The Watering Hole: June 11 – Edwin Armstrong

On June 11th in 1935, Edwin Armstrong first publicly demonstrated FM radio.

This man invented virtually all of the technologies used to transmit and receive radio frequency signals used today. From kids walkie talkies to cell phones and everything in between. He did not make any contributions to digital transmission, but he could be excused as he died in 1954.

He was pursued by false claimants and corporations that saw their cash cows in peril. A Supreme Court, totally unenlightened in the nuances of electronics and Maxwell’s Equations ruled against him in cases involving  AM transmission and reception with AT&T.

His invention of FM was challenged by RCA. On losing in court, RCA described the system as inferior to AM. RCA managed to have the FM spectrum moved from the 48-54 MHz band to the present 88-108 MHz. The excuse for doing this was to make room for the newly developed TV frequencies. All of Armstrong’s prior sets became useless artifacts. The 48-54 MHz band was assigned to channel 1 of the TV band. There is no channel 1 on today’s TV sets as the band taken from FM has a broadcast range that is too long to be useful. Channel 1 frequencies were later assigned to an amateur radio band. Armstrong was already a broken man.

AT&T and RCA were his most determined tormentors and their efforts drove him to suicide on January 31, 1954. This was perhaps the worst travesty of justice in the history of patent law. His widow persevered in court and collected damages from this ruthless gang.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

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211 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: June 11 – Edwin Armstrong

  1. AT&T…
    Truly a corporate Medusa that cannot be killed.
    AT&T’s intrusion into my life came when I got slammed on my phone.
    5 dollars a minute for all long distance calls (I had a seperate long distance carrier)
    A list of fees and charges for additional lines.
    We’re talking over a $400.00 phone.
    Hours upon hours spent on the phone to no avail. I was treated like crap by the customer service reps and could never get up the food chain to anyone in a position to make a decision.
    I finally became frustrated and had all of my AT&T disconnected.
    They got all buttsore and tried to make ammends.
    They sent a service tech back to the house to change everything back over to their service.
    Nope.
    AT&T still sends offers trying to win me over but no chance.

    • Vinyl, my grandfather retired many years ago from “Ma Bell” and after the AT&T/Verizon “issue” confused the crap out of my grandmother pension-wise. I am actually heading to Verizon (wireless) now to deal with yet another monopoly issue related to debundling a useless feature on my droid … wish me luck ~

  2. “A Supreme Court, totally unenlightened…”

    All decisions handed down from the judges that were appointed by Bush, Reagan, etc should begin this way.

  3. Free market my ass. How many stories are there like this; where the little guy comes up with a better widget and the big corporations destroy the idea and the person behind it. Tucker and his automobile comes to mind.

    Anyway, this song goes out to Mr. Armstrong.

  4. Okay, with a HT to RUCerious for his question yesterday about what kind of bread Newt would be; it reminded me of the old Matchgame show. So I thought I’d ask a Matchgame-style question and let everyone answer. If people enjoy it, I’d be happy do it on a regular basis. :)

    Here goes.

    Sarah Palin is so dumb. [How dumb is she?] Even when she ___________ she has to look it up in the dictionary.

      • She would think, “Do you know what time it is?” is a “gotcha question.”

        True story: I was in a local restaurant once and asked the waitress if she knew what time it was. She answered me (and I am not making this up), “You mean now?”

      • That there’s one of them two-part “gotcha” questions. I mean, yes, it is morning somewhere in the world all the time. But are you talking about “good morning” or “good mourning”? And what’s really so good about “mourning”? I mean, sure…I can see that when somebody dies, it frees up that much more resources for the rest of us…so that’s good. But their loved ones don’t usually feel so good about it…unless they hated the guy…then I guess it is a “good mourning”

        What was the next part of the questions?

