2020 is a Dangerous Year

6FD477C4-A68B-47B2-B66A-E4E245DB7A4DNever use “20” as a substitute for, or an abbreviation of, “2020.”

I learned this yesterday as I was signing a bunch of legal documents having to do with the purchase of my new home. My wife and I were sitting across the table from a notary public who had to witness each of us sign what must have been at least 30 different documents. The notary handed me the first document and said, “Sign and date on the line right above where your name is typed.”

I took the sheet of paper she handed me and used the pen with blue ink she gave me — it had to be blue ink, she said — and affixed my signature in the designated place and then dated it “1/16/20.”

She looked at it and then handed it back to me. “No,” she said, “you need to write ‘2020’ instead of ‘20.’ Writing ‘20’ offers an easy opening for an unscrupulous person to defraud you. It allows them to easily modify the date backwards or forwards. If you abbreviated it to 1/16/20, it’s possible that someone could add two more numbers to the end to change the year to, say,  2019, 2005, or 2022.”

“Really? How could that be used to defraud me?” I asked.

“Well,” she said, “say you wrote a check on February 1, 2020. The U.S. Uniform Commercial Code states that banks don’t have to honor a check six months from the date it was signed. So from February through August, 2020, that check is cashable. But what if you wrote a ‘20’ instead of 2020? Someone could, in theory, change that ‘20’ to ‘2021,’ which would allow that creep to deposit the check again from February through August 2021 without giving the bank tellers anything to look out for.”

“Jeez, I never considered that,” I admitted.

“And it’s even more critical for business purposes,” she added. “If you signed a contract on 2/1/20 binding you to something for a three month period from 2/1/20 through 4/30/20, someone could change those ‘20s’ to any other years this century and drastically change your agreement. Instead of working from February 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020, it could show that you agreed to work from February 1, 2019 through April 30, 2021. Then they could potentially sue you for breach of contact for failing to have to deliver anything you agreed to for the first 12 months of a 27 month contract.”

“Yikes,” I said to her. “I need to warn all of my blogging friends about this.”

Blogging friends, consider yourself warned.

JusJoJan — Pressing Matters

E0A5F2C7-FC2F-40F4-99C6-483AE5232AF6I didn’t publish many posts today.

Why not? Because I had other pressing matters to attend to.

Like what? Like the final walkthrough of the new house we’re buying, which is pictured above (in my wildest fantasies).

How long did it take? About five hours altogether. One hour driving each way and three hours turning over every stone (figuratively speaking, not literally speaking, of course). And then another hour creating a Word document using my handwritten notes.

I’m tired and hungry — it’s dinner time in my neck of the woods, so no more posts for today. Hopefully, I’ll be back to my more regular schedule tomorrow.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan prompt, “publish,” and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (Press).

The Decade Tag

21976128-71A3-43F4-A745-F9AD19E25B79Sadje, from Keep It Alive, and JP from The Wide-EyedvWander, each tagged me for this thing called “The Decade Tag.” The idea is that, once tagged, we are supposed to share some of our highlights from the past decade and, if we want, a few low points. And to also answer four questions Sadje asked.

So, in 2010 we bought a condo in San Francisco and moved all the way across country from New England to San Francisco. In 2015 we sold our condo and bought a single family home. And in late December of 2019, we bought a home in the suburbs on the East Bay, which we’ll be moving into the first week of February.

What else? I retired at the end of 2016. After taking nearly a two year break from blogging, I started this blog in May 2017. This past year my son got married and his bride quickly got pregnant. My daughter got divorced in 2012, but is very happy with her current boyfriend and housemate, who she met in 2017.

My wife and I have hosted many visitors from back East and elsewhere since we moved to San Francisco, and that’s been fun.

I’d say that, overall, this past decade has been a pretty good one. Well, except for the election of Donald Trump as POTUS in 2016. Come to think of it, that one event has turned the second half of this past decade into a pretty shitty one.

Now for Sadje’s questions.

How are you planning to spend the next decade in improving your health?

Okay, before this next decade is over, I will have become an octogenarian. So my ultimate goal is to still be alive through most of this new decade. I am not sure if I’ll still be around when 2030 arrives, but given the current trajectory of climate change, no one may still be around by 2030.

Have you noticed your tastes in music, literature and clothing change drastically over the last 10 years?

In the early part of this past decade I inexplicably started listening to contemporary pop music. But by the middle of the decade I wised up and went back to my classic rock roots. I don’t read as many books these days as I did a decade ago because there are too many distractions (like blogging). But, otherwise, I haven’t changed much, taste-wise, over the past ten years.

How would you rate your last decade in terms of achieving life goals?

One of my life goals was to retire with a comfortable financial cushion, which I achieved. The other life goal was to stay alive through the decade, and I managed to do that as well. So I suppose I’d give myself a four star rating.

Do you think our planet will be doing well in the next decade?

Not if Trump gets re-elected and the climate change denying Republicans keep the majority in the Senate. If they do, the planet might not survive to see the next decade. Or at least the human race might not survive.

Now I think I’m supposed to tag other bloggers, but I’m not a fan of singling out others, so I’m tagging everyone. Tell us about your decade and answer Sadje’s questions.

JusJoJan — Magazines

I used to subscribe to a lot of magazines. Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, Sports Illustrated, People, and, yes, I admit that, way back when, I had a subscription to Playboy.

I also have had home delivery of the local daily newspaper for as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed starting my day reading the paper while sipping my first cup of coffee before starting whatever activities and adventures awaited me as the day unfolded.

But that was the way it used to be. Today, I get most of my news on my iPhone’s newsfeed or on cable news shows. Yes, I still get the morning newspaper, primarily for the sports and business sections for me and the crossword and Sudoku puzzles for my wife. But I no longer subscribe to any magazine except for one: The Week.76D5E807-9DEE-4D19-904B-2AA2CB53F29CAs its tagline suggest, The Week provides “All you need to know about everything that matters.” And it does so concisely. The current issue has only 42 pages and can be fully digested in a single day!

The Week is also nonpartisan. It generally provides all sides of the news in an objective way. So Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, there’s something for everyone. I recommend the magazine to everyone.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan prompt, where the word, contributed by Willow, is “subscribe.” Also for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (paper).