POLITICAL: It’s not enough cutting to save us


Budget Negotiators Reach Tentative Deal To Avert Government Shutdown

March 30, 2011 6:00 PM

*** begin quote ***

Sources tell me that budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget. That’s $23 billion dollars more than Democrats have previously agreed to in short-term continuing resolutions, and $28 billion less than Republicans previously passed in the House.

*** end quote ***

Unless the amount cut has a “T” in it, as in “1T$ cut”, and politicians and bureaucrats are running around screaming that the “sky is falling”, they ain’t cut enough.

Shut it down!

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-31 @ 07:16

HARDWARE: POGOPLUG becomes much more valuable



For a C Note and an external USB hard drive, you have your own “cloud”. This is an amazing solution. And, the fact, that it has no monthly charge, is stunning.

Put one in a friend’s house and you have off-site backup. And, it doesn’t preclude him putting his own along side it. I can see a lot of mutual back scenarios being created.

Hurry before they raise the price.

# # # # #


IMHO this has been a technology disaster.

Not so much the device. I had that working in minutes.

In the accompanying software. What good is a backup device without the snazzy software that will make the backups painless.

Otherwise it’s just a USB Hard DIsk. Which is nice, but there are many on the market and many much cheaper.

I have a WD Go Flex that I bought without the snazzy software and use IBACKUP with.

During the “panic attacks” I feared for my data. And despite CARBONITE and DROPBOX and GOFLEXDRIVE, the TIMEMACHINE failure scared me. So I wanted more protection.

(I’ve done bare metal restores on WINDOZE and MACBOOKAIR, they are NOT pretty. Stuff never comes back 100%.)

I bought the MYBOOKFORMAC based on the box’s promise of simple complete backup. And, I got something that was Adobe Flash dependent and browser dependent. That’s not what I bargained for.


And, I may be wrong but in the “support email exchanges”, I think I was dealing with a softeware robot, not a real person, Even dial 1 800 a third world country is more honest. Did these guys watch WATSON on Jeopardy and think they can fool people?

# – # – #

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wd smartware doesn’t exec
Discussion Thread
Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/29/2011 02:18 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

Once again I apologize for the inconvenience. If you decide to return the product to the store you do not need an RMA number to get a credit refund from retailer. An RMA number is used for replacement purpose with our company. If you wish to get your money back for the product from store, this is something that is handled by the retailer you purchased the product. Western Digital does not refund back money to customers, if the drive is defective or needs replacement for some other reason, we proceed with RMA options.

If you wish to replace the drive, we have two warranty replacement options available to you, Advance RMA and Standard RMA. Both options are available online from our we bsite. In an Advance RMA, we will ship you the replacement drive prior to receiving your defective drive. A credit/debit card is required to insure against the receipt your defective drive. If we do not receive your drive 30 days from the date the replacement drive was shipped, the fair market value of the replacement drive will be charged/debited to your credit/debit card. In a Standard RMA, we will ship you the replacement drive only after we have received your defective product. No credit/debit card is required in a Standard RMA.

The current turnaround time for an Advance RMA is 3 to 5 business days and 5 to 7 business days for a Standard RMA.

You may create your RMA online by visiting the links below. Please remember that an RMA number is required in order to replace your defective drive.

Title: How can I check the warranty of my drive?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=915&p_created=1047361575

Title: How can I replace a product under warranty?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=8&p_created=1003424317

Title: Where can I get packaging and shipping information for an RMA?
URL: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=683&p_created=1036445537

Current RMA turnaround: http://support.wdc.com/warranty/rmapost.asp

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/29/2011 11:44 AM
> How about if you just give me an RMA and have Best Buy issue me a
> credit? This is far more than I wanted to do to get this to work.
> Nothing on the box disclosed this torture.
Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/28/2011 10:23 AM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

I apologize for the inconvenience. Is the file downloading but once you click on the executable file is not running? Does the application get installed but is not performing the backup? Could you please send me a screen shot of where the issue is occurring and of any message that you get when your trying the installation of application.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/28/2011 04:42 AM
> Are you seriously telling me that I have to install another browser?

