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Thread: Random thoughts...

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Don't worry, I never assumed you had it figured out, fett.

    If you don't look like fucking Elrond I'll have to cast doubt on that elf being your closest reproduction, Tocky.

    Hum, random thought: I spent a lot of today getting to know my neighbors. My cat lost her tracker collar in one of half a dozen backyards. Which means I'm running and gauging around the block with a multiband radio receiver and a beam antenna, trying to look inconspicuous when ringing out the neighbors for access to their yard. Haven't found it yet, but I'm not willing to give up because A) it costs a lot and B) I can hear it merrily beeping somewhere nearby! Argh.

    On a more positive note I bought a hula hoop for hoop dancing / exercise. This should be fun, I'm really looking forward to this.
    Last edited by Kolya; 4th Apr 2021 at 19:48.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Well... she looks like me at that age. I do still have pointed ears, not Spock pointed, but very elfin as hers are.

    I must say I'm disappointed that cat trackers are not like Alien proximity sensors.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Most pet trackers are GPS based which
    - makes them too big and heavy for cats
    - requires a SIM card and a satellite connection (which costs)
    - doesn't work very well in the city where a cat can easily slip into a cellar or whatever
    - batteries typically last 2-4 days
    On the plus side you can just watch the cat on a map if it works.

    The tracker I use is from an old CB radio guy (Wichmann) who has been building and selling these for many years from his own workshop. It's RF based, the signal goes through multiple city blocks, it's also lightweight and the battery lasts 4 years.
    On the downside you have to triangulate the signal, often taking height into account when the cat is in the building. Usually I still find it within a few minutes, but it's more difficult when it's just the collar with no cat attached.
    The collar has a stretchy part so the cat doesn't strangle itself when the collar gets caught somewhere. They can slip out of it then. And that's how they lose it sometimes.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: In my room
    Someone mentioned a Simon & Garfunkel song and I thought of my favourite one: A Poem on the Underground Wall
    And I listened to a live version of it where Art describes how they shot this cover picture for their album, leaning on an underground wall and after they made a lot of shots he realized they couldn't use any of them because on the wall "in the baroque style common to NYC subway writers was the old familiar suggestion".

    You can listen to it here and it also shows the album cover they eventually used and that he talks about.


    I knew there was another picture from that shoot where they actually do lean against a subway wall - but it has no graffiti on it.
    So I decided to change that. And I can confidently say this is the most productive I've been all day. I used actual NYC subway graffiti for this from another picture.

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    What has four letters, occasionally has twelve letters, always has six letters, but never has five letters?


    The answer is yes they do.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Just got scammed on Ebay. I've probably bought a thousand things there and this is my first true scam. I've finally lost my virginity... by a huge splintery block of wood and no KY. This was an Evel Kenievel stunt cycle.



    I was buying it for my grandsons birthday because we had them as kids and they are still cool as hell. Remember when Eric didn't get his on Christmas because Red broke it playing with it himself? At least I was smart enough to order two months in advance. I still have time to get one from a real source if I can figure out who is trustworthy. Ebay fooled me. I thought they never participated in the scams but after reading their forum I see they are complicit. What happens is a foreign scammer claiming to be a company gets an address here in the US and claims it as their "company" address. They even have an internet store site. That way they appear to be a local. Then they build up fake good reviews over the course of a year, maybe with fake local buyers who report they received items and send the money back to them keeping some small amount, and that way they seem legit. They have maybe two negatives in the course of the year with reasonably understandable mixups among a couple hundred good reviews. Then comes the month of burning. They then do nothing but scam thus destroying their good rating but raking in the bucks. I ordered right as the scamming began. Then the negatives start pouring in. Now it is nothing but negative reviews. Lots of them. Soon they will unsubcribe as an Ebay preferred seller and create another bogus company to build up reviews for a year only to scam at the end on a massive scale. I'm sure the same person does it over and over and Ebay is either too stupid or too complicit to stop it.

    They use Ebays own system to their advantage. . Sometimes they are in cahoots with the shipper known as Bluecare Express which may or may not be affiliated with Amazon. In any event they are a bogus delivery service. Sometimes they go to all the trouble of providing tracking numbers that are of actual shipped products... just months past, like my case. Sometimes they provide a tracking number and claim the item delivered when it is not. The customer is astounded it could travel the length of the country in one day only to hear them say it was handed to them when it was not. Sometimes they ship only an empty box or envelope. Then Ebay sides with them as they can show a company that can provide documentation it was delivered. Thus they refund nothing. Paypal is a harder nut to crack but the scammer can file a case with them before you do and delay repayment for as much as a month. The best solution seems to be to file a case with your credit card company. The scammer has no control on that systems process. Those cases end in a few weeks to the customers advantage from all I gather. The card company has no dog in the hunt but to keep you using their service. Ebay wants sellers to keep the fees coming in. They will not side with you.

    Live and learn. It's not even the thievery I despise. I despise that there have been these same complaints on Ebays forum for years yet they have failed to address the scam. That shows stupidity or complicity. Guess which I think it is.
    Last edited by Tocky; 24th Apr 2021 at 15:17. Reason: an and androgynous Andy who can tell what I will spell?

