mommaA few years ago, my friend Den and I did a podcast called The Chico Walker Show. One day in October 2010, Momma stopped by to offer some court-ordered Halloween safety tips…

ONCE AGAIN…I have called Amazon customer service to complain about what is becoming a regular occurrence. I am a Prime member, which is supposed to guarantee delivery in two days. BUT…Amazon sends the package “UPS SurePost,” which hands the package to the Post Office, which delivers it whenever they damn well feel like it.

The customer service person tells me that they’ve been receiving a lot of complaints about this. Good. Now I understand when something gets delayed by fate, hand of God, hurricane, whatever. I get that. And as it happens I don’t need the package today. That’s not the issue. The issue is that I’m paying $80 a year (recently bumped to $100, but I’ll be canceling before it renews) for a service Amazon is specifically NOT PROVIDING when they hand the package off to an outfit that doesn’t guarantee delivery in a specified time frame.

Can someone say “class action?” I mean really…I’m not one to get all legal on someone’s ass, but if a multinational corporation is ripping off hundreds of thousands of people by regularly not providing a service they specifically paid for, and it’s not a rare accident but corporate policy, what alternative is there?

I urge anyone and everyone runs into this issue to call Amazon and complain every time it occurs. Their customer service number is (866) 216-1072. If Amazon won’t listen to a soloist, maybe they’ll listen to the choir.

Shazbot

We are all unique. But most of us spend our lives as a cluster of dots on a graph, never entirely overlapping with anyone else, never really drifting free from the crowd.

Then there are the outliers: the folks who offer beauty and fire and sadness and insanity. The flowers in the garden. They reinforce our individuality by emphasizing their own. They take the pavement we give them and shade it with haystacks and sunflowers. They take the road and give it a place to go.

Beyond the outliers was Robin Williams.

1951-2014

1951 – 2014

The world is snow

The world is snow.

It has always been this way, and no one remembers a time when there was no snow. If all the snow were subtracted from the world, there would be nothing. Nothing but a beating heart yearning for snow. Snow is our essence. It is our fiber. It surrounds us, sustains us, mothers us, and overwhelms us. It grants us life. It steals our hopes, our dreams, our desires, and replaces them with snow.

And yet, I shoveled my walk.

Wonderful Christmastime, by Paul McCartney

The opening synthesizer riff of “Wonderful Christmastime,” symbolic of the song’s late-‘70s production era in the same way air raid sirens are symbolic of World War II, serves as kind of an early warning signal: “change the station,” it calls out. “Change the station before Paul lets us know that ‘the moon is right.’” And we do. Yet radio keeps playing it and shopping malls slather us in its goo as if doing so isn’t just one more excuse to shop online.

Bumble

Pic unrelated

It would be shocking, really, to consider that the guy who gave us “Live and Let Die” and “Maybe I’m Amazed”—and who was at least 25 percent of The Beatles—managed to scribble out, record, and actually release a song containing such lyrical damage as “The choir of children sing their song / ding dong, ding dong / ding dong, ding / ohhhh / ohhhhhhh,” and the phrase “simply having a wonderful Christmastime” repeated 75 times. Until, of course, you realize that Paul McCartney is the evil genius behind “Let ‘Em In” and “Silly Love Songs.” He’s also the guy who stole Stevie Wonder’s mojo—an artistic assault with a deadly weapon from which the latter has yet to recover, three decades later.

Clearly, although Sir Paul is a Music Legend with a Ton of Talent, he’s not infallible. “Wonderful Christmastime” serves as an argument in favor of middle management, because someone expendable needs to be able to tell the cash cow, “No.”
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No, thank you

A friend of mine who is also an NRA member once asked me, “If all your neighbors had guns, wouldn’t you feel safer?

I laughed out loud at the thought. Everyone in my neighborhood could kill me at a distance and that’s supposed to make me feel safer? I don’t think so. Beating each other with fists seems much more civilized, and I’d rather nurse a black eye in a pub than bleed out in the emergency room.

Don’t think I’ll ever understand the gun thing. And you know what? I’m fine with that.

High gun ownership makes countries less safe, US study finds

Gun Ownership and Firearm-related Deaths

I don’t know much about what happened the night of Feb. 26, 2012. I don’t know if anyone was a racist and I don’t give a crap about the skin color of those involved. I don’t know if one party was acting suspiciously or who decided to initiate a confrontation. I don’t know if one guy smoked weed or wanted to watch a game with his dad, or if one was a good family man or a tough guy with a gun. I don’t know about Stand Your Ground or Castle Doctrine or any of the other legal mumbo jumbo lawyers like to throw around.

What I do know is this: an armed civilian reported that he saw someone “suspicious” and was told by the dispatcher to leave the situation to the police. And there’s almost no scenario in which George Zimmerman follows those instructions and Trayvon Martin ends up dead.

Independence Day fun

A couple of videos from my Fourth of July. And what did you do?

In all seriousness, I can’t post this without saying that the staff at Trapeze School New York – Chicago was the best. The absolute best. Climbing 20-some feet in the air to swing from your knees—even with a tether and a net—involves a certain level of trust, and Jason, Birgit, and Scott were fun, cool, totally professional, and you can tell they enjoy what they do. Thank you!

Little video some of us put together at work. Don’t worry if you don’t understand it. It’s promoting an employee recognition program and that’s probably all the background you need. I recorded the vocals and play “Ryan Petecrest.”