March 31, 2007

A hackneyed truism about growing older is that the older we get the faster time flies. It is so real that we want to stand in the middle of a busy street with our arms outstretched screaming at the world to slow the speeding traffic, to slow every second to a more leisurely rate of spent energy; to salvage more time, more moments, more savings from our certain exhaustible supply preordained to us by the timekeeper of our worldly passage. A grandmother I know personally having fun with her grandsons knows these truths and also that they will soon morph into grown men and will no longer travel with her on the speeding merry-go-round in the race with time, but will travel into a future that belongs to the young and she cannot travel with them.
A letter to the editor from the grandmother depicted in the little piece above takes exception to the moroseness of it. She says we were having a great time and that's all there is to it. She's right of course, but perhaps it's just my sense of melancholia that gets riled up and I can't help myself and I take keyboard in hand and out comes what some people depict as depressing prose. Yeah maybe so, next time I will try more upbeat stuff.

March 30, 2007

A little public discourse with your morning coffee.

After I wrote this I thought about it some more and realized I was like a lot of guys (women included, you don't get off so easy) who just pop off on subjects and don’t really know what they’re talking about. I certainly would be one of those guys. But I’m not apologizing for popping off, just for being a tad ignorant on the subject. That has never in history, I suppose, stopped most of us from ranting and raving about certain subjects. If we only opinionated about what we were fully versed on, it would be mighty quiet out there I think.

I found out a little more on the subject at the Website PUBLIC AGENDA, where they have studied in depth the subject and various remedies tried and how they may or may not be working. I’m not allowed to reproduce their content, why I can’t I’m not sure, maybe their warning not to reproduce means the same as don’t remove the tags from mattresses, but I’ll adhere to their warning not to, but I will give you the address.

Please go there and read, what they have to say about the issue. It made me feel a little more assured that at least something has been done successfully, or at least tried.


You know what I don't hear anymore on the street, or anywhere else?

It's a solution to the drug problem in the world, or at least in the United States. I understand that it is not as easy as figuring out why the old Chevy doesn't run, or discovering a cure for teen-age acne, but here I'm starting to be a little flip about the subject, and I'm sorry about that, but it is a problem for our time that seems to be insoluble. It must be insoluble because I never hear any new ideas being run up the flagpole. Maybe because there hasn't been any new ideas, maybe all the old ideas failed and their isn't any easy ideas to float in front of us.

Only the law enforcement people are addressing the drug problem and they can only do so much. They can get the street people easy enough, but that cures nothing, they aren't the distributors. The drug lords are in a lot of cases foreign drug czars which makes the U.S. drug officers quest to stop them pretty much of a lost cause; especially when the politicians have to get involved when crossing borders become part of the problem, and the remedy. Can you imagine the amount of money we would be talking about from drug czars and the U.S. government? My God do you think there would be anyone above being bought off?

It used to be said that the only way to solve the problem and get a handle on it was to legalize drugs, and let the Government run it. Is that kind of scary or what? One of the biggest enemies of the welfare of aged people in the U.S. is the drug industry that manufactures the blood pressure pill I, and millions of others take daily. No one has been able to keep the legitimate business from stealing from the old and passing the profits along to the rich. I'm not sure the cure is worst than the disease. How would a legalized drug program work I wonder? If we had a legalized program, why do we think that the illegal drug trade would dry up? If we believe in fair trade, and of course we do, wouldn't the drug suppliers just lower their prices, causing the other side to run a blue light special or some other LSD induced colors?

It just occurred to me, has anyone actually suggested that the Government legalize all drugs and take over the administration of it, or has this come down to us as conjecture and turned into an urban legend kind of story?

I, of course have not a whit of an answer or suggestion to offer up. It just seems to me that the money that is generated by the illegal business and the money used to try and combat the plague is enormous, or I should say humongous, and the benefits to all the generations to come is so huge that it needs not be belabored. But it seems to me, an absolute nobody, that a dialog should be opened up to any possible remedies of this heinous situation which continues to eat up some of our best and brightest each and every year, and will continue to do so.

