Archive for December, 2004

The Tsunami and Israel

December 31st, 2004

This post isn’t about the disaster itself, there’s enough out there by other people, and I could give no added value. I just wanted to report about some of the smaller things related to this mess that got published on local papers, and that may be relevant to the Israeli angle on the thing. So as a list of brief tidbits:

Most coverage and media attention here goes to the Israelis that were, almost were, and weren’t, involved in this. Everyone seems really shook up about the number of dead and missing Israelis, which on last count amounted together to about twenty something people. That’s compared to the more than one hundred twenty five thousand people dead and missing total. Less than meaningless statistical noise, except to the people themselves and the families. On the other hand, I’ll be surprised if things are different on other countries that had tourists in the disaster areas.

The search and rescue operations and assistance by our authorities seem impressive. In a rather short order we had people looking on the scene, and everyone that was found could get a quick transport home. According to today’s morning papers the Swedes were also impressed by the Israeli response, and annoyed at their government for seeming to do less.

Idiots kept complaining that not enough effort was being done to help their children and relatives. Finding and rescuing a small number of Israelis in a huge disaster area is not easy. The complaints that were most galling were those by people whose children were vacationing on areas that were outside the area and unhurt. How much can you bloody complain that nobody rescued a person that was in no bloody danger and didn’t know there was a problem ?!

I heard some radio interview with someone worried about a person that recently embarked on a month-long trek in India. The family was very worried about not hearing from him. Why is this news?! He’s on a trek, possibly inland, and let them know in advance that he won’t be in contact for a few more weeks at least. Stop wasting everyone’s time.

There was one news article about a jerk that only agreed to come back on business class, and then complained that he was forced to pay a lot of money in order to be rescued… Apparently he think someone owes him to rescue him on his own terms, and by his own conditions. Words such as "ingrate" or "self absorbed prick" don’t begin to describe this (All insults of course assuming that the news reports were accurate).

Sri Lanka refused the Israeli offer for a rescue mission and personal. Responses in the media immediately started claiming that they’re worried about the fact that most rescue personal are military, or other claims to similar effect. Nobody noticed that our relations with Sri Lanka are good enough for them to actually buy lots of military gear from us, which doesn’t really fit this profile. Nobody also waited enough to notice that they refused help from nearly everyone else as well, and claimed the reason is that the damages are in terrorist (insurgents, freedom fighters, rebels, whatever) area and they can’t vouch for the safety of the rescue workers. Makes sense, but a much less sensational story. Sometime it can be unsafe for the rescue workers as well.

Of all the possible international news reports passed by Routers and Associated Press, what did our local papers had to get and publish? That bloody stupid article about how animals must have sixth sense since no animal bodies were found… Never mind that nobody had time to bloody look for animal corpses with all the human dead around. Never mind that small animals would have been carried away in the floods. Never mind that the places rescue people came to, the heavily populated beaches, don’t have much wildlife. Never mind that birds can bloody fly away. No, animals must have sixth sense and sensed the tidal wave in advance. This is stupid, and the fact that papers everywhere pick up on this story instead of dropping it is sad

One of the stupidest responses to the thing I heard from a real live person: "If it’s not Osama, it’s… Tsunma… Tsonama, something like that… You notice how close are the names are? Terrible, just terrible. All those deaths by things with these strange names". I agree, this linguistic idea is indeed terrible.

I’m still waiting to see how long it is before someone blames the earthquake, and resulting tidal waves, on some clandestine Israeli underwater atomic bomb testing…

Outstanding Fines

December 31st, 2004

The city of Tel-Aviv was forced to send notices to an exceedingly large number of people, letting them know that still outstanding traffic tickets, and the associated fines, on their name are canceled.

It’s not a new-year money wasting spree by the city, and not done out of kindness. It seems that there’s a regulation requiring to notify people at least once every three years about still unpaid fines.

Last time such notifications were sent on a large scale was in 2001, and the city offered major discounts to people that come with their old debts and pay them. About 75% of people did not take the opportunity.

And now, because someone forgot to mail all these people a notice, the debts are waived. A sort of an unplanned new-year’s gift for the crooked.

