Thanks, Joker! (And some Random Ramblin’s.)

So my blog has been decidedly dormant due to my dedication to my daughters and my duties as Daddy.

No more! (Well, I’m not going to stop that stuff, but I will try to get back to bloggin’.)

And it’s thanks to several comments from a fellow blogger, Joker from Why Advertising Sucks. It’s amazing what some kind words from an unseen colleague can do…so thanks Joker!

Call the rest of this a mini-Random Ramblin’s…

If you’re not a baseball fan, skip down a few ‘graphs. This is about Roy Halladay, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He’s currently a Toronto Blue Jay, but they’ve pretty much decided to make him available for a trade. And my hometown Phillies are a great match, since they have plenty of good young prospects and the ability to take on his salary (now and in the future).

Reasons the Phillies need Halladay: He makes a good rotation GREAT. Especially in a short playoff series, when it could be Halladay, Hamels and whoever else they put out there. Heck, if Pedro Martinez has anything left in the tank, let him rip.

Heck, legendary baseball man Peter Gammons basically says the Phillies could be a World Series contender for two or three years if they did this. And although they’d be giving up some of their best prospects, that’s what they are right now – prospects. There is NO guarantee that these guys become solid contributors at the major league level – much less superstars.

There is no guarantee that Halladay gets them back to the World Series – but he improves their chances BIG time.

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Well, a case manager from HP was supposed to call me today about my Presario V6000 laptop, which refuses to turn on. Well, the lights come on for half a second, it gives a weak beep, then shuts down. But because this is a replacement unit – that’s right, this one was sent to us when the old 5101 died on us – we need to have a case manager validate our claim so they’ll repair it.

I’d go on a long rant about how sucky HP/Compaq is, but it’s been done.

I may do a pre-emptive call in a few minutes, and will keep you posted.

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So now I’m going off of Imuran completely. One less immunosuppressive drug. Yay! Now we being the countdown to Colonoscopy ’09, scheduled for Friday the 13th (of November). Yay?

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More important than anything else you’ve read here…the girls are doing well, thanks for asking!

Eating and pooping pretty normally.

But sleeping? They’re freakin’ Olympians already. We’re talking like 8, 9, maybe 10 hours overnight.

I think they’re setting us up, this is all a trick. When they’re two, they’ll sleep in half-hour shifts for four hours then demand we stay up with them watching Ni Hao Kailan or Jack’s Big Music Show! (Actually, they’re pretty good shows.)

We think that Alexandra is starting to look like me, and Norah like Shannon. Here’s a recent photo:

My girls

Alexandra & Norah, just chillin'.

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I’m in 4th place in fantasy baseball. This is unheard of, and I have now jinxed myself.

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We’re living in Little Elm, Texas, not far from the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Route 423/Main Street. The latter is a horrendous road that gets crazy backed up during rush hour. The former is under massive construction that will probably continue until I retire at the ripe old age of 78.

I don’t know if this is deserving of an “oy” or a “meh.” Perhaps a new term should be made available…

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Shannon and I saw The Hangover. 86 out of 100. Laugh-out loud in parts, but man I was hoping for more gutbusting laughs.

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I hate that the scale at Medifast is usually 3 pounds heavier than my scale at home. I woke up all psyched that I was 160.8 on Saturday morning, until I get to the clinic and weigh in at 163.8. They’re both digital scales! How does that work?

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I can’t believe boxing lost Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest like two weeks apart. I truly enjoyed watching these warriors fight and grieve for them and their families.

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I hope you’re happy, Joker. You’ve unleashed the beats. A lame bloggin’ beast.

My interview with The Pakistani Spectator

Yes, you read that correctly. As a world-famous blogger, I was asked to give an interview by a reporter from The Pakistani Spectator (link below).

http://www.pakspectator.com/interview-with-blogger-harley/

Here’s the transcript:

I’m a 35-year-old American, currently working as a freelance advertising copywriter. My wife and I live in Plano, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), although we’re originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I earned a B.A. in Communications & English and a Master’s in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising. I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for 13 years, writing for major national and international companies. I have Crohn’s disease, and have also dealt with pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin condition with ulcers) in the past. But right now, I’m healthy, happy and loving life in Texas.

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
I’m a professional writer who loves popular culture and the Internet. I was blogging on my MySpace page, and decided to “take the plunge” and create a full-fledged blog on WordPress.


Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

In every writing-based class, they tell you that “a writer writes.” The more you do it, the better you get, and hopefully you’re able to express yourself in new ways. Blogging is a great outlet for me – it’s kind of like a journal or diary that I share with the world. (Or at least 1,400 visitors so far.)


I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

The three days or so when I’ve had 40+ visitors. Knowing that people are interested in seeing what I have to say is gratifying. Also, this opportunity to be interviewed by a member of the international community is quite nice. It shows that thanks to the Internet, the world is getting much smaller.


What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I don’t spend a lot of time communicating with other bloggers. I do try to respond to everyone who leaves a comment on my blog, but rarely post comments on others.


What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?

