Thursday, December 28, 2006

Myspace Mania & Self-Portrait Photo

Lee's Myspace! If you get here, please go there and req an add. I need all the friends I can get.

I wanted to take photos yesterday and my daughter was having none of it so I took myself. This actually turned out well as far as the cropping and tone and sharpening goes, i think. It's perhaps a teeny bit oversharpened but to me looks like what I get in the mirror. My eyes are hazel and can change from more brown to more green, as here. Course, you can't do this with photos of other people, of course... no woman would allow you to have this much accuracy in the skin and pores and hairs... and I'm not shaving over vacation, so there.

Happy New Year to all.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I took this photo a month ago but it's still worth posting now because, well, because it's so damn cool. This is Gringo, my girlfriend's sister's family cat.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hamas -- a Delightful Oddity

Arabs love to say that they aren't anti-Semites, since they, too, are Semites. And perhaps they have a point, because there are certain similarities between Arabs and Jews that bring home our shared ancestry. For example, Chutzpah.

You have to love the PA Prime Minister, Ismael Haniyeh. He now proclaims that while Hamas and the Palestinians remain dedicated to wiping Israel of the face of the map, they are willing to offer an extended 20 year truce if Israel returns to 1967 borders. Such an offer! Allow Hamas to grow unchecked, developing better weapons, perhaps obtain nukes, ensure each family has huge families, all sorts of preparation, so that on the first day of the 21st year, they can overrun Israel and demolish the state. Oh, yeah.

And of course, although no European country would accept such a bizarre and outdated sort of truce, the Europeans will be shoving each other aside for the opportunity to exhort Israel to take the deal.

I have to work on being more positive, but if I pay attention to the news it's just not happening.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Chanukah Shopping Day Off!

Here is out Chanukkiah with its candles anxiously waiting. Burn, baby, burn! It is chanting in its high-pitched metal voice! It's bothering me so much that I am going to have to leave now and run errands. The first thing I'll do is go to the Fairfax district and see if I can get an oil chanukkiah and some gifts, then buying food for Shabbat and the rest.... it's going to be a great weekend.

Last night I had an odd experience. My sister had a wrap party for the movie she just produced and starred in at a karaoke bar in Burbank. It was weird seeing her in her movie-producing mode with all the producers, directors, editors, etc etc, all excited and eager and animatedly sharing info and their ideas and projects in development. These people are mostly still trying to make it big but I could tell they were also happy to be living their dreams. It was a reminder of the wonderful power of Hollywood and the opportunities it gives to millions of people to make their creative mark on the world. It was cool.

I gotta go!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Barak HUSSEIN Obama

I love how Republicans are already desperate enough that they are getting the word out that Hussein is Obama's middle name. Now, some have implied that Obama thinks his middle name is a liability because he doesn't have his middle name written anywhere on his senate stuff and other records, but then again, lots of people have middle names and don't use them. I don't think I've every done anything other than use my middle initial, and that's not because I'm trying to hide my middle name.

I think that if Barak Obama runs, that's it. He wins. And this is the reason why. Historically, people would be racist on skin color alone. Today, I don't think it's so much the skin color as the 'blackness' of one's attitude and bearing about which people who are reactive about such things feel negatively. And Barak Obama is able to pass for white in the demeanor department. Now, people who historically may have been resistant to black folks are itching to prove that they aren't racist. 50 years ago otherwise decent folks would straight-out declare their racism as a matter of common sense. No more. Only extremists are racist in the old way. Most folks who are scared/disgusted by black hip-hop culture long to prove to everyone including themselves that it's not the race. Me, for instance -- I hate hiphop but can quickly wheel out music from blacks or prominently featuring them to prove I'm not racist -- Stew/The Negro Problem, TV on the Radio, Bloc Party, Common, Blackalicious, Hendrix, of course -- and many other white folks are like me, I think. We don't go round thinking of things in race terms but find ourselves not digging current black culture and feel obliged to defend ourselves. What better way to prove that you are jiggy wid it than casting your vote for Obama?

Even the most conservative folks love to have black people they can support -- Colin Powell, Alan Keyes, TD Jakes. And Barak Obama doesn't have to win their votes anyway - he just has to win enough moderate votes to pair with the Democratic base. And he'll get those votes. Put someone like McCain against him and McCain loses the same way Dole did. Nice guy, let's keep him in the Senate, just too old and played, whereas our guy is the Future. Put someone like Guiliani, and he loses -- it's populist speechmaker against populist speechmaker, and Guiliani isn't really good at that stuff -- he's still running off of the fact that he happened to be around at 9-11. Put a real conservative against Obama like Frist and Frist loses -- the country doesn't want a conservative ideologue -- they want someone who will bring the country together. A conservative can try that language but it won't fly. Obama can do it convincingly. Bush won the first time on this sort of positive platform and beat Gore's petulant smug act. Obama can talk to us and not talk at us like Gore was prone to do.

I need to get my Obama 08 bumper sticker. Not to put on my bumper, mind you -- in LA only tacky people have bumper stickers on their bumpers -- but maybe i'll tape it to the inside of my rear window facing out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The insane things you do for money.

