Saturday, October 2, 2021

Abuses of a law.


A while back, my co-op fought a losing battle with HUD regarding Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).  The way the law was being enforced, small "No-Pet" apartment complexes were victimized by people claiming their pets were support animals.  HUD even suggested that people allergic to dogs owning their apartments in co-op and condo complexes be moved to accommodate the needs of the person "needing" the support animal.  This is ludicrous, but it's the way the law functioned.  Since then, major airlines have banned many of these ESAs, as no one wanted to be near geese, miniature horses, etc. while on a plane.  But nothing has been done for co-ops and condos which do not allow pets for the health of ALL of their residents.

The following site mentions how to certify an emotional support dog: How to certify an Emotional Support Dog.  Although the site implies respectability for ESA certification, even they recognize that a mental health professional should be one providing an ESA letter. And here's where the fun starts.  How many people are going to do the research to prove that a mental health professional has had the person in therapy for a reasonable amount of time to justify writing the ESA letter.  When I dealt with HUD, the bureaucrat effectively admitted that there were few rules governing these letters.  Years later, I found that these letters were easily available online for a few minutes of on-line "consultation: and a fee of less that $100.

As much as I'd like to talk about current co-op affairs, I can not do so.  Yet, I can mention that HUD told us that we can't even require that the dog's owner identify the dog as a service animal because the "handicapped" person (my words, not that of law) could be discriminated against.  But what about the other people in an apartment complex?  Does this person's needs override others' property rights?  What about others' health needs?  Once people start seeing animals in the hallways, they will act as if pets are allowed.  And then, a No-Pet residential complex is opened up to pets via the back door.

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Years ago, I mentioned this situation to someone I know.  And she started making lots of noises in support of the animal owner.  (She fed raccoons on her porch.  Go figure.)  But shouldn't the rights of people who choose NOT to live with animals be respected?   Even in this group, most will support legitimate service animals for other residents.  One woman I dated is an epileptic who could die if she were to have an episode in her sleep.  Her service animal is able to sense an oncoming event early enough for her to wake up and take her medicines.  This is the type of animal I'm comfortable with in my complex, not the pet with another name....


Friday, October 1, 2021

I may have a new cruise partner


This will be a short entry.  Last night, as I was booking my next cruise, a friend of mine was impressed that I was going on a cruise this winter.  She expressed an interest in coming with me on a future cruise if it is on her bucket list of places to visit.

When I used to sail with my former cruise partner (FCP), I'd often read my books (or watch TV) in the evening while she did other things.  Often, we'd see each other for dinner, then go our separate ways  And that was fine with me, as I needed to unwind more than I needed companionship.  Now that we are no longer on speaking terms with each other, I realized that sooner or later I might want to find a new cruise partner. And this one sorta fell into my lap.

Although this new woman is a former love interest, we'd travel only as friends and nothing more.  There is no drama in her life, nor is there a need for her to be the center of attention when with people.  Instead, she's very low key and doesn't have that many issues to deal with.  This is perfect for someone that one travels with, as there will be many unexpected hitches during a trip that could cause rifts between two friends.

I am lucky to have this woman as a friend.  It's too bad that things didn't work out romantically for us.

PS: I wonder why the former cruise partner still reads this blog, if I'm no longer a friend....

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Sometimes, I have nothing to say.


Recently, someone commented that all I wanted to do was write about the lives of others in this blog?  Do you believe this to be true?

Lately, when I'm stumped for things to write about, I look at the television and can always find something I care about.  And today is no exception.  But this doesn't always give me a topic to write about.  So I dig into the dumpster of life and talk about people from my past.   Again, today is no exception....

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Years ago, I was turned on to shooting sports by a friend who helped me get my first firearm.  Although I haven't used it in years, I still have respect for a right wing argument that leaves guns in private hands.  I see that private ownership of firearms can force a government to respect a ballot box.  But what happens when one side unilaterally disarms?  Can they protect their rights in a pinch?  To me, the answer is no.  If our cultural war becomes a hot war, what will happen if people on the right go nuts?  Will anyone from areas populated by "the left" be able to protect the community?  I doubt it.

So I'm making an argument that the American left should give up its anti gun rhetoric, and change it to gun regulation based on population density.  People in high population density areas (such as the NYC Tristate region) may have to live with more onerous gun regulations than people in South Dakota.  Risk of gun crime may need to be accepted as a price that must be paid to preserve the freedoms that the left has brought us over the years.  One way of mitigating this risk may be the development of "regulated" (practiced/trained) militias under the guidance of the state.  Many people demanding gun rights are only saying "Look at me.  I'm important!"  in a childish way.  With training, I expect that more people will respect what a firearm can and can't do.

What do you think on this topic?  Can we maintain peace by arming the public on both sides of a cultural war?  (I like "Mexican Standoffs."  But many people fear them.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

In and out within 60 minutes.




A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.

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The above definition comes from Ambrose Bierce's "Devil's Dictionary."  Unlike most people, I am comfortable investing in my teeth.  My mouth may be the one area of my body that is in very good shape.  But then, I pay enough for the privilege of having good teeth. 

Two months ago, I made an appointment to have a failing filling replaced.  Lately, I've been going to the dentist as Marian, and have never had any problems with it.  Today, I was so comfortable, that after the filling was replaced, that I slipped out of Marian's voice and used Mario's voice.  Luckily, I feel comfortable with this dentist in both modes, and will go to my appointments in the way I'm dressed for the day.

