Saturday, May 08, 2010

2960 Car!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Democracy, n.: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic... negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
-- U.S.Army Training Manual No. 2000-25 (1928-1932), since withdrawn. --


My car is in! The salesman called today. It will be two days or so before I can pick it up. I guess they need to "do stuff" to it first.

Monday is filled up with the NJ attorney and an evening dinner. Tuesday I have to take Jasper to the vet (maybe I can change that appointment, since it's not like he's sick or anything).

The dealership is about 40 minutes south, and I need to figure out how to get there without a car. Piper would happily take me, but he'd been in Florida for the past two weeks taking care of his elderly mother while his sister was on vacation, so I know he's buried in work right now, so I don't want to ask him. I checked the county bus routes. They seem to be geared toward getting people to jobs and home again - the latest of two daily buses downriver leaves the village at 7:56 am (! Ack !) and I'd have to change buses in Poughkeepsie. A taxi would cost a zillion dollars. Almost all my friends have jobs, and most of them live way the heck down there, so it's a strain for them.

Gee, sorry. Don't you wish you had my problems?


It snowed last night in the Catskills. Sigh.

Friday, May 07, 2010

2959 Candidate

Friday, May 7, 2010

All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers ... Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born.
-- Francois Fenelon --


An acquaintance is running for governor of New York State as an independent. This is her campaign video. She does make some good points - budget cuts go to the powerless.


2958 Nothin' Much

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mitchell's Law of Committees: Any simple problem can be made insoluble
if enough meetings are held to discuss it.


Nothing much happening.

Yesterday the market went crazy. Piper called me to ensure I wasn't freaking out, since I'll be selling stock soon to pay for the new house. He asked how much I thought I'd lost of my private holdings (the stuff he doesn't control), and I told him I hadn't even checked. I figure it was an aberration, and will come back very soon, and today's financial reports seem to be bearing that out. But it's probably just as well that I'm moving a significant amount out of equities and into real estate, at least until Greece, Europe, and the Euro gets sorted out. Which may take a while.

I asked the nurse at the vet's yesterday what they'd advise for Jasper's move to NJ. He freaked so badly the last time he was in the car that I thought he'd had a stroke. She said that it sounded like a seizure - and yeah, now that I think about it, yeah. You'd think I would be able to recognize a seizure.

So anyway, she said that Jasper could be sedated for the trip, but if he did have a seizure, he should be checked out before we attempt that. So, vet appointment next Tuesday. I don't know what the heck they'd be looking at or for....

Nothing else going on.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

2957 Prediction

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Art is anything you can get away with.
-- Marshall McLuhan --


Yesterday I got an email from the company that I buy most of my clothes from. The online outlet was having a clearance sale.

Stuff in the outlet is already 50 to 75% off, and they were offering 40% off the outlet price.

Wow! That means a top that normally sells for $70 is now something like $12. That's cheaper than Wal-Mart!

Naturally, I jumped. When they run sales like that, things go fast, especially in my size. I bought 3 jackets, 2 pairs of pants, 2 knit tops, a turtleneck, and a dress for a total of $110 plus shipping, in the smaller size I'm wearing now.

As I hit the "checkout" key, I thought to myself, "Just watch. I'll get a coupon tomorrow."

Sure enough, in today's mail I got a coupon for $30 off my next purchase over $100. And it has to be used by May 19.

I could spit.

But if I had waited until today to order, they'd have been out of my size in the things I liked.

2956 Cleaning out

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
-- Albert Einstein --


Today I cleaned out three clothes closets, sorting into summer keep, winter keep, sell, donate, and throw out. I had a good time.


I missed the miniature horses giving birth, but then I found some video clips at the Pacific Pinto web site [] of the very births I'd missed. Neat.


Thunder storms last night, more predicted for the wee hours tonight.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2955 Contract Review

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, somebody will.

(Meetup is teaching me the truth of that....)

I spent most of the afternoon reviewing the contract for the new house. I had 19 questions and/or things that needed changing, from the fact that my name was misspelled, to paragraphs that were incomplete, stopping in the middle of a sentence. A few of the things the builder/seller and I had agreed upon were not specified, but there's a paragraph that says that this is complete and anything not specified herein ain't gonna happen, so I want those things added before I'll sign it.

There are bunches of possibly important stuff, like the type of deed is "bargain and sale, covenants against grantors acts", which I don't believe is usual. I'd prefer "bargain and sale, with covenants". And the fact that I have to provide a something-or-other 30 days before closing, or I pay a penalty, and the contract sets a tentative closing date of May 28. I received the contract on April 29 - 29 days before the tentative closing date. Duh?

Daughter recommended the lawyer I'm using, but it looks like he received the contract from the builder's attorney, and sent it to me "If you are in agreement, you may sign the Contract and return" without so much as glancing at it. What am I paying him for? What if I had assumed he'd reviewed and approved it, and I went ahead and signed it? Since when does one have to research and cross-check the legal advice you get from your own lawyer?

