Ken's Brain Drain
Sunday, September 28, 2003
  The New World of Music - iPod
For any music lover, the iPod is a life altering device. Yes, I laughed at Dave's friend Eric for making a similar statement, but now that I am a proud owner of one of these babies, I understand completely. Sorry, RIAA, the day of the CD is over... they better stop fighting digital distribution, and learn to adapt. To be able to have a huge music collection (I currently have near 1300 songs, and growing, in my iPod) at my fingertips at all times to easily plug into earphones, your bedside stereo, your entertainment center and car stereo is incredibly convenient. I find myself listening to music of all genres at all times. I have gained an even greater appreciation for diverse artists from the hip Billy Holiday to swingin' Art Blakely to haunting Joni Mitchell to the techno Crystal Method.

As for the iPod itself. It is one of those devices that is a piece of Art in and of itself. Just the correct weight and balance in the palm of your hand... the cool silvery metallic back, and the snow white smooth face and the incredibly sensitive touch controls... it is perfectly designed in its aesthetics as well as its function. Teamed with Apples iTunes, it is so simple and natural to load this baby up with your entire music collection. You can rate your collection, make playlists, legally buy music... just incredibly impressive what Apple has done with music.
Monday, September 22, 2003
  The Big Five-O
Turned 50 yrs old this weekend. Bummer. Thought it wouldn't affect me... just another birthday. Reality is, it is a big one. Half Century. Yikes. Kinda felt down about the whole thing, but Claire did me right. She threw a real nice party for me. Dinner and cake with our good friends. Went to out dinner, opened gifts, cake, the works. Really eased the pain! Next day met folks in W Hartford, checked out the Cows and had a lovely dinner at Max's to top off the weekend.

Last 10 years, were for bringing up family... that's what it's all about. I can feel good about how that turned out. Kids are almost grown up, have good values, and will be responsible adults, I'm sure. Next 10 years will be for helping them transition to adulthood, and for C and I to prepare for retirement, and to create a good life for the balance of our years. I've had a fairly good career, and we have been able to acquire the things that are important to us, so I can't complain. I don't see myself as old. I am probably in the best shape of my life, and I feel healthy, but damn, I feel the stigma of being 50+ years. I know it can hurt me in my career. Not too many older folks being hired as IT Professionals. Just gotta hang in there for 10 years or so. Also, I just can't get out of my mind that sister L's 50th was her last. There is a lesson to be learned from that sobering thought... but enough of getting heavy on the matter.

Family got together and bought me an AWSOME iPod. Is that great or what! This little device is a marvel of engineering and design. My entire MP3 collection, thousands of tunes from every genre will be on this beauty to be with me wherever I go. A music lovers delight, to be sure. Thanks Di, M & D, C, B... you guys are the best!
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Letter from Jason in Iraq. Heart wrenching to say the least. He is in Al-Ramadi. Looked it up in the Net, and it is just west of Bagdhad near Fajulla where recent anti-american uprisings have taken place. Also reports of sniper action in that vacinity. Jay says that they set up a soccer field for the kids there. Had to clear the field of land mines first.

Damn! Less than 2 months after getting my new G4 Powerbook, Apple upgrades the models, adding lots of drool-worthy features (bluetooth, airport extreme, cool backlit keyboard, etc.). Tried to swing a deal to exchange, but dealer wanted too much. That's OK, happy with my TiBook as is.

Rach... crash... ouch... grrrrr

Dave called. He was invited to a dinner (as a student leader!) to honor Prime Minister of Ireland. He wants to buy a suit for the event. Imagine that. A 19 year old kid wants to buy a suit???
Thursday, September 11, 2003
  What has become of this world?
On this tragic anniversary of September 11, its interesting to go back to my blogger entries of that day and the days that followed. It is horrifying to think of the atrocities of WTC attacks, and the events that have grown out of that tragedy over the last two years. I mourn not only for the thousands of deaths from that senseless act, but for the hundreds of US soldiers that have died because of Bush's recklessness in committing our country to War. I also mourn for the thousands of Iraqi civilians that perished from our bombs and weapons. I mourn for the deaths of innocent Israeli and Palestinians citizens that have been victims of increased hostilities since 9/11.

It makes you wonder... what good can become of pouring $87 billion more dollars, more soldiers, more weapons into this war? A war that was waged on a premise that was essentially lie. What has become of this world?
  New Blogger stuff!
Lots'o new features for Blogger users for free! Starting to use them here. Like Title Fields (see the title at the top of the post?), and some other more teckie stuff thats not real apparent ( pings, file uploads, post dating...etc). Love free geeky stuff!

Too bad commenting isn't included, but I finally found a free service (one that works after trying several that either didn't work, or were unreliable). So I now have a slick new Comments feature linked to the bottom of each post.

Okay, here is something you can comment on, if you wish. Been thinkin' abt making a Family blog. A single blog that all Fam members can post to and express... whatever! I think it would be pretty cool, but not sure if it would really be used.
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Just back from a nice family labor day BBQ in Rochester NY. Celebrated upcoming Mom-in-Laws, 80th (and my 50th). Conspicuously missing from the event was nephew Jay, off in Iraq. He's been away from family nearly 1 year, and overseas since Easter. Two young kids and one on the way. A cryin' shame. Forced to miss some of the best years of being with his young family. Though not much was said about it... he was in everyones thoughts. Missed you Jay. Come home soon, man!
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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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