Saturday, January 31

Since my iBook is in the hospital, it will be a few days until I can post a full NYC photo gallery. In the meantime, here are just two pictures from the weekend:

Dave and Pauly, together again

Daal, the baby elephant, hitches a ride in Britt's backpack

More to come!

Thursday, January 29

It appears I'm not the only person with iBook issues these days (link).

Wednesday, January 28

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." -- Herm Albright. Thanks to Miss Cherizon for forwarding this quote to me.

Noooo! The iBook is now in the shop. Diagnosis: uncertain.

Sunday, January 25

Complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I returned from New York OK -- no permanent damage from frostbite or anything like that -- but my beloved iBook may have made its last trip. It started acting weird on the airplane, and I can't figure out exactly what the problem is.

To all of the Windows users out there who are gloating at this news, let me just say this: I've had my iBook for about a year and a half now, and this is the first time it's given me a headache. Keep that in mind the next time you're staring at a blue screen of death.

I'll post the New York photos online once I've got the iBook up and running again.

Pauly McGuire writes about our lunch -- and mocks my scarf-tying abilities -- on his blog here. Check it out.

Thanks for introducing Britt and me to the Cedar Tavern, and for showing us some of the sights around town, Pauly. When you finally get back to Florida, we'll return the favor with a tour of the Tampa Bay area, and some some arroz con pollo and cafe con leche at La Teresita!

I love New York. Here are a handful of observations:

  • The only good thing about the freezing weather here is that I get to use one of my favorite archaic sayings: It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
  • Yes, it's an actual saying.
  • The Metropolitan Transit Authority here issues iPods to all Subway riders. Well, maybe not, but complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I have noticed a lot of passengers with those telltale white earphone cords coming out of their ears.
  • I absolutely hate scarves. I have bought two of the damn things so far, and neither seems to work. The first was too short; it kept coming loose and flapping in the wind. The new one is long enough to wrap around my neck at least twice, but it's itchy and still seems to come loose. I've noticed that every New Yorker seems to have his or her own technique for tying a scarf so that it stays put. As a Floridian, I just have no experience, I guess.
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet access for Verizon DSL customers! Britt and I are ecstatic.
  • It is sooooo cooooooooooooold.
  • It's so cold, in fact, that the O key on my computer seems to be sticking.
  • Ground Zero had a strong effect on me -- but not in the way I though it would. I'll explain in a later post.
  • Another subject for a later post: The play "Anna In The Tropics" was very good, and it featured Britt's old office building. Seriously.
  • How cold is it, really? It's so cold that Han Solo had to cut open his tauntaun (link) and stuff us inside to keep us warm.
That's all from NY for now. It's been a great trip so far, but I'll be happy when Britt and I are safely home and have stashed our jackets back in the closet."

Saturday, January 24

HOPKINS 316 REUNION: Thirteen and a half years after our first meeting, Pauly McGuire and I sat down for lunch today to catch up on old times. Pauly was my freshman roommate at Emory University, and out of all the odd couples on the third floor of Hopkins Hall, we were one of the oddest -- a whirlwind from New York, and a wisecracking world traveler who tried to conceal his naivety with smugness.

Our relationship in college wasn't pretty, but it has since blossomed through a million e-mail messages and a thousand blog postings into a wonderful friendship that I value greatly. Pauly inspires me in many ways, and that's why it was so exciting to see him again after all these years -- and to introduce him to complementary spouse Britt Shirley.

To Pauly: Thirteen and a half years from now, I hope we're still sharing stories from our lives -- and meeting up for lunch whenever we can. And thanks for showing me how to tie my scarf the New York way. I no longer need to worry about frostbite.

Here's my story in today's Tribune: "Commercial Real Estate Gains Ground."

Sooooo coooooooooold. According to the TV, it's currently 15 degrees outside but it feels like 2 degrees.

Friday, January 23

Greetings from somewhere over the Eastern seaboard. After a hectic day of car issues and airline problems, Britt and I are finally bound to New York for a little fun -- and, most likely, a little frostbite too. Meteorologists say the high temperature in New York this weekend will be precisely 500 degrees below zero. Or 520 degrees below zero if you factor in the wind chill factor, whatever that is.

A day or two of cold weather doesn't scare me; it will only make me appreciate Tampa more.

I could write more, but I won't. Here at the Daily Dave 2.0, we don't take a stance on anything -- even the weather.

Thursday, January 22

At long last, I know what my name would be if I were a cyborg! It is:

And Britt's name:

Go to to ascertain your own cybernetic identity.

Wednesday, January 21

The PHB Advisory System has been reactivated. It's at Condition Big Brother Blue. You have been warned.

