25.june.2006 - Just read about a (35-year) Duke University study which claims Americans' circle of close friends is shrinking. (Notice the word: close.)
I found this report noteworthy cuz I just started reading a new book titled: A Thousand Paths to Friendship, which contains hundreds (thousands?) of quotes on the topic of Friendship.
If you're a regular, you know I've been dropping an occasional quote from this book. Not sure why I started doing this; it just felt like the right thing to do.
Many of the quotes published in the book use the phrase "true friend," which (I assume) implies the existence of friends who are less-than-true, or untrue (false). Mere acquaintances, perhaps.
For me, true friendship (as referenced in the book) boils down to one thing: trust. You can trust a true friend with things you simply can't share with anyone else.
And if you can't trust a friend with your most intimate secrets, are they really a friend? How far can you go with someone you can't trust? .. or depend on?
Things I learned at my recent Co-parenting classes (taught by PhD's) seem to support these ideas.
Remainder of today's friendly entry is cont'd in the blog. See here:> Friendship.
23.june.2006 - Played Rad dad (with the little guy) these past few days. Had one of our best weeks yet.
At nearly 18 months, he's able to get around pretty well .. with those short, stubby legs of his, and learning new words every week. His favorite word is 'side .. short for outside, which is where he wants to go the moment he wakes .. the little outdoorsman.
Most surprising is to see him climb so easily (at the playground). Must have a bit of monkey in him. He motors right up the bars, and comes sailing down the slide. Makes me a little nervous.
Yesterday, a boy (in his late teens or early 20's) came walking out of Mother's Market, where the little guy and I were sharing a water buffalo yogurt. (One spoon for him, one for me. Yogurt all over his face.)
The boy (talking on his cell phone) passed by, then stopped, turned and stared .. before saying, "That kid is sooo cute." You could tell from his voice he was genuinely impressed.
Now it's not unusual for the little guy to stop women dead in their tracks, but it has never happened with a boy before. When women say things like, "Sooo cute," I normally respond with a playful, "Who? Me or him?" =)
The remainder of today's paternal entry is cont'd in the blog. See here:> Rad Dad does Emergency Surgery
21.june.2006 - Summer begins! Officially began this morning at 11:26 (PDT) here on the left coast. Monster surf rolling in here in sunny SoCal.
I took a bike ride with Miss Julie down the Balboa Peninsula .. to "the Wedge," which sits at the very end of the Peninsula, famous for its bone-crushing waves.
The local newspaper (Daily Pilot) sported headlines: Heavy surf at Wedge, reporting waves of 12-feet (4 meters)...
... I think they measure wave height from normal sea level to the top. But a huge *trough* develops in front of each wave, so the *face* looked much bigger: closer to 20 foot (6 or 7 meters)...
.. and when they break >> it's thunderous. The ground shakes. Awesome display of nature's power. Captivating.
ABC7 Eyewitness News had *4* trucks there at the Wedge. They also had a guy in the water, wearing a helmet-mounted camera. (Talk about a hazardous job.)
The remainder of today's gnarly entry is continued in the blog. See here:> Giant Waves at the Wedge, Body-surfing Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach
20.june.2006 - Frontline is my favorite TV show. They delve into topics avoided by most network programming, such as The Torture Question, The Meth Epidemic and The Age of AIDS .. and they do so with a high degree of professionalism, always cramming an incredible amount of information into a 1-hour (or 2-hour) show. Quality.
Tonight's show is titled The Dark Side (after a term used by Dick Cheney in an interview, describing the method the US will be using fighting the new war aganst terrorists) .. about the controversy surrounding the decision, following 9-11, to invade Iraq, instead of pursue Al Queda, pitting Cheney & Rumsfeld against (former CIA director) George Tenet.
The remainder of today's jounalistic entry is cont'd in the blog. See here: Favorite TV Show: Frontline.
19.june.2006 - Paid a visit, yesterday, to the ultra-swanky health club at Lake Shore Towers in Irvine (on Von Karman Ave). I've always wanted to see what the inside looked like. (Must've driven by it a hundred times.)
The Lake Shore Towers club is a ritz-ier facility than my membership allows, but 24 Hour Fitness is allowing it (temporarily) to help alleviate the inconvenience caused by the current remodeling of my regular club (in Newport Beach).
The place is huge, shaped like a giant airplane hanger (curved ceiling, windows at each end). Contains several levels, with a giant basketball court in the center.
To give you an idea how big it is, there's a 1/8th mile track on the upper level. (Eight trips around make one mile.)
The coolest part was a rock-climbing wall that towers up 40 or 50 feet .. altho I couldn't try that cuz no instructor was present.
The remainder of today's athletic entry is continued in the blog. See here:> Ultra-Swanky 24 Hour Fitness Club at Lake Shore Towers in Irvine
18.june.2006 - Father's day. Can't say I feel particularly happy, tho. Bittersweet might be a better description.
