Archives for May 2007

Sudan- We Will Strangle The World Cola Supply

The Sudanese ambassador has issued a threat in response to new sanctions on his country. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post.

“It cannot happen,” he said, “so rule it out.” As for the Sudanese regime itself: “We are the agents of peace, people like me, my colleagues who are in the central government of Sudan.”

What’s more, the good and peaceful leaders of Sudan were prepared to retaliate massively: They would cut off shipments of the emulsifier gum arabic, thereby depriving the world of cola.

“I want you to know that the gum arabic which runs all the soft drinks all over the world, including the United States, mainly 80 percent is imported from my country,” the ambassador said after raising a bottle of Coca-Cola.

A reporter asked if Sudan was threatening to “stop the export of gum arabic and bring down the Western world.”

“I can stop that gum arabic and all of us will have lost this,” Khartoum Karl warned anew, beckoning to the Coke bottle. “But I don’t want to go that way.”

Someone better warn this guy not to irritate the Diet Coke drinkers of the world. I know more than a few who will lose their minds without this drink. They say it is not addictive, but we know better. Go through with this threat and ten million housewives will pour into the Sudan and wreak havoc like you have never seen.

Oingo Boingo- Danny Elfman

Many of you are probably familiar with Danny Elfman. Some of you probably are more familiar with his work as a composer (theme to the Simpsons, The Batman Movie etc.). I would expect that many of you are also familiar with his time as the lead for the band Oingo Boingo.

Anyhoo, today I stumbled onto a video of a live performance of Oingo Boingo’s song Insanity. The video doesn’t do the song justice, nor does it give you a real sense of just how much fun the shows were, but nonetheless I am going to include it here.

I am also providing a link to the band’s appearance on the Gong Show. At that time they were known as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and they definitely had a different feel to them.

If you came of age during the ’80s you might appreciate the Dead Man’s Party video which features Rodney Dangerfield. Fifty points if you can name the movie.

As promised, here is the Insanity video.

He Asked For Advice On Becoming A Father

A dear friend of mine will soon become a member of a club that should have a more exclusive membership than it currently does, but that is a post for a different time. For now I’ll focus on sharing a bit of the conversation we had.

This past weekend we spent some time talking about the future and what it holds. Naturally the conversation turned to children. I spent a few moments bringing him up to date on what is going on with mine and then he surprised me with “what should I do to be a good father?”

The rules of the blog dictate that I offer honest responses and the truth is that I consider myself to be a good father. I am better than some and not as good as others but working at it. So when he asked me for my thoughts I paused for a moment to collect my thoughts and do what I do best…I rambled.

I told him that there is no more rewarding and no more frightening experience. I told him that he needs to commit himself to making an investment in his children, however many he may have. I expressed the need for a lot of love and affection. I told him that it is incredibly important to work with his wife on presenting a consistent message and that you can’t try to be their friend and a father, but the reverse.

Young kids need guidance. They need boundaries and they need structure, but they also need room to play and to be creative.

I told him that I have never met a parent who didn’t question themselves and some of their decisions. I said that there were going to be moments when you do something that eats away at you. Sometimes you make decisions that you regret. He asked me what my hardest experience thus far has been.

It is a hard question to answer. When my eldest was 13 months old he got the flu and refused to eat. We begged him to, but he was so miserable that he wouldn’t. And because he had the flu he was expelling fluids from every possible orifice you can imagine. So we took him to the doctor and he was placed on an IV and hospitalized over night.

That was agonizing. I was a new father which I think made it even harder. The truth is that it didn’t take very long for the IV to do its magic and in relatively short order he was fine. But it was a bit traumatic.

Of course that is many years ago so to a certain extent the memories have faded. It was hard to tell him that his great grandfather had died. It was hard because I missed my grandfather so damn much. It was hard because I wanted him to see that it was ok to be upset but not be scared because I was upset.

It was hard because he was nervous about his own mortality. I kept a straight face as I told him that there was no reason to be worried and that he was going to live a very long life, but let’s be honest. There is no greater fear for a parent than losing a child. So even though on a rational level I was quite fine, there is a superstitious part of me that doesn’t want to think or discuss that.

The real upshot to this discussion was that I told him that the reality is just like they say, there is no instruction book for raising kids. There are a lot of things that are clearly wrong, but beyond that there a hundred shades of gray so you really just wing it and do the best that you can.

Do You Have a Favorite Post?

So dear reader I have a question for you. Out of all of the posts that you have read here do you have a favorite(s)?

Inquiring minds want to know.

My Third Blogiversary- Not Quite a Farewell

The day has finally come. I am officially observing my third blogiversary. It is a day of celebration and festivity. I’d provide you with a complete itinerary of the day, but I am really freaking tired so I am going with my favorite minhag of musing about this and that.

Truth is for a while I had a couple of ideas about what this post would be about. The idea was going to be to produce something truly meaningful. After almost 5,000 posts I thought that it would be nice to come up with a really good post, but I seem to be falling short of the mark. The ideas that I had for this blogiversary post came to me during moments in which I didn’t have access to paper so I never wrote them down.

It is like when you have a dream in which you manage to solve that one problem that has been nagging you. You know the one, you wake up around 3 am and there in the dark you smile and feel a tremendous sense of relief. Unfortunately in the morning sunshine that sense of relief dissipates because the solution no longer makes sense. Like I said, I never was able to write down the ideas for this post so they are lost.

But that is ok. This place is called random thoughts for a meaning. It is an outlet in which I can express my feelings and consider my thoughts about life. Certainly it is not the same as it used to be. There has been an evolution of sorts and that is how it should be.

When I first began blogging I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I didn’t give any thought as to what this would be. Unlike some other bloggers I didn’t start out as a lurker who became a blogger. I didn’t read any blogs until I began blogging. I just started writing and went where the words took me. As I mentioned above it has been an evolutionary process.

I’d like to believe that this experience has helped to improve my writing because that has always been one of the reasons for my blogging. The interaction with others has been great. I have made some good friends and exposed to people and places that I never otherwise would have encountered. Those of you who have been following along have gotten to share the ride on some very good and some very bad times for me.

The blogosphere has given me quite a lot. Along with much of the good I have experienced some of the low points. There have been some nasty disagreements and there have been several attempts to out me. Some people have tried to use my words to hurt me. It would be incorrect to say that some of these experiences haven’t upset me, but it would also be inaccurate to suggest that they were so painful that I wouldn’t withstand them.

I have a special message that will be understood by those it is directed to. Do not mistake my lack of response to your petty attempts as encouragement to continue. I have always reserved my right to respond and should I ever choose to do so it will always be in a time, place and manner of my choosing. The best thing for you to do is to simply walk away. I am a Taurus, you never want to find out if the bull has been sharpening his horns or not.

Now back to our real message. As I mentioned early on in this post I am a bit disappointed that this post doesn’t seem to be of the quality that I wish it would be, but that is a part of blogging. Often the posts that we think are the best are the ones that seem to generate the least response from readers. More often than not it feels like the throwaway post is the one that does better.

I don’t know how much longer I will continue to blog. That is not to suggest that I am going to lay down my keyboard and retire any time soon. Blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. In theory I’d like to continue for the rest of my life. That is quite an endeavor, but I suspect that it might make for some interesting reading for my children, grandchildren etc.

Anyway for the interim it is safe to say that I am going to keep blogging until it is no longer enjoyable.