Well, that was fun (NOT!)

In October 2009, I suffered a heart attack, that led to quadruple bypass surgery.  Since then, I’ve had other medical issues, but my heart has behaved itself. On Tuesday morning (November 5th, which is, perhaps appropriately in this case, Guy Fawkes Day), I had brunch about 10 a.m., carried on with my morning’s work, and took a brief nap during the early afternoon.  When I woke up, I had a tight feeling in my chest, not unlike indigestion, but it grew in intensity, centered over my heart, and I began to get radiated pain in my left arm.  Sounds familiar, no? I

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A nationwide scam on Airbnb?

I’ve never used Airbnb myself, but I have several friends who’ve done so.  I was therefore rather worried to read that there seems to be a widespread scam going on involving properties listed on Airbnb. I had unknowingly stumbled into a nationwide web of deception that appeared to span eight cities and nearly 100 property listings—an undetected scam created by some person or organization that had figured out just how easy it is to exploit Airbnb’s poorly written rules in order to collect thousands of dollars through phony listings, fake reviews, and, when necessary, intimidation. Considering Airbnb’s lax enforcement of its own policies,

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The Albanian Mafia – it’s a real thing

A couple of years ago, my wife and I went down to Dallas-Fort Worth to buy some replacement chairs for our dining room table.  We were given the address of an “interesting” restaurant furniture shop, which seemed to be stocked largely with things that had fallen off the back of various and sundry trucks.  The proprietor, “Eddie”, was a very interesting person too:  an Albanian immigrant, who’d been in the USA for a couple of decades, but hadn’t lost anything of his Mediterranean background or his Albanian customs.  Miss D. was highly amused by the almost courtly way he treated her as

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Karma. Dogma. Self-assembling, in the long run.

Charles Hugh Smith recently examined dogma versus karma, and pointed out some inevitable truths.  He spoke from an economic perspective, but his words apply equally well to our nation as a whole. Karma covers a lot of ground, but it boils down to consequences: consequences not just from your actions but from your convictions, schemes, obsessions, and yes, dogmas. The reason why Karma runs over Dogma is that nobody clinging to a dogma sees themselves as dogmatic. The true believer never sees their conviction as dogma, but as Revealed Truth, as self-evident, a view that is buttressed by all the other

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Rodentiferous!

Orkin’s annual survey of the “rattiest” US cities was released a few days ago.  It makes interesting reading. Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list today, and for the fifth consecutive time, Chicago takes the top spot. New to the Top 10 cities this year are Minneapolis and Atlanta, holding the eighth and tenth spots, respectively. Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 15, 2018 – September 15, 2019. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments. 1. Chicago 2. Los Angeles 3. New York 4. Washington, DC (Hagerstown) 5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 6.

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Ukrainegate in a nutshell

I think Robert Bridge does a good job of summarizing our current political brouhaha. Just as Russiagate was a conspicuous effort on the part of the Democrats and their lapdog media to deflect attention away from the contents of Clinton’s emails, not to mention the identity of the leaker (as opposed to the ‘Russian hackers,’ that is), Ukrainegate is a desperate attempt to focus attention on a harmless phone call between two state leaders so as to bury the news of corruption at the highest levels of the Obama administration, up to and including not only Joe Biden, but former Secretary of

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A serious warning about firearms security

It’s long been the practice among security-conscious firearms owners to obscure the serial numbers in any photographs of firearms they put up on the Internet.  This is because unscrupulous characters have been known to note the serial numbers, report “their” firearm stolen (with that same serial number), and claim the loss against their own insurance policies.  The insurance company/ies then keep the firearm on the stolen property lists, and if there’s ever an inspection (for example, you’re stopped while driving, and the policeman checks your firearm serial number against his database), you may find yourself in trouble.  Alternatively, if you

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What’s really going on in Mexico – and threatening the US

Three articles have shed a great deal of light on what’s really happening in Mexico right now.  They’re essential reading, particularly because the mainstream media simply aren’t covering that country in anything like sufficient detail.  To call Mexico a “failed state” is being charitable, as this news report makes clear. The first article is from The Federalist, titled “A Drug Cartel Just Defeated The Mexican Military In Battle“. The battle of Culiacan marks a turning point in the collapse of the Mexican state. There is now no doubt about who is in control of Sinaloa, let alone the rest of

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Tugboat meat in a dockyard sandwich

A tip o’ the hat to GCaptain for finding this video clip of a harbor tug in San Francisco being ground between Pier 27 and the cruise liner Star Princess. They’ll have to inspect the pier for damage, as well as the tug.  Did you see how far its stern went underneath the pier?  I reckon that will have taken out more than a few uprights and the bracing between them.  The building on top of that section might be a bit rickety for a while . . . Peter

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“The airplanes that rescue Ebola patients”

That’s the title of a very interesting article in Popular Mechanics.  It’s a long article with a lot of detail, far too much to include here;  but I’ll post a series of short excerpts to give you an idea. … two humanitarian medical workers helping out with the Ebola crisis in Liberia had come down with it. Their names were Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, and while everyone wanted to get them home, they had no idea how to do so safely. “The general dogma was, you don’t bring the zombie apocalypse to a city that doesn’t have zombies,” Walters says. But

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