Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is Exactly What I Mean

USA Today ran an article about how there are growing numbers of unpaid property tax bills due to the recession. No kidding.

I have long complained about my property taxes. I do not begrudge taxes in general - I realize they are necessary. But property taxes tick me off for several reasons:

  1. I still do not understand how they are calculated.
  2. The assessments are outdated - at least in my county. So while my bank says that my home is worth one number, Cook County thinks it is worth much more. And is charging accordingly.
  3. The value of one's property is not necessarily consistent with one's ability to pay property taxes.
  4. School budgets are directly tied to property taxes.
  5. My nice neighbors just moved away because they couldn't stand the property taxes anymore.

Now let's talk about those unpaid bills:

Tax collectors from South Florida to Wisconsin and Cleveland have noted the increase. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes Cleveland, nearly 8% of taxpayers didn't pay tax bills due this month, double the rate of four years ago, says Deputy County Treasurer Robin Darden Thomas. Now the county is struggling to collect about $400 million it's owed in back taxes, she says.

$400 million that the county had budgeted as income. I realize that when income goes down, income taxes go down. So swapping income taxes for property taxes isn't going to solve the problem. But as long as there is tax withholding from our paychecks, it must be more consistent than worrying about people that aren't - for whatever reason - paying their property taxes. The idea that someone who has owned her home for decades, paid off her mortgage and retired would have to sell said home and move to some lame condo because she can't take the property taxes makes me insane.

So increase my income taxes, if you must. I rather think we should be changing the capital gains rules, now that we are talking about it. But someone please, do something about these property taxes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He Found the Loophole

There is only one rule for Alex when he borrows Aunt Anne's camera. It is "No taking pictures of Aunt Anne."

He borrowed his mother's camera.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Evil Under the Sun

I found Evil Under the Sun, another Agatha Christie PC game, at Half Price Books. I do love that Poirot. And I haven't read the novel yet, so I was going in pretty cold. But I needed something to get me through the Mold Exile and this was really good for killing time.

The reviews for this weren't great. Gamespot said:

"Poirot isn't so much a detective quizzing suspects as he is a kleptomaniacal MacGyver with a fruity moustache. He swipes rope and ladder posts from a beach to craft a bird blind needed to win the sympathies of a little girl. He steals a spatula from a chemist for the pure hell of it, somehow knowing that it will come in handy to clean mud off a cave wall at a later date."

All true. I don't care, I had fun. The PC goes back and forth in time with Poirot as Poirot tells the tale and PC pretends that he is Poirot and investigates. There is a contrived hint-maker called the Finger of Suspicion. But as I have said, part of the joy of buying games two years after the release is that the walkthroughs are all online.

I didn't use them in this game as much as I did in the Dracula series. Mostly it was for things like the bird-blind, pictured and described above. I had most of the materials together, but was missing one rock.

A rock.

I also use it when I think I should be moving on to the next section and want to see what I missed, already.

Going into the big reveal at the end, I honestly did not know whodunnit, but as Poirot asks his series of questions in front of the crowd of suspects, I pulled them together pretty well. So..feeling good, but still surprised. I'll take that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Captain Alatriste, by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Book 31

I enjoyed Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas, so I picked up Captain Alatriste, which seems to be the beginning of a series. Alatriste is a 17th century Spanish swordsman who gets himself into trouble. He is also guardian to the narrator, who was 13 years old at the time of the action.

So. The constable, an old friendly acquaintance, gives Alatriste a tip on a job assignment. It involves staging a robbery of two English travelers and scaring, but not hurting them. Immediately after accepting the assignment, Alatriste is confronted by Big Church Inquisition guy, who pays him more and says he wants the two travelers dead.

In the middle of the big ambush, something makes Alatriste abort the mission and get the Englishmen to a safe place. So now he is in trouble with the Inquisition.

The Inquisition scares me.

From the narrator, who is writing many years after the fact, we know that Alatriste survives this adventure. But that didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be some kind of torture involved, which is not what I want to see in my adventure stories. I stuck with it.

While there are moments of action, I felt that the book was more of a set up for a series. Character development was good. Supporting characters were introduced. The character of Spain itself was explained. Ooh, wait. Tangent.

