May 31, 2011

Michael Rennie

I was watching some of the military movies on memorial day when I happened to see Michael Rennie in a small part in DEVIL'S BRIGADE. Whenever I see Mr. Rennie my mind immediately goes to THE DAY WHEN THE EARTH STOOD STILL and he spoke these never forgotten words: Klaatu baraba nikto.

I think he was telling us that we had better embrace Peace, or he would destroy all of us. Oh well whatever works

Ohio State and Student Athletes

Ohio State and Student Athletes.

Well it has finally hit the fan. OSU has been in trouble before with much the same scenario. Buckeye legend Woody Hayes in the fifties got the university in trouble by giving his athletes loans to make rent payments and other incidental expenses needed to remain a student athlete. Woody got caught but he survived and coached on until his demons got the best of him and he lashed out physically at one of his opponents players in a moment of peak which started his last days at his beloved OSU as coach.

Not to belabor the facts of aid to student/athletes, nor try to ignore the wrong doing, because it is indeed a breaking of the laws of the NCAA, but a problem we do have.

We have athletes who are the prime movers of millions of dollars into the till of the athletic department hence the university itself. Enough money is generated each year to build new buildings, endow scholarships to aid future doctors, scientists and a full range of worthy fields of endeavor.

The amount of money generated just from OSU paraphernalia such as hats, sweaters and God knows what else as long as it has the OSU logo on it would range in the millions.

Who are these student/athletes who have the sporting abilities needed to bring his chosen school to such national attention that wearing a hat with the schools logo on it adds cache to the wearer. It validates the wearers ability to pick the best team to be associated with.

These people who can move a hundred thousand people each Saturday into a stadium to watch his every move, to cheer his good moves, or groan and commiserate with ill fortune when it might happen. These are the student/athletes who for the price of one paid for scholarship enable the university to rake in untold millions. The student/athlete who throws his body one hundred percent every day with the guarantee of a college degree if he finishes, or a broken body for the rest of his life if he doesn't. A professional career is the carrot dangled for the super achievers, but they are for only a few. For most it is a memory of what might have been.

For these student/athletes it is incumbent upon the governing bodies of college sport and its universities to find an equitable solution for these young men who give their all for their sport and for an impossible dream of what might be to enable him to compete honestly and to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

May 30, 2011

Dagwood and Rap

Made me chuckle.

Oh it feels so bad

Ohio fans are feeling a distinct pain today.

Jim Tressel Resigns as Ohio State Football Coach

Cleveland Indians lose 7-0

May 28, 2011

Mark Twain and Hannibal Missouri

Many years ago I visited Hannibal Missouri to see for myself where Samuel Clements (Mark Twain) was born and spent his early childhood. It was one of the biggest disappointments I ever had. I don't really know what I expected, but not what I saw.

Check out this from PBS.

Mark Twain is as close to whom I think would be described as America's writer. He was American to the core. He acted American, he thought American, and he wrote American. When he traveled abroad on lecture tours if his audience wasn't sure what an American sounded like, or looked like, or what he thought, when he was done talking they knew they had had a taste of America. Mark Twain was American good and bad.

After visiting Hannibal and being so disappointed I wrote to the Ford foundation and explained what I had seen and thought. I further explained that Hannibal still stands there on the Mississippi and I believe looks much as it did in Twain's day and it seemed to be an undeveloped asset just waiting for someone with available capital and a love of American history to develop the town much as Williamsburg Virginia was developed by the Rockefeller foundation. I believed it would be money well spent and a gift to America.

I am sorry to say I was a majority of one who thought it would be a good idea, so if you go do your reading first and get it firmly fixed in your imagination what it was.

The statue of Twain is located in Fort Worth Texas. I don't remember seeing one in his hometown of Hannibal.

May 27, 2011

Wake up with a smile

But wait, for only $5.99 more we can send you two of the wake up coffee cups...or not.

Never Let Me Go

I watched this very strange movie last night. I had a vague idea about what the story was about, but as I continued watching it I thought I didn't really know what was going on. I continued on to the end and thought well that was that. But I can't get it out of my mind. It is THE story, but I think it is also a parable about our lives and its meanings.

It is a story about clones whose sole purpose is to supply replacement parts to non clones. It touches on souls or no souls, meaning of their existence and lives that are complete although short and their acceptance of it.

May 20, 2011

Eric Liddell

Gold medalist Eric Liddell, who was famously depicted in Chariots of Fire, spent the last 2 years of his life in an internment camp in China. He was offered a chance to leave, but let a pregnant woman take his place. (

Eric Liddell

His entry from wikopedia proclaims what a good man he was.

May 18, 2011

A Green Ray Kind of Day

Ah those wonderful green rays over knotty pine days of summer.


May 17, 2011

The New York Yankees are losing, Awww.

There really is some fairness in the gallaxy. The New York Yankees have lost six games in a row and 10 out the last 13. They are carping among themselves and their players are pouting. Oh there is a baseball God after all. Read about it and gloat because it won't last. Money will prevail and they have a lot of it. It is run by a family that is used to success and return for their money spent. The one thing money will not buy is perpetual youth, and the boys in pin stripes are getting older, thus..

