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Jun 30, 2009

Michael Jackson / Michael Jordan

Where were you when the Thriller video debuted?  On midnight, 2 Dec 1983, I was in the Third Bryan lounge with all my hallmates and our RA, gathered around the TV set.  It was awesome.  I seem to recall that MTV showed it twice in a row.

With this week's news, one of my Facebook friends said "The Michael Jackson I loved died long ago."  Another said, "The Michael Jackson I loved will never die."

Below, some atypical footage in which Michael Jackson talks like a human being and Michael Jordan is awkward.  This is a "the making of" video.  Finished version of the Michaels dancing is here.

08:39 PM in Misc. 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jun 29, 2009

Gross Vehicle Weight

Gross Vehicle Weight

144 lbs!  A happy new low that I haven't seen since ~1992.  Two years ago I maxed out at 172 and realized that with my family's history of heart disease and diabetes, I needed a big change.

My new goal is to drop another ten pounds of fat while adding another fifteen to twenty of muscle.  That would be spiff.


Note: an earlier, unstockinged photo showed my flat, unmanicured feet.  Gross to some folks.  Thus the reshoot.

09:48 PM in Me | Permalink | Comments (1)

Jun 25, 2009

Once is Luck. Hugh O'Neill on Confidence Levels

Once is luck.
Twice is coincidence.
Three times is a system.

UNC business professor Hugh O'Neill told me this in 1996.  We were talking about confidence levels for a cause-and-effect business hypothesis.  It also applies elsewhere.

12:37 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jun 22, 2009

Go, Kaaren, Go! A Big Day for Kidney Transplants

Ira-and-kaaren My friend Kaaren is scheduled for a new kidney today.  Along with a dozen other people in an incredible swap.  See the News & Observer for a great article: Bad Kidney Makes Good Pals.  Please hold Kaaren, John and all in the Light.  And consider a donation to help Kaaren and John with uninsured expenses related to the long recovery time.  We're hoping to raise $7k.  Ping me for details.  Kaaren is pretty much a saint.

Update: to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit www.transplantfund.org and enter Johanson in the patient name box.


Photo: Kaaren with Ira Glass at Memorial Hall.

12:33 AM in News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jun 21, 2009

سعيد عيد الأب -- Happy Father's Day!

Indiana Jones Pyramide

This Father's Day, my folks happen to be touring Egypt.  I think that's awesome. 

While my dad is not Indiana Jones, he is very much a hero to me.  Today I don't have sufficient words to praise my father, but Barry does for his.  And Doc has a wonderful list for his.  Like Barry and Doc, I count myself among the luckiest of sons.  May I keep compassion for those sons and daughters who didn't have it so good.


Above, (not) a photo of my dad emailed by my mom.  Blog title in Arabic via Google Translate. 

10:32 PM in Misc. 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jun 09, 2009

What Counts More

I'm housesitting near Duke East Campus this summer, and biking to work downtown. This morning my partner Adam happened to drive by my apartment just as I was leaving and I figured we ought race. I cut through a construction site. He went the regular way and pulled into the back parking lot as I whipped around to the front door.

I got in first -- yippee! Adam walked in the back door a long 60 seconds later. "What took you?" I asked. "I was on the phone with Heather," he said. "My wife is more important than winning.” Heh

10:20 PM in Misc. 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jun 07, 2009

Herald-Sun Shoutout from Sports Illustrated

SI Cover On Michael Phelps racing in Charlotte:

His sport is still riding the Phelps wave.  Last Thursday a premeet press conference that would normally struggle to lure the Durham Herald-Sun welcomed L'Equipe, Japan's TV Asahi and the BBC.

-- Brian Cazaneuve, Water Under the Bridge, Sports Illustrated, May 25, 2009


Nice of him to mention Durham instead of Raleigh, n'est-ce pas?  But the thought of the Herald-Sun covering a non-basketball sporting event in Charlotte?  Those days seem gone...

07:10 PM in Destination Durham | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jun 04, 2009

Spiritual Metrics

On learning news of my friends' new fortunes, I learn something of my own in the moment.  When they triumph, is my first instinct to cheer, or am I jealous?  When they fail, do I first share their pain, or do I feel smug satisfaction in knowing I've got it better?  The answers are a strong measure of my spiritual health.

12:07 AM in Me | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jun 02, 2009

Universal Trade

Universal Trade Tower, Gurgaon India
Yesterday I was basking in the kindness of the universe.  I know I've got it good, and some days I'm extra thankful.

Today I am wondering: what, if anything, ought I give back in return?  And how much ought I give because it's owed or because I'm grateful?  How much should I give because it's karmic fuel or because it just feels good?

And I am wondering: would it be OK to spend years only taking the kindness in, returning nothing more than a thank you?


Photo: Universal Trade Tower from Universal Group, India.

08:25 PM in Me | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jun 01, 2009

Richard and Barry -- Each True to Himself

My friends Barry and Richard exchanged rings today.  It was beautiful.

In the ceremony, nine friends read The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and this stanza caught me hard:

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I hope it means something to you as well.

12:53 AM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (0)