Archive for the ‘internet’ Category

One of the things that is true of my wife: she is constitutionally incapable of doing that thing people call a “staycation.” The idea that we’d stay home and, for instance, see the sites of Albany – tour the state Capitol or go up to the 42nd floor of the Corning Tower – tallest building between Montreal and New York City, I’m told, would likely not happen until whatever chores that needed to be done were done. Generally, that means that we don’t always play as much as I want.

Early on in our marriage I realized this. It was in the days after 11 September 2001, and naturally the news was terribly depressing. I suggested that we go SOMEWHERE. She said, “We could stay home and go on vacation.” We’d only been married a little over two years, but I’d known her for nine. I said something like, “You are constitutionally incapable of staying home without finding things that need to be done in the house. There are ALWAYS things to be done in the house.” I insisted that we had to go SOMEWHERE ELSE.

It turned out that she had a gift certificate from before we were married to a bed and breakfast in Cherry Valley, NY, only about an hour’s distance, but a world away from our lives. The place we went to had no TVs. It had some lovely shops. I’m not a shopper, because shopping tends to mean going to some megastore, but this kind of shopping was quite all right.

Two things occurred on that Columbus Day weekend I remember quite vividly. Carol’s (and my) niece Markia was born – we got a phone call – and the war in Afghanistan began, which I heard on someone’s radio. Re: the latter, you can get away for only so long, and sometimes not far enough away.

What reminded me of that was the past couple weekend trips. One was to the Mid-Hudson Valley, about an hour south of Albany. We stayed in a Holiday In Express in Poughkeepsie, attended a party, seeing some old friends, including one I hadn’t seen since 1991, and generally had a great time. The other trip actually ended today, visiting my mom, sisters and niece in Charlotte, NC.

The difference is that, in each case, seeking Internet connectivity was a primary consideration. I used the Hotel Internet Guide, because, somehow, being connected has become just as important as price and location. What that says about me over the past nine years, I’m not sure.

ROG

I’ve become fascinated with the fascination over Joe Lieberman re: the health care debate. This example from a New York Times colummnist is a perfectly good example: Let us contemplate the badness of Joe Lieberman.

Who would have thought that this holiday season we’d be obsessed with the senator from Connecticut?

I guess it’s the fact that people seem surprised by his intransigence, that it is he, rather than 40 Republicans in the Senate holding bill hostage. I am reminded that he is a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). He got all “mavericky” by supported his “good friend” John McCain over the Democratic nominee last year. In 2006, Connecticut Democrats realized that he was no Democrat and booted him from the ticket when he was running for re-election. He ran and won as a Liebermanist.

Oh, and re: those from the GOP: Republicans, religion and the triumph of unreason: How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality? This came out in August, but is no less true today for that.

But as Paul Krugman said: A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you’re disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable. Butut in his defense of the bill on the table, he says:

Bear in mind also the lessons of history: social insurance programs tend to start out highly imperfect and incomplete, but get better and more comprehensive as the years go by. Thus Social Security originally had huge gaps in coverage — and a majority of African-Americans, in particular, fell through those gaps. But it was improved over time, and it’s now the bedrock of retirement stability for the vast majority of Americans.

Look, I understand the anger here: supporting this weakened bill feels like giving in to blackmail — because it is. Or to use an even more accurate metaphor suggested by Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, we’re paying a ransom to hostage-takers. Some of us, including a majority of senators, really, really want to cover the uninsured; but to make that happen we need the votes of a handful of senators who see failure of reform as an acceptable outcome, and demand a steep price for their support.

At the same time, I was surprised by the attack by Mike Madden on Keith Olbermann’s announced intent of civil disobedience: Wrong, Keith: Olbermann’s prescription for protesting the insurance mandate — don’t buy insurance — is nuts. I think these fights are almost always taken on at multiple levels. So if a bill is passed, and a number of people REFUSE on conscience, to abide by said law, sometimes – sometimes – the laws get changed.
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And speaking of laws DC Council Passes Gay Marriage Bill; On to Mayor for Signature. Interesting that Congress – yes, the U.S. Congress – gets final say in this matter. I keep forgetting that the District of Columbia is a protectorate of the United States. But, from the tone of this and other stories I’ve read, it appears that the Democrats in Congress have enough political muscle to pass this; I’ll wait until the actual vote, thank you.
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The 10 Best Web Sites of the Decade
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For those who follow movies, Box Office Mojo has production cost, foreign & domestic box office, and DVD sales in the initial period.
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The resurrection of Josie and the Pussycats?
ROG

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about a couple recent podcasts by Arthur at AmeriNZ dealing with the topic, broadly stated: “Are online relationships ‘real’?” I was talking over these podcasts with a couple guys I see on the bus each evening. One suggests that if the relationship generates an action from the other person, then it is a relationship.

