Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Bear Ad

It is considered one of the most effective political ads of all time:

And in the light of current events, a suddenly relevant one.

Red Storm Rising

Since I first read it, a few months after it was first released in 1986, I have thought that Red Storm Rising is far and away the most thrilling novel of all time. I have, since then, re-read it several times, and have enjoyed each reading as much as the first. For what it's worth, and without spoiling the book for those who have yet to read it, the story is about an invasion of Soviet forces into western europe. It was noteworthy at the time insofar as it was thrillingly technically detailed, and it involved the one plot line that was unthinkable at the time - that the US and the USSR could go to war and it NOT escalate into a nuclear conflict.

Then, in a discussion with my wonderful wife some three weeks ago (I have been after her to read this book for some 16 years) I made a comment to the effect of "who cares anyway, it's a cold-war book about a cold-war that no longer exists. More like history than a thriller.."

Well, events have given lie to that statement. The Russian invasion of Georgia a few weeks ago made sure of one thing. The Bear is Back. If it ever really left, that is.

Reflecting on current events a few nights ago, my wonderful wife said "what was it you said about Red Strom Rising being history???
If you haven't read the book, do so. It is a great read, different than Tom Clancy's other fare, especially in the absence of Jack Ryan, his main hero character. And it may not be as spookily prescient as Futility (or at least I hope not)but it will give you some idea of what The Bear is all about.

Just Because

This has to be one of the least flattering pictures of me ever, but, It was a proud time. Exhausting, but proud. So, why not....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


YEARS AGO I came up with one of my rules-of-thumb for life. It was based on many years of careful observation, and has served me well over the years. It stated, simply, "Never trust a man who wears flip-flops."

It is important to note the gender-related factor here - women go by a different set of rules when it comes to footwear (that's fodder for another post). And there is the factor of context - beach or poolside use.

But by and large, my rule has served me well over the years. Naturally, there are exceptions - a former client who was nicknamed "flip-flop". Flip Flop was in fact a great guy and fantastic client. In fact, he stands out as the one true exception that comes to mind.

Though times and styles may change, some basic principals are timeless. And one of these is that ones attire (footwear or otherwise) should render one ready to do at least some productive activity. Flip-flops, by their nature, scream BEACH PARTY, and are more appropriate for spring break and a keg than for any real productive work. Any footwear that does not attach securely to one's feet is wholly unsuited to productive activity. (Sandals, by comparison, are pretty handy and comfortable and offer all of the comfort of flip-flops without any of the slackiness. Or the annoying sound effects.)

I also know that for the gen X or Y er, that these ubiquitous but annoying contraptions are considered to render them ready for "work". The only problem being that work for them is seen as some activity for which they are paid large sums of money based entirely on the fact that they managed to land a job as a computer geek or something. Thus rendering themselves worthy of such rewards even though their chief accomplishment in life is the total lack of accomplishment - he looks like a slacker-geek, therefore he must be BRILLIANT!!! God forbid someone should hire a 30-year old! Everyone knows that "these kids are soooo smart nowadays"!!

And lest we forget (or you haven't noticed) most peoples feet are just ugly as hell. No two ways about it. I don't really want to see that. Nobody does. Add to that the aforemetioned annoying sound effect, and the only conclusion possible is that the flip-flopping of our nation must stop NOW!!!!