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December 2004 Archives

December 1, 2004


I've been living the wrong life.

In the accounts of the banning of the fans involved in the Ron Artest brawl, I keep seeing things like this:

    Although not mentioned as part of the ban, the man whom police say threw a chair during the melee has been convicted of assault before, The Detroit News is reporting. According to court documents, Bryant Jackson was a co-defendant in an attempted murder case that was later dropped and also was convicted of assaulting the mother of his child, the newspaper reported.

And more details:

    In 1988, Jackson was charged with assault with intent to murder and felony firearm possession. The charges were dropped when a witness failed to testify, according to Wayne County court records. In 2000, Jackson was convicted of domestic violence for assaulting the mother of his child, according to Washtenaw County court records. He was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to take anger management classes.

    The Detroit News reported that Jackson's license has been suspended nine times since 1998 for failing to pay speeding tickets and other traffic fines. The two most recent suspensions came last month.

As for the alleged cup thrower:

    According to court records, Green spent 30 days in the Oakland County Jail in 1985, charged with larceny from a building and uttering and publishing.

    He got into trouble again in January 1988 when he tried to bribe Bouchard after being ticketed for a driving offense.

    In July 1988, Green left a halfway house without permission, went to the Troy apartment of former girlfriend Susan Sofy and assaulted her.

    He hit her with a telephone -- breaking her wrist -- kicked her in the stomach and threatened to throw her from a second-story window, court records show. When she ran for help Green allegedly stole her car.

    He pleaded guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm and unlawfully driving a car, and was sentenced to three to 20 years. In 1995, Lori Szymanski of Royal Oak obtained a restraining order against Green after he allegedly broke into her home and began stalking her. In court records, she said they had dated briefly the summer before and that he threatened her and picked fights with her friends.

And these gentlemen held tickets way down near the court. Way, way, way down. Cup-throwing distance. Chair-throwing distance. For NBA games. NBA champion games.

I'm a basketball fan. I started going to pro games in 1967- ABA games at Teaneck Armory (look it up). Knicks games at the Garden, Sixers games at the Spectrum, Nets games at Nassau Coliseum and Rutgers. I've seen games in Washington, Orlando, Miami (old Arena and new AmericanAirlines Arena), and L.A. (Sports Arena and Forum). And I've never assaulted anyone, don't have a domestic violence record, never threw anything at any game, and, as a Philadelphia sports fan who was in attendance when the Cataldi Crew were prepared to throw batteries at J.D. Drew the first time he came in with the Cardinals, that's saying something. In fact, I was in attendance at the Meadowlands the night Charles Barkley spat at a fan and hit a little girl with his saliva instead. And I behaved myself- I did not storm the court, throw a cup or a chair, nothing.

And I don't have NBA season tickets. Can't afford them, couldn't get them if I had the cash anyway. I don't sit five rows from the court. I don't sit twenty five rows from the court. I don't sit anywhere in the building. I sit at home, watching on TV, because I haven't been blessed with the disposable cash required to make Lakers or even Clippers season tickets a reality for me.

These guys do. Or did. They've been convicted. They assaulted people. They couldn't restrain themselves at a game. And THEY have season tickets.

Somewhere along the line, I got it wrong.

Of course, getting NBA season tickets is not indicative of whether you've lived a good life or not. (NFL luxury box tickets are) But I was raised to work hard, be kind to everyone, try to do the right thing, and, you know, you see guys who skipped those things and went right to the assault card and there they are enjoying life in those seats that catch the glow of the TV lights while I'm watching at home. And if they have the money for Pistons premium seats, they have the money for flash cars and plasma TVs and all that other stuff. And, yes, that's measuring life by the accumulation of material goods. I know there's a lot more to life than that.

But is it too much to ask that I get even a little taste of that stuff? I don't NEED the tickets, but can I be granted a widescreen flat panel HDTV and a new Mustang GT? Is it possible that in this life I might be able to earn money that went towards cool fun stuff rather than to my business and the mortgage company?

Yes, it IS too much to ask. But the consolation is this: if I'm not in the building to begin with, they can't ban me from there. Not that it makes a difference.


December 2, 2004


Let's take a spin through the latest headlines and see if there's anything remotely interesting enough to write about, shall we? How about the front page of CNN.com, as of Midnight ET:

Bush to tap Kerik for Homeland Security

Got nothing there. Kerik's OK, I guess. Next.

Pfc. England's lawyers lose crucial ruling

Not Abu Ghraib again. No. Mind is vaporizing, must move on. Next.

Bush 'full-court press' on intelligence bill

You know, I know this is important, sort of, but, no, nothing comes to mind except "hasn't this been going on for a couple of weeks now?" Next.

Lesbian minister convicted of violating church law

Methodists? Not my church. Sorry, doesn't affect me. Selfish? Well, I gotta manage my time and remaining brain cells SOMEhow. Next.

Panel votes against drug for female libido

Apparently, there's a problem with it. That happens. Back to the drawing board, I suppose. Opinion? None. Next.

Police dismiss reports of 'BTK' arrest

I'm only vaguely familiar with the BTK murders- Wichita, old cases, rumors that the culprit may have resurfaced. I'm sure Court TV and A&E are racing to get the specials together. I'm not that into murder cases, though. Depressing. Next.

Report: 44 percent of Americans medicated

Can you blame them? Read the rest of the headlines. Actually, I think EVERYONE is medicated, just not all using prescription drugs. Food is a medication. Drinking is medication. Whatever gets you through the night. The trouble comes when they pump kids full of Ritalin and whatever else they can, just to turn the kids from normal, slightly hyper, slightly ADD-afflicted children into something easier to handle. At some point, partneing turned from what's best for the children to what's most convenient for the parent. But I don't have kids, so for a lot of people, I'm disqualified- can't really know what it's like to blah blah blah. Okay. Next.

SI.com: Report: Company official accuses Marion Jones

I only began to think Marion Jones might be up to something when she denied it. I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it was the defiant tone of her denials that made me think something might be up. Not that anything's been proven, mind you, but, well, it would explain a lot. It's all- even the Giambi story- a prelude to the big one. You know they're building up to it. You know who has the big target painted on his back. The story won't really explode nationally until there's proof one way or the other about Barry. All this is worth a week or two of clucking, then people will forget. But that's all out the window if they take down Goliath. Next.

