Ken's Brain Drain
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
 
Did it! Bit the bullet and loaded Mac OS X. Very cool, very different. I feel like I have to learn how to use my computer all over again. It has a gorgeous look and feel to it.

The Power of Unix, the elegance of Macintosh.
 
Sunday, October 28, 2001
 
Went to the Apple computer store openning in WF Mall. Very nice store, well attendend, nicely laid out. Saw their new iPod MP3 player... neato. Lotsa geeks working the store, selling lotsa merchendise. A very creative and classy looking outlet as you would expect from Apple. After that, the whole family went to Tappa's, a mediteranian restaraunt, and stuffed ourselves with a late dinner of hummus, grape leaves, pita sandwiches... etc. Nice night.
 
Saturday, October 27, 2001
 
House still turned upside down. It will probably be that way for another week while the floors are being refinished. All the furniture is crammed into other rooms. Computers (and webcam) now in the bedroom. Rach, claire and me hangin together here. Tonite, will go to Westfarms. Dave and I will check out the new Apple computer store, and then go out to a late dinner somewhere in West Hartford - land of plenty.
 
 
Posting this message using BloggerBot, a cool new way of posting to your blog using AIM. You can create links, and style text with AIM's controls. Very easy and quick way to post. Nice work, Philip.
 
Thursday, October 25, 2001
 
I have been thinking more about the War on Terrorism again. (Why am I doing this?). How can we possibly win this thing. From what I have been seeing and reading in the news, its an impossible situation.

First, all of the Muslim people in that part of the world hate our guts and want us out. The ruling parties in that part of the world, have been mostly silent in supporting us because they are afraid of uprisings from their own people for supporting the US. Fifteen of the twenty two hijackers were Saudi's... supposedly one of the moderate nations that is supposed to support us. So Saudi Arabia is obviously a nation that harbors terrorists! Then I hear that 15,000 Pakistani's (again a country that is supposed to be our ally in this struggle) are volunteering to help the Taliban! Thousands of Pakistani citizens are demonstrating each day against their governments role in helping the US ferret out terrorists in Afghanistan. The Pakistan government is trying to put an end this war quickly in order to save their own skins.

Secondly, the Taliban is controlling the all-important propaganda war. I read today that the Taliban has convinced the poor starving Afghani's that the Americans have tainted the Humanitarian Food Drops with poison to kill the Afghani people, and these people actually believe it. How ass backward is that... we are getting hit with Anthrax, likely from mid east terrorists, and they are convinced that America is poisoning food for the relief of Afghani starvation. That is how effective these Muslim leaders have brainwashed their own people in order to keep control.

Other accounts that I have read, are convincing me that these people do not want to be freed from a Muslim Fundamentalist society. They feel that it is the US that is the infidels... the Evil Dooers!!! Its a culture gap, so wide that it is inconcievable to us.

 
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
 
Lots goin' on these days. Actually had a decent day at work. Haven't said that in a long time. Things might even be turning the corner with a couple of good months under our belt... but that still remains to be seen. Other stuff goin' on... House is a wreck, as we are having the wooden floors refinished, and all the furniture is jammed into other rooms. Will have to move the webcam into the bedroom (hehe). Car (mini van) transmission bit the dust ($$$). Wanna get rid of that piece of crap as quickly as possible. I'll be looking for a used car.
 
Monday, October 22, 2001
 
Visited L again this weekend. Unfortunately, nothing to be optimistic about.

Driving home tonite, the dusk skies were an erie shade of redish grey. A light rain was falling, whisps of rain clouds coming in, streams of red lights from the traffic ahead, flocks of birds flying south. I was blasting fusion jazz on my CD player, while driving down the highway that winds through the rolling hills covered with red, yellow and orange autumn leaves... A very beautiful and sureal environment surrounded and engulfed me. NO, there were no drugs involved.

 
Saturday, October 20, 2001
 
I've been watching much too much news lately. For the last couple of weeks, its Anthrax, Anthrax, Anthrax. Same information over and over again. Syptmoms, exposure, comunicability. One "expert" after the next spewing the same old info. But now... small pox is creeping into the news picture. Does the media feel it needs to tweek up the scare factor in order to keep up the news interest?... or is their something going on here that the government is not yet willing to completely disclose??? Guess I'll just have to keep watching the news.... grrrrrrr.

