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A penny for your thoughts indeed. Around here that would be a raise.

What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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Location: NYC

I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.


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Come to Our Party
Friday, April 28, 2006
I see as of my current visit that we've had 4,966 guests here at APW. And if you think in terms of unique guests, we're probably talking, 25, 26 different people.

When we hit 5,000, we're having a party right here, and you're invited. There'll be bagels, lox, whitefish, and orange soda in little plastic cups. It'll be just like a briss, but less emasculating.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 2:14 AM  13 comments


Where have I been? Where have YOU been?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Hello blogging public. Long time no blog.

And too, it might be a while before I’m fully back up to speed APW-wise, so you might want to read this (generously long) post slowly. Or a little bit each day. Or with your reading group, and then discuss afterward.

Here’s the deal. What separates actual bloggers, on the one hand, from just some guy who blogs on the other, is the priority the blog takes in the writer’s life. I do not say that with an air of superiority, like “Hey, I have a life!” My cyber-home-grrl Pia, for example, works on her blogs (her own and Bring it On) as if they were a job, with that level of dedication, and it shows. So she and other real bloggers can attain a level of art and informativeness (my spell check doesn’t like that word but I’m sticking with it) with blogging that the rest of us just cannot.

Me, I’m just a schmuck with a blog. So when things get busy out here in my actual point-of-fact life, the blog takes a back seat. Not a good thing or a bad thing, that’s just how it is. And lately, things are mondo hectic out here in life.

(By the way. I consult for one market research company, and we were talking about what new media behaviors they might want to measure. I suggested blogs. Their reaction was, it made no sense to measure audiences to blogs; they were too fragmented; no specific blog would ever become a viable ad vehicle. And I responded that, indeed, I agreed. No, the relevant behavior isn’t whether you read a specific blog; it is whether you WRITE a blog. They should be profiling bloggers, not the audience to specific blogs. Blogging is unlike traditional media-- but similar to, say, podcasting-- in that it is all about the democratization of information technology distribution. CGM if you will, or Consumer Generated Media. Its all the rage nowadays. Do you blog? Podcast? Write reviews on Amazon? Have a MySpace page? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re at the cutting edge of the new media frontier. You and every teenage girl in America. But I digress…)

Anyway, here’s the 411, as the kids say. First off, me and the wife are getting new floors. Actually, we got them already; the guys finished laying the floors yesterday (write your own "laying" joke). And they look great; they are bamboo, which is the hot new flooring material. Looks great, feels great, durable, less expensive than wood. Only drawback is you can never have a Panda at your house.

But as it turns out, when you think about it, pretty much everything you own is on the floor one way or the other. Some of it might be in the closet, but if you want the floors done in the closet, well, you damn well better empty that closet out. And if you have built-ins built into your posh Upper East Side abode, well, out they must come; especially if you want the floors going all the way to the wall (and trust me, you do.) So we packed up all our stuff, packed like we were moving, crammed most of it into the baby’s room (the only room not getting new floors, and oh yeah, she isn’t really a baby anymore). Then we made, as George Carlin would say, a small version of our stuff and went all migrant. The wife and kid spent some time in the wilds of Jersey, then we all camped out at a friend’s home in Brooklyn. And I haven’t slept home in a week till last night.

When we got home the floors looked great. And the built-ins in the living room are gone, because oh yeah, we need to replace them (the wife called the ones we had “80s coke den chic.” Don’t blame me; they were there when I moved in, as was the “Bathroom of Looo-oove.”) It is like moving in all over again. We tried to hook up the cable TV and the Internet (broadband from Time Warner) and, well, that didn’t work. Turns out we need a service call. So no TV (we can live with that) and no Internet, which of course we could NOT live with; thank God the guy next door doesn’t password-protect his wireless network, he he he; we can get on that way. I wonder if he’ll notice any slowdown as I commence downloading 10 concerts a week in FLAC format?

