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It's a puzzle

I'm cranky this week. (Long story.) So why do so many people seem to be going out of their way to make me crankier?

Another passing observation

I'm listening to one of the local country stations just now. And I'm beginning to wonder why so many artists feel the need to write songs about how much better the "good ol' days" were -- and how many of those piners weren't born during those good ol' days.

Self-fulfilling prophecy?

We assume that attention spans are shorter these days. So we write shorter to capture those attention spans. So people mostly have just shorter material to read....

So their attention spans grow ever shorter?


So I'm checking out at one of the local big box stores and the cashier shows me the link to their feedback link. It is, like many feedback surveys, based on a scale of 0 (bah, humbug) to 10 (love 'em).

And she tells me that their corporate officials see anything lower than a 9 as failure ... and they even see a 9 as "low."

And I walk out wondering why the corporate folks feel they're getting anything useful when they set up a system where honest opinion comes only as black and white, with no shades of gray. Ironically, my own experience tonight was in those gray areas -- the cashier was fine, but I couldn't find someone earlier in the store to help me spot an item I was looking for.

Will I do the survey? I'm doubtful. If I thought they really might listen to the "you need a couple more people to answer questions in the store" comment without pounding the cashier, I might. Since I suspect I can't do the one without having the other happen, I probably won't.

So much for their "desire" to get feedback.

Another random observation

Those who create internet memes should have them proofread by someone who can spell.

Random observations

(From two separate events)
1. I am very tired of hearing a public official whose pet project just got voted down moan something along these lines: "Oh, the people just didn't understand what we were proposing. If they'd have been better informed, I'm sure they wouldn't have rejected this proposal."

Except, of course, that the public official is missing one very distinct possibility: Perhaps people WERE informed and they chose not to vote for the official's pet project. Perhaps they did not find the project as appealing as the official did. Or if they were ill-informed, perhaps the official did a lousy job of explaining the project. (Yes, I know -- the media could also have done a lousy job. But I'm equally tired of hearing every turndown blamed on lousy journalism.)

2. Who determined that one reasonably small group of believers in Jesus Christ could appropriate the term "Christian" for themselves, creating a tiny tent and keeping everyone else out?

Brief rant ...

... as a substitute for the snarling I couldn't do at the time.

First episode: The other woman is trying hard to convince me to join an about-to-be-formed local chapter of an organization. I'm trying equally hard to say a graceful no. It's taken me too long, but I've finally learned to resist the guilt trip that says, "oh, you should say yes to this" when a clear-eyed look at current commitments is screaming, "are you nuts?" The pull to say yes to her isn't strong enough to get past the clear-eyed no, especially since I hate being a member of any group in name only.

"What are you doing that you're that busy?" she asks. (Do I really hear that tone of voice?)

I explain, briefly, that I teach full-time. Another woman in the conversation notes her daughter is also a teacher and the conversation flows in other directions. But that tone ...

Second episode: A friend is asking Panther_tracks and me to her home for dinner. On the way to agreeing to do it today (as I type this), I note that Sunday won't work because Panther_tracks has an evening commitment that's likely to go long and mean we'd get to her house very late.

"But he doesn't have to work Monday," she says.

"But I do," I reply.

We settle on dinner tonight.

Some morals to these stories:
1. If someone is telling you she can't do something, especially join a group, believe her.

2. Just because my husband is retired doesn't mean I am or that I intend to retire in the immediate (or even near) future. As I tell people on a regular basis, I love my job.

3. Despite rumors to the contrary, teaching -- if you're trying to do it right -- takes time.

Quote of the night

Eyes (ojos)
"There's a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out"
-- Lou Reed, from "Magic and Loss"

Quote of the day

I should suppose that moral, political, and practical considerations would dictate that a very first principle of that wisdom would be an insistence upon avoiding secrecy for its own sake. For when everything is classified, then nothing is classified, and the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless, and to be manipulated by those intent on self protection or self-promotion. I should suppose, in short, that the hallmark of a truly effective internal security system would be the maximum possible disclosure, recognizing that secrecy can best be preserved only when credibility is truly maintained.
Justice Stewart, New York Times v. United States, 1971.

Quote of the morning

Attributed to Richard Nelson and picked up via the "Birdnote" show on WBFO:

“What makes a place special is the way it buries itself inside the heart, not whether it’s flat or rugged, rich or austere, wet or arid, gentle or harsh, [warm or cold, wild or tame]. Every place, like every person, is elevated by the love and respect shown toward it, and by the way in which its bounty is received.”



Latest Month

April 2014
"Laughter, like love, has power to survive the worst things life has to offer. And to do it with style."
-- Jim Butcher, from "Blood Rites"


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