Main > Joel's July 2005 News


Sunday, July 31st 2005

../PG/Family/07292005_004.jpg (33593 bytes)
Family photo
../PG/Family/07302005_004.jpg (44515 bytes)
Checking out the stairs in our maybe new home

Another exhausting weekend. We got up early Saturday morning, and drove down the NJ Turnpike for an hour. We were checking out one of our potential candidates for living space for the 2nd time. We also invited both sets of parents to come check it out too. Her parents and my Dad both showed up, and did an inspection. Everyone seemed to have liked it. Afterwards, Num and I (and baby) went to a diner for lunch before going home.

I was originally supposed to meet up with my friend Neil and others for a one-day drive to Baltimore to see a baseball game at Camden Yards, but with the big push to get a place to live, we only had this Saturday, so I had to cancel on those plans. I was looking forward to it too.

Anyway, we rested for a bit in the afternoon (too short a time), and then cleaned up the apartment. My buddy Paul was in Allentown, PA, for a conference. Originally scheduled to visit us on Sunday, we rearranged with him to now come on Saturday. He got here around 5:30pm, and Doug & Kathy arrived around 6pm, and all 5 of us drove to Famouse Dave's in Mountainside for a BBQ dinner. Paul has pictures, and has promised to email them to me.

Sunday was a day of much-needed rest. In the afternoon, I went riding, and did another 23 miles. However, this time I focused on stopping as little as possible, hills or not. I was fine until about 10.7 miles, when the chest/shoulder pains told me to stop on a steep hill. A short break, and I was off again. A fun time. Still, was back home in a little over 2 hours, I'm happy over all. This is the first week where I went running twice, and cycling on the weekend -- I finally got 3x a week exercise this year. Let's see if I can keep the streak alive. Most likely, no.

We finished finally watching Blazing Saddles this weekend. It had its moments, but I didn't think it was all that funny. The ending was kind of "Uh, okay. What's happening now? Wait, that's the end?"

I need a haircut. Hey, August is around the corner!

Friday, July 29th 2005

Today is our Date-iversary. And the 1-year anniversary of our first ultrasound. It's a day of all sorts of anniversaries.

BTW, I didn't get into the office all that early, but I still got all my work done. Also, my lead saw my work, and said it was very good. Sweet.

More looking at homes tomorrow, and dinner out tomorrow night. I was supposed to go to Baltimore with some friends to see an Orioles game (yep, in one day), but turned out to be a bust. I hope they all have fun without me.

Next week: I start auditing the world of investment banking!

Thursday, July 28th 2005

I forgot to mention an article that came out last week. I saw it by shoulder-surfing in this woman's copy of the NY Post she was reading on the subway. You can imagine any newspaper article with the title Blogger Booted would get my attention. Nadine Haobsh is a blogger behind Jolie in NYC, which apparently is very popular. Anyway, she was recently fired from her position as associate beauty editor at Ladies' Home Journal. And although she had already put in her two weeks' notice, her future employer Seventeen magazine rescinded their offer!

The part of this whole fiasco that incenses me? As the article states,

Meredith Publishing, publisher of Ladies' Home Journal and More, e-mailed employees to remind them that blogging was not encouraged, and employees keeping or commenting on blogs were required to tell their bosses.

You have to tell your employer that you blog? And if I read Time magazine? And have a mind of my own? And personal free speech? I don't like this kind of policy -- it's a corporate policy with tendrils that reach too far into your personal life. What's next? Your employer sees you having too good time in Bermuda, and you get fired?

Worked late until 9pm today. On the way out, I passed by the Deutsche Bank office on Wall, and the front looked like a hotel. There was a long line of Lincoln Town Car taxis lined up in front, and a large number of young people standing on line behind a velvet rope, waiting to take a taxi. They were all holding a sheet of paper. Must be a policy where if you work late, you get a reimbursible limo ride home. My buddy Doug, when he was still working in the advertising world, told me this was a pretty standard policy in his industry. Must be the same in the investment world.

Got home at 10:15pm, and I'm going to bed. I had a big lunch today -- lunch in midtown with some friends, so I'm not even hungry now. Gotta get up early tomorrow, get to the office, and get my ducks in a row. The planning phase of my current audit ends tomorrow, and I still have so much to read and write up.

Tuesday, July 26th 2005

Busy, busy weekend. We found some interesting places this weekend to live, but let's see if it all works out. I'll let you all know. I didn't go riding this weekend, as we were hunting all day Saturday and Sunday.

