Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that." ~ Bill Shankly, Scottish Football (Soccer) Coach, 1913-1981

Today. It's Thursday, June 18, 2015, and I'm thinking some this morning about several different things. First of all, last Monday evening I broke one of my cardinal rules by staying past my bedtime with Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Championship between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was one of those games that I just couldn't turn off. People who do not care for ice hockey should watch that game. Chicago won the game and the championship, winning 4 games to 2. It was about as hard fought as any I have ever seen. I knew it would mess with my sleep cycle, being all keyed up, and I was still tossing around in the bed at 10:30 p.m. I suppose it is good that we don't have HBO. This means I don't watch Game of Thrones. The makers of this very popular series made a huge number of their dedicated fans very angry when they killed off one of their main characters. The angry fans were lighting up Twitter, Facebook and any other outlet they could respond on. One fellow was looking forward to next season when he said: "On the first episode there had better be a dream sequence where this death is only a dream. If not, there could be consequences." That may not be the exact quote but it was something along those lines. People care. Obviously. It's a TV program. The characters don't really exist. It's make believe folks. Make believe. I don't want to ruin your day but Old Yeller, the dog, dies in the movie. Sorry. It was rabies. I think I may have shed a tear the first time I saw that movie.

The folks who oversee federal employee personnel management were called before a Congressional committee the other day to answer questions about how that more than 4 million government employees had their sensitive information stolen. I caught a little of that hearing. It could have passed for a sitcom on TV except for the fact that people, their identities and their families could be harmed as a result of the compromise of these hacked records. I found the fellow representing the audit division of our government to have been very condemnatory. According to him the casual way this particular division had operated year after year almost made this type of breach a certainty. Inadequate controls, inadequate oversight, and a failure to do even the minimum to protect employee records was a part of the annual inspection review for several years in a row. In fact, one of the ways the audit team described the situation went like this. This department was like a homeowner who leaves every door and window in their house wide open all the time hoping that no one would ever choose to come in. Wow! There were about six high ups being interviewed. They should keep a tape of this one. It can be used for instructional purposes. The title: Expert Guide in How to Pass the Buck. (The buck was very tired from being passed so much.) Wide open doors and windows. I've heard it all now. That's even worse than we might have thought. Oh yeah, one final thought. The most highest up of all the high ups was asked directly if anyone had been disciplined, suspended, or fired for this colossal mishap. Her response came in almost a whisper: "No. No one, sir."

Google occasionally gets me mixed up with someone else. Recently, they thought I was from Canada. I've always wanted to visit Canada. In fact, if I had a bucket list I might have Canada on it. I don't have one so there you go. At any rate, they like to show me the latest news from our northern neighboring country. I change it from Canada back to the USA and it shows me the news I want but next time I open it up, there it is, Canada again. I suppose with all this stuff going on regarding folks like Google spying, well, maybe it's a good thing they don't know me that well. I know the Canadians call sneakers runners, and they call a filling station where petrol is served up a gasbar, and cream for coffee is referred to as whitener. If you hear me using some of those kinds of Canadianisms don't panic. I'll just be trying to keep up my new identity. Of course the one I used to hear when I talked to them regularly some time ago was their constant ending of nearly every statement with Eh? Meaning right? As in, "You're not really Canadian, eh?" Take care now, you hear? May God bless each one. Amen.  ....More later.

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