March 29, 2007

Two hunters are walking through the woods when suddenly, one of them collapses. It doesn't look like he's breathing, and his eyes are rolled back in his head.
The other hunter quickly whips out his cell phone and calls emergency services. He gasps into the phone: "My friend is dead! He just keeled over! What can I do?
The very calm operator replies: "Sir, just take it easy. I can help. First, make sure he's dead.
There is a couple seconds of silence, then a gunshot is heard. The hunter gets back on the line. He says: "Ok, now what?"

According to British psychology professor Dr. Richard Wiseman, the above is the funniest joke in the world. Wiseman and a group of colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire came to their dubiously hilarious conclusion through LaughLab: a year-long experiment conducted through an Internet site. The site invited people around the world to judge jokes, and also to contribute their own. More than 40,000 jokes were judged using a "giggleometer," a five-point scale with ratings ranging from "very funny" to "not very funny."
Wiseman explained that people all over the world find jokes funny for lots of different reasons, and the hunter joke contained three of the main ones: it makes the listener or reader feel superior; it reduces the emotional impact of an anxiety-provoking situation; and it contains an absurd surprise. The hunter joke also worked in many different countries, and across generations and genders.
The study found extensive differences in senses of humor across the globe. Americans and Canadians preferred jokes with a strong sense of superiority. Most Europeans enjoyed surreal humor, and jokes that made light of anxious, real-life situations like death and marriage. The Irish, Australians, and citizens of the UK tended to elect jokes involving word plays and puns. Germans were found to have the widest-ranging sense of humor.
Many submitted jokes involved references to animals. The jokes containing ducks were considered especially funny…ostensibly because ducks are real quack-ups.


March 28, 2007

JAKE (short story in progress) Part III

Jacob started talking, and as he did, you could tell by his face, that he had transported himself back to memories that were painful and better left alone. But he
would travel back this one last time and then, for evermore, shut the door to the life he once lived. "I want to tell you things you don't know about me, things you should know, only because to know where I was and where I am now, teaches a lesson.

Did you know that my father, your grandfather, was a coal miner in Germany? We were dirt poor, and my papa didn't own a thing. He rented the house we lived in and the bed we slept in, and he could only do that as long as he worked for the Mine Company. I was able to go to school through the sixth grade, but then I was expected to go into the mines too. I, like you, learned many things from my books, and even at age twelve, I wished for a better life. But when you are twelve years old, your life is not your own, and I was preparing myself for a life working underground in the mines. Then one evening after supper, my father took me aside and told me that I was going to live with another family on their farm. He had sold my services and I was going to be forced to live and work on this man's farm until I was eighteen, and then I would be free to leave.

If I felt bad about going into the mines, now I was devastated. I would have to leave my family, perhaps forever at twelve years old. I was sold; can you imagine how that makes you feel? He paused remembering the horror of it. The farmer worked me hard because he wanted to squeeze every penny worth of value from me. But, to his credit, he also sent me to school, where I finished my education. At the end of the six years bondage, I was free to go, but where would I go? If I went home, I would end up in the mines, and although I wanted to see my mother again, I could not. I made the decision to go with a friend to the city of Essen, where I got the job that changed my life. It gave me a trade as a tool and die apprentice. I could have stayed at that factory and made a life, but the opportunity came to come to this country and I took it. I married your mama and you know the rest."

He stopped and looked at his son, and then he said, "There are lessons you can learn from your papas life, even though I am not a great man. There are lessons to be learned from even average men, and if you can learn anything that will give you comfort now, I will be glad I told you." He got up, walked over to his son, and put his hand on his shoulder, "You are a smart boy Jake," he said. "You think about what I told you, and if some of the confusion does not clear, please come to your papa and we will talk some more, I promise you."

