Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eviction Chronicles - Brimming With Schadenfreude

Due to coerced mediation last week, while I got all my money back from my scumbag landlord, I am faced with the prospect of writing him a $2,500 check tomorrow for April rent.

It's not the money on my end so much that I care about, it's the fact that this scam artist can legally collect rent from a property that he hasn't paid a bill for in well over a year.

So it is with great delight that I greeted the flood that hit our basement yesterday - one that knocked out our hot water tank!

You see, now I don't have to pay rent tomorrow - I can at least hold it off until the hot water is restored.

All that's really wrong is the pilot light is out. But in our experience here, it hasn't been easy to re-light. In fact once, my Moronic landlord tried to do it himself only to come barreling out of the basement in a mad search for a fire extinguisher.

Apparently, the tank needs to be slightly disassembled and dried off by someone who knows what they are doing.

But this little problem isn't going to be fixed cheaply.

You see, my landlord has stiffed so many local plumbers that none of them will even return his calls - ESPECIALLY not on a day like today when every basement in Massachusetts is underwater.

The one buffoon plumber who has been doing the latest work for my landlord....I've seen several bills from him recently in the mailbox for my landlord. Obviously, my criminally-deadbeat landlord decided to stiff him as well on his unapologetic march towards bankruptcy.

So essentially, there isn't a plumber who will even respond to my landlord, or so I instantly calculated this morning when my wife woke me complaining of *cold shower*.

My landlord is probably going to have to call his most recent plumber, pay him the few hundred bucks or so he most certainly already owes him, AND then pay him at least another $100 to take care of my heater (and my two clogged sinks). All told, I figure this incident might cost my landlord $500 easily.

Because....for every day I'm here with no hot water to shower, do laundry, wash dishes, etc....I'm going to deduct 1/30th of my rent!!! (That would be $83.33 per diem.)

The timing was absolutely perfect - coming the very day before rent was due. So he knows well that the rent check will be held in *abeyance* until the matter is resolved. Any other landlord, who hadn't harassed and attempted to rob me would have been cut some slack - but not this jerk

AND, this was perfect timing in the sense that the weather is supposed to really warm up in the next two days - 75 degrees I believe is forecast for Saturday. Quick cold showers won't have the bite they otherwise have in the dead of winter.

So I'm happily hoping that no plumber comes for a few days. My wife can shower at the gym near her office. Me? I actually smell better after a few days...

For the prior installment in this long-running saga that might eventually give Bonanza a run for its money....See - Eviction Chonicles - Wimping Out.

One-Size Fits All!

I found this quote from some *Cato Institute* propaganda on the back of scrap paper - it probably came from something my extremist MIL printed out.

Arne Duncan, the Chicago schools bureaucrat that Obama has installed as Secretary of Education, doesn't see it that way. "If we accomplish one thing in the coming years," he said recently, "it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America." Diversity is bad, uniformity double-plus good; get with the program, America.


Didn't Hitler try to flush out *extreme variation*???

Yeah, this is just what we need: one national grocery store, one national healthcare plan, and one *standardized*, national educational system.

No one's ever tried that before, right?

See also - Unity, A Ruse.

"Homeschooling" - Still Censored At The Boston Globe

There's an article in today's Boston Globe about some pre-pubescent who attends, and excels, at UConn (or, as my father refers to it..."The University of UConn").

The thrust of the story is that despite his superior academic performance, the school wouldn't let him go on some sponsored trip to South Africa. Whatever.

All I wanted to point out was that the nowhere in the story is the word *homeschooled*. They mention the prodigy's age and what he's doing now, but don't dare source how he go there educationally.

I'm quite positive if this kid had gone on a shooting rampage....that the term *homeschooled* would have been utilized 10 times!

Thanks to Mrs. Private Caller for alerting me to this one.

See my earlier example - "Homeschooling" Censored At The Boston Globe.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Myself, As Talent Scout

The young lady can really sing! Whoever the heck she is...

I'd assume she can afford the *bridge work*, so what's the hold-up?

Pig Flu Hysteria - Uncurable

So I was out with my *group* at the local library the other day and one of the weirder *moms* yelled at her kid for squirting some of the community hand sanitizer into his palm.


At that I couldn't well help myself. I dilated my pupils in the sunshine, ran right over, and SNEEZED all over the lunatic. I probably should have dropped a bio-organic fart on her as well!

Imagine this though. You have to SANITIZE the hand sanitizer!

My wife informs me that her company just installed *tons* of hand sanitizers all over its offices - in the hallways, etc. It's a rather large organization so I wouldn't be surprised if they spent upwards of $1 million because the CDC said to *jump* and they were concerned about being a good corporate citizen.

See also - Swine Flu Bogeyman - Up For Slaughter. That post also has links to everything else I've written on *pig flu*.

Too Much Food, A Problem

The other day I saw strawberries at the supermarket for $1.66 a lb. That's as cheap as I can recall seeing them, recently anyway.

What was going on here? Has the demand for food fallen drastically in this here Greater Depression?

Someone told me yesterday that farmers were only getting 25 cents per box now instead of their usual $1.00. In fact, selling them at that price is completely uneconomical (transport costs?) and therefore the farmers in Florida have actually taken to destroying their crops.

That article directs some accusations at the *weather* and how too many different varieties ripened all at once....but I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least an element of truth in my initial hunch.

