Friday, June 27, 2008

Ramadan decorations?

Muskrat worries about being politically incorrect. Or insensitive. Or something.

Last night, I had an appointment to show my rental property to a 20-something medical student named Suleman. ... When he got out of the car,... he looked like the grown version of the male rapist from The Kite Runner (which I’d watched on DVD the night before). Dark skin; long and thick beard. He had an attractive Persian-looking wife with him whom I was afraid to look at, and his mother-in-law came. [snip]

When I showed him the washer/dryer combination, he mentioned to his mother-in-law that he saw similar machines in college in Pakistan. I’m thinking about how my condo is in the general area of town where several of the 9/11 hijackers took flying lessons and blew off steam at a strip club down the road right before the Big Flight, and I’m remembering the fact that I have a military license plate on the back of my car and an Air Force base sticker on my front windshield, and I’m thinking there’s no way this guy is going to become my tenant, because he hates me and thinks I’m an infidel and may well know that I’ve been to Iraq twice and deserve to live with Satan as penance.

Then I showed him the attic door and talked about its storage capacity, saying, “Yeah, I used to keep a bike up here, extra boxes, Christ-I mean-holiday decorations–or you know, seasonal stuff can fit up there, if you’re into that…like, you know, Ramadan…” ... I’m thinking I can’t believe I referenced Ramadan decorations and how they’d fit in the attic. I need to find a stationary object on which to bang my head like Dobby the house elf. I’m now positive that I’ve lost a potential customer and am picturing the protagonist in The Kite Runner getting the hell beat out of him and am wondering how I’d look with black eyes and no teeth.


I started to worry. When I ran the library of blessed memory, we tried really hard to be hip, sensitive, and with-it. This actually consisted of a fake Christmas tree, something or other giving homage to Kwanzaa, and what was described on the box as a Traditional Electric Chanukah Menorah? Were we slighting someone? What about Ramadan decorations? Are there any?

I googled "Ramadan decorations," and what do you know, there were lots of entries. One example:

Ramadan decorations, Jalan Ampang

That's a pretty big one, to be sure, as it seems to take up a whole city block. I'm sure there's simpler stuff out there.

I got to thinking about Jewish holiday decorations. Pretty modest, not to say unimaginative. I wonder why?

Perhaps it's because we Jews often had to get out of town on short notice, so we needed small portable decorations. Imagine lugging an 8-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree from Germany to England via Switzerland--those Alps! Even if it's collapsible it would be a real chore. We needed something we could stow easily into a backpack, along with a change of underwear and some precious stones. A menorah, a mezuzzah, a few candles, and you're good to go.

See, there's a reason for everything, if you really think about it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chuck and me

I now have my own Verizon guy--his name is Chuck and I have him on speed dial. Chuck is the guy who finally fixed our system so it worked. He had to replace the router, which wasn't working properly. It worked great until yesterday. Then it didn't.

So Chuck swung by and checked out the system. By that time it was back up. He showed me where everything was and how it worked--flashing lights, etc.

It's got to be easier than this--doesn't it? People who are functional illiterates operate websites with ease. They get their e-mail. They attach their cameras, scanners and printers.

Not me.

A shoe I won't be buying

It's official--you can't say anything bad about Islam

Let's hear it for freedom of speech!

A few days ago the UN decided to outlaw any criticism of Islamism – as defined by the Islamists themselves. Since they classify any criticism whatsoever of Islamist aggression as ‘Islamophobic’, this means that the UN will outlaw all such comment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It would be nice not to be crazy...

or at least any crazier than I am.

I am thinking that the only way to preserve what shreds of sanity are still clinging to me would be to give up the computer. The combination of increasing computer dependence and complete electronic ignorance is potent. Is it just me, or have I been attacked by an especially malign group of manufacturers? Verizon, for instance. Apple Computers, for another.