There are two things that strike me as particularly noteworthy about this:

  1. If the law required notification every three years, then it means people are expected to avoid paying for so long. Is that the level of law enforcement that municipal authorities are capable (or more correctly, incapable) of? It’s so pathetic it’s almost ludicrous. If the city doesn’t have the force to compel anyone to pay for so long, it’s surprising anyone bother paying.
  2. The city announced that it lost a prodigious amount of money on this. I’m sure the numbers they state add up, but… C’mon… If those people were avoiding payment for so bloody long, they would have likely never paid. So most of it is not money that the city could have counted on having, and was lost to begin with. The actual monetary loss is much much smaller. Future loss from people that now know paying is stupid… That could be more serious.

Red Traffic Lights

December 30th, 2004

While I was driving to work the announcer on the radio complained that she saw no less than three people entering into an intersection while the red traffic light was on. All this on her way to work, earlier this morning. She asked people to drive more carefully, and lamented that stopping at a red traffic light should be elementary and basic.

About a minute after that, I reached an intersection, and the greed light was fading. So I slowed down and stopped just as the light switched. The light turned red. And shortly afterward there came another car, passing me over and crossing, in red.

<Sigh>

Hard to Fix

December 29th, 2004

Intermittent errors and problems are very bad. It’s extremely difficult to pinpoint the cause of a problem if the problem doesn’t happen when you check. Like the classic example of a car that gives trouble, except when in the garage.

We had a call from a client today, with a machine that started to cause problems. During the call we identified a possible cause for the behaviour, and wanted the client to restart the machine, since the initialization behaviour will have signs that would allow us to verify (or disqualify) our idea.

The client guy calls back a few minutes later. He turned the machine off, turned it on, and everything is working perfectly. He can’t reproduce the problem.

The client did turn the machine off and on several times in the last day since the problem showed up, so that wasn’t it. But the behaviour shouldn’t have changed given the data we already had on it.

So now we can’t know if our idea was true. We don’t know what’s wrong with the machine. And we can’t try to fix and change anything since there’s no way to know if what we do makes a difference.

So far we just hope everything will keep working, since as long as it does everything is alright. But if the problem happens again, we have a serious… err… problem.

Problems are better when they’re just there until you kill them. This spontaneous solution thing is bad.

Bad ATM Design

December 29th, 2004

This is about the ATM that let you draw money from a bank account, anyone looking for something on ATM networks, not here and now, sorry.

I needed to draw some cash money at a higher than usual amount, to pay for a cash purchase. Sounds simple enough. I went to the ATM to draw money. There’s a menu with different possible withdrawal amounts, and an option for "different amount".

The two highest-amount options were for 1,000 ILS and 2,500 ILS, and I needed a little more than a thousand. So I decided to give the "different amount" option a try. I usually draw less, and doesn’t need it.

After pressing the button I got a screen asking me what amount I want to withdraw. I typed 1-5-0-0 on the keypad, and saw it echoed on the screen. I pressed the "next" button.

No money came out. The screen was redrawn with a message stating "Possible amount for withdrawal 1,000 ILS. Please enter amount" and a few blank lines below the number 0. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I have more than the amount I specified waiting at the account since I knew in advance I’ll need the cash, so that’s not a phyisical limit. And heck, I could have taken 2,500 from the basic menu.
It was also very not obvious from the screen if the transaction was not performed, or if the stated 1,000 are queued and I was asked to enter additional amount.

So just to be on the safe side, I tried to press the "next" button again. I got an error message telling me that I need to enter an amount in multiples of 50. And got back to the initial screen of the "different amount" withdrawal.

I tried again, typing 1500, which to the best of my knowledge is in fact a multipliction of 50. Again, I got the same error message. So I typed 1000, pressed the "next" button, and got a 1000 ILS withdrawal.

Very useful option, this ability to specify different amounts from the predetermined ones. I’m impressed. Not.

Hotmail Mailbox Size Announcement

December 29th, 2004

Hotmail still did not increase the size of my free mailbox from 2MB to the much vaunted 250MB. Not that I can really complain, considering how much I’m paying for it. And really, that’s not what I’m complaining about, but rather the timing of their publications and announcements regarding the same size upgrade.

They actually started to publicize the intended change a long while ago. Not too long after Google came with the 1GB GMail accounts. Rumors that Hotmail will offer 250MB mailboxes for the free accounts started to circulate almost immediately. In the meanwhile Yahoo almost instantly upgraded their free mailboxes to 100MB. A long after that Hotmail started to slowly upgrade users. Much later Yahoo started to upgrade their mailboxes to 250MB and finished with all of them, this all happened relatively fast, and Hotmail still didn’t finish with their own upgrades. However, this relatively very slow upgrade speed is also not what I’m complaining about.

