Problems, problems

What a pain in the neck. I mean this literally. Somehow during sleeping Friday night, I pulled something in my neck. It’s OK when I sit, but it hurts to lie down. I can sit in brief spurts. Heat and pain relievers are not helping.
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My printer has a paper jam. It’s a Brother MFC-240C. I bought it at Staples last fall. The problem is that, apparently, whatever is jammed is too small to see, let alone reach. Staples told me to call Brother. After the Brother technician went through all the steps that I had already tried, she had me get the error code. #51 – ah, area 51 – no wonder it’s a problem. Then she referred me to a local repair shop, which DOESN’T ANSWER ITS PHONE. Meh.
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I’ve been having trouble with Firefox. About once every other day, it freezes up and I have to CTRL/ALT/DEL my way out. Then I get this sheepish message:

Well, this is embarrassing.
Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page.
You can try:
* Removing one or more tabs that you think may be causing the problem
* Starting an entirely new browsing session

Well, I think I will start a new browsing session. whether it will be in Firefox is another issue entirely.
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Somehow, our household has two different CVS codes so the coupons earned on one card are not transferable to the other, I discovered yestersday. I swear I had addressed this question months ago.
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Our intern-turned-temp-librarian Amy left my office’s employ Friday. She really helped keep our turnarounf=-d time down. And I like her personally as well.
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The good thing about feeling lousy is that it gave me an opportunity to see some TV. Watched some of the EMK funeral.I was re-reading his 1972 book In Critical Condition. On pp. 74-75: “guarantee comprehensive health insurance to all Americans and to assure that health care is available at a cost any American can afford.” pp. 220-221: “We can no longer afford the health insurance industry in America…the insurance industry still could not bring about change in the health care system to control costs, improve quality, and offer health care services in a way most acceptable to y=the people. The industry would remain a moneychanger taking a percentage of our dollars for a dubious service.”
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I also finally watched the last prime episode of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire that aired last Sunday. If you get a chance to watch it on abc.com, I recommend it. JEOPARDY! champion Pam Mueller was in the audience as her significant other, also a JEOPARDY! winner, played – don’t want to reveal name in case you watch. Whether or not you view it, find her S.O.’s J bio off her page, then read the blog post that explains the motivation.
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I may have to work on this: ever since I learned that Amazing Grace can be sung to The House of the Rising Sun, I’ve been singing it around the house. (AG can also be sung to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, but it lacks the proper pathos.

ROG

Teddy/Ellie


I have had on my bookshelf for the longest time a book called “In Critical Condition: the Crisis in America’s Health Care” by Edward M. Kennedy.
Chapter I: Sickness and Bankruptcy – A Double Disaster
Chapter II: What Price Good Health?
Chapter III: No Money, No Medical Care
Chapter IV: Where Have All the Doctors Gone?
Chapter V: The Medical Maze
Chapter VI: Good Care, Poor Care.
Chapter VII: Businessmen or Healers?
Chapter VIII: The Health Insurance Trap
Chapter IX- Better Health Care at Lower Cost in Other Countries
Chapter X: Good Health Care: A Right for All Americans
The book was published in 1972. Does any of the discussion sound at all familiar?

There is little doubt in my mind that Ted Kennedy was one of the greatest United States Senators ever. Just this past weekend on ABC News, John McCain (R-AZ) reiterated that the current health care debate has been stymied in part because his friend, the “Lion of the Senate”, wasn’t able to participate in the debate fully. Kennedy was an “old-time” senator who really DID work “across the aisle”.

I believe his greatness in the Senate was fueled in no small part by the fact that he never became President. like his brother Jack did and his brother Bobby likely would have, had he not been assassinated in 1968. And I think it’s because of a tragedy of his own making, Chappaquiddick, in 1969.

I supported Ted Kennedy when he challenged Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination in 1980. Yet, at the same time, I was scared to death for him. Every President who was elected, or re-elected in a year ending in zero, going back to 1840, had died in office. Moreover, all of Ted’s brothers had died violent deaths, including his brother Joe in World War II.

(I always thought the 1980 primary season felt like a conversation among Carter, Kennedy and Jerry Brown to a Lovin’ Spoonful song, It’s Not Time Now.)

So Ted Kennedy’s sad but unsurprising death would, in the movies, stir both sides to open their hearts, work together for comprehensive health care reform, and we’d have a nice warm, fuzzy feeling in our bellies as the end credits rolled.

I’m not counting on that.

