May 31, 2007


When I was growing up I read this primer by Irving Shulman on playing nice in the streets. I still remember it, so it must have left an impression.

May 30, 2007

No special reason to post about these guys except I like to hear them sing.





Simon and Garfunkel are an American popular music duo comprising Paul Simon and Arthur "Art" Garfunkel. They met in grade school in 1953, when they both appeared in the school play Alice in Wonderland (Simon as the White Rabbit, Garfunkel as the Cheshire Cat). They formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey Schoolgirl." As Simon and Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965 backed by the hit single "The Sound of Silence." Their music was featured on the landmark film, The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness. They are well known for their close harmonies and sometimes unstable relationship. Their last album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was marked with several delays caused by artistic differences. Simon and Garfunkel were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are best known for their songs "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," and "Bridge over Troubled Water." They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007). In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Simon and Garfunkel[1] #40 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[2].

They have reunited on several occasions since their 1970 break-up, most famously for 1981's The Concert in Central Park, which attracted 500,000 people.

May 29, 2007



Happy Birthday Mr. President



On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die.

Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.

Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history.

In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President. Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President.

His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty.

Responding to ever more urgent demands, he took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society.

He wished America to resume its old mission as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. But the hard reality of the Communist challenge remained.

Shortly after his inauguration, Kennedy permitted a band of Cuban exiles, already armed and trained, to invade their homeland. The attempt to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro was a failure. Soon thereafter, the Soviet Union renewed its campaign against West Berlin. Kennedy replied by reinforcing the Berlin garrison and increasing the Nation's military strength, including new efforts in outer space. Confronted by this reaction, Moscow, after the erection of the Berlin Wall, relaxed its pressure in central Europe.

Instead, the Russians now sought to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. When this was discovered by air reconnaissance in October 1962, Kennedy imposed a quarantine on all offensive weapons bound for Cuba. While the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war, the Russians backed down and agreed to take the missiles away. The American response to the Cuban crisis evidently persuaded Moscow of the futility of nuclear blackmail.

Kennedy now contended that both sides had a vital interest in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and slowing the arms race--a contention which led to the test ban treaty of 1963. The months after the Cuban crisis showed significant progress toward his goal of "a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion." His administration thus saw the beginning of new hope for both the equal rights of Americans and the peace of the world.






The class of the Kennedy presidency is shown at this site. Unless you were an absolute Grinch you had to be proud to say you were an American to the rest of the world. John and Jacqueline Kennedy and their children were loved by most Americans, and were admired around the world. These thousand days were certainly days of Camelot, which all Americans enjoyed with them. The dark days, the days of the guns, and the hate were just ahead, but for that brief moment in time, the Camelot years were absolutely lovely.

THE CAMELOT YEARS

May 27, 2007


A Book Review:

I have not read the book DEATH BE NOT PROUD, by John Gunther yet, but I will check my local library for it. Non-fiction books written by survivors of tragedies such as John Gunther in this book are usually inspirational, but so depressing. I'll take a chance

The following is exerpted from pawprints.com


John Gunther
(1901–1970)

Anecdote...

Clifton Fadiman recalls:

John and Frances Gunther's son, Johnny, died in his eighteenth year, and was buried on July 2nd [1947]. He was a handsome, tall, fair-haired boy. He went to Deerfield Academy where he majored in mathematics and chemistry. For fourteen months he had suffered from a brain tumor for which he had had two operations. But even after the second, he passed his examinations for Columbia. He was one of the finest, bravest boys we've ever known. After his first operation, the doctors asked John and Frances about the advisability of telling Johnny what was the matter with him. He was so intelligently interested that the doctors thought it wiser to explain, and the older Gunthers agreed. The surgeon went to Johnny alone and told him the full gravity of a brain tumor. The boy listened carefully, then looked the doctor in the eye and asked, "How shall we break it to my parents?' "

[Gunther himself tells the story of Johnny's illness and death in his book "Death, Be Not Proud," 1949. It is a deeply moving memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.]

