Ken's Brain Drain
Sunday, June 23, 2002
It's been a week since I have journaled here. A lot has happened, but I will try to keep this note brief.

Work - first week on the new job. With that comes anxiety, anticipation, meeting so many people and trying to remember their names, figuring out what my priorities should be when so much needs to be done. As with anywhere, there are some obstacles to overcome, but, I think I'm going to like this place. Some good people here including some old friends. It'll take a few weeks to get all this straight in my head, but with every day, I feel more and more comfortable.

Play - Chilled out after the intensity of my first work week. Saw the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise. Great flick. Sorta Sci-fi with an incredible vision of the future. Then today, went to NY Mets game. Incredible, exciting game with the Mets winning 5-4 in a come from behind victory.

Other - Dave's graduation! He did it. Graduated HS with honors. Finished up on a high note. Very proud of him. Mom and Dad came up to attend, and so did sister Di and Andrea. Nice to have the family close to celebrate. They put on a huge party for the graduation class. Kids partied from 10PM to 4 AM. See pics here.

Finally, the damn DSL is down again, and I am fed up with SNET taking their sweet-ass time to keep this up and running. We were down for an entire week a couple of weeks ago, and we have been down all weekend, and they haven't even returned my call. Soooo.... it'll be out with DSL, and in with Cable modem. We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, trying to get along with the dial-up modem speeds. Grrrrr....
Saturday, June 15, 2002
For at least a week now, NY City has been salivating over the prospect of Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens coming to bat against the New York Mets. Mets fans were hoping to see Clemens get beaned as retaliation for throwing at Mets star Piazza two years ago! Its been a circus for a week as that has been the big talk of the town. Today, it was like a scene from Gladiator, as the crowd cheered as Clemens walked to the plate... everyone hoping to see blood drawn in the batters box.

Well, what happened was Mets pitcher Shawn Estes threw at him, all right... threw so far inside, that the pitch actually went behind Clemens fat ass... missed him completely! I've got to wonder if that was done intentionally... show the fans and teamates that he was willing to throw at Clemens... yet do the right thing, and not actually try to hurt him. Then the Mets did the right thing and beat the crap out of Clemens on the baseball field. With Estes and Piazza hitting HR's, and having Clemens leave the field injured after sliding into 2nd base. Mets beat Yanks 8-0.
Monday, June 10, 2002
Ahh, Vacation this week, before starting the new gig. To Do's... Read a book, excersize my ass off at the gym, see a couple of movies, go down to the shoreline with wife one day, have lunch with M&D and some friends, learn a new programming skill that I can use at work (PHP), prepare myself for my new job which starts one week from today. That should fill up the week just fine. Wish there was some baseball in town.
Sunday, June 09, 2002
Went to see the great Wayne Shorter Quartet in Hartford last night. For those who do not know, this Jazz master made his mark as the saxaphonist and main composer for Miles Davis's most innovative band in the '60's, followed by the co-leader of the great Weather Report fusion group in the 70's.

His current quartet consisted of an incredibly fluent pianist Danillo Perez (first time I have heard him), the great John Pattitucci on bass, and Brian Blades playing drums. They played only about 4 or 5 extended compositions, for less than 1 1/2 hour. Leaving us yearning for more. The musicianship was just incredible. Perez in constant motion on piano, laying the groundwork for Shorters sparse yet perfect playing (especially his beautiful stoccato phrasing on soprano sax). Pattitucci's pyrotechnics and melodic acoustic bass added a full deep tone to the quartet, and Blades wild playing of his entire set, constantly changing between sticks, mallots, and even bare hands. It seemed they were all always soloing, yet never soloing...Very free, "out there" playing, yet within a compositional framework that often blended jazz, ballads and classical influences.

We ended up at Black-Eyed Sallys... a blues club in Hartford. Good food and drink. The group played a so-so blues set, that got a little tiring after a while. I guess it would be pretty difficult to follow up musically, after the incredible performance of Shorter's Quartet.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Yes! My DSL is back. Last Friday, a thunderstorm took out our DSL... fried some wiring in the house. Also smoked a microwave oven, DVD player, an ethernet hub, maybe screwed up Dave's computers, a telephone, a lamp, some light switches... whew! Loosin' the DSL, though really sucked. Had to live with dial-up connection for 4 days... thought I was gonna die!!! Mother Nature took away my geek toys... life's tough!
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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