February 28, 2010

I ran across this pic at shorpys.com this morning. It was captioned 1937 Minnesota saloon. My God, it makes me feel as old as dirt. I arrived on this earth in July 1937, I was already two months old. I feel though like I must have been put down in the middle of a film noir shooting.

February 24, 2010

Poor Vimrod, life is great but because of TV? Try again.

Think old, get old. Think young, well maybe.

The Aviators

A new PBS show starting in June this year? looks like an interesting event to me, even though I really do not like to fly, I still admire the airplanes and the people who fly them.

February 19, 2010

The US Congress Wake Up Call Is Being Sounded.

The following editorial originated at The Baxter Bulletin, Mountain Home Ark. with no further attribution. I've read it over three times and it seems to state the sorry state of our political parties exactly. If something is not done to correct the situation, and soon, I worry about us, the USA, declining into a state of ineffectiveness. The world needs us to man a moral compass and to illustrate to the rest of the world what is possible living in a free society. I'm afraid all we are showing now is a gang of angry men and women in the congress speaking in angry strident voices protecting individual fiefdoms. They seem to have forgotten that our business is their business, our welfare is their business. They have turned into a nest of very unpleasant people dedicated, it seems, only to the welfare of themselves and/or their party. The welfare of the country and it's citizens has lost out. The congress must relocate those higher values they espoused when they asked their fellows to send them to Washington, or like Bayh suggested, we should throw them out. If we wish to continue being that last great beacon of freedom ascribed to us on that lady in the New York harbor, holding up that torch and bragging how good we can be, we had better do some deep thinking and check and recheck how easy the freedoms too many people have fought and died for could be eroded and lost.


Bayh echoes how many Americans feel

There's just too much brain-dead partisanship, tactical maneuvering for short-term political advantage rather than focusing on the greater good."

That's how U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., summed up what's happening in Congress and Washington, D.C. during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The day before, Mr. Bayh announced he's not seeking re-election to the Senate, saying, "I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress."

With the return of partisan gridlock in the Senate, extremists on the left and right battling for their agendas instead of America's and common sense being trampled in the process, many Americans have the same feelings as Mr. Bayh toward Congress. They have those same feelings toward Washington as a whole.

As we've pointed out before, the moderate voice, the voice of reason, can't be heard over the shouting by the extremes of both parties. There's little, if any room, for compromise to produce legislation and policy that are beneficial for the American public.

Like the proverbial squeaky wheel, the loudest get the attention in Washington while today's new silent majority goes overlooked, ignored and pushed aside. It's one reason so many Americans are angry and frustrated with government.

Most Americans aren't totally right or left, liberal or conservative. They occupy the ever-eroding center ground, and just as the economic and social middle class is being squeezed toward being an endangered species, so are political moderates.

Obstinate ideology is overtaking common sense as politicians more and more adopt the "my way or the highway" philosophy. Unfortunately, it's the people who bear the brunt of this bullheadedness.

Mr. Bayh addressed that in his television interview, saying, "The extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises from time to time to make some progress because some progress for the American people is better than nothing, and all too often recently we've been getting nothing."

Whatever happened to the days of moderate Republicans and Democrats, the ones who could iron out differences and produce strong, effective legislation for the country? What happened to the times when party politics could be set aside to deal with issues clearly important to the American people? They've been replaced by puffery and demagoguery.

While there is speculation Mr. Bayh might consider a 2012 presidential run — although he said he has no interest, "none whatsoever" — for the moment he just sounds as disgusted with the whole mess as are the American people. He's said he thinks he can accomplish more good for the country in the private sector than in Congress.

However, Mr. Bayh also echoed the sentiment of many Americans on how they can deal with the problems in Congress.

"The people who are just rigidly ideological, unwilling to accept practical solutions somewhere in the middle, vote them out, and then change the rules so that the sensible people who remain can actually get the job done," said the retiring senator. "Congress needs to listen and the American people need to help with this process."

Remember, those are words from a moderate Democrat.

Street person in the winter

Photo from joes nyc. The heartiness of the man in the unforgiving cold is a tribute to his desire to survive. His mind obviously is working and adroit enough to work crosswords. How did we get into our current status of fostering a sub-set of people known as Street people? Our country, not that long ago, seemed to be more caring and willing to help. I'm as bad as the next, I look right over them, perhaps because I haven't a clue what to do for them or about them.

Newspaper Boat-Mike Worrall

February 18, 2010

Dr. Zhivago's revenge

This seems to be the winter that tries men's endurance and insulation. We here in Ohio live in surroundings that are fast beginning to look like Dr. Zhivago's winter home. My neighbor has stopped using her snow blower because the snow piled on the side of her driveway is too high for the new snow to get over. She has taken to using her shovel now. Luckily my snow blower must have a couple more horsepower in it, or whatever, and still blows it over the snow piled on the sides.

I've just heard that today's special on our snow menu is going to be ice coming out of the heavens. Just the thing to add a little shiny glitter, and perhaps a little preservative for longer lasting staying power for the snow we already have. I say that because according to the weather man/woman, their little weather pictures for fri-sat-sun shows more, yeah you got it, snow coming.

The gutters over my screened in back porch have frozen over, and icicles of Olympic size have formed putting anyone venturing out the back door in extreme danger of being impaled to the ground to be preserved there until spring arrives.

Luckily I am retired and after dressing in my winter regalia and venturing out onto the frozen tundra to clean off the driveway, just in case we have to get the car out so we can go to the store to purchase a chocolate cake or some such necessity such as that, I can then return to the warm confines of our house and amuse myself with a book or some music coming over the radio playing such seasonal favorites like winter wonderland.

Master of my ship

"What's so important about being master of my ship anyhow, unless maybe if the ship was red."

