October 31, 2010

The war was almost over

VJ (victory over Japan) day was in September 1945. This magazine had an issue date of August 18, 1945. It was all over but final surrender by that time. Everyone knew it was over, finally over. The well known Jeep would be converted for peacetime use. The cover illustrates a family still intact after four years of fear and angst whenever the doorbell would ring. I can only imagine if they were a real family what thoughts would have gone through their minds. How anything, how any dream is now possible to dream.


Did the poem I am as I am come first or did Popeye? Well it was the poem written by Sir Thomas Wyatt in the early fifteen hundreds. Did popeye steal from Wyatt? After four centuries, who cares?
I am as I am the poem; and then there was POPEYE:

October 29, 2010

Ewan Davidson

Duncan Davidson, my grandson, who was an only child until just a little under a week ago is checking out his new brother Ewan (you-un) old scottish name, Davidson and I suspect wondering how this new guy will effect his position within the family structure. All will be well I am sure.

Is civility dead? Or more alive than ever?

MSNBC-Today asks the question: Is civility dead or more alive than ever?

Some years ago I could have answered that without thinking. Of course civility was dead, that didn't take a genius or a lot of thought to come up with that answer.

Regular manners dropped away and everyone could see that. Holding a door for a person, deferring to a woman entering a premises. It took a little longer for it to turn generational. Young people dropped any pretense of courtesy to anyone but their own generation, and even then it would be hard to recognize it if they showed any. Clerks in stores were rude and sullen to customers. Most people returned the rudeness so transactions were completed silently and without comments.

But I am so very glad to tell you that something has happened, things have changed. What is it you say that could cause a seismic change, and yes that is what it is. What has changed is I have gotten old and for some reason peoples attitudes have changed.

Were we living in this country fifty years or more ago it would be a given certain manners would be observed. Why did we stop observing those good manners? They were rules that made us all a little more civilized.

But things have changed, maybe because I'm older, I hope not exclusively because of that, but whatever. People hold doors for me; today as I was pumping gas the man at the next pump started up a conversation with me. Not a big deal? It is. People don't do that anymore. People have become more insular, chit chat is not something we do anymore. Privacy is big. People talk into cell phones all the time. The purpose I think some times it's because they don't want to have any social contact with a stranger. Maybe. I don't know but I want to believe that it is getting a little better a little more civilized.

October 28, 2010

China has fastest computer

China now has the fastest computer in the world. USA is number two. We were number two before when Japan took over. I have no idea what this means in terms of anything. The USA will have to try a little harder to regain the number one status.

October 25, 2010

politicians: a bad lot.

Political season is thank God coming to an end. We will very soon be able to put the reprehensible practitioners of the game out of our minds for a while.

Halloween Week Begins

This is Halloween week. Last night our local garden center, Kingwood Horticultural Center, presented their first GREAT PUMPKIN GLOW which featured hundreds of carved pumpkins displayed throughout the grounds. To add to the eeriness it rained on us but the temperature was in the seventies and it was pleasant enough. Taking night shots is not the easiest thing to do but this one is pretty scary I think.

Photo credit-Hazel

October 24, 2010

The Battle of Agincourt

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the BATTLE OF AGINCOURT in 1415. It was one bloody mother of a fight in a newly plowed field that had been through a rainy night so the battle was fought in mud. The English were outnumbered and left with mostly archers, but the English would prevail. The scene below from the movie HENRY V is Henry himself working his troops into a fighting frenzy. Check out this to get a more complete history of the battle.

October 23, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Hazel's favorite tune of the moment. Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole

Lonesome Dove

Words-Ode on Solitude
Music-Theme from Lonesome Dove

BOY DIES (Johnny Sheffield)

How in the world can I be looking at the obit of BOY, Tarzan and Jane's ward. I remember the three of them swimming in their jungle pool with Cheetah squealing from an overhanging limb and hearing an occasional lions roar or an elephants trumpeting an hello to the kings of the jungle. Seeing Boy passing at age 79 is like reading my youthful companions obits in the paper. I spent many a Saturday mornings in the darkened theater watching the jungle family living what seemed a world of fun and freedom.