Notice how many people are ill recently? Seems everyone has the cold or the flu. I only had a couple days of fever and I seem now to be getting better but last night and today I've had a KILLER headache. Not a migraine, but sinus-y pressure. So last night I went to bed with a headache, and though I slept fine, this morning I woke up with a headache.

And then I drove 120 miles to a meeting with a headache. And then I presented at the meeting. And then I drove 120 miles back. Since I was driving along the 5 Freeway from San Diego, I spent some of the time driving along the coast. The freeway goes through the Camp Pendleton Marine base, which is mostly hills and scrub the Marines train on. So I often see military aircraft and vehicles when I go by. Today was all helicopters -- little helicopters hovering over the beach, big helicopters making wide circles... like my military knowledge? You then go by the San Onofre nuclear plant, which is always fun, because of the cameo it plays in The Naked Gun.. Did I mention I still had my headache? And now, a couple hours later, still have the headache. Woo hoo. It's a good one. And tomorrow I fly to the Bay Area for a meeting and then back. Sinus problems + plane == Pain. All to make my customers happy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm Sick/Lionel Richie is Huge in the Middle East

When I got up this morning I thought I was feeling much better, and I guess I am. Not much bodyache, no fever, no dripping. But when I am seated here at my desk and trying to work I realize I am still off... my balance is easily messed with and my stuffy head is affecting my sense of balance, and I am coughing a lot more than I was conscious of at home. It must be irritating for those around me.

But enough about me. Lionel Richie. That's big news. There's a guy who is coming out with an article apparently entitled "Lionel of Arabia." I heard about it on the NPR news this morning. As this article from earlier this year says,Lionel Richie is huge in the Middle East... it's very funny. People love him there. He partially attributes it to his looks -- he could pass for any one of the many peoples in the region. The guy told a story about when Lionel Richie was at a resort in Sardinia, I think -- he had one couple come up to him and gush how they got married to "Truly" and as they were doing this, another couple came up to him and noticed the first couple and there was an awkward pause as they looked at each other, and then the second couple started to gush how they got married to "Truly" and then out came the wedding photos, etc... turns out that one couple was Israeli, the other Lebanese, and they were both government officials and had been at that resort for years and years and always stayed on opposite ends to keep away from each other... but what did they have in common to reach across the chasm of apprehension? Lionel Richie, of course. So cool. And when the US bombing of Baghdad started, people started playing "All Night Long" in the streets. Anyway.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


OK, this is something that has to be a sign of nerdiness, but I love Wordie!. very cool idea. just make lists of words. What words, why -- that's all up to you. It's fun to see what words other people have. You get a feel for people and the kinds of words they list. And some lists are really neat -- here is a list of words used in Decemberists songs! Anyway. If you don't think this is interesting, you are definitely not a nerd.

I am feeling better but still sick and now I must sleep.

Friday, December 01, 2006


i took this photo of my Bodum Assam thermal mug. It's hand-blown and has two layers, see? That way the inside is hot and the outside stays cool. Or visa versa. And check out how you can see all the glory of my kind-of-capuccino? Or is this a latte? Well, you can see for yourself!

Home Sick

But that's ok. I've just discovered

So far, I've learned

1. How to build and play a Theramin.
2. How to build a straw bale house.
3. How to tell the differences between wildcat and coyote tracks.

This website kicks ass. I can actually use the tracking information, too, as there are often this sort of tracks after a rain when I hike the local trails.

I'm learning stuff from, but that's not why I feel like I'm in college again. That's because of Rabbi Joe in Jerusalem's NP3 podcast. which is well over an hour a week on each Torah portion. I am learning a lot and also managing to keep up each week and read each portion. Past five years I've always petered out, read for a few weeks, forgotten, so this year I'm keeping up better. Not reading the Haftorah each week, but hey. Small steps. So it's like I'm taking a class because I listen to Rabbi Joe each week, read the material, think about it, and then post my observations and thoughts. Then, because so far, few people are posting, Rabbi Joe responds to what I put. It's cool, but I hope that soon there will be too many people commenting and it's too popular, beacuse people would get a lot out of it.

This week's portion, Va-Yetzei, is chock full of stuff we deal with in modern life and rabbis use it to talk about how we have to deal with the messiness off the world -- people like Laban that are going to cheat and swindle and try to take advantage, and we have to act like Jacob and have dignity and do our best anyway. Jacob has struggled all his life in one way or another and now he must have to struggls to keep up with the demands of starting a people and keeping all these women happy while raising mostly boys and selectively breeding sheep. Chaotic stuff! And I can't get around thinking that Jacob would be seen by the average American guy as the luckiest guy ever. He is married to two women and he's always having sex with them because they are always trying to have kids. And the moment they stop, they are offering up their handmaidens for him to have sex with so they'll have kids. But once you get past the sex, you see that Jacob has to be one tired guy. He's having relationships with four women. Even if it's the most patriarchal of relationships, there's still an awful lot going on, plus all the inevitable jealousies and competition and having to guard against what happened to his grandmother Sarah and her issues with Hagar... anyway. I've read this stuff before but never thought about it enough to get inside their heads a bit.