  5. There is no doubt in my mind that today’s Republican Party (as opposed to “The Party of Lincoln”) would have been firmly on the side of RCA and AT&T and against Mr. Armstrong, despite the fact that their entire justification and support for our capitalist way of life (Need something to keep living? How much money do you have?) is based on people like Edwin Armstrong coming up with a good idea and making a fortune for doing it.

    If you’re the type that thinks you don’t need anybody else to survive, then go ahead and keep voting for Republicans. Sooner or later, you’ll probably be one of the only people left alive if you do.

  6. Sarah Palin is so dumb. [How dumb is she?] Even when she “refudiates making up words” she has to look it up in the dictionary.

  7. I wish Sarah Palin was an Apple product so that she’d be completely obsolete in six months.

    • Oooh! Another game!

      I wish Sarah Palin was an Apple product so that we could:

      reboot her!

        • Actually, HAL wasn’t evil. He was programmed with conflicting commands.

        • And actually HAL 9000′s ultimate actions weren’t dictated by confusion over conflicting commands, but by reasoning in light of the introduced influence of the Monolith, and thus determining the actions required for the greater good—the birth of a new habitable planet
          for the benefit of humankind.

        • addendum

          …which the astronauts were unwittingly going to interfere-with because they were unaware of the purpose of the Monolith’s influence/

    • Interesting! Palin became the Parody, and now Fey parodies Palin and Fox News posts Fey’s parody of Palin as Palin.

      We have not come full circle, but are in a downward spiral….

  8. Joe Romm at Climate Progress has an Open Thread today, to discuss the new comments system.

    A penny for your cyber thoughts.
    Comments and critiques of the new design and lame commenting system two weeks in are welcome. Improvements — and access to the old comments — are coming, though it may take a little while.

  9. Watching the propaganda piece of the Palin magical history tour again(!), you realize she has the balls to use clips from the “lamestream” media. She treats the media like crap and then uses their work. What a hypocrite.

    And during the opening and closing sequences of the video, regarding the superimposition of the US map from SarahPac, one state is conspicuously absent. An oversight, or geographically challenged? Either way, I’m sure it wasn’t intentional.

  10. Using your private email for state business. Gosh, how could that be wrong?

    Priceless:
    “The public records requests were first made soon after John McCain picked Palin as his vice presidential nominee, touching off a long, and at times bizarre, paper chase. When the media outlets first requested the e-mails, Palin’s office pegged the price for producing them at $15 million. The fee eventually fell to $725.97.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56682.html#ixzz1OtVphYFu

    • John Corn was on the RMS last night and he was the one who started the FOIA request for Palin’s emails when she was first announced for VP… No one knew who she was at the time… they told him it would cost about $1000, so he went for it. Sortly after that, others started requesting the documents just to find out who this woman was.

      But I have to say, 2 years later they are finally releasing only some of the documents? Now THAT’s timely. Heh.

    • That’s what they mean by “transparency in government” — if it’s a Republican. But I’m still confused by the release of electronic mail on paper only. I suppose it’s easier to redact information that way.

  11. Transpoosion

    Stephen J. Dubner explains the process of fecal transplants:

    “[M]any maladies — from intestinal problems to obesity to disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and perhaps even cancer — are related to damaged or missing gut bacteria; the solution therefore may lie in transplanting healthy bacteria into a sick person. How is this accomplished? (Okay, hold your nose for a moment.) A fecal transplant. Yes, you read right: taking the stool from a healthy person, mixing it with a saline solution, and injecting it into an ill person. The procedure resembles a colonoscopy; it’s a sort of combination of organ transplant and blood transfusion, which one doctor in our podcast calls a “transpoosion.” ‘

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/03/04/freakonomics-radio-the-power-of-poop/

    • lass, there’s probably an App for that! :D

      Seriously though, your data may well be recoverable. Provide some details on what the transition from old to new involved?

