Sunday, December 30, 2012

I Don't Know Why Appliances Are Writing To Me, But I Don't Like It

According to Wired magazine, the robots will be replacing us soon, but we'll enjoy it because of all the reasons techy people think a world without people will be better. I would have thought so too, until this morning. I was excited when I got a new printer, and it had its own email address, so you could print from anywhere in the world by sending the file to the printer. But this morning, the printer started sending me emails offering me coupons.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"I Often Wonder What The Vintners Buy 
One Half So Precious As The Goods They Sell."



Which goes double for IHOP. To paraphrase more from the Rubaiyat, A loaf of bread, a jug of syrup, and thou beside me in the wilderness...
In the first twenty-two hours I was off my diet I went up one pant size. And that was before even opening the syrup. Curse you, Chef Boyardee, and your ravioli that don't even have to be chewed, and curse you, Costco, for selling them in eight-packs.
Anyway, I'd like to stay here and tell you more, but the English muffins, Doritos and Triscuits aren't going to eat themselves, at least, not if I get to them.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Great White Winter And Whales

I woke up this morning at the usual time. As, I often do, I checked the weather on my iPhone before getting up, saw that it was 12ºF below zero, smiled and went back to sleep, because I'm on vacation. Later, my phone woke me up to tell me that it was Christmas Eve. I couldn't believe I'd slept straight through the weekend, and I hadn't, of course. Apple, my favorite company ever, has really started to toy with my affections. I stumped the Apple Geniuses last weekend with a Time Machine problem and I didn't even get a t-shirt.
Still, I'm on vacation, Shaun of the Dead is trending on twitter, Let's Pretend This Never Happened by +Jenny Lawson  was recommended on the Today Show, and I'm still on vacation.
And speaking of books, and awkward segues, I've been listening to Moby Dick. Listening to it is easier than reading it;  some of the long tedious passages are actually mildly amusing in a tedious way, and sometimes it's possible to zone out briefly while the book rolls on, which never happens in a  paper book if you don't remember to turn the page. I find that I can sort of identify with Captain Ahab. Not with his monomaniacal passion because I take Zoloft and even before the Zoloft, I was too lazy and easily distracted (look, a bird)  to sail halfway around the world, or around the block, even, for revenge. But because we're the same age, and he's apt to launch into long rambling self-absorbed speeches about how special he is.
I really, really, identify with the whale, covered as he is in all that blubber, and having an implacable universe hurling harpoons at him every time he tries to catch his breath. I mean, of course, no one has ever hurled a harpoon at me, it's a metaphor. Jeez.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Judg Not

I walked by a Planet Fitness today at the mall. They had a sign that said, "No Judgement Zone." I just smirked, "You mean 'No Judgment Zone,' losers."
It's that time of year when I explain why I don't like to do a Christmas letter. I assume if you read this blog, you already know more than you want to about us, and if you don't read it, you do already know more about us than you want to.
The other day, I was chatting with a Words With Friends friend. She's had health issues for years, and we were comparing notes.  I told her, "I took Karen to a doctor today about an infection. She's had various infections over the last few months. I asked if all the antibiotics she's taken could be breeding a superbug. They showed me me recent test results and the answer is, yes, more than one. So, to sum up, she has doctor induced dementia, doctor induced scoliosis and now, gun carrying e coli. And, oh, guess what? I've got glaucoma!"
That's a Christmas letter right there.
Karen was saying something annoying the other day. I told her, "Aargh, it's so unfair, I'm going blind instead of deaf!"

Friday, December 07, 2012

In My Defense, I Was Very Cold When I Wrote This

It's been colder than normal for several weeks here. The weather service has been predicting warmer weather for awhile, but I don't think, "someday" is very scientific.
My hands have been painfully cold, but you know the old saying, "Glove hurts."
Or as the electricians would have it, " Love hertz."

Monday, December 03, 2012

Medical Updates

When Dr. Oz says that Metamucil "escorts cholesterol out of the body," it implies a much more orderly process than is in fact the case.
And then, in more medical news, I don't know what these kids on my route were doing this afternoon, but when I walked by, my glaucoma was cured.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Here's Something You Can Really Use

You can opt out of Yellow Page delivery.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, And Other Stuff

Last week, it was all about the waffle iron. This week, it looks like I had waffles implanted in my thighs. So, with syrupable cellulite as motivation, I rode my bike this morning to my eye doctor appointment, even though it was very cold. I told people it was 0º F this morning because I took an average of the temperature at our house, 1º above zero, the temperature at the Wendy's I rode by, 5º above zero and how cold it felt at the bottom of a hill I rode down.
I practically got my money's worth at the doctor's office just in Kleenex blowing my nose when I walked in from the cold. But I got a lot more, too. A technician dilated my eyes, and touched them with  some sort of a probe.  They were numb, so I couldn't feel anything, but still. While she worked, I told her that I wasn't going to be one of those brave blind people, and I wasn't really a very good eye drops person, either. "Oh, I know that," she said.
But even with that warning, the ophthalmologist still came right out and told me I have glaucoma. Apparently, the only risk factor for glaucoma that I have is, glaucoma. But that's enough.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Patellofemoral Derangement Has Deranged Right In The Name

I'm reading a book by the bloggess, who, as you might guess, blogs. I've always thought that I had a crippling anxiety disorder, but I realized while reading the chapter titled, "And Then I Got Stabbed In The Face By A Serial Killer" that comparatively, I really had more of an anxiety trick knee.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maximum Job Security

At the time clock this morning people were discussing their retirement plans. Somebody asked if I was retiring any time soon. "When I applied here," I said, "I thought I was asking for a job, but I got a life sentence."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not Feeling Any Pressure

At Costco yesterday, I picked up two boxes of Chocolate Cheerios with a coupon, and then after an eye exam in their optical shop (because I wanted to try out the $6.95 glasses at zennio) a brochure about glaucoma. I didn't see that coming, which, I guess, was the point.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Adapt Or Die

When I was young, I read a story about a human astronaut who was stranded on an alien planet. He was in a city that had apparently been abandoned eons ago, but that had been built to fulfill every need of its alien creators. But he, as a human, was cold and starving, and being offered poison to eat. Desperate, he lashed out at the city, slashing and hacking at it, then falling into an exhausted sleep. When he awoke, the city offered him a refreshing shower, and a delicious breakfast. The city had adapted to his needs, he thought, as he twitched his tail with delight. Get it? The twist was that he had adapted to the city, not the other way around.
I only mention this because I'm listening to AARP Internet Radio as I type this, and for some reason the music which has always been awful, has gotten a lot better.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Elroy Jetson Grows Up

Saturday we had our annual leave sign-up for next year. I asked for the weeks after Christmas and New Year's, so I was scheduling leave for 2014. It was a heartbreaking acknowledgement that I'll be working forever. Twenty. Fourteen. Say it out loud. Doesn't it sound impossibly far in the future? Where are the flying cars, the talking dogs, the retirement plans?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Romney Uncertainty Principle

If Mitt Romney wins, he could be the first quantum president since he takes every position simultaneously.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Celebration

As you may know, I have been on Weight Watchers for the last eight years or so, except when some special event comes along and I go on a brief binge. I think there is a chance that as the definition of special event gets broader, so will I. For example, recently we bought a Belgian waffle iron, and last night we had a big party to welcome it into the family.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Blog Post Was Not Coordinated In Any Way With The Candidate Who Would Probably Be Horrified By It Anyway

