Monday, August 10, 2009

Bako bits: From cash to clunkers to breakfast and email in the morning and a recurring rumor about cell phone privacy

Starting off a new week and bracing for a return of temperatures above 100, cleaning off the desktop. Some short takes around our community:

* ... CASH FOR CLUNKERS BUT WHAT TO BUY? Have a friend who is looking for a specific model of new car, is ready to plunk down $25,000 and change in a cash deal but - surprise! - the local dealer doesn't have the car. Turns out this is happening a lot lately between the success of the "cash for clunkers" program and the dealers' natural tendency to reduce inventory in a slow sales period. There's just not a lot of choose from, particularly in economy and hybrid models. And it's apparently happening all over. Last night NBC Nightly News had a story on the exact same problem: folks who are ready to buy just can't find the cars on the lot. (photo courtesy of Fox News)

* .... FACEBOOK WITH YOUR CEREAL: Fascinating story in today's New York Times about the changing habits of readers and families. The piece focused on how so many people (not only young folk) are now in the habit of checking email, Facebook and Twitter first thing in the morning, much as they used to spend time with their local newspaper. (read the entire story here) Not that folks aren't still reading their papers, but this is all about time management and priorities, and it's amazing how our personal habits have changed in such a short period. Ask yourself: how long did it take you to check email or Facebook after you awoke this morning?

* ... FACING DOWN OVER HEALTHCARE: Amazing to watch the healthcare debate unfold in America and the partisan lines drawn on both sides. The left dismisses the folks showing up at the congressional town hall meetings as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy being orchestrated by talk radio, while the other side blames the left for failing to listen. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonen makes a good argument in the Wall Street Journal that you ignore these folks at your own peril (read her column here) while Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein takes the other view. (Read his piece here) Draw your own conclusions but don't forget to keep your mind open.

* ... CELL PHONE PRIVACY: Meanwhile this is about the fourth time in the past two years that I have gotten emails from friends warning me that my private cell phone number is about to be turned over to marketers. This is a recurring urban myth that needs to be put to rest once and for all. Read the Snopes piece on it here.

1 comment:

Barbara Reid said...

Yes, Richard--I "do it" before my coffee!

As for "failing to listen" to those protesting health care reform...I am listening but not hearing many educated questions. Too many falling into the category of "Medicare recipients who don't want government involvement" that are downright embarrassing.

The episodes of violence/anger don't help the cause for "open-mindedness" at all. One thing is clear--we need more education about health care and end of life issues in this country.