captainsblog: (Default)
2017-08-13 12:38 pm

Sorry this is so Plate....

It's been another series of busy days.  I had two appointments scheduled for Rochester on Thursday, both of which canceled before I got on the road. I still went through with it, though, because I had a date.... with an event of gastronomy rivaling next week's event minus the g:



Since 1929, the Flower City's professional nine has consistently been known as the Red Wings- originally a homage to their St. Louis Cardinal owners, through the transitions to community ownership and a generation of Orioles affiliation, and now as the top farm team of the Minnesota Twins.  No branding with the parent club's name, or the goofiness of Muckdogs or Rumble Ponies. Tra-dish-SHUN! Until Thursday night, when the emphasis got placed on the DISH and those almost 90 years of history were shunned for the first time.

"Plates" is short for the "garbage plate," which is to the Rochester culinary world what barbecue is to Memphis and wings are to Buffalo.  Begun 100 years ago by the Tahou family that still owns the "garbage" name, it was originally named something like "hots and potatoes" when customers would just get a burger or dog with some side carbs and hot sauce.  Legend has it a bunch of drunk college kids requested a plate "with all the garbage on it," and the term stuck. As does the grease, which can permeate steel, much less the paper plate it, by law, should be served on:



So to celebrate the centennial of the Tahou tradition, the ballteam rebranded themselves for one night- and friends got tickets.  First came the merch- they'd been sold out for weeks, but the T's and caps and (thinking ahead here) hoodies were well stocked by the time we went in:



Our seats were four rows from the first base foul line, giving us a perfect view of the custom uni's for the evening:



Virtually every stand had its own variation on the GP. I'd sworn not to give in- I've had one Nick's original and a few knockoffs over the years, but they're too hot and greasy for my no-longer-cast-iron stomach- but when I got to the Black Angus stand expecting something respectable, there it was. Buffalo chicken with bleu cheese along with the mac, fries and diced onions.



All in all, not that far off from Pilot Field poutine, a staple of their Blue Jay shotgun marriage of the past few years.  It tasted great; it wasn't less filling; and the distress waited a night, but it finally got me by the time of the next night's dinner at home.

The grandson of the founding Tahou threw out the first pitch (and presumably the first drunk). Speaking of such, we wondered whether legendary local beer vendor Conehead would be here or at the meaningless Bills pre-season opener.  Wonder no longer:



I stuck with the relatively short cash-only line at the Genny stand, which had a few of their locally brewed craft variations.  And in the eighth inning, as always, there was ice cream, but my first-ever garbage sundae:



As for the on-field product, well, there was plenty of garbage there, as well. The Plates blew 2-0 and 4-2 leads, had a 4-3 advantage going into the top of the ninth, lost it, then had at least two opportunities for a walk-off win between the 9th and 11th innings that they failed to cash in on.  One of Scott's friends announced he was leaving in the top of the 12th, and he offered me a ride back to my car at our host's house.  The ride was great (the result, less so- Norfolk scored 2 top twelve and the Plates lost 6-4), but I realized as soon as I got to my car that I did not have the phone which had taken all those pictures.

Fortunately, I did have my car keys, so I just headed back that way. Everyone was kind in helping me get parked, get in, and get back to my seat.  By this point it was close to an hour after last out, and the grounds crew was busy getting the field straightened out after over four hours of play. I'd never been in a ballpark this late, so with the phone safely found, I got to take this little video of what it looks like. Note the guy at home plate in the final seconds, taking batting swings with his broom:



----

After all that, I got to the kids' place close to midnight, was up just past seven and out before eight, and had a full day of appointments including one of the two postponed ones from Thursday. Eleanor had had her own very busy night and day, and we learned yesterday why she wasn't feeling so great: a Saturday trip to the local Doc-in-a-Box confirmed possible pneumonia again, so she's back on multiple antibiotics and off from work for three days.

Me? Just got my hair cut and picked up the office mail, which included this bling from the previous weekend's visits:



The 31 on the left is Mike Piazza's recently retired number, joining the other four I had on a previous version of the shirt. And speaking of previous, those are my once-lost-but-now-am-found glasses which Emily rescued for me when I broke the newer pair last week.

Now to watch the Orphan Black finale and clean up the likely head explosions from that and the weekend's news.
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-08-09 08:34 pm

Zombies and Cattle and Panels, Oh My!

Four days since my arrival at Destination: Reunion. One of them mostly driving, three of them mostly working. Plenty of stories from each.

Sunday morning and afternoon continued the Diner Tour. This is one part of Long Island Life that really hasn't changed in the 40 years I've been away. Yes, there are IHOPs and Mickey's D (but no Cracker Barrels- Noo Yawkahs wouldn't tolerate what they did to Brad's wife), but these palaces of gastronomy and grease remain the centers of food and conversation for all.  I began just north of the hotel with breakfast and a Ted talk- my friend Ted, that is, who promptly repaid the loan from the reunion's bad planning the night before. We shared stories of kids and forgotten friends for about an hour, and I then pointed west and north for the rest of the day and night.

Well, a dip south into East Meadow came first- my first in at least a couple of years. Memories just flood as you go through, between the things that are exactly the same (the site of my first haircut), those completely obliterated (the Lakeville Plaza of my mother's long patronage holds just one store from even 30 years ago- the kosher butcher) and the things that are just ever so slightly off (the Meadow DELI?!? Really?!?). Carman Avenue, the road to our high school, was completely tree-shaded the first mile or so before you pass the jail, the high school and finally the hospital- all little changed in all these years.

I stopped at, but did not work out at, the local studio of the gym I attend; I drove by, but did not stop at, the church I grew up in; and I took the obligatory drive down my old street. There, a block toward our old home, I saw one of several sad sights that had popped up in a few other places driving round: homes (two I saw) and at least one business, fenced in, headed for or already been through teardown, with ominous Town Gummint signs on the fences warning of the ongoing condemnation.  I googled this when I got home, and they are having serious problems with "zombie foreclosures"- banks which begin the process, chase out the homeowners, but then suddenly realize they might be liable for code violations or injuries if they actually take title. So they don't; they do just enough to keep their mortgages from being wiped out, but the places go to shit in the meantime. That town, unlike most closer to here, is fighting back by demanding security deposits once the buildings go vacant, and adding the teardown costs to taxes if they don't maintain them. Not surprisingly, the banks are not pleased, and threaten to stop lending in the town if they keep being mean to them.  Yeah, right.

Our old home, and our longtime neighbors' next door, looked to be in much better shape, and I continued through to the last of the diner runs- after a detour to Barnes and Noble. There was reading and writing to be done.

My Met blogger friend Greg is on at least his fourth book about the Mets- or in this case, a Met:



I have autographed copies of the previous three, but hadn't gotten out to grab this one, so I picked up one to be signed and two of another book I heard excerpts from on NPR the previous day- more about the venues than the results or players found in them. One, I gifted to the other author in exchange for his kind extra words-



- while the other, I'm already enjoying reading here.

