terracinque: (bridesmaid revisited)
A poll in [livejournal.com profile] magdalene1's entry yesterday asked what we'd do if we found a wallet with $1000 in it. I've never been tested that way, but thinking about it reminded me of something that happened to me last year.

I found a book I wanted through Bookfinder (or ABEBooks, I don't recall which). It was at a used bookstore in Maryland. I contacted the bookseller through email, came to an agreement, and then I sent them a check.

A few days later the book arrived in the mail. I put it in my bookcase (it was a hardcover I'd bought to replace the softcover edition) and thought no more of it.

But then a few days later I got a letter postmarked in Maryland. There was no return address. Inside I found my check for the book (my address is pre-printed on the checks, of course) and an anonymous note saying that (whomever) had found the check lying on the street in Baltimore. It also said "God bless."

The only thing I can guess about this is that the bookseller lost my check...maybe the wind took it...on the way to the bank to deposit it, and this good Samaritan found it. You'd think the retailer would put all their money and checks in a big secure pouch or box before walking to the bank with them, but apparently not.

I have this image in my head of the bookseller, a big fistful of cash and checks in his hand, fearfully dashing through the streets of Baltimore hoping not to stumble or get mugged.

Anyway, I mailed the check back to them with a note explaining what had happened and admonishing them, "don't lose this again."

Just tearing up the check and thus getting the book for free, never crossed my mind.
terracinque: (bridesmaid revisited)
I'm partway into the third book, and am strongly feeling the urge to worship Satan. No, no, no, that's not what I meant to write. Let me try again:

1. Every evil wizard ever was a member of Slytherin when s/he was at Hogwarts. Furthermore, it is currently (in Harry-time) full of cheaters and miscreants. Why does the Ministry of Magic, to say nothing of Dumbledore, allow the house to continue? At the very least you'd think they'd have it taken over by people, well, unlike Snape, to clean house and instill better values.

My guess about why they don't (aside from the obvious one that it makes for better fiction) is that they're preparing the Hufflepuff, Ravensclaw and Gryffindor students for adult life, where there are Slytherins around every corner so you'd better get used to dealing with them.

But this does seem rather callous, as if they'r writing off all the Slytherin students as "Incurably Criminal Boys."

2. Why must Harry remain with the Dursleys? I mean, there are intelligent, caring, influential adults on Harry's side: Dumbledore, McGonagall, the Weasleys. Besides that, Harry has his own resources: a fortune in wizard money left behind by his parents.

Yet he is made to endure a homelife that is frankly miserable; barely a step up from a Dickensian orphan. His talents aren't nurtured, hell, he isn't even treated kindly. Is there really nowhere else in the wizard, or even Muggle, world, where he could spend his non-Hogwarts time?

Again, my only guess is they're all thinking adversity breeds character. But good grief, how strong does one's character need to be? It's bad enough someone tries to kill him during every school year...
terracinque: (bridesmaid revisited)
Profession: Network Engineer and frustrated writer/artist/director.

Height: Five feet seven.

Distinguishing marks: a tattoo on my right shoulder blade; a scar on the back of my head and a birthmark on my left thigh.

Allergies: penicillin.

A smell that makes you pause: swamp.

A taste that makes you melt: watermelon.

A hobby that occupies your time: hashing.

A city you'd like to visit: Rio de Janeiro.

A country you'd like to explore: Peru.

Your favorite meal: burritos.

A drink you order most often: water.

A delicious dessert: cheesecake.

A book you highly recommend: The Endurance.

The music you prefer while alone: swing.

A film you could watch over and over: Casablanca.

Your favorite time of the day: mornings just after waking up, when the day can still take any course.

Your favorite place to sit at home: in bed, with a cat next to me.

Your stuff:

You live in a(n): old bungalow.

Your transportation: 1996 Geo Tracker, 2002 Esarati electric motorcycle.

You approx. annual income: $52,000

When you sleep, you wear: a t-shirt and jockey shorts. Sometimes nothing, but usually I can't abide the free-ballin'.

Things you like to buy: love.

If you could afford it at this moment, you would buy: a clue.

You collect: comic books, glass scientific vessels, books, books, books.

Your strangest possession: a globe of Mars. No? Then how about my straitjacket?

Your most expensive possession: my house.

Your Morals

What would your reaction be if your spouse or partner cheated on you: More desperate sadness and confusion than anger.

Your religion and views of the world

Do you believe in God?: no.

What religion were you raised with: Disciples of Christ (basically liberal Baptists).

Death is: oblivion.

How you picture the end of the world: cold and barren. But humans will have moved on to other worlds by then.

Does life exist on other planets?: Almost certainly.

Have they made contact with us: Almost certainly not.

Do you believe we come from Adam and Eve: no.

Do you believe in astrology: no.

Do you read your horoscope: no.

Have you ever been treated by a psychotherapist: Yes.

If reincarnation does exist, you'd like to come back as: a girl.

Your opinions

The right to have an abortion: Yes.

The right to own guns: no.

The death penalty: opposed.

Legalization of drugs: marijuana and LSD. Not cocaine or heroin.

Equal rights for homosexuals: Yes.

The practice of premarital sex: I'll consider all reasonable offers.

The minimum punishment for those who molest children: don't punish, treat; anyone that sick in mind needs help.

The minimum punishment for those who rape: longer than Mke Tyson got, for sure.

You would fight in a war if: the opportunity had come up (I'm a veteran).

The environmental issue that concerns you most: Deforestation and habitat encroachment.

July 2010

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