Saturday, January 10, 2009

2208 The eBay Necklace Dispute

Saturday, January 10, 2008

PayPal has ruled in my favor on the necklace. I got the email yesterday:
We have concluded our investigation into your case and have decided in your favor.

You have indicated that a partial refund of $31.42 USD would be satisfactory.

If the seller's account has insufficient funds to complete the refund owed to you, please be assured that we will take appropriate action against the seller's account, which may include limitation of the seller's account privileges.


No further action is required by you at this time.

So, I'm waiting for the refund ("partial" because she had already refunded the shipping charges because it took her several weeks to get around to mailing it).

She currently has 130+ items listed, all "Buy-It-Now" with "Immediate Payment Required" through PayPal, so I know she has the money in her account or will as soon as she sells another item or two, and she won't be allowed to withdraw any until my claim is satisfied. So I'm waiting.

Since mailing the necklace to me, she has not responded to any of my emails, she didn't respond to the PayPal inquiries, and the phone number listed with both eBay and PayPal has been disconnected. I am unable to contact her.

Actually, I didn't want a refund so much as the four missing rings. I said that in my emails to her, and in my PayPal complaint. But now, since I'm getting a full refund, I have a moral dilemma.

I feel guilty having both the necklace and the refund. I feel like I should return the necklace, but I'm not sure the listed address for her is valid. I guess I could write to her, snail mail, and tell her that I'd like to send it back, but need to verify her address. Beyond the moral issue, I've got a feeling she's pissed, and if and when I start selling on eBay, I don't need her or her friends retaliating by doing to me what she perhaps thinks I did to her.


2207 Possible or Impossible?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Arthur C. Clarke's three laws of impossibility:
  • "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  • "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  • "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
(Interesting short discussion of three levels of impossibility here.)

Physics and science aside, even we common folks have to be careful when evaluating what's possible and what's impossible.

Judge Judy often decides that since a reasonable person (she herself) would not do what the witness claims was done, the witness must therefore be lying, because what he or she claimed was impossible. And she does shout the actual word "impossible".

My father and Project Blue Book decided that since there was a possible, reasonable, terrestrial explanation for what a witness had seen, that must therefore have been what the witness saw, and therefore there is and has been no such thing as extraterrestrial visitation. It's impossible.

Houdini set out to prove that seers and seances were bunk, and he did so by replicating seance events by non-supernatural means, and concluded that because he could do the same thing, all seance events must therefore have been faked. Impossible.

The fallacy of course is in concluding that just because there's a reasonable explanation, just because the event could have happened in a reasonable way, then it must therefore have happened that way. That's not valid.

I'm not saying all Judy's witnesses are truthful, or that little gray men are flying around teasing us, or that ghosts come on command to shake tables. That's not a valid conclusion, either.

I'm just saying that just because there is a possible reasonable explanation for something that seems impossible does not mean that it IS the only explanation. It could be, but it doesn't inherently contain the proof that it is. Simply making sense doesn't make something true. It's relatively easy to prove something is possible. It's very difficult to prove something is impossible.

I'm tempted to go so far as to say that it's impossible to prove something is impossible, but that's where we have to bring the science and physics back in (keeping in mind that they don't know everything, and they've made some wrong calls, too).

Now, with "improbable", there we have some wiggle room.

2206 My UFO

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I have mentioned before that in 1964 and into 1965 my father was on several month's temporary duty at Wright Patterson AFB, where he was assigned to Project Blue Book. My mother and younger siblings were living on a SAGE base in eastern Pa., where my father had been the commander. I was in college, about an hour's drive from home.

My father came home about every other weekend, and he brought Project Bluebook materials with him. The folders would lie on the dining room table, complete with SECRET stamps.

On several weekends when I came home and my parents were out, I leafed through them.

They contained detailed reports from the witnesses, the location and history of other incidents in that area, background of the witnesses, atmospheric and weather conditions at the time, reports of all military, commercial, and private air traffic, and all weather balloons etc. within x miles, all satellite positions, records from commercial and military radar, and so on.

I asked my father about the files. It wasn't hard to get him to talk about them. He thought it was the best fun he'd ever had.

His job was to read through all the material, and then come up with an explanation based on that information, that would stick. So he'd work out visibility distance, cloud patterns, wind directions, and so on, and then write an explanation of what it could have been, if this were just a bit west of the report, and if this were so, and so on. However, it was not written up as "what it could have been" --- it was entered in the file as what it was scientifically proven to have been!