../PG/Misc/07262005_001.jpg (88434 bytes)
Lance Armstrong wins #7

Lance won his 7th and final Tour de France. 7 consecutive wins is unheard of, and a huge accomplishment, but I read a very strong argument of why he's not the greatest cyclist ever. Lance always practiced for the Tour de France, and ignored all of the other large cycling competitions, e.g. Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy), Tour de Spain, Dauphine Libre, etc. He has the sponsorship, and thus the leisure, to just focus on one competition. So, amazing though he is, his body is still pretty fresh compared to the other competitors.

Now, look at former Belgian rider Eddy Merckx:

  • 525 pro victories that include multiple world championships
  • five Tours de France
  • five Tours of Italy
  • the hour record, cycling’s most hallowed benchmark.
  • 34 Tour de France stage wins
  • 96 days in the Tour de France yellow jersey (compared to Armstrong's 75)
  • is still the only man to win the maillot jaune, King of the Mountains and sprint jerseys in a single year — and he did it at his first-ever Tour, which he won by a crushing 18 minutes.

All I'm saying is give Eddy Merckx credit.

The space shuttle Discovery finally launched. I love NASA, and am still in awe of the shuttle program, despite the cost and difficulty of launching space vehicles. I still remember back in the early 80's watching one of the first shuttle launches. My aunt had come over, and while the adults were talking, I was entranced by the shuttle about to lift-off. Back then, the external fuel tank used to be painted a matching white, but they stopped that when NASA realized they could save on weight by leaving it an unpainted orange.

../PG/Misc/07262005_003.jpg (31136 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07262005_002.jpg (59138 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07262005_004.jpg (25251 bytes)

We've gotten about half of the baptism invitations ready, and they'll go out tomorrow. The rest will have to be put together tomorrow. If you don't get an invitation, please don't upset. It's a short 45-min Christian service, followed by a lunch, and we've limited it to 150 people, including guests of both sets of parents as well.

I'm trying to cut down on my spending. Looking at budget vs. actual spending amounts, we spend nearly $400 on food. That includes our occasional ordering out, but most of it is my monthly lunch expenses. $400. It used to be less, but everything just costs more downtown. I'm averaging $8/day, but I want to get that down to $5-$6. I've stopped snacking on Snickers candy bars, and I'm trying to drink more from the water cooler. I hate wasting money. Meanwhile, my wife is eating leftovers at home every day, and I'm out eating.... $9 Subway sandwiches.

../PG/Misc/07262005_006.jpg (36596 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07262005_007.jpg (27494 bytes)
Motorola MS500 CDMA RAZR

Is it possible Verizon Wireless may start offering the Motorola RAZR? My buddy Paul (Detroit Paul, not Dallas Paul) sent me a link with pictures of the Motorola MS500, available in Korea, but it uses CDMA technology. The reason Cingular's RAZR is not compatible with Verizon Wireless is that Cingular uses a GPMS network, while VW is CDMA. Anyway, this guy supposedly used the MS500 here in the U.S. on Verizon's wireless network. Pretty neat.

If you're paying attention, I haven't commented on either of the London bombings, or the recent bombing in Sharm el Sheikh. I don't think there's anything to really say. In my humble opinion, I'm starting to wonder if we Americans are starting to get dragged into an internecine war between the Arabs, non-Arabs, Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Turkomens, etc.

Some people erroneously thought it was "us" against "them". The Western world vs. the Muslims. If you listen to Al-Qaeda rhetoric, you'd believe it too. They're still venting about the Crusades during the Middle Ages. Also, Al-Qaeda continues to promote this vision of a grand Caliphate, a large crescent of Muslim countries under one banner.

However, there are more bombings that occur each and every day in Muslim countries, and Muslims are being mass-murdered. I know virtually all of them hate us (and why not, right?), but if they aren't killing us, they're trying to kill the rest of the infidels. Sunnis hate the Shiites, the Kurds want their own land, Eqyptians bombing Eqyptians. It's one big dysfunctional family picnic, but with suicide bombs. They'll even murder ambassadors and envoys from other Muslim countries.

And we've been unfortunately dragged into the middle of it. I'm not venting here about whether the Iraq war was justified or not. I think I've commented enough in the past. What it seems to me is that we are not going to be the ones to fix the underlying problem -- fanaticism. This is a Muslim problem, and I believe that only they can solve it from within.

../PG/Misc/07262005_005.jpg (245667 bytes)
Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria, who is fast-becoming one of my favorite columnists on the subject, recently wrote about how the real problem is extremism within the Muslim community. It exists in other communities, but right now, this is the one that's bombing people. Columnist Christopher Dickey summed it up about the extremists who decide themselves to be "judge, jury, and executioner."

I find it amazing how nutjobs can justify any action. The Timothy McVeighs, Eric Rudolph, the blood feuds between the varying Muslim faiths, between the Arabs and Kurds and non-Arabs. The human mind can justify any action it wants. It's all a matter of rationalizing it. How do you battle it? Look at the London bombings. Those men weren't downtrodden, poor, disillusioned. Mohammed Atta and the rest weren't fighting a system that kept them down. They believed those standing before them, in their eyes, were the enemy, and deserved death. Two weeks ago, an extremist used a car bomb to kill U.S. troups handing out toys and candy to Shiite children. Could you rationalize killing children, just because they weren't the same faith/denomination/sect? I couldn't.

I have no answers, and this all depresses me.

Saturday, July 23rd 2005


Rachael Ray

Any fans of Rachael Ray out there? I've seen her on the Food Network, and I think she's okay. I had no idea there were a number of people who despise her. Hey, if you don't like her cooking show, turn the channel. As I understand it, some snobs don't like her cooking methods, while others didn't appreciate the fact that she posed for FHM magazine, rather provocatively. No matter to me, as I don't watch her anyway. I'll always be a Nigella fan. BTW, speaking of FHM, here are photos of all of FHM's Top 100 Women. Boys, you're welcome.

More later. We're leaving to look for places to live. Wish us luck.


We found some weird stuff, a bathroom straight out of Austin Powers, and one really nice place. We have more to see tomorrow afternoon. Let's see what the day holds for us. Joshua did a very good job, and we rewarded him by stopping at the Grover Cleveland rest area for a Roy Rogers dinner on the NJ Turnpike.

I admit that the areas we were looking at are an hour south of us. An hour from my in-laws, but 2 hours from my parents and other relatives in Rockland. I'm not crazy about that, because 2 hours is a long drive. However, the way home prices and apartment rental prices are these days, nothing is really affordable in northwest NJ region. If you want to be able to afford anything, then you need to go south and westward. That's why so many people move to Pennsylvania, and take 2 hour train rides to New York.

I also realized that, for the most part, I see my cousins and rest of the family maybe once or twice a year. No one really visits us, and we don't regularly visit them. I guess a 2 hour drive once a year won't be too bad.

../PG/Misc/07232005_001.jpg (53743 bytes)
JLA: Legion of Doom headquarters

Any Justice League Unlimited fans out there? I was worried that this season was the last, but looks like we have another season to come.

Barring any crashes tomorrow, Lance is going to win his 7th (and final) yellow jersey in the Tour de France. He won his only stage this year, today's time trial -- 55 km in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 46 seconds, winning the stage by 23 seconds over the 2nd racer. Armstrong averaged 46.4 km/hour (28.8 miles/hour). Amazing!

../PG/Misc/07232005_002.jpg (38066 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07232005_003.jpg (34229 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07232005_004.jpg (36700 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07232005_005.jpg (36777 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07232005_006.jpg (40716 bytes)
Before the stage: Lance, Sen. John Kerry, and Eddy Merckx (5-time winner)
Lance prepping beforehand, with girlfriend Sheryl Crow, and his kids
Lance getting cheered on
Lance passing someone who started 6 minutes ahead of him!
Lance coming to the finish line

Friday, July 22nd 2005

I've got a few minutes before my train this morning. I've sent a whole slew of listings to our agent, so hopefully she'll be making appointments for Saturday afternoon. Let's hope we find something we like.

Today looks to be stressful. Lots to do before my 3pm status meeting. Whoever says that audit planning is easy doesn't know what they're talking about. Let's hope I get something accomplished today. I have lunch plans with a close friend today, so hopefully I'll have time for everything.

I'm sorry that I didn't get those mainframe change management audit steps completed. You think you have problems? What am I going to do about this marinara stain on my dress shirt?

Joshua really likes his jumper thing. And last night, he actually got his....hmmm, right knee under himself during tummy time, so whoa, he's getting closer to crawling. Egads, he might be smoking a pipe by dinnertime tonight.

The secret is out at work: Joel has a blog. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Wednesday, July 20th 2005

I'm really glad we purchased the laser printer for home. I just saw the stats on how much we've printed with the current toner cartridge, which we supposedly needed to replace last year. Using the toner cartridge that we received with the printer:

  • Pages printed with this supply: 3,059
  • Number of jobs processed: 1,591
  • First install date: 20030702
  • Last used date: 20050720

3,059 pages printed since July 2 2003, and we still haven't replaced the toner cartridge. The HP printer software has been telling us the toner is low since last year, and we bought another toner, but we're still going!

../PG/Family/07212005_002.jpg (68457 bytes)
Joshua in his new jumper

We've got four rental movies sitting here, but we have no time to watch them: Shark Tale, Napoleon Dynamite, Fight Club, and Blazing Saddles. Maybe the weekend?

