Category Archives: Politics, Religion & Money

Breaking Bad in New Mexico

One month after Veronica Rutledge was shot dead by her 2-year-old son in Idaho, a 3-year-old in Albuquerque managed to get his mother’s gun and shoot not only her, but his father as well. The only “accident” here is that, purely by luck, neither parent is seriously injured. “Gun safety” is a self-contradictory term.

What is it about field reporters on TV compulsively nodding like bobble heads when being introduced by the news anchor? Are they told to do that?

They report, I decide

I now have 115 miles on my new 2015 Honda CR-V EX, and with that mileage I suppose it’s redundant to say that the car is new. Here’s what Consumer Reports has to say about it.

They’re right about the on-screen audio console. It really sucks. Not only that, the MP3/WMA player has a buggy file manager, and there’s no pause control. It would be nice if Honda comes up with a software update to fix the screen controls. On the plus side, with ear-level tweeters on the front doors the sound quality is outstanding.

I can’t say if the ride isn’t as good as it was over the past several model years, but I know that on our 2011 CR-V the ride improved greatly after replacing the original equipment Bridgestone tires with Michelins. Something that I miss compared to the 2011 is the tray under the passenger seat. There’s now a center console, but it isn’t very useful for storage.

Of greater concern is a possible weakness in the operation of the all-wheel drive feature on the 2014 CR-V, as demonstrated in a Swedish magazine review. Watch the video, and if you’d like to read about the controversy it’s at this link. Who knows if the 2015 AWD models behave the same way? Obviously this didn’t stop me from buying the car, but I’ll sure be watching for any problems driving uphill in snow.

A Final Fond Farewell to Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.

On my birthday in 2006, just five days into this blog, I posted my first item about “The Colbert Report”. That was back in the days of analog cable TV, and using the tuner in an ATI TV Wonder Elite I recorded this excellent “60 Minutes” piece by Morley Safer about Colbert, in which Stephen talks about the loss of his father and two of his brothers. Full Disclosure: If you go to the link for the 2006 post, there is a wry comment from my cousin Lawrie. Her niece is married to Morley Safer’s nephew.

And here, one last time, is the picture that Denro took of me, with my long-gone “woodchuck” facial hair, in the presence of Stephen Colbert. No, I am not a giant and Colbert is not tiny. Actually, we’re about the same size. I mean height! We’re the same height!

The Times Center, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY, November 16, 2007 8:21 PM

The Times Center,
242 West 41st Street, New York, NY, November 16, 2007 8:21 PM

The Truth Behind Truthiness

The music that played under the end credits to the finale of “The Colbert Report” was “Holland, 1945″, a 1998 song by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Why did Stephen Colbert pick that particular song? It’s explained at this link to a Maureen Dowd column.

[Colbert] had 10 older siblings. But after his father and the two brothers closest to him in age died in a plane crash when he was 10 and the older kids went off to college, he said, he was “pretty much left to himself, with a lot of books.”

He said he loved the “strange, sad poetry” of a song called “Holland 1945” by an indie band from Athens, Ga., called Neutral Milk Hotel and sent me the lyrics, which included this heartbreaking bit:

“But now we must pick up every piece

Of the life we used to love

Just to keep ourselves

At least enough to carry on. . . .

And here is the room where your brothers were born

Indentions in the sheets

Where their bodies once moved but don’t move anymore.”