May 25, 2007


WOOLWORTH'S
Mark Irwin

Everything stands wondrously multicolored
and at attention in the always Christmas air.
What scent lingers unrecognizably
between that of popcorn, grilled cheese sandwiches,

malted milkballs, and parakeets? Maybe you came here
in winter to buy your daughter a hamster
and were detained by the bin

of Multicolored Thongs, four pair
for a dollar. Maybe you came here to buy
some envelopes, the light blue par avion ones

with airplanes, but caught yourself, lost,
daydreaming, saying it's too late over the glassy
diorama of cakes and pies. Maybe you came here

to buy a lampshade, the fake crimped
kind, and suddenly you remember
your grandmother, dead

twenty years, floating through the old
house like a curtain. Maybe you're retired,
on Social Security, and came here for the Roast
Turkey Dimmer,
or the Liver and Onions,
or just to stare into a black circle
of coffee and to get warm. Or maybe

the big church down the street is closed
now during the day, and you're homeless and poor,
or you're rich, or it doesn't matter what you are

with a little loose change jangling in your pocket,
begging to be spent, because you wanderered in
and somewhere between the bin of animal crackers

and the little zoo in the back of the store
you lost something, and because you came here
not to forget, but to remember to live.,

May 24, 2007

Three impressions from three consecutive days.

Life is a series of unconnected events that somehow merge and seem to make some sense grouped together. It is sometimes our past colliding with now. Before this becomes anymore mystic sounding I will try to explain.

Three days ago I met a 101 year old man (not an everyday occurrence) and his wife. He is a Brit; and his wife, not that old, was born into a missionary family in Iraq in the forties. I sat and listened to them, and asked a lot of questions very quickly and had one of the best times I've had in a long time. It was inspiring and thought provoking and made me realize that lives are what you make of them. These two people were privileged to meet and mingle with some very well know people.

While dining out two days ago, we were interrupted by two people wanting to know if I was who I was and did I remember them. It took a moment but I recognized them as former clients of mine and we shared a human moment of reestablishing a connection. The point was they remember me from a time past and wanted to say hello again. To me this is humbling and very welcome. It means I must have done something right in my past endeavors.

The third thing was the example of things never changing. My favorite ball team the Cleveland Indians did their impression last night of the baseball version of the Keystone Kops, or a dozen clowns jumping out of a little car, red noses and all. They are supposedly a contending ball club this year, but underneath all the media hype they are really just our beloved inept gang of guys who sometimes resemble ballplayers. Last night they forgot, again, the basics of the game and were throwing to the wrong bases, forgetting to cover bases, and in general being quite comic. The problem is they are not supposed to be comedians. Oh well, they have the best fans in the world behind them whichever field of endeavor they are working in.

My point, if I have one, is that life is all of these things. Unconnected events that coalesce into moments that compose a lifetime, an enjoyable trip.

May 23, 2007


Wouldn't it make a good story if someone would write a book or make a tv movie about Arthur Godfrey. He was so popular and omnipresent in the fifties. He seemed such a nice guy, but I read where he wasn't all that nice.

I made this observaton a year or two ago, and I still stand by my thought. I would like to see a tv movie, documentary, or book put out about the old redhead. It seems to me watching him on television on his many shows for many years that there certainly is the raw material. We find out that he was a petty dictator over his hired talent and would threaten them with expulsion from the charmed circle if they angered him in any way. This is what I read, true? I don't know. Fame is such a fleeting thing these days that perhaps people don't remember who I'm talking about and too many years have passed to make a project about Godfrey a dicey thing to try. Just a thought.


He was a salesman. He was one of those guys who could sell ice to an eskimo. Watch him sell.


May 22, 2007


Was browsing this morning and came across this picture of a chemistry set that I am sure was under many Christmas trees in years past. But I was struck first by the hyperbole of the ad. It sounds downright lethal. It says on one hand you can construct things atomic, yet it is indeed safe. It looks like it was a product of a ad man's most outrageous adjectives list outtakes that somehow got presented inadvertently to the client toy company and they loved it. When I was growing up I believe every boy asked for a chemistry set at Christmastime or for a birthday, and I bet it was soon neglected and eventually thrown away pretty much unused. I remember mine ended up gone one day in one of my Mothers 'clean up and throw anything out that is not screwed to the floor'days. I remember making some kind of a stink bomb....well thinking back maybe that's why it ended up in the throw away pile.

