Monday, 25 February 2013

09:40 – Barbara’s mom called Barbara’s cell phone again yesterday. When Barbara answered, her mom was just repeating Barbara’s cell phone number over and over again. Barbara couldn’t get her mother to respond, so she finally just hung up on her mom and called the nurses’ station. She ended up talking to her mom’s social worker, who interviewed Barbara about her mom’s medical and other history. The mystery of how Sankie was getting their phone numbers was cleared up when the social worker told Barbara that she’d seen Sankie wandering around carrying a slip of paper with phone numbers on it. Barbara told the social worker that she and her sister couldn’t take calls from their mom, particularly at work, and asked her to make sure that Sankie had only Dutch’s home phone number. Barbara is still hopeful that her mom will recover, of course, but I’m afraid that this is the new normal.

I’ll be spending some time this week filling bottles, thousands of them. I’m really glad I decided to buy that bottle-top dispenser. It speeds up filling immensely, even counting cleanup time between different solutions, particularly when I’m doing 60 to 240 bottles at a time. Meanwhile, I’ll also get labels printed for yet another batch of 60 chemistry kits and 60 biology kits. That’s about 5,000 container labels for Barbara to apply. Which means I need to get a few thousand more bottles and caps ordered.


17:01 – Well, the Italian elections are over, and if there’s one thing clear about this mess it’s that Italian voters have rejected “austerity” resoundingly. Bersani and his left-wing Democratic Party did much worse than expected, losing the Senate to a resurgent Berlusconi and his People of Freedom Party and winning only a 35% to 29% margin in the lower chamber. Former comedian Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement did much, much better than expected, with solid third place numbers in the polling. Mario Monte, the technocrat imposed on Italy by the EU, was a far distant fourth.

Bersani and Berlusconi hate each other’s guts and their parties’ policies are diametrically opposed, so there’s almost no chance that they will form a coalition. In essence, Italy is now without a government and is likely to remain so until new elections can be held later this year. Which means the ECB will no longer be propping up Italy’s bonds. Which means you can expect to see Italian bond yields start to skyrocket, sooner rather than later. Which means the euro crisis is back, bigger and badder than ever. Not that it was ever really gone. It was just smoldering. Watch it now, as it bursts back into flames worse than anything we saw at the “height” of the crisis. At this point, the most likely outcome is that Italy will crash out of the euro, returning to the lira, and default on its massive debt pile. The follow-on effects for Greece, Spain, Portugal, and France are likely to be catastrophic.

5 thoughts on “Monday, 25 February 2013”

  1. My mom calls our home phone at least two or three times per day wanting something. I commonly let the answering machine handle it. Our home phone tries to read the name of the person calling. If it’s the assisted living, I’ll either look at the number or listen to the first few seconds of the call to make sure it’s not a member of the assisted living facility’s staff.

    My mom’s recent calls have been to try get me to bring the papers over so she can do her taxes. Having found last year’s tax return, I have decided that when I bring her the papers, I should bring the completed 2012 forms for her to review and sign.

    If the cell phone calls continue to be a problem, might I suggest assigning a silent ringtone to the number her mother calls from. Most of my mother’s calls are from the same number, which is not the number the staff calls from. I don’t do this with my mother’s calls, because she doesn’t know my cell phone number.

  2. Mine over the past ten or twelve years has called all of us many, many times per day at work, at home, etc., always with nothing important whatsoever. I watched one time as she called one of my brothers sixteen times in a half-hour. If we actually answer and talk to her it goes nowhere; we have to repeat things, she forgets things instantly, etc., etc. We all know the drill by now.

    Dave B.’s idea is a good one. We just had to get our numbers unlisted.

  3. If the cell phone calls continue to be a problem, might I suggest assigning a silent ringtone to the number her mother calls from. Most of my mother’s calls are from the same number, which is not the number the staff calls from. I don’t do this with my mother’s calls, because she doesn’t know my cell phone number.

    Less drastic than a silent ring is to change the caller to a different ring tone so that you can identify that caller without the trouble of getting out the phone.

    I’ve used the silent ring-tone for a really persistent caller who always asked for Dave (now and then over a couple of years!) but couldn’t grasp that it wasn’t Dave’s number. I used Audacity on my PC to make a silent recording, then transferred the mp3 to my phone.

  4. I must have had that in the back of my mind when I wrote that post because when I checked it turned out that it wasn’t Dave they were asking for after all, it was Will.

    The last call from them on my phone’s “missed calls” list was on Saturday 19 March, without a year. Google found me a handy site that tells me that had to be 2011, so almost two years without a call – maybe they finally got the message>

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