My father wrote

“When you were about 5 years old and Ricky was about 2, we made the auto trip from Atlanta to Marcus. Stopped in Missouri to pick up my Dad’s sister Sue, and made it to Iowa for a wonderful family Christmas. All 3 of Grandpa and Gandma Reed’s kids were there with our kids, so there were 8 kid’s presents under the tree and beeg candy canes, (one foot long) courtesy of your Uncle Warren. The presents were piled high– up to one half of the tree. You were so exited that you couldn’t sleep on Christmas eve and wandered out worrying and crying that if everyone was not asleep,Santa wouldn’t come. We assured you and you finally fell asleep. What a Christmas morning it was! And what a trip!

Domestic Eavesdropping

Certainly you’ve heard that George Bush is using the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on American citizens without the consent of any court?

According to our Democratic party and others, this is specifically against the law. Bush says political appointees in the Justice Department outlined the legal authority to get around the restrictions in our laws and the Constitution, but those legal memos are classified.

I’ve added my name to a formal Freedom of Information Act request to see these documents. Perhaps you will too. go to


Good customer service

Via help desk chat, 12/19

[Live Help: Thank you for contacting L.L.Bean. Please wait. A representative will be with you in a moment.]

[Live Help: Welcome to LLBean.]

[Live Help: You are now connected.]

Bob_Reed: Can I get a replacement tent fly pole for one that splintered in a strong wind? Tent is #6 dome, purchased approx Jan 2005.

benjamin_k: Hello, My name is Ben. I will be happy to help you with that…

benjamin_k: Please hold while I check that for you, Mr. Reed…

Bob_Reed: thanks

benjamin_k: Thank you for waiting, Mr. Reed. I see what you got in January was the XT33 # dome tent with fiberglass poles. I will connect you to the Sporting Goods line they will confirm if we can send a replacement, please hold…

Bob_Reed: ok

[Live Help: doug_b enters the call

[Live Help: benjamin_k left the call

doug_b: Hello. I’m Doug. We can indeed get you a new fly pole……

doug_b: The pole that broke was it in the front or the rear of the tent?

Bob_Reed: It was the short one in the rear.

doug_b: Thanks, one sec and I’ll check stock.

doug_b: Thanks for your patience. I can get you one right away Mr Reed. Should I ship it your Little John Rd address?

Bob_Reed: yes, 2915 Little John

doug_b: No problem. We typically mail such items which will likely get it there shortly after Christmas. Will that do?

Bob_Reed: No rush at all. Check my campsite photo of the tent this last week at

doug_b: Thanks. Nice beach. And Johnny Hammond! I’ve caught him a bunch of times. $15 is a small price to pay.

Bob_Reed: Its the indian river lagoon in east central florida. Winds gusted to about 30mph. must’ve been a flawed pole.

doug_b: Yeah, no doubt. We had a small run of them, but I think we got it licked. Let us know if you have any other problems.

Bob_Reed: thank you. merry christmas.

doug_b: You too. Thanks.