What annoys me is that during the last week or so the general login screen to Hotmail announces that all new mailboxes are at the new size. According to the login page a new account will automatically get 25MB storage, and will be upgraded to 250MB within 30 days.
My account on the other hand still has 2MB. This means that if I create a new account right now, they guarantee that it will begin with much more storage than my current one has.

That’s just wrong. If you can’t upgrade everything at once, start with existing customers. Offering new customers a service that current long-time customers can’t have is vexing, to say the least. It doesn’t really foster any loyalty. It makes customers feel that, even among the free and so not very valued customers anyway, they are second rate. If you can afford the storage space, upgrade people. If you can’t – don’t offer it to anyone else that just decides to open a new account.

Into the Woods

December 29th, 2004

My previous post on Cinderella just reminded me of Into the Woods, so I figured I’d drop a quick recommendation. This is a great DVD of a great show.
Good if you like musicals. Good if you like fairy tales. Good if you like Stephen Sondheim. Good if you like Bernadette Peters, or Joanna Gleason, or any of the other singers there.

Cinderella

December 28th, 2004

A few weeks ago we were supposed to go to see a performance of the Cinderella opera in our local community center, and it didn’t quite happen.
They ran it a second time today, so to make up for last time we got free invitations.

The show itself was an amalgam of opera and ballet parts. While it was nicely done, the drive behind it was not so much artistic, but social. They have a lot of talented immigrants who are practically starving, and this is one way in which the municipalities deal with it. By arranging shows, they can pay the artists salaries, and subsidize it out of culture funds.

Since most of the people on the stage were actually good, I don’t have a problem with this. I got to see a decent show at a good price (Well, a very good price since it was a totally free invitation, but the price of paid tickets was also rather low). And the artists got a salary for doing their job.

I’m not sure where the libretto was taken from, exactly. The music came from all over the place, where the ballet parts mostly were taken from a wide range of composers and eras. The printed program page for the show was sadly lacking in all details beyond simple listing of names of the people on stage. The overture and accompanying music for the operatic parts was played live by real musicians near the stage, while much of the ballet music was pre-recorded. The combination was somewhat odd, with a clear discrepancy in sound quality (The real musicians were good).

The plot itself was highly abridged and edited, so that what happens on stage will fit the available cast. So there was a bit more dancing and ballet than singing. The ballet troupe was decent, some dancers were quite good. There was also a rubber girl who is (I think, but no clear details were ever supplied) a part of the troupe.

The obvious star of the evening, and the one person that I believe to not be a starving artist, was the singer Marina Zolotov. In the lead role of Cinderella. She has a wonderful voice. She also has excellent pronunciation and her Italian actually sounded like clear Italian. Not too surprisingly, she’s a real singer with the Israeli Opera. Hearing her sing was basically worth the all evening by itself. She could have done better, as was obvious in some parts, but I can’t really fault her for not going all out in this setting. And what’s more important about her as a singer is the clear impression that she could have if she wanted to.

The prince had a weak voice, and according to rumor (from one in the know) was chosen due to his looks… The two sisters, Lilliana Krizner and Sophia Yakobov (spelling is a guess, the printed page was only in Hebrew), both had a good voice, and done very nice acting, but still need to work on their pronunciation a bit. One of them I recall seeing before on some occasion.

And that’s it for the singing parts. I can’t possibly connect the names on the page with the myriad dancers on the stage, so I won’t even try.

The only bad parts were on the culture of Israelis as a crowed. There were no less than three different people that turned off their cellphones only after the show started, resulting in those highly annoying musical chimes overriding the show’s music. People also clapped their hands all over the place whenever someone finished an aria or a dance, which is very nice but is just not the thing to do. You’re supposed to clap after the show when everyone is finished, not during the show when the next bit is already starting (Except of course in one part near the end where the ballet troupe actually had their people do solo dances and then bow for the applause, with the opera people looking nonplussed from the side).

Overall it was a good show, and for a good cause. Those people do deserve to work, they’re quite good the most of them. And once again, just to make sure it’s covered, Marina Zolotov is amazing.

Amazing What You Can Do With Your Cloths On

December 25th, 2004

In many movies, after two people had sex, on the scene where they get our of bed, or talk to each other, or whatever, they are always shown to be fully clothed.

