Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Letter From Saba 02 14 2017 Happy Valentine’s Day from a sliver of paradise…

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  While I don’t have a specific Valentine, I do have many people to whom I would like to send Valentine’s greetings.  Consider them sent.

This is a day devoted to love.

Unless you live in Saudi Arabia where celebrating Valentine’s Day could get you into a whole lot of trouble.

When I was in grade school, we always sent everyone else in our class a Valentine’s Day card.  Years ago, I stumbled upon a cache of them and smiled at our cursive, much struggled over.  Now they don’t even teach cursive writing, which seems a shame.  Handwritten letters are such a joy to receive in this day of electronic communication.

At this minute, I am sitting on the deck outside my room at Selera Dunia, the little hotel on Saba where I am ensconced for the next few days.  It is owned by a Dutchman, Hemme, and his wife, and their raison d’être seems to be making me happy.  YES!  I’m all for that.

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It is decorated lavishly with objects they have brought back from their sojourns abroad, mostly from Indonesia but beneath me, I’m told, is a treasure trove from their time in Africa to be utilized when they add the next few rooms.

I slept wonderfully last night, my doors unlocked.  Crime has not crept onto Saba yet and may it long stay away.

Ah, but here I am, far away, in a crime free piece of Caribbean paradise while at home who knows what crimes are afoot?

Michael Flynn, the NSA Advisor to President Trump, has resigned after he seems to have had discussed our sanctions against Russia prior to the time when he should have and then misled Vice President Pence as to his actions.

MIC, a website devoted to news by millennials for millennials, wrote today that the crime, to them, in the Trump Administration seems not to be the crime itself but the crime of being caught. Is this what millennials are thinking about our government?

JFK was profoundly flawed in so many, many ways.  At least his words lifted us to some better place and inspired us.  Not so in these our Trumpian days when Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President, declared there would be a time when the President’s word would be absolute.

Seth Meyer mocked him, saying it could only be more frightening if he had said it in German.  And Stephen Miller is Jewish.

So, this is what millennials are seeing:  a young man [he’s 31] saying the President’s word will be absolute.  Do call me horrified.  There are three branches of government [as Trump, to his annoyance, is finding out].

Mitch McConnell is saying it’s “highly likely” there will be an investigation of Michael Flynn’s actions.  “Highly likely?”  Mitch, oh Mitch, my low opinion of you sinks even lower.  Had you said, “Absolutely,” I might have thought you were standing on the right side of history.  And you’re not.

Thanks to Lindsey Graham and a few other Republican Senators who are working to see this is not brushed under the rug until we know the truth.

The Ethics Office has suggested it would be appropriate for Kellyanne Conway to be disciplined for her “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” moment from the White House Briefing Room.  They felt it was tantamount to a TV commercial.  Let’s see if it happens.  Personally, think it should but…

If you are a millennial, you probably know PewDiePie, a Scandinavian YouTube star with millions and millions and millions of followers.  He’s been the hottest thing on the net for a few years now, making 14.5 million dollars last year.  He has deals with Disney and others and it’s all falling down today because he made some anti-Semitic jokes in his postings and Disney and YouTube are running in the other direction.

The sun is beginning to set; the mountain across from me is sun kissed at this moment, full of deep foliage and limitless green though now the island is beginning to move into its dry season.  Water is scarce.  My friends are taking what once was a pool and making it into a cistern for grey water to help with the plants.

Tonight, we are going down the hill to a BBQ joint in the little enclave that is their town.  Hygge.  More soon.

 

 

 

Letter From New York 08 25 2016 From the banks of Claverack Creek…

August 26, 2016

It has been a grey and gloomy day in Claverack, always threatening to rain but not managing it.  Tomorrow is also supposed to be this way though with more chance of rain.  I was out for a couple of meetings and errands and have been home since then working on a few projects, mostly getting ready to teach Public Speaking in the Fall at Columbia Greene Community College.

It is dark earlier now.  It is not yet 7:15 and the light is leaving quickly.  Behind me is the thrum of the dishwasher; otherwise there is silence.  I told a friend I woke up happy, which I did.

As I lived my quiet day, rescuers in Italy searched the ruins left by a lethal earthquake, looking for survivors as the clock ticks the chances away. Aftershocks rattled them as they searched. At least 250 are dead and another 350+ injured. A Polish immigrant living in the town of Amatrice, said she will remember until she dies “the evil murmur of moving walls.”

Those who have debilitating allergies often carry EpiPens with them, a now common safety device.  Mylan, the company that makes them, has raised the price dramatically as a generic alternative will become available in the not too distant future.  Apparently, this is not unusual for drug companies to wring the last round of profits from a medicine in the months before a generic alternative becomes available.

It happened to me, a few years ago.  Something I was taking suddenly skyrocketed in price and I had to switch to an alternative.

Nine years ago, an EpiPen cost $47, today, $284.  No wonder there is an outcry.  And the EpiPen, it seems, was developed by the US Department of Defense as something for soldiers in the field to use for nerve gas and then it was discovered it worked on allergies.

Congress is talking an investigation.  I have friends who carry them.  In the meantime, people who need them maybe are being out priced from having them.

