December 26, 2008


Four For Friday 122608.jpg

Q1 - Notables: Many famous and noteworthy people died this year, including the ones listed here: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Crichton, Beverly Garland, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Yves Saint Laurent, Christopher Bowman, Eartha Kitt, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jeff Healey, Bobby Fischer, Bo Diddley, Jeremy Beadle, Isaac Hayes, Paul Scofield, Heath Ledger, Guillaume Depardieu, Michael Lee, Paul Newman, M.C. Breed, Sydney Pollack, Charlton Heston, Albert Hofmann, W. Mark Felt, Sunny von Bulow, Odetta, Kenny MacLean, Tony Hillerman, Dee Dee Warwick, Don Haskins, Kevin Duckworth, Gene Upshaw, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Sandy Allen, Bernie Mac, Skip Caray, Estelle Getty, Tony Snow, Bobby Ray Murcer, Michael DeBakey, Jesse Helms, Dody Goodman, George Carlin, Wilbur Hardee, Tim Russert, Charlie Jones, Jim McKay, Harvey Korman, Hamilton Jordan, and Brad Renfro. Which notable person's death affected you most in 2008?

Q2 - Credit: In the midst of the current global recession, credit card companies have cut back on credit lines even to good customers. In addition, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, some credit card issuers have gone beyond looking at how much their customers spend or how promptly they pay and are now evaluating where they live and where they shop. In other words, redlining is apparently alive and well, aided and abetted by the very companies which could not restrain themselves from blindly offering credit cards and balance transfers to anyone who opened the mailbox, even if they were underage and without visible means of support. Do you think credit card issuers should be able to adjust credit limits and rates based solely on your zip code or shopping habits?

Q3 - Hot: From California to Florida, an increasing number state departments of transportation are allowing single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) to pay a premium toll to use HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes. High-occupancy tolls (HOT) are criticized by some as being nothing more than "Lexus lanes" that allow drivers with deeper pockets to buy special treatment on highways built using fuel taxes collected from everyone. What do you think? Are HOT lanes a good idea?

Q4 - Theatre: When you watch a movie in a movie theatre, do you like the theatre filled to capacity, halfway full, or nearly empty? Does your answer change depending on the type of movie you're seeing or do you feel the same way regardless of the movie or genre?

Posted by Mikal at December 26, 2008 11:01 PM | TrackBack


1) Probably Heath Ledger. endless talent and accomplishment. But belies the over reliance of drugs both illicit and prescription in our society to manage mood and anxiety.

2) Credit card companies can go **** themselves. Predatory lenders now turning to profiling. Credit is evil. Do not use except to build a profile for a car/mortgage and to rent a car. Period.

3) Money is the new racism.


Posted by: Joe Madre at December 26, 2008 11:10 PM

1) Probably Heath Ledger. endless talent and accomplishment. But belies the over reliance of drugs both illicit and prescription in our society to manage mood and anxiety.

2) Credit card companies can go **** themselves. Predatory lenders now turning to profiling. Credit is evil. Do not use except to build a profile for a car/mortgage and to rent a car. Period.

3) Money is the new racism.

4) I like theaters less and less... rude people talking during movie, crinkling their wrappers, coughing up phlegm. But if you can catch a really funny movie with an electric crowd it can be great.

Posted by: Joe Madre at December 26, 2008 11:11 PM

1. Notables: Eartha Kitt - amazing woman, how does one make being sexy look so easy?! The whole Heath Ledger thing was creepy and amazing - totally made watching the movie even more intense!

2. Credit: We have avoided credit for a long time - to keep ourselves out of (more) debt. Now it just seems like a good policy.

3. Hot: You get what you pay for, I guess. It sure seems like one more way to separate the 'haves' from the 'have-nots'...

4. Theaters: It totally depends on the type of movie. I LOVE going to a fun chick-flick with a group of girls and we're close to the only ones in the theater - that way, we can comment and goof off all we want. But I do love being in a packed theater for a scary movie - gets me into it more.

