Friday, April 29, 2005

Love a Racist Day

On "Wake up, White America!" in the Yahoo Bulletin Boards, I posted a message declaring today a day to reconciliate with the ones with whom you've been at odds, on questions of race.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Holy Night unfolds. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Since the computer crash of mad March, I've taken to rebuilding my Paint world. This one is called "sunshine and hope." Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I discover a lively poetry scene in Savannah

That we would meet is inevitable, now that I'm emerging from my post-Iraq lethargy, and also have the free time to explore. But there's one more thing needed to make it happen, which was that I decided and pushed hard to be re-born as an artist, as a person who, one might judge from a cursory glance at my curriculum vitae, had not accomplished much in a worldly sense.

Recently I took the opportunity to make some forays into Savannah. It was early on a Saturday evening that I learned about a Poetry Festival which happened this weekend. Unfortunately, it was well underway, and I was with my family, two of whom are two little to be keeping them a long time in the city. I decided to come today, but early on decided that since I've got to be at the warehouse at 0600, an evening event was too much for me to manage, and still keep my equilibrium. This latter involves my hustling after hours to complete the Financial Aid Form, or FAFNA.

So this Spring Poetry event turns out to be hosted by The Spitfire Poetry Group, an association of poets in the tradition of hip hop and slam poetry.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My exciting new job

I'm working with a Trakker to do cycle counts for Rotary.

The Interpreter, with Nicole Kidman.

We need to tell about this Interpreter film.

American convoy attacked in Iraq

The Iraqi resistance and jihadists continue their guerrilla against the United States and the alliance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Doin' resume's

Am sending out resume's and cover letters. Here is a sample of a cover letter:

Display all headersDate: 19 Apr 2005 21:26:45 -0000
To: ********************

Dear Sir or Ma'am:

Here I introduce myself, Northern by birth, but Southern by choice, a man with the drive, motivation, and the organization you require to put Community Outreach at the top of the competitors in its market segment.

I possess a valid Georgia driver's license--yes, I am a transplant! --have a clean record, am organized, efficient, thoroughly fluent in not only Spanish but also in French and English. I've four years of experience as a personnel clerk in the areas of finance and human management, and four years experience as an engineer in the mighty United States Army Engineers. I can drive like James Bond or I can gently drive Ms. Daisy, can maintain my vehicle as well as Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk, and can keep the necessary paperwork squared away to the standard of the most obsessive compulsive without losing any time in the process. I have the people skills of a Puff Daddy or a Reverend Jesse Jackson.

And there's more! Not only can I wrte and provide art for original and attention-grabbing marketing media, including classifieds, or ad copy, but I have four DIFFERENT web logs, EACH of which reaches out to a different market sector, in which I can place web advertising and other promotions to extend and intensify your market reach many times over.

I look forward to discussing with you how my skill set, energy, and experience can serve Community Outreach Project.


Jean-Pierre Tarik Abu Gareth

(HTML and ASCII versions of resume were attached)

Cardinal Ratzinger is elected as Holy Father

The news I just learned this last minute, that Cardinal Ratzinger has been elected Pope, or as the Catholics say, "the Holy Father."

Slogging for the blogging

Have been working this morning on improving my web log. The effects of the hacking are not so apparent when the same blog is viewed through Opera browser. It's somewhat visible but not so bad with others.

Have also started to put stat counters on my pages. Have yet to see it take effect.

I need to go out and run! But I'm the sitter for our child now, since Wilma is taking a birthday cake to our other baby's party at her school.

Time elapsed during post: 3 min.? No way! This clock is off!

Suggested links:

Developing another web log

And what do I do with this little snippet of code? It was supposed to go on my desk top, so I thought. But it just sits there in the form of a text file. Hmmmm.....

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet ExplorerMenuExt\TypePad QuickPost]

It seems to me that it should go in the registry. But I fear just putting it there on my own, without understanding how it may affect the registry.

"Time out," says my lad, "soccer time!"

Good morning, and a blessing to you!

To start, may you be blessed! Watching Jiri Trnka's puppet films. Drinking coffee with milk.

The lad and I played several minutes with balloons. He with a large yellow one, I with two shrinking ones, a blue and a yellow.

"The Hand." A commentary on fascistic power?

Time elapsed since starting, seven minutes. 8:23

Monday, April 18, 2005

Just eleven days shy of my 44th birthday

My first thought was that forty-two
meant the number of years I'd lived two years ago,
when I got to Baghdad.

