Almost Moving In Day

The summer of 2008
seems like yesterday
Olivia sat on a chair
in the middle school
band room warming up
on her tenor saxophone
preparing to wow
the high school
band director.

Tomorrow she’s off to Hofstra
as an accomplished bassoonist
ready to wow the world.

I’m very proud
of how hard she’s worked
to arrive at this moment.

I pray she learns to find
the secret places where
life’s true blessings lie
and that she always remembers
she is strong enough
to face her challenges
and to overcome
the inevitable obstacles.

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Mythologizing the Michael Brown story

In Pluto’s diary on the life of Michael Brown, you might notice one detail that’s both touching and disturbing: Mike’s graduation photograph was taken in March 2014, still many months ahead of when he would be able to graduate in August. Imagine the “why” of this fact: The grinding [...]

Michael Brown’s situation was indeed unfortunate. I don’t understand what this has to do with the shooting. A friend insists this is just an interesting side note worthy of a compartmentalized discussion about academic and economic inequities and institutional racism. I think pulling these threads at this moment have the effect of adding back story to the “Michael Brown” victim-character who will inhabit the story we tell about the shooting and the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

To be clear, I am not suggesting in any way that the lethal force applied by Daren Wilson was justified. Neither am I ignoring the structural problems of public school education or the generational inequities suffered by the African-American community.

What I am saying is when we start looking at elements not directly related to the shooting, we begin the process of mythologizing the story as opposed to asking and answering the important questions like was lethal force justified in this situation according to the current rules?

Conflation does not help, rather it makes solving the problems more complicated. A good friend complained the president of the Missouri Board of Education, Peter F. Herschend, of Bransonn, MO “lives across the state. He’s a rich, politically connected businessman who runs a state board in charge of perhaps the poorest districts in the state.”

Then he said, the “state took two incredibly poor, essentially all black districts (already paying the highest tax rate in the state), merged them (instead of merging them with other adjoining districts—richer and whiter), took away their accreditation and then—when that entitled the children to be bused to other districts—they reversed that decision, locking the kids into the local schools, but run by the state, by the rich guy with no actual education training who lives nowhere near the kids who have to share graduation gowns. Even if this is business as usual, it shouldn’t be.”

I think we all agree poverty, injustice and inequity are serious problems in our society. But let’s unpack the complaint: first and foremost the school problem is complex. Racism may play a role in the change but economics and the structure for school funding are the larger controlling factors. Leaving aside any discussion about how, the local district failed its students.

When that happens the state is supposed to take over the district, help them develop and execute a plan to fix the problems, and eventually return the district to local control.

Combining two poor black school districts and manipulating the accreditation rules to keep students in place in their local districts without a clear plan to fix the problems is cynical at best and may well be racially motivated.

Nevertheless, I suspect race took a back seat to economics. School funding relies primarily on local tax receipts. Here in Massachusetts, where I live, local tax income pays between 60% – 70% of the school’s budget. The balance is made up mostly from state funds with a sprinkling of federal money.

So the bulk of the money comes from property taxes. If the residential and commercial properties lose value and there is no growth in the district, the amount of money available to allocate to the schools dwindles and therefore the per-pupil rates and monies for facilities suffer. In an ideal world the state should increase its share but that rarely happens in practice.

In fact Brown’s school district couldn’t afford to educate the kids in place. Then it cost more per pupil to send them elsewhere. Somebody has to make up the shortfall.

De-accrediting Normandy High School in effect gave ownership of a structural problem to neighboring school districts without providing them with the resources to accommodate the influx of new students.

Neighbor school were organized to accommodate their existing student population. A large influx of new students skews the calculus in many ways. E.g. The building has x number classrooms and teachers. Building more classrooms is expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, student to teacher ratios have to change. That means students suffer and teacher contracts will have to be renegotiated.

Third, teaching in poor districts is daunting and unrewarding for most educators because of the economic and social factors preying upon students and their families. Staff recruitment and retention is a problem. How does an English teacher convince students struggling for survival that it’s important to be able to identify Epic Similes in THE ODYSSEY?

As to the board president not being an educator, that’s as it should be. Like the military, schools serve the community, not the other way around. Citizen oversight is essential to ensure a proper balance of executive functions and community values. Furthermore, most boards have professional staff and the ability to hire experts so it’s not like they make uninformed decisions.

