Street ME

Side-benefits of cold

It's COLD out and down here that means precautions to keep the pipes from freezing. That's right, dripping faucets.

Bad for our water bill. Good for our amusement level.

'Cause Kelvin loves water. He especially likes running and dripping water. I think until the warm weather returns, Kelvin is going to be sitting in my bathroom sink, trying to stop the water bug droplets from escaping down the drain. It's like a kitty amusement park in the sinks today!

10 weirdthings/habits/little known facts

I woke up tonight and can't get back to sleep. Since it has been a while (since before I got this job) since this has happened, and nothing is bothering me at the moment, I'm assuming the cold meds I took last night to fight off allergies are to blame.

So I thought I'd take this time and do the 10 things meme I've seen around - just 'cause I want to.

1. Touch sensitive (or temperature sensitive?) elevator buttons or ATM pads or things do not respond to my touch more often than not. Really, it can take up to 10 tries, using different fingers to get the things to activate. It is worse when the weather is cold. I thought I read once that .5% or 5% (memory fails me) of the population have this problem, but I can't find the statistic to confirm this. It makes me feel weird to have people witness this, like I'm not actually human, but an alien.

2. I do not see out of my right eye, I do not hear out of my left ear and I can not taste anything on the right side of my tongue. That means no visual depth of field (I don't know what people mean by 3 dimensions, what I see in a real world, and what I see on a movie screen look the same to me). That's probably kinda handy for a photographer! This means no ability to figure out the direction a sound is coming from (watch me roam the house looking for that cell phone.) But being deaf in one ear is awfully handy when sleeping in a noisy environment. And, there really is no downside to the taste thing, cause if I keep a taste in my mouth long enough for it to trigger my sense of smell and the saliva moves around my mouth - I don't notice the taste thing, but if I pop a taste I don't like on the right side of my tongue and quickly swallow - I don't have to taste a thing.

3. I studied Latin for 5 and 1/2 years, and studied classical Greek for 4.

4. I have grown at least 2 inches in the past two decades. In college I was 5'2 and 1/2. In about 1995 I came in at 5'3 and 1/2 during a physical. Last year my husband measured my height at 5'4 and 1/2. (I was so disbelieving, he did it several times and marked the wall to show me.)

5. I did not know I was a cum laude honors graduate from law school until months later when they mailed me my diploma 'cause I didn't bother going to the graduation ceremony.

6. The number of guys I have dated in my life is numbered in the single digits. (I did not go on my first date until I was in college, and except for one guy after college, all the dates I've been on were during my college years. And, although over 3/4 of my life has been spent in Chicago, I never had a date (or even been asked on a date) in Illinois.)

7. I love to shovel snow.

8. I spent a summer in Italy to learn Italian, and lived with an Italian family who knew no English. (Funny true story from that time; The first morning, the mother asked me if I wanted my milk hot or cold. Knowing very little Italian, I mixed up the two words and asked for hot milk. I ended up drinking hot milk for breakfast every morning that summer, as she never asked me again and I never felt my Italian was good enough to explain the mistake to her.)

9. The first time I saw the Wizard of Oz on a color TV I was in college (we did not have a color TV in my house growing up.). When Dorothy arrived in Oz and the movie went to color I exclaimed 'OOH, look it is in color!' to the everlasting amusement of everyone else in the community TV room. Imagine that, almost 50 years after it was made, I was probably as excited and surprised by the color as the folks who saw it in 1939.

10. I was counted in the Turkish census of 1990. (I was in Turkey at the time, and everyone in the country on census day was included in their count, tourists and all.)

Christmas for the kiddies

5 nieces and a nephew.  Every one of them will get a book this Christmas from me.  Maybe more than one.  Suggestions are welcome, I only have 3 figured out. (4 of the kids are aged between 2yrs and 6yrs - one is about 8yrs and the other 11yrs.) Please don't suggest the Harry Potter books. They are kids. Therefore, they already have HP.

1.  The Monster at the End of this Book -- I don't remember if I had this book, or read it when I was older and babysitting, but this is one of the all time best children's books that I can remember.  I don't know what made me think of it a few days ago, but I was so relieved to find it still in print.

2.  Dictionary in Spanish: The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book - Perhaps my most favourite childhood book.  It *IS* an English to Spanish dictionary for kids, which was cool enough - but there are also stories and in-jokes that run throughout starting with one of the first words in the dictionary 'aligator' - (Aaron the aligator if I recall correctly) who is a starring figure throughout the book.  I can't wait to see the book again, and once I do, I will probably have to order one for myself as well as my nephew or niece.

3.  And Tango Makes Three - Oh, yes indeed! Thank you closed-minded conservative!  a&^-holes! If it were not for you, I'd have never known about this book, and I can't wait to read it myself. I'm not sure my niece's conservative parents are going to appreciate it (I'm really hoping they don't actually object to it) but the 4 year old is going to get it anyway. (No worry on the other side, my nephew's parents will love it, I'm sure.)

I'm impressed (and not)

Y'know, LJ has been wierd and slow and just plain a pain in the butt lately. But I am so impressed. Instead of ignoring the issues, instead of just saying, well that's the way it goes, LJ acknowledges that it's paid members should get some credit - and extend my subscription a week.

