Showing 1 - 10 of 34 posts found matching keyword: morals
Friday 8 December 2023
Maybe I've just been in a mood lately, but there are 2 movies I watched in recent weeks that played with my mind. Since I'm still thinking about them, I'm just going to skip ahead of my regular list and list them now.
129/2295. For All Mankind (1989)
It's a documentary about the NASA Apollo program comprised almost entirely of 1969-1971 footage. Personal note: before he helped create me, my father helped create SkyLab — yes my nutty father was once a legit rocket scientist — so there has never been any doubt in my life about whether or not man set foot on the moon. And I'll never not be amazed that I now carry around in the palm of my hand a computer with more processing power than Houston Mission Control had then. Watching NASA footage, it's mind-bending to be reminded just how big and empty space is and just how fragile our position is in it. It's amazing how determined so many of us humans are to push one another off this life raft. I'm as guilty as the next guy at letting daily life get us focused on the petty things; we can all do better.
133/2299. Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)
Yeah, yeah, it's a fantasy children's fantasy movie where an American orphan becomes British nobility and is unchanged by the experience, but what struck me while watching was just how good Li'l Fauntleroy is and how his goodness makes life better for everyone around him. (It's a pretty Dickensian concept, sure, but there are also echoes of Fauntleroy in Harvey Comics' ultra-altruistic "Poor Little Rich Boy" Richie Rich.) There are certainly bad people in the boy's world — a dramatic plot requires them — but he doesn't let their bad behavior influence his. As my Catholic aerospace engineer father often said to me during my formative years: right is right if no one is right. Don't let him hear me say this, but he's right about that. The high road may be harder, but if you let them drag you down to their level, you're just another snake.
 An "Apple iPhone 12 Smartphone... [is] about 900 million times faster than the Apollo 11 guidance computer." https://blog.adobe.com/en/publish/2022/11/08/fast-forward-comparing-1980s-supercomputer-to-modern-smartphone
 According to https://fauxtations.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/st-augustine-and-rightwrong/, this is a paraphrase of a quote by G.K. Chesterton, creator of the Father Brown mysteries: "Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it." However, so far as I am aware, my father never read Chesterton, so it may well be that he is quoting some other source, maybe even ancient aliens. With him, one can never tell.
Friday 1 September 2023
The 18th Annual Wriphe.com Batman and Football Month got off to an inauspicious start last night when my cable provider Spectrum unexpectedly dropped ESPN from its lineup without warning just as Florida was preparing to kick off the season against Utah.
Apparently Disney wants Spectrum to pay a boatload for the privilege of sharing the same content you can get directly through a subscription to Disney+, and negotiations have stalemated as Spectrum rightly fears trying to pass that charge along to their subscribers like me, who are already paying $110 a month for a package that somehow no longer includes ESPN or ESPN2 or the SEC Network (or Disney or FX or nearly a score of others I can't say as I watch much).
I assume this tactic is intended to make me call Spectrum and demand they raise my rates to get ESPN back. Given that Disney and the other Hollywood producers don't seem very interested in paying writers or actors to create other content — today marks day 122 of the WGA strike and day 49 of the SAG strike — they rightly recognize that live sports is currently (and perhaps for perpetuity in the age of AI) their most valuable commodity.
While I respect Disney's right to try to negotiate for Spectrum's 15 million subscribers, I'm not particularly happy about becoming a pawn in these hardline tactics or the timing of all of this coming at the dawn of football season, especially since for the foreseeable future, it looks like I'll have to leave my house if I want to watch Monday Night Football or a wide selection of college games. It sure seems like Hollywood doesn't really care who they inconvenience in their quest for the biggest possible buck, and that just plain sucks. I won't forget this. As my father always says, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.
And Gators... Gators lose 11-24, according to my local evening news. So it's not all bad. The University of Florida football team losing is a good start to any season.
Saturday 4 February 2023
Dad's medication has made him very confused. He couldn't remember what time Mom was going to pick him up for a doctor's appointment on Friday, so he decided to drive himself to the hospital. He made it somehow, but he took his mailbox with him. Literally. After running it over, he must have stopped in the middle of the road and picked it up; the shattered post is right now in the back of his van.
It'd be funny if it happened to someone else's family.
