must transport the gasoline in a hostile environment.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which chose Halliburton, has received bids for a replacement contract that could be awarded this month.

Corps spokesman Robert Faletti said he could not confirm the figures that Waxman and Dingell cited in a letter to Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

He said, however, that the contract is being audited by Congress and the Army.

In a further move against Halliburton, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., announced Wednesday he would propose barring the government from awarding Iraq reconstruction contracts to companies that maintain close financial ties to the president, vice president or members of the president's Cabinet.

Lautenberg wants the measure added to an $87 billion reconstruction bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cheney receives deferred payments from Halliburton and also has stock options.

Cheney's office has said the vice president had no role in the contract and that the deferred payments were for his services while he headed the company. He has said he would give the proceeds to charity should he profit from the exercise of stock options.
The trestle bridge that graces the cover of REM's "Murmur" was saved from demolition in mid-2000 by a flood of complaints from the band's fans, who petitioned the Athens-Clarke council to stop the process. The bridge, which spans north-east Georgia's Trail Creek, may be used as a hiking or biking trail.
A broad survey of U.S. troops in Iraq by a Pentagon-funded newspaper found that half of those questioned described their unit's morale as low and their training as insufficient, and said they do not plan to reenlist.
Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin has made several speeches — some in uniform — at evangelical Christian churches in which he cast the war on terrorism in religious terms. Boykin said of a 1993 battle with a Muslim militia leader in Somalia:

"I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Since September 11th, CCR has worked to ensure that the fear of terrorism does not erode the rights and liberties that define American society.

We have filed seven lawsuits to challenge particularly egregious violations of Constitutional rights and international law related to the government response to the attacks of one year ago, both within the United States and in the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

These suits seek to uphold the principle that government action is only legitimate when it accords with fundamental rights of the people as well as the rule of law.
Espionage Act of 1917, legislation in the United States prohibiting espionage for a foreign country and providing heavy penalties for such activity. The law provided steep fines and imprisonment for giving national defense information to a foreign power and for interfering with the recruitment or loyalty of the armed forces. It also prohibited using the U.S. mail for material urging treason or resistance to U.S. laws, set penalties for sabotage, regulated the movement of neutral ships in U.S. waters, and prohibited the fraudulent use of passports and the unauthorized representation of a foreign government. The 1940 revision of the Espionage Act increased its penalties.
Man in stands described as diehard fan.
6550 Douglas Boulevard, Douglasville, Ga 30135
3661 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon, Ga 31206
400 Ernest Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw, Ga 30144
6000 Northpoint Circle, Alpharetta, Ga 30022
150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville, Ga 30501
1500 Cumberland Mall, Cumberland, Ga 30339

17271 South Park Center, Strongville, Oh 44136
5000 Great Northern Blvd, North Olmsted, Oh 44070
7875 Johnnycake Ridge Rd, Mentor, Oh 44060
4100 Belden Village Street NW, Canton, Oh 44718
4900 Midway Midway Blvd, Elyria, Oh, 44035
2000 Britain Rd, Akron, Oh 44310

San Diego, CA area
40680 Winchester Rd, Temecula, Ca 92591
2561 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, Ca 92008
4575 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, Ca 92122
565 Broadway Ave, Chula Vista, Ca 91910
101 Inland Center Dr, San Bernadino, Ca 92408
575 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon, Ca 92020

Los Angeles, CA
600 Stonewood, Downey, Ca 902413
100 Brea Mall, Brea, Ca 92821
5080 Montclair Plaza Lane, Montclair, Ca 91763
3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, Ca 92626
100 Los Cerritos Mall, Cerritos, Ca 90701
24300 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, Ca 92653

West Jordan, Utah

If you have additional feedback after your Sears visit, please send your comments to me.
Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz and the rock bands Switchfoot and Agent 51 shared top honors at last night's 2003 San Diego Music Awards, with two victories apiece.