I was not amused.

It's interesting that my father had been unable to explain my own UFO experience.

It happened a few years before the Blue Book assignment, when I was 15, 1960. He was the commander of the SAGE base then. The base was on the top of an isolated mountain in northeastern Pa., surrounded by a state park, a wildlife preserve, and miles and miles of nothing.

I used to spend hours with my dog in the fields and woods around the base. I didn't have a watch, but I knew the commercial flight schedules and directions, so I knew when a certain flight went over (Avoca to Chicago?) it was time to head home for dinner, and so on.

One summer day I was near the rifle range when I caught the glint of planes near the northeastern horizon. Odd. No commercial planes ever came from the northeast. There were three of them, close together, one in front, two flanking, in a perfectly clear sky. Three in formation seemed to say military. They were very bright, like the sun was reflecting off them. They were long and thin, too long for their width, like needles, and I realized I saw no wings, and heard no sound. They left no contrails, either. All of that made me think that they were very high. I watched them fly over, and then I realized that they had taken only 10 seconds or so to cross from horizon to horizon. Man, that's FAST! Either that or they weren't as high as I thought they were - but if they were lower shouldn't they have looked bigger, shouldn't I have seen wings?

A few minutes later, the commercial "go home for dinner" flight came over and I went home. My father was home, so I told him about these really fast planes, and asked him what they were. He called the guy on duty in the towers (two search, one heightfinder, and the SAGE block) and asked what had come over just before the commercial flight.

None of the radar had shown anything. My father went up to the base (we lived right next to the gate) to find out why not.

Later, I got pretty thoroughly grilled, because, of course, that's impossible. There was never any explanation. There were no radar tracks. My father told me I was nuts, and never to mention it again, and as proof that I was nuts he pointed out that planes traveling from the northeast to southwest at that time of day would not be lighted by the sun, they'd be silhouetted, therefore I'm nuts.

And that was that.

Friday, January 09, 2009

2205 Big Engineering and Financial Discoveries

Friday, January 9, 2009

When I buy new eyeglasses, I always get two pair, because I'm blind without my glasses. If I pack an overnight bag, the spare pair goes in. Usually I alternate wear occasionally, and usually, when it's time for new lenses I get one new frame, and have new lenses put in the better of the old frames. Last time, about two years ago, I got two new frames because I caught a good sale and both of the old ones were ratty.

However, since day one, one of the new pair has been unwearable. The thingies that sit on the nose HURT! They leave red welts on my nose, that will go to blisters if I keep wearing them.

I've taken them back twice, and the first time they just adjusted them (didn't help much) and the second time they replaced the pads with smaller softer pads. Still didn't help. Part of the problem is that they feel ok at first, but within two hours they get painful.

This morning I got the hurty pair out and decided I was going to fix them somehow. If I broke them trying, I wouldn't lose much because I can't wear them anyway.

I bent and tweaked the nose pieces six ways from Sunday, and they still hurt. It felt like the glasses were too heavy on my nose. So I weighed them. They actually weigh less than the ones that don't hurt. I thought about that a bit.

Why do they feel heavier? Because they press on my nose harder. But they aren't heavier. So why do they press harder?

Because the thingies that go over the ears are too tight! That pulls the nose thingies hard against my nose!

I straightened out the ear thingies so they just rest over my ears instead of grabbing them, and wow, I've been wearing them 8 hours now, and they're fine.

It took so long to figure that out because they never hurt my ears.


Interesting question. Suppose someone has been accused of some financial crime, say embezzling a gazillion dollars. Say that he is being sued in civil court for the missing money, and has been charged in criminal court with the crime. The civil court freezes his assets so he can't dispose of them before the case is decided. The criminal court is getting very nasty.

He needs to get two good lawyers, one civil, one criminal. He's rich. He ought to be able to afford great lawyers, and has a right to whatever he can pay for. Civil isn't too much of a problem, since any lawyer who isn't sure he can free those assets and get the guy off isn't one he wants on his side, anyway.

The criminal lawyer is the problem, and he needs him first. His assets being frozen, he can't pay a criminal lawyer up front. And the outcome of the civil case is likely to depend on the criminal outcome, because if he is found not guilty, the civil case will probably be dropped (although not definitely, as OJ will tell you, so he still needs the lawyer). Ye Olde Catch-22.

