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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/12 - Odds 'n Ends

I pass a BP gas station every Friday on my morning walk. There's a sign there that reads something like: "Same low price, cash or credit." I found it curious until I read Betsy McCaughey's op-ed piece in today's NY Post. Credit card companies charge a fee per transaction. Most merchants pass that on to consumers. It is illegal in all but ten states, New York one of them. Five small business owners have filed suit to be allowed to notify customers about the discrepancy in payments, claiming it is protected as free speech. Why any government would oppose such a measure says a lot about politicians.

Dylann Roof, the wacko who killed nine members of a southern church, has been sentenced to death. He is as deserving as anyone who has ever earned it. It will be interesting to see, given the victims, if those who usually protest the death penalty so ardently will do so in this case.

Here's another example of the diabolical cleverness of terrorists, as brought to attention by an article in the Post. Hamas tricked members of the Israeli Defense Force by posting pictures of beautiful women online. This prompted men to download apps, which led to hacking of sensitive information. Bastards.

Recently, I'd read an article that cited a rise in NYC traffic accidents and fatalities. I don't know where the writers got their stats. Yesterday, figures were published that completely contradict those. The numbers are at an all-time low. I apologize for my negative comments about the mayor's Vision Zero initiative. However, I doubt I will adhere to the 25 MPH limit on roads that are clear. It's hard enough to go no faster than 30.  

The move of the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles, where they will share the city with the Rams, is bizarre. The organization does not want to leave, but it's been offered a rental deal too good to pass up. Last year the Rams owner's plan to privately fund a palatial development on land he acquired in Inglewood beat out the Chargers’ joint deal with the Raiders to get something built in Carson. As a consolation prize, the Chargers will move into that stadium as a tenant for $1 per year. The move is not on a par with the original Browns deserting Cleveland and the Colts sneaking out of Baltimore in the middle of the night, but it's close. (From Yahoo Sports, in my own words)

Despite the spectacular weather, passersby were almost unanimous in their indifference to books today. My thanks to Natalya, who bought a thriller in Russian. I had a visit from Andy, one of the MTA's go-to guys for things electrical. He had quite a shift yesterday. He had to shut down power three times in separate stations, twice when poor souls jumped to their deaths in front of a train, and once when a woman fell onto the tracks. In the first incident, he said he'd never seen so much blood. It continued to drip as the body was taken away. Andy suggested the crew use a plastic bag next time. He called the station manager and said the stairs better be cleaned, and the guy pissed and moaned. I won't complain about business having been slow.
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