The next morning, Jake came down to breakfast, dressed in factory clothes. "Papa, Mama, I'm going to look for work today," he said. "I stayed awake most of the night thinking about what you told me papa. And I think there are several lessons to be learned, but the one I think you wanted me to hear is, if you can't step backwards, then you have no choice but to step forward." And as he stood, he added, "I don't have any idea where this first step is going to lead me, but forward motion is better than inertia, and Papa you are not average, not by any yardstick 1 can think of." As he went out the door, his mother said she had no idea what he was talking about. Papa smiled. He knew.

Jake was hired at the steel mill, located on the outskirts of town. It sat in the middle of a network of railroad tracks. Chimneys belched black smoke and ash covered the houses in the neighborhood. Fences run along the perimeter of the mill property. Inside the open-hearth furnaces stand nearly one hundred feet high and thirty feet wide at the base inside a building illuminated mostly by the fire, which roars inside its open mouth. The temperatures inside the furnace reach three thousand degrees and smoke and steam belch from the opening. Limestone, coke and iron ore are fed into the top of this mammoth oven, and it boils down until it is released by an explosion in the tap hole and runs off into ladle cars, which separates the slag from the iron, and which is finally poured into ingot forms.

Jake stood before the open-hearth furnaces gaping maw, feeling its power and it's intense heat. The fiery red interior bubbled and steamed as if it contained an angry demon trying to escape its bounds. When Jake climbed the ladder to stand atop the monster, to pour the limestone, iron ore and coke into its belly, it seemed as if it was a sacrifice to pacify and soothe the beast. It responded by consuming its meal and doubling its power. The energy under his feet was an awesome example of man replicating the forces of nature and trying to control it to do their bidding. Jake was spellbound by the experience, until he heard,

"Jake, get the hell down here, you're holding us up," yelled one of his fellow workers on the floor below. As he and his group were sitting on wooden benches, gulping down water trying to prevent dehydration, he was still enthralled by what he had experienced, and was babbling over what he felt. He was rewarded with looks from the men like they had just discovered he had two heads. "You sure you haven't been drinking? You sure see things I don't see." And another, "You sure you're working
in the same place I am?" And one of the older workers said, "All I see are guys sweating and working harder than any man should."

The work environment was indeed stark and brutally hard. It took two sweating, strong men to manhandle a wrench especially made to turn nuts large enough to withstand the vibrations a contained volcano can produce. The floor in this man made Hades was a combination of dirt, gravel and concrete. The temperature in the building reached two hundred degrees and the men were under constant danger of dehydrating if they lost track" of the time. The chance of injury or death was a constant reality to these men. The total safety package consisted of long asbestos gloves, tinted goggles, and if you have time say a quick prayer.

March 25, 2007

Spring has arrived and I'm still alive. As you can see, springtime brings out many diverse feelings in me. One is, thank God, I survived the winter. (although winter this year was not too bad) The other and most prevalent is that I am thrilled to see another spring arrive. It is a time of renewal in thought and deed. The deed is the opportunity to toil again in the gardens. Change will be the operative word this spring again; changes in the landscape is in the offing. It's almost an annual springtime rite. Just when it's agreed that we will do no more but maintain and enjoy, the demons of being a Gemini invade my wife's soul and what was once a landscape complete is no more. Change, that is the keyword again. I will once again accept the role of field hand, and dig, and chop, and pry, and relocate, and prepare the earth for seedlings or brick, to follow a plan percolating in the mind of my resident Gemini. I will in future editions expound in greater length about the changes and about Gemini's in general.

"Spring is a heart full of hope and a shoe full of rain."

-- Unknown


Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
Doug Larson



Rain, rain and more rain
a week of rain.
Will it stop today?

Through winters snows and ice
I waited
knowing that the sun would free me.

Not yet.

March 23, 2007

Previously I posted a picture of the BREAKER BOYS in the Reader. Breaker boys are young underaged boys employed at the Breaker mines. Their childhood ended very young in that location and in those times.

I got this picture from a site that really intrigues me. It is called SHORPY, and it features pictures and stories from our distant past. I have communicated with them and they agreed to let me show some of their content from time to time. Please check them out and also read the story connected to this picture of the Breaker Boys.
I decided to look a little bit more into the laws protecting our children and found out that coal mining is an occupation now prohibited to be engaged in until the person is 18 years of age. If you are interested here is a site that lists those occupations that are no-no's until a person is of age.