This is similar to the problem faced by Marc Dreier.

Not that I feel a whole lot of sympathy for him, but the situation has my head spinning.

He's innocent until proven guilty, right? And he's allowed the best criminal defense he can get, right? So is it fair to hamper his defense by freezing assets that are not yet proven to be ill-gotten?

Are a prosecutor and a civil lawyer allowed to arrange for assets to be frozen in order make it more likely to get a conviction? Isn't this collusion to hamstring a defendant? Is that ok?

It may be ok legally, but I don't think it's ok morally. You might argue that if the assets are stolen, it's right to ensure that he can't spend them before the rightful owner can get them back, but the counter to that is that until they are shown to be stolen, they're his.


Speaking of moral arguments, Piper advised me today to sell off a bunch of stock from one of my private accounts, stocks that have fallen, bank the money, and then buy back the same stocks after 30 days. That way, after the 30 days, I am in the same position as before, but now I have a huge capital loss to claim on my 2009 income tax.

My chin dropped. Shock. "That doesn't sound right!" It's ok, he said. Perfectly legal. The law just says you have to wait 30 days.

I told him it may be legal, but to me it sounds immoral! He and Vinnie looked at me like I was crazy. "It's not immoral. It's BUSINESS!"


I've "lost" a few hundred thousand in this rotten market (I don't consider it really lost because I haven't sold any, it's all good stuff, and will all come back when the market recovers). But if I sold off all the losers, then bought them back, I could end up paying almost NO 2009 income tax without hurting myself at all.

Now, think about that top 1%, the multi-billionaires. If I could eliminate taxes without damaging my bottom line, what do you think they could do? And if they did it, what would that do to the market? And of course it would be to their enormous advantage if the market not only stayed low for a while, but even better if it dropped a little more.

So with the bailouts raising the federal deficits, taxes will have to go up for someone. That bill's got to be paid. Everybody thinks, well, raise the taxes on those folks who have more than they need. But ha ha! They've found a way to not pay ANY taxes!

Another instance of the core mechanics of our economic system - "Give to them what got, and make them what don't got pay for it." That's the way it was designed.


Which leads to a final thought: I don't understand why folks would trust someone named Madoff with all their money. (There's a joke in there, "made off with all their money", but I don't know how to write it.)

2204 The Before-Mommy

Friday, January 9, 2009

[This is all absolutely true.]

In about 1978, when Daughter was 3 years old, she was very verbal. She had been speaking in three and four word sentences at 9 months, and then when she realized no one but her Mommy could understand her ("yellow" was "eeoo", for example), she stopped. When she started up again at 2, she had a huge vocabulary, near perfect pronunciation, structure, and grammar.

I'd had three miscarriages and a stillbirth before her. I was afraid she'd be all I'd have (I was 31 when she was born), so she was a 100% natural birth, and I was very involved with her. She'd never at that point even been left with a sitter. She had never been exposed to anything that I wasn't aware of. She had been enrolled in a thrice-weekly program for exceptional children starting at 14 months, but even there I knew about everything she saw and did.

And I know that she'd never seen or heard of most of the things she told me about having seen and experienced before coming to live with me.

I was a bit surprised when one day I was starting supper, and she asked what we were having, and when I said "sausage", she said, "Oooo, I like sausage. My before-Mommy used to make that all the time."

Me: "Your before-Mommy? What before-Mommy?"
She: "The Mommy I had before I came to you."
Me: "You had a Mommy before me?"
She: (Impatiently) "Yes!" (Frustrated) "The Mommy I had before I died and came to you!"
Me: "Oh. You had a Mommy you lived with, and then you died, and then you came to me?"
She rolled her eyes, stamped her foot, and went off to play with the dog.

Now, keep in mind, she's three. This is the same kid who, more than a year later, burst into tears when she discovered I had once been a child - "But whooooo took care of meeeee when yooooooou were a baby?" I told her Gramma took care of both of us, and that satisfied her. To a child of three, what is now always was and always will be. So the idea of a before, especially where Mommy is concerned, is beyond inconceivable.)

The next time Before-Mommy came up I was putting something in the oven, and she said, "My before-Mommy would really like that oven."