The laws in Massachusetts contemplate this by placing a statutory firewall which prevents local school committees (i.e., boards of education) from interfering with the day-to-day operations of districts and schools. Essentially they hire and fire the superintendents and allocate funds. Of course decisions can be politically motivated but that’s the nature of our government. Good luck getting that changed.

With all of that said, Michael Brown’s killing and the resulting civil unrest are horrible. We all suffer the loss of the young man and the deficiencies in our police departments and schools.

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50 Shades of Curmudgeon and the art of Facebook kibitzing

Today I posted the following status on Facebook:

I’m thinking about taking a break from discussing the issues here on FB. Apparently no one is ever wrong–except me.

That was followed by a string a of good natured jibes because my friends know I’m full of shit:

“you are soooo wrong about that”

“play George Costanza for a day ….before you type think through your thought(s) and then write the exact opposite … if you are always wrong then you will now be always be right”

Doug’s right. Besides, I had it figured out a couple weeks ago…. the problem with the rest of the world is that they are always 5 drinks behind….

Even my wife got in on the act,

“Honey,just send around happy thoughts of the day like I do! Ya know, “the crappin’ rainbows stuff… Might make you less crabby.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good conversation–especially with smart people who have different points of view.

Today’s post was a reaction to a thread from which I just extricated myself. I posed the question:

So, here’s a questions for those who side with the Palestinians because you believe the Israelis were not entitled to settle the land and create their own country. Where’s the righteous indignation as ISIS kills everyone who disagrees with them, gobbles up territory from several sovereign nations without the leave of the local inhabitants and sets about starving the Yazidis?

Mostly it was a great conversation. My friends are smart, well read, and passionate. My point was that the ISIS was engaged in a murderous land grab in which people were brutally tortured and killed over 5,000 people and yet the Hamas apologists were completely silent on the matter.

That seems hypocritical to me. That’s when my favorite amateur Aristotle cum English teacher chimed in with,

“It sounds like you’re suggesting an equivalency between ISIS and Israel.” Which then prompted a comical discussion about equivalency. (Yeah I know I’m living 50 shades of curmudgeon.)

Ari, examined the word from every possible angle and concluded

But Bob, if you’re suggesting that people who condemn Israel must also condemn ISIS, that only works if there is an equivalency. The converse would be that people who condemn ISIS should also condemn Israel.”

These conversations usually peter out after a few days so I pressed on. We bantered about who deserved the moniker hypocrite and clarified some facts.

All was well until Ari weighed in with  “true hypocrisy would be if someone took the position you described on Israel, and then stated that ISIS actually HAS the right to the land they have taken.” And, “Actually, the more common use of “hypocrisy” involves a person’s stated values not matching his actions. But in this case we’re not talking about actions, simply stated opinions.

E gads. Why didn’t I see that? There’s hypocrisy and there’s true hypocrisy. Just like an unwary swimmer, I failed to notice even though my head was pointed at the beach and it felt like I was swimming forward, I was heading feet first into a whirlpool of tortured analogies, nuances without differences, and word parsing that would, as my mother used to say, drive a saint to drink.

Upon reflection, I should have just quit. Just as with a real rip tide, the only way out is to take the ride or swim parallel to the shore. As a former Fire Island lifeguard, I would have ridden the current and body surfed in. I knew better. As a Facebook kibitzer, I put my head down and swam against the current.

Things deteriorated in slow motion. I countered with,

I really don’t have the patience to niggle over definitions. Henceforward, the horse carcass is lying on the side of the road with its skin flayed to the muscle. You are most welcomed to continue flogging.

Then we parsed the world flogging , Says Ari, “I hardly think that constitutes ‘flogging.’” Followed by,

So Bob, every despicable act you have failed to object to on Facebook is one you approve of?” And the coup de gras, “Ergo, failure to object to a despicable act does not constitute approval of the act.”

Ouch got me there.

Unfortunately, I have never developed a facility for walking away from a provocation. My big mouth has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years. Especially when I was an elected official. So I got crankier and crankier.

He just went on and on,

My analogy is comparative, not absolute

Okay, this is falling into a familiar pattern: I say we shouldn’t be concerned with what Hamas SAYS, and you counter with an argument about what Hamas DOES. These are two different subjects, however much you may try to conflate them.

I finally lost it,

As there are thousand and one reasons why “the other guy” is the problem, it appears more suffering is required. Frankly, as long as the U.S. government does not draft my son to fight this any other war that does not involve defending our own backyards, the Palestinians and Israelis (and other country) are free to kill and torture each other for all of eternity.