From there, it was close to a straight shot home- just two gas stops, the second just short of my sister's where I spent an hour at the halfway point before finally pulling in around 10:30 Sunday night.

----

Monday was back to work, with a little twist. Several twists of udder madness, as it turned out:



Our co-worker Cindy took the day off from work for her 60th birthday, and awoke to find 60 of these in her front yard.  She usually gets milk for the office on Mondays, but I ran the errand this time, telling her she shouldn't have to spent her special day milking all those cows.

As days back go, it was pretty typical: three new clients, close to a dozen others popping up from out of left field, the people I did need to hear from not getting back to me, but overall not too bad..... except for dropping my glasses on the office floor and completely smashing the frames, one side irreparably.  I tried two different opticians, and was told to seek out a jeweler who might be able to weld it back; he was on vacation this week. Fortunately, I remembered that I'd lost, but then found, my previous pair with nearly the same prescription- but I couldn't find them at home.  Because they weren't there; I did have a vague memory of putting the extra pair in my car's glove box, now Emily's, and she confirmed yesterday that she does have them. I will pick them up from her tomorrow, try to fix the broken pair when Welder Dude gets back, and then put those in the glove box of my current car.

----

Then yesterday, work began and ended early, because we had an appointment for our solar evaluation. The guy had already done the aerial photography, and while he had only one picture of the house mocked up with what the panels would look like (not, you know, twenty-seven;), it was a good start to explaining what they could do, what it would cost and how much it should save:



Those are on the back (south-facing) side of the house. "Save" rhymes with "Dave," which is what we named the very large pin oak at the far left of the back of the house. He needs to do a shade analysis to figure out whether the panels will get enough sun closest to his foliage.  But overall, it looks like a good fit.  The whole shebang comes to a little over 20K to install; a state energy agency provides an immediate rebate of over $3000 to act as a down payment; IRS and state tax credits instantly knock off another $10000-plus, and you finance the balance with an unsecured 20-year loan, partly paid back by the money you save on your electric bill. And you save a lot; the system is designed to produce enough electricity in a year to cover your entire usage (not every month- some months you buy, others you sell back your excess at the same price), so in theory all you pay on average per month is the utility's minimum connection fee of $17 a month.  Or, about what I paid in college for my first electric bill for my first (small) apartment.

Wowsers.  Only thing we don't get is Why isn't EVERYBODY doing this? Well, some just don't have the right roof size or angle or orientation, while others are just so indoctrinated by Cheetotalk about fossil fuels they consider it unpatriotic.  I see it as a selfless effort to donate part of our property to the greater good. And getting a break on taxes and bills at the same time only makes it better.

----

Today was fairly non-descript, although Eleanor just got home from a very good experience helping a co-worker of hers.  I leave in the morning for another two days away, but these will just be in Rochester, and will be broken up tomorrow night with a ballgame downtown there. I'll explain more after the event, but suffice it there is food involved.

----



captainsblog: (Default)
2017-08-06 12:17 pm

One, forty, fifty?

Saturday, sixish p.m.

My first-ever reunion trip in 40 years; the oldest (high school) and furthest (the far county of Long Island). I got on the road right at 8 a.m. and figured a seven-hour trip since I planned it to be non-stop.  But there are always stops.  The first, once I was gassed up and on the 90, came about 20 minutes in, when a bread truck decided to come to a stop in the middle of the eastbound lanes and make a three-point turn. (Another truck of the same brand was on the side of the road and he must've overshot it.)  So, yeah. Good mark on the driving test for precision; bad for judgment.

One cuppa kawfee wasn't enough, so I made a second Timmy's stop in Batavia before taking the shortcut from there down to Geneseo.  That was when Facebook gave me a memory of exactly a year ago today:



Righhht.... that would've been on my drive back from my trip last August to see the Mets at Yankee Stadium. And I was due to head down that very road just four hours later.



So yes, that was another stop; as there were two more for gas (JARVIS gets good mileage but has a small tank).  Finally, there were hundreds of little stops once I turned back onto the Thruway, 87 division, for the last leg of the trip: lots more cars down here, and two major stops for tolls. One, on the Tappan Zee, has already gone cashless; if you don't have an EZ-Pass, your license plate smiles for the camera and you get billed by mail plus a service charge. The East River bridges go to that system next month. (Nothing of the sort is planned for the toll barriers on all sides of our fair city:P)  Even with no accidents or unusual construction, it took the better part of two hours to get through Bronx and Queens Counties, and that was even after taking a different bridge to avoid the Grand Central Parkway around Citi Field, which was just then filling with Mets and, still many, Dodgers fans.  (I did not go to Friday night's game, and am glad I didn't, since it was a rather horrid outcome.)

All in all, it was past 5 this afternoon before I got to the hotel.  Not enough time to make plans to see anyone, so I just continued listening to the Mets on my phone. (This one did not go well, either, after a promising early start:P)  When I got to my floor, the reunion was in full swing; unfortunately, it wasn't mine. Another local high school, a few miles closer to this venue, had pulled out all the stops for its 50th year alums.  Eventually, I changed, and headed past them to see if I could catch some early birds. Not a one. A dark room with warming trays not yet turned on, and a deserted signup table out front.  So we blog. It's what we do.  (We will not post until tomorrow, though, since despite this place being the priciest hotel I've stayed at in ages even with a group discount, they charge for wifi.)

I guess the moral of the story is.... make it to my 50th.

----

Sunday, one crummy in-room coffee down, 8:30 a.m.

Pricey hotels also don't have breakfast buffets. They have room service. But that's okay; I'm off to a nice and unexpected breakfast anyway.

When I got to the venue the second time, there were four people outside the room: two were from the organizing company, determined to not let a soul into the room with the open bar booze until the stroke of eight. The others were from our class and had helped organize the event (and all its predecesors). It was pretty clear we weren't going to challenge the old farts down the hall for attendance or energy.  In all, about 40 people had signed up; maybe a few more than half of those actually showed.

Plus two.  And they made the whole night worthwhile.

I was good friends with Ted all through high school. We never lost touch, but we're not regular correspondents, either.  He wound up marrying another member of our class, but many years later after many separate moves. I never knew Ann as well, but always liked her; she also chose the law school path and is now just moving into her own solo style of practice.

Ann does the Face-thing; Ted doesn't. (Hence my references to him as the "smartest man in the room.") We messaged the previous week about whether I'd be there, and they were unsure. Ann's mom had been in the final days of hospice, and she finally passed at the end of that week, leaving them and her remaining family with all the stress of "arrangements."  We left it that if they couldn't make it, we'd meet up somewhere nearby, since they live very close to the reunion venue.  Then, Saturday, they confirmed they'd be coming. And a few minutes after we finally broke double-digit attendance, there they were at the registration table.