Bob Dylan: 'I'm no prophet'

Can't disagree. From the Greatest Song Ever:

    You said you'd never compromise With the mystery tramp, but now you realize He's not selling any alibis, As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes And ask him do you want to make a deal?

Uh, what?

(Don't get me wrong, it IS a great song. And I DO get what the lyrics are about as a whole. But some of it is meaningful only after the consumption of hallucinogens)

(And I LIKE Dylan, so save the long explanatory e-mails pointing to the deep meaning of "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again," because I don't need to be sold on his legendary status. But, damn, some of the lyrics are goofy)

That's the news at this hour. And that's all I got for tonight. Maybe my bad block will break up tomorrow. It would help if something would happen, you know.


December 3, 2004


I could get all worked up over Barry Bonds, but it doesn't matter. Asterisks? Suspensions? Is he lying about not knowing? Doesn't matter. Actually, Jim Rome got it right this morning when he said that Bud Selig won't do a damn thing because whatever he does, people will still come to the park and watch on TV. I'd rail against the moron fans who keep attending and thereby enabling the fraud, except that come Opening Day, I'll be there with all the other morons, and I'll be there all season, watching from the press box at Dodger Stadium or the cheap seats in Anaheim. Cheating? Fraud? Sure, but we show up anyway, and we get what we deserve. Besides, you want to see balloon-headed steroid cases hit 'em deep into the left field bleachers. You don't care whether they end up like Lyle Alzado or Ken Caminiti. You want entertainment, they're entertainers. End of story. For you, at least.

If Bud wants to do the right thing, here's what he can do- figure that Bonds was good for about 40 home runs a year when he started on "the clear." Say he added 20-30 home runs a year over a five year period- that's 100-150 home runs. Be generous and assume he'd still be hitting 40 a year without the help. OK, that's about three years' production he added to his output in five years, so suspend him for three years. Chances are that would end his career, but if not, that'll put him roughly where he'd have been, homer-wise, without the steroids. If he wants to attempt a clean comeback by then, at least his numbers will be closer to what they should have been all along. You can't erase his stats and his average and there's nothing you can do about all those walks or the pennant the Giants won riding on his back. Lord knows there's nothing anyone can do about certain other guys who suddenly bulked up and broke home run records. But this would at least be something.

Not that something needs to be done, because nobody cares. Nobody cares about the example for kids, nobody cares about the inherent unfairness. Oh, they SAY they care, and they may demand an asterisk or suspension, but why should any of that happen if they won't stop paying for tickets or watching the games? That's the true test of whether any of this matters. Will SBC Park- hate that name- be full again this year? Yep. Yankee Stadium, whether or not Giambi's there? Yep. So does it matter? Nope.

See you at the park next season. You know you'll be there.


December 4, 2004


The plague continues.

They now have one of these in my local mall:

Oh, I knew they were in Montebello and Ontario and Fox Hills and opened one in Lakewood, close but not TOO close. That's OK- the fans, despite the team having abandoned them to return to Oakland a decade ago, are still around wearing the colors and acting generally menacing to the general population (except when they discover I'm an Eagles fan- there's honor among football thugs). I didn't think they'd invaded the South Bay.

But they have.

Memo to L.A. Raider Nation: they didn't care enough about you to stay. They only care about your money, which is why they sent these stores down, to let you spend some more on them.

Would getting a new team of our own stop this? Because if it would, that would be the only way I'd support spending the money and making the effort to bring the NFL back to L.A. I don't WANT a team here, but if it would stop the spread of the Silver and Black, please, Mr. Tagliabue, make it happen. Only you can stop MechaDavis in his tracks.


December 5, 2004


Rained all day. That's winter in Southern California. Doesn't last very long, but when it hits, cold and miserable are the words that come to mind. It was too miserable to go running, so I got up, did some work, then went back to sleep for a while. By 10:45, I was up again, reading the newspapers after braving a drenching to retrieve them from the driveway, whereupon I peeled open the Times Calendar section and read a succession of letters (subscription required) praising a report from last week on an underemployed actor.

The report was about Michael O'Neill, who complained that he might have to leave the business despite having some decent credits, because, well, acting doesn't pay enough. The thing was one huge sour grape about how the stars command such huge salaries yet the journeymen actors- the character guys, the ones in the middle or bottom of the cast list, the secondary players, the "also starring" guys- don't get a taste. And right atop the letters list was one from SAG First VP and second, less entertaining "M*A*S*H" sidekick Mike Farrell, who naturally thinks the plight of the seventeenth banana is a major problem:

    The piece beautifully described the problems faced by professional actors today in a manner that I only hope can begin a process that will involve serious thinking on the parts of many people. The short-sightedness of those whose only interest appears to be in improving their bottom line is squeezing the "little guy" and bleeding the lifeblood of art and creativity from an industry about which we as a nation used to be able to feel great pride. And the greed and selfishness of those at the top of the food chain is now being replicated by members of our own guild who upon attaining the realization of their dreams seem to have forgotten where they came from as they ignore the plight of those whose talent and support helped them get there.

O'Neill explained his plight this way:

    "It's not that there's no work. There's never been any work. But the work you get now does not recognize the value of your experience; it certainly does not compensate you for your experience. All the rules have changed."


    "I have been very, very fortunate in my career," he says, recounting the innumerable stars he has worked with, the great directors, the camaraderie he has found among all variety of casts.

    But he is also old enough — now in his early 50s — to appreciate the value of simple truth. "And the truth is I cannot support my family on scale plus 10," he says. "I am too old and too good to be making scale plus 10."

And before long, he gets to his real point:

    "I just keep thinking if some of these big stars would just say something," he says. "Like, 'How about I only get $24 million and you take the other $1 million and make sure the rest of the cast is getting their quotes.' "

Uh, wait.

What these guys want is for the "top of the food chain" to take a pay cut so that the Michael O'Neills of the world can make more money.


Why should this guy make more money? Why should the real stars take less? Out of the goodness of their hearts? To support socialism in Hollywood? Why?

What's missing from "The Conversation," as the original piece was called, is this: who told Michael O'Neill or Mike Farrell or anyone else in Hollywood that anyone OWES them a living? Is Michael O'Neill so indispensable that he deserves more money because if he doesn't get more, he'll... what? Quit?

