Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fiscal Bump

I wish we'd stop giving away the narrative to Republicans by accepting their heavily-biased "cliff" metaphor. A grand bargain passed on January 2 would be no different than the same grand bargain passed on December 31, so it's more of a bump or a shallow ramp than a cliff; the negative effects would be cumulative rather than all at once. And a post-January-1 agreement could be made retroactive to January 1, thereby eliminating the negative effects entirely.

The only meaningful impact of waiting until after January 1 would be that Republicans would no longer have this weapon to hold the economy hostage with; they'd have to negotiate in good faith at that point.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Truth about PETA

The following story is from This is True dated 17 July 2005. It is Copyright 2005 Randy Cassingham, all rights reserved, and reprinted here with permission:

"Ethical" Defined

After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster, including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed. Police say PETA has been picking up the animals -- alive -- from North Carolina animal shelters, promising to find them good homes. Cook and Hinkle have been charged with 62 felony counts of animal cruelty. In response to the arrests PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said it's against the group's policy for employees to dump animals in the trash, but "that for some animals in North Carolina, there is no kinder option than euthanasia." (Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) ...Oops, my mistake: that's "Playing God" Defined.

In his author's notes section, Cassingham had more to say about this story:

The more I learn about PETA, the less I think of them. The story of them killing animals isn't even unusual. According to PETA's own filings, in 2004 PETA killed 86.3 percent of the animals entrusted to its care -- a number that's rising, not falling. Meanwhile, the SPCA in PETA's home town (Norfolk, Va.) was able to find loving homes for 73 percent of the animals put in its care. A shortage of funds? Nope: last year PETA took in $29 million in tax-exempt donations. It simply has other priorities for the funds, like funding terrorism (yes, really). But don't take my word for it: I got my figures from -- and they have copies of PETA's state and federal filings to back it up. The bottom line: if you donate money to PETA because you think they care for and about animals, you need to think some more. PETA literally yells and screams about how others "kill animals" but this is how they operate? Pathetic.

And you know what I wonder? PETA's official count of animals they kill is 86.3 percent. But if they're going around picking up animals, killing them while they drive around and not even giving them a chance to be adopted, and then destroying the evidence by dumping the bodies in the trash, are those deaths being reported? My guess: no. While 86.3 percent is awful, the actual number is probably much, much higher. How dare they lecture anyone about the "ethical" treatment of animals!

(This is True is a weekly column featuring weird-but-true news stories from around the world, and has been published since 1994. Click the link for info about free subscriptions.)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Music for the Holidays

Hank and Carol had been happily married for twenty-two years. The only friction in their marriage was Hank's habit of farting loudly every morning when he awoke. The noise would wake Carol; the smell would make her eyes water, and she'd gasp for air.

Every morning she would plead with him to stop ripping them off because it was making her sick. He told her he couldn't stop it and that it was perfectly natural. She told him to see a doctor, she was concerned that one day he would blow his guts out.

The years went by and he continued to rip them out. Then one Christmas day morning, as she was preparing the turkey for dinner and Hank was upstairs sound asleep, Carol looked at the innards, neck, gizzard, liver and all the spare parts, and a malicious thought came to her.

She took the bowl and went upstairs where her husband was sound asleep and, gently pulling the bed covers back, she pulled back the elastic waistband of his underpants and emptied the bowl of turkey guts into his shorts.

Sometime later she heard Hank awake with his usual trumpeting, followed by a blood curdling scream and the sound of frantic footsteps as Hank ran into the bathroom. Carol could hardly control herself as she rolled on the floor laughing, tears in her eyes! After years of torture she reckoned she had got him back pretty good.

About twenty minutes later, Hank came downstairs in his blood stained underpants with a look of horror on his face. Carol bit her lip as she asked him what was the matter.

Hank said, "Honey you were right. All these years you warned me and I didn't listen to you".

"What do you mean?" asked Carol.

"Well,", explained Hank, "you always told me that one day I would end up farting my guts out, and today it finally happened, but by the grace of god, some vaseline and two fingers. I think I got most of them back in!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Television and Politics

The reason things are such a mess these days is largely because too few people vote. When people refuse to exercise their civic duty, they allow the corrupt minority to seize the reins of power.

America suffered a massive turn to the dark side in 1980 when Reagan was elected. In a lot of ways, that was a turning point.

