Saturday, August 02, 2008

1938 Ignorant

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stephen at "[A]mazed and [Be]mused" posted a complaint recently, that the American public is ignorant. Dangerously ignorant.

He uses as examples the way we demand antibiotics for viral colds, when we should know by now that they don't help, and the doctors give them to us. This contributes to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. We are happily creating killer germs. Further, when antibiotics are truly indicated, we know we should take the full course of antibiotics, the doctors are insistent that we take the full course, we know we shouldn't stop when we start to feel better. Again, stopping short of the full course leads to resistant germs. But how many times have you read of some blogger self-treating with antibiotics "left over from the last time I had this"? Otherwise reasonable people are trying to kill us.

Another of Stephen's examples is the huge number of Americans who still believe Barack Obama is Muslim, Democrats as well as Republicans. He gives the count at 25%, regardless of the amount of investigative coverage Obama has had by folks who would like to see him fail. And then there's the huge number who still believe Saddam Hussein had WMD. I'll add to this all the folks who sincerely believe that anyone who is not American is automatically stupid. These people vote, and their ignorance could kill us all.

I'll add, as further proof of the ignorance of America, the very large number of us, thousands, who actually fall for those "Nigerian Scams" every year. How can anyone alive and aware enough to use a computer NOT know about those scams?

And then there's the way we fall for every commercial, for every "new and improved" product, everything corporations tell us. Companies have to come up with stuff to sell us. But hey, we don't have to buy it! The shampoo companies discovered how stupid we were in the '70s (or so) when they discovered that they could sell us twice as much shampoo simply by putting "Rinse, repeat" on the bottle.

Now they are telling us that we need to bleach and sanitize everything in the house, or we're a bad mother and terrible housekeeper. They don't care that we'd be raising a generation of kids with no immunities. Why on earth have we accepted that?

Why do we need to have every fancy electronic device that comes along? You know all those CDs you spent a fortune on in the 80s and 90s? If business has its way, they will all become unplayable soon, and you'll have to replace your entire music collection (ka-ching!). Why do we accept being expected to upgrade (read "replace") cell phones, etc. etc., every year? God forbid you should buy anything that you aren't forced to replace long before it dies. In the meantime, what is this throw-away mentality doing to our natural resources, and landfills?

Obesity. Deadly. Howcome we don't seem to know that yet? We know how deadly fast food burgers are, and yet there are many people who never eat anything but. Thinking people were horrified when they started putting 1/4 lb. of meat in one bun. Um, the past few times I've tried to order a burger in a steak house, the smallest was 1/2 lb. of meat! People are buying those things! Why?! Because they're ignorant of the consequences. And they shouldn't be.

We never see the consequences of what we do, what we accept, what we're "sold". We bought the SUV "necessity" whole hog. Whole GAS hog. I still don't understand why people thought they HAD to have them. But we did pretty much the same thing on a larger scale 50 years ago, when we allowed freight trains to die in favor of long-haul trucking. I still don't understand how anyone could think that was better. You know those stupid Europeans? They can go from almost any address in any small city to any other address in any other small city completely by bus and train. Comfortable, fast, frequent, convenient trains, which, since they've kept the tracks up, are only getting faster. Compare to our mass transit systems. We are completely ignorant. And it's going to kill us, economically if not literally.

What is most dangerous is our complete and utter ignorance of history and geography, our disdain for any other culture but our own.

Stephen ends with: "But if the question is, Will the informed, rational people of the world one day be destroyed by events set in motion by other people’s ignorance?, the answer is You betcha!"

Friday, August 01, 2008

1937 What are they thinking?

Friday, August 1, 2008

All of my online dating profiles and accounts have been dead for a year, but is still sending me weekly email full of "matches we have selected for you". I don't know what criteria they're using for this matching. They send me men who live 100 miles away. Men who are 40 years old, looking for women 28-38. From the photos it would be easy to conclude they're just sending me the most desperate of their clients.

I suppose there's a way to make them stop, but I haven't tried because it's sometimes amusing. I've been giggling at some of the "handles" these guys choose.