Of course, it could be a one-sided relationship. Let’s say you were following Ashton Kutcher on on Twitter and retweeted all of his best lines; unless Ashton reciprocated, it would really be much of a story. But when you are motivated to take some action, and they respond in kind, then certainly, some real human interaction is taking place. I see an article that I believe – because I listen to his podcast, read his blog – that Arthur would interested in for its content. And as often as not, Arthur acknowledges that in some way.

Here’s the odd thing I experienced this fall. There’s a guy in my office. He’s a perfectly nice person. Someone sent out an e-mail asking if we wanted to contribute to a wedding gift. Oh, he’s been engaged? Really? I had no idea. Now this guy sits about 20 feet from my desk, lives (somewhere) in my neighborhood. I say hi to him but I don’t know anything about him, or he much about me, I suspect.

Whereas I know about Scott’s sons, Nigel and new baby Ian, and Greg’s daughters, Norah and Mia; they in turn know a bit about Lydia. I know more about Scott and Greg, and more importantly, interact with them more substantially, than I do the woman who I see on the bus every evening.
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Wednesday, the wife had a follow-up oral surgery. After the ordeal last year, it seems that six of her lower teeth didn’t have enough gum cover for six of her lower teeth. Without gums, the teeth could rot and fall out. So tissue was removed from one part of her mouth to create gum tissue. She’s recovering amazingly well. The in-laws came to our house this year to help Carol and to celebrate Thanksgiving, which was fine.
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I was doing research at work a couple months back, when I came across some New York State law:

EDN – Education
Article 17 – INSTRUCTION IN CERTAIN SUBJECTS
801 – Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents
§ 801. Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents. 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obligations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction.

I did not know that. Surely, this is law that must have been passed long after I attended school – though it seemed we did seem to spend a lot of time on the Irish potato famine. Just found it interesting and can only imagine certain people making political hay over it.
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The bitter tears of Johnny Cash. The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry
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Caring for Your Photographic Collections.
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Hen House Five Plus Two’s In the Mood actually Ray Stevens, the song that first informed me that all music can be done in chicken. The beginning of The Muppets’ Bohemian Rhapsody was a reminder of same.
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Wonderous invention.

ROG

May I just write music, movies and massages and leave it at that? Probably not. From Jaquandor. Again. In no particular order. Took longer to compile than 100 things that bug me. What does THAT say about me?

1. Government and association websites/databases with a lot of good, free stuff.

2. Blogging. It practically saved my life, created connections I would not have otherwise; among others, it’s how I reestablished with Fred and Deborah.

3. Cranberry juice. Often mixed with orange juice, sometimes with a splash of ginger ale.

4. A good massage.

5. Albany will probably withstand the forces of global warming better than most places.

6. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

7. Cinnamon raisin bagels.

8. Music in harmony – it could be Bach or the Beach Boys. I love it. I know unison singing has its place, but it’s not my favorite.

9. British invasion music and its American counterpoint.

10. The blues and folk and rockabilly that led to the 1960s music explosion.

11. Pizza. Good pizza, not the stuff at the work cafeteria.

12. The answering machine. Yes, I screen my calls. Got a problem with that? Now, the phone number will appear on my TV screen for me to (usually) ignore.

13. The DVR. We still have in the queue Raisin in the Sun from February, ice skating from April and Thursday night comedies from May. Back in the VCR days, we’d have to keep track of what tape to watch or tape with. I’m also pleased with the limitations of the DVR, about 50 hours, which forces one to watch or delete, thus limiting the amount of TV we can watch. We see very little in real time.

14. The Billboard books Top Pop singles and Top Pop Albums.

15. The World Almanac, which I’ve been reading since I was 9 or 10.

16. Woody Allen movies of the 1970s and 1980s.

17. Candlelight. The power has gone out in my neighborhood two or three times a year.

18. Hess trucks for Christmas.

19. Oatmeal.

20. Gud grammer.

21. Cats. Used to own them; maybe, someday, I will again.

22. Reading the funnies in the paper, especially Pearls Before Swine.

23. Playing racquetball.

24. Watching baseball, especially at the stadium; maybe I’ll see the Cubs in September.

25. Watching football on TV from November on.

26. Pie. Apple or blueberry or peach, slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

27. Builders who seem to have meshed form AND function into design in “green” ways that are accessible to all.

28. Joni Mitchell. Some other singer-songwriters too, but I’ve seen Joni twice, so we have a track record.

29. Cottage cheese. Goes with everything – fruit, eggs, cold chicken, apple sauce.

30. Maps. My grandfather used to give me his National Geographic maps. I’ve long been fascinated with how the US and the world changed geopolitically over time.

