Saturday, June 14, 2008


Just recently I purchased a book on a recommendation of a friend. The book is called Shantaram. I haven't started it yet because I'm still reading a book by Richard L. Holm called 'The American Agent.' The latter I know is good, and I recommend it to all of you. Especially if you don't like the CIA.

FYI - Everything the CIA does is known to three groups before it does anything: the President, the National Security Council and select senate and congressional oversight committees. However, if they screw up, all three of those groups deny culpability and blame it on the CIA. If they are successful, you don't hear about them, but the President gets all the credit. Not to say that the CIA hasn't screwed up in the past, but they've got an unfair portion of the blame. It's a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' catch-22 for them. Often they are told to do something by the President that they don't want to do, but have to, then get blamed when it doesn't work. Anyway...I'm rambling.

But let me just say one thing about Shantaram. This caught me immediately. Here is the 'About the Author' section:

"Gregory David Roberts was born in Melbourne, Australia. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for a series of armed robberies, he escaped and spent ten of his fugitive years in Bombay - where he established a free medical clinic for slum-dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay mafia. Recaptured, he served out his sentence, and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. Roberts is now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay."

I think that's all I need to say. Read the book.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Abu Dhabi buys New York.

Well here's some good news for those of you who think there isn't any: Abu Dhabi, the massive middle eastern investment firm, has just bought the Chrysler building in New York. Yippeee!!!! There's nothing better than abusive sultans and their buddies who live off oil largesse buying up art deco icons that dominate the New York skyline, while most of their fellow countrymen starve. It's just so thrilling. I hear the next thing they're buying is the Washington Memorial. It will look so nice with an onion head hat on top of it (I always worried that someone would get hurt with that pointy spire).

But, I saw this glorious day coming. The Manhattan GM building was sold off to the Kuwaitis and Qataris weeks ago. I love it. With our real estate slump, these guys are a Godsend. I hope they replace the horse cops in New York with camel cops. That will be great. And maybe they'll sell flying carpets on street corners...and crazy gypsies will tell Shaharazade and her 1001 Nights to passers by. Living the dream New York. Living the dream.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Tonight at 10:30pm my brother and I are holding gladiatorial games at our house. I have thus far put 2 benches, 4 chairs, and a tent on the roof for viewing of the 'arena.' It should be a very exciting and abusive event. We will have 2 on 2 battles, the individual tournament and chariot races. And, as my brother is going back to Mexico and Haiti to make more documentaries for humanitarian projects, people are asked to bring a little contribution if possible to help the people of those regions. Proceeds will go to covering some of my brothers limited expenses and anything beyond that feeds the hungry.

But, I want to point something out for a moment. Gladiatorial games originally were dreadfully horrid affairs with carnage, death, and debauchery. They were something the Romans did to entertain their citizens so the government could sway public opinion in their favor and get people to look away from their frequent ineptitude. However, as we have our event this evening, we do it for a charitable cause. To elucidate the plight of the voiceless. To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and bring peace to the war-ravaged nations and peoples of the earth. So while the event is violent, competitive, and even fun, the effect is peace, unity, and love. Just an interesting juxtaposition.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Now it is time for our word of the week. And yes, I know I've never had a word of the week. I doubt I will ever do this again (blatant lie). The word is 'fledgling.' Here is a use: The young fledgling company was unstable at best.

Here's what Merriam-Webster says:

often attributive
1 : a young bird just fledged
2 : an immature or inexperienced person
3 : one that is new a fledgling company

But something that occurred to me is that fledgling, when made plural sounds like something we on earth would be referred to as by aliens. Like 'We are coming to annihilate the fledglings!' However, I think there are a lot of people who could never be considered fledglings. For instance, Chuck Norris is not a fledgling. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwartzeneggar and Bruce Lee also fit into this category of 'non-fledgling.' I would like to think that I am not a fledgling, but then again I can't do the splits and knock out 7 people at the same time with one round house kick.

But then again, I am a young bird, and I fledge all the time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Spiderman is real. And, he's French. I know that is a blow to some of you, but you're just going to have to deal with it. His name is Alain Robert. He climbs tall buildings with the greatest of ease and he doesn't even need web junk spewing out of his palms. He uses a chalk bag on occasion instead.

Alain Robert has been climbing the world's tallest buildings for some time now. He does not ask permission (because he's Spiderman) and when wants to climb one he simply goes to the city that has the building, finds the building, and up he goes. He generates quite a spectacle, and people tend to gather down below, or stop working to watch him climb from a nearby office building. Typically when he reaches the top the police are waiting there for him. However, to date, no one has prosecuted him (you can't prosecute Spiderman).

So a couple days ago he climbed the New York Times building carrying a banner about global warming, and our impending doom if we didn't do something. The banner read, "Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week." Well, it's one thing if Spiderman is saving Mary Jane and attacking Doctor Octopus, but when he starts going political I start to lose respect, especially when you start comparing global warming to terrorism. The only way he's going to gain it back is if he carries my banner about global cooling to the top of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia (which, consequently, he has already climbed).

Monday, June 9, 2008


My Nana is a great woman. Born and bred in the heartland of America, Indiana; she knows how to get things done the Hoosier way. Nana's house is an efficient machine - it runs like clockwork, day in, day out. She is very kind, but she will not be crossed (nor should she be). But with all her organized ways and my allusions to machinery I thought of calling the way she does things something you may all find familiar: Nanatech. I know what you're thinking, "It's nanotech Michael, you're so silly." Well, I think it's worthwhile to point out the similarities.

When we say nanotech - we mean bite size technology.
My Nana stands barely 5 feet off the ground.

When we say nanotech we think of high tech organization.
Nana has the menu of every meal planned out for years.

When we say nanotech we inevitably think of ipods, microchips, and spider gadgets from Minority Report.
My Nana does not own an iPod and is scared to death of spiders.

So I guess that is where the similarity ends. I love my Nana, and I wouldn't trade her for any nanotech ever. I like my Nanatech.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Snickers, please wait.

I'm sure you are all somewhat familiar with the snickers ads "Why Wait?" Here are some reasons to wait:

1. Snickers are not as good as milky way bars (debatable, talk amongst yourselves)
2. You might be allergic to peanuts
3. You could choke on a peanut
4. You have no idea what a 'nougat' is
5. You prefer ice cream
6. You prefer real food
6 1/2. You are going on a strict grass and sand diet
7. You think that the snickers are laughing at you and not with you (true.)
8. Swedish fish are made in Canada, and you don't really like Canadians, but you do like Swedish fish more than Snickers
9. Snickers look like wild animal scat
10. You had a traumatizing experience on Halloween as a little kid when a teenager ripped up your costume, smashed the pumpkins outside of your house, and stuffed your face full of pre-opened, tainted snickers bars
11. Even if Landon Donovan endorses snickers, the US still hasn't won a world cup (and you only eat candy bars that win world cups)
12. You mom said that if you spoil your dinner with snickers you don't get any pie.
13. Your mom has a stash of York peppermint patties somewhere, and snickers suck compared to them
14. You question why you are still reading this list, but have agreed that on some occasions you will not eat snickers
15. You will always eat snickers and do exactly what the Mars marketing group tells you to