Did I mention that the outside group which "planned" this event gave it something short of a five-star effort? They did virtually no promotion other than sending one snail-letter and posting a few social media things, all of them purely YOUR HIGH SCHOOL NAME HERE non-descript. After I signed up, I got only one email from them, a few days ahead: You can still attend! Well, I'd hoped so, since I'd paid and all:P But this one was just a general blast to the whole class, encouraging more. Far as I know, Ted and Ann were the only ones who took them up on it, and the two at the table greeted them with the happiest of news: sorry, cash only. And no ticket until you pay.  Between them, they fished out enough to cover one admission, and were about set to find an ATM in the middle of the industrial-park jungle that is Walt Whitman Road.

But I was here. More importantly, I just got here- and hadn't spent more than 20 bucks since I left.  What do you say to an old friend you haven't seen this century when he suddenly needs 130 bucks? You say, get me tomorrow.  Then you all go in; other people you remember fondly arrive; you drink more than you should have because you're not driving, but not so much that you get stupid; and you even get a few pictures in.

Ted:




And a contemplative Ann (not the best picture, but she's still gorgeous enough not to be badly photographed;):



Across the table from her are Steve and Mary Beth; she was our year, as was Steve's brother, who was also there. I've reconnected with her in recent months and it was great to see them, too.

The easiest job of the night was the bartender; the absolute hardest was the DJ tasked with getting a bunch of tired old 58-year-olds to dance past our usual Saturday night bedtimes.

The obligatory group shot. Yes, I was really there:




And so, the Diner Tour now continues. With Ted in a few at an unspecified one near the hotel; then for lunch back in East Meadow with one of the best Mets bloggers who ever was. Dinner, not diner, will be at my sister's or home late tonight, depending on how many stops I have to make and rogue bread trucks I encounter.

All in all, I think I will try to make the 50th. We might even make it easier on the DJ, slam-dancing to the Ramones in our walkers....


captainsblog: (Default)
2017-08-04 09:09 pm

I could get used to this "day off" thing....

Not that it was, entirely. I count 18 outbound emails, 55 inbound ones (not all responded to, but all looked at), and close to a dozen phone calls in and out during the day.  None were major, and I kept to my goal of keeping my own mental health ahead of the rest of them.

Things I did accomplish in between all of that and then tonight on the eve of Getaway Day:

* Visited Town Hall and got the details on getting our house set up for solar panel installation. They're pushing a townwide effort to encourage this, waiving electrical permit fees and coordinating site assessments and ultimate installations with three different town-approved contractors. One of them is the one which installed our dedicated outlet for the electric car, upgraded our panel and did some other fiddlybits in 2013; we told the town we preferred hearing from them, but one of the other two got hold of our application and has been pretty aggressive in pitching us to do the work.  I'll call them Monday if the Frey Guys haven't responded by then.

* Did a bunch of things around the house and in my home office that I usually do over the weekend.

* Watched yet another laser light show as thunderstorms continued passing through here. We never lost power, but Wegmans did, briefly, and when I got to a late afternoon workout, the trainer mentioned that they'd lost power earlier in the day, killing the treadmills and requiring some serious improvisation. (None needed when I got there; thundering still went on, but the power held up.)

* Loaded up at Tarjay, mainly for dog food. The place was frighteningly empty during the thundery late afternoon, with red-shirted associates running hither and yon with surprisingly nothing to do.

 *Tried watching the Channing Tatum/Joseph Gordon-Leavitt riff on 80s communism and police procedurals, Comrade Detective. It had its moments, but not enough of them.

Now it's just to pack and get on the road.  The room is mine at 3, the reunion at 8, and I have a variety of plans of fixed and unfixed times on Sunday and possibly some other meetups before the reunion on Saturday.

And Monday, regardless, will be back to work....

captainsblog: (Default)
2017-08-03 08:46 pm

Keepin' It Simple, Stupid....

"I'm not even supposed to be here today!"

That, at least, was The Plan. I'd cleared tomorrow from my work calendar, the Mets were returning to Queens for their first home game in almost two weeks on Friday night, and their best pitcher was both starting and starring on a free-for-all t-shirt.  So The Plan was to leave for NY either this afternoon or first thing tomorrow, catch the game tomorrow night, and then be close by for my high school reunion on Saturday night.

I put feelers out, and got little feel back. Most of my usual compadres (notPadres, yo) replied that they would not be there. One dear family confirmed that they would be there, but I know from past experience that their season tickets are in the armed-patrol sections of the stadium right below the broadcast booths, and I have never, in several tries, been able to approach their seats with plebian ticketing.  Plus, I wound up with an unexpected, and largely unnecessary, Rochester round-trip today, and I wanted to be home this afternoon and tonight, so the extra day of the trip loomed even longer and more annoying.

And so we made the Executive Decision: No Game Tomorrow.  (The Saturday afternoon game is too close to the time of the reunion itself, and the Sunday game is disgustingly at 8:30 p.m. because ESPN thinks the whole country wants to see the Mets get slaughtered by the best team in their league.)  Instead, I will work, but not From Work, for most of tomorrow. It won't be a full Mental Health Day but will have Mental Health Components- including a workout, a trip to Tarjay for various things, and a stop at Town Hall to check out the current (see what I did there?) incentives for residents to install solar panels on their homes.

Saturday will then be a straight shot of driving to the Suffolk County hotel hosting the reunion (and my room for the night).  There've been very few details about it despite it being less than 48 hours away, but I did hear from one of our furthest-away classmates yesterday, who moved to Australia sometime in the intervening 40 years; she won't be there, but will be Skype-ing with some friends from back then who will be.

Once recovered from the reminiscences and the rubber chicken dinner, I have a fairly full day back on Sunday: stops in my old home town Sunday morning, lunch with a Met blogger friend in a famed East Meadow diner, and finally home Sunday night after the inevitable repast at my sister's at the halfway point.  I plan to be home, and unconscious, by the time the Mets are down seven runs on Sunday night.
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-30 04:46 pm

A little health, a little Spider, a little bush to strain your shoulder....

I know it doesn't rhyme. Don't blame me. English is weird.

John McCain redeemed himself after my last post about the healthcare debacle, refusing his support to the so-called "skinny bill" which really should have been named "Anything for a Win." The resulting tantrums from the Orange House have been predictable, along with the other distractions- from Da Mooch whacking the Cheeto's chief of staff (now replaced by the Homeland Security Secretary, a now-unfilled position because we're so safe now:P), to the Cheeto openly encouraging police brutality (what Don Imus once referred to as "the fun part of law enforcement") to whatever shit went down on the Sunday shows.  I wouldn't know; I was outside. More about that later.

The workweek up to that point was quiet- just one hearing, with the widow of a client who required some very delicate care and feeding, as another client will later this week- except for my one and, I Promise, Last Ever real estate deal going to shit like all my I Promised, Last Ever real estate deals always do- and Friday was deathly quiet. Must be vacations or something. Wouldn't know about those, either (although I will be away for two days at the end of this week for my first-ever high school reunion and possibly a Mets game).

