Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ed's Old Boss is Fun-Knee

The man on the left, wearing a fabulous vintage chiffon-lined Dior gold lame gown over a silk Vera Wang empire waisted tulle cocktail dress, accessorized with a 3-foot beaded peaked House of Whoville hat, along with the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz, is worried that the Da Vinci Code might make the Roman Catholic Church look foolish.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Well AMERICAN didn't lose the bag...

So we fly home from Japan. Ed has to check his lugage becasued I am checking anyway and I needed extra rom in his bag (some of it was work stuff!).

So we land and we are waiting for the luggage. My comes, yeah! We wait. And wait.

Then Ed grabs his bag - but it is NOT his bag. We, having traveled like AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE, checked the tag. It was not Ed's bag. But after Eddie put it back on the line, one or two other blue bags had gone by.

We wait as they go around. They don't come back, only the one bag comes around. The person that owns this bag is not here. And, surprise surprise, Ed's bag is not there. We have the irresponsible bag owner's name and try to call him but he isn't listed.

So we go in and tell the American. We even tell them who has Ed's bag. Well, finally ast night they delivered it. But Ed gets in to work (and his bag has his work number). The guy had called and wanted to exchange bags.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Ankor Pictures

Okay, so I have way too many pictures of the various temples in Ankor. If you are bored some time go look.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Japan Now

Well, I am in Japan now. Work starts in earnest tomorrow for 4 days.

So, a little more about Cambodia (where Angor Wat is). I think it is technically still communist, but you wouldn't know it at all. Siem Reap is a boom town. Tourisum has caused a land boom, with new hotels sprouting like crazy. I guess the Japanese and Koreans come through only for a day (a day or two in Bangkok, a day in Angor, and then a couple of days in Vietnam). But there are a lot of them.

May starts the low season due to rains that run from May through October. And yes, it did rain on me - but I have waited for this forever so I slogged through.

So I feel a little wierd there, I mean we did bomb the hell out of them, and then let Pol Pot take over.

So my guide, So-Kot, and I are talking in between temples, and he explains that Pol Pot killed about 2 Million people. there are about 15 Million now in Cambodia, so he killed a little north of 10% of everone. He wanted to killed the upper classes - doctors, lawyers and the like. But people started lying, so he killed people who wore glasses. You only needed glasses for school. And educated people were rich.

So So-Kot asks me if the US had a Pol Pot type when I was growing up. I said no. But think, how fucking crazy is it that you grow up knowing you could be killed at any time. For no real reason. Just because the head of the country is crazy. George Bush doesn't sound so bad now.

So-Kot also asked me if there were a lot of landmines in California. You can't walk off the paths in Cambodia because of the land mines. And at some temples music was played by childern who lost limbs.

Cambodia, with some of the nicest most open people you would ever want to meet, was a study in contradictions. Communist, but full of private enterprise and a land boom in Siem Reap. A people who were tortured, killed and subject to terrible things - still some of the most optomistic and happy people ever. A new country with 1000 year old temples.

It was magical. It affected me in ways I won't understand for months or years. All of them, great. Cambodia made me value what I have .. and maybe take it a little less for granted.

And I brought presents. (Before Ed yells at me, it wasn't my fault. They took me to a school for natural arts where they teach crafts to orphans and people hurt by landmines. I mean Hard Hearted Hanna would have a difficult time not buying the place out.)

Okay, that is all for now. I don't want to appear like I have a heart.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

5 Star My Ass

I am at the Pan Pacific Airport hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It is suppose to be the only 5 star Airport Hotel in Asia.

May I just say, not so much. It is sweltering in here.

Oh well, I am only here a night and then I am on to Tokyo tomorrow.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ankor Wat

Ankor Wat was exceptionally cool. It was amazing and big and old and still standing and all kinds of things I didn't expect.

There were too many Japanese, but my guide took me to some really secluded temples and gave me a lot of history - so that was really cool. I had a great time. I am glad Eddie told me to come.

