January 31, 2005

It's Just Chit Chat

Harvey is thinking he's a bit old fashioned for not wanting to hear other people's cell phone conversations.

Frankly, I resent this verbal exhibitionism. My momma raised me to be polite. If I'm in an area where someone's having a conversation that I'm not involved in, I feel socially obligated to at least pretend I'm not listening in, no matter how audible their blah-blah-blah-ing.

As it happens I think Harvey's quite right. And it has nothing to do with being old curmudgeon and much to do with people airing way too much of their laundry (usually dirty) in public, without a second thought.

Actually, it truly surprises me, the things people will talk about on a cell phone in a public place.

For instance...While sitting in an airport I heard a guy call numerous clients and/or colleagues to tell them about the business he worked for... failing. Not only were the calls depressing, but he kept telling everyone "this isn't public knowledge yet"... and all I could think was - "well yes, it is public knowledge now". Even though he never mentioned the company name - what if I or someone in the airport knew who he was and what company he worked for?

I've been on the train and listened to numerous business conversations - where if I had been the competition - it would have given me TONS of info on the other guy's business practices. I've heard people's medical information, bank information, parents chewing their kids out about sex, drugs, school... just the most amazing stuff. The person talking thinks nothing of this because they don't recognize the people around them as being any sort of danger to them!

When my husband made frequent trips to Detroit, working with automotive clients in his previous job. He had to absolutely sit on the younger guys traveling with him... no cell phone, no chit chat, no vocalization PERIOD about any work related stuff outside of closed conference rooms. You never knew if the competition was sitting right next to you at the airport or in a restaurant or worse yet in the bar! He told them, you MUST assume they are there and they are listening.

My cell phone conversations in public places have consisted of me calling my husband to tell him I'm on my way home - when I'm down in the city and taking the train. If I have a conversation in another public place - such as an airport, I will find a spot that is empty (generally a gate not currently in use) and do my talking there.

But when I'm out in public I try to be very aware of what I'm saying and not just spout personal or professional info to all and sundry. And possibly even tell people I'll call them back in a minute, as I go out and get in my car. As a matter of fact - 99.9% of all my cell phone conversations take place in my car. I just feel more comfortable about it that way.

Now, you have to remember I work at home... I only go out occasionally and travel by air even less. Just think if I commuted to work on the train daily or flew once or twice a month! I could be a regular font of information about all kinds of things.

Am I overly paranoid? Well, maybe a little paranoia is a good thing in this case. And maybe if people thought that chatting away on a cell phone might get them into trouble, they'd hang it up when out in public.... nah it'll never happen.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 06:15 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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I Should Be So Unstable...

It seems Bill Gates left behind a page of doodles when visiting an economic summit over in London... Reporters grabbed the page thinking it was the doodling of the Prime Minister and had the handwriting analyzed.

Newspaper stories contained phrases such as "struggling to concentrate" and "not a natural leader".

This was when they thought the doodles were those of the PM... Then it was found that the doodles actually belonged to Bill Gates...

"We look forward with amusement to explanations by a variety of psychologists and graphologists of how various characteristics ascribed to the prime minister on the basis of the doodles, such as 'struggling to concentrate', 'not a natural leader', 'struggling to keep control of a confusing world' and 'an unstable man who is feeling under enormous pressure', equally apply to Mr Gates.

Even if it was an analysis of Tony Blair's doodles, the end result is ridiculous in the extreme. I always had my doubts about handwriting analysis, but this seems to put the clincher on it - it's more a bit of "wishful thinking" than an actual "science" OR that might just be because of who they asked to do the analysis and what they told them prior to the start.

Or, as would be the case with NYT reporters - perhaps they only reported what they wanted to hear or what they thought it should be... There's no telling, but it is amusing.

Yeah, I should be so unstable... just think of all the money I'd have... then everyone could criticize me and I wouldn't give a damn in the least!

Hat Tip Slashdot

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 09:41 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 30, 2005

I'm So Glad I Live in Such an Unsophisticated Country

**** UPDATE: Yes this is a hoax... go here to follow the story if you haven't seen other references to it yet. ****

Yes, we're such a backward, barefoot, ragged country. We can't keep up with the likes of Germany. The glitz, glamor, sheer presence even of this extremely high minded society... it's truly blinding. Simply turn your attention to this story:

'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'
By Clare Chapman
(Filed: 30/01/2005)

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

Such even handedness in employment is most amazing. Aren't you impressed with the inclusiveness? Doesn't it make you all tingly just thinking of how broad their outlook on life has become? (or maybe you're just excited by all the possible new prostitutes available...) Well, how did this come about you ask?

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

Ladies and Gentlemen, imagine if you will, you are unemployed... Oh I'm sorry, did you think this might only pertain to women? I know all you studly men out there would never object to working as a gigolo - right? Yes, this story is about women and the sex trade - but I see nothing there that excludes men... so let us continue...

Maybe you are married or have a live-together arrangement and your significant other comes to you and says... I have to take this job as a prostitute or they will take away our unemployment income - what do we do? How 'bout it guys - any objection to your girlfriend or wife working the sex trade? It's legal - and according the German law it's not even immoral... I mean, you can't even tell a prostitute from a cocktail waitress. (personally I always thought there was a difference, but then I'm just a provincial little nobody)

The government is telling you that there is nothing wrong with you having sex... as a job. Any guys want their wife hitting the sheets with any number of unknown men? Any women want their husband turning a profit with whichever woman is willing to pay the price? In the future, if you are dating... and your date says, yeah I was unemployed for about a year - will you begin to wonder what job they "had" to take at the end of that year?