Then I was away from my wife daughter
and infant son. Then
I didn't know if I'd make it back alive.
Then, all life hung in the balance
and I knew it.

Tonight, my second thought
was that 42=6x7, or 42=7x6
or 3x14
or 2x21
or two and forty.
Forty days and forty nights,
then the day after the day
after ending that fast.

Maybe, now that I have thought of it,
and am thinking of it,
forty-two is just
half of eighty-four.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Apology to our readers

Meeting Place by an Old Live Oak is still a happening place, although it's had its troubles-- by this I refer to the sidebar which has slipped down to the bottom of the page. You can still see it, but you have to press your "End" button, or scroll all the way down. However, we'll be working on it as much and as fast as time allows, hopefully getting everything squared away by Memorial Day weekend. Just joking. Hopefully sooner. In the mean while, like they say at the Meetings, keep coming back, it works. One way or an other.

Stretching, singing opera exercises, in my flannel housecoat

The day after Tax Day. Two days after the big gathering, feast, dubbed "Law Enforcement Appreciation Day." That event, held annually, is hosted by a local land baron. All the law enforcement agencies, mostly county sherriff's offices, and some politicos, and many public persons come to attend, to hob nob, to "refresh themselves" with drink, country music and some popular jazz and oldies, and honor law enforcement.

This was my first one. I got to see our local state senator, meet and greet a few individuals, including Madame Mayor and our acting Police Chief.

It's ironic to me that the invite came to me from a man who is not from this country, who stopped by the college, and let me know in an aside. I'd been interested in this since I got out of the Army two years ago.

The Governor was in attendance, having flown in on helicopter. I was too late to see him though.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Already, another Sabbath! Week in review

Am watching a good film about a girl who grows up with both parents deaf. Beyond Silence, with Tatjana Trieb acting as Laura, a daughter upon whom her parents rely for translation.

Have drunk a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheap but satisfying. Good for the blood, say the scientists.

First time I've seen a pop song translated into Sign Language. This one is in European Sign Language.

I passed a good portion of the day on legislature issues, including the Tom Delay ethics debacle, Senator Frist's involvement in the movement to quash the filibuster rule, and immigration issues.

I was also working on my curriculum vitae, phoning a prospective employer, and looking for consulting work. Now have searchable resume's on the New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlanta Latino web sites. The last one is an Hispanic web site.

Time for backgammon now. Good night!

Human rights: the Arab world, & Amnesty International

Having long procrastinated any action on behalf of victims of torture, and having recently listened to Malika Oufkir's biography, Stolen Lives, I began to read the issue of Amnesty International which arrived in our mail box yesterday. This morning before I turn on the National Public Radio, I visited the A.I. web site.

My attention has been divided lately between the Palestinian and Israeli suffering, the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the many human rights abuses throughout the world, not excepting Arab nations such as Morocco, from where Malika Oufkir and her family come, and Algeria, which soon will be the subject of study both here and at the arabic learners' group at Yahoo Groups.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's proposal of a general amnesty for human rights abuses committed in the country's brutal internal conflict may permanently deprive victims or their families of their right to truth, justice and reparation, a group of international human rights organizations warned today.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Almanacs for today, 10 April 2005

Don't forget these very fine almanacs: Writers' Almanac, History Channel, and the BBC's "This Week in History. " Today one can celebrate or otherwise observe the birthdays of Doris Huerta, Lewis Wallace, Halberstam, and Paul Theroux.

Today's the Third Sunday of Easter. Tomorrow is St. Stanislaus' day, and Wednesday or Odin's Day is St. Martin's Day. Then, don't ya know, there's tax day on the 15th! People, I hope if you've procrastinated, that you're getting hot on this! You may have to get an extension! Better that than get further in trouble!

A further look at gang activity on the internet

Just what is meant by the word "gang?" This word means different things to different people. However, one sense of the word defines or connotes an organization whose activities involve a range of crimes, from theft, to assault, to murder.

Blogging has gained much attention in the media lateley. So it should come as no surprise, then, that gang members are blogging and otherwise have been posting for some time now. I hope to research more into the history of gang activity and expression on the internet. One should caution those who are curious to beware revealing their identity or otherwise appearing to intrude on "gang territory."

My apologies -- been put off by hacked blog

I shouldn't let it affect me, but I did. And it was probably other things, too--being busy looking for work, or teaching, or otherwise working through issues. We've been working with issues which we won't discuss in detail, since it involves security. Suffice it to say the problem is being resolved, thank G-d, if you prefer to say, thank Allah, than so be it. Ameen.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Redefining purpose

I am hoping to share the feelings and observations I have, in order to open communication with those who also seek the truth.

