Friday, March 1, 2024

Every little thing

It has been a completely craptastic week, so today’s earworm is Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “Three Little Birds.”

I particularly like the cartoon rendition.




Thursday, February 29, 2024


Next to actual bare feet or flip-flops, this is the worst thing you want to see in your seatmate for a transcontinental flight.

I had to turn up the air flow.



Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Still around

There were apparently a lot of people trying to get out of Arizona on Monday; the line of planes taxiing for takeoff was really long. But as we finally got to the runway and were powering up, I noticed this hybrid blast from the past:

What do you think it means when American Airlines can’t even be bothered to repaint the tail logo?

Also—how old is this aircraft? TWA ceased operations in December 2001.


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The best of Arizona

When I said yesterday that Arizona sunrises are spectacular, I was not joking. Viz:


Monday, February 26, 2024

Gratitude Monday: So many things

I spent the weekend in Sedona to spend time with my sister. Since I last visited her, in September 2022, her Alzheimer’s has seized hold of her and the prognosis is not good. I’ve basically been in the company of her shell, which absolutely breaks my heart.

Especially since there is really nothing I can do for her except love her with all my heart.

So here’s my gratitude for today—aside with having been blessed with her as my big sister.

When I got to the Phoenix airport (early, mirabile dictu, considering it was United Airlines) I encountered the longest line I’ve ever been in that didn’t involve an E-ticket ride at the car rental center. All the other counters had a few customers; Budget had a couple of hundred. (Evidently I wasn’t the only person who found a deal via Costco travel.) I was in that line for 90 minutes before I got up to the counter.

(Woman in line behind me never drew breath for that entire time. I heard all her plans for meals, how her husband “is not a closer”—he gets 90% of the way and then stops (evidently WRT projects, not sex)—and a lot of stuff about booze.)

But when I got there, the fella (Deviry, I think) and I chatted. Turns out that Spring Training (a Thing for baseball) began the day before, which might have accounted for some of the volume of car renters. He asked me the purpose of my trip, and I said I was visiting my sister in Sedona.

“How is she doing?” he asked.

I hesitated and said, “Okay” just as he said, “She hanging on?” Yeah.

“Give her a hug for me,” he said. Okay.

Then, when he handed me the rental sheet, he added, “This is to remind you.”

Honestly, it was the kindest thing anyone could ever do. I forgave Budget for the 90 minute line and for the 30 minute further wait in line for the “Express Assignment” at the garage. (Evidently Budget, Avis and Thrifty no longer assign you a car at the counter and you find the row and slot where it’s waiting for you. All three of them use a pool of vehicles, which are allocated to you by a guy at the head of that second line. The system sucks.) And I am so grateful for his extra hugs for my sister.

On Saturday, after spending most of the day with my sister and then getting an update from the two friends who have her medical power of attorney (it’s grim), I walked over to a Mexican restaurant and told the waiter I wanted their Grande Margarita.

“The fishbowl?” he asked.

“Yes. I’m walking, not driving.”

So he brought it. 

(Two straws seem to indicate they expect two people to be drinking it? Lightweights.) It was exactly what I needed that day—a margarita I could swim laps in.

(Just after that arrived at my table, I got this text from a friend, and I’m grateful for that, too.)

He checked on me frequently during my dinner, and when I was done with my quesadilla, there was still about half of the margarita left. I said I wanted to take it with me. He wanted to know where I was staying, and I said just across the street.

Here’s the thing—I cannot think that Arizona has any laws on the books holding a restaurant liable for anything untoward that happens to a pedestrian after they’ve drunk half a fishbowl of margarita. He just wanted to make sure I was okay. And I’m grateful for that.

(Took me three hours to finish it, but I drank it all.)

I’m also grateful for the Arizona sunrises. They are super.



Friday, February 23, 2024

It's mighty strange

A week ago, Justice Arthur Engoron released his decision on the penalties for the Kleptocrat’s civil fraud case brought by the New York Attorney General. This is for years of him and his companies systematically filing false statements of financial condition in order to receive billions of dollars in loans at favorable interest rates.

