Coping: With Ukraine War Woo-Woo

Every so often our project comes up with something that is truly amazing.  And sometimes we get more than a slight hint of the future in the process. And readers there contribute some amazing emails…and that gets me to the point:

Suppose for a moment that I told you that a prediction that the “Third World War to begin during Winter Games in 2014” was made by astrologers, shamans and parapsychologists in Russia ways back in the spring of 2011three years ago!.

Well, it’s true, the prediction was, in fact, made.  You can find it in Pravda’s English language archives here.

No kidding!  And, if you read the story closely, you’ll find today is one of the “hot days.” 

WoWW:  A Case of “Future-Vision”

This report on happenings in the World of Woo-Woo is just flat amazing!

Dear George,

As my son and I were leaving our Karate school last week I glanced into the window of the Consignment store next door and noticed it was empty.  I commented to my son that they must have gone out of business.  He replied, “What are you talking about?”  I looked again and the store was full of woman’s clothing and a window display of pink garments for Valentine’s day.  “Never mind.  It looked like it was empty for a minute.”  I could have sworn it was.

I went to karate class tonight without my son and this time when I looked into the store it was empty.  All that was left was a glass counter and a “Closed” sign on the door.  I called my son and asked him if he remembered me talking about the store being closed and it wasn’t.  “Yeah, why?”  “Because tonight it was empty for real-they went out of business.” 

My son and I both marveled at the weirdness of it all and I’m convinced that I saw a week into the future when I believed the store was empty last week.
Love your column and especially the woo-woo stories.

Take care,  Rebecca  Tampa Bay Florida

I’d be really interested to collect any additional facts about the previous trip.  Any odd clouds in the sky, any unusual foods?  How about music or….anything else about that visit which had an odd vibe to it?


WoWW – The World of Woo-Woo – is something we get only smatterings of now and then.  Most of our reports come to us second hand.  Someone puts down a set of keys – and said key’s promptly disappear –  only to reappear some weeks later in a different place.  Or like the store closing (in advance) in the previous story. 

It’s like when a reader sits a stapler down on the desk and an hour later it has gone missing.  It remains missing for several WEEKS and then –out of the blue – shows up somewhere that has been previously searched (to no avail).  Yet there the damn object (of the search) is.  It’s in complete defiance of logic.

So on to this morning’s case report is special because it is first-hand.

Background: A number of weeks – maybe a month – back Elaine asked me “Have you seen my little exercise ball?”

Years back, when I was at Campus Management down in Boca Raton, we gave out these little fabric-covered exercise balls with the company logo on them at one of our user conferences.  Hugely popular since the users were able to use them to work out the stress from hours on a keyboard.  Carpal tunnel and all that, right?  Elaine loves hers and has been squeezing it since about 2003…Fabric on it is all stretch out, logo is mostly gone, but she loved it.  When it went missing, she went into action.

She had searched the house high and low.  Ripped cushions off furniture, moved throw rugs, moved furniture, vacuumed, and on and on…Not just once around, either.

So for the last several weeks almost daily I’ve been answering question: “No, I haven’t seen it….but it will be along one of these days…because that’s how this WoWW stuff seems to work…”

Secretly, of course, I didn’t believe it for an instant.  The senior scientist in me scoffed. “Reality isn’t really like that,” it kept insisting.

Besides, three days ago she bought a brand new exercise ball.  Bigger than the little one she loved, but that’s what was available in the local Wal-Mart.  I figured the little one was gone, kaput, end of tale.  Odd for it to disappear in the house, but oh well….got other fish to fry.

Until 10:47 AM Thursday when Elaine stormed into my office and triumphantly announced “Here it is!”

“Here WHAT is?” about the time my eye caught a small black ball inbound at 21 miles an hour in a low, under-hand toss from the smiling blonde lady… 

“It was just sitting there!  About 4-inches out from the middle of the couch….where would would have seen it a million times… had it been there…”

And of course, she was exactly right because I’d watch with some amusement from my recliner as she had torn the living room apart three or four times over; down on her knees with a big LED flashlight looking every damned where.  Inspector Gadget would have been proud of her search efforts.  It just plain wasn’t there and I would have seen it had it been.

I had felt around the couch, too.  Between and under cushions, down on the floor…nope, not there.  But now it’s back and I’m left wondering to figure out what it all means…

The living room floor has also been vacuumed twice a week, so the odds of it missing the vacuum almost a dozen times is right at zero, as far as I’m concerned.

We chatted about it…and then she confessed that was enough talk.  To her brain, this was in the same league as that teleportation event I told you about a few months back.  The one where she went to sleep in her recliner in the living room and woke up in bed with the TV still on….and that still totally freaks her out.  Now the ball case.  Can you say “Odd?”

In many of these “disappearing objects that reappear cases” the person has some attachment to the object and just as they move past the attachment – BANG!  It’s back.

Maybe that God’s (or Universe, or whatever’s) way of teaching us something about attachment.

Or, maybe reality really is a Swiss cheesy place and we don’t understand the half of how it works; not really.

And maybe the joke’s on us:  We may be smart enough to materialize a picture live on a smartphone, but how come we can materialize the means to make the monthly payments for it?  That kind of thing.