Mraz, whose national debut album is currently ranked at No. 78 on the Billboard charts, won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year honors. Switchfoot's "The Beautiful Letdown" won for Album of the Year and Best Pop Album, while Agent 51 won the Best Punk and Best Punk Album awards.

Other winners at the ceremony, which was held at Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay on Shelter Island, include

Lifetime Achievement Award: Joe Marillo
Best Acoustic: Steve Poltz
Best Alternative: Hot Like (A) Robot
Best Alternative Album: No Knife – "Riot for Romance"
Best Americana: Eve Selis
Best Americana Album: Nickel Creek – "This Side"
Best Blues: The Bill Magee Blues Band
Best Blues Album: Sue Palmer – "Live at Dizzy's"
Best Country: Coyote Moon
Best Cover or Tribute Band: Rockola
Best Electronic: The Album Leaf
Best Hard Rock Album: Cattle Decapitation – "To Serve Man"
Best Hip-Hop: Alfred Howard & The K23 Orchestra
Best Jazz: Jaime Valle & Equinox
Best Jazz Album: Karl Denson's Tiny Universe – "The Bridge"
Best Local Recording – a.m. Vibe – "a.m. Vibe"
Best New Artist: The Accident Experiment
Best Pop: A.J. Croce
Best Rock: Noise Ratchet
Best Rock Album: Reeve Oliver – "The Revolution EP"
Best World Music: B-Side Players
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
"Manny Ramirez is a (coward). I hope he reads that," Gossage said Monday. "If he pulled that stuff in the old days, he would've gotten back in the box and I guarantee you he would've had the next pitch in his earlobe. The guy is a one-dimensional player. He can hit -- a little. But he can't even hit when it counts."

A reminder to everyone.....please do not take any of the office equipment from the counter top in the mail room without letting ____ know.

If you borrowed the 3-hole punch from the counter top, please return it.

Also, we have a new microwave in the main kitchen. Please remember to cover your food when heating to prevent spills and splatters and extra work for ____.

Again, your cooperation and understanding is appreciated.

cerebration \ser-uh-BRAY-shuhn\, noun:

The act or product of thinking; the use of the power of reason; mental activity; thought.
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.

-- Alfred Hitchcock
Monday, October 13, 2003
Did you ever think you'd see the day when people would actually be pulling for the Yankees?

By Jerry Crasnick
ESPN Insider

The Boston Red Sox have brought hope to a baseball-crazed region with their shaved heads, aggressive style of play and the ever-popular slogan, "Cowboy Up!"

But what resonates with Sid from Saugus doesn't always fly with the competition. Some people in the business would prefer the Red Sox stow the cowboy hats and, rather than Cowboy-ing up, just shut up and play.

The Red Sox's exuberance, irrational or otherwise, is lending a strange twist to the American League Championship Series: They're prompting some baseball executives to actually contemplate rooting for the Yankees.

ESPN Insider interviewed two American League general managers, an assistant GM and a National League scout, and they placed the bulk of the blame for Saturday's ALCS brawl on Boston. In the estimation of one observer, that was no surprise.

"The Red Sox haven't handled themselves well as a group," said one American League GM. "When they clinched the wild card, they acted like they won the World Series. Then they beat Oakland and you've got (Derek) Lowe throwing his arm in the air and gesturing at his Johnson. I'm tired of the hugging and tired of their act, to be honest with you. It's like they don't know how to win, and they don't know how to lose."

As with most urban legends, some of the animosity is rooted in fact and some in hearsay. Lowe, replays show, smacked his thigh in celebration after recording the final out of the Division Series against Oakland. It was hardly excessive and a far cry from obscene, regardless of what Oakland shortstop Miguel Tejada thought he saw.

After the Red Sox won the wild card, they partied like crazy on the field. Then Kevin Millar, Todd Walker, Gabe Kapler, Lou Merloni and Lowe showed up at a tavern down the street from Fenway, pouring cold drafts and mingling with Norm Petersons and Cliff Clavins by the score.

Over the top? Perhaps. But the fans sure loved it. And if we're going to rip today's players for being aloof, should we criticize them for excessive interaction with the people who pay their salaries?