Breast cancer survivor  and Alaska state legislator, Sharon Cissna is running against our Top Ten Most Corrupt  Congressman Don Young. She was motivated to run partly as a protest against the TSA's apparent policy of groping the prosthetics of breast cancer survivors. To me, this suggests a campaign slogan that she could use, "Don't squeeze fake boobs, and don't elect them either."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Study Compares Tax Rates On "Job Creators" And Economic Growth

"In short, the study found that top tax rates don't appear to determine the size of the economic pie but they can affect how the pie is sliced, especially for the richest households."
Click here to see the article in long.
So, tax cuts on the wealthy people, makes them wealthier, without creating jobs. Following Republican thinking to its logical end, Simon Legree was the ultimate job creator.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clear The Premises, Or, It's Later Than You Think, And Later, You Won't Be Thinking

According to a story on NPR today, treatment for Alzheimer's disease should begin years, or even decades, before symptoms appear. There are drugs that have worked on mice, but have not shown results in humans. Researchers now think that this might be because the treatments in humans began long after the neurons started dying. But doesn't the prospect of aging scientists and intellectually enhanced mice sound like the premise of a bad science fiction movie?
Speaking of entertainment, watching Mitt Romney spin his positions from pro-whatever to anti to pro again, reminds me of a particularly bad episode of Wheel of Fortune. Vanna White for president!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tammany Cooks Spoil The Broth

So, normally when I say, "If I understand..." it means I probably don't. But in this case, I haven't even finished reading the article in the Economist that seems to imply that crony capitalism is actually bad for the economy. If that's true, should we really be thinking of electing one of the cronies to be president?

What would be good for the economy is better bluetooth devices. Mine has apparently developed an annoying echo, at least if I understand what my friend meant when he said, "You told me that yesterday."

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Mitt Romney Is Guided, He Says, By One Overwhelming Passion. A Passion That Is Exactly Opposite What George Washington And Dwight Eisenhower Believed, Or, Did Bush Not Invade Enough Countries?


Two men who were former generals, as well as presidents had this to say:
George Washington said in 1796, " Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?...It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it;...Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

Dwight Eisenhower said in 1961, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.


Over the weekend, Mitt Romney said, "But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will."

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sometimes It's Better To Be Lucky Than A Genius

I didn't expect they could help, but I took my iPhone to the Apple Geniuses to see if they could get my podcasts to work as they did before the Podcasts debacle. I took a beat to gather my thoughts so that I could explain my problem without telling them how awful their app was. This process was somewhat vitiated by my telling them what I was doing. "Well, that's just your opinion," he said. 
"There are almost four thousand ratings," I replied. "Well, four thousand opinions," he said. Actually, it's one opinion repeated four thousand times. But I digress (a possible title for my autobiography).
Anyway, I told them about those happy days of podcast listening, now sadly lost, and how back then, listening to podcasts, in order, I'd sometimes feel sad, never knowing that the thin crust we walk and dance our lives upon can all be ripped so suddenly from us and that we'll have podcasts scrambled to the point that we'll know results before causes (Einstein's Dreams May 3rd, 1905, or perhaps May 10th, 1905, indeed, how could we know that, how can we know anything in such a world?)
So, as I say, the Genius told me what to do, and what the rationale behind it was. He was completely wrong, completely wrong about the rationale, but it worked anyway. 

"A Mother's Love...It Believes Beyond Believing When The World Around Condemns,"

Or, how my iPhone becomes more like real life, and how sad that makes me:
I inadvertently installed Apple's Podcasts App on my iPhone recently, and it is without a doubt the worst App ever. It is the Starship Troopers of Apps. Still, it has a rating of 1.5 stars which goes to show you that mothers are allowed to rate their children's apps.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Debate Update

The first presidential debate was last night.  I saw a cerebral expert elucidate the solution to a Chinese trade problem. What did you watch?
From what I heard, though, I was right back in August when I said that Romney should debate himself since, apparently, the man debating the president last night, could have debated Romney last spring.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Hidden Motives

So, when the very people causing you stress tell you to take a deep breath, aren't they just trying to prolong the agony? And maybe the guy throwing out the baby with the bathwater was just using the bathwater as a cover; did you ever think of that?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's Quiet, Too Quiet

Last night, as every night lately, we were watching the weather report on TV inside, and listening to the legato rhythm of the falling rain outside.
Jackie Purcell talked about reports of snowfall coming in from around town and we suddenly realized we could no longer hear the rain.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Full Value

Because I don't seem able to stop talking about how awful Romney is, and because even I get bored listening to me complain, I've added a link to the blogs of note list over there (I'm pointing to the right) called What If... It answers questions of the "what if..." variety. So check that out, and then later, come back and I'll have some other things to say, probably about Romney.

Red Letter Edition: David Brooks And John of Patmos Criticize Romney

I was going to try and explain all this, but the strength of the internet is that with a few links, I can aggregate good writing, without having to do any.
So, here's David Brooks explaining how Mammon has taken over the Republican Party.
Here's John of Patmos explaining why Mormons are deluded.
So, a question arises, why are Christians  considering voting against an avowed Christian for an unrepentant cult member who believes wrongly that the market can be trusted for everything, even things that used to be considered issues of morality, not trade?
"Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why My iPhone Is Better Than Real Life

I'm trying out Apple's new "Do Not Disturb" function for iPhones. When it's enabled, the phone won't ring, and alerts won't sound. It's a great way to keep the phone by my bed for alarm clock/flashlight purposes, but not have to hear if email or Words With Friends moves come in during the night. So when Ellie, the dog,  jumped on my chest in the middle of the night, I didn't fully awaken, I just said, "I said 'do not disturb.'" When I opened my mouth to say that, though, Ellie stuck her tongue in there, something my iPhone has never done.
Also in real life, I get that some people won't agree with me about politics, and they might vote for people I don't agree with, but in talking about Romney I get so frustrated with people who don't agree with him, but that are going to vote for him anyway because whatever he said this week about their single issue is what they strongly feel. But he will say anything, to anybody. And isn't it frightening that although he is behind right now in the polls, he's barely behind, in spite of running what even Republicans are calling a rolling calamity of a campaign?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Too Late

Too late to start a start-up, or have a career, I rushed home for lunch to start a meme, but it turns out, I was too late for that, too.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh Besides All The Political Stuff

Lately we have had storm after storm, storm within storm and then more storms. The municipality came out to my route after the first storm and cut down a huge cottonwood tree that was laying, or perhaps lying on a light pole. Too bad, in a way, because that cleared the path for the next tree in line to come bowling in and knock it all the way over. We've had so many emergency broadcast alerts for high winds and flooding, that it's been like watching Chris Rock on network TV.

What's That Thing Paul Harvey Used To Say?

I think it was "closed circuit", as in closed circuit to that lady on my route getting an iPhone 4, consider this first. It's funny because it's true.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Well, That's Rich


Does it strike you as unseemly that a quarter billionaire, born rich and made richer by pioneering outsourcing, should criticize "greedy" teacher's union members? Teachers that almost certainly make less than he wrote off for dressage horse expenses on the one tax return he deigned to release.
It's kind of galling that two years ago, even Alaskans that sort of agreed with Joe Miller refused to vote for him after it was clear that he held them in such contempt that he would just lie and lie and lie, but now Romney might not only carry Alaska, but the nation.