Where exactly on the box does it say that? I don’t see anything, even in the
small print, that Adobe Flash or a browser other than Chrome is required?

Now what exactly do you want me to place where to execute?


Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/28/2011 04:12 AM
So what you are saying, that is not on the box, that this software
doesn’t execute with Chrome?

Are you seriously saying you want me to install ANOTHER browser so that
your software can execute?

What do you want me to put where and execute?

Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/27/2011 03:04 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your reply.

I truly apologize for the inconvenience. If it is not executing in Chrome try another browser. Also try to save the executable on your computer then try to install.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there.
Link to WD community forums: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Customer By Email (Ferdinand Reinke) 03/27/2011 02:42 PM
> *** begin quote ***

Your Google Chrome browser already includes Adobe® Flash® Player
built-in. Google Chrome will automatically update when new versions of
Flash Player are available.

To learn more about the enhanced support for Flash Player in Chrome,
including information for developers, seethis TechNote

*** end quote ***

Still doesn’t work. I can copy files to and from the device. But none of
the promised utilities are available.

Response Via Email (Carmen D) 03/27/2011 09:31 AM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Carmen D.

I apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing. Please, follow the troubleshooting steps below.

1. Uninstall any versions of Smartware from your system and reboot after disconnecting the device.

Answer Title: How to uninstall WD SmartWare from Windows (7, Vista, or XP) and Mac OSX (10.4, 10.5, and 10.6)
Answer Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=5373

2. Double-check that you have all high-priority AND optional updates for MAC

3. First uninstall from your add/remove programs adobe flash player, and then reinstall. Check for latest versions
of adobe flash player here: http://adobe.com and also for the Java runtime environment

4. Reconnect the device and Update the software here:


Download this updated version of the WD Smartware, and using this version, install the application, do not install the version bundled with your drive and then update to the latest version, install directly from the file downloaded from the link.

5. Try running the Smartware backup.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Carmen D
Western Digital Service and Support

Note: If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may also find answer(s) to your question(s) there. Link to WD community forums at: http://websupport.wdc.com/rn/cl.asp?i=110326-003152&e=reinkefj@gmail.com

This electronic message contains information from Western Digital and is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential. The dissemination of this information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, please respond back to this e-mail or contact us by phone (http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?wdc_lang=en).

Auto-Response 03/26/2011 01:07 PM
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for your email. If you need to update your question, please click the link below to update your question. Our goal is to answer your email within one (1) business day. However, sometimes due to heavy volume, it may take us a little longer to respond (Hours of Operation: M-F 8AM-5PM PST). If you have not visited our community forums, please make sure to do so. You may find the answer(s) to your question(s) there.

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The following answers might help you immediately. (Answers open in a separate window.)

Title: How to remove (disable / hide) WD SmartWare Virtual CD (VCD) for Windows or Mac OSX on a WD My Book or WD My Passport
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3835

Title: WD SmartWare for Mac OSX has an inaccurate file count in the backup and retrieve tab
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6567

Title: Backing up a large file to a drive creates an endless backup loop in WD SmartWare for Mac OSX (ver. 1.2.x.x)
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6557

Title: After updating WD SmartWare for Mac OSX, the backup and retrieve gauges no longer properly update
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6556

Title: Switching Users on a Mac OS X 10.4 computer after installing and running SmartWare causes an error
Link: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5313


# – # – #

It goes back to Best Buy today.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-30 @ 08:13


I knew it, I knew it. “Cloud Services” are subject to network and hosting issues.

AMAZON CLOUDPLAYER just had a “brain fart”. For at least three minutes.

For me listening to music sadly, who cares. For folks betting their ranch on a cloud strategy, they better care.

It’s back now. Let the finger pointing begin.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-30 @ 10:59

FUN: Considering “Road Trip”

Remember the movie Animal House? Bluto yells “Road Trip”. We all know how well that worked out.

