A couple years back, I asked What was the first public trauma – as opposed to a personal trauma, such as a death or divorce in the family – that you recall? And while not my first event, the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, when I was ten years old and didn’t understand what happened next – I was not yet seeped in Presidential succession law – was terrifying. The death itself was already scary enough.
It certainly didn’t help that Miss Oberlik, our fifth grade teacher, told us the news, LEFT THE ROOM, for some reason Read the rest of this entry »
Today is the Great American Smokeout. Last year, if I recall, I wrote some anti-smoking screed, and someone thought it was terribly mean to smokers (I didn’t think so.)
I decided to write something nice about smokers this year. Well, until my daughter had some particularly bad reactions recently. If someone walks by her with a lit cigarette, she starts hacking uncontrollably. She can control this only a little by holding her breath, IF she sees the smoker coming. (From years of living with a smoker, I have learned the ability to block the inside of my nose and breathe through my mouth until the danger passes.)
Her asthma is apparently more severe than mine – she’s missed school this fall because of it. Yes, I recognize that cigarettes are legal Read the rest of this entry »
Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics, once a customer and later competitor of Phil’s, Read the rest of this entry »
During the Vietnam war, it was widely reported – I don’t remember if it was apocryphal or true – that most Americans could not find Vietnam on a map. Likewise, today’s students might be challenged to find Afghanistan or Iraq on the globe.
By contrast, I was a bit of a cartology fanatic when I was a child. My paternal grandfather, who lived upstairs, would give me maps from his National Geographic, which I would study at length. I still have some of them in the attic, BTW.
Unfortunately for my recall, the world kept changing. French West Africa and British East Africa became a slew of independent countries. What was once Belgian Congo became Zaire, but is now Read the rest of this entry »
I noted in another blog that companies have a lot of data on you, at least in the US, and that some are willing to share with you what they think they know.
Plugging in my name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of my Social Security number:
Ethnicity Based on Surname: American (well, I suppose)
Education: Completed Graduate School (true)
Marital Status: Married (true)
Presence of Children: No Children Present (false)
Political Party: Voter – Democratic (true)
Occupation: Professional/Technical (true)
Home Owner / Renter: Home Owner (true)
Dwelling Type: Single Family Dwelling Unit (true)
Length of Residence by Year: 13 Years (true)
Year Home Built: 1900 – 1940 (true)
Estimated Home Market Value: $100,000 – $149,999 (true)
Home Purchase Date: 05/2000 (I was there at the closing, true)
Primary Home Loan Type: Conventional (true)
Primary Vehicle Make: Toyota (got the year and model right, too)
Intent to Purchase a Vehicle: True (I suppose so)
Household Economic Data
Estimated Household Income Ranges Read the rest of this entry »