Saturday, November 20, 2010

3167 Flat

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"They do not love that do not show their love."
-- William Shakespeare --


I woke up this morning to find a flat tire on Fred. Not just low - it was resting on the rim. Naturally, I have no friendly garages or other contacts here, and my tire-blower-upper-machine is still at the old house.

Because of his lowered floor I can't use his own jack on Fred when the tire is that low. It won't squeeze under. And even if I could get it jacked up, I'd hesitate to change the tire myself anyway because the driveway slopes and I have nothing with which to chock the tires.

I called Daughter to ask if she had a local friendly garage to recommend, one that makes house calls, and she said no, but she has AAA. Unfortunately, she was about to leave for work. So I called #ROAD, an emergency service I have through my cell phone ($3 a month, but they don't service you at your home, only on the road, dead in your driveway is not considered an emergency).

A friendly guy arrived within a half hour, and put the spare on for me. I thought it was #ROAD, but he turned out to be the AAA guy. Daughter had called them anyway. Before the AAA guy left, the #ROAD guy showed up. I hadn't canceled him because I thought the AAA guy was him.

Service sure is a lot faster here than at the old house!

I had looked at AAA a few years ago, but it wasn't very useful in the mid-Hudson valley. The nearest AAA-authorized service folks were in Albany, so it would take at least an hour and a half to get any help if I needed it anywhere near home. I guess it might be worth looking into down here.


I'd mentioned that I'd bought a small office refrigerator to use until I could either find a regular bottom-freezer refrigerator on sale or bring my old one down to the new house. Well, it's working just fine with just me to feed, except that I really wish it had more freezer space. There's just a flapped space in the top of the compartment, big enough for four Lean Cuisine dinners and a tiny ice cube tray, but no room for ice cream.

I need ice cream.

Yesterday I was in Home Depot arranging installation of a garage door opener, and lo, they had taller 2 -door mini refrigerators on sale, with a much larger freezer compartment behind a separate freezer compartment door.

I had been surprised at how cheap the first mini was. This one was even cheaper.

So now I have TWO mini refrigerators in the kitchen, side by side in the space meant for a big one. The two together cost less than a quarter of what I'd expect to pay for a standard one, even on sale, and I think it'll work out just fine.

Daughter is going to roll her eyes at me. Piper thinks I'm nuts. I'm perfectly happy. (Except that the smaller one is all black, and the new one is black with stainless steel doors. I wish they matched better.)


The Man has been traveling all over the country most of the month. I asked him if he had to go through the new TSA scans yet, and he said that none of the airports he'd used had them yet. He didn't mention having endured the new pat downs. I was curious because if they patted him down, they'd think he was packing artillery.

Friday, November 19, 2010

3166 We are living in 1984

Friday, November 19, 2010

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.


I've been reading a lot about the new TSA "scan or pat" controversy. Of course it's security theater, not real security at all, having much to do with past failed attempts and doing nothing to thwart future attempts, and a whole lot to do with someone profiting from sale of the machines.

It's also unconstitutional under the fourth amendment. To quote a comment from 'Mela' on an interview of TSA agents here:
"This policy allows TSOs to “pat down” (which is an absurd bastardization of the term in this case) American citizens, assumed under the law to be innocent of any crime, in ways that a police officer is not allowed to touch a suspect in the face of probable cause of evidence of a crime. That is blatantly unconstitutional and every citizen should protest if they believe in the tenets of rights this country was founded upon."
But then, we've been giving up rights over the past ten years. What's one more (shrug).

Many non-Americans have said that they will no longer enter the US, for business or pleasure, because the American "security" measures insult them.

I have flown El Al. Their security measures make sense and are supremely successful, especially considering that they are target #1. Please do read this: They take the problem seriously, and attack it intelligently with training and psychology. No fuss, no feathers flying, nobody profiting, no insulting intrusion or harassment.

