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March 2010
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Letters to the editor, March 2010

This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for March 2010.

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From: Chip Hitchcock
Date: 3 February 2010
Subj: January zine

Just to add to your busyness: the letters (all 2 of them) are 404'd. This would be less disturbing if Earthlink had not offered me a "Two-minute tuneup" for my browser. Just what I want -- a strange ISP mucking with my computer....

I dunno, they work for me. Did you push the red reset button?
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From: Linda
Date: 2 March 2010
Subj:

Accidently stumbled upon you web site, and something caught my eye. Not sure if you can help me, but it's worth a try. I'm trying to dive into my genealogy, notice that a Tony Lewis wrote: I found out that one of Suford's relatives--- a second cousin, four times removed, was Melvina HEREFORD, who married Hudson GENTRY. They were two survivors of the Donner's Party. Melvina HEREFORD and Hudson GENTRY are my great grandparents and I'm trying to find out more information on them. Do you have any information on the person who wrote this little piece of information?

As it turns out, Tony is an old friend of mine and is obsessively interested in genealogy. He probably has all sorts of information, some of it arcane and obscure. I've left a message with him and Suford, telling them that you are interested in any information that they have. I dare say that he won't mind if you write and ask him for help.
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From: Chip Hitchcock
Date: 2 February 2010
Subj: December: editorial et al

"going to driving school"?

I \know/ you put that in as a hook; so tell, already.

Actually I didn't, really truly. See the section entitled "The Good Citizen Harter" in the September 2009 editorial. The URL is http://richardhartersworld.com/cri_c/editorials/edit111.html. Also see the November 2009 Editorial, "Exactly what did happen?", URL http://richardhartersworld.com/cri_c/editorials/edit113.html. Between them there is some coverage of the sordid details.

Driving school was three days of classes on being a public transit driver. It covered an amazing number of topics, e.g., evacuating passengers from a burning bus, recognizing signs of abuse in passengers, how to help handicapped passengers without getting complaints of sexual abuse, defensive driving, operating a handicap lift, etc.

Incidentally, the only practical advice on burning busses is to get out ASAP. It takes about seven seconds for a bus to burn up once the fire is inside - essentially everything inside a bus is made of foamed oil.

Also as of January I am being paid for carting people around central South Dakota. My pay rate is a munificent eight dollars an hour. It doesn't quite match my pay rate as a consultant, but it shouldn't. I believe there is a theorem in economics that says that

salary times value to the world is a constant.

Almost all of my passengers are frail seniors. The only exceptions were two young persons who had to go to Sioux Falls for a court appearance. It seems that their ride fell through and it was, ah, important that the female had to be there. Her boyfriend came along for moral (stretching the term) support. He came back with me; she stayed behind - she is spending the month of February in the Graybar Hotel.

wrt "Economics and Cows" -- had you heard that the dairy board's TV commercial of Contented California Cows was being shot in New Zealand? http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/its-udderly-silly-californias-happy-cow-ads-will-be-filmed/19239797/.
Tsk, tsk. There is no truth in advertising.
re "The Term Paper": if only it were a joke. Julie Schwartz is reported to have done the same thing to aspiring comics writers (only with more iterations, requests for changes, etc.), simply to see if they would work as hard as he wanted them to.
I suspect that John W. Campbell and H.L. Gold did much the same thing.
re your suggestion to ARL (in December Letters) of an interesting uchronia, have you read _The Yiddish Policemen's Union_?
Should I?
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From: HSBC Bank UK
Date: 10 February 2010
Subj: Payment Notice

HSBC Bank Online PlcHome

Dear Customer

You have an unconfirmed payment on your HSBC online banking account Please verify your HSBC Online account information for payment approval Click the link below to verify your informations.

Account Verification

Important Notice: You are strictly advised to match your information rightly to avoid service suspension.

Thank you for your co-operation.

How dumb do you think I am? Only an idiot would click on that link.
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From: HSBC Bank UK
Date: March/1/2010
Subj: Whatever

Valued Customer,

Your access to internet banking has been suspended for security reasons. In order to restore your access you will need to confirm your identity.

Thank You.

The world's local bank

Oh Dear, that's why I couldn't collect that big payment - my account has been suspended. That's not surprising since I don't have one.
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From: Chip Hitchcock
Date: 2 February 2010
Subj: Danvers (wrt November editorial)

You may remember (being partly responsible for a convention in the neighborhood) that Danvers is the site of a building we referred to as "The Home for the Overly Enthusiastic". It's been abandoned for a while (the hulk is a vampire lair in a recent Boston-based fantasy novel), but perhaps it could be re-opened?

Alas, I don't remember it but I am intrigued. What qualified for the title of "The Home for the Overly Enthusiastic"? Would it perchance be a retirement home for people who undertake renovation projects that they really shouldn't have?
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This page was last updated March 1, 2010.

Richard Harter's World
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March 2010
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