Since I knew that it would run me $500 to get the work done on my tooth, I figured that I'd use a new credit card and qualify for a rebate.  Now that I've broken the $500 floor of charges made in 3 months, I should get a $200 credit sent to me sometime in the future.  Although I took a 2 point to my credit score, I don't expect that this will affect me that much.

Right now, I'm expecting a temporary cash flow shortfall.  No, I can pay all of my debts with money from any one of my bank accounts with some to spare.  Instead, I've simply needed to use plastic to take advantage of some very good deals which will benefit me in the long term.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I was supposed to go out to dinner but....

I was supposed to go out for dinner today.  Sadly, my friend called to tell me that her dog was very sick, and that she was bringing it to a 24x7 animal hospital.  So our dinner date was cancelled.  Even sadder, the dog had to be put to sleep. If I could have known this was going to happen around 10 am, I'd have gotten showered and dressed, then go into NYC to visit MoMA.  I guess that I'll be doing this next weekend.

Years ago, I had to put a cat to sleep.  Although I wasn't attached to the cat, this was the right thing to do.  It's even harder to put an animal down when one is attached to that animal.  This is one of the reasons why I might never own an animal again.  I don't want the responsibility of looking out for the best interest of an animal again.

Instead of going out for dinner, I ended up chatting with TCL, then going to Stew Leonard's to pick up my lunches for the week.  If I had a feminine face (without makeup on), I'd have dressed as Marian.  However, getting dressed as Mario made it possible for me to get out the door on time to have a leisurely walk through the store.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to do my laundry for the week, so I'll have to take care of that when I get home tomorrow.

What a bland and boring day....


Monday, September 27, 2021

I am disgusted at what America has become


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about non-transgender issues.  A former friend triggered some thinking about favors and about interpersonal relationships.  My exhaustion at work has gotten me to think about my own mortality.  The daily news has gotten me to think about the nation America is becoming - and I have gotten disgusted.

The other day, TCL talked about a book club whose meeting she was going to attend.  TCL is much more concerned about the Covid-19 virus than many people, and she would prefer to do things outside with people as long as the weather permits.  The book club leader scheduled an indoor meeting at which she planned to go maskless.  This bothered TCL, so she suggested meeting outdoors, as it was going to be a nice day. When the book club met, all the people save one had been vaccinated. Although the one person didn't give her vaccination status, claiming it was a personal matter, we both think she wanted to hide the fact she didn't get her arm stuck.

It seems that most people in the most heavily vaccinated areas are proud to mention their vaccination status, and it has become an indicator of one's political stance.  Although many Republicans have had their arms stuck, there is a correlation between being unvaccinated and being both a registered Republican and Trump Supporter.  In the case of the book club leader, she comes from a highly Republican part of town.  Luckily, TCL was able to get the library to remind the book club leader that masks were required indoors, and that no exceptions would be made.

The above incident ended in an acceptable way.  No one got hurt, and everyone wore a mask.  But what happens when unvaccinated tourists attempt to go out to eat in a NYC restaurant?  Recently, 3 unvaccinated Texans attempted to do just that at Carmine's and started a fight with the hostess who only did her job - ask to inspect the potential patrons' proofs of vaccination.  The hostess was sent to the hospital, while the 3 Texans only got charged with misdemeanors.  If I were the proprietor of the restaurant, I'd have come out with a baseball bat and stopped the fight with extreme prejudice.  My justification would be simple - I have to protect both my staff and my patrons to the best of my ability. Mind you, I don't think my actions would pass muster with a lawyer.  But they might pass muster with a NYC jury.

We are now a country of two warring tribes.  One gives a damn about what happens to their neighbors, and will make sacrifices to keep them whole.  The other tribe is selfish, and doesn't care about what their actions and policies do to people who don't agree with them.  Luckily, Covid-19 is much more likely to kill an unvaccinated person than a vaccinated person.  Maybe, we'll have proof that Darwinian selection can help with issues like this, and we can again have a nation I can be proud of.




PS: I've heard of an alternate explanation for the incident at the restaurant which puts the Texans in a much different light.  The fight may not have been started by the three women at first, but when their husbands met them at the restaurant.  I'll post more on this incident when I have more information....



Sunday, September 26, 2021

It felt much warmer than it was today


No, this was not the outfit I wore today.  It was a Mario day - and I couldn't visit either of my friends wearing an outfit like this.  Not only would it be inappropriate to meet a new friend this way, but the skirt doesn't go well with the top.

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The first thing on my docket was a date with a woman with whom I wanted to get together for a while.  Things seemed to go very well, and we will find out where it goes when I call her next.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Maybe, this time I'll get lucky in love.  Right now, I don't want to count any chickens before they hatch.  But we had a longer conversation than either of us had planned for a first date.  We'll see what happens when I tell her about Marian.

Afterwards, I went to see MWL.  By the time I got there, it felt too hot to do much of anything outside.   So we ordered a pizza, and brought it back to her place before going to see "Free Guy".  This movie is a well crafted piece of fluff.  It is a story of an AI becoming self-aware, where it is no threat to humanity.  Instead, humanity is a threat to the AI.  Without spoiling things, I will say that like most "fluff", this film has an appropriate happy ending.

When the film was over, we went back to MWL's place to chat for a while.  The dog she babysat took a liking to me - and it felt comfortable with me from the minute it came into the room.  Too bad it won't be there the next time I see MWL - I like the pooch.

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...