Pedro Martinez yells at Karim Garcia after hitting him with a pitch Saturday.
Spraying champagne and dispensing high-fives in abundance is one thing. But anti-Red Sox sentiment was ratcheted up a notch on Saturday thanks to the hijinks of Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez.

Martinez was barely getting by and looking to establish his fastball when he threw a pitch at Karim Garcia's head in the fourth inning. Nasty? For sure. But of all the people in the world to be moralizing about it, the Yankees, who employ Roger Clemens, rank near the back of the pack.

It's also tough to fault Martinez for acting instinctively and pulling Don Zimmer to the ground during the bench-clearing brawl. It's not often you look up and see a 72-year-old man charging at you with fists-a-flying.

"I saw that and had flashbacks of Curly on the Three Stooges," said the same A.L. GM.

Martinez's worst transgression, baseball insiders agree, came between those two incidents, when he pointed his finger at his head and gestured threateningly at Yankees catcher Jorge Posada that he was next on the hit list. Martinez's intent was clear, no matter how he's spinning it now.

"What Pedro did there, I lost a lot of respect for him," said a second A.L. general manager. "It's one thing to be thinking something. When he went beyond the verbal and used body language, that was dangerous. He opened it up for everything that took place after that."

Martinez is an intriguing character. He's funny, thoughtful and engaging, and simultaneously thin-skinned, petulant and a born provocateur. When he was breaking in as Ramon Martinez's 160-pound little brother, he cultivated a reputation as a headhunter to make hitters step lightly in the box.

Now that Martinez has lost 4-5 mph off his fastball, it's almost as if he's regressed to his youth. Maybe he's frustrated that he's nearing the end of a huge contract and, with every mile-per-hour lost, the prospect of another long-term deal is dwindling. You can only imagine how testy things will get next year, when the innings pile up and Martinez approaches free agency with no new deal. They're calling him "Diva Pedro" in Boston right now. Lord knows what they'll be saying in 2004.

Ramirez is another story. Bring up his childish antics in a press box, dugout or clubhouse, and they typically elicit a shrug and the comment "That's just Manny being Manny." Manny was certainly being Manny when he stood and watched his Game 5 homer off Barry Zito in the Division Series and pointed to his teammates in the dugout.

But even Ramirez's fellow Red Sox seemed embarrassed that he precipitated a brawl Saturday on a pitch that missed him by at least a foot.

"If that were a regular season game instead of the playoffs, Clemens would have smoked him," said our second A.L GM.

"He showed fear," said the N.L. scout. "You have to wonder if teams won't start pitching him like that more often now."

Some of the anti-Red Sox sentiment is directed toward Theo Epstein, baseball's youngest GM. There's an element of jealousy among older front-office officials who believe Epstein rose too far, too fast, to achieve a position of such prominence. That's their problem, not his.

But Epstein got off to a rough start last winter when he claimed Millar on release waivers and interfered with a Florida Marlins deal to send Millar to Japan.

"There's a tacit message that you don't claim players in that situation," said the assistant GM to whom we spoke. "Theo burned some bridges with the Millar thing."

The Red Sox aren't popular with the scouting fraternity because they're in the Billy Beane "Moneyball" camp. The difference is the Red Sox, unlike the Athletics, actually have money. While the John Henry-Tom Werner-Larry Lucchino ownership group has won points locally for its efforts to reach out to fans, the Sox owners are viewed as smug, know-it-all types in some quarters.

That's in contrast to George Steinbrenner, who has spent decades and worked extremely hard to establish himself as baseball's premier blowhard.

Perception, of course, is largely a product of the images the media helps create. The Yankees, with the exception of David Wells, don't have any free spirits on the roster. They're professional, businesslike and boring.

Nomar Garciaparra, who's professional, businesslike and boring, would make a great Yankee. Conversely, if you put Jason Giambi in a Red Sox uniform and gave him the freedom to grow his hair and wear a beard, he'd "cowboy up" with the best of them.

