Friday, October 27, 2006


There's been some drama on campus recently that's just way too raw to blog about, but it's taking most of my mental energy. So some end-of-the-week bloguettes:

- T-shirt seen on campus this week: “It's so cute how you think I'm listening.”

- I decided, in a fit of Virtuous Eco-Guy, to start putting compact fluorescent bulbs in the lamps around the house to save electricity. They 'work,' in the sense that they give off light, but the light makes the room colors look different, and not in a good way. Everything is a sickly yellow. You'd think the bulb makers would have compensated for that. Couldn't they tint the glass, or something?

- The new Tanya Donelly CD is shockingly good. There are moments on it that are so good that I actually feel guilty listening to them, like I'm not worthy. (“Littlewing,” especially.)

- Kudos to New Jersey for taking steps to recognize the basic human dignity of its gay citizens. With Massachusetts already on board, only 48 more states to go!

- I've found some common ground with my cultural-conservative brethren. Having had two scarily close encounters in the last three weeks, I'm now solidly pro-deer-hunting. As it stands, their only natural predators are cars. They spread lyme disease and cause accidents. If it comes down to the deer or me, well, Bambi gets it.

- I'm flirting with the idea of getting Vonage at home. For those who've tried it, how well has it worked?

- With all the technological advances, why can't we get cable channels a la carte yet? I'm happy to pay for Comedy Central for me, Bravo for The Wife, and Noggin for the kids, but I have no desire to pay for Fox News or Telemundo or QVC.

- It's been disheartening to watch the Democrats completely drop the ball on the new David Kuo book. Bush White House insider reveals that the Republican leadership openly refers to the religious right as yahoos. Dems respond by yawning? Rub that sucker raw! Imagine the ads: “They've killed our sons in a war even they don't believe in. They've protected predatory pedophiles among their own ranks. And they think you're an idiot. Hit back.”

- Speaking of Dems, I foresee precisely two possibilities for 2008: Barack Obama, or crushing defeat. An Obama-Mark Warner ticket, or something close to it, would be tough to beat.

- Charles McGuire, of UnitedHealth, just retired with a 1.6 billion dollar package. (That's on top of his hundreds-of-millions annual salary.) Just for fun, I crunched the numbers. Rounding up the college's budget significantly, and assuming zero compound interest, his retirement package alone could fund the entire college for 32 years. This for the leader of a health care company that cut benefits to its own workers, its subscribers, its doctors, and its hospitals. It cured no one, researched nothing, and provided no care. Those who say that socialized medicine is inefficient have some pretty significant inefficiencies to explain away themselves.

- Sean Casey's between-pitch ritual at the plate reminds me of Mike Hargrove, or even, in a different way, Luis Tiant. It's entertaining, but I don't know how he can focus with all those steps.

- TB and TG are already committed to wearing their costumes three times this weekend, for various occasions. Whether the costumes will make it to Halloween intact is anybody's guess.