This is the kind of stuff I mull over when I’m out working in the shop or around the house on weekends.

If I ever get a solid insight, be sure and read Monday columns.But “seriously odd” doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Profoundly contrary to the way things should work, is more like it.

Why I’m Not a Lawyer

An email from reader Richard points out the flaws in my thinking (or at least some of them)…


I believe that your assessment of the veto by Gov. Brewer of S.B. 1062 is as misguided as the propaganda put out by the LBGT community. All the bill did was to clarify and make it harder to use religious freedom as an excuse to deny service under the existing state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

I believe that the activist saw this as an opportunity to show how much power they could exert, but had to use lies and half-truths to whip-up emotions. I never did hear any debate on what the law really said, just propaganda without any facts. Maybe the following legal analysis will help clear the air.

A loyal six-day a-week reader,


P.S. Arizona took the brunt of the outrage because they were the first to pass a bill, but there are 13 other states with similar legislation in the works.

And so I need to reread the report this morning, the text of the Arizona law, and ponder it further.  Is it possible Gov. Brewer simply had to bow to huge economic pressure?  One of those things where you can read it and decide, I suppose.

Around the Ranch: The Drill Press Table

Time for a little weekend homesteading talk:    I haven’t had much to write out in the shop lately, mainly because of so many other projects going on.  However today I’m here to sing the praises of Forstner bits.

“A what?”

Yeah…I picked up a collection of Forstner bits for the shop a while back.  Their main claim to fame is that they drill a round hole that has a FLAT bottom to it.  Perfect for counter-sinking big fasteners.  Or putting in doweling

Yes it was $50 bucks, but I bought a  PORTER-CABLE  Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece in May of 2013 and have to say I love them.

As I was ripping down some melamine-coated MDF (it’s like regular MDF but it has plastic on one side, so it’s great for cabinets and workshop bench tops) I decided to make a drill press table.  One of those 10-minute, wild hare ideas…

Chopped out a 10-inch wide by 26-inch long hunk of plastic-faced  3/4”MDF  (under $30 a sheet…great stuff for the price – may be a special order some lumber yards, but fun to work with as there’s no finishing). 

Then I set holes in the center and for the attachment bolts and cut out for the drill crank,  To dress the edges I put some 3/4” wood faces on so you don’t have raw MDF showing which is the #1 sign of tacky/sloppy craftsmanship.  A half dozen quick cuts on the table saw (to rip some stock down and saw to length) and then a dollop or three of glue and blast in some finishing nails from the nail gun to hold it all in place.  Done.

The flat-bottom holes (made with the Forstner bit) go a bit over 0.25” down into the MDF.  In the center of the Forstner holes, you punch in through-holes for whatever your bolts are that you have laying about.  In my case, they were quarter inch by one-inch long.

A flat metal washer goes in the big hole and put your bolts go through from there with the load properly spread so the MGF doesn’t rip out on you. 

The finished project (OK – it was 17-minutes)  gives much more surface for large work pieces and a much easier clamping surface.

One other tool which is a must-have if you’re taking ideas and looking to turn them into real “things you can use” without wasting a lot of time is this little gem which Amazon lists for (about $23):  a MLCS 9080 Billy Pedal Foot Switch, Deadman Style.

Basically it’s just a foot switch and I’d never thought much about them around my own shop until we took the old Beechcrate in for annual last year and I did a fair bit of work in a very well equipped aircraft shop

It’s had been been 45 years since I’d worked in a serious aircraft shop as an R&E mechanic (West Coast Airlines at Boeing Field during the transition to new ownership by Hughs AirWest) and I had completely forgotten about the “joy of tools.” I mean tools that are really set up:  Walk up to a drill press with a fast-clamp drilling vice, a big table for sheet metal, foot switch, back stops, clamps…you name it.

There is nothing like needing three hands for when you need to turn on a piece of equipment when you have a drill jig set up just-so….  And that’s where the foot switch comes in.  It’s not for every tool in the shop.  The ones that I consider it important on are the rotating tools.  So there’s a foot switch on the big metal lathe and there’s one on the drill press.  Pass on putting it on the table saw…

When I get around to restoring an old $20 wood lathe, I will set one up on it, too, since if anything goes wrong, a dead man switch means you just move your foot to kill power while the tool shuts down and you can keep hanging on to whatever tools you have in your hands.  Or, that runaway small part that you should put put in a drilling vice or jig in the first place.

Not to put too fine a point on building things, but as I sneak up on retirement, (Ha!!!) I keep thinking to myself how much fun I could have had going the craftsman route in life, what starting as a journeyman R&E mechanic at age 19.

I miss not working with my hands more…went with the brains and schooling and corporate ladders, instead.  In the past 10 years, though, I’ve found working with your hands is incredibly rewarding.  No corporate bullshit and meetings….just a nicely done piece of work that speaks for itself.

But enough of this kind of talk.  You’re probably already anxious enough for quitting time to roll around, already. 

Weekends is when you can work for the real boss:  Yourself!


Tomorrow for Peoplenomics readers, a discussion about ERP set the stage for the coming end of the financial universe (a second part on point will follow as we trace the evolution of obsoleting humans).

In the meantime, in the immortal words of the late Robert O. SmithYou can’t turn your back on your face…”  And do write when you break-even…