13 July, 2005

Rant 'o the day...

I love my iPod. Really, I do. I've ripped about 50% of my CD collection (about 250 or so) and carry it around with me on that tiny, but incredibly useful device. I also love the way that iTunes automatically puts in the track titles, disc title, composer, etc. when a CD is ripped, but why, oh why, can't it do this consistently on multi-CD collections?

It's terribly annoying to be copying a 3 or 4 disc recording of an opera or audiobook and have each disc come up with a different format. For example, the first track on the first disc will be "Act I, Scene I" or "Chapter 1" but the first track on the second disc will be the title of the song, or the name of the book, or some other inconsistent label. If I leave them like that, it makes it more difficult to find the correct tracks when listening, so I have to edit each track's title separately so they'll match.

Why does this happen? It happens whether I use iTunes, Media Player, or RealPlayer, so I know it's not the software. I'm betting it's the discs themselves, but why wouldn't the recording companies want the tracks to be consistently labeled?


11 July, 2005

The Case of the Constrained Pharmacist

Independent, local newspapers are great. With so much of the media today swallowed up by huge corporations, it's good to get more of a "grassroots" sort of voice.

I read Greensboro's Rhino Times on a more or less regular basis. Although I'm not quite in lockstep with the overly (and openly) conservative bias, it's coverage of local issues is usually quite good. But I do have to take issue with them now and again.

Like this exchange between a reader and the editor (John Hammer) dealing with the brouhaha over pharmacists refusing to fulfill certain perscriptions due to alleged moral issues:

John, come out of your pervasive vegetative state for just a moment. You do not hire a pharmacist to dispense religious dogma. You hire him to dispense drugs.

Editor’s Note: No one is asking a pharmacist to dispense religious dogma, but a pharmacist should not be forced to dispense drugs that violate his own religious beliefs, just like a restaurant owner should not be forced to serve alcohol.
Ummm...a particularly inapt analogy. Very few pharmacists actually own the pharmacies at which they work. A better analogy might be, "a pharmacist should not be forced to dispense drugs that violate his own religious beliefs, just like a waiter or waitress should not be forced to serve alcohol." But, of course, that doesn't serve John's purpose

But at a restaurant that does serve alcohol, I daresay any waiter or waitress who refuses to serve it to a paying customer on alleged "moral grounds" would likely be in danger of losing his/her job. I know that if I owned the restaurant, they surely would be.

The point is, no person should be forced into doing something that is against their religious or moral beliefs. However, particular job functions do unfortunately require particular actions. "Pharmacist" requires the dispensing of prescription drugs based upon a doctor's specifications and subject to state and national law and the procedures of the particular pharmacy. If the owner of the pharmacy has determined that birth control or other medications are to be dispensed at the pharmacy, then the pharmacist is in dereliction of his/her job responsibilities to refuse to dispense them.

Pharmacists who find themselves unable to dispense certain medications would be well advised to seek alternate employment, commensurate with their high moral standards.

Ah, the start of a delightful new blogging enterprise. One can only hope that it will end better than my last one (with the same title, but now defunct).

It's my intention to provide not only the (ultimately) boring and commonplace thoughts that occupy my mind from day to (variable) day, but insightful and witty (yeah, right!) commentary on current events, both local and otherwise.

Occasionally I may link to some of my other online writings, as well (oh woe betide my ill-fated readers!)...

And all from the comfort of my desk!