In Saturday's fiasco at Fenway, five people wearing uniforms had cause to be embarrassed. Our assistant GM pointed out that the three Yankees were an aging setup man (Jeff Nelson), a spare outfielder (Garcia) and a septuagenarian coach who couldn't remember if he was on the set of "Raging Bull" or "On Golden Pond." Support players, all.

The Boston players who overreacted made a combined $33 million this year and have been to 13 All-Star Games. Some example. "I didn't see Bernie Williams or Derek Jeter getting in any trouble," said the assistant GM. "They know how to carry themselves."

The Dwight Evans-Jim Rice Red Sox were never accused of over-the-top behavior. Then again, the Red Sox of old were always accused of lacking camaraderie.

These new Red Sox are passionate and colorful enough to make their fans embrace them. But they're playing to mixed reviews in the baseball world.

"The Yankees have this quiet class and professionalism," said the second GM. "The Red Sox are different. They're a bunch of grinders. They have beards, baggy pants and a mystique that puts them in a different category. In my mind, it's sort of judgmental to say, 'You can't.'
profligate \PROF-luh-guht; -gayt\, adjective:

1. Openly and shamelessly immoral; dissipated; dissolute.
2. Recklessly wasteful.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher
Introducing ____’s new email signature templates. Please follow the attached instructions and templates to set up your new email signature template to be used for all business correspondence. There are specific templates for each of the following business segments: Corporate, ____ Technologies and Sales.

Start using your new email signature right away!

When using e-mail, business etiquette is important. A few reminders:

· Keep all messages as brief as possible to minimize reading time for recipient, therefore keeping communication efficient;

· Be as complete as possible by using the simple rules of who, what, when, where and why to answer any anticipated questions;

· Avoid communicating through e-mail on a sensitive subject that should be addressed in person, if possible,

· Communicate confidential information in a form other than e-mail;

· Check for accuracy and apply all professional business writing practices, using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation;

· Follow up if a response has not been received in a timely manner;

· Read all messages and respond regularly;

· Avoid the use of typing a message in all capital letters; and

· Be careful not to use the 'Reply All' function when not intended, i.e. system wide distribution.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. Thank you.
This isn't propaganda (the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person OR ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; ALSO : a public action having such an effect) is it?

WASHINGTON -- Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.

And all the letters are the same.
The famous Faulkner style was more than many could put up with. Its marathon sentences, its peculiar words used peculiarly, its turgid incoherence and its thick viscosity repelled.

-- Orville Prescott
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Thus, every Coalition soldier killed in Iraq has died solely for the personal aggrandizement of George W. Bush.
On March 17, 2003, George W. Bush appeared before the American people to announce that he had ordered the invasion of Iraq. In a short speech, Bush declared that there was "no doubt" that Saddam Hussein possessed a storehouse of weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States and the world.

This was offered as a straightforward and unambiguous statement of fact, unqualified by any caveats. It was, of course, a blood libel, the culmination of an intensive propaganda campaign designed to whip up war fever in the populace with lurid images of Saddamite nukes mushrooming in Manhattan and robot spy drones spraying anthrax all over Boise, Idaho.

Later, with the bloodletting underway, chief warlord Don Rumsfeld, bolstered this iron certainty about the existence of Iraq's fearsome weapons, announcing forthrightly: "We know where they are."

He even pinpointed the location: "the area around Tikrit," Saddam's hometown. Again, there was no ambiguity, no doubts, no qualifications.
Friday, October 10, 2003
Your Activity Committee has been hard at work planning a FRIGHTENINGLY FUN October 31st!!

Get out your costumes and such and get ready for this year's Halloween Happenings!!

One SPOOKTACULAR PRIZE will be awarded in each of the following categories:

Best Departmental Costumes (decided by group of esteemed judges)

Individual Pumpkin/Gourd Decorating/Carving Contest {One pumpkin or gourd per person, please.} (decided by peer votes)

Pumpkin Cooking/Baking Contest, 1 prize for each of 3 categories: (decided by panels of judges)

Individual Costume Contest, 1 prize for each of 3 categories: (decided by applause-o-meter)
Most Original Funniest Spookiest

Don’t let Halloween sneak up on you -- or you won't stand a GHOST of a chance!

