So-Called Watch

An attorney has sued over use of so-called as an adjective modifying his profession and his practice thereof:

Elderly Schenectady (NY) lawyer Romolo Versaci has filed a $100,000 defamation suit against Diane C. Richie, an unemployed social worker and widow with two children. Versaci claims — and Richie admits — that she called him a “so-called attorney” on a message board. …

I wonder if I can get in on some of the action.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Pachyderm Blogging VI

Lindsey Graham? I never would have guessed from his vocals on “Big Love” that he had a southern accent.

United America? I daresay not. We are the United States of America, you politico. We shall not dissolve the electoral college, nor will we let the majority of Americans rule this country.

I thought they said you were from North Carolina. Sounds like a Washingtonian sentiment to me.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

I Got Your Live Blogging Right Here

Sitting in the den with a laptop as you curse your wireless connection? Pah! You’re a piker.

Me, I’m sitting in my office. I’ve deployed the T1 for its ultimate purpose: streaming media. I’ve got the eMac fired up and running the CSPAN live feed while I sit here and blog on my primary Windows machine.

Face it. You are a poor geek. Bow to me!

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Pay The Surcharge, Chicken

The corporate world proves B.F Skinner right once again. Our local Pizza Hut charges seventy-five cents for deliveries now, a cost it just appends to the top of your coupon and the tax. It doesn’t break out the cost nor publicize it anywhere, but you’re probably paying it.

Thanks to the phone companies, wireless companies, and all other companies who have accustomed consumers to surcharges, bogus taxes, and costs of businesses so that the advertised price represents purely the profit, and everything else is extra.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Mail Call

  • Another Monday, another 5 unsolicited credit card offers, including 3 separate campaigns from Citibank. Gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to return your business reply envelopes with the terms of your offer, but not application. I consider it my small part to keep first class postal rates down and to raise your cost per customer acquisition for these campaigns.
  • A plea for money from George Bush. Look, George, I’ve given money, we’re probably going to give up time and lawnspace for the campaign, but if you want more cash, you’re going to have to send a picture of your daughters.

    For this gambit to be effective, make sure that’s addressed to Mr. Brian and not Mrs. Heather (or, as she might be again known shortly after reading this post, Miss HLI, in which case I won’t have any money to give anyway).

  • An offer for AOL 9.0 Optimized, which proclaims right on the box, Block Spam and Web Pop-Ups. As someone who’s logged into AOL 9.0 on a dial-up recently, I certainly notice the oversight that new customers won’t: Web Pop-Ups doesn’t say a damn thing about the six or ten AOL offers that display whenever you try to log in or log out. Those? Still in there.

    An overly expensive dial-up ISP that delivers its own ads to enhance my (slow) browsing experience? Throwing this out unopened is too good for this small box.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Cheer Up, You’re Still Going to Die

A man, diagnosed with HIV in 1996, discovers it was an error. Relieved? Happy? Thrilled with his reprieve? What are you thinking?

Earlier this month, Malone, 59, was summoned to his doctor’s office. He listened as the doctor delivered the stunning news: He is HIV negative. The doctor acknowledged the error, writing in a letter dated Aug. 4: “As his primary care provider, I take full responsibility.”

“He told me, ‘We made a very big mistake. We did not do our job,’ ” said Malone, who is gay and has lost friends to AIDS. “I said, ‘You mean to tell me that all you have to say is you are sorry? Sorry that I lived for all this time believing I was going to die?’ “

How about “Sorry” and “You can keep the free parting gifts” which included:

His rent was paid in part by a county health program. Project Open Hand delivered free meals. A nurse visited him at home every two weeks.

Undoubtedly, he’s more relieved than the story presents, but then the article goes into a riff about:

His misdiagnosis is rare but undisputed and shows the far-reaching damage wrought by medical mistakes and the potential for flaws in burdened health care systems.

Who’s responsible? Well, since Malone’s a vet, it’s an example of government efficiency in health care:

Officials at the Oakland Department of Veterans Affairs’ outpatient clinic where he was treated admit the mistake and have launched an investigation into what went wrong and how the error was perpetuated year after year. VA officials were taken by surprise by the Aug. 4 letter in which the doctor accepted blame and admitted the error. Malone’s physician, Dr. Richard Karp, was not available to comment as the case is under investigation.

Karen Pridmore, a spokeswoman for VA’s Northern California Health Care System, which has eight clinics and a medical center and serves more than 65, 000 patients, said Malone had arrived at the clinic in 1996 with lab results from an outside testing firm in Southern California. Those results showed he was HIV positive. The VA did its own confirmatory HIV test on Malone and found he was negative.

Will this albeit anecdotal evidence silence calls for socialized medicine, which I don’t doubt the San Francisco Chronicle supports?

Of course not. Undoubtedly, they would have the rest of the government do it better, by….Well….Erm….

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Et Tu, American Greetings?

A family member bought this card for the punchline, but didn’t realize that she wasn’t part of the niche market this card serves.

The cover:

Cover of birthday card.
Click for full size

Weapons of Mass Destruction. Money.

The inside:

Inside birthday card.
Click for full size

Two things you won’t find inside this birthday card.

Okay, I can see some humor in that, well, more an attempt at humor, but something. And then there’s the back:

Back of birthday card.
Click for full size

A caricature of George W. Bush, saying “Trust me, they’re there.”

So what’s your point, “American” Greetings?

I suppose they’re trying to cater to a hip urban crowd who’s swallowed the load that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction because those that have been found were just about destruction, not about destroying Catholic worship cermonies.

I’ve never paid much attention to greeting card manufacturers, but I know that the maker’s name is listed right above the price, and I’ll buy my 149 cards from Hallmark now, thanks.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories