Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Public Broadcasting Pledge Drive Death March

I’m not sure I’m right about this; but, I think that WABE radio here in Atlanta has been conducting a pledge drive since New Years Day, starting at 12:01 a.m. OK, that’s not fair, it started a couple of months ago. Really? Last week or the week before.

Public radio talks a lot about how it has no commercials; but, if you add in all the corporate “announcements” and the time it spends begging two or three or four times a year, does it spend more time on actual programming than commercial radio? I’m thinking it’s a push.

And let’s look at public TV. Have you noticed that at the end of a program, there’s about ten minutes of promos and announcements? And that’s not to mention the break or two during the show for the same. And I’m not going to talk about the concert shows that they air twenty or thirty times a year with the really annoying nasal people telling you that if you “love Do Wop like I do, you’ll pick up the phone and make a call.”

I’ve solved the TV harassment with a DVR. Go to begging and I go to fast forward.

Back to WABE, I’m not sure, as I tune it out in my head when they go into beg mode; but, I think they’ve gone to a number of donors rather than number of days or dollars model: we will quite harassing you when we get 12,750 of you to give us some money. That’s what I think I heard in the car on the way home today. Don’t give? We’ll keep this up forever.

So you know, I give money, on the condition that I’m not on any of their lists and they don’t harass me. They broke their promise once and I threatened to stop giving, they apologized and promised to leave me alone. We’ll see.

But here’s the problem, when they do this pledge garbage, I’ve got my choice between listening to the garbage on the way to and from work and Neal Boortz, a second tier talk radio guy, in the morning, or Sean Hannity, a major league boor at night. Or sports radio with equally annoying people talking about stupid stuff.

So, I’ll end this by asking that all of you go to Give them a buck, if enough of you do, they’ll quit and I can listen without cringing. Thank you in advance for your support of my sanity. If you do, maybe Ira Glass will call me and interview me about a new opportunity for extorting money.

Which way do you skew?

There’s a piece at that identifies your “political leanings” based on your news sites of choice. It seems to me the study that underlies the test has all kinds of methodological problems; but, the results are interesting:

Sites Visited:
Financial Times (81% conservative)
Technorati (37% conservative)
Salon (34% conservative)
NPR: National Public Radio (28% conservative)
Slate (49% conservative)
Los Angeles Times (45% conservative)
Washington Post (37% conservative)
The Huffington Post (30% conservative)
The New York Times (40% conservative)
Fox News (88% conservative)
CNN (54% conservative)

At these sites, the readership is on average 48 percent conservative, 52 percent liberal

Your isolation index is -34, meaning that, on the bell curve of all readers, your news diet is 34 percentage points to the left.

Here’s the link to the article:

It didn't capture everything I read. I would imagine that Google News is pretty middle of the road. The local AJC is actually starting to skew conservative. I guess I'm going to have to start clicking on the New York Post, the Drudge Report and Beck and Hannity's websites to get my skew back towards the middle.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Say it Debo: Finale

If anyone is wondering about the title of this short series, Debo is the proprieter of A Blue State of Mind (see Recommended sidebar) who chides me for buying gadgets. I'd vow that this is the last gadget, but I'd probably be struck by lightning.

Anyway, the system is in and up and running with the help of Bill the Engineer. My problem at the end of last evening, that I could get sound on TV and a DVD but no picture, was the result of the first rule of electronics: somewhere along the line an HDMI cable had pulled out of its port and I hadn't rechecked connections. It doesn't bother me that the TV says the picture is coming in on HDMI 1 and the system says that the sound is on HDMI 2 - it works.

We will return to regular programming here at Rather Than Working soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't say it Debo: Part 2

I have some irony working tonight. If you haven't read the last post, please do.

So, I set up the new home theater. Some comedy along the way. Did the firmware update download. It won't let me calibrate the sound system, it says the speakers aren't correctly connected. It won't let my connect to my wireless network. It won't let me watch TV. The only thing it will let me do is watch a Blu-ray movie, the thing that led to me buying the system in the first place.

I have a call in to Bill the Engineer. In the meantime, I'm watching Law Abiding Citizen. The sound, just fine, on all of the many speakers.

