VIDEO: ‘Gentle Soul’ by Angel Eyes

Angel Tears is the duo of Momi Ochion (Israel) and Seb Taylor (UK). Ochion, whose roots lie in Israeli pop and world fusion music, is the melody man of the duo—the brain behind the compositional aspects of the album and a lot of the studio work. Sebastian James Taylor, who composes and performs much of the material, lives in London and is known for his work with the electronic groups Kaya Project, Shakta, and Digitalis. Other members include various vocalists whose intoxicating vocals and chants lend the music its exotic flair. — Wikipedia

Thank You John Paul II … your legacy is greater than your fans know

Recently I was reminded that my days are numbered and that I face terminal velocity in life.

I expect however to putter along at slow speed for another 30 or 40 years yet so please make no plans to drink freely at my expense at my wake.

A dear Catholic friend was/is very concerned for me because I am a cultist, damned Unitarian. A heretic. (Shouldn’t cults have leaders and secret ceremonies, and beautiful half-naked women on slabs of cold granite about to be sacrificed to the IRS in lieu of actual payment?)

Anyway, I am not a cultist and don’t know any Unitarians that are. We are in search of truth, not purveyors of truth.

To make a long story short, I informed my buddy that Pope John Paul II had himself assured me that I too am eligible for heaven (should such a thing exist).

Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical in 1990 called Redemptoris missio.

Within Redemptoris missio, Section 10:

“The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.”

I do believe in God, although I cannot define what God is. God is the great I am. The Bible alludes to gods living in heaven, beings other than angels or deceased/reborn souls — so whether God is singular or plural doesn’t really matter to me. I am in search of God, not a dogma of the unknowable.

So I would like to close with this thought:

 Dalai Lama offers a BIG thought

Since taxes follow us even into death then helping others may not actually be our prime purpose. Yet, it is a positive life-giving thought, however.

Grammar Nazis … once upon a time when I was younger

From an early age I studied foreign languages.

Perhaps they were not foreign languages to foreigners but they were to me. For example, once upon a time in fourth grade a Canadian family moved into the neighborhood. Their English was understandable … even though they were foreigners. (Or is Canada really just a stealth constellation of northern U.S. states that are too shy to openly …? Oh, never mind).


My first love of foreign languages was French, until I went to France and found out that they all spoke horribly terribly bad French.

Much later in life I studied Latin as I wanted to improve my ability to read Spanish newspapers. It kinda works. The French helps too as I just slur any word that I don’t understand and then it all makes sense.

Anyway, have found the following video of great comfort over the years.


Once I came of age to join the military (17) then I did. Noting my ability and desire to study languages, the Army gave me a test called a DLAB – Defense Language Ability Battery. Battery usually conjures up images of violence and foulmouthedness, however in this instance I had one hour to take a test and answer questions based upon a made-up language. Either you know how language parses or you don’t. (Later I found out that I don’t but somehow still passed the test).

After taking the test and getting the results back I was informed that I had done well enough to study almost any foreign language. English was excluded. I was instructed to make three choices, and I was to get one of those three choices.

My three choices were: Russian, German and French.

Russians were the kingsized bad guys in those days so I figured that there was a career in speaking Russian. Failing to get Russian, I had always wanted to travel to Germany … and since there were lots of American troops in Germany then speaking German would come in handy (and it did, but I had to learn it on my own from some longhaired dictionaries). My third choice was French since I already was capable of mangling the language and since France was near to Germany then pourquoi non?!

Several weeks later the Army sent military orders for me to go Monterey, California to study Czech. I was quick to point out that Czech was not one of my three choices. My study of language was essential training for entry into military intelligence. Quickly I realized that anything can be rationalized without much thought necessary: Czech sounded like Russian and I would be living in Germany, which was near to France, so in essence: learning Czech granted me all three of my wishes at once.

Later in life, after leaving Germany, I did finally study Russian in a proper academic setting. Along the way I self-taught myself Russian using the University of Chicago’s Russian for Czech Speakers handbook — which really is an easy transition in the context of already being a Czech speaker (although Czech listener would be a more appropriate description).

Throughout my travails as a student linguist I ran into many grammar Nazis: Mrs. Williams in French, Pan Benes in Czech, and … there were more.

It was Mrs. Williams and French however that made me feel most at risk of being a total failure in life. And so I dedicate the following video to my memory of Mrs. Williams, my eighth grade French AND science teacher — amazingly I passed French with a B but she flunked me in science and I had to go to summer school, which perhaps it is perverse to say that I enjoyed immensely as I’m a people person and I got to meet lots of new people.

View Grammar Nazi video — embedding of the video is forbidden so you will have to actually click the link. Apologies for the inconvenience. Damned Nazis.