I love nights like this.  Outside the floodlights illuminate the creek.  Beatrice, my ever growing banana plant, continues her climb to the ceiling.  And I enjoy the tranquility of the cottage.

The Chairman of Vice Media, Shane Smith, who runs the digital behemoth that has attracted investment from Disney and Fox, says that a “digital media crisis is coming.”  Yes, it is.  It has been for twenty years now, growing slowly until it now has become the crisis no one can avoid.  When I was, long ago and far away, working in the cable business no one in broadcasting thought of us as a menace, until we were.  So with digital… It was not a menace, until it was…  The crisis is here and has been from almost the moment it began but media has been an ostrich in the sand.

The political campaigns go on.  I don’t pay much attention right now.  Trump has accused Hillary of being a bigot.  She’s done the same to him.  The beat goes on.  It will until it is over.

Nigel Farage, once head of UKIP and a leader in BREXIT, campaigned today with Trump, basically endorsing him for President.  I am not sure that is going to mean much to Trump’s core constituency…  Or maybe it will mean a lot to that constituency.

As I have been writing this, an email came in.  Vidya, wife of my friend Tim Sparke, let me know he passed away yesterday afternoon.  He waged a remarkable war for years against brain tumors and is now gone.

Hats off, Tim.  You worked to stay for your children and your wife and you went on longer than any of us would have dreamt that you could.  You would not give up.  I was changed by knowing you.  When I was remarkably low eleven years ago you did your best to raise my spirits and cause me to laugh.

You were a generous spirit.  Since you have been sick and I have been going to church, I have been lighting a candle for you and I will again this weekend, to celebrate the wonderful moments we had together, the generosity you gave me and the spirit you were in this world.

 

 

Letter From New York 06 17 15 On the meaning of unlimited and other things…

June 18, 2015

It is a sunny Wednesday afternoon, with just a bit of haze, as I ride the train toward Hudson, to spend a few days at the house. I’ve been moving from meeting to meeting to meeting the last couple of weeks and I have a ton of follow-up work to do and I thought, why not do it on the deck at the cottage rather than office in New York City? So I am off for four days to organize my life and enjoy the view from my deck.

It’s been a pleasant day, a couple of meetings and a phone call and then off to Penn Station to catch the 2:20. I’ll get home, change clothes, refresh a bit and then head down to the Red Dot for dinner with my friend, David, who is spending part of every week in the Berkshires helping his ex-wife deal with her husband’s terminal stage Alzheimer’s. He likes to take a mid-week break and come down to Hudson for dinner. It’ll be nice to join him and catch up, not having seen him for a few weeks.

At Penn Station, I dropped a worn slipper at Drago’s Shoe Repair for a stitch job. It is going to cost twenty-five bucks, which is about twice what the slippers cost but they’re my favorite pair. It is interesting what we do for things we have come to love.

Last fall, I spent the money to have a desk made by my grandfather repaired. It just seemed so wrong to let it go. My home is filled with things with meaning and I like to say that everything I own, pretty much, has a story. There are three wooden plaques I purchased as a young teenager in the market in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and a settee that my mother napped on as a little girl.

Speaking of things we treasure, it was 130 years ago today that the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York harbor, carried on a ship into New York in 300 pieces. Once assembled, it has become a national treasure and a forceful symbol of all that America hopes to be.

In an unexpected happy ending to a story that hit the press last week, Disney has decided not to terminate 35 employees whose last task for the company was to train their replacements, lower cost overseas employees provided by an outsourcing company. If they didn’t, they would not receive severance.

Mickey Mouse was making out like Simon Legree.

Word leaked out. An investigation was announced. The layoffs were rescinded. No one at Disney nor the outsourcing company is returning calls. The employees are told to act as if nothing had happened. Until further notice.

That sounds a little ominous: until further notice. Until the hoo hah has settled down?

I wish this were a happy story but it’s not. European leaders seem to be battening down the hatches and preparing for the “Grexit,” Greece departing from the Euro Zone. There is a meeting tomorrow but it is doubtful an agreement will be reached. As Bette Davis said as Margo Channing in “All About Eve, ” “Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” I am not sanguine about it though there is nothing I can really do. It feels a bit like a crisis that didn’t need to be, to me, at least.

As all of us know by now, I suppose, Donald Trump has jumped into the race for the Republican Presidential nomination saying he will restore “America’s Brand.” Jon Stewart is delighted. This, he says, will make his last six weeks his best six weeks.

Trump will provide many a comic with interesting fodder though Stewart will be the sharpest critic of them all, I suspect.

At some point I signed up for AT&T Wireless. Part of the reason was the promise of unlimited data. Then in 2011, AT&T began to throttle that data after a certain point of consumption. I was one of millions of unhappy customers though not so unhappy I changed companies. But it rankled. Today the FCC fined AT&T $100,000,000 for having “unlimited” that was not “unlimited.” I smiled.

I’ll be signing off for today. We’re on the last leg into Hudson. The Catskills are covered in a blue grey haze while the river resembles burnished silver. It’s been a lovely ride home.