“Wed, 9/14/2011 Englert Theatre Iowa City, IA”


Sent the following warning to various interested parties:

“{Short Message. No message Body} Judy Collins concert 9/24 Iowa City has popped on my radar. The idea to go is a possibility. (Yeah, regressing back in time to 1966 in AT&T Computer Room. What’s next: Anti-war rallies?) {No Reply Required}”

Tie it into an Alaska return?

(Maybe this is caused by listening to an excessive number of Judy and PPM music from Amazon.)


# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-30 @ 10:28

Categories FUN

INSPIRATIONAL: Amyloidosis IS the Grim Reaper?


Reason TV: Who Wants to Live Forever? Dr. Stephen Coles on the Secrets of the World’s Oldest People

March 21, 2011

*** begin quote ***

UCLA’s Dr. Stephen Coles studies the oldest people in the world. Hitting the century mark isn’t enough to pique his interest because Coles’ research focuses on supercentenarians, that is, those at least 110-year-old. Today Coles recognizes only 88 people worldwide as supercententarians, and the list is available at the Gerontology Research Group website.

*** end quote ***


# # # # #

SERVICE: The problem with “cloud” services; they “disappear”

Ahh, yes, a plaxo competitor, but not as obnoxious, is going down.

First they stopped performing the service in January. Then, they told folks at the end of March.

It was a useful service (i.e., update your email once and it told every one who had your card). It was originally tied to the business card scanner. No word if they are going to stop selling those. (Who uses business cards today?) I doubt it.

Sigh, an idea who’s time has past.

BTW, their product still had the same fatal flaw it’s always had: YOUR data was locked in their database with no way to extract it.

I blogged that they needed to be open. Interact with Google contacts. Instead of keeping their own database, use people’s GMAIL contacts as their database. Require some innovative business and technical thinking, sure.

Go to Google and offer to make GMAIL’s contacts “social”.

I think their problem was in their thinking — memes and paradigms again — they thought they were selling business card scanners. What they should have been thinking was “we enable communication”.

They could have been LinkedIn, ACT / Salesforce, or something else.

Their thinking did them in.

RIP CARDSCAN. “Ya coulda been a contender”

# – # – #

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CardScan @ Your Service Discontinuance notice

Dear At Your Service user,

We are contacting you because, after careful consideration, DYMO CardScan has decided to discontinue our At Your Service program effective Dec 31, 2011. Due to the cost of the hardware and network bandwidth up keep, a business decision was made to discontinue the no cost CardScan At Your Service online database program.

The first step in this process was to stop sending out the update service email notifications which just happened at the end of January 2011. We apologize for the inconvenience but users of AYS can continue to use it to back up their contacts, as well as to access their contacts remotely over the web, until the service is completely shut down at the end of this year.

Just as a reminder, our End User License Agreement specifically states that services provided in addition to the CardScan software application can be modified or discontinued at any time.


The DYMO team

DYMO, a member of the Newell Rubbermaid family of brands.

Please do not respond to this email address, this mailbox is not attended. Please click here to email us directly.

# # # # #

MEMORIES: “Nothing but my best effort for you.”

> Marge says you need to rescan the evy articles…you tried to cram them all on one page and you can’t
> read some of them. Then we can print out here and read!

Don’t have originals. I’ll have to see what I can do with what I got. I read one under a magnifying glass and she scored 15 of the team 30 points. That sounds like Ev.

She told me once about her first game for HFA. As a freshman, she started. And for the first few minutes she just passed the ball to the seniors. Her coach pulled her out and she sat on the bench for a few minutes. Coach Mac then asked her: “You like being on the bench?” “No.” “If I put you back in, will you shoot?” “Yes.” Went back in at the half and scored 17. I believed her.

I’ll have to see if I can find her clippings. I know she had some. Shoulda grabbed them when I saw them. I bet she tossed them as “embarrassing”.

# – # – #

Our Girl told me another story. That I confirmed during one of the few times I met Coach Mac.

