Saturday, October 20, 2012

3648 Sitting on my stool

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My girlfriend always laughs during sex---no matter what she's reading.
--Steve Jobs --


The Queen asked on my post #3646 why I don't call the police about apparent drug sales in the parking lot.

Daughter says there's no point, that it might be dangerous to be (even if mistaken as) a rat, and the police don't do anything about it anyway.  They'll pull in, the dealers will pull out, and the cops let them go.  She's lived here a lot longer than I, and I'm beginning to see where she's coming from.

I read the weekly township police activity report (PDF link in an email).  In any given week in this small township the police are called out well over 250 times.  Arrests are made or investigations conducted for domestic disturbances, burglaries, robberies, unauthorized use of credit or debit cards, motor vehicle infractions, bar fights, blah blah blah, but you never see anything about drugs.  Never.  No prostitution, either.  (Oddly, about 1/3 of the arrests are for "contempt of court".  It looks like most people arrested for whatever never bother to appear in court.)

About the only time the local cops even check for drugs is when it's a traffic stop and they get pissed at the driver.

This is the summary paragraph from the most recent report:
Officers responded to or initiated 260 calls for service between October 10 and October 16, 2012, including 15 suspicious persons/vehicles; 19 alarms; 17 first aid calls; seven motor vehicle crashes; six thefts; one domestic violence incident, one noise complaint; one criminal mischief incident, four disorderly persons, four burglaries, and 71 motor vehicle stops. Officers issued 45 motor vehicle summonses.
I think the police are overwhelmed.  I don't know how many officers there are but I see the same seven names over and over in the reports.  Doing the math, each officer is handling a heavy caseload.  Drug busts are time and effort intensive, and given that known dealers are all over the place here (there are two homes on my short street where I hear you can get anything you want), busts are probably a waste of time.  Slap one down, another pops up.

Most dealers here operate out of houses.  You can tell where they are - they're the ones with a lot of traffic, short visits.  I guess they have lots of friends over for a quick cup of tea, eh?  Tea drunk on the doorstep.  I'm surprised that this parking lot bunch is selling so openly.

My major point was that I've never actually seen it right out in the open like that, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do.  The first time I realized what was probably happening I stood there and stared in disbelief - which I suspect is the wrong thing to do.

Of course for all I know they're actually selling thumb drive copies of their garage band's latest album. 

3647 Protect your rights

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Countering someone's negativity with your positivity doesn't work
because it's argumentative.
People don't like to be emotionally contradicted and if you try
to convince them that they shouldn't feel something,
they'll only feel it more stubbornly.
--  Peter Bregman --


Well, about a week ago I saw the first neighborhood house and yard decorated for Christmas, multicolored lights strung up all over everything.  I guess I can understand why they'd want to do it now, rather than wait for freezing temperatures and snow, but the distaste and sinking feeling I had upon seeing them surprised me.

I hate hate hate those gaudy displays. It ruins the whole Christmas thing for me.


I've got a bunch of eBooks on my Kindle and a few more on the Nook.  I'll bet lots of people have huge music collections on iPods or whatever.  Did you know that if you die, you may not be able to leave those collections, unlike vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and real paper books, to your heirs?

You paid a small fortune for those collections, and it all goes poof when you are no longer around.

It appears that you don't legally own the bits and bytes you paid for.  Your account purchased the right to read, watch, or listen to them.  When you die, your account is terminated, and that terminates any right to the materials.  Story at


Something else to watch out for if you have a PayPal or an eBay account.  The user agreement says that if you have an argument with the companies, you abdicate all rights to sue them and can't join a class action suit.  You have to go to binding arbitration.

Now this is bad.
  • That leaves you out in the cold paying your own legal bills, going up against a corporation with an in-house legal department.
  • They might do the same nasty thing to hundreds of thousands of people, but very few will take it to arbitration.
  • This means that even if they lose every single one of those arbitration rulings (and arbitration rarely goes against the corporation, since the arbiters are not required to rule according to laws), it costs them relatively little, and therefore there's no incentive to change their practices.
Corporations LOVE arbitration!