May 21, 2007

Andy Griffith describing the game of football, as we watch some of the most violent hits they could assemble. I think the manufacturers of the equipment worn by the players these days should be given a medal. If they didn't have the helmets and other assorted pads to protect themselves, I swear you'd see their heads rolling around on the field independent of their bodies. The clip is about five minutes long and is funny in an innocent kind of way. The way comedians don't seem to want to practice these days. I miss the old comedians that extended their careers when they moved from vaudeville to the Catskills to early television. They used to just stand there in suits (mostly) and say funny things, except of course Gallagher who smashed watermelons on stage and all over nearby fans. And then there was Henny Youngman who kept asking us to 'take my wife, please". I heard it a hundred times and chuckled everytime.

May 19, 2007


Great shot from FLICKR.

Bad news on the publishing front today. American Heritage is suspending publication of their magazine. Good news is that their website will continue on. Here is a typical picture from their archives. It's the Chicago Fire.

May 17, 2007

Anyone who watched the mini-series BAND OF BROTHERS, will be glad to hear that Spielberg and Tom Hanks are producing another ten part mini-series called THE PACIFIC. I loved the band of brothers series, but what I was surprised about was my wife really liked it also. She said she obtained insight about what they went through, so she and I will be looking forward to the new series. It begins shooting film in August this year, when it will be availible is anybodies guess.

One of the books they will be using as source material will be the book WITH THE OLD BREED by Eugene B. Sledge, a marine from that war. A fighter nicknamed Sledgehammer, who became after the war a 'mild mannered' college professor of many things including the study of birds. Sledgehammer died in 2002, but was interviewed years ago by Studs Terkel for his book THE GOOD WAR. How about these names, Studs and Sledgehammer.



THE AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH EUGENE B. SLEDGE 'SLEDGEHAMMER'

http://dlv1.matrix.msu.edu:8080/ramgen/terkel/a0/a0/terkel-a0a0i8-b.rm



THE AUDIO INTERVIEWS WITH VARIOUS INTERVIEWEES FROM 'THE GOOD WAR'

http://www.studsterkel.org/gwar.php

A review of Studs Terkels book, THE GOOD WAR.

Jan 21, 1999 Dorothy Spangler recommends:The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two by Studs TerkelPulitzer Prize-winning book "The Good War" does an excellent job of giving you a very broad view of the war from a human-interest standpoint. Terkel interviews more than 100 people, many of them non-Americans, who experienced the war in very different capacities -- there's the Marine infantryman, Eugene Sledge; Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters; a conscientious objector; a scientist who worked on the bomb; an advisor to FDR; a Japanese man who was a teenager during the war; a Red Army war correspondent, etc. ... Terkel basically lets these people tell their own stories, only occasionally inserting a question here and there. If you are a writer plumbing for story ideas & prospective characters, this book is a great source; it contains a huge array of people, each part succinctly told.

May 16, 2007


From Franklin and Winston, by Jon Meacham I found this picture with these words: "I have no one but you to break the loneliness of bustling and bustled existence." The words of Winston Churchill pictured with his wife, Clementine on the Thames during the Blitz, September 25, 1940. How fortunate he was to have a loved one to be a trusted confidante, someone, perhaps the only one, to whom he could speak candid, unfiltered thoughts that he knew would be revealed to no one.


I think about the complete nonsense I have uttered to my confidante, my wife, through the years and I shutter to think that anyone would know how utterly stupid unguarded words between loved ones could sound if they were revealed. After all most of us do not speak for history, but stupid is stupid and we would not like it revealed how really stupid we talk from time to time. Confidantes listen, nod, sometimes comment, but always are trusted with all your thoughts. Churchill was fortunate to have a Clemmie by his side.

May 14, 2007

ONCE UPON A TIME
A fairytale of a fairytale

by Jim Kittelberger

The visibility in the small room where he did all his writing was getting dimmer by the moment. The pipe he held tightly in his gritting teeth was expelling smoke as if being shot out of his small pipe by a pneumonic pump. The grooves in his forehead , deep though they were normally, were emulating a rutted farm yard, and the prescription needed to iron them out did not seem at hand.

