Thursday, March 9, 2017

They're Baaack!!!

Wegman's supermarket is suddenly full of Easter candy, with Peeps in all sorts of configurations -- surely there were not this many variations in earlier years?  For my birthday I received a pack of three large orange ones "DIPPED in decadent orange fudge" and trust me -- there's a reason we never heard of decadent orange fudge before.  Possibly the worst candy ever devised.  The remaining packet is up on the counter where visiting teenagers will absently browse on anything in sight.
And thank heaven, I also received some decent old-fashioned run-of-the-mill Peeps -- they were even the yellow ones.  I stabbed their cellophane and practiced restraint till they seasoned properly, and I can't show you a picture because they're all gone.
But the exciting news at Wegmans is that the Cadbury creme eggs are finally back -- been waiting months for them.  Sugar sugar sugar in its most delightful configuration. 
So Dannie, here's this year's very first effort.  I know -- the red is a bit torn down there next to the chick, but I couldn't help that -- the creme had oozed a bit and it was stuck to the chocolate there.
 I promise I'll practice diligently -- will try to do better right through to Easter.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Visa Secret Revealed

Just got my Visa bill, realized I didn't make a payment in January. 
 So I called the phone number, finally got to say "representative", which brought up a  live person -- her name was Tiffany so we know she was young --
 "What can I do for you?"
 "Well, I always pay my bill promptly, but it looks like I forgot in January.  There's a late fee and interest here.  Do I really have to pay them?"
"No ma'am you certainly don't.  I'll take those off right now."

I think (never sure about anything these days) that They are legally (?) required by law to give you one free slip-up a year or something like that. 
I post this information as a public service.
You're welcome.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Na Zdorovie!!

 I still read the obits every morning, and I always check the first words
 "died peacefully in her sleep"--
 (how do they know it wasn't terrifying?) 
 Sometimes it's "at home surrounded by his loved ones"
(a consummation devoutly to be wished, btw ..)
 And then yesterday this one... If you can't read it on your cell phone, I expect there's some way you can enlarge it.  
 anyhow, it starts --" Rochester:  (1947-2017) Released to the next adventure ..."  That birth date is an alert right there -- he was in his teens through much of the 1960s.  It was an exciting time to be a teenager but a pretty hard time to be a parent --trust me, I was there.
  Between them our boys drove Abbie Hoffman, marched on Washington with MLK,  hitch-hiked to the moonshot and heard Arlo Guthrie at the Newport Festival, registered for the draft and debated fleeing to New Zealand or Canada -- and then they turned middle-aged with good marriages and respectable careers. 
 I was curious to read what became of Charles, but judging from this obit, he was a living fossil -- true to his era right to the end.  Anyhow, what I started out to tell you is that someone thought it worth including in his obituary that he
YES!  Our Dov went to Woodstock (driving his friends in our station wagon after dawn because his junior license didn't allow driving at night)  And YES! he'd PURCHASED A TICKET, only to find that as Woodstock developed, the fences were thrown down and the gates opened.
Na Zdorovie!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Here's a First!

Could it have been half a century ago that Anna made paint-by-number portraits of The Beatles?
 I guess if you live long enough (and I have) what goes around comes around.
At any rate, here's what the magazine from Cornell Ornithology looked like in the mailbox yesterday --
and when the outside cover was removed -- 
So I'm curious -- is this indeed a first, or has anyone already received a magazine with this kind of embellishment for your coloring pleasure?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Balanced -- and a Bargain!

      As a public service, today's post is all about a perfectly balanced bargain meal --and  one that can be eaten without having to leave the driver's seat.  For your reading pleasure I append a McDonald's check and here's your script:
      First, you drive up and order a "small cheeseburger".  Right there is your dairy and your protein. 
     Then you ask for a "senior coke".  (I know, I know, but I need the caffeine these days and I don't drink coffee.)
Besides, I want to alert those of a respectable age -- did you know you can get a full-size drink for 79 cents?... or even 69 cents? (read on)  You just have to ask.
    Then, because the chopped onions on that cheeseburger don't really provide enough fruit-and-vegetable component -- and because I've eliminated the pickle and the ketchup, which you may remember Reagan (was it?) classified as a school lunch vegetable...'s prudent to end the meal with a hot apple pie.
   Yes, this nicely balanced meal can be had for just three dollars,
   If you go to store #32511 instead of store # 4789, you save a penny on the cheeseburger, the coke is ten cents less, the pie is a real bargain and the tax becomes only twenty cents.  