March 22, 2007

Don't forget to click on the strip and it will enlarge for those of us who can't see as well as we should.

The poor guy in Opus has died of an up-to-date ailment, a cutoff of input, electronically conveyed, to his brain starving him, of the constant stimulation of information needed in this day and age. It's funny I suppose, but isn't it a bit true. Yes even for me, as a member of the 'old generation'. I like a lot of those things mentioned in the litany of electronic toys that were shut off and caused his demise. Oh well, perhaps in the next panel, they could haul out the portable paddle machine and jolt him back to the living. I think they do have those now for home use. It's a wonderful age we live in, I certainly enjoy it.

March 21, 2007

Quotation to think about, or maybe not.

Abraham Joshua Heschel:
When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.

No special significance to this picture, except it is so typical of my time of growing up in the forties. I even tried to make one. Of course my lack of mechanical abilities then as now precluded me from having a really good one, but it didn't matter much. I'm glad I tried. Without knowing it, I was learning what I had some innate talent in or what I had better shy away from in the future; cart making fell into the latter category.

I wish I could give credit to the photographer of the cart or of the site I found it at, but I was remiss in writing it down. Sorry to the creators of the picture.


March 30th marks the day when one of my favorite and most useful, to me, inventions tried to get patented, the pencil with an eraser attached. That was certainly a Godsend to me. Here is the nitty gritty of the story found at Kingwood College American Cultural History site. This is one very good site that I have gone back to many, many times. They covered the twentieth century, but now they have covered the nineteenth century as well. Good for us. Here is a link to the nineteenth century:
March 30
An invention patented on this date started a legal controversy that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The invention in question? A pencil with a writing point at one end and an eraser at the other.
Lead pencils and separate rubber erasers were common by 1800. But on March 30, 1858, Mr. Hymen L. Lipman of Philadelphia was issued a patent for combining the pencil and eraser. (We know nothing about Lipman's life. In fact, newspaper articles and Web sites usually misspell his first name as "Hyman.")
The patent, which is simplistically illustrated, states that Lipman's invention is not just a pencil with an eraser attached. His invention, specifically, was to put the rubber eraser inside the wooden pencil. That way, Lipman reasoned, the rubber could be sharpened to erase fine lines.
When a different inventor patented another way to attach erasers, he tried to get money from Faber, a pencil company. The company argued in court that Lipman and the other inventor should never have been granted patents since pencils and erasers were not new inventions.
The case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed with Faber. According to the Court, Lipman should not have received a patent since he only combined two things that already existed. "The combination, to be patentable, must produce a different force or effect" than when the pencil and eraser are separate. "A handle in common… does not create a new or combined operation," the Court said. Both patents were revoked.

When a different inventor patented another way to attach erasers, he tried to get money from Faber, a pencil company. The company argued in court that Lipman and the other inventor should never have been granted patents since pencils and erasers were not new inventions.
The case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed with Faber. According to the Court, Lipman should not have received a patent since he only combined two things that already existed. "The combination, to be patentable, must produce a different force or effect" than when the pencil and eraser are separate. "A handle in common… does not create a new or combined operation," the Court said. Both patents were revoked.

March 20, 2007

My state has some of the best walking and bike riding trails in the USA.

How many times have you heard that boast from people you meet and the conversation gets around to walking and exercise? I'm sure many times. One thing the states have done right by its citizens is converting old rail lines to walking paths while maintaining as much natural beauty as possible. MY trail runs beside a river where canoe enthusiast make their way down the river as I walk the paths. I've had deer come out of the woods beside the path and greet me warily before turning around and scampering away.