So in all this shambles, what with packing, unpacking, moving, living out of a suit case, you’d understand why the blog has taken a back seat, right? But on top of all that, work has heated up (whatever it is I do, I’m suddenly doing a lot of it; even had to travel a day). And tomorrow I leave for Las Vegas (I’ll be on a panel) and then on to LA till Monday (nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, and boy, what a weekend of drama and angst that’ll be. Families. I’m sure you have one.) All of which, of course, must be accomplished while juggling an almost-2-year-old little girl and keeping her happy and secure despite the fact that her little world has been disassembled. (Last week the Nanny came over on Monday morning, after we’d packed all weekend. Our daughter dragged her into the living room and exclaimed, “Yook! It’s all gone!” (“Yook” meaning “look.”)

In a sense it’s good that I was in Washington Friday, and leaving for Vegas and LA tomorrow. Better on the road than staring at the clutter of our disheveled abode (and at the exposed brick, not a good thing in our case, which we found behind the living room built-ins.) We’re having our guy plaster and paint-- in Manhattan, you gotta have a guy-- and then Little Wolf (consider this an endorsement) is coming in to build new built-ins to my wife’s exacting (and always ingenious) specifications, for a reasonable amount of money, but it’ll take 6 weeks, during which time we’ll try and look away from where the bricks show. And try and navigate around the boxes of stuff, the contents of which I hope some day soon will be in the new built-ins.

Also, when you have something like 6,000 CDs, and you have them in file drawers, boxing them up takes some doing (and the better part of a day). I try not to think about it, because we may not hook up the stereo again until the built-ins have been built-in, and suddenly I just HAVE to hear that one song on Tom Petty's Wildflowers that isn't on my iPod. So if anyone asks why I need to have 50 gigs of music on my iPod, THIS is why.

Anyone who might have recorded 24 last night, we’d really like a copy.

Please do write. If I don’t blog soon, at least I’ll answer any and all comments. Not just Annie’s.

*****

Pet peeve: blog entries where the writer describes that he or she hasn’t written because he or she has nothing to write. If you have nothing to write, here's an idea: don't. I hate that almost as much as those cell phone calls where the vapid nincompoop on the other end is basically calling to tell you they have nothing to say, but they’re bored at wherever it is they are so hopefully you’ll keep them company. No, I will not keep you company while you wait for the bus. Buy a damn newspaper.

I hope this post has not come across as such a post. I waited a good long time of saying nothing until I felt I had something to say. Or at least, to type.

*****

Anyway, at least that's my story. I don't know what's up with God. But I daresay i'm beginning to lose my faith. My luck, I'll get struck down for that crack just as the built-ins are done.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 5:01 PM  6 comments


The Downing of Flight 93
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I've always believed that United Airlines Flight 93, the 9/11 plane that crashed in Pennsylvania(and who's valliant passengers have become American folk heroes) was shot down by the US armed forces.

People respond to this by thinking I'm some sort of conspiracy nut. But I don't see it that way at all.

Look at the situation. Already that morning, three flights, all leaving from the northeast coridor, looped back and targeted sites in New York and Washington. All commercial air traffic had been grounded. This one plane was still in the air, was not responding to ground contact, and had also looped back around from a departure from the northeast corridor, and was now 20 minutes from Washington and on direct course for that city.

Given all that, I hope we DID shoot that plane down. It would seem the prudent thing to do. How do you NOT shoot that plane down? Presumably by now you have air force jets guarding Washington air space, and this plane was about to encroach that space. Surely the orders would be to take down any rouge airliner targeting Washington DC. No? (This guy seems to think so, and he has the quotes to back it up.)

Yesterday in the Mossaoui trial, tapes from the cockpit of that plane were played. Reports from the courtroom suggest that the tapes depict the hijackers deciding to "take it down" or "put it down," presumably referring to the plane.

So now I don't know if they did actually crash the plane before the fighter jets got to it. But I remain certain that, if we didn't shoot that plane down, we were moments away from doing so.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:05 PM  4 comments


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