There are a million Michael O'Neills competing for a handful of roles. If Michael O'Neill himself doesn't want to take a role because the pay's insulting, a thousand guys equally talented and able will line up to take the job. That's to say this: there's nothing irreplacable about Michael O'Neill, so he can't expect to be paid Jim Carrey wages.

And he shouldn't be paid that under any circumstances, because of this: the entertainment industry makes money based on people making the decision to spend their money or tune their dials to particular programming. There are two determinants of whether someone spends their time and/or money on a movie or TV show- the stars and the story. Not the character actors. The STARS. Nobody but his immediate family pays to see a movie because Michael O'Neill's in it. Millions pay their ten bucks to see Jim Carrey, Julia Roberts, superstars. Should those stars take less to help the rest of the cast out? Or should they get as much as possible, considering that it's their names, their faces, their talents that are bringing that money in?

The people who truly have an argument here, and I don't say this just as a mamber of that clan, are the writers. The writers tend not to get paid commensurate with the success of the movies they write; sometimes, they aren't even welcome on the set. Without the writers, there's no movie- just the actors standing around, confused.

Without Michael O'Neill, there's still a movie and it still does exactly the same business, just with someone else in the role.

Here's the thing- even though O'Neill and the SAG guys complain that due to reality TV and heartless studios, they're left with a business that isn't as it was when they started, that's not true at all. It's the same business, with the same long odds against success. You get into it because you believe the dream, you start to get some traction because you're still young and still the type the casting directors want, you take jobs from older actors you laugh at as washed up jokes, then you get older yourself and the younger ones laugh at you. You make excuses, just like the actors who came before you- it's reality TV, it's the death of the sitcom, it's the death of drama, it's the industry's obsession with youth. It's the same as it was before, only the tables have turned and you're the same old guy you were laughing at 20 years ago.

And it's not like other businesses are any different. Hell, radio IS different than when I got into the business. I was a Program Director, and now, with consolidation, the number of jobs have shrunk. And even though I was one of the top-ranked in that category- L.A. experience, a strong track record- I decided it was time to change course, and I did. And if the one I'm on falters, I'll change again. Nature of the business. Nature of life. Whining and looking for sympathy among the "little people" won't change that.

So you might have to leave acting to support your family. Welcome to the real world, where we all have to do whatever we have to do to support our families. Sucks, I know, but might as well get used to it.



Aah, maybe that last post (below) was too harsh. Must be the weather. You know, he had guest shots on some good shows- "24," "Roswell," "The X-Files," "Carnevale." And he's been in a ton of movies, although I've liked only one ("Traffic"). Guy's plugged away for years, and he wants to keep working- you see the clock ticking and the work drying up, you'd panic, too.

But it's the Curse of Getting Older- you get to a certain age, 40 being one magic number and 50 another, and it dawns on you that you're not likely to become a big star, not likely to be acclaimed as the Greatest of Your Generation, and the mortgage and the kids' medical bills and Blue Cross and the car loan need to be paid, and you can't explain to all of them that, see, I was supposed to be a massive internationally acclaimed success by now. They want their money, and "I just missed out on 'Man in Waiting Room #3' in the new Vin Diesel" won't do.

All true, and a shame, except that, again, nobody told you to shoot for the moon. You did it, because you had a dream, and you had to, because had you not, you'd have spent a miserable lifetime wondering what might have been. But now you know. You can second-guess yourself, or you can blame someone else. Or you can go try something else. Or all three.

But then again, as I wrote before and as a Wise Man once said to me when I slipped into the same sort of self-pity during a bout of underemployment about a decade ago, there is no shame in doing whatever you have to do to support your family. And so you do. Can I feel sorry for Michael O'Neill or any other can't-get-arrested-in-Hollywood actor? Not really. Can I empathize? Yeah. But things are tough all over, dude. Go do what you have to do, and stop whining about it.


December 6, 2004


A study says that lost sleep can lead to you gaining weight. It's not that you can't eat while you're sleeping, it's more about levels of some chemical in your brain or something.

    "Our results demonstrate an important relationship between sleep and metabolic hormones," the researchers wrote in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal.

    "In Western societies, where chronic sleep restriction is common and food is widely available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with sleep curtailment may contribute to obesity."

Whatever it is, I am not going to buck biology. It's been a long day. I'm going to go, er, lose some weight now. G'night.


December 7, 2004


Look, it's Chanukah!

That's the menorah to the left- an "art" menorah, of course, because we're typical can't-do-anything-traditional yuppie scum- and the dreidel to the right, behind the chocolate Chanukah gelt. The dreidel is also artsy and nontraditional- it spins on its little axis rather than freely, meaning it's no fun. Actually, regular dreidels aren't much fun, either, as proven by the lyrics to that popular Chanukah carol:

    Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
    I made it out of clay
    And when it's dry and ready
    I'll curse my family for making me craft my toys by hand instead of just going to Toys R Us to buy far better made items that might actually prove enjoyable, like maybe an XBox or a World Poker Tour set, rather than this stupid game

Oh, how we loved singing that as children.

Anyway, it's the first night of the Festival of Lights, and it's been rousing so far: tender brisket made using our pal Gwen's recipe (secret ingredient: whole cranberries), latkes, string bean casserole with the crunchy onion things, a homemade chocolate chunk brownie for dessert. What does this holiday mean? Good eatin', apparently. And that's why I like it.

Happy Chanukah, y'all!


December 8, 2004


It must be the holidays.

1. Not once, not twice, not three times, but FIVE TIMES today, a driver waited until the last second to veer in front of me in a lane for no apparent reason. They didn't need to turn, they didn't have anyone in front of them, they could have continued driving slowly in the other lane. But they decided they'd rather be where I was. Explanation? None possible. All five drivers had blank expressions on their faces when I finally was able to pass them- no cell phone, no passenger, barely sentient.

2. Torrance Y. Fat guy. Black Speedo. Apparently, he hasn't mastered the art of looking in the mirror before heading into public view.

3. Another driver was signaling for a right...

...aah, forget it. I don't want to turn into Andy Rooney. Let's put it this way- everything's either aggravating or depressing right now. My plan for New Year's? Staying in bed until it's over. We're not celebrating the New Year, we'll be escaping 2004. We hope.