Pictures will come.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Siem Reap

Well, I have landed and am in Siem Rap. It is a city in cambodia where Ankor Wat (the big temples) are at. I have always wanted to visit the Ankor Wat temples - so I am excited.

It's jungle hot here. I go to the temples tomorrow. The hotel gives me a driver and a guide. It is very nice. The city itself is a weird cross between India and Puerto Vallarta. Hard to describe.

One funny story. As I am driving to the airport in Kuala Lumpur (Ed and Lynn make fun of me when I call it KL - but everyone does), the driver and I talked about all the Palm Trees. There are tons of Palm Tree farms where they make Palm oil I saw miles and miles of them. The driver said getting the Palm Oil was very dangerous. Indonesians did it, because Malaysians wouldn't.

I assumed they fell, but the trees didn't look that tall. He said no, the cobras kill the people. Apparently the Palm seeds attrack white rats. And the white rats attrack cobras.


Siem Reap

Well, I have landed and am in Siem Rap. It is a city in cambodia where Ankor Wat (the big temples) are at. I have always wanted to visit the Ankor Wat temples - so I am excited.

It's jungle hot here. I go to the temples tomorrow. The hotel gives me a driver and a guide. It is very nice. The city itself is a weird cross between India and Puerto Vallarta. Hard to describe.

One funny story. As I am driving to the airport in Kuala Lumpur (Ed and Lynn make fun of me when I call it KL - but everyone does), the driver and I talked about all the Palm Trees. There are tons of Palm Tree farms where they make Palm oil I saw miles and miles of them. The driver said getting the Palm Oil was very dangerous. Indonesians did it, because Malaysians wouldn't.

I assumed they fell, but the trees didn't look that tall. He said no, the cobras kill the people. Apparently the Palm seeds attrack white rats. And the white rats attrack cobras.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quite Interesting

How painful is it for me to admit that an ATM conference was quite interesting. I know, card goes in money comes out. But all in all - very interesting and informative (which I will not bore you with).

Also interesting was the reception I received. It wasn't until the 9th or 10th person cam eup to introduce themselves that I got it. At first I thought it was the whole Citibank thang. I mean I work at a potential gold mine of sales. But that wasn't it.

For lack of a better way to say it, all the Brits that run many of these things in Asia don't hang out with the colonials so much. I may be many things, but here in Kuala Lumpur I am not Asian, nor a female and therefore I am defacto in the Old Boys Club. It is quite odd.

Even odder because I can speak of England, and the pressing problems of their network and smart cards - so I even sound like I belong.

Pleasent and Creepy all at the same time.

By Jove I'm off now. Pip pip and G'day Maury Pop'ns (joke for Lisa).

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Towers

Well (I don't know why the pics show up like this - whatever). The towers really are quite pretty. And a big symbol of national pride. After independence Malaysia and Singapore broke apart, so Kuala Lumpur is really new and has a little inferiority complex vis a vi Singapore. The Towers are one answer, just like the monorails that run all over the city.

Kuala Lumpur isn't nearly as polished as Singapore, but that is kind of nice. I mean you know you are in a different country - not a disney-different land.

But, like Singapore, the national pastime appears to be shopping. So I spent some time in the 6 story mall under the towers. I needed an airline ticket - so it was okay.

More later.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Kuala Lumpur

Well, I am here in Kuala Lumper. I am in Malaysia for work (actually for a work conference). I was not really sure what the place would be like. I only know of Malyasia through old Bette Davis movies (the Letter) and Ed's distain for the Petronas Towers once they exceeded the Sear's Tower as the world's tallest building (a record that has since been taken - first by Hong Kong, now by One Taipei).

And, I have learned over time that old Bette Davis' movies and bitter rivals aren't always the best sources of information.

It was a 16 + hour flight, and the westin room is painfully nice so I think I might sleep a little before doing much else. I can say this - the Towers are very pretty; I see them out my room window.

