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Death and Taxes

Just in time for April 15th, I remembered the saying, there is no escaping death and taxes. Then this itty bitty thing popped into my head.
I am prepping lunch in my kitchen when there's loud knocking at my front door. I open the door and a man in a white shirt and gray suit is nailing paper to the door jamb. Who are you I say. IRS he says. What do you want I say. A levy for unpaid estate taxes he says. But I am not dead I say. Doesn't matter he says. Can we talk it over I say. Nothing to discuss he says. Who is your supervisor I say. She can't help you he says. It's not right I say. Walking Dead is still dead and must pay up he says. My stomach rumbles. I whack his gray hat off and eat his brains.

Social Security: Who's Foolin' Who?

I can tell I'm getting old. Not that many years ago, when I wanted to feel insecure, I would buy fashion and beauty magazines. What I was looking for, I have no idea. Typical advice (especially when the subject was health and nutrition) was "Eat plenty of this if you want to be healthy ... but  be careful not to overdo, because that can be toxic!" "It's good to work out for 30 minutes each day. Aerobic exercise can be especially good for extending your lifespan. But if your heart starts pumping really hard, call an ambulance because you might be having a heart attack!"

I don't worry about my looks anymore. I periodically shave off my eyebrows and paint them back on with Crayolas. It's all good. I'm thinking about piercing my toenails and getting a tattoo of Carrot Top. Look for me on Instagram under the name @totally2fargone.
Now that worrying about health and beauty is a thing of the past, it's time to find something new to keep me awake at n…

The Orc of Wall Street - True Lies

Patty, The Orc of Wall Street, swiveled her office chair to face her VP Market Research and shouted, "Romy, get to the point!"

Patty, founder and CEO of Bright Light Investment & Son & Daughter, was not a patient individual. Patty was not her true name. Her Orc name was almost impossible for the humans to pronounce properly so she named herself Patty after the raw hamburger patties she loved.

"Yes ma'am. The new facial recognition software can tell if a person is lying. We feed in a video of a subject and the software will identify when the subject lies."

"Really," replied Patty. "How does it work?"

"Essentially, the software monitors two hundred micro facial movements, plus body movements, gait, arm swings, et cetera. We call it a facial recognition software for simplicity but it really monitors all body movements. Then we link the facial software with a psychological behavioral module to ferret out when a subject is lying. For th…

Social Engineering

I learned a new term in my company’s Computer Security course, social engineering. Social Engineering occurs when hackers use your normal human behavior against you to steal access to your computer.
A famous example – a computer security company, Norton I think, dropped a flash drive with the company’s logo in the company's parking lot. Employees found it and put the flash drive into their PC. A virus was loaded onto the PC. One expected that employees of a computer security company to know better than to stick a strange flash drive into their PC. But, the urge to help out

College Admissions Crimes

College admissions scandal: Rich people using their money to get their way. What surprised me was how stupid they were. They bribed the wrong way.
The proper way to bribe colleges is to give to the college, the institution, and not to people. When you give to the institution, we call it a donation, not a bribe. If the donation is large enough, and those bribes certainly were, you can get your kid into the college. The most famous is Harvard. They got lots of money from the Kennedy family and Harvard accepted all their children.
The College admission scandal revealed to me just how hard the One Percenters fight with each other. The One Percenters at the poorer end, that is those with only two-digit millions, feel left behind as compared to their billionaire peers. The poor One Percenters have to resort to bribes and other nefarious behaviors to keep up. Apparently, it's hard to be a poor One Percenter.
What I found interesting about the scandal was that sports coaches were involved. …

Should have kept quiet about the shoes

My extremely progressive religious denomination is currently facing a crisis. While striving for years to extend a welcoming hand to LGBT+ folks, they fell horribly short this month, by publishing an article about transgender people that showed an abysmal level of ignorance and insensitivity.

The backlash will go on for a long time, and the shaky (at best) foundation that had been established is showing some serious cracks that will take considerable time and patience to repair.

Last fall, a subgroup that represents LGBT+ people within the denomination conducted a poll, and the results showed that the transgender people who attended our churches frequently encountered behaviors and attitudes that reflected the tone of the article.

To review: a transgender woman is a woman. A transgender man is a man. Don't ask transgender people (don't ask anyone, really. C'mon!) about the status of their genitalia. And don't take for granted that a transgender person has nothing else …