Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 19 hours, 24 minutes ago on 165 A WORD OF CAUTION FOR YOU!

This string is being up way out of its normal order because I have a strong suspicion that when the creeps in this world read about something I just read about they will immediately get the idea of copying it. I wanted you all to know about it as soon as possible because it is so insidious.

If by some chance you should receive a small USB drive in the mail as some kind of "gift" or as something that contains an offer of some, or that says nothing at all, do not put it into your machine!

If you do the chances are that you will be putting a drive drive containing malware into your machine.

It has started happening in Australia, but you know how it is, once someone gets a sneaky idea it doesn't take long for it to spread.

According to the Voice Of America article that carried this the technique is not new. It has been used by spies to hack into hard-to-get-into computers. They just leave a small, cheap USB flash drive somewhere where the victim will find it, or just drop it in a mailbox, or mail it to someone and BINGO! they own your machine the minute you turn it on.

Just a friendly warning. I thought you would like to know about because if someone were to — say — leave a small little USB drive where you might find it what would be the natural thing to do with it? The thing most people would do, even if all they were doing was trying to find out who it belonged to so that they could return it, would be to stick it in a port. Right?

Someone could just leave one sitting on a table in a restaurant, or drop one on the sidewalk in your neighborhood, and put one in any one of hundreds of likely spots. So if you find one don't for crying out loud make the mistake of putting it into a port on your machine!!

Don't do it!

The best thing to do is to pick it up with a handkerchief, take it straight to the police, and if they haven't heard of this scam tell them about it.

The question?

Beats me! If you'd like to make a comment, go ahead.


Tom Garrett 19 hours, 32 minutes ago on 125 One reason we may never solve our problems.

The very worst problem we have on this planet is not the threat of nuclear war. It is not the possibility that we may change the environment in ways that make it hard for us to live here on earth. It is not the rising crime rate. It is not the growing world shortage of food. It is not international terrorism.

It is the basic reason why all those things grow worse each year. If we could address that basic reason most of those problems would slowly fade away, becoming bad memories of something we should guard against in the future.

Can you name that one basic cause?

Not right off hand?

I can.

Here it is: The slowly increasing overpopulation of our planet.

Overpopulation is obviously the prime cause of global deaths by starvation. If food were plentiful and cheap we could simply ship what is needed where it is needed.

Overpopulation is obviously the prime cause of environmental change. As the population grows so does our use of fossil fuels. So does the movement of people into once pristine areas. So does the amount of everything that ends up in the air or in landfills, and so on ....

Overpopulation is obviously the prime cause of angry competition between nations for growing room, for natural resources, and for other things. Take away the need for nations to compete and the prime cause of wars fades away.

Overpopulation is obviously the prime cause of the rising crime rate. I've seen experiments done where they simply took rats and began to overcrowd them. Suddenly, a peaceful population of small animals became a place where rape, murder, and theft became the norm. The same happens when humans are shoved together and find themselves unable to find decent jobs.

Overpopulation. Just plain old overpopulation. Too many people, limited resources, and ....

And what? Where the key to all this? Who is creating the problem?

This article will show you the answer.

I'll let you read the important parts of it, and then you can tell me WHO gets the blame.


"South Korea's government has announced a host of measures to encourage people to make more babies, as concerns grow over the country's stubbornly low birth rate."

"South Korea's birth rate has plummeted since the 1960s, with little change in recent years despite billions of dollars in government spending. Health Minister Chung Chin-youb says "all possible efforts" must be made to reverse the decline."

There you are. We don't need another word to understand the reason the planet is rapidly becoming over populated.

The question is .....

What is that reason, and who gets the blame?


Tom Garrett 19 hours, 35 minutes ago on 126 Hiya, Grandpa! Where'd you come from?

I'll say hell too.


It's back at the top again.

Gee! Ain't technology wonderful?


This is a bit of an aside, but it seems to me that a family that had the time and money for all this must have a lots of pesos. I often wonder about people that get stuck in a nursing home and wonder if the relatives are eying some bank account or something.


Tom Garrett 19 hours, 36 minutes ago on 153 Added thoughts on string 126 (Cremated grandpa).

