From the monthly archives:

October 2008

I voted. Have you?

October 21, 2008

in random

Early voting rocks!

Thanks to the well-thought-out planning of the government (I can’t believe I just said that!), there are a lot of early voting stations with convenient hours for voters this year. And according to the latest report, the election this year may have a record turnout because people are allowed to vote early, during a long range of days and hours.

I did have to wait in line for about an hour but it felt great when I stepped out the voting booth. Plus, my 5 year-old boy was so excited about getting the sticker that said, “I voted!”

One third of the voters are expected to take advantage of Early Voting, and I assume that means one third of the final total count, including people who otherwise would not have bothered and been able to vote on Election Day. A dear friend of mine put up a poster on her front yard to remind people to vote, now or on November 4. I think it is a great idea, esp. considering that Halloween is just around the corner, and people in your neighborhood are going to be walking by your house with their kids.

Make a poster and urge your neighbors to vote!

But before you do that, go vote early yourself!

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I don’t understand why there was not more bluhaha around the AIG retreat. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, AIG brought all their top executives to St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif for a week-long retreat. The $443,000 tab includes $23K for the Spa. Here is the breakdown for a vacation of the lifetime:

(See Washingtonpost.com for the full report)

Washingtonpost.com

Most of the attendees at the convention between Sept. 22 and Sept. 30 stayed in premium “pool view” rooms at the 400-room hotel, with 47-inch LCD TVs and marble bathrooms furnished with a “Deep Roman” bath and shower. The rate: $375 per night.

The group also booked 17 “ocean view” rooms, at $425 each, and one “presidential suite,” discounted from its usual $3,200 a night to $1,600.

Another $9,982 was spent on food and drinks at the StoneHill Tavern, the Monarch Bayclub, in-room dining and the lobby lounge; $6,939 on golf; $1,488 at the Vogue Salon; and $1,450 on no-show and cancellation fees.

An invoice dated Oct. 3 said AIG still owed the resort $40,543 in charges after a $402,701 deposit. The itemized bill does not show what executives specifically ordered at the spa and salon, but a look at the hotel’s spa menu shows 75-minute “intuitive massages” at $215 a pop (most of the executives spent $210 each for a spa treatment on Sept. 25) and men’s and women’s haircuts and styles starting at $50 and $75, respectively. Executives also spent $147,302 on banquets at the hotel and $23,380 at the Spa Gaucin, which features three-story waterfalls…”

The kick is, they went on the retreat IMMEDIATELY AFTER receiving the Fed’s Bailout package of $85 Billion.

Talk about reinforcing bad behaviours! And I got dirty looks from the storeckerk when I bought my child a lollipop after he threw a tantrum???

I cannot believe that there were not more reports on this. Weren’t people outraged? I surely am. I am utterly disgusted. Are people simply tired? Or have we been so thoroughly disgusted that we simply don’t want to talk about it any more? This fall has been great for SNL. You cannot make these stories and characters up. Most people weren’t alerted of this outrage until they saw the Weekly Update skit on SNL. (Fastforward to the 2:15 mark if you must…)

If I had written a story like AIG and the beyond-comprehension inconceivable shamelessness in a creative writing class, I would have been criticized for being contrive, buying into the archetype, for catering to cliches. This is real life! In one’s wildest creative dream, one would never have been able to conjure up a character such as Sarah Palin. I wonder whether people on SNL should consider voting for Republican this time to make sure that Palin stays in the limelight for four more years. With her in the White House, they can probably get rid of half of their writing staff and simply replay whatever is going on in real life.

I am beyond outraged. I am actually for once, speechless.

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(Bless the investigative reporter’s heart: at first glance, I thought this map was used for some sort of military reconnaissance maneuvering!)
I am glad to finally read a report on excellent customer service provided by cellphone providers. Seriously, aren’t you tired too about all the bad press endured by these companies? This story just proved that, yes they can, if they just put their mind to it, make sure that you can use your cellphone in your darn backyard, even if yours is a 15-acre ranch…
From Washington Post Exclusive: Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for McCain Ranch

My friend Joe (no relation to Joe the Plumber: and speaking of plumber, I am so glad that Joe is not a carpenter, because that would just be too allegorical, too weird, wouldn’t it?) complains about the lack of cellphone reception in his own house. Because the phone is provided and paid for by his company, he reasoned, “Well, I can’t really go about getting a new phone, now, can I? That would just be stupid, not taking advantage of the company-paid phone. I think I may have to move into a new house!”

Joe, I want to let you know: there is hope for ya yet! (Again, I am speaking to Joe who is not the Plumber mentioned in the debate 2 dozen times last night. It just happens to be an all-American name. How lucky for the candidates that it is catchy too…)

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If you think you are being watched, well, you are…

October 9, 2008 random

Tweet Wired posted the first image demonstrating the power of satellite photography. “This bird’s-eye view of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania was the first image ever seen by the GeoEye-1, the world’s highest-resolution commercial satellite sponsored by Google, when it opened its camera door earlier this week.” (The above comparison picture comes from my new favorite […]

The New Zen

October 6, 2008 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet If Rob Cottingham is not a genius, I don’t know who is. Again, Mr. Cottingham’s post together with his musings here. “There are times when I wonder if there’s something wrong with the fact that I anticipate, say, the next Macworld keynote or big Google announcement more than, say, my own birthday. But then […]

Anything you say can be used against you, in a brand new way

October 6, 2008 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet You can see Rob Cottingham’s post here.

Define “Workaholic”…

October 6, 2008 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet I love this one! You can see the original (with proper credits) here. The best part is the first comment: “Hey, you should try my solution to the social web – get yourself some kids. Then you have no time for social networking…” My sentiment indeed.

Long live Kilgore Trout!

October 6, 2008 random

Tweet I have not mourned the death of Kurt Vonnegut, and now it is one and half year late(r)… By not thinking about it, I thought unthinkingly that it would be as if he had not left this world, to me at least. The way the world is going to hell in a hand basket, […]

Is Sarah Palin firing her Body Language consultant?

October 5, 2008 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Tweet Sarah Palin apparently winked one too many times at the Veep debate (or five, according to some pundits. The uptight ones may have even said six!) Come on, give the old girl a break! It’s all the consultant’s fault. I am sure she has on staff many different kinds of consultants: one for Body […]

You are probably in the wrong place!

October 5, 2008 random

Tweet I am never one for planning even though part of my job description involves research and I am a very good researcher if I am allowed to toot my own horn, and I guess I am, since Goddammit, this here is my blog! “Serendipity” in my case oftentimes does not come because of good […]