Posted by: Amandiva at December 27, 2008 9:10 AM

1. I'd have to say Heath and/or Eartha Kitt as well

2. No, I don't think they should, but I'd even go one better. Back in the day they used to increase credit limits if one got near the upper limit. That's nearly as bad and you can be sure they'll start doing that again when the economy evens out.

3. I'd like to know where the fee that Brett McBougeois pays to drive his ego-machine goes, but in general I think HOV lanes are a bad idea and should be removed. I know the goal is to decrease the number of vehicles on the road, but I honestly can't see how special lanes are really any incentive to carpool. One still has to move to the right to exit the highway after all.

4. I prefer a nearly empty theater. Better seat choices and less chance of encountering people who can't stop talking either to each other or on their cell phones.

Posted by: mike at December 27, 2008 9:41 AM

1- Can't say that I feel like my live has been affected my any famous deaths.

2- I guess it all depends on the fiscal evidence in the background. If they can prove some areas to be better investments, then I think they have the right to choose where they want to invest.

3- I have no problem with HOT lanes, if they charge enough it seems like a good way to supplement the highway budget.

4- I like a theater that at least feel occupied, so I'm never laughing into emptiness but I don't feel compelled to cozy up to a stranger to get a decent seat.

Posted by: Greg at December 27, 2008 12:28 PM

Q1 - Notables: Aside from surprise at hearing the news for a couple of them, I can't say that people who I don't know dying has much of an affect on me. However, George Carlin's death gave me the opportunity to surprise some of my coworkers when I told them he hosted a kids show. That I had something to say about a dead celebrity is about as close to something like that affecting me directly.

Q2 - Credit: Still a free country last I checked. They can run their business however they want. For the most part I don't use credit cards, so no bother to me.

Q3 - Hot: Sure they're a good idea. Brings in money from people you wouldn't otherwise get it from. I'll only complain if the lanes get too crowded.

Q4 - Theatre: I love them completely empty. As time goes on I've noticed people (mostly teenagers or young adults) becoming more and more willing to be brazenly rude by yelling stupid comments during the movie, constantly texting, not turning off their cell phone ringers, or just being plain stupid. I understand you're out for a good time, but try having a good time without taking away everybody else's good time.

Posted by: StuTheWise at December 27, 2008 4:45 PM

1. Not much opinion. Bernie Mac?
3. Definitely not because rich people can just buy themselves whatever they want then po' people have to suffer because of there conditions
4. Always empty because you can put your feet up, talk really loudly, and have a good time by yourself without someone having their opinions about you or their actions

The opinion of a 11 year old

Posted by: Kayvon the Great at December 27, 2008 7:15 PM

Q1. Tim Russert's death definitely affected me and my immediate family. Behind him, Tony Snow. Quite frankly, I still feel sad to this day that 2 such wonderful souls in the public eye are now gone. I can't tell you how many times I think of Russert's words 'What a country'.

Q2. Believe it or not, I agree with Stu: it's a business. I have seen people with home equity lines of credit as well as those having outstanding credit card balances hit with more restrictive terms on lending. It is all part of a process that should have take place all along. Now that the majority of Americans have maxed their credit cards while choosing to buy homes with ARMS/variable rate mortgages and/or interest only loans, they can't pay their bills. So, if a business is losing money, it's time to cut the losses. My employer has seen bad debt expense on the rise for several months. Should I lose my job because people our company lent to over-extended themselves? I don't think so.

Like my Grandmother always said: 'If you can't pay for it, don't buy it'.

Q3. HOV/HOT lanes are nothing new. They have existed in the DC area for close to 20 years now. So, what is Cali feeling the affects of a toll so now we have to talk about it? These travel lanes encourage car-pooling - what's so bad about that??

Q4. Doesn't matter. I/we go to a movie because we want to see it - not because of the audience factor.

Posted by: Flower at December 27, 2008 8:40 PM

1. None, really.
2. No.
3. Absolutely not. Why should the rich get more priviledges?
4. I enjoy a good comedy where there are a lot of people laughing. I don't like it when I'm in an almost empty theater and people sit very close.


Posted by: Vera at December 29, 2008 2:57 PM

I'm up! :)

Posted by: Jim Bruer at January 1, 2009 11:23 PM

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