Friday, July 24, 2009

Maybe not racism, but racial attitudes?

About 12 years ago, or so, the Sons visited my parents for a few days.
Yeah, that meant my parents had four children under the age of five in their house at the same time. It was, to say the least, an adventure.

Part of that adventure included the police.

Son #1 dialed the police; my parents had it on speed-dial, so he only had to hit one button. The police called the house, and my dad explained that no, they didn't need to come out, it was just his little scamp of a grandson who did not sit still until he was sound asleep (and even then there was no guarantee, dear God that child did not sit still).

A few minutes later, Son #1 did it again.

This time, the police did not call. They showed up. My father explained, again, that they were just a little overwhelmed with the grandkids, and they were sorry for wasting the police's time, and they'd move that phone up to where a 4-year-old couldn't reach it.

And the police said, basically, that's all fine, but we still need to come in and look around.

So, my Dad invited them in. They looked at the house. They looked at my parents. They looked at the 4 wilding children. They confirmed that all was as my father said it was. Because, well, if my Dad had been held at gunpoint he might have said exactly the same thing.

It is the police's job to take seriously any call they get. Someone reports a crime, the police have to investigate. And my parents, as mortified as they were at the time, were also well aware that the police were there to help them out. That their intentions were noble and honorable. That if things were different, my parents would have been beyond grateful for the prompt and thorough attentions of the police.

So when Henry Louis Gates was asked to step out onto his porch, after neighbors reported a break-in at his house (a second break-in, apparently--the police had been there before while Gates was on vacation) and he shouted, "Why, because I'm a Black man in America?"

Well, it makes me think that it was not the police behaving badly, but the citizen jumping to race-based conclusions.

Racism is real. People get judged because of the color of their skin. I'm not saying that is not true. But I just think that in this case the cops were not the racist ones. They were just trying to protect the home owner from repeated crime.

Yeah, "Mark", I'm talking to you

I've been in Dell Tech Support Hell for the past couple of weeks, trying to fix Son #4's computer. My joy is made even more full with the knowledge that when I finally get this one fixed, I am going to have to move on to Son #3's computer. Basically, I am spending every free moment, and a lot which are NOT free, on the phone with people with hard-to-understand accents and a script which requires I shoot myself or throw the computer off a cliff before they'll honor the return-to-depot warranty we've purchased.

First, I had to convince them it was a hardware issue. That took about 6 hours, over 2 days.

Then, I had to convince them that the part they sent was not compatible with the machine. That took a while.

Now, I am working on convincing them that the second replacement part they sent is STILL not going to fit into the machine. Because it is not built for the machine we own. Because the tech support guys keep sending stuff that is not designed for our system.

I do not need it explained to me. I do not need to run one single minute of diagnostics, or talk to anyone else other than a supervisor--someone who can put an end to this and just get things fixed.

And I keep requesting said supervisor, which gets me put on hold.

Which is a good thing, because I use the time on hold to cook dinner.

Everyone in Tech Support sounds Indian, or something. I swear, they do not make enough curry to reimburse me for my time.

So yesterday, in a desperate bid to SHOW "Mark" that the part he sent is physically different from the part I am trying to replace, I offered to take a photo of the 2 hard drives, side-by-side, and email it to him.

He said I could.

I took the photo.

I saved it in a folder which I then named in a fit of "I am trying to be civil but these people have sent me over the edge and it's not like they'll ever know anyway".

And then he said I could not email it to him. Instead, I had to let him control my computer remotely, and find the photo and look at it that way.

So, yeah, that is when I had to tell "Mark" to look for the photo in the file labeled "Dell Bastards".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blues Jam

Fun, as always.

Hubby had the camera long enough to snap a few of these pictures, including a couple of me with a Son. Who knew I'd end up the kind of mom to take her kids out to bars on a Saturday night? I'm glad it's working out that way. And yes, those are my feet, in the Shoe of the Day.

Really, if you live within a couple hours of the Happy Boondocks, you should come out, some night. But for the rest of you, here's a taste: not a recording from last night, but a song I enjoy every time they play it:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I sorta won the dead pool

If you don't count all the people who died since we placed our bets (because none of them made it to our little familial list), anyway. Walter Cronkite is dead, and I did pick him.

I have fond (although, these days, vague) memories of Cronkite, but I have to admit that he started our mainstream news industry on a path it seems completely unwilling to leave: ignoring the facts to shape public opinion, so that public opinion would support a liberal cause, no matter what the tragic consequences might be.

RIP, though. Really.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And That's The Difference Between Me & Son #1...

Son #2 explained it, in a moment of exasperation this afternoon:

"Say you needed help with your homework, or something. I would help you with your homework.. He would grab your homework, throw it out on the lawn, and laugh at you. And you would have to go out there and find it, and if you did that much you would be committed to doing your homework. And you'd be a better man for it."

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. It also is a sparkling showcase for the next generation of familial sarcasm.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Calvert Cliffs State Park

Yesterday I woke up with an urge to hike to the Cliffs, so Sons #3 and 4 and I spent the morning roaming. Perfect weather, and about 6 or 7 miles of nature walk. Had a good time. We found no sharks' teeth, but then my hopes were not all that high anyway.

Wanna see? Of course you do.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

I don't know him, I'm only driving him and laughing and we look alike

That is what I was thinking today.

Son #2 and I were in the car when we passed a guy in khakis and a dress shirt, biking down the road. He rolled down his window and shouted, "GET SOME SWEATPANTS!"

I just about bust a gut laughing. Because I am a bad mama.

Then tonight Son #1 and I went to the River Concert again (Rogers & Hammerstein) and he beat me in our weekly "how many people do you know here" game, 21 to 18. That was actually pretty impressive, for me.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ya see, Colin, not every one of us can just "keep in touch"

Remember when Colin Powell endorsed Obama, and then got all huffy about it? And couldn't understand why some people thought that endorsing a far-left Democrat might give people the impression that he was, on some level, not really the Republican he might once have been, or perhaps even that he was supporting Obama for racial reasons?

Now, Powell is not talking about Obama's "ease and calm" in decision making. He's concerned, these days, that Obama is easing-and-calming us into gigantic government programs we cannot run or afford.

Lemme 'splain it to you, Mr. Powell: Those of us who were against Obama before the election saw this coming. This is why we did not vote for him.

And maybe Obama can schmooze you, Mr. Powell, because you "keep in touch," but he is not talking to me, or millions of the rest of us. Not listening to us, and not charming the pants off us whenever we pick up the phone.

Maybe Powell was just too close to Obama to see the big picture.

Happy Independence Day

Last night I took Sons #1 and 3 to the River Concert Series. The music was great (50s stuff, Souza marches, the 1812 overture) but it was so crowded that the only place we could fit our 2 chairs was IN a garden bed, about 15 feet from the porta-potties.

We stayed for 2 hours, during which we watched people wait in line for the bathroom. All we could see was the bathroom line.

Son #1 noted that that actually provided a good view, on occasion. For HIM, I say. Not for me.

Then, this morning some friends in the neighborhood organized a parade. How cool is that? It was surprisingly well-attended and ended at the pool, with open swim & free hot dogs.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

To be fair, I thought he was already dead I don't feel ALL that bad that I did not realize Karl Malden was the next to go.