Dr. John Poindexter
DARPA Office of Information Awareness
3701 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington VA 22203-1714
When I first learned of your nascent “Total Information Awareness” anti-terrorism civilian data surveillance project, I became quite upset at the prospect of the pending intrusions into my privacy. But, I have since come to my senses and reconsidered in light of the exigent circumstances facing the nation. Consequently, in the interest of Homeland Security I voluntarily submit the first of what will be ongoing weekly transaction self-reports, imparted to prove my loyalty to the nation and to help dispel any notion that I might be an Enemy. I urge all my fellow citizens to routinely do likewise (in hardcopy) to help your office combat these skulking Evildoers, who simply must be rooted out at all costs.
I will start with last Friday, November 22, 2002. At approximately 10 a.m. PST I walked down to our company cafeteria and purchased a Yoplait Harvest Peach low-fat yogurt for $1. It irks me that they charge so much, because I recently bought a bag full of them at Albertson’s (Buffalo at Vegas Drive, near my house) for fifty cents each. But, I was in need of a blood sugar boost, so I paid a buck in cash.
For lunch most of our department went over to Trophys Restaurant in the Green Valley Station Casino. I had a bowl of the White Chili ($4.95) with a flour tortilla ($0.99), and iced tea ($1.95). My cut of the bill, then, was $7.89 plus tax. I threw in a sawbuck toward the aggregate check. (There were eight of us. I can provide you with the others’ names if necessary. BTW- I’m a Risk Analyst with a bank. I’ve had an FBI background check and fingerprinting, which you should be able to quickly pull up.)
When I left work I headed for CostCo on Martin Luther King Drive to pick up a few items. I bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black scotch (in a holiday gift box containing two rocks glasses), Pat Conroy’s new autobiographical book “My Losing Season”, an MCI 575 minute phone card, and an eight-pack of S&W Cling Peaches in light sweetened syrup. The total came to around $56.10, if I recall correctly (not thinking at the time, I tossed the receipt). Given that they swipe my CostCo card for member authorization, you should be able to verify the exact amount.
Before heading home I stopped at B.R. Video and rented two DVDs, at $2.75 each: “The Last Castle” starring Robert Redford, and “Mulholland Drive” by director David Lynch. “The Last Castle” really sucked; like, what is this crap? “Shawshank Redemption Goes to the Brig”? “Mulholland Drive” was—well—just bizarre (though, in all honesty, the lipstick lesbian sex scenes were pretty yummy). I was rather disappointed in my rental choices, but, by that time I was eyeball-deep in the Johnnie Walker, so BFD, ‘whatever.’ I went up to bed and crashed about 20 pages into Pat Conroy’s new book.
Saturday, after spending several hours playing full-court hoops at the 24-Hour Fitness Sport Club (Sahara & Buffalo), I stopped at Best Buy (Lake Mead & Rainbow) and bought two DVDs: “Enigma” ($22.99) and “The Devil’s Own” (with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford, $14.99). My wife was out of town for the weekend attending a bike race in Tucson (I’m sure you can get her flight records), and I didn’t want to cook, so I ended up at the Macaroni Grill on Rainbow, where I first had—you guessed it—a Johnnie Walker Black on the rocks. I decided to order from the bar, and got the Ravioli Pomadoro with a garden salad. I also had a chianti with dinner. My tab came to $23.81. I paid with $30 in cash, ‘keep the change.’ Washington vs Washington State was on the TV over the bar, and the game went to triple overtime, so I had the bartender pour me another chianti and watched till the end. I then went home and put “Enigma” in the DVD and watched it. Awesome. Worth every penny of the $22.99 + tax.
Back to the sack. Twenty more pages of “My Losing Season” before fading out.
On Sunday I went to McCarran Airport here in Las Vegas to fetch my returning spouse, after earlier stopping by Trader Joe’s on Washington Blvd. to pick up some groceries (specifically cut flowers, pasta, canned chunky tomato marina base, salad greens, cherry tomatoes, regular 2% and goat milk, 4% fat ground beef, coffee beans, and three bottles of their cheap but tasty house French Merlot at $3.49 a pop). I spent about 50 bucks there. You can have one of your people check my credit union debit card records for the exact total.
My wife was a bit delayed getting her bag, so I had to put a quarter in a parking meter in the parking garage (I’m sure a surveillance camera picked up my presence). After we got home, I went off (back to Best Buy initially) to try to find replacement bulbs for our over-the-range microwave. They didn’t have any, so I then went over to Albertson’s. They didn’t have what I was looking for either, but I did go to the bakery department and picked up 3 poppy seed small dinner rolls (@ 5 for a buck). The total was $0.60, which I paid in cash.
I found the microwave bulbs at Lowe’s (Buffalo and Washington). They were $3.47 each plus tax (Sylvania brand, 25w). I bought two, and again paid cash.
Yesterday morning I again bought a Yoplait in the cafeteria ($1, cash), and, given that I’d forgotten to bring lunch, had the $4 chicken enchilada special in the Caf at noon. I teach at UNLV on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and I normally go straight over there from the bank. Yesterday I stopped at the Del Taco on Maryland Parkway across from campus and got a small coke and a Beef Burrito DLX ($2.19). The total was $3.41 (I think; the receipt is on the floor of my car), again, paid with cash.
This morning the dog had crapped on the kitchen floor during the night, and then got loose in the neighborhood getting into peoples’ trash when I let her out to pee in the back yard, so I again didn’t bring lunch—having had to deal with this recurrent pooch malfeasance. So, I again spent $1 on—yep—Yoplait Harvest Peach lowfat yogurt (they were out of strawberry, which I would have preferred today), and will probably eat the $4 lasagna Tuesday lunch special in the company Caf.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot: I called my mother in Florida on Sunday, using the 575 minute MCI card I’d bought last Friday at CostCo. I’m sure your people can back-trace the PIN number of the card from my CostCo transactions records.
I will henceforth make every attempt to submit timely self-reports.
Yours in Fealty to the Homeland,
Robert E. Gladd
© 2002 Robert E. Gladd, All Rights Reserved (whatever of them are