Sunday, April 29, 2007

Zen and the Art of the Motorcyclist Wave

I took my motorcycle out for a short spin this afternoon. I had to work all day, starting at 7am when I got up, and it was great to be in the fresh air (helmet on, always) for a few minutes in the late day.

One thing I like about riding is the "motorcyclist wave." It's, in effect, making the peace sign and pointing at the pavement as you go past another rider. It's a salute, a way to say, "Ride on." It's a way to say, "I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and I still get a chill by the ending."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Disturbia in Suburbia



The entire iFlipFlop Clan went to see Disturbia last night. Really good movie...and the best movie audience ever. The theater was packed with junior high and high school girls. Just a smattering of adults. I said to Mrs. iFlipFlop, "Oh, Christ, this is going to be like watching a Disney movie with the kids. All talking and popcorn throwing." It was nothing of the sort.

The first half of the movie, the setup, comes off like a teen "buddy" movie...with voyeurism and shots of the impossibly beautiful next door neighbor in her bikini. Great combo to keep kids' attention. Then the horror part of the film came. And it was scary/shocking/gruesome. Guess what the audience, a packed theater of girls, did? SCREAMED! I mean, there had to have been 20 of those "guy around the corner" scenes. And each time it got more intense, the screaming got louder. I mean, young girls screaming loud. The kind of loud that can make your ears bleed.

Now, I'm old and I'm crabby. And usually teenagers in large groups just grate on me. But not this time. It was a fabulous experience. The movie was made 20x better because the audience participated. Heck, they even clapped and cheered when the bad guy got scissored with a pair of hedge clippers! Good movie + great audience = one of the best movies experiences I've ever had.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

On My Way to the Penn Relays

Stephen J. iFlipFlop is running in the Penn Relays this morning. It's quite an accomplishment just to qualify. He runs a leg of the 4x100 relay at 10:02 this morning. I'll take pictures.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Teatime Before Bedtime



I took Pinky Bear's advice and settled down to a cup of tea tonight. If I were planning another list of "Is there anything better than...?" I'd add "Having a nighttime tea" to one of the great things. What a lovely way to end the day. Ah, all is back being right in the world again.

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What's It All About, Alfie?



Existentialism is overrated. How about a big dollop of escapism? Or at least a juicy rationalization or two. Some days are better than others. Today is one of those days that makes the days that are better than others "days that are better than others."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Alec Baldwin's "Rude Little Pig" Inspires a Dance Tune

Head on over to The Life of Pinky Bear and check out what dance floor hit Alec Baldwin's "Rude Little Pig" diatribe has inspired. There's a NSFW line that keeps getting repeated that still leaves me laughing.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wouldn't You Be Embarrassed?



This monster was parked across from me this morning at my train station. I mean, there are big cars, and then there's this behemoth, the my thingy is so small and my sense of what's wrecking the environment is so twisted, besides did I ever mention that I was the starting quarterback in high school? kind of autobeast.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Horse Trading

Little Davie attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his
father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse's legs, rump, and chest. After a few minutes, Davie asked, "Dad, why are you doing that?"

His father replied, "Because when I'm buying horses, I have to make sure
that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy."

Davie, looking worried, said, "Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom."

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Okay, Another Post About Blogging

Ugh. I'm not crazy about this new style (or lack thereof). The format is a mess and the pictures run across. I needed an interim, simple solution, and this one is it. I'm going to spend a couple weeks transferring materials to a new and improved format in Wordpress...but for now, comment away. Sorry about the mess.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Under Construction

I've had a tiny little blogging disaster, and this blog is under construction....comments are a mess. I'll hope to have this all fixed in 24 hours.

Holy Downtime, Batman

Well, I woke up early and iFlipFlop was sleeping. With the fishes.

I got some note from my hosting provider about excess server usage (I wrote about this before). Ugh, I think it was that alternate universe I set up to test a Wordpress installation. I cleaned that bad boy out. Hopefully iFF is back in business. Zoiks!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Want a Chance to Win a Free Apple TV?

What company has the best recruiting/HR page? Who kicks ass end gets names? What company’s recruiting page makes you go, “Wow, I wanna work there!”?