This isn’t a case or art imitating life, since people don’t have sex fully clothed. It’s extremely uncomfortable (This is not based on personal experiments, or personal reports, but on mere speculation. So the scientifically minded of you may want to hold to the possibility that I’m wrong here. But I’m not). It was done because studios felt that showing half-naked people on screen would not be moral.

These days the problem is going away. Most film studios not only do not have a problem with showing half-naked people, but prefer to show more naked people than the plot actually calls for.

And as is likely to happen, just once the problem is irrelevant, there comes a solution. Finally there exists a real and compelling reason for people to have sex in their cloths. And to take a bath or a shower in their cloths. And to replace their clothes from the workday garb to night cloths in several stages.

The reason it took so long is that of course, as everybody knows, Mexicans are terribly lazy and it took them until now to finally move their legislative butts and do something about it.
The fair city of Villahermosa had passed a law against nudity.
"So what?" you ask? After all, many places have anti nudity laws. That’s true. But what many places have are anti public nudity laws. This gem is a law against indoor nudity.

Yes, that’s right. In Villahermosa it is no longer legal to be naked even while in the privacy of your own home.

What I didn’t see in the article is the public corruption angle. This is Mexico, it can’t just be stupidity, there has to be public corruption. So here goes: Where are the references to air conditioning cartels operation in the area?! If people go naked at home a lot due to the very high heat, and now they have to stay dressed always, that’s a lot of AC units that will be bought!
Just my little bit of investigative journalism. I leave the followup to someone that actually wants to go to Mexico, and waive in advance all rights for the resulting Pulitzer. Just be careful not to get iced while looking for evidence.

Hat tip to Foreign Dispatches.

Should Family Have Access to Email of Dead Relatives

December 24th, 2004

This is making the rounds in a very big way during the last several days. A Marine with a Yahoo! Mail account has died, and the family requested Yahoo! to give them access to the account in order to read the deceased emails. Yahoo! refuses since this violates their privacy policy.

Most news coverage, and direct blog coverage, seems to agree that the family should be given access. But on reports which are open for comments, most comments seems to agree that Yahoo! are right (This statistic is based on my own private observation, after seeing this on about 5-6 official news sources, and 7-8 blogs).

Personally, I totally and completely agree with Yahoo! here.

It’s not that I can’t see the family’s side. The parents lost a son, and see this as one of the few links left to them, and a way to have some more memories. That’s understandable.

It does not, however, give them the right to read his private emails. The fact that he died doesn’t mean that he no longer deserves his privacy (most major legal systems in the modern world probably agree on this point). Anything in those messages that he wanted his family to know about, he could have told his family about already of his own accord. Why should private letters that he didn’t explicitly want the family to have should go to the family just because he can no longer refuse?

I know for a fact that I would very much prefer my family not to read my private emails.

There’s nothing really bad or secret in most people’s private emails. The stuff goes over the Internet, and in Yahoo’s case as clear text, so obviously someone that really wanted to could have intercepted and read those message. So it’s not those kind of secrets.
But there is a certain sense of privacy. You don’t send anything that would kill you (pardon the pun) if it were to be made public, but you also don’t expect what you send to actually go and become public.

In many cases the family will have little to gain from emails. It’s about relationships they don’t know know well enough, or from the right directions, to understand. Or commercial stuff which is no longer relevant and shouldn’t bother them. But even if they do, the mailbox owner did not want the family to have access to those emails, so they shouldn’t have it.

I know people that don’t mind other specific people, maybe family
members, reading their email (sometimes only on some of their
mailboxes, of course). In all those cases they already gave the trusted persons their
passwords, under an understanding of what are the right and wrong
causes to use them.
If one of those people were to die, it would have been alright for
those that were trusted with the password to read the emails. But in
this case the guy did not give his password to his family. This is a
clear statement of intent. He did not want them to read his emails.

Again, what changed wasn’t that once he didn’t want them to have access and now he does. What changed was that once he didn’t want them to have access, and now he can’t be asked again. Surely the last expressed clear intent should hold, no?

In addition, while I’m not sure about the legal hold this would have specifically on Yahoo!’s privacy policy on this case, there is also the matter of the other people. Most email messages are sent between at least two persons. Not by a person to itself.