This Is Not A Test

If you were going to be in Anchorage for about 8 hours, what would you want to see, do, or eat?
I need to know right away.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Matters Of Faith


If you don't live in Anchorage, you may not have heard that we had an early winter storm last week. It was pretty severe and since it was an early winter storm, that came in the early fall, it did a lot more damage than you might have expected. For example, the giant flagpole on our parkstrip came crashing down.   Normally, a winter storm comes after the leaves (which are in essence sails) have fallen and after the bitter cold (which we always complain about) has frozen tree roots into the soil. As it was, with trees flying like birds, our power went off just after we went to bed and was off all night. Luckily, it doesn't take a lot of electricity to sleep, so we weren't too inconvenienced, but as of this morning, there were still a few hundred people without power.
Being without power was the theme, or at least an opening salvo, in the sermon at church today. The pastor, who we'd never seen before (possibly because we aren't exactly regular churchgoers any more) stressed the power of praying always.
After church, I strapped some tools and a ladder with balloons tied on the end for safety, onto my bike trailer and rode across town to help a friend replace his carport roof, the original roof having decamped during the storm. The trailer was pretty heavy and the trailer hitch was attached poorly, so when it pulled loose, it pulled the rear wheel off my bike. This happened just as I arrived at Rich's house, which you could ascribe to Providence, if I'd been praying. As it was, as likely to have been HealthSouth.
Finally, this thought came to me on the ride; maybe Mitt Romney should have spent as much time doing oppo research on Joseph Smith as he has on Barack Obama.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Ryan Claims To Have Run A Sub-Three Hour Marathon

He didn't. He didn't even run a sub-four hour marathon.  He is lying so fast now, that it's hard to keep up. But Mitt is trying. Remember during the convention he said ", for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future."?
Except, according to the person that designed that poll question, "the truth is just the opposite of what Romney claimed."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Of Course, Sometimes The Acorn Falls Really Close To The Tree, Maybe It Even Hits Its Head A Few Times On The Way Down

Are you as tired as I am of this blog's obsession with politics? Do you come here to get away from all that vitriol and anger? Tough.
Mitt Romney has referred to Paul Ryan as his sixth son. So, he must be really proud of Ryan's speech last night at the Republican convention. It was virtually a full-employment act for fact checkers. Now you might suspect the MSM of  bias, but here's a quote from Fox News (Fox News!!!):

On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was  Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

Oh, by the way, there might have been some confusion about a recent post. Goldwater wrote George Romney, Mitt's father, back in 1964. When George Romney ran for president, he released twelve years of tax returns, because, “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show,”  he said.

Oh, oh, another thing; Condoleeza Rice asked over and over at the convention, "Where does America stand?" Let's remember where it stood when she was in charge of American foreign policy; in Baghdad, fighting a costly and pointless war that left thousands of American soldiers dead or disabled, Iraq in shambles, and Iran freed from constraints on both its Eastern and Western borders because of our interventions.  Now John McCain, in his "walk down amnesia lane" wants us to invade Syria, as if al-Qaeda didn't ever use our own weapons against us after we armed them in the 80's or that the last 10 years never happened.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Apparently Acorns Can Fall A Long Way From The Tree, Then Get Up And Run Even Farther Away From The Tree


Here's an excerpt from a fascinating Fresh Air podcast:
After Goldwater lost the general election in a landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson, he wrote an angry letter demanding that Romney explain why he never endorsed him. George responded in a 12-page letter that included a warning that perhaps is even more relevant today than when it was written:

“Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress,” George wrote.

Greatest Country In The World

Greatest country in the world video I just posted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Highly Evolved

We went to the fair today. We inadvertently timed our arrival on "Healthy Living Day." I don't know if it was a coincidence that I ate less there than I have in years, but that's what happened. I'm not saying I didn't eat a lot, just less than I have. Still, I totally understand the motivation of an animal that would give up its hands to blissfuly float in the ocean singing the songs of the humpbacks, or even the songs of Barry Manilow, just to avoid having to waddle around with all this gumbo weight.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

As The OB/GYN Didn't Say, But It's Hard To Keep Coming Up With Headlines, Once More Into The Breach

So, here I am, once again killing time while it kills me back. Incidentally, I think I might have said that before, but things (or at least, things like me) tend to repeat, don't they? Like those monkeys with the keyboards that kept typing the letter, "s," over and over? So, no Shakespeare, but then scholars believe Shakespeare didn't urinate on his keyboard, proving again that he was a much better playwright than the monkeys, both in the opinion of his critics, and his cleaning lady.
Last week, I heard a review of a book described as, "an epistolary novel — a genre Semple says is one of her favorites. "I just feel like there's this illicit thrill in reading other people's mail, and spying on their lives," she says. "It was so fun." A quote that came from the author, but could just as easily have come from the letter carrier's handbook.
I thought it was a little over the top when I provided a link last week that seemed to imply that Romney and Hitler were the same. I get so tired of people cheapening the Holocaust by comparing things like their assistant  principal, Mr. Kufel, to a Nazi. Especially after my French teacher heard me. But even if Romney and Hitler are in totally different cults, it's still unsettling to hear Romney race-baiting as he was in Detroit recently. He's too smooth and slick to want to personally be a birther, but if you're one, he sure does want your vote.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

As The Cheese Curdles

Romney's attack on Obama's welfare waivers overlook one important point.  That is, that the charge is  completely bogus, earning him Politifact's pants-on-fire rating, and  the Washington Post's highest rating of four Pinnochios.  Factcheck.org calls it false and even a Republican architect of the law, Ron Haskins, told NPR: "There's no plausible scenario under which it really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform." In spite of that, Romney continues to tell this big lie. Who does that?
Now that Romney has selected a career Wisconsin politician as his running mate, it might be a good time to look back at how others have responded to lying Wisconsin politicians.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm Running For President, Because I Believe Firmly That I Should Be President

It's been hard to understand why Romney, a man with no firm conviction, other than that he should be president, would even want to be president. This article from the Atlantic might explain it. It doesn't explain why anyone else would want him to be president

Friday, August 17, 2012

Missed Opportunity

The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced their schedule for the candidates to debate each other. A more interesting debate would be to have Mitt Romney on stage alone debating himself since, depending on his audience and the needs of the moment, he has taken every side of every issue.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just The Usual

As is often the case, I have nothing interesting to report. Well, that's not completely true, I'd be interested in reporting that when I get to work today, they will have made the fifth territorial adjustment to my route in a year, and since it is not the territorial adjustment they meant to make, if they hurry they can squeeze in the sixth adjustment in a year.
But, as far as interesting to you, no, nothing. However, if you're interested in politics*,  there is this.

*No worries if you're not. I'm sure somebody else will take responsibility for the fate of the country, and by extension, the world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

If You're Interested In Good Writing About The Intersection Of Grammar And Politics, You Should Follow The Links.

This week, Grammar Girl talked about making sure that you use credible sources in your writing. If you ever want to cite this blog, I can put your mind at ease, I make it all up. Too bad, I'm just giving it away; I could be working on the Romney campaign. It's gotten so bad that even members of the Mormon church, who believe that Jesus came to America and that American Indians are Israelites, people, in other words, that will believe the writing of a convicted 19th century con man, are calling on Mitt to stop lying.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

For the second time this summer, police in Alaska have shot and killed a man wielding a baseball bat. As my friend Rich says, "Who brings a bat to a gunfight?" Maybe, though, if this trend continues,  the police should consider carrying baseballs.