When I was in Spain several years ago (I might have made the observation in Portugal, but that is beside the point), I was marveling to my dad about how odd I found the country’s sense of history. My cowboy-American perception is that the country acknowledged that its glory days were four centuries in the past. And the country was fine with that. I was reminded of that by a line in the book:

“She may still have been powerful and feared by other nations, but she was touched with death in her soul.”

Can you see an American saying that America was touched with death in her soul?

Anyway. The book was a lot of set up. The narrator’s first infatuation, an eleven year old girl we know is doomed to screw him up his whole life through. The Italian, who was a partner in the aborted mission – now a lifelong enemy of Alatriste. And let’s not forget the old Gang at the Tavern.
It was all good fun and good writing, but the end was rather anti-climactic. To go comic book speak, it must be an “origin piece”. I could probably give the sequel a go.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Driving While Distracted

You might be aware that I can pontificate about fools behind the wheel all day. Back in my day, we were taught how we might identify a drunk driver:

  1. Driving very slowly
  2. Weaving in and out of the lane

We were taught to hang back and get away from these people. Of course, I always preferred to pass them up, if at all possible. Whatever.

These days, if someone is driving very slowly and weaving in and out of the lane, take a look. I actually counted and of the last 10 times I have seen a clearly distracted driver, eight times the driver was talking on a cell phone. One was an old man that literally had oxygen tubes coming out of his nose. The last was just a middle aged guy in a BMW.

MSN has reported something we all doesn't matter if you are hands free or not. Although the reporter calls cell phone drivers out for speeding. Hm. Anyway, here was the point:

We should be shocked and appalled that a seven-year-old recommendation by National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration that drivers not use cell phones — not even hands-free — only surfaced Tuesday.

She is blaming the "long reach of the cell phone industry", for the fact that the safety advocates are getting nowhere.

So please, please do your part. Put down the phone and drive the car.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Conversations with Kiwi

This afternoon, Kiwi the Grey said the words "Holy crap". To my mother. I was bragging about it on Facebook when I remembered that Wednesday morning, I was at work and my mother, Kay, e-mailed me from the hotel. She sent the details of a conversation:

Kay: Stupid slow computer. I could walk to the office to get the answer faster than I can get it online.
Kiwi: Do you have a problem?
Kay: Yes, Kiwi.
Kiwi: Do you have to poop?

I'm still not sure where she might have picked up the phrase "Do you have a problem", but still. Conversation. Coincidentally, I had a conversation with her that morning:

I had opened her (travel) cage door, but she stayed in the cage while I was in the bathroom. I don't think she could see me because the door is half closed.

Kiwi: Hello?
Me: Good morning.
Kiwi: Do you have to go upstairs?
Me: No, we are staying downstairs here.
Kiwi: Do you have to poop?
Me: No, I don't.
Kiwi: Are you ok?
Me: Yes, I am ok. Thanks.

I don't know whether she really understands what she is saying, or if she is just saying things that she thinks will get a response. But it sure sounds funny.

To bad you can never get these things recorded.

Operation SporeKill

We are now in Day 5.

32 years of junk has been removed from the basement. Demolition is complete. Apparently, it took three trucks in addition to this dumpster to get rid of all the drywall, ceiling tiles and general crap that was down there. I recognized the teal slabs on top as being the doors that were there. I remember seeing the tile that was in the bathroom, and the sink. Gone...gone...gone.

They are down to washing every surface of every object on two levels of my house. It is only two because the upstairs was sealed off. I didn't dare to go inside, so all I could manage was this picture that came out as creepy as it felt to me, although it looks to dark to be translating well here. This is my front hallway leading to the staircase:

This will take 3-4 days. Sound like a long time? Think about your kitchen. When was the last time you removed every object from the cupboards to wash them? Every dish, every mug, every towel. Every pen in the junk drawer.

Back at the hotel, the pets seem to have adjusted. They each took about 24 hours. Spooky had the worst of it. He came with me on Sunday and stayed in my room. Tuesday morning, I took him to my mother's room while I went to work. When I came back, he had decided to stay with her. Except that she changed rooms on Wednesday. Poor cat doesn't know if he is coming or going. But so far, he hasn't taken it out on the carpet. I believe he is under the bed right now. This was from the first night. He still isn't looking me in the eye.

