You Want Fries With That?

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It’s being reported that a child was left in a local McDonalds restaurant restroom this morning here in Charlotte.  Go read the article first and then come back.

Finished?  Here’s my problem with the story.  In North Carolina, it’s legal for the mother to hand over her newborn  child, up to 7 days old to any complete stranger who’s responsible and walk away.

Any complete stranger.

Think about that for just a second.  Now I don’t mind having this law and to some extent think it’s a good idea.  Wouldn’t it be a better idea though for them to hand the kid over to, or, oh I don’t know, maybe a hospital or a police officer or maybe even walk over to the local fire station and hand the child off there?  How about a church?  Or a school?  Or heck how about a bank branch since we’re here in Charlotte?

Nope, not here in North Carolina.  It’s legal to drop the kid off at a pool hall with the bartender or the stripper working the table dances.  Or the homeless guy sleeping on the bench?  Or how about the parking attendant working the booth?  Or the McDonalds store manager who’s trying to get folks through the drive thru first thing in the morning?  Or how about the bus driver? (Actually that’s legal here in North Carolina as well.) The baggage clerk at the Greyhound station?  Heck, Bush is a responsible adult under North Carolina law.

Look, I’m glad the child’s being taken care of or hopefully will be but I have a problem with a wide open loophole like that.  Sure, there are a lot of responsible people out there who would do anything for that kid or any other child dropped into their lap.  But let’s make sure about it, OK?  I would think that would be a better idea.

Image from Calm Your Screaming Baby.

College Alums Get the Blahs

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So here you are, the president of a university’s alumni association and you’ve got to raise some bucks for your school.  Of course with money being tight and everybody worried about their own situation, you’ve got to do it in such a way that will get noticed and folks will respond in a positive way. (ie Send you the money.)

What do you do?  You send out a letter with the word “blah” in there 137 times.

Not the letter 137 times of course.  The word “Blah.”  As in “With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even
more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,”

The school has stated that the September 5th letter was an attempt to inject a little
20-something humor into the effort to raise money for its Legacy Fund.  Of course the college’s advancement office quickly apologized when the MetroWest Daily News brought it to their attention, saying the letter’s attempt at humor was misguided. (Don’t they always.)

But hey, guess what?  It worked.  The school collected about $2,000 from
nearly 40 alumni who had never donated to the school before.  In exchange though, some alumni said they found the letter insulting, unprofessional and ridiculous.

Was it worth it?  Gotta admit 2 grand isn’t that much.

Picture from here.

Can We Beat It With a Stick?

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The stick has been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame recently along with the Baby Doll and the skateboard.  It was chosen for “its all-purpose, all-natural, no-cost qualities and its ability to
serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed by
imaginations into something else.”

Of course you can always find a stick up someone’s ass if you need one.

Hattip: Sheldon which I posted about recently.

So Does Your Vote Really Count?

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I’m sure you’ve read it elsewhere, but they’re still counting votes for the senate race up in Minnesota with the race between Al Franken and current Senator Norm Coleman.  The current totals, which are going up and down with the tally, rests at about 220 votes between the two of them.

Think about that for just a second.  There were nearly three million votes cast for the seat and we have a difference of just 220 votes.  That’s less than one one-hundredth of a percentage point.  Or, to put it another way, a penny compared to a hundred dollar bill.

It was a bit larger but they found 100 votes in one county cast for Mr. Franken that were missed due to a typo.  And the state is having problems with the voting machines.  Note the 870 comments on that one.  The absentee ballots are giving them trouble as well.

I have to admit that I didn’t hold out much hope for Mr. Franken when I first heard he was running. (Hmmm, I thought I had something bookmarked on that.  Oh well.  I’ll find it later.) But then again it is Minnesota.

Barney Expresses His Own Opinion of the Election

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Well, I guess Barney’s upset that the Republicians pretty much lost the election.  He took out his anger on Jon Dekker, a member of the White House Press Corp from Reuters.

Maybe, as First Lady Laure Bush put it, “he was done with the paparazzi.”

He’s probably lucky Dick Cheney didn’t shoot him. 🙂

As an aside, what Barney was probably concerned about what all that stuff in the reporter’s left hand.

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Do You Have Your Converter Box Yet?

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I was reading this article on the WSOC website about the pending change from analog television signal to a digital one starting on February 17th, 2009.  That’s only a couple of months away.  After that date, local television states will only broadcast a digital signal.  At least that’s what’s planned for here in the United States.

The cool thing is that the government is printing up these coupons where you can basically get a converter box for a small amount of money.  Neat, right?  Never mind that they’re spending tax money to support businesses and all that.

Here’s the problem.  The change over occurs on February 17th, right?  As I read the article, the coupons won’t be going out until the converter boxes are in stores.  No problem with that but the boxes themselves aren’t due until “the end of February or first of March.

Anyone else concerned about the boxes not being available until after the change over occurs?

Christian Children’s Fund Rejects the Goodwill of RolePlaying Gamers

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Stories like this trouble me.  Every year GenCon, what’s probably the largest annual gaming convention, holds a charity auction for the sponsored charity that year.  Two years ago, it was Make-A-Wish.  Last year it was Christel House International.

This year, the charity was supposed to be Christian Children’s Fund. They were chosen by Gary Gygax‘s estate because he had supported the organization previously.  Some folks state that they were his favorite charity.  Instead they turned down the money as well as their status as official charity.

It’s being reported that the organization turned down the money because they felt the money would have been tainted since it was coming from gamers and from the sales of gaming material, specifically Dungeons and Dragons material.  Or as Rich Burlew puts it “puts an irrevocable taint of evil on the filthy lucre that us demon-worshipping gamers might want to use to, say, donate to starving children.”

Now there’s two sides to this story of course along with some gray area.  CCF is stating they they turned down the position because of misuse of their logo.  Not sure why they couldn’t work with GenCon to straighten out the mess nor do we know what these other reasons were because the logo misuse but that is their response.  Folks are also stating that they’ll never give the organization another cent while others are suggesting that we should all remain calm and hope and pray that things will work out.   Others are quesioning their “Christian” status.

But then we have the gray area.  Folks seem to be forgetting that GenCon is currently being sued for an outstanding donation by LusasArts for the Make-A-Wish Auction a couple of years back.

Who’s right and who’s wrong?  Well the money this year went to Fisher House Foundation and they received almost twice what was raised the previous year.  CCF’s response really sounds like butt covering and damage control to me but they may have had an issue with the use of their logo.  We don’t really know and chances are we’ll probably never know.  They have every right to reject and and all donations that they receive.  Politicians do this all the time.  Of course nothing was stopping them from taking the money and keeping their mouths shut.

Me?  I’m just impressed that I actually wrote an actual blog post.  Even with that annoying bug screwing up the editor.  How often do you see that?

Image taken from here.

edit: There’s an interesting thread on the Giant in the Playground forums that’s worth a read.  And, yes, I’m aware that there’s a number of typos in the Post.  I’ll fix them later when I have the time.