Last week, I updated to OS X, Mountain Lion. Now, all my iDevices sync automatically and constantly with my computer, and messages to and from one device can appear on all of them. Leaving aside their "assimilating" and forced collectivization, you have to admit that the Borg knew how to stay in touch.

Finally, I was talking (or ranting more likely) to my daughter about how the low interest rates that have prevailed since the (over regulated?!!) banks destroyed the economy have made it hard for savers and retirees to make any money on their investments. "It's fine for banks, because they can always make money on the spread, but it's bad for people who have to buy mayonnaise."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why Aren't We Blaming The Victim?

Twenty three counties in Wisconsin have been declared drought disaster areas, and so far Pat Robertson hasn't blamed the Wisconsinites for reelecting Scott Walker.

The Sporting Life

Last week my friend and I went traipsing around the Nike Site above Anchorage. It's way above Anchorage, and pretty steep. At one point, he asked if I needed a bottle of water. "No, I need a bottle of oxygen," I replied.
That stuff is actually quite toxic, and can cause blindness in high concentrations.
"Well, can I breathe it till I need glasses?"
Last night we watched the opening ceremony in London.  J. K. Rowling was there, and it was magical enough, that you might reasonably have inferred that the  Quidditch World Cup was about to be played, but sadly, no, it was just the Olympics. Or at least, that's what they told us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Isn't Really A Post, But I Just Read This In An Article

And it seemed like too good a sentiment to not share:
"Out of an abundance of caution, they blew it up."

Very Bad News That Won't Be Reported In The Weekly Reader

Another victim of private equity firms and the rush to digital media, the Weekly Reader will not be returning this fall. I loved the Weekly Reader when I was in grade school, and if I'd known it was in trouble, I would have renewed my subscription now. Certainly young readers were better served by WR than by digital media, even such sober and even-handed digital media like this blog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Come, Let Us Reason Together

Oh right, like that's ever worked. Planet Money reports on policies agreed upon by six economists spanning the spectrum from left to right (unlike Fox's span from far right to plain wrong). Agreed upon.
They also report that none of them can be enacted by our politicians. For example, the mortgage interest deduction distorts the market,  raising the price of real estate, giving a bigger benefit to the rich, and encouraging not home ownership, but debt. Ending the mortgage deduction, and doing the five other things are  both wise and impossible.
For another example, everyone can agree that Mitt Romney has never uttered a declarative sentence without also stating its categorical opposite. We can syllogistically agree that  Mitt is two faced, Two Face is a villain, so Mitt is an entitled bully, born rich, who thinks corporations are people, and makes his dog ride on top of his car And yet, even though we can all agree on that, we still might wake up to him as president of all us, together, for no good reason

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As The Muggle Queen Said, "We Are Not Bemused."

Once I left the Republican Party, it was easy to look back and see that I had been defending the indefensible; that the party of Main St had become the party of Wall St. Once that started, it was hard to stop.
So, here's a fun drinking game for third graders; every time J.K. Rowling uses the word "bemused" have a juice box.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I Suppose We Have To Save Even Idiots

Did I tell you that this spring they cut an hour or so off my route? And that after the snow melted, I could actually do my route in eight hours or less? Or that tomorrow, they're putting it all back on my route, plus five more stops?
Did I tell you that the mailman who works right next to me (and that used to be my mailman) had a stroke a couple of years ago, and that a few weeks ago he had a seizure landing him back in the ICU with a respirator? And that he couldn't talk, so they gave him a whiteboard and a marker so he could write? And that his arms just flopped around, so that he was writing gibberish? And that whatever he wrote made more sense than the line of travel they "proposed" for my route. It's a proposal, if a shotgun wedding is a marriage made in heaven. Because the line of travel that I just saw today for the first time, takes effect tomorrow.

So, having said all that, I have a favor to ask. You know this job I'm embarrassed to have, working for idiots? Can you help me save it, and the Postal Service? Darrel Issa, car thief, stolen valor liar, and Congressman from California, has a plan to reform the Postal Service. It's called H.R. 2309, "for want of a more scathing term."
Here are some bullet points for when you call your Congressperson at 888-863-6103:

► H.R. 2309 would needlessly eliminate Saturday delivery, the USPS’ largest competitive advantage, to save a fraction of its annual operating budget. This senseless cut would damage millions of small businesses and result in major volume losses that have not been accounted for.

► H.R. 2309 would eliminate 90 percent of all door-to-door home and business delivery—a cut that is unpopular among the millions of Americans who currently receive such delivery. This change alone would hurt advertising mailers, small-business mailings, and eBay and Amazon deliveries, just to name a few—not to mention the inconvenience of having to leave a residence or place of business to retrieve mail from a cluster box location.

► H.R. 2309 would downsize the USPS’ invaluable networks by closing thousands of post offices and mail-processing plants in a haphazard manner, which would result in massive delays in mail processing and simply destroy the current USPS service standards that customers have come to rely on.

► Perhaps worst of all, H.R. 2309 would do nothing to reduce the crushing annual payments to pre-fund future retiree health benefits—payments that no other agency or business must make—despite the fact that the retiree health benefit fund already has nearly $45 billion in it, enough money to cover health care costs for future retirees for decades to come. As a matter of fact, the bill actually increases the congressionally mandated payments to the fund, which would all but guarantee a collapse of the Postal Service in the future.

We need to make sure every member of Congress receives this message loud and clear to ensure that H.R. 2309 never makes it to the floor. Please help to protect the future of the Postal Service by calling your representative at 888-863-6103 and by urging your co-workers, family members and friends to do the same.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Cat Owners Aren't Paranoid. Well, They Are, But They Have Their Reasons

Your cat may not be trying to kill you, but, then again, "when you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma [carried by cats] might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Consistency Isn't Just A Hobgoblin Of Small Minds; It's Also A Landscaping Problem

Back in May, we were complaining that the snow wasn't melting fast enough. Now it's the Fourth of July, and we have something completely the exact same thing to complain about.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Abominable

I've been off my diet for a week, and tomorrow we're going to a Himalayan themed restaurant. The clichéd thing to say is that I've gained so much weight that I'm wearing a tent, but what if I told you, instead, that I'm wearing a yurt?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm Going To Use A Lot Of Exclamation Points Because I Can't Wave My Hands Around While I'm Typing!!!