KnowHR Blog is running a little contest to determine the best company recruiting/HR website. You know, the place where you'd look on a website if you were looking for a job and wanted to know about their HR info.

And, you can win an iPod (or even an Apple TV if enough people play along). It's a little game. If you have an opinion, click on over and leave a comment. You could be rockin' and rollin' soon enough.

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Simon Says, "Sanjaya, Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away"



Sanjaya is gone, undone by a national campaign initiated by the Sisters of Blessed Mercy called "If Sanjaya wins, it will make Baby Jesus cry."

The only weeping last night on American Idol was done by Sanjaya, who conveniently had his hair done in the form of a Kleenex and was able to wipe the tears away. Then he sang an off-key rendition of "I'm Gonna Wash That Simon Right Out of My Hair" as his farewell song.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Strangers on a Plane

I stole that title from my buddy Rick, the Ubermensch, who writes 48Facets. He sat next to a guy on a plane ride and was sorely tempted to ignore him. But someohow they chatted...and it was transforming.

I recently had a nice talk with my seat mate on my trip back to Philadelphia from Denver. We talked about celebrity gossip, organizational communication, and our favorite restaurants. I noted that she had finished one book on the flight and was onto another. I commented that she must have been enrolled in the Evelyn Woods Speed Reading class. She said, nope, just a quick read. And then gave me the book -- Honeymoon by James Patterson. "Pass it along when you're done with it."

That was pretty cool. A little gift from a stranger. That was fun. She gave me a People Magazine, too. (It was my day, I guess.) I should take Rick's advice and talk to more strangers on a plane. At a minimum, I'll get more reading material. ;-)


Strangers on a Blog, or, Can I Ask You a Favor?
Rick's relatively new to the blogging world, and if you have a minute or two, maybe you could click on over and throw him what Albert calls "linky love" at http://48facets.wordpress.com/ . Leave him a comment. Tell him that Horton Hears a Who. Remember what it was like when we all started blogging and those first few regular readers started coming by and leaving comments? Exhilarating. Here are a few of my faves on 48Facets:

  • People Watching on a Sunday Morning. SNIPPET: Then Jesse Jackson strolls by. He is in a long dark coat and a dark, gray hat with a wide brim. He nods to individuals making eye contact with him, sometimes murmuring “good morning”. No one was trying to shake his hand or interrupt his journey. Conversely he was not playing the politician or trying to be noticed. No body guards or handlers. Just walking down the concourse.

    I may be the only one who feels something in the air when in the presence of someone famous. Though I never spoke to him, I felt as if by being near someone well known I was special by association
    .

  • I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Strangers. SNIPPET: Well, not in a Blanche DuBois kind of way. Most times strangers at best ignore you or get angry over the most modest of perceived slights. So I was surprised and pleased to the point of tears when yesterday a stranger went out of her way to be nice.

    I have an autistic sister. She lives in a group home not to far away. While my Mom still does the heavy lifting for Sandy, my siblings and I take turns entertaining her on a Sunday afternoon. Sandy has limited speech, some behavioral quirks and will never be able to live on her own. Some days she is in more control of herself than others. Yesterday was a little less than more
    .

  • Good-Bye Marty. SNIPPET: He was inquisitive about what was going on in our lives without being nosy. In my adult years, he and Joan opened their home to me for Passover for several years when I had no place to go for the second Seder. It was always a treat for me.

Okay, As Long as I Have Your Attention and You Can Feel the Love Tonight
LiquidTreats is fired back up and in the style business. It's a great read, and if you feel the linky love in your heart -- and I know you do -- how about throwing some link karma to Sarah and Jess at http://www.liquidtreats.com ?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Is There Anything Better Than...?

Is there anything better than a new razor blade? I put a new one on my Gillette Fusion razor this morning and my face is baby-smooth. Which made me think, is there anything better than that? I think so.

Here's my unedited list of the first hundred in the order they came out of my head:

Is There Anything Better Than...?