  • Snowaterguy - why do I think "yellow"?
  • Dumas789 - just how many other dumb asses are there out there? (He's nice looking, BTW.)
  • Earthighs - I suspect he means "Earth highs", but I keep reading it as "Ear thighs".
  • Varsity02 - a 61-yo? A case of arrested development?
  • Johnnyace719 - casino, anyone?
  • GPsilverfox - well, he's got a healthy self-image. I suspect the GP is Grandpa.
  • Jeepsoft - I kinda like this, wonder how he came up with it. Makes me think of little fuzzy yellow chicks with attitude, for some reason.
  • Briskymorning - I happen to know this guy, ex-coworker, super sexy, but his handle makes me shiver.
  • Ubereclectic - I have to wonder about anyone who uses "uber". I already have a feeling we wouldn't hit it off. "Uber" smells of beer.
  • No401k - he's looking for a sugar momma?
  • Artfuldoger892 - Prophetic? Not promising if one wants a long-term relationship.
  • Maj.Pain - Makes me laugh. Humor or honesty?
  • Cereopsis - that's the Cape Barren Goose, cereopsis novaehollandiae. They mate only in/on water. Is this a warning or a promise?
  • Topguyforltr - is that Top Guy For Letter? I don't get it, but it feels vaguely dirty.
  • Soundsystem10003 - I have a feeling the lady will not come first.
  • BankdudeNY - working in or robbing? And, um, "dude"? You're adult!
  • Cinderella1faces - this is a guy?
  • Singlebi - thanks for being upfront about it.
  • Darthblader - I read that as Darth Bladder and cringed.
  • MikeB4u - honest about his egotism, I guess.
  • Characterwanted - just what I wanted, a man without character.
  • Roughhands529 - thanks for the warning.
  • Bethbrian - threesome anyone?
  • Callmemisterbig - are you bragging, or just into Manolo Blahniks?
  • Loseofwords - if that was supposed to be "loss", you're right.
  • Allnigtflyer - hey, don't promise what you can't deliver. Unless you're maybe a bat.
  • Uglyduck47 - and he didn't provide a photo. Poor guy.
  • Skiier_Wanted - do you want a whole relationship, or someone who fits one small part of your life?
  • Urbdyisawndrland - oh, come on! Empty flattery will get you nowhere.
  • Poorjohn69honey - run, ladies, run.
(All these ids can be located on

Funniest thing - I mined some past "match" emails for some names, then decided to go to the website and search, and see if I could find more good ones I could make fun of. When the photos came up, I was amazed! Hey, good looking guys! Lots better than the guys they'd been sending me. Wow! Yummy!

Then I discovered I'd accidentally searched as "man looking for man". Oops. Never mind. Gorgeousness explained.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1936 Freakonomic Economics

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The new NYS governor has been all over the news, with his economic plan for the state. When he took office he was startled to find that the current state deficit is $5 billion. That's billion. With a "B". And next year it is expected to go to $6.5 billion if major spending cuts are not made.

In his various speeches and interviews, he talked about how the people of the state are suffering, that people are losing jobs and are unable to find work, that people are losing their homes, that they'll have to choose this winter between heating the house or feeding the children. He actually declared that NYS is experiencing a recession - a word Wall Street and the federal government have been careful to avoid.

His solution? Drastic cuts to state government spending. Cuts in state programs. Cuts in state employees. He hopes that the employee cuts (no solid number yet, but it's above 1,000) can be achieved through attrition and hiring freezes, but layoffs are not off the table.

Ok, supposedly, nobody understands economics. Supposedly, common sense does not apply. But it sure does seem to me that laying people off and removing jobs, and cutting state supported programs that help economically challenged people, with the resulting domino effect of more jobs disappearing, sure isn't going to help.

I guess I have to be wrong, because it's common sense.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1935 Signs

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Last week in NJ The Man and I were traveling down a road when I saw a sign outside a Ramada Inn. I made him pull a U-turn (a major piece of business in NJ) so I could get a photo of the sign. I screwed up and didn't save it, but I can reproduce it:

Have The World's Most
Exquisite Wedding Here

Starting from $39.95

Piper and I walked today (3.5 miles), and passed a church and cemetery in the village. They had a sign, too:

July Special
St. John's Cemetery


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1934 The hard disk puzzle solved

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back when I was using Jay's old desktop computer, I noted that the hard disk was partitioned, there was a lot of disk space missing, and I speculated that there was another partition beyond the two (C and D) that I was aware of. Nothing beyond C and D showed up on queries. I then found a set of CDs labeled "Backup - C,D,E,F", but I didn't know what was on E and F.