This weekend, I attended all three events for our high school class' fortieth reunion. It was great; nothing at all like I remember high school. For one thing, I talked to three cheerleaders, and one of them hugged me! And that wasn't even the best part.
Our French teacher was a Holocaust survivor, She seemed to view us as soft, entitled brats, and looking back, she was probably right. She was pretty contemptuous of us, and pretty scary, what with the ear twisting, the yelling, et d'autres. But one day, she showed a movie, then asked the class what it reminded them of, and they drew a blank, except me! I answered her question. She said, "We'll make something of him if the little piggies don't eat him first." High praise, indeed, coming from her. But it's really hard to boast, "Uh huh, that's right, I answered a question in high school." But someone at the reunion remembered, and brought it up!
And other people came up to me and said nice things. I'd make them look at my name tag with my class picture on it, and they'd say, "I know who you are."
Oh, and the weather was perfect, I won a bottle of glacier water, we visited our fifth grade teacher, toured a fish hatchery, and we've got amazing house guests who are charming, brilliant, and know how to do things! I left my tool box outside their door so if they see something broken or stuck, they can just fix it as they go by. And they are!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yo, Rug Doctor, Take A Cue From Rodney King

Rug doctor is, "Screaming mad at dirt," but  I want to know if we can't just get along. We've been working for four days to get to the point that when our guests arrive in a few hours, we can say, "Oh, sorry, we didn't have a chance to pick up around here." The truth is, four days ago, it looked like the crew from Hoarders just packed up and left. Ha, the truth is like an onion, it reveals itself in layers: four days ago, it looked like no one had ever packed up here, anything, ever.
I cleaned the carpet on our stairs, and it looks horrible; blotchy patches of clean and dirty carpet. I suppose I'm thinking about this right now because our fortieth reunion looms tomorrow. If I'd just left it alone, I could have been an iconoclast. Oh, he's a wild man, he doesn't even care how his stairs look. Freedom, man, he doesn't even care what the Man thinks. The way it turned out, I care how it looks, I'm just a nebbish that can't even pick up after himself.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Did I Just Have An Insight?

Do you think that Romney's Etch-A-Sketch approach to issues could be related to his Mormonism? Mormons believed in polygamy until they didn't anymore, and they believed that black skin was the sign of a curse  until 1978.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012

Your Garden Is A Mirror Of Your Soul

If I ever write the story of our flower bed, I'll probably call it "Mulch Ado About Nothing."

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Games People Play

About the same time that we were riding the Tour up Rabbit Creek Rd this weekend, a homeowner there killed a grizzly bear that had just killed his pet llama. Fish and Game reports that three other brown bears were in the neighborhood. A friend said that unlike our encounter with a black bear*, a few years ago, people were moving too slowly up the hill to escape from a bear. That was certainly true in my case.  I might have been on a stationary bike;  you would have needed  time lapse photography to detect motion at all. I imagine a roadside observer could have easily counted the spokes in my wheels as I went by.

In other news, our routes were evaluated last week, and now we await the adjustments. This time, I think I'll tell them their "consultations" are charades, and I want to play a different game: trivial pursuit. "How many times have you paid any attention to what I tell you?"
For those of you playing along at home, the correct answer is, never.

*Not to pressure the rest of you, but the post I linked to from this post has the best comment I've ever received, maybe the best comment anyone has ever received.

Monday, June 04, 2012

I Ate A Lot Yesterday. Today, A Groaning Board

Yesterday was the Tour de Cure in Anchorage. They had a new course because some people had complained that the old 62 mile course was too easy. I was not one of those people. Over the years, I've used a lot of metaphors for steep hills, calling them ladders or some such. In this case, words fail. The ride up Rabbit Creek Rd was steep and hard, and then it became steeper and harder. I made it to the top, and then wound my way back through the mountains and the flats to the finishing arch in Mountain View. A woman sitting there asked me, "Are you the sweeper?"
"No," I said.
"Then, are you a Red Rider?" she asked.
"No, I'm old and slow, leave me alone," I explained.
Then I ate a free Subway sandwich, a peanut butter sandwich I had with me, and rode my bike home. There I ate two more sandwiches, and then we went to Don Jose's for dinner.
Today I'm back on my plan with no ill effects from food bingeing, nor the ride, except I'm stiff as a board.
Well, I'd say stiff as a board, but unlike a board, I can bend, but also unlike a board, I groan with each movement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How Did She Find Out?

I'm pretty sure the comment on my last post wasn't just about my ability to turn corn nuts into fat, but also my alter ego:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wait A Minute, Maybe I Could Be On The Treadmill.

I was so back on my diet today, and then just like that old chestnut, I got out of bed. I've been sitting in my recliner($25) in my garage,next to a treadmill ($95) for three days so my legs and core are rapidly losing strength, but after a Costco load of corn nuts, my jaw is ripped.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow

I reached my goal weight a couple of weeks ago, just in time for the Tour de Cure next Sunday. I've started carbo and fat loading early, so I may be able to join the Red Team by then.
By the way, I laid in a supply of corn nuts and Doritos for the ride, and then ate most of them last night. I was really pumped to try Doritos Jacked. I've looked online for phrases containing "jack", and I only found one that really conveys the disappointment. I still like the commercial,  even though it's sort the sort of false advertising that you could build a Republican presidential campaign on.

Bridal And Bridle: Homonyms Or Synonyms? A Post In Which A Biblical Prophecy Comes True


Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  James 1:26
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
James 3:4-6 
 Yesterday's garage sale was slow. How slow? I could have been a man sitting alone in a dim garage, or a troll under a bridge, who could tell?
And, awkward segue, speaking of telling, I don't always appreciate how lucky I am that I am never allowed to finish sentences here.  My customers, no matter how they feel about it, don't react to the sound of my voice by instantly starting to talk over me. Their loss. I got a call last night from a family on my route.  At some point, I must have told a story, no, I must have finished telling a story,  about removing stumps by soaking them in gasoline which allows the infused roots to burn when the tree is set alight. They sent me a picture of the ensuing conflagration.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Guaranteed Way To Make Money And Meet African Royalty

I don't know why I would tell the people on Craigslist, and not tell you that we're having a garage sale this weekend. Especially since you're far less likely to send me spam about your special way to pay for things.
If you're in town this weekend, stop by. I've got a treadmill for sale, and I can put you in touch with my new investment advisor. He's a prince.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Training Day

The Hardly Davidsons rode today. We slogged from Bird Creek to Girdwood against the wind and then sailed back. It was billed as a training ride for the Tour de Cure. It was barely half as long as the Tour, but the wind, the hills and the breathtaking scenery, combined to give it the aerobic profile of a ride twice as long, so there you are.
So there you are, but where are you? According to Mary Powell of the ADA, unless your name is Anonymous, you haven't yet donated to end diabetes in our lifetime. Mary Powell keeps emailing me, and I don't think it's because of my Klout score, after all. I think she just wants a lot of money for diabetes. Don't make me give her your email address.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On The Other Hands

I just reread that last post about the octopus. I realized even the octopus was bored. In fact he's using two of his eight arms to cover his eyes. His arms are pink, not because he's going over coral; he's embarrassed for me.

Inspirational Quote Of The Day

Every morning the dog follows me out the door so I can toss the ball for her before I go to work. Is there something wrong with me? Every morning I think of the Scrubbing Bubbles commercial, "Let's go down the drain together." What a dummy.
No, what a segue, former crash test dummy tries out semi-retirement as a garden gnome:


Friday, May 18, 2012

Walt Kelly Said, "He That Is Forewarned Is Forearmed, But Who Wants To Be Half An Octopus?"

A new book tells us that we can learn a lot from the Octopus. They're very smart, for example,  they can use coconut shells for protection, but they don't waste their time figuring out which color to use for camouflage. Individual cells respond to their environment, changing colors as needed. This kind of decentralized authority allows for quick flexible responses that could never  be achieved if the octopus had to think about it. The author says that this kind of decision making could be used by lots of human organizations to provide optimal responses in the least time. Sadly, at the PO, we're just sitting around banging coconut shells together.

