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Updated: 11/25/02

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Monday, 25 November, 2002

There is something deeply satisfying about doing a good deed. I was walking to work, a couple of blocks from my office, where they are doing (loud) demolition of a building. As the light changed and I began to cross the street, I noticed a blind man with a white cane pausing at the corner, unsure of whether the light had turned. I stopped and went back to him and asked if he needed any help. He said, "Yes, please," and took my arm.

I guided him up to the other sidewalk and asked where he was going. "The Bell Atlantic Building," he said, which is across the street from my office building. I explained to him that they are doing demolition and all the sidewalks were torn up, so I would take him around to the back entrance. He said, "No wonder it was so hard for me to hear." I got him to the revolving doors and he said that was fine.

It made me feel good to help, and it also reminded me of a question I read in a survey this weekend: "Would you rather be deaf or blind?" This reinforced my original opnion: I think it would be more difficult to be blind.

[Not that I'm signing up for either one any time soon.]

Had a nice weekend with Mom and dad. I did a little skating on Saturday morning, picked up a rental car and Mom and I went grocery shopping. We came back and got Dad and went to see THE HOUSE.

There were 6-7 guys working there - carpenters, electricians, HVAC. The library hardwood floor is in and it looks great. They've gotten most of the sandblasting done and the timbers look much better. They were putting up the railings on the gallery, and the electrician was wiring the monitor window motors. I think Mom and Dad liked it.

We got home and I started getting stuff ready for dinner. Jeff and Lucia arrived around 4:00 and we had a nice relaxing evening. They brought a spinach dip and crackers, along with some wine. I made asparagus and crabcakes with shrimp stuffing - unfortunately, Lucia is allergic to crabmeat, so she got shrimp with shrimp stuffing. We had cheesecake with marinated strawberries for dessert.

On Sunday, Mom and Dad went with Jeff and Lucia up to Bucks County, north of Philadelphia. They tried to see Washington's Crossing, but it was closed for a practice of the re-enactment in December. They had lunch and got back around 2:30. Dad and I watched football while Mom took a nap. We had a simple dinner of parmesan chicken caesar salad. I think they're all venturing out somewhere today, and then Jeff and Lucia are having dinner at Le Bec Fin tonight. Ron, Pam and Muriel all arrive late tonight!

[Suki will be SO happy!]

News from Sicily:

A volcanic island submerged off the coast of Sicily for the last 170 years could reappear in the coming weeks if furious seismic rumblings continue, Italy's chief seismologist said Monday.

Formed by the tip of a submerged volcano, the island last popped up in 1831, sparking a diplomatic spat among several nations, before it sank beneath the Mediterranean waves six months later.

The volcano's peak now sits just 26 feet under water about 19 miles south of Sicily, near Tunisia.

Over the centuries, the island has emerged four times, with underwater volcanic eruptions first recorded during the first Punic War of 264-241 BC. The last emergence on July 2, 1831, caused months of international wrangling with four nations making territorial claims including Britain, Spain and the Bourbon court of Sicily.

The rock, which rose some 213 feet above the surface and had a circumference of about three miles, emerged for six months, giving the British time to claim it as Graham Island, while Sicily's King Ferdinand II called it Ferdinandea. Scientists refer to it as Graham Bank, but Italians still call it Ferdinandea.

This time, Sicilian divers have gone down and planted a flag on the rock in the hope of claiming it as Italian the moment it rises above the surface, Boschi said.

[Talk about your beachfront property!]

"SSSS-pockkkkkk!!" OK, all you Star Trek fans out there. No, no, I mean the real Star Trek, not those imposter Star Trek series wannabees. Here is The Standardized Should I Stalk William Shatner Test, by Max Burbank. Here's a sample question:

T.J.Hooker was:

a. Another TV hero played by William Shatner.
b. Only palatable if you’d be willing to sit through a totally unnecessary root canal just to see Heather Locklear in a police uniform.
c. Described by Nostradamus as the herald of global annihilation.
d. Not a part of the William Shatner canon! It never happened, do you understand? When forced to confront its existence I have to bite the inside of my mouth raw and smash myself in the temple hard enough to make the bad thought go!

Also on the Apeculture website is Haikus for Skymall. Those of you who fly know all about Skymall, the catalog that one is forced to thumb through when one forgets one's book on a flight. Some of the contributors at Apeculture developed a series of Haiku about the items. A couple of my favorites:

I'm so proud, my great
Country has invented pop-
Up hot dog cookers

High school nerd becomes
CEO, buys overpriced
Lord of the Rings crap

[Must be a blind high school nerd.]

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"It is not miserable to be blind; it is miserable to be incapable of enduring blindness."

-- John Milton (1608 - 1674) English poet, essayist

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