Archive for the ‘questions’ Category

Ken Levine was ranting about the loss of the television theme song, about which I tend to agree. It so happened that as I was reading his piece, I was in the midst of listening to one of seven or eight CDs I have of TV theme songs. I was at work, so I didn’t have time to look to see what songs were playing. A number of songs I liked but couldn’t place.

Which brings me to these questions, in honor of the Emmys this week:

1. What are your favorite TV theme songs? Read the rest of this entry »


Arthur at AmeriNZ wrote about a possible boycott of the store Target, and the reasons why. (Has anyone written the obvious headline, “Target target of boycott?” Subsequently, MoveOn.org sent out this e-mail:

Target, the retail giant, just became one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections.

Target has spent over $150,000 in the Minnesota Governor’s race backing state Rep. Tom Emmer, a far-right Republican who supports Arizona’s draconian immigration law, wants to abolish the minimum wage and even gave money to a fringe group that condoned the execution of gay people.

Target must think customers won’t care. They’re wrong: We do care, and we need to let them know that we want Target—and all corporations—out of our elections.

Will you send a message to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel telling him that you’re not going to shop at Target unless they stop trying to buy elections? Click here to add your name to the petition.

A lively discussion ensued at Arthur’s blog Read the rest of this entry »

I received a postcard recently telling me that I may be entitled to a $35 rebate if:
1. You purchased a lawn mower, for your own use, containing an engine with up to 30 horsepower in the United States or Puerto Rico and between January 1, 1994 and April 12, 2010.
2. Either the lawn mower or the engine of the lawn mower was manufactured or sold by a Company listed below.
3. You submit a claim.

It’s some class action lawsuit that “does not concern the safety of these lawn mowers.”

I did, in fact, purchase a lawn mower. Read the rest of this entry »

I had the idea for my presentation for the Underground Railroad conference months earlier. But on long-term projects, I procrastinate. (Or, conversely, I do it right away, because I know I tend to procrastinate.)

So it’s the Monday before the Saturday of the conference. I’ve taken the day off from work. The plan: in the morning, finally watch Hurt Locker on DVD. In the afternoon, go to the library and work on the presentation. Neither of these things happen, though; the daughter is home sick for the 10th time this school year. and as usual, she’s not SO sick that she’s sleeping, but rather needs regular attention from daddy.

So it’s now the Thursday evening before the Saturday of the conference. I blow off Bible study and choir, stay at work until 8 pm and actually get the presentation into some sort of narrative shape. It’s not finished, but it’s quite far along.

So it’s now the day before the conference. I dig out the thumb drive I was given which I had never used, and copy the program. My intention is to finish it up at home on the wife’s laptop. Except the wife’s computer doesn’t seem to have a cursor anymore.

So now it’s the morning of the conference. I still cannot get the laptop to work. As for my desktop computer, not only is it slow, it is so old that it actually doesn’t have a compatible slot for the thumb drive. I’m thinking I may have to go to the downtown branch of the library; the local branch doesn’t open until 1 pm, and that’s too late.

Then I play with the daughter’s new Netbook that her aunt and uncle just gave her for Valentine’s Day. I can’t get the Internet to work on it, but the word processing is fine, and the presentation is finished Just In Time.

Eventually – I have no idea how – I’ve gotten the cursor to work again on the wife’s laptop. I mean I’m a Luddite, but not as bad as this guy, at least most of the time.

So here’s the question: do you consider yourself technologically savvy, or do you go around screaming when technology fails? I’m not a screamer, but…well, let’s put it this way: DON’T hire me for IT.

ROG

My daughter went to the pedetrician she’s seen since she was born last week for her annual physical. The ofice required proof of her insuance – it has not changed, but OK – and proof of identity for her or her parents.

This week, I went to see my primary care physician for MY annual physical doctor. I’ve had this doctor for over 15 years. The front staff know who I am. In fact, when he asked me for MY ID, the staffer said, almost giggling: “We KNOW who you are.” I also prsented my insurance card, though it hadn’t changed.

Now I understood it when I went to St. Peter’s to get X-rays; I’m not exactly a regular.
***
A bit off topic, but it did get me to think about issue privacy and personal information. The type of info I hate giving up is the type I believe will harm me. For instance, one of my providers STILL uses my Social Security number as my patient identification. This makes me VERY nervous. And isn’t that in violation of the HIPAA law?

Meanwhile, there are members of Congress complaining about the “invasive” Census. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that, with all the money being spent on it, they didn’t ask for more.

Newspapers, when I write a letter to the editor, require my name, address, and phone number. But if I write to their blogs, I can hide under a pseudonym and say pretty much what I want. The blogger can block it, but still the conversation is far more incidiary than the print letters. I’m not sure that folks online shouldn’t be subjected to the same rules of contact as their pen-and-paper cohorts.

***
The question: what issues of privacy do YOU worry about? Census, online transactions, the restaurant worker with your credit card ?