The King of Atlanta Jews, Sir Larry Wachs, notes that the parking lot at his mall of choice is empty these days, not a good sign for retailers but great for those of us who want to shop without being accosted by thousands of crazed gift buyers. His observations are mirrored here, because I've noticed the same thing- the malls are busy but not really all THAT busy, the Costco was eerily quiet today, I can even find parking at the normally mobbed Best Buy, and the Borders/Sportmart lot, the last time I was there, was wide open. No lines inside, either. And when we recently went to Wal-Mart and PetSmart at the Long Beach Town Center shopping center on a Friday night, we were shocked- no traffic, no parking problems, no lines, in and out with ease. (That area is usually mobbed with shoppers, diners, and moviegoers on weekends- I almost didn't want to go over there because of the usual crowds)

In the immortal words of the Betson's Furniture TV ads on Philly UHF TV, "Hey! Where'd everybody go?"

Not shopping.

I suppose I should be concerned- this CAN'T be good for the economy. But part of me is enjoying the relative calm. I like being able to run into the mall or the department store or the book store, grab what I want, pay immediately, and get out of there. But if what I'm seeing and what Mr. Wachs is seeing holds true everywhere else, those fourth quarter earinings reports are going to be brutal. Maybe y'all should go out and spend a few bucks. Do it for freedom, for truth, justice, and the American way. Do it for my retail stocks. You know you want to.


December 9, 2004


It can't be just me. I've written before (come on, I have a headache and I need to knock off early- YOU look it up) about the intimidation factor with record store clerks. The condescension and the judgemental sneer you get when buying an "unapproved" title are probably the primary reasons I don't bother with record stores anymore. You can go to an online retailer and find a better selection AND preview everything AND get a better price, and there's no snide 30-something boho looking down his or her pierced nose at you.

That's why I was amused by this morning's L.A. Times Calendar cover story. The headline is "The music clerks who can spin your world," and the story is all about the very people who drove me from the stores. And the story even starts out with that very idea:

    Amid jewel boxes and vinyl, they live to open your ears. Obscure. Snobbish. Frighteningly hip. Think "record store clerk," and the stereotypes aren't particularly kind.

So the writer KNOWS what people think. He then, unfortunately, veers into deification of the same people, because instead of condescension, he sees people who really live to spread the joyous gospel of really "good" music, not the commercial corporate crap you're buying but fine, unadulterated crap of which THEY approve.

    But as scary as the words "May I help you?" can seem, it's the clerks who often shape how, and how seriously, we hear music. Sure, a smug one can shut us down. But a good one will excite enthusiasm and curiosity — will take us down new musical avenues or help us find the right gift for a friend or relative: His or her deep knowledge of obscure recordings can lead us to sounds we didn't even know existed. All we have to do is find the right person.

The right person? The article quotes several of the "right persons," but they all sound like insufferable know-it-alls, no different from the chain store types, all of which will stare you down and laugh behind your back if you buy something uncool. Frankly, I don't WANT a lesson in what I SHOULD like from some underambitious record store clerk. I can seek and find cool stuff myself, and sometimes I might be in the mood for something uncool, something stupid, maybe something that isn't cool now but someday might be. And I don't want to have to explain it. I don't want to have to care what the clerk thinks.

And I don't need to. I can buy online. (I can also download, but we won't go there now) And the article serves one useful purpose- it provides me with a handy guide to places I'll be sure to avoid.

Next: Book store clerks- annoying acned a-holes.



Proof that my town government cannot get anything done: this slide has been on Cox Cable channel 33 for what has to be more than a year.

The money to build a studio at City Hall was in the 2003-2004 budget. This was important because, well, Cox has a cable access studio sitting fairly idle (we don't have public access programming anymore- it used to be on, yep, channel 33) and, you know, it seems they really DIDN'T need to build a studio. So why is this slide up, wasting a channel? And why, when you go to the web site listed on the slide, do you just get a picture of the same slide?

This channel should have been up and running a year ago. I wonder why it isn't. Maybe I'll check around and find out.


December 10, 2004


Right now, the DVD of the movie "The Terminal" is running in the other room. I'm here at the computer because I needed to check on the anti-virus system scan I was running. I didn't ask Fran to pause the disc. No need. I can predict everything that happens in the movie. We've both been running in and out of the room, leaving the interminable movie running. It's not a bad movie, mind you, just dull and predictable and a little "look at the funny foreigner do funny foreign things" condescending. And it has the bonus of being the kind of movie you don't even have to watch at all to see. Just set it and forget it. You know you will.

Bravo, Messrs. Spielberg and Hanks. Two thumbs sideways.


December 11, 2004


Plenty of stuff we coulda done this weekend. We chose a movie ("Ocean's Twelve," inoffensive enough of a travelogue) and a few hours of brilliant stand-up comedy with Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony down at the Irvine Improv, including some reunion time reminiscing about the Weird Old Days at an internet/syndicated radio network we all worked at. A good time was had. Got lots of work to do, but it can wait until tomorrow.

P.S.: Go buy Greg's book.


December 13, 2004


Back late today. (Why? Not important- you wouldn't believe me if I told you, anyway) More tomorrow, including, possibly, the Great Tire Replacement or something more interesting.


December 14, 2004


The problem with cats is that they do not speak English, or any other human language, for that matter. And unlike dogs, they cannot be trained to recognize commands even if they don't know exactly what words are being said. That's not to say that cats are stupid or don't actually recoginze the sounds- they just don't pay any attention, because, as Bucky Katt said in this morning's "Get Fuzzy," humans play the role of "Man With Food" in the screenplay of a cat's life.

I raise this topic because, with All Access on its annual Christmas hiatus, I don't have to wake up at 4:30 am Pacific time every morning for a few weeks. I'll be doing some work, but it won't necessitate the usual early deadlines. This means nothing to Ella, the World's Most Famous Cat, who wants her food at 4:30 am Pacific time, period. And she wants to play fetch immediately afterwards. And she wants to be petted right after that. Excuses? Unacceptable. Wake up, feed Ella, play with Ella, that's the schedule, and it starts at 4:30 am Pacific time, weekdays, weekends, and holidays. No exceptions. It just is. Deal with it.

And that's what we have to do- deal with it. I have, what, two weeks out of the year when I don't have to get up early, and I'll be getting up early anyway, because Ella, the World's Most Famous Cat will not be denied. If we rolll over and try to ignore her, she'll just climb on us and stick her face in ours and sniff and try to sense life and lick until there's identifiable motion. She will not be denied. I will not get enough sleep. It is preordained.

