Richard Harter’s World
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March 2009

Letters to the editor, March 2009

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 And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication.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 2009.

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From: celinda norvelle
Date: 23 February 2009
Subj: preservation

Hello, I am tired of trying to get anyone to believe I have the rare whole organism preservation, on our ranch in texas. So I won’t try, I have many pictures if you know anyone, interested. Oh I could just go on, however you most likely will be just like every one else. So rare it does not exist. well it does, and I have it. Over 600 pictures, of any thing and everything, and if I don’t have it on camera, I will within 24 hours. I have never had this hard of a time doing anything in my 52 year of life. I never looked for this I could care less, to tell you the truth. Its just staring me in the face every day, and I hear how everyone can’t wait to find the missing link. Well I have it !and so frickin what. Is it because I am on Private land. WHAT!

Sorry I am just sick and tired of all of this, I want my life back. I just can not let go, I thought science was important. I’ll never ever believe that, ever again that is just a bunch of crap.

Again I am Sorry, and tired of all of this! I apreciate your frustration but I haven’t a clue as to what you are talking about or why you are writing me. What do you mean by “the rare whole organism preservation”? Is a fossil or a group of fossils? Is it some kind of plant or animal? Is it some kind of strange growth?

Then, too, it is unclear as to why you are writing to me. Are you just spamming this out to a lot of email addresses and happen to have mine, or is there a more interesting reason why you are writing me?

Who are the anyones you are talking about? Sending a polite letter of inquiry with pictures to a university paleontology department ought to produce some kind of response. Have you tried that?

In any event, I hope that all goes well with your search for the nature of your whatever.

… continued on next rock

I am so sorry, I had a real bad day, and did not even realize who’s e-mail was on my address. Please forgive me, and I don’t even drink. I have no excuse, I did get bucked of my horse that day, twice.

Ok here it is, I have discovered dinosaur fossils on my ranch, no big deal, many have that. I started noticing amphibians body sections, like a shoulder, with arm attached. I know sounds crazy, now you know why I feel a little crazy, I am no scientist. Dental tech, oh god thats how it all started. Long story short. Three live springs run under property. From what my Paleo new found friends are saying , I could possible have whole organism preservation. If it had just been dinosaur and not marine I would have let it go. Like I have for the past two years. Here are a few pictures, I am taking pics of new finding today. I can’t hardly walk. Thanks, again sorry

If you want to see more, I have a lot more, if you don’t, I am fine with that too.

No problem. I have a little secret – I get a lot of strange email. It’s a pleasure when the strange email actually turns out to make sense.

The pictures were interesting; thanks for sending them. I’m probably not the right person for viewing the pictures – I don’t have the right training. However I would be delighted if your new found paleo friends can figure out what you have.

And I am impressed that you can look at a fossil shoulder and attached arm and realize that it is an ancient amphibian and not a dinosaur.

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From: Peter Neilson
Date: 5 March 2009
Subj: Pecunia non olet

Vespasian, not Caligula, a detail that arl also certainly knows. You have been spending too much time inside your threading engine.

A bit of further research revealed that Nero introduced the urine tax, and it fell out of use and was reintroduced by Vespasian.

Why do I bother with these useless details when I could be coding your threading engine in Perl, INTERCAL or RPG?

IIRC Caligula taxed the prostitutes, and made a similar comment. This from a vague recollection of a passage in “I, Claudius”. I suppose I shall have to reread it and see. Perhaps it is just as well. I need to elevate my level of reading; these days I’ve been working on clearing out the unread skiffy. (Skiffy is a brand of literary peanut butter.)

Are you implying that the threading engine code looks like a combination of Perl, INTERCAL, and RPG?

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From: Eva Lynch
Date: 18 February 2009
Subj: found a broken link on your gender issues page – and a suggestion!

Hi there!

My name is Eva and I happened to stumble across your page ( while doing some research on sexual assault and domestic violence. I noticed that you link to, but that page isn’t up anymore. I used to have it bookmarked, but now I’ve been using this page which is a great replacement if you just wanted to change the link:

It’s got lots of amazing resources and support sites listed. Thought it would be a good fit. Thanks and have a great day!!

Thanks for writing. The link you suggested is an excellent suggestion; I will make the change. To be honest, when I started the web site I was following gender issues closely in some discussion groups. Life happens and my focus has changed, so my gender web page hasn’t been getting my attention as it once did. Again, thanks for the tip.
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From: Anthony R. Lewis, PhD, FN
Date: 29 February 2009
Subj: We knew it would come to this in the end

In the words of the poet

Here I sit, broken hearted
Paid a dollar, and only farted

(For those who haven’t checked out the link, it’s about an airline that is considering charging for the use of the in flight toilet.)

… continued on next rock

Do you think you could sequester the seat and rent it out to other passengers to make a profit?

I’ve thought about it and I don’t think you can – at least not more than once. If there is money to be made the airline will grab it. In fact, if I were the airline I would be offering free coffee and caffeinated sodas and anything else that is a diuretic. With any luck at all the toilet could be a major profit center.
Pay toilets are illegal in Massachusetts.
At present … when princes feel want, morality bows to the taxman. As Caligula said about a similar tax, money does not smell.
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From: Ima Taker
Date: 29 February 2009
Subj: Not Raising hogs

Dear Sir,
The bank is foreclosing on my old trailer and my beat up car so I thought I might go into business to supplement my welfare check.

My friend over at Wells, Iowa received a check for $1,000 from the Government for not raising hogs. Right now I’m getting extra help from the government and Red Cross while I’m displaced but when that stops I want to go into the “not-raising-hogs” business.

What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs. As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven’t raised.

My friend, Peterson, is very joyful about the future of the business. He has been raising hogs for twenty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was $422 in 1968, until this year when he got your check for $1000 for not raising hogs. If I get $1000 for not raising 50 hogs, will I get $2000 for not raising 100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4000 hogs not raised, which will mean about $80,000 the first year. Then I can afford an airplane.

Now another thing, these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that you also pay farmers for not raising corn and wheat. Will I qualify for payments for not raising wheat and corn not to feed the 4000 hogs I am not going to raise? Also, I am considering the “not milking cows” business, so send me any information you have on that too. In view of these circumstances, you understand that I will be totally unemployed and plan to file for unemployment and food stamps.

Be assured you will have my vote in the coming election.
Patriotically Yours,
Ima Taker

PS Please notify me when you are giving out more free cheese.

I’m sorry sir, but you are behind the times. What you need to do is to start a bank and not loan money. Then you can get a bailout from the government.
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This page was last updated March 5, 2009.

Richard Harter’s World
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March 2009