Sunday, January 04, 2009

C.R.A.P. Sunday - New Year's edition

Catch-up Rants And Platitudes - #1
Like I indicated before, I'm just getting back into blogging. Here I'll make use of something I've seen from other bloggers - an outlet for mini-rants and messages that wouldn't otherwise be worth a post of their own. Things I've been stewing over for the past week or so and are still with me enough to need venting.

  • First off, would like to wish happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year to any and all (or should I say, "both") my readers. :-) A little cliche'd, but heartfelt all the same. We have a lot to look forward to this year as a nation as well as globally - dealing with the economic crisis, high hopes for our new president, working through this recent conflict in the Middle East as well as other fronts - not to mention our own personal goals. And a whole year ahead of us to make good on those goals or to screw-'em up. At least we can vow to fight off procrastination THIS time....

  • Blago - Ugh. Have long since given up hope of our Illinois governor resigning, but the taint left by his appointment of Burris as senator has been compounded by Burris's own words.

    Apparently, the process of seating a senator (at least, in this situation) requires signatures of both the governor and the secretary of state on a document which then goes to the senate, which then "seats" the representative in the appropriate caucus. The democratic caucus is refusing to seat any appointee by Blago for good reason - he is charged with corruption DIRECTLY RELATING TO his power of appointing a replacement for Obama. Our secretary of state, Jesse White, has refused to sign the document as well.

    But here is Burris in a statement to the press saying, (paraphrased:) "I have been legally appointed, I am senator - the rest is just paperwork." And on the day the appointment was made, I recall Burris saying something to the effect of "I have made it to the senate!" Shouldn't the "elevation" to that position more appropriately be recognized as an outlet for his constituents (ie, the residents of Illinois), rather than as a personal achievement?!? He insists the corruption charges are unrelated to his being appointed, and is fighting to be installed instead of letting the legal process resolve things. To the claim that "Illinois needs it's representation" - fine, install an "interim" senator until a permanent one is appointed by a taint-free governor or voted in by a special election. Clinging to the appointment has only stained Burris further, and his refusal to consider the wishes of his constituents as well as his future colleagues proves that he is not the kind of representative I would want in Washington.

    Even president-elect Obama (a fellow black politician) is calling for Burris to decline the appointment - so the argument of letting it happen for the sake of keeping an African American democrat in the position should hold no weight.

  • Reading - in my down-time I am getting a little better about turning the TV off (finally!) and trying to plow through some books. I guess I'll write a separate entry on this. Recently finished "Wicked," now (re-)reading the original "Wizard of Oz" to see what was based on the original work....

  • In early December had a job interview for what would have been an ideal position for July 2009, and a 1 in 3 chance of getting it. Was told we'd find out within the week. After nearly 3 ADDITIONAL weeks of untoward suspense, finally learned that the position went to a different candidate. Have another interview at the end of January, and in the meantime will keep searching - but in the meantime this uncertainty and state of limbo is driving me (and the wife!) NUTS!

  • Just to throw another wrench in the gears, my car decided to stop working during the holidays. Thankfully it was after the family meet-up, so no big plans had to be canceled - but it's always a pain in the ass. It is going on 12 years old, and hasn't given me too many problems overall, but I hate dealing with the service department. After hours on hold with roadside assistance and several more hours waiting on help to arrive when it wouldn't start (and a jump didn't help), the mechanics were set to abandon me because they couldn't tow my car down the parking ramp. I insisted on pushing the car to where they COULD tow it, which was much easier than they anticipated. Once at the dealer it turned out just to need spark plugs, but they tried to soak me for thousands of $$ saying the engine needs to be rebuilt, etc. And once the car was back with me it was sputtering and nearly stalling out - not something it had done before it died. Thankfully that improved over the weekend, and for now I can avoid a repeat trip to the service department demanding that they check their work.

  • Poor customer service - Dec 2008 was a bad month for it. Dealing with a new health insurance company, and calling in to complain about a product - these things are needlessly frustrating. Here's my 1/2 cent on one item: Rain-x windshield wipes - don't bother with them. Still waiting on a refund. My wife wrote about it here. Apparently owned by Shell, which I will now be boycotting out of spite.

  • Opinion polls and article comments - Watching the news on Jan 1st, saw them flash up between segments, "Have you already broken your New Year's resolutions? Text "yes" or "no" to ...." WTF?!? Not only was it less than 12 hours into the new year, but please, please, PLEASE tell me how / why that is "news"?! It is getting nauseating how all these "news" sources are reaching out to Joe Six-pack for input. Have you ever read the string of comments on a recent on-line news item? It quickly degenerates into name-calling and comments on spelling - not exactly an intellectual discussion. Even CNN (which I have stopped watching after the election), with Larry King and other "respectable" news anchors and commentators turning to blogs for comments from the peanut gallery - it makes me want to tune out completely. Professional commentators and analysts have earned the right (theoretically) for their opinions to be part of the "news" - for anything else I can surf the net or listen to a designated call-in show.
Ok - that's enough for now. This was much longer than intended. But maybe I'll stop flogging some of these topics (even if just in my head). Now off to hit the gym, to vent my frustrations in a healthier way. Happy New Year!! Good luck with any resolutions you've made.


Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays to you from one of your two readers.

Ron B. said...

Sorry to hear the job fell through, Bonzo. Good luck on the next interview, and happy new years to you too!

kapgar said...

I hope the next interview works out better.

As for Jesse White, he has now said he'd sign if the Senate support was there and the Senate Dems seem to be caving. I think Burris is going to be a Senator before too long.