Watercooler Stories

Oct. 22, 2001 at 11:59 PM


If you have ever been in a wheelchair or incapacitated in any way, you know how frustrating it can be to get to a telephone and to answer it before it stops ringing. Unless you install phones on every wall of the house, you have to put up with a lot of "no one's there."

Now many regional phone companies are offering special equipment for people to make it easier to use their phones and computers, even with physical limitations. In some areas the Veterans Administration is assisting in helping people get the equipment and services they need.

The program is called by different names in various states. For more information call your local telephone business office, or, if you're a veteran, contact your local VA representative.


The weather has been changing so rapidly in parts of New York state that it's gone from fall to winter to fall to summer to fall, again, in just a few days. That kind of quick change is not unusual for the region, but it means that the fall colors -- a big tourist draw -- are nearly gone and snow is in the forecast. But, for many in the region, it seems that it's all happening earlier than usual.

The part most affected is in western New York, in the area around Wyoming County. Of course, this is the part of the state where many can remember that winter snows have covered the tops of street signs.


Police in Portland, Ore., say they successfully used rounds of "bean bags" to capture another would-be escapee. The Oregonian reports that the bag rounds were used to subdue a transient. The man may have received a bruised liver from the impact of the bags but will recovery quickly, which likely would not have been the case had traditional ammo been used.

Many police agencies say officers use the device when they are confronted by a "non-firing" weapon, such as a knife or club. The use of the "bean bags" -- fired from a special shotgun -- has been effective in halting the flight of suspects without rendering permanent damage or possibly inflicting a fatal injury.


The coming of computers allowed for the creation of the "paper-less office." Now comes the "pew-less church." In a cyberworld where nearly everything can be found and "shared" on line, it's a natural that a minister would start a virtual church. The creator of the Internet venture is a Dallas entrepreneur who says he is giving new meaning to the Biblical admonition that God is where His followers gather, even in cyberspace.

The Washington Post says that late last week Bruce Thompson flung open the "doors" to the new concept. The project is called 777live.com on the Internet. The pastor of the church is Thompson's father, Dan, who has an 800-member non-denominational church in San Antonio.

So, what's next? A cyber-synagogue? Mosque-in-a-modem? Temple-in-a-terminal? Worship in Windows?

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