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short post

holy carbon footprint AGAIN Batman! (Why I “love” Amazon (moreover!))

Just got the batteries I ordered from Amazon. I’ll admit that I was a little worried that they’d arrive damaged.

Amazon didn’t scrimp on packaging for the batteries I ordered.


But Amazon had my back and provided lots of extra cushioning. This is why I love Amazon, it puts extra effort and thought into how every order is packaged. I hate getting imperfect batteries.

Who cares if I have to throw away a lot of plastic. It’s really important to me that the batteries I ordered arrive without a scratch. These are for my son’s watch. And among the values I am trying to teach him is the importance o being on time. And Amazon is a good role model. I got these batteries with 2 day delivery.

I love Amazon because they put the customer first. Why do you love Amazon?

=======================================================COMING NEXT WEEK:
Election 2016 Analysis
It’s All Your Fault! And why it isn’t.
By Dean Heagle

The 54% (Women’s March NYC, January 21, 2017)

Women’s March against Trump January 21st, 2017 (45th and 5th Avenue, NYC)

54% of voter’s didn’t vote for Trump.

A day after his inauguration, some  of them showed up in cities across the country. I brought my kids along. It seemed like the thing to do.

I told my kids that the news story about the march would be buried on page 21, but that we should show up anyway. I am trying to teach them that they are not powerless.

To my surprise, the NY Times put this on the front page of the Sunday edition. Their photo is much better than mine.

So I figure, even with the lame stream media covering this, how could we go wrong? Let the Donald just try to call this “fake news”.

R.I.P. Qwen Ifill; November 14, 2016 and Leon Russell; November 13, 2016

Qwen Ifill and Leon RussellQWEN IFILL
I really only knew Qwen Ifill from her days on PBS. Starting soon after the 2000 presidential election, it was a bit of a religion in our household to turn on PBS on Friday nights promptly at 8:00 to watch the Ifill moderated Washington Week. It was simply the best recap and discussion of the week’s news. Even though we  had small children at that time, it was quiet time in our house. Or at least it was a sort of quiet time for me.

What I loved about Ifill was her ability to read the news like it was something objective, without the need to put her own spin on it. This was in contrast to so much of the news that was either hyping the hype or even taking sides or quibbling about facts. To her credit, Qwen was able to report and discuss the news matter of factly. And while it would seem that “matter of factness”, would the easiest and most natural approach, it was seemingly lost on the majority of newscasters. Because she could give you the news and nothing but the news, I held Qwen with great respect if not sacrosanct among all newscasters.

I probably best  knew Leon Russell back in the day when I was a teenager and had a pre-recorded cassette tape of his that I’d listen to in my car. I haven’t listened to this tape since, but the songs Stranger in a Strange Land and I’ve Got to Get Back to the Island still resonate with me.

Leon was an excellent band leader who led the bands backing Delaney and Bonnie and perhaps more famously for Joe Cocker on his Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. He was important to the fusion of rock music which consistently drew on many older styles and for his part Leon brought some New Orleans jazz and piano into everything he did.

As a songwriter, Leon gave us Superstar which was covered by Rita Coolidge for Cocker’s Mad Dogs tour and many others. Superstar is probably most remembered for the version done by the Carpenters who had a huge hit with it. Leon also gave us This Masquerade which has almost become a jazz standard and won a grammy for George Benson.

Leon Russell was on my list of performers I wanted to see before they died. He had recently performed quite near me but sadly I missed it. Luckily for us all, the music lives on.


Long ago and oh so far away,
I fell in love with you before the second show.
Your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear,
But you’re not really here,
It’s just the radio.

see you later Rockaway 2016

Since I’ve lived on the east coast, I’ve grown fond of the Jersey shore. But this summer I was without a car and discovered that for a mere $2.75, I was able to take the A train from it’s farthest north in Manhattan, all of the way to it’s furthest southeast at Far Rockaway Queens. And I can’t believe that in almost 30 years as a New Yorker, I hadn’t done this much earlier.

This summer I spent many days in Rockaway. And I found the experience invigorating in a  “big city meets boundless nature” sort of way. Rockaway offers so many contrasts between rich and poor, industrial and residential and old and new. Hurricane Sandy destroyed big chunks and while much of it has been rebuilt, many parts have not. I wandered around extensively and found it to be a photographer’s delight. And I was very sad for the season to end. But I think I’ll be back over the rest of the year and look forward to next summer.