I was just on the phone to Apple for about an hour. During that period, they were unable to figure out how to install: 1) my Olympus digital camera; 2) my HP scanner, and 3) my Lexmark printer. I asked the customer service rep to consult her peers and call me when they had figured something out. However, Apple does not call customers. So there you have it. I got a little snippy and inquired if anyone could figure out how to make the Mighty Mouse (!) work. She wanted to know what was wrong with it. I told her using the mouse is like typing with mittens on. I asked her if buying a wireless mouse and keyboard would improve things. She didn't know.

Then the Internet connection dropped dead. Verizon couldn't figure out what was wrong. It simply would not connect.

An hour ago, I disconnected the telephone and tried to connect to the Internet. Voila!

Why not just give up? I'm beaten. The forces of American industry have crushed me into a powder. These evil capitalists with their undoubtedly obscene salaries!*

* Salaries are obscene when they are more than 10 percent more than my income.

Carnival of the Insanities is up

and it includes input from your humble correspondent.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why do people in poor neighborhoods like to walk in the middle of the street...

despite oncoming traffic? I use the word "like" because they must like it--certainly no-one is paying them to do it.

Or do they believe that their 200 lb bodies can repel two tons of steel moving at 25 miles per hour? If so, a course in high school physics is in order.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I do not come from Philadelphia!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia
 

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Midland
 
The South
 
The Inland North
 
The Northeast
 
Boston
 
The West
 
North Central
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still trying to post photos



Wow! It worked! What did I do?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've been thinking...

Do you think Barack Obama's uncle who was at the liberation of Dachau was friends with the guy who gave John Kerry his hat in Cambodia?

They served in the same army--the army of military frauds, fakers and imaginary playmates.

Oh, I forgot--John Kerry has that magical hat, doesn't he?

Quick question

from Eternity Road:

Have we actually reached the point in this country where a major party’s candidate has “I like puppies” as his entire platform, and the other has “I like America” as his entire platform? I keep hoping, you see, that I am imagining this.


This is so unfair! I have it on good authority that Sen Obama also favors raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. And motherhood and apple pie.

Sen McCain, on the other hand, loves global warming and rich people.

Happy Fourth of July!



Downloading this picture was as easy as--oh, I don't know--brain surgery?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Disillusion

After reading blogs by ardent Mac lovers, I formed the opinion that the only thing holding me back from the wonderful world of Mac was the price. But what's money to a big spender like me? So i ponied up the extra dough. Only $400 more than the Compaq, but it's a classier machine, right?

Not exactly.

What are my problems? 1. I cannot get it to recognize my printer, scanner or camera. This is tough for someone like me, who lives only to scan pictures onto the computer. I also use print my photos and use the resulting prints for my artwork, because it's difficult to persuade eight people to stand still in one position for three weeks.

Have I mentioned that the Mighty Mouse that comes with the thing is clumsy and hard to use? I believe I have.

It also doesn't have as much memory as the aforementioned Compaq. It's slower than my late lamented Dell dinosaur was.

2. The manual, which is about 3 x 3 inches square, and thin enough to use to clean out the spaces between your teeth. In other words, not helpful.

3. Online help? Fugeddiboudit.

So I went to Barnes & Noble and bought two large books titled something like "A Guide to the iMac for Stupid, slow People who don't learn very fast," and "Macintosh for Not Very Smart Retards." After getting them home, I found them not at all helpful.

So I took them back, and the store manager, assuming that I have difficulties with the English language, exchanged them for even dumber books which don't tell me anything. But they have lots of pictures. In color.

So tell me, what's so great about the Mac?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Marriage temperature

When two people live together, regardless of their previous condition, one of them is always too warm and the other always too cold. It's an unbreakable rule.

In our house, I am always warm. I like fresh air. The other inhabitant, hereinafter known as Mr Charm, is always cold and hates fresh air. He likes windows and doors closed. If he goes to bed before I do, I always find the bedroom door and windows closed and stale, hot air in the room. I immediately open windows and door and turn on the ceiling fan.

In the middle of the night he turns off the fan, closes the windows and doors, and goes back to bed.

