"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

About to comment here for the very first time?
Check Where'd my Comment go?!!! to avoid losing it.
-

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Be still, my heart. :-)

... Notice from Social Security.

This year (2016), it didn't increase by a single penny, staying at the level it was the year before.

NOW, it  "... will increase by 0.3% in 2017 because of a rise in the cost of living.".

(Not THREE percent, but THREE TENTHS of a percent.)

Now, in truth, it does NOT actually say that the cost of living rose only 0.3%, BUT, that sure SEEMS to be the implication.

I have NO idea what planet they are thinking of, but it damned sure isn't the one we're living on.

Obviously, THIS is a VENT.  :(

-

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

TRUMP ... UPDATED 02 DEC 2016


From ibtimes.co.uk

At first, I didn't take him seriously.

But, the more I actually listened to HIM (rather that what other people were SAYING about him), the more I liked and RESPECTED him.

He's NOT an ideologue. What I saw was a business man, passionate about making things WORK. In THAT regard, he reminded me of Reagan. I soon found myself solidly in his corner.

Last night (08 NOV 2016), I hit the sack just before midnight, very worried because he was not quite there yet.

Around 0130, I woke up, got up, and checked ABC News' website, just in time to see Trump's electoral vote totals go past the 270 needed for victory. Just ten minutes later came the announcement that Hillary had called Trump, to concede.

With the knots in my stomach finally loosening, I felt better than I have in a loooong time.

After EIGHT SOLID YEARS of varying degrees of despair, I now actually have HOPE for the future of this country.

Trump will have a LOT on his plate when he takes office in January.

We shall see, But at the moment I stand with my feeling about who he reminded me of. I truly believe that we have managed to find, and elect, ANOTHER REAGAN.

And I am just FINE with THAT.  :-)

UPDATE 02 DEC 2016 - A letter from Ed, posted in Jerry Pournelle's post  https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/em-drive-speed-of-light-and-other-science/ made THESE points ...
"I think most observers don’t get that when you base your decisions on values, you make decisions this way. You try one thing on for size – it doesn’t fit, so you toss it away and try on something else, something different. Eventually you zero in on what you want. This is not ideology-based or strategy-based decision making. This is making decisions based on values."

"The problem with ideology-base decision-making is that they make as many mistakes but they don’t correct them. We had many years of not correcting mistakes.  I like Trump’s way."


That perfectly describes what I meant about Trump not being an ideologue. and why I feel such hope with him in charge.
-

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Abyss ... - UPDATE - 20 SEP 2016

... to be close enough to gaze down into it, without leaning forward, is NOT a  good feeling.



It's been awhile since I posted anything new on this blog. I've got a LOT on my plate, financially.

You may have noticed that I've just restored the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page. I've had that button up a couple of times before.

In mid 2013, I tripped and fell in my apartment, catching my right arm on a table and broke the humerus bone near my shoulder. That cost me two months of lost work (and the pay), and loaded  me with about $6,000.00 worth of hospital bills that I paid on, a little bit at a time.

In early 2015, my car began experiencing major problems, rendering it undriveable, and I had to walk (with difficulty because of lower back pain) and ride the bus. I was planning on using an expected tax refund to get it fixed. BUT, on the Memorial Day weekend, I slipped in some mud at a bus stop, fell HARD, and fractured my right ankle and tibia. ANOTHER lost couple of months and several  thousands of dollars MORE in hospital bills.

My income is early retirement Social Security (which did NOT increase a single penny this year), and the meager earnings as a part-time grocery cashier. I'm getting FEWER hours because my age and pain makes it almost impossible to keep up with other cashiers maybe a third my age. This affects my productivity, which in turn affects how many hours I get scheduled.  Consequently, my income is going DOWN, while everything else is going UP.

I used to say that I bleed financially when I get fewer than 20 hours per week. Now, 25 is a more
accurate figure.

The bleedind has reached a CRISIS point, where, in a few weeks, I  may have to refrain payments on
some of my accounts, at which point things will REALLY HIT THE FAN.

I think the sanest option for me is to clear the decks with Chapter 7. I have an absolutely CRUSHING  load of credit card debt, built up over YEARS, and it is literally KILLING me. Disposing of it will NOT put me into LUXURY, but elimination of interest payments on those accounts will at least permit me to LIVE.

I figure it will take me about a month to get ready to file (LOTS to do, including the MOTHER OF ALL PAPERWORK).

From what I've researched, the lawyer fees, and filing fees could run somewhere from twelve to
fifteen hundred dollars. I'm damn near BROKE at present. And, I suspect that an attorney who
doesn't insist on HIS fee up front is probably NOT someone you would trust with this.

SO, I've restored that button (PayPal) in hope of help. Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net

I'm NOT really expecting much; I know most of you have problems of your own.