Shadow is a very amiable dog, but on his first day, Mom was at work, which messed him up. On his second day, the landscapers came and he went crazy. But the biggest drama, and biggest mess, is made by Kiwi. I made her go back into her carrier to eat because the crumbs are too much for me. Sorry for the glare.

I have laundry to do and Rich and Karen are getting married tomorrow and this is not a great time for me to be taking off work and now I'm just whining so I think I'll go read a book. Or play Diner Dash.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sepulchre, by Kate Mosse

Book 30

On Day One of the Horrific Hotel Experience of 2009, I finished Sepulchre, by Kate Mosse. Mosse wrote the rather popular Labyrinth, which I would describe as The DaVinci Code for girls. Sepulchre is another DaVinci Code for girls. In fact, when I found it at Half Price Books, I read the back, saw the name of the city Rennes le Bains and groaned. But, then. It looked like it was about some creepy tarot thing, rather than a Holy Grail thing so I went for it.

The stipulation is that the Holy Grail thing was a big hoax to draw attention to Rennes le Chateau when the real Visigoth treasure was buried in Rennes le Bains. Sauniere, the priest, was featured with the back story that his townie contemporaries figured he had found the treasure and didn’t ask any questions since he was spending all the cash on improving the church and some other good local stuff.

I always appreciate when there was no great ancient mystery at all, and it is just about the money. Although I should add that I rather like the idea that Mary Magdalene was the wife and ran off with a kid.

Mosse’s style (in this book as well as the last) is to bounce back in forth in time between the old mystery during Sauniere’s time and the present day mystery with the ghost that requires some redemption. The tarot cards summon the devil.

I was not entirely impressed with either heroine. For one thing, I saw no reason for either woman to summon the devil just to kill the crazy mortal man standing in front of her. Seriously. Just to save your own ass, you are going to summon the devil? What kind of heroine are you? Also, I was not exactly frightened by the summoning of the devil. Seems that it should have been scarier.

There weren’t a whole lot of surprises in general.

Having said was an easy, fun read.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More About Used Books Stores

MSN had an article in City Guide about the best used book stores that validated an observation I had regarding the library’s Amazon site:

What do used bookstores want to buy? "The past 12 months of bestsellers are usually in high demand, but it falls apart with mass-produced authors," says Sherar. "With Stephen King, hundreds of thousands of copies hit the market simultaneously. They all get gobbled up, read within a week and then dumped on the market, which makes the used price collapse."

One sure thing: "There's always a need for classics like Faulkner, provided they're in reasonably good shape," says Sherar.

People are looking for a bargain, and the market floods pretty quickly. A new hardcover that we list for $8 or $10 might sell right away, or it might end up sitting for ninety days (until the listing expires) as the going rate plummets down to a penny.

The purpose of the article was to do a “Best in the US” for used book stores. Faulkner House Books in New Orleans is listed, as the more high brow store of the bunch. As I’ve said, I really enjoy visiting the many library used book sales in the area, as well as Half Price Books. I have so many unread books that even at Half Price Books I have resolved to browse only the clearance section for books that I can pick up for a dollar or two. For example, my current read was first published in hardcover in 2007. I picked up the trade paperback for a dollar.

I am wondering if perhaps the economy is making people sell more of their books? But then why are they buying new releases in the first place? Or perhaps the Kindle is messing with the lifecycle?

Anyway. It is definitely a buyer’s market now.

New Home for the Fish

My brother’s contribution to the great Mold Removal Project of 2009 was to take in the fish. They were actually his fish, anyway: he left them at the house when he moved out. Seven years ago.

First, he had to convince his wife. Then, he had to go to PetsMart with my mother to find a new set up. Then he had to build the new set up.

Yesterday, I brought him the fish:

The one in front is, in fact, a good ten years old. I just learned yesterday that his name is Raphael. Raphael is about twice the size that anyone remembered. Apparently he likes to spend his day hiding under things. My nephew, Alex, is calling the other two “the jaguar fish”. I am thinking their scales remind him of the jaguar on the Diego cartoon. I don’t argue with the boy. Except about football.

I brought the castles and the bridge. Alex picked out the Sponge Bob toy that you can just barely see peeking in from the right hand side of the picture. I guess that fish like Sponge Bob toys.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Kiwi the Grey is boarding at the rescue. I took her in on Monday and she no longer finds it amusing. I plan to go in every day after work to give her the medicine, but today was my regular day to volunteer, anyway. She is displeased.

