Friday, April 08, 2011

Same Verse

It's 2011, but it feels like yesterday. The entrenched political parties that have ground our country to this impasse continue to sling accusations and blame at each other as the clock ticks down. Clearly both parties are content to destroy the financial credibility of our nation, having already allowed their exploitative peers to loot the coffers.

Time for sensible folk to turn off the televisions, computers, mobile devices, and head for the beach, the theaters, the fast food joints, the fine dining establishments, the sporting venues, the malls...

Just how necessary or important is the federal government? Guess we're about to find out, or so they hope...

Fools, them and us all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

So much depressing news, so little desire to attend to any of it. There's oil sludge that is changing our way of life, whether or not we realize it; there are wars and rumors of war, (as always, actually); there are vitriolic election campaigns expending enough resources to fix the problems the respective candidates are promising to fix once they are elected - yeah, right - just take that campaign money and fix the problems now, so much more useful and persuasive to me than all this mudslinging going on...

The oil issue may well prove to be as significant as major climate changes or shifting tectonic plates, at least insomuch as it's consequences impact human society and global ecology.

I have posited before and will repeat now that this planet will survive our follies; it is we who have the most to lose. Should our ecological system have to strike a new balance, it will. That balance need not include viability for human existence. How important will the bottom line of anyone's spreadsheets be then?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Too Much TV

People say one shouldn't watch too much tv, and now that I've been exposed to so much CNN, I have to agree. Seems like there's been a shakeup at CNN recently, and I don't think much of the current lineup of anchors, though I'm glad enough that at least one is evidently gone for good. What's left, though, seems to lean toward the inane, the melodramatic, and the obsessed - with trivialities and ratings (that's redundant, isn't it?).

The proper way to watch tv is via some version of DVR or download that allows one to select programming, omit crass commercials (if not the no less subtle but surely shorter product placement integrations), and pause, rewind, fast-forward, and delete at will.

I have observed that as programming and access rapidly morph for the upcoming generation, traditional tv sets marketed to older viewers are simply exploding in screen size. One can now watch/interact with feeds either live or canned on viewing surfaces ranging from itty bitty to larger than one might have domicile space for housing such monstrosities. All I can do is dream of being able to afford a house that can hold the screen of my dreams . . . while I fend off incipient signs of carpal tunnel from extensive use of my handheld devices . . .

Perhaps, as Shannon suggests, the solution is less viewing time . . . no, that can't be it; can it? Can it - yes! that's the solution . . . packrats, anyone?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small Claims and Other Nuisances

There's a commercial for Home Depot running on television these days that suggests doing one's own tiling is so much simpler, smoother, and more cost effective than hiring a professional. Before my very first adventure with a professional general contractor, I would have scoffed, knowing full well what I know not. Now, as I watch the ad, however, I see glimpses of what I watched done over the course of a couple of days and I realize the truth of the matter, now that I have seen the deed demonstrated...

And oh what an expensive tutelage that has been!

- There was the eager estimate, followed by the startled delay.
- There was the unexpected extra work followed by the inevitable additional contracting for unanticipated services.
- There was the one day only employee who thought himself a freelancer and was therefore cut adrift, leaving a hefty portion of work unbegun, never mind unfinished.
- There was the mad scramble to find others who would fulfill the terms of the contract (should not have been my problem).
- There was the earnest and meticulous (read slow) weekend and holiday work done by lone operators.

All followed by the unexpected subpoena to small claims court, a summons that cannot be ignored.

But everyone was very nice, and several were very cute, which really should count for something, shouldn't it?

But evidently the subpoena was for show as testimony from me was deemed irrelevant and therefore not allowed - which I coulda told anyone who'd listen...

Evidently I need to work on my screening skills. See, I thought I should cut the fellow some slack cuz he's not cute, and I didn't want my innate prejudice to color my judgment... which, it turns out, was on the money... not that I ever listen to me... why should I, after all, if no one else does? ;->

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hottest news in Hawaii today, barring the weather of course, is the canonization of Father Damien, who dedicated his life to working with the lepers of Molokai until and after he himself contracted Hansen's Disease. Today in Rome (10:00 pm HST last night) Pope Benedict the numeral conferred sainthood on the man. (Can you tell I'm not Roman Catholic?)

There have been news clips of the Hawaii contingent participating in a private mass yesterday, singing Hawaiian hymns as part of the service. One cannot help but wonder whether or not there was any discussion or fear over allowing such pagan-sounding strains to echo through the hallowed halls. Personally, I thought it was really cool, but then, I always love to hear hearty Hawaiian strains abroad. (And I don't mean the only song some folks think Brother Iz ever recorded, that froggy anthem...)

