Monday, September 28, 2009

A Soldier's Story...

Staff Sgt. Evelyn Pollard, a Combat Medic and instructor, is completing a tour of duty in Iraq next month. She posted the following observations on her blog, "Queen of Everything."

We don't often hear from our female soldiers, so, I've posted her experiences and challenges in her own words:

(P.S. She's also my granddaughter.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Infomation or Information?

My sister teases me about my near-obsession for researching any topic--from a sixties TV actor to the pitfalls of bank transfers.

I love the immediacy and availability of millions of pages of information. The task? Wade through them to find accurate, up-to-date, and well-researched data. No easy job. How can you determine who or what is a credible source?

Just as words take on importance on the printed page, web sources (including blogs) might be considered authoritative just because they're on the Internet.

According to free access advocates, the beauty of the web is that new voices can be heard. I agree to some extent; however, a source should have either the education, experience, or personal knowledge that lends weight to a viewpoint or assertion.

Better yet, seek multiple sources to broaden the scope of research or to uncover various aspects of complex issues or problems.

Otherwise, surf wisely and learn.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just the Fax, Please

I was in Office Max recently, and noticed a sign announcing:

"Local fax: $1.25 per page"
"Long distance fax: $1.75"

I wondered, why the cost was so high. Paper is cheap and the fax is sent for the price of a telephone call. Likewise, I'm sure that Office Max has unlimited local and long distance calling (and paper).

Shortly thereafter, a man wanted to fax some tax papers. He looked surprised when the clerk told him the price per page. Nonetheless, he handed over the small stack of papers.

"Let me estimate the cost for you," she said. She quickly calculated the cost for faxing 13 one-sided copies: $17.25.

Stunned into silence, the man gathered his papers and left without a word.

I remember when it was de rigueur to have a fax machine at home. However, with the advent of e-mails and attachments, fax machines became obsolete. Most are primarily in copy shops.

I'm not sure where the customer will go to get his documents faxed. On the job, perhaps?

But he seemed to agree that paying close to $20.00 for faxing was too much.

Have you had similar experiences with what seems like over-pricing? Leave your comments.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Liar, Liar, House on Fire...

The uproar over Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's health care speech to Congress continues. And it should.

Wilson's behavior was disrespectful and unbecoming. Nonetheless, it is indicative of the ways that our Commander-in-Chief is maligned and put-down by some Republicans, right-wing organizations, and conservatives in media.

Wilson probably said publicly what many politicians and anti-Obama zealots have said or are saying behind closed doors. I can't shake the feeling that lots of powerful (white) men resent having to defer to the nation's (black) leader.

Despite public criticism of Wilson, I'm sure there was some fist-pumping around the country among those whose intention is make sure that Obama is a one-term president.