More later.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Living with the Sunshine Boys

The older our dogs get, the more it is like living with movie characters. All night, it is up and down and up and down. Oye.

We have 3 dog beds (it would seem to make sense, we have 3 dogs). But the pup sleeps on the bed. Since he weighs less than 13 pounds, no problem. So we have 3 dog beds for 2 dogs. One would think this would be perfect.

No, it's not. Ashford spends much of the night moving from one bed to another. Ashford, much like George Burns, is old. So he can't move his toe without an old-man groan or wheeze. Then he does the Arthritis 2-step to the other bed, each step with the dog equivalent of "ouch" "ouch" "ouch".

Then at the second bed, he can't easily lay down (Arthritis again). So we have the old-man groan with the steps followed by the annoyed exhale that marks the though that this was all easier when he was younger.

This happens about once an hour.

Until 3, then more frequently, doubling about every hour. So from 3 - 4AM, he moves beds twice. From 4 - 5 AM he moves beds about 4 times. From 5-6AM, about 8 times. Sometime around 6:21 he wins the competition when Ed or I get up and let his ass outside. Where he stumbles around, pees, drinks some water and lays upstairs. And we go back to bed.

THEN SUDDENLY AT ABOUT 7:23 HE REMEMBERS HE HAS TO POOP!!!! He walks around upstairs until he wakes us up again and we race upstairs to let him out. But, it is a race we always loose. He has pooped on the bathroom floor and he is sleeping again. I think he might actually wait until he hears us get out of bed and then kind of races our tired legs from downstairs versus his ability to squeeze out a quickie.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mormons vs Catholis

So, we have to have a team to root for right? I mean - of course we will always be Bruins and Badgers, but where can we go to see a game. Penn State is close, but I can't really enjoy rooting for the Big 10 (except of course the Badgers).

Luckily, The Boston College Eagles aren't that far away. And I dislike almost every other team in their conference (except Virginia - go WaHoos). So I was checking the schdule. It has to be a fairly early season game - Homey don't wanna sit in the snow to see no-body.

Well, in early September (the 13th) Boston College plays BYU. It is the Catholics versus the Mormons.

Full disclosure, I loved Boston College since I same them play Notre Dame. Notre Dame was down by 6 with only a few minutes left - and the Priest are over on the Notre Dame sideline praying like John Paul was coming on cleaning day. Well, Notre Dame scores and the Priests due high fives, and throw their beads up in the air - and all is good with Touchdown Jesus.

Even to the point to where one of the announcers notices it is a bit un-seemly.

Well, Notre Dame kicks off to BC and they run back a little. And the band is playing, and the Priests are doing the jig - and that little short BC Quarterback (I forget his name) thows the ball and gets a first down. Then another. BS is running down the field like a non-believer fleeing the Inquisition.

With only a few seconds left, BS is in Field Goal range. The Priests on the sidelines are in still in full prayer mode. When the announcer notices and says, "Those Priests seem to have fogotten that Boston College is a Catholic school too." And BC icks the field goal to win the game.

Doug Flutie. That was the little QB's name - I check

Really, just tell me what Republicans stand for...

When I was younger, and Ronald Reagan was President, through the 1994 Contract with America - Republicans stood for something. You could argue for or against, but not that they stood for nothing.

Everything they told us important they have subsequently crapped on.

Eliminate the Deficit
- hard de har har. Never had a bigger deficit ever. EVER. Took a surplus from a Democrat President (and a dead-locked Congress) and pissed it the hell away.

Protect Individual Rights
- how's that phone call going? The good news is that if you forgot who you called, the National Security Administration can tell you. If it was out of the country, they can play a recording for you.

Clean Government (well, post-Nixon)
- Randy "Duke" Cunningham. War Hero, Republican Congressman, Defense Oversight Committee, 12 years in Prison.
- Jack Abramov, Bob Nye, the list that keeps on giving

Smaller Government
- at one time they wanted to shutter the Department of Education and Depart of Health and Welfare. Now, Medicare Drug Coverage and the most intrusive Education Bill ever.