As some of you know, the men’s college basketball tournament, known as March Madness, ended on Monday, with traditional powerhouse Duke barely beating Butler. I was pulling for the team from Indianapolis, and not just because it was the underdog. A small piece was the bulldog mascot; my high school teams were the Bulldogs. A greater factor, though, is that there’s a woman in my choir. Every year, during prayer concerns, she talks about her alma mater’s progress in the tournament. Given the fact that she lost one son, her husband (also a Butler alum) and her other son to various illnesses in the past two years, I was pulling for the team for her sake; alas, it was not to be.

Whereas I’m not fond of Duke. Though they’d not dominated the tournament recently as they did, I developed a dislike for the team not unlike how some baseball fans HATE the New York Yankees.

Now there are teams I dislike for a period. College football was dominated by teams from Florida for a time, and often there was a certain thuggery in the teams, but they’re not as dominant now, so not an issue.

I used to hate the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s because they beat the Yankees in the 1963 World Series, a team my father LOVED because the Brooklyn Dodgers played Jackie Robinson. But my Dodger disdain has passed.

In fact, the only franchise I really can’t stand are the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Started off with the Cowboys beating the NY Giants in the 1960s, but it’s more about the “America’s team” moniker, something *I* never voted on.

Since it’s a new baseball season, I thought I’d ask – what teams do you really dislike, and why? What players can you just not stand?
***
Singer/songwriter Tom Lehrer measures his birthdays in Celsius.
***
John Forsythe died while I was away. I remember him best for two sitcoms. One was called Bachelor Father (1957-1962), where a wealthy attorney took care of his niece, whose parents were killed in a car accident. Niece tries to fix up uncle, who’d rather play the field. The other was The Powers That Be, where he played a clueless US Senator; great cast, short-lived (1992-1993), and deserved a better fate.

ROG

From the guy from Buffalo who does Byzantium Shores.

1. If they re-did the Jeopardy! eligibility rules so you could try out again, would you?

Quite possibly so. I feel ever so slightly jealous that they doubled the values a couple years after I was on. This doesn’t mean I would have won $35,200 instead of $17,600 when I played, but it made me wonder. Of course, maybe I’d suck at the game now. Certainly, I’d go in the next three years, when I’d be 60, or not at all.

Somehow I feel like one of those baseball players who came along just before free agency.

2. In retrospect: Should Spitzer have resigned?

In retrospect, no, but that whole thing wasn’t going down “in retrospect”. It wasn’t his sexual behavior that did him in, it was his hypocrisy. Truth is that he never had the patience to be governor; things he could have bullied people to do as Attorney General, with the force of law on his side, could not be achieved as Governor, where give and take is more the requirement.

No doubt that if he were not tainted, he might have continued to sound the alarm about the Wall Street fiasco, as he was working on as Attorney General. Equally true that Wall Street as happy to see him go. The truth of the matter is that I wish he had stayed as AG, but he would have had to resign that position as well, once the Customer Number Nine stuff came out.

I continue to be fascinated by sexual scandals in terms of who gets to stay in office and who has to go. I always thought that Bill Clinton got to stay because there was a general feeling that 1) he already had a reputation as a womanizer, so he didn’t have the hypocrite label slapped on him (only the “liar” label) and 2) that the impeachment over sex, and lying about it, was an overreach for something that started off as an investigation of a land deal.

3. What the hell is going on with the Catholic Church? I mean, seriously: WTF?!

The church seems to continue to be tone deaf to the scandal. Some archbishop in New York State is attacking the attackers of the Pope, as though THEY were the problem instead of the pedophile priests and the system that protected them.

SamuraiFrog had a good post about this. The church
treated it as an “internal matter”, fearing that somehow admitting it and exposing it would undermind its moral authority. Have they not learned from Watergate? It’s the COVER UP that REALLY underminds their moral authority. If they’d gotten in front of this even 30 years ago – John Paul II became Pope in 1978 – then it would have been painful, yes, but not this drip-drip-drip of scandal.

Mr. Frog notes the fact that the church feels selectively persecuted/prosecuted for its religion, that other people did wrong things. OK, and the church also claims that its first Pope knew Jesus personally, which, I’d like to suggest, places it at a slightly higher standard.

The Catholic hierarchy for years has been blaming this problem on the United States’ culture and society, as though it had been the “permissive” Americans who regularly ignore Papal dictates on issues such as birth control as the problem. Classic misdirection, but it did not “take”, given the worldwide problem.

And the “it happened a long time ago – get over it” argument, not just on this issue, but any issue, such as institutional racism and sexism, has always irritated the crap out of me. Let me say it again: the persecutors oughtn’t be able to say “Let’s move on” without the adequate response of not only apologizing for the problem, but, to the degree possible, rectifying the problem. This is why the Armenians in Turkey are still, and rightly from my POV, kvetching about the 1915
genocide that the Turkish government still denies.

As someone who protected a priest who had victimized 200 boys, the former Cardinal Ratzinger has given new meaning to “papal bull”.
***
Remember last month when I directed you to a link to my guest review for Trouble with Comics, then it went away? Well, as Bullwinkle J. Moose says, This time for sure!

ROG

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