Me: "She didn't have an oven?"
She: "Yes, she had one, but not like that."
Me: "What was hers like?"
She: "It wasn't iron. It was like clay, and it was shaped like this (arms swinging in a large high mound), and you put the bread in a hole here (shoving motion about chin high), and the fire goes in here (walking around to the other "side" and motioning low). Vegetables and stuff go in here (back around to the "front", motioning to a lower hole). No doors. Yours is a lot nicer. You don't have to build a fire."

Over the next year and a half we had many strange conversations. They were always initiated by her, always in quiet moments, usually when we were alone, but occasionally when her father was nearby and could hear. (Thank goodness, a witness!)

During these conversations, she looked and sounded older. Her voice was lower. Her whole aspect changed. She moved differently, tighter, commented on things a child her age wouldn't normally notice, drew conclusions beyond her age. Sat quietly and conversed.

I also quickly learned that when the conversation was over, it was over. Once she wandered away, if I went to her and asked about something she had just said, she didn't know what I was talking about. It was like she had "spells" when she remembered Before-Mommy, but outside those spells, when the spell ended, Before-Mommy not only didn't exist, Daughter had no memory of having talked about her! I pushed a bit once, and she burst into tears because she thought I was telling her she was adopted. I learned to move very gently, to get as much information as I could at her pace, on every occasion offered, before the spell ended.

I also learned that I couldn't ask a "wild duck" question. I could probe deeper into whatever she was talking about, could ask questions about whatever her chosen topic was, but if I tried to go beyond that, the discussion was over. For example, I never found out what her name was, and that was driving me nuts. Still does. But the moment to ask never came.

The following is what she told me, in bits and pieces, usually kicked off by something we were doing, over the next year plus. It was completely consistent, and the details were always the same no matter from what direction they were approached.

She, her mother, her older brother, and "Old-Pa" lived in a house in the mountains. It was all mountainy. Pointy. Lots of big wide fields, all around. (There was apparently no father? When I asked about a father, she looked like she didn't understand.) "Old-Pa" (the grandfather, I suspect) couldn't walk. He sat in a chair with wheels. (Like a wheelchair, like in the hospital?) No, a chair like in the kitchen, but with wheels on the bottom. Brother put the wheels on it. Brother took care of their "little camels" in the fields. (Little camels? I finally figured out from her descriptions that they were probably alpacas. That's very interesting, because llamas, alpacas, and vicunas are in fact related to camels, and in this life she had been exposed only to camels, so that's the word she used?) Her mother wore a man's big hat, and big skirts, "not pants, like you".

When Old-Pa died, the three of them moved into town. Their "house" was one large room, and all the houses were attached around in a square. The oven (which some ten years later I discovered was a perfect description of a clay beehive oven) was in the middle of the room. There was a door and a window with shutters in front of the house, and a door in the back that opened to a courtyard that all the houses used. She had been allowed to keep two little camels when they left the mountain (because she cried for them), and they were kept in the courtyard during the day (but they could go in and out), and in the house at night. Water came from a well down the street. That was her job, to go get water. Her mother didn't wear the man's hat any more.

There was something about her having injured her leg, and she had to use "crunches" for a little while, but I don't remember. She had a doll her mother had made for her.

Their house was really pretty, because it had painted vines and flowers and all kinds of stuff on the outside, all around the doors and the window. Her brother lived with them for a little while, then he went away to go to school to be a doctor. He bought an old car so he could come visit them a lot, but the car spent most of its time "in the car hoppital", so it wasn't much good.

She: "And then I got sick and died."
Me: "Do you know what made you sick?"
She: "No. I couldn't breathe, I think."
Me: "How old were you then?"
She: "Twelve. My brother came home, but he couldn't fix me. Then I died."
Me: (Treading very carefully) "And then what happened?"
She: (Nonchalantly) "I went to the waiting place."
Me: "Waiting place? What's it like there?"
She: "Oh, you know (No! I don't!), just a waiting place." (Waving her hand dismissively.)
Me: "What were you waiting for?"
She "Time to get born."
Me: "How long did you wait?"
She: (Rolling eyes, silly mommy) "There's no clocks there! I just waited 'til it was time, then I came to you."
Me: "How did you know when it was time?"
She: (Frustrated) "Because it was time to get borned!"
Me: "Why me?"
She: (Super frustrated) "Because that's! when! it was time!"
Spell over.

That was our last Before conversation. She remembers absolutely none of it, any of it.

I believe every word of it.