Yeah, class action suits enrich the lawyers and rarely result in any real money for the damaged parties, and that's why people hate class action attorneys, BUT they DO make the offending companies change their practices.  It hurts them financially, but even more from bad publicity.  You can't do that all by yourself, and definitely not in arbitration.

Oddly enough, PayPal and eBay will allow you to opt out of that clause, but you must meet the deadline to do it.  You have to write each of them a letter in a particular format, to be received by early November for eBay, and the end of November for PayPal (exact dates are at the link).

Go to for details.

Pass this around.


Now, I'm a little confused, because when I took a class in commercial law about 16 years ago, it was pointed out to us that you cannot be forced to give up the right to sue.  Even if you sign a contract that specifies arbitration, you still have the absolute and irrevocable right to request redress from the courts.

Did something change?

3646 Different World

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your measure is not what in you believe, but in what you do.


There's a little quick-shop owned by a young Pakistani (I assume) couple about 2.5 blocks away, that I go to for cigarettes and munchies and minor groceries.   They had an attempted robbery a few days ago.  There are cameras, and the wife showed me the video.  It was so funny!  The miscreant leaned across the counter pointing a knife at the husband.  That in itself was funny, since there was no way he could have reached him to stab him.  The husband walked down the length of the counter with the robber following him along the counter, waving the knife, then the husband rounded the end of the counter swinging a baseball bat!

He swung that bat so fast and so hard --- it was amazing!  It was like a blur surrounding him three feet around.  The bad guy jumped straight up in the air and came down running for the door.  The left side of the double door doesn't open, and it looked like he bounced off that, got hit by the bat, and fell and rolled out the right side.  Took  off running.

The wife said that when the bad guy saw the bat, he kept yelling, "Wrong store!  Wrong store!  I got the wrong store!"

I guess there's another store up the street that's easier to rob?


Update, from the police blotter:  The guy was white male, 5'9", black hoodie with horizontal white line across back, blue gloves, jeans, white shoes.  K-9 attempted to track, no result.


This store has a large parking lot to the side.  I think that's the place to go for drugs.  All day long there are two or three people sitting in a car.  Sometimes it's different people, different cars.  Maybe they take shifts or something.  Someone will pull up to the driver's side window in a car or on a bike, there'll be a short conversation, something gets passed back and forth through the window, and then the visitor leaves.  And the folks in the car continue sitting there.

This morning it was a lone middle-aged woman in a car.  Another older woman came up on a bike, window lowered a crack, things passed, bike lady leaves, older woman still sitting there when I left.

I don't know how I'm supposed to act when I see stuff like that.

Man, this place is SO different from what I'm used to.

Friday, October 19, 2012

3645 Even mold avoids it

October 19, 2012

Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships.
-- Sharon Stone --


I don't much like bread, except maybe with a fried egg or as a grilled cheese sandwich.  It's just a carrier for the good stuff.  I'm limited to about 150 calories for breakfast and 300 for lunch (I eat six times a day), so two slices of bread at 80-100 calories per slice kind of  limits what I can put in or on a sandwich.  All I want is something that will sop up egg yolk or hold meat, cheese, and lettuce together, and provide some fiber without using up my allocatable calories.  Oh, and taste good, or at least not bad.

Hello low calorie bread!  It's not always easy to find, but there are about three brands out there that have like 40 calories per slice.  (There's an absolutely fabulous bread available up by my old house, 40 calories per slice and multiple whole grains - actual chunks of grain and sunflower seed in it - that's delicious, but I can't find it around here.)

I tried one brand down here that was ok, but I didn't save the wrapper, and the next time I bought bread I got some other brand of tasteless dreck (Pepperidge Farm Lite Style 7 Grain).  I didn't eat half of it.  It tastes like cardboard from the basement.  You know it's bad when I start calling meat wrapped in lettuce a "sandwich", or when I'm making Welsh rabbit (rarebit!) instead of grilled cheese sandwiches, or when I lick the yolk off the plate rather than use bread - well, maybe I'm avoiding the bread.

Believe it or not, next shopping trip I bought the same dreck again.  I'm not too smart.

So I figured I'd feed it to the squirrels and birds.

Today I realized I'm probably starving the animals.  I'm throwing what looks nourishing out there, and they're gobbling it up like it has calories or something.


