"Candy is Dandy, but liquor is quicker." Willy Wonka

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Have the Terrorists Won?

Nope. The Statue of Liberty re-opened on August 3rd and is welcoming tourists and those seeking the American dream alike.

But not without a little groping, a little scanning, and possibly a little rectal examination if thought necessary. Hey, this is America, not paradise! What were you thinking?

That's right, Grandpa's knife that he carried in World War I is staying at the Miami International Airport with Earl, the lost and found guy. Oh, not so fast sir, drop the paperclip or take a taser up the ass.

1st Class Terminal

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Opens up New Dimension : Exclusive Services and Individual Assistance in Frankfurt as of the 1st of December

17.11.04 Lufthansa will offer its First Class passengers a new dimension in travel as of 1st December. The exclusive service starts on the ground in Frankfurt, in the newly-built First Class terminal or in the new First Class lounges. In the premium travel segment, Lufthansa is thus also setting new international standards.

Concierge services, limousine-transfer direct to the aircraft, an exclusive ambience with gourmet restaurant and personal attention for guests from arrival at the airport right through to take-off are the special features of the service with which Lufthansa makes travel even more comfortable for its First Class guests. In the future, Lufthansa will help its First Class passengers in Frankfurt with the usual procedures when arriving at the airport, from parking the car to check-in, security controls and customs, in order to save time and make their journey more hassle-free.


U.S. Prisons

You would think that the U.S. would have more prisoners per capita than the rest of the countries in the world. Not true. Russia has more. I wonder why that is. Click on the title to check out a chart. Belarus is in third place.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Cool Tool

Check this out. It is a map of the USA at night and you type your zip code in and with every digit it highlights that part of America. Hard to explain, but trust me and go to http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/fry/zipdecode/.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Origins of Thanksgiving

Many Americans erroneously assume that our nation has been celebrating Thanksgiving since the Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To begin with, this was not even the first Thanksgiving celebrated in this country. An earlier thanksgiving was offered in prayer alone by members of the Berkeley plantation, an extension of the original Jamestown settlement, near present-day Charles City, Virginia, on December 4, 1619.

The Mayflower landed on December 11, 1620. The first winter was devastating and nearly half of the 102 passengers who had sailed from Plymouth, England died before spring. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one.

This "first" Thanksgiving was celebrated over a period of three days by the Pilgrims and neighboring Wampanoag Indians who supplied much of the food - venison, waterfowl, dried berries, shellfish and cornbread. Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.

Edward Winslow, a Mayflower passenger, wrote in Mourt's Relation:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

This was the only Thanksgiving feast the Pilgrims ever celebrated. In fact, it wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

M. C. Escher

Double Planetoid 1949 Wood Engraving in Green, Dark Blue Black and White, Printed from 4 Blocks, Second State

M. C. Escher

Curl-Up 1951 Lithograph

M. C. Escher

Tetrahedral Planetoide 1954 Woodcut in Green and Black, Printed from 2 Blocks

M. C. Escher

Relativity 1953 Lithograph

Locking Gazes

At times, for no reason in particular, the gazes of two people will meet, perhaps repetitively, and one wants to make excuses, but there are simply none.

A classic example for a socially awkward situation, the locking of eyes seems to leave both people at an impass.

"He's going to think i'm staring at him.'' "She thinks there's something wrong with me." "I didn't even realize i was looking at them."

Well the deed is done. Eye contact carries the idea that the one that is 'caught' wanted to get the attention of the other participant in this game of bouncing light waves. That's not necessarily true. The 'starer', indeed, is aware of this and tries to look as nonchalant as possible, as if it were the mistake that it actually was. This only makes everything look more suspicious. If there was something to be suspicious about to begin with.

This is not your classic 'boy sees girl at the end of the dance hall. girl turns around and boy glances quickly away. boy then slowly regains composure as the girl is calmly waiting. boy lifts his eyes to meet hers, they dance, fall in love, and get married' story. There is no sheepish love in these social mishaps. It's a blatant misdirection of eyesight - pupils pointed in the wrong direction.

Dialogue of the brainwaves.

I wonder when this meeting is going to be overwith, I have way too much to do. Gotta get my christmas shopping done. What am I gonna get my sister? Oh man, did she just catch me totally staring at her? I didn't even know what I was looking at. Rats! I can't ever speak with her again. She'll think I like her or hate her or just care enough to fix my attention soley on her.

