Author: LindaLee

Midday Matinee – Boots on the Ground

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. The military seems to have perfected the use of language to remove the actual horrors of war from the way we write and speak about it. I spent a lot of time listening to NPR yesterday. The phrasing about war reporting struck me. Collateral damage is the acceptable term for unintended civilian deaths. The military speaks of targets and not the people they are trying to kill. Target is also a big box retailer. I wonder if the store minds? The targets aimed at when shooting a bow and arrow or at a gun range are not real human beings, but maybe that is where the allusion began. The phrase that got to me the most was “boots on the ground.” Each pair of those boots is worn by someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter. We are not just putting boots on the ground. We are putting men and women who happen to wear boots into a war zone to kill and/or be killed. Boots on the ground sounds like we are just sending boots and not the people who wear them. If we were just sending boots, I’d be off to a discount shoe store and contribute a few pairs myself. Maybe...

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Midday Matinee – Wood-ticks Stick

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. It is  spring and along with wonders of the birds returning, the daffodils blooming and the trees budding come not the so wonderful wood-ticks. They’re baaaaack. Apparently the ticks are having a good spring as I’ve already found three of them trying to attach themselves to my person. Yesterday I was at the recycling center and there were a couple of other people there. I felt something on my leg and lifted up my jeans to find a wood-tick. I reached into the aluminum can bin to get an old pop can. My plan was to pull off the opener tab so I could use it to flick off the tick. This guy asks me what I am doing and I tell him I don’t want to actually touch the tick. In the ever so polite midwestern way he asks, “Do you mind? I’ll get it for you.”  He bent down and flicked the tick off with his fingernail. “I really hate ticks,” I say. “They remind me of Wall Street bankers. They want to suck my blood too. If we’re not paying attention they’ll just latch on and eat our blood.” He laughs very out loud and then tells me he is a community banker. (I’m sure you...

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Midday Matinee – Another cord?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. As I have simplified my life, one area remains raging out of control. I have way too many cords and it seems like they each have a different type of connector on the end. We managed somehow to standardize what goes into the wall. Is it too hard to imagine standardizing what goes into the devices? I could rationalize this little rant of mine as concern for the environment and reducing recycling and make it look quite progressive, but that would be dishonest. Really, I just want a more convenient way to charge stuff and hook it up. I am reluctant to throw out old cords because I am not always sure what device they went with and whether I will need them again. I was a Girl Scout. I am not even a tech junkie (I know this because I have one son who is, so I have a standard of comparison). I have a Mac laptop, a Verizon MIFI modem, a cell phone, Bluetooth, an iPod, two digital cameras and a Nook. I may have forgotten something here. (Oh yes: a digital voice recorder.) I don’t ‘upgrade’ my cell phone every time I can, in part because I understand my current phone and don’t find the learning curve on a new...

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Evening Focus: Bailouts, Bankers and Bonuses

I am mad that Wall Street Bankers would have crashed the economy without a taxpayer funded bailout and that Main Street is still suffering from the fallout they created. (More) (It is still okay to be mad at that.) I was mad about Bankers paying bonuses and that is where the facts intruded on my righteous rant. Caveat: Don’t you just hate it when you’ve got a burn going about an issue and you find out that you were mad about the wrong things? T.A.R.P. the Troubled Asset Relief Program was signed into law on October 3, 2008 by President George W. Bush. TARP covered not just the banks but insurance (AIG) and the auto company loans. From Wikipedia Troubled Asset Relief Program: Originally expected to cost the U.S. taxpayers as much as $300 billion,[1] by 16 December, 2010 the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the total cost would be $25 billion,[2] although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner argued that the final cost would be still lower. This is significantly less than the taxpayers’ cost of the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. The cost of that crisis amounted to 3.2% of GDP during the Reagan/Bush era, while the GDP percentage of the current crisis’ cost is estimated at less than 1%. While it was once feared the government would be holding companies like GM, AIG and Citigroup...

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Midday Matinee: Organizing – Piles or Files?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Ellen and I walked into the side door of a third neighbor’s house. Every counter top in the pantry was covered with stacks of mail, papers, magazines and books. Some of the stacks had a definite lean to them and looked like our walking by them would be enough to send them sliding to the floor. My mouth must have been hanging open because Ellen looked at me and said, “She only lets good friends come in this way. In this world there are two ways to organize; piles or files. Shari wins the grand prize for piles.” Until I saw that pantry, I thought I was a piler. Human Resources is a champion generator of paper. I often had more than one project going at a time and had project piles along the window and on one end of the table. I really did know where everything was and I didn’t file stuff until I was finished with a project. I charged my University of Minnesota MBA interns to help me get to a paperless office two years in a row. The third year the advisor called to see if I had exhausted that project and (hint, hint) maybe had another one in mind. My life is simpler...

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