December 28, 2008
Three more days until New Years Eve. It will not be an occasion for me as I will certainly be fast asleep when the big ball in New York's time square gets to its destination. I do remember back in my day that Guy Lombardo was the New Years Eve regular. By the way, when I picked up this Gasoline Alley strip, it said Walt is 100 years old now. Make you feel your age a little?
December 27, 2008
December 26, 2008
December 24, 2008
A repeat of something I wrote two years ago. This year we have two of our grandchildren with us for the big holiday. I got some comments on the remembrance, so I thought I would repeat it. I hope you enjoy it.
I wish to make a confession. A confession designed to be read by grandchildren I have and those yet to be born who will not know me other than the grandpa who lives in Ohio.
I would like them at least to know that I too was a child once and the excitement of this season now upon us was almost too much for me to bear. I was an only child, I had no brothers or sisters. I guess my mother decided after having me that she could do no better or, and this is more likely, she said, Oh no I'll have no part in bringing another one like him into the world.
I liked it. If I ever thought about it, it didn't take me long to decide that I was absolutely happy being an only. The one thing it allowed me to do was let my imagination soar free. With a brother or sister I would have been criticized for being stupid, or a dreamer.
So I could let my imagination fly, and around Christmas time, I sure did. I loved the holidays from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I would get so excited on Thanksgiving that for years I would get sick on the big eating holiday. But I quickly recovered and started carefully preparing my gift list for Santa Claus. Advantage for the only child. Unless you asked for something really dumb, like a real airplane, or a horse, you get the idea, I had a pretty good chance of hitting the jackpot.
Now here we get into some sticky territory. I was a true believer when it came to the legend of Santa Claus. But just in case I had gotten some faulty information I tried to cut my losses and would tell my mom what I had asked Santa for.
Now I am going to tell you a secret. A secret that only Grandma Hazel knows. On a Christmas eve night, I was trying very hard to fall asleep so the morning would arrive, and I could get to the serious business of gift receiving. Kids at the age I was had not yet learned that the idea of the season was to foster the exchange of gifts which originated with the Magi's bringing gifts to the newborn Jesus. But like most all the children in the world I was not into that part of the season yet. That came later in life, but at least it came.
It was late and it was a Christmas card night, it had snowed, but the night was clear with the moon and stars bright against a black December sky, as I got out of bed once again. I was not allowed to leave my room on Christmas eve after I was sent to bed, so I got up to get a book when I glanced out of the window and couldn't believe what I saw. I saw in the distant sky the familiar scene emblazoned upon millions of children's minds, Santa Claus and his reindeers high in the black star bright night flying away toward the full moon. I don't remember what I thought or did, except I never told anyone before except Grandma Hazel and now you our grandchildren.
I never knew why I was allowed to see this magical person, most kids don't you know. Perhaps it was because children and grandparents share a common experience, the experience of discovery. The discovery that there are things out there that we don't exactly understand and maybe never were meant to. Some things just have to be taken on faith. So enjoy the discoveries and have a wonderful and happy life. It will make grandma and grandpa very happy if you do.
December 23, 2008
December 22, 2008
A marriage if it's blessed with luck,
a lot of luck
will last until the end of our time on God's good green earth.
A journey not without trials and tribulations.
In some cases
In my case we started out so young and
so ill-prepared and quite frankly dumber than
Ohio riverbed rocks
Unsure of and unschooled in much of anything.
Good times, hard times, unsure times, exciting times,
Times met head on, error, mistakes, folly, all met us on the road.
Years passed, we slowly began to learn, began to understand,
and anticipate life on its terms.
Always learning little lessons, some important, some not, some
lessons to pass on, some not.
Until one day we wake up and find our shared life has gone by and
we now stand alone and yet again we learn another lesson.
That somewhere in the journey we became friends. How important
is that? I could argue it is the most cherished of all.
Friends, best friends, know each others weaknesses and their strengths,
but would never try to capitalize upon either for gain. Best friends
are the most trusted, and the most comfortable to be with for as
long as God will allow.
My best friend has gotten better looking, smarter, braver, and the one
person I want to be with when our journey together ends.
Happy Anniversary Best Friend.
December 19, 2008
December 18, 2008
December 17, 2008
Peter Mark Roget, the full name of the creator of Roget's thesaurus was indeed anal retentive. He seemed to have reasons, to say the least, to view life in a different way. He started his 'lists' as a tool to some form of normality. This piece from PROSPECT, I thought was very interesting, and worth the time. If you are familiar with the thesaurus, you will probably be interested in reading about the guy who wrote it.
December 16, 2008
Two great actors, Frederick March and Burt Lancaster in the movie Seven Days In May, getting their teeth into meaty roles. Americans want their government to be open and protective of each citizens rights which are protected by the constitution and the ballot box. When the government becomes convinced that they cannot trust the peoples judgements and must take the vote out of our hands under the guise of protecting us, bad things will follow.
December 14, 2008
GOVERNMENT-Chicago style, written in 1916 by Carl Sandburg. Rough it was, rough it is. Different you think from others? No excuses from me extended for the outrageous, overt activity of the governor, but is it surprising? No. Any person who watches politics at all knows what goes on or can guess. Big time pols deal with big money all the time, and how many poor politicians leave office still poor?
THE Government--I heard about the Government and
I went out to find it. I said I would look closely at
it when I saw it.
Then I saw a policeman dragging a drunken man to
the callaboose. It was the Government in action.
I saw a ward alderman slip into an office one morning
and talk with a judge. Later in the day the judge
dismissed a case against a pickpocket who was a
live ward worker for the alderman. Again I saw
this was the Government, doing things.
I saw militiamen level their rifles at a crowd of
workingmen who were trying to get other workingmen
to stay away from a shop where there was a strike
on. Government in action.
