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Collected editorials

Richard has a learning experience

What is a bailment?

For obscure reasons having to do with the real estate business Our Lady of the Large Black Dog peruses a dictionary of legal terms from time to time. For even more obscure reasons this seems to be a learning experience for me. Thus it is that I have learned what a bailment is. Since I suspect that most of my readers haven’t the slightest idea what such a thing might be I shall share my new found knowledge with them.

A bailment constitiutes the delivery of personal property to another in trust for a specific purpose with an express or implied contract that the trust be faithfully executed and the property returned or accounted for when that purpose is accomplished or kept until reclaimed by the bailor.
I would have hoped that the return of the property would be called bailing out, but I suspect that the creators of legalese would have nothing to do with anything so cutesy.

How cool am I?

In my heart of hearts I am an economic puritan, one who rejects the great American obsession with endless consumption. I watch the Affluenza documentary and nod approvingly. I have strong opinions on these matters, and yet …

Somehow my practice and my heart of hearts haven’t been keeping company, or, if they have, there has been some straying going on. I cannot defend the purchase of a large plasma TV except on the grounds that it is really neat. (The term “really neat” is used advisedly; most of my younger readers will have no idea what it might mean.) Our Lady of The Large Black Dog has made some (supply your own adjective) remarks about the quality of my economic puritanism. I defend myself as best I can but I have to admit that there has been some fraying around the edges of that plain cloth coat. (Plain cloth coat courtesy of Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon.)

The latest bit of self indulgence is a wine cooler. The theory is that wine is best stored at a temperature ordinarily found within a Norman stone castle. I opine that there is something to it; whether or not there is, many wines are best served chilled.

It happens that the cost of a cooler holding 30 bottles was only about 260 dollars. I console myself with the thought that there are more expensive vices. The besides of which, if I ever decide to give up on wine, I can always pack it with smelly cheese.

Charles River Water

A friend of mine comes from Hopkinton MA, about half a mile from where the Charles river starts. At that point it is about a yard wide and a few inches deep, and the water is absolutely pure. Imagine that – Charles River water that you can drink! The trouble is that that is all the water there is in the Charles River.

Voting Rights for the Dead

Some people argue against voting rights for the dead, even though there is a long tradition of the dead voting in Chicago. Their arguments are the same kind of arguments that have been used to subvert the civil rights of other oppressed minorities. (Yes, I said minority. If women, with 51% of the population are a minority, and white anglo-saxon males with 25% of the population are a majority, then the dead are surely a minority.)

Trash of the Ages

The careful reader (all of my readers are careful) may have noticed that the contents of this issue are both voluminous and peculiar. There is a reason for that; back in January I threatened to reprint large amounts of trash from my old apas. I am making good on that threat.

Napping in the Cheese Factory

I don’t ordinarily read BoingBoing, a popular, quite eccentric weblog much beloved of geeks. However a friend of mine yclept Steve Witham wrote mentioning that South Dakota had made the big time in BoingBoing, to wit, it is mentioned in an article on America’s dumbest laws. It seems that in SD it is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory. At least that is what the Guardian says, admittedly repeating the claim of dumblaws.com. I would not for anything doubt the veracity of material appearing on the web, but I for one would like a bit more detail about this law before avoiding cheese factories while in a somnolent mood.

This page was last updated March 1, 2005.
It was reformatted and moved October 16, 2006

table of contents
Collected editorials