Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swamp Thing; Athens v. Sparta; White House and Salary Control; Texting Ban

Well, not too much to report. Last night Jamie made us a chicken dinner (bueno) and we watched Ryan's DVD copy of the 1982 cult B movie classic, The Swamp Thing. That movie is fantastically bad, but still sort of entertaining. It kind of reaches that point where it's worth watching just to see how the awfulness plays out. I don't know if there's a Mystery Science Theater version of this movie somewhere or a Rifftracks version, but if there's not, there should be (we were sort of doing this ourselves last night).
In other news, my friend Charlie Roadman's group, Athens v. Sparta, is playing tomorrow night at the Cactus Cafe. They have an unusual sort of thing going on. Their album tells the tale of the Peloponnesian War, including some voiceover narration and some really cool music. Those of you who want to see something really unique, different, and cool shoudl check it out. Tomorrow night at the Cactus Cafe at 8:00 o'clock on the UT campus.
What else? The White House is taking steps to order pay cuts for 175 top executives at some of the companies that received large amounts of taxpayer funded bailout funds. I'm cool with that. There are some people talking about how this might have bad consequences in terms of these employees leaving to go work for other companies (who didn't take bailout money and are, therefore, theoretically able to pay more), but if other companies are willing to spend a whole lot more money to recruit employees from firms who performed so badly that they needed a huge taxpayer bailout, then let them hire these people. I don't care. The buck has to stop somewhere, and it's ridiculous that many of these executives are receiving huge salaries and bonuses right after their companies had to be rescued from collapse by a taxpayer bailout. The audacity of these firms continues to amaze me. I don't see why they're paying exorbitant salaries to these people for their supposed genius, especially when they really weren't even able to keep their companies afloat.
Also, Austin passed a ban on texting while driving this week. In theory I think this is a great idea. In practice, I don't see how it will really be enforceable. The ban prohibits a person from sending messages, surfing the internet, etc., while driving (but not while stopped), but it doesn't sound like it's going to prevent a person from dialing the phone while driving. I'm not sure how all of the other phones out there work, but on my iPhone you use the same touch screen for dialing purposes that you would use for texting. One click of a button and the screens close, so if a person has any suspicion whatsoever that they're being pulled over for illegal use of their phone, it seems like they could just close their browser and that the officer would be unable to tell whether they were engaged in legal or banned activity.
I think that texting while driving is dangerous, and I support efforts to curb it, but I just don't think this law really has any teeth.
Well, that's all for now. Hope this Austin weather holds up and that all of you Austin folks get a chance to go enjoy it!

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