Then ask yourself why Americans are generally considered lacking in intelligence (and yeah, that's a sort of a sad pun).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

3165 Off with their heads!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"What is life? It's a way of keeping meat fresh."
-- Doctor Who --


Let me see if I've got this right. They tried a Guantanamo terrorism suspect in civilian court, and although he was found guilty of conspiracy charges that will keep him in jail for life, he was not found guilty of the most serious murder charges.

So people are saying that this therefore proves trying terrorists in civilian court won't work - they should be tried in military court?

I don't get it. Are they saying that prosecutors should shop around for a court guaranteed to convict? What happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? What happened to "fair trial"? What happened to having a trial at all? It sounds to me that a lot of people want to simply punish whether there's evidence of guilt or not. Mock trial. Off with their heads.

Why not just execute them all and stop hypocritically trying to make it look fair and legal?

Those people scare me. They are terrorists, too. They just pretend to be civilized and take a longer time getting around to killing people they don't like, which is scary because it's coldly crafted, not an act of passion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3164 Duh?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free.”


The FDA has banned alcoholic "energy drinks" - those with both caffeine and alcohol.

Everybody talking about it seems to home in on the combination. One of the companies intends to keep selling the stuff, without the caffeine.

I don't think it's the combination that's bad - it's the concentration. One can of that stuff is equal to four beers, one can of Red Bull, and a cup of espresso.

If it's the combination, then what about rum and coke?


3163 Almost a Honey

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.

-- Will Rogers --

True, and all the more reason to elect intelligent people willing to change direction based on new information, rather than robots blinded by ideology.


Beautiful day today, except for the wind. It was 60 degrees by 9 am, clear blue sky, warm sun --- but wind! Gusts hitting 50 mph.

One of my bathroom vents thumps when the wind blows. Outside it's just ting ting ting, but inside it sounds like someone pounding on the front door, or hammering on a wall. I went to the door several times before I figured it out.

My front yard is filling with oak leaves. It seems like everyone around here has a leaf blower. The neighborhood has been filled with the sound of them for days. I guess I can expect more tomorrow or whenever the wind stops.

Me, I just run the mulching mower over leaves. It's faster, and the leaves "disappear" into future topsoil. Problem eliminated.


Someone recommended this video to me. It's dance sequences from many movies melded into one, to "Footloose". Very enjoyable.

The above video brought Gregory Hines back to mind. I have always adored him, and I do miss him. It's Wednesday, and time for the Honey of the Week, but he doesn't really qualify. My admiration for him didn't have a lustful component; I simply adored him, a talented and thoroughly nice person, as close as one gets these days to a Renaissance man.

Don't give me "I don't watch videos in blogs". Watch this. It will make you smile, and energize your day. (Not at work, though. Tap dancing requires full sound.)

[From the Movie: "Tap". Outstanding tap performances by Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., and legendary tap dance veterans Harold Nicholas, Jimmy Slyde, Howard 'Sandman' Sims, Bunny Briggs, Steve Condos, Arhur Duncan and Pat Rico.]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3162 Do Jeeps get hung up?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.
Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."
-- Katherine Hepburn --


Oh, green Katherine, I so agree!


I just watched a commercial for Jeep where they say that putting the wheels very close to the front and rear allows the Jeep to climb over bigger obstacles. Then they show it clambering over some huge rocks.

I noticed that the front wheel went over the big rock, but then it bounced off to the side.

Yuh. Uh huh. Because if you really climb up over a big rock like that and keep going straight on over it, especially if there's a dip after it, you'll get hung up on it in the middle.

If you want to really clamber over big rocks, with wheels spread way apart like that, you'll need a third pair of wheels in the middle. Otherwise you just make a very expensive teeter-totter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

3161 Oddities

Monday, November 15, 2010

"A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by
association with smarter people."
-- Will Rogers --


I don't agree with Will up there in the green if he meant that those are the only ways to learn. Another way to learn is by doing. But maybe it's a tongue-in-cheek play on one of my biggest peeves - the misplacement of the modifier "only". The "only" here modifies the "learns", not the "two ways" as most people would interpret it. In that case, he's correct. In reading and in associating with smarter people, a man "only learns".