Tuesday, January 20

So many reasons to yell at the TV tonight, so little time.

Please note that I did not say why Britt and I are yelling at the TV. Perhaps we're watching the State of the Union Address. Perhaps we're watching hockey. Perhaps we're watching reruns of Whoopi on TiVo. Maybe we just yell at everything.

As long as no one knows what we're watching or why we're yelling, then no one can claim I'm showing any sort of opinion. Welcome to the Daily Dave 2.0, where our motto is "we don't have a motto because we don't want to show a pro-motto bias."

Monday, January 19

I had a rather nasty headache today, but it's gone now. It never grew into a full blown migraine, but it put me out of commission for most of the day.

Perhaps I've developed an allergy to Britt. He returned home from Singapore last night, and I wake up with shooting pains in the back of my head. Coincidence? Well, yeah, it probably is just a coincidence.

Britt had a wonderful time in Singapore, and he brought home lots of little souvenirs for me -- playing cards, lucky cats, two copies of The Straits Times. The goodies are nice, but having Britt home is the best gift of all.

QUOTES FOR THE DAY: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King may be dead, but his message is just as important as ever.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."

"I said to my children, 'I'm going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don't ever want you to forget that there are millions of God's children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don't want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.'" -- Jan. 7, 1968

"I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." -- "Letter From Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963    

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -- "The Trumpet of Conscience", 1967    

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." -- "Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution," March 31, 1968

"Whatever career you may choose for yourself -- doctor, lawyer, teacher -- let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man . Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." -- April 18, 1959

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided man." -- "Strength to Love", 1963    

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." -- "The Trumpet of Conscience", 1967    

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."   

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." -- "Letter From Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963 

"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live." -- June 23, 1963   
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality ... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." -- Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964

"If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos." -- "Justice Without Violence", April 3, 1957

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." -- Wall Street Journal article, Nov. 13, 1962

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." -- "Strength to Love", 1963    

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think." -- "Strength to Love", 1963    

"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But ... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'" -- "I've Been to the Mountain Top," April 3, 1968

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -- "Strength to Love", 1963

"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood." -- "Strength to Love", 1963    

"The time is always right to do what is right." -- "Letter From Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963

Credit for compiling these quotes goes to People For The American Way.

Ugh. Headache. Not quite a migraine yet, but it's getting there.

Saturday, January 17

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've had some long days at work, plus a hockey game Thursday night and a sleep apnea test Friday night. I'll post some updates this weekend.

Wednesday, January 14

Complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I just had a nice long chat -- which is impressive, when you consider that Britt is in Singapore, I'm 13 time zones away here in Tampa, and neither of us used a telephone. We were able to speak through iChat, Apple's incredible video conferencing and instant messenger program. Britt sounded like he was in the room with me, not half a world away. And neither of us had to do anything to configure our computers -- it merely took one click for me to start the voice chat on my end, and one more for Britt to start it on his end.

I was wowed by the sound quality: much better than a regular domestic phone call, and light years ahead than an ordinary international call.

It was so good to hear Britt's voice -- to listen to him describe the city, his hotel room, what he's done today and what he is planning to do. He has only been gone two days, but I miss him very much and I can't wait for him to return home.

It is experiences like this that make me proud to own a Macintosh.

Tuesday, January 13

Today was National Bring Your Baby Elephant To Work Day, so I brought Daal, the baby elephant Britt and I adopted in September, into the office. His name is Daal, and Britt and I rescued him the American Airlines terminal in Dallas, as we were changing planes on a return flight from Denver to Tampa.

Daal is an Indian elephant calf, and his favorite foods are collard greens and peanuts. He attends Mitchell Elephant Elementary School in Tampa, and would like to be a gymnast when he grows up, or maybe a veterinarian. He still hasn't decided.

Daal says he is the happiest little baby elephant with two daddies in the whole entire world.

(Go on. You can say it: Britt and I are soooooooo gay.)

Here are the photos:

Daal looks over one of my stories. He says his pop should use spell-check more frequently.

Daal checks out the latest financial headlines on the Bloomberg box.

Daal takes an afternoon nap in my desk drawer. He likes to listen to my iPod as he's falling asleep.

America's Favorite Housecat Watson Simanoff needs your help! He writes:

To all those who read the Daily Dave:

I was involved in a horrible accident that involved blood. Somehow a man's hand ended up in my mouth as I was gently closing it.

In fear of being sued or going to jail I am in now need of raising money for my defense fund.

Any additional cans of tuna that you have around your home can be sent to me for my personal friend and lawyer Johnny Catchrin. He will also be defending another friend, Manticore (link). He is innocent just like me.