      • It all started with the all too simple customer service transaction at the store; apparently changing the phone number starts the phone as it were “anew”. Upon discovering this an hour later when I tried to call work and saw no contact info, I drove back to the Verizon store; very helpful customer service rep transfered me to her off-site supervisor … he was also friendly, yet couldn’t solve my backup assistant problem (yeah, there’s an app for that … ) so, I got in the queue for tech support. When I finally got through and he couldn’t help except to erase the entire phone and “really” start over, I decided I would politely call back tomorrow when I have hours of free time to dedicate to this task. as it is now, I have to be at work in 10 minutes …

        I am just sad because I lost all of Scooby’s info and if anyone does here from him, let him know that I am back to the banana phone and funky folded notes for now … (email too ;)

        Thanks for listening, 5th .. off to Wonkaville ;)

  12. I spent a good amount of time in 2008 looking into the histories if the Republicans and Democratic Parties with regard to their policies, platforms, leadership and so on.

    The Republican Party of Lincoln was essentially socially progressive, believed in the democratic system and its ideals of good governance for the benefit of the majority, and the necessity of a strong central government employed to those ends.
    The Democrats of the 1860s were opposed to a strong federal government serving the general public good and applying central authority, preferring the ‘independence’ of a convenient confederacy of states each of which for the most part would control its own parochial affairs, social order and destiny.; these differences drove the Civil War of course.

    After the Civil War, a third ‘invisible’ political force arose—the ‘Corporate Capitalist Party;—thanks to the industrial revolution (and the financial revolution that accompanied it). .
    Whilst most mechanized industry and the enabling financial machinery took root and consolidated itself in Lincoln–Republican political territory, the Corporate-Capitalist Party quickly became philosophically naturally aligned with the Democratic political notions of ‘independence’.

    So, the Corporatist Capitalist party increasingly influenced the Democratic Party whilst the Republicans were adopted the working class (and vice versa), so that political power was derived on the one side by the few with deep resources and the other by the many with lesser individual resources.

    It appears that the original Republican became the modern Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party the modern Republican Party, over a period roughly from about 1905 to approximately 1955.

    The Corporate Capitalist interest is in having a cheap labor force to maximize profits and a politically weak general public to minimize challenges to the ‘CCs’ self-defined self-serving authority and interests; thus they develop regressive social policies to prevent general public empowerment and encourage the electorate to fear change by inventing dire fantasies for public distraction from the more significant issues and also invoking ‘the good old days’ to polish the turd of the present status quo. This of course involves an awful lot of denying of facts, and lying.

    It’s no wonder that the majority of ‘Think Tanks’ are right-wing lobbying arms of the GOP that employ heavily disguised propaganda efforts, instead of being of the more honest ‘Brains Trust’ model.

    Not only has the Civil War technically not ended, America is still engaged in the same arguments that occupied the Philadelphia Congress—who the hell is supposed to be running this country,, for whom, and how?

    • Am always intrigued by your thought process – your mind must whirl 20-hrs a day!
      I like the way your think!

      America is still engaged in the same arguments that occupied the Philadelphia Congress—who the hell is supposed to be running this country,, for whom, and how?

      So damn true!

      • Oh Ebb you are so good for my ego! :D

        But I think the minds of everyone here are much the same—always busy and capable of switching gears in a second from the serious to the silly, the big picture to the detail, and so on. .Of it weren’t for the company of the zoo critters my whirling mind would just spin off its axis.

    • Oh yeah. And the closest the American media seems to get the subject of sexual slavery, sex-based societal discrimination and the practical politics and consequences of both is to ignore everything but the latest cutest, blondest most middle-class individual victim and individual perpetrator to reduce everything to the most personal and thus disconnected level.

      • This subject is more widespread than 99% of people know, but instead of just looking at it, they’d rather look at Weiner’s wiener.

      • “We’ve just come through the worst recession since the Great Depression “

        No, despite a technically defined recession having been halted, the unemployment rate remains around 9% and the number of still unemployed hasn’t really budged.

