Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito is bad news

It has finally happened. We have a Supreme Court nominee only the radical right could love. Sorry, but "at least he has good qualifications" isn't a reason to put him on the Court. This makes me think Miers' whole purpose was to try to make us happy about Alito, since he has judicial experience.

Petitions have already started to oppose this radical nominee. If you want to join in, then you can start at these sites:

People for the American Way (There’s a link right on the main page)'s petition

This is Lambda Legal’s petition--if the link doesn’t work, just go to and the link’s easy to find)

Sorry to turn suddenly serious after the loveliness of rugby boy photos, but this calls for action!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's time for some rugby photos

Well, it took over a week to get them online and then pick some for this post, but here they are...

(By the way, it was a drizzly, overcast day, so if you're wondering why things don't look sunnier, that's why! Rugby gets played, even in the bad weather.)

There are lots more (91 in total) here. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rugby pictures are coming

Until I'm ready with the rugby photos, let me share this (borrowed from here. I hope they don't mind!): :)

Isn't that great?

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I've been holding my breath, hoping this would last. So far, so good.

The cable company hasn't been out yet, but our Internet service has been back for a while now. This has happened before. The cable company tells us there are no problems in the area, so it must be our equipment. Then it magically comes back on.

Our equipment? Uh huh. I guess that keeps us from yelling about their weak-ass network until they manage to fix what's really wrong. Anyhow, it's back until the next debacle. With what we pay Cablevision, this stuff really is irritating.

Anyhow, now I have lots of stuff to catch up on. Uploading photos (yes, I'll share when that's done), catching up on reading other blogs, etc.

In the meantime, bear with me as I get things back in some semblance of order!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Further delays

Due to circumstances beyond our control (but ones for which I can't blame the cable company, for once), our service call has been postponed until Friday. So now we're going to be without home Internet access until Friday. Can you all live without my many pearls of wisdom until then? ;)

Yeah, I know. No big loss!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Internet impaired

Last night, we had some rather fierce thunderstorms roll through. Our service provider apparently used tinfoil to set up their wireless Interner service. Any time storms roll through, we're almost guaranteed to have a problem.

So, no surprise, we lost our Internet connection at home. For the next few days, we'll have to live with that (unless it comes back by itself--which sometimes happens--before their service call).

To do this post, I'm sitting in a nearby Panera Bread Company location with Marc and Byrne. Once we have our connection back, I'll post photos from yesterday's rugby match.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Winter's on its way

The weather was wonderful today. Sunny with a beautiful blue sky and a few clouds. It was cool and comfortable.

On the way home, I was reminded that it won't last. As I sat listening to an audiobook, I gazed out a window of the train at the sky. There I saw a large formation of birds (and they really do fly in lovely formations, bless their hearts). They were heading south.

The cold weather is coming. They know it, I know it, you know it. So let's enjoy the lovely weather while it lasts. If the winter is as wild as the summer was, we may be in bitter cold and covered by several feet of snow before too long.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Do your job, and I won't cause trouble

As I mentioned before, one benefit of my commute is that I can get my shoes shined for three dollars (plus tip) at Penn Station.

Today, on the way home, I got to Penn around 5:20pm. I planned to catch the 5:40 express train, so I walked to my regular shoe shine shop (shoe shine shop--say that ten times fast!) and sat down for a procedure that should take less than ten minutes, leaving me enough time to get to my train.

As I sat there, the woman who was to do the work was talking to another of the women who worked there. I waited a minute, then two. She never even looked up at me. I'd tell you what they were saying, but it wasn't in English (and I'm a good American, so I'm only fluent in one language). I'm the son of a League of Women Voters President, and, as a kid, I went to pro-ERA rallies with her, but I can't help myself--I'm of the opinion that no man ever put gabbing as high on his list of things to do as the average woman. :)

I was going to say something about my being on a schedule, but before I got the words out of my mouth, the boss saw the look on my face and gave them what, based on their reaction, was a brief ass-chewing. Again, not in English, so I don't know what he said.

I nodded thanks to him and the second woman looked at me in annoyance before walking away. Well, you know what? Tough shit, honey. You're working in a train station, providing a service to commuters. Any nitwit would keep in mind that virtually every customer is on a schedule. So stop running your mouth and get to work!!!

In our next episode: why I avoid sitting near groups of women during my morning train ride. (Right now, my Mom is looking down and shaking her head. My Dad, on the other hand, is laughing.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday post about a Monday treat

I didn't get around to sharing this yesterday, so I'm posting it now...