Everywhere I saw that Government is a thing made of
men, that Government has blood and bones, it is
many mouths whispering into many ears, sending
telegrams, aiming rifles, writing orders, saying
"yes" and "no."
Government dies as the men who form it die and are laid
away in their graves and the new Government that
comes after is human, made of heartbeats of blood,
ambitions, lusts, and money running through it all,
money paid and money taken, and money covered
up and spoken of with hushed voices.
A Government is just as secret and mysterious and sensitive
as any human sinner carrying a load of germs,
traditions and corpuscles handed down from
fathers and mothers away back.
December 13, 2008
If golf is a good walk spoiled, then walking is a great game made dull. How sluggish locomotion is, compared with the speed at which the mind absorbs new images and information. The brain strains at the body’s tether, seethes for new scenery, new stimulation, bridles at the slow feet below. Look at that tree with such lovely orange leaves, how pretty it is. . . . A minute later: the same tree, the same leaves, still good looking. Walking is adding with an abacus, it’s space travel on a donkey.
All the same, many people do it, and clearly Geoff Nicholson, the British author of “The Lost Art of Walking,” is among them. “I’ve strolled and wandered, pottered and tottered, dawdled and shuffled, mooched and sauntered and meandered,” he brags at the beginning of this pleasant tour of the literature and lore of ambulation. “I’ve certainly ambled and I could be said to have rambled. . . . I’ve also shambled, but I don’t think I’ve ever gamboled.”
December 12, 2008
I am amazed that those right wing ideologues such as Limbaugh and the other guy who shout at us over the airwaves daily, have such a huge audience. I understand the economics of negativity and its ability to draw crowds, but what a one trick pony they are. Do you think they can turn off their public scorn, their rant and raves at will, while displaying an absolute lack of any form of objectivity? Or is that their normal mindset, and they must they go through life ticked off at any divergence of their way of thinking? Or do you think that maybe its all an act and they turn it on and off each day at showtime?
Sometimes though I have more sympathy for the people in the peanut gallery who listen to every word they spout and believe it has come from the mount. The notion that he is already amassing sticks and stones against the new President-elect when he has not yet even spent a night at 1600 causes the bile to rise from my craw. Oh well to be a politician one of the prerequisites are to develop a thick skin and one deaf ear. Well I'm done now and I will wish the new guy in the White House very good luck and I'm sure Limbaugh etal does too, even though it will be bad for business.
December 9, 2008
I'm just finishing up the latest Robert B. Parker 'Spenser' novel, ROUGH WEATHER. I like reading a Parker book, for several reasons besides the obvious, he tells a good story, and his books get printed on really heavy elegant paper. His chapters are short, and the story always moves along briskly and if you are of a mind to, you could finish the book in one or two sittings.
His publisher, G.P. Putnam must love the guy. He has three main characters who he writes about with regularity. The star of his stable is a tough private eye named Spenser, who morphed into a television series.
Another character is Jessie Stone, a savvy ex-cop who got canned in LA for drinking on duty and has moved to a small town in Massachusetts to become it's police chief. Another success that has also morphed in a television series starring, in it's irregular showings, Tom Selleck. Not a bad guy to have portraying your made up police chief.
Not to be accused of being anti woman he writes semi-regularly about Sunny Randall, of course another chief of police.
In between he writes about cowboys and other assorted guys and gals. He has written according to the fly leaf of his current book Rough Weather sixty (60) books and I don't know how long he's been doing it, but for the last several years two a year come out regular as clockwork.
I like them all, except for this in his Jessie Stone series. He seems to be hung up on this plot line and won't let it go. The character Jessie is divorced, but he still loves his ex-wife and visa-versa. They spend too much time in each novel critiquing their relationship. It is monotonous and I wish he would move her to the west coast or otherwise dispense with her. The over indulgence and the whining the two do over each other is boring. Please get rid of her.
Otherwise his talent is still in place and I look forward to each new book that comes out, posh paper and all.
December 8, 2008
I happened to find the show WIDE ANGLE, which answered more or less exactly what I was wondering. It is in 7 segments, Go here to watch an overview and to view parts 2 through 7. It is, if nothing else, a partial answer to one of my questions, are wars just worthless killing or can something good come out of one?
December 7, 2008
Since I have this morbid streak going on in my brain for the moment, I might as well finish up with this review of a book I was checking on in the library. It is a book written by Julian Barnes who it turns out is totally spaced out worrying about dying. It's titled NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF. It's kind of a strange title since he is so obviously petrified of the whole notion. Here is the review.
December 6, 2008
The day the Japanese became the Japs.
The Japanese war lords were rampaging across Asia, making their intention to control the continent evident. The Americans knew what they were up to, but the country was divided into preparing for war and/or staying out of it and hoping it would go away. In December 1941 the politics of non-intervention still held sway, even though Roosevelt saw the inevitability of it all.
On December 6, Admiral Nogumo, the task force commander of the invading force, opened a top secret message that said 'climb mount niitaka', the coded message that set into motion the attack on December 7, 1941 upon Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian islands.
On December 7 the attack that decimated the American fleet of battle ships commenced at 7:55 in the morning and was completed 110 minutes later. It filled the American people with a hate that continued until August 1945 when President Truman authorized two atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima first, and then Nagasaki, which ended the second world war.
It took arguably decades for the American people to revert to the more polite term of Japanese so deep was their hatred. But the war that started in violence against an unprepared country, ended with violence against the hostile Japanese from a previously unknown weapon. The age of the atom was born.
WWII deaths suffered by the nation of Japan-2,700,000
WWII deaths suffered by the nation of USA-418,500
War is an abomination, and a last resort for civilized peoples.