Bits and Pieces – 20171112, Sunday

Commentary: A common theme that my wife and I discuss is the general we encounter incompetence on a daily basis. As an example, when we moved, our bank provided new cheques as requested but they coded them for a dormant and empty savings account. It came to my attention when the first cheque bounced. It cost me several hours and some momentary anxiety to fix the bank’s error, apologize to people that I had sent cheques to, pursue reimbursement of NSF fees both for myself and my vendors, etc. I left a bank official wondering how they issued cheques on an account that had no chequing privileges.

That reminds me of a bank draft made out by another bank we deal with. The teller not only did not sign it but failed to get a required second signature. I didn’t pick up the problem until the draft was refused for deposit at our other bank.

Even a simple coffee is problematic. I ordered a large coffee at Tim Hortons, half dark roast and half decaf, double double. The girl on the cash gave me two medium coffees. One was all decaf by mistake. The other I have no idea what it was. But why medium size when I ordered large? Another time my wife ordered a steeped (brewed) tea with extra water. The girl at the cash argued that adding water wasn’t necessary since she was going to provide a tea bag and a cup of hot water. A more senior staff member intervened before I had to give instruction about their product line – two ways of serving tea.

We had an accident with out Toyota Rav4 Sept. 19. It was towed to a repair shop approved by our insurer who assigned Angus to deal with the repair aspects of our claim. Our car is still in the shop and Angus has called at most 3 times in this period of over seven weeks to let us know what is going on. Rather, I talk to the repair shop myself for updates. Apparently the wrong parts were originally received (I’m not sure whether the repair shop or the supplier is at fault) and the right ones are still on order. Fortunately we have a clause that provides a rental vehicle up to a maximum of $5000. At this point I’m starting to worry. And our winter tires remain stored in the corner of our garage.

Generally we find that people in service positions either are not hearing what is being said or have limited ability to retain information. It’s as if they’re not all there. This article suggest that we are not alone in this: Paul Craig Roberts Laments “I Don’t Recognize My Country Today.

WWIII: The following article lists the key events reported in the last week for the purge within the Saudi royal family, and for an emerging conflict with Lebanon: The Saudi Purge: The Middle-East Is On The Verge Of A New War. Are war clouds gathering over Lebanon:Saudi Arabia Orders Its Citizens To Leave Lebanon Immediately, and Kuwait Orders Citizens To Leave Lebanon Immediately “As Precaution Against Any Negative Impact That Might Take Place”? Here’s an analysis of the situation from Geopolitical Futures, George Friedman’s shop: Profiling Lebanon: The Western Front of a Proxy War. Here’s one more piece: Setting The Stage For War: US Air Force Says Missile Targeting Saudi Capital Was Iranian.

Right now, the Mid-East is hotter than North Korea in terms of activity that may lead to war. Chris Martenson has prepared an overbite of the Saudi power structure, the recent events in the House of Saud, and the risks of a war with Iran. The region is complex and this may shed a bit of light on it: If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn’t Worry You, You’re Not Paying Attention. Of note is the insertion of China into the mix with a presence that may grow quickly.

Honestly, I did not write this article: NATO Ministerial Meeting: Preparing For War On Russia?

Climate: Al Gore might pay attention to this event that may be causing in part, the breakup of the Antarctic ice sheet. Note that the article states: it may explain why the ice sheet collapsed in a previous era of rapid climate change 11,000 years ago. Were Neanderthals burning fossil fuels to keep warm: ‘This is crazy’: Antarctic supervolcano melting ice sheet from within?

In this article, Stephen Leeb says that each bitcoin transaction uses the energy equivalent of 3.3mgallons of gasoline: China’s Bold Plan To Reshape The World’s Monetary System With Gold & Blockchain. While I find this to be a number that I would not accept without research (which I haven’t done) the climate hysterics might want to investigate. The energy cost is in the blockchain algorithm implementation.

Bits and Pieces: I’ve been following but not reporting the following saga. Here’s an update: 13 Baltimore High Schools Have Zero Students That Are Proficient In Math. This may in part explain why the second ceasefire weekend failed: Second deadly shooting in Baltimore’s ‘Nobody kill anybody’ weekend.

Because it’s Canada: Be Careful What You Sniff In Canada.

If you have time on your hands, this article has a divergent perspectives on the dynamics of current geopolitics: The End of “The End of History” – U.S. Mid-East Policy’s Fork in the Road.

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