I put together a baby jumper for Joshua tonight-- a gift from the youth from my old church Hudson Valley (very nice, btw. Thank you again!).

On our tv rerun schedule, we're just about to watch the finale for Three's Company. After seeing a majority of the series' episodes these past few months, why does nothing seem logical? For instance, why does almost everything take place in the apartment? Janet gets married in the finale, after what appears to be a whirlwhind romance, decides to get married.... in the apartment. Would you want to get married in your own home, let alone an apartment. The reception was in Mr. Furley's apartment. Wow, that's just very fancy. So idiotic.

Monday, July 18th 2005

On Sunday, we went to church, as they were having a "New Parents BBQ" after the service. Afterwards, we came home briefly, then drove down to visit Julie and her new apartment. More pictures here.

../PG/Family/07172005_007.jpg (42303 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07182005_001.jpg (47741 bytes)
../PG/Family/07182005_001.jpg (46342 bytes)
Visiting Julie's new apt
My new office setup
Look at what I came home to today

Sunday night, after we got home, we did 5 loads of laundry, which took hours. I fell asleep on the living room floor between the wash and dry cycles, and Num found me when she came back from checking the machines. Can you believe she yelled at me for sleeping on the floor? Granted, it was the 3rd time I fell asleep on the floor that weekend, and the 5th time that week, but still.

Saturday, July 16th 2005

My audit, my audit, my audit is all done!

It's Saturday night, not too exciting. At this moment, a whole slew of our friends are at Lot 61 in the city, celebrating Plexy's birthday. We don't have a babysitter tonight, so..... another exciting night in Glen Ridge. I babysitted for most of today, until I gave up around 4pm -- he was awfully fussy because he hadn't napped all day. I turned Joshua over to my wife, and then I ran out of here with my bike. I didn't even bother to change at home, but changed clothes on my bike. J/K. I rode through Rutherford, Belleville, Lyndhurst, etc, again. Racked up 22 miles. Not bad.

../PG/Misc/07162005_001.jpg (47584 bytes)
Stage 14
../PG/Misc/07162005_002.jpg (31439 bytes)
Georg Totschnig collapses after winning the Stage

On Friday, I stole a monitor and keyboard from an office. Okay, that's not entirely true. I had requested a monitor and keyboard from the guy in charge of that stuff back in May, but he's apparently not good about that. I wrote him an email in June reminding him, but still no response. Argh. Finally, walking around on Friday, I thought about all of the seemingly-empty cubicles with monitors, keyboards, mice, etc, just sitting around. In the cube next door, I found this extra beautiful 19" SUN Microsystems monitor, and flat screen too. I walked around, and asked if anyone was sitting in that cube, and supposedly no one was. So, I "reallocated" that piece of equipment. I got a nice black keyboard from another cube, and redecorated my office. Now, things are cool. I'll have to take a picture on Monday.

Friday night, the Ingersolls did indeed come over (Plexy & Lesh) for dinner. Namita made her sausage and shrimp jambalaya, which was pretty darn good. Lesh brought over Korean desserts she had picked up from Hackensack. We had started to watch Napolean Dynamite, but stopped. So far, from my perspective, it's like watching Revenge of the Nerds, but the funny parts have been replaced with scenes of awkward embarrassment. I may not finish it.

The Tour de France is going well. Stage 14 was today, and Lance came in 2nd in the Pyrenees mountains, extending his lead. Tomorrow's Stage 15 will supposedly the hardest day of the entire race. Egads. Today's was brutal! Austrian Georg Totschnig won his first stage in his 14-year career. Here's an interesting fact: he was the first Austrian to win any stage since 1931. Talk about a dry spell for Austria.

Thursday, July 14th 2005

../PG/Friends/03152003_013.jpg (29746 bytes)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ingersoll. Wherever you are.

It's also Bastille Day. And for you Frenchies, I had french fries for lunch, and a French cyclist won today's Tour de France stage. Now if only someone would french kiss me. It almost looks like I'm about to get one in the picture. How inappropriate.

I have survived the audit. I just have to wrap up my last test in the workpapers tomorrow, and that's it. I thought I was free for the next two weeks, but it looks like the powers-that-be found me, and put me on the planning part of this datacenter operations audit. I've never done planning for an audit of this scale, but I'll only be figuring out the test steps for change management. This should be interesting.