Suddenly I was now apathetic, even though I posed the question, spent days reading my friends posts and links and formulating responses.

Well Bob, if you’re that apathetic, why have you gone on so long about this?

Then we tortured the words apathy and action, which apparently does not involve asking questions, reading, writing, discussing the issues with friends, and replying to their posts. There is doing and there is doing,

What you post on Facebook are only words, Bob.

To which I replied,

Case in point Aristotle.  You’re niggling over the definition of the word action and trying to make a distinction where none exists.

He finally put up the white flag.

I’ve really had enough of this discussion.

I tell my kids all the time, you don’t have to respond to every provocation. if only I listened to my own advice. It’s funny how we become our parents. They used to tell me not to smoke as they lit one cigarette with the burning end of the last. You know, do as I say, not as I do.

Maybe there’s hope for the next generation. I never smoked.

As always comments are welcomed.

Posted in Living Out Loud, My So Called Facebook Life | Leave a comment

Memo to blog comment spammers

No Spam Please

Attention blog comment spammers human and bots: your insipid comments have no chance of ever seeing the light of day here on It’s a Bob World, never mind convincing me or my readers to buy your bullshit knockoff products. Know I have various means at my disposal to prevent blog comment spammers from being published here. Do us both a favor and just go away. You are wasting your time and mine.

I often fantasize of developing software that creates a feedback loop to gently shock blog comment spammers when their fingers touch their keyboards; or, in my crueler moments, which deletes the data on their servers. Where’s Lizbeth Salander or Chloe O’Brien when you need them?

Ideally, the software would also remotely activate the spammer’s web cam and microphone so my readers could see them react with surprise and consternation every time they touch their keyboards and feel the gentle shocks.

To my readers, you on the other hand are cordially invited to leave comments. I know from my site analytics that there are a good number of you. It would be nice if you left feedback–regardless of your point of view.

One way conversations get lonely and beg the question if blog writer publishes his work, and no one comments, has he really published his work?

Posted in Quips, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Liberal conspiracy to hijack higher education

Have you noticed that conservatives often complain about a so called liberal conspiracy to hijack higher education? One such wag recently informed me that taking over the education system was one of the Soviets’ primary goals.

When I pressed him by saying I failed to notice a liberal conspiracy when I went to college and grad school, he explained, “You fail to see the tentacles of Marxism, they are long and entwined. They are not bound by geography but by ideology. Whittaker Chambers wrote that in the ’30s the Soviets had three main objectives here in the USA: Education, Media, Government. They have succeeded in infiltrating and takeover all of those.”

Let’s hold aside the media and government for another day. Let’s even suppose the Soviet Union succeeded. Guess what? The Soviet Union no longer exists. Just ask any supporter of Ronald Regan: the commies lost the Cold War.

With the Soviet Union gone and Communism having exited the world stage, to what are these “tentacles of Marxism” attached? What sustains them? And for what purpose?

According to the aforementioned Facebook wag, they seemed to have become a self-sustaining and decentralized global entity (rather like Al Qaeda, I suppose). Evidently there is a secret international conspiracy comprised of whom? Former Soviet, Chinese, and Cuban ideologues? Apostate Westerners who long for the good old days of Stalin and Chairman Mao?

He offered as proof of their success the observation that college campuses are bastions of liberal thinking. I wonder if he has it ass backwards.

Where are these agents provocateur? How are they organized? Do they convene in grubby student apartments in college towns throughout the west? Are they gray men hiding in plain sight? Biding their time? Whispering in the ears of academia bound Ph.D. students? Are they lying in wait for the right moment in history to seize the opportunity to create a second global Communist/Socialist government? That would make for a wonderful William F. Buckley novel but otherwise strains credulity.

Maybe tolerance and compassion and liberal mindedness are the natural products of an education? After all, kids move out of their childhood homes, they meet people who are different from them and have to learn how to amicably co-exist, and they spend four years intensively acquiring knowledge and developing their minds.

Now you know why closing down universities and killing or threaten the academics are on any new repressive regime’s short list upon taking power–right after taking over the media and killing and/or jailing the officials from the previous government.

Just a thought.

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America, Imagine a World Without Her

Recently, an old friend, who has become an arch conservative in his middle-age posted a review of Dinesh D’Souza’s film “America, Imagine a World Without Her” on his Facebook timeline. The piece was published on the conservative web site Frontpage Mag and written by Arnold Ahlert.