Yesterday I found a trove of backup CDs in a box in the closet. They are all fully labeled with the contents, including file names.
- C is operating system and applications.
- D is mostly my stuff - music, photos, letters, etc.
The hidden ones:
- E is work for The Company.
- F is work for the partnership he was involved with.
- G is communication with the Java folks, and test versions of Java thingies.
- H is all games, I think.
- I, J, K, and L appear to be empty, or temp files. They are backed up on the same CD as G.

'Twould appear that Jay went a little crazy with the partitioning.

Still no idea how to get to the hidden ones. I don't want to trash or donate the old computer without erasing and overwriting all but the C-disk, and I don't know how. I may have to bring that enormous magnet up from the basement and wipe it all out.

1933 Glowing through the psoriasis

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I have psoriasis on my elbows, self-diagnosed. Flat shiny gray scales. My elbows look awful. They look dirty. I've asked my doctor about it in the past, and she said it was just dry skin and to moisturize, and recommended various creams. They didn't work. I found out by accident (grabbed the wrong tube) that cortisone cream is the only thing that works. It makes them just red instead of dirty gray, but that's an improvement. I'm getting very upset about the whole thing.


Something interesting, to me, anyway. When I don't wear makeup, people who usually see me in warpaint will ask me what's wrong. They tell me I look tired, or like I'm coming down with something. I'll walk into Piper's office, and he'll jump up and say, "What's wrong? You look terrible!", or the cashier at the IGA will say, "Rough day, huh?" In stores where they don't know me, I've noticed I get better service with makeup than without. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating. It's constant, and guaranteed. (I don't think people are being rude - I have to appreciate their concern when they seem to think there's reason for it. It's nice to know they care.)

Even when I say, "Oh, I'm ok. I'm just not wearing makeup", they nod, but then they don't seem to believe me, and treat me like I'm in delicate condition or something.

So, I wear makeup when I leave the house, in self-defense.

However, it's entirely different if I've had happy sex within like 36 hours.

I left The Man on Friday morning and went directly to Daughter's. I had not put makeup on. The first thing she said when I walked in was, "Wow. You look great!" On my way home that afternoon, I stopped in at Piper's office. He told me I was "lookin' real good." Then I stopped at the grocery store, and the clerk asked if I'd just got back from vacation or something, "'ve got a glow."

I think that's weird. I look in the mirror, and I don't really look any different. Maybe a little more sparkle in the eyes? Color in the cheeks? Skin a little tighter? Bull poopy. I'm wondering if they're picking up on pheromones or something.

On the other hand, your mental attitude definitely shows on your face, and maybe that's what they're seeing. Happy sex. If I'm feeling blah, I look blah, unless I've painted on a happy face. If I'm happy and still purring, I look happy, I look at people happily, perhaps I even purr at them, and that rubs off on others, with or without paint.

There's a lesson there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

1932 Boscobel & Bits

Monday, July 28, 2008

The play last night was Cybeline. I'd never heard of it before. I understood it and liked it better than any of the others I'd attended at Boscobel so far. As usual, there was the "girl dressed as boy", and the other characters don't recognize her. I may be considered an uncultured barbarian for this, but I never understood Shakespeare worship. The sonnets are good, and a few of the plays (e.g. Romeo & Juliet, and Hamlet), but I find many to be rather juvenile. Food for the masses. I like the ancient Greek plays better, and even Gilbert & Sullivan.

That reminds me - we read Hamlet in high school. One of my classmates said she didn't think the author was very good because "he used a lot of trite phrases, like 'get thee to a nunnery', and that 'something's rotten in Denmark' thing. I mean really! He's not very original."

I did have a ticket waiting for me, and no one exploded until the very end of the evening, and then it took the form of her abruptly leaving.

Roman and I ended up in a diner at a little after 11 pm. We talked for an hour or more, and it was nice. I've missed talking with him.