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    That's rough. If you're anything like me, you're kicking yourself over things you didn't heed that could have been warning signs, but even otherwise intelligent and observant people fall for scams.

    Well, you're poorer, but wiser, and in the long run the wisdom's worth more.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Screw wisdom. I want to see him do the pants on fire dance. Nothing permanent, just the hair burned off his nuts. Enough so he has trouble sitting for a week.

    There were no warning signs. His rating was good when I ordered. Now there are 23 negatives. He set it up so he could burn everyone at once and undo his account. I suppose it could be that Ebay has just not developed a strategy for dealing with this particular scam but if it is allowed to go unanswered then they will lose traffic as customers go over to Amazon for purchases as I am about to do myself. One has to be able to trust. Once that is gone there is no getting it back. Nobody goes back to the car dealer that sold them a lemon.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    Screw wisdom. I want to see him do the pants on fire dance.
    How do you know that that desire itself isn't wisdom?

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Then I've had a lot of moments of wisdom on the highway.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    Then I've had a lot of moments of wisdom on the highway.

  12. #87
    I like books.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I swear you read my mind.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I got an urge to travel over the memorial day three day weekend and planned out a route to see various things I've yet to. I figured to see Hot Springs, Arkansas and then go on over to Rich mountain and maybe ride the train they have there and then into Oklahoma Indian territory to see where those of my area had been run to on the trail of tears. If I had time I would come back by way of Fort Smith and stop at Mount Magazine for lunch at the lodge there. A bit ambitious for a three day weekend but I tend to adjust as I need to on the way.

    On the day of the trip I worked all day which for me is driving all day. I got home early and from the moment I did I had a premonition of something bad happening on the trip and wanted to just tell my wife we would call it off. Was it a wreck? Was someone going to die while we were gone? Were we going to die on the trip? She was looking forward to it so I kept silent. As we loaded our car my cat came out and lay down to watch us but when we were ready to leave he was nowhere to be seen. I called but to no avail. We had to go. I called my daughter to tell her my concern that he had never been out all night and we left. We went a new way because the Memphis bridge is damaged and only the old one open. The GPS took us through some sketchy neighborhoods but we crossed the Mississippi before dark and into Helena, Arkansas on a closer bridge near Lula.

    I had thought of staying there the evening. I even had an address for a cool old bed and breakfast but when we got there I had that bad feeling again and decided to make Brinkley on hwy 40 before stopping. I didn't even mention stopping to my wife. The landscape is desolate flat farm land with sparse few houses between many miles separation. We found an oldies station that played sixties B sides and stuff I had long forgotten. We sang and my spirits lifted. We made Brinkley fine staying at an over priced Motel 6.

    The next morning we hit the road early after a great breakfast and things seemed to be going well. A call from my daughter let me know our cat was okay and had met her at the door for feeding which was a relief. We pulled off to use a bathroom and on the way back out the GPS wanted me to take an exit so I did though I was grumbling it felt like the wrong direction. It was. Bastard took me ten miles back the way we had come. Oh I was bitching, mostly because I knew it was wrong and got locked into the four lane with no exit anyway. Okay so maybe that was the thing going to happen. It wasn't so bad. Only cost us some time.

    We went through Little Rock fine. The only thing a GPS is good for is letting you know which interstate split to take. We hit Hot Springs and I liked it immediately. Lots of buildings with rococo twenties architecture and a pleasure to walk along the streets with live musicians playing and an old bath house museum to explore. Lots of cool pics of things I put on facebook. We went to the tower overlooking the city and you can see damn near both ends of the state there. I was disappointed we could not stay at the Arlington as they were booked. I hadn't known how beautiful it was and for a mere fifty more than a motel 6? Oh well. We had drinks on their patio and then went to Josephine Tussauds wax museum across the way who is the great great granddaughter of Madame Tussaud of more famous acclaim that I've also been to. It was fun. The horror part my favorite of course.

    Then we left town figuring to make Rich Mountain sometime after dark. Everything was going fine. Then I began to get that bad feeling again. Was it Rich Mountain? Was something bad waiting there? We passed an antique store and decided to turn back and check it out. I suddenly got a bad feeling about that after I had though. I passed it off as just a lingering feeling about Rich Mountain.

    My wife found some plates there of pink glass she wanted for our granddaughters hope chest. I put the money for them on the counter and looked up to see my wife's sense of direction was taking her the opposite of where she had seen them so I gestured with my wallet to go the other way before deciding to go get them myself. On the way I stuck my wallet in a side pants pocket and yanked the zipper up haphazardly. I had to tote them to the counter and then to the car. You see it don't you? I didn't until I was five miles down the road. I reached for my wallet in sudden realization. It wasn't there. I pulled over and searched the car. No dice. We turned around and hurried back to the store. No dice. I'm certain it fell out there or on the way to our car but someone saw it before we could get back to it. Eight hundred was just too much temptation.