This always happened when words failed him and would not come. This time though it seemed almost terminal. He had tried everything he could think of to snap out of it. He took walks, sliced apples, a remedy passed on to him by a fellow writer, played music, shut out all sound, did push-ups. Nothing seems to work. He reverted to typing familiar beginnings and had accomplished the disheartening task of typing two pages of ONCE UPON A TIME. Oh Lord save me, this is surely the writer's block of all writer's blocks.

As he sat in the smoke filled room staring at the window shade and the world beyond this room, a sudden gust of wind blew in and engulfed him with its cool mind-clearing sweetness, and at that moment the skin on his furrowed forehead relaxed and the furrows disappeared, and without thinking he touched the keys and started once again. As if by magic the words appeared, Once upon a time.....but he didn't stop this time....there were three bears...and you know the rest.

May 13, 2007












Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers on active duty, and to those who have retired from the thankless tasks of teaching, nose wiping, mediation, teen-age abuse, etc. etc. etc. To all those still actively 'mothering', good luck, be brave; and to those who have left the 'glory of mothering' to others, I wish you well on the links, FORE!
This is the promo for the series DOGFIGHTS, which in this case meant battles between warplanes, or ships. I am really taken with the series which is the reason I was interested in looking at the promo again, and maybe you will be also. Not only is it entertaining in a macabre sort of way, it is also educational. The computer geeks who put it all together make you feel like you're in that cockpit. It is really a splendid show, maybe a little macho and chest thumping, but whatever it's entertaining.

May 12, 2007

Every so often a person walks the earth with us who is extraordinary in their beliefs and deeds. Gandhi was one, and Mother Teresa was another.

I receive these every so often from brainythoughts.com. I recommend the site.

Brainy Quote - Mother Teresa, nothing I cant handle

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Teresa, (1910 - 1997), was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work.

For over forty years, she ministered to the needs of the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying of Calcutta (Kolkata). As her religious order grew she expanded her ministry to other countries. By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge

May 11, 2007

May 10, 2007



I am posting two poems I have read several times before and it seems apropos with the accompanying picture of a woman I know quite well, intimately you might say. Enjoy the poems. The picture was taken at Malabar farm, the one-time home of the novelist Louis Bromfield.





THE FIRST GREEN OF SPRING
By David Budbill

Out walking in the swamp picking cowslip, marsh marigold, this sweet first green of spring. Now sauteed in a pan melting to a deeper green than ever they were alive, this green, this life,

harbinger of things to come. Now we sit at the table munching on this message from the dawn which says we and the world are alive again today, and this is the world's birthday. And

even though we know we are growing old, we are dying, we will never be young again, we also know we're still right here now, today, and my oh my! don't these greens taste good.


HERE
By Grace Paley

Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that's who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that's my old man across the yard
he's talking to the meter reader
he's telling him the world's sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips

NORTHERN MINNESOTA MINE
1934 E. Dewey Albinson

May 9, 2007

WHERE HAVE ALL THE VIEWERS GONE?

So starts the piece. I thought it was just my wife and I who can't abide the offerings put forward by the television powers that be. I guess not. The people are staying away in droves. I say, GOOD. I'm glad that the numbers are reflecting the publics dissatisfaction with the drivel they're presenting. That they don't have a clue what's wrong is pretty off-putting. I can speak for the older generation, whom they have saddly no interest in, and tell 'them' that they might get a little stir if they would spend a little money on good writers to write good STORIES, not about teen-agers, but grown-up people with grown up interests, and grown up problems. When everything about television was new, the network owners hired well known writers to write new stories for television. It worked then, it might work again if they don't con the writers into writing teen age pap. Well I know they won't try this so I won't waste anymore time on it. You deserve your falling ratings. I'll turn now to the book I was reading, books remember them?