What is that all about? He just straight up glared at me. I hardly even know him. I wonder what he wants. Maybe he doesn't want anything. Maybe it was a mistake. Well this is just creepy. I'll try to avoid this at all costs.

A little role playing never hurt anyone.

Well maybe it has, but i've never heard about it.

Happy Thoughts

Think about them one at a time BEFORE going on to the next one...

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket
5. A special glance.
6 Getting mail
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Holding a newborn baby.
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke.
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38. Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001


Today was my first day at the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. I had quite an experience.

First of all, I must note the weather. I knew that it was going to be humid, but I had no idea that it would be this humid. I don't know what to do with myself because I can't continue to wear a coat everyday or I'll lose 50 pounds by the end of the summer.

With that concluded, I'll continue on about my first day at AmCham. Norman Oie greeted me at 8:30 AM and he proceeded to show me around the offices and tell me where everything is. He also showed me each division of the office and their duties and who was in charge of that division. He explained to me that the office works much like watertight compartments in that every department works independently of the others. Therefore, no one department knows what the others are doing. I thought that to be very interesting. He also had an English accent. Another thing that I noticed was that everything that he handed to me, he did so with two hands. I quickly followed suit and have done this with everyone in the office as a habit now.

He then showed me to where I would be working, which is a little work station just 6 feet from President Frank Martin’s office. This is very interesting in that I can hear almost all of his conversations. Mr. Martin called me into his office and talked to me about what my interests were and about his daughter’s experiences in international business. Apparently his daughter signed on with Andersen Consulting for a large sum of money. Mr. Martin said that a large part of her being hired was the fact that she could speak Mandarin fluently and also had consulting experience.

He told me that he would try to make the experience as interesting as possible. He assigned me my first project of updating the import/export statistics for Hong Kong and America for Southeast Asia. This was not very hard to do, but he has not shown me what exactly he wants me to do. However, I went ahead and got quite a few up to date stats just in case. I will be ready.

Also, for the time being I am working for the membership department and I sent out emails recruiting business people in Hong Kong for membership in AmCham. I then sent out letters to those that didn't have emails. Ioline Martin (Membership Department Director) mentioned to me that she would like me to update the email list for all of the members of the Chamber. This is a huge task, but she said that she would spread this among the three interns to do over the summer. By the way I will be the longest staying intern this summer. This almost makes me wish that I had said two months instead of three. Oh well.

Also, I will be allowed to attend any of the conferences, speaker’s events, or committee meetings of the Chamber of Commerce. They provided me with a calendar of events and committee meetings for this purpose and I am very excited to attend some of those.

Currently, many of the office staff are in Washington D.C. lobbying for China’s accession to the WTO and finding out what the stance of the Bush Administration is on China. Mr. Martin couldn't go because he apparently has stones in his gall bladder and is too sick.

When I got back to the NTT I was completely soaked in sweat from the humidity, which means that I will need to find a way to properly clean my shirts soon and maybe find a dry cleaners for my coats. That is pretty much all there is right now. There are a few other things, but I will add them tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Smoke in your Clothes

I started a new poker league yesterday. The former league just never seemed to get their act together as far as organization goes. So I switched over to the Amateur Poker League, which is far more up to speed. I lost horribly in the first tournament that I played in, but I got 5th in the second one out of something like 70 players. Yippee!

The only downside to playing poker at these places is getting that cigarette smell in you clothes and hair. I have always been tempted to ask a cigarette smoker how they deal with the smell issue. They must have to wash their clothes all of the time, only wear a pair of jeans one time, take showers at the end of every day, clean their car every week, and what about jackets. It's not like you can just pop a nice jacket in the washing machine. What do you do with a jacket that smells like cigarette smoke? I think there is too much work in smoking cigarettes.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Family Farm ...

Wheat ...

This picture was taken right before harvest on the family farm that was acquired in the Oklahoma land rush. Still farming wheat after all of these years up by Ponca City, OK.

The wheat is so beautiful right before harvest. It is literally an ocean of gold with the wind making waves through the wheat. I like walking through the wheat feeling the wheat heads with my hands, listening for that dry rattling sound that they make, and seeing the clean, even fields of wheat in every direction.

Fantasy Basketball

Austin Croshere

I got lucky the other night when three of the starting Indiana Pacers attacked fans in Detroit and are now facing 20 game suspensions and in the case of Ron Artest, the rest of the season. NOT AUSTIN CROSHERE!!! Now my second stringer is a professional basketball stud with the Pacers. Yeeha!

Funny Picture http://www.hello.com/