I don’t know about you, But I can’t imagine a world without America. On the other hand I find myself struggling with imagining an America that isn’t willing to contemplate all of our past. We’ve accumulated a great deal of bad karma. I’m not talking about self-loathing. But I do think it’s important to understand how we got to this place, whom we’ve hurt, what we’ve destroyed to get here, and to endeavor to be better human beings today and in the future.

I also find myself puzzled by my friend’s news sources. He was an intelligent and gentle boy. He married his high school sweetheart. He is a very accomplished musician. I cannot understand how he can take a web site seriously that bears the subtitle, “Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Waiting to Get Out.”

“America, Imagine a World Without Her” calls to mind the old silent film Birth of a Nation. Sorry but myopic ultra-nationalist apologia give me the willies. And Ahlert’s review was nothing more than a poorly reasoned screed against liberals. Both are quite beside the point.

The community of people who respond to my friend’s posts are the real point. There are a number of us middle-aged types of varying political persuasions who regularly post on his Facebook links. Aside from being Americans, we are all musicians.

The conversations start off polite. We seldom agree. After a while the words get more pointed. I don’t think we change each others’ minds. I do think we respect one another. I hope we give each other food for thought. I know it has done so for me.

In any event, the conversation meandered away from the D’Souza’s film (no surprise there) and the insults flew.

K***: I could never get tenure because I’m too politically incorrect.

T***: a radical leftist denied tenure at an university because of his politics… someone notify Ward Churchill…BWAHAHAHAHAHA

K***: Well T***, perhaps if you had read my entire comment you’d see that I am not, in fact, a “radical leftist,” since I criticized the radical left in several specific areas. But then reading doesn’t seem to be your strong area.

Bob: Oh boy. Another house of weak arguments, furnished with innuendos and prejudice, built upon on a foundation of wrongheaded assumptions which rest on footings dug into the quicksand of stereotype. Anyone who takes this at face value is a fool.

T***:I love it when radical leftists suddenly claim to be “centrist” when it becomes convenient…

Bob: Please define your terms T. What is a radical leftist? And and who in this discussion qualifies?

T***: I already have, ad nauseum… “

T*** shared a link to Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change and left the question about who among us was a radical leftist unanswered, though I’m pretty sure he meant K*** and  me.

One of the things I like about discussing politics with this group is that we are well read, intelligent and that we agree on little. In as much as their ideas and insults often infuriate me, I cherish the opportunity to ask how they arrive at their ideas. I have read more far right “literature” in the last year than ever before.

I followed T***’s link and downloaded Goldberg’s book. I know I risk sounding like a Kool-Aid slugging liberal, a characterization which I deny, but Goldberg’s arguments torture the point and in the end do nothing more than inflame people’s prejudices rather than provide a useful way to contemplate differences of opinion.

Let’s say for the sake of our discussion Goldberg’s basic premiss, is true. The word fascism encompasses more than turn of the 20th century meaning. That liberals are self-deluded crypto-fascists (and therefore aligned with the worst actors of the 20th century) because early in the 20th century “liberal thinkers” and policy makers were enamored by European fascism and because some of that thought influenced Progressive/Liberal thought.

So what.

Political ideas are like everything else. They come in and out of fashion. People wear the ideas for a season and move on to the next great thing. What’s more, when it counted, the “liberals” stood up against the Nazis and the Italians and came to view fascism as a fundamentally evil political movement.

Goldberg argues that fascist ideas/ideals permeate the liberal DNA and therefore they are the bad guys. In the time honored propaganda trope, he conflates progressives and liberals with the most evil leaders of western civilization: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Napoleon, and Robespierre.

That some of the ideas persisted from one era to another and from one political ideology to another speaks to the reality that our ideas do not exist in a vacuum, that there is nothing new under the sun. Rather we recycle, deconstruct, reassemble, and repackage as oppose to innovate. We can trace the roots of everything in the present to something from the past.

From what I can tell, LIBERAL FASCISM’s true purpose is to say “I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks on to you,” and in so doing attempts to affix a universally pejorative term, fascism, upon the chest of the so called “left”.

First of all the left/right thing is reductio ad absurdum. Very few people can distill their world views to such find points.

What’s more, I’m still left with lingering questions about the core issues and whether these discussions are anything more than vanilla is better than chocolate. Why? Because I like vanilla better than chocolate. No chocolate is better than vanilla. Why? Because I like chocolate.