Mother is not happy.

Monday, May 03, 2010

2954 Moroccan Urn

Monday, May 3, 2010

A jury consists of 12 persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
--Robert Frost --

Every time I've ever bought anything fragile that had to be shipped, the retailer has told me that I must open the shipping container while the delivery guy is there, or the retailer cannot be responsible for damage.

Whether or not I understand that doesn't matter, because I have never convinced the delivery guy, whether UPS, FedEx, USPS, or the store's own people, to wait.

My urn from Morocco arrived today. I asked the FedEx guy to wait, and he said, and I quote, "No, I can't. There's no external damage. If anything's wrong, call them." Me: "Them who?" He: "The people you bought it from, or FedEx." And he left. He didn't even wait for me to shake it and see if there were any clanks. And that's the way it always goes.

The urn itself is ok. The lid has a finial on top, metal, soldered to a flat cap on the top knob, and the final has broken off. It would be easy enough to glue or solder the finial back on, except that the flat part it attaches to got bent off horizontal by the pressure it took to snap the finial, so glued back on, it would not be straight. Sigh. I'll have to find someone who can figure out how to straighten it out.

Here it is. It's all hand painted, very detailed, and trimmed in silver. I set the final on top for the photo, and turned it so it looks straight. Standing on the floor, it goes up to just past mid-thigh on me. Click on the photo for detail.

Now that I have it in the house, I realize I goofed. I should have chosen something more toward the red, pink, orange, brown, green, or tan color group. I have next to nothing blue in my house. But I loved this at first sight and didn't think of that. Still love it.

2953 Weekend

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mythology, n.: The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its
origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth,
as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary" --


Another thing I don't understand: Why is the drain in a bathtub always under the spigot? If they sloped the tub away from the spigot and put the drain in the opposite end, it would be sooooo much easier to clean the tub, and doesn't change the function at all. Of course, the dooflinky to open and close the drain would need to be smooth so you could lie comfortably against the drain end when it's closed, but that's a minor design change.


I had a great weekend. The Man has joined a barbershop chorus, and they competed at a convention in Scranton (where I was born) on Saturday. We left Friday afternoon, checked into a hotel in Moosic (the convention hotel was full), stopped by the convention (the quartets competition was Friday), had dinner at the new hotel in the old Lackawanna Railway Station around the corner (where my grandfather used to work), and then found a bowling alley where he could practice. (He gets two lanes and bowls 20 lines in quick succession. It's pretty impressive.)

I love to watch him bowl. He's so intent. He's incredibly focused and intent no matter what he's doing, and I love to see it. Or feel it. (Yeah, ok, I'm in love again.)

Saturday we returned for the chorus competitions.

Now, The Man doesn't like barbershop style, and he's especially annoyed that the group he's in sings only the old standards, which he finds irrelevant to today. But, the man's gotta sing. It's one of his ways to relax. He was hoping he could get them to sing like Christmas carols at nursing homes and hospitals, and do some a-capella stuff at street festivals, but all but one of the other members are over 70 and stuck in their ways. "We don't sing carols." Huh? But he's their strongest bass, so he decided to stick with it for now, I guess, and if he can't change their minds, I suppose he'll eventually find something more suitable.

A group warming up on the street:

The winning chorus (NYC). To tell the truth, I didn't like their performance. There was so much going on onstage it detracted from their music.

The second-place group (Westchester). I liked they way each of them was a different type, and it was easy to identify who/what they were. "Willy Nelson" was perfect, and the hippie, and the Amish guy ... click on the photo to enlarge and see who else you can identify.

The Man says that the groups come in types - the "top" being the competition groups, like the two above. They spend money on costumes, and spend all their time learning two to four songs for competitions. I forget what the middle type is, but most of the rest are recreational. They get together to sing together for fun. They just need to compete every so often to keep membership in the national group. The Man's group is one of those.

Some other groups:

The competition was over and scored by 1 pm on Saturday, and The Man didn't want to stay for the afternoon's festivities, so we went to North Scranton and I showed him where I spent almost every summer of my childhood, then we headed back to NJ to my car. The original plan was that we'd part then, but he was going to practice again and asked if I'd like to watch, so he bowled another 15 lines and I watched.

I wanted to visit Daughter on Sunday, so I asked him to find me a room near her (he's got a membership that gets nice upgrades, so I let him make the reservation and have the points when I stay anywhere). His hips were aching from all the bowling, so I said that if he found me a room with a Jacuzzi, I'd allow him to soak in it. Neat how I wrangled another night together, eh?

Sunday he went to a small bowling tournament where he did pretty well, and I went to Daughter's. I didn't go into the new house, and now I kick myself because once the contract is signed, I'm not allowed to until just before closing. Apparently that's a standard clause.

I got home in time to watch The Amazing Race.