What is Karl Rove's plan to get Republicans elected in 2006. Back to basic Republican Ideals? Har de har har (From MSNBC Story:

Headline: Rove Revamps the Republican Strategy--

That was before the GOP situation got so desperate. The way I read the recent moves of Karl Rove & Co., they are preparing to wage war the only way open to them: not by touting George Bush, Lord knows, but by waging a national campaign to paint a nightmarish picture of what a Democratic Congress would look like, and to portray that possibility, in turn, as prelude to the even more nightmarish scenario: the return of a Democrat (Hillary) to the White House

Rather than defend Bush, Rove will seek to rally the Republicans' conservative grassroots by painting Democrats as the party of tax increases, gay marriage, secularism and military weakness. That's where the national message money is going to be spent.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oh... Is 2006 an election year? We just happen to have this vote scheduled....

Ding Ding Ding... ring the bell it is an election year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment on April 27, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has scheduled a full Senate vote on the amendment for the first week in June.
Not for political gain or anything.

Monday, May 08, 2006

So Tell Me What You REALLY Think...

Okay, you know I am not one to go off into a rant :-), but ... maybe a little around the edges.

Bushie has nominated, for the Head of the CIA, the General who has spent the last 4 years in charge of WireTapping Americans without due process or following the law. Bush won't answer questions about the wire tapping program, the Attorney General has told us that during this time of war - the President has nearly unlimited powers. (FYI - Time of War here refers to the "War on Terror", so my guess he would have the same powers during the Wars on Poverty, Drugs and TransFatty Acids.)

Now of course, many hard working, patriotic and loyal Americans have some serious questions about both the legality and the fundamental "Americaness" of bugging phones willy nilly. How does the Administration respond to these valid complaints? He stonewalls us. Talk radio calls anyone who isn't "with he President" a traitor. And then His Bushiness nominates the head of the organization that ran the whole kit and caboodle to run the CIA.

Maybe General Gladys Cravits has practiced enough on us at home, that he is ready to snoop of the world. Or maybe the CIA will turn into a domestic intelligence agency (it is so much easier to learn English than Arabic). In any case, say good bye to Privacy and Unreasonable Searches - they were only a couple of Amendments anyways.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Two Things (UCLA and Rain)

Well, all is right with the world. UCLA beat Penn State to win it's 19th NCAA Volleyball Title. UCLA actually wasn't very good most of this year. They lost 12 games this season, but came storming back at the end of the season. They won 12 matches in a row, then they won the Mountain Pacific Conference Tourny (a made up, volleyball conference
race only so div 3 schools, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, CS Northridge can play div 1 VBall). Then they won the NCAA Championship at Penn State (playing Penn State in the finals).

Early this year the Badgers wonthe Hockey Championship and so the world is correctly aligned as we get ready to wisk our way to New York.

Speaking of New York, Eddie was reading me the stats of the new condo. And he got to precipitation. Rain, that is.

It rains an average of 47 inches a year. Forty Seven. That is a lot more than LA's average of 13.5 inches. And it SNOWS an average of 28 inches a year.

Well well well. I hadn't thought about that.

I am moving to somewhere that has an average for Snowfall! If there is snow on the ground more than 14 nights, I will have more than double the nights spent in snow (2 nights in mammoth, 3 nights in in Minnesota and 2 nights in a freak London Snowstorm - the other 7 spread over nights spent in Rochester New York for Xerox).

Hummmmmmmmm, one says.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco d' Maio

For those of you outside your basic Mexican Influence, today is Cinco de Maio (5th of May). It is a big Southern California holiday that has, over the years, spread as the Margaritas have flowed.

Historically this is not a big Mexican Holiday. But California History books (the ones you have to read in 5th grade when you study your state's history) make a point of the date. Supposedly Mexicans celebrate their first Victory over the French (Napoleon but his brother Maximillan on the Mexican Throne) which occurred on the 5th of May.