Help me understand why anyone has to write a 500 page book calling liberals fascists except as an attempt to demonize them? Help me understand why people have to reduce the world down to such absurdities and then use minute differences to fuel their hatred.

Posted in Living Out Loud, National Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ann Coulter on Soccer: Part Deux

Ann Coulter on Soccer: Part Deux? C’mon Ann Coulter, Soccer? You really want to waste your valuable print space and attention bandwidth on soccer? Wasn’t la première partie, a/k/a “Part One” one column too many? Right, right, soccer is the front lines in the culture wars between conservatives and liberals. I forgot. What I have not forgotten is that you do not really care about issues. You are polemicist. Your living depends on your ability to instigate fights between “conservatives” and “liberals”.

The sad part is you succeed. Shame on your readers (lovers AND haters) for allowing themselves to be baited and manipulated  by a pundit who is far more interested in self-aggrandizement than the real issues.

Here’s my take on a few of your points from your soccer screed:

  • Who cares if you find soccer “excruciatingly boring.”  So, don’t watch.
  • “Soccer is a game for girls.” Because? Girls are less capable than boys? They are weaker? Less interesting to watch? Self-loathing much?
  • “A guy from the Paraguay team (Uruguay? Who cares?) was caught biting an opponent in a match. Not punching. Not a cross-body block. BITING! How long can it be until we see hair-pulling in soccer? “ Way to stereotype. Does that make Mike Tyson a girl? Is that how you fight?
  • So in a 100-minute game, something happened two times and nothing happened 98 times. “ Apparently you have the attention span of the average NFL fan. How long is the average play? 5 to 15 seconds? There’s a total of about 11 minutes of actual “action” in an NFL game. That leaves plenty of time for commercials, gorging yourself on snacks and beer, and sticking your fingers down your throat to purge yourself from those healthy “football snacks.”
  • “I believe we are witnessing the implementation of that favorite rule of soccer moms: ‘Everybody’s a winner!!!'” Even you. Apparently you have never spent a nanosecond on a soccer pitch in a competitive league.
  • “The reason there are so many fights among spectators at soccer games is to compensate for the tedium.” As opposed to NFL, NHL, or MLB fans, who riot and destroy their hometowns whether their teams win or not.
  • “Being in France does expose me to a way of life that illustrates why foreigners like soccer so much.” It must be nice to afford a trip to France. I take it you only eat at McDonalds and other American-style restaurants. Lord knows you wouldn’t want to let all that socialist food sully your All-American taste buds.
  • “Another crucial role of the refs is to stop the games for a “heat rest.” Tell that to NFL players in New Orleans or Miami, where regular-season games have reached temperatures of over 100 degrees” As opposed to approximately 11 minutes of action over three hours, the extended breaks for TV commercials or the fact that NFL plays last frequently last less than five seconds before the players, reset, catch their breath, suck on oxygen on the sidelines, get replaced by substitutes, and do it again.
  • “Among the least obscenity-laced attacks on my soccer column was one written by two twits who work for the Huffington Post, Nick Wing and Paige Lavender.”  In other words, Nick and Paige, please, please be very offended and respond to this screed in print so people will talk about me.

Sheesh Ann Coulter. Why not use your platform, such as it is, to discuss the actual issues? Perhaps that’s because you do not care? It’s abundantly clear the only things that matter to you are instigating fights and people talking about you. So there you go. You accomplished your goal. I’m talking about you. I hope the bad karma will be worth it.

Posted in Living Out Loud, National Politics | Leave a comment

Soccer Critics Are Right, But it’s Time to Zip it and Cheer–not

I agree it’s time to shut up and cheer. However, I’m not sure what there was to complain about in the first place? Why does everything have to boil down to left vs right? Why does every disagreement about matters of taste have to be a fight for the soul of our country?

This constant caviling against soccer, or as it’s known in the rest of the world football, is just plain absurd. It’s not the sport we baby-boomers grew up with. So what.

Ironically the drive to get involved in the sport is pure capitalism. In case you didn’t notice the WHOLE WORLD PLAYS soccer/football. That’s a much bigger market than the U.S. sports markets. Our businesspeople want to get a piece of the pie.