        If the role of the private sector is to create jobs, then the private sector has seriously fucked up because it hasn’t created any NEW jobs and has in fact shed millions over the last two and half years, obviously, so why is the US Govt. “partnering” with a complete fuck up? The US government should be TELLING the private sector what to do, not “partnering” with it.

        IN FACT the role of the Private Sector is to depress wages and maximize competition for jobs to minimize short term overhead and maximize short term profits for its invested executives and shareholders. What Obama is talking about here is a technical training scheme that provides employers the excuse to NOT HIRE ANYONE UNTIL THEY HAVE CORPORATE-DESIGNED QUALIFICATIONS PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYER. It will be the Private Sector who will charge the taxpayer for the courses that qualify for EXISTING JOBS, which will simply delay hiring and delays innovation in business (such as adopting alternative energy strategies and equipment).

        The “necessary skills” are supposed to be provided by the Education System, which we already pay for. The corporatization of the education system (via NCLB) is a damn good reason that the younger workforce DOESN’T HAVE THE SKILLS THAT A DYNAMIC ECONOMY REQUIRES—initiative, communication skills, ethics, strategic thinking, the nurturing and appropriate valuation of intelligence and knowledge.

        Having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world doesn’t matter a flying fuck if the quality of education is crap and/or given the education of those in a position to hire, when their education is that a desperate workforce is a cheap workforce, and that in a service economy paper qualifications are malleable, fungible and worth only what the “corporate stamp of approval” demands, NOT what such jobs might actually require that deosn’t explicitly serve the bottom line of reward for those at the top of the employment ladder.

    • I believe a WPA or a CCC program would be advantageous today for so many reasons: the most apparent are employment and crumbling infrastructure — but the stimulus was pared down to a minimum so that its benefits were less than its potential — how can Obama even think of a works program when we know the GOp and the bluedogs won’t ever sign on?

      I think we need something like that desperately, postpone dealing with the debt until we get the deficit under control, and that will come into line when more peopleare working and spending money!
      The Treasury must spend money today to get people working, and the n the economy will recover.

  13. He keeps this up – I don’t see a second term in Obama’s future. The Pres doesn’t appear to be listening to We The People. The f’g private sector is a train wreck and will derail any effort for another stint in the WH for Obama.

      • I used to write the President all the time, urging him that, when in doubt, go with what’s best for the PEOPLE, since we’re the ones hurting out here.

        I finally got tired of banging my head on the wall.

    • Some people are a little surprised by this reaction from the Constitution Party.

      “To me that’s what American values are, tolerance of other people,” Rick Silverman said.

      Where in the hell did he ever get a goofy idea like that? “American values” are two only: Money, and Power. All else is in service only of the accumulation of those two drivers. “Tolerance” in the ‘value’ sense is what Hitchcock liked to call, in his movies, the McGuffin — an incident, or a person, theme, designed to distract the viewer’s attention away from the true and genuine focus. “Tolerance” in Amurka has almost always and invariably been bogus; like that “shining city on the hill” shit — mankind’s hope. Bullshit. Intolerance, maybe, but tolerance? Nuh-uh. If I were writing a dictionary, under ‘tolerance’ I’d include as one of the top two or three definitions, “The American McGuffin.”

      BTW, how the hell can a city named “Coeur d’Alene” be in Amurka? I’m surprised the Idaho legislature hasn’t renamed it “Amurkan Fries” or at least something NOT French! And Kootenai County — ain’t that an injun word? That’s not Amurkan neither!

  14. This is good news. I hope this NYTimes link works here.
    Ex-Official for N.S.A. Accepts Deal in Leak Case

    A former National Security Agency official pleaded guilty on Friday to a minor offense in a deal in which the Justice Department agreed to drop more serious charges about possessing and leaking classified information to a reporter.
    The defendant, Thomas A. Drake, 54, pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Baltimore to a single misdemeanor count of exceeding his authorized use of an agency computer in 2006 and 2007, the Justice Department said.

