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( #1 ... from 5/09/35 ... restarted 11/13/35 )

5/28/35 ----------------
Watch out for the worm that's going around. I just got two emails which got through Yahoo's spam and virus detectors. Don't open any attachments which come from They are all suspect.
I even got one on my work email address which made it into their intranet. Yikes!

5/27/35 ----------------
After doing some online research, I dropped my book price by five dollars to $16.95. Apparently going over $19.95 (list) is considered a no-no. But it won't go any lower (my initial mistake from no experience in these matters).

5/25/35 ----------------
Went to see Matrix Reloaded last night. It was excellent ... a real fun and interesting experience. I recommend it highly and will go to see it again before it leaves the theaters. Minor story, action, graphics, etc. complaints are not worth talking about. But ... when they start flinging ideas around (very fast), you may be left in the intellectual dust if you do not pay attention.

5/23/35 ----------------
I heard a popular African song on PRI yesterday. A catchy tune it was. But here are the lyrics to the most popular tune currently in Africa.

Hey, hey, babee play
Africahn confetti
Trow heem up
When come down
Cut heem up wit your machete

"I'm a survivor. And I'll be a survivor till the day I die." - she said (proudly)

5/20/35 ----------------
I posted my book "ad" yesterday and got my first sale. I'll send it in the mail today. YeeHahhhh!
And ... the Mavericks beat San Antonio making 49 straight free throws. They lost bad ju-ju in 83 point first half against Kings. Lakers have now bad ju-ju. Horry miss winning shot by 1/8th of an inch in game 5 (this bad ju-ju from Mavs)
Tonight the temperature drops into the 60s ... Life is good.

5/19/35 ----------------
My book finally got here on UPS. 8 boxes and 1 little one. I expected 5 or 6 boxes. There must be a lot of packing. The book looks very well made (technically). So I am pleased with the printer. If you are interested, click on the ad at top of page for details.

5/18/35 ----------------
Went to see X-Men yesterday with my family. It was OK for a teenager movie. I liked the way Magneto extracted the iron from his tormenter's blood and used it to make his getaway. Wish I could do that now & then. I will go to see Matrix Reloaded next weekend when there are fewer people in the theater to bother with.

5/17/35 ----------------
Got word from UPS that my books have been shipped and are expected to be here on Monday. I got a Post Office Box number as well and am ready to do business in a few days ... barring an asteroid collision or something of that nature.

5/16/35 ----------------
Iraqi problem: How to get money to the people?
Some of these people have nothing at all now. They are totally destitute and can't "start" their new life. A grubstake of even modest measure would be most helpful. I propose the direct approach.
    H elicopter with cash flies over city
    E mpty money out window
    L et people on ground ...
    P ick it up
Details: You wouldn't throw gobs of cash in one place. This would cause a riot and bloodshed. Rather, go at night and have guys throw handfulls out the window as they cruise above the city. At daybreak, there is a dollar here, one there, a fiver over there, a ten down the street, and an occasional Mr. Jackson. Do this all night for many nights in most big cities. That $900 million that Saddam drove off with would probably be enough. Most of the money will get to the people who need it and from there into the economy where those of greatest business acumen will collect it into ... what? ... all together now ... Capital.
Business is reborn in the shortest amount of time possible. Any other means will ensure a very large percentage of "graft" (but you know that).

5/15/35 ----------------
Called printer ... my book should be shipped in "a few days". They will call me.

Prediction: The Wachowski brothers blow it on Matrix. Quasi-philosophers always drift away from essentials. Here, they should have concentrated on the killing of virtual people as though they were ... what? Cows going to McDonald's for hamburger meat? It would be a rough road to script an introspective Neo pondering how he can morally justify dispatching some kids father who is only defending what he accepts as reality. Imagine Neo splattering a cop in front of his son and then the son attacks Neo with bare hands (crying) as though he was the bad guy (and set up the scene with an emotional bit about the relationship of the father & son so that the audience can "relate"). Lots of philosophical meat here but you can be sure the producers won't chew on it. The same was true of the Superman movies. Imagine Supe does everything for everybody ... then ... it ends up everybody hates Superman (this would be philosophically inevitable). Instead all the Superman movies go extrovert and just deal (on safe philosophical ground) with one external villian at a time. Well, it's just for kids I guess. I'm sure I'll enjoy Matrix Reloaded anyway, though with some reservation.

5/15/35 ----------------
This is a little late ... but ...
Why would it take three trucks to hall away 900 million dollars? Considering bills to be 6"x2½" and 200 bills to the inch ... You'd need a stack 50" high of hundred dollar bills to make a million and 900 such stacks would occupy a volume of about 4' x 8' x 22' ... one truck would do nicely. Maybe they shoveled it in a pile (loose pack?). Did they take it in 5s, 10s and 20s ?? How about dollar bills? How could you use dollar bills. It would take the rest of Saddam's life just to count them ... let alone buy anything. The bills were probably Iranian counterfeit hundreds. They're everywhere (especially in their ally country, Russia).

5/10/35 ----------------
Yesterday, I got my first "8" on the computer game Minesweeper that comes with WinXP. That's an empty space surrounded by eight bombs. I play the expert style but customized to the largest game possible (same percentage of bombs ~20%). So the odds of getting an "8" are 1/58 , i.e. 390,625 to 1. I've had four "7"s so far. Isn't that exciting? I am as exhilarated by that as the Maverick's 83 point first half.

My wife showed me something she recorded on the Spanish TV station. [They show everything.] A guy decided that he would take a running jump off his apartment building into the pool (about 25 feet below). Well, half of him made it. Seems he didn't measure it out ... just eyeballed it. He broke both legs and his pelvis then slinked into the pool. It was painful to watch. The carpenter's axiom is apropos. "Measure twice, saw once"

5/9/35 ----------------
I'm about fed up with hearing that the 1918 flu epidemic had a death rate of 1%. It most certainly did not. In 1918 there were approximately 2 billion people on earth. About 20 million died of influenza. That's 1 percent allright, but not everybody on earth got the flu. Hence, the death rate is much less than that.

In America, there were about 103,000.000 people. Each year at that time about 1.4 million new souls were added to our population as can be estimated by looking at census charts. In that year, instead of growth there was a shortfall of about 60,000. Hence, about 1.3 - 1.4 million extra people must have died that year. From two different sources I found that it was estimated that 1 of every 4 Americans contracted the disease. So, about 25-26 million people got sick. Now, 1.4 divided by 25 is .056, i.e. the mortality rate was

--- about 5 and a 1/2 percent ---

And SARS is definitely much worse ... but ... it travels much more slowly and seems containable. The 1918 flu was all over the country in about a week or two. Practically everyone dropped dead in November. It came back for a rerun in 1919 and 1920 with less severity. Expect SARS to rerun as well next fall. It may be much worse then.

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