Please if you have only one charity this year make it me!!!!!!! Keep me free ... Attica, Attica, Attica!!!

I wonder if he should actually be chanting, "Cattica! Cattica! Cattica!"

Monday, January 12

When Miss Cherizon has her own corporate empire (to be named Planet Cherie Inc.), she promises to hire me. Here's what my business card will say:

David Simanoff
Vice President for Haiku
And Other Fun Things

Sunday, January 11

Sorry about the lack of posts yesterday and today. Complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I made a quick mileage run to Los Angeles -- that means, basically, we flew to the other side of the country and back in order to pad our frequent flyer mileage accounts.

It was Britt's idea, of course. He is, after all, a mile whore. Which, I guess, makes me his mile bitch.

We spent about 20 hours in Los Angeles, which was just enough time to visit the Getty Center, West Hollywood and the two-store Apple Store in the Grove.

More on the Getty Center later. Britt and I got some great photographs.

The flights to and from L.A. (which involved changing planes in Denver) were excellent: the planes all arrived on time and the staff were friendly and courteous. The last time Britt and I flew to L.A. -- for the NLGJA convention in September -- we had a completely miserable experience on another airline, which, too, I will not name here.

One leg of that trip was so bad, I wrote the following letter to the airline's CEO. I posted it on the original Daily Dave, and I'm still proud of it so I'll post it again here. Of course, I've had to remove some information so that no one will be able to identify the airline.

September 10, 2003

[Name of CEO]
Chairman and CEO
[Airline name and address]

Dear Mr. [CEO],

I'm writing this letter on board a [name of airline] flight from Houston to Los Angeles because I want to share with you the horrible experience I'm suffering right now on your airline. To put it simply, the man in front of me smells bad. Really bad. This is, quite frankly, the worst body odor I have ever smelled in my entire life.

Imagine being locked inside a dumpster behind a Taco Bell on a 100-degree day. Now throw in some sweaty gym clothes and several pounds of rancid gorgonzola cheese. Just for fun, pretend you've also thrown up. That's the sort of stench I'm having to endure right now.

It's really that bad.

I've tried repositioning the air nozzles and covering my nose with my t-shirt. The flight attendant has come by to spray deodorant and air freshener. Nothing has worked. I have even tried ignoring the stench, but every time I think I've adjusted to the smell, another whiff of it wafts my way, and I feel like I'm going to retch.

It's not a good situation.

The flight attendant suggested I move, but I'm 6'2" and my travel companion is 6'5" and we're sitting in an exit row. There's nowhere else on the plane where we can sit together without risking permanent damage to our kneecaps. My partner is a [name of frequent flyer plan] member, and he's also on the verge of retching because of the smell.

I don't know why the man sitting in front of me smells so bad, but I have some theories. Since the in-flight entertainment is a made-for-TV movie featuring [very bad actress], I have enough spare time to share my hypotheses with you:

1. The man sitting in front of me comes from a country that has never heard of showers, baths or soap.
2. The man is flying to Los Angeles to audition for a role in a new Febreeze commercial. He's trying to snag a part in the "Before" part of the ad, not the "After" part.
3. He is a weapon of mass destruction.
4. He died several weeks ago, but no one has yet removed him from the plane.
5. The man is a geneticist. His latest project: crossbreeding skunks with stinkbeetles.
6. He is required to wear diapers because of an embarrassing bowel control problem, but he didn't read the directions properly and he thinks he's supposed to wear the same diaper continuously for several days.
7. An accident in his childhood endowed him with the ability to create awful smells that could stun and neutralize everyone around him. Now he prowls the streets at night as a cape-wearing vigilante, known only as the Odiferous Avenger.
8. He's just really, really stinky.

In fact, the person sitting in front of me isn't even supposed to be sitting there. The woman who holds the ticket for 14A took one whiff of the man sitting in her seat and decided to go elsewhere. The person in 14B also bolted, for obvious reasons.

I know it can be embarrassing to confront someone who smells bad, but I don't understand why [the airline's] gate crew didn't stop this passenger from boarding the plane, or why the flight attendants didn't ask him to leave. I don't expect all [airline] passengers to smell good all of the time, but this is an extreme case and someone should have taken action. Does [the airline] not care about the health and comfort of its customers and employees?

This is the kind of experience that will make me think twice about booking future flights on [your airline]. I know airlines aren't as generous today as they were in the past, but considering the situation, I think [the airline] owes me and my partner some consideration for enduring this monstrous stench. I'd be grateful if [the airline] could make me a [frequent flyer elite level] member, so that I can enjoy the same upgrade privileges as my partner. On this flight, like on most other flights on [your airline], he's usually forced to give up a first class upgrade so that we can sit together. It would mean so much to me if he didn't have to give up this hard-earned perk and if we weren't separated on flights.