  A third MacDonald's had even different pricing, but I can't seem to find the check.  At any rate -- here's your well-balanced meal for

       We're Lovin It!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bigger than the Carnegie Deli

After at least a decade I still remember the address of the Carnegie Deli -- 56th street between 5th and 6th.
Last time we were there, Norm wanted to buy a half-pound of pastrami to take home-- and the guy behind the counter said "It's cheaper if you just order a sandwich."
So we took a sandwich home.
Just as well he isn't here
to know it's not.
Meanwhile --

Monday, January 9, 2017

Holiday Leftovers

 It's way below freezing out today. 
 Way past noon.  I'm still in furry slippers and cozy bathrobe, with every intention of staying that way till bedtime. 
The house is pretty well back to normal after the Holidays and the family Visitors, with just a couple of leftover mysteries:
Whose is the red apron?  I suspect Maria.
And who left the impressive paperback Hamlet and Oedipus?
Julie just finished a course that involved Greek drama, so I suspect her, but yet -- look at the price in the northeast corner of that cover:
 -- that's got to be a generation or two earlier.  Maybe Julie got it while they were visiting Anna, who has a nice collection of drama stuff from her Equity days.
But anyhow -- the big mystery is
 What Ever Happened to the Bathmat That Got Soaked When the Fancy Shower Leaked?
I have looked high and low. 
Come to think of it, that's a figure of speech. 
I can no longer look either  High or Low.
                        Any information will be appreciated.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Plus ca change le meme chose. 

In the day-by-day emails of the greatest diary ever written, we're up to December 1663 now, and Sam Pepys writes that in the Coffeehouse the discussion was about

"the great evil of discouraging our natural manufacture of England ... by suffering the Swede to bring in three times more than ever they did and our owne Ironworks be lost..."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Life Before Google

Reading those old DOS journals, I find this. 
Kids, here's what life was like Before Google.
                  July 8, 1993
Anna r. on TV 1990s
  Anna opens at the theatre in New Hope,Pennsylvania tonight.  Bet it's hot as hell down there. [Must have been before we air-conditioned the house.]  She plays a psychologist who counsels a talking dog, so of course we want to send flowers.
  I look for the name of the theatre in the flyer she sent us.  It isn't there, but she's at the New Hope Performing Arts Festival.  
  I get out the atlas.  New Hope is near Philadelphia. 
  Buster sits on the atlas.
Buster visiting bathtub
  I check the phone book.  There are 12 area codes for Pennsylvania. 
  I remove Buster from the phone book. Philadelphia's area code is 215.
  Theatres usually have the phone numbers of florists handy, so I call Philadelphia information at 1-215-555-1212 and ask for the phone number of the New Hope Performing Arts Festival.It's 215-862-5880.
  I call 215-862-5880.  I get a tape reminding me that the play opens tonight.
  I call Information again.  They can't look up a number without the name of the florist.  I explain my quest.  They find the New Hope Flower Shop, 215-862-3169.
  I call 215-862-3169.  I get a crackling noise. 
  I think perhaps it's because Buster walked on the phone.
  I call it again.  I get a crackling noise.
     I call it a third time.  I get a dial tone.
  I call the operator and explain my problem.  She calls the number.  She gets a busy signal ­and­ a crackling noise. She tries again, and says it's out of order.
  I call Philadelphia information. They can't read the yellow pages but they'll transfer me to the service people who can.
   The service people find a number in the yellow pages for Tiffany's Florist, 215-862-1200.
  I call 215-862-1200.  "The number you have called, 862-1200, has been disconnected.  Repeat:  the number you called..."
   I consider Flowers by Wire.  But if I can't get through, how could they?  And how would I know in time if they failed?
 I call Philadelphia information and ask to be transferred to a service person.  No, not about a faulty line.  No, not about new service. I want the people who can read the yellow pages.  Reprovingly:   "That is just a courtesy we provide...I'll switch you over."  I get a dial tone.
  I call Philadelphia information again asking for the yellow pages service.  "Certainly, I'll connect you."
  I get a dial tone.
  I call again, pleading not to be cut off.  "Yes, I'll stay with you until you're transferred, but I'll put you on hold, don't get worried."
  I get a silent line.
  I get the yellow pages people!!
  I ask "Have you got time to hear my problem?"  "Yes, if it's not too long."  I summarize the morning so far.  I ask if there's a newspaper in New Hope.  "I can read the yellow pages for you, but there is a service center in New Hope.  Would you like that?" 
 That would be great, perfect. 
 Buster sits on the page I'm taking notes on.
  I call the New Hope center at 215-862-5880.  It's busy.  I put my automatic re-dialer on and it calls every 30 seconds for ten minutes.  Still busy.
  I try the automatic re-dial for another ten minutes.  I decide everything in New Hope has been washed out by a heat wave.
  So much time has elapsed that perhaps the box office is open, so I call the theatre again.  A tape reminds me that the play opens
  I call Philadelphia information.  I'm put right through to the yellow pages.  This time I get all the rest of the New Hope florists: the Pod Shop and Boxwood Gardens.
  Boxwood Gardens sounds like a garden store, so I call the Pod Shop at 215-862-2037.  A young woman answers immediately.  Roses are $60 a dozen.  We settle on assorted summer flowers.  I mention my morning's adventures. She laughs and says "We're all the same florist anyhow."
  Break a leg, Anna!
Watching Cat TV with Norm