    In the plea deal, the Justice Department agreed not to seek any prison time for Mr. Drake, who had previously faced up to 35 years. The deal also ended the need for a trial, which had been scheduled to start Monday.

    This was on 60 Minutes just a couple of weeks ago. As portrayed in the clip, Drake was exposing waste and potentially dangerous inefficiency and the government was trying to punish him for it. He never should have been charged IMO.

  15. BTW, my above Obama response got stuck in my comment box interface and needed to be deleted so I could write “Indeed” which, after submission left the comment box appropriately blank. So maybe when one writes a long comment the text is retained, but below some threshold is isn’t? May be a feature/bug?

    • I have observed the same phenomenon, 5th. After replying to a comment, and even after refreshing the screen, my previous comment will still appear in the box. I just click in the box, hit Ctrl-A to select the whole thing, then hit the Delete key it make it go away.

  16. It seems to be hit or miss 5th. I’ve had a comment ‘stick’ to the box, and I’d erase it, then, refresh, and it would be back again. The above NSA comment didn’t stick in the box.

    • YUP! My five line reply to Zooey’s “wingnut dream for all women” comment just got stuck in this comment box. Doh!

  17. Allan McNish writes off an Audi R18 TDI at Lemans this morning, and almost writes off a number of track marshals and photographers. Very fortunate there were no injuries, but I expect there was some laundry done afterwards!

    • Crikey! Seemed like McNish was too aggressive, but with the money and competition involved it’s hard for the mere sofa-sitter such as myself to reasonably judge. It’s very much a hazard of mixed class racing. It also illustrates somewhat the differences between a souped-up supercar ( the red Ferrari there) and a GTP car…BIG diff in driving dynamics and in driver crash protection.

      • The Ferrari did drive off after a minute, limped back to the garages, and they were able to fix it and return to the race. It had a broken shock mount and some sheet metal damage to the right rear. The crash caused an extended caution period while they fixed the tire barrier, and presumably relocated the photographers! You never know where a race car can end up until it lands there!

        • That’s good.
          When carbon cars crash, the bodywork tends to shatter spectacularly., whereas metal crumples. Notwithstanding the required roll-cage, if it had been the Ferrari instead of the Audi, the driver would more likely need to be cut out of the wreckage. .

    • ohh, the need for speed, eh House!Z

      Most fortunate there were no fatalities or major injuries…
      the worried looks on faces – very telling!

  18. David Corn has a good write-up on the first details from the redacted Palin emails. Palin took only two days off to have a premature child with Down Syndrome; she was even signing bills the alleged day of Trig’s birth:

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/06/sarah-palin-emails-revealed-live-updates

    The original letter about Trig that she wrote in God’s voice is a little longer in the original. Here’s what Palin did not include in the book. On the one month pregnancy. The whole letter is so odd:

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/06/sarah-palin-emails-revealed-live-updates#trigletter

    • That isn;t odd, ( I read it) so much as fucking insane.

      There is NO WAY Sarah Palin was 7 months pregnant and no-one noticed ( White Noise Insanity . general link http://whitenoiseinsanity.com/ ) has plenty of evidence that points to Sarah Palin NOT being pregnant at the time— like a photo of her when she WAS 7 months pregnant next to when she was supposedly in the same condition.
      . .

    • bdmm, it’s a crying out, attempting to cope with the idea of an ‘imperfect’ child being a Palin.
      There are contradictory statements – how they waited to tell the family so it wouldn’t seem like such a long time until the birth.
      And also relaying, in the ‘creators voice’, giving them a long time to process the idea of a Down’s Syndrome child’s birth.

      She is a confused and conflicted soul. Greedy as hell and egotistical but a sad person.

    • Palin took only two days off to have a premature child …

      Reminds me of a scene in Monty Python’s classic, The Meaning of Life. The one where the Catholic woman with the huge brood simply paused while washing dishes (or cooking dinner, whatever), spread her legs a bit while still standing, and a baby dropped out of her dress and onto the floor.