----

Last night, we got out to the Spiderman:Homecoming film. I've seen all of them since the first Raimi reboot (I even remember the Nicholas Hammond TV turn from the 70s), and haven't been impressed with any of them since, well, the first Raimi reboot, not even with the last Amazing 2 end of the Garfield Administration despite many of its non-CGI Blow-Up-BOOM scenes being filmed in downtown Rochester (NYC having silly rules about superhero film car chase speed limits).  This one, for the most part, was the best since Raimi I.  My takes on it soon after getting out:

-Best of them since the Raimi original, which was homaged, along with many of the comics and even the 60s cartoon.

-Overall good weaving of the character into the MCU. When Tony Stark is understated, you've done something good.

- Good focus on Peter throughout, and best casting ever of the part, but the Blow-Up-BOOM scenes, especially the last one, could've been 15 minutes shorter and about 70 decibels quieter without the story suffering at all.

- Spoiler: the boat sinks. Well, almost.

-Special Guest Villain: Michael Mando, who plays Vulture's henchman, played Vic the Dick in early Orphan Black.

(And that's all I have to say about Orphan Black until I process what we just saw.)

----

That got us to this morning. Ebony and I made our usual Parp visit, meeting a couple from Maine who brought their dogs through Buffalo on a van tour of the great dog parks of our great nation.  They really liked our little Bark Park Island, but it only made it to Number 10 on their list.   After getting home, the dog settled into a quiet spot in the garden, while Eleanor weeded and I got the fun job.

At the edge of one of the front beds was a bush in need of removal.  After cutting back its evergreeny-needly top parts and machete-ing my way through the weeds all round it, it was time to dig.  Some of my oldest childhood memories are of playtime largely being "digging in the dirt," but the thrill has largely gone out of it. I pruned, I pried, I cursed more than a few times, but after about two hours and a couple of changes of clothes, I was ready to announce that I'd "found the squishy!"  (Okay, I did say something else about Orphan Black.) A few rocks with a shovel, a few snips of the final roots, and the bastard was on the ground:



My shoulders, especially, are sore as shit from all the TRX work that went into that, but I am so glad it's done.

----

Road trip tomorrow; court Wednesday and maybe Thursday; I Promise, Last Ever real estate deal might actually close this week, and then it's off to Queens on Friday and Suffolk (why the reunion's there, I have no idea) on Saturday.

captainsblog: (Goat)
2017-07-26 02:13 pm

Making Me Sick.

It's been one of those hurry-up-and-wait weeks at work. Only two court appearances all week, the second and last of them early tomorrow, and both of them local; but I'm waiting on any number of clients, courts and opponents to get off their respective arses to schedule things, and I'm largely in limbo until they do.

This gives me unexpected time to watch the Parade of Idiocy going by. Frankly, I'd rather just be busy with work.  Yesterday gave us the grand spectacle of Senator John McCain being rushed back to DC, his brain cancer freshly diagnosed and the Best Care Anywhere for him assured, so he could get a round of applause on the Senate floor before casting the deciding vote to begin the process of taking such care away from thousands of his own constituents and millions of his fellow citizens.

He will tell you it was just a procedural vote.  He followed it with a much-praised floor speech where he decried the divisiveness of the chamber he's been a part of for decades and called for a "return to regular order." This, right after enabling debate, probable bribes, an exhausting "vote-a-rama" (that's the actual term they use) and an eventual final vote on the aforesaid stripping of health care from millions- on a bill that doesn't even exist in printable form yet. THAT's regular order?

But for me, the money quote in the speech was this:

Both sides have let this happen. Let's leave the history of who shot first to the historians.

If McCain really meant that, he wouldn't have enabled the continuation of this hyperpartisan process. He might have suggested, moments after the "no" vote he didn't have the balls to cast, that we depoliticize this whole business.  As I posited last week:

Would you buy a house that was designed by a hairdresser and built by a baker? How about getting behind the wheel of an automobile engineered and sold by the Ford Anvil Company? Stupid, right? And yet for my entire lifetime, we've been entrusting the repair and reform of our health care system to a bunch of politicians of both parties who couldn't surgically reattach their asses to their elbows if they even could tell the difference between them.

The Clintons tried and failed. Dubya tried and failed with Medicare Part D. Obama tried and failed. And now the Cheeto's going down in another spectacular failure.

Why don't they all say, WE QUIT. Turn the whole thing over to a blue-ribbon, nonpartisan panel of doctors, hospitals, patient advocates and pharmaceutical companies. Lock them in a room for a month- no politicians or lobbyists allowed- and see what they come up with. It's got to be better than this shit.

But that won't happen. Because as any fan of Star Wars could tell you, the history of who shot first is established here: Greed-o did.

----

But at least we don't have Death Panels, like them socialist medicine countries do. Or so they would tell you- and did, repeatedly and with fake poignance, over the saga of "Little Charlie Gard."  This infant became 2017's poster child for the triumph of Make American Medicine Great Again over those horrid National Health rationers in England.  On any number of occasions during the current US health care battle, the Cheeto and his minions have trotted out Little Charlie Gard as proof that socialized medicine will kill ya.

Bullshit.  No, assholes, your disease is what kills you; it's US profit-driven medicine that turns a baby into a political football so a doctor over here can diagnose him over the Internet and propose treating him with an experimental med that the doctor has a personal financial stake in.

Now that he's been outed, Doctor Profit has concluded that, well, no, his untested experimental med won't work after all, and the tragic little kid will be sent home for a death that will be as peaceful as it was inevitable. But "Little Charlie Gard" will no doubt still be a rallying cry for those who love him as a symbol but who ignore the inconvenient truth of his status under the horrors of Trumpcare: that from the moment of his birth, Little Charlie Gard was a pre-existing condition.

captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-23 08:36 pm

♫Make room for my 57 along beside your 78....♫

♫....nothing survives, but the way we live our lives.♫

I reference these lyrics with some hesitation and modification: the former, because the song is called Daddy's Tune while I'm using it in a sisterly context; the latter, because I'm replacing Jackson Browne's 45's with my own age of 57 in comparison to what would have been our sister Sandy's 78th birthday today.

Sandy did make it to her 45th, but never to her 50th; by the fall of her 50th year in 1988, the demons had won and the sister, the daughter, the mother we knew was no longer with us. Except she was, and is: every day her daughters and grandchildren awake and face their days. Every day her remaining sister and I remember her words, her musical memories, her unique ways of looking at the world. Every moment we tolerate a spoiled pet because we have inherited the honor of receiving those special souls who get to be reincarnated as Sandy's cat.

I am not much for family chats on the phone, on holidays or otherwise, but today, with the luxury of her 78th birthday falling on a weekend, I called both of my nieces to check in and remind them that they, and their kids, were in our thoughts and prayers and that their mom would be- is- so immensely proud of the strong, independent women they've become.

Her last birthday was her 49th.  I've now passed that on my own calendar nine times and am heading for a tenth in November.  Two weekends from now, I will spend time with people I knew from 40 years ago; few of them ever met Sandy (being 21 years apart in age and school will do that), but all I speak to will know the importance of her to me, my family, and the person I've become.