It seems that, at Holy Family Academy, some of the teams they played were somewhere between inept and clueless. She never understood why up by 30 against a team that couldn’t score, Coach Mac kept her and the other starters in the game.

(As the fellow, whom she taught everything he knows about basketball, I understand there are several reasons for doing this. You can’t turn your offense on and off. You have to motivate your bench to work harder, get better, and EARN playing time. It’s a game of momentum and runs. Just because you are beating the pants off someone, doesn’t mean that the basketball gods don’t teach you a lesson in humility. And, if an opponent has a glimmer of hope and thinks they can win, then they can.)

She used to say: “Never understood running up the score. Never understood not letting everyone play. I used to try extra hard thinking that if we had a big enough lead, she <Coach Mac> would put the other kids in. In my junior year, when I was feeling my oats, I asked her. She told me gruffly: “I’ll coach; you play.” But she did relent and put in the subs a few minutes later. And even though I hated to sit the bench, I cheered extra hard for the subs.”

Her gal pals were shocked that she said anything to the Coach. No one had ever done that.

That’s Our Girl, fearless. And even at that age, worried about how others felt.

# – # – #

No wonder her grammar school girls teams loved to play for her. She was in it for them and only them.

And, when she had her dream 28-1 team, she never ran up the score. A lesson she learned from HFA.

And, if the flu wasn’t rampant that one Sunday — her two #1 guards, both excellent, were out completely and her #2 guard (the one that shoots) was shaky but had to move to #1 duty, she’d have been perfect. That didn’t bother her; she was just thrilled for “her girls” that they could experience the joy of a great team.

(Her team was so good that year, the league officials wanted to throw her out of the league. Good Catholic gentlemen! All the other coaches and league officials were men; Our Girl was the only woman. Probably couldn’t stand the thought of being beaten by a girl. What could she know! Our girl was upset but too nice to call them on it. … … … However, this was a job for “Grumpy Nasty Fat Young Injineer”. Me! Don’t mess with my wife! I spoke up and threatened to take it to the bishop, the various pastors of their respective churches, and the newspapers. They backed off. They didn’t like it, but there was no more talk of ejecting her team because they were “too good”. I may have even use a few nautical terms in convincing them.)

(She had a friendly rivalry with the coach of the nearby Saint Matthias. He was a star in high school and played college. Not great, but good. He had visions of being a great coach. And I think secretly coaching college. So, Our Girl’s team usually played a 2-2-1 press and a 2-3 zone with a man2man every once in a while to mix it up. During the game, if she yelled “mix it up”, then the girls would play the “mix it up” defense. She knew that this rival coach was after her scalp. So the week before the game, she started the first practice of the with: “OK, how would you girls like to learn something new?” This group was a dream because they were hooked from the word “like”. She taught them a 2-1-2 press and a 3-2 zone with a 1-3-1 zone as the mix up. And instead of yelling “PRESS” or “MIX IT UP”, for that week the words were “BOYS” and “GIRLS”. She floored him. His kids virtually couldn’t get the ball up until the second half. At half time, he adjusted. So did she; she went back to the old tactics. Our Girl was no fool. If he could adjust at half time, so could she. After the game, he came over and gave her a big hug and kiss. “Thanks for not running up the score. You really beat me badly. I was ready for your old team and was stunned that you had a new team.” She grinned and said “Nothing but my best effort for you. It was fun. And, I’d never run up the score. Doesn’t teach kids anything.” And, she laughed about it for months.)

Boy, I miss her, her drive, and that laugh. An Irish Vixen. Although when crossed, she could morph into another word for a female. But, she NEVER had a harsh word for any child. Even girls, who played for her, and played badly or didn’t try, would get encouragement. More than once during a game, I’ve seen her call time out, leave the team with her assistants (Tom and I), and go speak to a father about, as she put it, “encouragement; not criticism”. Fearless protecting “her girls”. Fathers never crossed her lines twice. Would have been interesting to see. While she never usually ever said a bad word, I know she knew them. (Addressed them to me from time to time, when I had some fool idea or did something dumb.) She always was a lady. A fierce competitor. And a real true feminist. Her girls were “winners” to her, even if they lost every game.

