Monday, March 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mia!

Mia, my daughter, turned four today. All she knows is that there's lots of cake, presents and people saying Happy Birthday to her. She thinks Mom is 'five years old' and Dad is 'six'. She can say that she's not a baby, but she can still cry like one. Life with her has become 'routine', but when I let myself, I easily feel amazed that she is in my life.

Happy Birthday, Little Girl.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Counting Up the Words

I spent a few hours tinkering with TokeParser, a Perl module that parses HTML files. I wrote a small program to count every word in my old BLOG. Here are the top ten words:
     1  3400 the
2 2518 I
3 1848 to
4 1806 a
5 1430 of
6 1349 and
7 967 in
8 802 was
9 701 my
10 699 that
So. I wrote 'the' 3400 times, and I wrote 'I' 2518 times.

I think I read somewhere that the most frequent word in any memoir or diary is "I". me appears in my list as the 30th word. I'll post the full list and program in a few days so that you too (with a little help from Perl) can count up the words in your web pages.

By the way, the grand total number of words from my old BLOG: 73404 (over 517 entries).

Monday, March 21, 2005

Bobby Short

Last month I was paying praise to the opening minutes of Woody Allen's Manhattan. Fast forward from 1979 to 1993, and Woody Allen again makes an impression on me with the movie Manhattan Murder Mystery.

Manhattan Murder Mystery's opening sequence features a New York in the evening, overhead shots capturing the brightness and vibrancy of the city below. We pan past familiar landmarks, guided by a distinctive voice performing "I Happen to Like New York" (a Cole Porter song). The shot ends with the viewer circling Madison Square Garden on a game night.

When I saw the movie with my wife many years ago, I was swept up by this song. The proud lyrics ("I like the city air, I like to drink of it") mesmerized me. It was everything I felt about New York City. I made a mental note to watch the credits. The name of the singer was easy to remember: Bobby Short.

I watched the movie a few other times, each time savoring the opening sequence. The performance isn't on a CD that I could find. I've since heard other performances of this song, but Mr. Short's is the one that I remember.

Bobby Short passed away today in New York. He was 80.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Napolean Dynamite

I watched Napolean Dynamite tonight. This is the first movie that I've watched in 2005. (The last movie I saw was Sideways on December 30, 2004.)

Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite asks "wouldn't it be great to go back in time, knowing what you know now?" Somehow, I don't think so. Of course, I've had failures and it would be great to go back to those moments and change what caused them. Of course, there are things I wish I could have done differently. I have regrets and I do get wistful. But dwelling on them to the point where going back in time becomes an obsession strikes me as insane.

In the movie, the lead character is constantly getting into absurd situations. He is socially inept and his lanky frame spotlights his awkwardness. But throughout the film, he's constantly wondering what he should do now.

We can't go back in time. The characters in the movie learn this (in a very comic way, I might add). The movie is a terrific reminder that living in the present is the best way to be living.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A New Look

Hey! Things look different! What's up? Why the change?

There are a few reasons.

1. I've been writing this BLOG for four years (since March 10, 2001). I've always toyed with the idea of changing the site design to something more stylish. Blogger has thoroughly modernized their templates since I last browsed their selection back in 2002. I wanted to use these newer templates. (This present style doesn't use any HTML tables!)

2. In April 2004, I decided to stop paying Tripod/Lycos, my former hosting site. With that decision came pop-up ads. I didn't mind the pop-ups, as I use Firefox to surf the Web (it blocks pop-ups). However, some have vocalized that the pop-ups were a surprise. I wanted to move to a pop-up-free host.

3. I like SDF, a public access UNIX host. Having my site here gives me the ability to interact with my BLOG's HTML pages in a programmatic manner and this excites me. (Yes, it does. For example, I can calculate my own word count and BLOG entry count, as well as test some simple HTML markup.)

OK. Back to your regular programming. Welcome to the new Rick's Ramblings. Same as the old Rick's Ramblings.

Part Two

Hello new BLOG. Same as the old BLOG.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

The Big Break III

Tonight is The Big Break III, a reality television show on The Golf Channel. On the show, ten ladies compete in various golf-related contests. At the end of every show, one woman is eliminated, until two are left. These two then play a round of match play golf for the big prize, exemptions to select LPGA golf tournaments.

My favorite to win the whole thing, Jan Dowling, is still on the show. The discussion boards about the show are filled with posters making cases for each of the remaining women. As the series progresses, the stakes keep getting higher and higher. I'm not a regular fan of reality television, but I'm a fan of this particular show. Check it out!