That's a far cry from our cable company, who told us this weekend when we called to confirm our appointment (our cable box keeps crapping out on us) that they had cancelled our appointment. See it is "POLICY" to cancel all scheduled appointments made in an area when there is an 'area outage' fixed. It doesn't matter that we didn't have an outage, there was one in our area. It doesn't matter that our scheduled technician visit had nothing to do with the outage. It doesn't matter that they didn't call to tell us or reschedule. It is their POLICY to just cancel scheduled service calls without notice. Oh, yeah, it doesn't matter that their schedule is so booked that we waited over 8 days to get an appointment, or that we'll have to wait another 8 days to get another. Not to mention that if there is another 'area outage' the very same thing could happen again.

If the cable co. were not a monopoly, i.e. if I had a choice, I wouldn't do business with them.

Obviously, I am pleased to do business with LiveJournal.

The complete difference in experiences is so striking.

Off to sleepy land now.
Street ME

Where did the media go? The RIAA cases and big media coverage

A couple of years ago, I couldn't look at the news headlines without seeing one more story about the RIAA, many about the RIAA lawsuits. I followed the RIAA lawsuit news closely for several reasons. 1) As a former Intellectual Property attorney who did a fair amount of copyright work, I found them fascinating, especially as the RIAA's legal theories did not seem to comport with copyright law (specifically space-shifting area of the fair use doctrine) as I understood it. 2) The privacy implications to individuals, especially in the area of subpoenas issued to the ISP's. and 3) My growing fears that copyright law was being overextended in the direction of business interests to the detriment of consumers and content creators.

But in the past few months, there have been some groundbreaking developments in these cases, developments that are potentially quite detrimental to the RIAA - like this week when a judge granted the motion to allow the defendant (Marie Lindor) to argue against the constitutionality of the $750-per-song statutory penalty as she properly backed up her motion with legal precedents and presented evidence that the amount was 1,071 times the actual monetary damage suffered by the recording industry.

In my opinion that's news. Much more newsworthy than the story I saw today about some idiots in California who are banning the Pledge of Allegiance in student group meetings (I mean c'mon - can't they see that's as stupid as requiring it!). That story, by the way made the headlines on Google News, AOL's news homepage, and possibly Yahoo! News (to be fair, I'm not positive I saw it on Yahoo!).

But where is this news story? Certainly not in the news headline aggregators. Well, surely, some noteworthy newspapers or TV media have covered it? The NY Times, Washington Post, CNN? Nope. Ok, the case is in Brooklyn, surely SOME New York media outlet is covering it. Nope.

According to a search on Google news, you can find this story in the media giants: Ars Technica,, BetaNews, and slashdot. (Happily, if you do this search on Google blogs, you will find 4 pages of results already covering this story.)

So what happened to the media coverage?

{sarcasm warning} I don't suppose it had anything to do with the fact that the 8 largest media companies in the U.S. are parties [actual parties as RIAA members or interested parties (like MPAA members who have been filing amicus briefs on behalf of the RIAA interests)] in these lawsuits?

FYI, the 8 largest media companies are:

General Electric (NBC, Universal Pictures, The Bravo Channel, the Sci-fi Channel ...)
Time Warner (Warner (music), Time Magazine, Warner Bros. Pictures, HBO, Cinemax ...)
Vivendi Universal (estimated distributor of 22% of the global music sales)
News Corporation (think Rupert Murdoch - that's Fox, 20th Century Fox, etc.)
Bertelsmann (music publisher Sony BMG Music Entertainment)
Viacom (MTV, Paramount Pictures, etc.)

Also, FYI
The RIAA members EMI, Sony-BMG, Universal Music and Warner distribute over 95 percent of all music CDs sold worldwide.

So much for the ideal of the media being the fourth branch of government. The fourth branch of government is big business.
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Street ME

(no subject)

We watched this week's CSI last night.  For the longest time, this show was just an enjoyable way to waste an hour.  But, in my opinion, the last couple of seasons (barring the Catherine-centric shows) have gotten nothing but better.  Yeah, Quentin Tarintino upped the ante when he directed that season ender ep, but the CSI writer team seem to have stepped up fantastically to the challenge.

In my opinion, the episode this week was the best I've ever seen on CSI.  The right amount of murder creepy, angry and violent undertones, friendship, and in keeping with something new this season, not wrapped up in one nice bow at the end.  I think CBS is showing it on their site - streaming it - and if you ever liked CSI, I'd recommend you go check it out.

But, even though i think it is the best epsode of this series, the show was stolen about two thirds of the way through when they got to the trademark musical interlude with the lab work in the background.  The song, is perhaps the best cover song I've ever heard.  'Word Up' a 1980's R/B funk crossover pop hit for Cameo was covered by a smokey voice blues singing female (yes, Queenikins, think Lynne Jordan when her voice smokes up the slow songs) voice, with a relentless bass thump thumb (bass, as in a member of the violin family, not bass guitar) that makes one want to slowly shuffle her feet and roll her body to the music's insistence.  You can hear a clip of this unexpected, fresh and amazing cover by Willis at this page : link here  - unfortunately, if the whole song is available anywhere on-line I can't find it.

Back to CSI.  So, they are playing this fantastic song, over the lab work.  This time it's the man I love to watch, cause he's such a misfit, Hodges, and he's shuffling and rolling to the music as he does his work.  Hey, CSI!  You never before showed us that there is a cool fellow inside this annoying geek just trying to break free before.  Yes, he's doing a perfect example of  'white men can't dance' but somehow - in the setting of this episode, and in the overall setting of this show - it was simply masterful.  

I tuned in to waste an enjoyable hour in front of the TV with my hubby.  But, I got some quality entertainment instead.  Bravo.