Yesterday was a holy day of rest. Ah, Labor Day! I got out of the city on Sunday at noon and headed down to the lake to visit my folks. Came back last night after supper. It was very relaxing. We had two (2) barbecue cookouts, plus a lot of White Castles in between - my treat; Dad says I'm welcome any time so long as I bring a crave case with me. Other than that, and dishing on family and friends, we pretty much sat around and watched TV news coverage of Hurricane Gustav preempting the Republican National Convention, and news personalities such as Cokie Roberts and Alan Colmes making themselves look like oozing slime creatures from the planet Dweeb.
Half of the entertainment was reeling in shock that people could retain their credibility while saying things like "Oooh, a hurricane devastates New Orleans on Day One of the R.N.C.! God must love Democrats!" and "Harumph! I'll bet Sarah Palin faked her last childbirth to cover her teenage daughter's pregnancy!" - a simply mindboggling accusation, especially now that Palin's daughter really is pregnant. There should be consequences for saying things like that without evidence. I mean, it's one thing for Michael Moore to say them; he is a professional kook. But network news people?! Even in opinion-based shows they should at least put up a semblance of journalistic fairness. The way they abuse everyone they talk about, and talk with, they can only end up making their side of the dialogue look bad.
Eventually TV got so tiresome that I finished reading a book (look here for my review of The Tale of Troy in the near future). Then I started another book and read three chapters of it aloud to my parents while dinner was on the grill. They (or at least Dad) seemed enthralled. He'll probably be reading my copy of The Warrior Heir the moment I post my review of it here.
The only other thrill of the holiday was discovering, once again, what an ass the Sprint network is. And I don't mean that in the nice sense. My cell phone was unable to find its network a half hour south of Jeff City. I was able to receive a page from my Dad, but I could not call him or text him in reply. Then, within shouting distance of the Lake of the Ozarks, I had trouble receiving a call from my Mom. I had to go out on my Dad's deck before I had enough bars to hear a word she was saying. Together with the fact that I can't even cross the state line without going into Digital Roam territory - as I have learned each time I have crossed the border into Arkansas - it is increasingly clear that "nationwide network" means one thing for Sprint and another thing for every intelligent being on earth. Which tells you another thing about Sprint!