In the 1970's, we had massive cuts in spending on public education; I recall it being described as a "Retreat from excellence" in our schools. At the same time, the kids suffering the effects of these cuts were also the first generation to be raised on television and tended to read far less than earlier generations.

The 1980 election was the first election where large numbers of the TV generation were first eligible to vote, and growing up with TV predisposed them to feel more comfortable with sound bites than with critical thinking on the important issues.

If you can't find a candidate to vote for, you can always find one to vote against. It's the lazy way out, but it's still better than not voting at all.

A cynical assertion that "votes don't matter anyway" is not wisdom, it's just simple-minded laziness.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Older and Wiser?

I recently heard someone assert that 

Obama supporters look at the present from the paradigm of the past. It's sad really.I can admit that of what I believed at 20 is pure BS' many can't. Beliefs die hard.
When I was 20, I believed in things like science, truth, compassion, and hope for a better world. None of those were BS. I may have been more optimistic when I was 20 than I am now, but the only BS was in underestimating how difficult it would be to make a positive difference in the world.

People who reject science and abandon their principles as they get older and instead embrace ignorance have not grown "older and wiser". If they reject science, they've become more foolish, and if they abandon their principles, they've become more lazy and/or cynical.

Friday, October 05, 2012

‎80 Year Old Marries for the Fourth Time

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation. 

"He's a funeral director," she answered. 

"Interesting," the newsman thought. 

He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. 

After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, and a preacher when in her 60's, and now - in her 80's - a funeral director. 

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled

(found on Facebook, original from

I am a private-equity fund manager.
I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.
I am a job creator and I am entitled.
I am entitled to complain about the economy even when my stock price, my portfolio and my profits are at record levels.
I am entitled to a healthy and well-educated workforce, a modern and efficient transportation system and protection for my person and property, just as I am entitled to demonize the government workers who provide them.
I am entitled to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.
I am entitled to a judicial system that efficiently enforces contracts and legal obligations on customers, suppliers and employees but does not afford them the same right in return.
I am entitled to complain about the poor quality of service provided by government agencies even as I leave my own customers on hold for 35 minutes while repeatedly telling them how important their call is.
I am entitled to a compensation package that is above average for my company’s size and industry, reflecting the company’s aspirations if not its performance.
I am entitled to have the company pay for breakfasts and lunches, a luxury car and private jet travel, my country club dues and home security systems, box seats to all major sporting events, a pension equal to my current salary and a full package of insurance — life, health, dental, disability and long-term care — through retirement.
I am entitled to have my earned income taxed as capital gains and my investment income taxed at the lowest rate anywhere in the world — or not at all.
I am entitled to inside information and favorable investment opportunities not available to ordinary investors. I am entitled to brag about my investment returns.
I am entitled to pass on my accumulated wealth tax-free to heirs, who in turn, are entitled to claim that they earned everything they have.
I am entitled to use unlimited amounts of my own or company funds to buy elections without disclosing such expenditures to shareholders or the public.
I am entitled to use company funds to burnish my own charitable reputation.
I am entitled to provide political support to radical, uncompromising politicians and then complain about how dysfunctional Washington has become.
Although I have no clue how government works, I am entitled to be consulted on public policy by politicians and bureaucrats who have no clue about how business works.
I am entitled to publicly criticize the president and members of Congress, who are not entitled to criticize me.
I am entitled to fire any worker who tries to organize a union. I am entitled to break any existing union by moving, or threatening to move, operations to a union-hostile environment.
I am entitled to a duty of care and loyalty from employees and investors who are owed no such duty in return.
I am entitled to operate my business free of all government regulations other than those written or approved by my industry.
I am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.
I am entitled to contracts, subsidies, tax breaks, loans and even bailouts from government, even as I complain about job-killing government budget deficits.
I am entitled to federal entitlement reform.
I am entitled to take credit for all the jobs I create while ignoring any jobs I destroy.
I am entitled to claim credit for all the profits made during a booming economy while blaming losses or setbacks on adverse market or economic conditions.
I am entitled to deny knowledge or responsibility for any controversial decisions made after my departure from the company, even while profiting from such decisions if they enhance shareholder value.
I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.
I am entitled to confidential information about my employees and customers while refusing even to list the company’s phone number on its Web site.
I am entitled to be treated with deference and respect by investors I mislead, customers I bamboozle, directors I manipulate and employees I view as expendable.
I am entitled to be lionized in the media without answering any questions from reporters.
I am entitled to the VIP entrance.
I am entitled to everything I have and more that I still deserve.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Thoughts after watching "Asylum of the Daleks"

The season premiere of Doctor Who was simply brilliant! It also raised some interesting questions about   loose threads from earlier events that may prove significant to the upcoming storyline. Or maybe I'm just thinking out my ass. Time will tell! :-)

"Silence will fall when the Questions is asked." Dorium Maldovar says the Question is "Doctor Who?". After Oswin's memory hack, the Daleks are now asking the Question.