What is the lesson in all of this? Mostly that people who make laws are idiots. They never consider the law of unintended consequences. With all the high minded intentions of the all accepting liberal, they work so very hard to save a segment of women from a very bad life. With the consequence... putting an even larger number of men and women in an untenable position.

It is impossible to separate sex from morality - even if the government decrees that it should be so. It will be interesting to see what, if any, fall out there is from this interesting turn in German society. What I'm really waiting to see is if the German people find this demeaning enough to actually do something about it, or if they've become such doormats that they allow this to stand without objection.

My my - America just looks better and better all the time. I think I like being a provincial, backward, pajama wearing red-neck.

Hat Tip : Ann Althouse and Prof. Bainbridge

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 04:58 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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The Sky is Falling... The Sky....

Oops - the sky ISN'T falling... What happened? The Iraq election is a rousing success, so much so that the news media aren't exactly sure how to report it. Even the vaunted Fox News web site has this leading story...

Millions Cast Ballots Despite Violence

Huh? Yeah, that Right Wing Bastion, Fox News can't bring themselves to lead with a headline that doesn't include mayhem. So what's the mayhem?

BAGHDAD, Iraq — For the first time in more than 50 years, Iraqis cast ballots in democratic elections Sunday and took the first steps to declaring how they wanted Iraq to be governed.

As estimated 8 million people — 60 percent of eligible voters — braved violence and calls for a boycott to vote in Iraq (search). A string of homicide bombings and mortar volleys killed at least 44 people, including nine attackers.

Well, at least they waited until the second paragraph to bring in the death scene. Let's see 44 out of 8 million (give or take a few hundred thou...) what's the percentage on that? That's what I thought, vanishingly small. Mind you - if you're one of the 44 it really sucks pond water - to say the least. But considering the all out maelstrom that was expected. I figured we were going to see hundreds of thousands of casualties.

What does CNN have to say?

Iraqis vote amid violence

And they don't even wait until the second paragraph to turn on the violence game...

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Polls have closed and ballot counting has begun after Iraq's first free election in a half century, with officials reporting a higher than expected turnout of registered voters amid attacks and threats of violence.

Insurgents carried out more than a dozen attacks across the country on Sunday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 71 others.

Let's see, if there were millions of people voting, and "more than a dozen attacks" (let's say less than 15 shall we, since we know they will go for the highest number they can get away with... ) Then it only stands to reason numerically, most people were not in the way of attacks or effected by them while voting. They may have been fearful (especially after all the news hype), but short of a huge bomb entirely destroying each of 12 cities - it looks like many Iraqis were able to vote unmolested.

I'm waiting impatiently to see what the spin meisters come up with tomorrow to make this all look like an outright disaster...

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 11:41 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Carnival of the Recipes

This week the recipe roundup is being held by Kin of Kin's Kouch. Yet another person doing a fabulous job of putting it all together. For the guys out there... this week Kin has catered to you directly (being a guy himself). Go check it out and plan your meals for the week!

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 05:06 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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It's Meme Tag...

And Noble Eagle has tagged Tammi, Bloodspite and... me. For the Musical Meme. Unlike just about everyone else in the world - I am not very musically inclined, but I shall give it a shot. The thing is, I have to go looking for the CD's themselves since I can rarely remember what they're called. Well, here goes

Random Ten Albums :

1. Cake - Comfort Eagle
2. Toby Keith - Greatest Hits Vol. 2
3. Eric Clapton - Unplugged
4. Steve Miller - Fly Like an Eagle
5. Ella Fitzgerald - The Complete Ella in Berlin
6. Matchbox Twenty - More Than You Think You Are
7. No Doubt - Return of Saturn
8. Oscar Peterson - A Summer Night in Munich
9. The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits
10. Cesaria Evora - Cabo Verde

What is the total amount of music files on your computer? None, I like CDs and I never got into the music download thing.

The last CD you bought is: Toby Keith Greatest Hits Vol 2

What is the song you last listened to before this message? Pablo Casals - Bach Cello Suite No. 5, Sarabande

Five songs you often listen to or that mean alot to you:
1. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - no matter who performs it
2. Comfort Eagle (title song) - Cake
3. Coragem Irmon - Cesaria Evora
4. Could I Be You - Matchbox Twenty
5. Layla - Clapton Unplugged

Who are you going to pass this to? Don't know - I have to see if I can find 5 people who haven't been tagged yet. Not an easy job since I'm so far behind in my reading!

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 05:00 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Iraq... The Election...

Scrappleface has the very best reporting. Covers it all.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 04:15 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 28, 2005

Fisk, Fisk, Fisk...

Apparently Teddy Kennedy has been speaking in public again... The wanderings of his pickled brain were presented to the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

I'd be angry, but the man is such a parody I only find him laughable. New England Republican is dining upon all the blog fodder, giving the speech a royal fisking.

So, if Kennedy's antics amuse you and you think your blood pressure can stand it, head on over and read with delight.

And while we're at it.... Day by Day is Priceless


Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 10:21 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Is The Bad Example Family Reunion in Jeopardy?

FrankJ has the breaking story...


The burning question now... will the ninjas allow Harvey and Beloved Wife to leave Wisconsin and attend the upcoming Bad Example Family and Friends Reunion?

Stay Tuned...

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 09:12 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Election in Iraq

Want to know what's really going on? Head on over to Friends of Democracy. This is a blog devoted to the Iraq election by Iraqis who are on the spot. Take a moment to visit them, find out how they are viewing the election.

And I see that Blackfive is now posting the following:

And word is that C-SPAN will be airing Friends of Democracy sessions in DC on Sunday between 1-3PM EST.

This is wonderful news! Congratulations to Friends of Democracy - looks like people are taking notice.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 09:04 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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