Don't say it Debo

In my own defense, I wouldn’t be doing this had the Blu-ray player not crapped out, which it did over the weekend.

I’m getting an all the bells and whistles home theater system with Blu-ray, wireless Internet and network connectivity, seven speakers (rear wireless), 2 HDMI in, and a bunch of other stuff of which I know not.

Stop laughing Debo.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Problem With Purity

Simply put, it doesn’t work.

Good and evil. Democracy, communism, socialism, theocracy. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians. Islam, Christianity, Buddhism. Black, White, Yellow.

I’d love to be a libertarian. John Galt, Dagny Talbert, Howard Roark. Rugged self-sufficiency in an attractive package.

I think I’d love to be religious following the “one true light.” But there are lots of lights.

I could even be a communist if I could overlook communism’s utter practical failure as a way to run a society.

Purity of position reduces communication and prevents problem solving.

“We” don’t talk these days, “we” being the various groups interested in an issue. Each group of we’s develops a doctrine, once it’s in place, well it’s a doctrine, the discussion is over. Ideological purity is entrenched. Each group of we’s then promotes and tries to extend the influence of its doctrine, bumping up against the trenches of a competing ideology.

Raw capitalism versus socialism. Christianity versus Islam. Western nations versus Asian ascendancy.

The solution is the merger of groups; though, I’m not at all sure, indeed, I haven’t a clue, how to do it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pains In the Ass

People, probably, well certainly, including me, can be pains in the ass.

Everyone should act just like we expect them to act, right? Ain’t going to happen of course.

But, what do you do when you have someone going out of their way to be a pain in the ass in your life? Ignore, engage? Be passive, aggressive? Mix it up?

Professionally, I know the answer to the question, I get paid nicely to play the game. And, I should probably apply the professional approach to the personal pain in the ass; but, it’s not as easy. It makes me appreciate my corporate clients’ occasional distress; and, it makes me remember why I try not to represent actual people who have the unfortunate trait of taking things personally.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yet Another Disliked Word

Co-worker is way too bureaucratic/corporate for me. I work with people, they work with me. Do we “co-work?” No we don’t. “What’d you do for lunch today?” How would you answer the question? “My co-worker and I had lunch together” or “I ate lunch with a guy I work with.” (Yeah, I know, the second response should read …with whom I work.) If you choose the first response, chances are you work for the government or a big corporation; and, you’ve surely worked there too long.

I suspect the word was coined by some HR person, probably employed by a school system that wanted gender-neutral nouns in the employee manual. That’s enough right there to justify its banishment.

Where would unions be today if their organizers had shouted “co-workers unite!” way back then? Well, maybe that’s a bad example.

Indulge me, stop it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I've been screwing this up awhile; for a while, I'll get it right

As a service to the readership, from the

Grammatically, a while is a noun phrase in which "a" is an article and "while" functions as a noun meaning "a short period of time"; awhile is an adverb meaning "for a while." In other words, the meaning is the same, but the structure is different: the word awhile has "for" built into its meaning.

The test of which to use is to consider whether "for a while" may be used in the sentence where we intend to place (or have placed) the word awhile – without changing anything else.


"I'll wait here awhile" is correct because we could also say, "I'll wait here for a while."

"I'll wait here for awhile" is not correct because we have actually used the word for twice, given that awhile = for a while: "I'll wait here for for a while."

"I'll be there in awhile" is not correct because we would not say, "I'll be there IN FOR a while."

"This may take awhile" is not correct because "This may take for a while" is not idiomatic English.

"My mother is staying awhile" is correct because we could also say, "My mother is staying for a while."

The two-word noun phrase (a while) is probably more often the correct choice than is the one-word adverb (awhile). Certainly, most misuses of a while / awhile involve using awhile where a while is the appropriate construction.

Talk quietly among yourselves after you've memorized today's lesson.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Back End of Gay Marriage, So to Speak

The Texas Attorney General is appealing two trial court’s grant of a divorce to a gay couple. (Did I get my singulars, plurals and possessives right there?) His position is that Texas doesn’t have to grant divorces to gay people because “a union granted in a state where same-sex marriage is legal can't be dissolved with a divorce in a state where it's not.” (AP)

The two couples were married in Massachusetts where same sex marriage is legal. Texas has a constitutional amendment barring such marriages.

