Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ah, perhaps this explains why the GOP isn't getting on board

One of the reasons the debate about a public option in health care reform has spun off the road into the dusty field of absurdity:

"100 percent of Republicans have indicated that they don’t think having government in the insurance business is a good idea.” - Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Republican minority leader, 10/25/09

Medicare: A social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A new way to spell "SOS" at sea

The growing number of satellite phones in use on ships worldwide has given rise to a modern day "SOS". Inmarsat, a global satellite service provider, has rolled out its new 505 service for use with its new FleetBroadband voice and data service. Now, mariners at sea who might be in need of some assistance and are equipped with a suitable piece of hardware, simply pick up the handset and dial 505 to be connected to a 24-hour emergency service center.

Sure, it's not exactly like 911 but really, who wants to tap out • • • – – – • • • when your boat is about to go all Poseidon Adventure on you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I wonder if we've reached the point where mobile connectivity has crossed a line from useful and trendy to the ridiculous.

Is there a reason why a classic game like Clue can't be played without having to text message throughout the game?

It must be a generational thing because if I was lost in a storm drain with my cell phone, updating my Facebook status would not be my first call.

And can I just say that whenever our adoption is complete and our Plus One is growing up, you're not going to find me text messaging her when it's time to wake up in the morning.

I'm a technophile, there's no doubt about it, and while I find texting useful and Facebook a diversion, I do have to draw the line somewhere.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

OK, this day in sports can come to an end anytime now

Ugh...the day started so promisingly:

1. The Red Sox prepping for a major comeback against the Angels
2. The Giants lining up to squash the Raiders like a bunch of rotten grapes
3. The Patriots and Broncos setting up for a mile-high matchup

And then...

The Red Sox lost as Papelbon gave up three runs in the 9th inning, eliminating them from post-season play

The Giants were crushing the Raiders and then CBS decided that the blowout wasn't interesting and so didn't let Giants fans continue to watch it.

The Pat's defense destructed, the offense looked sloppy, and the Broncos won in overtime.

To add insult to injury, the Yankees then beat the Twins, eliminating any interest in watching the final two weeks of baseball.

Oh well. Only five months until Major League Baseball Opening Day 2010. Hope springs eternal.

She's sleeping where?

One of our cats has taken to sleeping in the bathtub. We have no idea why. One of us will walk in there, glance down, and there's a cat sprawled in the tub, blissfully unconscious.

It's a bit unnerving actually when you expect you've got some privacy and suddenly this little furry head pops out from behind the bathtub curtain with a curious "mrroow?"

Quick sports thoughts on a Sunday

Finally the Red Sox are showing some signs of life in the playoffs. Three more outs and they stave off elimination for one more day.

So the Giants are clobbering the Raiders, making it an extraordinarily entertaining game for Giants fans and Raiders haters everywhere. So what does CBS do coming back from halftime? Switch to a blah Pittsburgh-Detroit game and then later to Cincinnati-Baltimore. Big raspberry to CBS for keeping Giants fans from watching their team's game.

45 minutes until Patriots-Denver. Should be an interesting matchup as Denver coach Josh McDaniel was New England's offensive coordinator for the last few seasons.

Monday, October 5, 2009

OK, maybe Owl Stretching Time wasn't the best choice for a title

Happy anniversary, Monty Python's Flying Circus, which debuted on the BBC 40 years ago today (after the BBC rejected alternate names like "Owl Stretching Time" and "The Toad Elevating Bucket"). Imagine how bland our world would be without ex-parrots and silly walks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Play of the Year

As the Major League Baseball regular season comes to a close today, I just wanted to enter my vote for the Play of the Year (if there was such a thing). Not only is this a spectacular catch but to do it in the 9th inning to save a perfect game? Are you kidding me? I'll even forgive Dewayne Wise for robbing Gabe Kapler (one of our favorite ex-Red Sox players) of the hit.

Twinkies never say die

As a former resident of the lovely (and occasionally very cold) state of Minnesota, I've always had a soft spot for the Minnesota Twins and not just because I was living in St. Paul for both of their World Series victories. As a result, I've been quietly cheering them on from here on the East Coast as they made an improbable run to catch the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central race for the post-season. Now, they've done it, entering a tie with the Tigers with one game to go in the season. This is what end of the regular season baseball should be like -- a nail-biting "who wants it more" pennant race.

Believe me, I decided long ago that I was willing to accept the Wild Card addition to the baseball post-season. Hell, the Red Sox have feasted off the Wild Card and won the 2004 World Series thanks to it. But a true pennant race like the one going on between the Twins and the Tigers? That just can't be beat.

Go Twinkies!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

School Daze II

Just a quick follow up on an education story I first wrote about in my original "School Daze" post:

Last year, the local school superintendent fired an elementary school teacher after repeated incidents of being under the influence of alcohol during the school day, reports of driving under the influence with children in the vehicle, and repeated arrests for domestic assault and battery with alcohol involved. To many peoples' surprise, an arbitrator ruled that she was fired unfairly, a ruling upheld by a RI Superior Court judge.

So, after all that, you'd think that the teacher might have realized she needed help and made some changes for the better, right?

To quote Bruce Willis in Die Hard..."Sorry, Hans, wrong guess!"

On Monday morning, one month after being reinstated, the teacher at the center of this story was arrested by Bristol police for suspicion of drunk driving on her way to school! Of course, it's only "for suspicion" as she refused a field sobriety test (her legal right in RI) after witnesses reported erratic driving and police observed her swerving back and forth along the road.

I sincerely hope that this woman gets help and treatment for her own sake, the sake of the kids who were put into her charge, and for the sake of other people on the road (like me...I drive right past where she was arrested every day on the way to work). And while I'm a firm believer in the concept of innocent until proven guilty, it is a relief to know that the superintendent has suspended her while the allegations are being investigated. Now we'll just see if the suspension actually sticks.