December 14, 2016

Un-imprimatur'd Thoughts

Watched a bit of our office of finance meeting via streaming. It brings out the cynic in me. Ultimately I just don't get the point of it other than being a training vehicle for execs to get practice speaking in front of large audiences. The content was numbingly dry and pointless - either too broad a view, or too much in the weeds. Either cliche or pointless obscurity. I ought have more charity, but it just seems like these things have jumped the shark. They had twee slides made up in the Jib-Jab way where you see an elf body with the presenter's face. And the presenters made little jokes at the previous presenter's expense, such as "well since Bill took up most of my time, I'll have to hurry." Or "you can see how busy Ron's slide is - I'll give you a second to digest it" (it shows an indecipherable hieroglyphic slide).

In a way, I feel a sense of wonder that these executives have so high an enthusiasm level that they can actually read a motivational business book from cover-to-cover. Or that they would be so ambitious as to actually want to get up in front of a bunch of people and be critiqued by the likes of me.

I think it's the way I'm supposed to feel about God and neighbor. I need to be just as enthusiastic as they are, only about saving souls, starting with my own. Motivational books, the kind that turn me off, are no different in many respects as St. Paul's letters of exhortation. And when Pope Benedict writes of how the smallest gestures, like those of a smile, are of import, it reminds me how these executives take the small things, like their jokes or handshakes or gestures or slides, seriously. There's no minutiae in the spiritual world, witness the Little Way of St. Therese.

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Dorothy Day's thoughts (in First Things) about how the sexual revolution:

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The problem with buying two missals to compare and contrast and then send one back is that it's awfully easy to simply keep both. Which would be extremely wasteful since I can't use both. The Daughters of St. Paul has a more readable font and a couple-sentence reflection on readings. The production quality is so-so; cheap cover and not many inviting illustrations. The Our Sunday Visitor is a perfect complement: beautiful leather cover, nice illustrations, but a yellowish paper with poor fonts. I guess I can use both for awhile and try to see which one I'll use in the future, but neither one is that elusive perfect Roman Daily Missal.

Handsome beginning illustration to Our Sunday Visitor missal

Our Sunday Visitor - looks worse in actuality than in this pic

Daughters of St. Paul
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Called the cable company and cut the cord! So freeing.  I was a bit too eager to speechify on the phone to the poor sales rep; she tried to get me to look at DirectTV but no dice. I told her the whole setup is a poor business model, this scam where you have to call up annually and threaten to quit the service to get a reasonable price. It kind of snuck up on me, the resentment of the scam, but when it hit it hit with a vengeance - much as it did for voters who got so fed up with business-as-usual that they up and elected a Trumpster. (You can't say that Obama wasn't ample warning: he was an unknown in '08 and won everything, so it's not like Jeb Bush was going to have a chance when there hasn't been an "insider candidate" win since Poppy Bush in '88.)

Supposedly we still get basic cable because that was the only way she could avoid scamming me on the Internet side of things (by a huge surcharge on streaming). More than the money it was the principle of the thing; that not everyone pays the same price, that for the same service my stepson pays half price they call every year and negotiate a better deal. I really don't want that hassle. Although I should probably pay my stepson to represent us, ha.

Anyway it was supremely satisfying to vote with my wallet today. And my mouth as well.

8 comments:

William Luse said...

So was it the tv cable that you cut? If so, do you watch tv only on the computer?

TS said...

Yeah I quit cable provider but signed up for a streaming service called Playstation Vue, which allows you to stream content to your smart TV (I'm using Amazon Fire TV device to stream to TV). So $80 for Fire TV and $35 a month for the streaming service, which sure beats cable prices. But less channels of course.

TS said...

I probably could add that the Fire was a one-time expense.

William Luse said...

Okay. I asked because I was wondering if you were watching on the TV or computer. What I'm lacking is a TV smart enough to do what yours does. But I'll get one eventually. Oh - are you able to stream all the current network offerings? In other words, is your choice of programming equal to what cable offered?

TS said...

Every local market is different as to offerings - for Columbus we only get CBS on Playstation so I had to get a $20 over-the-air HD antenna. Which is working fine.

FYI, I think by "smart TV" I'm only meaning that it needs to have an HDMI connection available.

It was a "project" somewhat, but worth it for cost savings alone.

TS said...

Plus in order to watch local offerings without them having to watch them live I got a Tablo DVR to tape the over-the-air local channels. So not cheap initial investment but at least the monthly cost is way down.

William Luse said...

What does that over-the-air antenna pick up? The three major networks, I assume, and local offerings like pbs. But what about AMC, ESPN, EWTN and so on?

TS said...

The 3 major networks plus PBS. For AMC, ESPN and others (sadly, not EWTN) I have the Playstation Vue.