Eleanor and I began the day taking Ebony to the dog park. We gardened, we watched BBC programmes, we had a Sunday dinner befitting so many Sunday afternoons I remember sharing with her.  And we celebrated a life that will always be celebrated in this world as long as her memories and DNA and the words from us continue.

And when the morning light comes streaming in,
I'll get up and do it again, Amen.
Say it again, Amen.
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-20 05:27 pm

Half a Life.

Since I was in Bankruptcy Court at butt o'clock this morning, it only seemed right for me to do some math. (This, notwithstanding that one of our three district bankruptcy judges has admitted on the bench that he's lousy at math.)

When I got out, I saw some birthday posts for Eleanor on my Facebook feed.  She only joined recently, mainly to connect with one art-community friend, and we cautiously friended each other even more recently so she wouldn't get a scad of friend requests from bare past-life acquaintances I still keep in touch with from church and other places.  I always try to post something a little different and unique on peoples' birthday roundups, so this is what I thought of:

Your 32nd birthday I've shared with you. May it be among the best ever. I love you.

A little further math reveals the other "half" of that story. When you add up the years, I now realize that for more than half of the birthdays my beloved has ever had, I have shared them with her. They've had their ups and their downs, they've been shared with relatives and in restaurants, but the one constant has been what our wedding service referred to as "a love which shall endure." 

She's talking with Emily on the phone as I write this, and soon after we will head to a favourite Italian caffe for dinner and dessert.  It's cooled a bit after some monster t-storms came through this part of town (and possible tornadoes hit not far to the south), and tomorrow is the end of the workweek for both of us.

May the next 32 years of birthdays commence. I love you:)
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-17 08:11 pm

Back to Busy-Ness

After a largely off-things Saturday, yesterday began and ended early. Began at the dog park, where we met up, after the second go-round with Ebony and Ursula, with this beautiful grrl:

Well, four, counting Ann on the left and the traces of the pups on the ground

She just hopped up on that picnic table while our friend Dave, whose pup can't make it round twice, waited for us.  That tag is more of a chip, so we had no idea whose she was. Finally, we saw three people coming round with two dogs, and they called her over.... only to leave her at the entrance all over again as they headed down the path just as we were leaving.  Sheesh.

Once home, we turned our attention to things BBCish. News finally reached us of the casting of the first actress to portray The Doctor come next year; she looks like a worthy successor to the title.  Eventually, we got to the previous night's Orphan Black, which tied up some loose ends, opened a few other cans of clones, and of course kept us laughing every moment Krystal was on the screen. (Semi-spoiler: the bearded douche about halfway through the episode is played by Tatiana's IRL boyfriend, and she got to act two separate scenes in which Spoiler spoilered him in the spoiler- once as Krystal spoilering, the other as Sarah watching it.

Again this morning, I needed to be up and out very early for a day in Rochester- which concluded just before 2 with me finally getting one of my crazy real estate deals closed. Although they pushed every envelope, including not getting me the vital "how much to bring to the closing" figure until fewer than two hours remained before it, the session itself was quick and painless, the numbers all balanced, and the documents were all properly completed.  I think.

Rather than go back to either office, I opted for a scenic drive home, with two stops for out-of-the-way process service en route, maybe a 20-minute-south detour on Route 20 with the two about 10 minutes apart. Neither found their intended targets at home (and both were homes, despite the claims being against businesses), but at one, there was a sticker on the front door alerting first responders to be on the lookout for their seven dogs. No sign of them; at least they weren't left out on a picnic table outside:P

----

Before those errands, with little else to listen to in the hinterlands, I "treated" myself to the latest right-wing spin on the disastrous health care proposals now stuck in the Senate.  According to Limpbutt, millennials should be embracing the El Cheapo™ catastrophic plans that Senator Rafael "Dudley Do-Wrong of the Mounties" Cruz insists on being sold in exchange for his vote.  The pitch goes something like this: Millennials hate the cable companies, because they make you buy channels you don't want. They only want to stream the shows they DO want and they cut the cord on the rest. Well, health care is exactly the same. You should be free to buy only the services you want and not be forced to buy things you may not need and might never even be able to use (yeah, asshole, men and maternity care, we get it.)

The cynicism in this equivalence goes beyond meanness and straight into outright cruelty. Because OF COURSE deciding on the logistics and economics of covering yourself in the event of serious or potentially fatal illness is EXACTLY the same as wanting HBO and not SNY on your cable bill.  (Why, just last week Eleanor and I were trying to figure out whether a Roku or an Apple TV would deliver the best dialysis if we eventually need that. ) Oh, and worse? If a millennial does cut the cord but eventually decides he or she does suddenly need to start watching a channel they didn't originally order? The evil cable or satellite company will be more than happy to add it to your lineup for whatever it costs.  Not so under the Ryanide/McConnkill bait-and-switch currently in negotiation: if a healthy young person buys a "stripped down" plan and then discovers they need coverage for one of the "essential benefits" now required by the ACA?  Sorry, Charlie: that doesn't count as "continuous coverage," so you'll only be subscribing to the Pre-Existing Condition Channel as far as Republican Cable is concerned. You'll have to pay for that condition on your own for months or more until Mitch the Cable Guy can come out to your place and Git'R'Done.  (Even though, best as I can tell, he's Doin' his constituents already.)

----

Staying close to home, jiggity jog, the next three days. Only oddity of tomorrow is a meeting with a new referral who has the exact same name as one of my recent co-workers. 
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-14 08:36 pm

The cars aren't the only Smart things around here....

I had three court appointments today. The clients proceeded, over the preceding 24 hours, to outdo themselves in stretching my patience and imagination into territory where it was hard to keep my CONTROL;)



In order of receipt of their excuses (and for ethical reasons, there will be some obfuscation here):

- Mother of Client 1, scheduled for what would have been a routine hearing in Buffalo late this morning. Called to tell me Client 1 would not be able to make it.  I checked with the guy running the hearing, who had already reviewed Client 1's file, knew it was no-brainer easy, and pretty much would have allowed something resembling a Weekend At Bernie's appearance if I could only get a body in the chair and a right hand raised in the air. Nope, didn't happen. We reconvene a week from next Wednesday if things have improved by then.

- Client 2, scheduled for an early afternoon hearing in Buffalo this afternoon. Not coming, either- death in the family.  Out of town arrangements.  Suffice it, the funeral is likely to be closed-casket. Yum. I attended that one (the hearing, not the funeral) with Client 2 in absentia. It did not go well, but at least we could take solace that it went even worse for the deceased.

-  That brings us to Client 3, who had the earliest (9 a.m.) and furthest (Rochester) of the three scheduled for today. That one sent an email after 6 last night to ask for a postponement because a car would not be available.  Having already gotten the other two bits of news, I insisted on going forward, even offering to provide the transport (since Client 3's residence is on my way into town and actually close to a place where Emily used to live).  We worked this out, and the hearing went fine.  It wasn't just a flat tire or some other inconvenience, but the sign of a marital breakdown. Making that worse, I'd also consulted with Client 3's spouse about a similar case- who I will not now be representing. It's not a technical conflict of interest but a visceral one- you don't treat people the way Client 3 got treated.  I got up stupid early, picked up C3 in plenty of time for another easy hearing, and even provided return transportation, given the circumstances.