I feel unrested already.

Plans for these two weeks? None, really- I'll clean out the office a little, do some filing and some preparation for the delivery of the new computer, finally finish some books I've been meaning to get through. Some time for me and Fran to spend together, some time to get caught up on stuff, some time to work out. It isn't much, but it's all I get.

I'll take it. And if anyone knows how to speak cat, tell Ella to give me a break. I'll be doing the 4:30 thing again soon enough.



We just got the news. I'm an uncle, Fran's an aunt. For real.

The new addition is Fran's sister's brand new baby boy, born to Debie and Simon tonight in Tampa, no name yet, nine pounds, 13 ounces (!).


Pretty cool, huh?

Congratulations and much love to Debie and Simon.


December 15, 2004


There's an old sticker next to the garage door opener button, left there by a previous occupant and half-heartedly scraped off later, leaving the lower half still legible on a bed of worn day-glo orange. It reads "God Loves You." And maybe He does, but he's had a funny way of showing it this year.

This is the kind of year 2004 has been for me, in a highly edited nutshell, leaving out several other things I'm not free to relate at this time: dad died after several months of intense searing pain, I ended up in an instant legal entanglement just to properly administer his estate, we've had several automotive problems including not one, not two, but two and a half sets of new tires, I've experienced the interesting sensation of several teeth falling apart, and now yet another of my molars has disintegrated, crumbling into mulch as I ate today, leaving an old filling sticking up with a jagged ridge where part of the outer tooth used to be. It's not neglect or bad dental hygiene- I floss, brush, go to the dentist, all that. It's just the ravages of age, 30 year old fillings failing, teeth weakened over the years going bad. And now, it's time for another trip to the dentist's chair, another bout of pain, probably another thousand bucks. Now I know what I'll be getting with the Chanukah gift certificates I got this year- a new tooth.

It's getting frightening- I'm terrified of what might happen next. Did I say this year can't end too soon? It can't end too soon.


December 16, 2004


My first thought when I heard a guy was holed up in the Crystal Cathedral after firing shots inside was that this shouldn't be too difficult. I mean, the place is all glass. Just get a sharpshooter and nail the sucker from outside.

Of course, it turns out he's probably in an office, and there are, of course, bathrooms and stuff in there, too, which can't be seen from outside. Never mind.

The Crystal Cathedral isn't too far from here- it's pretty close to where the Angels play and it's down the street from the Block mall where I've been known to spend too much money on skee ball at Dave and Buster's or on books and videos at Virgin Megastore. Most people assume from the location, the size, and the fact that there are places in the parking lot where you can park and sit in your car and hear the service that it's a schlocky Christian theme park. It's not that bad- they DO have a big Christmas show and it IS to your garden-variety church what a Jerry Bruckheimer movie is to an Alexander Payne movie, yet it's less gaudy than you'd expect and, when you're on the grounds, it really does feel like a church- but it does have that reputation of being a typically Southern California "experience." But it isn't a patch on this, the Trinity Broadcasting Network headquarters, just a short drive away:

Oh, I wish I had a bigger picture to show you, but I couldn't find one, and the picture that would best show you the sheer splendor of the place would be taken from the middle of the 405 freeway. It's that side- visible from passing cars or from the South Coast Plaza mall parking lot- that has the huge "Happy Birthday Jesus" in 100 watt white bulbs along the top of the building, which is dripping with lights from every surface and tree and plant. The building looks like the White House reimagined by a Vegas casino architect, or a particularly low-class dinner theater. If you've ever thought, gee, religion just isn't religion without excessive use of electricity, just head south on the 405 and just before the Bristol Ave. exit, look to your right. Make sure you're wearing sunglasses. Apparently, it's open to the public, too, and includes a virtual reality theater and the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift and Book Shop. I kid you not.

I gotta go there one of these days.


December 18, 2004


This morning's papers were full of articles about "Merry Christmas." A preacher is pushing boycotts of retailers who say "Happy Holidays" instead; L. Brent Bozell's saying the lack of Christmas mentions in entertainment's all the secular Jews' fault. As a Jew, I guess I'm supposed to feel insulted and upset when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas.

Is there something wrong with me because it doesn't bother me at all?

I think the preachers demanding an end to "Happy Holidays" are way off base, of course. There's nothing wrong with being inclusive, should you or your employer choose to do so. It doesn't devalue Christmas or Chanukah, it's been used for generations... no harm, no foul. On the other hand, it doesn't bother me when someone goes with the Christmas greeting. They celebrate Christmas, they're wishing me a happy one, they're including me in their holiday. I trust they'd feel the same if I wish them a Happy Chanukah. I'm pretty sure they would.

And that's where I end up diverging from the intellectual... er, the media elite. ("Intellectual" is in the mind of the beholder- THEY consider themselves "intellectual") And here's why- in the course of my career, I've ended up making the acquaintance of several folks in the Christian radio community. Some work for "Contemporary Christian" stations like the ones called "The Fish" or "Way FM," the ones that sound like an adult contemporary station except the lyrics are about Jesus. Some work for religious talk stations, some work for full-out Gospel stations, some work for brimstone-and-hellfire preaching stations. And the common thread among them is this: they're all nice people. They're not the judgemental, doctrinaire, intolerant zombies the news media thinks populate all the "red states." They're just nice, regular people who happen to believe in Christianity and work in radio formats designed to spread the word. I'm not a Christian, but they treat me as a friend, and that's what I am. We all believe what we believe, accept each other for who we are, the end. If they think I'm a nice guy doomed to Hell, that's OK with me- if that's where I'm headed, I'll have plenty of company. But they don't treat me badly because I'm not "one of them."

Of course, L. Brent Bozell may be of a different mind, but he's of a different mind on a lot of things, especially broadcast indecency. I have little use for L., so if he's making a stink about Jews controlling Hollywood, let him bray- he's so wrong so many times, what he says shouldn't matter (and will someone PLEASE tell the FCC this?). He doesn't speak for Christians as a whole. But when it comes down to "Merry Christmas," I come down on the side of it doesn't matter! "Happy Holidays," "Merry Christmas"... it's all the same! Say whatever you want! Stop worrying about it! The important thing is that everyone have a happy whatever-it-is-that-they-celebrate, isn't it?

