July 4th Weekend Eve

Hmm, so Wednesday night, I finally watched the thing that tv people have been talking about: “Dancing With the Stars.” Eh, what’s the big deal? . These aren’t even real stars – more like B or C (dare I even say D) list stars. On the other hand, it’s been strange fun. John O’Hurley (a.k.a. J. Peterman of Seinfeld) is a real ham. Joey McIntyre, the ex-New Kid on the Block, is still cute (while Donnie Wahlberg and Mark (“Marky Mark”) Wahlberg are the Actors, Joey was always the cute one; I think he ought to be on tv more often – quirky dramedies would fit him – he was decent on “Boston Public” before that show went south; maybe he should show up on “House” as the latest patient with the mystery illness). (well, yeah, I was in the generation that thought the New Kids on the Block was The Boy Band).

ABC has the sense to pull the planned (and panned) reality series “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” As per the commercials, ABC was going to allow this cul-de-sac of white Christian middle class folks to pick their new neighbor – (a) the Asian family (unclear if it was an Asian-American family, or Asian family); (b) a family that identified itself as Wiccan; (c) an African-American family; (d) a family of punk people; or (e) a pair of male gay parents and their adopted children. ABC said whatever the families did would not run foul of the U.S. Fair Housing Act (the legislation prohibiting discriminiation in housing, on the basis of race, religion, national origin, etc. (with the exception of sexual orientation, but don’t worry, state and local laws get to cover that). But, the idea of the show offended the senses (yeah, watch the WASPS’s try to explain why they rejected the families (“They just don’t fit in…”) – no, really?).

Slate explores why, of the journalists being threatened with jail time for not revealing their sources, hasn’t the man, Robert Novak, who revealed the CIA agent’s identity going to jail…

Duty, Jury, Pay

Thanks folks for the comments. I’ve been a bit busy as you will see below. Skype or me and I’ll walk you through this.

I had jury duty on Wednesday at Supreme Court, Civil Division. This is your garden variety potpouri type of general jurisdiction court. After about 4 hours of hemming and hawing, I got picked for an auto accident case. It won’t actually start until next Thursday, when hopefully the case will settle out after 6 years.

We also got our raise letters today, which were on the high side for not-for-profit work, but measly against the private sector. I thought it was good, some others were jumping for joy, and others were not happy.

I bought the Chowhound’s Guide to the New York Tristate Area. Incredibly awesome – the website distilled into a book. The indices in the back of the book are vital, because the categories in the main section are as arbitrary as New York Press’ Best of New York issue.

For those trying to figure out where to go to write, here is the link.

Tuesday into Wednesday

The latest conversation on the US Supreme Court up on Slate – really interested. I liked Prof. Tim Wu’s analysis of the Ten Commandments and the Grokster cases – that you have Breyer and O’Connor concerned about our maintaining manners – extremes are bad.

The passing of Shelby Foote, the writer/commentator on Ken Burn’s “Civil War.”

The NY Times’ Sewell Chan on the latest plans to change the rules of conduct in the subways:

Moving between cars – as well as resting one’s feet on the seats, sipping from an open container (even a cup of coffee) and straddling a bicycle while riding the subway – will be prohibited under a new set of passenger rules adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s transit committee yesterday, the first such rule changes since 1994.

While riding between cars is already forbidden, managers at the authority said they wanted to make clear that even quickly darting from one car to another while the train is in motion is dangerous.

There is only one way, they said, to move safely to another car – exiting the train at the next station and then quickly re-entering it, even if passengers making a such a dash could face other perils, like tripping, smashing a finger or losing a purse between rapidly shutting doors.

Hmm. Yeah, that’s pretty much what I do without the MTA telling me to do – I go in and out at the platform, not between cars (which really is scary – to me anyway). I understand the rules, but I don’t necessarily think you’d need them. Those posters of “Don’t be Stupid and Risk Dying” seem pretty strong enough (yeah, I actually do look at those posters in the subway).

Enjoy Wednesday, even if the humidity around here sucks…