In completely un related news, while I was composing this post, my sister called and she is staying at house that used to belong to Steve Largent!

Responding To Feedback

Oh, to clarify, I did not have to wait till July to talk to a cardiologist. They have one standing by during the test, and he said he had an opening right then on his schedule to tell me I was fine.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Has Anyone Ever Used The Phrase, "Much Ado About Nothing" before?

Had the stress test today. I'm fine. Well, mostly fine, I have razor burns where they shaved the hair off my chest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Quotation Marks In This Post Enclose Things That Were Never Said

This morning, as a warm up for the stress test tomorrow,  I did my juggling routine where I try and keep the cell, insurance, cable, credit card and utility bills from crashing down on my head. Just as the routine was reaching its fevered climax, my lovely assistant tossed in a flurry of QVC charges, the metaphorical equivalent of a bowling ball and a flaming chain saw.
I'm having the stress test, you may recall, because the doctor told me, "Your bone density test looks excellent, wait a minute, you didn't have a bone density test, those are your arteries."


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Only In America

Only in America, through dedication and hard work, could a regular dummy become a crash-test dummy.

Just Another Day

Just another day at work, going back and forth, hither and yawning.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Pretentious Cheddar Has A Fine Nose

I have an appointment for a stress test on Thursday, and a consultation about it with a cardiologist in July. If the test indicates I'm about to die, I asked if could have the consultation sooner, and they said yes. I'll tell you this much, if I'm about to die of heart disease, I'll be drinking a glass of wine with dinner. Ha, that's a lie, if I'm about to die, I'll be drinking a glass of melted cheese with dinner.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Two Plaques, No Trophy

I went to the doctor a couple of days ago to get the results of a recent test. The doctor played a CD that showed my beating heart on his computer.Apparently, I'm allergic to talking about my heart, but what kind of doctor's office doesn't have a fainting couch?
Just like the dentist, he wasn't impressed with the amazing amounts of plaque I can create, so now, off to a cardiologist for a stress test. I believe that involves watching the CD again, but with electrodes attached.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I Did Some Actual Research For This Post; Well, I Searched My Own Blog For Doritos

According to the Wall Street Journal, we like to talk about ourselves because it makes us feel as good as eating does. So, you can imagine how much I enjoy writing a blog that includes words like Doritos.  Judging by the number of posts, a lot.
So then, you can  imagine how much I enjoy telling you that this morning, while I was eating breakfast, I got a call from Buddy Roemer! He said he needed my help! He really needs your help. If you go to AmericansElect.org, you can support his campaign to remove the undue influence of money in American politics. I don't agree with him on every single thing; I barely agree with myself on every single thing, but I do believe that Washington isn't broken, it's bought.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My doctor's office called me this morning. The receptionist said, "How are you?" I was all, "What am I paying you for?"
Yesterday, we were talking about our chances to ever retire. "Pretty slim," Rich said.  "True," I said, "but I think you just gave me my new rap name"

Friday, May 04, 2012

Today I got a call from Mary Powell, the local Tour de Cure coordinator. She hinted that our Hardly Davidson team wasn't quite pulling its weight fundraising-wise, and that instead of dropping subtle hints on my blog, I should just ask for money. I've even made it easy by putting a link right on this page.  So yeah, you should give some money; nothing extravagant, just enough to end diabetes, but do you see the bigger picture here? I've been working on my Klout score, and the day it goes up to twelve, I get a call from the Tour coordinator.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day And We Have Something To Protest

Today is the 1st of May, and we have something that's really irritating us up here, almost as much as living in a Corpocracy: living in a freezer where the wind chill tonight is forecast to be 8° People on my route, desperate to begin yard work, are shoveling snow from their yards back onto their sidewalks. I keep telling them that come the Fourth of July, they're going to feel pretty silly when the rest of us can just lean out our windows to get ice.
These were taken at Costco today:


What Goes Up... Seriously, What Goes Up?

Since I've intentionally tried to increase my Klout score to have something impressive to talk about at the upcoming reunion, it has dropped every day. Leah says that neediness isn't a good look for me. Reality says that a high score on a site no one's heard of will only increase my geek/loser cred, and I suppose Klout can be inferred to say, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lose Friends And Influence People

I had planned on not attending my high school reunion for various reasons, most of them encapsulated in the name of my blog. My two friends from high school, though, are planning on attending, and I think it's possible that I may join them, so now, I'm going to have to try and get ready. It's too late to have an actual career, or an accomplishment, so first on the agenda, try and improve my Klout score.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Be Late

There are sixty thousand pacemakers connected to the Internet.
The idea is that doctors can monitor their patients and change the pacemaker's settings remotely, making life better for all concerned. If someone doesn't just turn the patients off.
Also some brain implants are connected. But don't worry about that, as if they'd let you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Just Completed A New York Times Crossword

That might not impress you since it was a Monday puzzle.
I just got back from a 14.6 mile bike ride to train for the Tour de Cure. Still nothing? How about this? According to a recent test, I scored in the 99th percentile for cardiac coronary calcification. Uh huh, that's right, there's only one percentile with more calcium, and he's a skeleton.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Full Circle, EEWWW

According to neuroscientist, Rachel Herz, disgust is a luxury since only people that have choices can afford to turn up their noses. And a quick internet search reveals that a lot of CEO's are living lives of disgusting luxury.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

There's A Reason Bing Crosby Didn't Sing, "I'm Dreaming Of A White Easter"


Late this afternoon,  Holy Saturday 2012, we finally broke the record for the most snow to ever fall in a winter here in Anchorage. Earlier today, I had asked a retired meteorologist living on my route if we had broken the record. He told me that we hadn't, and he didn't care anymore if we did, he just wanted it to stop snowing. I told him, "You don't need a weatherman, to know it's snowed too much."
There's a Santa still standing across the street, and even his smile is starting to look a little forced.
Th

Thursday, April 05, 2012

No Earthworms Being Handy...

A writer at Discover Magazine, has dissected recent published studies lauding chocolate and excoriating red meat. His take; the studies are seriously flawed, confusing correlation for causation. Seriously flawed, and seriously disappointing, too. I already eat very little red meat, but woe betide the oat that crosses my path. I started putting a tablet of baker's chocolate into my oatmeal last week, medicinally, it was baker's chocolate, but it may have been just as healthy to eat Girl Scout's chocolate, or even earthworms, which might explain the shortage. I hate to think that once again, I'm going to be a roll model like I was in grade school where Karen Savage used to poke me in the stomach and say, "Poppin' Fresh"
A link from the Discover post, cited studies of tongue slips, and said that in a recent speech, even though it sounded like Santorum was about to call Obama  a very fraught word, "to use speech errors as evidence of his deeply held sentiments is about as scientific as dunking a woman into the river to see if she floats before declaring her a witch," something else that Santorum believes in.
Production Notes
1  Part of the motivation for this post was the chance to say, "Woe betide"
2  I guess if oats are crossing my path, instead of the other way around, the fear might also flow the other way.
3 I almost said "bad" word, but fraught sounded much better to me.