I do think it would be a fine legacy if the Congress could get together and pass some meaningful reform, and if EMK’d death becomes the prompt, then so be it.
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The Brill Building composers and producers held sway over popular music in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Among them were Goffin and King, Mann and Weil, Greenfield and Sedaka, Pomus and Shuman, Leiber and Stoller, Barry and Greenwich. The latter were Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, partners both musically and otherwise (they were married for a time).
Here are some songs written or co-written by Ellie Greenwich, who died this week:
AND THEN HE KISSED ME
BE MY BABY
CHAPEL OF LOVE
CHRISTMAS BABY (PLEASE COME HOME)
DA DOO RON RON
DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY
HANKY PANKY
LEADER OF THE PACK
RIVER DEEP. MOUNTAIN HIGH
and a whole bunch more.

She also produced a number of artists, notably early Neil Diamond. Somewhere in my vinyl I have the soundtrack for the Broadway musical Leader of the Pack, in which she starred in the 1980s.
ROG

A scary thought

I’m loath to bring this up, but others have done so before: should he win the election, I’m very worried about an assassination attempt on Barack Obama.

What prompted, or more correctly, re-prompted this thinking, was a piece Evanier linked to by “Frank Schaeffer, a longtime supporter of John McCain and vice-versa, [who] thinks McCain-Palin rallies are starting to resemble lynch mobs.” Schaeffer writes:
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, “Kill him!” At one of your rallies, someone called out, “Terrorist!” Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered….

John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter…

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us…

…stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.

We will hold you responsible.

I’m going to assume the fact that Rensselaer County, NY printed 300 of its 4000 absentee ballots with the name of the Democrat listed as ‘Barack Osama’ as a mistake, rather than deliberate sabotage, but I’m guessing that the constant barrage of smears may have an subconscious effect on whoever made the error.

Add to this, Sarah Palin’s relationship to the Alaskan Independence Party , a group with a distinct neo-Confederacy stance. As former AIP head Mark Chryson put it, “Yes. The War of Northern Aggression, or the Civil War, or the War Between the States — however you want to refer to it — was not about slavery, it was about states’ rights.” He added that the South should have been able to secede.

Now to be fair, I also worried about Ted Kennedy in 1980, but that was based more on actuarial tables (all three of his brothers dying violent deaths – Joe in WWII; the 20-year Presidential curse that ran from 1840 to 1960) than any perceived threat.

I don’t think we live in a post-racial America yet – whatever that means – and Obama’s recent rise in the polls makes me both hopeful and fearful.

ROG

Very short takes

Today is the day folks go to the polls in many locations in New York State, everywhere except in the largest cities and vote for the school budget and the school board members. For some reason, the city of Albany only votes for the budget now, and the school board in November. More on that and Rex Smith speaking at the Friends of the Albany Public Library annual meeting this eveninghere.
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Don’t care about Dancing with the Stars, but I do care about my wife, and SHE cares about DWTS. So I got the phone number from the end of the taped performance and tried to call in a number of times, but kept getting a busy signal. Then I went online to do so, but it required to be registered with ABC.com. Lo and behold, I WAS registered with ABC.com, though I don’t recall why. Five votes for Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas, who got 60 out of 60 points from the judges (the competition got 51 and 52 votes.)
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I haven’t sent out my mixed CDs yet because I saved them to the drive, then the burner failed to put the data on the disc. I have figured out a workaround, but can’t get to until this weekend; sorry. It is sequenced and I do like it; Gordon will recognize the inspiration immediately. So far got mine from Gordon (like it), Tosy (listened to about half), and Lefty (haven’t played yet). Details to follow.
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Best wishes to Edward Kennedy after his medical episode. I was looking at my Bushisms calendar, where W. referred to him as Theodore, one of the more understandable mistakes in the gaffe-filled daily.
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The Subway series played out this past weekend. For me, the excitement is tempered, maybe because they are, at least so far, two mediocre teams, though the Mets, who swept, less mediocre than the Yankees.
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The only parts of the NBA playoffs I have watched has been when I’ve taped ABC World News and the game has run over. For instance, I saw the last 18 seconds of the Celtics Game-Seven win over Cleveland, which took about 10 minutes, with all the fouls and timeouts.
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Happy birthday, PixieNona!Are you sure it was a cold and not allergies? Your symptoms were very similar to mine last week.
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In answer to a comment to this story DNA cleared them, but they’ll never feel free and some of the comments: “There’s particular disdain for the prosecutors of these crimes because, often, the prosecution withheld evidence that could have exonerated the defendant, esp. in Dallas County, TX. At least some of these people were home and with their families or at work; the assertion that ‘people doing the right thing don’t get mixed up in this stuff’ is simply inaccurate much of the time. There is also mistaken identity by witnesses far more often than most people realize. With all that, there’s no way to blame the juries, who can only weigh the evidence presented.”

ROG