Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Buck Stops Here

I’m not a Republican. I didn’t vote for Barack Obama for other reasons. First, I was a fervent Hillary Supporter. Second, I didn’t like the way she was treated by the Democratic Party. Third, I didn’t like the influence on the nominating process given to the superdelegates. As a result, I’m no longer a Democrat.

Still, though I was not personally invested in the fantastic dreams of his supporters, I still wished our new president well and hoped for his success. Unfortunately, less than two weeks into his presidency, reality has set in. In Washington, as always, it’s politics as usual.

The Republicans, you know, those people who spent us into a stupor during the Bush years, are once again, just as they were during the Clinton presidency, dead set against spending. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started clamoring for a balanced budget.

Politicians appear daily on the morning news show and are never asked meaningful questions or forced to face reality. The media are treating the Governor Rod Blagojevich situation as though it’s some kind of aberration. It’s not – he’s just the latest crook to get caught. So, in the spirit of truth in journalism, I’m going to come right out and say it: politicians are crooks. Surprise!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Calleigh Duquesne Denied Feedback

I understand that everyone has to be careful regarding how they operate in the workplace because of sexual harassment issues, but that shouldn’t mean we must develop a callous disregard of the feelings and needs of our coworkers. Take, for example, the predicament of CSI Calleigh Duquesne, a hardworking member of Miami’s CSI team, yet still a woman who would like to land herself a man. Judging from her appearance, getting dressed in the morning is, for her, an anxiety ridden experience. Should I wear this? Should I wear that? Should I reveal a little more breast? Should I cover them up? She’s obviously, always unsure, always insecure, always in a quandary. As obvious as this is to me, it should also be to her coworkers. However, when she showed up for work during the last episode boldly wearing a white shirt and tie, along with a blazer, not one of her coworkers even acknowledged the outfit. Not one “nice outfit,” or one “you look nice, today,” from her male or female comrades. Can’t they see she’s struggling? Don’t they sense her needs? She’s desperate! Seems to me, this girl deserves better.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From Unreal To Surreal

I heard an ultimate fighter the other day comment that his experience was "surreal."

I guess a pretty good sign that a catchword or catchphrase has slipped into the morbidly overused status is when an ultimate fighter uses it. Like the “Been there, done that” of a few years ago.

Personally, when I hear the word “surreal,” I think of Dali’s melting clocks, or his Crucifixion which, btw, I’ve seen face-to-face, not the bloody and sweaty entanglement of arms and legs. But, that’s just me.

Anyway, I was driving to the pool room on Tuesday, listening to Aretha Franklin singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” while stopped at the traffic light at Little Road and Highway 52 where three characters, two women and one man, dressed like the Statue of Liberty, the man in a bluish mask, were dancing around on the northwest corner, hawking the Liberty Tax Service, when the descriptive term “surreal” popped into my mind.

I had considered delaying my departure for a few minutes so that I could watch Obama take the oath of office on TV, but my desire to play pool had won out. At that point in the program, the actual swearing in, I was heading west on Highway 54 stopped at the light at Seven Springs Boulevard with my radio still tuned to WUSF, our local NPR station, and blasting. I thought of rolling down my windows to share the moment with my fellow drivers, but thought better of it. The reality that their minds were focused on a whole range of matters while the swearing in ceremony was going on was what make the moment “surreal.” Jeez, it’s almost embarrassing to use that word, but, feeling like I was in a Dali painting, it was somehow apropos.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OMG, I’m A Freakin’ Game Addict

With a couple hundred web pages to maintain, plus blogs, I’ve often scoffed at people who waste their valuable time playing computer games. “C’mon,” I’d say, “Get a life.”

Then, about a month ago, one of my Facebook friends sent me a “Save The Planet” challenge. I followed the link and discovered that by playing various games you could earn money (fantasy money, of course) which you then could donate to any number of worthwhile causes. Just for the hell of it, I clicked on Solitaire. Well, a month later, I have donated more than $50 million, having achieved the rating of Saint, and I can’t seem to break myself of this destructive habit.

And it’s not just the STP games. By now I’ve tried my hand at bowling, pool, scramble and any number of other games. I guess the challenge is to beat your friends’ high scores or, as is often the case, at least climb into the top three.

But, really, what’s the sense. At the least, it’s got to be bad for my eyes and as a pool player eyesight is all important. And, though my web pages are pretty much up to date, there’s always something I could be doing. My most recent projects were to add a script to my pages that automatically advances the copyright date each year. Previously, I had changed the dates manually each January. Then, on impulse, I added amazon textbook links to a lot of my pages and removed links to snapfish. I’d given the snapfish program 6 months, through the holidays, and hadn’t earned a single commission. Adios, ba-by.

That’s what I should be thinking about – not Bowling Buddies. Oops, I see Spider Solitaire is scoring double, today. Gotta go.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Name You Can Trust

Duhhh… Yeah, sure.

The other day we pulled the plug on our TV which had been on life support for the last month. Actually, I thought the problem might have something to do with the cable but, when the cable guy came out, he said in a heartbeat it was the TV – the tuner to be specific.

So, without delay, I headed out to do some shopping. There’s not much I require in a TV. It has to have a port for headphones; it has to have hookups for my VCR; and it has to be less than 32 ½ inches wide so that it will fit in this cabinet we bought at Kmart and my girl subsequently spruced up with paint and various patterned wallpaper. For some reason, she likes the idea of hiding the TV when company comes over. Me? I’d rather keep watching whatever was running before they got here.

Anyway, WalMart had a set that met my meager requirements but, unfortunately, they were out of stock. The kid who waited on me said something about a shipment, but knowing how long it usually takes Wally’s World to restock sold-out items, I figured I better move on. Circuit City was a bust. They had TVs but no employees to sell them. Besides, their prices didn’t seem that good for a company that was about to go tits up.

Next, I hit Best Buy. On my own in the TV section, I quickly found a TV that met my requirements – an Insignia 32” HD Flat screen TV. Insignia – a name you can trust. At least I hope you can trust it; I never heard of it before. The girl at the register talked me into a 4 year protection plan. It sounded good to me until I mentioned it to my wife. “Will they be in business for 4 years?” she asked. Always the pessimist.

Anyway, I didn’t have to bust a gut carrying the new set home. However, I think I got a hernia removing the old one.

My Insignia’s set up and working. Unfortunately, the cable box doesn’t recognize the model, so I have to use two remotes – one for on/off and the volume, the other for switching channels. That’s a burden I think I can handle.