Daleks are all about hate, and destroying the Doctor. The Silence is a militarized religious order dedicated to hating and exterminating the Doctor. The Headless Monks, the Anglican Marines: seems like there are a lot of militarized religious orders in the future. Could the Daleks be responsible for this?

At Demons Run, when Amy is "ready to pop", we see something resembling a Dalek eyestalk monitoring her. The Headless Monks believe the domain of faith is the heart, and the domain of doubt is the head, so they chop off their own heads. The Doctor's favorite weapon is the head; he always thinks his way out of trouble.

River Song was in Stormcage in 5145, which is approximately the time that Captain Jack comes from originally. Liz 10 was still Queen in 5145, about 2000 years after "The Beast Below". River acquired a vortex manipulator from Dorium Maldovar in 5145 so she could meet the doctor when the Pandorica opens.  The Silence is responsible for the Pandorica. Madame Kovarian and Colonel Runaway consulted Dorium shortly before the events at Demons Run, so presumably Demons Run also occurs in the mid-5100's. The Weeping Angels have a massive presence at the crash of the Byzantium, which occurs during River Song's incarceration at Stormcage, and the Anglican Marines exist during this time as well; again we're talking about the mid-5100's. Captain Jack's time. I'm sure I heard a rumor that Captain Jack is retuning for the 50-year anniversary.

Could the Time Agency be where the Tesselector came from? Could it be that Captain Jack was originally assigned to the Tesselector? The Time Agency wiped two years of Jack's memory, which is the reason he quit the Agency. Also, that memory alien tampered with Jack's memory.

A lot of memory tampering is going on: Oswin and the Daleks, Jack's memory, the Crack erasing the memory of the Universe, Amy's memory restoring the Universe, "The Beast Below" erasing memory of the starwhale that Starship UK is built upon. Psychic paper and perception filters also relate to memory tampering. 

The Dalek Emperor went mad and began calling himself God of the Daleks. Dalek Kahn went mad while penetrating the Time Lock, and acquired new emotions that led him to judge and condemn the Daleks. Dalek Sec became a Dalek/Human hybrid and thereby acquired human emotions. The lone Dalek in Henry van Statten's collection in 2012 acquired human emotions from Rose Tyler, aka Bad Wolf, and committed suicide in the end. When van Statten fires employees, he has their memory wiped.

The common threads seem to be Daleks, memory, militarized religion, and the mid-5100's.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." --Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

Just heard that another childhood hero, Neil Armstrong, has passed away. I remember watching Neil stepping out on the moon when I was 5 years old, just a few months before I began kindergarten. 

RIP, old friend, and say hello to the Gorsky's for me! :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I will never hear church bells ringing again without smiling

Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went straight to her grandparent's house to visit her 95 year-old grandmother and comfort her. When she asked how her grandfather had died, her grandmother replied, "He had a heart attack while we were making love on Sunday morning." 

Horrified, Katie told her grandmother that 2 people nearly 100 years old having sex would surely be asking for trouble.

"Oh no, my dear," replied granny.. "Many years ago, realizing our advanced age, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would start to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous, simply in on the Ding and out on the Dong."

She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued, "He'd still be alive if the ice cream truck hadn't come along."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When Grandma Goes To Court

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,

'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You Can't Take it With You

A lawyer is on his deathbed. He calls his three associates in and says, "They say you can't take it with you, but I plan to. In each of these cases is a million dollars in cash. Just after they lower my casket I want you to each throw it in with me."

The men are all silent.

"I know I can trust you..." the dying man says.

They all three give their solemn promise.

The next week, leaving the funeral, one says to the other two, "I have to get this off my chest. I lost a lot in the market last year and I really needed the money. I took out half of the million dollars."

The second lawyer says, "Oh, God, me too. After my divorce I've been struggling to catch up. I only threw in $250,000."