My own dad died a dozen years ago. And today isn't one of the days I normally get the little guy, soooo... it's kinda just a regular day here.
I have many thoughts on the subject of parenting & fatherhood. And (for me) it all boils down to this: when the little guy is smiling & laughing (he's 18 months), all is well in the world; and when he's miserable (sick, etc.), it's not.
His favorite thing is to get behind the wheel of the car (standing), with cell phone in one hand (held to his ear) and playing with the stereo's volume knob with the other, sporting a big smile, barely able to contain his glee.
He's all boy. He'll sit with one hand in his diaper, turning pages with the other, looking at pictures of tractors & trucks. =)
17.june.2006 - Reminder for boxing fans: tonight HBO is airing (not one, but) two championship fights. The first: a rebroadcast of last week's bout, featuring Bernard Hopkins vs (champ) Antonio Tarver .. followed by a live broadcast of tonight's title bout: Winky Wright vs (champ) Jermain Taylor.
The rebroadcast of Hopkins-Taylor could become a classic, as it might be Bernard's final fight (he's 41).
Bernard was the middleweight champ for 10 years, with a record 20 title defenses, until he was defeated by Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor .. (who's defending his title tonight, against Winky Wright).
After losing the middleweight crown (to Jermain), Bernard stepped up, not one, but *two* full weight divisions (14 pounds .. to 175-pound class) to take on light-heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver (who's got a mouth I've never much liked).
Today's pugilistic entry is cont'd in the blog. See here:> HBO Championship Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs Antonio Tarver & Jermain Taylor vs Winky Wright
15.june.2006 - Today is Miss Julie's birthday. She's 38. (Looks 19.) Was born in Santa Monica in '68.
If you've been following developments here in Rad-land, you know how things with Miss Julie were moving along .. rather effortlessly. That's changed. (the sound of tires coming to a screeching halt)
The relationship - I'm sad to say - has been officially downgraded to 'friendship'. "What happened?" Good question. Mistakes were made.
The remainder of today's entry is cont'd in the blog. See here:> Miss Julie's Birthday, Relationship Downgrade
13.june.2006 - Put new tires & brakes on the rear wheels of the Rad-mobile today. Been meaning to do that for some time now.
Since the engine on a Porsche 911 sits in the back, the rear tires wear twice as fast as the front ones, cuz that's where all the weight is, and also cuz the car is rear-wheel driven.
The back tires therefore last only 20-25K miles, whereas the front ones don't need changing until 40 or 50K miles. Tires and brakes are one thing I try to watch closely.
And the engines produces a lot of heat, which helps the rear brakes wear faster, too .. or at least that's what the brake guy told me (crusty ol' geezer).
He said heat was the thing that kills brakes, claiming that's why you now see cars with slotted discs: for better ventilation& cooling. (My discs have no slots.) He also mentioned the Japanese make the best brakes.
The remainer of today's entry is cont'd in the blog. See here: New Tires & Brakes on the Rad-mobile.
12.june.2006 - Seems everywhere I went last week there were signs posted reminding us that Sunday is Father's day .. which made me reflect on my own parenting skills. Most of us, I think, feel we can do a better job than what our parents did.
Both my parents have long since passed (leaving me an orphan), but when I was a kid (growing up in southern Connecticut), I was intrigued by debate surrounding "nature vs nurture" .. as key factors determining our basic personality traits and behavior.
Back then, it occurred to me that *both* these factors (nurture and nature) come to us from our parents, who give us not only our genes (nature) ...
... but also our environment (nurture), in which development occurs, especially in our early years, which psychologists claim are responsible for so much of our basic personality (refer to entry for 16.May).
The remainder of today's entry is cont'd in the blog. See here:> Pre-Father's day thoughts, Nature vs nurture
11.june.2006 - Saw Cars last night .. on the giant screen at the Big Newport. Place was packed (7PM screening).
I enjoyed it. It's an animated feature from the gang at Pixar Animation Studios (recently acquired by Disney) .. same folks who brought you (among others) A Bugs Life, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo.
I've heard Pixar has a whole *building* full of computers, running Linux, on which they render their animated features. Anybody who appreciates technology as much as I do would consider this array a beautiful sight.
If you've done any rendering yourself, you know how looong it can take, and that multiple computers, working together, (called clusters) can significantly speed the process.
BTW, you can purchase a copy of Renderman, the same software Pixar uses to animate its feature length films, for a cool US$1K. Also note tha USC (Los Angeles) has probably the best animation program in the country. See here.
I originally wanted to see this flick at a theater with digital projection (i.e. the Spectrum in Irvine), but the drive was far.