We have taken Shadow the Dog and Spooky the Cat to get tested for aspergillus antigens.

The work is starting on Monday and we have reservations at a local hotel that takes pets. I realize that I am not supposed to declare these things on the Internet, but anyone that wants to rob my house will have to break into a toxic waste zone to steal my 21 year old big screen TV.

Knock yourself out.


In other news, I called my allergist to whine that I am still reacting to my allergy shots. The nurse informed me that the doctor is on leave because he was in a bike accident. Broke his hip and his femur.

So then I had to shut up and count my blessings. That, I guess, is the lesson for the day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Harlot's Ghost, by Norman Mailer

Book 29
Harlot's Ghost is Norman Mailer's epic novel of the CIA. It is also my Moby Dick.

Ten years ago, when I used the library to check out books, I took this home. I started it, loved it, and for some reason I put it down. I renewed it, then put it down again so I had to return it. This is one reason that I stopped checking out books from the library.

A few years later, I found it again on eBay, so I picked it up. I started over, loved it and put it down again. It sat on my shelf for years. I picked it up again this summer and started over.

The main character, Harry Hubbard, is second generation CIA. His father and his godfather are both well-known and old school. Harry is cool because he is not a super-star, not a loser, and the nepotism thing rolls off his back.

We learn at the beginning that Harry ends up having an affair with his godfather, Harlot's, wife Kittredge. And after that, he marries her. Harlot ends up dead - suicide, murder or fake for the purpose of defection. And the wife runs off with some other guy. I am all jazzed with the "what happened here?"

Then we get the history.

The history of the CIA, and the lifestyle that Mailer presumes, is really well done. The politics and the competition with the FBI are a common thread throughout. The theme, however, is that of the dual life. Both as a matter of espionage and a matter of human nature. Kittredge has a theory of the two selves, Alpha and Omega. The theory is too complex and heavy-handed for my taste, so I didn't bother to understand it fully, but the point is that we all have two sides to our nature. Almost two totally different personalities. While Kittredge layed the psychology on really thick, I do appreciate the concept.

Anyway, we follow Harry through a thousand-plus pages of his adventures including many historical figures. Unlike what I imagine to be the target audience, I was bored to tears by the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. However, one of Harry's assignments is to get into the pants of a character clearly based on Judith Campbell so as to keep up with the dirt on the Mafia and, to an extent, candidate Kennedy. That was fun..for awhile.

Perhaps in our post Cold War-whatever, I just can't appreciate the drama. But what really ticked me off is that at the end - which was a To Be Continued that wasn't - we still don't know what really happened to Harlot, or Kittredge. Or why that one guy died or what the hell Dix Butler was up to. It was really abrupt, as if Mailer got bored and dropped it.

I'm glad I finally finished it, anyway.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gaming with Alex

Alex's mom and sister were out of town today, so Scott decided that this would be a good time to try to get Alex to eat Chinese food. Didn't fly. He asked if he could eat carrots.

Before lunch, we played his football game. Actually, it was more like toy soldiers on a football field. There were red guys and blue guys. I take some blue guys and just as I am figuring out that I can't teach him to line up an empty set because there are only two wide receivers, he tells me that first we have to "Say all their names"

Me: "We have to what?"
Him: "Say all their names. Go on, Aunt Anne - you know all their names."

He wanted to introduce them, like at the start of the game.

Me: "OK, but I am getting my camera. I am so blogging this."

I do not, in fact, know all of their names. And these figures do not have the same numbers as the Bears. And that is when Alex very patiently explained to me about pretending. OK, I'll play along. Then I found something that resembled a linebacker and declared him Brian Urlacher.

Alex informed me that Brian Urlacher is not number 55.

As I called the names, he made sure all of the little football soldiers got high fives. When we were done, he told me to say all of the names of the '49ers.

Me: Alex, I don't know the names of the '49ers.
Scott: I thought the red guys were the Redskins.
Alex: (turns to me) How about the Redskins?
Me: I really don't know any of the Redskins.
Alex: '49ers.
Me: I only know the name of the coach.
Finally I got to set up a play. You will notice that the front line guys cannot hold their positions.