Having not researched the issue, I think the Texas AG has forgotten to read the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause. "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." I think that means that Texas, like it or not, has to recognize the validity of the Massachusetts marriages and apply its divorce laws to the valid marriages just as it would apply them to any other valid marriage.

Be that as it may, I find the news more interesting in the larger context.

Seven jurisdictions now allow same sex marriage. People don’t settle down the street or across town from their parents these days. People, straight and gay, move, and move again. They take with them all the problems people have.

There is a natural progression in law in the U.S. towards uniformity. Most states deal with contractual obligations almost identically, same with traffic laws and so on. But, most day-in-day-out legal matters aren’t controversial. It would be interesting to track how “social” laws evolved with respect to black people from the end of the Civil War until now and overlay it on gay issues. From what I know about that evolution, the historical record doesn’t bode well for gay people. The Texas cases are just an early skirmish.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is grade inflation linear or exponential?

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to answer the question; I just like the word linear and wanted to use it.*

But, I saw a headline that talked about private schools being a cause of grade inflation. Didn’t read the article, so I have no opinions about the headline’s premise.

But it got me thinking. I first heard about grade inflation a couple of decades ago. Presumably at some point in time grades given by instructors were accurate. An “A” was an “A,” and so on.

Then, for whatever reason (my understanding is that the original cause was social pressure) Teacher A gave Student A a better grade than was deserved.

Student A is all grown up now, equipped with the knowledge, or lack of knowledge, that teacher A provided. If Student A goes into education and becomes Teacher B he or she has a standard that’s inaccurate. Given that social pressure has remained constant (as evidenced by the headline), Teacher B gives Student B a hyper-inflated grade. Is an A given today really a C? Probably not, because in two more generations my model would make an A the equivalent of an F. It does make you want to look at a resume a bit more closely.

Or should I promise to never again write about any scientific subject?

*If you are really bored or really a nerd, here’s a numbing article about linear and exponential growth:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Law? Just Common Sense.

You are a law student at a public university. You want to start a club on campus for Jewish students to keep the holocaust current in peoples’ minds. You register the club, get a cubbyhole office, an Email address and a few bucks as your share of the mandatory student activity fees the university collects.

You’ve had a few meetings, students are joining and you feel pretty good. A guy says “I want to join your club. You should know I’m a neo-Nazi. I know it seems odd; but, I want to be around to keep you Zionists honest.”

Quite rationally, you decline his request for membership.

He complains and the university tells you, let him join or lose your official status, along with the cubbyhole, Email address and couple of bucks. Reasonable or not?

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear arguments in a club’s appeal against the University of California’s Hastings College of Law policy that any officially recognized club may not discriminate with respect to members.

The appeal is by a Christian group that doesn’t want to admit members that don’t agree with its beliefs “to ‘proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law….’" (From

I’m not going to talk about the Constitution and its provisions for rights of association, free speech and equal protection.

Rather, let’s look at this from a common sense point of view.

There’s twenty or thirty regular readers out there. Let’s start a club. Its purpose is to promote literate, rational and humorous expression by people in blogs. We’re up and running: conservatives, liberals, libertarians and independents all. We all agree, no stupid allowed. But then, there’s a hitch, Sarah Palin wants to join. We look at our credo. She’s not literate, nor rational and she’s only humorous if you like watching train wrecks. She refuses to take a grade school intelligence test. We say no, sorry Sarah, you aren’t one of us, scurry off to the Tea Party, Facebook (and we won’t Friend you) and Twitter. She complains to Blogger, Wordpress and all of the other services we use.

Who’s in the right, us, or Sarah?

Change the scenario a bit. We had the idea to start our club; but, given the billions floating around in stimulus money, we get a grant from a government agency, Health and Human Services, which had the idea to give money to groups to encourage them to include the less than literate, rational, humorous and intelligent among them with the hope that given the exposure, the unblessed could at least start batting .250. Sarah complains to HHS. Hearings are scheduled.

Who’s in the right, us, or Sarah?

