I didn't realize the History Channel did anything but WWII over-coverage. But now I remember Ancient Aliens because Rob used to watch it. Just yelled to him to confirm...his new favorite Curse of Oak Island is on History but he says he always watches it on the app. I don't know how that is different but we never truly understand that man's wisdom.

Also, dude the pyramids were built by our people. Haven't you ever seen the documentary The Ten Commandments by Cecil B. DeMille. It might be on the History Channel this easter. I recommend.

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Jan 25Liked by Michael Estrin

I can recommend “ A wake up call for telemarketers” in which a comedian, books as stay at the same hotel a telemarketing conference is happening

Everybody has to make a living, and that’s what he does. I do feel bad for some of the calls but oh they are ironic

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Jan 24Liked by Michael Estrin

I wrote a check to my stylist the last time I got a haircut! He is cash/check only, no website or email, keeps his appt schedule on a ledger and is always disappointed when I don’t bring my dog. Best stylist ever.

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When I lived in New York City in 2020/21 I kept getting those scam calls from ‘The Social Security Administration.’ One Indian guy told me I was wanted for fraud and, amazingly, major drug trafficking. I listened, said, Wow. What was I trafficking? Heroin, he said. Oh, I said. That’s good. Strong market for that. And I hung up.


Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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Jan 24Liked by Michael Estrin

My fiancé was having too much fun, for a long time, answering telemarketer calls and playing along just long enough to ask them if they like scamming people for a living. Several callers cursed him out, but one was actually quite contrite! He said he lived in Mumbai and it was hard to get a well-paying job, and my partner ended up giving him some advice. The biggest downside to this tactic was how many scam calls he ended up getting--I think a pissed off caller put him on a bunch of call lists as payback.

But now, he answers the phone and says absolutely nothing. It infuriates people and is surprisingly effective. Personally, I ignore all phone calls :)

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Jan 23Liked by Michael Estrin

I still write checks. Everyone still accepts them. They get cashed right away so are easy to track.

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Jan 23Liked by Michael Estrin

You know the drill. I've got questions; you've got answers.

What was the last telemarketer you spoke with selling? Did you buy it?

The last one was for a political party drumming up support. It is a party that I endorse. I am in support of having more parties. Why save all the fun for special days? We can party all of the day and all of the night and dance like it's 1999. I told him I would pay at the door when I arrived at the party. He didn't know if it was a BRYOB party or not.

2. When did the History Channel stop doing history and start doing all that weird alien content?

I will take a wild guess on this one because I am not a frequent television watcher. January 2, 1995.

3. I really am a fan of adobe. It's energy efficient, and I dig Spanish architecture. Christina likes mid-century modern, which tends to use a lot of windows, so it's not very energy-efficient. How do you suggest we reconcile our conflicting tastes?

Go with modern three-pane windows and good quality blinds that will take care of some energy efficiency. I would make the exterior and most of the house mid-century modern for Christina, and the room you spend the most time in can be adobe. Let's face facts; you don't spend all day outside looking at the house's exterior, so why not keep the better half happy? And you get your personal space as your happy place.

4. When was the last time you wrote a check? Feel free to tell us everything, but for security purposes, please email me your bank account and routing information.

I haven't used a check since the gift shop opened at the pyramids. The American pyramids, not those sand-blasted ones across the big pond.

5. Aliens didn't build the pyramids. That's a ridiculous conspiracy theory. But do you believe in aliens? No wrong answer here, unless someone has conclusive evidence that either proves or disproves the existence of aliens. If you have said evidence, I can assure you that the comments section of Situation Normal is the absolute best place to share it.

I am picky about which aliens to believe. As of today, "Alien," by Third Day from the album Conspiracy No. 5, is the one I will believe.

6. Do you have any home improvement projects planned for 2023?

Hopefully, we can add a bathroom in the basement. We have a long list of home improvement projects we will do as soon as we win the lottery.

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“How do you suggest we reconcile our conflicting tastes?”

Give Christina what Christina wants and then both of you will be happy.

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Jan 23Liked by Michael Estrin

Love that footnote! But, really, who writes checks anymore?!

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Jan 22Liked by Michael Estrin

I live in an RV, so there are always renovation projects to perform.

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1. I always hang up during that weird pause between the robot making the call and the human halfway around the world responding to my irritated "hello."

2. I so wish "Broke-ass Conquistadors" was real. Tell me it's real.

3. Igloo style adobe with a single skylight at the top. Or adobe tunnel system underground for you, and whatever your wife wants on the surface.

4. Last week. To my dentist's office to cover what our insurance didn't. Still haven't mailed it.

6. Our kids need their own shower upstairs before they become teenagers. We have about three years before the oldest starts pubescing. Not sure we're going to make it. 😬

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We just did a seismic retrofit on our home. California gives a subsidy to do it. Not the sexiest home improvement, but I do sleep a little better at night.

Your call made me think of the classic SNL commercial, “Adobe: The Little Car That’s Made Out of Clay!”


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Jan 22Liked by Michael Estrin

I have a horror of telemarketers but now I see the fun I've been missing. As for home improvement projects in 2023, where to start? I think that hole n the ceiling above the bathtub deserves attention..I can't look up when I bathe because I begin to imagine vermin or aliens slithering through or peering down at me.

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“Tell that to Nigel.” -- 🤣🤣🤣

2. Not exactly sure, but roughly in line with the emergence of social media conspiracy theories, viral videos, etc. I recall formerly legitimate docu-producers just throwing in the towel and doing "dumb internet shit" full time.

3. Duplex, one half for each style.

4. Every month for my dysfunctional condo association! Only a few WEEKS AGO, when I became treasurer, did anything go online. This is not hyperbole.

6. Basically everything in our house broke in 2022, so hopefully not too much. We just ordered some new chairs and a couch to refurnish our living room. Just need a rug to tie the room together.

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Jan 22Liked by Michael Estrin

The last telemarketer was asking if I had any home improvement projects i wanted to do. I get 2-3 contractors calling a day and most tell me that they are a local contractor in my neighborhood. I'm now convinced I'm the only one in the neighborhood who is not a contractor.

Try putting energy efficient double pane windows deep set in the adobe. That might work.

Last check was to the IRS.

My wife wants to remodel the spare bedroom's bathroom. We won't use any contractor who cold calls us. We'll call the guy who did our other ;projects in the past.

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This was great. You are much more patient and engaging than most and this led to lots of fun. Adobe...My phone is finally smart enough to block the spam and telemarketing almost completely and now does the outgoing reservations, call waiting, communication with a queue, etc. Finally computer vs computer!

1. Probably fundraiser. I let them do their spiel. Once I accept it is a good cause, I finally ask them as a third party, what percentage of the collected funds do they keep for themselves. They usually hang up.

2. About the time of the rise of Doomsday Preppers, Storage Wars and the like. Once they realized there was money in peddling the unlikely they went full Pyramids & aliens.

3. Continue browsing on Zillow on the same phone & enable cookies so you can contend with each other's shared taste.

4. Last week, new license tabs.

5. Yes since our planet has enough stardust to explain all the different elements, I imagine they have crashed elsewhere and led to some cool animals. I'm guessing crab people.

6. Hooray no! We sold our long-time home and headed for downsizing.

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