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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stock up on auxiliary labels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Headache pills increase chance of car crash, says study

Next time you take a headache tablet, take care on the roads. New research reveals that taking everyday drugs such as ibuprofen can increase the chances of a car crash by 50 per cent.

Other pills are even worse. Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health matched prescription drug use with road accidents among about three million people. They looked at seven groups of commonly prescribed drugs including natural opium alkaloids such as codeine and morphine, benzodiazepine tranquillisers, anti-asthmatic drugs and penicillin.

During the research period, 79 per cent of the men and women had drugs on prescription. Among those involved in an accident as driver, 82 per cent had drugs on prescription. One theory is that some of the drugs may have a detrimental effect on the central nervous system.

"Further studies are needed to clarify a possible important central nervous system effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Nsaids, which include ibuprofen) on driving ability," say the researchers, whose study is based on 13,000 car accidents involving personal injury.

Those on prescription drugs had a 40 per cent increased risk. The risk was threefold for users of tranquillisers, 3.3 times for hypnotic benzodiazepines, and double for users of natural opium alkaloids. Smaller increases were found for Nsaids and asthmatics of up to 50 per cent, and for penicillin, 10 per cent.


Anyone else think that maybe those suffering from headaches or syphilis are worse drivers than those not so afflicted?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I have shot my monkey, Klaus, into space, because art is dead.

The guy on the channel 9 news said we should have an inventory of our valuables...in case the place burns down. Our fireproof safe is only fireproof for 30 minutes (and there is no way I am running into a burning building to save a copy of my birth certificate), so I thought I would post my vast inventory of wealth right here, like a Soviet display of force.


Our art collection seemed to be the natural place to start, as one of the artists had recently asked me for photos of her work. Hopefully, somebody will ask me for a picture of my stereo or couch before the next fire.

Duality--Painted by a starving Romanian artist, the frame was far more expensive than the painting.


Boats on the _______(?)--Can't remember the name of this one. Painted by a more prolific Romanian artist, the painting was slightly more expensive than the frame.


Fish--Or was that "Fishy"? A signed J. Kwon original, notice the abstract nature of the orange betta swimming in green water.


Untitled--A signed J. Kwon original, sometimes referred to as "Naked Woman". I have been thinking of naming her: "Spring Break!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or possibly: "See My Breasts".

Thursday, October 25, 2007



All this fire has made me thirsty. I've been thinking of switching martinis. Here's the Official Bond Martini (from Casino Royal).
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'A dry martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.'

'Oui, monsieur.'

'Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?'

'Certainly, monsieur.' The barman seemed pleasant with the idea.

'Gosh that's certainly a drink,' said Leiter.

Bond laughed. 'When I'm ... er ... concentrating.' he explained, 'I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name.'

He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of the shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip.

'Excellent,' he said to the barman, 'but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better.'

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Back to the fires: No, we are in no danger from the Great OC Fire of '07...except for all the smoke that's been blowing our way. I cannot believe there are people outside my building smoking in all this smoke.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

To the best of my knowledge, in the history of American cinema, there has only been one movie with a joke involving Simchat Torah. Can anyone name the film? Hint: The joke is really only funny because: In the history of American cinema, there has only been one movie with a joke involving Simchat Torah.


P.S. The movie was likely written buy Ashkenazi Jews (the script might say Simchas Torah).

Friday, October 05, 2007

35 in the new 25 (II).

That is so not true. Middle age sucks. Hmmmn, my post from a year ago was much funnier than today's. Am I suffering from a decline in mental acuity? Actually, I'm planning on living to 90, so maybe I am not quite middle aged yet....

Speaking of funny, my year-long efforts at a joke have been thwarted. Last January, I told the guy who was keeping track of such things that my birthday was on December 25th. (Hey, Jesus wasn't born on December 25th either, so what could be more christ-like than celebrating my birthday on Christmas?) Unfortunately, I only made it through 4 hours of work before someone leaked my secret. I do not understand how you women can keep track of my birthday. Do you have some secret computer program that reminds you of these things?
Accomplishment for the week:

I finally got the computer to display streaming video on my television. You are probably thinking that this is not much of an accomplishment...I should mention that my computer is over 5 years old, and had no video outputs (except for the monitor, if that counts as a video output). Sure, a lesser man may have used this as an opportunity to purchase a new computer. At any rate, I am now able to watch even more television.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Hebrew has gotten worse, but my Italian has gotten better.

Conversation with Larry, the tour mechanic during Kol Nidre services at the synagogue in Siena:

Larry: When is he going to do something I recognize?

Me: Ashamnu is coming up in a couple of pages.

Larry: Yeah, but they won't be doing my tune.


The rabbi actually spoke no Italian during the service; only rapid fire Hebrew. Later, we were told that there are only 50 Jews left in Siena, and only 5 show up regularly for services. Even on Kol Nidre, the busiest night of the year at US synagogues, we tourists were required to make a minyon.

Things were a little brighter in Florence, with their 800 Jews (and absolutely fabulous synagogue). The day school was apparently guarded by IDF soldiers. I wanted to talk to one of them, but they kept disappearing.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Only 150 Euro for Alitalia (or was it Delta by then) to leave our bicycle in Atlanta.

The difference between heaven and hell...

IN HEAVEN :

The police are British
The chefs are French
The mechanics are German
The lovers are Italian
and it’s all organized by the Swiss!

IN HELL :

The chefs are British
The mechanics are French
The police are German
The lovers are Swiss
and it’s all organized by the Italians!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm from a city. Doesn't make any difference what city; all cities are alike.

Alternative title was: "What have the Romans ever done for us?"



Ruins are cool, and all, but I did not care much for Rome. Too much traffic and too much graffiti.

Florence also had too much traffic and too much graffiti...and too damn much pornography. Here's a picture I like to call: "Nico with giant naked man (with small penis)".
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344 pictures, many of them blurry. Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Old woman in Siena. I made her famous (people with better cameras decided to take the same picture after I shot this one). All the buildings in Siena lean up against each other--please notice the support arches crossing the alley at the top of the frame. Our tour guide in Volterra would have called these Etruscan arches, but in Siena they are Roman arches.

2) Rainbow over Ponte Vecchio (Florence). By the time I figured out how to adjust the camera for proper rainbow photography, the sun, the rain, and the rainbow had all disappeared.

3) Under the Tuscan moon, AKA: View from the roof of our hotel (Florence).

4) A short film I have titled: "Bicycling is for suckers". Really, for not that much more than a tandem tour of Italy, you can take a Ferrari tour of Italy.