Blogging since 1998. By David Wertheimer

Month: June 2003

Life with a dog

Charley is sitting on the sofa while I work next to him on the computer. He is chomping away contentedly on a hard, hollow bone.

At one point, the bone clatters to the floor and slides under the coffee table. The pooch puts his head on his hands, stares at the bone, and whines a little. Whether he dropped it on purpose to get my attention or it just fell off the cushion remains a mystery.

Sometimes I let him deal with these issues on his own. Today I come to his rescue.

“What is it, pup?” I ask him (I always talk to him, like an old lady with a cat instead of a husband, never mind that I have a fiancee who’s a good listener), kneeling down on the floor in front of him.

Charley looks up at me, gives me a happy lick on the chin, then furrows his brow—dogs furrow their brows; it’s what makes them more aw-shucks lovable than cats—and stares back at his bone.

“You want your bone back? Gimme another kiss and you can have it.” Smart dog that he is, Charley licks me on the nose. I pick up the bone and toss it on the sofa to his left, expecting him to pounce on it and get back to his fun.

Instead, Charley looks back at me and gives me two big licks on the cheek, as if to say thanks. Then he happily goes back to his chewing.

No number of early and late walks in the rain is too many for such simple affection.

Information booth

I have, in my years living in New York, turned into a true New Yorker, to the extent that I look and act the part when out of doors. Something about the way I traverse the city—purposeful, distanced look in the eye, fast gait, a tendency to read the newspaper even while walking—flags me as a local. As a result, I get asked a lot of questions.

Summertime in Union Square brings out the visitors, and I have found myself giving directions more and more often. Often, I am walking my dog when I am stopped, which makes sense. On occasion I will be out solo and someone will just look at me and ask me to help find their destination. I am always happy to oblige.

But I was taken completely by surprise last week. Crossing Park Avenue South mid-block in traffic, a man in a Toyota called out from his car. It didn’t register that he was looking for me until he called out a second time. I doubled back to the driver’s window from the front bumper.

Me: “Yeah?”

Him: “Do you know where the Toys ‘R’ Us is?”

Me, businesslike and without hesitation: “Next block up on the right.”

Him, unfazed: “Thanks, man.”

I made it across the street before the light turned. He took off, presumably to find a parking spot.

Jaywalker as information kiosk. Who knew?

Must be one terrible movie

“[Vincent] Gallo has put the heebie-jeebie on my colon and prostate. I am not too worried. I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than ‘The Brown Bunny’.”

—Roger Ebert, putting a stamp on the Ebert-Gallo tiff regarding Gallo’s new movie

Home pages

I updated my home page today (mainly to refine the self-aggrandation now that my three-pronged weblog is back to one) and rediscovered my home page archives. I have faithfully saved my index files dating back to 1999, archiving a page the last day before a change. Take a look:

October 1999

January 2000

May 2000

September 2000

from when I switched servers (11/00? no date listed)

December 2000

January 2001

January 17, 2001

February 2001

August 2001

August 2001 to June 2002

June 2002 new

February 2003

March 2003

No end to Apple’s sensibility

According to this report, Apple is wisely (and perhaps proudly) submitting iTunes sales data to SoundScan, giving an added burst of legitimacy to its numbers.

When I was younger I used to consider buying some of my CDs intentionally at larger stores where sales were being reported to SoundScan. Let my indie voice be heard! So I’m spending my $15 at Sam Goody—at least the world will know I’m buying the new Odds record. BBC Records will understand.

SoundScan has been tracking online music sales for a while, so this news isn’t a big stretch. But it is good news.


The presenter is creating a work and sharing it free of charge—therefore it is not a for-profit situation. …

Sites that request donations expect their readerships to view their sites the way computer users regard shareware: If you like it, pay us a few bucks, which will encourage us to keep up the good work. But content isn’t the same as software; it is usually a diversion, not a utility, which alters its worth.

When you make me pay, I’ll pay, May 23, 2002

Colts Neck

In which the author tries in vain to brave the elements in waterproof pants.

The phone call came at 6:50 Sunday morning, which would have been horrific had I not arisen half an hour earlier in its anticipation. Yes, confirmed the far end of the call, the rain isn’t as bad there, and the drainage system is excellent, and the golf outing is a go, despite the heavy rains outside my apartment. Besides, we had made the forced error of paying for the day in advance, sealing our fate.

I left home shortly after, golf clubs on one side, umbrella on the other, trudging four wet minutes to my car, driving around the corner to an ATM, picking up a friend and heading for Colts Neck, N.J., home of sprawling estates and horse stables and the site of my apparently wet sporting event.

We arrived in light rain, which quickly became a heavy downfall as we signed in and hit practice balls on the range. Doubling back to the clubhouse before teeing off, we begged for towels and layered up clothes; I purchased all-weather pants to keep myself from catching cold.

I was in the third group of the day. By the time we got to the first hole, standing water had accumulated on the tee box, almost as high as the grass itself. I was in a threesome. The first man teed off and nearly lost the club out of his hand. I hit what happened to be a beautiful drive, but did so through rainfall so thick that my playing partners said I looked like I “hit out of a puddle.” Our third player refused to get out of his cart, told us we were fools if we stayed out, and headed for the clubhouse. After a moment of dejection, we did the same.

The starter—who insisted the course was playable—agreed without much argument to give us a group rain check. A fast, greasy meal at the local Perkins ended the affair. We were back in Manhattan before noon, still soggy from the morning’s activities, but more than a bit relieved we didn’t put ourselves through 18 holes of misery on a rain forest of a golf course.

Golfers are a rather stupid lot, but even we have our limits.

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