Read the complete article at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070509/ap_en_tv/tv_missing_viewers_5
EDWARD HOPPER ON SLATE

SLATE has an incredibly good piece on Edward Hopper this morning. It includes a ten painting slide show and great information about the painter at each location. I would like to show it all but I can't, but you can see it all if you go to: http://www.slate.com/id/2165773/fr/rss/



It was Hopper's best-known work, Nighthawks—which he began painting a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the blackouts that followed—that made that image a trademark. Hopper was a huge fan of Hemingway's story "The Killers," a violent tale built around terse dialogue in a diner, and a similar air of menace hangs over Hopper's indelible film-noir scenario. Hopper's wife, Jo, a fellow artist he met in 1923, modeled for the hard-faced woman, as she did for nearly all Hopper's female subjects. Her fingers almost touch the beak-nosed "hawk" on her right. Hopper was a supreme poet of anticipation. "The street was too empty," Rilke's Malte wrote; "its emptiness was bored." We don't know what's going to happen in Hopper's empty street, but it's easy to imagine the coiled action hurtling around the corner into the surrounding darkness. Around the time he painted Nighthawks, Hopper copied out a passage from French poet and critic Paul ValĂ©ry about the challenge of making "expectation, doubt, and concentration … visible things."

May 8, 2007

The experimenting goes on. I hope, in spite of my less than stellar performance, that you enjoy the words.


NURSING HOMES?

I just wanted to post this one more time. Us older folks, just as younger people center our thoughts on issues which do or might happen to us. Well if you read what I am saying below, then carry it on to the next conclusion, it means that 94 percent of us will never set foot in a nursing home, rest home, whatever you want to call it, and I think that is the best way to think about it. Think about it, then forget it, you and I are probably part of the 94 percent.

**************************************************************************

As we age, you and I, one of the things uppermost on our minds is the likelihood that we will probably end our days in a nursing home. It’s one of those things we dread, but statistics tell us that only a small percentage of us will have to endure that fate. Here is what I have found out.

There are approximately 18,000 nursing homes in the United States, two-thirds of which are operated for profit, with 55% owned by large nursing home chains. There are about 1.7 million nursing home beds in the United States. This represents less than 6% of the total number of Americans over the age of 65. It suggests that the vast majority of elderly will most likely spend their final years in their community residence.

In 1939, the New Deal created an Alley Dwelling Authority and gave it ten years to clear the slums and build public housing to replace them. But in Washington, as elsewhere, the indigent population grew and unemployment increased much faster than the public housing could be built; and so the alley slums remained.

The depression was finally slowing down, but the second world war was just around the corner so these slums remained for many more years.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A GOOD PRESIDENT.

Harry S. Truman
1884–1972, former U.S. president, born in Lamar, Missouri today May 8th in 1884.

During World War I, he served in France as a captain with the 129th Field Artillery. He married Bess Wallace in 1919. After engaging briefly and unsuccessfully in the haberdashery business in Kansas City, Mo., Truman entered local politics. Under the sponsorship of Thomas Pendergast, Democratic boss of Missouri, he held a number of local offices, preserving his personal honesty in the midst of a notoriously corrupt political machine. In 1934, he was elected to the Senate and was re-elected in 1940. During his first term he was a loyal but quiet supporter of the New Deal, but in his second term, an appointment as head of a Senate committee to investigate war production brought out his special qualities of honesty, common sense, and hard work, and he won widespread respect.

Elected vice president in 1944, Truman became president upon Roosevelt's sudden death in April 1945 and was immediately faced with the problems of winding down the war against the Axis and preparing the nation for postwar adjustment.

The years 1947–48 were distinguished by civil-rights proposals, the Truman Doctrine to contain the spread of Communism, and the Marshall Plan to aid in the economic reconstruction of war-ravaged nations. Truman's general record, highlighted by a vigorous Fair Deal campaign, brought about his unexpected election in 1948 over the heavily favored Thomas E. Dewey.

Truman's second term was primarily concerned with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the implementing of the North Atlantic Pact, the United Nations police action in Korea, and the vast rearmament program with its accompanying problems of economic stabilization.

On March 29, 1952, Truman announced that he would not run again for the presidency. After leaving the White House, he returned to his home in Independence, Mo., to write his memoirs. He further busied himself with the Harry S. Truman Library there. He died in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 26, 1972.

