Friday, December 25, 2015

Royal Honeybell trees on Christmas

these trees (in the yellow pot & the green pot) were grown in 2012 or 2013 from the seeds of Royal Honeybell fruit (a cross between Duncan Grapefruit and Sour Orange -- the fruit are sweet & juicy), a loving gift each Christmas from my sister-in-law Traci and my brother Bruce.

Merry Christmas 1952 Peanuts

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Donald Trump -- LOSER

A question for Donald Trump:

No point in being subtle.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Donald Trump ... doing his best

Donald Trump ... doing his best to make the Republican Party unappealing to more and more people every day ...

and proving that he can still be a poor ignorant fool even if he's a billionaire in dollars.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

about my traumatic brain injury, my disability

[this was mostly taken from an email to a friend who didn't fully understand about my traumatic brain injury and why i'm not able to work a regular job anymore]

on my being disabled ... traumatic brain injury is a tricky thing.  the LOCATION of the injury is crucial:  if you badly injure the *front* part of your brain (directly behind your forehead), you can lose a lot of who you are and be pretty badly off.  fortunately, my injuries were to the right side of my brain, a little toward the back -- just behind the right ear.

since i hurt *that* part of my brain, my chances of recovery were much better (especially given that i was 21, and not 31 or 45 -- the younger you are, the more your brain is still plastic & changeable).  i was still young enough that i could "rewire" around a lot of the damage (which in my case was to a part of the medial temporal lobe which coordinates between different parts of the brain & helps put things together -- that's a simple picture, at least).

so my purely intellectual stuff was mostly untouched, as well as my personality.  but the injuries were still severe, and even though i recovered well from them (well enough to finish my degree, for instance), i wasn't as emotionally strong anymore -- i couldn't last nearly as long at a task without needing a break.

most people can work an 8 hour day, plus some commuting, and still have even a tiny little bit of energy left to cook & clean & relate to their spouse and kids.  not me.  on a given day, i’m good for a couple hours of quiet orderly work in a quiet environment, and then i'm pretty spent.

that's why the doctors and Social Security OK'ed my disability without too much question -- they knew how severe the injuries were and that i probably wouldn't be capable of much “work” afterward.

i can't handle much noise & disorder & stress.  most people are OK when they over-do things a bit or are stressed out; maybe they're tired and a bit irritable and cranky.  not me.  when i push too hard, i have seizures.  (or i begin to feel the pre-cursor to the seizure, and i have a chance to stop, meditate, and relax my way back to normal.)

so i can't work at the same hectic pace as some people, but i'm still capable of high quality work.  maybe i can't work a full-time "job", but i can still participate in some good academia ! ! !


Monday, May 11, 2015

Help Me Finish Overcoming Traumatic Brain Injury

Please help my campaign not stall — i would love for it to be over!

(And a GIANT thank you to everyone who has already given.)


(Click on link below, not on the picture—thank you.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Guilty, But Why Exaggerate The Charges?

OK, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty on all 30 counts in the marathon-bombing trial.

What were those counts?  Let’s look at a few:

Count 1:  Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction
Count 2:  Using weapon of mass destruction (pressure cooker bomb #1)
Count 3:  Used or carried firearm (pressure cooker bomb #1)
Count 4:  Use of weapon of mass destruction (pressure cooker bomb #2)
Count 5:  Used or carried firearm (pressure cooker bomb #2)
et cetera

(here’s a CNN link to a full listing of the counts: )

So, a pressure-cooker bomb is supposed to be a weapon of mass destruction — something the U.S. military was not able to find in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  Really?  The Tsarnaev brothers were able to construct something that Saddam Hussein (with all of the resources of Iraq) could not?

And, those “weapons of mass destruction” are also considered firearms?  (So conversely, can firearms be considered weapons of mass destruction?  Watch out, gun owners.)

I did a quick Google search on “What is a weapon of mass destruction?”, and here’s the answer i got:

weap·on of mass de·struc·tion
a chemical, biological or radioactive weapon capable of causing widespread death and destruction.

So, widespread death and destruction from pressure-cooker bombs?  I think not.  Only limited death and destruction.  And definitely not a chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon.

According to wikipedia:
A weapon of mass destruction (WMD or WoMD) is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans or cause great damage to human-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere.

What was the casualty list from the marathon bombing?  The tally varies.  Three people dead, 170 injured according to:

Wikipedia lists 3 people dead and 264 injured.

A lot of casualties, no question; but was it from the use of weapons of mass destruction?  They were bombs, sure; but i think that calling each of the pressure-cooker bombs a “weapon of mass destruction” is a bit much.

What this basically means to me is that any charge in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev court case that contained the words “weapon of mass destruction” was basically meaningless.  Which counts included those words?  Twelve counts (#s 1, 2, 4, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) included those words; eighteen counts (#s 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22) did not.

Any juror who voted guilty on the “weapon of mass destruction” counts was a tool, IMHO.

Well, at least eighteen of the thirty counts •did• mean something — that’s 60% of them — so i guess a (slight) majority of the verdict has significance.  The other 40%?  Not significant.

Close enough for government work.

(And believe me, i’m all for the full prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the bombing; but there’s no need to exaggerate the charges.)

I posted this picture back on Wednesday 10 July 2013 ( ), and the question still stands:
And the answer is still...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

STAY AWAY from Bank of America ! ! !

Remember when banks used to be happy to house your money and pleased to do business with you?  Not so much anymore, especially with Bank of America.

My insurance company (United American) sent me a refund check yesterday, for some overcharge or other.  It was a Bank of America check, so i looked online and sure enough there’s a branch not half a mile from our apartment.

I walked there this afternoon to cash the check — figured i’d get some exercise and avoid the hassle of having to scan the check so i could submit it online to my Capital One 360 account (formerly ING); maybe i’d even think about switching my account from Santander, which is way on the other side of town.

But it turns out that the Bank of America branch won’t cash a Bank of America check ! ! !  (Not without a fee, at least, since i don’t have an account there.  Cambridge Savings bank was always happy to cash checks that my mother wrote me, even though i don’t have an account there — no fee.)

It’s a Bank of America check.  Why won’t Bank of America cash it?  Because they’re idiots, according to my wife.

It’s a $7 check, not likely to break the bank.  Why does Bank of America want to charge me a fee for doing what my insurance company HIRED them to do?  I guess it’s because Bank of America is greedy, greedy, greedy.  All they want is more money; they don’t give a damned about customers.

But now Bank of America will not (voluntarily, at least) get another PENNY of my business, and i will from now on go out of my way to publicize what a crappy bank they’ve become.

Never do business with Bank of America — my new motto.  (Heh, so much for me maybe opening an account there.)

I spit on Bank of America.  Ptooey!