I have made some progress on The Tale of Genji, and I must say that if there had been a MeToo movement in tenth century Heian-kyo, our hero would have been in serious trouble. When a (married) woman whom he more or less raped (it isn’t clear exactly what went on between them, but she reluctantly went along with sex rather than commit the grave Japanese sin of making a loud fuss) wants nothing further to do with him, she is described as a cruel woman. This, in a novel written by a woman; I wonder whether a bit of irony is intended, or whether the court lady who wrote the book had accepted the values of her society to the point of thinking ill of a woman who refused to continue an affair with such a beautiful and high-ranking gentleman philanderer.


Apr. 21st, 2019 12:34 am
A Blessed Easter to all my Christian friends.
This week, I got one amendment, and did an Office Action in response. I also wrote an Examiner’s Answer in response to the existing Appeal Brief on my Amended docket, and got that approved by my supervisor and another supervisor, so it’s on its way to the Board of Appeals, and I now have no amendments of any kind on my docket.

I have been searching a Regular New case, and writing an Office Action, which I hope to finish Monday; then I may be able to work on several other Regular New cases.
At the Toastmasters meeting Thursday, T, an immigrant from Bangladesh, gave his icebreaker speech, telling us a little about himself. He had the great luck to win an American visa in the lottery, and came to this country about twenty years ago, becoming a citizen in 2002. At first, he made a few dollars as a street vendor, enduring the summer heat and the winter cold for long hours, but after a couple of years decided to strive for something better. He enrolled in English as a second language, and worked as a math tutor; in time, he found skilled employment.

It happens that some time ago, V, another immigrant, and also a naturalized citizen and a USPTO employee, told how he had also won a green card in the lottery, and come to the U.S. from Romania.

Dishonest Donald, who is not only opposed to illegal immigration, but to immigrants and applicants for asylum in general, unless they either come from Norway or marry him, has denounced those who obtain green cars through the lottery as “the worst of the worst;” I would choose either of these two fellow citizens over him as a worthy American. Neither of them, so far as I am aware, has displayed such reprehensible personal conduct, or such contempt for the Constitution and the country’s better traditions. Both of them have worked hard without inheriting multiple millions of dollars, or, so far as I have ever heard, stiffing contractors or fleecing people seeking an education.
I wrote recently that my friend Lindrith Davies has died of cancer. His family is left in debt, so if anyone wants to chip in, there is a GoFundMe site: here. I have already mailed a check to Lindy’s widow. This appeal does not apply to you if you have business before the Patent Office, or if it would otherwise be improper for me to ask you to chip in.
I got two After Final amendments in my Expedited docket this week, and dealt with both of them. I also declared the one case in my Special Amended docket abandoned, as the attorney did not get back to me, and there was no sign of an RCE or an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit having been filed after the Board of Appeals affirmed my rejection. This leaves me with only one amendment on my Amended docket, and it’s actually an Appeal Brief. I will proceed with an Examiner’s Answer soon, and the Board of Appeals will judge the merits of my arguments and the applicant’s.

I also finished an Office Action on my oldest Regular New case, and then an Office Action on another Regular New.
The Financial Times printed a letter on April 11, which I quote:

Landowners’ wealth has not been honestly earned

Paul Bloustein (Letters, April 9) asks: “Why is capitalism so troublesome if the wealth it accrues is earned honestly, legally and without depriving others in unseemly ways.”

His 19th century compatriot Henry George answered that question in Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy.

The wealth that cures to landowners is not honestly earned and it does deprive others of places to live and work. George’s “Remedy” is land value taxation, but I don’t suppose that the great real estate speculators will be too keen on that.

Carol Wilcox
Labour Land Campaign,
Christchurch, Dorset, UK
I got an email from a mutual Georgist friend, and learned that Lindy Davies died today. I knew that he could not be expected to live much longer, but I thought he might have weeks left. He didn’t.

He was a worthy man, whose wife loved him, who raised two children with her, who did what he could to speak up for the right and make the world a better place. He wrote a novel and taught for a time as an adjunct professor of English, in addition to his Georgist activism. He had been an arborist until an injury meant that he would have to cease climbing trees; another arborist, who had been a high school dropout, a United States Marine, and an autodidact, introduced him to the ideas of Henry George, and so he became involved, and took over the Henry George Institute when Bob Clancy died.

I will try to keep the Institute going, and to help Lindy’s family. There may be more to say later. Sweet dreams, and may angels sing thee to thy rest.

Pumpkin Pie

Apr. 8th, 2019 11:20 pm
I missed Pi Day last month, but may have a slice on April 14, since I made a pumpkin pie Sunday, and ate a slice for dessert today.


