netWert Ideapad

May 2003

Take me away
May 28, 2003 +
I read this page and suddenly I want to live in Portland.

Doing the math
May 28, 2003 +
"AOL is making progress, it says. Its spam software filter blocks 2 billion unsolicited commercial e-mails a day, or 80% of the messages aimed at subscribers."

I'm not sure which of those numbers frightens me more.

Dog walk 2
May 28, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
Although he's a male and he lifts his leg, Charley has the useful ability to pee once and be done, rather than feel compelled to wander the neighborhood marking all the tree stumps. Our trainer told us we got him to operate in this manner by encouraging the behavior. We just think he's a good dog and leave it at that.

Tonight was a quick pee walk, where I am outside for all of 45 seconds while the dog does a three-quarter turn on the grate in front of the building, goes, and heads back home. Our neighbor and fellow dog owner was in the lobby, and often-shy Charley pulled me to her to say hello. I had him roll over—his latest trick—while Shiela grilled me about his habits and invited us to visit and have him play with her two Yorkies.

I went out without a jacket. A Fresh Direct truck was double-parked in the street. Shiela and a friend made themselves comfortable in lobby chairs. The rain was gone, and only the easy spring evening remained. Upstairs, business school homework awaited. I took my time getting upstairs.

Dog walk 1
May 27, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
The rain had stopped, after days of continuous precipitation, making a blustery evening feel surprisingly pleasant. We took our usual route, hanging a left out the door of the building, pausing to pee on the grates, then meandering down the block and across the street into Union Square Park, where we do laps on the walkway fringe until the business occurs. A tall pile of remaindered excrement, left by another dog and a careless owner, resembled a pile of mousse to my dog, who had a bite (and a toothbrushing upon our return home).

In the aftermath of the rains, the park and the street were subdued. The newsstand and the corner entrance to the subway were closed for the holiday. Alone on the park benches in Union Square, a young Asian man sat practicing a speech, papers on his lap, staring at nothing as he recited, likely as glad as I was to have a rare quiet moment in the square.

This is the first in a series of Dog Walk pieces that will be published on this site. The solitude of walking my pup leads me to observe and appreciate the city around me, and the more literary moments will be chronicled here. I hope you enjoy them. Click on the permalink plus-sign of an entry to display the date, time and location of the walk.

Judgment day
May 21, 2003 + Posted to Quite Keen
Walking the dog on a beautiful spring afternoon not long ago, I crossed the street into Union Square Park as a pretty woman strolled past me toward the subway. About 20 feet beyond us, sitting on the walls along the park stairs, were half a dozen young men, around 20 years old, holding sheets of white paper.

As the woman passed between me and the stairs, the boys cheered good-naturedly and held up signs: 9! 8.5! 9.5! The women continued to the south with a look on her face‹somewhere between amusement and disgust‹as I approached the stairs.

Of course, I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

"Is that for me?"

The boys laughed and made faces. "No, man, that was for your dog!" one of them said, petting the pup as we walked by.

Charley did his thing in Union Square (tip for locals: don't sit on the lip surrounding the perimeter of the interior grass. Just don't) and we headed for home. The boys were still there, looking for someone worth ranking.

"Hey!" I called out as I got close. "Where's the love?"

Among the laughter, one of them pulled out a sign. "Yo, this is for your dog," he said, waving the sign at Charley, who trotted by happily. "He gets an 8.5."

Not bad, but I think he deserved at least a 9.

You tell me
May 13, 2003 +
Interesting pair of items in the New York Times yesterday.

1. The TV industry is wondering if the sitcom is a dying genre. "A burial plot is being readied for the traditional sitcom‹with the formula of setup, joke, setup, joke‹that families watched together in large numbers throughout most of television's history. Despite dozens of attempts, the networks have failed to come up with a new hit comedy since the late 1990's."

2. NBC's fall 2003 lineup includes "Whoopi," a show starring Whoopi Goldberg as "a one-hit-wonder singer who now runs a small New York hotel. Her attempt at hilarity will be aided by a television brother who dates a white woman trying to act black, and an Iraqi concierge who makes a lot of references to weapons of mass destruction."

On being engaged
May 12, 2003 +
My fiancee and I love being engaged. I loved buying a ring and proposing in a romantic vacation setting. She loves the ring and the weekend was fantastic. We're looking forward to our fancy-pants wedding, too. We are enjoying the planning and the anticipation that goes with it, even amongst the assorted stresses. We love our band, we dig our photographer, we like the idea of gussying up and throwing a big fucking party for everyone we know; we even like the rehearsal dinner we have planned for the night before.

In certain corners of the progressive-minded Web communities in which I participate, I am a traditional bore, I suppose. But I'm a happy one with a happy mate. And I wouldn't change a thing.

(cross-posted from another site)

Never mind that it's Monday, part II
May 12, 2003 +
I like these Friday Fives, even if I do answer them tardily. This week is all about organization, a subject about which I know plenty, even though the fiancee would likely beg to differ.
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Fun with typos
May 7, 2003 +

Never mind that it's Monday
May 5, 2003 +
I have just restumbled upon Friday Five, wherein random webloggers and online self-publishing folk such as this author answer five questions published by Friday Five Dot Org. Disregarding the fact that today is Monday, a dearth of content produced locally, and a music theme in the latest edition, compels yours truly to tackle the five questions herein.
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April 2003




Copyright © 2003 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.