The Court of Common Sense finds as follows: We are right the first time around. Sarah wins round two. Take their money, play by their rules.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Perfect Storm of Choke Points

I saw an article today about Apple last week asking a Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist to resubmit an application for an iPhone app that it rejected last Fall, right after he publicly mentioned his rejection.


“[H]is app was rejected by Apple in December because it included cartoons that ridiculed public figures. Cartoons, it turns out, can violate Apple’s license agreement with developers, which states that apps may be rejected if the content ‘may be found objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.’”

Said the cartoonist “he had not heard of ‘the whole concept of getting rejected for ridiculing public figures. That’s what I do. That’s my life!’ he said. ‘That’s a tough one to get around if you’re a political cartoonist.’”

There’s been a lot on the Internet about Apple’s closed system for the iPhone, and now, the iPad. If Apple doesn’t like you (Adobe Flash) you are out of luck.

On another related techie subject, a court just ruled that the FCC didn’t have the authority to regulate Internet providers like Comcast for technical legal reasons. The case was about “net neutrality,” the idea that Comcast or another provider can’t slow down or cut off a customer except for capacity based reasons.

From Wikipedia:

“[A]dvocates of net neutrality and associated rules have raised concerns about the ability of broadband providers to use their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications and content (e.g. websites, services, protocols), particularly those of competitors.”

Then there’s the matter of competition for that last mile. Who is your ISP? Comcast, AT&T, Charter? If you’re out in the sticks, you may have a mom and pop provider; but, for the most part, Internet and cable are going the way of most other industries, fewer but bigger companies.

Now, let’s look at all these trends and couple them with the fact that the traditional broadcast and paper media are soon to be dinosaurs. Do you want Comcast and its fewer but larger friends slowing you down, or shutting off your access to your choices for information and entertainment? (We won’t talk about Comcast buying NBC, giving it with the incentive to give its new content business an edge.) I kind of like Steve Jobs; but, do you want him deciding what you can get on your iPhone and iPad?

Today we found out that Goldman Sachs may have been playing both ends against the middle, and it was regulated. Comcast, Apple and their friends are subject to few regulations. What are they planning that will have direct effects on your access to the world?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The End of the World As We Know It

The link will take you to the Los Angeles Times Website, humorously to the Entertainment Section.

Fox News yelled at Sean Hannity for his plan to headline a Tea Party event in Cincinnati tonight, broadcasting his TV show from the event. He was summoned to NYC to do his show from the Fox studio.

Fox barring its stars from promoting a political view? Isn’t that horse out of the barn? What’s next, Glenn Beck admonished to be rational at least 25% of the time?

Ah Facebook

The following was intended as a Facebook “Update.” I typed it in and hit Share. FB told me no dice, The piece has 532 characters, over the 400 and some character limit. Facebook is apparently Twitter quadrupled, minus a few characters.

For Atlanta readers: What was the Havana Sandwich Shop, which you know burned a couple of years ago, has now metastasized into two. The first offshoot was Havana Restaurant on Buford Hwy., just north of Clairmont. Recently opened is Havana Grill in an old fast food place in front of Northeast Plaza. The Grill is better. The "17" there is a Cuban Combo: a touch bigger, much juicer and a bit cheaper than the 17 at the Sandwich Shop or the Restaurant. Without Kool Korners, the Grill is the place to get a Cuban fix.

Now that’s short! Looks like Facebook isn’t going to work as a venue for my “short posts.”

But, 36 hours in business and I have thirteen friends. And one friend request from someone I haven’t a clue about.

I’m up-to-date about a new puppy, two people making out in a fast food parking lot, Farmville, Mafia Wars, the relative merits of the movie 2012 and a host of events in my friends' lives.

Now I have to figure out how to stop it from showing when I’m online and how to stop it from sending me an Email every time a friend posts something.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ode to Annie

Well not really. Annie was non-plused that I wasn't on Facebook. I told her that I tried it for a couple of hours last year and it didn't seem to be my thing. She said it's the way to keep in contact. I said that's, in part, what the blog does. "So it's all about you?" I nodded, I was OK with that.

Most of the people I know are on Facebook. They seem to be constantly checking something on it.

So, as of about a half hour ago, I'm kind of on Facebook. To the best of my ability, I've set the privacy settings at no one but a friend can access the site (is that what it's called?).