In my good days when I still had two natural hips and my bosom buddy, my wife, had two good knees, we would walk, or I should say we could, and did just once to prove we could, walk the roundtrip distance which totaled about nine miles. Those days are gone, of course, but we can still motivate at a ambling kind of pace for a couple miles on good days. But we do it now for the beauty and inner peace it brings us, not for exercise. Our state has many trails that we have yet to try out. We won't get to all of them I'm sure, but knowing they're there for us if we feel up to it brings us a measure of happiness and anticipation.

Our current favorite trail has a stopping off place at Kenyon college, where we usually call it a day, and visit a deli on campus and get a couple hot dogs and a couple cans of pop (soda) and take over a bench near middle path, under some shady trees, and watch the students go about their business and talk about the days when we were young. We never get tired of that. If our body parts have cooperated that day and we were able to walk enough of a distance to chew up some calories, we will treat ourselves to a yummy candy bar too. Ah, life is good.

March 19, 2007

The chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The architect was Walter Netsch. They describe the look of the chapel as: Massed like a phalanx of fighter jets shooting up into the sky.

It certainly looks like that, or perhaps like missiles aimed skyward. I love the building. It follows Frank Lloyd Wrights credo in a way, FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. Although I'm not positive if that's his credo or his mentor Louis Sullivans. I'll leave that to others to interpret. I think the building is the epitome of the word apropos.

March 18, 2007


Two books that will take you back to those days and let you listen to those that endured those times. Highly recommend both.

Martin Kelly, one of the narrators at YOUR GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY breaks it down for us into five causes for the Depression. Could it happen again? I don't think so. But at the time it seemed a catastrophe that would never end. It began in 1929 and continued until WWII.

At the height of the Depression in 1933, nearly 25% of the Nation's total work force, 12,830,000 people, were unemployed.

Wage income for workers who were lucky enough to have kept their jobs fell almost 43% between 1929 and 1933.

Top 5 Causes of the Great Depression
From Martin Kelly,
Your Guide to American History.

What caused the Great Depression, the worst economic depression in US history? It was not just one factor, but instead a combination of domestic and worldwide conditions that led to the Great Depression. As such, there is no agreed upon list of all the causes of the Great Depression. Here instead is a list of the top reasons that historians and economists have cited as causing the Great Depression.

The effects of the Great Depression was huge across the world. Not only did it lead to the New Deal in America but more significantly, it was a direct cause of the rise of extremism in Germany leading to World War II.

1) Stock Market Crash of 1929
Many believe erroneously that the stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. In fact, it was one of the major causes that led to the Great Depression. Two months after the original crash in October, stockholders had lost more than $40 billion dollars. Even though the stock market began to regain some of its losses, by the end of 1930, it just was not enough and America truly entered what is called the Great Depression.

2) Bank Failures
Throughout the 1930s over 9,000 banks failed. Bank deposits were uninsured and thus as banks failed people simply lost their savings. Surviving banks, unsure of the economic situation and concerned for their own survival, stopped being as willing to create new loans. This exasperated the situation leading to less and less expenditures.

3) Reduction in Purchasing Across the Board
With the stock market crash and the fears of further economic woes, individuals from all classes stopped purchasing items. This then led to a reduction in the number of items produced and thus a reduction in the workforce. As people lost their jobs, they were unable to keep up with paying for items they had bought through installment plans and their items were repossessed. More and more inventory began to accumulate. The unemployment rate rose above 25% which meant, of course, even less spending to help alleviate the economic situation.

4) American Economic Policy with Europe
As businesses began failing, the government created the Hawley-Smoot Tariff in 1930 to help protect American companies. This charged a high tax for imports thereby leading to less trade between America and foreign countries along with some economic retaliation.

5) Drought Conditions
While not a direct cause of the Great Depression, the drought that occurred in the Mississippi Valley in 1930 was of such proportions that many could not even pay their taxes or other debts and had to sell their farms for no profit to themselves. This was the topic of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

March 17, 2007

One of the things I like are stories set in the forties. This story which came out as the movie entitled, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES and it has always been a favorite of mine. So when it came out on DVD I had to have a copy. I was watching it again yesterday and happened to notice the little folder tucked inside the plastic container. Usually they contain movie star hype, but this one was loaded with information about the making of the movie that was very interesting. If you like the movie, you will like the information. If you click on the picture, it should double its size so that you can read it easily.

