Tuesday, January 30, 2007

John Patrick Kennedy

Welcome to the world, Jack!

January 30, 2007

7 lbs. 12 oz.
21.5 inches long

Mom and Baby are doing great and resting comfortably. Jack decided to arrive with a bullet (and a scare to his folks). His cord was wrapped around his head twice and tightly, so he was as purple as his ancestors getting ready to take on a British drunk in a Galway bar.

But given some good doctors and nurses, some oxygen and he turned the corner quickly. Thanks again to Kootenai Medical Center for a job well done!

Though he was a day late based on the first due date given, he was way early by Kennedy baby standards. And that's a blessing - Mom was quite ready.

Since this is our sixth child born at Kootenai Medical Center, we have all the holes punched on our "Frequent Delivery" card, so we can now get a free latte!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

PBS Series - 'The Supreme Court'

I was alerted to this series that will be airing beginning in January by a former professor of mine, Joe Kobylka of SMU in Dallas, Texas. As a nationally known and respected expert on the Supreme Court in general and the late Justice Harry Blackmun in particular, he will be featured in the series. In watching excerpts of the show's episode 4 here, it looks to be a terrific series for history and government buffs, particularly if you're interested in the Supreme Court.

I had Professor Kobylka for class my first semester freshman year and my last semester senior year, and he was also a valued counselor for class slection and the like. As I recall, I received the same grade in his classes both of these bookend semesters of my college career, and suffice it to say it wasn't an "A". Because we shared an avid love for baseball and a certain northern wisecracking approach to the socialite scene in Dallas, I don't hold any grudges against him for my grades.

Considering, too, that I took Adam Smith's 'laissez-faire' approach to a few aspects of my college career, he might even have been more generous than was deserved.

I should note however that a google-assisted discovery of Joe Kobylka's inclusion on a 2003 student newspaper list of SMU's Best Dressed Faculty Members shows that MUCH has to have changed in Dallas fashion trends and student tolerance of Wisconsin-chic sartorial style since I attended college there.

The Supreme Court series will be a must-watch for me, hopefully you'll find the time as well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

S.M.U. Faculty Complains About Bush Library

NY Times, DALLAS, Jan. 9 — Intimates of President Bush have singled out Southern Methodist University as the likely site of his presidential library, but faculty members, complaining of being bypassed, are raising sharp questions about the school’s identification with his presidency.

In a meeting Tuesday, faculty members complained of a lack of consultation over the emerging agreement and all but demanded answers from the university’s president, R. Gerald Turner, on the relationship that would develop between the university and the library.

“There’s been a lack of transparency from the beginning,” said Tony Pederson of the journalism faculty, urging the university’s administration “to be more forthcoming with detailed information.”

UPDATE... 1-14-2007

This link is to the reaction from SMU's students and community to the Bush Library decision. I found it tonight after watching the 60 minutes interview with GWB and found it interesting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Verizon Hell

This is the repost of an actual transcript of an online chat I had with Verizon, while on hold waiting for service. I have been on hold for 1 hour and 45 minutes as of this writing, with no end in sight. If I weren't cancelling a phone line and didn't want to be charged any longer, I would have hung up. Thank God for speakerphones so I can still be getting work done during this interminable nightmare.

Down with Verizon!
Your chat ID number is 01080756442. Welcome to Verizon Live Chat. You have selected to chat about. TN: 2086647976
Subject: None of the categories apply (None)

Question: I want to cancel my account and I have been on hold for EIGHTY minutes, and I'm still holding - this is totally ridiculous. 11:48:20

A Verizon eCenter Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you. 11:48:29
Agent Sean has joined. 11:48:29

Sean: Chat ID for this session is 01080756442.

Sean: Hello. Welcome to Verizon's chat service.

Michael Kennedy: The number I want to cancel is 208-664-7976. How can I get that done and a verbal, live confirmation with someone that it will actually happen?

Sean: I apologize for the delay you have experienced in trying to reach our Customer Sales and Service Center. We receive calls and emails from all over the world and each one is handled on a first-come-first-served basis. As we strive to provide each customer with personalized solutions, there may be periodic delays in answering inquiries from other customers.

Michael Kennedy: perhaps, but EIGHTY MINUTES? I'm pushing an hour and off of my life that Verizon now owns and I won't ever get back!

Sean: I'm sorry but there is no option to disconnect service on our web site. You may wish to try later in the week as that office is not open on weekends and they can experience very high volumes early in the week.

Michael Kennedy: Typical bad customer service. Hello Vonage.

Sean: Do you have any other questions I can help you with today?

Michael Kennedy: I presume this is an automated computer response, so no, I'll pass thanks.

Sean: I am a verizon.com representative, not an automated system.

Sean: Thank you for using Verizon's chat service. I hope I have resolved your reason for contacting us today. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again. Your session is now closed. Thank you. Have a nice day.

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