What am I going to do with it? That's a good question. Maybe nothing. But here's my thought. There are times that I have a thought, more a snippet of a thought. Not worthy of a post; but, something that I might want to put out there. I'm too lazy to put it in an Email and then spam all my friends. And spamming isn't usually a good idea. But, if I put it out there and you decide you want to read my snippet, that can't be bad.

A blog in short form. Stop the laughter about me saying something in short form.

So, I'm not sure how this works. The name on Facebook is Evad Knat. Want to be my friend? It may well not last; but, I think Facebook divorces are pretty cheap.

Guess What Today Is?

I got an Email from a client this morning wishing me a good National Be Kind to Lawyers Day.

Thinking it was a joke, I Googled it and found that April 13 really is such day, it has its very own website:

Now, I need a National Be Kind to Liberal, Commie, Pinkos Day and I’m set.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why do Republicans say stuff like this?

From a Washington Post article posted Monday:

"In discussing same-sex marriage, ... Huckabee said, 'You don't go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let's go ahead and accommodate those who want who use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them.'"

Conflict of Interest and the Cost of Medical Care

Every now and then there are media reports about the big bucks that drug and medical equipment companies spend on physicians for “conferences,” “seminars,” “research” and other cover events for the payment of money or the gifting of travel.

We’ve all been in an examination room and seen that pretty much everything in it is labeled with the name of a provider. We’ve seen the good-looking young men and women “just checking in” with the receptionist to see if Doctor (why is there no “the” in front of the noun in the medical field?) so and so “had a moment.” When told no, or it would be a while, they smiled and left some pens, pads and a box of cookies.

A few years back, I had some peripheral contact with a company whose entire business plan was catering lunches for drug and equipment companies’ “learning lunches” at doctors’ offices.

I’m pretty sure that a physician wouldn’t prescribe a drug or treatment that would harm me because of a free pad, pen, lunch or even a seminar fee and all expenses at an expensive resort; but, might he or she prescribe a drug that just might not be the absolute best, or might be a tad more expensive because of the bribes?

In the same light, might I be “ordered” an MRI at a facility that the physician just happened to be a part owner of?

The answer to both questions is, I think, yes.

Have you ever been in a doctor’s office and been told “you’re due for an xyz test or procedure” and upon inquiry learned that you are “due” because the insurance company will pay for said test or procedure every so often even though it isn’t a medical necessity for you at that particular time?

I wonder if this kind of stuff will change under Obamacare? Probably not. How much do the companies spend on the bribes? How much more than a truly competitive fee for the MRI are you paying? How many medically unnecessary tests and procedures are ordered because someone convinced insurance companies they should pay for them? My thought is that it adds up.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Here's the problem, depending on how you look at it, Obama isn't a liberal

The Republicans are beside themselves getting ready to lambaste Obama for whomever he nominates to be the next associate justice on the Supreme Court, having no interest in the choice itself, rather positioning for the mid-term elections in November.

The Media is predicting that he will nominate someone who isn’t very to the left. Media is right in its prediction.

Think it through, Obama isn’t a liberal.

Bailout: he continued W’s too big to fail plan for “saving” the economy and has floundered ever since. He and Bush succeeded in making banks “profitable.” If you are a person or a small or mid-sized business, have you talked to a loan officer lately? The recovery is reserved for the corporations whose excesses were wiped out by government money.

“We’ll be out of Afghanistan and Iraq, in (whatever the lie was).” Now he chides the guys that play with those countries and they pretty much ignore him.

Guantanamo, no more needs to be said.

Don’t ask, don’t tell, a simple stroke of the pen. And now that I think of it, so is Guantanamo.

Health care, no matter what you think, the plan he and the Dems settled on is middle of the road. No public option. Nothing of real import for several years. Look back over proposals in the last couple of decades, there are lots of Republicans that then promoted similar “reforms.” Have you notice that there isn’t an insurance or drug or hospital company that has come out and said anything against the plan? They haven’t because they will profit from an increased pool of payers and still negotiate all the important stuff that will keep them from paying the payers.