February 17, 2010

The Fan-it's scary.

I'm a little late viewing this film, but if you like Robert De Niro, the scary De Niro, than this is the one for you. He is scary. Remember you baseball fans, it's only a game.

Wasteful, stupid wars.

War's have been used to settle differences among men since the beginning of time.

Howard Fast relates this story in his novel, The Immigrant's Daughter.

From the words written by the Greek playwright Euripides almost two and a half thousand years ago, spoken by the Trojan woman Hecuba after the Greeks sacked Troy.

"I was the mother of brave sons. They were not ordinary children, but the pride of Phrygia, beautiful children. No Trojan or Greek or Barbarian mother could boast such children. All these I have seen killed by the spears of the Greeks; I wept on their coffins and cut my hair to it's roots. Before my eyes, my beloved husband, Priam, was murdered, butchered in his own house. My city was captured. This I saw and watched. My daughters, whom I loved and raised for good marriage, they were taken from me to be whores for strangers. No hope ever to see them again,no hope, and myself--to crown my misery, I shall be taken in bondage to Greece, a slave in my old age, to die a slave."

Many years later, but no smarter, we conclude one war in Iraq and seque directly into another in Afghanistan. Hecuba, we haven't gotten any smarter, we still squander our people and our treasures on war.

February 15, 2010

If you think this economy is bad, in the thirties people were desparate for money. They entered the DANCE MARATHON.

Dance marathons were cruel events staged and participated in by desparate, broke people. Here is an essay of such an event in Washington state. There were no government assistance back then so they did what they could. Read more here.

Name that politician with just one guess

February 14, 2010

OMG Wall Street is helping bolster the Euro. Beware Europe, Wall street has done a bang up job over here.

February 14, 2010

Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis

Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.AA

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.

The bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.

Wars suck

February 12, 2010


I find as I get seriously older that my dreams are becoming very perplexing. For example I find myself back at work (I've been retired for thirteen years) and I don't have a clue what I am doing, like I ever did. I also am being treated to the 'I'm lost' genre. I think they are very ordinary type dreams, but why not sitting in the sun watching the Cleveland Indians winning yet another game on their way to a 100 win season? Sounds impossible, but after all I'm talking about dreams.

How to find inner peace from Harold's Planet

February 7, 2010

Messy Room

Messy Room by Shel Silverstein
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or--
Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!

February 6, 2010

Breast Cancer Stamps--BUY THEM.

The gift I prayed for came true for me, and perhaps it can for millions of others through research. The scourge that is breast cancer can be defeated. All that most of us can do is offer up some money to fund the science that will someday beat the dreaded disease. The USPS offers stamps at eleven dollars per book of twenty, about three dollars more than normal rate. The extra money goes to the cancer society to fight breast cancer. I checked Snopes.com, although I knew it was legitimate, before I would ask you to please invest the extra three dollars. If it saves you from hearing the words, "There are malignant cells etc. etc." and your world starts to crumble, it will be the best small investment you'll ever make. Also if the most important woman in your life does not get an annual mammogram please encourage her to do so. That is without a doubt the reason the most important woman in my life will beat this damn disease.

February 5, 2010

E-Reader's and we old folks-good idea I think

Since the subjects of the moment are E-Readers, here is a cheat sheet comparing some of the best known. I am one of the old folks who just might in the future be looking to move to an assisted living concern and I would be faced with moving many box loads of books. I think I would opt for giving them away before I did that though. I like the idea in the comic strip a lot. I think I will be looking for an E-Reader for my wife and I in the future.

Remembering Parker

It's been a couple weeks now since Robert B. Parker died at his desk writing. I have thought of his loss frequently since it happened. Frequently is a lot in this day of fifteen minute fame. I looked forward to his two books each year and the further adventures of Spenser and his extended family from Susan to the guys at the police station or to a new cowboy saga to Holly and her new beat with the company. Here is a very nice remembrance by Steven Axelrod I found on the Salon blog. Parker had a lot of fans, Steven was one of them.

February 2, 2010

Exploding Boobs, yes you read right.

From MOTHER JONES: I really don't know what to comment about this. Unless to comment on how the world is going to hell in record speed.

Exploding Boobs: The Next Terrorist Threat?

| Tue Feb. 2, 2010 7:49 AM PST

If you aren't reading WorldNetDaily, you're really missing out. Today, for instance, the paranoid conservative website ran a big scoop entitled, "MI5 hunting breast implants of death." WND, which is obsessed with the "Muslim mafia," claims that Britain's intelligence service is concerned that British teaching hospitals have churned out Muslim doctors who are now returning to their home countries to outfit female suicide bombers with breast implants that blow up--and not just to a DD cup. WND cites British medical experts who reported back to MI5 that:

"Properly inserted the implant would be virtually impossible to detect by the usual airport scanning machines. You would need to subject a suspect to a sophisticated X-ray. Given that the explosive would be inserted in a sealed plastic sachet, and would be a small amount, would make it all the more impossible to spot it with the usual body scanner."

If WND is right, the breast implants of death are just one more reason the naked full-body scanners the US is scrambling to install in every airport won't make us any safer.

Here is the IPAD

Ted Turner, the premier land owner

To Ted Turner,the owner of the most real estate in the United States; I wonder is there a master plan or is it just a game of monopoly? Ted Turner Adding to Land Holdings

Hollywoods Top Money Makers

Vanity Fair lists Hollywood's top money makers. Weirdly interesting.

February 1, 2010

Mr. Eraser

Alexander Calder 1956-RED LILY PADS

Red Lily Pads (Nénuphars rouges), Alexander Calder, 1956. Painted sheet metal, metal rods, and wire. From the Alexander Calder: Retrospective Exhibition, 1964. Photograph by David Heald. Courtesy the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. © 2007 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society, New York.