Drive around to build your dossier, comrade

I don't normally read the Boston Herald, but I saw a pointer to one of its articles on Slashdot. The article is about the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS) plans to roll out "Automatic License Plate Recognition" (ALPR) devices, and I'm a little concerned.

Junk Charity: New England Assocation of Chiefs of Police

Another junk charity showed up on my radar today. I'd love to know what list of suckers I'm on, and why, since I don't contribute to these lost causes. Today's call was from the New England Association of Chiefs of Police (NEACOP). Or rather, it was from their fundraiser, who receives 80% of contributions made, while beneficiaries receive only 3% of each contribution, according to their 2008 IRS Form 990.

In fact, the beneficiaries aren't even the individual, injured officers the telemarketer claimed...instead, the only beneficiaries in 2008 were the Special Olympics ($12,000) and The Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ($12,000). Both of these are outstanding charities, and I personally contribute to the Jimmy Fund. But if I want to give them $100, I'm going to write them a check for $100--I'm not going to write the New England Association of Chiefs of Police a check for the princely sum of...$3236.

March 19, 2010: A Big Red Letter Day!

We can't be in two places at once, much less three. But if I could, yesterday I would have been at the venues for Cornell Men's Hockey at the ECAC semifinals; for Cornell Women's Hockey at the NCAA Women's Frozen Four semifinals, and for Cornell Men's Basketball in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It's amazing to see the Big Red doing this well in so many sports at the same time, and I'm glad I was able to make it to one of the games, Men's Hockey.

Today is another day, and while there are important games ahead, with all three championships still up for grabs, it's going to be a long time before I forget how many tournaments I was following the Big Red in on one day.

Go Big Red!

Cornell in the 2010 ECAC Men's Hockey Tournament

Mark and I will be cheering on the Big Red Men's Hockey at the Times Union Center this Friday. Yale, with a 2-0 lead over Cornell in the regular season, was knocked out of the ECAC quarterfinals by Brown in three games this past weekend. Meanwhile, Cornell trounced Harvard with a pair of definitive wins on home ice. (Maybe they call them "Crimson" because that's the color of their faces after an embarrassing 3-0 shutout in tournament play :-) ) Cornell will be facing Brown on Friday at 4:00 PM, and the Big Red is coming into the game bolstered by a regular season 2-0 winning record vs Brown. Then again, so did Yale, and hopefully the Red will not be complacent.

While we'd generally stay in Boston for the Hockey East tournament to root for BU, the only reason they're even in the tournament is that the stars lined up just right two weekends ago: were it not for some surprise losses in other games, BU could have been sitting out this year. While we of course want BU to win, between the two teams, I think Cornell stands a better chance of winning its tournament.

Let's Go Red!

Shame on you, Disney

Today's customer service commentary comes to you courtesy of Disney, owners of the ABC television network. Disney and Cablevision (metropolitan New York cable TV provider) have been unable to come to an agreement over Cablevision's retransmission of WABC programming. At midnight this morning, Disney pulled the plug, leaving 3 million households without one of the country's major TV networks. The timing was clearly intended to tick people off, as it took place the day of the Academy Awards. This is Mickey Mouse politics at its best, figuratively and literally.

This is Cardholder Services with an important message about your account

The Cardholder Services people called me on two lines at once again. I held cell phone up to speakerphone and the reps started talking to each other. As soon as one of them observed that the lines were crossed, I shouted "They're crossed because you people called me on two lines at the same time. Take me off your damned list." Obviously, they both hung up immediately.

Kitchen Plasma

Last night Mark asked me to make him a PB&J sandwich. The peanut butter was too hard coming out of the fridge, so I put it in the microwave to soften it up. I hadn't noticed remnant flecks of the foil seal on the jar's rim, so in went the whole jar. After a few seconds, and and then milliseconds after a couple of flashes, the entire inside of the oven was blazing blue/white plasma. Luckily I was right next to the oven and able to shut it off within 1/2 second. Very exciting! The oven seems no worse for the wear, as it brought a liter of cold water to boiling in a nominal 9 minutes.

Virtual Magnifying Glass for Windows

Know anybody who has trouble reading a computer screen because of vision problems? I found a virtual magnifying glass that looks easy to use.

Leave Marriage to Organized Religions, and Civil Unions to the State

The people of Maine have decided by a mere majority that two individuals of the same gender cannot be married in their state. This same result has so far happened in every state that has passed legislation to permit and recognize same-sex marriage. The tyranny of the majority is alive and well.

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