Anthem – the impersonal touch


I’ve been hacked, via my company’s healthcare plan. (I’m sure Fox News will blame it on Obamacare operatives.) Millions of other folks who have Anthem healthcare are in the same boat. Below is the note all of us got, not from the CEO, but from the DESK of the CEO of Anthem.

anthem desk

Apparently inanimate objects can write emails – who knew? I knew this chair could talk though…


If you’ve just put the personal data of millions of people at risk, do you really have to use “from the desk of” in the headline? Basically you’re saying “I didn’t write this and I didn’t send this.” I’m sure the CEO has better things to do than, oh, say, ensuring the safety and security of the healthcare records of the millions of subscribers who help him earn millions of dollars each year.

Hey Mr. Swedish (if “Joe Swedish” is indeed your real name – sounds kinda fishy to me), own the mess – don’t pawn it off on your desk.


Step up to the Mike

Michael Gannon is my cousin’s son. (Does that make him my second cousin, or first cousin once removed, or third cousin to the nth degree?) He’s an extremely talented musician, songwriter and singer. Here’s his video tribute to Joe Cocker.  Rock on!

You can check out more of Michael’s videos on his YouTube channel, and hear more of his music on his website.

And if you want to get a chuckle out of someone misinterpreting Joe Cocker’s singing, check this out:

Candygram for Pete Townshend

Never thought I’d be thankful for JC Penney, but today I saw a TV ad from them that featured a cover of the song “Let My Love Open The Door” by Pete Townshend (to paraphrase Abbott and Costello, “Who is Pete Townshend? Exactly!”)

The song is from Pete’s first solo album, Empty Glassfrom waaaaay back in 1980. It’s a fantastic LP (that’s short for long-play, kids), and today I listened to the whole darn thing for the first time in eons. So thank you JC Penney. I’m still not buying any Valentine’s Day gifts at your stores. Nice try, though!



Naming rights, naming wrongs

The recent snowstorm that hit the Northeast was called “Winter Storm Juno” by the Weather Channel. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, “Back in my day, they didn’t name puny little storms. You had to be a Hurricane – you had to earn your name. Now get off my lawn… after you finish shoveling my driveway!”

APTOPIX Northeast Storm

Here in Cincinnati, one of the local TV stations has started issuing rather ominous-sounding “Weather Alert Days.” I’ll translate that into plain, non-alarmist language for you: “It might snow.” They issued one last week, and we got 0.3″ of snow. Get a grip, you Doppler dunderheads!


Really, if they’re lowering the bar for naming, why stop at winter storms? Soon every local TV weatherperson will be talking about “Sunny Day Sandra” and “Thunderstorm Terry” and “Partly Cloudy Sybil.”

(hat-tip to Mookie for the idea.)

Not scoring any points

Pet Peeve alert: I can’t stand it when a sports broadcaster uses the term “score the basketball.” As in, “James LeBron is the Banana Slugs’ best offensive player… he really knows how to score the basketball.”


Using that term is so moronic (unless they happen to be announcers for a baseball game, then it’s just plain weird).  Technically, basketball players don’t score the basketball, they score points when the basketball goes through the net.  Just saying “score” would get the same point across (no pun intended); we don’t need “the basketball” part of it. Do the sportscasters think that if they don’t say “the basketball” we might wrongly assume that the player is going to arrange the music for the next Spielberg movie? Sorry, that job is probably already taken by this guy:


So if you’re a b-ball sportscaster and are tempted to say “score the basketball” remember the famous catchphrase of Marv Albert, and do the opposite.

marv yes



Poor Tom Brady

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! It seems like a lot of people in America don’t like the New England Patriots, and I don’t understand why. Their quarterback, Tom Brady, has really had a hard-knock life:

He’s married to someone named Gisele Bündchen. I’m not familiar with her, but from the sound of her name she’s probably some ugly German hausfrau.


His boss likes to spy on people. So if Tom is supposed to be studying the playbook but instead he’s wasting time surfing the Internet—probably looking at pictures of Victoria’s Secret models—his boss knows it and busts him for it. Think of how difficult those working conditions must be.

He has a rare medical ailment. I’m not sure what “deflated balls” means but it surely can’t be good.

His teammates would rather spend the rest of their lives in jail than play with him.

So if you’re not sure which team to root for today, root for the Patriots. Poor Tom needs your support.