The rest of the day was spent mostly on driving and on three separate real estate cases. Because I keep taking them on even though I work with people far more experienced at them and inherently draw cases with hosts of problems.

Sorry about that.
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2017-07-11 07:57 pm

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

* In our living room, yesterday morning:



The perils of online ordering; she's tried and tried to find a pair on zappos that fits, but they're always almost as big as she is;)

After that photo, I left for the first of what promised/threatened to be three weekdays this week in Rochester. Met two clients; missed a third; connected with a fourth after discovering that I'd been an idiot last week and not signed the check to him that was sent in payable to me late the previous week. Just as well: I needed to drop off a thank-you and gift card for the installer the client sent to our house last Friday.

----

* Hop hop!

Last night, I turned in a little earlier and slept in a little later (although Evil Cat-erwauling woke me up round 0300 and got her tossed in the garage until just about six). When I did leave, I had company on  our side lawn:



He barely moved while I zoomed in for that photo, or even after I began backing JARVIS out.  By day's end, we were joined  by a mama Oriole on our birdfeeder- lateish in the season for the likes of her, but lovely to see.

----

* Beasts at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

Who shot JR? Himself, in the foot. By confirming the veracity of the Times' reporting of the email threads between him and Soviet agents, he essentially confirmed that Daddy was offered damaging oppo research from a foreign power and did nothing to deny or report it.

Their only reply? But her emailllllllssssssss!

But his impeachmmmmmentttttt!
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-08 08:10 pm

Seeing the Light.

When I awoke this morning, Eleanor had already installed all of the bulbs along the track light that was finally powered up yesterday. It's a beautiful thing.

Less beautiful was what I had to work on once sentient. Clients waited until the 43rd of 45 days to send me simple documents- in a mishmash of unprintable pdfs and nearly unreadable photo files.  I spent most of my first awake hour trying to open/print/save all of the above, then scan them into a form I could upload to the court on Day 44.

This did not go well.

For one thing, my ol' reliable home printer decided yesterday that its carriage would no longer carry, and it set off a cascade of errors every time I tried to print copies of anything. I tried mightily to figure out where the phantom "carriage jam" was, eventually replacing all four of its ink cartridges in case their hooky thingies were blocking the path, and trying to clean out an apparent oil slick of ink under the cartridges' resting place at the end of the carriage.  None of it worked, and the missus and I got pretty grumpy about it as I left ink stains all over my path.  I finally quit, switched to her printer at the other end of the hall (once I remembered that my HP7110 driver wasn't going to do shit since we switched that one out with Emily a few months ago), got mine to at least scan the resulting funky products, and uploaded the wholly unholy mess. Hopefully they'll allow me to redo it on Monday, aka Day 46.

I then went off to a workout, ran some other errands, came home and geezer-napped, and finally tried again. Found an even oilier spot of oil slick, cleaned it out, and I think the carriage is no longer jammed. At least I'm not pushing my luck about it until I need to.

It's been a nice late-day since. We ate out in the back yard, both watched things we wanted to before turning in, and I have a morning of plans involving one dog (playing), several track lights (returning) and some Wegmans items (buying) already planned for tomorrow.
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-07 08:42 pm

Ending the week. Friday's nice like that.

Yesterday was a blur. It began with me covering a City Court arbitration hearing for a friend of mine who had a last-minute conflict. Twenty-odd years ago, this was my bread and butter: get notice of the hearing a few weeks ahead, send a letter to the client contact telling them that their "witnesses having personal knowledge of the facts in this matter should appear at the [hearing location] at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the arbitration; they should have in their possession all original documentation in support of the claim."

(I still have that form letter in my collection. Just haven't used it in an age.)

This one, same shit, different year- only I didn't get the notice until late the previous day, got a half-dozen panicked emails before 9 yesterday morning about whether I'd received the file electronically (half I did, the other half not until just after 9), and I didn't meet my witnesses for the 9:30 hearing until minutes past 9:30. It went,... mmmkay. One did NOT have original documentation in support of the claim, while the other was a good witness but was completely contradicted by the equally good witness from the other side. So, he-said/he-said.  I don't miss this shit.

From there it was on to Rochester for two scheduled appointments and hopes of resolving two other matters. Met them, didn't resolve them.  By the time I got home, it seemed I'd just left. At least the second client who met me is also the client who promised to send an electrician to our house to finish the track lighting job- promised by 8 this morning.

----

Okay, it wound up being after 8:30, but no matter. The tech, who's been here before for other work, was kind and professional and prompt- explaining exactly why Eleanor's professional installation of track lights hadn't worked without being demeaning or mansplainy about it. Took him under an hour to get power in the whole track.  Tomorrow, she will order the remaining parts for the job from Home Depot- and a gift card for Spencer to thank him personally (in addition to whatever the invoice is from his company).

Once he finished, we headed off for a Friday that was shorter than usual for me and moderately annoying for Eleanor. While she is still happy about avoiding foot surgery, she's still having reaction to the cortisone shot, and to other meds she's taking for other conditions, so we made tonight a Chill and Chinese Food evening.

Next week will bring at least three mornings for me in Rochester, likely with at least one overnight involved- and I got a mix of news on pending cases today that will bear on those days.  But at least we can see what we're looking at as we head down the hall to sleep at the end of each day:)
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-05 09:45 pm

My only complaints are the ones I'm filing:)

Since I'll always be among the first here to bitch about things, when a day distinguishes itself for goodness and niceness all (okay, most) of the way around, I should be just as quick to acknowledge it.

It just doesn't happen all that often.

The day began with nervousness. I had a 10 a.m. court hearing scheduled- or rather, not scheduled. I'd done all the work, sent the papers where they needed to be sent, but waited a day or so too long to upload them to the court computer.  I'd forgotten that Bankruptcy Court took Monday off- so come my check of the online calendar, it wasn't there.... and it was fitting, since the filing was a favor for a friend who'd forgotten something, as well.  I called in as soon as the court opened, and not only did I get it put on the calendar (and approved once called), they took it in its usual place near the top of the docket; they go in order of original case filings from oldest to newest, and this one was pretty old, but they could have just as easily stuck it at the bottom. Thanks to that kindness,  I was back in my office close to 10:30, even with stops for Timmys and traffic.

By then, I also got Eleanor's good news. She had her consult with the foot surgeon today over her bone spurred left foot, and he has ruled out surgery, at least for the time being. He gave her a cortisone shot, prescribed insoles, and even taught her a trick for tying sneaker laces so they don't bear down on the aggravated part of the foot. She (we) can breathe a little easier knowing there's not an extended period of layup in her immediate future.