I think that's why she was able to tell me, because I listened and accepted, and didn't turn her off or tell her she was silly the first time she said something outrageous. I suspect many children with old souls come through with memories, but there's a small window when they are able to talk about them, that short period between *when they have the words* and *when the before fades*. And if they are discouraged, if the right now reality is imposed and insisted upon, the window slams closed.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

2203 Weird News

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I promised myself only one post today. I have stuff I have to DO! But the "news" that has percolated to the top today is just too good to pass up.

First, there's Joe the Plumber. He's leaving for Israel, with press credentials. Yeah. Google joe plumber gaza to read all about it.

Then there's the surgeon who donated a kidney to his wife a few years ago. Now she's filed for divorce, and he wants the kidney back. Google divorce kidney for that one.

New research has shown that those work-at-home offers have a 54 to 1 scam ratio. Wow. Who'd have guessed?

And the most shocking of all, researchers at multiple universities have concluded that the more a competitor practices, the better he or she gets. Groundbreaking discovery!

2202 Body

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Here's a photo, just 'cause I haven't thrown one in lately.

I've mentioned that the females in my family make muscles easily. The photo is Daughter, a few years ago. Dig those arms! I had to cut off her head because she doesn't want to be "exposed on the internet", despite the fact that this photo was in the newspaper. It was a big deal because it was her first solo marathon run, and Hercules met her at the finish line with roses, a ring, and the bended knee proposal, and reporters thought it was cute. (That's him next to her.)

It's one of my favorite photos because it's so HER. Number on her torso, roses in one hand, water bottle in the other, baggy shorts, muscles. That's my kid.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2201 Security Breach!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This could be serious. Simply announcing that someone has done it will ensure that someone else will try. Reported today by the Citizen Media Law Project:
The following post was submitted by one our loyal readers, Theo Karantalis.

MIAMI -- The familiar closed padlock icon that indicates a Web site is secure has been picked.

A Web security standard compromised by security researchers exposed a weak link in the system that could give hackers access to PCs.

At risk: all E-commerce and online banking transactions.

Researchers said that they used 200 PlayStation 3 video game consoles to defeat Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, a security mechanism designed to prevent eavesdropping and guarantee Internet users that their connections are encrypted and safe.

If it worries you, use the link above to read the entire article.


2200 Get in line, fellas!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Here's a good one from TMZ:
[Larry] Flynt (the "Hustler" guy) and [Joe] Francis (the "Girls Gone Wild" dude) are asking the government for a $5 billion bailout, claiming the adult entertainment industry has taken a huge shot to the face because of the downturn -- citing the fact that XXX DVD sales are down 22% from a year ago.
Read the TMZ article. It's short, and filled with snickers like the "shot to the face" above. I guess they're hoping for, in the end, the money shot from Congress.

2199 Cup O' Fat

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Over the past few days I've come across several references to Ramen noodles. Back when I was working in the litigation lab I often had either the noodles that come in the styrofoam cup or in the rectangular package when I couldn't take the time to go out for lunch. Haven't had them in years.

So when I saw the familiar cup in a half-box in the deli today, for 79 cents, I bought one.

For the first time ever, I read the package. I was surprised at the calories and fat content. They have a lot of salt, you can taste that right off, but I'd never realized how much fat they contain. It sure doesn't show.

In 300 calories in the cup, there's 13g of fat, or 35% of the daily value (whatever that means), and 1060mg of salt (44%), for a person averaging a 2,000 calorie diet.

I average closer to 1,000 calories, so that's more like 60-65% of my fat allowance, and 75% of the salt. In one little cup. A snack.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2198 Up, Never Down

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Visited Piper today, to straighten out the 2007 NYS taxes. NYS still thinks I owe another $313. I paid it in November, the check was cashed, but they don't seem to have a record of it. Piper has made some calls, and has promised to have it cleared up by Thursday.

Anyway, he and I and another guy got into a discussion of local taxes. The town (in NY, that's a subdivision of a county) budget has gone up again by 8%, and Piper has heard that the tax bills (to be mailed out this week) are that much higher.

I don't understand.

There has been an enormous amount of construction in the town in the past few years. There's a huge condominium complex opening on the edge of the village - each unit selling for $500,000 (each!). A 100-house planned village was built just east of here. There's a LOT of building going on. I don't know who's buying the units, but they are selling. The builders are responsible for putting in the roads and utilities, and yes, I understand that they increase the cost of town services --- BUT --- they also increase the tax base!