I like art, I like the symmatry, I like the colors. What I don't understand is modern art. I like the splash of color, and maybe that's all I should see, but when people start gushing over the meaning of it all, I'm lost. There is a piece in the New York Times about a late artist, HELIO OITICICA 1937-1980, and some of his work. The piece shown looks to me exactly what it is, a wooden crate with some orange draping hanging stapled to it. The piece shown is called "B14 BOX BOLIDE 11"
It is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Here is the link to more of his works as shown in the New York Times article:

March 15, 2007


How important is the cover art on books or magazines? I think it is very important. As my eyes first scan a book or magazine the first thing it sees is the artwork. After that the authors name and/or the title will draw me to investigate further. But first it is the art on the cover. Like that old much quoted line, A picture is worth a thousand words, cover art will get your attention first before you investigate further. If the cover art is good, it will on its own give the looker an idea of what's inside the covers. It, of course, does not guarantee what you get when you start reading. I have been fooled, or enticed by the wrappings a few times when the book is less than its cover. But maybe that's part of the fun of book buying, trying to judge in those few moments if you should lay down some pretty heavy cash and take it home with you.

The cover art shown is by Peter Thorpe and in its simplicity it conveys a feeling of warmth and tranquillity and a good book, a great match of place and activity; it caught my eye.

The other is no less a subject than a label for a brand of beer, but like any good cover art, it caught my eye. If I found myself in a bar and had to order something I might very well buy that particular brand because of the label. For me that is as good a reason as any, as I have never yet found a beer that tastes good to my palate. I always find them too bitter for more than a few slugs of the brew. But besides the cover art, I have found beer ads on television to be the most persuasive of all ads. They make it look so darn good, and for me I know it's not, but the power of advertising is something.

March 14, 2007

Pachibels Canon, a brief five minutes of quiet elegance from five classical guitars.


One of the things I love about the Internet is the endless variety of subject matter to discover. Today I discovered a site that I know I will be visiting again and again. It's URL is It is loaded with information about radio and a few of its legendary practitioners, such as an interview with Roger Corwin, the epitome of all radio writers, who incidentally is still alive and kicking. He is I think ninety-one years old.

The other living great that is featured is Studs Terkel, a man I have written about previously in the Reader. He is another living repository of history who has and still does write books from oral histories he has done in the past. Some of the subjects he has covered are the GOOD WAR about WWII. He has also written about the great depression and its effects on the people who lived through it. Race relations was covered in another book. I could go on about the things Roger Corwin and Studs Terkel have written, and probably will at a later time, but TRANSOM.ORG also has current presentations, one of which caught my eye is titled: 1000 Postcards; about a father, who is a bus driver, writing a postcard a day to his daughter who is a student at Mt. Holyoke in Massachusetts.

It is a site that is loaded with information, and samples of radios past and present. I will definitely bookmark it and call back regularly.

March 13, 2007

I felt the need to share this. During my morning browsing session, I came upon this photo, yes it is a photo, at It is, of course, pc'd but that does not detract from its content. I love this picture, perhaps because I am not yet, but very close to being a contempary of these two people in age. But the feel is of two people who though old still have the need to communicate and perhaps be attracted by the opposite sex. Perhaps they are married; Perhaps they just met; Perhaps they are widow and widower meeting for the first time. Maybe lots of things, it's a good picture. In case you can't read his name, the photographer of the picture is: TOMASZ PLUCIENNIK.

From whence the technology came. This is a picture of a pyramid switchboard in 1882. It was located in Richmond, Virginia. Now of course, all the switching is done through computers and we receive our calls through the always present cell phone. I've grown used to seeing people walking down the street or through the supermarket talking to themselves, actually through some hands-free device stuck in their ear. In years not so far ago, they would have been thought to be showing signs of mental distress. I sometimes think they actually are by being constantly attached to the device and surrendering any quiet time for themselves to perhaps think, or just enjoy solitary time for a few moments. Naw, I'm out of step, too old, but I still remember when I would give my eight hours to the job, and value the other sixteen hours as mine.

