New Shoes in the Rain

Monday, January 23, 2017

That didn't take long

Good Monday morning to everyone.

We're again in the midst of what promises to be a lengthy stretch of rain and foul weather here in Lexington.  Warm temperatures and lots of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, and that produces rain.  And lots of it, judging by what's happening outside.  Luckily we have not been part of the devastation in the south, as there were numerous tornadoes and storms that resulted in massive property damage and loss of life.  Here's hoping those affected get a break in the weather to regroup.

I was not in Washington over the weekend and attempted to avoid Friday's Presidential inauguration and accompanying events, but wound up hearing most of our new President's speech.  Since that time there has been an expected war of words between the Trump Administration and the media about the size of the crowd at Friday's ceremony, whether Mr. Trump had removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office, whether Mr. Trump should or will release his income tax returns, discussion of "alternative facts," and whether or not Mr. Trump likes and trusts the CIA.

Remember, the Trump Administration officially began last Friday at noon.

Last night I read that a citizens' group is suing the new President over the emoluments clause in our Constitution, and that the Administration's new National Security Adviser is now under investigation by most every national security agency of this country, the result of a string of phone calls between himself and contacts in the Russian government.  There is also the issue of an elected official being permitted to hold a lease on a government building, as Mr. Trump and his company are leasing the Old Post Office building in Washington which houses the Trump International Hotel.  I also noted that two prominent Republican Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have now indicated that they support the President's nominee to be Secretary of State, the former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Am I gloating?  No.  Am I happy to see all of this?  No.  Am I surprised?  Not in the slightest.

This confrontational and combative tone was prevalent throughout the long, LONG campaign, and continues now, unabated.  The Trump team of advisors and surrogates who make the rounds on the Sunday political shows all make the case that their conduct and approach is necessary, since they're fighting press distortion and misinformation.

This may get better.  But this also could get much, much worse.  Only time will tell.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Good and not as

Greetings, friends.  Taking a brief break from work to post this morning.

I think "unusual" is just the beginning when talking about weather.  We had deep cold for several days here in central Kentucky recently, but in the last few days it's been mostly wet and unseasonably mild.  Back closer to normal today, as it's 42 degrees as I write this, overcast and breezy.  I won't say "that's more like it," but I suppose it does seem more appropriate.

We were spared the ice storms that plagued spots southwest, west and north of us.  We've had two major ones in my memory, neither affected us too directly but I know folks who were hampered by them.  So best wishes to anyone in an ice-affected area.

I think I mentioned here recently that we had to buy a refrigerator.  Unfortunately, the unit came with a damaged handle.  The selling dealer shipped first one replacement to us, and when that was discovered to also be damaged (but in a different way) a second one was shipped.  The technician who "owned" the service ticket acted pretty put out that the first arrived in less-than-perfect condition, and replaced the second in a rushed and impatient manner, and was here for less than ten minutes.

Not long after he departed, I noticed a deep nick in the door of the refrigerator, just above the top of the handle.  Whether it was already there or this disgruntled technician damaged our door (purposely or otherwise), I was pretty unhappy.  My wife shocked me by saying "you can barely see it," but I wasn't having it, and called the dealer.  To my astonishment, the representative stated flatly that "we should just replace the entire unit, since you've had so much trouble with it.  We don't want you to be unhappy."  Astounding!

The new fridge arrives on 1/31.

I did not mention this dealer by name, but in a less successful situation, I'll mention the vendor--SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  We've been customers of theirs since buying my wife's car twelve years ago.  I renewed our subscription in October and shortly thereafter we began to experience ongoing signal drop-outs on a routine basis.  I reported this a total of FIVE times, three times by phone, twice by online chat.  One of the reps with whom I spoke (and they're offshore, making it even more challenging) actually told me that there was nothing they could do, and that I'd need to take the car back to my dealer for them to address.  The last such attempt was late last week, and I spoke with a pretty nice man who was very apologetic.  He, as the others, assured me that I would hear back from someone about this.

I received a call yesterday, from someone based in Washington, where Sirius is headquarters.  Turns out this is a known issue, that AT&T changed their cellular transmission pattern and interfered with the repeater system that Sirius uses to deliver its signal.  The woman said that it should be resolved in the next week or two.  But what she couldn't answer is why no one along the line would or could tell me that, particularly since this was supposedly circulated to their Listener Care line.

If any of you have satellite radio service anymore, I'd be curious to know what your experience has been regarding this specific issue or others.

The parade of cabinet nominees continues on Capitol Hill.  The group, which more than one pundit has compared to "the crew of a pirate ship," has generated some interesting reaction from Democrats, but it looks like most will endure the process and be confirmed.  And I hear that there's some ceremony in Washington on Friday.  Can't wait to hear how that goes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The beat goes on

Good Tuesday to all.  We finally cracked the freezing mark here in central Kentucky yesterday and it's due to be even warmer (and wetter) as the week wears on.

A good friend in northern California reported that the main reservoir for the Sacramento area has risen an astonishing twelve feet since that area started seeing some big weather systems moving in and through.  Let's be glad, those folks seem to never get a break.
Broken is the right word for the famous "tunnel tree" in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  You know, it's the one that someone literally cut a tunnel through the base of the trunk many years ago.  Anyway, it was weakened by the recent heavy rains in the area and fell in the last day or two.  Another iconic symbol gone.

Speaking of icons, let's give acclaimed actress Meryl Streep some credit for saying what many have been thinking.  Politics aside, her message should resonate with everyone.  I'm quoting here: 

“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Well said.  Sad that we've moved so far away from the "please" and "thank you" and "yes, ma'am" of my youth, let alone respecting the opinions of others.

Here's a shocker:  the Alabama Crimson Tide lost the collegiate National Championship game to the Clemson Tigers last night 35-31.  I missed the entire second half, because I didn't want to try to watch a football game that dragged on for well over four hours.  And people complain about the pace of play in baseball....

Not so shocking is that these Cabinet confirmation hearings that started today will be rather contentious.  The fact that a good percentage of the nominees did not complete their required ethics paperwork for vetting purposes is problematic, but ultimately all of these people will likely be approved for the positions for which the President-Elect chose them.

The PEOTUS is due to have a press conference tomorrow.  What he's asked about and what he'll discuss are likely two separate sets of topics, but we'll just have to wait and see.  Yesterday it was announced that he has appointed his son-in-law as Senior Advisor to the President.  All in the family.

I read online this morning that the CEO of Yahoo, Melissa Mayer, will be departing that company once the sale of it to Verizon is completed.  And that means we will no longer be reading about her abbreviated maternity leaves, or her reflections of the necessity of pulling an all-nighter occasionally to move a project forward.  

Suppose I should move a couple of my projects forward and sign off.  Hope the weather is agreeable where you are!