Rates he wouldn’t have got had the banks known what his true financial situation was.

Cadet Bonespurs was assessed slightly less than $355M and banned from holding any executive position at a New York-based company for three years. His two adult male spawn were fined $4M each and banned for two years. CFO Allan Weisselberg has to pony up a million and is banned for life (I think).

Here’s the deal, tho: interest for the various counts that led to the $355 Very Large has been accruing for years, because the clock starts ticking as of the time(s) of the crime(s). And New York’s interest rate for criming is a statutory 9%.

Now, the Kleptocrat and his lawyers have vowed on their mothers’ graves that they’ll appeal the decision. But if they want to do that, they have to put the full amount of the judgment ($355M for the big guy), plus the interest that’s been accruing since the teens, plus something like an extra 10% to cover the interest during the appeal period. That means, in effect, the guy who’s just been adjudged to be worth considerably less than the billions he’s touted is going to have to hawk up about half a billion dollars within 30 days—either from his own assets or paying a bonding agency. (If he can find one to take him on, since he’s been known for decades for stiffing, well, everyone.)

This is on top of the $88.3M he has to post for his appeal of the E. Jean Carroll cases and the tens of millions he’ll owe his various attorneys this year. (Last year’s legal bills topped $50M.)

So, of course, today’s earworm is Eric Clapton’s “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”.

FAFO, baby. FAFO.



Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pine bouquet

A few storms ago, a pine tree blew down on the neighboring golf course. It wasn’t on the course itself; on what’s called the rough, I think. Anyway, after a couple of days someone sawed it into chunks and it’s been there in a heap ever since.

Well, last week, after the Monday dusting of snow we got, I rather fancied that it looked like a bouquet:

And then a few days later, in different light:

They don’t seem to be in any hurry to haul it away.



Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Checking us out

I popped over to the library yesterday, to check some things out, and what should I see milling about in front but this gaggle.

I imagine they didn’t go inside because they none of them seemed to have a library card, so no point.



Tuesday, February 20, 2024


I shop at the Wegman’s in the People’s Republic even though it’s not as good as the store in Fairfax or even Dulles. It seems to have about 75% the size and inventory as those others, but it’s three miles away from my house as opposed to about 12 or 10, respectively.

I suppose that’s because it’s located on the ground floor of one of the apartment blocks that are popping up around here like fungus after a storm and therefore just has to make do. There was a big flapdoodle about where Wegman’s will build, something about needing X number of square footage for the actual facility plus about 3X for parking. Which is weird, because parking for this location is two layers of garage under the store.

To get to the upper parking level, you can take either an escalator or an elevator down. (There are no stairs. I suppose you could exit the store onto the sidewalk and then walk around to the driveway in to the garage, but that seems extreme.) The other day, the escalator was out of service, so I had to take the elevator.

I’m assuming I’m not the only person who’s unsure of which button to push to call the lift, because:


Monday, February 19, 2024

Gratitude Monday: under-performance

Weather forecast for the District They Call Columbia last week called for a winter storm Friday night. Prediction was two to four inches of snow, I think.

I do not hide that I was freaked out. Not because of the snow per se; if I don’t have to drive anywhere, I’m fine with it. Until I have to shovel my sidewalk.

But I’d volunteered to help with the setup Friday afternoon for the annual Presidents Day weekend book sale at a friend’s temple in Alexandria. Which is across Fairfax County from me in the People’s Republic. And my time slot was 1400-1600. Frankly, I was quadruple freaked out at the thought of having to drive back in DC rush hour traffic in a snow storm. Because everyone here (including me) does not know how to drive in snow.


The book sale prep didn’t take as long as expected. I was on the road before 1500 and traffic was only normally insane. Got home by 1600. Snow didn’t start until after 2200 and turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Nothing stuck to any paved surface and I was able to take my usual walk without danger of striking ice.

You have no idea how grateful I am for all of this.