Yup, I miss her.

# – # – #

After HFA, she played semi-pro with Coach Mac, in the Bayonne Beer Leagues. I can’t imagine two more fierce competitors. It was during this that she picked up the nickname “elbows”. (Which my Uncle Big John some how found out. I never knew that until he told me. She was in awe of him for being a Golden Glove Champ. So maybe she shared stuff with him. Champ to Champ.) I understand that not only was there some “renumeration for playing”, but there were also “bonuses for winning” depending upon how much the sponsoring bar won. “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Captain Renault in Casablanca. Me too. Shocking. A fine upstanding young Catholic woman being sponsored and “kept” by a establishment focused on drinking and gambling.

I married her to get her away from all of that sin and bad influences.

(She would have had to quit anyway. Quad leg separations two weeks before our wedding. Doc told her “to wheelchair down the aisle”; she said “wanna bet”. Come to think of it, she had an early start make fools out of docs who predicted things about her.)

I wonder what could have been. If she’d been born two decades later? Or, if she had had the money for college? We’ll never know. But if wither of those had happened, I’d have missed the best 43 years possible in my life.

I know I miss her now. Even sick as she was, she could still make me laugh.

# # # # #

Update: I’ve been corrected it was FIVE weeks before her wedding.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-May-26 @ 11:43

MEMORIES: Children always “lit up” Our Girl; everyone saw it.

RECEIVED FROM NIECE-IN-LAW (Of whom the State of New Jersey say is no longer related for inheritance tax purposes)

My neighbor sent me a note today- she has been here for many parties- and remembers Auntie Ev fondly. Wanted to share it with you. She wrote:

Dear Megan,

The joy you and your family gave your Aunt was obvious. I can picture her arriving at your house and scanning the activity taking place. As she discovered the where-abouts of each of your children her face would light up. It didn’t seem possible, but as each of your children acknowledged her presence her face brightened even more. Whether their greeting was a distant wave, a hug, or showing or telling your aunt some news, she was delighted by the interaction. I am sure you have many memories of your Aunt to treasure. I am glad I have this one.


# – # – #

Thanks. Nice to know that it was seen by even strangers.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-28 @ 13:27

POLITICAL: They don’t catch speeding cars


I-95 cameras snap speeders, spark controversy
Mar 27 01:04 PM US/Eastern
By BRUCE SMITH Associated Press

*** begin quote ***

RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) – As Interstate 95 sweeps past this small town along South Carolina’s coastal plain, motorists encounter cameras that catch speeding cars, the only such devices on the open interstate for almost 2,000 miles from Canada to Miami.

*** end quote ***

Revenue raising.

What else could it be about?

Selective enforcement, Fourth and Fifth Amendment. Right to confront one’s accuser.

What a joke!

Even the vocabulary is a joke — “catch”. what do they “catch”? Honest folks traveling.

# # # # #

MONEY: Gold 28% LTCG rate, but who sells?


The long-term capital gains tax rate on Gold is 28%

*** begin quote ***

People keep asking me what I think about gold. Its been on a great run, but one must be extra careful when investing in precious metals. Precious metals like gold and silver are considered “collectibles,” as are the ETFs that track them (like the ETF, “GLD”). Per the IRS tax code, “collectibles” held less than one year are taxed as short-term capital gains at one’s ordinary income tax rate, and if held for greater than one year, collectibles are taxed as long-term capital gains at 28%. Your broker probably won’t tell you this because he or she probably doesn’t know, yet will gladly take your commission. However, a 28% capital gains tax rate can be a problem.

*** end quote ***

Of course, some, less than scrupulous folks, or tax protestors, might use gold to evade the inheritance tax laws. AND, if one is concerned about the possibility of hyperinflation a la pre-WW2 Germany, gold bullion coins is an interesting choice. Personally, I wouldn’t call it an “investment”; more of “insurance”.