The third attorney looks at the other two with a shocked expression. "I can't believe you two! I enclosed a check for the entire amount!"

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Sam Spade and the Donuts of Destiny

A symphony of flavor and corporate greed: it's not just for breakfast any more!

Chapter 1: Cubicle Hell

Sam spayed his cat. A cat named Sam. I am Sam. Sam I am. Do you like green eggs and ham?

Have them during your commute! Will you eat them with some fruit? Verdant breakfast on the brain. Breakfast driving you insane!

Truly it is spoken, that the doughnut shall set ye free!

Delightful doughnuts, rich with chocolate, dunked into a piping hot cup of coffee. Ambrosia! Chocolate glazed, or Boston Creme; jelly, or lemon; tiny little bite-size donut holes. What more could a true blue American office drone ask for? Certainly not a raise, or a promotion.

Beware the Emerald Omelette of Outsourcing!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I was visiting a friend in Savannah, Georgia a few months ago. I arrived early Sunday evening, and had dinner with him and his wife, after which we watched a movie.

My friend had taken the whole week off for my visit. His wife had to work on Monday, but she had the rest of the week off to spend with us.

After breakfast on Monday morning, while we were planning what to do that day, my friend got called for an emergency at work, so I was stuck with the day to myself until he was able to return home.

I had never been to Savannah before, so I decided to spend the morning walking through the neighborhood and taking photos wit my camera.

As I was passing the Coastal Harbor Center for Behavioral Medicine, I could hear the patients in back shouting,  '13.....13....13!' I knew that if I didn't investigate, I'd be wondering about it all week, so I snuck up the driveway to see what was going on.

The fence in back of the mental hospital was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks and looked through to see what was going on.

 Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick.

 Then they all started shouting '14...14.....14...!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Traveling to Montreal!

Just passed mile marker 49.8, coming up on Route 89 Exit 7, Berlin/Barr. I'm heading up to Montreal with my brother and my niece, to visit cousin John Dough and his parents. Haven't been north of the border since my gramma's funeral in 1992!

Back then I didn't need a passport to visit Canada. Ah, I long for the Good Ol' Days when we weren't so paranoid about America's Attic!

Rick and Julie are playing State Capitals.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BLU InstallFest

We're holding our 43rd Linux InstallFest today, about 3 weeks after the normal day we try to schedule the March event. This year we found conflicting events for all the other Saturdays in March.

Blake was having problems with a bad LCD display, so I loaned him the one I had in my car that had been donated to BLU recently.

I had ordered some cable protectors and a couple gigabit switches to make the wired network easier to access and to be less of a tripping hazard. The big yellow ramp worked great, but the longer cable protectors keep curling up and merely swap the old tripping hazard for a new one.

Blake has an old Dell desktop, the same model that I had purchased for Amy Mish back when I worked at Zuken. Haven't seen one of those in ages.

I tried out several editions of Fedora 17 Alpha (Gnome3, KDE, and XFCE), and they were all painfully unresponsive. Hopefully the final release will be better. I'm not fond of the direction that Fedora has been taking lately, and it may be time to consider alternatives. Maybe just switching to XFCE will be enough.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What a Coincidence!!!

A chicken farmer went to a local bar, sat next to a woman and ordered a glass of champagne.

The woman perks up and says, 'How about that? I just ordered a glass of champagne, too!'

'What a coincidence' the farmer says. 'This is a special day for me. I am celebrating.'

'This is a special day for me, too; I am also celebrating!' says the woman.

'What a coincidence!' says the farmer!' As they clinked glasses the man asked, 'What are you celebrating?'

'My husband and I have been trying to have a child, and today my gynecologist told me that I am pregnant!'

'What a coincidence,' says the man. 'I'm a chicken farmer and for years all of my hens were infertile, but today they are all laying fertilized eggs.'

'That's great!' says the woman. 'How did your chickens become fertile?'

'I used a different cock,' he replied.

The woman smiled and said, 'What a coincidence.'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BLU Meeting: Whole Disk Encryption

This month's meeting is a series of "lightning talks" by several speakers.