      “Bloody Catholics,” the wealthy stuffed shirt neighbor said. “They think every time they do it they have to have a kid.” His wife looked at him and said, “Well, we have two.”

  19. I just had the most unpleasant surprise this evening. Our freezer gave up and two weeks of decomposition on two wild boar had to be cleaned out. I had a nasty “CSI” experience. Ugh. I hope something like four or five or more beers will help to get rid of the memory.

    ’nuff said.

    • Since I was awake all night, this morning when I heard our recently-acquired visiting ring-necked pheasant noisily announce his presence outside, I grabbed my camera and got ready to try to get a good photo. Unfortunately, my cats had other ideas about that, and harried the poor bird until it retreated back across the road.

      The pheasant showed up last week, eating the seed that had fallen out of the bird feeders, but at the time I had no film for my camera (yes, I’m still using film, although it’s a lot harder to find these days.) It was a shame, because at that time I was able to sit at the open living-room window and watch it from only about a dozen feet away for at least 10-15 minutes before one of the cats decided to ‘inspect’ it. :(

      • The coloration of the male Ring necked is so vivid.
        Watching birds is so calming, soothing – therapeutic!

        Your health seems to be improving, Jane – glad to be reading you again!

    • Its what PR people insist on their clients doing. Treatment suggests “disease” or ‘injury’, thus the client/patient gets to appear as hapless victim AND contrite through submission to putting himself into the ‘care of others’ .
      It;s that or look to God for forgiveness ( always provided of course) but that wouldn’t fly in Weiner’s case (no one was convinced when Clinton tried that route either).

  20. 5th, you and EV may be the only ones to appreciate this, but I have to share it.
    Speed Channel is back on the Lemans race, and they interviewed Nascar driver/team owner Michael Waltrip, as he just finished a stint in the car. Before he turned around, we got a clear view of the back of his helmet, which is painted in John Wyer Gulf Porsche blue and orange scheme, with the name McQueen on the back, and a number 20 on each side, (Steve McQueen’s car number in the movie Lemans). That wouldn’t be so unusual, except that Waltrip is driving a Ferrari in this race, which was the Gulf team’s nemesis both in the movie, and in the real racing of that period! How ’bout that?

  21. In another forty years, Weiner won’t need therapy, neither will Tiger. As an old timer once ‘splained it all to me, problems like that take care of themselves in good time. “You can’t shoot pool with a rope,” he said.

  22. And rubbing the tip vigorously with blue chalk doesn’t make you a better player either ( I’m grasping, I admit it!) :D.

  23. Reminds me of the guy who taught me to shoot pool. One of his favorite lines was “I wish I could hit it that hard.”

      • One problem that I have with my camera is its damn 3-minute timer: I get it all set up, zoomed and focused just right, then, while waiting for the right shot, it suddenly turns itself off. Since I never read the instructions, I don’t know if I can turn off this ‘feature.’ Hell, maybe THIS year I’ll finally go digital. Or postal, I’m not quite sure which.

  24. Hi, gang. I’m a bit pressed for time so I might have missed another post but Bill Maher has a great take on Weinergate.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/new-rule-if-youre-going-to-be-pathetic

    Also, it looks like the Reichwhiners are out in force to defend Bible Spice from those who might actually read her emails. The local paper, which usually runs about 60%-40% in favor of “libruls” has been slammed by FAUXbots screeching for Obama’s correspondence going back to “his time in the Madrassa”. The oddest part is that nothing particularly damaging has been revealed by Palin’s emails but the poor things can’t resist jumping to her defense. I guess that they’re just so used to every word being some variation of stupid and/or crazy that they feel the need for preemptive damage control.

    • What pisses me off about this is that Palin’s other email accounts which she used for some of her political doings are supposedly off-limits – I’ll bet that the really juicy stuff is hidden in those accounts.

