I’m Pissed……..

I am SICK AND TIRED of being asked to log in with FaceBook or Twitter or other such sites in order to follow other blogs or make a comment on an article or continue reading some particular site.  SICK, SICK, SICK of it.  Each one wants to access my friends list and be able to otherwise manipulate my sites.  Who the hell do they think they are!  I’m done with that!

 

Instead I’ll sound off on my blogs (this one and on Blogspot) and NAME NAMES!  Pissed, I tell you.  Just pissed!

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AN EXAMPLE OF “TIKKUN OLAM”

I write another blog at blogspot.com and I use the same name: life is more than sound bites.  I’ve been blogging there for a much longer period of time than I have here at WordPress.  So, I’m reprinting here one of my very favorite blogs from the other one just because I want people to know how wonderful my mother was.

 

My mother, of blessed memory, was one of those people who “made do” with very little. But she was incredibly intelligent and imbued with a deep sense of “Tikkun Olam,” healing the world.

For as long as I can remember, she was always involved with organizations which helped people. When I was a child, I remember our doorbell ringing, some men in black coats and hats standing downstairs and mom going down to talk to them. Subsequently, she was on the phone for what seemed like hours, making many calls and finally, after the last call, hanging up with a satisfied look on her face. When I asked what that was all about, she merely shrugged and said that she was able to “get something for someone.” This happened many, many times.

As the years went by, I noticed that she would be on the telephone asking about furniture, groceries, monetary help, rental apartments, jobs, etc. and where she could acquire such items. What I didn’t know and learned about or figured out many years later was that my mother was a one-woman resettlement agent for refugees from the Holocaust. And she did this on her own, utilizing the connections she had made through her volunteer work. No one could say “no” to Fannie. It was years later that it dawned on me that neighbors who had lived downstairs from us were survivors. She and they never said a word.

As a teenager (yes, before cell phones) I could not talk on the phone at night because she was always on it, listening for hours to tales of woe from her friends. And she would dispense advice much like the Dear Abby columns of today. And it wasn’t always advice. Sometimes she would be able to find money or groceries for them to tide them over when things were tough. So many times she would say to me, with that twinkle in her eye, “If I hung out a shingle I could make a lot of money doing this.”

All these things she did for others were, for the most part, done anonymously. She vigorously guarded her privacy and would not allow her name to be used in connection with any of these “good works.” However, one day a certificate of appreciation came in the mail from a prominent Boston Jewish organization with her name emblazoned on it, along with a wonderful letter praising her. As she read the letter, I saw my mother gasp and her face blushed into a deep red. She was totally embarrassed by the recognition. She had been invited to the luncheon where these were given out and she had elected not to go and be publicly acknowledged.

While doing all these things, she worked full time as an Executive Secretary at our local Jewish Community Center, a non-profit offering no benefits (except that the building was right next door to our house) and not a lot of money. She was friends with everyone who walked through those doors, adults and children alike.

My mother never talked to me about the work she did. I just observed her actions and only really understood the enormity of her wonderful work long after I left the house. She is an inspiration to me and is the exemplar of the spirit of Maimonides’ eighth degree of tzedakah.

Apple, my Apple

So, 30 years ago today, Apple ran the first commercial introducing the Macintosh computer.  In 1987, I was introduced to the world of computers at the radio station where I worked.  I sat down and faced a Macintosh.  It didn’t take long to get the hang of it and every day I learned another trick it could do.

When I decided to buy my own ‘home’ computer, I found very few programs that were written for the Mac and everyone told me to get that PC thing because I’d get more use out of it.  So I did.  For the next 17 years I struggled with that thing at home and in my husband’s law office where I also worked.  It was great when it worked but those dreaded blue screens and warning screens, and screens that froze drove me crazy.  I had a “fix-it” guy on speed dial.  I offered to get a cot for him to sleep on in our office and promised to feed him if he’d just stay around.  It was inevitable that one or more out of the seven computers in the office would require his attention more than once a week.

When we finally decided to close the office and move out west to be close to our sons, we knew we needed a computer to take across country with us to keep up with ongoing business.  Both sons asked us to go to the Apple store (which was 50 miles away) and play with the laptops.  I did, twice and I ended up buying my first MacBook Pro.  I have never looked back.

I’m on my second one and love everything about it.  I’ve never had any trouble with it.  When I have questions I go to the Genius Bar and get them all answered.  I’ve had individual lessons on how to do things with it.  I use all the tutorials to find out things. I love my iPhone and iPod and iPad.

I bought my husband an iMac and he has a PC he uses for specific programs that were never written for a Mac.  When he has a PC problem and asks me to fix it (it happens often) I cringe, mutter under my breath, try not to gag, and hope that whatever I click on will clear it up.  Doesn’t always work and when it doesn’t I just throw up my hands and tell him to dump the PC.  His Mac doesn’t give him any problems, just the PC.

I am an unabashed Apple products lover, period!  So, happy birthday (sort of) Macintosh.  You are my favorite toys!

