Three Office Questions

Since les Browns Chris and Kelly already have their Friday questions, I figure I’ll do mine on Saturdays now.

I watched the TV show “The Office” this week (as usual, in the recorded mode, not in real time). I enjoy it quite a bit. They played Island this and that, so I figured, What the heck?

1. What are your five island movies? And why?

Mine are:
a) Annie Hall. Fair amount of this movie has happened in my life, so if you don’t like the choice, la dee dah, la dee dah.
b) Groundhog Day. Not only is it an intelligent comedy with a JEOPARDY segment, its premise that every day is like the next is eventually broken will give me hope on the island.
c) West Side Story. Another island story: “I like the isle of Manhattan.”
Those three were in my profile. Hmm.
d) Being There: If Peter Sellers’ Chance the gardener can become an advisor to the President and please Shirley McLaine’s character just by watching television, there’s hope for us on this wretched island.
e) Toy Story 2: That conflict between past and present is wonderful.

2. What are your three island books? And why?

Mine are:
a) The Bible, probably the Revised Standard Version, and not only because it’s long.
b) The World Almanac, because I can read about the facts and figures of the rest of the world, trying to keep my mind sharp on this desolate isle.
c) Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums 1955-2001, because I find it endlessly fascinating. If I don’t have music on the island, perhaps I can recreate it in my head.

3. What is your favorite waste of time at work?

Taking those “urgent” e-mails that people send me and try to find out if they are true. In fact, I think I’ll write about one tomorrow.

BONUS QWESTION: There was a third question on “The Office”, which you can answer, if you’d like. I won’t ask it, and I won’t answer it, though.

Squirrels on Crack

I KNEW it would happen eventually. And I knew it’d be on a Friday.
The piece I was working on for today got lost on my computer Wednesday night! Arrgh!
Last night, I was up past 11 talking with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Mark; he was the one who turned me on to comic books. 11 p.m. may not be late to you, but 5:20 a.m. comes awfully early several days in a row. Never have I looked forward to the weekend as much as when I’ve been taking Lydia to day care the past six weeks.
Work today will be busy, because 2 of the 4 are out of the office.
Point is:: what I had in mind for today ain’t ready yet.
And given the fact that we’re going out tonight, won’t be ready tonight.
(I mean, I PLAN this stuff? Generally, yes, I have a broad idea, and except for the obits, I might work on pieces in advance in anticipation of crunch times.)

So go read why Evanier pities W. (It explains a LOT about this White House.)

After this:

This is one of those bizarre stories I’d have given to Burgas if he weren’t away this weekend. Go sign his blog, and make the future dictator happy.

My strange friend Dan initially sent out this article, with this commentary:

In these days of corporate propaganda disguised as information, it’s nice to see some good old fashioned yellow journalism made up from thin air. I don’t think that there’s a single sentence in this article that’s true, except, perhaps, the last one. From some rag called The South London Press (England).

Which engendered this rebuttal:

Dan, I’m surprised that you, of all people, aren’t aware of the growing squirrel crack addiction problem right here in Albany’s First Ward. It’s so common that people are now referring to the poor little beasts as scrackers.

and this:

I believe it. How do you know it’s not true?

Forcing Dan to recant:

OK, you’ve got me there. I didn’t bother to check the story because it is so obviously absurd. So I put the keywords “squirrels” and “cocaine” into Google and found that the story appears to have originated with several English tabloids that ran almost identical stories on the same day. However, the story has subsequently taken on a life of its own. The story has caused enough uproar to induce The Guardian to look into it.

I particularly enjoyed this eyewitness description of a squirrel on crack:

“I locked eyes with it and it stared back at me really confidently. It was scavenging and it looked scrawny.”

Funny how this squirrel on crack looks and behaves exactly like a normal squirrel.

In my neighborhood the squirrels huff solvents and fall out of the trees.

Rock Meme-Paul Simon

This guy’s 64th birthday is today, born in 1941. I’ve limited these to solo Paul Simon. He’s done some S&G songs on his solo discs, and they were in play, but not used.

Artist/Band: Paul Simon
Are you male or female: Boy in the Bubble
Describe yourself: Think Too Much
How do some people feel about you: Still Crazy After All These Years
How do you feel about yourself: Something So Right
Describe what you want to be: Spirit Voices
Describe how you live: Some Folks Lives Roll Easy
Describe how you love: How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns
Share a few words of wisdom: One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor

Credit card companies are evil


I have this credit card that I never use, but I must have authorized an automatic expenditure for a magazine once upon a time and it hits again for $24. I don’t notice the bill so I don’t pay the bill, get a $39 late fee, which is usury. Make a payment for what I THINK will cover the next payment, but find that was $8 short. So, on October 13, they’re going to charge ne $39 AGAIN for a bill that is $8 short of the minimum payment. So at 10 pm on October 12, I ask to pay from my checking account (it’s a $15 charge, but it’s not $39), and they tell me it won’t be credited until October 13, thus incurring the $39 charge I’m trying to avoid. She says, “There’s nothing I can do.” So, I said, “Never mind. I want to cancel my card.” She says, “You’ll have to call back.” I said, “I don’t WANT to call back, I want to cancel my card!” She talked with her supervisor and discovered, “Why, yes, we CAN post that payment on today’s date.”

I may have mentioned this before, but when you do one of those check transfers that offer you a great rate, credit card companies have been known to change (i.e., hike) the rate on your credit card because of late payments on your mortgage, loans or other credit cards.
Did I mention that credit card companies are evil?

As the credit card company protection bills get passed, including the tougher bankruptcy laws that kick in soon, I gotta wonder: Are they TRYING to put Americans in eternal debt? The notion that all of the indebtedness is merely a function of personal irresponsibility just doesn’t wash with me.