Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A strange day in la-la land

I had 2 interesting things happen to me today:

1. I got an email from Bank of America telling me I was overdrawn on my checking account! What a shock! Well, it was, since I hardly use that account very much anymore and I knew (I knew, I'm telling you) that I was not overdrawn.

As it turns out, Bank of America decided to start charging me a monthly fee out of the clear blue sky (probably because I'm not using the account). I asked the customer service woman when I was informed about this policy. She said, "When you opened the account."

I asked her, "You mean in 1985?"


She took the fee off the account and advised me that to avoid such an event happening in the future, I should deposit $2,000 into the account post haste and not let my balance fall below said $2,000.

I laughed. Then I told her that as soon as my automatic payment to my car insurance goes through next week, I'd be canceling the account.

She seemed stunned that I would consider such a thing, even after I told her I had another account at another bank in town that does not charge me one penny in monthly fees. That bank is open 7 days/week until 6 p.m., I informed her.

She started spouting some psycho-babble, and I had to wonder: do they go to some kind of special training to learn that?


2. I tried to order something through Amazon.com, only to discover Amazon.com is not working today. At first I was told everything would be fine in one half hour, but after one-half hour, I was told everything would be fine in 24 hrs.

Well, after all the trouble I've been having with Newburyport Business, this bizarre turn of events made me feel a little better.

I curse Bank of America and the Internet, I tell you, I really do!

And a certain policeman in a certain seaside town north of here who made a circus event out of the fact that my front license plate was stolen about 3 yrs. ago and is still listed as stolen.

When will these police understand that, if I also have the back plate and my registration, I probably am the owner of the vehicle?

Must get new plates ... I consulted w/Marshal Howard at last night's City Council meeting, and he agrees ...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Doggie doo and city parks

I only just got clued into this whole debacle the other day, but now there's a meeting at 6 p.m. tonight (Thurs.) at Atwood Park because people are tired of doggie doo!

Once again, the comments on the Daily News site are very entertaining (I haven't had a chance to really read many, lately).

Anyway ... a reader sent me this link about Atwood Park. I thought when I first went on there that the link was to something about moving the park ... hmmmmm ....

Anyway, have fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The ROOF OVER HEAD COLLABORATIVE, or ROOF as it is commonly referred, is planning a general meeting June 30 at the Unitarian Church Hall, on Pleasant St.,at 7:30 p.m.

Ed Cameron, Associate Director of Housing Services, Community Teamwork Inc., and Ward 4 City Councilor will discuss the groups plan to move ahead to house local homeless people.

(Note from me: Are we absolutely sure he's the Ward 4 councillor?)


Refreshments and discussion will follow the presentation.

ROOF, a tax deductible organization, plans to help reduce homelessness in the Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury area by acquiring residential properties that will serve as transitional homes for homeless families. The properties will be managed by local service organizations that work with homeless families. ROOF'S focus is homeless families, notably the children who are so traumatically impacted by homelessness. ROOF was established in September 2009 by area residents concerned about the growing leevel of homelessness in our communities.


"...his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity"

Mr. T sent me this link to an "Opinionator" column in the NY Times.

He thought that maybe it would pique my interest and yeah, it did. It explains a lot, does it not? Stupidity keeps stupid people from ever recognizing that they are stupid. It's called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, “When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.” It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence. But just how prevalent is this effect?

Not only that, but if you look up the Dunning-Kruger effect, it's even more startling. This is from Wikipedia:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which "people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it."[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the perverse situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence: because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."

Which is a logical sort of way takes me back to my old friend in Michigan, the one who was the only person I ever met who admitted that she wasn't very smart. She apparently does not suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Interesting reading.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Check this out

An interesting tidbit from Forbes.com.

It's really, really hard to click on Suffolk County ... but it's worth the effort, if you're interested in comparisons.

Thank you, masked reader, for sending me the link.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And on a more personal note

I fell down twice at the community garden and hurt my knee both times.

