Friday, December 29, 2017

June Cleaver with a Gun

December 29, 2017

When the first women police officers in St. Louis graduated from the academy in 1951, not all of them were wearing necklaces, but all of them were in high heels. They reminded me of June Cleaver, but with guns instead of vacuum cleaners.

Their first uniforms were a jacket and skirt—with no place to hold their guns. And yes, they had to wear heels on the job.

Follow this link to read more in an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The article is about one specific officer, but there’s some interesting background on women in the force. For instance, the female officers were paid the same as the male officers—not what I was expecting.

It wasn’t all gravy, though. After 4-1/2 years on the job, this officer had to resign because the force hired her husband, and they couldn’t both be on the force—but she dealt with that, too.

It’s a fascinating story of progressive thinking mixed with the limitations of society at the time.

And also, of course, about a woman who took the good with the bad, kept her sense of humor, and made some of her own rules to get around society’s.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Music

December 24, 2017

I love the AM station in St. Louis that plays pop Christmas songs that no other station does. Instead of hearing 8 different takes on the same song, they play ones I’ve never heard before. Love it.

And while I’m grinching about the music…

Why are there 20 different versions of so many songs, and none of “The Holly and the Ivy”?

“Silent Night” should be given a light touch—no need for full orchestra, screechy sopranos, full-throated bellowing, or extra trills. It’s a sweet, simple melody—sing it accordingly, please.

And finally: I said that there should be a ban on any version of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” other than John Lennon’s. The person I was with said, “Oh, his is the one I can’t stand!”

I have to believe he was just messing with me.

What’s Up With The “The”?

December 24, 2017

Has anybody else noticed the proliferation of the word “the” in news articles?

Examples: “The actress Jane Glamorous announced yesterday…”
                   “As a young man, John Doe met the poet Ezra Pound…”

In other languages, it’s correct to use the article “the” before a noun, but American news has typically just written sentences as, “Actress Jane Glamorous announced…” “…John Doe met poet Ezra Pound…”

So the first time I read an article using the extra “the” I thought it had been written by a foreigner. But now it’s becoming standard practice.

There’s nothing wrong with it. I just wonder why writers started doing it.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Hints: Present-Wrapping

December 21, 2017

Get somebody else to do it.

The End of the Trail, and Another Update

December 21, 2017

If you don’t get blog updates by e-mail, I’m just letting you know of a couple of updates I published in comments:

The Mark Trail story that started on April 5, 2017 (mentioned in “A Long Trail”) looks like it ended on December 16, 2017. And that time covers only one day. 

A few years ago I said I wished that there were humidifiers for cars, to keep the heat from drying out people’s sinuses. (“Calling All Inventors” December 3, 2012) Well, last week I looked online and found some. Who knew? Maybe someday I’ll remember to try looking on the internet.

Holiday Hints: Shopping

December 21, 2017

Okay, I know it’s too late for this one, but I’ll try to remember to post it next year.

Some people take off work one afternoon to go Christmas shopping.

Try the morning instead.

The other day I went out at 8:30. I returned 2 items at one store, went to 3 other stores, and had absolutely no waiting anywhere. Went to work with a spring in my step, feeling just about giddy.

Wishing you stress-free gift giving, this year and in the future. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Hints: Entertaining

December 17, 2017

Is it too late to remind everybody not to assign bringing appetizers to the person who is chronically late?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Just Keeping My Brain Sharp

December 16, 2017

I was reading articles about various ways to stay sharp and keep from impairing your cognitive ability.

Note to the authors:

  1.       The proper phrasing would be “So Many Stimuli”, not “So Much Stimuli”
  2.       “…a bacterium that causes pneumonia”, not “a bacteria that causes pneumonia” 

Maybe the authors are helping us stay sharp by letting us catch proofing errors.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Where Work is Play

December 8, 2017

It’s an old story: Bankrupt company—in this case Toys“R”Us—pays millions in bonuses to executives if they make sales goals during the holiday season. The bonuses are to encourage them to give it their all to make the goals, and so that they won't jump ship during the crisis.

They’re obviously not doing that hot a job in the first place, so who cares if they jump ship? And why aren’t they giving it all they’ve got anyway? They’re already making over $1 million per year.

Do they get paid that much just for showing up?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Why Mr. Spock Shouldn’t Decorate

December 6, 2017

I texted my sister a picture of a Christmas display I had made of a baking scene: a mixing bowl and baking accessories, some cookie cutters, and some decorations that look like cookies on a saucer.

After I sent it, I looked at it full-scale, and noticed that, while I was trying for a whimsical, carefree look, all the cookie cutters were precisely positioned for even spacing and maximum display potential. It was very geometric and soothing, but didn’t exactly scream “Good times!”

So I picked ’em up and dropped ’em randomly. It looks much less rigid, and more like fun.

I wonder how long I’ll be able to stand it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

But Are They The Same Bars?

December 2, 2017

A man in federal prison got his time behind bars extended for running a drug-smuggling ring inside the prison.

Question: Does he do the extra time at the same prison, or will they move him somewhere where they can keep a better eye on him?

Not Right Now, I’ve Got a Headache

December 3, 2017

I keep thinking I’m done writing about sexual harassment, but news items just keep appearing.

The latest: Did you know that Congress has an actual fund (paid for by taxpayers) to settle sexual harassment cases?

So the members know that it goes on, and instead of making rules to deter it, or punishing the offenders, they have a ready-made fund to bail them out!!! (There are not enough exclamation points in the world for that sentence.)

I think that while Congress works on getting its moral act together, there should be a mandatory automatic payroll deduction for each member to put into the fund. Every member of Congress, man or woman (because women can harass, too), should be required to pay into it—like dues. If you can’t make them behave decently on moral grounds, maybe making them pay for the awful behavior that they allow will make them more eager to fix the problem.

And now, I have simply got to stop writing about this. I’ve got a splitting headache.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Interview With A Vampire

November 29.2017

Now that so many news personalities are joining the ranks of accused sexual predators, I’d like to see one of them interviewed as follows:

1.      Mr. Newsman, how did you select your victims? Many women who worked with you said that they are stunned at the accusations, as you never once gave any indication that you were an abuser. What made you pick the specific women you targeted?

2.      Were there certain women that you wouldn’t have harassed even if their jobs made them vulnerable to retaliation if they reported you or refused you? What characteristics made you not pursue them?
(In other words, were there people that you were scared to mess with? Why?)

3.      Did you sexually harass people before you were famous and powerful, or was the activity an outgrowth of your increasing power and a sense of entitlement or invulnerability?

4.      If you didn’t harass people before you were powerful, was that because you didn’t have those tendencies, or because you didn’t think you could get away with it?

5.      If you don’t feel that you had those tendencies before, what was it that led you to act this way once you became powerful? In other words, are we all doomed every time somebody gets famous and/or powerful?

These are actual scientific questions that I’m interested in, by the way, and they apply to politicians and bosses as well.

Did their high profiles lead to an increased sense of entitlement, or a lowering of inhibitions, that told them that they should act on any impulse? Or would they have acted like this anyway?

Please, somebody, interview the predators. I really want to know.