I know from seeing Finding Nemo when it first came out that the images displayed with a digital projector are dramatically superior to those displayed by conventional film methods .. at least for digitally produced animated features. I mean, color saturation, sharpness, crispness, etc. .. were all noticeably better. (Not to imply image quality displayed by conventional projectors suk.)
When Finding Nemo came out, I visited a theater where it was being screened on both conventional and digital projection equipment, where I was able to walk back and forth between both theaters, comparing the images. It was surprising how dramatically better the digitally-projected images appeared.
Reviews for Cars here. Trailers posted here. I especially liked the animated drives thru scenic country landscapes. Made me jones for a getaway to Yosemite.
07.june.2006 - Stepped on the scale yesterday. I'm down to 188 pounds (85 kilos, wearing nothing but a t-shirt). It's been years since I've been below 190.
Not really trying to lose weight, so I hope everything is okay. I mean, I feel healthy enough. Normal stresses of life, but I'm used to them by now.
Still the numbers keep dropping. Probably should make sure my life insurance policy is paid up to date.
The more stress I feel, the more I work out. Been working out a lot lately. Maybe that's where the weight is going.
I also go to movies to help relieve stress ("when the going gets tough..."). It's like visiting a different world for a few hours. (Hey, it beats the bottle.)
Speaking of movies, saw Friends with Money last night. Major chick flick. I was the only guy there (at the Lido). Good reviews. Not bad for a chick flick.
I love the Lido theater (in Newport Beach) .. the last of its kind. I try to support the small independents when I can.
06.june.2006 - As you probably know from ads for the Omen (being released today), today is 6-6-6, a date which occurs once each hundred years, which means this is the only 6-6-6 any of us are likely to see .. in our lifetimes.
Math has always been a favorite subject of mine, or at least one which comes easily (got an 'A' in both Calculus classes) .. so numbers have always held a special place for me.
You're probably also aware of the scripture (Relevation 13) that says:
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
The word calculate in that verse has always intrigued me, cuz I've always felt I could calculate pretty much anything. Just need to know which formula to use.
The only entity that could make everyone receive such a mark (to buy & sell) would be a government, so it doesn't surprise me so many folks these days distrust governments & politicians.
I remember when people were saying Reagan was the anti-Christ, cuz all three of his names (Ronald Wilson Reagan) contained 6 letters (i.e. "the number of his name"). Of course, now they're saying George Bush is the anti-Christ.
Talked to a friend yesterday who said, "I've seen every scary movie ever made, and the only one that really scared me was the Omen." (referring to the original version). Others said similar things .. that movies about things that could really happen scare them most.
When I was a kid, my dad would take the neighborhood kids to see scary movies (in the back of his pick-up). They *loved* that.
I called the Big Newport theater here yesterday, to see if they were going to be screening the Omen (on their giant screen). They said no.
Despite its numerical rarity, today is likely just another day in the life.
Note: today's entry can be found (in its entirety) posted in the blog. See here:> June 6, 2006 = 6-6-6, the Anti-christ.
05.june.2006 - Hey, hey. Today is RADIFIED's anniversary. Hard to believe it's been 6 years since the Rad reactor first went critical. And we've been online ever since. Happy birthday to us.
You can read the very first entry, which is posted at the bottom of this page (scroll down).
Six years is a long time on the web .. kinda like living dog years. You'll find that many sites haven't been online nearly that long. Many of them, as you probably know, have fallen by the wayside.
Even many of the good ones didn't survive the dot.com collapse. (RADIFIED was born amidst the bursting dot.com bubble.)
Much has changed since I made that first entry. Thinking back to those early days, it doesn't even seem like I'm the same person. I certainly don't feel like the same person.
I feel like I've been thru a lot these last six years - both good and bad - and grown as a result. Regulars will recall the recent trials & tribulations.
Old-timers will recall both the joys and heartaches. Gotta admit, we've had fun, while learning a thing or two along the way.
Thru the years, I've always endeavored to write as clearly & concisely as possible, so my readers (for whom I have the utmost respect) are able to grasp what I'm trying to say, with as little effort as possible, so as not to waste their precious time.
This is one place where I feel RADIFIED distinguishes itself, compared to other sites. I mean, if somebody is going to take the time to read what I've written, I want it to be written cleanly as possible.
The best part of having a site like this one is the ability to exchange ideas with so many people .. from all over the planet.
Never ceases to impress me how many intelligent people there are out there, and how much insight they possess .. on a myriad of topics .. and how funny they can be, and helpful.
The first Rad server was physically located in Kansas City. Then my web host, Communitech, was bought by Interland (now web.com?), who put the server on a truck and moved the thing to Atlanta (the little apple).
Recently tho, we've had reliability problems with that old Interland server, so in February I changed hosts and moved the site to Lunarpages, whose servers are physically located in downtown Los Angeles. I'm happy with them.