And for those of you excoriating him and the Dems for the cost, total up what we’ve spent and will spend on the bailout, a bipartisan effort. Make sure to factor in the yet to come losses on what the Government took over in the residential real estate market and the yet to fully collapse commercial market.

What the GOP thinks, and won’t tell you, is that they aren’t at all worried about Obama as a Socialist, Progressive, Liberal, Commie, Pinko. They are pissed that they don’t have much influence in where the pork is going.

Obama is a Chicago streetwise Pol, nothing more, nothing less. Indeed, he doesn’t do it as well as his predecessors did – Tip O’Neill, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy, even Bill Clinton. They understood the art of the deal. Obama seems to think that any deal is a good deal.

The only thing anyone with a brain can celebrate about the last election is that Sarah Palin doesn’t hang out at Blair House.

The Supreme Court isn’t going to change with Obama’s appointment. It is actually going to skew more to the right. The continuing “swing” vote, without any influence from Justice Stevens, will continue be Justice Kennedy, who can be easily swayed by the right on the Court.

Get ready for stronger 5-4 anti-civil liberties and pro big business and government opinions. The new guy or girl won’t have much influence for some time to come, even if he or she is wont to exercise it.

Then too, I wouldn't want McCain to have kicked off and Sarah to have been inquiring potential justices as to just why we have three branches of government.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Is Sarah Palin worthy of a response from the President?

Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for President in 2012 would be the fulfillment of the Democrats’ fondest wishes. Can you imagine the multiple daily gaffes? The debates? Priceless.

That said, why did Obama engage in a media spat with her about the nuclear treaty he just signed? Flippancy and the absence of substance are her middle names. Tit for tat does not become the President.

If a response was necessary, would it make more sense for say the Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs to note, as Obama said, that the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs (notorious wimpy pacifists) were on board with the treaty. And maybe go a bit further and wryly note that most responsible Republicans were also on board?

Sometimes off the cuff is good, more often it is not.

To use Palin’s playground bully analogy, sometimes it’s appropriate to let the ineffectual bully punch you in the gut. And smile. Letting others comment on the silly bully.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Spirit Airlines is all over the news with its new charge to put a bag in the overhead bin. I just read that Ryanair is again considering making its toilets coin operated.

Read your Internet or cell phone bill and find all the little “fees” that are really just increases to the “low” price you hear in the advertisements.

While beverages and desserts have traditionally been “unbundled” on restaurant menus, I’ve noticed that main dish prices are holding steady accompanied by spikes in drink and dessert prices.

I met my friend the cop for lunch yesterday at a middle of the road chain restaurant. I had a kind of French dip sandwich* and fries with a pretty good pickle slice. Not too bad and not overly expensive at $7.99. Then I looked at the bill and found out my iced tea was $2.39, about a third of the price of the meal, beyond the unreasonable line.

* Beef on ‘Weck Pos, not too bad, a touch salty.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Nike and Tiger: How Low Can You Go?

Pretty damn low. Watch this commercial and come on back:

So, if you caught any of Tiger's press conference earlier in the week, he was heartily sorry. He let everyone down. Mea culpa. Mea magna culpa. And so on, other than giving any details of what led him to where he is.

And that was fine with me, especially when coupled with his crowd friendly demeanor during his first practice round.

Now we find out it's all fodder to sell sports apparel. Don't ask me questions; but, I'm going to use my bad behavior to promote Nike stuff. And I'm going to invoke my dead dad, who I didn't listen to, to do it.

Here's part of what Billy Payne, the current chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, had to say today in his annual speech, before the commercial ran:

"But as he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility. It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grand kids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children.

"Is there a way forward? I hope yes. I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par; but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change. I hope he now realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing, but would settle for his smile.

"I hope he can come to understand that life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people. We at Augusta hope and pray that our great champion will begin his new life here tomorrow in a positive, hopeful and constructive manner, but this time, with a significant difference from the past. This year, it will not be just for him, but for all of us, who believe in second chances."

Seems to me that Tiger is more interested in the kids and grand kids buying Nike stuff and has a way to go to live up to Payne's and my standards.

Two Gadgets I Missed and One I Might

I’ve been accused by some people of being gadget-happy. On a continuum, I’ll admit I skew gadget rather than Luddite.

