Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, December 08, 2001
While reading Evhead's BLOG, I found a link for The Cross Atlantic Report, a "pictures and movie diary" of some folks living in New York City and Europe (Paris, Brussels). In their nicely designed web photo album, I chanced upon this classic photo of the Twin Towers.

I felt instantly wistful.

First snow has arrived. According to the news, the accumulation will only be one or two inches. When I had my car at the tire place, I put on snow tires, so I feel prepared for winter driving. It's amazing to think that a few days ago, it was almost 70 degrees.

Friday, December 07, 2001
Blork (Ed) liked Out of Sight. :-)

I updated the archives list of the baby diary I have been keeping.

I have done virtually all of my Christmas holiday shopping on-line. This is sure taking the stress and strain away from the usual holiday rush. Jenn's been to the mall once. I hope that I don't even have to step into the mall until January (although we do plan to take Mia over to see Santa).

Thursday, December 06, 2001
Last night, I updated my archive index. In a few short months, this BLOG itself will be a year old.

Also in a few short months, Mia will celebrate her first birthday. I've been writing a BLOG titled Mia's First Year, and as the name implies, I'll be ending that BLOG after her birthday. She'll make many appearances in this journal.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001
Several dozen, if not several hundred BLOGs are created daily with Blogger, and other tools. Every once in a while, I poke through what's new, and what's changed. I have a list of BLOGs that I visit semi-regularly, but most of my BLOG surfing is limited to short visits from the what's updated page.

I chanced upon Blork Blog, a lively journal of a Canadian with very varied interests. He has a lovely series of pictures from his office window, which he took over the span of a month. His BLOG is almost one year old. He has an engaging writing style.

I think you can get to know someone through their BLOG. Surely not everything, but certainly one's tastes, ones sensibilities. Sort of like book authors, actors, or news anchors, or newspaper columnists: we think we know them because we see their work, and from that, we extrapolate a little on "who they are". BLOGs are public expressions of ourselves.

I point to Blork's BLOG because I read two items that he wrote about Jennifer Lopez (1) (2). I share his admiration for J Lo. This connection makes me hope he's seen Out of Sight.

In this superb movie, Stephen Soderbergh employs a very stylish look and feel to a good-girl falls for bad-guy movie. J Lo gives as fine a performance in this movie as Jodie Foster did in Silence of the Lambs, that's how much I enjoyed her acting.

Of course, I know that J Lo is not Karen Sisco. I also don't know whether Blork would even like this movie. But thanks to his BLOG, I'm thinking he just might.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001
With the end of the year fast approaching, I often try to assess what happened in the past year, and somehow tentatively set resolutions/goals for the next year. I think one thing I'm going to try to do next year is get more sleep. And one step towards that goal is to record when I sleep and when I wake. My brother has dutifully recorded his own sleeping habits, and I take inspiration there.

I also wonder why I find it so difficult to go to bed before midnight. I like watching movies at night. I also watch plenty of television. Tonight, after watching the Bruins game, I read a little bit, then spent a few minutes replying to an e-mail. Next thing you know, it's almost midnight. I should really be getting more sleep. (Jenn and Mia are in bed way before I go to bed.)

I blame my cable modem. The huge problem: the Internet is always "on". It's always available. Instead of getting ready to sleep, I end up doing "one more thing", like surfing EBay, or perusing SlashDot. I find that the computer keeps me up: it's incessant buzz, the bright screen, the endless links.

Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to taper off my after-work pre-sleep computer usage. Maybe one or two evenings a week, I can simply forgo the computer before sleeping? Maybe.

Sunday, December 02, 2001
The World Cup (of football; soccer to us Americans) starts next year in May, but the excitement for me begins today. The countries have been selected into groups. The United States will be playing in Group D with Portugal, Poland, and Korea (the host, along with Japan).

There is no true world championship like FIFA's World Cup. 192 countries entered the World Cup qualifying tournaments, which span two years. Of these counties, 32 "won" a place in the World Cup final tournament. Truly a world event.

In 1994, when the United States hosted this tournament, Jenn and I went to the semi-final match played between Spain and Italy in Foxboro Stadium. I spent the most money I ever spent on a live sporting event, but it was worth every dollar. Even on the way to the stadium, cars raced past us, honking, lights blinking, displaying Italian or Spanish flags. The crowd was the most electric, eclectic, energetic bunch of non-English speaking sports fans. My wife swooned over Roberto Baggio's thrilling goal (after which he blew a kiss to our side of the stadium). I was thrilled to be in such a frenzied crowd. (Italy went on to win the match, but lose to Brazil in the final.)

We're counting down the days to the World Cup in Japan/Korea. First match: May 31, 2002!