Arizona State University and TKE – a problem

Arizona State University has a problem with one of its fraternities, Tau Kappa Epsilon.  The ASU chapter held a party off campus on Martin Luther King Day but among the things that upset many people was the fact that the partygoers wore hip-hop clothing, used cups made from watermelon that had been scooped out and photos were posted to social media.

The issue has become one about the First Amendment.  Many in the community want the students who attended the party and whose actions they think were racist thrown out of school.  Others think expelling them would be going a bit too far for participating in what’s being termed as an offensive activity where students were just being stupid.  A lot of the intense feelings against this fraternity, known as TKE, is the result of their history on this campus.  In November of 2012, TKE members were involved in a fight with a member of a different fraternity who was an African-American.  That individual was beaten and ended up with a concussion and broken nose.  TKE was already on university probation at the time this party took place.
The African-American community wants them punished.  The question is, do the students have a right to dress the way they did and do the stupid things they did?  What’s the penalty for being unbelievably stupid and racist?
Frankly, college fraternity students have never enjoyed a reputation that clearly marks them as having an abundance of good sense.  While I personally think their actions were reprehensible, expulsion of the students involved isn’t called for.
I think the Tau Kappa Epsilon national office should yank the ASU chapter’s charter.  That saves the university the trouble of kicking the fraternity off campus.  It’s time for ASU to cut their losses when it comes to a “rogue” fraternity like TKE.  In addition, perhaps it’s time for ASU to convene a campus-wide discussion on the absurdity, stupidity and despicable nature of the kind of behavior that has aroused the ire of so many people and increased racial tensions in the community.
And perhaps it’s time for university students to understand how hurtful their actions can be and how those actions will haunt them throughout their lives, courtesy of the Internet.  Potential employers won’t look on those actions as particularly beneficial when it comes to hiring.  And finally, I’d like to see the university take some disciplinary action against all those who were part of this sickening story, enough disciplinary action to make those kids fear that if they step out of line again, there will be no guarantee of an ASU diploma in their future.
Fraternities and sororities should and can be a good influence on young minds.  They do perform a lot of good deeds by participating in social action causes and foster a sense of community for young college students.  But absurd and hateful pranks should not be part of the culture as it seems it was at ASU’s TKE chapter.  It’s time for them to pack it in.

My best job

When I was in high school, so many years ago, opportunities for females weren’t prevalent as they are now and have been for a few decades.  I was steered toward the teaching profession and got my B.A. in Education from a fine state college in Massachusetts.   I taught in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut and enjoyed most of my teaching experience because I loved what I taught, how I taught it and was so gratified when I saw my students’ faces light up with understanding.

Several years later I decided I wanted to do something else so I went to broadcasting school.  I landed a radio news broadcasting/reporting position and went on-air at a local station in Connecticut.  By the end of my very first news broadcast, I was, literally, out of breath. But, it was smooth sailing after that. I reported live from the field; I reported hourly at the top of the hour and was able to do some special programming, too. I covered politics and even had an exclusive interview with the then governor of Connecticut, Lowell Weicker, Jr.

I then went to another station and became the host of a new talk show while being the administrative assistant to the advertising manager.  During the run of the show (2 1/2 years) I interviewed different people every day.  What a wonderful experience that was!  I interviewed Connecticut’s US Senator Joe Lieberman, US Representative Sam Gejdenson, authors, musicians, singers, representatives from every social service agency in the county, immigrants, newsmakers, a sculptress, artists, even an inventor who brought his “inventions” to the studio and described in great and funny detail how they worked! My audience loved it.

My most poignant time with the show was the week devoted to teenage suicide.  Several had occurred in the region and I felt the need to bring it out in the open.  I had a panel of suicide counselors from the local hospital and agencies devoted to the problem along with teens who were friends of those who were gone. At the end of the week I think my audience had a much more complete understanding of factors that teens grapple with which may bring them to the brink.  We provided important and vital information to the listening public.

And then, the station was sold and local talk radio was gone from the area, replaced by canned music brought in from somewhere else.  Sigh!  I have wonderful memories from my stint doing the talk show, though.  It was THE MOST fun I had working and wish that I could have done it for a longer prior of time.

Not sure I like this

So I’m clicking my way through WordPress help pages and I’m not sure I like this.  I have the help pages open and my blog open in a different screen and I’m going back and forth clicking on something and hoping to see what the result might look like.  Nothing, nada shows up.  This doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy about trying to design this site.  At least at blogspot, it was quite easy to set up my blog to look just the way I wanted it to look.  And if I wanted to change it, a few clicks and I could see what it would look like right away.  It’s just easier over there.

I tried getting some widgets moved but that didn’t go well.  I looked for other kinds of widgets I want but I didn’t find what I was looking for.  I tried to rearrange some stuff.  Sure, that went well….not!  It’s frustrating when my other experience was really easy and fun.

I’m thinking this whole experiment is going to be short-lived.  I’ll give it a little more time but, somehow, I’m not hopeful.  Printed just below where I’m writing this is an incorrect line indicating that I’m editing this on tomorrow’s date.  Nice!  Good grief.

Time to go and clear my head and get ready for another go at this thing……later…..or maybe tomorrow……..or the day after………..or next week………or nevah (that’s the Boston in me)!