Only Tile

We have a number of old Communist Russian Propaganda posters hanging in our house. People often see them and think they reflect our political views, but I just like the illustration style.

We had some tile work done by a father-and-son team from Russia. The father got really excited when he saw the posters and asked if he could take a photo. Russia and Trump were in the news a lot, so I asked what he thought about everything that was happening. He answered, “Clinton, Trump…to me, it makes no difference…I only do tile.”


Follow that Rope

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is under construction, so the exhibit is currently housed in the Hermitage Museum. I followed the map (iPhone’s Maps) to the museum that’s under construction where they are still selling tickets. When they gave me the tickets they told me to follow the rope and pointed up. I looked up and saw a red rope wrapping around the building. I thought this might lead to a map.

When I got to the other side of the building, I saw the rope extending out through the city, stretching between buildings, trees, and lights — criss-crossing streets and rivers — turning corners, hopefully leading to where I might find the exhibit. I’m sure I looked like an idiot walking down the street, staring up at this red rope. The path stretched over three miles — and not in a straight line. It seems like an idea one of my kids would have come up with but that never would have gone anywhere in the US. Props to Amsterdam for making it happen.

Hi Rick,

Sorry about the first name basis, but I still can’t bring myself to use your last name. Quick question: is your website supposed to look like this?

Is it meant to be an expression of how far to the right you are — differentiate yourself from all those left-aligned or centrist websites out there?



There is a little town by Bear Lake called Montpelier, where we go to see movies (The movie theater is worthy of its own post). There is a big hill with an M on it. As part of an anti-drug campaign, the city decided to add an “ETH” after the “M” and put a red cross through it. Though I think the merits of the idea certainly could (and should) be debated, there was also a problem in the execution of the idea. The red cross hardly shows up at all. So, Montpelier had a giant “METH” on the hill as people drive into the town. The creators of the sign had this to say about it:

You can see it from about five miles away. The red doesn’t show up as well as I would have liked it to. But I’m still very happy with it. I have had a lot of adults come up and say that M Hill looks great. It’s so big and it’s impossible to miss!

I want my two dollars!

I feel like I am getting into a lot of controversial topics lately and I promise to get back to the regular nonsense after this…If there is one thing I HATE, it’s contacting technical support. It raises my blood pressure just thinking about it. So, I want to share my one positive experience — and it just so happens to have been with my beloved Apple. I bought an iPhone app the other day that turned out to be a complete waste of money. So, I reported a problem to iTunes. I got a message immediately that said it was forwarded to the makers of the app — not exactly what I wanted. I sent another message saying I want my money back. I got this reply within an hour or two:

Good morning Richard,

Mikey here, from the iTunes Store. I understand you wrote in a few days ago about your application “GoDocs” that doesn’t work and asking for a refund. I also see that you haven’t received a reply from that email and would like to know why. I can certainly see how eager you are to have this resolved and, I apologize for the email not getting to you. Richard, I will be happy to assist you with this today.

I have reversed the charge for the purchase. A credit of $1.99 should be posted within five business days to your store credit and credit card.

As a goodwill gesture and for the delays, I have issued 3 replacement song credits to your account. You can use the credits to buy songs of your choice from the iTunes Store.

When you sign in to the iTunes Store with this account, the song credits will appear by your account name in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window. The next time you buy a song from the iTunes Store, one song credit will be used to pay for the purchase. Please note that song credits cannot be used for purchasing songs that are listed as “Album Only.”

If you don’t see the credits, choose Sign Out from the Store pull-down menu at the top. Then choose Sign In from the Store menu, enter your account name and password, and click Sign In. Your song credits should now appear next to your account name.

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you today, should you have any further questions don’t hesitate to reply to this email.

Happy Holidays!


iTunes Store Customer Support

It’s a small thing, but it surprised me enough that I wanted to publicly thank them for not being punks over $2. I’m sure PC makers would have been jerks. PCs…boo!


So, I was scanning some of the comments on the blog that were correctly marked as spam. I especially liked the ones that tried to be so vague that they apply to any blog — any blog except ours…

Good work, I wish my site had as much information as yours does.

information? Really???

Useful information, thanks for taking the time to write it.

…sorry, no useful information on this blog.

Thanks for posting this, reading your blog I’m amazed how much time you have put into it.

You reading this, Heather?

I think this much merrily.

This was a tough one to detect.

I think this merrily.

An obvious attempt to correct the previous comment.

I much liked Your description.

I much like your comment.

But as, all exactly so.

True enough.