For everyone following the baptism melodrama, we scheduled our son's baptism for August 13th in our church in NJ. My parents declared they weren't coming, then changed their minds for whatever reason over this past weekend. Then we decided to change venue for lunch from the parish hall (cramped) to an actual hall (same place we had our rehearsal dinner), and now my parents are putting up a stink again. My Mom said they aren't coming, but my Dad wasn't too clear. I don't know, but I'm giving them the weekend to think their decision through.

I hate melodrama. I do like the sympathy from friends. Now would someone please send me a basket of mini muffins?

Tuesday, July 12th 2005

12:00 am

I made my meeting, with only the slightest perceptible nodding off. Still, I fought it off with all of my macho man strength. I was fine the rest of the day, stayed late until about 6:45pm in the office, but nodded off a bit at home after dinner.

You know, I gotta say, my new boss has no sense of humor. I've cracked two excellent jokes (one last week, one today), and it took him a while to even get it. I hate wasting my good material, but other team members chuckled. Okay, they laughed at today's joke, kinda ignored last Friday's. Still, I thought they were good. Maybe he just doesn't get my brand of humor. It's not like I'm trying to be the class clown -- I'm just looking for the right opportunities to show I'm an alright guy on the team. So far, I'm probably 50/50 on that working.

I downloaded a 15-day trial version of Sonic MyDVD 6. It's the only official product that allows people to burn their saved Tivo shows to DVD. Uh, I remember plenty o' press releases that said when you burn them to DVD, you'll even get a mini Tivo screen selection list, just like if it was Tivo. Lo and behold, I don't see how to do that. After much searching, I found a bunch of people on a forum who also distinctly remember that promise, and wondered where that was. Guess that feature is still "Coming Soon!" Argh. Anyway, the product is okay, but awfully slow.

In the meantime, I found some software called DirectShow Dump that allows you to remove the DRM wrapper off of the Tivo shows/movies, and leaves them as plain old MPEG files. Then you can do anything you want to do with them, including sharing them. I'm going to continue to play around with it. I'm still on the hunt for a decent video editing / DVD authoring set of tools.

Speaking of which, we've settled on the Panasonic PV-GS250 camcorder. It's smack dab in the mid-range, and that's enough for us. Now we just have to find a decent price for it. Our friend at Panasonic can get an excellent deal through the company store, but it'll take close to 8 weeks to receive it. Hmmm, eh. I don't think we can wait that long, though I do like saving myself a buck or two.

../PG/Misc/07122005_001.jpg (14660 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_002.jpg (15279 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_003.jpg (14899 bytes)

Oh, my MX500 mouse arrived today from Woohoo. I can't wait to use it at work, so I can surf the Internet more efficiently.

BTW, on the train ride home today, I realized that I left my iPod at work, under my desk, where it had been charging the entire afternoon. Idiot. What are the chances that the cleaning folks didn't swipe it tonight? I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.


../PG/Trips/2005/HongKong2005_105.jpg (17231 bytes)

I almost forgot to mention, but happy birthday, Olivia!

Imagine my surprise to find my iPod still on the chair in my office. Prayer goes a long way. Now, if I could just find the headphones.....

../PG/Misc/07122005_012.jpg (54825 bytes)
Do you notice me now?

How cats will try to get your attention method #42.

I'm home. I've got a long night ahead of me. My audit fieldwork is almost done, except reviewing a sample of UNIX workstations. Everything else? Done, but it took me 2 1/2 weeks! So, tomorrow is my deadline to complete it, as we're sending out the last findings. Two all-nighters in the same week. This is unheard of.

For lunch, I went to a farewell lunch for one of my coworkers. He's moving internally, and we took him to the Mercantile Grill down on Pearl St. Okay, "we" didn't take him. "They" took him out, and I joined in. This guy was the lead reviewer on my 2nd audit, and he was nice about showing me how to get things done right, so I figured I owe him at least a lunch. However, $27.50 for a undercooked chicken, nasty-tasting spinach, and "That-was-polenta?" polenta didn't seem quite worth it. Still, you do what you sometimes.

I'm glad this audit will be over this week. I don't have much of anything planned for the next two weeks, but then I start fieldwork for an audit of investment banking infrastructure (sweet!) Aug 1st. My current audit hasn't been bad, and the lead reviewer is leading for the first time. He's doing a great job, so that's made life smoother for the rest of us. It's just that some new finding has come up for me to write up, which delays the work that I needed to do in the first place. It's good that they're giving me work, because they trust me, but come on, two all-nighters in the same week? I haven't worked this hard in years. This is a good sign.

I'm relaxing every evening by sitting down and watching that day's stage of the Tour de France. Today, Tivo has Stage 10 saved for me, although all the news media have already ruined it for me by telling me Lance has regained the lead.

