Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A moment from Ally McBeal....

I think a lot of people can identify with this collage of scenes and songs from Ally McBeal. For all the loves lost, for all the what's if, and maybe somedays, for all the why's and how's that have kept us up at night....I offer this to you.

A few songs...warning...have tissues ready.


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

From the The Lang Report....

A post I think everyone should read, from The Lang Report by Michael Lang

August 10, 2007
The Buffoon in the White House…… it isn't funny anymore!
Updated August 13, 2007
If you saw George Bush's Press Conference yesterday then you know what today's title is referring to.

When addressing his audience, Mr. Bush (sometimes I just can't bring myself to call him President) made light of serious matters by his feeble attempts at sincerity, a smirk and a chuckle that insults all those that are serving and dying in Iraq as well as those suffering in this country as a result of his reckless stewardship.

In fact, as I recall, most of Bush's public appearances could be characterized as insincere and condescending. For example:When asked about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who has been condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike for lying and incompetence; Bush shrugged his shoulders, shook his head and said the he didn't understand what all of the "fuss was about". He suggested that Congress should spend their time passing his legislation rather than wasting it on "witch hunts and personal agendas.

Yep! …….He actually said that! In the face of overwhelming documentation of conflicting testimonies and probable perjury and contempt of congress charges looming.

Bush continues to compound the insult by fielding more questions about Iraq and blatantly lie about the obvious. It is one thing being optimistic about a situation and another thing to completely deny the truth…….Truth based on facts!

When evaluating Mr. Bush, it is difficult to believe anything other than:

1) he is totally dishonest and is constitutionally incapable of facing and telling the truth, especially when it conflicts with his agendas

2) he is the ultimate hypocrite because his hypocrisy affects so many lives and sadly causes so many deaths,

3) he IS the moron that he portrays to be (and it's not an act)

Whatever his pathology, he is an embarrassment as he is supposed to represent the best and the brightest that our country has to offer. But more important than that is he is extremely dangerous for a very scary reason. He is ignorant and unteachable and he appears to be perfectly OK with that !

Pretty scary for the man said to be the "most powerful man in the world"

Monday, 13 August 2007

I'd like to buy a book -- does anyone work here?

"I'd like to find this CD", I told the clerk, pointing to the entry on the computer screen.
"It's over there," he said waving vaguely toward the CD racks.
"I looked there, but I couldn't find it. Can you help me?"
"If it's not there, we must be out."
"Can I order it?"
He looked at me with an exasperated sigh. "Fine."

Yes, this is customer service at my neighborhood bookstore. Clerks on the floor are nearly non-existent. Books and music are often randomly shelved. Peak times at the checkout mean only one or two cashiers will be available while the rest vanish somewhere into the hidden reaches of the back room.

Last night's exchange was sadly typical of the level of service I've come to expect at this prominent chain bookstore, where the emphasis seems to be on coffee rather than reading material.

There was one bright spot. The cashier looked at the books I’d selected and told me about another author she thought I’d like. She described the theme and how much she’d enjoyed it.

"Where is it? I asked, thinking I could add it to my pile.
"We don't carry it, she said sadly. "But maybe you could order it online?"

So much for customer service

Sunday, 12 August 2007

The absurdities of modern life - trying to use an extended warranty

I stood there in the service department of the Suzuki dealership holding a part that was once attached to my car's took both arms to hold the large plastic-wrapped piece of a Forenza. And yet the service rep in front of me was telling me that my very expensive Platinum warranty would NOT cover my repairs...

"...because it's a hose, and they don't cover hoses..."

Now I have seen hoses before. Garden hoses, dryer hoses, and yes even car hoses. But this large conglomeration of plastic and metal and other materials...some rectangular, some round, some cylindrical was clearly not any sort of HOSE! But the man stood in front of me, and with a completely straight face, declared it a HOSE! Or rather said that since the warranty company (the one that the Suzuki dealer where I bought my car new said would cover my car bumper to bumper) said that this part was a hose, it therefore was a hose.

The people at Hogwarts would be proud. With a single word, these apparent Muggles had transformed a large car part into a hose...and what's more, had done so over telephone lines and without ever changing its appearance.

So now I am faced with the task of filing complaints against the PA Suzuki dealership who sold me the policy, an appeal with warranty company, and fraud charges with the State's Attorney in three states (PA, where I bought the car, the state where the warranty company is located, and the state in which I now live and the action occurred.) I have to submit photos of the part, file reports and make endless telephone calls.

So much for bumper to bumper...

Monday, 6 August 2007

Falling in love with Key West all over again

I've always loved Key West.

From visits as a child growing up here in Florida, to sunrises on the beach after late night drives down during college, it's always been a place apart from the rest of Florida. Margaritaville.

But recently, I had heard from friends that the place was no longer worth a visit. Run down, no fun, not worth the long drive.

I am happy to report they were wrong. I just got back from my first visit to Key West in years. And although the approach to island was far more cluttered with fast food restaurants and seedy looking auto repair shops (are there really THAT many broken cars in the Keys?), once we got to Duval Street and the Old Town, the magic was still alive and well.

We stayed in a beuatiful bed and breakfast right on Duval. For two and half days, we walked shops, to restaurants, to the pier for the nightly sunset celebration, complete with music, performance art and craftspeople of all types. We swam in the pool and waded in the Gulf. And for nearly three days, did not have to drive.

Yes, Key West was more crowded than before. And chain stores like Bath and Body Works had popped up along Duval. But there were still far more wonderful places to explore like a gallery named "A Boy and his Dog", or a restaurant that listed the latitude and longitude and declared it to be the location of Paradise. As I sat there on that warm tropical night, enjoying a great dinner with someone special, I could not disagree.

It truly was paradise.

Next year, my older daughter will graduate from high school and head off to college, leaving my little one and I free to go wherever we wish. I spent an hour of my visit to Key West checking out the local job market (not bad) and the local real estate (very high.) And I contemplated the possibility of completing my return to Florida of a year and half ago by moving as far south as one could go.

I already live in Florida, surrounded by beaches and palm trees and music and art. But there is something about the concentration of all that creativity into such a small space that made all the difference. I imagined life without a daily commute, and the wonder of raising my daughter on a island filled with art and music. And I found that I really liked the idea.

Watch this space as the year goes this time next year, maybe I'll have my own bit of Paradise too.

Friday, 3 August 2007

We have money for killing people but not for saving them

The tragedy in Minnesota is all over the news today. And what's more horrifying than the fact that so many people died, were injured or lost beloved family members is the the fact that it was so easily preventable.

The reports coming out say that many of our country's bridges and overpasses are structurally unsound. This terrrible event was not so much of a surprise as a finally. The estimate to fix the problem is in the billions...guess it was just too expensive to save some lives....

But wait....

This country DOES have billions and billions to spend on KILLING PEOPLE. Thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands of people...

As of October of 2006, Reuters out of London estimated that in excess of 650, 000 Iraqis have perished since we INVADED their country to SAVE them! Who knows what the total is now almost a year later. If we can spend countless dollars and waste thousands of U.S. soldiers' lives to kill 2.5% of the Iraqi population, why is that we can't spend the money to keep people safe on their way home from work bridges in Minnesota?

While we bow our heads in prayer for the lives lost and the families ripped apart, we should also hang our heads in national shame...shame for out twisted priorities, shame for voting these criminals into public office who make these decisions, and shame for not getting rid of them once we knew what they were....

Let's put every single politician who voted for this war and/or against spending on infrastructure upkeep and repair ..and their families...on one of those substandard bridges and'll go sooner or later. I know karma will take care of them in the long run...but sometimes it's hard to sit back and wait.