Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
May 31st, 2008

West Nyack family’s goat reported stolen

The miniature goat named Lenore – owned by a the family of actor Jake T. Austin, 13, of Wizards of Waverly Place – was discovered missing on Thursday morning.

This happened a few houses down the street from my home in West Nyack. I didn’t know that any celebrities lived that close.

West Nyack family’s goat reported stolen






May 30th, 2008

Crooks Who Robbed Mom in Jail

A few months ago my Mom had her wallet taken from her pocketbook while shopping. This was very traumatic for my mother who felt that it was her own fault. She felt that she was old and a little scattered and not paying attention. When the thieves bumped her to get her wallet she even apologized. I told her at the time that stupid thieves like this will eventually get caught. They keep repeating the same risky act and sooner or later their luck will run out. I told her that it was not a bad thing to go through life without a paranoid attitude. She shouldn’t spend her whole life worrying about being cheated or robbed. An occasional stolen wallet is a small price to pay for enjoying your life.

Sergeant Cummings of the Clarkstown Police was very nice to my mother. He followed through with her on every stage of the investigation. Last night Sergeant Cummings called Mom last night to tell her that the pickpockets had been caught and were in Jail in Union City New Jersey. They were on video tape stealing from my mother, but were also on tape doing the same thing at a mall upstate and in several New Jersey malls. They were tracked down because the detectives in these communities worked together, pooling their information. The thieves were arrested and large amounts of drugs were confiscated at the same time. These bad guys will certainly spend some time in vacation at the State’s expense.

It is a bad thing to be the victim of a crime. You feel violated. Knowing that the bad guys will pay for their violation, though, takes a little of the sting out of it. My mother is thrilled and feels vindicated. Sergeant Cummings and the other law enforcement people that put this case together have made her very happy. Good Job!






May 29th, 2008

Doctor Kochumman Geevarghese

My good friend and colleague Koch (I can’t pronounce his real name) graduated with PhD Doctorate in Professional Science (DPS) in Computing last weekend. His picture was in the paper. He’s the one having a good time. Koch works on the other side of the partition and we often have coffee together.

kag2

Here is the page from the Westchester Paper.

kag






May 29th, 2008

Buying a New Flat Screen TV

I did another Squidoo Lens today. It is a rehash of one of my blog earlier entries.

You know the drill. Click on the link below even if you don’t give a hoot about buying a flat screen TV. I need the clicks in my insane quest to make a million dollars on the internet.

Buying a New Flat Screen TV






May 29th, 2008

Heinlein Centennial Short Story Contest

Just a reminder. The Heinlein Short Story Contest closes one minute after midnight June 1. If you have a story, ship it off NOW!!! They take email entries. (That means that you have to press the send button in May.)

I sent off a story, The Window Washer Murder, that I’d almost forgotten about. When I started writing stories, about five years ago, I wrote a number of stories about a robot detective named Mark Denker. One of these appeared in Aoife’s Kiss and several others wound up eventually on low end zines. Robot detectives are a tough sell, it seems. I gave up on this story, although it was the best of the bunch. It is full of ideas borrowed from Heinlein, in fact I found a line in the story that was lifted (unintentionally) from The Door Into Summer. I reworded it to keep the Heinlein-esque idea without being a direct quote.

The Heinlein contest will report by the end of the year, so I expect I will have a summer and fall of chewed fingernails. Some big name authors have entered, so my own little story probably won’t be able to climb out of the slush. Luckily, Spider Robinson will probably be a judge, so my story won’t have to compete with one of his. No one writes more like Heinlein than Spider.

Centennial Short Story Contest






May 27th, 2008

St. Jane Frances School

Someone at St. Jane’s registered more than 50 stars for their graduating class. I home that this is a trend. I don’t make any money off of these, but the word of mouth advertising is priceless.

St. Jane is a coed Pre-K-8 Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.






May 27th, 2008

I Almost Applied for This Job

This is a job for Systems and Network Analyst/Programmer, something that I could do. It is for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, based nearby. The hitch is that it requires approximately 5 months per year at sea with 2-3 month cruises.

I am afraid that I might be seasick. I don’t think I would like being away from home for two and three months at a time. I have never been on any boat for more than a few hours. My brother tells horror stories about fishing junkets where he was deathly sick the whole time.

I almost pressed the “apply for this job” button. It was tempting. I have read many a seafaring yarn and I would love to try it, but this is no yarn. I did apply for a similar landlubber job and if I were to get that job, I might just volunteer for a trip once I scoped things out.