Last night, I came upstairs to go to bed before he did. I was lying there reading with the fresh air pouring over me when he came in and went to turn off the fan. I threatened to kill him, and he turned it down to the lowest possible setting and went to bed.

In the middle of the night I turned the fan off. I thought it was sufficiently cool and did not want him to burst out in icicles all over and die of hypothermia.

In the morning, the fan was on. He admitted he "thought we might need it." and turned it on.

Why do men and women have the delusion that they could possibly live together in peace and harmony?

Using my new iMac

Last night after I went to bed I couldn't stop thinking about my new iMac and how annoying and frustrating it is. It is refusing to let me install my printer and will not let me download photos from my camera.

The absolutely worst thing is the mouse. It's clumsy, and if you can right click on anything I haven't figured out how. But basically, it's just cumbersome. Using it is like trying to draw a picture with mittens on.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Neighbors

From miriam's ideas


Johnny Virgil has some funny neighbors he blogs about: the Squattersons and the Scummersons. He posts pictures of their antics on his blog. I don't know how he gets these pix: he must have a long distance thingy on his camera.

I have neighbors who are plenty weird but I haven't the nerve to photograph their property.: They live just around the bend and I am sure would ask me what I was doing if I bring out the camera and start snapping pictures of their happy home. I call them the Cattersons, for want of a better name. The Cattersons have chosen to adorn their yard with various representations of cats in different mediums: clay, terra cotta, stone, marble, and flags with pictures of cats. None of these cats are curled up in a ball taking a nap or playing with a piece of string. None would qualify for the name of Fluffy or Cuddles. They are menacing. Gangster cats, not afraid of violence. These cats are lurking, in the shrubbery, on the steps, and amidst the annuals, ready to pounce, and if they get you, it won't be pretty.

So you see why I don't want to be caught photographing them. They're probably in the witness protection program.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Have these items on hand

Are you ready?

[W]henever Obama takes office ... it’s time to start making preparations for his ascension.

First thing we need is a good supply of Dramamine since every time Obama opens his holy throat, the earth moves. I don’t know about you but I get seasick rather easily and having the ground heaving and rolling in response to Obama’s golden tongued rhetoric, it would be too much like being on a Windjammer’s Cruise during hurricane season.

Second, we have to lay in a good supply of pepto bismal if we’re going to be reading the MSM for the next 8 years. I’ve already barfed all over my monitor more than once as a result of reading some of the encomiums that have spewed forth from formerly reputable media outlets. Think how bad it’s going to be after he wins. Jesus at the second coming would have a hard time topping the slavering devotion already shown toward Obama.

Finally, we need to buy a whole lot of whiskey – perhaps I should buy a distillery. The only way a rational human being is going to survive 8 years of doe eyed, kowtowing Obamamaniacs, mindless hero worship, self congratulatory back slapping, and the constant, excruciating, feel-good, “post partisan” unity rhetoric from the once and future messiah is to get and stay rip-roarin’, falling down, three sheets to the wind drunk.

Cheer up! It might only be four years under the--how to say this delicately--chocolate--NO! suntanned--NO!--erm, differently hued Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Housekeeping

I bellieve this is the stuff that appears on meeting agendas as Other Old Business. I was right about the router--it didn't work properly. A new one solved the problem. Meanwhile, my backup didn't work, because they "don't support the Mac." Every one in the computer business loves to say the "don't support" this or that in a maddeningly superior tone of voice, when they should be saying "I don't know how to do that because I'm too stupid."

The saddest part is that I lost my e-mail address list, and I don't remember any of the addresses. So my friends don't know how to reach me. The second saddest part is that I lost my gallery of pictures which I painstakingly scanned into the computer. I made backup discs of some, but not all, the pictures. I quite enjoyed doing it, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again. Once a philosopher, twice a pervert.

Some of my pictures have been saved to flickr, but I'm not sure I remember how to access them.

