Friday, November 04, 2011

3387 Damned if you do and....

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature,
the heart of a heartless world,
and the soul of soulless conditions."
--Karl Marx --


I will reserve my thoughts on Herman Cain's sexual harassment problems, where the claims came from, who dug it up and why, whether it means anything or not, blah blah blah.

But listening to some of the arguments, I've concluded that in general, victims can't win.

If they report it to HR, they might get some money from a settlement, but it comes with a requirement that they can't ever talk about it. Companies often settle these claims because it's cheaper than the legal fees of fighting it would be. Almost all individual victims end up settling, because they'd be an individual fighting a company/corporation in court, and who's going to pay their legal fees if they lose against a corporate army? Companies often settle without the permission of the accused harasser, and a settlement is therefore not an admission of guilt.

The end result is that the accused harasser can claim that it never happened, that the accuser is a liar, and the accuser/victim, we don't know which, really, cannot refute that under the terms of the settlement.

Either way, settlement or go to court, the alleged victim will be either branded forever a money-grubbing liar, or face a high probability of bankruptcy.

If they don't report it to HR, if the victim realizes there's no way to win and it's a sure way to lose a job, and good luck getting a good reference when you look for another, then when she (or he) finally does report it, everyone assumes that it's obviously not true, because if it were true, why wasn't it reported earlier? Therefore it didn't happen, and the accuser is a publicity-seeking liar.

All accusers who can't afford to fight an army of lawyers in court become a liars, regardless of the truth.

It reminds me of rape accusations, back in the 50's. In most states the victim had to produce TWO witnesses to the rape, or a bruised and battered body she could have acquired in no other way, otherwise she was lying. Most victims never reported the rape.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

3386 Too much light

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"A friend is one before whom I may think aloud."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson --


I've discovered something else I miss besides the woods, and space, and quiet, and decent roads, and lack of crowding, and wild turkeys, and foxes, and deer, and cows (especially the calves).

I miss stars.

At the old house the sky was full of stars. Here there's a few. They are so few and so scattered that I can't find any of the few constellations I know. All my life Orion has been over my house, but I can't find him here. I can't find Ursa Major or Ursa Minor or the Milky Way! It's that bad.

I can't find Arcturus, the star that I'd assigned to Jay. Or the Pleiades.

I've missed the stars since I moved here, but I got especially frustrated when I saw a very bright star in the east (maybe a planet?), and tried to find some recognizable constellation somewhere so that maybe I could locate it on a star map and find out what it is.

Nothing. A star here, a star there. Scattered, far apart, and dim.

But at any time of the day or night, I'll see a minimum of three airplanes.

Not a satisfactory trade.


Later - I found a website about stargazing (, and my mysterious "star" is Jupiter.

Monday, October 31, 2011

3385 Nuggetosaurus

Monday, October 31, 2011

Of course I know how to push your buttons. After all, I sewed them on!
-- Cathy Guisewite, "Cathy", mother to daughter --


She wasn't frighten by anything that came to the door.

Tired little girl.


3384 A Little Relaxation

Monday, October 31, 2011

However you choose to keep score in the game of life (possessions, sexual conquests, etc.) it will impress only others who keep score the same way.


The tire place called. Hal's hips, legs, and knees are ok (slight dent in the rim, but it'll hold), and he's got another new paw. I'll pick him up tomorrow.


So far I've had 20 trick-or-treaters. I'm handing out small packs of Twizzlers (the least sugary candy I could find) and bottles of bubble stuff. I bought the Twizzlers this afternoon only because I was afraid the bubbles wouldn't arrive in time, but UPS came through and they did. The kids seem to like the bubbles, especially the older kids, which surprises me.


The Hairless Hunk called yesterday. The old house upriver has several branches down, and none hit the house. An old previously damaged black locust at the end of the driveway broke in half. He'll clean it all up.

There's no power, therefore no heat, and there might not be for a week or more, but I'm not worried because it won't be cold enough long enough to freeze pipes. The back of the house has a lot of glass, and it faces west, and the sun isn't that low yet, so it really does warm the house.

Next trip up I'll winterize the place. That means I'll have to carry water to wash and flush, but I can do that.


This video is not safe for work. Remember the Thigh-Masters? This, the Tug-Toner, is sort of along the same lines. It's funny:


3383 Hallowe'en

Monday, October 31, 2011

He who controls the agenda controls the outcome.


Here's a cute Hallowe'en card:

Here's some goblins in space, from NASA (they're really there!):

And here's a scary story:
Yesterday I went to a Meetup lunch in Princeton. There were three others there. It was good. Nice folks.

On the way home in Hal, I took the exit off route 440 for route 9 south, and on the exit ramp (around the curve so it wasn't visible), I hit a pothole. There was a loud bang, the car jumped, and then it started shaking. The dashboard told me the passenger side front tire was "low".

As soon as I could, I stopped and got out to look, and this is what I found:
Low? An understatement.

Joy. That's the fifth potholed tire in eight months, at $400+ per tire and $200+ per alignment.

They're "run flat" tires, and it wasn't riding on the rim yet, so I drove to a discount tire place about 10 miles down the road, close to home, and left Hal parked in their lot, and called Daughter to pick me up. I drove Fred over there today, arranged for a new tire for Hal (that's one of the tires I replaced just a few months ago, and it may be under warranty) and asked them to check the suspension, rim, axle, and whatever else.

And if that's ok, I still have to call the BMW dealership and schedule another alignment.

I can't afford this! Not right now, anyway!

I'm beginning to think I can't afford New Jersey. (Becs, resist the impulse!)

(Which reminds me - when did no-name ordinary grated romano cheese go to $18 a pound?)


I went online to find out how to report potholes. Surprise! This pothole has already been reported, 12 months ago! Sounds like a valid lawsuit to me....