Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is always special to me, because I was born on that holiday back in 1971, and there might have a TV on in the hospital watching Jerry Lewis and his annual TV telethon when I checked in at 8:13 the morning of September 6th of that year.

I watched a documentary about the 1989 telethon on Sunday night. (If interested, you might want to watch it yourself before it gets taken down for one reason or another.) Lewis, who was then 63, is shown in his element, practicing over several days for the 21 1/2 hour television marathon he would appear in starting on the eve of Labor Day into the holiday itself.  Worth a look if you have the time.

Back in 2010, Labor Day again fell on September 6th. One of my friends on Facebook was encouraging people to donate to MDA, and I gave $15 to Jerry’s Kids for the first time in my life. As many of you know, it was Jerry’s swan song doing to telethon, as he was unceremoniously dumped in favor of a younger array of hosts and a shorter show when the telethon returned to the airwaves in 2011.

I have never given money to MDA ever since. If they could do that to a man who was there for them year after year for decades, what would (or could) they do with all that money they receive in donations each year?

Whoever Survives, Go Kick Their Asses

Going into this Labor Day weekend, the media is getting hysterical (again) over another group of terrorists. This time it’s the newly created ISIS (or ISIL) who has emerged into the spotlight, having beheaded James Foley recently.

Personally, I think the best way to handle terrorism is to tell terrorists that we’re not afraid of them.

Actor Burt Young as Paulie Panina in the first Rocky movie, 1976.

Actor Burt Young as Paulie Panina in the first Rocky movie, 1976.

I refer you to the Paulie character from the Rocky movies, played by Burt Young. Whenever he was in a spot that would worry a mortal man, Paulie would look at his adversary and say four simple words: “I don’t sweat you.”

That’s how we should handle terrorism. Whoever wants to hurt us can’t kill ALL of us. We will mourn the dead and those taken away from us too soon, just like we’ve done in the past. Whoever is left will avenge the dead and make the terrorists rue the day they messed with us.

Doesn’t matter who the president is, doesn’t matter how many die from a terrorist attack or who they are. Whoever survives, go kick ass. It’s that simple, and it’s that approach that we need to take.

Pauly The Yes Man

Another day, another call from the world of telemarketers.

Someone wanted to borrow some of my time and get me interested in lowering my energy bill.

I’ve got numerous ways of dealing with these people, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with the “Yes method” I was talking about yesterday. Whenever they ask a question, always say yes.

Now, the key to it all is to pay attention to the questions. If some A/C company is giving you a time and a date to set up an appointment, you obviously wouldn’t say “yes” to that. Simply hang up the phone, or tell them it’s time for your milk and cookies. Something. Anything.

Otherwise, give the “Yes method” a try. It works, and more often than not, they’ll leave you alone, because they will think you’re someone who is home, waiting to sell pencils on a busy city street.

Consumer (Dis) Services

I’ve been getting a series of calls from someone claiming to be from Consumer Services as of late, offering some kind of lower credit offer. These people are a very rude lot, and when they show up on my caller ID, they often use the same number I have, accept for the last digit. By a stroke a luck, they showed up on my ID today as being from 321-209-6988, a number that shows rather prominently when entered into Google.

One day I ask, “Consumer Services from whom?” Click.

Another day I ask, “What company do you represent?” Click.

Another day, when they ask me if I was interested in the lower credit off, I say yes.

They ask me who I am, I say yes again.

They ask me who I am again, I say yes a third time. Click.

The next time they call, I’m tempted to tell them I am part Turkish and part Japanese, and tell them my name is Go Fuk Yusef.

I have no doubt I will get the “click” again, but at least it will amuse myself.

Hackis Interruptus

A week ago Wednesday (August 20th), I woke up, put out the garbage, read the mail, and discovered that someone had put $500 into my Paypal account.

Sounds nice, right? Well, only one problem with that. They did so by attempting to pull the same amount of money out of my Bank of America checking account, which did NOT have $500 in it. After doing some swearing at nobody in particular, and changing my hacked Paypal password, I made some phone calls, and had Bank of America put a stop order on the attempted withdrawal, coming through for me when I really needed it. It’s now set up so that any further attempts at hacking my Paypal account will be ignored. It also means I will have to use another E-mail account to set up another Paypal account if that need ever arises. I used to use it when I did transcription work, withdrawing money from it when I got paid every Monday. If I ever go back to that, I’ll have to make other arrangements.

Keep on eye on these hackers! Just because you leave chump change in cyberspace doesn’t mean they will leave you alone. Found that out the hard way.

The Great Quake Of ’89

Early Sunday morning, most of the San Francisco-Oakland area felt a sizeable earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale.

It was the largest quake since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, which most of the country recognized as it interrupted ABC’s coverage of the third game of that year’s World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco.  Broadcaster Al Michaels tried to alert everybody to the earthquake, but only got the “earth” part out before transmission was temporarily lost.

I was doing something a bit less spectacular while that was going on: I was sleeping. I had just started working for radio station WTAN in Clearwater a week or so prior to all of this, working the overnight shift from 12am-6am, and 12am-8am on Sunday mornings. Even though I was off, the sleeping pattern of my 18 year-old body had been all mixed up. About 10pm that night, I get up from bed, hoping to catch the latter part of the World Series game.

I figured my mom or dad would be watching the game, but it wasn’t on, which confused me. So, I asked my mom what’s happening with the World Series game.

“You don’t know? They had an earthquake in San Francisco. The game has been postponed.”

I thought my mother was joking around. It wasn’t unusual for my father to play that kind of joke. He once told me a space shuttle exploded and obliterated Cape Canaveral a few months before the Challenger disaster had took place in 1986. But looking again, I saw that my mom had a serious look in her eyes. So I turned on the news, and she was right.

Hope everything turns out as good as it can for the people of San Francisco all these years later.