That dissembling clown over at Calculated Risk probably thinks food destruction a great idea. And, FDR, if he hadn't mercifully left us long ago, would probably be proposing to destroy strawberries until the price rose back to $1 a carton!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Converse Homeschooling Justification

Nice satire here:

Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed

Again, realize that is a SATIRE. I loved it.

Some of you Moron types will have to think about it for a minute to *get it*.

I submit it's not even really a parody; no, it's a logical proof that homeschooling is a more optimal approach, one made by illustrating the absurdity of the converse.

Thanks to Neil for sending this one my way.

Movie Rec - Gran Torino

What a terrific, thought-provoking movie!

You put it on the color TV late at night like I did last night....and you won't be going to sleep until it's over, two hours later.

To see my other movie recs - click here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Better Blogging Chronicles -3 - Aesthetics

I think my blog has a *neat* look in the sense that abs ads are nonexistent and in that the site is relatively uncluttered by the links, feeds, and buttons that cover most other blogs.

But I do admit my site looks unsophisticated and altogether ancient compared to what most other serious bloggers front. So reluctantly, I'm going to do something about that.

Wordpress is all the rage these days. I guess because it's more pro-blogger friendly - more customizable. And in re-thinking the focus of my blog, I contemplated starting a new one strictly dedicated to homeschooling on a Wordpress template. I still may do that but at the moment I'm stumped on picking a new name (there's actually a lot of *science* in that, supposedly).

Although I may not have to go elsewhere. Did anyone really think Blogger (i.e. Google) was going to sit back and let some upstart gobble up their blogging business?

I just came across evidence that Blogger has started to *upgrade* its templates:

I have resolved to improve my blog aesthetics....but it's going to take some time. I'm going to start noting the attributes of other sites that I like and dislike.

See also:

Better Blogging Chronicles - 1

Better Blogging Chronicles - 2

Crazed Parents And Transcontinental Food

Comedian/Actor Steve Carell on his deranged parents:

Bon Appetit Magazine - Tell us about your most unforgettable meal.

Steve Carell - It was a Thanksgiving when my parents came from Boston to visit me in Chicago. They actually brought the entire meal on the plane with them, including a fully cooked turkey.


And you know, YOU JUST KNOW that turkey they bought on sale after last T-giving, and it was sitting in their freezer for 12 months.

This bit recalls another post of mine - Typical, Crazy, Italian Woman!

And also my beloved MIL, food wacko extraordinaire:
She cooks for her neighbors. She cooks for her contractors (and their kids) and I also suspect she feeds her local garbage collectors. She has sneaked pancetta and prosciutto through customs on her way back from Italy (spraying the sniffing dogs with perfume to mask her smuggling). She has toted chicken soup as a carry-on halfway across the country to bring to her sick daughter. I maintain that she would feed Bin Laden if she showed up at her house hungry.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eviction Chronicles - Wimping Out

I have vowed to get my scumbag landlord back for all his harassment, attempted theft of my money, etc.

And I came up with a nice little offensive that I was all set to deploy yesterday....until I was seized by Christian guilt.

When that earthquake or whatever struck Haiti recently, I and everyone else in the contact list of my Moronic landlord received an email from him. He was going to be *fundraising* for a relief mission to his native Haiti. In fact, I received this solicitation RIGHT in the middle of my first *eviction war* with him!

Yeah, sure, I'll forward some money to a serial who already owes me money and is trying to evict me!

There were tons of people on this email - and two other messages followed - although I wasn't CC'd on those.

The last email thanked everybody for their *generous donations* and announced an additional benefit concert that he was organizing for *victims* - a concert that's to take place this weekend.

My dastardly plan was to take this extensive email list, and from an anonymous new email account....I was going to email EVERYBODY that he apparently knew a message along these lines:

I hope this *fundraising* effort is fully audited. (my landlord) is a prolific crook having stiffed banks, contractors, tenants, utilities, credit card companies, architects, lawyers, and God knows who else to the tune of millions. In fact, (my landlord) just filed for bankruptcy this past week!

And I'd attach a copy of last week's *midnight* bankruptcy filing.

How would you like to be him and have to face all these donors this weekend after they've been informed the night before from an email such as this?

It would probably embarrass the $hit of him. You see, not everybody knows the status his *business*. He fronts with smiles, $1,000 suits, and lies straight to everyone's face - "Yeah, business is good....Things are picking up..."

This was one of my best plans ever; I must say I even impressed myself with it. Hit him right where it counts, no?

My wife was in tears laughing at my conniving, "YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY DO IT!", she said.

But I just couldn't. The line *forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us* was ringing in my head.

My faith really compels me to turn the other cheek?


I guess now that I have all my money back, (i.e. security deposit and last month's rent) I have to really contemplate future antagonism. I don't want to cross the ethical line into his territory.

Maybe I should, when May rent comes due, just tell him that I sent the money to Haiti in his name?

For the prior installment, see - Eviction Chronicles - Moronic Poker Game.

Animal Worshipping Herbivores

Remember that doubly masculine superhero - He-Man?

Well today we have another animal altogether...

The so-called he-gan - a chromosomally male vegetarian of some militant sort.

See also - On Vegetarians.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Light-Hearted Friday Night

Real life fairy tales:

Snow White

The Little Mermaid


Beauty and the Beast

Sleeping Beauty


Little Red Riding Hood

Click this one to enlarge if necessary:

Not my best line-up, I don't think. But some good ones nonetheless!

Ray Charles = funniest! (or was it Superman?)