Posts Tagged ‘meme’

Cori put together this neat badge over on her book blog to indicate the Friday [5] – a meme where you post 5 things in the land of books and media that you're currently lovin'. Steve and some others have also started doing this, and since I'm still laid up on the couch this week and not feeling all that inspired (being house-bound against your will does put a damper on your creativity), I thought I'd try it out, too.  I'm going to extend it to include "writing" interests, too, since I'm getting interested in doing some writing and/or improving my writing a bit. So without further ado,

Here are five things in the land of books, media, and writing that I’m lovin’:

  1. I've been catching up on episodes of this season's Burn Notice. The title refers to the "burn notices" issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of agents or sources who are considered to have become unreliable. When a spy is burned, they are wiped off the grid, without access to cash or influence. Each episode is its own self-contained story, with the "burn notice" story arc running through the background tying them all together. It's an interesting mix of spies, con-men, and trickery. I'm fond of the lead, Jeffrey Donovan, and he and the supporting cast keep the show interesting even after three seasons.
  2. Neil Gaimain posted a link to a short story of his on Twitter. The story, entitled "Cinnamon", has never been published anywhere before.  It's a short read, but a nice gem. Reminds me a lot of Kipling's work, and not just because it involves tigers and parrots!
  3. I got my hands on an ebook copy of The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. Although I expected it to be good, I didn't realize it would be THIS good. I'm really enjoying the "autobiographical" aspects of the text that Goldman includes.  He says in the preface that he adapted this from S. Morganstern's "Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure", but cut all of the boring parts and left only "The Good Parts". If you've seen the film (and who hasn't?) you'll find yourself comparing scenes of the movie to the same chapters of the book, and sometimes find the film comes out on top. But if you can put the film aside for a bit and just read the book in its entirety, I think you'll find it an enjoyable and humorous read.
  4. Not so much media as a media platform, I'm finding I am really digging the Motorola Droid as a video-player. I already have the Creative Zen mp3/media player that I use most of the time, but the only benefit that has over the Droid now is that the Zen can output to the TV.  Otherwise, the Droid kicks butt – I can convert any video to .mp4 format using Handbrake, and the resulting file plays brilliantly on my phone.  Plug in some headphones and I have a beautiful little video player to watch a TV show or movie on while resting on the couch or in bed.
  5. 750words.com has been getting a lot of attention recently, especially from the geek/writing community.  Conceived by Buster Benson, 750 Words is a website that enables you to do a private "brain-dump" on a very simple online word-processor.  750 words is the equivalent of 3 pages, and is the daily goal of participants of the website (originating from the idea of "morning pages" from The Artist's Way).  After you write 750 words about whatever you want (stream-of-consciousness style recommended), the website does a very cool text-analysis and visualization on what you typed.  (Example here, from my entry today)  I find once I start writing, the very activity of writing primes me to write more, so I'm looking forward to using this site not only to provide an outlet for private catharsis, but also to help get me jump-started on the day's writing. 

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I'll thank Hieronymus for tagging me with this one:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I had just finished my first year of college at UVA and was hanging out back home with my parents in State College, PA.  I had snagged a job with the Applied Research Lab (ARL) at Penn State, but this summer, it was purely a facilities-related job.  However, it would get me an "in" to the computer science/engineering group where I would be working for my next two summers.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today? 

I've got a whole lot more than 5 things on my to-do list, and they're definitely not all going to get done, so I'll just summarize:

  • Document workflows to review: Qty 14
  • Lay out the 10 bags of mulch on the flower beds
  • Install ladder hook on garage wall
  • Replace cheap-ass floodlights that the builder put in with decent light/motion sensitive ones
  • Go play trivia with Dee tonight (hooray for finding our first non-family babysitter!)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

In no particular order: sourdough pretzels, assorted fruit, almonds, granola bars, Oreos, Powerbars, Doritos, ice cream (good thing this question wasn't "Snacks I'm allowed to eat" or my answer would be a lot shorter!)

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

After making sure everyone in my immediate and extended family were taken care of financially for the rest of their lives, I'd spend a couple years travelling around the world.  I'd put aside enough to keep my family comfortable for the rest of our lives and then donate a substantial portion of the remaining money to causes that I feel need the money.