Some truth is found in the saying, "One step at a time."

Also, a great philosopher once compared the way to the truth as removing the layers around one's self, like peeling the layers of the onion. Was it Nietzche?

"Am I not a man and a brother?"

___Good morning. 'Tis raining in plenty now.
___Starting out Thor's day late, knowing that I'll be up late tonight. I really like the quote of the day from Collins. It refers to one of the early challenges against slavery in the 18th century.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I may be alive today because of him

Yes, I was on the other side of the airport when this man died fighting to stave off an attack of 100 Iraqi Special Forces. And I knew him. He had helped to train some of us up for Sapper School.

Have we been hacked? Attacked?

The speculation is that some hacker has changed my blog just to play with my mind, to see if I'll figure it out. O.K. I like challenges. Let's see how we solve this one.

What's wrong with this blog?

For starters, where's the profile and sidebar? Well, way down on the right, after you scroll through several posts in the main part of the page. Why is this? I started to try to figure it out. Strangely enough, the Google Ad offered through the Ad Sense program offered a different free blog host, so... I may try it.

Now, if you, like I, have had problems with your blog as hosted by Blogger, you may also want to try this. Why not? I had contacted Blogger, and am waiting for some help with the problem you may still see on this page, if this hasn't been fixed by the time you read it.

Revisiting the first admission

For a long time, I kept quiet about things, mostly this period of my life, the time I have referred to as my dozen years of homelessness. How bizarre it feels to even write this! Yet I was, for about twelve years, without a home of my own, even wondering if I would ever really realize my dreams of sharing my writing with the world in a way that could benefit even one person in the world.

The very first time in my web log, as I review the archives, that I admitted to having been homeless, was the day I began with an entry on civil unrest in Cyprus. Yet the personal part of this web log was a rather simple statement.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Back to work, day and night

I stayed in the city late, thinking to pick up some news and also fill out an application, which is getting easier and easier the more I do. Before, I would feel as if I had to take them home, so I could do them "perfectly." Now, I do them well without worrying if every telephone number is up to date or the print has a typed appearance. I think that before, an obsessive compulsion was slowing me down to the point it was hurting my ability to ask for work.

As I drove back through the swamps, pine plantations, and darkness, I finished listening to Malika Oufkir's Stolen Lives, on Miramax cassette tapes. It's a very compelling account, and well told. I hope to do a review this weekend, which I'll post both here and on the Islamic nations tour of the Arabic learners' group.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Truth and the consequences

I suppose I might have been presenting a more professional, polished web log here. I've been considering what makes for a successful blog. Some of the ones that impress me, not that I think of it, have very little of the personal in them. They are elegant, offer a variety or a good number of links, have fine photos or flashy illustrations.

I have chosen to use this web log to share more personal moments. But does this make me more vulnerable? Undoubtedly. However, I was hoping that as I persevere in life, in my endeavours, that I might offer some insight which will help others to also overcome obstacles which present themselves. Is this arrogant of me? Perhaps so. Yet I feel G-d, Allah, whatever you want to call the Creator, wills me to share of my life, in my role as an artist and writer.

But enough about me. As the week gets underway, let's take a look at some of the unfolding stories in the world: the Pope's death and the question of who will be his successor, the response to the earthquake in Indonesia, our efforts to over-haul or repair Social Security, the matter of what to do or not to do in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and --in today's Washington Post--the move to decrease farm subsidies in the U.S.

I haven't kept up a current commentary to these issues lately, what with our computer crash, my looking for work, taking care of my little son, Altgeld, and my own struggle against depression. However, I will not stop trying, and I hope to interest each and every one of you in at least one issue, something which you can do to help your little corner of the world be a better place.

Now, it is approaching the time for me to load up the truck or car and go to the big city to attend some training for my communications officer career. May Allah bless my efforts!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Centennary of the New York Subway

MSN News included a small item announcing the 100 years anniversary of the New York City subway system. At the same time as I was reading it, Annie-Franck wanted to play a game. And I found the Transit Authority site has a site for kids' activities.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The week in Iraq.