I thought the touch-screens that they were using on CNN during the Presidential primaries were pretty cool.


Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?

The touch-screens, no. I do think that blogs and online news coverage are keeping people more informed, but only people who truly want to be involved will be “more” responsive.


What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

My writing “voice” is different from most other people, and I think that my honesty, humor and unique life experiences make my blog different from others.


If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

Optimism. Despite facing some rather large challenges in my life, I have worked to maintain a positive outlook that has served me well.


What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

My happiest moment was when I married my wife. My gloomiest moment occurred at the height of my illness, when I was in a great deal of physical and mental pain.


If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?

Aruba, Italy and Hawaii.

What is your favorite book and why?

I couldn’t possibly pick just one book. I’ve enjoyed great and funny fiction writers such as David Sedaris and Mark Leyner, plenty of books penned by comedians, many Stephen King novels, books on advertising and more.


What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

Their physical dimensions and their clothes. (I know that’s two things.)


Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?

Strangely, no. The interesting thing is that I really didn’t know what I was good at or wanted to do with my life going into college; yet one of my closest friends in high school told me later that she “knew” I’d be a writer. I’ve since berated her for not telling me sooner!


How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

Well, I don’t make any money off of mine – although it’s possible that someone could see my writing style (and my PDF file of work samples) at my blog and become interested in hiring me. I’m sure there are people who put advertising on their blogs or sell merchandise related to their blog.


Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

It doesn’t hurt. However, I’m sure some bloggers spend just 15 minutes a day or so doing quick entries when they can during the day.


What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?

Open and honest communication can often help people understand each other better.


Who are your top five favourite bloggers?

PattonOswalt.com (U.S. comedian), MLBTradeRumors.com (baseball),  AdsSuck.Blogspot.com (advertising), AmericanCopywriter.Typepad.com (advertising), AndrewSullivan.TheAtlantic.com (political/news commentary).


Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?

Not particularly, but it seems that the more personal the topic, the more relatable it is – and the more comments I receive.


What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?

I suffer from the typical American’s ignorance on many foreign countries, and until recently only knew of Pakistan’s troubles with India and the recent political news concerning Musharraf and Bhutto. However, I just finished reading an in-depth article about Pakistan in the May 2008 issue of GQ Magazine by Devin Friedman. The stories of corruption, religious fanaticism and suffering are terrifying; but obviously, there are people living there who are trying to rise above the politics and extremism – such as the online reporter who requested this interview.


Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?

There are some extremely funny and odd blogs out there.


What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?

I am incredibly unqualified to answer this question, having led a relatively sheltered and spoiled life in one of the most developed countries in the world.


What is the future of blogging?

There are millions and millions of people who don’t have Internet access, but more of them discover the Web every day. It’s possible that some day in our lifetime, blogs will be a very common method of communication.


You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

No, I don’t blog enough to affect my personal life – other than I do enjoy having another creative outlet and receiving a modicum of attention from readers. And as mentioned above, it’s possible that colleagues and potential clients/employers will see my writings and hire me.


What are your future plans?

To find a satisfying full-time position utilizing my advertising and marketing experience, and to try to increase the amount of blog entries I create.


Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?

Please do not judge all Americans by the actions of the recent administration.

I promise…

…to blog more often soon.  When I can.  Probably the weekend.

Life has just been hectic, for more reasons than I have the energy to go into right now.  (You’ll just have to trust me.)

Still diggin’ the two-month freelance on-site corporate gig, still wondering/hoping it’ll turn into full-time.

Heading back to Philly again for another whirlwind weekend in mid-June.

Fantasy baseball update: My teams suck.  I made a bunch of cuts to my Yahoo team, and I’m working the trade talks in the CBS league.  This is just not my year at all, fantasy-wise.

Just got two songbooks in the mail–Ben Folds and Rent.  Guess which is for me and which is for Shannon.  I’ll probably start practicing them on my keyboard this weekend.

I’m halfway to 70 (have been for several months now), but does it really count like that?  I barely remember any of the first five years.

It’s late and my contacts are still in.  But not for long.

Peace out.

New name for this blog–need your votes!

I did a Dogpile search and found that others were using “blogtastic” and “blogalicious.”  So in the spirit of not being a hack in my personal writings, I have re-adopted the name of my beloved (by me) college newspaper sports/opinion column.

So welcome to Harley’s Haven, which…holy crap.

Somebody’s using that as well.  Not as a URL, but as the site name for a Harley Quinn (the Joker’s girlfriend) tribute site.

Goshdarnit to HECK!

OK, need another new name…brainstorm:

–Rubin’s ‘Ritins (or ‘Ritings?)

–Emptying Harley’s Head

–Stuff I Just Thought Of

–60% Chance of Brainstorms

–Where Have You Gone, Steve Jeltz?

–A PhilaTexan’s Blog

–Deep in the Heart of Harley

–Birds Curds Girds Herds Nerds Turds WORDS

The voting lines are now open.  Just click Comment to submit.

Until the votes are counted, I’ll go with the PhilaTexan one.