As “insurance”, metals only make sense if they are in your custody; not in an account somewhere. And, if you’re buying bullion, then clearly the cost over spot should be minimized. As well as, avoiding anyone like the plague selling “collectible coins” at a premium over spot. TV ads are a clue as to who to avoid.

In the pyramid of a financial plan, if one has a “big pyramid”, then certainly metals have a place. I learned very early in life not to be overly concerned about taxes. Yes, they are theft, but it should NOT drive your behavior. IF by some chance, you have to liquidate some gold, then you can worry about paying taxes. There are options to sales with a paper trail.

# # # # #

MEMORIES: Marion in VT

Our Girl was always great with my family. Sometimes I though that they loved her more and I was the tolerated in-law. She always went out of her way to accommodate them; even when it was clearly unreasonable. Mowing Grandma’s lawn even though it meant she had to drive the slow riding lawn mower around the block once a week in the hot sun with the dog on a leash for Grandpa. “Meals on wheels” for my Mom. And, doing all the things that needed to be done that needed a woman’s touch. All without complaining.

One reason that Grandma and Grandpa loved her was that, as sound as she realized they were both deaf as stones, she “spoke” to them at the top of her lungs. She used her “basketball court voice” that she developed coaching. When she called a play, teams in the next county were trying to run it. She’d often come home horse and I’d have a headache. But they loved her visits.

So, we’re on one of our road trips in New England. Our Girl pipes up, as were coming down 95, “Let’s swing up Route 7 and visit your Aunt Marion.” Huh? I barely knew that she knew that I had an Aunt. Guess my look said it all. “Grandma was worried so I told her we’d check on her. And, I called Aunt Marion and said we might be by.” Guess it slipped her mind to mention it to me, or maybe she didn’t want to deal with my reaction. It really wasn’t that big a deal. Turn left at Route 7 and three hours or so of more driving, and we’re at Aunt’s house.

We visit. Now Aunt Marion and Grandma were sisters that look alike, dress alike, and sound alike. Our Girl carries on a conversation with Aunt about all sorts of things. With her “coach voice”. Eventually Aunt goes to the WC. I say sotto voce “Ev, it’s Aunt Marion, not Grandma. Aunt’s hearing is perfect.” She looked like she’d kissed a frog, or a fat old white guy injineer.

Aunt comes back and Ev apologizes profusely. Aunt generously says: “That’s fine child. I knew what you were doing. When I talk to Sister, I have a sore throat after. She’s really vain about the hearing aids Micky bought her.” Ev was red. But by the end of the trip, she was laughing about it. We had to go directly to Grandma’s, despite the hour, so Ev could report in. I suggested we do it the next morning because it was so late. Our Girl vetoed that with her trademark scowl. So we went.

She was right! Grandma was sitting up alone in the middle of the night waiting for Our Girl’s report. They sat and chatted and Ev gave her all the details. We got home when the Sun was coming up.

Maybe that’s why I love her? She was a kind soul that would go out of her way to reassure a pair of Sisters to whom she had no real obligation to. And, she even tolerated me going along. Not that I had a choice. It was always her way. And, that way usually turned out to be right in so many ways.

She made the world a better place and me a better person. And, I miss her more each day.   

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MEMORIES: Went down the shore, but …

MEMORIES: Went down the shore, but …

… It’s just not the same.

On the way down, I didn’t listen to the political shows. Like you tolerated. When you were having those bad days, I put the oldies. I know you were back going to the shore with your gal pals many decades ago. I didn’t want to disturb the happy illusion. Even when you sang the ”Bayonne” lyrics to Petula Clark’s Downtown. That’s how I knew where and when you were.

It was your kind of day. Cold. Street breeze. Tiny waves, sorry.

Parked by the house. Test the size of the posters. Yeah, you’d be suitably embarrassed. They are large. I’ll need H’s help to put them up correctly. Have to behind the faux frame. They should last eons. Much to your chagrin.

Some tourists taking their pics in front of the Jersey Shore house. What rubes! To worship at a shrine to what?