October 22, 2010

Man Cave

Hazel and I frequently watch HGTV to see the people haggle with each other and the realtor about why this house or that house just will not do. I am especially happy to see the kids that are just out of kindergarten make their criticisms a matter of public record. It's usually something like needing an extra bedroom for Spoofy the family dog to keep his dog bones or something of the sort. Another one that is new to me is the need for the man or boy of the house to have a 'man cave' so he and his buds can have somewhere to watch some sporting event and I guess throw things on the floor or whatever you do in a cave.

Anyways, I decided I should have a man cave also. I'm 73 years old and maybe that's a little too old for a full fledged cave, but maybe just an area off to the side in a room that has access to the television.

I now have one, and here it is. It is a little different from the young mans man cave, mine is open and on the same floor where Hazel holds sway. It is also open and accessible just in case I get too excited watching the Indians or Browns or the Cavs lose another game, and in case I really get too excited it has free access for the rescue squad to cart me off to the emergency room. An accommodation the young people on HGTV don't have to worry about.


I cannot tell you who wrote this, but I found this and other great things at everything2.com. Thank you whomever you are.

Coffee, have I ever told you just how much I love you? I may have murmured in the heat of the moment how grateful I was that you alone were there for me, but I've never specifically set time aside for just the two of us, just to let you know just how special you are.

Coffee, you excite me. When I'm at my lowest, the thought of holding a steaming cup of you is the only thing keeping me from falling asleep standing up. Even when I can't stand the burned, stale mess the Sugar Shack makes of you, just sitting in there, your aroma wafts over the counter, putting a spring in my step and some small measure of alertness in my apathetic gaze. The smell of coffee and donuts sticks in the seams of my hooded sweatshirt, reminding me even now of your everlasting presence.

When I finally find a half-decent mug of you in my hands, you wash everything bad out of my mind. The world is wonderful for a few minutes. There's only you and me. I take that first sip, scalding my tongue, suddenly remembering I don't even LIKE coffee, but just as quickly I forget again as warmth and caffeine and that sweet sugar rush spreads all the way to my fingertips. Ah, sweet coffee-induced bliss. There's nothing like that injection of pure caffeine and sugar, nothing in all the world. It's the best legal high there is.

And in the hottest days of summer, you're there again - confections of crushed ice and cream and sugar syrup and flavoring and that small but utterly crucial shot of very strong coffee dance in my dreams. On those rare but lovely occasions I actually find one in front of me, that decadent, sticky coolness coats my throat, refreshing as nothing else in the world could ever be.

Ah, coffee, you miraculous beverage, existing only as the least-diluted carrier form of caffeine known to man. I am forever indebted to the sheer nervous energy you've brought to my life, to the masses of calories I've burned just from my hands twitching. You brighten my days, lengthen my nights, and make my life just that much more energetic. I love you

October 21, 2010

I don't need no stinkin badge

I found this painting, and the first thing that I thought of was the line from a Bogart movie "I don't need no stinkin badge". The painter of this piece is I think Juan Manuel Rocha.

October 20, 2010

I can identify only one

Two days ago we took an hour to stroll the gardens at Kingwood Center. I can tell you the first picture is MARIGOLD; The other two I have not a clue to their names. I snapped them because of their beauty which it is said is in the eye of the beholder.

October 19, 2010

bikes for sale by the hundreds

Great sales idea. The bike shop put over a hundred bikes on the side of their building. It sold, but the neighbors as you would figure frowned on the idea. Check out more of the pictures here.

October 18, 2010

George Carlin on baseball and football


Baseball is a 19th century pastoral game.
Football is a 20th century technological game.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park . . . the baseball park.
Football is played on a gridiron in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.

Football is played in any kind of weather--rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog…
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

In football, you wear a helmet.
In baseball, you wear a cap!

Football is concerned with downs. What down is it? Oh, it's the last down.
Baseball is concerned with ups. Who's up? Are you up? He's up! I'm up!!

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute WARNING.

And, of course, the objectives of the games are also completely different.
In football, the object is for the quarterback, sometimes called the field general, to riddle the defense with his aerial assault, by hitting his targets with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball, the object is to get home . . .and to be safe! Safe at home.