Who said I don't have the holiday... er, Christmas... check that, Chanukah and Christmas... make it Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwaanza spirit?


December 20, 2004


Today's celebrity sighting:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...


Now, celebrities normally don't lay down in front of your car in the middle of the road- although there was that one time with Paris Hilton on Little Santa Monica Boulevard- but this afternoon was special indeed. He would not, however, give autographs.

(This was a couple of hundred feet away from the Keys Rock overlook in Joshua Tree National Park this afternoon. Photo by Fran. There's video, too- I'll post it at some point, because there's a huge difference between boring people to death with your home movies at home and doing so on the Web- hey, it's the Internet, so it MUST be cool)


December 21, 2004


What? You want to know how I feel about Terrell Owens? You want to know if I think the Eagles can win with Todd "Don't Hurt Me!" Pinkston and Freddie "All Talk" Mitchell attempting to catch passes?

I TOLD you this was a bad year.

Besides, I'm tired. Slack-blogging continues with more Animal Planet Lite. Yes, after yesterday's coyote picture, there's more. Meet none other than...

Al Jolson!

Actually, it's a dog named after Al Jolson, Jolie, to be exact, the Greyhound-German Shepard mix who is the pride and joy of Chuck (of Westwood One) and Rita (of her own publicity firm) Rich in fabulous D.C.-Adjacent. Jolie's here because I had to write about a million news items for an All Access Net News update today. I have to get away from this computer.

Coming next: radical expansion into the world of baby pictures!


December 22, 2004


We hid from the carolers last night. Is that a bad thing?

It's not that we hold anything against Christmas, or any of the trappings of the season. Far from it. We like the season, like the festive surroundings and the good will and all that. But it was night time, we were relaxing on the couch watching TV and just as Hugh Laurie was about to tell off another patient before reluctantly accepting the case and curing her by the end of the episode as always, we heard voices, not the usual ones in our heads but voices from outside, laughing and singing and shouting in the darkness. And that's when I remembered the flyer in our mailbox the other day- caroling, the neighborhood was getting together for a night of caroling.

"Turn the lights off!"

We turned the lights off, and the TV, and peered through the drapes. The carolers were just then sizing up our house, standing at the end of the driveway with lanterns and songbooks and screaming kids in tow. Had we darkened the house in time? Would they get the message?

"The bedroom- now!"

We raced into the bedroom, lest anyone see our shadows through the window, and we waited. It was just three or four minutes, but it seemed like forever. The voices were there, then faded, and soon they were gone. I went back to the front window- the street was abandoned once more. And we returned to the living room for more TV.

Why were we cowering in the back of the house rather than enduring a few bars of "Silent Night"? Are we Scrooges? I don't think so- I think that the desire to be left the hell alone trumps whatever joys of the season might be inherent in standing at your front door listening to the neighbors' offkey warbling of "O Holy Night" or "Good King Whatshisname." I have all the holiday cheer I need. I work all day, I'm tired, I want to relax, I want to see nobody but Fran and Ella the World's Most Famous Cat and whoever deigns to entertain me on my TV.

And the carolers never go away when you've had you're fill. You stand there and they sing, and sing, and sing, and at some point you're thinking "they're not going to sing the whole song, are they?" And of course they do, and you end up standing there awkwardly shifting from foot to foot and smiling in that frozen way you smile when you're scared NOT to smile. You're not enjoying it, and you'll never get those precious moments back.

And that's why we hid from the carolers. Of course, it doesn't help our case that we later watched the episode of "South Park" in which the Woodland Critters celebrate their holiday by giving birth to the Anti-Christ, only to be mowed down by the blaxing Uzi of Santa. So it's a Sacrilegious Christmas in our house this season. At least we're not stuck at the front door, listening to the big solo by the brat from down the block.

Merry Christmas, everybody! Stay away! We'll all be better off!


December 23, 2004


OK, I think you should turn the computer off and go do something else for Christmas. Now. Not a Christian? Fine, do what we do- rent some movies (tonight's feature: "Shaun of the Dead," highly recommended), eat, have a beer, maybe some cookies or a chocolate Santa, relax. Christian? Tree, gifts, family, the whole bit. TNT'll be playing the Best Christmas Movie Ever, "A Christmas Story," all day- put that on.

But reading blogs on Christmas? Almost as pathetic as WRITING one on Christmas. Take the freakin' weekend off, will ya?


December 25, 2004


I think I've figured out why I'm so hypercritical about every movie I see.

(That's hypercritical, not hypocritical. Although...)

We saw "The Aviator" today, and when Fran asked me what I thought, the words "I liked it" didn't come to my lips, not right away. I DID like it well enough, but I didn't say so. Instead, I rattled on about the fact that the movie really didnt go into the most interesting part of his life, his mental illness (they show some of the symptoms, but never anything about what it was or why so many people indulged his behavior), how it used hack devices like fake radio gossip reports or newsreels to explain the action, how embarrassing a flashback to his childhood was. I noted the fact that most characters in the movie- his toady Noah Dietrich, his plane engineer "Odie" Odekirk, his staff meteorologist Professor "Fitz"- age not a single bit in 20 years, that when you see Leonardo DiCaprio in anything, you can't get past the fact that it's Leonardo DiCaprio playing a part rather than accepting that he's the real guy.

Yes, but was it entertaining?

Yeah, but.

The "but" is this: you have Martin Scorsese directing an all-star (sort of) cast in the story of a legendary weirdo, and you get what amounts to a standard Hollywood biopic, nothing more. There's an impressive crash sequence, some OK CGI for the "Spruce Goose," but the story's reduced to what you'd know if you even remotely followed his life story. There's no insight, and, more unforgivably, nothing at all unique or creative or different. Martin Scorsese can't come up with anything more creative than just telling the rote story that everyone already knows the way any director would do it?

It's about expectations, I guess. The night before, we saw "Meet the Fockers," and it was not a disappointment, because I didn't expect much and didn't get much. Sitcom on the big screen? Check. Allegedly wacky slapstick? Check. Same as the first movie? Pretty much, check. Good thing we saw it for free? Definitely check. That's okay- you don't expect better. But Scorsese? Martin Scorsese?!? Come on, he has to have better left in him than "The Aviator."

And then I remembered what I thought about "Ray."

And then I went to the men's room at the theater, and the buzz in there was all about how brilliant the movie was and how incredible it was and how best-picture-ever it was.