  1. Walking Snickers the Wonder Dog in the worst nor'easter in 14 years and having the entire neighborhood to yourselves?
  2. Having Snickers the Wonder Dog race around the house after her rainy walk, shaking herself off and knocking the rugs askance?
  3. Learning a new vocabulary word that you use within 24 hours?
  4. Having your hair washed by someone else?
  5. Finding your back scratcher the second you need it?
  6. Lifting weights after a long time away from it?
  7. Getting your first comment when you originally started blogging?
  8. Hearing that the youngest iFlipFlop qualified for the Penn Relays?
  9. A pedicure?
  10. Finding your car right where you thought it was in the Philadelphia Airport Lot F?
  11. A brand-new dollar coin?
  12. A reliable car?
  13. A bike ride in the morning along the Schuylkill River?
  14. Summer?
  15. The Sopranos?
  16. Google Reader?
  17. Anything Google?
  18. Talking with your high school sophomore son about what schools he's aiming for and hearing "Harvard, Penn, Stanford, USC."
  19. Being able to speak a foreign language fluently and really giving it a run for the first time.
  20. Amsterdam?
  21. Growing your hair long and having a ponytail in middle age?
  22. Starting your motorcycle for the first time in the spring?
  23. The Democrats winning the House and Senate in 2006?
  24. A cardinal singing in the morning?
  25. Cardinal's robes?
  26. Vans (the shoes, especially my black velvet ones)?
  27. Getting upgraded?
  28. Live theater?
  29. Box seats?
  30. Seeing a movie when the audience and the film and the sound is perfect?
  31. Having choices?
  32. Having freedom?
  33. Knowing when you have enough?
  34. Getting your first promotion?
  35. Starting your own business?
  36. Chasing your dreams?
  37. Haikus?
  38. Seeing your wife find her bliss in middle age as she teaches high school students?
  39. Being up before everyone and sitting on the deck in the quiet?
  40. That moment and the color of the sky in the time between day and night -- the gloaming?
  41. Giant snowfalls when you're a kid?
  42. A winter without snow when you're grownup?
  43. Charleston?
  44. New York City?
  45. Asheville?
  46. Breckenridge?
  47. Philadelphia?
  48. Barcelona?
  49. Temple Bar in Dublin?
  50. Great friends?
  51. Strawberry shortcake?
  52. Pernod?
  53. Stella Artois?
  54. The Louvre?
  55. Paris in April...or anytime?
  56. Seeing Queen Elizabeth II while you're riding in a taxi in London?
  57. Respect?
  58. Andy Rooney's commentary on 60 Minutes?
  59. Broadband internet?
  60. Napa Valley?
  61. Running with the bulls at the Festival of San Fermin?
  62. Climbing to Everest Base Camp?
  63. Sailing down the Nile?
  64. Olive groves in Tuscany?
  65. A picture of Jack Kerouac in his khakis and a white shirt?
  66. The Pax Family Singers?
  67. Getting to know a lot of people (you would have never met) by blogging?
  68. I do?
  69. I won't and don't have to?
  70. Proving your detractors wrong?
  71. Karma?
  72. Sweet, sweet revenge that is years in the making?
  73. Seeing your friends succeed?
  74. Making a principle-based decision and following through?
  75. Try not, do?
  76. My favorite Stephen Wright joke: Hard work pays off in the long run, but laziness pays off immediately?
  77. Beethoven's 9th Symphony?
  78. The Weight (you know the song...Take a load off Fannie/take a load for free/take a load off Fannie/and, and and you can put the load right on me)?
  79. Being good at Jeopardy?
  80. The end of Mr. Holland's Opus when the governor says, "We are your symphony, Mr. Holland"?
  81. Nobody puts Baby in the corner?
  82. The Big Chill...the whole damn thing and all the songs?
  83. Louis, I think this is the begging of a beautiful friendship?
  84. The scent of Johnson's Baby Oil?
  85. Love's Baby Soft?
  86. Chanel No. 5?
  87. A really great black t-shirt?
  88. Cheeseburger in Paradise?
  89. Ancient Greece?
  90. An afternoon nap?
  91. That feeling that you get at Christmastime when people actually are nice to each other for a little while?
  92. A fresh grapefruit and burnt toast (my Grandfather's daily breakfast)?
  93. The Chicken Dance?
  94. Having superstitions before they used to call them OCD?
  95. Knowing how to take good photos and every once in a while getting one?
  96. Being the first in your family to go to college? Or even graduate high school?
  97. Knowing that your kids will never have to live in a house with scads of brothers and sisters and only one bathroom? (We have more bathrooms than people in our current house.)
  98. Lippizzaners?
  99. Anticipation? (The feeling and the song.)
  100. Knowing this list isn't even close to complete?

