Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Politically Incorrect Reading List

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- Winston Churchill

This quotation can be found, among other places, on the flyleaf of Vince Flynn's latest blockbuster, "Extreme Measures."

The first edition was issued in October of 2008, which of course means it was written well before that... but it is incredibly timely, in that its plot includes bleeding-heart U.S. Senators who want to prosecute and jail some of those rough men Churchill talked about; one of whom, of course, is Flynn's fictional hero.

And speaking of rough men, if you want a real eye-opener, just read anything by ex-Navy Seal Richard Marcinko. But don't read it if you are sensitive to, um, rather salty language, and you can't stand the thought of terrorists and traitors getting their just desserts, heaven help you.

I first read one of his books several months ago and remembered that it was well-written, with a very distinctive voice, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Fast forward to late last week at the public library. I was rummaging around in the M portion of the fiction section, when a library worker with a cart stopped and asked if I needed any help.

"Well, I read this really good book, and I can't remember the name of the book or the author, but it was somewhere around here."

He wished me luck, and went on to the next shelf; but he was still well within earshot when I continued, "It was one of those chasing-terrorists-around-the-world kind of books, and it was actually pretty funny, and it was written by a guy who used to do that sort of thing."

The library worker came back around the corner, pointed to a book by Marcinko, and said, "Might be somebody like that guy." Sure enough, it was exactly that guy.

When in doubt, ask a library staff person. Talk about good service.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Did You Know...

... I'll bet money you didn't, if you are not closely involved in the medical field.

Your confidential information--medical and otherwise--may very well be going overseas without your knowledge or consent.

Many medical providers in the U.S., in a short-sighted effort to save money, offshore their medical transcription work to India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and other places. (They've been doing it for years, and the wages for medical transcription work in the U.S. have dropped pretty drastically in the same time frame. But that's another gripe.)

Often, in the course of having your medical records transcribed overseas, all of your information that will enable identity theft goes right along with it. And it is, of course, impossible to enforce U.S. privacy laws offshore.

Regular readers might remember the fun I had when I received an order of ::ahem:: male enhancement "vitamins" in the mail, courtesy of an identity thief who was too stupid to change the credit card address to his own. (I am assuming it was a he, because who else would order that stuff?)

The connection I did not make at that time was that less than 3 months earlier, I had been to a medical practice that I know for a fact sends its transcription work to India. (I know this because a friend of mine used to have their account, and she lost it when they decided they wanted to save money.)

Coincidence? I really can't say. But if I, without a larcenous bone in my body, could envision how an unscrupulous medical transcription service operator somewhere in the third world might team up with an identity theft ring and sell them private information (names, social security numbers, etc.)... well. You get the picture.

Here is a site that has more information about a bill currently sitting in Congress that would require Americans to be notified before any of their personal information is sent overseas.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who Writes These Headlines?

Excuse me? Somebody can honestly, with a straight face, suggest that the Republicans are stepping over the line for going after Nancy "what-did-she-know-and-when-did-she-know-it" Pelosi? Have they been blind and deaf for the past 8 years? Do I have to remind anyone about Bush being Hitler, Cheney being Darth Vader and all that?

Good freaking grief.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Love This Guy.

Real Men aren't afraid to wear pink boxer shorts.

I mean... what else are you gonna do when the alert sounds and you're in your pajamas? Are you gonna take the time to get dressed and possibly endanger your comrades, or are you gonna go out there and do what needs to be done?

Good for him. Way to go, soldier.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Browsing The Web

Just in case you haven't seen these sites...

... check out the FAIL Blog. But be warned--let's just say it is not entirely G-rated.

And then there's the wonderfully-bizarre Are We Lumberjacks?

Enjoy. But don't say I didn't warn ya.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strange Allergic Reaction

My sister's friend who is now acting as daddy for the little dog Star just came by to drop off some stuff, and Star was with him.

She remembered me; she gave me a nose-kiss, I told her I missed her, and I held her for a few minutes.

And now there's this funny thing going on with watery eyes and running nose.

Must be an allergy. Yeah. That's right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In The Headlines

"A Call For Understanding," screams the front-page above-the-fold headline in today's newspaper, complete with picture of the president making a speech.

Oh, but we do understand. We understand all too well that you want to take our country to a place it's never been before, and that place is not a good one.

Well, THAT wasn't supposed to happen....

... in light of television history, that is.

First, Joss Whedon's fantastic show Firefly gets canceled after half a season, among other things allegedly being unable to find an audience (which is kind of hard to do with a show that is moved, pre-empted, and the episodes shown out of order).

Then Tim Minear's Drive (starring Captain Tightpants himself, Nathan Fillion) gets canceled after exactly 8 days, again because it couldn't find an audience. Huh?

So what are we to make of the most recent news?

Just announced, Joss's latest show Dollhouse has been . . . wait for it . . . RENEWED for a second season.

And if that weren't enough, the new show Castle, starring Nathan, has been . . . RENEWED.

Plus, rumor has it that Chuck, with the hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne (otherwise known as Adam Baldwin) in a supporting role, is also to be renewed.

I don't know how to act.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You Just Can't Get Good Help Anymore.

And it's even scarier when the good help you can't get is your own employer, not your minions.

It seems nobody bothered to tell me, after a month and a half, that my health insurance enrollment forms (which went in along with all my other employee forms) mysteriously never got there, even though they were in the same batch with all the forms that did arrive safely.

I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning.

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