Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

First World Problem

Why is it so easy to do a google search for 'cheap area rugs'  and so hard to do one for 'good quality price is not a major consideration area rugs'? 

I'm not saying oh we want something knitted from the  belly fur of sheep fed only the grapes that grow on Mount Olympus, packed only by cello-playing virgins  - price does matter -- but quality is important, too.  Why does no one (that google shows me) emphasize that?

Monday, September 25, 2017

French Daughters

I have two people whom I refer to as my French daughters.

One is a woman that I have known for several years, and with whom I've communicated repeatedly, particularly when  she has been going through a stressful period, usually related to either interaction with her father or interaction with her -- I'm not sure what to call him, as he's married, and not really a 'boyfriend'.  She has used the term amoureux, and I suppose that's as good as any.  She gets a lot of pain and no satisfaction from the first, and a combination of pain and satisfaction from the second.  She wants to leave the first (but can't, due to financial and familial issues), and knows she should leave, or at least turn down the intensity, on the second -- but she finds that very hard to do.  Very hard to do.

The other daughter is a French exchange student who has been with us just about a month, and who will be with us, barring problems, until the end of May.  That started out as oh, that's nine months, its a long time, and to my surprise its already eight months left, and that doesn't feel like a very long time at all.  We get along very well with this person, and when she leaves, it will feel as if part of our family is leaving. Not looking forward to that.

I like both of them.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

Today I had a laser pointed at one of my eyes.  It was a medical laser, being used in a function known as SLT, to reduce levels of pressure inside my right eye.  (Don't pout, Left Eye; your time is coming).  I learned a couple of things:

First, its really not extraordinarily helpful to have spent the prior evening leafing through the results of a Google Search on "SLT Complications laser), even if the results were that a) the process is about 40% effective,  b) complications are very few, and c) in almost every case, the complications either went away on their own or could be caused to do so.  I could not stop thinking about the one case where the doctor's office mis-set the laser, delivering more power than needed, or the case where a man had adverse results despite looking like a good candidate.  Its one thing to know there are no guarantees, its another to be face-to-glowing-green-dot with it.

Though I think my casual mentions of tri-lasers and foveal burns did get the opthamologist's attention, which, given that this is MY eye, is a good thing.

Second, I learned that just because they say the process takes about ten to twenty minutes doesn't mean you'll be out of there in 30 minutes.  Try more like 90 minutes, what with getting these eye drops, those drops, scheduling, and just sitting and waiting.  There's a reason we're called 'patients', and its not particularly thrilling.  I told him that it would have been nice to know how long the process could be expected to take, and he said that for most of his patients, they would be scared off by knowing how long they'd be there.

Third, it really does not hurt (maybe just a tiny, tiny bit),  but the apprehension can deliver a throbbing headache, which is not what you want after Mr. Goldfinger's just done a job on you.

Friday, August 25, 2017


About three weeks ago, I lent my MP3 player to my wife so that she could listen to an audiobook while we were at the gym.  Which she did.

Somehow, in the space of two hours, that player - bright red - disappeared.  Don't think it was stolen.  Pretty sure it didn't go into hyperspace, or dissolved into quanta.  But its gone.

Today I received a call from our French exchange student.  It was a text message.  My phone, which is now about 5 years old, received it fine -- but the Verizon So you think you have a communications device package said Don't even TRY to respond to that text.  Our student, you see, still has her French phone number -- her carrier, Free.Com, does not charge her for calls to US numbers, so she can still use it here.  Of course, in the US, where we are more technologically advanced, we do.

Fortunately, she then called the house phone, and I was able to talk with her.  But it made me think again that I really should get that WhatsApp messaging tool, which apparently works well enough to use all over the world.  But WA requires you to go to their website and use your phone's camera to scan a QR code, which I don't think my phone can do.  Not sure, but don't think so.

So now I'm thinking well, maybe I need an MP3 player AND a phone. At which point I think or a phone that HAS an MP3 player in it, like most do, these days.  So I looked at the students phone and - of course - its an iPhone (How'd you pick this one?  Oh, my father knew I needed a phone, so he bought it).  Now, I'm not a big fan of Apple -- can't stand the Oh your phone is more than six months old?  Why aren't you just using two tin cans and string? attitude -- but there ARE things I like about it, like their abillity to synch the contents of the phone to the Apple Cloud, so that if you lose the phone, you have not lost the data.  I know that other phones probably do this too, and I know its been quite some time since It Just Works was a truthful Apple slogan. And the ability to do a remote lock of the phone, or even cause it to dump its data and reinitialize -- or set off an alarm even if the sound is turned off - these are all of interest to me. As well as  the question of protecting the physical phone.  Hers came with a cute little wallet that shields the glass, but I doubt its impact resistant.

I feel myself sinking into the quicksand, while Tim Cook says Don't struggle, relax....

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Apparently, Trump cares what no one thinks.  Not other world leaders, not experts, not members of his own party, certainly not the media (unless it is fawning over him). And yet his supporters love him. They have no basis for this - unless one counts fondness for his willingness to lie, change his story, exaggerate, support injustice, nod approvingly as people get beaten up, and be generally a rich thug. But they do. They don't even seem to care when his ignorance hurts them. Amazing. If Obama did a tenth of what he has done, they'd be waving pitchforks. But then, again, of course, Obama is black, and liberal, and Democratic. He can, therefore, do nothing right. While the orange puke-inducer can do nothing wrong. 

Were the roles reversed, the horde would be calling for impeachment, and their rabid leaders, for assassination.  I'm for impeachment  I think it will happen But with the gutless Republicans in congress now, I may have to wait a long time.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Well, I don't know if Trump has scared the North Korean leadership -- I doubt it -- but I know that he's certainly scared me

What I would like to see now is the Secret Service bundling him into a straight-jacket and dropped off on Guam, or perhapps Seoul.  It won't happen, of course, because we always protect the leader , even if that's who got us into the war. 

Next best would be super-Christian and uber- Mormon Pence saying Okay, thats it, fuck it, you're clearly wacko, 25th Amendment, hustle his ass out of here, but since he's such a smiling, nodding, go-along kind of guy who can probably tell you the exact number of days until the end of term (including the asterisk which reads 'unless impeached or otherwise removed from office), the chances of him stepping forward and taking any kind of forceful actionare pretty minimal.  

As are the chances of the Congress doing anything useful.

So I hope we'd not fucked, but I'm not counting on it.  Bastards.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump's Chumps

I really don't see how anyone can trust him, in anything.  He lies so often, he's double-crossed his own appointees, he's contradicted people who are saying what he told them to say - he is an agent of chaos.

It's bad enough that his replacement would be someone who is likely much better at pushing the severe-right agenda.  Its worse to find myself thinking Would he REALLY start a war just to prove his manhood?  Would he REALLY consider the use of nuclear weapons?

Because I really think that he would.  He would.  As bad as Pence would be, as he guts social programs and rips the heart out of support systems, without in any way bringing jobs to areas that need them, without improving infrastructure, without doing anything that would be unquestionably good for our country -- I don't think he'd do that.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.  This is between a rock and a blast furnace.