First off was Jerry Feldman's presentation, which lasted about 15 minutes.
Jerry's talk was about general issues common to all whole-disk encryption

Next up was Ned Harvey, from 7:15pm to 7:58pm, who compared a number of
disk encryption suites:

  1. TrueCrypt
  2. Microsoft'd BitLocker
  3. Apple's OSX Encrypted DMG, SparseImage and SparseBundle
  4. Apple's FileVault 1 and FileVault 2
  5. EncFS, Boxceyptor, Encfs4win, CryptKeeper

Some of Ned's discussion:
  • how hardware AES crypto chips improve performance
  • biometrics and TPM
  • need to save TPM's 40-char key -- needed e.g. when motherboard gets replaced, to activate new TPM hardware on the new motherboard
  • impact on backup/restore
  • using crypto with DropBox to share with coworkers

next up was Bill Ricker, from 8:01pm to 8:29pm, discussing a new paper on a weakness in RSA public key generation

"Ron was wrong, Whis is right" (Arjen K. Lenstra and James P. Hughes)

New research: There's no need to panic over factorable keys--just mind your Ps and Qs

Impure Math

(an old classic I ran across on USENET in 1983)

Once upon a time (1/T), pretty Polly Nomial was strolling
across a field of vectors when she came to the boundary of a
singularly large matrix. Now Polly was convergent, and her mother had
made it an absolute condition that she never enter such an array
without her brackets on. Polly, however, who had changed variables
that morning and was feeling particularly badly behaved, ignored this
condition and made her way in amongst the complex elements.

Rows and columns closed in on her from all sides. Tangents
approached her surface. She became tensor and tensor. Quite
suddenly, two branches of a hyperbola touched her at a single point.
She oscillated violently, lost all sense of directrix, and went
completely divergent. As she reached a turning point, she tripped
over a square root that was protruding from the Erf, and plunged
headlong down a steep gradient. When she rounded off once more, she
found herself inverted, apparently alone, in a non-Euclidean space.
She was being watched, however. That smooth operator, Curly Pi, was
lurking inner product. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear
coordinates, a singular expression crossed his face. He wondered, was
she convergent? He decided to integrate improperly at once.

Hearing a common fraction behind her, polly rotated and saw
Curly Pi approaching with his power series extrapolated. She could
see at once by his degenerative conic and his dissipative terms that
he was bent on no good.

"Arcsinh", she gasped.

"Ho, ho", he said. "What a symmetric little asymptote you
have. I can see that your angles have lots of secs."

"Oh, sir", she protested, "keep away from me. I haven't got
my brackets on."

"Calm yourself, my dear", said our suave operator. "Your
fears are purely imaginary."
I, I, she thought, perhaps he's not normal but homologous.

"What order are you?" the brute demanded.

"Seventeen", replied Polly.

Curly leered. "I suppose you've never been operated on?"

"Of course not", Polly replied quite properly, "I'm absolutely

"Come, come", said Curly. "Let's off to a decimal place I
know and I'll take you to the limit."

"Never", gasped Polly.

"Abscissa", he swore, using the vilest oath he knew. His
patience was gone. Coshing her over the coefficient with a log until
she was powerless Curly removed her discontinuities. He stared at her
significant places and began smoothing her points of inflection.
Poor, poor Polly. The algorithmic method was now her only hope. She
felt his hand tending to her asymptotic limit. Her convergence would
soon be gone forever.

There was no mercy, for Curly was a Heavyside operator.
Curly's radius squared itself. Polly's loci quivered. He integrated
by parts. He integrated by partial fractions. After he cofactored,
he performed Runge-Kutta on her. The complex beast even went all the
way around and did a contour integration. What an indignity - to be
multiply connected on her first integration. Curly went on operating
until he had satisfied her hypothesis, then he exponentiated and
became completely orthogonal.

When Polly got home that night, her mother noticed that she
was no longer piece-wise continuous, but had been truncated in several
places and it was to late to differentiate now. As the months went
by, Polly's denominator increased monotonically. Finally, she went to
L'Hospital and generated a small but pathological function that left
surds all over the place and drove Polly to deviation.

The moral of our sad story is this:

"If you want to keep your expressions convergent, never allow them a
single degree of freedom."

-the end

-Aunty Derivative

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sad Story

A woman had 50-yard line tickets for the Super Bowl. As she sat down, a man came along and asked her if anyone is sitting in the seat next to her. "No," she said, "the seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

Somberly, the woman says, "Well... the seat actually belongs to me. I was supposed to come here with my husband, but he passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we have not been to together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh I'm sorry to hear that, that's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else - a friend or relative or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The woman shakes her head, "No, they're all at the funeral."

(Reposted from Mike Lindsay on FB)