I'll close today with a random quote taken from my new book on friendship: There is no better provider of friendship than shared adversity.
Note: today's entry is posted (in its entirety) in the blog. See here: RADIFIED's 6-year anniversary.
04.june.2006 - Regarding yesterday's post, about getting frustrated with the little guy, I received a bunch of mail saying things like, "Ah, that's nothing. Let me tell you what *my* kid did."
Great stories. Made me laugh good-n-hard. (Thanks, I needed that.) Maybe I'll post a few of them if I get the chance.
Bottom line: kids will be kids, and it's unfair for parents to take out our frustrations on little ones, who are just being kids. Some regard my experience as one of the "major parenting milestones".
In other news .. giant waves rolled in at the beach here yesterday. Bone crunchers. Had to wait until between sets to jump in and cool off (hot day). Water was freezing.
"Sets" are surfer lingo for a group of big waves that arrive in uh, 'sets' .. usually 7 or so .. before things die down for a while .. until the next 'set' arrives. No beach today, tho, as June gloom has returned.
Saw X-Men Friday nite. It was K-korny. Class 5 sukage. (I liked the first two much better.) And what is all this drama about killing the one you love?
In yet other news, I'm down to 190 pounds .. or as the Dog would say: "190 pounds of blue steel and sex appeal." That would be uh, 86 kilos for you Europeans.
Haven't seen 190 in years. Was tippin' the scales at 210 for quite a while. Sometimes stress can be a good thing.
Speaking of the Dog .. I picked up a new book today, titled A Thousand Paths to Friendship, which consists of 450 pages of quotes about friendship. Challenging times, I've learned, will reveal who are (and aren't) your true friends.
We've all heard the term, fair-weather friend. Proverbs 18:24 says: there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Umm, *that*, my friend, would a dogbrother.
A random quote taken from this book (opened to a random page) says: Friendship is the greatest pleasure we may hope for: and where we find it is not at home, we seek it abroad. Interesting quote, for I happened to meet the Dog in Hawaii, after we both grew up on the East coast, some 6,000 miles away.
03.june.2006 - Played Rad dad yesterday. Got frustrated with the little guy - for the first time.
While at the restaurant in Mother's Market, he knocked over a glass of water, which spilled all over me .. (making it look like I'd wet my pants).
My frustration lasted only seconds, but still surprised me. Didn't take long for me to realize he was just being a kid, reacting to his surroundings, which posed no fun.
He wasn't interested in eating, rather only wanted to play. So I ordered the food to go and took him to the nearest park, where he played, quite happily.
Some of his favorite things include: getting behind the steering wheel of a car, opening and closing doors, climbing anything that can be climbed, cell phones, keyboards, VCR jacks, escalators, water fountains, my belly button, making messes and destroying anything that isn't nailed down.
He seems bored by the hottie high school girls, who stop by the coffee shop on their way to school, to give him hugs and ogle over him .. preferring, rather, any furry four-legged creatures, no matter how mangy.
I'm at the coffee shop now, where a few people have approached as I typed this, and asked where the little guy was. "I only get him on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday," I answered.
"Well, he's entertainment for us all," the last guy said, with a warm smile. He *does* have a lot of boy in him, if you know what I mean.
In retrospect, I feel it unfair for parents to expect kids to behave like adults, especially when they're still only kids. My goal is to fill him with as much love and attention as I can .. in the limited time I have him.
This coffee shop has no wireless access, so I'll have to upload this page later. Good cappuccino today.
01.june.2006 - Friendly reminder for those of you who live here in SoCal: today is the First Thursday Art Walk .. in Laguna Beach (LaBeana Gooch). More info here.
Hope to catch you out on the town tonight .. for a little art & culture (& vino & hors d'oeuvres).
In other news, the Pinback concert was great. (See previous entry.) Even better than I expected. They played all their songs at a quicker tempo than what I'm familiar with from their CDs. Made the band sound more energetic in concert.
Place was packed. Got home 1AM. Had to get up early to play Rad dad yesterday. First stop: coffee house (triple-shot cappuccino).
Avalon (where Pinback played) is mere walking distance from where the Dog used to live (in Hollywood). Called him last night to say I was hangin' in his old neighborhood, his old stompin' grounds.
He now lives in northern Jersey (nation's most densely populated state) & works in da city.
Regarding the little guy .. he has the first real nasty cold of his life. Lungs sound like they're filled with Elmer's glue. Wish I could make it all better for him. Feel helpless I can't. He's had the crud since last week. Seems to be on the mend, but still pretty miserable. Summer colds suk.
The month of June here in SoCal typically sees a "marine layer" (clouds) hanging over the coast .. hence the term June gloom. Last month it was called May gray. Bring on the sunshine.