I was getting ready to declare the halfback Man in Motion when Alex knocked all of the players into a pile, swept them off the field and declared a rain delay. He rolled up the tarp, and took this picture.

Me: Alex. There is no rain delay in football.
Alex: I'm pretending.
Scott: (walking back into the room) Are you done?
Me: Your son has declared a rain delay.
Scott: Alex. There are no rain delays in football.
Alex: I'm pretending!

And that was all for the football. Later, I got to pull out the "I'm pretending" line when Alex hassled me for coloring Thomas the Tank Engine purple. Then he decided that he wanted to watch a DVD. He asked for the camera so that he could take a picture.

Me: Why do you need to take a picture of the DVD player?
Alex: Just in case.

OK, then.

Friday, July 10, 2009


We have seen the mold guys are were informed that every living, breathing creature must vacate the premises while the work is being done. Seven to nine days. And I am pretty sure he meant working days.

Do you know how hard it is to find someplace for two women, one dog, one cat and one bird to live all at once at the same time without going broke? I briefly considered getting a short term lease on an apartment.

Ugh. We think we have it worked out. In the meantime, Shadow went to the vet because we think he might be fighting an infection, too.

Mold is the most horrible thing on Earth. But here is a picture of Kiwi, taking her medicine without complaint.

How many times a week do you think a Grey can have McDonald's?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Was the Point of That?

I came home today to meet a guy about removing all of the mold from my house. I went up the stairs, thinking I would start a load of laundry. Then I saw this:

Damn. What did I leave in my garbage that the dog found? Then I saw this:

It was a full bag of cat food. We had left it on top of the cat's scratching post, which was idiotic because Shadow can totally reach that. I pick up the bag and realize that it is mostly full. In fact, there were more than three pounds left in a 3.5 pound bag.

What the heck? Shadow suddenly decided that he doesn't like cat food? I called my mother, because that is what we do wen one of the animals has behaved badly.

"I don't know why I am more bothered," I say. "Because he did the deed or because it is so freakin' out of character for him to not finish the bag and make himself sick."

She says, "I'm worried because that bag was sitting there for two weeks. Did he just now discover it?"

Weirdness all around.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good & Fruity

I was at CVS the other day and saw a “new” candy. Apparently, Hershey’s owns Good & Plenty and created something called Good & Fiery. There was cinnamon in there with some other flavors. Interesting. I determined to make my mother try it.

Next to the Good & Fiery were Good & Fruity! Apparently it was gone and there was some kind of petition to bring it back. I bought a box for nostalgia’s sake.

Big disappointment. My initial reaction, which seems to be the opinion of Bloggers everywhere (seriously, Google it) is that they are less the Good & Fruity of old and more Mike and Ike.

Eh. Because I ditched the box and wanted a picture for you, I went online – where I found the petitions and angry reviews. Then I found this:

Check out this Candy Blog. Very open-minded and detailed review. Nice schtick for a website, I think. I might have to read more.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Diner Dash

Last night, after I'd read an awful lot of Harlot's Ghost, and then watched another lecture on Academic Earth, I decided to find a brainless computer game to play. So I checked to see what was on my laptop. Hm. Diner Dash. Click.

It sent me to the Internet and said I could play four times before purchasing. At $19.95 or something ridiculous. Seriously, I could have sworn that I'd seen this game at Half Price Books for five bucks. Whatever.

I played for two hours. Those guys are tricksy, with their loss leaders and their "must have it but it's the middle of the night so I will pay $19.95". Good thing I have some self-control. (snort).

So today, I went to Half Price Books. Five bucks. Or Diner Dash and Diner Dash 2 for seven bucks. Hah.

Plus the four books I had to have right now. (sigh)

I am never going to get to those 17 episodes of Chuck.

Kiwi and Food

The good news is that she likes to eat corn on the cob. The bad news is that she prefers shredding it all over the floor.

Also - I got her to take her medicine the other night. By injecting it into a McDonald's french fry.
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

What's the Matter with Kansas?, by Thomas Frank

Book 28

It is no secret that my politics are sometimes confused. I have been known to vote for people because I just them better. My initial dislike of Bill Clinton was really dislike of his wife. So…as fickle as the next lazy American. On top of that, I was raised in Cook County, where politicians were either part of the Chicago machine or they were Republicans. So we were Republicans.