Apr. 7th, 2019 06:36 pm
I dropped by CVS, and, fortunately, the pharmacy had Shingrex in stock, so I was able to get the first of a pair of vaccinations to prevent shingles. I had chicken pox in first grade, and now my shoulder is a bit sore, but it’s worth it if I avoid shingles, the Norwegian name for which translates as Hell’s fire.
Saturday was mostly warm, more so than Friday, and there are still cherry blossoms on the trees, although there are also blossoms on the ground and some leaves on the trees.

I’m going to make another attempt to read The Tale of Genji, a Japanese classic and the world’s first psychological novel. I have started on it at least twice before without getting very far, but I can at least make the attempt again.

And so to bed.
No new amendments this week, and I dealt with three, one of them before 3:00 PM Monday, and the other two later, so they count for this new biweek and quarter. This leave me with one Regular Amended case, which is actually an Appeal Brief about which I’ll meet with my supervisor and a third party next week, and one Special Amended, which is actually a Board of Appeals decision affirming my rejection. It should be abandoned by now, but the patent attorney told me he wanted to talk with his client about it.

I have been working on my oldest Regular New case the past day and a half.
I knew that a certain friend of mine had cancer, and since I hadn’t heard much from him, and he hadn’t been doing his usual activities, I figured either he was declining badly, or treatment was using up all his energies. Sad to say, the answer is “declining badly.” I’ve heard from two other friends about his situation: chemotherapy and radiation have not worked, and he will be going into a hospice, or is already there, and is expected to live perhaps four to six weeks.

He has a wife and two children; they’re at least teenagers now, and the older may be an adult.

Cancer stinks.


Apr. 3rd, 2019 09:03 pm
When I got home this evening, I found in my (physical) mailbox a purported survey, supposedly from President Trump, ending with an appeal to support the Trump Make America Great Again Committee with a donation. The survey questions are in many cases so dishonest* that I could almost suspect Trump of having written them himself, although I seriously believe that someone more literate was involved. I’m glad they wasted postage on sending me this, and I hope that some employee will waste a minute of paid time when he gets my reply.

*Sample question: “Do you support President Trump’s tough negotiations with China and North Korea?”

April Folly

Apr. 2nd, 2019 12:42 am
Sunday evening, I celebrated the successful end of the quarter by opening a bottle of wine I’ve had for a while: Saperavi, a dry red Georgian wine. It’s a bit stringent, but went tolerably well with pasta and tomato sauce. On April Fools’ Day, I celebrated folly by scratching off some of the possible prizes on a Virginia lottery ticket. I didn’t win any money, but I only scratched off a few, so I still might find something.
On the ligher side, here’s a humorous piece with multiple variations on two wolves and a sheep. Democracy does not always work out the way one might expect.

I also recommend a blistering analysis from Slate about what, if Dishonest Donald is not a Russian asset, motivates his truckling to dictators in ways contrary to both moral decency and American national interests.
I opened a window hours ago, and I’ve been out in my shirtsleeves. Trees are blooming. Also, I’ve been sneezing and blowing my nose, but since I do that all year long, I don’t know how much it has to do with the flowers.
I got one new case in my Amended docket, but it’s an Appeal Brief, not an ordinary amendment. I didn’t finish Office Actions on any amendments, although I’m writing one, which should be done before 3:00 PM Monday, so it will be posted before the deadline for the second quarter. I currently have four cases in my Amended docket, and one in my Special Amended docket, for a total of five.

I completed Office Actions this week on what was my oldest Regular New case, and then in my next oldest Regular New case, so I was pretty productive.


Mar. 29th, 2019 01:32 am
Perhaps it’s a matter of local microclimate, but there are numerous cherry trees with white blossoms near the King Street Metro Station in Alexandria, maybe ten miles away, while the cherry trees near the Pentagon City Metro Station are not blooming yet, although there magnolias there. There are some pink cherry blossoms on the trees on my own block of South Scott Street, although they don’t seem fully developed. I viewed them in the dark after getting home this evening, and hope to see more of them this weekend.
I am not happy with most of the Democratic politicians who are seeking their party’s presidential nomination. They are proclaiming their intention to enact various far-left policies, with enormous new federal spending programs as well as other intrusions into private business, which distresses me for two reasons.

One reason is that one of these people may actually win the nomination and the election, and then succeed in accomplishing a substantial part of what she or he promises, which I oppose. The other is that one of these people may win the nomination, and contribute to Dishonest Donald serving a second term, and not in federal prison. Some conservatives and moderates may dislike our Orange Overlord, but nonetheless vote for him if the alternative is what would have been regarded as a left-wing extremist a few years ago.

I wish that some major candidate were running on a platform of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and respect for the Constitution; unfortunately, our politics have become highly polarized, and that is not one of the two poles.



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