Stormy day with traces of hurricane Matthew. The beach is near empty and the only not “closed for the season” concession is having a last night of music for a very small crowd. And the Pacific Ocean is quite a spectacle as always.

three almost new things about the subway this summer

  1. Door standers
    More people who stand in front of the doors and won’t move to let you on or off.
    Not really new, it just seems more prevalent this year and they seem more brazen like standing wherever they want is a right not a privilege.
  2. Pee smell
    This really isn’t new either, but it’s still trending and the pee smell keeps moving from station to station. I guess the urinators are on the move too. I wonder if they walk while they pee.
    Tips for people who pee in the subway: Avoid the third rail.
    Tips for Riders: When a subway car is empty, there’s usually a reason and that reason is often, but not always, a pee smell that reeks to high heaven.
  3. Fans
    Still no fans on the platforms. Not even on the hottest days. Didn’t they read the memo I sent?

holy carbon footprint Batman! (Why I “love” Amazon (again!))

We got the kid’s vitamins. They arrived in great shape. I’m so glad that I buy from Amazon. (actually I’d buy from brick and mortar stores, but they seem to be disappearing lately)(huh?)

the packaging for a single bottle of vitamins

Maybe the brick and mortar stores are disappearing because they don’t go to such lengths to protect their products. I doubt that the person who packs the truck full of vitamins for delivery to the brick and mortar stores, bothers to package each bottle so thoughtfully. Don’t they care?

You can understand that I want my kids to be healthy and for their vitamins to arrive in tip-top shape. I think the price of filling up landfills with large amounts of stuff that won’t biodegrade is totally worth it. And I’m totally OK that it takes lots of energy and chemicals to produce the stuff I just throw away. Isn’t my kid’s health worth that?

How about you? Why do you love Amazon?

some questions about aging

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
Yes I will absolutely do that last one. I just need to get some white trousers.
And it is peach season, so I think the peach idea is a definite possibility.
Getting older isn’t the funnest thing in the world, but there are however advantages, like having children who can take your picture.
And somehow I find myself much more optimistic than Eliot ever was. So this particular post is really just because I love the poetry.

herding cats vs. herding cockroachs

Put this down under helpful household tips (if you live in a NYC)

It’s been said that running the U.S. Senate is like herding cats. Well that clearly does not work, even when your party is in the majority.

On the other hand, herding cockroaches is a very useful technique.

In our NYC kitchen, we just can’t get rid of the cockroaches. It seems that all kitchen appliances make perfect habitats. (Is this some kind of a conspiracy?)

But the roaches have not entirely broken my spirit. And because of the technique I will now share with you, my morale remains high.

I don’t get frustrated, I play a little game.

The wrong way:

When my wife sees a roach, she swats at it madly and often misses, causing frustration with no pay off. This is a bad technique.

The right way:

  1. When you first see a roach, don’t panic but take your time.
  2. Then determine where the roach will run next to hide and block them with your hands or anything else that works.
  3. Then decide which way you want to roach to run to become an easy target.
  4. Make the roach run into an open space
  5. And swat them.

Works almost every time. And after awhile you get really good at it.

Does it get rid of all of the roaches? No. Does it make me feel better about the situation? Yea sort of, it’s fun in a really sick way.

If I could, I would put this technique in a bottle, and I’d be sure to get very rich.

Happy herding!

another reason we don’t like Trump

Trump bills himself as this genius businessman developer. But his design taste has a lot to be desired.

I’ve never been inside, but from the outside Trump’s properties look cheap and tacky. The poor signage says so much about the man.

Certainly nothing special about this facade. Looks like the cheapest of everything, except perhaps the sconces. It just evokes a huge feeling of blah.
Nothing says cheap-ass better than a cheap-ass broken sign. (Notice that the counter (inside) of the “O” in TOWER has fallen off.)

The man can’t even make a decent sign. Is this really who you want running the country?

strange economics (part 1 of ∞)

Often my local supermarket sells strawberries at two for $5.00 (or $2.50 each) The catch is that, almost always, half of the strawberries are rotten.

So you’re really paying $5.00 for just one package, which is not really a bargain considering you have to sort through and dispose of half of what you just bought.

From a production and resources viewpoint, half of the production simply becomes garbage. The garbage (rotten fruit) has to be shipped from grower to retailer. The retailer has to pay someone to stock the garbage (rotten fruit) on the shelf. And the consumer has to dispose of the garbage (rotten fruit). And the taxpayer has to pay someone to take the garbage away.

So my question is this: By what economic theory does this circumstance of production, distribution and resale make any sense at all? Why does this same scenario play out at least 10 times a year at my local supermarket? (and not just with strawberries, but with lots of other items “on sale.” And why do I still keep thinking that I’m getting a bargain?