    It ended our trip. I called to cancel my cards. We always put back a few hundred in case of emergencies in our car so we weren't in too deep a pile of crap. My wife had wanted to put back more this time. Her own premonition I suppose. It would mean getting a new drivers license and other minor inconveniences but after the frantic search I accepted it was just gone. It's money, it comes and goes. I regretted not spending more of it before it went but really, deep down I was relieved we hadn't gone on to Rich Mountain. It had been an excellent time so far but something about that place scared me. I was happy to be heading home. We can always go there some other time. On the way the GPS tried to get me to take a side road instead of the interstate. I turned it off. Fuck that thing.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I have a birthday this month. I will be sixty. Some days I feel it. I still do the same stuff. I just get intimations of my mortality. My mom lives over the hill from me. It's why we chose this place so long ago. My daughter could go visit any time growing up. But on the way over it with some cinder blocks in a wheelbarrow my heart did the flutter thing again. I had to stop in the shade of various trees to wait for it to quit. The Mississippi heat doesn't help. It feels like bubbling. I don't tell anyone.

    Plumbing is like a tooth cavity. Get to fixing it early. If you don't it's a mess. She didn't. The only way I knew was the softness of the floor in front of the kitchen sink. I couldn't have her trip at her age. It was more than I figured on. Under her sink, which is an old heavy fifties porcelain thing, there had been a leak in the drain for some time. You couldn't tell because of all the other stuff under there. In addition to sundry vases and jars there must have been thirty or so rolls of garbage bags. All of it was water logged and the most awful decaying mess you don't want to touch but have to. My brother who lives with her could have at least noticed and let me know but he is useless about anything handyman. It's amazing what he can ignore.

    All of it had to go. The sink, counter, faucets that my brother had damaged in his drunkenness, floor, and pipes. Even faucet connections were hard water damaged at the connections. Everything was damaged in some way. I bought an aluminum sink, countertop, cabinet setup, the works. I replaced the old boards with treated plywood. I replaced the joists with treated two by eights, I had to dig dirt and chop roots from the foundation to adjust for the sinking conventional foundation and place a cinderblock set underneath for support as well as crossmembers, it was an awful job. At first I tried to get my brother to help but I gave up. I just wish I hadn't had to hear all his moaning about his back as he sat watching a ball game while I had to push on my knees to stand up after working bent over.

    I remember when Dad built that room. He did it by himself and never complained. Oh he cursed some. Carpentry and cursing just go hand in hand. Here I am complaining. I figure I only have another ten or fifteen years. I haven't treated my body well. Was that what I was supposed to learn this time around? To be jovial and accepting? Well that ain't fucking happening.

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    My granddaughter Aubrey got her first commission today! She had painted a picture of our dog in watercolor and someone on Facebook saw it and wanted her to paint their cat. My daughter has been been painting peoples animals on commission for quite a while now and is making good money at it but this is the first time for my ten year old granddaughter. It's not high art but it's pretty cool and I'll take any happy news I can get. She isn't half bad at it. The one she did of our dog is very recognizably our dog. It's nice to know something of yourself is passed down to the next generation. And then the next.

    Tell me something that made you happy today.

  17. #92
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Tocky, that is really cool. My wife and I have paintings/portraits of all out cats over the last 4 decades. 2 are still alive. Your grand daughter is doing a great service.

    Sometime happy? My dad sorted out his Uber account afte4r letting it lapse for years and changing his phone #, then having a stroke and not being able to drive... He can now get around with Uber if needed. He figured out the phone change without my direction. Praise the Lord. I'm 1500KM away and cannot easily take him to the Doc.

    I also sorted out a bit of kit on my Matchless G12.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I'm glad to hear that, bjack. I'm sure that is a load off your mind.

    While the electric company were cutting limbs away from the line at my moms they cut the line instead. Electricity was out for two hours. I got a message on my phone from her life alarm and it alarmed me. I called them and they said never mind it was the electricity problem. When I talked to mom I found out three ambulances had shown up to her house. It's good to know it works so well but I hope they don't charge her for that.

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I reread The Willows by Algernon Blackwood today. It's a short read and best done in one sitting. I lay in my hammock with just enough breeze to keep mosquitoes off and read without interruption. This was the third time. The first was when I was about 15. I thought it a bit boring then. No monsters or shambling dead. Just two guys in a canoe who stop amid some willow islands on the Danube river. Most of it is simply in the heads of the two characters. Not all though. And that not all is what tests their sanity. The second time I was in my thirties and hadn't even recalled I had read it. Someone on PBS station said it was the most terrifying read they had ever had so I bought a book of his stories and read them. It meant more to me then. Horror is more in the mind and by that time I understood that.

    This time it got me thinking about the time those limbs broke around me in the woods and that odd feeling wove itself into the story. I thought of all the times I tried to rationalize what happened just like the main character of Mr. Blackwood's story. The few truly bizarre things which have happened to me I have always tried to laugh off or find excuses for. Often both. And I still do. That is why this story is so disquieting for me. It occurred to me that perhaps having read this story early in life that my mind even made up my own version of it a few times. I know this isn't true but my mind wants to think so because it sounds rational. At any rate, it is interesting to hear someone talk to themselves the way that I myself have done. Even knowing it is a made up story it makes me feel not so alone and not so insane to have had strange experiences somehow.

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