Today is Saturday January 14, 2017

I’m not sure if this customer hears voices, but he seems to behave in a manner of one afflicted with  paranoia.  I went with my friend Andy to do an appraisal of a nice ($700,000+) house in Spring on a street with one of those stupid names (I can’t use the real name, but it’s as ridiculous as “S Lazy Honey  Meadow Lane.”  The house has a pool, and is of a good quality of construction, with a winding staircase, but otherwise fairly easy to work with in terms of measuring and sketching to calculate the GLA (gross living area) for the upstairs and downstairs.

When Andy and I were in the foyer, we discussed the various measurements needed to to this, and were talking in a fairly quiet way. We measured outside for about 25 minutes, and had spent no more than five minutes on the second floor when the homeowner came to the room we were measuring, and said that he knew about the appraisal process, and that we were violating his privacy by measuring the outside and taking pictures and measuring inside. Andy has personally authored more than about 5,300 appraisals in the last 18+years. The homeowner (who was big, menacing, and visibly shaking)  asked us to get out, and that he would make sure to get Andy fired. I was totally astonished. I’m also glad I was there to attest to the fact that Andy’s behavior was beyond reproach, and all we did was consistent with appraisal practice.

Andy and I stopped on the front porch to put on our shoes when the man’s wife came outside and told us to leave immediately and that we had no business ‘bad mouthing’ her and her husband and said Andy was the rudest person she had ever met.

I think the man was paranoid, and that he felt we were discussing him when discussing our mission. I’ve dealt with paranoids, and this seems to explain his behavior, and perhaps his wife has problems in this regard as well. This guy is a project manager for a major oil company, so is no dummy.

I’ll just chalk it up to something that I’ll never know for sure. Perhaps Andy said something of which I was not aware, as he talked to the homeowner while I was outside for about 20 minutes.

What do you do when confronted by someone acting in a manner so bizarre as to defy explanation?

Dealing with people with mental issues is a real drag, and I’d just as soon not deal with them.


Every day, about 10 new users sign up, and they change their assigned passwords. They never post anything, so I don’t see any harm. It’s just annoying, so I delete all of them daily, and they still come back. They use fake email addresses, often with the country code “.RU” which is reserved for Russia.

It’s funny to me since nobody reads this blog anyway, 99% of the time.

Too bad WordPress doesn’t have a role called “intruder.”


I’m trying to use WordPress to allow me to maintain a product catalog, so that people can browse an inventory of antiques, and send an email (or fill out  a contact form) to indicate their interest. At this time, there’s no plan for a shopping cart, as these are one-of-a-kind items. It’s not often I have a great quantity of items of the same types.

I’m not doing it here, as this is my ‘personal’ blog that I post to very erratically.

So, I’ve signed up for a WordPress/Bootstrap course.

Ideally, I’d show a splash page, showing the broad categories of goods, and then allow the user to drill down from the Main Categories Page to the individual items under that category.

E.g. Porcelain->Blue Duck – Occupied Japan stock#12-34.12


Duck Bottom


Green Duck – front

I’ll post my progress as I go along.

A memory lasts forever when recorded with a tear or with a wide smile.
And a Memory that is forever can never be taken away by anybody, and if
you ever forget that very memory, the body itself will remind you.

Louis gets his second spelling cup, with a wide smile

Louis gets his second spelling cup, with a wide smile


Judaism OnlineJudaismOnline

I’ve often wondered this, so looked for answers, and this was the most popular. I’m sure Christian biblical scholars have something to say about this,

Why Jews do not believe in Jesus.


What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)

D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.

How can we hasten the coming of the Messiah? The best way is to love all humanity generously, to keep the mitzvot of the Torah (as best we can), and to encourage others to do so as well.

Despite the gloom, the world does seem headed toward redemption. One apparent sign is that the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel and made it bloom again. Additionally, a major movement is afoot of young Jews returning to Torah tradition.

The Messiah can come at any moment, and it all depends on our actions. God is ready when we are. For as King David says: “Redemption will come today—if you hearken to His voice.”

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Largely adapted from

What book did you recently read that satisfied you so much that you just HAD to recommend it to your friends who read?
My answer is “The Bottoms” by Joe R Lansdale
A thriller with echoes of William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is classic American storytelling in its truest, darkest, and more affecting form.
Its 1933 in East Texas and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color.


This movie was really good, but we thought we’d read this in bookclub. Well, there’s no way. This movie has Hanley kidnapping Deveraux’s daughter, few scenes with Alexa, no mental hospital with Hanley locked up, and Weinstein is a total psychopath bureaucrat. The credits say “based on the novel ‘There are no Spies’ but that phrase is never uttered. There are I believe seven books in the series, and they’ve enjoyed commercial success, and deservedly so. Anyway, see the movie — you won’t be disappointed unless you want to see the story that we read about.

BAD PARENTS Appalling parents abound in The Goldfinch – particularly fathers. Larry Decker and Mr Pavlikovsky compete for the worst father award, both beating their sons whilst failing to nurture or even feed them. Hobie’s father is a sadistic bully who forces his son to work for him without pay. Welty’s father abandons his son and his daughter as one is disabled and the other illegitimate.
Note: Miserable families have distinct strains, often caused by bad fathers. Tartt gets it!  Tolstoy recognized that happy families are much alike, but miserable ones have distinct factors that give rise to and exacerbate the misery.

You won’t believe some of the language Truman uses. Cant print what’s in the snippet below.. Funny how Amazon let a typo get by.

“Soon after we were married, I discovered there was a fine reason why her eyes had such a marvelous moronic serenity. She was a moron. Or damn near. Certainly she wasn’t playing with a full deck. Good old humorless hulking Hulga, yet so dainty and mincingly clean—housewifey.”

Hilarious! Truman’s wit & sharp tongue make this a fun read.Kitty has claws!

“I wish I could dash downstairs and find a bus, the Magic Mushroom Express, a chartered torpedo that would rocket me to the end of the line, zoom me all the way to that halcyon discotheque: Father Flanagan’s Nigger Queen Kosher Café.”

Another quote I like “”A blond, and how!—his skin had the golden oleo gleam that comes from long Cherry Grove weekends. Yet, overall, he seemed decidedly moldy—a sort of suntanned Uriah Heep. “Yes?” he inquired in a voice that crawled coolly through the air like an exhalation of mentholated smoke.”
I finished it and gave it three stars out of four. If you don’t know these celebrities, it isn’t engaging, but I stuck it out because I like his style of writing, and he can sure read people! I did look up the identities of the characters (Wikipedia), and it made a lot more sense, but most of these people are long dead and not too relevant today.


What inspired Donna Tartt to write “The Goldfinch.

The Inspiration for The Goldfinch   Tartt’s initial idea to begin her novel with an explosion in an art gallery was inspired by a terrorist attack in 2000. The destruction of sixth century Buddhist carvings at Bamiyan in Afghanistan by Islamic fundamentalists prompted the idea of writing about terrorism and the destruction of art.

You simply must read “The Goldfinch.” Vanity Fair doesn’t speak for all of us

Then, there are some serious critics who just plain don’t like “The Goldfinch.”