The veneer of amity peels up when Davis goes on to say, “Conservatives in particular have had a great time savaging soccer— from Ann Coulter, who properly taps the brakes on any sport where girls compete alongside boys, [emphasis added] to Marc Thiessen, who crafts a sublime argument that soccer is socialist. ”

Gimmie a break. As the father of an amazing daughter and the husband and son of extremely brilliant women, Mark Davis and Ann Coulter can go jump in a lake.  Who the hell are they to say where women can and can’t compete? The privilege of participating at anything, elite or otherwise, belongs to those with the skill to do it, not to those who have a a dick and balls.

I can’t help but notice Ann Coulter does not shuffle  around the house in a dirty blue duster dragging a train of children on her hem.

And, Mark Theissen, socialist sport? Really? Why because they do not pretend one score = six points + 1 for a kick or organize the game around commercials?

Click here to view original web page at townhall.com

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The conspiracy theory movement has grown

An FB friend opined that the conspiracy theory movement has grown along with the Internet. I’m not sure the conspiracy movement has been growing so much as people have found soapboxes. It occurs to me the Internet has provided a venue for people to feel safe expressing thoughts they would otherwise never say out loud or face-to-face.

It’s like we’ve suddenly been given backstage passes into people’s minds and have been forced to share the formerly unexpressed thoughts of anyone with an Internet connection.

It’s scary really. Now we know the empty, vapid, and cruel thoughts behind everyone’s smiles. We can no longer deny just how cluttered and dysfunctional they are.

For that reason, among many, I would never want to be part of a hive-mind. As it is, the signal to noise ratio has driven me to distraction.

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An open letter to Apple Computer

I recently experienced a hard disk failure on my 2008 iMac. There’s nothing surprising about that. Hard disks don’t last forever. Leaving aside the epic rigamarole necessary to replace an iMac hard disks, I installed the new one and needed to do a restore from Time Machine.

Apple markets Time Machine as a simple and easy way to recover from a catastrophic disk failure.  Loading your data is supposed to be a trivial operation–unless you’ve lost your Snow Leopard disks and upgraded to Mavericks on-line.

After exhausting my own knowledge on the matter, I broke down and called Apple Tech Support. The guy I talked to was very nice. He suggested I press the Option key while selecting the Leopard DVD as the boot device. It did. The installer recognized the external disk with the back up and seemed to restore my system–only it didn’t. That led to several hours of chasing my tail and a second call to Apple Tech Support.

Tech support guy number two informed me I’d been misinformed. He told me “you” can’t restore a Mavericks Time Machine back up with the Leopard install disk.  His advice was to buy a copy of Snow Leopard in order to upgrade to the “free” Mavericks, thus requiring a $20 expense and a wait for shipping.

I own and have paid  for every OS X update from Panther through Mountain Lion and had Mavericks installed on the old hard disk. I also told the guy I had another computer with Mavericks loaded on it. The last disk-based copy of OS X I have is Leopard. Honestly I can’t remember but either I threw out Snow Leopard, which I doubt, or did the upgrade (and all subsequent upgrades) as an Internet install.

Apple Tech guy number two’s advice, though technically not incorrect, was hardly optimal. After some Google research and an “ah ha” moment, I subsequently figured out that all I needed was a Mavericks boot flash drive. That led to a bit more research. I found a third-party tool called Disk Maker X and using one of my other Maverick installs. I was ultimately successful in restoring my old system, lock, stock, and barrel.

Yesterday, I received a follow up email from Apple inquiring about my recent experience with Tech Support. I’m not sure why I bothered but I clicked on the link and filled out the survey form.

At the bottom of the form was a space for comments. There I explained the situation and wrote that I have been a loyal Apple customer for many years and have owned many Apple products but find myself becoming increasingly disenchanted with the company’s attitude toward its customers. Lately it seems that ALL tech support roads, whether at the Apple Genius bar, at the Apple Store or Apple phone support lead to spending more money at the Apple store.

My experiences this year, including this one, have torn a rift in my technology universe. For the first time ever I’ve started thinking of Apple in the same way I used to think of Micro$oft. Going forward. As my Apple products age, need replacement, I have resolved to look for alternatives.

I doubt anyone reads those surveys. And if they do, I doubt anyone will do anything to restore my good will. But on the off chance that somebody from Apple Computer remembers how they built their fiercely loyal customer base, I challenge Apple Computer to contact me and make a sincere effort to revisit how they do business and to restore my good will. Apple became popular because it was the “cool” company that actually cared about its customers. Now? Not so much. At least in my experience.

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