Friday, June 26, 2009

Difficult Week.

Especially if one is a celebrity.

But I first want to acknowledge that it's a very difficult week also for a friend and colleague of mine. She lost her husband a week ago after a relatively short illness. Thoughts and prayers to B. and her family.

At the risk of committing sacrilege, I never was a Michael Jackson fan. His voice and style just didn't do it for me, and some of his life choices were problematic, to say the least. But there's no denying he was a huge figure in American pop culture, such that even as serious an outfit as the Fox News Channel went wall-to-wall with their coverage.

Moving right along... I was one of the countless young women with a Farrah hairdo back in the late 70s. I gave it up fairly quickly, because it was far too high-maintenance for my taste, and heaven help me if I got caught in a rainstorm.... On another note, a few years ago I actually met the Hollywood hairdresser who created the Farrah haircut. (No, he did not cut my hair.)

And what can one say about Ed McMahon that hasn't been said already? I have nothing to add, other than to say I was sorry to hear about all the apparent difficulties he had to endure later in life. And now, yet another legend is gone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bumper Sticker

Saw one the other day; this isn't exactly the one I saw, but the general idea is the same.

Want one of your own? Go here.

(No, I am not the one selling them, and it's not a friend of mine either.)

That Does It.

I am officially an old fart.

Why? Well, because I just got a long e-mail from my supervisor, wherein she reminded people that it is not acceptable to just not show up for work on any given day.

Back in my day, practicing personal responsibility was called being a grown-up.

It's not the first time I've seen this sort of thing from management, but it still absolutely floors me that people have to be TOLD to keep their commitments. You accepted the job, you show up. Period. And if you are sick or somehow unavoidably detained, you CALL IN.

And here I was feeling guilty because the other night I wasn't feeling well, and I sent my supervisor an e-mail at 4 a.m. telling her I was shutting off the alarm clock because I was not feeling well. As it turned out, I was only about an hour late signing on for my shift. But it never would have occurred to me NOT to let someone know I was going to be late.

Yep. I'm an old fart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


And about bloody time. Better late than never? No. Too little, too late. Sheesh.

For No Reason Other Than I Felt Like It

It's well over 4 years since I posted P. J. O'Rourke's magnificent rant from "Holidays in Hell."

And since it is truly NSFW (that's not safe for work, for all you flatlanders), I am putting it below the fold. Enjoy!

Click here to read the rest, if you dare!

Monday, June 22, 2009

R, You There?

No, that's not an obnoxious text-message or Twitter abbreviation. I'm talking about an old school acquaintance whose first name starts with an R, with whom I briefly connected on Facebook the other week. R, if you're reading this (and I hope you are) I intended to answer your last message--but then you vanished. Was it something I said??

I wanted to ask you about the novel you're writing, and other things.... E-mail me. The address is right over there in the sidebar. ---> Or call me. I'm in the book.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Snibbles 'N' Bits

Got a call from the new guy, i.e. the guy taking over from the old guy at the brokerage office I do business with. I have an appointment with him next week for a portfolio review. I told him I hadn't looked at a statement since before the election last year because I really did not want to know how low my portfolio had sunk. (After all, what could I do about it that I hadn't already done, i.e. vote against the people who helped sink the economy? And we all know how much good THAT did me.) He ran some quick numbers and told me that while on average, people had lost nearly half the value of their portfolios, mine had only gone down by about 10 percent. Good news, then.

Completely unrelated to this, in the course of having the TV cable redone last week, I decided that since everything in back had to be unhooked and reconnected anyway, this would be a good time to redo all the various power strips and surge protectors.

So now, only the things that have to stay on all the time (the lizard lights and fountain pumps) are plugged into a power strip that stays turned on.

Everything else--TV, VCRs, DVD players, cable box--is plugged into a strip that gets turned off except when one of the above toys is in use. And since about 99 percent of my TV watching happens in the bedroom, the living room arrangement will stay turned off 99 percent of time time.

I should know within a few months whether those TV commercials that tell you to do this sort of thing to save power are actually onto something.... Has anyone had experience with this? Are you saving any money?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Heeeere, Spammer-Spammer-Spammer!

There you go, spam-bots. Harvest away. Send him some "enhancement vitamin" advertisements. He probably needs them.

(This was someone who had the nerve to more or less offer to take away my job by undercutting my employer, on a professional bulletin board. This response was suggested by one of the several others he tried the same scam with.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh Frabjous Joy!

There is some good news happening in this economy.

As we all know... TV has entered the digital age, as of today.

Both of my TVs have digital tuners, so I wasn't too worried. And then I saw the ads for digital cable service plus On-Demand, for only $29.99 a month for the first year. And after that, the monthly price is less than what I've been paying up until now. Go figure.

So a couple of weeks ago I made the appointment online to get converted to digital cable. I was told that if I wanted to use the second TV for anything other than a giant doorstop, I would of course need a second cable box, which was going to cost an extra X number of dollars per month. So I said okay, since the price was still going to be far less than I've been paying.

The installer was running behind, and showed up actually several hours late yesterday; but it was okay because I was home anyway, and didn't have any reason I needed to leave the house. But he had very good news; he would installing the main cable box with the on-demand features on whichever TV I wanted (I chose the living room, since that's the bigger screen), but he had a basic converter box that he would install on the bedroom TV--and this box was NOT going to cost any extra per month.

And then he absolutely made my day. He told me the Sci-Fi Channel is now included in my lineup.

I still don't know my exact channel lineup; the listings they have online are a bit outdated (I expect with the digital conversion going on, they've had better things to do than update their online channel listings). I guess I'll have to sit down and manually scroll through all the channels and write down what comes up. I have more channels than "basic" but fewer than "premium."

But the Sci-Fi Channel!! Yowza! According to what's published online, I'd have to go several levels of service above what I am actually getting to get that channel included in my lineup. As I said... obviously the lineup has changed since they published that information....

UPDATE: Faithful reader Bum e-mailed to give me info on finding my channel lineup at IMDB. Yes, they do have the channel lineup... and it lists every single channel available if you buy every single thing they have available to sell you. The channels I get are tucked in amongst them, somewhere.

So thanks, Bum, appreciate the effort... but I'm going to have to resort to the old-fashioned method of writing down the actual channels that show up on my TV. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear Neighbor:

I don't think your computer can hear you when you scream, "NO! NO! NO! NO!" at it.

Come to think of it, I don't think the people in Outer Mongolia can hear you either.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Effective Advertising

Ask any marketing maven and they will tell you that any advertisement that sticks with the listener/viewer is an effective one. (Whether it sticks in a positive or negative way is another matter.)

For no reason at all, I just thought of a radio advertisement for the Yellow Pages from, oh, decades ago, give or take a century. Among other vignettes, a woman with an obvious sinus problem was heard to say, "I have a terrible cold." Man's voice: "Use the yellow pages and--" Woman's voice: "Couldn't I just try to find a tissue somewhere?" Cue the jingle singers: "Stick your nose in the book, don't you leap 'till you look, in the Yellow Pages."

See? Effective advertising. Not that I've ever used the yellow pages for a cold, mind you....

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