Archive for November, 2008

Mo Money, less problems?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 by wally426

My Dearest loved ones,
Last year, a few colleagues of mine embarked on a failed mission – maintaining a hideously ugly mustache during the month of November to support a good cause. This year, there is a nice website to manage your donations and ensure that you get a nice tax break come April. If you need the tax form, please let me know and I’ll send it your way.

For anyone who donates, you’re all welcome to join the team party at the end of the month. Details will follow.

There are two methods of donation:

1. Click THIS LINK and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account, or
2. Write a check payable to the ‘Prostate Cancer Foundation’, referencing my Registration Number 1357221 and mailing it to:
Prostate Cancer Foundation
Attn: Movember
1250 Fourth St
Santa Monica, CA, 90401

All donations are tax-deductible!

The money raised by the ‘Stache is donated directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation which will use the funds for high-impact research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.

Thanks in advance,



Heart of Darkness

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2008 by wally426

Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)

“I’ve seen horrors…horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that…But you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what ‘horror’ means. ‘Horror’. ‘Horror’ has a face…And you must make a friend of ‘horror’. ‘Horror’ and ‘moral terror’ are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces…Seems a thousand centuries ago…We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile…A pile of little arms. And I remember…I…I…I cried… I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized…like I was shot…Like I was shot with a diamond…a diamond bullet right through my forehead…And I thought: My God…the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters…These were men…trained cadres…these men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love…but they had the strength…the strength…to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral…and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling… without passion… without judgement… without judgement. Because it’s judgement that defeats us.”



I just started reading a book called The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer. It details the life of Richard Kuklinski, a homicidal maniac who (by his account) had killed well over 200 people before he was arrested in 1986. Richard had come from a terribly dysfunctional household with an abusive alcoholic father. He committed his first murder at the age of 14 and didn’t stop until he was arrested. His methods of killing ranged from putting cyanide in drinks to ice picks through the eye. In cases where he wanted the victim to suffer, he would often use his favorite method of taking his “marks” out to a cave in the Pennsylvania woods and tie them to a chair with strips of wet rawhide. As the strips dried they contracted and cut into the victim’s skin. The huge rats that inhabited the cave would smell the blood and slowly eat the person alive. When Richard would come back two days later, all that would be left would be a bone or two. In watching some of the television interviews conducted with Richard it seemed that his nickname, “Iceman”, was well deserved. He simply had no remorse when it came to killing people. In fact, he didn’t even show emotion. There was a tremendous rage that would build in him when someone upset him and killing was the only way he could release that tension. Just like some of us may take a walk in the park to relieve that anxiety, Richard Kuklinski would murder someone to feel better. Some would be quick to label this man ‘insane’, but I’m not sure Richard could be classified as such. While his emotions and temper definitely deviated from the norm, his moves were almost always calculated. He knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it.

So what about the initial quote? Would it make sense to have a division or Richard Kuklinskis fighting our wars? When it comes to fighting and aggression, should all moral standards be put aside in order to minimize the overall duration of a conflict? Was it that suspension of judgement that allowed us to end the second world war in the Pacific theater by dropping two atomic bombs on innocent people? It truly is a frightening concept that through a few acts of horror, the overall loss of life in a given conflict can potentially be minimized.

The Nethermead

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2008 by wally426

7-11-2008    Brooklyn, NY

A hazy autumn mist greets me as I step out of the door. It’s just before six in the morning and barely light, a part of the morning called the gloaming. I feel like a ghost in this setting, quietly slithering through the wet fallen leaves, a dark silhouette creeping in the smokey grey glow. As I hit the path leading into the park, I begin to wonder about the events that had taken place the night before…

After the election results were announced, people seemed to explode out of every crevice. They were all in the streets as Robbie and I walked home, screaming, hugging, crying, laying on their horns, even stripping to their underwear. It was truly an amazing thing to see, as if they were kids again, free from whatever political shackles had bound them in the past. While I didn’t exactly share the same jubilation, it was good to see hope on people’s faces again.  I thought about the fact that there was a permanent spot at my new company. The week before had been torturous with everyone dreading the inevitable conversation with human resources. I could just hear the words, sorry, but we’re going to have to let you go. They never came though, even as most of my co-workers slinked back to their offices and began packing their boxes. These are tough times indeed, hopefully some kind of change would bring us out of these economic doldrums. People seem to think that this new administration will bring about a renaissance after eight years in the dark ages. Time will tell.

The scene in the park was spooky. There had been some fires the night before during the celebration, and the air was still thick with smoke. My eyes teared  in the haze and it felt as if I was drowning in a sea of cotton, it was almost impossible to breathe. The dog days of summer had definitely past. Gone were the crowds of people, stray dogs chasing rabbits, chirping crickets and birds, lovers laying lazily in the grass, shimmering starlight and bats streaking overhead. A more ominous and dark scene lay ahead – Waning hours of sunlight, fierce winds, slippery dead leaves, swirling black clouds, gnarly branches, lingering smoke from the fireplaces, and cold which passes right through your bones. In all honesty, I’m looking forward to it. Summer brings with it a certain carelessness, a lack of consideration for anything but the now. With the gently falling leaves comes a special time of introspection and longing for the wonders of summer. We no longer think of the slow descent into darkness, we think of history, we light the fires in our bellies to keep our souls warm, we linger in bed on the weekends and stare at the walls a bit longer, we hibernate with our thoughts. There is no life, only silence.

The run takes me up that last dreaded incline, lookout hill. This part of the run is always challenging, but it serves as a good end to the loop, you end up pushing yourself even if there’s smoke in the air. I wonder about Washington’s soldiers who once fought on the same ground. They were outflanked by the British and forced to retreat during the Battle of Brooklyn. Suddenly, choking on some smoke didn’t seem so bad to what the soldiers must have endured on this hill. I also wondered what Washington, a slave owner, would have thought about the events that unfolded the night before. What kind of words would he have for Obama? Regardless of how people might view his policies, it’s amazing how far we have come as a country where a person of color (with the middle name Hussein) is at the helm. Before long, the hill has been conquered and the sweat has completely soaked my undershirt. I float back through the streets, back home, thankful to start another day of work.