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Appreciate it!

These days when I see someone hurrying in to the post office I stoop harder over the rollator and bite my tongue not to call after them -- "Do you appreciate the fact that you're walking?  Be sure to realize that you can walk!"
   It seems such a counter-intuitive thing -- all that height, that weight, that muscle, balanced on two small feet.  Yet babies pull themselves up almost automatically -- and what a triumphant look the first time they achieve it! 
   You can see by the spots on the knees and the toes of those white shoes that up until then he'd been crawling -- this was in my in-law's living-room in Montreal.  Fine moment.  

So anyhow -- my other son showed me how to access those DOS journals I kept on floppy disks after 1983 ('moved the typewriter off the desk today')  and I am delighted to find this entry in July of 1990:

Sometimes when I'm walking I am very conscious of the fact that I'm walking.  I can walk!  If I can't in the future, I'll never have to say "I should have appreciated it while I could..." because I do appreciate it. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Couldn't Be Beat

Last week's festivities -- 29 here for a fine feast, some who came spur-of-the-moment from London, woodfire burning constantly, and we used up five bags of marshmallows.  I did nothing but sit around while the people I still think of as The Kids did everything including the list-making.
               This picture was taken before all the homemade pies arrived. 
We had plenty of drama all week:
The garage door opener wouldn't shut. 
The microwave fan wouldn't go off.  
The disposal wouldn't dispose -- Avi said we wouldn't need a plumber, that when the eye surgeon arrived for Thanksgiving dinner he'd take the pipe apart and fix it -- and that's exactly what happened. 
This general dissolution was evidently contagious -- our overflow who stayed at a nearby b&b came back to borrow a plunger at one point.
We had an 89-year spread of ages -- great-granddaughter Athena spent most of her time in a big carton, obligingly left in the living-room by the applance guy.  Grandsons Nathan and Aaron each chose sets of Jane Austen from The Collection.  The London contingent furnished two young boys who kept the mini pinball machine in pretty constant use.  I have fine pictures of all these goings-on, forwarded from various attendees, but they just won't transfer to this screen.  That's why this post is so late -- I've been trying, giving up in frustration and then trying again the next day.
So I'll just tell you a bit about what I've been doing since:

I forgot to mention -- the washing machine stopped washing also -- and this during a  week involving one way and another nine house guests including a toddler.  I ordered a new washer, asking for the simplest replacement, but this new control panel seems to offer 42 choices ...  I was reduced to reading the manual. 
All's well that ends well.  For your viewing pleasure, here's a Before and After of every bath towel I own.  That bottle in Before is an unopened Beaujolais left from The Feast.  I'm not a drinker, and all I know about wine is that Beaujolais doesn't keep -- it's supposed to be drunk promptly.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