May 25th, 2008

Orson Wells War of the Worlds

My Dad used to laugh when people talk about the panic caused by Orson Wells’s dramatization of the War of the Worlds. He would listen to Mercury Theater with his Father, brother and sister. When the dramatized news flashes about the Martians landing in New Jersey, not far from where he lived, were broadcast no one thought for a moment that it was real. He told me that the poor individuals who panicked were idiots.

There is a “Cold Case” episode on TV right now that claims that there was widespread panic. According to my father, the show was not even that believable. Wells had a tendency to be overly dramatic and the broadcast was so over the top that nobody would have believed it. Only a handful of people actually panicked and they were very embarrassed when they realized the truth.

“We really thought it was the end of the world”, says a character in the TV show. That’s because you are an idiot, my father would have said.






May 23rd, 2008

Garage Sale Robot

Erica bought this at a garage sale. I am keeping it!






May 23rd, 2008

Star Trek Phase II

I’ve been downloading these fan built Original Series Star Trek episodes as torrents and burning them to DVD and then bringing them to Poker. The poker boys demanded that I stop it before their eyes burned out of their sockets. These episodes are way beyond dreadful with some of the worst direction and acting that I’ve ever seen.

They are, however great fun, and I can overlook the poor production to see the underlying love that went into them.

You can view them online now at scifi.dragonfly.com. Warning, you must have a good fast line to watch them. They are BIG. You need a big pipe to keep the video moving smoothly. I watch them at work, but I have to use earphones and keep some legitimate project on the screen so people can’t tell what I am doing.






May 22nd, 2008

Georgina C. Cartier, Edd Cartier’s Wife Passes Away

If you will remember, I accidentally discovered Edd Cartier’s home on a garage sale outing last year. I have since started collecting Edd Cartier’s art and I thought that I would stop by again and say hello one of these weekends.

I just read that Georgina C. Cartier, Edd’s wife, passed away last week. I am very sorry to hear this, not because I knew her, but that I thought that her son, Dean Cartier was a good guy. As you grow older you slowly lose many of your friends and relatives. Dean and I are of that age and I know how it feels to lose a parent.

The obituary at the above link is quite good and obviously written with love by Dean, who is a writer.

She especially loved her family, her cats and her home, Pinecone Cottage.

I also read where Edd himself is confined to a wheel chair and in a nursing home. I am kicking myself for not going down to see him earlier.






May 21st, 2008

New York State’s Bizarre Internet Sales Tax Law

I have just been informed of a new internet Sales Tax regulation in New York. It is titled: New Presumption Applicable to Definition of Sales Tax Vendor. The key word here is presumptive. The interpretation by New York State is to presume that a sale is taxable based on a convoluted reasoning that no reasonable person could ever arrive at in a million years.

Here’s what they are saying. If a New York Resident mentions a web site in another state, and that web site makes sales to New York residents, then the sale is presumed to have originated in New York and the sale is taxable.

Right now, the sale is not taxable unless the company doing the selling maintains a brick and mortar presence in New York.

For instance: I am a New York Resident and I own a domain name. I keep a blog on a server in Germany under that domain. If I put a link link on the blog to a company in California that sells paper clips and a New York Resident buys some of these paper clips, New York State wants the sales tax, even if no one has ever even read my blog.

Here is the New York State PDF: New Presumption Applicable to Definition of Sales Tax Vendor

I certainly hope that this is squashed immediately. It affects me, because affiliate links on my we pages go to an affiliate company that refers the links to the catalog page of another company that will now have to pay and collect sales tax. It would be simpler for the company to drop all New York State residents and not charge sales tax for New York deliveries.

If you buy their reasoning, everyone who sells on eBay to a New York resident will have to charge and pay sales tax if there is only one New York resident who has a link to eBay on their web site.






May 19th, 2008

CSS Side Bars on Squidoo

In my continual struggle to make a million dollars off the internet, I wrote a few little articles on how use CSS style to spice up squidoo pages. I don’t expect anyone to actually care about there since only Squidoo users would even know what I am talking about.

What I would like you to do is to click on each of the three links below. I need a few clicks to keep the pages alive or else squidoo drops them.

Side Bars on Squidoo
Ugly HTML on Squidoo
Using color and boxes on Squidoo

Thanks for the clicks!






May 19th, 2008

Willie and his Prey

Because we feed the birds, there are a variety of small warm blooded creatures who live on the fallen seed. Once in a while they make it though the old crumbling cellar walls.

Erica managed to catch Willie as he ran off with a captive. It is Willie’s job to keep the house clear of vermin and he takes his job seriously. The greatest thing a cat can do is catch a mouse, at least as far as a cat is concerned.

willie

I try to rescue any creatures that I feel might have some life left in them. I then transport them out to the cemetery and hope they have enough sense not to return. I imagine that by the time I get home, though, there won’t be anything left to rescue.