pansies spring into detoxed defunct internet banks

I hope that you are wallowing in healthy and happy prosperity as we move into April. Here, delightful weather led to..

“Flowers, Dan!” Nazy exclaimed. “We need to fill the terrace and balcony planters.”

“They are filled.”

“They are not.”

“The Geraniums ...”

“ .... from l
ast year are dead, Dan.”

“Yes, but the planters are..”

“ ...
ugly. We will replace the dead Geraniums with live Pansies.”


I will select and you will plant. It is spring. Mother Nature is telling us to plant flowers. It is a tradition.”

“Yes, dear,” I replied. “
Spring cleaning is a tradition, but thankfully that didn’t occur to Nazy,’ I thought.

“And after you’re done, we will clean the terrace windows.”

“We?” I asked.

“You.” Nazy replied.

“Ah, but ’no windows’ is part of our martial contract,” I (ill-advisedly) replied. “
Oops!” I thought.

Now, the balcony planters look great. And, while I’m certain that ‘Mother Nature’ has aces up her sleeve, the pansies we selected are ‘winter hardy’, so barring hail-sized basketballs falling from the sky (or 9.2 Richterquakes on the Earth-scale), we should be safe.

orange pansy Orange Pansy
After finishing the garden work, we spoke with Melika by telephone. She was in the midst of a rather unusual diet.

“No animal products, Dad,” she explained.

“Hmm,” I, a carnivore, replied.

“And no caffeine,” she continued.

“So coke zero is out?”

“Yes. And no alcohol - even wine.”

“Your mother wouldn’t like that, Melika.”

“No solids.”

“If you were a prisoner, you could sue the government.”

“I’ve lost 10 pounds already.”

“I’m not surprised. There’s nothing left to eat. Who’s idea was this?”

“Tom read about it.”

“I thought that Tom was a nice guy. Have you had a fight?”

“No, this is a healthy activity.”

Only if it doesn’t last too long,” I thought. “Healthy?” I asked.

“It removes toxins from my system.”

“If there is nothing coming in, toxins can’t be created.”

“Precisely, Dad.”

“And this was Tom’s idea?”

“That’s right.”

“Wasn’t the mud race his idea too?”

“We got an award in that event.”

“An award for the most muddy and bedraggled competitors, right?”


“Well, I still think Tom is a nice guy,” I replied. “
With some questionable ideas,” I thought.

“The diet ends this week. After that..”

“You’ll gain all your weight back?” I replied. I handed the phone to Nazy and went to work on the Internet - which was down.

[In point of fact, the Internet was not down, but my provider, Swisscom, had dropped ‘my link’ to the web. Since we upgraded to a newer, cheaper, faster and ‘better’ service, the link drops about once a week. Cycling the router power switch never works, so I dismantled the device to expose the reset button. Unable to locate the paperclip required to press it, I selected a nearby porcupine quill (used by Nazy to serve hors devours) and depressed the button for 30 seconds. The (wired) internet returned, but the cable TV and the WiFi were dead. I disconnected everything, waited 10 minutes and tried again. The TV started to work, but WiFi was comatose. Nazy called Swisscom and was told that we had 99.9% availability. (Whoopee! Commercial quality should be 99.999%) In response to Nazy’s fluent
Deutsch, Swisscom sent a Vietnamese engineer, who explained that the centrally placed ‘blade servers’ were failing. He also complained about ‘Germans’ coming to Switzerland to take jobs from people like him.]

The Wifi issue was important because Darius will be visiting this week. He needs WiFi to reload apps and books on his iPad. Darius also let me know that he was..

“Very happy with HSBC, Dad.”

“You’re happy with your bank? I thought you hated all banks. You keep changing banks..”

“But the bank I change
to is always bought by the bank I changed from. I had a long discussion with my HSBC relationship manager to complain about their useless ATM card and their South Africa transfer miscues.”

“Useless ATM card?”

“It only works in one ATM machine in Beirut. All the other machines say that the card is not authorized. When I called the ‘help desk’, they read the same rote script: “
I am sorry that you are having problems. Your card is authorized for all ATM machines.”

The bank was probably happy to hear about help desk consistency,” I thought.

“But when I wrote to HSBC’s President, he apologized for the ineptitude, refunded the extra transfer charges resulting from my South Africa experience, confirmed that I am not on any black lists and launched a IT project to locate and fix my problem.”

“Wow!” I exclaimed - not mentioning that most bank IT projects take 48 months to complete.

“Their IT group in Dubai is puzzled by my experience. And HSBC wants to assure me that they understand my dismay and that they will fix the problem.”

“A little different from your experience with Wells Fargo, eh?”

“And from my experience with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Fleet Bank, Wychovia...”

“Didn’t Western Union agree to compensate you, too?”

“Western Union isn’t a bank. And when I tried to collect my compensation at a local office, the clerk said that the claim ‘didn’t go through’ and when I asked why, he tried to grab and destroy my iPhone.”

“Your iPhone?”

“I was taking a picture of his shop

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