He lasted just three weeks, and I know why. He was, just like so many of us, a home type. He wanted no adventure, no bars, no trips, no night life — just his quiet home, his work around the house and yard, his cat, and his TV. We only had a chance to visit him once and when I saw him he was lying alone in a bare and empty room, with nothing to do but stare at a blank wall. Before we could visit him a second time he was gone.

Another friend had made up his mind to get down there and see him twice a week, and he did. The third time he went down there he walked into a room where the patient and others were all sitting in a large room on wheelchairs. He walked up to the man, saw his eyes were closed, and quietly said hello. Since there was no response he touched his old friend's hand. It was ice cold. He had died some time ago and no one had even noticed.

THAT is a death from despair, proof that when you separate someone from all he knows and loves and turn him into a profit making body he or she does not last long.

What you did was VERY different. The need was there, and so was the love and attention. And you were there constantly, supplying that essential link with the past, with home, and with loved ones.


Tom Garrett 19 hours, 37 minutes ago on 153 Added thoughts on string 126 (Cremated grandpa).

Pat, I know what you mean by "There is a lot missing."

Because of Lolly and how long she has stayed with us — thank God! — I've given this a lot of thought. As I said, by contrast with the way Lolly is still here ten years later I've had two good friends up here placed in nursing homes and who died for no good reason that I have ever been able to discover; that is, nothing physical.

in both cases I thought being placed in care was an unnecessary move. Neither of them was unable to care for himself and I could see no genuine cause for the move. I saw the second one of them just one week before he was "jailed" as I look upon it. He walked into the doctor's office while I was there after having driven himself there. We talked and he was as normal as anyone I have ever know. Then he was just gone — poof! In the slammer.

One of them was just entering the first phase of Alzheimer's, the phase where it is easy to forget whether or not you have taken some medication and words get mixed up or lost. But he was healthy, strong, easy to get along with, did everything for himself, was still enjoying life, taking care of his house and property, and was otherwise no different from anyone else. Within two months of his being dumped in a nursing home he was over at my place helping me shovel a couple of tons of gravel.

He had plenty of money, a guaranteed income derived from seven rental houses he owned in the valley, plus his social security, and a very large, good paying investment. He had a paid for home, could still drive well, and was to all extents as normal as could be. He needed only supervision of his medications. The state provided a helper who came in and did things around the house and his family, who did not live in the house, had only to set things up so that given just the slightest amount of help in the form of making sure they didn't accidentally take the same medication after having taking it already. THAT, they failed to do, though I cannot imagine why; it would be the very first step, wouldn't it?

He was given the worst possible type of prescription dispenser, a plastic pack with push out pills, of which he was supposed to take one a day. Nobody troubled to supervise that so the inevitable happened. Of 12 pills in the pack he took 7 in one day, not remembering he had already taken one. He had to be air evacuated to the valley and treated for a bleeding stomach. When he came back he was temporarily in need of care, and got it, but soon was up and about.

But then — and this is the part that hurts — instead of bringing him back home where he belonged his relatives chose to just leave him there. He twice walked out and went for a stroll, so they stripped him naked, put him on a bed on a rubber sheet, and forgot him.



Tom Garrett 20 hours, 10 minutes ago on 140 An odd article about Arizona in the Australian news.

Why, Pat? Are you against the legalizing of pot, or are you just tired of the election (for which I don't think anyone would blame you)?


Tom Garrett 20 hours, 12 minutes ago on 124 This is a "party?"

Do you imagine you'd ever see this paragraph in an American newspaper?

"Sunday's festivities included a colorful child-oriented parade through New York City that attracted tens of thousands of revelers, many of whom danced in the streets to the sound of steel drums and reggae bands. Scores of paramedics were on hand to provide MASH-style units for carnival-goers injured or unwell from alcohol or drugs. Medical beds were deployed at roadsides in some locations. The NYC Ambulance Service reported shortly before midnight that 411 people had received medical care ... 77 of whom needed hospital treatment. 105 people were arrested on charges that included drug possession, carrying knives, assault, sexual offenses and theft. Four knife attacks occurred during the opening day .... four males aged 15 to 20 were wounded ... one 15-year-old boy is in hospital in critical condition .... "


Well, our British friends and allies across the sea have always been known for having a nation filled with reserved good taste and a wealth of common sense. What happened?