Anyway, as if I didn't have enough going on — now including installing a new mailbox — my 6-year-old Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone has suddenly started acting up. And I just last month bought a new case for it because the old one had fallen completely apart! (In hindsight, that may have been a pretty good indicator that the phone was on its last legs.) For no discernable reason, the battery is draining more than 13% every hour. That means it drains completely in... I don't know. Math is hard. I used to have a smartphone to do this sort of calculation for me *grumpy emoji face here*
Whatever. Batteries, like human lives, only last so long. So smoke 'em if you got 'em!
Or maybe don't, as that's a big part of why Dad's in such bad shape. Morals are also hard.
Saturday 22 October 2022
So I've been telling this little story about this bull out in the field with six cows and three of them are pregnant. So you know he's got something going on. But all he cared about is kept his nose against the fence looking at three other cows that didn't belong to him. Now all he had to do is eat grass. But no, no, no, he thought something was better somewhere else. So he decided "I want to get over there." So one day he measured that fence up, and he say "I think I can jump this." So that day came where he got back, and he got back, and as he took off running, he dove over that fence and his belly got cut up under the bottom. But as he made it over to the other side, he shook it off and got so excited about it. And he ran to the top of that hill. But when he got up there, he realized they were bulls too. So what I'm telling you, don't think something is better somewhere else.
— Aesop, "The [Bull]Dog and His Reflection"
translation by Herschel Walker
Georgia candidate for U.S. Senate rally, Oct 11, 2022
Opponents of Walker, a longtime resident of Texas and father of several bastard children, will read that and scream "hypocrite!" His supporters will read it and say "A wise man speaks from experience!" Aesop probably should have written a parable about that.
And, in fact, he did.1
There was once a house that was overrun with mice. A cat heard of this, and said to herself, "That's the place for me," and off she went and took up her quarters in the house, and caught the mice one by one and ate them. At last the mice could stand it no longer, and they determined to take to their holes and stay there. "That's awkward," said the cat to herself. "The only thing to do is to coax them out by a trick." So she considered a while, and then climbed up the wall and let herself hang down by her hind legs from a peg, and pretended to be dead. By and by a mouse peeped out and saw the cat hanging there. "Aha!" it cried. "You're very clever, madam, no doubt; but you may turn yourself into a bag of meal hanging there, if you like, yet you won't catch us coming anywhere near you."
If you are wise you won't be deceived by the innocent airs of those whom you have once found to be dangerous.
— Aesop, "The Cat and the Mice"
translation by V.S. Vernon Jones, 1912
1Yes, yes. I know it's really "The Man and the Lion." Don't try to "The Fox and the Leopard" me!
Saturday 8 October 2022
Today I returned to Sanford Stadium for the first time since November 9, 2019. This is the view from my newest tickets, 12 rows closer than the seats I had since 2002.
Wow, what a difference!
I was looking forward to this one, what with Auburn coming to town for something like the 126th time. To bolster my courage to go out in public again, I got Omicron boosted 2 weeks ago. I also got a flu shot. And, for good measure, a tetanus shot. Because, you know, some dawgs bite. Especially the drunk ones.
I wish I could I could tell you that I had a great time, but that wouldn't be true. The drive to Athens started me in a bad mood because I was my usually anxious pre-game self (that hasn't changed for the better in the past three years). Traffic (and my innate struggles at time management) meant that I arrived in Athens with barely enough time to sprint into the stadium before kickoff.
To make matters worse, since my last visit, Sanford Stadium has gone paperless and cashless, and it only seems to have slowed ticket taking and concession buying. Welcome to the future!
To make matters worst, after standing in a concessionaire's line for five minutes to buy a Coke, I discovered that particular concessionaire had sold out of regular Coke. "Will a Diet Coke do?" You might as well ask me if Pepsi is okay. IT. IS. NOT.
On the up side, Auburn did bring a marching band that performed at halftime, complete with a flag corps that had a real hard time holding onto their flags. I did enjoy that while I drank my
Coca-Cola Dasani water.
I might have had more fun if I hadn't gone alone, if I had taken someone to bitch to. But I think the real lesson here is that I shouldn't go to games that have a 30 point spread. Frankly, Auburn is not good this year (especially since they're down to their third string quarterback), and UGA played down to their level for most of the game, striping the on-field product of any significant entertainment value. If the football game isn't any good, there really isn't any reason to spend 5 hours on the road and 4 hours in the sun watching it.
Try harder next year, Auburn.