But, I’m not an early adopter. I tend to jump on bandwagons when there's been an iteration or three, and then, only if it’s useful to me. I didn’t get my first computer until 1983. I didn’t get my second computer till the mid-nineties. Why such a gap? I had a secretary that typed a whole lot faster than I did. I went back to the computer when clients and friends started asking for my Email address. I didn’t get a cell phone until I got similar questions about my cell number.

I dabbled on the Internet for the second half of the Nineties, only becoming fully immersed when it had developed into something that replaced the way I did my job.

I never got a PDA, not finding it useful as I had a real live person, my secretary, to keep track of obligations. I scoffed at smart phones until Apple changed the game with the iPhone. Now, with a smart phone, I have a limited computer, .mp3 player, PDA and phone everywhere I go.

But, as it turns out I missed a gadget. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that an iPod was more than an .mp3 player. I never knew it was a baby Internet connection. Would I have bought one if I knew? Probably not. It was never fully evolved, lacking the cell phone function that the iPhone and its progeny supplied.

Will I succumb to the allure of a pad/tablet/slate? Right now, I think I won’t, though I laughed at the smart phones early on. The new neither/nor devices seem to be over-sized smart phones and under-sized laptops, each of which I’ve got. Then too, they’re missing important parts of both the other devices: the phone function of the smart phone and full computer functionality of a laptop.

Is there something in there that will fulfill a need? We’ll see.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Google Tricks

As a public service:

I especially like the first one. For those of you that are lazy:

"Use the 'site:' operator to limit searches to a particular site. I use this one all the time, and it’s particularly handy because many site’s built-in search tools don’t return the results you’re looking for (and some sites don’t even have a search feature). If I’m looking for WWD posts about GTD, for example, I could try this search:


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Cliche: Teenager Wanted

I have a buzz in the home theater sound system. Then there’s the fact that the system speakers are unbalanced.

Then there are the mini-speakers that I’ve hooked to the Apple Airfoil specialized sub-WiFi network to play Pandora and music I’ve stored on the computer. The problem? I can’t get the main-left speaker to talk.

Then there’s the fact that I have four remotes, which operate together, but inconsistently. Three of them are Samsung remotes that are all supposed operate the other devices (TV, theater and Blu-ray). Then there is the Comcast remote that is also supposed to turn on and off the other devices. They don’t play well together. Sometimes you “turn off” the system and it turns off. Then sometimes, not.

There are lots of wires and there are the aforementioned WiFi and sub-WiFi systems.

I won’t bore you with the Comcast bedroom remote and its love/hate relationship with the TV and the cable box on top of the TV.

Debo, don’t say it.

Sixth grade politics, which unfortunately are killing people

What’s his name Karzai says he may have to go over to the Taliban because, in my words, the West is pressuring him to be a bit less corrupt.

This is the very reason that we should not have ramped up our presence in Afghanistan. It will never, ever be what we say we expect and are spending billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives to accomplish.

Go over to the other side Karzai. Get your graft from opium. Oh, and when that warlord that is a bit more savvy that you are, takes over, remember that you're assured of being an historical footnote.

Resurrrection isn't enough

I remember sunrise service. Even in Michigan, without much sun, there was a bit of sparkle in the sanctuary, I’m thinking supplied by the music.

I like the idea of Easter.

Everything is messed up, we’ve been doing things wrong. And then God makes us a deal. All you’ve got to do is believe. Hokey as it is, believe and you will be forgiven, rise up… fill in your own ending.

Maybe if we could get back to that basic premise. Believe.

Nope, there needs to be some follow through. That’s where we’re messing up. Again. Believe.

You can’t do that endless loop. Us people have to figure out the follow through.

Might work for getting to the fill in your own ending part and make things a bit better here on earth.

Friday, April 02, 2010

For those of you not yet experiencing Spring

Fracas closes school cafeteria

The post title is the title of an article at today. I haven't read the article, I'm not interested in unruly kids; but, I haven't seen the word fracas in a long time. I kind of like it. Fracas.

I'm waiting to see "Rhubarb in produce section of area grocery store," or is that too much to hope for?

And, I seem to have nothing else to say.