31. White wine, served with a slight chill. The red stuff gives me wicked headaches.

32. Walking on the beach as the waves roll in. My favorite time was in Galveston about a decade ago.

33. Intentionally getting “lost”, just walking somewhere with no particular goal.

34. Newspapers. I like to read, and they’re useful for drawing on, etc.

35. The late 1970s music movement: Police, Talking Heads and the like.

36. Giving massages.

37. JEOPARDY! daily calendars.

38. From JAQ: “Older women with long hair. Too often, when women head into whatever it is we consider ‘elder years’ these days – for purposes of this post, to pick an arbitrary figure, over fifty – women tend to cut their hair short or make liberal use of curlers or something like that. There’s always something striking, though, about an older woman with a full head of long, silver hair. Or red. Or blonde.”

39. “Picking songs and pieces of music for mix CDs. I like to think I’m pretty good at this.” I get rather invested in it.

40. Doing square root by hand. Because I can.

41. License plate math. Thinking of a license plate as an equation and solving for an unknown factor. (Has many rules, listed in the 8th paragraph http://rogerowengreen.blogspot.com/2006/05/pastiche.html here.)

42. Rack of Lamb with Mint Jelly.

43. Cheerios and spoon-sized Shredded Wheat, together.

44. Spinach lasagna.

45. Ice cream.

46. JEOPARDY! But Alex HAS to stop mentioning Ken Jennings every time someone wins more than three games.

47. Hell. The book series by Matt Groening that predates the Simpsons. Especially Love Is Hell.

48. Librarians are wonderful people.

49. Neil Young, just because.

50. Green. Green means go, in the money, environmentally friendly. Green’s the color of spring.

*****
Brian Ibbott of Coverville re: someone’s controversial opinion: “When you stir the pot, do you prefer a wooden or slotted spoon?”
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51. Excellent short-lived TV series, such as My So-Called Life and Once and Again. Maybe they would have eventually gone downhill, but we’ll never know, will we?

52. Dictionaries, the less abridged, the better.

53. The Complete Directory to Prime Network and Cable TV Shows by Brooks and Marsh.

54. Hymnals. It’s a great way of seeing the transition of the way religion is enacted. I have one nearly 150 years old, with just the words; it was ASSUMED you knew the music.

55. The Simpsons. One of those things I like that my wife does not

56. Romance language, especially French and Italian. I just like the way they sound.

57. Fireworks.

58. “Footbridges and boardwalks.”

59. The color blue.

60. Real maple syrup. Probably won’t be available in New York and Vermont in the next century.

61. “Sausages.”

62. Bill Moyers’ Journal. It speaks truth to power.

63. Rum. Don’t drink NEARLY enough of it anymore.

64. My birthday, which I share with Jenna Fischer, Rachel Weisz, Luther Burbank and many other fine folks.

65. Taking a bath. I do it rarely enough that it’s always special.

66. Jazz, of many kinds.

67. Automatic bill payments.

68. Song of Solomon. A horny little book of the Bible that’s hardly ever in the lectionary.

69. The Twilight Zone and Rod Serling.

70. Montreal. I’ve been there twice and loved it.

71. Motown, especially 1963-1972.

72. The Dick van Dyke Show and everyone associated with it, from Carl Reiner to Earl Hagen.

73. “Popcorn. My favorite of all snacks! I tend to prefer it with butter…”,

74. Slippers.

75. “Ms. Pac Man is still my favorite video game, however many years it’s been since I first played it.”

76. Sorry, the board game I most like to play with children.

77. SCRABBLE, which I used to play with my great aunt when I was eight.

78. The train, my favorite form of transportation.

79. “Shrimp.”

80. The promise of the U.S. Constitution. That it sometimes falls short isn’t its fault.

81. Many card games, including hearts, spades and pinochle.

82. Comic books. I don’t read them much now, but especially that period from 1972-1992, I devoured ‘em.

83. The bicycle. In spite of the accident.

84. Thunderstorms when I’m home.

85. Books about movies and the industry.

86. My rain stick. It relieves stress.

87. City buses. I love how the daughter has learned to hail them.

88. Good Italian restaurants.

89. Intelligent movie comedies such as Groundhog Day.

90. Non-chain movie theaters.

91. Headphones, so I can listen to music but you don’t have to.

92. Dreamer politicians, such as Dennis Kucinich, who recently took action to have Bush and Cheney impeached. May history judge him more kindly.

93. Sunrise.

94. Sunset.

95. Learning new things almost every day on my job.

96. Optimists. Not sure I’m one, but they’re good to have around.

97. Cynics. They have their place, too.

98. Friends I’ve met, and friends I know only know electronically.

99. Being the alpha male of my tiny tribe. Didn’t like it initially, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it.

100. “You. You know who you are.”

And there we have it: 100 things I love.

ROG

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 08 Election

Al Jaffee’s fold-ins for Mad magazine, from the 1960s to the present, in interactive form, from the Noo Yawk Times.

China Celebrates Status As Number One Polluter

Pat Paulsen for President. “Resurrect and Elect!” “Think Inside the Box.”

‘Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat’

We Are The World redux.

More news here.

And, of course, the big news story of last year: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Don’t know if any of this is ha-ha funny, but it’s certainly peculiar/funny. Rather like the date itself.

ROG

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