../PG/Misc/07122005_004.jpg (38941 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_005.jpg (20527 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_006.jpg (44481 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_007.jpg (23697 bytes)
Beautiful sights
Through a tunnel
A true spectator sport
Going into town
../PG/Misc/07122005_008.jpg (18168 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_009.jpg (40569 bytes)
../PG/Misc/07122005_010.jpg (42750 bytes)
Lance chugging away
A bad crash near the finish line
Lance surrounded by the crowd

What's amazing about the competition is that it's a grueling 3 week race around France itself, on the plains, in the mountain passes, in the towns themselves. These world-renowned cyclists can reach (like today in the Alps) 60+ miles/hour (100 km/h) on the downhills. Powering up brutal mountain climbs like you've never seen. What's even more remarkable is that the race is 21 stages long, 3,607 km. Each stage varies in length, but can be as long as 235km (146 miles) like Stage 8 last week. That's just one day. They rest that night, and do it all over again the next day.

Diesel, I tell you. That's why it doesn't matter to me who wins each stage or the overall race to win the yellow jersey. Considering how much pain they have to endure for 3 weeks straight, anybody who has the ability to make it across the finish line deserves it. I have to say that seeing the screaming crowds along the race route is just electrifying to behold.

I used to read for Star Wars news, but the past few months of entries by the webmaster had put me off. How cool he was, and the numerous interviews with George Lucas with suspicious adulations praising how great and important SuperShadow was. And how SuperShadow had been in the movies as an extra. And how he was helping with writing aspects of the movies. And been to the Skywalker Ranch in California to see an early screening of Episode 3. And would take over making Episodes 7-9 20 years from now.

../PG/Misc/07122005_013.jpg (20899 bytes)
Mickey Suttle a.k.a. SuperShadow

This weekend, the website got hacked by g00ns, a group of hackers. Doing some research, I found out that a lot of people hate SuperShadow. Because they're fairly convinced that he makes up all of his George Lucas interviews, and facts, and news spoilers about the franchise. That he's actually Mickey Suttle, from North Carolina, and he has no connection to George Lucas. And he built up himself with lies about his own greatness.

He even posts of his hot girlfiend, but it rotates. In 2003, he was "doing" Amber. Turns out, "Amber" is really 20-year old Nikita Kashner from Australia, and who has never met Supershadow. He just used her image. So an irate Nikita blasted him, and he "dumped" his girlfriend Amber right afterwards, and picked up a new hot girlfriend.

There's even an entry on Wikipedia this fraud. The sad part is on plenty of discussion boards, the teenage boys all still believe in Supershadow, and continue to think that Mickey Suttle will be soon be running the entire Star Wars franchise, because they believe anything they read on his website. Including the fake interviews.

Lame, buddy. Lame.

../PG/Misc/07122005_011.jpg (27881 bytes)
Three's Company original cast

I'm sorry, but after watching Three's Company reruns for the past month, I have to ask. Is it me, or is the formula for every show to take the characters, add a misunderstanding, and let hilarity ensue?

New photos of Joshua for July.

You know, I think my boss actually likes me. I'm not sure, but I think he's under the impression that I do a good job. Based on our relationship dynamics so far, the only reason he could like me was if other personnel were giving him good feedback about me. Not if he likes me as a person or whatever.

I can live with that!

Monday, July 11th 2005


It's late, or it's early, depending on how you look at it. I was up doing work. Now after taking out the trash, I'm eating cereal, and waiting it out. I have a kickoff opening meeting for my next audit at 9am, and I sure as hell don't want to oversleep and be late. I got 29 minutes before I have to get ready. I need to be on the 7:20am train.

The big news is that my parents are finally on board with the baptism. I'm not exactly sure what happened between Thursday and today, except they were pretty mad about what I wrote Thursday night. I'll never understand their logic, but I suppose I don't have to. It would make my life easier.

I wonder sometimes why they can't just trust their grownup children to make decisions on their own. I think this is what every argument basically comes down to. Whether they're questioning what we eat, where we go, what we do, I think my parents can't let go of the whole parenting thing. I mean, maybe because they've been parents for 29 years of their life, it's hard to change gears, and let their children make decisions on their own. I'm pretty sure I've read this somewhere. So, that I decided to go to a non-Indian church, or that I shouldn't eat deli cold cuts, or go biking, or whatever, all stems from my parents inability to let us make mistakes.

I don't blame them, because I can understand the reluctance to let go. But, I've been out of college for a while, been working for 6 years now, I have my own family now, and I'll be hitting 30 next year. Shouldn't that count for something?

In my parents' eyes, no, probably not.