Monday began with a report from Elliot Blair Smith, with the assistance of Sabah al-Anbaki, of USA Today, who sent in from Baghdad a review of videotape depicting "the insurgency." Smith's two reports, which covered page 6A of USA Today, came with photos of the burning wreck of a suicide car bomb in Mosul, another of Col. Riyad Gatie Olyway awaiting an imminent execution. Another article matched with photos of medical staff of the Yarmouk Hospital protesting the beating of one of their colleagues, Dr. Nawzad Fwad Hussein, a 30 year old man, by an Iraqi soldier.

Colonel Olyway served as the liason between the Interior and Oil ministries. He had been kidnapped a month ago. A video was posted last Sunday on an unamed "Muslim" website. If any of our readers are kind enough, please advise us of the URL of the web site. I don't imagine that it can be accessed in the United States easily, but we will post the URL for the benefit of universal access. This does not constitute an endorsement of their action, merely an upholding of the Freedom of Speech.

The Shi'ite and Kurdish factions in the Assembly decided to convene their second session on Tuesday, after having postponed a session that was planned for last Saturday. For the United Iraqi Alliance, which is Shi'a, Ali al-Dawbagh was negotiating. He had said that Alliance members would be voting for their candidate for the position of deputy of the president on Monday. Also, they were to meet with Sunni Arabs to talk about the names of Sunni candidates for the parliament speaker post and another deputy position (to the president).

Smith and al-Anbaki reported that the dispute, or negotiations, over positions, has been happening since 16 March. He did not report who was the chief negotiatior for the Kurds, nor is there any indication that he spoke with him or her.

Defense Ministry reported its forces captured 121 terror suspects during a radi Friday night in Karbala, 50 miles south(east) of Baghdad. They seized 3 tons of TNT, 624 assault rifles, 272,000 ammunition rounds, 193 rpg's, and 300 rockets for the rp devices.

Weekend cordon-and-search ops were conducted by joint Iraqi-US forces in Mosul, Tal afar, and Qaiyara. The US military also found two large caches of weapons in Baghdad.

General John Abizaid, of Central Command, expressed encouragement in an interview on CNN's Late Edition. Speaking from Mosul, he said that he thought that the occupation forces and Iraqi government alliance has "gone from a primarily military environment to a primarily political environment."

Tensions are often high in a war time environment. Such was the case when the cell phone of a doctor went off near a group of Iraqi Defense forces as they were guarding nine of their wounded comrades. My guess is that, since we know cell phones to often be a trigger device for bombs, the soldiers were edgy, and their was some sort of policy or taboo on cell phones. Here in the West, we know you don't have your cell phone on in many medical environments, since it can adversely affect certain pacemaker devices. Besides, it's just plain unnerving at times. So the guards beat the the young doctor to the ground.

Prime MInister Allawi and Deputy Prime Minister Barham met with a Dr. al-Kaki and other medical officials to make arrangements to avoid further such conflicts.

Today, I heard on the radio that a citizen of dual Jordanian and US citizenship had been arrested in Iraq late 2004, with explosive material. He is allegedly a partisan of Zarqawi. He will not be accorded enemy status, but will be treated as an illegal combatant.

The week and world reviewed, 1 April 2005

All praises due to Allah! Seems I may be experiencing a spiritual upheaval, experience, ephiphany, whatever. I am confronting some very real and serious questions, such as, how does one find salvation? Who is my Creator? What do I owe to this One?

To find some answers, I drove the one score and something miles to the nearest Friday afternoon worship gathering, what I had referred to the angel whom I will call my friend in Cairo, as "the mosque."
Strangely enough, since the location had been changed since I last worked over in that community, I found, while driving around, the Catholic replacement for Father H. who'd been with us when we invaded Iraq. The priest, wearing an elegant stole, was hearing a confession. I waited, was able to meet and find out who he was, introduce myself, and learn that Father H. is back in Iraq. Then I went on with my search.
Apparently, it is the space allowed within a chapel in a government compound. Yes, our government guarantees freedom of religion, so by law all religions are to be tolerated, although kept separate and not sponsored by the government. So for those members of the Camp Swampy community, it's a small but clean room in a chapel which I'll call The Green Chapel, in the spirit of discretion. Unfortunately, I was late for the service, but I removed my shoes, entered respectfully, quietly, and got some literature. I read from the Sura which in English is translated as "Repentence," which is the only one which does not start with "In the name of Allah, the Almighty, the Merciful." I prayed in my mind as best I could, not knowing the Arabic well enough.

But not to worry. I have found the name of one or two Islamic men who will be able to guide me in the proper way to pray. They will be expecting me. Whatever will happen, will be the will of the Almighty. I throw myself at his Mercy.