Did I tell you about the first time? -- I fell down the hill and twisted my left knee and it was all swollen, but that was a while ago now.

Then I slipped on the ramp coming out of the shed in the rain and hurt the same knee again, only not quite as bad ... or badly ...

Anyway, since I was wearing the same pair of rubber shoes both times, the shoes are now history. I loved my pink Crocs so kept wearing them in spite of the tread being worn down and them getting all dirty from the garden ...

And, oh, the graphic display on my laptop went wonky again, but thanks to a certain Mr. Y (I would have made him "X," but I thought it would be confusing with the former blogger), it's all fixed. He fixed it in less time than the duration of yesterday night's City Council meeting (I know this because I dropped it off before the meeting, and it was fixed before the meeting was over since I believe I arrived back at his house before the meeting was over).


Tardy posts

I know, I know, I have not been good at posting stuff as of late.

Chalk it up to ... ah, heck, whatever you like.

Someone sent me this link, yikes a while ago now. It's about a wind turbine and turbine noise in Falmouth, MA.

I'm not really a big fan of the Boston Herald, but it's an interesting story, especially in light of our pending new planning director, Andrew Port. I'll be speaking with him more tomorrow, hopefully.

He seems to be very nice and capable - and he mentioned wind turbines in his Monday "meet-and-greet" with (some) city councillors.

Monday, June 14, 2010

PSA: Support Operation Troop Support

The Newburyport Republican Committee will be conducting a donation drive to benefit Operation Troop Support.

The drive will be held Saturday June 26th at the Market Basket on Storey Ave in Newburyport from 9am-3pm.

Operation Troop Support is an organization based in Danvers, MA, that sends care packages to our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A list of suggested donation items can be found on their website: operationtroopsupport.org.

For more information please contact Paul Breau @ paul_breau@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

National Grid says "no sale"

I heard a rumor that National Grid was selling its substation on Water Street to Marriott and that there was going to be a hotel built on the site.

National Grid almost laughed me out off the phone ... well, I exaggerate, but it was close!

Of course, people/companies often deny stuff that comes to fruition ...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flies in my house!

I hate flies in my house ...

Message from Sen. Tarr re: beach scraping

To: Interested Parties

From: Senator Bruce Tarr

Re: Meeting to Address Beach Scraping Report

Since elements of the recently developed report of available information on beach scraping have become known and/or publicized, the need to address this report in a focused meeting dedicated to this subject has become clear. Thus, that meeting will occur as follows:

Date: Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: PITA Hall, PI

This meeting will be an opportunity for all of us to discuss the report with such state officials as Deerin Babb-Brott and Undersecretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Philip Griffiths. It is important that we confront any issues with the report directly, rather than allow them to fester and predominate over the many other issues we must deal with (dredging project, etc.) in a timely fashion.

We must also place the report into context, and understand that it does not constitute a ruling on the scraping project we have proposed, but is rather a compilation of scientific information that can and will be used to evaluate our proposal, and potentially aid in its design and approval criteria.

In order to ensure informed and engaging public discussion on these subjects, I am attaching to this memo a copy of the report, and the Town of Newbury has posted this report on its web site also.

My goal is for us to engage fully in discussing and understanding this report for what it is, and to have the meeting with a clear sense of direction about how we are going to proceed on this topic of beach scraping. Doing so is not only important to the success of any possible scraping project, but also to being able to move ahead with the critical “204” dredging project without unnecessary distraction.

I urge all interested parties to attend and participate in this meeting, and to be prepared to discuss how we might proceed in the collaborative way that has brought us so far on the beach.

Cynthia L. Lewis

Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Special Projects

Office of Senator Bruce E. Tarr

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Media in the Port" (round 2)

Tomorrow morning ... 9 a.m. .... live on Comcast cable access ... me, Will Courtney, Sarah Hayden, Pete Falconi and Kim Gobbi.