  25. Danica Patrick seems stuck on ten lately. She finished tenth at Indianapolis, then finished tenth in the Nascar race last Saturday. Now she’s qualified in tenth for tonight’s Indycar race in Texas. Of course, I’ve considered her a ‘Ten’ ever since she started racing in Indycar…

      • So all that means is you’re normal Jane! :D

        They’re meant to appeal to guys!

        • Don’t start tweeting/twittering or whatever it’s called.
          Don’t send pictures through the interwebs! ;>

        • I didn’t think I implied any such tweeting or twittering, and I could post a link to a photo, but I can’t ‘send’ one anywhere?

  26. House – it was only a cautionary.

    You are a gentleman and a scholar and would never imply such things!

  27. I am protected from ever having an inappropriate photo released on the internet by the fact that I can’t remember to take my camera anywhere.

    • Outstanding, you mean you don’t think any paparazzi shots of you from the Riviera are likely to surface? I thought you said you had a beach vacation coming up.

  28. Redneck Riviera maybe. Is there a market for paparazzi shots of a woman with a farmer tan and an enormous vodka drink?

  29. As long as we’re posting music, I’ve been working on X-Men: First Class and here’s the music for the closing credits, performed live for the first time by Take That, a bit of a boy band from Britain:

    • I think it’s been well established that Bible Spice doesn’t know anything about anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if her next bus trip was a search for the case of money from the “documentary” Fargo.

    • Plus, considering the wholesale war against science waged by GOoPers and the fact that, after one last flight of the rickety old shuttle, Russia will have a manned space program while we do not? I think that Russia might be more concerned about us stealing technology from them.

  30. My husband and I are so old that when I asked him to take a picture of his privates and send them to me, he sent them by snail mail. ;-)

  31. Zooey, I’ve been waiting to be able to get new glasses for YEARS now. Working at a computer every day for the last, what, 20 years, I need bifocals, computer glasses, and prescription sunglasses, and Wayne needs pretty much the same. For the two of us to get all of these glasses costs so freaking much money, when we recently took out yet another loan against our 401Ks (for other reasons) we decided to pad the new loan by enough to take care of shit like this.

    It will make me SOOOO happy to finally be able to read books again, such as Frugal’s book!!!

    • With my somewhat less-than-immense income of $950 per month from Social Security, I couldn’t help y’all buy your glasses, but if you should happen to need a packet or two of lens cleaner/wipers … ;)

      • Thanks for the thought, frugal. Unfortunately, that’s about how much we paid for both of us to get glasses the last time (including the eye exam, at least.)

        As I said, at least when I can see better I can finally read your book – hooray! :D

      • Nope – we’re, technically, not poor enough. Our bosses pay for our healthcare coverage, but it has never covered glasses. They switched our coverage last year to save money, although when they brought the insurance guy in to ‘explain’ the new procedures, etc., we all hated the guy from the get-go. Imagine a condescending, overweight, nerdy, slimy-car-salesman-type spouting “Obamacare” talking points, and you’ve basically got this a-hole pegged. I really can’t imagine why our company picked this jerk’s plan, I would have rejected him on sight.

  32. Zooey. Please check your e-mail. Jane needs help with a new post involving pictures. I told her you knew more about how to do that than I. Because it’s true. :)

  33. I reckon I’m slow hearing the news, but seriously, there’s some sort of tweetment for tweeting?

  34. Iraqi Spokesman Says Rohrabacher Is ‘Not Welcome In Iraq,’ Tells U.S. Embassy ‘To Ask The Congressman To Leave’

    Yesterday in Baghdad, while on a congressional delegation visit, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said that Iraq should repay the United States for the war there that President Bush started in 2003 (some estimates have put total war costs at around $3 trillion when all is said and done) …

    It turns out that the Iraqis didn’t appreciate Rohrabacher’s comments all that much and in fact, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh has asked Rohrabacher to leave Iraq.

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