A Monday morning treat (and I need whatever I can get on Monday mornings!) is the "Metropolitan Diary" section of The New York Times. This is a half page of letters people have sent in, recounting various, usually humorous, encounters that reflect life in the big city. One of the entries struck a chord:

Dear Diary:
It was 11:35a.m., Lower East Side, corner of Madison and Jefferson Streets.
I had just left my medical office and passed a bicyclist, an older Chinese man who had been hit by a car.
I stopped to see if there was anything I could do. The man was sitting on the curb next to his bike but in no distress.
Me to bystander: "What happened?"
Bystander: "He was hit by the car. His leg was pinned under the wheel. We told him to stay still."
Me: "Good. Did you call 911?"
Bystander: "Yes."
Me: "Is there anything I can do?"
Bystander: "Yes. Are you a lawyer?"
Me: "No."
Bystander: "Oh... No."
--Dr. Louis J. Capponi

Thank you, New York Times and Dr. Capponi for bringing a smile. (Marc thanks you, too, since I often call him on Mondays and read these to him, as I did this Monday morning.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

That pisses me off

Today, I had a 4pm meeting with the head of the hospital. I got there just before 4pm and was told that he was finishing his prior meeting. His assistant asked me to have a seat, and I did so.

She was coughing and spent some time drinking water and collecting herself. Okay, I certainly have no objection to that. We're all under the weather from time to time.

What got me bent out of shape was when she picked up the phone, at 4:08pm, used the intercom to call into the big boss and announced, "Your four o'clock appointment is here." Very nice. That made it sound like I wandered in eight minutes late.

Well, we had a good meeting, and I was able to work into it in a neutral kind of way that I had been there on time. Still, why should I have to do damage control when I hadn't done anything wrong in the first place?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A nice fall day

Early this morning, we took our weekend guests to LaGuardia Airport, sending them back to their home in the Midwest. It was a beautiful day, so I threw the camera into the truck before we left.

On the way back, we stopped at a little parking lot outside of Fort Totten. I walked around a little, as Marc, my ever-loving tireless helper, helped me exchange lenses, while I tried to get a nice shot of the Throgs Neck Bridge.

I shot several photos, including this one...

Click here (or on the photo) for a larger view

After that, we went to Costco, then back home where we had some lunch. Later, we went shed shopping. That didn't work out, because the place where we planned to shop was closed.

Half a year in the new house, and we still don't have a shed. Believe it or not, we've been held up by trying to find just the right shed. Not just any shed will do! :) Still, winter is coming, and we'd like to have the outdoor equipment--particularly the snow blower--somewhere more accessible than behind piles of stuff in the garage!

After shed shopping, we came home for a nap. Then some quality time reading the Sunday papers, and now I'm watching The West Wing.

Really, we could have done just about anything today. When the fall comes and cool breezes blow, with scattered clouds spread across a blue sky, my requirements for overall happiness are minimal. As I'm typing this, Marc is opening windows to let the cool air into the house. I love it!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Like the avian flu isn't enough of a worry!

Deadly Ecosystem. . . In Your Pillow

Great. Like I'm not already neurotic enough about the cleanliness of the sheets, pillow, etc. Now it can kill me?

And just wait until Dodger hears about this! He's already nuts about his blankie being clean! (He really is. It's weird. Most dogs I know like dirty stuff, but he loves him a clean blankie!)

So anyhow, sleep well, kiddies. Your pillow may be trying to kill you!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Some words for Yom Kippur

I'm not a very observant Jew. This is obvious, since I'm typing a blog entry today. Even so, this day brings with it some good words, and I think I'll do better sharing them than standing by traditions that I've never been very serious about.

So I want to share some words from the Bible. Whether they are the words of God or man, we can debate. Regardless of the source, they are wise words.

Isaiah 58.6-7:

[T]his is the fast I desire:
To unlock fetters of wickedness,
And untie the cords of the yoke
To let the oppressed go free;
To break off every yoke.

It is to share your bread with the hungry,
And to take the wretched poor into your home;
When you see the naked, to clothe him,
And not to ignore your own kin.

These are words rejecting the simple act of fasting. They say that it's not enough to engage in an act of self-deprivation. We must do more. We must do right by our fellow man.

These are good words, and they felt appropriate for a day in which I declare my intent to try to be a better person next year than I was in the year just ended.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Time for me

I'd blog about something tonight, but I don't feel like it. I'm tired, and I just can't be bothered. Sorry.

I hope everyone has a nice evening/morning/afternoon (depending upon when you read this)!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The f*#^ing "door light"

It's annoying enough to have the God-damned terrorists (and if there's anyone He truly would damn, they'd have to be near the top of the list) screwing up my commute with their threats. I can deal with the chances of an attack--the odds are in my favor--but the response to every little thing that happens when the city is on alert causes service disruptions on the subways and railroads. On Friday, I got on my subway train, only to find that service had been suspended, due to a security concern.

Okay, I suppose it's good that we're being vigilant, and, as I said, I can deal with the terrorist-related nonsense. What really annoys me, however, is when my commute is screwed up by bureaucratic incompetence. That's the real cause when my LIRR train stops somewhere and the engineer says over the PA system, "Attention to the crew. Check the doors. I've lost my door light."

On some occasions, I've been sitting where I could see a door rattle slightly open a bit (just a fraction of an inch) as a warning light blinks on and off nearby. That apparently isn't enough to kill the engineer's "door light", but it's the same basic problem. These things occur on the older train cars, most of which are 25-30 years old, and the stops seem to be happening more and more often.

