Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hunger Games, Sadness and War

I have a 13 yo.  As he has gotten older, he hibernates more and I see him less; I miss him.  And so it was that the Hunger Games came out offering an opportunity to actually spend some together time.

J had read the entire series and had eagerly anticipated the movie.  J has a sensitive side and in his protective manner, he tried to prepare me for the show, explaining that it could be disturbing as it is about children killing each other.  All in all, I am glad he made the effort.  This movie certainly has the potential to be disturbing.  The story line resembles that of "The Lottery" which I found very disturbing as a young person.

After the show, we enjoyed our tradition of pizza and sharing a Snapple in the Food Court.  I asked J what he thought the theme of the movie was.  J explained that he understood it to be a commentary combining the concept of war with a reality show.  I was taken aback slightly that a 13 yo would be so perceptive.  Indeed this movie certainly has the potential to strike a chord.  I found it a bit chillingly more real than reality show.

Indeed, it was not so long ago that we had a draft and many young people were forced into life or death circumstances.  Perhaps you could make a strong case that there is still an economic draft.  I am a veteran from "voluntarily" enlisting; my reasons for enlisting were more closely aligned with economic desperation than patriotism.  I believe there are many who share the experience.

And so it brings us to another Memorial Day.  I approach it without preaching and grandstanding of the perils of war or the sacrifices of the dead.  I think of the living; of young amputees skiing and engaging in life... and I wonder in 20 years when the world's short attention span moves on to the next pressing event, will they still ride gleefully down slopes of white snow?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

3 Very Different Indoor Swimming Options Near Wolf Road, Colonie, NY

10/20/2012 - Update:  I recently learned that the University at Albany (UAlbany) has changed their offerings.  There is no longer a "pool only" option and they no longer have the monthly option that was referenced in this original post.

I love swimming.  Sure, its great for my OFS and arthritis, but let's face it, swimming is just plain fun.  How else can you get near naked and wet in a socially acceptable manner?  I think there may be something primitive to it - maybe we truly came from the sea and feeling the sun and water on our skin is what is programmed deep inside us.

While Colonie is a terrific area, it is as the politically correct would say, "sunny day challenged."  I'm looking outside now and yup, its cloudy.  Long story short, if you like to swim and you're in Colonie, you need to check out indoor swimming options.  In this excerpt, I'm going to discuss 3 very different options and while I probably will be brutally honest about what I like and don't like about each, your circumstances may be such that my dislike may be your like and vice versa.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lawn Sale Euphoria

If you are one of those who have a perpetual (as in never ending) lawn sale, this quip is not for you.

I love a great lawn sale...If you're going to have a lawn sale, make an effort to drive around and visit a few sales before you put your's on.  When doing this take notes.  No, I'm not kidding.  Jot down what you liked and what you saw that you didn't like.  Also, jot down some typical prices for items that you see being offered that resemble what you will be selling (books, CDs, etc).

Here are some of my other tips to ensure happy customers and a successful sale:

Get in touch with prime time lawn sale time- 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Search of...a Blog?

Home, Home on the Range (or the WWW)

I wanted a website, my website.  I have some tech skills, but in the world of launching a site from the ground I am a novice.  The desire for a site lead me to a cursory exploration of web hosting options.  There is, of course "Go Daddy" which seems to be the mainstay.  Going with the obvious just isn't my style so as with all things web, all roads start with Google.  A search of web hosts yielded a rich array of options to explore, among them a host named, iPage.  iPage sounded promising, the reviews looked great, and their rates sure seemed reasonable.  Next step was to take them up on their "Live Chat" and this is where things started going south.  As a novice, I had many questions, but it seemed that no matter what I asked, the response was always followed by a hook to proceed to set up the account and at times I felt as though the Live Chat Host wasn't focusing on responding to my questions, but rather working (too) hard to close the sale.  For example, at one juncture I inquired about "Censorship"... the response from the Live Chat Host was "Would you like me to see if is available"... to borrow that classic line from Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate..."  After this exchange, I expressed to the Live Chat Host that their aggressiveness made me very nervous and our exchange was quickly concluded thereafter.  I did take a second look at all those glowing reviews and upon closer inspection, I am much more skeptical of whether they are indeed objective reviews.  Quite bluntly, all reviews are not created equally and those loaded with advertising and/or which are just too endearing need to be particularly questioned.