5) Places I have lived:

Again, in no particular order:

  • Norfolk, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Orlando, FL
  • Fairfax, VA
  • Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Annandale, VA
  • Concord, NC
  • Camarillo, CA
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • State College, PA (summers, during college)
  • Liverpool, NY
  • Baldwinsville, NY
  • Bel Air, MD

6) Jobs I have had:

In approximate order of employment – includes non-paid positions:

  • Babysitter
  • Lawn Mower
  • Lifeguard (Pool, not ocean)
  • Swimming Instructor
  • Hershey's Track & Field Program for Kids – Assistant Coach
  • Maintenance & Facilities worker
  • Software Engineer
  • Pizza Delivery Guy
  • Radio DJ
  • Radar Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Electrical/Instrumentation Engineer

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better:

This thing has made the rounds, hasn't it?  Of those who don't appear to have answered this yet, I choose:

Corey, Lemon, Mariser, Lightchaser, and Sheri. Feel free to ignore my tag if you're not interested!

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Continuing to Promote the Meme

Posted: 2007-11-20 in General
Tags: ,

Well, if cranky and jay and maggie and mariser are all doing it, I should too.  After all, if they all jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, the least I could do is sell tickets to the event (what…I'm not suicidal!)


Anyway, here's my past life diagnosis below.  Seems I got caught up in some sort of loop, because it sounds a lot like the me of today, besides the fact that I'm male, not from Israel, and not a banker.

Your past life diagnosis:


I don't know how you feel about it, but you were female in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Israel around the year 1350. Your profession was that of a banker, usurer, moneylender or judge.


Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
As a natural talent in psychology, you knew how to use your opportunities. Cold-blooded and calm in any situation.


The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
Your task is to learn, to love and to trust the universe. You are bound to think, study, reflect, and to develop inner wisdom.


Do you remember now?

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A Rose By Any Other Name…

Posted: 2007-11-09 in General
Tags: , ,

Various names, nicknames, or other ways I have been addressed by people during my life1:

  • Ross
  • Mr. Goldberg
  • Ross Goldberg
  • Roscoe (say the above fast, you'll see how some people got confused)
  • Goldberg
  • Big Goldberg (with my brother being Little Goldberg – unfortunately, now that he's taller than me, I think this would be different today)
  • Riss (I am pretty sure this was an unintentional typo in an email, but you never know)
  • Hey You
  • Dada, Dad, Daddy (by my daughter)
  • Rosaland (someone in elementary school thought my name was short for this and called me by it for a while to get my goat)
  • Dork
  • Fifer (Back when I wore glasses, some folks thought I looked like Paul Pfeiffer from the Wonder Years)
  • Raphael Naftali (my Hebrew name)
  • Motormouth
  • Assorted endearing terms (by my wife)
  • Sir (all too infrequently)
  • Assorted pejorative terms (by people who I have somehow pissed off)
  • Mr. Know-It-All (in a good way)
  • Mr. Know-It-All (in a bad way)
  • Madden (when I unconsciously imitate John Madden's mannerism of stating the obvious or all possible outcomes of a situation)
  • Ross-the-Boss (again, all too infrequently)
  • Teacher's Pet (this even went into my high school yearbook)

How about you?  Got any good names you've ever been called to share with everyone?  Post in the comments, or put a link back to your blog with an entry that shares them….

1Please note that these were all ways I've been addressed.  That doesn't necessarily mean I answered to them.

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It looks like today is my day for posting memes and quizzes…probably because my brain is fried.  At least I'll avoid the inane qotd and vox hunt today!

Borrowed from Ms. Genevieve – I took the first 3 unique hits from each search, although at times I used the headline over the google text as it made more sense…also at times I snipped preceding text to make it more appropriate.

1. Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search:

– Ross needs more time to rectify sins of the past staff. (Yes, repent, the end is near!)
– Ross needs a haircut. (Actually, I do.  Anyone know a decent barber?)
– Mr. Ross needs some educating at least about decency, and perhaps about copyright law. (Now wait just a second here…I'm one of the most decent people I know.  I'll give you the copyright law one, though…)

2. Type in "[your name] is" in the Google search:

– Ross is late entry in racetrack sweeps.  (And I'm going to smoke all of ya!)
– Ross is sidelined by broken hand (There goes my race prospects.  Who knew an eggbeater could DO that?)
– Ross is finally getting a taste of his own medicine! (I apologize for making fun of all those people with broken hands throughout the years *sob*)

3. Type in "[your name] likes" in the Google search:

– Ross likes computers (A truer statement was never uttered.)
– Ross likes what he saw in Lincoln (What happens in Lincoln stays in Lincoln.  Go there yourself if you want to know.)
– Ross likes to get married. Ross has been married three times. Obviously, Ross likes to get married. (Interestingly enough, this is from the text of a powerpoint presentation using the cast of the TV show Friends to illustrate how to create good transitions in your writing.  I grew up with Friends and always had people bringing it up because of my name.  Never heard of anyone using the cast to teach English, though.) 

