Psychic Cleaners, Emails, & Dialogue

No starch on the auras, please

This is a somewhat famous sign on the royal road in Mountain View, California. To economize, the sign is shared by a gypsy and a dry cleaners. I passed by and saw the sign but did not see any mountains. Which is fair enough. My folks live in a town called Mt. Pleasant, which is flatter than an EEG of an audience member at an Al Gore speech. When it comes to cities, you can’t go by names.

Regulars will have noticed a diminution of posts and answers to comments these past two weeks. I’m traveling and particularly busy and I haven’t had the time to keep up. I anticipate this frenzied state will last about another week.

I also have a few hundred emails from you (yes, the word is hundreds); story tips, comments, requests to read this or that, and so forth. I appreciate these very much. But I do apologize that I cannot answer each email personally. I have not yet even been able to read them all.

It’s kind of curious. There are many regulars here, people whom we all know by their comments. There are also many who come but who never leave a comment. And many more who come and who prefer to comment via email. Earlier this week, a habitué sent a charming missive which stated, “You are a liar.” Another said, “Small-minded People like you are doomed to be miserable.” And then I got one that fixated on my growing lack of hair (“A bald head is not an indication that you have matured.”).

As far as emails go, I have noticed a distinct correlation between the sex of the sender and the level of vituperation. I’ll let you guess what this is.

Finally, dialogue. Have you ever remarked that a person or group asking for dialogue is interested in anything but? That instead it is a code word for, “You change your ways, because I’m not changing mine.”

Back to work! Oh, I was able to do a post this morning despite being busy by the simple expedient of arising at 4 am to a trilling car alarm. I went into the motel office at 6 for coffee and said to the clerk, “Aren’t car alarms great?” He replied, “Oh, I’m sorry. That’s actually my car. My battery died on my remote and I’m not allowed to leave the property until somebody relieves me.”

20 Comments

  1. There was a mountain (a high hill actually) visible from Mountain View in 2001. Here’s a (rather poor) photo taken from the Holiday Inn Express. Maybe they moved it.

    http://www.dvavra.com/pics/IM000061.jpg

    What ever does the clerk’s remote battery have to do with the car alarm? Is he breaking into his own car? My car only sets off the alarm if I don’t have a key with an RFID chip which doesn’t use power.

    Back in the mid-80’s I had taken up weekday residency at the Sheraton in Cherry Hill, NJ. The fire alarm would sound every Thursday morning at about 5AM. I was told this was because the alarm was pressure activated and every Thursday at around 5Am, the water company would pump water into the town’s tower causing a pressure drop.

  2. “Small-minded People like you are doomed to be miserable.”

    that strikes me as an awfully small-minded statement.

    But still this world, so fitted for the knave,
    Contents us not.–A better shall we have?
    A kingdom of the just then let it be;
    But first consider how those just agree.
    The good must merit God’s peculiar care;
    But who but God can tell us who they are?
    One thinks on Calvin Heav’n’s own spirit fell;
    Another deems him instrument of Hell:
    If Calvin feel Heav’n’s blessing or its rod,
    This cries there is, and that, there is no God.
    What shocks one part will edify the rest;
    Nor with one system can they all be blest.
    The very best will variously incline,
    And what rewards your virtue punish mine.
    Whatever is, is right.–This world, ’tis true,
    Was made for Cæsar–but for Titus too:
    And which more bless’d? who chain’d his country, say,
    Or he whose virtue sigh’d to lose a day?

  3. “As far as emails go, I have noticed a distinct correlation between the sex of the sender and the level of vituperation.”

    Ahhh … but what is the p value?

  4. OK, Mr. Briggs, what did you lie about? Your age? Hehehe… just kidding.

    I came out of a meeting at noon today feeling that I am such a wonderful and powerful person! People we knew tend to be nicer to us. Anyway, one of my friends always ends her email message with the following.

    Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. ~Dr. Seuss

    Captain Jean-Luc Picard is my favorite captain of star trek so far. I was quite happy that I saw him in the 2011 Star Trek Las Vegas Convention. I didn’t have a chance to see him up-close though… darn… we spent our money on Spock as it was rumored that it’d be Nimoy’s last convention appearance there.

  5. What is it exactly that psychic cleaners do? Wash your mind? Use their minds to clean your clothing? Predict how dirty and clean things will become? Advise police on the whereabouts of the socks that go missing in the wash? I’m confused…

  6. Take heart, oh professor. A bald wise man named Tony Campolo once remarked, “Men only receive a certain amount of testosterone. If some choose to waste theirs growing hair……well, that’s up to them.”

  7. I have noticed a distinct correlation between the sex of the sender and the level of vituperation
    Correlation is not causation (unless you are an epidemologist). Is the level of viturperation really determined by sex? Have you applied Baynesian statistics to determine the probability which sex will most likely become abusive?

  8. Wait. How can there be a “growing” lack? This is profound and must be considered.
    + + +

    Is the level of viturperation really determined by sex?

    It depends on how good it was.
    And the degree of turpitude.

  9. “Finally, dialogue. Have you ever remarked that a person or group asking for dialogue is interested in anything but? That instead it is a code word for, “You change your ways, because I’m not changing mine.”

    An apt observation.
    Neo-Marxists have a whole lingo, terms that seem good to the average person but the users don’t intend the normal meaning.

  10. “Dialogue”.

    For some reason, your comments about the empty requests for “dialogue” reminded me of a bumpersticker I often saw when I lived in Boulder CO: “Mean People Suck”.

    I always wanted to make a bumpersticker that said: “People Who Think That ‘Mean People Suck’ Are Mean”.

  11. [q]What ever does the clerk’s remote battery have to do with the car alarm? Is he breaking into his own car? My car only sets off the alarm if I don’t have a key with an RFID chip which doesn’t use power.[/q]

    If your car battery is dying on the older/3rd power alarms, it will go off. I don’t quite understand how it works, but imagine it has something to do with the alarm being reset or the lack of power triggering some alarm.

  12. I’ll have to look for the sign — I drive through Mountain View quite often. And yes, no mountains in Mountain View, but you can *see* (that is, view) the mountains from Mountain View.

    BTW, went to a great Journey/Def Leppard concert in Mountain View not too long ago. Oh, sure Briggs, I know your penchant for musical snobbery, but I’m not ashamed to openly declare on this forum that it was a fantastic concert!

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