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    Just this morning, I have read two separate cases of people buying sealed electronics only to get robbed. How did this happen? At some point between initial construction and the sale, the electronic item was replaced with rocks or a brick and then the package was sealed or resealed.

    1. Anyone who thinks a seal cannot be removed and then replaced without anyone noticing is grossly naive and/or has never hired a professional mover.

    2. Are people really that optimistic these days, or have I been a pessimist all these years and just not been aware of the fact?

    Open your electronic items before leaving the store, people! Even if it is a gift, at least you will spare some poor kid the pain of discovering that the DS he thought he was receiving was in fact a pile of rocks. By opening your 'sealed' electronics in the store, even at walmart, you will get instant satisfaction rather than have to go round in circles between seller and manufacturer, because each will do whatever they can to avoid issuing a refund. It is probably easier to return an automobile than it is to return electronics. (I've never returned a car, so I'm just guessing here.)

    Honestly, I wish they'd just set up a table right at the door for just this purpose, especially the electronics retailers.

    It's just like those bloody peasants

    I attended the funeral of my beloved step-grandfather, the only "grandfather" in my life who acted the part. Both my "real" grandfathers had died long before I was born, and both my grandmothers had remarried. My father's mother married a bitter man whose soul was completely cheerless. My mother's mother had married again twice, first to a friend of her first husband who was a greedy, thieving bastard, and then to Earl, who was The Last Real Gentleman.

    Everyone loved Earl. The whole community, most of whom are related to me, embraced him, an outsider, as one of their own, adopting him as their own grandfather, uncle, or brother. I have had occasion to wonder if this did not perhaps perturb my grandmother a bit, a woman who was not well-liked even by her own children.

    It was a lovely service. The rain stopped just enough for us to return him to the earth. The sun had even blessed us a bit, encouraging us to smile through our loss. I felt reassured.

    And then, I became a tourist back in my home county of Guernsey. I snapped pictures of our local library, a gift from Andrew Carnegie. I also took pictures of our courthouse, a triumph of architecture back in the late 1880s, placed not in the county seat but in the biggest town in the county. (The seat was moved to accommodate the courthouse location later, and the original seat dwindled away to just a village.)

    Tucked into a parking lot, I found this sign, and thought you all will laugh as mightily as I did:

    I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits. For those who embrace the possibility, there is a most excellent man watching over you, purest of heart and soul. Do much to deserve the honor. For me, it is enough to know that in life, my grandfather was well-respected and loved not because he demanded it but because he earned it.

    a bleak and rimey day

    In November of 2007, my mother's mother passed. I hardly noticed. I no longer cared for the woman. She was greedy and cruel to us, her grandchildren, when she should have been kind, at a time in her life when she did not need the money she took from us but we were hungry and with holes in our shoes.

    Today, her 3rd husband and the only "grandfather" I ever knew, passed. The news was such a great shock to me; I've never--never--felt such a pain. It gripped my heart and my guts, my mind went completely blank, and I had no words, not even to comfort my mother who had loved him as much as she had loved her own departed father.

    I will be taking about 11 days off from writing to you, my dear readers. I need time to myself; I just can't bring myself to share more. This weight I feel, I can't describe it. I feel a certain selfishness, a need to withdraw. Please accept my apology and my promise to return, hopefully refreshed and ready to engage you in [whatever].

    Tender regards,


    And the winner is....

    I'm overweight, but we've discussed that before.

    In two days, I'll be among the unemployed. That'll be okay, because I've managed to use most of my pay wisely. It's a lovely feeling.

    I'm going to have some time on my hands, and I really don't want to do a lot of what really needs to be done: final unpacking and jettisoning useless crap.

    Instead, I've decided to exercise a film away every single day. I bought Mister a stationary bike with my first paycheck, and plan to "bike" my way through a new film every day. I'd like to watch films I've never seen before, although watching all the Star Trek films in order must be done, as it's never been done (by me) before.

    Mister has lists of films I've asked him to produce, based on the American Film Institute's "top films" list, as well as access to lists of Oscar winners and nominees for best film. Before I troll those lists to kit out my netflix queue, however, I'd like to ask my lovely readers for their input.

    Which films would you recommend? I do have some "don't go there" issues!

    1. No extreme comedy. Giggling + biking = big girl falls.
    2. No extreme weepy stuff. Let's just say I'm an moody rollercoaster and Mister gets disturbed when he returns home to a weepy blob.
    3. If it's anything like The Big Chill, I probably won't like it.
    4. Videodrome is right out. No exceptions.
    So go on. Challenge me. Perhaps your film will help me shed some cushion.

    PS... One more thing: no porn. I'm just not a porn-before-lunch kinda person, you know?

    Eleventy minus thirty eleven equals.... ?

    It's a two-fer-Tuesday!

    Learn more about me, in twos, than you ever wanted to know. And then, if you want, cut-n-paste and then do one of your own. Link me, if you'd like, just as I linked The Beav, who brought this up in the first place!

    Two names you go by:
    1. Soo
    2. Suzanne

    Two things you are wearing right now:
    1. a smile
    2. glasses

    TWO OF your favorite things to do
    1. Compute
    2. Sing

    Two things you want very badly at the moment:
    1. silence
    2. another Date Night

    Two Pets that you have or have had
    1. Sarah - the psycho kitty
    2. Gigi/Jigs - The girl cat that turned out to be a boy cat.

    Two people who will fill this out:
    1. Beav already did
    2. Possibly Keith

    Two things you did last night:
    1. Watched my son kick ass in soccer
    2. logged in to facebook

    Last thing you ate:
    1. chicken-bacon-swiss from Arby's
    2. meatloaf

    Two people you last talked to:
    1. The Baby
    2. Mister

    Two things you’re doing tomorrow:
    1. Work
    2. Trivia/karaoke

    Longest trips taken:
    1. Plane/Distance: US - England
    2. Car/Time: Atlanta, GA - Monterrey, CA (took us 6 days, thanks for DFW & its 10 miles of malls--tks, Mister!)

    Your favorite holidays:
    1. Halloween
    2. Thanksgiving

    Two favorite beverages:
    1. Pepsi
    2. Pepsi


    Maxwell's Silver Hammer

    **editor's note: after first publishing this post, I realized how totally offensive the title of my blog is. I have chosen not to change it because I think censorship sucks, but do apologize for not actually thinking that one through properly.**

    This past weekend, the in-laws came for a visit. At one point someone noticed that a little up the street there were several police cars with lights going. I brushed it off because I was aware of two things: another police officer lived in that area and that in one of the houses in that area the couple did not exactly get on peaceably.

    Earlier in the week, a news report informed the local area that in a neighboring town, a woman was bludgeoned to death when she interrupted an alleged burglary in her home. There were no suspects at that time. Her neighbor/coworker was very concerned and disturbed by the event.

    The day after that, the concerned neighbor needed medical attention after being shot by an alleged burglar that she interrupted. There was a crime wave in the making, and it was quickly getting very violent!

    Only it wasn't a violent crime wave. Turns out this concerned neighbor was [allegedly] covering up for her son, who [allegedly] committed the robbery/murder. She [allegedly] allowed herself to be shot and her house ransacked in order to make it look like another crime scene. The irony was that in fact it did become a crime scene, just not the way she anticipated.

    And so mother and son were arrested, him for murder and her for conspiracy, plus a few other things. Only he lived just up the street from me. Two houses up, as a matter of fact, exactly between me and the resident police officer.

    Holy crap.