Father Damien really was a cool dude, working tirelessly and evidently without expectation or requirement of earthly reward. He even went on working among his people after he himself contracted the disease. That's dedication - though to be fair, where else was he going to go? Still, he didn't have to keep working; he could have flopped down and bellyached, as so many did and do.

What's perhaps a little more cynicism-engendering is the sudden recent flow of ads in conjunction with his canonization... Eh, sure and it's the American way...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


As part of the fallout and follow-up from South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson's faux pas last evening during President Barack Obama's address to the joint Congress:

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner ... suggested some Americans were terrified by the administration’s health care and budget proposals.

“I believe that people ought to be respectful, that we ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling,” the GOP leader told reporters. “Americans are frustrated. They're angry. And most importantly, they're scared to death. They're scared to death that the country that they grew up in is not going to be the country that their kids and grandkids grew up in.

Seriously, is the American in which we now live the country that our own grandparents inhabited? Would we even want to live in such a place ourselves?

Been reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and I have to say that there's no way this 20-21st century entity has any desire whatsoever to live in the same atmosphere and culture that my forebears endured. Personally, I like indoor plumbing, fast cars, fast food, brain-numbing network television, endless reruns on cable, 24/7 Internet access...

I have no desire to spend the bulk of my time and efforts hunting and harvesting, making and mending. I think the 7/11 concept is brilliant, and I want more immediate gratification, not less. Why on earth would I want to live in the same land that my ancestors inhabited?

More to the point, why would I wish the ills of our present society on the next generation? I grew up with the understanding that my parents worked so frigging hard so that I wouldn't have to do likewise. I studied hard in school so that my life and the lives of any offspring I might produce might have an even richer, more fulfilling range of opportunities from which to carve out their own experiences. So why on earth would a seemingly intelligent adult charged with the fashioning of said future by means of legislation desire to trap the youth who are our future in our past?

Go figure.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


This morning's casually caught news article suggests that there are those within the U.S. military who consider paying the Taliban protection money to forestall attacks a reasonable investment. Well, there is a history within this country on a civil level of such behavior... Somehow, though, it does not seem possible that such behavior will sit any better with contemporary society than it did with early and mid-twentieth century America when it became widespread knowledge. On the other hand, there are a number of films glorifying violence that suggest that it was not the many but the few, or even just one, who made the difference and ended the practice by taking a stand against acceptance of such practices. Is that what is required even now?

It is difficult to believe that today's members of the military, raised on vigilante films, would blithely turn a blind eye to such malfeasance. Of course, today's volunteers don't necessarily join for patriotic fervor, any more than volunteers of any era have...


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Month Old News

Nothing of note comes to mind as I listen to the news: fire, abduction, abuse, war, death... Perhaps I should change the channel, try some different sources for new material. Perhaps I should be content to lose myself in unrelated writings for awhile... except that my muddy mind insists on seeing parallels with the present day, with the world in which I live and move and breathe, with everything I read, watch, hear - most irritating, and not just to those around me, either. Ah well...

Perhaps the changing of the seasons will bring new ideas. Certainly it has brought new experiences to this old house.

Monday, August 31, 2009

And Now... We're Back

Nearly a week of mourning, this time with less cynicism simply because the public figure was a politician of note from one of the most publicly tragic families in the nation. Guess it helps that Kennedy died from disease rather than drug overdose...

Still, the official media mourning is done and they're back to sensational news stories. What is wrong with these people? Granted, sensationalism sells and garners ratings, but must they be so enthusiastic in their coverage?

Wait - I know the answer to this one...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Has It Been Since Tuesday?

The news has been replete with coverage of the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, youngest of the nine offspring of Joseph and Rose Kennedy of Massachusetts. The youngest and least promising of four sons and five daughters, Kennedy required nearly half a century to achieve the acclaimed stature of his older male siblings. Still, folk are quick to point out that while the elder brothers were all about promises cut short, the youngest, least promising of the brood has proven to be the most productive, if only because he has achieved the greatest longevity. Give a fellow enough time, anything can happen - and has. Good for him.

All the potential in the world is for naught without fulfillment; all an individual's flaws can be overlooked if they prove to be stepping stones to insight, maturity, greatness.

GW was an indifferent scholar whose presidency was of like tenor; Teddy, expelled from Harvard for cheating, does not seem ever to have demonstrated indifference - with the result that he has a lifetime of achievements in legislation to which people now point as the only sensible way to view reality.

(Just look at all the things Claire, Bree, & Roger take for granted, despite having departed prior to most of the youngest Kennedy's notable achievements.) ;->