Today I had a very long walk with Piper, and then I took Suzy to the beauty parlor, where she got an oil change, lube, paw rotation, and state inspection. I'll have to give her an aerobic workout soon to see if she needs her paws aligned. She's been a bit shaky lately at about 70 mph.


I occasionally find mail in my mailbox that's addressed to someone else, sometimes a neighbor, sometimes someone on an entirely different road. If it's a neighbor, I put it in their mailbox. If it's someone elsewhere, I return it to the mail carrier.

I often wonder if any of my mail is similarly misdelivered.

I overheard a conversation yesterday that infuriated me. I've heard other people say the same thing before, and it makes me wonder about the morals of the average American.

Here's how it goes:
Woman 1 mentioned that she got someone else's package in the mail.
Woman 2 asked what it was.
Woman 1 says she doesn't know, that she took it to the post office.
Woman 2 says she gets other people's mail too, but she opens it. Letters, she just throws out. If it's a package with good stuff, she keeps it. If not, she throws it out.
Woman 1 expresses shock.
Woman 2 shrugs and says that it's the law that if someone sends you something you didn't order, you get to keep it. Besides, if it's at all valuable, it's insured, and if letters are important, they'll send another.

There's so much wrong with that statement I don't know where to start. And this is the third time I've heard something like that in the past 18 months. It makes me sick to my stomach. I can't help but wonder how much mail I never got. I'd have accosted this woman, but she was big and mean looking, and moving out the door faster than I was.


After the across-the-street neighbors sold their house and moved, I thought my mailbox and newspaper tube were finally safe. About once a year, either they or someone visiting them would hit my box backing out of their driveway, and not once did anyone apologize or offer to fix it.

Jay had mounted the mailbox on plumbing pipes with "L" joints, so if it got hit it would twist on the pipes, rather than just get crushed. But it's got 20 years of rust in those joints, so it takes an enormous amount of force to turn it, and it needs the Hairless Hunk's backhoe to twist it back. There's no way someone could hit it hard enough to twist it and not be aware what they'd done.

When I got home last night, I found my mailbox twisted at a 45 degree to the road, and the tube leaning over. There's no note. No apology.

I am so angry I could spit nails. I'm tempted to take the binoculars down the driveway, and see if there are dents in the back of either of their cars.


Teens outside the diner. "Want a cigarette?" "What? You smoking? You're on the team! Besides, those things can kill you!" "Nah. These are herbal. There's nothing dangerous in them."

Ack! First off, tobacco is herbal! I'm tired of people using "herbal" (or "natural") without any idea what it means. Second, nicotine affects your heart, but has little effect on the lungs. It's the byproducts of burning - the particles that settle in your lungs, the oils, the body's inflammatory response to the smoke, that destroys your lungs! "Nothing dangerous" my ass!

(Yeah, "herbal" tea also annoys me. Tea with caffeine is herbal, too. Don't you dare try to offer me "non-herbal" tea. There's no such thing, by definition.)

Bah. Bedtime.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

1931 No Sleep

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's 6:30 am, and I have not yet slept. We had a pretty unbelievable storm last night. Actually, three or four separate storms. I could tell when one ended because the cats returned to the bed, and then they'd disappear when the next started.

I think there was rain only with the last one. Mostly it was lightning and thunder. Lightning and thunder don't usually bother me, but I'd never in my life heard thunder like last night's. Loud and constant rumbles with a bang or multiple bangs about every three seconds. It was so steady and loud it sounded like a monster train coming - and from my memories of Missouri, that usually means tornado. At one point I considered moving to the basement, but then decided there wasn't much point.

That went on, off and on, all night. A storm would end, and I'd start to drift off, and BAM! it would start again.

I'm meeting people (FW and Roman, and four people from NYC Mensa) for another evening of Shakespeare at Boscobel. Tonight is Cymbeline. The group wants to meet early for a picnic before the play, and given the characters I'll have to deal with, it's going to be a very long day. FW bought the tickets, and we are each supposed to pick up ours at the ticket office. I hope she hasn't pulled another of her tricks and "forgot" to include my ticket in the count. I wouldn't put it past her.

Maybe I can get a few hours sleep this morning.

More cat pictures.