Starting tomorrow: brilliant new insights into Life and Our Society, plus new tales about family, libraries, Delaware and New Jersey.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Up?

The connection is working, I think. But my blogroll has disappeared.

The iMac is totally different.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

News flash--the iMac doesn't work either.

Okay, back to Best Buy, which should be called Only Buy because it is almost the only place to buy a computer around here. Fed up with Compaq/HP, I ponied up for a new iMac. Mr Charm and I got it up the stairs, barely. By the way, he loves the iMac. Who wouldn't?

Does it surprise anyone that it doesn't connect to the Internet? I didn't vote for Al Gore, but I'm surprised he held a grudge for so long.

I believe the problem is with the Verizon equipment, because neither the iMac nor the Compaq could connect. So I am going to call Verizon's business office bright and early on Monday morning and ask to get my DSL back. If anyone has another bright idea, please share it with me. DSL worked okay for me. I just upgraded because, well, it was there. I'm an American, that's the way I think. I believe in Progress.

There seems to be a curse on electronics in this house. Comcast never worked either, although it works for everyone else. The television reception is iffy also. Maybe I could access the Internet via my cell phone line?

Anyone with any suggestions, post them in the comments.

I really miss my e-mail. Needless to say, I can't remember my username or password.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Not up--again and still

The new computer, after failing again and again to connect to the Internet, has been returned to Best Buy. The Verizon man was here for three hours trying to get it to connect to our wireless system. Of course, they tested it and it worked. It worked for me too, sporadically, before shutting down. Before exchanging it for one that (hopefully) works, I had to listen to some condescending words from a couple of know-it-all 20 year olds. Eventually, they gave me a new one.

So now I have to purchase a handcart to get it up the stairs. I thought I had one, but it seems to have fallen down the memory hole. It will undoubtedly Turn Up.

I'm really frustrated beyond words by all this bullshit. However, the bottom line is, No Computer. The people I connect with by e-mail must think I've been wiped off the map.

Despair.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A slave to a machine

I'm back on my own computer. I haven't retrieved anything yet, and am not looking forward to dealing with HP, who supposedly have been backing up my work.

But this episode of Internet deprivation has shown me what a slave I am to a dumb piece of equipment which I do not fully understand. I can't even pay my bills. I don't knolw how much money is in my bank account. I'll find out soon enough, though.

I honestly wish I knew just what I was doing. It would probably be helpful.; but instead, I get on my horse and ride off in all directions.

In the meantime I have been using Mr Charm's computer, whicvh he would prefer to use himself. I think he's afraid I will hurt his baby.

The nice thing about the new computer is the new screen. Much more readable.

More later. Must read my blogs.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I'm not exactly back up, but I want to shoot off my mouth anyway.

I read somewhere that Steve Jobs, or was it Bill Gates, was testifying in Congress that we had to admit more technically trained foreigners because there were not enough Americans to fill these jobs. I am also reliably informed that lots of Americans are losing their jobs as the manufacturing sector tanks.


Can we put these two facts together? America, the good old US of A, has 300 million people, some of whom, in fact many of whom, need jobs. Meanwhile, we are importing foreigners from powerhouse countries like India to do the work that requires intelligence and training. On the third hand, we have a bunch of colleges deeply involved in turning out, after a decent interval--five years was the last figure I heard mentioned to get a four-year education--uneducated and illiterate persons.

What's wrong with this picture? Is the country which saved the world in World Wars I and II unable to educate enough citizens to fill highly technical positions? During WW II we turned out liberty ships in ten days because we needed to. Has the populace been inhaling toxic fumes which rob them of their wits?

Is witchcraft involved? The education system takes in bright six-year-olds, gives them six years of sensitivity training, two years of self-esteem promotion, four years of sex education, and four years of additional drivel like Carribean Lesbian Studies, and turns out dummies? Education actually dulls their wits! Yet someone in India who has never owned a pair of shoes becomes a doctor or biochemist?

Why does a Columbia graduate who also attended Harvard Law School believe that there are 57 states?