Sunday 18 September 2022
Everytime I'm about ready to swear off visiting Twitter forever, I find something like this that changes my mind:
I really miss those moralizing PSAs at the end of television shows so common in the 70s and 80s. I guess they did their job so well that we don't need them anymore. Thanks, He-Man!
Saturday 8 August 2020
There should have been a new post here, but I have been struck down by a debilitating case of vertigo after one too many hours gaming too close to a video monitor. Mom was right: It is bad for your eyes.
Next week I'll update you on running with scissors.
Wednesday 24 June 2020
On May 29, I decided I couldn't put off buying a new chair for my computer desk any longer. I'd broken the wooden chair I'd been using. The last two wooden chairs, I'd used, in fact. What can I say? I sit a lot.
Research was done online. (You may have heard that there's a pandemic on, and I didn't want to visit any showroom and sit in potentially infected chairs.) The purchase was done online, too. I ultimately placed a $200 order via Amazon.com. The seller — who was not Amazon because Amazon doesn't actually sell anything itself anymore — said I should expect it between June 8 and June 11. It did not arrive by June 8. It did not arrive by June 11, either.
On June 12, I finally looked into the FedEx shipping system to discover that the package had arrived in their Georgia distribution center on June 4. It must have liked it there, because it didn't move again.
On June 14, I called FedEx, and the customer service representative took one look at his computer screen and told me that "anything that hasn't moved in that long we consider a lost package." But he couldn't help me find it. Instead, he recommended that I get in touch with the shipper so that the shipper could file a claim. The shipper told me they'd get back to me once they'd looked into it.
On June 18, no one had gotten back to me, but Amazon.com's algorithms finally allowed me to request a refund on an undelivered product. So I did.
On June 20, I got my refund. Now I have my money back, but I'm still sitting in a broken chair. Since Mom had already planned an outing to Costco on June 24, I figured I'd bring home whatever they had available. At this point, I'm willing to sit on just about anything.
On June 24, when I woke up, an email was waiting for me from FedEx. They say the chair had been found and would be delivered to my house. Hooray! I was finally going to get the chair I ordered. I don't know why they were sending it to me after all this time, especially if they had already given money back to the seller, but if it was going to show up at last, I figured I'd accept it and settle up with the seller later. So I went to Costco and didn't buy a chair.
And when I got home, I got an email from FedEx saying that delivery had been delayed. It'll be there on June 25 now, they promise.
That's what I get. I'm going back to Costco tomorrow, and I'm coming home with a chair. If FedEx delivers another, so be it. As the old adage tells us: Two chairs are better than none.
On June 25, the chair was delivered before I could get to Costco. The box was in very bad shape, but the contents seemed well enough. So I assembled it and didn't buy a chair from Costco. But since the chair was finally delivered, I decided that I return my refunded payment to the seller. That proved to be another ordeal.
Long story short, as of July 2, the seller is paid (somewhat slightly less than the original amount), and I have a chair. The new moral here is that patience is a virtue, even when it can be hard to stand for.
Monday 27 January 2020
As much as I love cemeteries, I hate funerals. Too many living people.
Miss Polly was my grandfather's classmate and grandmother's best friend. She deserved that I put on a tie (poorly) for the first time in nearly a decade (it is NOT like riding a bike) and stand in the frigid rain. All funerals should be in the rain, if you ask me. Suits the mood.
To mark the occasion, I had this picture taken with my phone.
It is not the vision I imagined, but I did learn a valuable life lesson: don't try giving artistic direction to mourners at a funeral.
Or maybe just don't go to funerals, period. Could be either. I have a hard time figuring the moral of a story.
Monday 4 March 2019
The National Safety Council says that the odds of an American dying from a fall are 1 in 114. That's about twice as likely as the chance of death from a gun assault (1 in 285) but five times more common than the chance of dying while going for a walk (1 in 556). The specific odds of dying from falling down the stairs is 1 in 1,662. Yesterday morning, I nearly became a statistic.
I woke up early to take July outside to go potty before the bad weather rolled in. I didn't bother to change shoes and wore my slippers in the dewy grass. Returning to the house, I wiped her wet feet but not mine. Then we both went back downstairs to return to bed. Thanks to my slippery slippers, one of us went faster than the other.
Spoiler alert: I didn't die. But I do have an uncomfortably twisted ankle and abrasions on my elbows. And I've certainly learned a valuable lesson. From now on, the dog can go potty in the rain.