A Collection of Tidbits

No time to write anything deep, but a couple of things over the weekend are worth at least a mention.

One, I watched Episodes I and II of the Star Wars series with the girls; not quite worth a full “Movie Night” entry, since my thoughts on the films were largely covered before, but the more I watch these, the more forgiving I’m becoming. Some of the bits I find cringe-worthy put the kids into fits of laughter; I’m not about to start calling them masterpieces, but I’m willing to let it slide. Same goes for all the (now confirmed) changes Lucas is putting into the DVD release of the “classic” trilogy; I can live with ’em.

Saw The Producers at the Kennedy Center on Friday night. An absolutely fantastic show. I was worried that Alan Ruck and Lewis J. Stadlen wouldn’t compare with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, but they more than held their own. An expensive outing, to be sure, but not one you’ll want to miss. Of course, you could just wait for the movie...

Well, my CR-V’s in the shop for the next week and a half, and I’m driving around a rental — a Nissan Maxima. Nice, comfortable ride (hey, when USAA said they’d authorize a “premium” car, I said, “Sure”), but the thing has a turning radius somewhat comparable with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Tough to navigate the garage at the office.

Got a lot of patchwork done on the front lawn over the weekend, just in time for the apparently incessant rain. Makes for a depressing time, but I have to imagine the new “baby grass” (as the girls call it) is happy. Although I am amazed that I can put more than a half-ton of dirt down on the front lawn and you can’t even tell afterward. (And on a side note, the Honda CR-V is none too happy about having a half-ton of dirt piled in the back.)

Palm finally got back to me via e-mail — more than 72 hours later, as compared with the 12-hour turnround they indicate. And they promptly proved that they hadn’t even read my original message. Despite the fact that I had specifically noted that I had already done the various reset options for the device — as indicated in their online knowledge base — the genius of a customer service rep decided to just copy and paste that very section from their website and send it along to me, with the ridiculous suggestion that he hoped it would solve my problem. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t expect a free replacement or anything; I may be pissed off that it died a year and a half after I got it, but I do accept that it’s out of warranty. But when I have to wait more than three days for a response, you had damn well better answer the actual questions I asked. I smell another war brewing.

And finally, an editorial in today’s Post gets it wrong again. According to them, we must “refrain from observing, as Mr. Dean did, that ‘every time something happens that’s not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism.’” I’ll concede that it could be dangerous to conclude that all terrorist warnings and cautions are false, but hell, yes, Ridge’s latest warning — based on three-year-old information — is politically motivated. Yes, I’m coming right out and saying it: The timing of this “threat elevation” is explicitly meant to deflect attention away from John Kerry’s “bump” after the convention.

Under other circumstances, would I consider the likelihood that Tom Ridge (who, after all, isn’t as much an exemplar of evil as Ashcroft, Cheney, or Rumsfeld) was honestly acting in the national interest? Sure. But when your track record is pretty much exclusively an overtly partisan pattern of deceit, your credibility is nil.

God, I can’t wait until November, when we can kick this whole team of screwups out on their collective asses.


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