Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday video - Buffalo Springfield

This has been a long week.  For the second week in a row, a co-worker died.  I just need to get to Saturday, when the family has a trip to the pumpkin patch planned, a tour of the maternity ward scheduled, and of course, college football all day long.  Just something to distract me and hopefully elicit some grins and laughs (which I'm sure those things will).

And, in honor of those folks currently occupying Wall Street, a little 60's protest music.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We ALL have rights, right?

Bank of America's CEO says that it has a "right to make a profit" in defense of that bank's decision to start charging the must-discussed and vilified $5.00 debit card fee. 

Ok, then.  Don't get me started on the fact that Bank of America was given free money by taxpayers in order to save that $hitty company from its horrible investments in the subprime mortgage market.  Yes, I know that  BOA repaid the TARP funds in full, but if not for the taxpayers of the United States of America, BOA would not still exist.  So, as a thank you for rescuing BOA from the grave and for insisting that the banking industry, you know, didn't continue to engage in predatory and reckless practices, they've decided to make you pay if you use your debit card as anything more than an ATM card.  And, please note, that as I understand it, you will NOT be charged the fee if you keep a minimum balance of something like $20,000.00.  Because BOA doesn't want to piss off the rich!  How silly would that be?!?  No, its you poor saps (like yours truly) that BOA wants to hit with the fee.  Read that again:  Bank of America is targeting the not-wealthy people -- the poor people -- with the fee that is designed to make it a profit

So, yeah, I guess that they have that right.  This is a capitalist country, after all.

And, in that vein, we as consumers have a right to not leave our money with Bank of America

Everyone!  If you bank with a huge multinational banking conglomerate -- Move Your Money!  There are dozens of banks in your area (whether it be Hillcrest or Little Rock or Arkansas, or another state) that will gladly let you house your money there and not charge you for checking or the use of a debit card for purchases.  Be a capitalist!  Or pretend to be one!  Use the better and cheaper product!

This is your public service announcement for today.  I hope you consider it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't feel much like blogging today

When I arrived at work this morning I discovered that a co-worker had been killed last night -- hit by a car driven by an 80-year old man who was driving shortly after dusk.  This, after another co-worker was murdered two Sundays ago.  Like two gut-shots, two very fine people are senselessly gone.  As you can imagine, my workplace today was somber and I'm just not feeling it.  I'll be back at you tomorrow night, perhaps.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday video - Pink Floyd

In honor of Rolling Stone not putting some half-dressed, teenage, talentless flash-in-the-pan on its cover for its most recent issue and instead going with a Pink Floyd cover, here's a little bit of that band's fantastic music.  This is pre-Dark Side of the Moon:

And this was taken from the 1994 Division Bell tour*.  Here's a great version of "Us and Them":

I was also always partial to Animals.  It is clearly the best album ever recorded using animals in an allegory about the human condition and human failings.  Well, at least since Pet Sounds ;)

*  I saw that tour, in Dallas, on April 28 of 1994, of that year with my good friends Andy, Carrie, and Constantino.  An unbelievable show.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday video - Fugazi

After taking a week off from posting videos, I'm back at it.  This time, how about something from Fugazi?

I saw Fugazi live in Little Rock at the Rivermarket pavilion ten years ago or so with my good friend MC Spookytooth.  I literally heard it on the radio on the way home from work that Fugazi was playing a show a couple of hours later and immediately called Spooky.  We met up shortly thereafter and reveled in the mosh pit and slam dancing*, which was made even better by Ian McKaye chastising the unruly crowd for acting like brainless, violent idiots.  How often do you get to see a hyper-literate, extraordinarily talented bandleader call out his core constituency for engaging in moronic behavior and have the targets of his derision love him even more for it?  A weird relationship, certainly.  Sufficed to say, the show was fantastic.

Here's another one of my favorites:

 One more? OK, twist my arm:

*  HillcrestBlogger was not one of the slam-dancing moshers.  I was not nearly in good enough shape ;)

Back after a long weekend

Well, as you can see from my lack of posts over the last handful of days, I've been a little busy.  It all started with my daughter running a fever on Thursday night, which segued into taking off on Friday to be home with her.  Then, Saturday presented a family baby shower for my wife in the morning, which bled into the Razorbacks/A&M game, which led to Saturday mid-afternoon (read: more football watching).  Sunday was chores and NFL, topped off by beers with my buddy Marco Sunday evening at the neighborhood pub.  And here we are.  Now that I've accounted for my whereabouts since Thursday night, here are some thoughts:

1.  The Hog game.  Wow.  Whoever is Texas A&M's offensive coordinator should first be fired, then drawn and quartered.  The Aggies could run at will all game long.  Why they didn't just run it 75 straight times is beyond me.  But they didn't and decided throw it, which led to some Hog chances and also lengthened the game.  Then, before you knew it, the Hogs D got a little better and made some timely plays while the Hog O geared it up and started scoring points.  By the time A&M went back to the run (after the Hogs took the lead), they failed to get a couple of yards when they needed it most -- on a 4th down play -- effectively ending the game. 

I've seen this phenomenon more times than I can count.  Some football coach (or, really, ANY sports coach) wants to do so many different things, "change things up", and look multi-dimensional, or whatever.  This, instead of what they REALLY should do, which is do that one thing they do best, over and over.  It was very clear very early on that A&M could run at will.  They didn't need to pass the football to win.  Sure, running the ball 75 times a game might get monotonous and bore the fanbase, but would the fanbase rather watch a somewhat-boring win or a multi-dimensional, exciting loss?  A&M fans know the answer to that*.

2.  So Bank of America is the worst company in the United States.  Well, there are others, but BOA is making the headlines with their recent announcement of the $5.00 monthly debit card fee.  The HillcrestBlog family has been transitioning out of BOA since the revelations about BOA's behavior leading up to and during the Great Recession (2008-current), but we still have a couple of random accounts there.  They are not used much and instead we retain them to sock away money into dedicated savings accounts.  At least we do now...maybe not for very much longer.  Instead, we moved our day-to-day banking to Delta Trust, a local, neighborhood bank.  So far, two years in, we're very happy**.  If anyone is listening, definitely move your money to a local bank and out of these huge Wall Street banking conglomerates.  Its better for the economy and you won't keep getting jerked around by the likes of BOA. 

3.  Ahhhh...the weather.

4.  Attention: runners.

5.  Mark your calendars, Hillcrest HarvestFest in two weekends!  Do you make a mean cheese dip

6.  Is this a movement?  I find it very interesting.  There's a website, but no real overriding organization.  What I do know is that Wall Street needs to be tamed.  Perhaps this is the beginning of something.  I guess we shall see.   

*  So do Nebraska fans.
**  Personal service, no phone trees, no lines at ATM machine, no lines at deposit window, no lines inside at teller window, easy and accessible on-line account and bill-pay, convenient location on Kavanaugh, etc.