So if the budget goes up by 8%, shouldn't the increase be covered by the increased tax base? Shouldn't the individual portion of the budget be coming down? Why is it necessary to increase everyone's taxes by 8%? It doesn't make sense to me.

We get to see the details of the budget, but we never get to find out how much was actually collected. We trust that no more was collected than was approved. It seems to me that if they increase everyone's taxes by 8%, AND the tax base has increased so that properties that didn't exist are now paying, then the total amount collected will be MORE than the 8% increase approved. Is that legal? And if so, where does the overage go?

I really don't understand any of this.


Up, and never down, seems to be the usual.

About two years ago, when the prices of real estate was getting past ridiculous, the county reappraised everybody's property for tax assessment. (Although the assessed value of my house went up by 30%, it didn't bother me because as long as everybody's went up, the actual amount of my taxes would stay the same.) Now the prices are dropping precipitously, but will the county reappraise/adjust again? Yeah, sure.

The bad part is that when a house sells now at way below the assessed value, the sales value becomes the assessed value for taxes, so eventually those of us who don't sell, and are still taxed under the old (artificially high) assessed value, will be paying a higher proportion of the taxes. Not fair.

Remember along about the '70s or so, when something nasty was going on south of the border, and coffee and chocolate became very hard to get? And the cost of a chocolate bar went from 25 cents to 75 cents, AND they got smaller? Well, when the hostilities were over, the price of chocolate didn't drop. 'Member that? Same with sugar a few years before. Sugar never came back down.

And this summer, when gas was $4 or more per gallon, and all those folks started tacking on surcharges because "the cost of transportation has gone so high"? Well gas came down (one wonders why gas, but nothing else - we accuse Exxon of gouging, but not Hershey's?), but we're still getting hit with that surcharge. I've asked people why, and they look me straight in the eye and say, "Well the cost of transportation is so high...". Nah. They just got used to that surcharge and see no reason to give it up.

Prices are coming down now, but only for discretionary purchases, things that don't wear out, that you can put off buying. I hear it's a great time to buy a car. Unfortunately, it's not a great time to cash out investments to buy that car.

Especially when I've gotta pay taxes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2197 From the Radio

Monday, January 5, 2009

Drove to Daughter's today, made Welsh cookies. I think this may be the best batch ever. We made about six dozen, I brought home half.


Heard on the car radio: "... want to see scrutable evidence ...". Wow! I know the word "inscrutable", but I'd never heard "scrutable" before. Makes sense, though.

Of course I looked "scrutable" up when I got home, and it's defined as "not inscrutable", which I find funny - double negative, you know.

But in the car, my immediate thought was, well, if I immediately understand something, did I "scrute" it? Would that be the root? So I looked that up, too, and the closest verb is "scrutinize", which is the process of determining that something is scrutable, I suppose.

I find it odd that all those words with prefixes and endings doesn't seem to have a root word in English.


A pair on an NPR show were giggling about how Caroline Kennedy used the phrase "you know" over 200 times in a 30-minute interview. They talked about how annoying that can be, and said that the way to stop someone doing it is to, every time they say "you know", answer quite seriously "Yes, I know."

Sorry folks. That doesn't work. Ex#2 used to say "right" almost as punctuation. He'd breathe it softly after every phrase, or anywhere a comma would go, and at the end of every sentence. The average sentence had three to five "right"s in it. Annoyed the hell out of me. I told him about it and he denied it, so I started responding "Right." or "No..." every time he said it.

Then one day he told me that my interrupting him to agree or disagree with him all the time was very distracting. He still denied that he was saying "right", didn't believe me when I told him, even after I continued to respond to his "right"s.


So "Yes, I know" won't work on Ms. Kennedy. People with verbal tics don't know they're doing it. She'd just think you were being rude, and if you keep saying you know everything, why should she continue talking to you?


Also heard on the radio - Waterford is declaring bankruptcy, is looking for a buyer. SIL Hercules works for a division of Waterford. It was announced to the employees over the intercom this morning. No one knows what it means yet.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2196 Old Thought on Terrorism

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cleaning out more junk from the den, I found a slip of paper with a thought from a few years ago. I still don't have the answer.

President Bush said that any country that supports terrorism (in that "axis of evil" speech) is itself guilty of terrorism.

At the time, the British had been enduring decades of the IRA blowing up civilians. Americans were supporting the IRA, with implicit US government approval.

What does that mean?