Left the car by the house, walked to Casino Pier, for the exercise, played poker. In those dumb machines.

I was going to have fries if I lost. And lunch if you won. Just like we always did. Cheapest beer if I had to pay. Top shelf if it was on you. … All to hear you pseudo whine “sure when I’m buying, nothing but the best”. Ahh the games we used to play.

But the casino pier manageress broke the spell and asked where you were, looking around for you. What could I do but tell her?

I just finished and left. Unable to complete the mission.

But Jimbo’s was still closed for the season. Any way.

So I went to Klee’s but it’s just not the same.

Maybe it just too soon?

Can’t even think of a good “Church” quote to cover it!


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Song lyric when I was driving down: “And what am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you.”

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SURVIVAL: Bury your gold where the kommissar win’t find it


Lead Your Family Out or Stay?, by Richard G.
By James Wesley, Rawles on March 19, 2011 11:08 PM

*** begin quote ***

Life on the farm went on for a few more years, information was scarce, no communication, many rumors. Lithuanian silver coinage disappeared, replaced by paper occupation money. No one could be trusted, farms were being raided for food, and many “bad things” occurred. Then suddenly the Germans were back, in full retreat. By fall of 1944 they followed the retreating Germans out on a horse and carriage, gold coinage got them across the many river bridges,(a stash was left behind-buried under their wooden kitchen floor)until the horse and cart was confiscated, then only what bags they could carry, then those to were gone and by the time they reached Dresden (bad timing), February 1945, they only had the clothes on there back. Dresden was bombed to a pile of rubble. They somehow survived Dresden, but were forced into work camps. When the war was finally over, they found themselves in a refugee camp near Munich. Stanislaus, my grandfather, had one last ‘trade’ item left, a gold pocket watch.

*** and ***

When I returned to Lithuania with my mother in September of 1991 (during the Soviet’s withdrawal of Lithuania) her parent’s farm was still standing, found to be inhabited by squatters. The “wooden” kitchen floor was no more, now just a dirt floor. A distant relative informed us the Soviet collective farm manager found the gold coins and threw the largest wedding party for his daughter the town had ever seen.

*** end quote ***

If you bury your gold, which seems to be a good idea, make sure only you can find it again.

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GOLD: What a beautiful chart for those that hold gold


And, it’s like a blinking neon sign, to those that don’t.

Be careful not to buy gold from TV ads or to pay more than 10% over spot price. You don’t want “collectibles” or strange coins from strange lands. 1 ounce bullion rounds only.

Gold or silver for investment amounts.

And for those who don’t believe or don’t have the ready funds, don’t forget the “poor man’s gold” — nickels. Last I looked they were worth 8¢ each. (Only the Gooferment can produce “money” and lose money doing it.)

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RANT: Gooferment ‘virginity checks’


Secret shame of Egypt’s army: Women protesters were forced to have ‘virginity checks’ after being arrested in Tahrir Square
Last updated at 10:10 AM on 24th March 2011

*** begin quote ***

Women arrested by the Egyptian police during protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were subjected to forced ‘virginity tests’, according to Amnesty International. Eighteen demonstrators were detained after army officers cleared the square on March 9 at the end of weeks of protest. Amnesty today said that the women had been beaten, given electric shocks and then subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers. They were then given ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges if medics ruled they had had sex, according to the charity.

*** end quote ***


And, so much for the “religion of peace”.

I’m speechless.

And, because I’m a little L libertarian, I don’t initiate force. But what I would do is select 18 Egyptian diplomats at random and make the Persona Non Grata.

And, why do we have foreign aid? This seems like a good case for revoking it.

Could it happen here?

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MEMORIES: Another person was touched


I just wanted to offer you my deepest sympathies and condolences at this time. I’ve not seen this sooner otherwise I would have replied earlier.

I’ll always have very fond memories and even though we only met and knew each other for a short time, I will certainly always remember the way she welcomed me into her home and life.

With sympathy,

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Mar-26 @ 07:58