The rest of the workday went as close to "as planned" as they ever do.  The client who was supposed to show up and pay, did. The filing that had to get filed (the old-fashioned way), got. While I did not get my Closing From Hell (Circle Five) scheduled, at least no new roadblocks came up toward it, and I could now be reasonably confident that tomorrow would be free to schedule things, which were. A new bankruptcy client in Rochester, two longtime ones coming in to sign things there, and a chance to help out another friend covering a last-minute court hearing for him here before I leave tomorrow.

Even the horrors have had their humour in them. The Interwebs have mocked the shit out of Chris Christie's Beached Whale routine from the other day, and other Republicans have taken stupid to a comical level- getting mad at NPR for tweeting out the Declaration of Independence on Independence Day because they mistook the Madness of King George for the Madness of Orange Numpty.

Then there was one oddity I can't decide on whether it's good or not. Remember the photo of my sister that occasionally appears here?  I got an email from a guy from a website called Artsy, who must've picked up the Winogrand references in some kind of webscrape and wants to share links between his site and mine.  I don't know if this is a scam, but if you've had any contact with them, or just want to look at the site (it's dot net, not dot com), you'll see a lot of his other works- not the one with Donna that I could see, but many in the same style.
captainsblog: (Allie)
2017-07-04 08:10 pm

A little work, a little binge, a little walk around the fringe....

We kept to the "no plans to speak of" promise for today's holiday, but it was a gorgeous day and we did something short of All The Things:

Eleanor did some draw, did some weed (of the pulling-up-outta-ground variety) and did some cook of a half-organic chicken.

I did some bookkeeping, got roughly halfway through the final-ish season of Sense8 (Netflix has reconfirmed its cancellation, but last week promised a two-hour streamed finale next year to tie up its loose ends), and mid-afternoon, decided to give Ebony a bonus Bark Park trip before the unofficial fireworks started blowing up all over the general vicinity. We took the electric Smart car, since it was already in the driveway and was fully charged.

The Park was much busier than it usually is at our usual 8 a.m. Sunday hour. She seemed a little disoriented with her usual two-dog pack not being there, but plenty of new friends came up to greet her (usually from the hind end) during our two laps round the main drag.  Didn't see any offensive Cheet-shirts as I did the Sunday before; they probably boycott the Fourth in honor of Hitler's birthday, anyway.

I then ran her over to Wegmans for some refreshing beverages, only to be stymied by (a) the dog bolting from the car despite me leaving it on with the AC running for her and (b) me realizing that I'd forgotten my wallet. So we just came home by a slower route, but one which actually increased the charge on Ziggy's battery by a point or so. 

We're both turning in early for early days tomorrow; Eleanor has her foot surgery consult at 9, and I need to call Bankruptcy Court as soon as they open because I didn't upload a file in time for a hearing tomorrow morning and I'm hoping they will respect that it's an errand of mercy on my part in letting it be heard at 10 a.m. anyway.
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-03 11:05 pm

Wild. Wellington. Wicked. Wonder.

Slept in until almost 9. By the time we were both sentient, Eleanor was back up on a ladder trying to finish a project that she assembled and we mostly she tried to assemble yesterday. This was a track light to replace a single aged fixture at one end of our hallway, which did nothing to provide light for our hall closet-turned-CD/DVD cabinet.  By mid-Sunday morning, she'd fired me from helping.  While she circuit-tested and troubleshot this morning, I was sent outside with a simple task: fill the birdfeeder and clean/refill the birdbath.

But first, there was this:



Several hundred thousand of these guys decided to re-enact a beloved DMB ant-hem in the general direction of the sprinkler hose across our front entry sidewalk. So I drowned them- which, Eleanor thought, was probably what they wanted all along, being thirsty and all. Within an hour, the whole mosh pit was gone.

----

I then ran over to my half-ish day of work for the first of two trips. No mail or email worth mentioning, but a text from home, saying that my beloved had surrendered to the Edison/Tesla collective. Which was fine: I have an electrician client, who I'd already called to put on standby in case this happened. He will have a guy here Friday. She was liberated and appreciative that her effort, though not complete, was still good and fine. Which it will be.

----

We both had separate plans for late afternoon, so I booked Wonder Woman tix for just past six, and we both headed off for geezer naps. Mine was joined by the most evil companion we've ever housed, who in a moment of weakness allowed me to get the quintessential photo of her in her native condition:




That's Michelle all over: the evil eye, the exposed fangs, the just-trimmed claws nonetheless ready to strike. She's been better the past week- only one wee-small trip to the garage to shut her up- but this reminds us just what we're up against.

----

Second office trip didn't accomplish much of anything- although a 3:55 email just after I left did narrow down one pile of BS on my desk- and we were both ready to head over to reserved recliners for the 6:30 WW show.

Awesome.

The casting, the action, the story, the faithfulness to its varied roots in DC comics and other adaptations- pitch perfect.  Eleanor reported being more riveted to a story than in anything we've seen in quite awhile.  I failed to fall for the Who-He? diversion about the Major Bad Guy, but missed totally on who MBG really was (a well-respected performer perhaps too old to be such a Baddie, who happens to be four years younger than me #getoffmyParadiseIsland).  We will love to see the Gadot/Pine outtakes from many scenes, which they must've been busting their guts over.

----

No plans for tomorrow to speak of. So I won't speak of them.

captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-02 07:43 pm

Ban the Bumb.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

So I will. Donald John Trump is a fucking moron.   Each week brings further, deeper and more dangerous evidence of his unfitness to be a member of polite society, much less in charge of the largest military arsenal on the planet. But the chances of getting 218 of his cronies in the House and then 67 members of the Senate to remove him from office- the only option until 2020? About the same as the odds of him grabbing Rosie O'Donnell by any body part. 

Military coup? Massive civil disobedience? Not bloody likely. (Or I should say: not likely. Quite probably bloody.)

No court will convict him. None of law, nor of public opinion. He's already at the lowest ratings of any incumbent and dropping them week by week, but his base, many of who really are just as deplorable as Hillary Clinton said they were, double down and back him up at every turn. And while there are fewer of them than there are of us, they are smart, they are internet-savvy, and they are meaner than anything I've seen since the second-grade playground.

But there is one thing that can be done to at least limit the damage we face in the next seven-eighths of our time being stuck with him. I thought it as soon as he was elected, and after events of the past week, I think it even more:

Twitter needs to ban his Terms-of-Service violating ass.

----

To figure this out, I was ready to voluntarily commit myself to the 140-Character Insane Asylum- the one social media platform I have completely avoided and the one perhaps singly the most responsible for getting us into this mess. Fortunately, I did not have to: Twitter's Terms of Service are readily available for review, as are the Twitter Rules,  "which are part of the User Agreement and outline what is prohibited on the Services."

His ass is grass less than two screens into the Rules:

In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

    Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.

    Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
        if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
        if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
        if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
        if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
    Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.