Actually, if you can get the BBC World news (we get it on Public TV at 6 AM and 10PM) you will find much more balanced and in-depth reporting on both Afghanastan and other world issues, as well as coverage of the Anthrax cases reported in moderation. I highly recommend BBC for your news source.

 
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
 
Visited L today. The good news is that her seizures are much less frequent and she has a good full time caretaker. The house is cleaner and more organized than I have ever seen it. D, B and Dad have been instrumental in getting that done. On the negative side, L is much weaker than the last time I saw her, just a couple of weeks ago. Still, her demeanor is good, she has her wit and intelligence and is a delight to be with. L has an acceptance of the state of her condition, but a bit of sadness in her voice. I hope to spend as much time with her as possible over the next few months. I know that she will not get better, but hopefully she can spend this time free of pain, seizures and other aggrevating factors. That is the best we can hope for.
 
Monday, October 15, 2001
 
DSL... it is sweet. Downloaded this MacOS upgrade, a 71mb file in 17 minutes. Yeah baby! Modem would have taken all day, if I could get it at all.
 
Saturday, October 13, 2001
 
The end of a VERY stressful week. Don't want to whine, but work was a bitch. Covering for my production manager was tough enough, but also getting a new printer installed, other printers breaking down (can I get service?), more 401K woes, working with programmers on VP job, fighting with other production ee's... On top of that had a talk with sis Di, about L's worsening condition... just about hit the breaking point. Got it all outta my system Thursday night... now I feel better.

Oh yeah, more anthrax cases and warnings of pending terrorist strikes sure helps our state of mind.

 
Tuesday, October 09, 2001
 
I am not usually one to applaud military action under most circumstances, but in this case, I feel good about how the US is conducting itself in Afghanastan. The Taliban government which not only harbors, but encourages terrorist acts is evil by any civilized standards. America must remained focused on:

1. Surgically dismantle the Taliban regime, while avoiding civilian casualties.
2. Disarm the notion that this is a war against muslims by keeping up the humanitarian aid, and conducting an information campagn with leaflets and radio broadcasts.
3. Finally go into Afghanastan and take out the terrorists.

It sure would help the cause if just one of the Muslim countries came out publicly and enthusiastically for the war on these terrorist groups.

Now, must we be concerned about a terrorist release of Anthrax? Just what we need... one more anxiety producing event that the media just loves to hype beyond all reason. Oye!
 
Saturday, October 06, 2001
 
I know this only shadows in importance to events going on around the world, but it is a thrill to see the Home Run record being broken once more by Barry Bonds - now 72 HR's. Funny how Ruth's record lasted 34 years, than Maris's record lasted almost 40 years before McGuire took the crown. Now Bonds has broken McGuire's record in only 3 years. Sammy Sosa has belted over 60 HR's the last 3 out of 4 years with little fanfare. It seems like hitting 60 HR's, which used to happen once in a generation, will now be commonplace. Incredible!
 
 
Party'ed last night. Went to a great jazz concert with C & D (thanks Di) to see Tribute to Miles and Coltrane, featuring Herbie Hancock-piano, Michael Brecker-sax, Roy Hargrove-trumpet. Layin' down the backbone were John Pattitucci-bass and Brian Blades on drums. First time I had seen or heard Blades... cat plays much like the late Tony Williams. Close your eyes, and you think you are listening to Miles great quintet from the late 60's. Incredible solo performance by Brecker doing Coltrane's classic ballad Naima. They also did a cool number melding the melody of Trane's Impressions phrased as Mile's So What. Great night. Got a chance to talk to Di over dinner about her day with L.
 
Wednesday, October 03, 2001
 
Have I mentioned that my sisters are angels, heroes, goddesses?!! They are some of the best human beings I have ever known. I wish I could do a fraction of what they are doing to support L in her time of need. I feel totally inadequate next to them. Thank you.
 
 
My depression is transitioning over to anger. Things I am hearing about L's treatment (or lack of it), problems at work (on several fronts), and of course the world situation are about to put me over the edge. Actually I think that anger is making me more productive. Beats being depressed, and tired.
 
Thoughts that flow through an ethernet cable connecting my brain to the World Wide Web.

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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States


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