And the other person didn’t die. Probably none of them did. Those that were known friends know that he is dead by now. Those that the family knows are also aware that he is dead. If they want the family to have their joint correspondences, they can send the past messages to the family.

Well, they didn’t. Because they don’t want the family to have this. Not that I’m representative, but if one of my friends were to die, I’m pretty sure I would not want their family to read emails between us. The private common jokes, and language used after years of familiarity, often results in messages that can be pretty… bizarre… for someone who isn’t in the loop. And the families aren’t.  I can also clearly state that I’m not that unique in this regard, since I can already vouch that all of my friends are like that, and many of their friends that I got to hear about.

Also, email accounts have other uses. He may have used it to back up various purchases, or accounts at various Internet services. Whatever those were, the family should not get this backdoor to go there as well.

Or to conclude: No! Yahoo! should not give the family access to the messages. The family shouldn’t even dare to ask. And if they are forced to provide access, they should perhaps first erase the calendar and notepad data, and send automatic messages to all the people who’s addresses are in the address book and on stored messages, letting them know that private communications are about to be disclosed to someone else… By sending messages they implicitly consented to the recipient passing them onward, but not for Yahoo! to pass them onward to the family.

Nearly Back

December 24th, 2004

I’m not quite entirely back to full regular health yet, but I’m pretty much nearly almost functional again. Ahem.

I also wanted to extended my thanks to my boss. After I used my very sore throat to tell him (Over the phone) about the high temperatures I’ve reached, he was kind enough to agree that maybe I shouldn’t come to work if I don’t think I can. And continued to make me feel wanted and welcome my mentioning that of course he will be happy to see me at work if I do believe I can come.

I didn’t. So I didn’t.

But if things will keep looking up, I will next week.

I also tried to elicit some sympathy from a friend by saying that I hate being sick and that it’s really not fun. But all I got back was the claim that "yes, that’s quite logical".

Well… the little twerp (and I truly do mean this in the nicest way possible) has also been seriously sick a few weeks ago, so I suppose that’s understandable…    ;-)

Just to Make Doubly Sure

December 23rd, 2004

A few days ago a UPS courier arrived to our office to take a package. At first they guy said he’s looking for Y, and since we don’t have anyone by that name he was told he probably arrived to the wrong place. After looking at his papers he explained that he was wrong, Y is the person that ordered the delivery. We had a client that needed to pick up a package we made for them, and Y is the person there in charge of these things, so she talked to UPS to arrange the delivery.

He had the right papers, with the proper name and address of our client, so we signed everything and the courier left with the package. So far so good.

About an hour later a different UPS courier arrives, saying he came to pick a package for that client of ours. We only had one package to send them, so we told him it must have been a mistake, and that their courier was already there earlier to pick up this package.

He didn’t seem to happy about it, and asked us if we’re sure. We went over to take a second look at the receipt from the first courier, made sure everything was in order, and showed it to him.

The guy left, but a minute later he rang our doorbell again. He asked again if we’re really sure, since he talked with his superior who told him that he did not send anyone else. We explained again that the package was picked, for the same client, by someone who seemed like a UPS worker just like him, and who had all the proper papers. He left again.

We called Y and the client company and told her about it. She seemed more amused than anything else and said that UPS are stupid idiots not well organized. Her main worry was that they won’t try to charge them twice for the delivery.

Just to allay any fears, the couriers were both genuine, and the original package did arrive on time. From Y’s reaction this is far from being the first time that this sort of thing happened to them…

Sick

December 23rd, 2004

Posting here has been slow, OK – nonexistent, during the last few days.

The reason is quite simply that I’m sick (I’m not talking about the mental angle, that’s nothing new). But things are improving. Today my temperature didn’t go even once beyond 40° centigrade. And I’m not being cynical for once (appreciate it while it lasts, doesn’t happen a lot), it actually is an improvement.

Just to let you know I didn’t abandon the blog, just somewhat de-prioritized it. Not that my usual average of almost one post per day was exactly high pace, but I figured it’s worth mentioning.

It’s most likely that I’ll be back to full health in a few days. But hey, if the worst case happens and things start to deteriorate really fast, I’ll do my best to try and post some real inside scoops from beyond the veil. I’ll probably fail, since there isn’t one, but that will be a way of knowing as well, no?