The sum total of the last six months should be more than sufficient. Then there's this:

    Multiple account abuse: Creating multiple accounts with overlapping uses or in order to evade the temporary or permanent suspension of a separate account is not allowed.

Dude has been using not only his primary account but the @POTUS account and, according to many sources, other online names. The terms above make clear that multiple accounts can lead to the banhammer. (There's a @whataboutism about this, which we'll get to.)

Moving right along:

You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:::snip::
    if a large number of people are blocking you;
::snip::
    if you repeatedly create false or misleading content;
    if you are randomly or aggressively following, liking, or Retweeting Tweets;
::snip::
    if you post misleading links (e.g. affiliate links, links to malware/clickjacking pages, etc.);
    if you are creating misleading accounts or account interactions;
    if you are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.); and
    if you are using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising "more followers fast", or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account).


It's well-established that the Cheeto has millions, if not billions, of autobots who are following him to bump up his numbers. These along should bring him in for an interview with the Twitter TOScops.

----

There are any number of alleged defenses to this action. They have been well documented and debunked on, where else?, Twitter, by a NoCal commentator named Mike Monteiro. He gathers them in a series of tweets labeled Why Twitter should ban Donald Trump.

A-one:



And-a- two:



(This is also where he gets into noting that he still has, and uses, the @POTUS account and gets into THAT as a basis for the banhammer on account of double-posting.)

Ah, the @whatabout: "But Obama!"



Three and four:




Five, six, seven (there's no eight. Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Citizens United Incorporated!)


(BTW, "@jack" is Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter who could end this nightmare with a single click; and "the frogs" are the alt-right assholes who've adopted Pepe the Frog as their iconic/ironic Latinx mascot.)

So there you have it. A premise, a conclusion, a debunking. We may be subjected to 3½ more years of shit, but we don't have to endure reading what he puts out at 3:15 in the morning on Shitter- if only Jack Dorsey will man up.

You might send him a card.

captainsblog: (Default)
2017-07-01 06:34 pm

June was just running out all over....

It wasn't that busy of a week, but it still managed to get away from me. After my Tuesday overnight with the kids, Wednesday in Rochester went as smoothly as could be expected from Grumpy Guy, and I got back home at a decent hour. No court the last two days of this week, but came back into work Thursday to find a note from a client firing me, an unfavorable decision in another case, and my latest effort at real e-shaming having made only an inch or two of progress. We pushed it much closer yesterday, but "closer" does not equal (or even rhyme with) "closed," so I will likely not know until Wednesday when this thing's going to finalize.

The client who fired me, once I called him, proceeded to walk it all back. He apparently had been put on a BP medication which proceeded to raise his blood pressure to a near-dangerous level until a PA figured it out and got him stabilized.  We will meet next week to figure out where we are.

Yesterday was then full of short-but-stressful moments: having a car come at me as it drove the wrong way down the Tim Hortons drive thru lane (I checked today: there is a "do not enter" sign, but an inconspicuous and non-MUTCD one); Eleanor called in sick after picking up a bug the day before; and I had at least one TMI moment I won't share because, TMI.  Most of the working world took the day off or left early, so little progress got made on anything. Monday will be a weird day: some, but not all, courts and other such offices have taken the day off; one of my offices is fully open, the other fully shut down. Eleanor asked for the 3rd and 4th off, so my plan is to play mostly keep-away on Monday, checking just for mail and any possible schedulings of things for the stub of a week to follow the Fourth.

That gets us to today, which has been decently productive if definitely on the humid side. Eleanor was rejuvenated after the day off and had the front lawn mowed, the dishes done, and a whole agenda of errands planned before my first cuppa was down.  I eventually did my usual Saturday rounds to office, post office and library, made two Wegmans runs (the place is crazy busy but they have their college kids back for the summer and had almost every register open, so no waiting), and got half of the backyard mowed before folding a bunch of wash during the late afternoon Mets game.

Our annual Big House Project is also underway- minor, compared to the kitchen of a few years back, but still plenty of boxes.  For years, we've despaired of only having one light fixture in our entire hallway, and it being too far from where we store our CD/some DVD collection to be able to find anything. Eleanor engineered out a system of track lighting to replace it all down that hall, and by the day I left for the kids' this week, the last of the pieces for it had arrived. Today, she began the preliminary measuring and engineering for the job:




That's where the current fixture is, or rather was- it's now just hanging down looking like something out of a Booth cartoon in the New Yorker. By the fifth, I expect, the new track will run off that voltage and light the whole hall and media cabinet with brilliant and adjustable lighting.

It will also, no doubt, highlight how much the hardwood floors need refinishing. If you give a mouse a tracklight....
captainsblog: (Default)
2017-06-27 09:09 pm

Losing the battle, finding the squishy;)

Humans 1, Cat 1. For now it's a draw, or maybe a paw?  Last night, I reran the cat fud drill around 2:30- and by 3, Michelle had found the stash, run over to the desk, pawed incessantly and knocked the whole thing on the floor. Nothing spilled, since the lid was still sealed shut.  For her, though, there is no Win, just a choice of losses- and the meal was back in the fridge, she back in the garage, and me back to sleep by 3.  Eleanor's got the patrol tonight- I'm with the kids- but I will also be bringing back the calming spray they used on their kitty, which is non-prescription.

Got here around 6:30- closer to her new arrival time home from the Rochester job. They've decided to renew their lease and have Em do the extended commute for one more year while they save for a house, rather than doing the whole moving-apartment drill in just over a month. I'm hardly one to complain about someone driving too much; here I am for the first of probably two times this week after three trips last week.  Tomorrow's first-thinger is a doozy that is going to make Grumpy McGrumptrustee even grumpier than usual, because of the lack of advance information from the clients.  Then I'm almost certain to be back Friday to try to close my latest adventure in real estate.  I've decided I need to motivate myself against getting into these deals by duplicating those Bad Dog signs you see online. Forget Dog-Shaming; this is what I call Real Es-Shaming:



That's not Friday's. Friday's is worse:



Or maybe I'll just go with a "kick me" sign on my ass.

Today's bankruptcy hearings in Buffalo were much more pleasant. Nice trustee, quickly sorted through the issues and closed out the cases. It's enough to make me want to stay home more often.

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Eleanor and I spent Sunday night catching up with the current Orphan Black storyline. A fun return to the yuppie crafty Hendrixes of Bailey Downs, complete with echoes of Alison and Donnie's past indiscretions ("found the squishy" is the newly immortalized line from that) and a rendering of a 60s song that melted everything in sight. After Tatiana Maslany had one of her newer characters killed off last week, it was a refreshing hour of lighter clone fare.

IMDBing Tat's amazing abilities, we discovered tonight that she guest-starred in two episodes of Parks and Recreation which aired on NBC just after Orphan Black's first series and which we watched on Hulu tonight.  She played a doctor visiting Pawnee to save it from West Nile virus- a minor part, but you got early hints of her comic chops.  I am probably also going to have to start binge-watching this thing- along with Bloodline, Fargo, House of Cards and at least three others I started and am behind on.