And that's when I realized that my criticisms are misplaced. It's not Scorsese's fault, or Hackford's. No, they're only providing the service for which they've been contracted. The problem is that the audience doesn't want better. The by-the-numbers writing, the overblown, fakey scenarios, the total lack of insight into the subject? Good enough. The vast majority of moviegoers don't care for more. And there's nothing particularly wrong with that- they're paying their ten bucks, they want something that won't interfere with their popcorn digestion. Good for them.

Besides, I don't want to be like an alt-weekly critic, elevating obscure foreign films to the "10 Best" list just to prove how cutting-edge they are. Check some of the entries on the L.A. Weekly's critics' lists: "Moolande," 81 year old Senagalese director Ousmane Sembene's "exuberant, masterfully executed study of African village life." "Distant," Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Chekhovian tale of a middle-aged still photographer and his country-mouse cousin." "Since Otar Left," whatever that is. Sorry, they weren't playing at the Regal Avenue 13. Ever. Not that they're bad movies- they might well be genius- but you put movies like that on a "10 Best" liust when you're trying to prove how cool you are. (Actually, blowhard film critics Paul Malcolm and Ernest Hardy are worse with their DVD gift box picks- imagine your loved ones' delight at receiving a gift of the Alan Clarke Collection or the Wong Kar-Wai Collection instead of that Looney Tunes set they asked for. They'll thank you in fifty years.)

Maybe I should stick to watching TV. It should be about time for "Green Acres" on TV Land. Expectations high, expectations met. That's entertainment.



Add to the list of Fun Excerpts From the L.A. Weekly this opener to an article headlined "Global Warming: Five Studies and Five Actions" by someone named William Kelly:

    In a year in which the movie The Day After Tomorrow dramatized global warming, the world — especially California — finally seemed to get serious about climate change.

Yes, it's significant that someone made a bad special effects movie this year, because... why? Did it prove global warming's real? Did it propose a solution? Did it show... well, what DID it show? It showed nothing except that Dennis Quaid still can't act.

Next: how "Fat Albert" is significant in studies of American obesity.


December 27, 2004


"Could it happen here?" That's what I heard several times on local radio today. They were referring, of course, to the earthquake and tidal wave in the Indian Ocean.

"Could it happen here?" Er, yes, but...

"Could it happen here?" Probably not. You see, some areas are more susceptible to earthquakes of that magintude, and there's no such fault in close enough proximity to the Southern California coast that would...

"But could it happen here?" Well, unlike those countries, we have warning systems that would allow for several hours to evacuate the beaches and low-lying areas, so there wouldn't likely be...

"Yes, but could it happen here?"

What do you want them to say?!? Yes, it could. It almost certainly won't, not like it did there, and there wouldn't be the same type of casualty count, but anything's possible. There! Are you happy now?!?

The capacity of the news media to say stupid things is always astounding. And then they get upset when Captain Janks or someone pranks them during their breathless disaster coverage (apparently, Janks or a Janks-alike pranked Fox News this time).

This tragedy is bringing out the idiot in a lot of people. The U.N.'s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief (now, there's a title) Jan Egeland chose this moment to use a terrible tragedy to attack America again:

    In a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York, Egeland called for a major international response -- and went so far as to call the U.S. government and others "stingy" on foreign aid in general.

    "If, actually, the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of the gross national income, I think that is stingy, really," he said. "I don't think that is very generous."

    The U.S. government expects to spend $15 million in its initial response to the disaster, the State Department said Monday.

The U.S. isn't obligated by any law or rule to spend a dime on other countries- that we do at all is hardly "stingy." The nation recognizes its place in the world and the need to contribute. Yet what Egeland wants is more, much more, because a) it would come out of our pockets (he's referring to us with that 0.1-0.2% number- it's 0.2%, actually) and b) he'd get to see some of it. Yes, the money would flow through the U.N., which, naturally, would "make sure" the cash "gets to" the "affected areas." Sure it would. And then there's the fact that some of the affected countries are not exactly impoverished- luxury resorts were taken out by this one- yet they chose not to install early warning systems for ocean earthquakes, tsunamis, and tidal waves despite knowing their region is susceptible to such disasters. Where's the U.N. in criticizing those nations for failing to put any money at all into protecting their citizens from this disaster?

Oh, right, those countries aren't America. Never mind. (Egeland says he didn't know they hadn't bothered to put a system in, but, you know, such a system would be a "massive undertaking" and you really can't expect blah blah blah. Nobody's fault, that was. Not like the egregious stinginess of you-know-who)

The tidal waves, the deaths, the destruction are, collectively, a tragedy. America should and will help, officially and privately. I just wish the U.N. didn't have to be involved, because in its hands, everything becomes political, and natural disasters end up being America's fault.

Ignore them. Here, via Daniel Drezner (via Instapundit), is a list of organizations taking donations to help the victims. Do it for the children, do it for humanity, hell, do it for the tax deduction if that'll make a difference to you. But if you have a few bucks to spare, now would be a good time to show hoiw generous Americans, and everyone else, can be.


December 28, 2004


Jan Egeland's backpedaling furiously from his comments yesterday- now it's all just misinterpretation:

    Egeland told reporters on Tuesday: "I've been misinterpreted when I yesterday said that I believed that rich countries in general can be more generous."

Let's recall what he said just the day before:

    If actually the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income, I think that is stingy really. I don't think that is very generous," he said.

Misinterpret that.

I prefer people who come out and admit they were wrong instead of using weasel words like "misinterpretation," especially when there was no misinterpretation involved. He said it, he meant it, he got a bad reaction, he backpedalled. Not that you can expect anything different from a U.N. official, but it WOULD be refreshing if the guy either stuck to his guns or admitted he blew it.

Meanwhile, the video trickling out of the affected areas is overwhelming and heartbreaking- it just gets worse, a sadly fitting end to a really crappy year. Again, if you're able, this would be a great time to give, give, give.


December 29, 2004


People have nightmares in which they dream their teeth are falling out of their heads. Then they wake up.

I have those nightmares, too. Unfortunately, I'm not dreaming at the time.

Earlier this year, you might recall that I spent several greuling sessions at the dentist having various and sundry teeth repaired. Throughout the ordeal, I told myself, well, when this is over, that'll be it for a while- at least it'll end at some point.