Death Be Not Ironic

We are leaving in a few minutes to pick up our new wills. Ha, ha, the only way we can afford them is if one of us dies on the way.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Life In A Northern Town

The other day, my sister told me that it was 45˚in Anchorage, Hemet, and Seattle at the same time. I bet we were the only ones who appreciated it. Here are some Palm Sunday photos from our back yard, or, Mountain Ash Sunday, as the moose think of it. Note that the snow is deep enough, still, that the moose's feet are even with the eave of the shed. Also, if you could find why we have a dressmaker's dummy standing in the window of our garage, please let me know. Seriously, why do we?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Could These Two Stories Be Related Somehow?

NPR's Planet Money did a story this week about campaign finance, and Weekend All Things Considered did a story about health care reform.  The interesting thing about the individual mandate component of the Affordable Health Care Act, is that it was proposed originally as the Republican alternative to HillaryCare back in the 90's as a way to keep government out of health care and eliminate health care free riders.
Here we could insert a French proverb making the observation that turbulent changes do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo. We are apparently wearing the status quo like a pair of boots.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dilemma: If Looks Could Kill, Would I Wield A Cursory Glance, Or A Glancing Blow?

So, Etch-A-Sketches are back in the news now that Romney has announced his promises are written on one. They are old news at the PO, where we've been making policy on them for years. They are precursors of the computers we use now, in the sense that they are pre-cursor, as well as the ephemeral nature of their output. This will be news to some of us, who thought that our policies were written in smoke.
The changes they made to my route took effect, sort of, on Saturday, and now they're saying they'll be making changes in May, and they are already planning for the inevitable mistakes they're going to make, by announcing that they'll be making changes again in September.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Plan your work, work your plan.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Well, That Made Me Feel Silly

I heard a story about attribution on the internet, and now I wish I had something to attribute. Oh, wait a minute.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Normally, A Man Of Doleful Mien

When I got home from work today, I told everyone, "I got my new line of travel today from the Post Office, and it could have been so much worse."
"We've never seen you so excited about your job," they said.
And there was more good news, Karen and I each got a letter from the IRS today. Both letters said that they had looked at our return, and we didn't owe any more money, although they did helpfully include envelopes for us to send our nothing in.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Affluenza

We have too much stuff, and a lot of it is in a pile in the middle of our bedroom; just perfect for a bonfire. We're not quite ready for the painter to come the day after tomorrow, but I think we'll make it or else I guess he'll paint over nails, staples and our tv. Which will be fine because I have no idea where the remote is. Anyway, I'm done piling stuff for tonight.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We're Tour de Curing Again

Researchers keep coming out of their labs to announce that the cure for most diabetes cases is diet and exercise. Americans keep sending them back, "Nope, try again, we're thinking maybe a pill, or some special food, perhaps cheese."
Despite that, not all cases of diabetes are caused by sedentary overeating, and the disease can be devastating. To  help fund research into causes and treatments, I'm planning to participate in the 2012 Tour de Cure. If you go to:
 you can join my team, and then it will be our team. Use the promotion code LUCKY7 before the 21st of March and you can join for $7.00. It turns out that I can't join for you;  it just smiles patiently and says, "Thanks, but you've already joined."
After joining, you can set up your own pages and the process can continue over and over until eventually we become Amway. If the idea of riding sixty miles seems daunting even with SAG vans and snacks, when you get to the site, you can sponsor me. I'll do the riding and eating for you, the researchers will continue the hunt for the elusive Gorgonzola particle and you can feel good about the part we all played in making the world a better place.

Friday, March 16, 2012

There Is No "I" In Postal

If our managers want us to be part of the team, they shouldn't treat us like part of the equipment.

Friday, March 09, 2012

No Oobleck, Though

I've told you before that you don't know what's going to kill you. Karen and I just watched some videos from the 50's about fallout shelters. In one of them, the actor playing the homeowner is smoking a cigarette. Since the film is sixty years old, I bet the actor is dead, and I bet he didn't die from a Soviet A-bomb.
The films showed that when people were vaporized by the blast there was an outline of their bodies in silhouette on walls that remained standing. If the blast was to come here, now, the shadow could be left on the walls of snow lining our streets. And there's so much snow that tourists could come years from now to see it. And yet, we still haven't broken the record. I'm betting I break first. It's tempting to just give up, but winter isn't taking prisoners.
There's so much snow that it's become an issue in the mayoral election. And in postal delivery. After they adjusted my route last summer, I told them, "You don't listen." It's been six months, so they are evaluating the changes they made. Cognizant of the mistakes they made last time, they're making an effort to not listen harder.
Oh, and one more thing, that's not falling as fast as it should. In December, I reached my goal weight. Then came Christmas, vacation, and binge eating. I've been back on my plan for more than two months, and while I've been losing weight, I still have not gotten back to goal. That means that it takes more than two and a half months to lose the weight that I put on in two and a half weeks. Does this seem right? Does this ever happen to you?
I'm only asking because my friend, Rich, said it would be interesting to know if that was a common formula; four times as long (or more) to lose weight as it takes to put it on. I've commissioned a poll at the top of the page to see what you think.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two Identical Snow Flakes Fall In Anchorage

What I don't know about set theory would fit in a book, tentatively titled Everything There Is To Know About Set Theory, A Boxed Collection or Group. But I'm pretty sure that if a set isn't infinite, then there is (or perhaps, are) a finite number of ways to arrange it. So, if there are only so many (so very many, but still) water molecules to freeze into flakes, then eventually, the pattern must repeat. Since a very large number, perhaps half an infinity, have fallen here this winter, then ergo, flakes of a feather, flocking together.
Some people here are cheering for the snowfall record to be broken. I was in Boston when they won the World Series, and it was cool and all, but I couldn't really take any pride in it; I hadn't hit a ball anywhere. By the same token, I guess being somewhere when a record is broken would be interesting, but this record isn't so much breaking as falling on us.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One Character Per Inch Of Snow. Twitter And Snowfall Achieving A Weird Convergence.

As of this morning, Anchorage's snow total for the season is in the top five all-time ever recorded. The Weather Service doesn't want us to give up hope that we might still break the record (we've long since given up hope that snow will ever melt) since the two snowiest days on record were both in March. Slogging through snow day after day, has sapped my will to blog, but I have managed to get a few tweets off, and I just realized that if I dragged and dropped them here, I'd have a post.

Santorum for ayatollah. @BuddyRoemer for president.

"Casino mogul funds Newt's superPAC" Newt for pit boss.@BuddyRoemer for president.

Romney to Detroit: "Let them eat cake." Mitt for Baker-In-Chief.@BuddyRoemer for president.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You're Not The Boss Of Me! Oh, Sorry, I Guess You Are

I'm reading the advance copy of Karen's will. There is a trust set up to take care of the beneficiary if he's disabled. In order to protect assets, the beneficiary has to abide by the trustee's rules. I was feeling pretty sorry for the poor sap, until I realized he's me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

You Can Look For Me On Facebook

But if you believe them, you won't be able to find me. This story may make me seem old (other things that may make me seem old: my birth certificate, my face, my triceps that are always just slightly behind the beat).
Yesterday, I created a Facebook account so I could stay in touch with my friends around the world. But, no sooner had I created it, than I realized how much Facebook creeps me out. They seem like the kind of person you just met that stands way too close, puts their hand on your arm, and breathes in your face, and wants to do everything with you. When they wanted to "help" me look for my friends on their service, they didn't ask for my friends' names or email addresses,  they wanted me to give them my email address book so they could look for me. They want to identify me in pictures and tag me in them, whether or not I'm really in the picture, or if I want to be tagged. I didn't find their privacy settings easy to adjust, or even find at all.
I get that google does similar things, but google search provides me a service that makes it seem like a fair trade. Facebook seems to be constantly playing gotcha with their members. So, unless you searched for me in the two or three minutes from when I created my account, to when I deactivated it, I should be impossible to find. If you can believe Facebook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Open Letter To Kirkus Reviews

Maybe you need a refresher.
Review:  "...a critical appraisal of a book, play, movie, exhibition, etc., published in a newspaper or magazine."
So, if you are reviewing a book called A Dog's Purpose, you don't reveal the dog's purpose. You let the author do that.
What you're writing isn't exactly a synopsis; it's a
Spoiler:  "...a description of an important plot development in a television show, movie, etc., before it is shown to the public."