Now, who ever wrote this California History Book for 5th graders made a big deal of this. So the entire state celebrates a Mexican non-Holiday. Well, 30 years and 12,000 Mexican Restaurants later - it is a holiday (I actually have 2 people taking off for Cinco de Maio). Go figure.

Mickey explains the alternate theory.

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England.
In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico,
which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.
But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York.
The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise,
and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.
Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course,

Sinko de Mayo.

Hi, My Name is Lisa - And I have a Byline

Hello, my name is Lisa. And I am, how to you Americans say, hot shit. Okay, that might be bitter and driven by, how to you Brits say, Envy.

The young Lass kicked back in MY jaquzzi is Lisa Hunt. (She drug it out to LA, just to watch the Oscars with us, where she won the Oscar pool - but she is professional but that doesn't count.) Here is her bio on the web site where she writes theatre reviews (they are in England so the "" isn't pretentious, just bad English.

The Clippers

I know, it seems odd that I (Scooter) would post a gratuitous boob shot, but it is like "yeah, clippers."

The Clips are the poor cousins of LA Sports (not as poor as futbol fans (American "Football", not soccer) but poor cousins compared to Lakers, the Dodgers, the Galaxy and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Clips play at Staples, but it is almost always the Lakers home court.

Well, this year, the Clips have won their second post season playoff series in 30 years! All the Clipper Fans (also know as "Can't-Afford-Lakers-Tickets" fans) are thrilled. They are actually playing pretty good.

Go Clips (and the cute little Asian Girl in the back... Nice Rack.).

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oh.. That's What You Mean

So I have a person that we work with (if you can describe 24 by 7 bitching as "working with"). English is not her first language, so I have had to publish a translation file so that my team can understand her phraseology.

"You have not even responded to my suggestions"
Translation: "You did not do everything I said."

"You are not following the process."
Translation: "You did not do everything I said."

"I will write the meeting minutes."
Translation: "You people are idiots and I will write up what I want, then hold you to it."

"I have to discuss this with management."
Translation: "I'm going to wait a week, then bitch that you are not doing what I said."

"Thank you, I am glad we are in agreement."
Translation: "You better do just like I told you to, you dumb-shits."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Turthiness Hurts

Apparently Stephen Colbert was at the annual White House Correspondent's Dinner. Did no one, NO ONE tell Bush what he was in for? Read the start of the wrap up from Salon.

Colbert is not just another comedian with barbed punch lines and a racy vocabulary. He is a guerrilla fighter, a master of the old-world art of irony. For Colbert, the punch line is just the addendum. The joke is in the setup. The meat of his act is not in his barbs but his character -- the dry idiot, "Stephen Colbert," God-fearing pitchman, patriotic American, red-blooded pundit and champion of "truthiness." "I'm a simple man with a simple mind," the deadpan Colbert announced at the dinner. "I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there."
Then he turned to the president of the United States, who sat tight-lipped just a few feet away. "I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."
It was Colbert's crowning moment. His imitation of the quintessential GOP talking head -- Bill O'Reilly meets Scott McClellan -- uncovered the inner workings of the ever-cheapening discourse that passes for political debate. He reversed and flattened the meaning of the words he spoke. It's a tactic that cultural critic Greil Marcus once called the "critical negation that would make it self-evident to everyone that the world is not as it seems." Colbert's jokes attacked not just Bush's policies, but the whole drama and language of American politics, the phony demonstration of strength, unity and vision. "The greatest thing about this man is he's steady," Colbert continued, in a nod to George W. Bush. "You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hastings Update - And Jumpy

So, after a week of worring about Hastings, adn Ed close to tears today -the vet came by. She walked in and Hastings walked up. She said that hastings probably has a pinched nerve and it may get better all by itself.

Yes, after Eddie spent the day near tears, the dog had a miracle! He is much better.

And Trevor likes to jump after being in the pool.