Pacificmelody's Blog

I've got the computer keys to the kingdom!


Am I Getting Too Picky?

The Rachel Maddow Show (TV series)
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I was watching the Rachel Maddow show the other evening, and I’d just like to say that  I feel she has done the best and most intensively researched work on this story of all the media folk. She presented a graph of BP’s profits over the last three years, a total of $58.5 Billion. In this same time period, BP spent $29 Million on research into safer methods of deep drilling. As for research into methods of coping with a deep-water oil spill, the amount spent was ZERO Dollars. Maybe it’s just me, but does this seem just a teeny bit disproportionate? Perhaps spending more on research would have cut too deeply into their profits? After all, what’s a poor corporation to do? There’s always that pesky bottom line to consider. No wonder that BP CEO Tony Hayward would like to “have my life back”. I bet he’s worn out from remembering all the different stories he’s told.

Well, I just did the math, and if BP had spent just One Percent of its profits for this vital research, it would have devoted $585 Million to the task. One-Half Percent would still have been $292.5 Million, and One-Quarter Percent would have been a paltry $144.25 Million, probably less than the oil lobbyists spent over those three years in bribes to lawmakers. Oops, did I say that out loud? I’m almost certain I meant to say political donations. We could check with any number of Senators or Congressmen as to the exact difference. I’m sure they could tell us.

This whole situation, more so than 9/11 and Katrina put together, has pointed out how little the very survival of humans as a species means to some people, who have apparently been blinded by their insane greed. When we have finished fouling the waters and killing all the fish, birds and animals, when we have sickened the earth and the air with our poisons, how will we live then? Will we eat our gold and drink our oil? I can only pray that our sheer instinct to survive will prevail while there’s still time.

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Murphy Strikes Again!

Things had been pretty quiet on the Murphy front lately. Nothing but the usual “gotcha” moments in the wee hours of the night, or the occasional  clammy, cold, foot-length hairball, waiting beside the bed in the morning.

When I tried to encourage him to do something “cute”, so I could write about it, he would give me one of his patronizing looks and then stare off nobly into the distance. So I was completely unprepared for his latest attack. Other people have computer viruses, I have Murphy. I’d been watching a film on Netflix and had put the keyboard down within Murphy’s reach, just for a moment, but he saw his chance and took it. He did one of his drop-and-roll maneuvers across the keyboard, at the same time grabbing the mouse in his razor-claw-tipped paws. As we struggled for possession of the mouse, he squirmed and rolled all over the keyboard. By the time I had wrested control back into my opposable-thumbed-hands, the damage was done.

I use my 32 inch, high def TV screen as my computer monitor, and when I looked at it, I saw that everything was now on its head. Apparently this affected the mouse as well, because the only way I could get it to work was to back up to the TV, bend from the waist and run the mouse up and down my leg to maneuver it. This position was difficult to maintain, since the blood started running to my head, and the mouse was working only at about half capacity.

Finally I gave up and went to bed, hoping when I booted up in the morning that the situation would have corrected itself. No such luck. I called everyone I knew and no one had even heard of this happening until my younger sister called Geek Squad and described what was going on. Miracle of miracles, they had the solution which she passed on to me. All it took was pressing CTRL + ALT + the down arrow, all at the same time. It took several tries, but at last the images on the screen returned to their normal position. I was even able to track down my bookmarks, which had mysteriously vanished.

Murphy and I are in counseling, and things are getting back to normal, but I’ve learned my lesson. No more encouraging my computer kitty to show off again! (That’s Murphy in the foreground, with brother Max behind him. )

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Sunday Brunch

It’s 10 AM Sunday morning and it’s so quiet. The sky is gray and the rain has been falling quietly but steadily for many hours. There must be water standing in the streets, because when the cars go by they make a sort of slooshing sound. Max and Murphy sleep the sleep of the feline, one on the couch, one in a chair. Occasionally one of them will moan or sigh.

The plan for today is brunch with two friends at a little place on Hawthorne, where they make the most delicious crêpes. French cuisine is far and away my most favorite. We usually have a savory crêpe each, and then split a sweet, although with three of us I’m not sure how that will work. Maybe we’ll ask them to supersize it (The French are really into that sort of thing, you know! Just ask any waiter for a doggy bag. No, wait, don’t! I was only kidding!)

When I mentioned to my son where we were going, he told me to say hello for him to two of his friends who work there. I’ve never known a person who can learn a city so quickly and thoroughly as he does. He has ‘shown me the town’ in Berkeley, San Francisco, LA, Paris and Amsterdam, and we discovered the Southern Coast of Spain together. Not only does he know the different areas, he knows what types of people live there, some history of the places, and the amenities they offer. Altogether these traits, plus his gift for languages, make him a very handy traveling companion. Time to plan another road trip!

Back to the present day, I’d better finish getting ready. My tummy already is. Au revoirs, mes amis!

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