Friday, January 30, 2009

Born Again American

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Please let me do my job!

I received a typical telemarketer call today about a FREE GE wireless security system. I'm guessing the salesperson is located "offshore" because of his accent. I try to be somewhat polite with these calls even though I signed up for the DO_NOT_CALL registry.
He went on about insurance benefits and other features and I came up with a lame excuse about not having any money. Then he suprised me by stating "Please let me do my job!". Obviously he had mastered his script and was not going to be cut short by someone who wasn't paying close attention. I must add that I had music playing rather loud over my speakerphone setup. I decided to let him finish. He explained about the wireless features and the great savings with insurance. I even get a coupon to show to my insurance agent. After he was done he explained how his manager would be calling me.

While I waited for his manager, I re-registered on the DO NOT CALL registry which had apparently let me down. After a while I received a call from a guy in Rhode Island who wanted to talk to me. I'm not in the market for a home security system at this time but if you are, I would suggest giving them a call.

Or maybe just call them to chat


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Al Gore to testify on Global Warming

Al Gore will be testifying before the Senate Foreign Committee on Wednesday. Apparently Mother Nature didn't get the agenda because the Northeast is expecting a major snow storm. Can this be any more ironic?

This has been one brutal winter, the ice storm, cold snaps, no January thaw. Bring on some local warming.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Heat? Blame the ice storm again!

We woke up to a rather chilly first floor. It was obvious that the baseboards were downright COLD. I measured 52 degrees F with my trusty and handy infrared thermometer. I suspected the check valve in the return line, so I went to the cellar and beat it with a hammer (right tool for the right job) I tried to listen to the circulating pump and it appeared to be operational.

We are using a programmable thermostat (Honeywell) that produces an audible click when it turns on. I tried cycling the heat and heard the click. I thought I had completed my troubleshooting. It was obvious to me that either the pipe was clogged or that the pump had failed.

After a call to our oil burner experts, they called me back and suggested I check the batteries in the thermostat. I explained that I dutifully change these when we switch back to standard time, but when fresh batteries were installed the heat came on and all is well.

What happened? Apparently the 11 days of no power had an effect on the batteries. They mentioned that they were seeing this problem. Interesting isn't it?

Monday, January 19, 2009

This land is your land

The highlight for me of the "We are one" concert at Lincoln Memorial was not musical but symbolic. It was the sight of Pete Seeger singing "This Land is Your Land" to the president elect and a gathering of thousands. This was a complete and welcome suprise.

Some bloggers have already jumped ugly with seeing the former blacklisted performer on stage, so I'll remind them of the inscription on Seeger's banjo:

"This little machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

IMHO - Unflattering Photos of Obama's People

I spend a lot of time looking at photographs. The Times Magazine featured a series of photographs of "Obama's people" done by Nadav Kander who they described as "one of the more original and highly regarded portraitists at work just now".

I guess I'm missing something, but I want to add my own unflattering captions to each mugshot photo. I miss Richard Avedon .

Maybe I'm wrong, you be the judge:

2009 Inaugaration Gallery

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hey, Al Gore - give it back!






Here is the inconvenient truth... IT IS COLD! At least today!

Academy award? Nobel Peace Prize?

Give em back, please! I'm burning as much wood as possible, and hyperventilating to get the maximum amount of CO2 outside where it can do it's climate warming magic. Brrrrr!
I even found that a Google search releases some CO2 according to Harvard Environmental Fellow Alex Wissner-Gross Ph. D. As a guy who is who us getting tired of winter and a stockholder in Google, I would like to encourage everyone to undertake a massive Google search of Alex Wissner-Gross, Al Gore, Inconvenient Truth, Global Change, Carbon Credits, Polar Bears, Sun Spots, Potential Asteroid Impacts. Heat things up a little!

You have to do this, it keeps getting colder! This is the responsible thing to do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Years - Gem├╝tlichkeit

We had no desire to stay awake till 12 midnight to ring in the New Year, so we opted for the convenient 6 PM German New Year time. John & Angelika prepared a delicious Tapas Menu for dinner. And for a festive drink naturally they chose Feuerzangenbowle. This does not seem to be an appropriate tradition for our household, I think the cats may interfere with disastrous consequences.

Thanks John & Anglika for this celebration.