But, if you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

I'm asking for donations to help me go bamkrupt.

If THAT doesn't redefine IRONY, I don't know WHAT will.  :-)

UPDATE - 1750 CDT 20 SEP 2016 - Well, it's been two weeks now, and my plea for help has resulted in three donation; two via PayPal and one very nice check. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere NEAR ready to deal with the fees for Chapter 7.

To JP, MM, and AK: Your donations have pushed doomsday  a couple of months further down the road, and my gratitude is inexpressible.

Thank you.
-

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"NEVER tell a soldier ... (Updated 28 JUN 2016)

... that he does not know the cost of war."
~Alan Rickman as Lt. General Frank Benson in Eye in the Sky (2015)




One of the official trailers on youtube

Caught this yesterday (26 APR 2016), mainly because it starred Helen Mirren (I'd watch almost anything with her in it), and discovered that her co-star was Alan Rickman (in his last performance before his death from pancreatic cancer on 14 JAN 2016 --- see "... and call off Christmas!!!" )

He picked a fine movie to go out on; a wonderful performance in a truly intelligent film.  He will be truly missed

The questions raised in this movie just don't have any good answers.  It will probably be gone from theaters in another week ot two, but I've seen a July 28 release date for DVD and Blu-Ray.

Update 28 JUN 2016:  That release date above was wrong. It's being released June 28 - TODAY.

-

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"... and call off Christmas!!!" - (R.I.P. Alan Rickman - 14 JAN 2016)

There actually was something really good in Kevin Costner's  Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

That something was Alan Rickman, as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In a previous post, I kinda dumped on The Syfy Channel a bit, for the inclusion of distinctly non-science fiction items in its lineup, including that movie.

(In a conversation with a clerk at Barnes & Noble, I learned that a writer, asking one of the people running The Syfy Channel about why they had changed their name from The "Sci-Fi Channel", was told that "Sci-Fi" is considered shorthand for "Science-Fiction", implying that would be the content;  whereas "Syfy" is in fact just a totally meaningless bit of noise, and gives them license to schedule whatever they wish.  Okay ... )

Back to Alan then.

Of all the people in this movie, he alone appears to be actually having fun, being so deliciously nasty.

After the Sheriff  has said he'll cut out Robin Hood's  heart with a spoon ...
Guy of Gisborne: "Why a spoon, cousin?  Why not an axe?"
Sheriff: "Because it's DULL, you twit.  It'll hurt more."
(Said with a sneer that only Alan Rickman can manage; he has an absolute lock on that.)

Sheriff: (to a wench"You.  My room.  10:30 tonight."
Sheriff: (to another wench"You.  10:45 ... And bring a friend."

Upon hearing from a scribe about the relationship Robin Hood has with the people...
Sheriff: "Just a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public,  -- and they love him for it?"
The scribe nods.
Sheriff: "That's it then.  Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings,  -- and call off Christmas!!!"

One thing I'll always wonder: Was that last parting shot scripted?
Or, was Rickman on a roll at that time and he just ad-libbed it?

At times, he seems to be in an entirely different movie than the rest of the cast is, and almost succeeds in making this bloated epic truly watchable.  Unfortunately, as with Ian McShane in the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, he can't do the job all by himself

What put him on the map was his role as Hans Gruber (one of the all-time great villains) in Die Hard  (1988), opposite Bruce Willis...

Problem with getting on the map that way is the danger of typecasting.  In Quigly Down Under  (1990), opposite Tom Selleck, he played a villain with a mustache almost fit for twirling.  He seemed to be at the top of any list for playing a back-stabbing, conniving SOB, and got quite a bit of work as such.

But, that's not the only side to him.  Right after "Quigly", he appeared in Truly Madly Deeply (1990), wherein he was a ghost hanging around his girlfriend who really needed to get on with her life, but found it a bit difficult with him and his ghost friends around all the time, watching videos (what else do you do with all that time in the afterlife?)  It was a sweet, warm role totally unexpected for the guy who played Hans Gruber.

His latest work has been as Professor Severus Snape, the "Darth Vader" of the Harry Potter series...

He's actually the most tragic figure in the story, very multi-layered (Yes!  I'm quite aware that I use that phrase a lot;  I'm drawn to characters that rate it).  Rickman succeeds in the challenge of taking a character you've learned to hate, and making you almost weep for him near the end of the last movie.

What can I say?  The man is simply so damned good.
-
UPDATE Thursday, 14 JAN 2016:  I've just learned that Alan Rickman has left us today...  

...  FAR TOO SOON.  Rest in peace, Sir.  :-(

frown emoticon(Originally published 2102 CST 08 AUG 2011)
-

Followers

Stat Counter