You know there's not much nourishment in bread when closed up in the cupboard for three weeks it doesn't mold.  Or go stale.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3644 Drying up

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mouths lie; hearts don’t.


I took a 12-hour pill this morning.  It should be wearing off about now.  I feel great!  My temp has been 97.5  all day, and although I still have to blow my nose occasionally and I've been sneezing a bit, it's a clear discharge.


I hope it holds.

And if Romney doesn't stop exaggerating, interrupting, and going over time, I may have to sue him for a broken TV set.

Monday, October 15, 2012

3643 More schnork, and an oof.

Monday, October 15, 2012

People have a way of getting away with exactly what you let them get away with.


So, I got dressed and went out to buy some decongestants, and discovered another symptom.  My legs are weak.  I was walking like I was drunk.

Speaking of drunk, I think I've had two hangovers in my entire life, and in both cases I wasn't even inebriated.  Both hangovers were from drinking home-brewed mead.  Man, that stuff is EVIL!  Tastes good, but evil evil evil.

This headache I have feels just like a mead hangover.  It was overcast today, but every once in a while a beam of sun would break through, and when it did, it split my head.  Somebody two houses away was running a wood chipper, and every time a branch went through it felt like my head was going through the chipper.  (Yeah, I saw "Fargo".  Just like that.)

So, I bought a box of pills for runny nose to take now, and a box of pills for breaking up nose and sinus congestion (I figure that's where this is headed next) and some menthol lozenges for zinging the old membranes.  In each case I got the smallest packages.  It came to $27!  Not counting the lozenges, that's almost $.75 per pill!  I about fell over.

When did that stuff get so expensive?

I'll be sleeping in Vicks Vaporub tonight.  I love that stuff.  I like the way it smells and the warm glow on my chest.  (No expiration date on vaporub, so it's one of the few things spared from Daughter's purges.)


The other nickname for the Nugget is Monster Truck - acquired in utero when she ran all over her mother's insides, and that's her geocaching "handle".  The teachers at her nursery school call her Muscles.  She's almost 18 months old, 32" tall, and weighs maybe 27 lbs.  Powerful chubby short legs.

She really is incredibly strong for her size.

When I got back from the grocery store yesterday, I put away the refrigerator and freezer stuff, but left everything else in the bags in the hall near the front door.  Daughter and Nugget came over this evening.  Daughter picked up all the bags and carried them into the kitchen, but left the laundry detergent in the hall because it goes in the laundry room under the stairs.

When Daughter brought the bags to the kitchen, I looked up and then past her, and here comes Nugget trotting around the corner carrying the laundry detergent jug by the handle, high against her chest.  The jug weighs just under 8 lbs.  That's almost 1/3 of her own weight.  It was as big as her chest and belly.  I need two hands to lift it comfortably.

She's amazing. 

[Photo at the nursery school.  Interesting the way her shirt matches the floor, wall, and door.]

3642 Schnork

Monday, October 15, 2012

Identifying a problem is more important than solving it.



I was fine yesterday late afternoon.  I went across the street to visit the Nugget for a few minutes.  Hercules, her father, was sniffing and snuffling and complaining of a slight fever.

I left them and went to the grocery store, and my nose started running in the bread aisle.  Yeah, that suddenly.  Naturally, I had no tissues.  I was licking it off my upper lip and hoping nobody'd notice. 

Also naturally, I walked right past the colds aisle and didn't buy any decongestants.  I've got nothing in the house, mostly because Daughter goes through my kitchen pantry and medicine chest when I'm not looking and throws out anything past the expiration date, and I'm not asking her if she has anything I can take because she uses herbal remedies and that stuff, I forget what it's called, where there might be one molecule of active ingredient in the whole bottle.  You know, that stuff.

She doesn't like chemicals.

Last night I was working logic puzzles in bed and dripping all over the pages.

Today I am miserable.  I can breathe through my nose, but I don't because that sets off sneezes that scare Jasper and aggravate this pounding headache I have.  It seems to be all sinus and nose at this point.  Temp 99.5 (normal for me is a bit over 97).

I've got to get up off my tail and go get something.  But I guess that's the other symptom.  I don't have enough energy to get dressed, let alone go out.