My father, who is the very definition of the lily-livered, East Coast hippie/yuppie, called himself an Independent. But he voted for Republicans the entire 20 years he lived in Cook County.

But for the past several years, I have listened to the Republicans and wondered what in the hell has happened. So I read, What’s the Matter with Kansas?, by Thomas Frank.

Frank isn’t exactly talking about me – voting for Republicans even when I believe rather strongly in a woman’s right to choose and a homosexual’s right to marry. He is talking about the working class and small farmers in Kansas, once a “hotbed of radicalism” and wondering how they all became Republicans when to do so is absolutely opposed to their economic interests.
The answer is, in a word, backlash.

The entire time I was reading this, I remembered Michael Douglas giving a speech in the press room in the film The American President. He said that the other guy was only interested in “Two things..making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.” Apparently, a bunch of really rich old men have picked up this mantle of conservatism, knowing that they are never going to win back Roe v. Wade, to hoodwink the masses into voting to make them richer. The fact that they are never going to win back Roe v. Wade means they will forever be the individualistic underdogs. They will be forever under attack by the haughty Ivy league types, and that suits their purpose just fine.

A lot of time is spent in this book on the abortion issue. I was fascinated because I remember voting for Bush I in 1992, mostly because I didn’t like Bill Clinton. I was asked several times how I could do such a thing when President Bush was against abortion. First, I would make a joke about how Barbara would never let him cross the rhetorical line, then I would say something like, “The Supreme Court has already ruled. No one is going to take away my right to choose, so I will not be making this an issue when I vote.”

That was sincere. Arrogant, but sincere. What I didn’t realize at the time is that people have found ways to chip away at Roe v. Wade. It took 30 years, but the court swung in the other direction and limits have been placed. I’m not saying that there isn’t a point in a pregnancy where it is just too late to change one’s mind. I’m not making a statement on whether that point should or shouldn’t be legislated. I’m saying that I don’t think those lawsuits were making an honest effort to find the line. I think they were just trying to chip away at Roe v. Wade.

Anyway. The theory is that the way the Republicans pulled off this coup was to stop talking about economics per se and create an anti-intellectualist class war. By the end of the book, the argument was getting heavy handed, but I am buying it. Frank makes a bunch of interesting points, but one stand out: He says that if you ask the Democrats how it happened, they will say that it is really just racism by another name. Frank disagrees. Kansas isn’t racist, he says. They don’t care a thing about race, as long as one goes to the right church.

This week, I read this book and watched three poli-sci lectures on Academic Earth. I must go back to the novels now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stupid, Stupid Aspergillus

Last Friday, after learning that Kiwi was fighting off aspergillus in her system, I went to get my allergy shot. Shots, actually. We separated them into two because several weeks ago, I starting having a skin reaction and I wanted to figure out which of the allergens was making me mad. Saturday, I found out – aspergillus. My allergist is dialing back my treatment.

Yesterday, the mold inspector came to the house. We knew there was some mold in the basement. Getting it waterproofed was the official project of the summer. There was a bit in my mother’s bathroom. And then some in the garage. The good news is that our attic is in great shape, which means that nothing is coming through the ceiling into the bedrooms. We will have the full report on air quality, types of mold and whether it is going to kill me on Monday.

In the meantime, twice a day I am spending 10 minutes arguing with Kiwi the Grey about taking her medicine. She has only bitten me once, but she keeps spitting it out. My powder room looks like someone took a super soaker filled with Pepto Bismol into there. Tomorrow, I am taking two birds into the vet for the Refuge and plan to grill him about this again.

Hating the mold.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Seriously.

According to Google, July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month. They gave us a link to a wikiHow on cell phone etiquette. Here is my favorite part:

Don't talk on the phone in any enclosed spaces, even if you're more than 10 feet away from anyone. They can still hear you (because it's an enclosed space) and usually, they're forced to just sit there and listen.

o Elevators
o Waiting rooms
o Auditoriums
o Buses
o Trains

I would add bathrooms to this list. But I don’t even think that talking should be allowed in bathrooms.

They also had a reminder that it is impolite to take someone’s picture without their consent. I wonder how many more impolite things we can invent for the use of cell phones.