May 4, 2007


I found this on 'Stumble', it is very reminiscent of the old Abbott and Costello routine about baseball. This is funny also. I do not know who wrote it, it did not say. If I knew I would give all the credit it merits. So for the moment I will credit Mr. Anonymous.



Who's On First for the Next Generation

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes.

George: I mean the fellow's name.

Condi: Hu.

George: The guy in China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The new leader of China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The Chinaman!

Condi: Hu is leading China.

George: Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.

George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?

Condi: That's the man's name.

George: That's who's name?

Condi: Yes.

George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.

Condi: That's correct.

George: Then who is in China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Then who is?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You want Kofi?

George: No.

Condi: You don't want Kofi.

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi?

George: Milk! Will you please make the call?

Condi: And call who?

George: Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi: Hu is the guy in China.

George: Will you stay out of China?!

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi.

George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.
A COUPLE PRETTY GOOD THINGS:
( actually three things)



“Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.”

Henry Ford

*************************************************************

Poem: "The Gardeners" by Jack Ridl, from Broken Symmetry. © Wayne State University Press.

The Gardeners

In the spring she
drops the seeds, he
covers them. He
digs up the weeds.
She cuts the flowers.
She takes the blooms
and puts them in
every room. They soar
red from the tables, sprout
yellow from the shelves,
hang purple from
the ceiling, blue
from the edges of
lampshades. Clusters
of flowers sit in
tiny pots on every
windowsill, in open
cupboards, behind
the sink. He stands
beside her as she tosses
all the wilted leaves
into a rusty bucket.
This house is heaven's
door, the air gathering
the bashful smells of
blossoms, roots, cut
stems, wet dirt, new
and rotting leaves.

***************************************************************

and finally:

THE INDIANS WIN ONCE AGAIN. Cleveland 6 Toronto 5. April was a good month, May is starting out better than good. Keep the faith.


***************************************************************

May 2, 2007

Spring is here, the sun is shining, the temperatures are getting into the seventies some days, and the birds and bees, and frogs are doing that thing. I felt like a voyeur when taking some pictures of this and that when whoops I interrupted frogs doing what I never really cared to be in the front row for. But that's the way it is on this day in May, as Walter Cronkite used to say. I took a very small video of a moving stream with a bird singing in my impression of Charles Kuralts old Sunday Morning show, when he would show a nature video to end his shows. Bear with me, it's the first I've taken, it may get better, can't get worse as they say.


Now I get it. I quit watching those shows on HGTV showing young kids that seem to be about age fifteen or so being led around looking at houses of a quarter million or more, opining about their certainty that they could not exist without seven bathrooms to match their seven bedrooms. Certainly dog Zippy will need his own room also. Then the commentator states that this one that is just between that quarter million and three hundred thousand will fit right into their budget. NOW that is about the time I go ballistic, and I start damaging my wife's ears with WHERE DO THEY GET THAT KIND OF MONEY? WHAT KIND OF JOBS MUST THESE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE? And then I finish off with a loud HUMPF, and walk away. Now I get it, look at this comic strip and start letting it soak in. They're getting hornswoggled by the loan companies. There is going to be a glut of houses back on the markets because these fifteen year- olds are not going to be able keep up with the mortgages when they balloon, and or other creative things the mortgage companies cook up to help all those fifteen year-olds wanting to live big, live like Bill Gates on a Dagwood salary. If it looks good and you like it come right on up and sign here.


Great old poster for a movie that scared the bejesus out of me when I was a squirt. Speaking of movies, I watched MILDRED PIERCE on TCM the other day. I had seen it before, but did not remember it exactly. Joan Crawford was actually a good person in this one, and the rotten one was her daughter played by, of all people, ANN BLYTH, and she did a great job. She was a true stinker.

May 1, 2007

pOh indeed, the road does get rougher and more littered with misinformation recoil.

Listen to Slim Collier tell Studs Terkel how it was in the depression (about six minutes long)


Studs, pictured above, uses oral history, talking to people who were there during the depression, the second world war, or other times, places or events to find out what motivated them, and what kept them going. I find this stuff fascinating.