Lunch with DOT

I had lunch with a variety of friends from the Office of Policy and Budget today. I really enjoyed seeing them and taking time to sit with them and speak about things happening there (not that I miss it). I also had a chance to mention how much I love my new position at DATCP. It was a great time, and I look forward to seeing them again in the near future.

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Remembering Jerry Orbach

Another tragedy has occurred in the past week. Jerry Orbach, who played Lennie Briscoe on television’s “Law and Order” died this morning at the young age of 69. I was a big fan of his character, who often made witty and cynical remarks. Orbach also played many other characters on screen and stage, including the memorable father in “Dirty Dancing” and the luminescent candelabra Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Of course, his most memorable character was New York Detective Lennie Briscoe, and I was sad to see him leave the show last season. Today’s blog is dedicated to him, his family, his friends and coworkers, and his fans.

Reuters: “Law and Order” star Jerry Orbach dies

Good news from India

I heard from a cousin this morning that my aunt and uncle that live in Madras/Chennai are fine. It turns out that they were in Bombay/Mumbai for a family wedding when the tsunami hit. Unfortunately, about 52,000 people are reported dead right now, and the number continues to increase. Although I have good news from my family, others are not as fortunate. As I did yesterday, I am dedicating today’s blog to those that are lost and to their families and loved ones.

ABC News/AP: Tsunami death toll climbs to 52,000

The earthquake and the tsunamis in the Pacific

The earthquake near Indonesia created some monster tsunamis. These tsunamis are hitting the coast of many countries, including India. The death toll in the area is estimated at 24,000 as of this writing. India’s casualties are currently estimated at 6,600. Among the areas hit were Chennai (formerly Madras), where my father grew up. I have an uncle and aunt that live there, but I don’t know what if they are alright. I had the opportunity to see my Uncle Girish and Aunt Taru when I was in India in 2001. I appreciated all that they and their sons Anand and Harsh did for me. So this blog is dedicated to those that died from this natural disaster, to their families, and to those that are wondering right now. May we all find peace in this horrible tragedy.

BBC News: India quake wave death toll rises

Remembering Reggie White

The loss of one of the greatest football players is always a sad thing, especially when he dies at the age of 43. Reggie White, the “Minister of Defense,” did so yesterday morning from respiratory failure. From 1993 to 1998, he led the Green Bay Packers in sacks, and he was a major factor in the team’s defense. In 1997 (SuperBowl XXXI), he had three sacks, a SuperBowl record, and helped the Packers to a 35-21 victory (the team’s first NFL Championship win since 1968, and its third overall). Off the field, White’s heart was immeasurable; he dedicated his life to helping others and offered spiritual guidance to everyone that he met. His spirit was more powerful off the field than his strength on the field. He was a legend, and he left behind a great legacy.

Interestingly enough, Packers Head Coach and General Manager Mike Sherman and Packers President Bob Harlan were discussing retiring number 92 on Christmas Eve. Sadly, White’s number will be retired posthumously.

Enough cannot be said in my blog about Reggie White that others have not already said, but I was fortunate enough to watch him during his tenure in Green Bay. Today’s blog is dedicated to Reggie White and his family, to all of the people whose lives he touched both on and off the field, and to all of his fans.

Links

Packers tribute to Reggie White

NFL tribute to Reggie White

Happy Holidays

The holidays are an interesting time of year. I consider it a time of thanking those that we care about and trying to show how much we appreciate their kindness and support. We spend time reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments and consider ways to improve ourselves in the upcoming year. And we try to spread the message of goodwill and sharing to everyone that we meet (well, in an ideal world).

I also want to send season’s greetings to our troops serving overseas. The other day, a deadly blast took out over 20 American troops while they were sitting down to lunch. My deepest condolences go out to all of the American soldiers and their families, and I hope that our veterans are never forgotten or turned away from society. May all of you find some peace this holiday season.

Even if you don’t celebrate some holiday this time of year or do not believe in the notion of Christmas or whatever else there is (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), I still wish you warm wishes and a great New Year. People are entitled to what they believe in, and I applaud all of you for thinking freely. Believing in yourself and in the real world around us shows greater strength and integrity than moving with the crowd in blind faith.

So I just want to say happy holidays to everyone, and have a great 2005. I don’t know the majority of people that visit my site, and I probably never will. But that won’t stop me from offering warm wishes to you. I’m happy that I can be a part of a large community in a continuously emerging medium, and I look forward to continuing my work on the site. Today’s blog is dedicated to those that strive for peace and compassion in the world.

Google crawls the new site

Google crawled my site recently, and provided an interesting and accurate description of what my site is all about. It states, “Brian Shah’s personal site for sharing with friends and family, and for providing information to others.” It still feels good to be number one.

Google's description of my site
Google’s description of my site