Of course, travel vouchers and a [airline lounge] membership would be nice gestures, too.

The thing that would make me most happy, however, would be to see [your airline] implement some kind of policy on passenger hygiene. The situation that I'm in now really stinks – no pun intended – and it would please me to know that me, my partner, and no one else flying on [your airline] will ever have to bear this kind of horrible experience in the future.

Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you. I look forward to your response.

Dave Simanoff

P.S. To be completely honest, the pun in the second-to-last paragraph was kind of intended. Please don't hold it against me.

I got a terse, unapologetic response from the airline a few weeks later.

Uh-oh -- I just realized that I've taken a stance against nausea-inducing body odor. I hope this doesn't compromise my journalistic integrity.

Saturday, January 10

There's nothing like a good scoop to brighten your day ("New Digs For Bucs At Mall On Way," link). I often grouse about being a reporter, but I love the feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing that the folks across the bay must scramble to play catch-up today. Many thanks to Trib sportswriter Katherine Smith for talking to her sources at the Bucs and working with me to flesh out the story.

Friday, January 9

At the top of my shopping list: this.

Thursday, January 8

REQUIRED READING: Check out "The Lyin' King Comes Clean, Remains Dirty," Joe Henderson's column about Pete Rose (link).

At last! The Department of Homeland Security finally cracks down on the biggest threat to our nation's safety. Check out the story here.

Oops. I didn't post anything yesterday. I suppose I'll have to change the name of my Web site to "The Somewhat Daily Dave."

Tuesday, January 6

I hope I'm not kidnapped anytime soon. A British vodka Web site (here) says my estimated ransom value is £110,015 ($200,332.33 at today's exchange rate). It also says I'm "prime first class victim material."

If I factor in my WFLA NewsChannel 8 celebrity status, my estimated ransom value rises to £170,486 ($310,452.23). I hope prospective kidnappers don't know about my MoneySense segments in the morning.

Dr. Laura is on the Today show this morning. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Sunday, January 4

There are a handful of new TV commercials that appear to have been designed with only one goal: to piss me off as much as possible. I'd like identify these ads, but here at the Daily Dave 2.0, I don't want to appear prejudiced against any products or services that I might have to write about in the future.

Here's what I can say without fear of reprisal:

  • I have yelled at the TV in response to one new ad from an auto manufacturer
  • At least three other automotive ads make me want to hurl things at the television
  • The new jingle for a well known restaurant chain makes me want puncture my eardrums with knitting needles
  • The latest promotional spots for a certain sporting event (or series of events) make me wish I didn't understand English
That's all I'm willing to write right now. Perhaps, if I overcome my self inflicted paranoia, I'll feel comfortable enough one day to tell you how I feel about the anthropomorphic oven mitt that's now serving as the spokesman (spokesglove? spokesthing? spokesitem?) for a fast food company.

Saturday, January 3

REQUIRED READING: Check out Wiretap's interview with David Cross (link). I, of course, have no opinion about any of the issues raised in the interview. Check it out anyway.

Thursday, January 1

From the parents:

Moishe was crossing the street in Miami when he was hit by a bus and knocked unconscious. A Catholic priest arrived about the same time the paramedics got there. Not knowing his religion, the priest administered last rites, following which Moishe's eyes fluttered and he was fully awake. The priest told him about the last rites. Moishe said, "Well, a little change doesn't hurt." He couldn't wait to get home to tell his family about his experience.

When he got there he said to his wife, "Sadie, you won't believe what happened to your husband today."

She said, "Moishe, I don't have time. I am late for a Hadassah meeting. Your TV dinner is in the oven. See you later."

Moishe then went to his daughter's room and said, "Darling, you should hear what happened to your father today."

She said, "Daddy, I'm on the phone with a friend planning a wedding shower. Please close the door."

Moishe then went to look for his son who was just backing the car out of the driveway. "Son, let me tell you what happened today."

The son said, "Dad, I am late for a date. I need the car and $100."

So Moishe went back into the house, shook his head and said. "Here I am, a gentile for only two hours and already I hate three Jews."

Complementary spouse Britt Shirley and I have decided that we prefer the new and improved Brawny Paper Towel guy (link) to the old one. We don't have any personal grudge against the old Brawny guy; we just think his mustache should have remained in the '70s, when it apparently enjoyed a successful career in the porn industry (link), instead of following up into the new millennium.

I may enter Britt in the "Make Over My Brawny Man" contest. He would be the ideal Brawny man, because he is strong, gentle and absorbent.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! In the Chinese calendar, 2004 is the year of the Skippy.