Tom Garrett 20 hours, 17 minutes ago on 130 What is it these days with the horror programs?

Nobody knows?


Might show that the people who post here have enough sense to stay away from such things.

So what happened to (a) the rest of the people, and (b) to the people who write these things?


Tom Garrett 1 day, 19 hours ago on 140 An odd article about Arizona in the Australian news.

Hey! We made the news in Australia with our initiative on legalizing marijuana! How about that? On the other hand, it was an sort kind of article. It claimed it was going to be a "fact-check" on an issue but it never actually decided which facts were which.

Interestingly enough, I don't know how much has been said on television about the initiative, but I haven't seen much in the news sources I check. The only articles I've taken any note of were a couple whose headlines said that some poll or other showed that 51% of registered voters are for the initiative. I didn't read them though. I'm not a big fan of polls.

As far as I could see, the Australian article took a negative view of the initiative, but I could be wrong because it rambled all over the place and mainly discussed the question of which was more harmful — alcohol or marijuana.

My comment on that is who cares? It has nothing to do with the issues concerning the initiative.

The issues involved are decriminalizing the use of marijuana so we can stop putting thousands of people in prison for something that many people believe should be a matter of choice, and getting rid of a major source of criminal profits which come from the sale of things that have been made illegal by laws which people are being to question. Strangely, the article never said a word about either of those.

It also contained a comment by Governor Ducey about alcohol and marijuana in which he replied to something someone said earlier, but it failed to quote what he was replying to, so I won't go into it. I don't repeat things that are taken out of context. Who knows what they are actually about?

As I said, the major focus of the article was on the comparative safety of alcohol and marijuana, but it cited sources that differed with each other and so the issue was never resolved. In truth, though, I don't see how a vague issue like that could really be resolved, do you? Vague terms like "safety" cover far too much ground.

The article gave credit to the Washington Post, but it was evidently taken from several sources, also citing the Lancet, a British journal, and some magazine called National Affairs magazine, so I doubt that it was an actual copy of a Post article.

Anyway, I haven't heard of anyone here in Arizona who has said anything about alcohol versus marijuana. We are simply given a chance to vote whether or not we want to decriminalize the use of marijuana. The question of whether or not it is "safer" than alcohol is just another red herring which tries to pull attention away from some real issue. I did get one thing out of the article though. Arizona is just one of five states that have the legalizing of marijuana on the ballot this November.

How about that?

Any ideas how the voting will go?


Tom Garrett 1 day, 19 hours ago on 130 What is it these days with the horror programs?

I do not watch television. I used to watch it before Lolly became ill, but when she did I decided that I could not afford to have my attention — mainly my hearing — on anything else other than the monitors I have set up all over the house.

To be honest, however, the amount of time I spent watching had dwindled more and more as each year went by. I was down to a very small number of programs. Frankly, I thought that too much of what should have been entertainment had become junk. The "reality programs," which were about as far from reality as anything I have ever seen, probably were the clincher in making up my mind that TV was headed straight downhill.

Every once in a while I come across a comment about TV which makes me suspect that even if Lolly had not become ill I would not be watching television today. I know for a fact that I will never go back to it no matter what may happen.


This story, which I had to go to an Australian news source, but you may have heard somewhere else, is an example of why I feel that way.

headline quote

"Clown sightings spook South Carolina, baffle police, worry parents."


It seems that over the past few weeks sightings of silent, menacing clowns in north-eastern South Carolina, while they may be part of a publicity stunt for a horror movie or just an elaborate hoax, are no laughing matter for parents and police. Parents are worried and police are being kept bus chasing down reports.

I took note in the article that the name of the director of the movie, which I won't mention, was named "Rob Zombie."

And yes, I've seen comments about all those zombie programs and the like, but never really read any of them.

While there's no doubt in my mind that each of us has a right to like what he or she likes, and while I strongly support that belief, I still have to ask the question.

The question is ....

Why has television — and I guess Hollywood as well — run so far downhill in its taste? Is there a reason? Or is it just my imagination? Or what?