Dec 262016

I was driving in a four-lane (two in each direction) boulevard, in the left lane, preparatory to turning left onto I75, In front of me was a bald guy on a Harley, I think a “Lowboy”, if I understand the designation correctly. I had been in his vicinity for about 20 minutes, and I had been thinking that, by his behaviour, he was a novice rider.

Image result for bald harley motorcyclistHe was now exhibiting another such behaviour, by riding on the yellow line, all the way to the left, almost on the shoulder. My own motorcycling philosophy is to ride in the middle of the lane in traffic; pretend I am a car. Besides, the lines are slippery when wet, so making a habit of avoiding them is a good thing.

Anyway, he was going slower and slower —  something that he had been doing before — the traffic light ahead is red, maybe he’s not confident about stopping? or about taking off? But it’s still about 300 yards ahead, clear road, and it’s going to turn green any second.

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 Posted by at 2:30 pm
Dec 252016

Jenna and I went out for Christmas Eve dinner at Ruth’s Chris, pretty decent steakhouse, if a bit on the expensive side. We were given one of those tables for two that they reserve for times when they are very busy — they have a long upholstered bench along a low wall, one person sits on the bench, one sits on a chair. In these situations, Jenna always sits on the bench, she likes to look at the other diners, and I sit on the chair, I like to look at her.Image result for ruth's chris

This time there was a problem. The couple next to us, we presumed man and wife (not so, we quickly discovered) were sitting next to each other on the bench, with her handbag next to him, more or less halfway into the space that Jenna would have liked to occupy. After a short conversation, he moved the handbag, Jenna squeezed past, and now I was looking three people in a row: my lovely wife, a large, loud, balding Stranger, and his bemused companion.

“I bet you like the Beatles!” he bellows at his companion. OK. This is more or less a first date. They are not married. Their relationship is quite new. Just germinating, you might say.
“Yes, I do. How did you know that?”
“I have a PhD in People!” he roars.

He’s already bored with her and starts a conversation with the couple on his other side, an older couple. They start the usual snowbird routine.

“Where are you from?”
“I’m from St Louis, Missouri”, he announces. “I love it there. Have a house there. I come to Sarasota in winter. I stay in her house.”  Gestures with his thumb. She looks at him with the expression of a high school cheerleader who has just wandered into a lecture on quantum mechanics when she was expecting Home Economics.
“I bet you’re from Philadelphia!” announces our Stranger.
“Why, yes, I am. How did you know that?”
“I have a PhD in People!” he shouts.

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 Posted by at 11:21 am
May 112014

An Open Letter to Netflix:

Dear Netflix

On Saturday, I received a DVD from you — something that I always look forward to with great expectation. This was: Inspector Lewis: Series 2: Disc 1. Even better!

With great excitement, I loaded it into my DVD player. Loading, loading, loading….it was not loading. Something wrong. Drat. Wait… Let my try it in my PC’s DVD drive…

It spins up — almost came alive — then… CRACK! Like a pistol shot. Grinding noises. Tinkling sounds. Grinding noises get worse.

I open the DVD tray. It opens halfway, then I am able to retrieve a fragment of the precious DVD.

Shut down the computer. Remove the DVD player. Open it up, which is a lot harder than it sounds. All the fragments of Inspector Lewis tumble out on the towel that I had the foresight to spread.

I have heard of defragmentation, but...

I have heard of defragmentation, but…

I carefully pick out every last fragment from the DVD player, and reassemble it. (The DVD player, not the DVD. That would be impossible.) This is a lot harder than taking it apart. Eventually I have it all together, except for one screw. I find it on the floor after a short search, and replace it. Then I toss the DVD player in the garbage.

The previous paragraph really has nothing to do with Netflix, it’s just to give you some idea of what kind of person I am.

My question now is: Do you want me to mail the fragments back to you in the envelope you supplied? I am concerned that your automated systems may be damaged by these shards of plastic.

 Posted by at 7:22 pm