Contests and judging planned for the morning of Friday, October 31st. More details coming soon...
Good morning,

We are currently looking for some new members for the Safety Committee.
Here is a brief listing of Safety Committee member responsibilities:
Attend monthly Safety Committee Meetings (approximately 30 minutes in length)
Complete monthly safety inspections
Become CPR and First Aid certified (at ____'s expense)
Conduct ergonomic assessments as necessary
Participate in the Company's Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)
Design and participate in various other health and safety-related programs

New members from all departments and divisions are encouraged and welcomed.
If you are interested in joining please contact me via email.

Have a great day!
Without a championship since 1973, the Knicks can never admit the obvious and rebuild, not when they lead the league in ticket prices. They're content to continually add to their veteran mix, even if the pieces, like Mutombo, have seen their better days.

Sadly, winning games has taken a backseat to winning over the community with player appearances.
Due to the rainy weather, we will move the Chili/Salsa Challenge to the upstairs training room. Those who have entries should bring them to the training room at 12:30. All other employees can come up between 1:00 and 2:00 for tasting and voting.

Thank you.

Your Activity Committee
Thursday, October 09, 2003
All of us in the Siegfried & Roy family are deeply saddened by Roy's injury at last Friday's performance. Roy remains in stable but critical condition at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

For more than four decades, I have had the great privilege of standing at the side of this remarkable man, and I will continue to do so during this very challenging time. We are grateful and overwhelmed with the tremendous support we have received from around the world, and ask for your continued prayers and reflections.

"Stress led to the bite," he said. "It was an outlet for his irritation. Roy got lucky."
Making others the guardians of our self-worth is not fair to them ...
The death of common sense.
Perhaps Fox News Channel viewers are taking the network’s motto, “We report, you decide,” a bit too seriously. More so than viewers of any other network, those who get their news from FNC are deciding wrong, believing untrue things about the war in Iraq.
Since we have many new employees and it's that time of year when organizations and schools conduct fundraisers, a gentle reminder regarding such fundraising activities might be in order.

You are welcome to bring catalogs/order sheets to work in order to help a family member get orders for a fundraising event they are involved with. However, to prevent any disruption to conducting business as usual, please adhere to the following:

Place the catalogs & any instructions for ordering in the main kitchen, downstairs.
Do not display catalogs at your desk or elsewhere in the building.
Do not "campaign" for orders via Email or other means.

Thank you. We appreciate your cooperation.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
An NYPD chief tried to show Bruce Springsteen who's the Boss - yanking the singer's police escort from Shea Stadium after he performed a song about cop-shooting victim Amadou Diallo.
Here's how we voted on the recall yesterday. That's me down there in the 66 percent YES right near the Mexico border.
It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interests of the nation.

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), British author
Just a reminder and a change or two.....

Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up for Friday's Chili/Salsa Challenge. As of this morning, we don't have as many entrants as we did last year, so we're hoping a few more of you will meet the challenge! The sign-up sheets are posted in the main kitchen and West hallway, near ____.

Remember....the Challenge is not meant to be your lunch for the day. This year, there will be no charge for each taste sample. Instead, you will be given a red ticket for salsa samples and a blue ticket for chili samples. You will have an opportunity to taste each entry ONLY once, and vote for your favorite with your ticket.

The winner of each challenge will receive a $25.00 American Express gift certificate.

GOOD LUCK to all entrants!
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
It was uncertain whether the "Terminator" star's appeal had been tarnished by 11th-hour allegations that he groped women and spoke admiringly of Adolf Hitler.
Novak Leak Column Has Familiar Sound
This is the story of Kobe:

It was Saturday night in suburban Philadelphia, spring of 1995, and 17-year-old Kobe Bryant had invited his high-school sweetheart, Jocelyn Ebron, on a date.