A weirdness about the house - just before the heat goes on, before the actual burner fires, not just the fan, there's a section of outside wall between the window and the bathtub in the master bath that ticks. It sounds like water dripping. The wall will start ticking, and within three minutes I'll hear the whoosh of the furnace firing. Weird.

A weirdness about me - I normally go to bed around 11 pm or later. But lately, I'm looking at my watch thinking of bed at 7 or 8 pm. Last night I went to bed at 9. Weird.

A weirdness about outside - I hear more birds, of greater variety, here than I did in the mid-Hudson valley, weird enough in itself, and there are more squirrels close to the houses. So this morning I threw some bits of (whole wheat, slightly mold-spotted) bread out on the back patio, hoping to attract some birds or squirrels for Jasper's viewing pleasure. The bread is still there, untouched, at 10 pm. Weird.

A weirdness about the neighborhood - there are some very small houses, like 15 feet wide, and the smaller the house, the larger the TV set visible through the living room windows. The set across the street has to be at least 6 feet by 8 feet. I've noticed that before in other areas. I think it's weird. (Maybe I'm just more attuned to investment considerations....)

3160 Brief Encounter

Monday, November 15, 2010

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."
-- Abraham Lincoln --


Wow. I haven't been here for a while. Busy. Lots of stuff to do. I've been marking posts on other folks' blogs as "unread" because I wanted to comment when I had a moment to think about it, and now there's a big backlog of unexpressed comments and thoughts. Sorry. It's certainly not that I didn't think about you.


I had a visitor a few days ago who came in through The location said UK (ISP RapidSwitch Ltd, which is a server in UK, probably where hidemyass lives). Whoever it was knew the URL of this blog, and came directly, not through a search. Oddly enough, the timezone of the visitor was the same as mine, not that of England. Interesting. I wonder who was anxious that I not know that he/she/it visited.


There's a young woman who drives up and down my (new) street a few times a day, in a minivan. She sits hunched forward, away from the back of her seat, with her chest perhaps four inches from the steering wheel, elbows down and sharply bent, both hands gripping tightly high on the wheel, head thrust up and out, chin raised as if she feels she must see the front of the vehicle (not easy, as the van's nose slopes down). She scares me a little. I'd rather not be on the same road as someone who is so obviously uncomfortable driving.


I went to a BNL concert last Friday evening. I don't have much to say about the performance. I do have major complaints about people in the audience who are so self-absorbed, arrogant, and insensitive that they don't realize that standing has a negative effect on people behind them.

That part thoroughly pissed me off. And is a major part of why I have no further comment. I could have saved a hell of a lot of money by just buying another CD.

BTW - Why do they charge different prices for different sections of seating if nobody sits in the seats they paid for? Why is it ok that they go and stand in front of higher priced seats?

My old fogey opinion is that you go to a concert to see and hear. You don't go to a concert to dance. You go to a club or a party to dance. If everyone stays in their seats, everyone can see. Why is that a bad thing? If you want to stand and dance, BUY THE FREAKIN' CD AND DANCE TO IT IN YOUR OWN SPACE!

I'd love to hear some performer say that, on the stage.


I forget what I did Saturday, but I must have done something, because I had signed up for a Meetup party and canceled because I was too busy.

Yesterday, Sunday, I shopped for chairs or stools to use with the marble table, with no success. Then in the evening, Daughter rounded up some friends to help get the marble table top out of the van and into the house, and then we had a takeout food party. I think I've found the best ribs ever.

Today I watched last night's The Amazing Race online, I've been catching up on internet stuff, and I plan to finish cleaning the insides of the kitchen cabinets and then tape up the bedroom for painting.