Turns out that "some point" hasn't arrived yet. Last week, I was chewing some candy and noticed that it was crunchy- but it wasn't supposed to be a crunchy candy. A molar had partially disintegrated, and I went to the dentist, who checked it and scheduled an appointment for next week. OK, fine, bad luck again, but I can deal with it.

Last night, I was flossing when I noticed a particularly big item between my molars on the other side of my mouth. The particularly big item was, in fact, a piece of another tooth. Yes, I have another disintegrating tooth.

The molar... er, the moral of this story? Let's see... I DO floss and brush, so "practice dental hygiene" isn't it. How about "don't eat candy"? No, the second one fell apart by itself. Ah, here's the moral...

2004 sucks.

I'm going to go drink dinner now.


December 30, 2004


I was going to get all pundit-like over the Bush-didn't-send-condolences-fast-enough thing, pointing out that it's the typical left-wing words-mean-more-than-deeds scenario and all that, but by now that's been talked to death, and in the intervening hours I ended up at the Einstein exhibit at the Skirball Center, the Jewish cultural museum and all-purpose center here in L.A. We had the Sirius 60's channel on all the way up the 405, and we sang along:

    I bought a silver Mercedes and we call it our baby
    Skirball Center, here we come
    You know, it's made by the Nazis but we're over that, maybe
    Skirball Center, here we come
    It has electric seat warmers and power windows
    And it sure gets us where we wanna go

    And we're goin' to Skirball Center, 'cause it's two to one
    You know we're goin' to Skirball Center, gonna have some fun
    Yeah, we're goin' to Skirball Center, 'cause it's two to one
    You know we're goin' to Skirball Center, gonna have some fun, now

    Two Jews for every goy!

(That was the basic makeup of the crowd there, too- two to one. Since we're Jewish, there had to be some Christian guy wandering around to maintain the ratio. I couldn't find him, though.)

And we ended up spending several hours waiting to get into the exhibit, some of that in the Permanent Collection where they have a Popular Culture section that celebrates Jews in American society- Richard Benjamin! Billy Crystal!- and some of it waiting around in queues. Around 4:00, we finally got ushered in to see the exhibit, and the first half of it, one sort of corridor's worth, after rushing through his early years (born, school, child out of wedlock, marriage, another kid, cheating on his wife, divorce, married his cousin, won Nobel Prize), laid out his theories, which involved e equaling m times the square of c and light moving at a constant speed and gravity not being a force but more like a warp in the space-time thingamajig and they had all sorts of explanations and science fair projects to demonstrate it, and it was cool if you want to be plunged into a Physics 101 course on your day off. I don't, but it was still kinda interesting in an I-didn't-need-to-know-this-but-thanks-anyway way, and then we rounded the bend to the other corridor, where they dealt with Einstein's life.

Einstein, they noted, was a committed socialist and anti-militarist. Oh, there was nothing he hated more than the military, you see, and he hated it so much that he renounced his German citizenship around World War I and became a Swiss citizen, then got himself exempted from military service because of sweaty feet and paid a tax for his exemption instead.

War! Huh! Ja!
Was is das gut für?
Absolut nichts!
Sagen Sie es wieder!

And that was his absolute, unshakeable belief until it dawned on him that without military action, the Nazis were likely to, well, you know, which was his cue to urge President Roosevelt to go all militaristic and maybe even build a nuclear weapon. And that's what happened, except that when the Americans actually USED the thing, and subsequently won the war and preserved freedom, Einstein instantly reverted to his pacifist ways, apologizing all over the place even though he wasn't really directly responsible for the bomb- they didn't even give him security clearance to speak to the Manhattan Project scientists- and demanding that a world government be instituted to which all heads of state would be answerable. He wanted the world to be all one happy smiling place run by a single overarching government.

Politically, however, Einstein was an amateur. He was naive to the extreme in some cases- a socialist yearning for a world government that would have overruled, and most likely crushed, the state of Israel in support of which he'd worked hard. He could be right- Israel, opposition to the McCarthy witchhunts, working to help Jews displaced by Hitler- but was often just idealistic to a fault, believing in total worldwide nuclear disarmament as if every nation could be trusted to just hand over its weapons, believing in pacifism except when it became clear that someone hadda fight the Nazis, then flip-flopping back to pacifism. Most importantly, however, he told the world about this simply because he'd become, to his consternation, a celebrity from his physics work, and he felt that he should use that fame to impart his wisdom on things other than that which earned him his fame.

In other words, he was the first Celebrity Political Blowhard.

Today's actor and musician politicos, the Sean Penns and Bruce Springsteens and Mel Gibsons and Green Days, are directly descended from the political Einstein. That's not the same thing as being a direct descendant of the physics Einstein. Einstein was an early example of a guy who'd achieved the pinnacle in one field- an admittedly amazing field, and surely worthy of celebration to the greatest extent- thinking that it made him similarly a genius in other fields. He earned the title of Genius and World's Smartest Man by his scientific work. That didn't make him a political or social genius as well.

The exhibit, of course, didn't analyze things this deeply. It just showed how he was a pacifist and against war and against capitalism (he called it chaos) and it vaguely approved all of his sentiments, because, after all, he was a genius. He did e=mc2, so he must have known everything else. Bruce Springsteen did "Born to Run," so he must know everything. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is really funny and creative, so Larry David's wife must be an expert on the environment. It's logic! Political intelligence equals a single unrelated achievement times celebrity squared! The Theory of Celebritivity!

You know, I think this exhibit WAS educational after all.


December 31, 2004


Those of you tired of my incessant hammering on the L.A. Times can check out the master of such criticism, Patterico, and read HIS incessant hammering on the Paper of Recoil in a handy condensed Year in Review form. Part one? Here. Part two? Here. Both highly recommended, especially if your name is John Carroll.



It's fitting that on the final day of a year like this, it's pouring rain in normally rain-free Southern California. That's what it looked like a few minutes ago when I stepped outside- it's been raining steadily for a few hours, on the heels of a mostly rainy week.

I would do a year in review if I wanted to relive any of it, but for reasons that would be readily apparent to regular readers, I don't. So let's finish the year with this: I wish you all a better 2005. That shouldn't be difficult to achieve, not for me, at least. The bar's been set low.


About December 2004

This page contains all entries posted to PMSimon.com in December 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2004 is the previous archive.

January 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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