October 17, 2010

Two pretty amazing facts

The inferno inside a jet engine is hotter than the surface of the sun and would melt the turbine’s blades if not for clever management of airflow...(I didn't know that)

At its height, the British Empire had more Muslim subjects than any other empire ever. It counted as subjects over one in three of the world’s Muslims.
(O.K. for crying out loud, what did the Brits do to tick them off so badly?)

Amazing facts found at Arts and Letters Daily.

Op Ed illustrations from the NYTimes

The old saying goes 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. This short video (ten minutes) illustrates the point in the New York Times Op Ed page over the last forty years of drawings.

Mark Twain supposes

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

October 16, 2010

Luckies account

This is a commercial for Luckies before the Draper (MAD MEN) firm took over the account I'm sure. It was an ad in 1948 and the fictional Draper advertising company was set beginning in the fifties I think.

October 15, 2010

Hagar the truth sayer.

Fall Photo's

Fall photos. The one on top came flying in with hundreds of others. I think it is a beech, but not absolutely sure. Am I absolutely sure of anything?

photo credit-Hazel

October 14, 2010

What every man (or woman) wants in their beds.

Grabbed this from Chris Pirillo on Twitter with the title WHAT EVERY MAN WANTS IN HIS BED. Watch it and tell me that most women aren't as techie as most men

High Speed Rail, I like it but it ain't gonna happen

High speed rail has become a political hot potato so there is no chance it will come to pass in the USA. I only have one point and it is pretty simplistic. Is it really necessary, except as a people mover. I am thinking of business, do people have to be face to face to get things done? Our high technology already allows people to talk face to face on computer systems projected on screen larger than a room. Point: High speed rail will not make business easier or more cost effective. Outlook: as above in the title, it ain't gonna happen.

Howard Stern and the Economy

I think that the economy has gotten better. Although what I earn on my big splash in the money game is pretty minuscule, and you wouldn't really know it.

But there are some who just keep on making the big big money. Like for example Howard Stern. The shock jock signed a 5-year, $500 million contract with Sirius XM in December 2005. That contract is due to run out at the end of this year and the talk is about what will he do? Oh my is this a problem Stern has? Whatever.

This blurb from the same piece from CNN seems to suggest that we all should cut Obama a little slack when it comes to the economy and his handling of it. Here is the blurb:

Sirius has been a classic turnaround story. The big run this year is largely a reflection that it's no longer on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to a recovery in the economy and key investment from John Malone's Liberty Media (LCAPA, Fortune 500) last year.

Here is the story from CNN Money.

October 13, 2010

Slavery and the White House

This scene from John Adams, seen last year on HBO, is a grim reminder that slaves built our White House. It is not a secret, but it certainly is not something our country is proud of.

Even though it happened two centuries ago and Mr. Lincoln took the lead in correcting the inequities it still seems like a family secret that we in the family know what happened but we don't really want to talk about it. Well it did happen in America, but what also has happened in America, we have elected to lead us for the next four years a black man. That is progress. It is not redemption of the wrongs perpetrated on the black race two centuries ago, that can only happen in each of our hearts, but it is a start Americans, it is a start.

October 12, 2010

Abstract Art-Ten minutes of sight and sound that is strangely relaxing.

The Ice Cream Headache

Do you get ice cream headache? I am sorry to say I do especially when I visit the DQ in the summer and buy a yummy treat called the MOOLATTE. I'm not sure that is spelled right, but I am sure it is one delicious treat. It contains chocolate and coffee and other great stuff. But it also contains something that makes it very very cold, and causes me to get the ice cream headache every time. Since of course it was my duty to research this phenomina I tried it several more times this past summer. Alas each time ice cream headache.

Here is a little more information on the headache from a doctor.

Able to walk again

How great something like this is. The first thing I think of though is if they make it available to the people who need it, how many of them will be able to afford it?

October 11, 2010

Advantage of being color blind

No Future

I see them every day and grieve in my impotency to do anything about it.

October 9, 2010

OMG, Mite dung?

