Monthly Archives: November 2010

Tonight is our dress rehearsal.  We’ve just been through a weekend and Monday of arduous tech rehearsals where every (and I mean every) lighting, music, dancing, set, prop, and speaking cue is set just right, and recorded.  It is during this period of time when you question why you auditioned back in September, and you find yourself saying “I’m not going to do this again next year.”  But, after you actually have the gratification of doing the show 18 times, you find yourself a little more amenable to the idea.  It’s addictive.

We’ve made nearly all the adjustments that need to be made (I say nearly, because a ton of notes will be generated by the director tonight, and more adjustments will be made), so tonight we’ll run it just like a show, and probably in front of a good-sized crowd – we invite folks from other churches’ drama groups in to see it, along with family and friends of cast and crew.

I’ve been taking some more random shots of things and people – mostly, they’re taken with my iPhone, so the low-light settings are kind of grainy.

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Back in July, New York state lawmakers increased the excise tax on a pack of cigarettes to $4.35 per pack.  This insult, on top of New York City’s $1.50 per pack tax, brought the price of a pack of Marlboros to $11.60 – and as much as $14.00 in some shops.  As a reasoning man might expect,

f6 are famous for their short filters

Image via Wikipedia

this caused a change in smoker behavior in New York.

However, it’s not exactly causing the change that state officials had guessed.  Instead of quitting, New York smokers are going to the black market to get their cigarettes, and it’s costing New York as much as $20 million per month in tax revenues.  Sales of legal cigarettes are down about 36% compared to the period before the tax increase.

Read more at Fox Business News.

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Michael Snyder writing at Daily Markets describes through 11 statistics just how far the U. S. economy has fallen in the last four years.  This is a bit depressing, given that the current administration’s policies aren’t going to help things get any better any time soon (and may make it worse). Here are the first five from his article:

#1 In November 2006, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.  Today, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate has been at 9.5 percent or greater for more than a year.

#2 At Thanksgiving back in 2006, 26 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, there are over 42 million Americans on food stamps and that number is climbing rapidly.

#3 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.  Median household income declined the year before that too.  Meanwhile, prices have continued to rise throughout that period.

#4 At the end of the third quarter in 2006, 47 banks were on the FDIC “problem list”.  At the end of the third quarter in 2010, 860 banks were on the FDIC “problem list”.

#5 California home builders began construction on 1,811 homes during the month of August, which was down 77% from August 2006.

Read the rest at Daily Markets

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Between work on GCN (tech and dress rehearsals today through Tuesday; shows start Wednesday and run through Sunday night), and my job, the workout schedule is going to suffer in the next two weeks.  Getting one last rowing and bodyweight workout in before tech rehearsal at 4:00 PM today.

8,045m rowed

25 pullup

75 pushup

25 chinup

50 perfect pushup

Elapsed time 54:07

From the Wall Street Journal’s Metropolis blog:

Service Employees International Union
Image via Wikipedia

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

This borders on comical, given that the SEIU put much money and resource into getting ObamaCare passed.  Be careful what you wish for.  Oh, and if you read to the bottom of the article, you’ll see that the union wants to dump the newly uncovered folks on the state of New York.  Typical.  “We take care of our own in the unions, until it costs too much.”

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Her memo to parents stated the writing instruments could be “used to make weapons.”  I suppose, if you really wanted to hurt

Pencils - or, stabbing tools.

someone, you could stab them in the neck with a pen or pencil, but I’m not sure what sort of “weapon” you could make from them. What makes her effort even more stupid is the fact that she would be supplying pencils in class.  Uhhhh, what?  How are those pencils different from the ones the kids would be bringing?

Thankfully, the school system in North Brookfield Massachusetts didn’t have anything to do with the teacher’s silly pronouncement. She did it all be her stupid self.

via Gizmodo