London Lease

 My friend Ben has moved to London, where he's rented a house for his family.  It seems their landlady could not take two pet hens to her retirement residence, and of course Ben's boys clamored for him to keep them.  But, he asked,  would he be responsible if a hawk got one of them? So the Land Agent or whatever they call it there wrote a 49th provision into the lease:
49.1 The Landlord gives consent to the Tenant to keep the Landlord’s two chickens and coup in the garden. In consideration of this the Tenant must ensure that these chickens do not cause any difficulty or damage or nuisance either to the Premises and or the fixtures or fittings or to any neighbour. If that should occur the Landlord and/or the Landlords Agent reserves the right to terminate this consent and to require that these pets leave the Premises immediately.
 49.2 The Tenant agrees to remove all mess from the garden or other outside areas of the Premises both during the Tenancy, particularly prior to any visit from the gardener, and prior
to the end or earlier termination of the Tenancy.
 49.3 For the avoidance of doubt the chickens and their eggs will belong to the Tenant and the Tenant will be responsible for any costs associated with the keeping of the chickens.
 49.4 The Tenant agrees to return the land at the end of the Tenancy in the same condition as stated in the inventory and schedule of condition at the commencement of the Tenancy unless the Landlord gives written confirmation he would like to retain any additions or
changes that the Tenant has made, with no compensation payable to the Tenant at the end or earlier termination of the tenancy.
 49.5 The Landlord shall have no responsibility or liability for any claims whatsoever (including 3rd party claims) arising from the condition of the fields or fences due to any chickens being
kept by the tenant.
 49.6 It is further agreed that in the event any of the chickens shall die then the landlord will not be responsible for replacing or compensating the tenant for such loss.
I'm not sure what 49.4 has to do with chickens, but it's pretty much  what I used to teach in those real estate courses.  Just the same, if I had been on the Premises I would have given Ben the usual advice: have your own solicitor look the lease over before you sign.
I don't know what the other 48 provisions of that lease were, but in the Chickens section I still don't see any answer to the original question:  Is Ben responsible if one of the hens dies?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Rains Came

P. S. to yesterday's post -- a friend sends me pictures she took after dark in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Restores Your Faith

     I've just spent  a wonderful afternoon. Three hours in Mt. Hope Cemetery here, never had to get out of the car, spoke to lots of people. 
     My opening gambit out the car window was  "I cast my first vote for Harry S Truman"* and everyone wanted to talk. When I told one man I had nearly voted, in 1948, for the third party candidate whose name I'd forgotten but he had been Secretary of Agriculture, the response was "Henry Wallace, I'm just reading a book about him."  That kind of afternoon, that kind of crowd.
     The older Victorian section of the cemetery is all glacial mounds and dips, big old trees, wonderful fall colors.  Wish I'd taken the camera.   And --
     an amazing spontaneous gathering, thousands of people in a two-hour waiting line carrying flowers, flags, little girls and "I VOTED" stickers to the modest gravestone of Susan B. Anthony, the suffragette leader who went on trial in 1872 because she had registered and voted. 
       I believe the web site Anna sent is a morning feed,

but when I left the cemetery gates at 6pm, more cars were  pulling in.  The city? the cemetery? someone? was firing up floodlights at the grave site, and folks were getting flashlights out of their cars. 
       After all the stress of the past few months, I'd pretty much forgotten there could still exist so many patient smiling happy people. 
        It was wonderful.          

.*No period after the S, it was "S for nothing."

No cell phones, no tv, no portable radios, no computers, no results

      You had to be 21 to vote in those days, and I was already married, living in Penn Yan in our honeymoon cottage on North Main Street (rent $50 a month, but Norm would later risk going into business for himself and by the time Avi was born we had moved to an unheated still-after-the-war- rent-controlled-$18.75-a month apartment also on North Main Street)-- but I digress.
      So I cast my first vote at some polling place just where the hill starts on Liberty Street.  Had not registered as a Democrat -- that'd be as much as your life was worth in Yates County (smallest county in New York State, btw.)
     I went into that booth  with every intention of voting for Henry Wallace, third-party candidate who had been Secretary of Agriculture, and whose rallies back at college had featured country music with guitars.  I can still see my hand poised to pull the lever for him -- and then I moved my hand up and voted for Truman.
    But here's the interesting part -- I remember being at the wheel of a car the next day, and the car was stopped in the middle of the quad at Syracuse University.  I must have driven my Mother there and we must have been visiting my sister, who would have been a freshman.
    What I remember is that we put the car radio on loud, and students were cramming around and poking their heads in the windows to hear the noon news, because no one knew yet if Dewey or Truman had won. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Advice, Please

So here's the box that appears in the southeast corner of my screen.  If I sign off and re-boot, it's still there.  There's no X to delete it. 

