I can see clearly now…

Yay!—the installation of our new windows is underway! (We’re having every window in our house replaced with new vinyl replacement windows, partly for aesthetics but mostly for efficiency—the original aluminum clad ones leak like sieves through the glass and/or have broken seals.) The upstairs windows are done, save one, and about half the downstairs windows are in place.

And let me say, they are gorgeous.

This part of the home renovation should be finished on Monday, per my discussion with the remodeler this morning. All of the [custom] windows we ordered are ready for pickup from the window contractor, but as they’re closed for the next two days for Passover/Good Friday, the earliest our builder can grab them is Monday. (I’m willing to wait… as if I had a choice, right?)

After that, all that will remain is the new carpet, and we’ll be sitting pretty (literally!).

I suppose you say “irregardless”, too

OK, people, it’s not “I could care less”, it’s “I couldn’t care less”.

Think about it. If you could care less, it would mean that you actually care some and that you could care at a level even lower than what you care right now (which probably isn’t what you meant). If you couldn’t care less, then you’re saying that it is not possible for you to care at a level lower than what you care right now (which is probably what you meant).

“I could care less!” So why don’t you?

If you’re going to show your indignation, at least do it correctly.

2002, not 1984

Hot on the heels of the notorious and ill-conceived Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) comes another effort by members of Congress—backed by their mega-corporation sugar daddies—to brandish us all as criminals. Say hello to the misleadingly titled Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA).

Rather than trying to explain just how bad of an idea this is, I’ll instead refer you to this article by Dan Gillmor, in which he poses these four questions:

Do you care if a few giant companies control virtually all entertainment and information?

Do you care if they decide what kinds of technological innovations will reach the marketplace?

Would you be concerned if they used their power to compile detailed dossiers on everything you read, listen to, view and buy?

Would you find it acceptable if they could decide whether what you write and say could be seen and heard by others?

See this EFF action alert and this online petition site for more about the proposed legislation and its effects.

The entertainment industry, through its mouthpieces, has shown that it does not or cannot grasp the rapid advances in today’s technology. In fact, it has shown that it is downright scared by these advances—or rather, scared by the effect of these advances on its financial ledgers. And unfortunately, it has managed time and time again to buy the ear of Congress to provide it with therapy and relief. Legislation and litigation instead of innovation.

Writing your Congressman couldn’t hurt, though Congress’s track record suggests it probably won’t help. Unfortunately, the only way to really get the attention of the industry is to hit ’em where it hurts—right in the pocketbook (again, refer to the Gillmore article for suggestions). Much easier said than done, I’ll admit, but it’s something to ponder.

It’s looking more and more like George Orwell had it right all along. He just had the year wrong.

Part Nine: Boy and girl go to NYC (Part 3)

The date: July 15-19, 2000. The place: New York City…

The next day’s destination: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We got up early in the morning to try to catch one of the early ferries to the island. Given our natural propensity to lounge around in bed, we ended up catching one of the later morning ferries. :-)

Walking around the island and in and out of the statue reminded me of the field trips we all took back in elementary school to museums and such. But I have to admit, I didn’t care much for all of that as a kid. This time, my interest in history having grown by leaps and bounds since then, I simply couldn’t get enough. My sweetie and I both remarked how wonderful it was to be able to share this kind of experience with each other. We weren’t there because of any feeling of having to be there, but rather of wanting to be there. We weren’t the kids crying “Is it time to go home yet?”, but rather the ones roaming around in wide-eyed reverence wondering “What else is there for us to see?” We were being tourists in the best sense of the word, and it was almost a shame when we had to catch one of the late ferries back to the mainland.

Of course, literally as soon as we set foot off the ramp back at the ferry dock, we had to run the gauntlet of vendors hawking their wares—watches, jewelery, briefcases, etc. Living their bit of the American dream, I guess. However, neither of us felt the urge to stop and ask any questions… besides, we had a date that night.

A full day of being tourists later, we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We cabbed it to Times Square, settling in at Carmine’s, a family style Italian restaurant just off of Broadway. The food was fabulous, the portions enormous, the company absolutely delightful. After dinner, we decided to walk around the Square for a bit. Now I’d seen plenty of pictures of Times Square before and had watched enough Dick Clark New Year’s Eve specials to get an idea of what it would be like, but I was still completely unprepared for the lights and sounds. Again trying not to sound trite, it was just exciting, pure and simple. And then it started to rain—not too hard, but enough to get your attention. The ones who had them pulled out their umbrellas, the ones who didn’t immediately started scurrying about looking for cover. But us? We didn’t do a damn thing—we just grabbed each other’s hand a little more tightly, swung our arms a little more freely, and strolled through the rain without a care in the world, me in a dress shirt and slacks, her in a knee-length black sheath dress and heels, two kids completely overdressed for the way we were behaving. I’d almost forgotten how good it could feel not to grow up, but with her in my arms and The City around us, it was impossible at that moment to feel old.

The whole story: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Part Eight: Boy and girl go to NYC (Part 2)

The date: July 15-19, 2000. The place: New York City…

We meandered east towards Central Park, first stopping at the American Museum of Natural History for a few hours before wandering into the park itself. And that’s what we did—wander, looking for nothing in particular but failing miserably, as we found all kinds of things to amuse us…

While sitting on a bench beneath a sprawling tree, our eyes followed a father and child coming down the sidewalk, dad pushing the little one along in a stroller. We smiled and said hello, waving to the child. The father leaned down and cooed, “Say hi [to us]!”. And the little’un promptly turned directly away from us towards no one in particular, waved (again to no one in particular), and cheerfully exclaimed, “Bye!”. Dad sort of smiled and shrugged at us, but we were already laughing ourselves silly at this incredibly cute exchange. Just one of those moments.

Later, we stumbled across a throng of people gathered around some sort of display, music blaring from yet-to-be-seen speakers. Working our way through the crowd, we found ourselves watching a dance demonstration by a group of roller skaters. My sweetie, being a huge fan of both roller skating and dance, immediately became a child and gleefully asked if we could stay for awhile. Looking at her face, beaming from ear to ear, how could I say no? So we watched. I stood behind her, my arms wrapped around her as we both bopped and swayed to tune after tune. I’d find myself glancing occasionally at her to find her staring wonderously at the festivities—and then she’d glance over at me, still smiling, her eyes still aglow, before turning her attention back to the fun. And before we knew it, we had been there well over an hour being entertained by this troupe and each other. Again, a completely unplanned diversion and another one of those moments.

The whole story: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]