4. Type in "[your name] wants" in the Google search:

– Ross wants yet another chance to repeat dead-end policies.  (I just can't help but bang my head against the wall.  Won't you help me please?)
– Ross Wants to Know: Are You One of Us?  (If not, you will be assimilated.)
– Ross wants Young, Good looking and Strange Drummer (Purely platonically though.  I *am* married, all you young, good looking and strange drumming applicants!)

5. Type in "[your name] gets" in the Google search:

– Ross gets festival fever (Doesn't everyone?)
– Ross Gets Cross With ITV-F1 (If I knew what ITV-F1 was, I wouldn't be quite so cross with it/them.)
– Ross Gets 'Idolized!' (Yeah baby!  Fear my William Hung impression!)

6. Type in "[your name] says" in the Google search:

– Ross Says: December 26th, 2005 at 12:55 pm Thanks–fixed. (You're welcome, and thanks for fixing it so quickly.)
– Ross says, "I take thee, Rachel" instead of "I take thee, Emily".  (OK, ENOUGH WITH THE FRIENDS REFERENCES ALREADY!)
– Ross says. "Over time, small annual differences can accumulate into big numbers." (If you'd like to know more about my retirement fund, please send a $50 money order to Mad Money with Ross, P.O. Box 24601, Chesterfield MO, 90210)

7. Type in "[your name] does" in the Google search:

– Ross Does Power Girl (Is this some kind of "slang" I am not familiar with?)
– Ross does not trust Microsoft. (Well, they've gotten better….but release the source code already!)
– Ross Does Right (I'm known in some circles as Mr. Right.  When I'm not known as Mr. Wrong)

8. Type in "[your name] eats" in the Google search:

– Ross eats a beating heart (um…okay?)
– Ross eats a rib (ok…maybe I'm some kind of cannibal?)
– Ross eats babies. (That's it.  I've had it.  Meme is over.)

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The Novel 100

Posted: 2007-05-02 in General
Tags: , ,

In response to Jonathan's post about The Novel 100, here's how I measure up.  

Bold titles are ones I've read (a somewhat-respectable 30 of 100).  Some of these came from my (now defunct) resolution to read 1 classic for every 3-4 "other" novels I've chosen to read, but most of them came from required reading courses in high school or college.  I'm so glad my teachers made me read these.  I only wish I had been given more required reading back then – I still feel like I missed out and am working hard to catch up…

Italicized titles are ones I've never heard of – in most cases the book, not the author (a not-so-respectable 53 of 100).

Plain text are ones I've heard of but not yet read.  Better add on to my book list!


1    Don Quixote                1605, 1630      Miguel de Cervantes
2    War and Peace              1869            Leo Tolstoy
3    Ulysses                    1922            James Joyce
4    In Search of Lost Time     1913-27         Marcel Proust
5    The Brothers Karamazov     1880            Feodor Dostoevsky
6    Moby-Dick                  1851            Herman Melville
7    Madame Bovary              1857            Gustave Flaubert
8    Middlemarch                1871-72         George Eliot
9    The Magic Mountain         1924            Thomas Mann
10   The Tale of Genji          11th Century    Murasaki Shikibu

11   Emma                       1816            Jane Austen
12   Bleak House                1852-53         Charles Dickens
13   Anna Karenina              1877            Leo Tolstoy
14   Adventures of Huckleberry  1884            Mark Twain
     Finn

15   Tom Jones                  1749            Henry Fielding
16   Great Expectations         1860-61         Charles Dickens
17   Absalom, Absalom!          1936            William Faulkner

18   The Ambassadors            1903            Henry James
19   100 Years of Solitude      1967            Gabriel Garcia Marquez
20   The Great Gatsby           1925            F. Scott Fitzgerald
21   To The Lighthouse          1927            Virginia Woolf
22   Crime and Punishment       1866            Feodor Dostoevsky
23   The Sound and the Fury     1929            William Faulkner

24   Vanity Fair                1847-48         William Makepeace Thackeray
25   Invisible Man              1952            Ralph Ellison
26   Finnegans Wake             1939            James Joyce
27   The Man Without Qualities  1930-43         Robert Musil
28   Gravity's Rainbow          1973            Thomas Pynchon
29   The Portrait of a Lady     1881            Henry James
30   Women in Love              1920            D. H. Lawrence
31   The Red and the Black      1830            Stendhal
32   Tristram Shandy            1760-67         Laurence Sterne
33   Dead Souls                 1842            Nikolai Gogol

34   Tess of the D'Urbervilles  1891            Thomas Hardy
35   Buddenbrooks               1901            Thomas Mann
36   Le Pere Goriot             1835            Honore de Balzac
37   A Portrait of the Artist   1916            James Joyce
     As a Young Man

38   Wuthering Heights          1847            Emily Bronte
39   The Tin Drum               1959            Gunter Grass
40   Molloy; Malone Dies;       1951-53         Samuel Beckett
     The Unnamable