It's against my principles to click on any invitation -- but then again, it doesn't have any misspelling or grammatical errors ... maybe it's for real?

Your attention to this matter will be much appreciated.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Too many bugs, too little punctuation

Here's a question just came in to the column, and I have to share it with somebody so you're it.  You tell me -- what do I answer?
I am in need of help I'm living in a house with bedbugs I lived there for 6 months no Furinture then purchased furniture then threw out three garbage bags of food because of mice still paying rent I'm on a 1 year lease don't want an eviction on my record contacted health Dept net office and housing council no help drained dry stressed out have four children not sleeping because of this unfortunate lived at another address house got vandalized frames of Windows were broken no help can u referred me what I should do no rent controlled property's in new York not sure where to turn dealt with bed bugs before only good thing landlord let me break the lease not the case now

 Sounds as if she has already tried her local Health Department, which is what I would have advised...I'm stumped. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Twins Books

     The first series of Twins books I read belonged to my cousin Betty.  I know I was six, because in 1932, deep in the Depression, we were homeless and "doubled up" with my father's relatives in Buffalo.
     Here's everything I remember about the Bobbsey Twins:   Bert and Nan were eight years old; Flossie and Freddie were half past four.  They lived in Lakeville.  And some girl in the book became seriously sick because she disregarded her mother's warning and jumped rope 100 times.  I was just learning to jump rope (counting of course) and I had a nightmare.
     I wouldn't turn six until the end of February, but someone had talked me into first grade.  That must have been a crowded house, come to think of it.  Betty had a twin (!), my folks had a new baby, and they probably wanted to get me out from underfoot. Number 74 was a forward-looking demonstration school for the Normal School, the two-year teachers' college.
     Our pleasant young teacher posted a clipping -- the first words I learned to read -- the masthead
                          Buffalo Evening News
 in gothic type.
     The next year we moved to the slums of Lynn, Massachusetts, and doubled up with my mother's relatives -- four adults, two children, a toddler and a baby, in a four-room "cold-water flat" above a little grocery store.  The icebox, I remember, was outside in the stair landing.
     So I started second grade, and I have only one memory of that school in Lynn -- the day the principal took me out to the room next door.  She handed me an open book, stood me in front of those third-graders and said "Read it out loud."  Hard to believe anyone would do that, but she did.
 I still remember that first sentence:  "One summer morning, very early, Vrouw Vedder opened the door of her little Dutch kitchen and stepped out."  I had trouble six words in, with "Vrouw".  Must have got it, though, because then and there I was "skipped"  -- ended up six years old in the third grade.  Evidently if you could read, you didn't belong in second grade.  Not in that school, anyhow.
     And what I set out to tell you is that, reading through my top shelf now, I discovered I OWN THE BOOK.  The Dutch Twins, by Lucy Fitch Perkins!  The original 1911 edition!  A pencilled booksellers' note on the flyleaf says I paid $15 for it, evidently in the 1990s.   
     So does anyone else remember that other Twins series, which turned up several times later as I kept changing schools?  Here's what sticks in my memory -- the Scotch Twins (yes, now I think it should have been Scottish but it wasn't) met the Young Laird out on the hills.  The Japanese twin told her brother "that pot is always rice -- what's cooking in the other one?"  And the Irish Twins had an uncle who had emigrated and was a policeman in Boston.
                I don't remember a thing about the Cave Twins.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Here's What It's Like

Took a package to the post office -- not as simple as it sounds of course.  Driving is still okay, in fact it's a delightful just-as-mobile-as-anyone-else behind the wheel -- and feeling no pain!  But then it's shuffle around the car to get that rollator out, stow the package in it, totter inside and -- I had picked the wrong time -- stand in line.  Nowhere to sit: "We used to have some stools but they made us get rid of them, people might fall and sue."
So decided I'd better stock up on stamps too.  I settled on a couple of cards of Songbirds in Snow, paid the clerk, tottered back out, started to take the songbirds out of the rollator bag -- and the bag was empty. 
No stamps in my shirt pocket.  No stamps in my pants pockets.  I don't carry a purse.  No stamps anywhere.
All that tottering hurts, of course, but back in to the post office, ignoring the line, right up to the counter, where no songbirds in sight.  The clerk was really concerned, came out from behind the counter, searched all the way back to the entrance, went out to examine the sidewalk.  Came back in and insisted on taking my name and phone number in case they showed up.
So this morning I had dim sum in a Chinese restaurant with friends.  Good conversation, good nibbles, reached for my wallet and you guessed it.
Okay, things like that happen to you too.  I know.  But perhaps not all day long, every day?  Just you wait.

