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10/27/2003 Archived Entry: "End of the theatre season"

Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon "Interesting Things We Have Learned From Republicans Lately" is worth a gander.

Perhaps it is my cynicism speaking -- it *does* tend toward loquaciousness -- but I see stage setting behind Sen. Joseph Lieberman's threat to take the Bush Administration to court...so to speak. The threat springs from the belief by members of both parties that the White House is "stonewalling the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by blocking its demands for documents despite threats of a subpoena." I do not doubt that Lieberman is extremely frustrated and sincerely outraged by attempts to block the investigation which he was instrumental in organizing. I also do not doubt that a major Bush scandal that happens to break open shortly before the Presidential election would make wonderful stage decoration for the Democratic Party platform. Lieberman declares, "If they continue to refuse [to turn over documents], I will urge the independent commission to take the administration to court," said Lieberman, who is running for president. "And if the administration tries to run out the clock, John McCain and I will go to the floor of the Senate to extend the life of the commission." Let's see...that would continue the commission's investigation well into the active campaigning period. It is always nice when one's principled stands co-incide with one's vested political interests.

I thank Lee S. for sending me this useful tip from The Kim Komando Show Electronic Newsletter which is available for free. A reader wrote in with a question about protecting privacy in Microsoft Word. The question: "I sent a Word document to a co-worker, who then called and wanted to know about a change I had made when editing the document. I was startled, because that change should not have been visible. Is there a way that recipients can see changes in documents?" The answer: "It's easy to leave edited information in Word documents. For instance, Word can be set up to track changes that are made to a document. If you have this enabled, every change you make will be recorded. Furthermore, a name is attached to each change. So the other party will know not only what was said and then deleted, but by whom. This feature is enabled by clicking Tools Track Changes. When it is enabled, the letters "TRK" are set in bold type in the bottom taskbar. Turn it off the same way it is turned on--click Tools Track Changes. There's an even sneakier feature in Word--Fast Saves. This was a handy feature when documents were huge and computers were glacial. It's unnecessary today, and can be dangerous. When Fast Saves is enabled, the changes to the document are appended to the end. So, if you change paragraph five, the original paragraph will remain in the document, and the changes will be added to the end. When the recipient opens the document in Word, the document looks normal, with all the changes in place. But if it is opened in a text editor, such as Notepad, both the original and changed information will be visible. Oops! Few recipients would know to do that. But why take the chance? Fast Saves doesn't add much. I'd turn it off. To do that, click Tools Options. Select the Save tab. Remove the check from Allow Fast Saves. A recipient of a Word file can get other information about you, too. By clicking File Properties, the recipient may find your and your firm's names, along with other information, on the Summary tab. Avoid that by clicking Tools Options and selecting the Security tab. Check the box next to "Remove personal information from the file on save. That takes care of that particular file. To make that change in all files, you have to change the Word default. Find the Normal.dot file (mine is in C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\>Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dot). This is a template used by Word. Open Tools Options and select the Security tab. As before, check the box. When I attempted to save this file, Windows refused to overwrite the original Normal.dot. So I saved it as Norma.dot. Then I moved the original Normal.dot to a temporary folder and changed Norma.dot to Normal.dot. When I was certain that Word was working properly, I deleted the original Normal.dot."

On a personal note:
The hectic pace has prevented me from blogging and this, in turn, sabotages my goal of keeping family and friends up to date. I haven't even described our last visit to the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, where Brad and I saw two plays, both of which were musicals: a matinee performance of "Happy End" by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht; and an evening performance of Betty Comden and Adolph Green's "On the Twentieth Century." I was particularly delighted by the Brecht which Shaw's Playbill accurately described, "Think of Happy End as Major Barbara meets Guys and Dolls in a German cabaret!" The production transposed one of the ending songs to the very beginning so that the first thing the audience heard was the rousing and utterly cynical, "God Bless Rockfeller, God Bless Henry Ford" number. Last year, Brad and I attended a production of Weill and Brecht's "The Threepenny Opera" -- also a delight -- but I preferred "Happy End"...tho' Brad found it slow in parts (his only criticism). I am always pleased when Brad likes Brecht because the first such play we attended (at my behest) didn't exactly go over well. It was Brecht at his most confrontational, where he/the actors almost assault the audience with eye contact, lighting, lunging, shouting, turning their backs.... It was a form of assault theatre, which I find rather interesting but -- like I said -- it didn't go over well. The second play on Friday, "On the Twentieth Century," lacked the political message and the tremendously sour idealism of Brecht but I thought it was all to the best for us to end our theatre-going season with a frothy romp. I didn't realize at the time that BettyComden and Adolph Green had also written one of my favorite movies, "Singing in the Rain." Must run...

Best to all,

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