Smoking at the Knesset’s Diner

December 19th, 2004

The diner of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has become choke-full of cigarette smoke. Knesset members, and visitor, complained that the condition is so bad that it’s very hard to breathe, and to see, in there. That’s quite a lot of smoke. Or very lousy air conditioning. Maybe both.

Normal procedure for these cases is separate areas, one for those who want to stink and to poison themselves and the people around them smoke, and one for those who don’t. Many public restaurants does this (and some even realize they have to physically separate the areas, because smoke rudely refuses to stay on one side of an imaginary line).

But this is where our elected political leaders eat, so the normal solutions won’t do. Instead they decided to ban smoking in the diner. But not to ban it completely (a pity), but rather to ban smoking there for everyone except members of the Knesset.

Knesset members can smoke freely in the area. Any other officials, visitor, and guests cannot. If during a business discussion two smokers will get into the diner, the non-member will be asked to put out his  cigarette or get out, and the Knesset member will be allowed to continue smoking…

Nobody seems to happy about it. The diner remains a smoker’s area, but there’s a blatant discrimination between Knesset members and the other people there. Even smoking Knesset members don’t seem to like the idea.

I think in the spirit of equality they should ban smoking there completely. But nobody asked me. Probably they’ll just return to the free smoking regime. Easier to do shady political dealing when no-one can see you for the smoke…

More From Mike Kainrath

December 18th, 2004

Remember the story from three weeks ago about Mike Kainrath, the guy who received around $1.78 million by mistake?

Surprisingly, in a very good way, he responded to my post with some more details and followup. Since that post is old, I figured it was better to copy the response in a new post, and comment here instead of back there. Otherwise maybe no-one but me will notice, which would be a pity, since he’s worth reading.

Here’s what he had to say:

Hey cool comments!

Yes, I’m the guy…the rest of the story is the bank charges me a
$12.50 wire fee to send the money back! They refund it…but its
another call.

Turns out that the bank in the Antilles but my bank’s routing number
down in error. 99% of the time banks don’t have the same account
numbers. My bank saw the correct routing number and a valid account
number and so they put it in my account. How were they to know? It is
this foreign bank that keeps putting it in.

Always the same bank–I thought it was drug money being laundered
through my account. The FBI did not think so because I have to initiate
the correction.

Now I’m concerned that I may have an audit flag by the IRS on my
social because I keep receiving these deposits. Don’t banks have to
report these?

I cannot believe how this story has taken off. I had a call from CBS
news, NPR and been interviewed on the local radio here. The story has
been picked up by the Russian press as well and I can see the story
translated into Russian on the internet. All very cool.

Thanks for the comments.  I enjoyed reading them!

Mike

It’s really great hearing from you Mike. I’m glad you liked what I had to say. And that you didn’t take the "Maybe not a particularly bright one" quip in a more serious way than the one it was written in.

I must admit that I find the charge for returning the money to be hilarious. The story up to that point does have it’s amusing aspects, but it’s mostly just a very large and interesting mistake (With a lot of impractical wishful thinking). Charging for returning the money, however, passes it into the realm of a very surreal sitcom… One of the very few cases I can write LOL and mean that I literally did.

Being a geographical ignoramus, I didn’t have a clue where Antilles is, and had to run a quick search. Here’s what the CIA’s World Factbook had to say about Antilles (besides a lot of other less relevant information):

transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; money-laundering center

I can certainly see how drugs and money laundering would be a genuine concern. Although, perhaps due to the effects of too many bad drug-related thriller movies, I’d expect a banker that work with drug cartels not to make these sorts of mistakes. Not more than once, anyway.

I’m not at all surprised that the story received a lot of media attention. People getting a lot of money is always a popular subject (at least when it’s not due to years of hard work). Banks making mistakes with money is also a popular subject. Heck, money is a popular subject.
This way at least Mike can get something out of it besides a headache and a small addition to his phone bill.

Hmm. He can also try to ask his bank if they want to do a TV commercial with him. he can honestly say that at any other bank he would never have gotten so much money in his account… ;-)

Naturally I expect the whole thing wasn’t as fun for Mike as it is for
me, or for other people who read about it. It’s nice to imagine what I could
do with those amount of money, but getting it like that for real is a
problem and a major headache. As is clearly evident from Mike’s very realistic worries
here.

Mike, I do hope there won’t be any further problems for you with the IRS, the FBI, your drug cartel of choice, or anyone else. At least not until next time…