March 12, 2007

While taking my usual morning browse, I happened upon this picture from a site called: ERLEND MORK. I'm reminded of the predictament I sometimes fall into when I try to read two, three, or even four books simutaneously. I'm not sure I do myself, or the books a favor when I attempt this. The situation occurs usually when I reserve books at my local, (very good) library, and they all become available at the same time. An overdose of the moveable feast I'd say. Oh well, I am slow to take a lesson from past experiences, as far as books go, and will put myself in that situation again I'm sure. The picture has a title, it's called: The weight of a thought.

March 9, 2007

Two of a kind, one on radio and one on television, but entwined by its overtone of jazz. The radio show PETE KELLY'S BLUES starring Jack Webb featured Pete Cathcart playing his trumpet as background. The television show, PETER GUNN, featured original music by Henry Mancini, how great is that. Both shows were niche type shows, appealing to a select audience and maybe the music was the star and better than the show itself. Who knows. I liked both of them.


Kenn Brown and Chris Wren are the powerhouse 3D illustrators behind Vancouver’s Mondolithic Studios AND this creation I think.

March 8, 2007


One of the funniest people I've ever listened to is Jean Shepherd. I first saw him on his PBS show called Jean Shepherd's America. I think that some of the shows are available now on tape or dvd. If so and you have never heard or seen the man doing his stuff, you are missing a joy you won't forget. Just in case you don't know who he is, he's the guy who wrote the CHRISTMAS STORY, that runs on television about 300 times around Christmas. You know..the kid puts his tongue on the freezing flag pole..Ralphie..the old man wins a major award, the leg lamp...yeah now you got it. A funny, funny guy who told stories about his growing up. If you are of a certain age you would swear he was telling stories about you. I found this clip of about seven minutes about one of his war stories.

shep-is funny.

March 7, 2007

I was searching the net for a picture of tempting good food to accompany a poem about same, but this picture popped up. Now I don't know if it's a setup or for real but I am taking it as an actual snapped photo.

The picture evokes sadness in me more than another picture of a street person might. It is obvious that the man is at least computer educated and is there on the street obviously in need of food as his sign says, but also in need of other help. He will probably not get any of the help he needs other than food which he probably will get. He looks like he's been on the streets for a while, and the sad thing is he will more than likely remain on the streets until he comes to some ugly end. A wasted life for sure, a life that most of us don't know how to save.

I'm not a cook, I'm an eater. My wife cooks and she is a good one. But I know what I like, and one of the things I like is a cup or bowl of gumbo from Red Lobster. Whenever we venture that way, I always like to add a cup of that good stuff to whatever else I'm partaking of. (I just ended that sentence with a preposition didn't I).

Well, like I say, I'm not a cook, but we discovered a canned soup product from Progresso, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It is just like the gumbo served at the Red Lobster and the whole can is about 260 calories, half of which is a very good single serving. It is spicy and if you can whip up a bunch of those buscuits they serve at the Lobster you are in gumbo heaven.

March 6, 2007

How we abuse our bodies and our psyches. I needed to lose weight because I'm getting older and the extra weight I was carrying around affected my joints and my heart. I huffed and puffed a little too much so I agreed to do it. Did I have a choice? Of course, I could of said no and continued to expand my body and build good fat around my heart, but in the end I did have enough brains to know that was no choice.

So I started losing from a top weight of 210 down to 187 as of this morning ten weeks later. My goal is 183. Why 183? Well I was also introduced to the BMI scale. BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It takes your height and weight and compares that against their stats. Mine said I had to reduce to 183 to be average or normal, I forget what they call it. Anything over that is still overweight. So this morning I weigh and I am, as I said 187, four pounds from my goal of 183.