../PG/Misc/Movie_Huckabees_002.jpg (49615 bytes)
I Heart Huckabees

I can't remember for the life of my what we did Fri night or all day Saturday. I do remember that we finished watching I Heart Huckabees. One word: sucked. I do remember making Hamburger Helper for dinner either Friday or Saturday, and it came out poorly. Isn't that the stuff you can't mess up? Somebody call Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Today, we didn't make it to church, but did pick up an apple pie I ordered yesterday from a nearby Italian bakery, and took this to my parents' place. My parents thought we were very weird to be eating apple pie a la mode (with vanilla ice cream) for lunch, but they think we're weird anyway. After we got back, I went cycling, and did 23 miles to Wood-Ridge NJ and back.

Around 11pm, I started doing some work, and here we are. I'll be dead by 11am, but at least lunch will provide me with my 2nd wind. Why do I have the feeling that I'll be drinking Coke like water today, just to stay awake?

../PG/Misc/Movie_CorpseBride_001.jpg (52985 bytes)
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

I've been watching the Tour de France the whole week, which has been fun. I'll put pictures up some other time. I will say it's been one hell of a race so far, and it's only the 1st week. Monday is a rest day, and the competition starts again Tuesday morning. Uh oh, I have 2 minutes before I have to get ready.

Check out this new animated movie from Tim Burton coming out Sept 23rd. It's called Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. Why is that guy so weird?

Thursday, July 7th 2005

I was very surprised this morning while getting ready for work. We turned on the tv, and saw British Prime Minister Blair speaking, and my wife and I automatically knew something bad had happened. At the current count, 40+ killed and 700+ wounded. Sickening, yet people think they're doing for the glory of God. Unbelievable. Our cousin Rashmi (the one who got married last August in Bangalore) is in London, and we heard that she's okay.

Rashmi, we're really glad that you're doing alright! Sorry to hear that you had to walk home without transportation, but let's take God's blessings when they're given to us!

We've fixed a date for Joshua's baptism. It'll be Saturday August 13th at 11am at our church. My parents are boycotting the event, as it's not according to their wishes. They'd prefer it in an Indian church. As a matter of fact, they never approved of us attending church in a non-Indian (or non-Malayalee) church. A couple of angry thoughts:

  1. What kind of grandparents would boycott their grandson's baptism? Over the location and service? If I didn't know that they acted like this all the time, I would be surprised. But still, their attitude makes me sick. Let me continue.
  2. At first, my parents wished I went to church -- any church, but as long as I go to church. Then when I go to a regular church, in a regular church building..... Oh, that's not good. "What good is an American church? American churches are dying. Only the Indian churches are full of life." Excuse me, but last time I checked, I have the right to go to any church I want.
  3. Why do they always feel the need to boycott if they don't like it? I know that the Indian parents that I know are always causing fights in church (whichever we belonged to), and these Indians always whipped out the "I'm boycotting in protest." to get what they want. Talk about immature. So, whether it was for the wedding in 2003, the wedding rehearsal dinner the night before, or whatever, my parents always always ALWAYS try to pressure us into doing what they want. I refuse to give in, because I know how they operate. Once we concede in one area, they start making demands in others. That's how the wedding was.
  4. They even told me that my entire side of the family wasn't going to attend. Excuse me, but am I supposed to believe my parents spent the entire day calling my entire family in the Northeast to find out if they'd attend under the circumstances? Right. They always say this, in order to try to pressure us to give in. I hate it.
  5. I don't think I have a 5th point. I'm just really irritated at them. I know this rant isn't going to help the situation, but my parents are never going to change. Seriously, who boycotts their grandchild's baptism? I refuse to put up with their boycott crap.
  6. Here's a 6th point. My sister, who moved out in June, is barely speaking to my parents, because they all fight with each other all the time. We, on the other hand, try to talk to my parents on the phone at least twice a week, and go visit on the weekends. In addition, I got married (a plus compared to their unmarried daughter), and have a family of my own (another plus in the Indian parenting book). Still, we can't please them. What irony.
../PG/Misc/07072005_003.jpg (15247 bytes)
Logitech MX500
../PG/Misc/07072005_001.jpg (52483 bytes)
How far away is the Terminator?
../PG/Misc/07072005_002.jpg (16779 bytes)
Ever see the movie Runaway with Tom Selleck?

Tomorrow is Friday, right? Good. I could use the weekend. I never heard back from Gary about biking this weekend. Regardless, I'm going riding.

Looking back on my June 2004 blog entries, I have to admit they're pretty funny. I think a pat on the back for myself is in order. is celebrating their 10-year anniversary. In celebration, I bought a Logitech MX500 optical mouse for the office. It's corded, so it's not as cool as my cool MX700 cordless mouse at home. Being cool at work is nice, but a cordless mouse might get stolen while it charged overnight.