Most other teenagers in the upper-middle-class enclave of Lower Merion had gone to the multiplex to sneak into the R-rated “Bad Boys” and get busy in the dark. But Kobe didn’t have a lot of experience with the rituals of American puppy love.

Raised under the watchful eye of a doting mother who fixed him the same breakfast every morning (“eggs, bacon and Cream of Wheat on the side,” remembers Ebron), and a basketball-coach father who achieved moderate NBA success, Kobe had one goal in life: scoring on the basketball court.

Which is probably why 16-year-old Jocelyn found herself spending the evening in the Bryant family den, watching videotapes of Kobe’s hoop exploits as a kid in Italy.

“He wanted to watch them all the time,” says Ebron. “I didn’t mind, because I wanted to do what he wanted to do.”

In four years of dating Kobe Bryant, Jocelyn Ebron spent many a chaste night as he sat glued to the TV, watching the same videos and highlight reels of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson over and over.

“Looking back,” says Ebron, now a 24-year-old social worker, “it was sort of selfish of him.”
staid \STAYD\, adjective:

Steady or sedate in character; sober; composed; regular; not wild, volatile, or fanciful.

No on the recall, Bustamante if there is one.
No on 53, no on 54.

The extremely unpleasant odor coming from the refrigerator in the main kitchen, coupled with the inability to place anything else in it, has brought about the following procedure:

Beginning this Friday, October 10th, the refrigerators in both kitchens downstairs will be cleaned out every Friday. What that means is this:

If your name is not CLEARLY MARKED on the outside of whatever you have in the refrigerator(s), it will be thrown out on Friday. Let me be clear.....ALL FOOD/DRINKS will be thrown away each Friday, if it doesn't have a name on it. Additionally, if the same food/drinks remain in the refrigerator for more than 3 weeks, it will be thrown out even if your name is on it. It is hoped that this will prevent the weird science projects from developing.

P.S. Condiment containers (not the fast-food packets) won't be thrown out, but will be checked for freshness on a regular basis.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Monday, October 06, 2003
Beware the spilled milk.
Siegfried and Roy met in 1957, when both were entertaining on a cruise ship.
The brother of Reese Witherspoon has been placed on two years probation after pleading guilty to trespassing and attempted sexual battery.

John Draper Witherspoon, 30, was arrested Oct. 5, 2002, after he entered an unlocked door at a neighbor's home in Nashville, Tenn., and attempted to undress a woman while she slept. The woman said Witherspoon kissed her on the neck and face, but that he left after she woke up.

He was charged with sexual battery and aggravated burglary, both felonies, and pleaded guilty last week to the misdemeanor charges.

Reese Witherspoon is a native Tennessean whose movies include "Legally Blonde" and "Sweet Home Alabama."
Good Morning:

It has come to my attention that some of the outgoing mail being sent to our other offices (GA and TX) is ending up at the wrong location.


Thank you
There is no pleasing New Englanders, my dear, their soil is all rocks and their hearts are bloodless absolutes.

John Updike (b. 1932), U.S. author, critic.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
"'I worked on a film with Arnold in the years after his marriage to Maria Shriver,' Leigh quotes the woman as saying. "'We were in the studio and he followed me into the women's toilets.

"'It was scary as he is such a big, tall man. He grabbed me from behind and picked me up off the ground -- I was airborne. He wanted to have sex with me. He said: 'Come on, let's do it. You know how much I want you. I want to feel your t**s and see if they are real.' He clamped his hand on one and wouldn't let go. He had his arms around me. I kept saying: 'No, no, no.' I was trying to get away from him, and he was trying to hold me."
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (UPI) -- A St. Petersburg, Fla., shock rock band had to postpone its "suicide concert" Saturday night after hackers caused its Web site to go down.

Hell on Earth created shockwaves through the city last week when it announced it would feature a terminally-ill fan killing himself as a climax to its live Saturday night concert.

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