Dana Dlott: “Speaking of Dr. King, I saw this in the paper the other day. He was a Trekkie.”

☞ I am not nor have I ever been a Trekkie – but I love this story. You gotta read it.


Sorry. Writes Guru: “Out of the blue, two weeks before the FDA deadline, DEPO’s partner, Abbott Labs, has suddenly informed DEPO it has no interest in commercializing the product for post herpetic neuralgia that is about to get approved. I’m afraid I must say ‘sell.’ The stock is already down another point in the aftermarket.”

☞ We bought at prices ranging from $4.50 to $2.36, so even if you didn’t take any profits as it rose to $7, it’s not the end of the world that it’s dropped to $5.57. Nor does this necessarily mean the stock won’t be higher a year or two from now. If Guru shares an opinion on that, I’ll pass it on.


I don’t mean to pick on the Postal Service, but the (very) short form of this particular saga is that a business three miles away called me Sunday, January 9, to say they had some very important documents they knew I was eager to have – did I want to pick them up?

Well, I wasn’t that eager – could they just send them over? (Like, via messenger or FedEx, or maybe just have an employee drop them off on the way home? I didn’t literally verbalize those suggestions; they’ve been in business a long time and surely know how to do this.)

When the documents hadn’t come by Thursday, I called and found they had chosen certified mail as the means of delivery.

“Certified mail?” I marveled.

“Yes, we chose that because we know this is important and they have tracking numbers.”

“Tracking numbers,” I repeated, managing – barely – to keep my sarcasm in check. You know, there’s this new service called FedEx, which delivers by 10:30 the next morning, and they have tracking numbers . . .

It developed that the business in question managed to rush the papers to the Post Office only by Tuesday, January 11, at 5:22PM (we know this from the tracking number) – so two full business days were lost just getting them into the system. (FedEx offers a pickup system of some kind. I think they have trucks.)

Once the envelope was logged in, the tracking trail grows sparse. There were not a lot of updates. None, actually. Nothing like, “Here in lower Manhattan; getting ready to go uptown.” Or “Passing Herlad Square, stuck behind a bus.” Or “In letter carrier pouch, because neither rain nor snow nor sleet will delay the U.S. mail.”

The point is, when the envelope actually arrived yesterday, January 18, at 1:30pm, seven days after it was dropped off (traveling, therefore, at a speed of 2.3 days per mile), I could not resist going back one last time to my old friend the opaque USPS tracking website to see what it would say.

Here is what it said:

Your item arrived at 4:40 am on January 18, 2011 in NEW YORK, NY 10023. The Postal Service expects to deliver the item on Thursday, January 13, 2011. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.


It didn’t require a law (if it had, the opposition party would presumably have worked hard to block it), but yesterday “Hospital Visitation Regulations” went into effect. President Bush could easily have done this, too, but didn’t.

Writes Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:

“There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean – a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.”

With those words on April 15, 2010 President Obama directed HHS Secretary Sebelius to initiate rulemaking to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. The President further advised that the rule should ensure that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges based on factors including sexual orientation or gender identity . . .

☞ Thank you, Mr. President.

Tomorrow: Less and I Make a Bet


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