Some thoughts

As of now its in the middle of a identity crisis, I am not sure which way its headed.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

This off Bloomberg:

How Turkey Escaped Ax at White House, Won Trip to Disneyland

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Tomorrow, 45 million turkeys will complete their grim journey from farm to supermarket to America's Thanksgiving dinner tables.

Not Marshmallow. He's going to Disneyland.

Marshmallow, a 40-pound bird with snow-white, silken feathers, is this year's national Thanksgiving turkey. So instead of the ax he gets an official pardon, bestowed yesterday by President George W. Bush.

``The granting of the turkey pardon is not a responsibility that I take lightly,'' Bush said in Washington. The name of the honoree, he added, was chosen by the public on the White House Web site in ``a neck-and-neck race.''

That's the kind of thing the national turkey has to put up with. Also yesterday, there were those 50 school kids who made a beeline for the bird after the president invited them up to ``pet the turkey.''

For the most part, life is good for the national turkey.

Marshmallow and Yam (his stand-in should Marshmallow be unable to perform his duties) arrived in town a day before the big event, chauffeured in a rented minivan by friends of the National Turkey Federation. The trade group represents the likes of the Butterball Turkey unit of Omaha-based ConAgra Foods Inc. and Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods Corp., the country's biggest turkey processor.

`Like Royalty'

The travelers, turkeys and humans alike, spent the night at the Hotel Washington, a marble-lobbied hotel near the White House that has hosted the past 30 national turkeys. Marshmallow and Yam spent the night on soft pine shavings in the kitchen of the hotel's top-floor restaurant.

``This bird is treated like royalty,'' said Abel Anane, the hotel's director of food and beverages. A human would pay $195 to $225 for a room on the same floor. The turkeys were comped.

Marshmallow and Yam probably have it better than any of the other turkeys that have been pardoned since President Harry S. Truman made it an annual tradition 58 years ago. (Abraham Lincoln was the first president to pardon a turkey, because his son Tad had adopted the would-be Thanksgiving meal as a pet.)

For the past 15 years, the pardoned birds were sent into retirement at a 1930s-replica farm in nearby Virginia called Frying Pan Park. The name derives from the town, and nothing sinister, though Bush noted yesterday that the turkeys might be understandably skeptical.

Grand Marshals

After the ceremony this year the birds took a motorcade to Washington Dulles International Airport, where they rested in the first-class section of a United Airlines flight (dubbed ``Turkey One'') to Anaheim, California. Tomorrow, Marshmallow and Yam will serve as honorary Grand Marshals for Disneyland's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

``I talked it over with the turkeys,'' said National Turkey Federation Chairman Pete Rothfork, ``and they thought it would be a good idea.'' The birds will then live in retirement in a petting zoo at Disneyland.

By virtue of his position, Rothfork, along with turkey expert Jim Trites, got to pick this year's national turkey. It's an honor that rotates with the chairmanship of the turkey federation, which considers the presidential pardon the alpha and omega of product promotion.

The bird that would become Marshmallow was hatched on a 10,000-turkey commercial farm in Henning, Minnesota. Rothfork and Trites picked 24 prospects in September. Trites, a veterinarian specializing in poultry for Elanco Animal Health, a unit of drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co., housed the birds near his lake home in Minnesota, building a pen with a separate water line for them.

Social Skills

A couple of weeks before the trip to Washington, Trites thinned out the flock, sending 13 birds off to be someone's dinner. The ones that make the cut, so to speak, have to strut, have ``attitudes,'' and ``talk a lot,'' Trites said. Only once, in 2002, was a hen chosen as the national turkey, because the chairman felt she was the ``most regal bird,'' said Sherrie Rosenblatt, spokeswoman for the turkey federation.

Days before leaving for Washington, Trites chose the final two turkeys. The nine other finalists will stay in their pen until Christmas, when they too will, well, you know.

As part of the preparations the 24 nominees underwent ``socializing'' in case they made it to the big photo-op with the president. The birds' handlers talked to them, stroked them, and, this year, played Disney parade music for them.

This socializing is important because the birds have been known to get nervous during the ceremony. One national turkey caused a stir by flapping its wings at Ronald Reagan. Talk circulated of a ``doping scandal'' when subsequent honorees were more docile.

Vote Count

Joel Brandenberger, senior vice president of legislative affairs for the turkey federation, said the speculation is unfounded. He points to 1991, when he had to run down a rambunctious national turkey. He recalls President George H.W. Bush subtly indicating to Brandenberger that the lobbyist had a feather stuck to his lapel following the ruckus.

The Bush administration opened the naming of the national birds up to the public in 2003. The number of votes cast this year fell 35 percent to 12,726 from 19,581 last year, according to the White House Web site.

The voting was for pre-selected pairs of names. ``Marshmallow and Yam'' received 27 percent of the total, edging out ``Wattle and Snood,'' which got 26 percent. ``Democracy and Freedom'' and ``Blessing and Beauty'' each got 20 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Kelly Proctor at

Monday, November 21, 2005

Get out, and dont come back

It seems as if there is never a dull moment in Israeli politics, we run from one election to the next almost as if its a national sport.

These next couple of months will most likely see which direction the Israeli public wants to be taken, one would hope that Sharon's new party gets no more then 5 seats, so that him and Olmret can go home for good. The ultra religious parties don't deserve much either, after having backed the disengagement, all for a measly 290 million NIS. Shas on the other could use another few.

Usually, I couldn't really care about which way the polls go in the holy land, but it is three in the morning, and I cant sleep, so I may as well get some finger exercise while listening to the doors.

Another interesting thing I realized tonight, is that there are lots of interesting people out in biosphere, some know where they are going, while not sure where they are coming from, other know where they are, but are looking for direction, and others are just plain lost. What I figure is that most people who have it found, don't really hang out here... :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

From my inbox...

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.
How about achieving 103%?
What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96 %

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100 %

2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103 %

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit that will put you over the top!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Never Forget

Flipping thru some video clips I downloaded a few months ago, tears roll down my face.

This picture is of a house that belonged to a man who gave all for what he thought was his country, a house where I used to hang out quite often, the small white ledge which remained was part of the porch where we sat.

Some places you don't return to because they are far away, this one was given away to people who want us dead.


Friday, November 11, 2005

The Trumpet in Jewish Music

Whenever I would speak with some friends of mine about Jewish music, a few of them would always complain about excessive use of the trumpet in all Jewish music.

Sitting up close tonight by the Ohel Concert I finally figured out why. As it turns out the theme of tonight's concert was 36 years of Yisroel Lamm as a Conductor/Arranger/Composer, so one of the pieces was played by the original members of the Negina, with Yisroel Lamm on the Trumpet...

Thursday, November 10, 2005