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Archive for the ‘Random Dribble’ Category

Mother-Teresa-collage

Mother-Teresa-collage (Photo credit: Peta-de-Aztlan)

Wise words to live by:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

[Reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times has since reported (March 8, 2002) that the original version of this poem was written by Kent M. Keith.]

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Actress Gwyneth Paltrow at the launch of Estee...

Image via Wikipedia

Gweneth Paltrow posted an important piece about homosexuality and the bible on her blog today.  She gathered insight from spiritual leaders on the subject and the result is a calm, knowledgeable argument for “leave the gays the hell alone.”

As a mother, I worry about my children growing up in a world that still faces bigotry against human beings who were born differently.  I worry because I don’t want my babies to face such pain themselves (my oldest, bless him, is a sensitive, creative soul, and I can see the sting of exclusion on his face when he is not welcomed into a group because he is “unusual”).  But, alas, my kids will be hurt – that is unavoidable – and their peers will justify this pain by citing what is “right” and “wrong” as it was taught to them.  And my hope is that my boys (and their classmates who will face even more brutal intolerance) can work through the pain and come out better people for having gone through it.

One of my favorite quotes from this article:

“There are few things worse than people using religion and the Bible as an excuse to denounce, curse or hurt another person.  Speaking and acting in this way shows a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of religion, God and the Bible.”

Enjoy.

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iTunes Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I wasted a good deal of time today on something that seemed so DOable, but I couldn’t seem to DO it.

Here’s the deal – I downloaded itunes onto my work laptop because, for obvious reasons, this is the computer I use most often.  What I didn’t realize, however, is that itunes is a jealous little girl. 

In order to transfer the songs I’d just purchased to my iphone, she said in outrage, I would have to ERASE everything that is currently on my phone  (which was synced from my other itunes library on my other computer) so that I can replace it with the new songs.  Otherwise, I couldn’t have them.

That.  Bitch.

So, I did what any person in a bad relationship does.  I turned to the internet to get some lovin.  And, after an inordinate amount of time searching for a solution for this problem, I found this, which took FIVE freaking minutes.

I left a comment, of course, thanking them for their invaluable help.  And now that my wild and diminutive tryst is over, I’m once again happy with my itunes relationship. 

And I can listen to Muse on my phone. 

All is well.

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The white version of the iphone 4 is now available. 

Why does this induce salivation on my part? 

I dunno.  I just like it.

My … precious …

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I love April.  My allergies of January/February are gone, and the weather is warming up enough to open up the windows and let the breeze blow through the house.  My toddler is heavily entertained by the birds in our backyard, and if that doesn’t amuse him enough, a simple bucket of water and some cups keep him occupied on the back porch for at least an hour or so, allowing me to get some work done in the patio lounger – which, right now, much to my neighbor’s chagrin, is a folding camping chair.

I hate April.  This month, my husband leaves us for a year, a goodbye that will likely spur my pre-schooler’s first serious bout with loss and heartache.  And, as all military families know, every goodbye during deployment has the potential to be your last.

pic by dakaishi

So those are my choices.  I can love this month, and the bird singing to me from the railing of my back porch.   I can appreciate the cool wind hitting my cheek and the clean smell of freshly cut grass.  And I can help my children to do the same.  OR I can wallow in the fact that my husband is leaving soon, I can stress about the consequences, and I can be angry at him for putting us through it all.  OR I can have a nervous breakdown.

Hm.  Decisions, decisions.

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Today I’m working in San Marcos, TX – a small town just south of Austin with an equally quirky vibe.  This is where I went to college, so already I have fond memories of the place.  But today, I made a few more.

No Kung Fu for you.

1)    Amusing gas station rules.  If, whilst you are fueling up, a pack of bloodthirsty ninjas attack, you must first lure them away from the pump.  Safety first, y’all.

2)   Coffee barista dude – You want, like, a mocha or latte or something?

Me – No, thanks.  I’ll just have a regular coffee.

Coffee barista dude – You’re a purist.  Respect.

3)   A customer at the coffee shop is wearing a shirt that says “I’m on the carne asada diet.”

4)   Right next to the McCoy’s hardware store headquarters, someone has erected a small shack from which they sell barbeque.  The shack is called Hatfield’s.

Nothing like a small town with a sense of humor.

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While waiting for my sandwich today at Which Which, I read an article in USA Today about hackers who are attacking iTunes accounts.  And though thieves hacking into a server and stealing financial information is not exactly a shocking occurence, Apple’s response to those consumers who are not able to reclaim their losses is truly a surprise.  

Or not. 

You can see the online version of the article here

The third paragraph of this article is what kills me:

“Apple says there is little it can do about iTunes account hijacking.  The company advises victims to change their passwords and contact their financial institution about being made whole.”

Allow me to rephrase:

“We know you are getting ripped off.  But, while iTunes reaps so much more money than we can ever expect to use in one lifetime, we are not inclined to share.  We don’t care if you get mad and leave.  There are roughly 149,999,999 other iTunes users off whom we can make some major dough.”

It seems Steve Jobs responded to this issue in the same aloof way he responds to a lot of public concerns about his products.

Photo by J from the UK

I probably need not remind you of the iPhone 4 reception debacle. 

But allow me to refresh your memory on Apple’s gem of a response to that little problem:

“This is a fact of life for every wireless phone.  If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”

Again, rephrased:

“We know your shiny new iPhone (for which you paid up to $800) does not work properly.  But clearly this is your fault.  Kindly spend another $30 to fix your own problem.”

In this great article from techradar.com, aptly dubbed “Antennagate,” Gary Marshall is forgiving of Apple’s PR shortfall, claiming that they didn’t really mean to leave customers hanging with a subpar product, but rather just missed the “social media communication” boat by not telling users what they planned to do about it. 

Here’s my advice to Apple – filter EVERY response Steve Jobs gives to a problem BEFORE it gets out.  Instead of letting this guy talk directly to consumers with a “just don’t hold the phone that way” kind of retort, perhaps allow a PR professional to step in, saying something like, “our CEO is not available for comment at this time, as he is dutifully working on a solution to such a trying public concern.” 

Hello?  This is what a PR agent is FOR.  Instead of looking like a spoiled little kid, kicking the dirt and refusing to see it any way but your own, your PR agent makes you seem like a professional, one who is at least a bit regretful of such a severe design flaw.

Notably, while Apple’s initial response was appalling, the company did fix the antenna problem.  AFTER Consumer Reports released an article advising people not to buy it

Apple’s eventual solution was very gratifying.  They offered a free case to anyone who needed it and if this did not resolve the issue, they offered full refunds.  In the end, they acted exactly as such a powerful public company should have.  They just did it 22 days too late.

So, we can dare to hope that the iTunes issue also will be resolved as it should.  Perhaps some Apple employee will step up and say, “let’s be reasonable and handle this in the way of a large and influential tech firm, and not like a spoiled little rich kid.” 

I’m sure there are more than a handful of hackers who work for Apple.  Why not get all of them in one room and come up with a solution? 

Or at least give consumers the confidence that you are working on it.

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