Friday, September 30, 2016

L'apres midi d'une old lady

It's just that I need to tell someone about it, and there's no one here, so I'll give you an account of my morning. 
Got up early, emailed the kids that I was still okay, hot bath to ease the hip, balanced breakfast --prunes, egg salad sandwich, coke (need the caffeine.) Back in bed to read the sad excuse for a morning newspaper, made the mistake of surfing TV for something to watch while getting dressed.
And came in on the start of Shimon Peres' funeral in Israel, in a huge tent that held, the NYTimes report immediately online tells me, 4,000.  I haven't watched C-SPAN lately, kind of forgot its "you are there" fascination -- no commentators, no breaks, no commercials, just the whole of whatever's going on, however long it lasts.
So here's the moment I wanted to call "Hey Doris, look at this!" about -- I watched Netanyahu make his way in along the front row, shaking hands with the mourning family, then with the assembled world leaders (including Mohamad Abbas) arrive in front of his seat next to Obama, and -- was I the only one who saw it that way?-- deliberately ignore a discomfited Obama by talking for a full minute with the other World Leader before him.
After which, I have to confess, I stayed in bed and watched the whole funeral.  Waited for the TV director to zoom in on Obama's speech so we wouldn't keep getting distracted by that secret service man who was constantly moving around, visible every time the wind stopped flipping those flags (see him with his back turned?)

And discovered three hours had passed. 
So then I made the mistake of surfing TV again for something to watch while getting dressed and found the tear-jerking end of The Prisoner of Zenda, possibly the best movie ever made. So I got back in bed.  Ronald Coleman's voice -- Doug Fairbanks' so-charming villain -- and the dialog!  I came in on Princess Flavia saying "If love were all, I could follow you in rags to the end of the world."  But love isn't all, so she's going to follow her duty and marry the King of Ruritania instead.
And that's how it got to be a couple of hours past noon.
Time for lunch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What Went On?

These days the obituaries are about the most interesting part of our increasingly feeble excuse for a daily paper -- there's plenty of sociology here, and it's intriguing to see what family members consider important about a Life.  I've been wondering about this one for more than a week now:
“…Although he experienced significant betrayal in his life (and you know who you are) far far more important was his relationship of 42 years with his wife, best friend, companion, partner and business manager Victoria.  He loved his sons Michael Patrick and…”
Who do you suppose you-know-who-you-are is, and what went on?  At least there's no mystery about who wrote the obit -- definitely Victoria, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hosta Hospitality

Three graceful fawns (is that the word?) just showed up, but -- sorry -- they simply refuse to stay together and say cheese for a picture.  
I knew there was some reason I planted that hosta -- and here I was getting ready to hire someone to weed!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tsk tsk

About the only time I regret living alone (except when the bird feeders need filling) is when I hit what my son Avi calls a "Hey Doris!" moment -- and there's no one to say "look at this!" to.  I forget what the 10th-grade teacher called it, but isn't there something wrong with the first sentence in this e-mail just received?  and from an organization that deals in the written word!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sorry for the delay!
As a valued member of the Democrat and Chronicle, we wanted to let you know that the delivery of today's newspaper may be delayed. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience.


Thursday, August 25, 2016


     You must get these emails yourself -- pleas from your nephew who is suddenly in jail in Minnesota "please don't tell my folks, just send bail", and official congratulations  about your sweepstakes award of $4,000,000 "held here in bond until you prepay the taxes".
     Of course the column invites mail from strangers, and the address appears every week in dozens of newspapers, so I end up opening all sorts of exciting propositions.  But here's a first, which arrived a couple of days ago:Attention.  I am very sorry for you, is a pity that
this is how your life is going to end as soon as you don't duty as I am mailing you now is just to KILL you and I have...already been paid...Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE?...$8,000 is all you need to spend...

It's a long message, at least 800 words, and it ends --
On the off chance "someone who you called your friend" is reading this --
                        UP YOURS!!