Some random links to share:

  • has an article Chasing Desi Dollars - why companies are catering to the Indian minority. Read it before they archive it away.
  • That sound you hear is the sound of Sci-Fi yet again turning into reality. The U.S. Army is almost ready to deploy robots onto the battlefield. Sure, we've been using drones and mini-robots in Afghanistan and Iraq starting in 2001, but the Talon Sword has a machine gun.
  • The future draws closer, and Roomba was just the beginning. Domestic robots (without a machine gun) are a lot closer than you think. The Japanese will soon begin using robots to patrol offices, shopping malls, and banks. Reminds me of the 1984 Tom Selleck movie Runaway.
  • The Pentagon is working with a private marketing firm to build a database of high school students 16-18 years old, and all college students, to help them identify potential recruits. Anyone else feel uncomfortable?

That's enough out of me. That should be enough for all of you blokes to read through the rest of the weekend, and for my parents to disown me for disgracing the family, and airing the family laundry. Maybe I should delete the whole first half, because my parents probably won't speak to us for a month or so. Still, if it wasn't for this, it would be for something else.

Monday, July 4th 2005

../PG/Misc/Movie_WaroftheWorlds_002.jpg (89074 bytes)
War of the Worlds
../PG/Misc/Movie_BatmanBegins_004.jpg (58476 bytes)
Batman Begins

We had a nice picnic in our living room today. We had shrimp cocktail, chicken gyros (from scratch, mind you), and potato salad. To wash it all down, Num made homemade margaritas. Pretty darn good. We started watching I Heart Huckabees, but we fell asleep during it. Probably due to the margaritas. Or because it was a weird and boring movie.

In the evening, we met up with Lesh, dropped off the kid to my in-laws, and we went to see Batman Begins. Wow, two movies in 24 hours, as we saw War of the Worlds the night before spur of the moment when a babysitting option opened up.

And we saw basically the same 20 minutes of commercials and previews two nights in a row. At least the theaters were empty again. I wasn't impressed with the fight scenes in Batman Begins. I hate it when they just splice together quick cuts of together, so you know fighting is going on, but you can't tell who is doing what.

It makes me think that the actors doing the stunt fighting aren't very good, so let's make it look like a good fight is happening. I have much more respect when they don't keep cutting to another camera shot. In the Matrix movies, a Jackie Chan / Jet Li, Kill Bill, or even the recent Star Wars movie, the director didn't keep cutting to a new camera shot, but you had these long shots of the fight. You can see the artistry and style of the fight, and you can tell exactly what's happening.

After the movie, all three of us went to Olive Garden for a late dinner. I chose the manicotti. :)

Sunday, July 3rd 2005

It's bright and early Sunday morning. Joshua woke up around 5:30am, which I found out when I woke up to my wife changing an unhappy baby right next to me. She looked exhausted, so I offered to feed him right afterwards, as she looked half-asleep. She has most of the time, wakes up to change and feed him all the time. It's only fair if I do as much as I can on weekend mornings, don't you think?

I finally got him to take a nap, and I made breakfast. We finally went grocery shopping yesterday, so now we have food, including milk, OJ, eggs, and sausage. At 8am, I woke up the madam, and we sat and ate at the dining table like two civilized adults. How novel. She's in the shower now. We might actually make it to church service this morning.

We're supposed to visit Julie in her new apartment this afternoon, but I think Julie's schedule is up in the air at the moment.

Yesterday, we did a ton of grocery shopping in Rutherford and Clifton, shopping at Farmer's Market, BJ's Wholesale Club, and Stop & Shop. We even split up at one point, in order to save time. We had to get everything from baby formula & diapers, to veggies and supplies for our traditional July 4th picnic. Unfortunately, we'll be spending this year's picnic in our living room, but at least we'll eat right. Also, less mosquitos.

After we rushed home yesterday from shopping, I went cycling at 5:30pm for 2 hours. I did 21.5 miles around the Nutley, Belleville, Lyndhurst, and Kearny areas, had two conversations with strangers about cycling, and raced this crazy guy who was swerving through traffic and running red traffic lights. I was also surprised to have finished the entire 3 liter Camelbak hydration pack of water. It was kinda hot, so I'm not so surprised. Still, that's a lot to drink in only 21 miles.

We watched Fame last night. It was okay. I suppose that as it's a musical, it's logical for people to be dancing everywhere, including NYC streets, but..... still. Eh? What? Whatever. The movie was just okay.

Joshua has learned how to turn over. This is the beginning of the end, as now we have to watch him at all times.