Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Whole Lotta Nuffin'

How little excitement is swirling about my life these days is a matter for debate, but I can largely attest to the fact that a combination of the weather in NYC (cold and frosty, albeit with little or no snow), the heavy workload and laundry, cleaning and the myriad other errands I find myself chasing are not the stuff of edge-of-your-seat thrill-rides.

What's remote for the TV, cable box and stereo in my bedroom finally crapped out, so I replaced it with a new one from Harmony since it was on sale for a ridiculously low amount. Harmony, now owned by Logitech, makes these combo unit remotes that are able to control everything from your little TV that Aunt Mildred gave you 20 years ago up to a cutting-edge HD Theater System, all thanks to the fact that they plug into your PC and dial up a database online. What's wild is punching in the models your various stuff -- TV, stereo, cable box, DVD player, etc. -- and watching it all being assimilated into the day-to-day (or in my case, night-to-night) activities. Suffice to say that Harmony's remotes exude that cool factor, especially knowing they light up in the dark whenever you pick one up, that is necessary for any uber-geek's living quarters, even if it's for simply turning on the TV before falling asleep at night.

I also finagled myself a copy of a book by Ross Bernstein about the NHL and fighting called "The Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Fighting And Retaliation In The NHL. It's not exactly earth-shattering or a political thriller which I'm usually reading, but it's actually an interesting discussion of why keeping fighting in the NHL is a way to manage to cut down on the violence inherent in the sport of hockey. It's a conundrum similar to the theory that speed on the basepaths in baseball slows the game down. If you're a non-sports fan entirely, it's both boring AND irrelevant; but if you know anything about hockey or baseball, you'll (sort of) know what I mean.

In other news...we've finally announced (and are in the process of planning) our next big party; we've sent out about 500 evites and are expecting something in the neighborhood of 200 or so "yes" responses. That's been taking small chunks of my time here and there, but even knowing that I "have" to address one thing or another in connection with the upcoming party (March 24th in NYC, to be more specific) doesn't weigh on me like, say, cleaning the toilet. It's something akin to a labor of love, and since the majority of the invite recipients are groovy people with whom I am looking forward to partying, it's not exactly hard work. Basically, I'm counting down the hours to my birthday on St. Patrick's Day and then to the party a week later. Almost everyone has been incredibly positive and excited as well, so it's just a question of how many people manage to get into NYC from all over (we expect somewhere between 35 and 40 states of representation when all is said and done).

Otherwise, there's not much left on the agenda to discuss. I nixed the State Of The Union address last night, for several reasons, but mostly because I've accepted the fact that the country right now is rudderless. Whether or not I trust Bush/Cheney & co. to do the right or wrong thing (whether we're talking foreign policy, domestic policy, future law or even present-day legal issues), I have gotten tired of watching the President dig his way out of holes (60 Minutes,, etc.). Iraq, unfortunately, will be both his legacy and his albatross. I am not quite sure if Saddam Hussein's hanging will have made all this worth it, but I do know that every day we don't mention Iran and instead focus on partisan finger-pointing over the war in Iraq, the worse off we'll be in the near future. The only thing that eases my concern over what's going on in Iran is the fact that Israel isn't constrained by the same finger-pointing that our Congress and President seem to be. When/if Iran gets closer to possessing nuclear weapons, I'm fairly confident that Israel will find a way to make that reality a non-reality, as they have in the past. My only real concern is whether we, as a nation, will somehow interrupt or otherwise meddle in Israel taking action. For those of you who read below the top lines on the front page of newspapers, it's true the US sent another carrier group to the Gulf, and it's also true that THAD (a long-range missile destruction system akin but more advanced than the Patriot) is also rumored to be onboard. However, what Iran has been gambling on is that their anti-US rhetoric, coupled with the last four years of The Iraq Vacation Plan, will sour US interest in fighting another bunch of asswipe extremists.

On some level, I'm hopeful they're wrong; but knowing (and hearing) what I do out of this new version of Congress (perhaps the opposite of progress), this is not going to be easy, simple, quick or clean and neat.

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