AI

Good morning to all. I just poured a first and very hot mug of coffee. I need the stuff after reading (last evening) heartbreaking news of the immediate shutting down of the Apostrophe Protection Society. The Society was started by retired journalist John Richards, 96, in 2001 to make sure the “much-abused” punctuation mark was being used correctly.

He finally gave up on his quest because: “we, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won.”

Before it disappears into the ‘fogs’ of time, here are the three simple rules for using this “much abused” punctuation mark, the apostrophe:

“They are used to denote a missing letter or letters, they are used to denote possession and apostrophes are never ever used to denote plurals.” ~ John Richards

The Corner – It’s surprising how often I get queried about our ‘Chaos and Mayhem’ spot on the planet. This week it was a quiet one; other than a couple of nearby EMT runs (one was accompanied by a couple of Police cruisers).

What was of interest was last Monday. We were informed we’d be out of water from 9:00 till 5:00. By 10:00pm we could see a massive amount of Halogen light and tracked vehicles churning away; but, still no water. At 2:00am Marcia got up. Further up the street all was now dark and yes, we had water.

What made the event a bit more interesting were the two, wheeled, automated traffic lights which were towed in. No more ‘flaggers’, just a pair of fully automatic lights each with an arm which raised and lowered as it cycled between Red and Amber, thus allowing traffic from each direction to move appropriately. Very slick.

This does leave our most interesting ‘bit’, this one a block away in front of the 11-story Belvedere building. Our neighborhood is one of three remaining in the city still using gas lights for our street lighting. The one directly in front of the building caught on fire, bringing on a cadre of firefighters. Now “isn’t that special” as the SNL Church Lady would say?

In case you’re wondering, they do nothing. A valve was shut and the flame allowed to extinguish by itself.

AI – I should point out that wearing wide-brimmed hats on sunny days should be mandatory. This week I was off to the Dermatologist and sure enough a small spot on my temple had to be frozen. But that’s not what this ‘bit’ is about. It’s about AI – Artificial Intelligence.

My ‘Derma’ guy is located in a medical center, a three story building, housing about two-dozen specialties. Now, I’ve used a kiosk to get my boarding pass, even to order a Big Mack at McDonalds, but never kiosks which took away a whole reception signing in procedure to a medical appointment. And, it was fast, smooth, and slick.

Using a touch-screen I entered my name and the day of birth. Instantly my profile and photograph was displayed. I was prompted to edit/update any changes to my profile. Next I scanned my medical card and my appointment details were loaded. Prompted to swipe a credit card for my co-pay and a receipt popped out. I walked to the waiting area and before I could grab a magazine was escorted into an examining room.

Leaving, we settled on the date/time of a future appointment. This was entered into “My Chart”. Back home I went onto “My Chart” and with a couple of clicks the appointment details for December 2020 had been loaded into my calendar.

No longer seen was the cadre of front-desk personnel looking up ‘stuff’ and running to some copier or writing on cards. The future, while not yet fully here, has taken a giant leap. Whether the ‘leap’ is forward or backward becomes your call. But, it’s happening.

It’s hard to hold back – watching the sham impeachment circus take place. The path Congress has embarked on would have impeached most (if not all) past Presidents. This past week’s hearings had the most temperate and sensible comments coming from Professor Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor and not a supporter of President Trump, who warned House lawmakers against impeaching a President without merit. Mr. Turley said that to impeach Trump based on the current evidence “would be to expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment.”

The compiling of supposed ‘evidence’ began the very day Trump walked into the White House and the vitriolic calls of “Resist” and “Impeach” started up. In my years I have seen anything like it. This is an impeachment still looking for a crime.

Shamefully, while this furor is all that Congress is occupied with, this is the one-year anniversary of the USMCA trade agreement still NOT brought to the floor of the house by harridan Speaker Pelosi.

Barely reported is what HAS been accomplished by this President while he’s been under constant siege:

• Last month 266,000 new jobs (Jim Cramer host of CNBC’s Mad Money and a co-founder of TheStreet.com, and not a fan of Trump, ‘crowed’ that these were numbers he hadn’t seen in fifty years!) including 54-thousand in manufacturing. Couple these to the 7.2-million new jobs since he was elected.
• A strong 3.1% wage growth
• Unemployment at 3.5% — also the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years,
• Consumer sentiment at a 7-month high according to the University of Michigan. The three-year average at the highest sustained level since the Clinton years.
• Judicial appointments made now at a historic milestone; approximately 170 to date.
• NATO nations have begun to increase their financial obligations to previously agreed to levels
• Prison reform
• $100-Billion for Opportunity Zones which will especially aid inner cities
• Black unemployment at an all-time low with 1,277,000 more jobs and an accompanying huge reduction in food stamps
• $10,000 deduction for School Choice savings accounts also aiding urban centers where horrid public education persists.
• Totally unreported, Trump quietly cancelled the Obama era deal where Communist China gained control by running the container port of Long Beach. Long Beach in southern California is the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade

And I could go on. And meanwhile, what has Congress been doing aside from running slip-shod over our first amendment by dragging in armloads of AT&T metadata phone records subpoenaed without cause? “Impeach”, “impeach”; it’s a sad state! It’s disgusting!

But, as the great Russian author, Dostoyevsky, wrote to his brother:

“I’m not despondent and I haven’t lost heart. Life is everywhere, life is in us ourselves, not outside. There will be people by my side, and to be a human being among people and to remain one forever, no matter in what circumstances, not to grow despondent and not to lose heart — that’s what life is all about, that’s its task.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author, 1821-1881, in the West most noted for his works, Crime and Punishment, and especially The Brothers Karamazov.

Fini – My friends at Fitbit cheerfully notified me that I had earned their Africa Badge. Apparently their counters show that I had just finished walking the length of Africa – 5,000 miles. I am surprised I’m not more tired.

Happy Birthday to Donn. He still hasn’t caught up to me in the aging department.

Last Sunday we gathered for our Thanksgiving meal. As the photo shows, table games have formed a huge part of the gathering. So much fun!

This is the final weekend for guns in the Deer hunting world (for Ohio). Last season, between Bow and Gun 172,049 Deer were harvested in the state. I was reading that the tick that caries Lyme disease in Ohio continues to be active throughout the winter and poses a risk to hunters.

I did spend a little quality time with Vili and helped him set up the old electric train in his bedroom. Yup, the Season has kicked in. He’s old enough to now deal with an occasional derailment without getting totally frustrated.

Till next week, make it a great one.
Dirk

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