Saturday, October 29, 2011

Almost here...

Yesterday it snowed, but it was the kind of snow that doesn't stick. This afternoon, it started snowing again. And it hasn't stopped yet. It's really piling up outside. And for the third night in a row, I have no heat. Arrggghhh. Needless to say, work has been one of the levels of hell for two days now. And I have to be there at 6:45am tomorrow (Sunday). It's going to be a long walk and a long day. Monday, on Halloween, I have to work until 9pm. Ggggrrrr. I'd been thinking of doing it up a bit. I was going to cover the two glass doors with garbage bags, with either eyes, or a pumpkin face, cut out. With the lights on, it would look great. I had even spent a little bit of money on treats, just in case anybody came up the stairs. Ah, well. So it goes.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Just sayin'

There was an interesting tidbit in the news yesterday. Here's the opening lines:


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Security Agency, a secretive arm of the U.S. military, has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage.

The assistance from the agency that conducts electronic spying overseas is part of an effort by American banks and other financial firms to get help from the U.S. military and private defense contractors to fend off cyber attacks, according to interviews with U.S. officials, security experts and defense industry executives.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also warned banks of particular threats amid concerns that hackers could potentially exploit security vulnerabilities to wreak havoc across global markets and cause economic mayhem.

So, basically, the military is working with the banks. Kind of makes one wonder what else they're up to. Or, what they're really afraid of. Or, what they are getting ready for...

Just more scary thoughts as Halloween approaches.

Betty Grable

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A little favour to ask...

(Sigh). Yesterday I got "spoken to" at work again. A customer had asked when the minimum to not have to sign a debit or credit card had gone up to $65.00. I answered and added a comment that I considered it sad that the bank card companies felt that $65.00 was too little to worry about. I thought nothing more of it until I was taken aside just before the end of my shift. My boss wanted to ask a 'favour' of me. (Translated, it means don't do it again, and it's not really a request.) Along with that comment, it was mentioned that the bank card companies are our clients and should be treated with respect; and that tough times were being had by everyone - not just me. That last part was interesting. I hadn't referred to my financial condition. Well, I had earlier when I met with the store's personnel officer - I wanted to cancel my health insurance as it will put about $250.00 a month in my pocket (includes going off meds). I was told that I can't get out of my policy or stop paying my premiums until  the start of the new year. I did say that that wasn't quite what I wanted to hear. (I do nothing to cancel the policy - the company is switching carriers again, all I have to do is not sign up.) I can only assume that the personnel person repeated the story to my boss. This is the same personnel person with whom I had the the discussion about my minimum hours and my part time level. If she mentioned my involvement with her "manager's meeting reminder", that sure would explain why I suddenly got three night time shifts, one until 9pm. I got another till 9pm this week. I have to stop thinking like this. After all, they "don't retaliate". Oh, I was also warned not to discuss politics at all. Free speech is great - for those who can afford it.

Cast of the new Tim Burton movie "Dark Shadows", starring Johnny Depp (center) as Barnabas Collins.

Is that card upside down, or...?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Old Terror in New Buildings

Okay, there is something bothering me. Mixed in with the speculations and general discussions of the situation out at Melrose Terrace is a statement made about a year ago by the Chair of the Selectboard to the effect that Brattleboro has too much Public Housing. He's against it. Several years ago, an older woman of my acquaintance won election to the Selectboard. She sure shook 'em up a bit. At any rate, yesterday morning we were having a discussion about Melrose Terrace. When I mentioned the Selectman's position, she surprised me by stating most firmly that Brattleboro did indeed have too much subsidized housing.  I think my jaw actually bounced on my chest (considering that she herself had benefited from so many health and housing programs). The discussion was interrupted and discontinued at that point (after all, I was at work).  What I want to know is, why do people see subsidized housing as a negative thing? The very words, rolled over on the tongue, drip with pejorative. Why is there such a negative view of subsidized housing? No one ever says there are too many people of means. There aren't too many mansions. There aren't too many non-profits, after all, where else would the children of the people of means find work?

No one ever asks why we need so much subsidized housing. And in that answer, no one ever says the rents are too high or that the average paycheck is too low. What this town has is landlords who want too much money. I don't doubt that quite a few are trust-fund babies who inherited Aunt Norma's little manse, and found that they wouldn't have to work as long as they got a high rent for the apartments they'll carve out of it. Their good fortune doesn't allow for the thought that they are charging too much for the rent. That's one of the primary reasons there is subsidized housing - every day folks here can't afford what is being charged. Too much subsidized housing a problem? Try paying a fair wage.Too much subsidized housing still a problem? Find and recruit employers who can offer enough good jobs to replace those lost over the past several years. Stop blaming the people who need subsidized housing and blame yourselves. The Selectboard let all those jobs get away. Accept the blame already. What did You do to change things? You threw how many parties for politicians versus how many for 'charity'? Better watch that or you'll end up spending so much that you'll have to raise the rents. Get over your elitist dreams and accept some blame.


You, Mr. Non-Profit, you want us to pay how much for a garbage bag to appease your self interests and your failure to properly fund such services as street cleaning, trash and recycling collection? If many of you had done your jobs successfully, more people would be able to pay taxes for services. Okay, you can stop me any time now...


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catching up 23rd of October 2011

Well now, every now and then you (the plural 'all of you' kind of 'you', but really meaning me, but it would seem too egotistical if I were to write that) find stuff. Things so wonderful that they need to be shared. I certainly hope you don't take this as a reflection of my trying to earn praise or please my daddy. No, this is just sharing because I damn well want to.

So, while Austanspace is off fomenting mushroom uprisings (I hear they are in a rage over their suite...), I was thinking that I had a bunch of garphics and what nots to to put up that I hadn't gotten to yet, and so, ladies and gentlemans without further adooo, ...