Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Observations - 3/15/15

Beware the Ides of March! Julius Caesar didn't, and because of it, we all had to read a play about him in high school. Anyway, to the Sunday stream of consciousness we go!

- As I noted in Friday's Ten (#1), this is Conference tournament weekend in college basketball, and it has not disappointed. Although I wasn't happy with Maryland's performance, I will still pull for them in the NCAA Tournament. My College Park roots are still strong; my brother, for reasons still not divined, roots for Duke. There are some mysteries of the universe that even I won't attempt to contemplate.

- Notre Dame's victory over North Carolina in the ACC title was the most impressive, using a 26-3 run late in the second half to seal the victory. Iowa State's comeback against Kansas was a close second. People use "March Madness" describe the NCAA's; I use it for the Conference tourneys.

- Yesterday, I upgraded the comment capabilities from the default Blogger setting to that of Disqus, which allows for commenting to sign in through multiple platforms, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, or you can just comment as a guest and insert your name. One other thing I did was update the Lattanzi Ten page (the permanent link to which is found at the top of the site under the banner) so that previous Tens can be found via a convenient calendar. HTML editing is fairly useful skill, I have found. It has allowed me to go outside the bounds of the basic templates that Blogger provides.

- Radio advertising lately has driven me batty. One in particular is the continued ads of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Their president and vice-president speak in the ads and quite frankly, they sound like they could be John Gotti's children. I am not sure if the purpose is to be menacing: that's an awfully nice boarding pass, be a damn shame if anything happened to it. Or they did not think people like me would spend time analyzing their commercials.

- Continuing on the radio advertising theme, McDonald's gets a medal of shame on this account. Especially around here, with a diverse population, they have taken to having a, uh, "diverse" set of commercials, i.e. there are the ads that are geared toward white people and there are ads that are geared toward minorities, especially black people. Worst of all, they run them back to back, so the contrast is plain to anyone paying attention. The funny thing is, the commercial that is ostensibly aimed at me is for products I will never buy from McDonald's: McCafe coffee, Chicken Select strips, and hot chocolate. The commercial ostensibly geared toward minorities is precisely what I buy: sausage biscuits, Big Macs, French fries, and the like. The stereotypes play out like a bad 19th century minstrel show. Apparently, the ad campaigns aren't working, since sales continuously have slid downward (#1).

- So we finally had a full week of school from start to finish! Part of me was excited by that; another part of me just wants to die from exhaustion. Luckily, the end of the marking period is upon us soon.

- I was out at the store buying a few random things today, and I'll never understand why ice cream is subjected to a sales tax in this state, but potato chips aren't. There are some things in Maryland that make no sense whatsoever in that regard. I suppose it is good that we have the barcode system of scanning, so items can be programmed. I can't even fathom doing it the old-fashioned way of having to enter each item as taxable or not by hand. 

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