Feb 10th – Coffee time in Honolulu – Am drinking Lion brand today.

Am in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Hale Koa Resort Hotel. Come have coffee and cake with me today as I host the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), SAIC and URS as they recruit some of Hawaii’s best and brightest.

Time for coffee/meet: 10AM-3PM Pacific Time

Will be at Fort DeRussy Beach from 7PM onward; fireworks at 7:45PM … you are welcome to join me then too.


One of the pleasures of being in Hawaii is to be able to drink Lion Coffee.

Hawaii Bound … Jawohl. Leben ist gut!

Am getting stuff ready for my Hawaii trip.

I love travel — as long as it is not a matter of go there, turn around and almost immediately come back. I like to linger … linger at least long enough to adjust to the time zone.

On this trip will be in Hawaii for a week, return home for several days and then am off to Germany.

From tropical paradise to winter paradise … a schnell transition from shorts and flip flops to heavy overcoat and boots. My life.

My life — which I love as long as I get some lingering in there.

So I may be traveling to paradise twice over BUT I assure you that it is all work. Just work. Only work.

Hawaii: My seminar and my hosting of the Defense Intellgence Agency


Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and some stars (Humor)

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping in the forest. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they went to sleep in the tent.

Several hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend, Watson.

“Look at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson answered: “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“And what does that tell you?”

Watson thought a minute and answered: “Astronomically, that tells me that there are potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I see that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, I deduce that it is approximately three ten AM. Theologically, I see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically I suspect that we shall have a beautiful day tomorrow.”

Holmes was quiet for a minute and then said: “Watson, you are an idiot. Someone stole our tent.”

Borrowed from a FB posting by William Corzine, who got it from Terence Weyenberg.

About my Toshiba Thrive Droid Tablet

The Toshiba Thrive is an incredible tablet, and a great deal for the $$$ … costing only $$ instead of $$$$.

The Thrive offers a full-size HDMI connector allowing you to connect to large screen TVs and other devices, a full-size USB connector which lets you connect to almost anything, a mini-USB connector and a full-size SDcard slot … the Thrive gives you ‘full-size’ everything as standard … most tablets give you NADA or just the mini-size.

Thrive’s screen is just crystal clear and Toshiba built some really useful tools into the Thrive such as a file manager that immediately senses and reads any data cards that you may plug in.

>>> Get the 16GB Thrive for $399 (but available often for $369). You don’t need the largest memory onboard like an iPad or most other Droids because the Thrive can live off of cheap SD memory cards.

Thoughts on using a tablet instead of a laptop.

Thoughts on using a tablet instead of a laptop.

I love my tablets. Tons of useful stuff to do with them. However … they can’t replace a laptop.

My tablets: iPad 1 & 2, Toshiba Thrive, Motorola Xoom, and HTC Sensational — some months back we starting redesigning all of our many blogs and websites, and wanted to make sure that they worked across devices.

>>>>> Our tracking software shows that about 5% of our current customer base uses tablets to access our website; gross visitor rate per day varies between 2,500-9,000 users.

For my tablets I use a wireless keyboard as well .. AND a mouse (although mice work with Droids but not iPads). A mouse can make some work much faster and lets you use the tablet at higher resolution — which doesn’t coexist well with FAT fingers.

>>>>> Recommended keyboard for either iPad or Droids:

For many business functions neither the iPad nor the Droids can handle data intensive functions.

Example: I use ConstantContact to write my newsletters to my almost 74,000 subscribers … but cannot get the cut-and-paste function to work correctly on either device. Cut-and-paste works for small snippets but … ConstantContact also usually crashes within a minute of trying to edit a newsletter.

>>>>>  No ConstantContact app yet exists except for viewing stats, so have been using the regular website interface.

Example: Both the iPad/Droids go to sleep when running remoted database programs that take more than 30-45 seconds to complete … 2-5 minutes being normal to make a successful data pull. On iPad, once you switch a web window the process stops. On most Droids the process continues but if the particular window is not open it will eventually stop. Hamburger/cheeseburger … not much difference.

Example: I have not found tablet wordprocessing and graphics software that are up to the task of editing my book-sized Career Guide online. Current tools are rudimentary and slow, slow where they exist and many do not yet exist.

Example: An option for full use of regular PC/Mac tools is to use GoToMyPC and to work on your regular laptop. Great idea — have used it for years. But is buggy on both iPad/Droid and my edit sessions often disappear in mid-sentence … kinda like my wife’s attention span when I get on a diatribe.

Example: Basic audio and video editing remains very basic (almost unusable) on tablets.

… Anyway, just thought to update you on my several months of attempted use of tablets and their ability to replace a laptop. Verdict: laptops are safe for 2012.