So why do I think there's incompetence at work? The LIRR has been obtaining new cars in recent years, but there have been repeated stops in the process. Yes, they need to be sure everything is in order, address the mechanical problems in new cars, etc., but this government authority is bogged down by its own bureaucracy. I can't help but believe that a private business, with some strong leadership focused on the bottom line, would cut through the crap and get things done a lot faster. Also, it sure seems like maintenance of the old cars isn't what it used to be. It's great to get new cars, but the old ones need a lot of maintenance (they're old!) until they're retired from service.

Put another way, for almost $200 a month (not counting the $76 for my NYC unlimited Metrocard for the subway), I don't deserve to have my time wasted, sitting between stations as the crew walks around a 12-car train trying to find which door is half an inch ajar.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The vast wasteland

As I type this, we're watching a show called Vacation Home Search on the Travel Channel. It's a pretty lame excuse for a show, following a couple around as they shop for a vacation home, but I don't want to watch Press the Meat or any of those other Sunday talk shows. So we've settled for this.

These people are painful to watch. Plus, the real estate agent bullshit makes me want to Elvis my TV.

If nothing else, I was just doing the math on a potential second mortgage (not that I was really considering buying a vacation home). For what payments on any of these homes would cost, even considering tax benefits, we could take a couple of fabulous vacations a year and bank a nice chunk of change.

I suppose we may want a vacation home someday, but today's not the day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


This is Nicole...

Nicole is a great white shark (named for Nicole Kidman, apparently, but let's not even get into that).

I started reading the story about Nicole, because I found it interesting that scientists had tracked her swimming halfway around the world. I didn't know sharks migrated that far.

Actually, it seems that not all do, but some, like Nicole, apparently will swim 12,000 miles. In fact, she didn't get out of the water for a break even once! ;)

Then I was thinking about the name. Nicole. Nicole the Great White Shark. Well, that's different. Of course, we named our eldest dog Bernice, so Nicole the shark works for me.

Her name brought a smile to my face. I suppose I wouldn't smile so much if she were biting me in half, but the name sounds cute from here!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Joe the security guard

This morning, as I was waiting for the train, I saw a young guy (maybe mid-to-late 20s) walk past. He looked tired, but he was HOT. Looking at him, I couldn't help but wonder if he was tired because he'd spent the whole night having sex with some lucky person. His body was so perfect that it would be a sin for him to have spent the night alone.

Strictly by coincidence, he and I got on the train at the same door. By further coincidence, I wound up positioned where I could look him over as much as my horny heart desired during the ride (and that was quite a bit). Then we both had to change trains at the Jamaica station, and, by further amazing coincidence, we got on the second train at the same entrance and I wound up where I could watch him for the rest of the trip into Manhattan. (Hey, do you think these coincidences could have something to do with my being locked on fine ass like a love missile heat-seeking missile locked on its target?)

As my cognitive functions slowly returned, during this second part of the trip, a thought made its way through the haze of my lust: "Hey, I think I know him." So, as we left the train (amazingly, side-by-side, despite having sat in different places), I turned to him and said, "excuse me, but have we met?"

With that, he smiled (like I wasn't close enough to swooning already) and said, "I used to work security in the county building you worked in." So we shook hands, and he reminded me that his name is Joe. How could I forget? He's handsome (with dark hair and light brown eyes), and he has the body of a god. Not overdone, just perfect. Beautiful, v-shaped torso, magnificent ass, perfect broad chest and muscular arms. I'd love to lick every inch of the boy.

We spoke for a few minutes, before he headed to get breakfast and I went to the subway. After we shook hands again, I was considering whether I wanted to just plastic-wrap that hand for later sniffing and licking. ;) I decided not to do that, since it would look odd at work.

Well, at least he told me where he's working now and took one of my cards. If he calls, maybe I should see if he'd like to come over, so Marc and I can feed him dinner... and then put whipped cream on him and lick it off for dessert!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The one day you can count on the weather

It almost never fails. I think it drizzled one year, but that's the only exception I remember. We must have done something bad that year.

Want to have a picnic in New York? Then check your calendar and figure out what day Rosh Hashanah falls on. That's virtually a lock for lovely weather. Today was no different. It's the Jewish New Year, and here in New York--where you'll find more of us than anywhere else--the weather was lovely. Being His chosen people hasn't always been a good job, but this is one nice benefit! ;)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Rugby photos

Just so you know, this man is not only handsome and has possibly the nicest ass and legs I've ever seen, but he's also a very nice guy...

And now some other shots...

The full set is here.

So why isn't some fine magazine offering me millions to do this for them? After all, I get these shots with my little 70-200mm zoom. Imagine if someone gave me one of those gigantic 600mm lenses they all seem to have at NFL games! :)

Okay, I won't quit my day job, but I hope you, my faithful readers, enjoy these!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rugby teaser

Here are a few shots for your entertainment while I edit the rest of them. Once they're all done, I'll share a few more here and give you a link to the full set.

Back later

Well, we're off to rugby. In the meantime, I'll leave Dodger to keep an eye on all of you.

Notice how serious he looks--you'd better behave!