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Friday, April 13, 2007

I've Been Forked!



Okay, I'm on my way to blogging immortality. I saw that Scott and Marisa said that they had posted a new show on Fork You. I'd asked about a recipe for egg salad...and in their inimitable style, they delivered.

Having grown up in an Irish household, I didn't know that egg salad could have anything in it besides eggs and mayonnaise. Marisa shows us the way with lots of spice and additives. Now I have a big taste for egg salad. I'll have it this weekend.

Thanks Fork You!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Twisted Ankle



Young Stephen J. iFlipFlop was in the lead in his track meet, on pace to break the school record for the 100 meter hurdles by 3 seconds. It didn't happen. He twisted his ankle on the second-to-last hurdle and came up a bit lame. My buddy, Big Dog, caught this shot of at the moment Stephen twisted his ankle. Cool shot.

BTW: Steve's okay now. Just a sore ankle. If you want to see the full size image, look here.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Be Nice to America



You've been warned, bitch.

[Via here and here]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Server Load is Bad

I got this note from my web host:
Your site is taking up an excessive load on the server's processor @ 142% (more than one processor) and is slowing down essential server system processes and other client accounts. This is a serious issue. The load is too high for a shared server account. Please reduce the load of your site within 48 hours by code optimization, replacement, caching, updating all scripts and patching security holes, prevent spammers/bots, reducing db sizes and/or disabling features/modules to avoid account suspension.
I don't know what's going on. My traffic has nearly tripled since the first of April, but even that shouldn't affect server load. I have to figure this one out. If iFlipFlop goes down for a few days then you'll know that I didn't quite figure it out in time.

Spambots, anyone?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Peeling Navel Oranges and Pain

I love navel oranges.

I bought two of them today at Sue's Market on 18th Street. Then I started peeling them.

*Invoke SNL Billy Crystal voice* Don't ya just hate that when you're peeling an orange and the rind and acid get under your thumbnail? And then you jam your thumb in your eye? And twist it around. Ya, that hurts. *End SNL Billy Cyrstal voice*

I'm working right now on an orange peeler. Look for me on QVC.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

There Goes Peter Cottontail



Happy Easter, friends. In Philadelphia it feels a little more like Christmas, but spring is here.

Old Easter card found here.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Ninja



Want to be an Easter Ninja? Here's how. You can be sure the kids won't see you...and if they do, show them the Easter katana.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hey, ForkYou



I know I've mentioned this before, but ForkYou.tv is one of the best things going on the internets. I just watched An Eggcellent Question and was seriously LOL....by myself. Scott and Marisa are going to be famous soon...I really do think they're going to get a shot on The Food Network. They have a way about them that makes for good TV. Fun Philly people do good. Get 'em while they're hot.

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This Is Nuts

Not the right nut, but nuts.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Old Pictures from America



Check out the Old Pictures site. This picture is from their collection of 1000s of photos from the 1850s through the 1940s. Amazing stuff. High resolution. Super collection of photos of Native Americans. Wow, there goes an afternoon.

BTW: This photo of Abraham Lincoln is from 1862 after the Battle of Antietam and the day before his Emancipation Proclamation was published.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Third Man to Walk on Water



The third man ever to walk on water --

The first one was Jesus Christ...

The second one was Peter, the apostle...

Then there was this guy...

[Via Guillaume's Comic Emporium]

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Young iFlipFlop



Stephen J. iFlipFlop the 23rd is 14 years old today. Happy birthday, young man! He and Mrs. iFlipFlop are in Arizona, where I understand it was 95 and sunny today. HAH! It was 75 and sunny here in Philadelphia!

Anyways, there's a story about the Wii that Steve is holding. I'll write that up. It's pretty cool. And he's still smiling about it.