The Little Post Office That Could

I mailed a package last Thursday  to my sister, who lives outside Palm Springs. Inexplicably, according to their tracking, it spent three days in Denver, and still hasn't been delivered, but, also according to their tracking, they expect to deliver it two days ago.
It's hard to believe that an organization with that kind of can-do spirit, can't overcome anything.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weather Report

As you may know, we have had lots of snow this year, followed by crazy cold, and then way more snow. It's warmer now, although snowing really, really hard right this minute. Since it's warmer, snow is melting off people's roofs, and then dripping onto their porches where it refreezes. It's so icy and dangerous that I'm starting to feel like Tonya Harding's mailman.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words. Is it? Is It Really?

I'm asking because I am really proud of the phrase "front range of the Costco parking lot."
But you can decide for yourself:

Similarly, if I tell you I'm a rakishly handsome bicyclist, is that any less effective than this:

Public Health

I went back to the doctor today for a follow up visit. I ended up getting a vaccine booster shot. It turns out that even as you age, it's never too late to be a revenue opportunity for doctors. If I don't become autistic (self-absorbed doesn't count), can we just stop talking about that and go back to talking about something really absorbing, like me?
My blood work looked really good, and I had lost 11 pounds since my last visit. Mostly by taking off my winter coat and leaving my book at home.

Whiteout

You may have heard that after a soul (and finger)-chillingly cold January here, February opened with a blizzard. Crews have been piling snow higher and higher. to make room for more. On Sunday, we had to park near the front range of the Costco parking lot.
Yesterday my manager "consulted" with me about adjusting my route again. She took pages of notes, and added them to the piles already on her desk. Just another place where avalanche conditions are high. I should be in better shape considering how much I participate in these exercises in futility.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Getting Ready To Rest Is Anything But Restful

We went to a financial advisor recently. He advised that because of Karen's disability, it was important that I not die intestate which does not refer to a Jake Barnes type injury.  I hated to make a new will after the controversy of the last one. Sarah helped me resolve that, though. After we die, Instead of going to live with my sister or Karen's brother, she said she could stay with her husband.
In any event, finding the answers to questions about insurance policies and beneficiary forms, and on and on ad lucem  is so tedious, and so tiring, that it makes one long for the comfort of the grave, which is the one place you can't go until you finish your work.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Writing Is Easy

I was trying to think of a way to work the word, "frenzy" into a sentence, and then I realized, "Hey, problem solved."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fire And Ice

News reports say that we are on track for the coldest January in Anchorage history. It seems to me that we are so close now to the end of the month, that we would have to fall into the sun to avoid the record, a prospect that some of us could face with equanimity.
Another report claims that being cold causes the body to create more brown fat which draws fat from other cells and burns it. Since I work outside, I should have enough brown fat to have gotten me reclassified during apartheid. The question is, how have I avoided bursting into flames? A prospect that I could have faced with, you know, equanimity.
I have Siri to keep me company during my long, cold slog, but she can be so irritating that I might just as well stay home. Yesterday, I asked her to play, You Can't Always Get What You Want, by the Rolling Stones. She cheerily announced, "Let's hear, This Ain't What You Want," and she was right, it wasn't.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm A Poet, And I Don't Have Knowledge Of It

According to an essay I haven't read by Walker Percy, whom I've never heard of, “misnamings, misunderstandings, or misrememberings” can lead to “an authentic poetic experience … an experience, moreover, which was notably absent before the mistake was made.”

Almost two years ago, right here in this blog, I quoted a Rolling Stones lyric, "My favorite flavor, cherry red," that I'd always heard as "My fever, flavored, cherry red" 
"Isn't that a much better line?" I asked.
At the rate I'm losing my faculties, in two more years I could be Shakespeare.
Which is great; one of my customers visited this blog recently and asked me, "Why Manqué Man?" I said, I thought a manqué was someone that showed early promise, but in the end accomplished nothing. "That's not you," he said. Harsh! He didn't know me then, I might have shown early promise.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Phat Chance

We were talking about nutrition today. "I'm really into that," I said. "Or, more accurately, I'm heavily into that."

Monday, January 16, 2012

The False Promise Of Internet Security

After my Hotmail account was hacked, and everyone's Zappos account was, I bought and installed a password manager today. After wrestling with it for a few hours, I realize that my internet surfing will be safe and secure because I won't be able to surf the internet any more. One of the reviewers claimed to be tech savvy, yet unable to get the program to work successfully. I don't know why I thought I was tech savvier than the reviewer, but I plunged on (and the unfortunate toilet reference there is not completely unintentional).  I have gotten it to work, but it's taken almost eight hours, and I only have managed the passwords on seven websites. It would be eight, but I'm completely locked out of my bank account.  I'm hopeful that if I have no access to my money, no one else does either, but I've been hopeful before. Well, not really hopeful, hopeful, but you know, asleep or something.

Monday, January 09, 2012

A Loaf Of Bread, A Jug Of Wine, And.. Wait, Skip The Wine, How About Another Loaf of Bread And A Pound Of Cheese?

Glimpsing myself in a mirror just now, I  realize I look like someone who was trapped in a lard catastrophe; someone that had to tunnel out using only his mouth. I'm home now, but unfortunately, I'm like a whale swimming up so rapidly that when I reach the surface,  I can't stop:  I just ate an entire loaf of bread and a pound of cheese. I wonder if whales hate themselves when they've got plankton running down their chins and their blowhole is full of ambergris.  Mmmm, ambergris.

By the way, I don't want to nag, but did you visit Buddy Roemer's web site like I asked you to?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Mirage

Riding home in Anchorage. Phoenix seems like a dream. A dream that won't come true. I only have the fat I'm carrying to let me know it really happened.
So much fresh snow that the main highway out of town is closed. There is really no escape from this life.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

What I Did On My Summery Vacation

I never mentioned that we've been in Phoenix for the last week and a half. We came for a mini family reunion ( the only kind we can have since our family is so small) and to see if we can afford a house here (we can't).
We also explored the cultural resources of Phoenix (Hula's Modern Tiki Lounge) and traditional southwest dining by making two trips to Arizona's oldest soda fountain.
We've been staying at Homewood Suites. It's part of the Hilton family, the amiable kid brother to The Hilton's cold, grasping patriarch. One night we were running too late to get back in time for the complementary dinner. Part of the family thought it was charming that the hostess called to see if we were okay. I understood it to mean that she thought we were too fat and cheap to pass up a free meal.
Tomorrow, back to Anchorage and winter.