41   Pride and Prejudice        1813            Jane Austen
42   The Scarlet Letter         1850            Nathaniel Hawthorne

43   Fathers and Sons           1862            Ivan Turgenev
44   Nostromo                   1904            Joseph Conrad

45   Beloved                    1987            Toni Morrison
46   An American Tragedy        1925            Theodore Dreiser
47   Lolita                     1955            Vladimir Nabokov
48   The Golden Notebook        1962            Doris Lessing
49   Clarissa                   1747-48         Samuel Richardson
50   Dream of the Red Chamber   1791            Cao Xueqin
51   The Trial                  1925            Franz Kafka

52   Jane Eyre                  1847            Charlotte Bronte
53   The Red Badge of Courage   1895            Stephen Crane
54   The Grapes of Wrath        1939            John Steinbeck
55   Petersburg                 1916/1922       Andrey Bely
56   Things Fall Apart          1958            Chinue Achebe
57   The Princess of Cleves     1678            Madame de Lafayette
58   The Stranger               1942            Albert Camus

59   My Antonia                 1918            Willa Cather
60   The Counterfeiters         1926            Andre Gide
61   The Age of Innocence       1920            Edith Wharton
62   The Good Soldier           1915            Ford Madox Ford
63   The Awakening              1899            Kate Chopin
64   A Passage to India         1924            E. M. Forster
65   Herzog                     1964            Saul Bellow
66   Germinal                   1855            Emile Zola
67   Call It Sleep              1934            Henry Roth
68   U.S.A. Trilogy             1930-38         John Dos Passos
69   Hunger                     1890            Knut Hamsun
70   Berlin Alexanderplatz      1929            Alfred Doblin
71   Cities of Salt             1984-89         'Abd al-Rahman Munif
72   The Death of Artemio Cruz  1962            Carlos Fuentes

73   A Farewell to Arms         1929            Ernest Hemingway
74   Brideshead Revisited       1945            Evelyn Waugh
75   The Last Chronicle of      1866-67         Anthony Trollope
     Barset

76   The Pickwick Papers        1836-67         Charles Dickens
77   Robinson Crusoe            1719            Daniel Defoe
78   The Sorrows of Young       1774            Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
     Werther

79   Candide                    1759            Voltaire
80   Native Son                 1940            Richard Wright
81   Under the Volcano          1947            Malcolm Lowry
82   Oblomov                    1859            Ivan Goncharov

83   Their Eyes Were Watching   1937            Zora Neale Hurston
     God
84   Waverley                   1814            Sir Walter Scott
85   Snow Country               1937, 1948      Kawabata Yasunari

86   Nineteen Eighty-Four       1949            George Orwell
87   The Betrothed              1827, 1840      Alessandro Manzoni
88   The Last of the Mohicans   1826            James Fenimore Cooper
89   Uncle Tom's Cabin          1852            Harriet Beecher Stowe
90   Les Miserables             1862            Victor Hugo
91   On the Road                1957            Jack Kerouac
92   Frankenstein               1818            Mary Shelley
93   The Leopard                1958            Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
94   The Catcher in the Rye     1951            J.D. Salinger
95   The Woman in White         1860            Wilkie Collins
96   The Good Soldier Svejk     1921-23         Jaroslav Hasek

97   Dracula                    1897            Bram Stoker
98   The Three Musketeers       1844            Alexandre Dumas
99   The Hound of Baskervilles  1902            Arthur Conan Doyle

100  Gone with the Wind         1936            Margaret Mitchell

My favorites of the ones I've read have to be 1984, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Crime and Punishment and Moby Dick.  Only C&P was required reading – the others I picked out on my own.  I own copies of all of these and tend to lean towards re-reading one of these before picking up one of the other classics I have on my shelves as-yet-to-be read!

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10 Things About Me in 10 Minutes

Posted: 2006-10-20 in General
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1 look was all it took.
2 is my favorite number.
3 is the number of paper towels it typically takes to dry my hands.
4 score (minus 53 years) ago, my mother brought forth a new son, conceived in my parents bed, and dedicated to the proposition that he should be named Ross.
5 fingers on each hand, 5 toes on each foot…just the way nature intended.
6 geese a-laying (even though I'm jewish).
7 days make one week, but diet and exercise make me strong! (That is, when I do them)
8 ball (pool) is slightly less fun than 9-ball, unless I'm competing against a really good player who can run the table on me in 9-ball
9 times out of 10, I'm absolutely right, and the 10th time I'm dead wrong. Or wait, am I mistaken about that?
10 quippy things are a lot harder to think up in 10 minutes than you'd think. Try it!

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