OH MY GOD! I've been reading a review of a new book by Bill Bryson. He's the writer of A WALK IN THE WOODS, about walking the Appalachian Trail. His new book is called AT HOME from which I read this, and I'm not sure I'm glad I did. He takes us on a tour of his house in England and in his comical way explains in depth each room and it's contents would be worth looking into, EXCEPT this blurb where he is writing about bedrooms.

Consider the contents of the bedroom: “It has been calculated that if your pillow is six years old (which is the average age for a pillow), one-tenth of its weight will be made up of sloughed skin, living and dead mites, and mite dung.”

If enough people read this book I fear there will be a terrible run on pillows in stores around the nation. I'm thinking about visiting my local home furnishing store today.

October 8, 2010

Racism and the Movies

I watched the movie THIRD FINGER LEFT HAND this week. It stars Melvyn Douglas and Myrna Loy. It was made in 1940, and it is a film I would recommend heartily. Heartily for the stars and the enjoyment of the movie, but more for another reason. More indeed. Following is a review of the film by another viewer:

While this comedy is about the romantic complications facing a woman executive and the artist who loves her, "Third Finger, Left Hand" provides a rarely seen dignified Black role. When first we see Sam (portrayed by veteran African American actor, Ernest Whitman) he is a train porter speaking in an 'uneducated' manner - employing the type of language structure used by script writers of the time to reinforce negative racial stereotypes. Later, however, Sam is revealed to have taken college correspondence courses for years and to be someone quite knowledgeable in matters of Law: able to quote court rulings and present effective legal arguments on behalf of his client, the artist. Ultimately, Sam is the hero of "Third Finger, Left Hand", making it possible for the protagonists' love to triumph.

I've thought about the movie now for a couple days, and my minds eye keeps coming back to Ernest Whitman's role in the movie. He was a black man with a college background in law who had a job as a porter on the railroad. That certainly could have been true, but what thrilled me was the the verbal joking back and forth between Whitman and Melvyn Douglas and the formulation of a plot to save Douglas's marriage. It's a great scene and one more at the very end when Whitman springs the surprise on another white actor Lee Bowman and joining in the laughter as an equal plotter in the movie. Corny? Maybe but this was 1940 folks. Segregation was alive and festering in the good old USA as the coming war would would illustrate, but perhaps in a small way this particular movie might have had a small nudge in the right direction.

October 7, 2010

too much traffic

"Who'd a thunk it", some famous unknown person said sometime or another. But the taco spaghetti recipe site I cited in the last post is overwhelmed with traffic it can't handle.

Oh well, it's not that big a deal but for a quickie item for your menu it might be worth a try. My culinary expert in the house said when I mentioned it and I quote: UGH. I bow to her expertise in the field, but I wonder still. I guess it will remain an unknown taste.

October 6, 2010

Spaghetti Taco with Italian sausage and peppers

I was perusing the NY Times this morning and came across this little article that caught my attention. Why did it catch my attention? because it was talking about food. Now this food is a little different. It does not come from any famous chef, but from evidently a kid's tv show. The recipe was for a spaghetti taco which didn't exactly bowl me over. But this recipe kind of made my taste buds quiver just a little. I have not presented it yet to my wife who rules the kitchen, a right she has earned by turning out 'good stuff' for a lot of years, but I'm gearing myself up to do just that. I expect a response like 'has senility set in this morning?' said in a kindly way of course.

But really it sounds good to me and could all these kids be wrong. Well yes I suppose so, but here it is. Decide for yourself.

October 3, 2010

Sunday Book Lists

Sunday is a day for kicking back and spreading the newspaper here and there, and sharing articles with each other. I herewith submit one of my favorite Sunday offerings, the book lists. Listed today in hardcover best sellers at number ten is one of my favorite authors Stuart Woods latest, SANTA FE EDGE.

October 2, 2010

Undecided? Sure you are.

Election time is approaching and I will probably vote although I said I would not. I lied. If you are not a registered democrat or republican and would vote for anyone who has a D or a R by their name, then you are confused probably like this comic illustrates. It just occurred to me, I should add the designation TP. Are the TP's good for us or bad? I really wish we were all I's then on election day not one vote could be taken for granted by the pol's. Oh there I go again, talking crazy.