I feel good about it. How good? Good enough to celebrate a little. How better to celebrate? Eat out of course. Off we went to an Amish buffet no less. God knows how many calories I consumed, but I know I topped it all off with a piece of cherry pie.

I don't reweigh again until next Monday, but I am now feeling very guilty, and maybe a little stupid. I don't think in the short run it will have done much damage, but it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits of more is better, the no limits diet plan, with desserts aplenty. I hope I can work on my resolve so when I finally reach the goal, I will not go right out and try to consume a cow.

I guess I'm doing okay on lowering the weigh, I guess though I will have to work a little harder on the psyche part.

March 5, 2007

A good sign that we are enjoying our stay here on the earth with the people we love. But I don't have to worry, I did the life expectancy test offered on EONS.COM the other day and I am assured of being around until I am ninety-two years old. Check out the site. I wish I could give credit for the cartoon, but there was no name provided. I found it on DIGG this morning.

March 4, 2007

To compliment the youtube video of Shakespeares Henry V that I posted today, I saw this comic strip today,and figured it was kind of appropos.

Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as president March 4, 1933. He is considered by most polls as one of the top three presidents of the USA. The other two, of course, are Washington and Lincoln. These three certainly win my bookshelf award if amount of books on their lives can be used as an indicator.

This is the Norman Rockwell painting that Steven Spielberg has in his collection. It turns out it was stolen merchandise when Spielberg bought it from a reputable dealer. It'll all get sorted out I'm sure. It's called: RUSSIAN SCHOOLROOM

March 3, 2007

I just looked at an animated cartoon created and narrated by Mel Brooks, where he says the line, "I'm seventy-one I can talk if I want to, I'm gonna die," to another patron in the movie theater they are in. He of course is commenting on every scene loudly.

The point of that is I'm getting close to that age and I am quite aware of the passing of time. We are getting a new digital phone service through Time Warner so we took the opportunity to buy some new phones. We got the expandable kind, which were recommended by someone. I didn't even know they existed.

I ran across this picture of a candlestick phone and my mind immediately referenced the two types of phones as metaphors of passing time. When I was a tot candlesticks were the latest and greatest, now of course these expendables seem ultra modern to me. I doubt we will go to cell phones, just because we have no reason to have one because of our life style, but I don't doubt they would be fantastic if I was still working.

Ah, isn't technology great!

March 2, 2007

Isn't this a snazzy car!
I won't for a moment pretend that I know anything about cars, or this one in particular. In fact I have never gotten turned on by cars. My choice in cars is one that is comfortable and reliable. Anyways with my stiff joints I would have one hard time getting in or out of this machine, but it did catch my eye. Not to mention the amount of cash you would need to drive this one around the block, and where do you stash your Home Depots purchases? I found this article and the picture at RETRO THING. I post the narrative for those who might know what they're talking about. I don't.

A Japanese "Mercedes"
This one seems really strange: Japanese company Duesen Bayern will take a perfectly respectable BMW Z3 roadster and mod it to look like a vintage Mercedes Benz 190 SL. They only select donor cars with under 30,000 km on the odometer and no accident history.
This is a limited production of 100 vehicles, so they're using fiber reinforced plastic rather than steel for the body, although "to pursue genuine favoritism," the bumpers are chrome-plated steel. The Dusen Bayern Mystar is certainly an attractive car, but at the end of the day it's merely a modified BMW roadster. And an original Z3 isn't a bad little car to own, after all.
The original 190 SL was envisioned as the little brother to the Mercedes 300 SL. It proved quite popular, selling over 25,000 units during its 8 year production run (1955-1963). Power came from an inline 4-cylinder engine that put out a respectable 105 HP. A removable hardtop Coupe was available, along with a softtop Roadster. Mercedes was even willing to apply custom paint colors. If you'd like so see more of this wonderful vintage M-B roadster, Best Classics has some fantastic 190 SL images in their gallery. Alas, the 190 SL was not considered a collectible car, in part because many regarded it as the inferior little brother of the 300 SL. As a result, many of these vehicles were neglected and have only become popular among collectors in recent years.