But for today, right now, the New York Yankees are a sports organization full of aging, rich players who have not felt so so human in a very long time. I like it.

May 16, 2011

A good time to come home

then this happened...

perhaps now he can disengage our troops and bring them home saving American lives and billions of dollars daily to be better dispersed in our schools and our dragging economy.

May 15, 2011

The back is off to rehab

Hazel and I have forgotten we are seventy something and have put in three consecutive days in the yard and garden. We have come through the three days in pretty good order. Well almost. As the enclosed picture of Hazel and I shows, Hazels back is off to rehab. Our weather has turned to rain, rain and more rain, so we will have time to get ourselves over-hauled and ready to go when the sun returns someday.

May 14, 2011

Obsolete, A Passage of Time


The rays of the sun slant through unwashed windows, illuminating the
dryness of age in this forgotten place that stands by the side of steel tracks
where weeds now grow; where once great iron locomotives came, paused, then disappeared; where now only the sound of dried leaves skittering along the ground interrupt its sleep.
Benches along the wood paneled walls remain highly polished from
the multitudes of trousers and dresses that once buffed their

Bars of the ticket agent’s window, a patina of age upon them,
still guard a long gone presence that once routinely and officiously
charted the journeys, the count of which befogs the counter.
This forgotten structure, with walls that were once yellow,
green or red, chipped away by weather and neglect has turned
gray now as if to accommodate the modern world by becoming
as one with landscapes of the past.

Yet, to forget so easily this creation of its time as a discarded
relic, would bury all that we were that lives still in the lazy sun lit
dust of memory and where we too will assuredly abide one day.

May 11, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Unspoken Truths

The scourge that is cancer will soon claim another victim, Mr. Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens has esophical cancer and it has hit him a low blow, it has taken his voice. It will take him soon, but not without a battle. Keep up the fight.

Christopher Hitchens: Unspoken Truths Culture:

a gift

To have a friend is a gift. To have a wife for a lifetime who is also your best friend is a miracle.

May 10, 2011

divorce unexpected

This is something new, something sad. Divorce is not a new thing, certainly not in the good old USA, and I'm seldom surprised when I read about it. But twice now in recent times the announcement in the media has surprised me, and saddened me as if I personally knew them.

The Al and Tipper Gore's divorce announcement made me, for some unknown reason, wince as I read the legalistic mumbo jumbo, leaving out the personal side of the business as it is of course none of our business.

The latest is the separation of Arnold and Maria Shriver Swarzenegger. The two marriages have one thing in common, they are political families. That may be the clue. When political lives end so do some marriages. Cynically I shouldn't be surprised, but I am and was.

As someone who does not know them other than what I read in the papers, I wish them well. Is there something to be learned from this? Nothing that I can teach certainly, except that marriage is a journey, a long one if you're lucky, and initially love is like the life of an old neon sign. It starts out bright and strong, then dims and flashes. But like a long journey the end is sometimes the best and well worth hanging in there for.

Tom Brokaw talks about the sixties

Tom Brokaw remembers the sixties. About twenty minutes. It is hard for me to believe that the era he is talking about occurred forty some years ago. If you think of our lives as sand running through an hour glass, you should change that to sand being dumped out of a dump truck. To carry the metaphor a little further, I wish to stop the sand, or at least to slow it with my hands. Impossible, of course.

May 8, 2011

Cary Grant is the subject of new book

One of my favorite movie stars dead or alive was Cary Grant. His movies were those movies that you can watch over and over. He was one smooth actor, be it comedy or dramatic roles he was tops. His daughter Jennifer Grant has written a book about him. She waited quite a few years to write it. She said it took her this long to feel she could share him with us. This article appears in a very fine blog called Great Entertainers Archives. Make sure you check it out.

One of my favorite movies starring Grant is MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE. I admit I have seen it more times than is fashionable and I laugh at the same parts every time. Either I'm a little shallow, or Grants movies stand the test of time. Pick the second reason.

Famous sayings

Skyscraper - A poem by Carl Sandburg - American Poems

Skyscraper - A poem by Carl Sandburg - American Poems

May 7, 2011

In School Days

To my grandchildren, I would have called this poem pretty mushy in my young self conscious days. But poems are like little stories, short and to the point. This one by Whittier is sad about how cruel life can be and memories last forever.



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.

This is one of those springs that farmers dread. It just keeps raining and Memorial Day is approaching. Farmers need to get into their fields to prepare it for planting, and so far it is too muddy. I have no specific reason for wanting to see the sun and some rising temperatures except that I love sitting on the back porch sipping iced tea and reading (not a past time only for the elderly, but just appreciated more by us.)

May 6, 2011

Television seeking its low level

May 6, 2011, 3:31 PM

CBS Drops Hallmark Hall of Fame

The Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise of made-for-television movies no longer has a home on network television. CBS has chosen not to extend its three-movie-a-year deal with Hallmark, so the franchise is now being shopped to others, Variety reported on Friday.

CBS confirmed the decision in a statement that read: “This is a partnership that has served CBS very well for many years. Hallmark Hall of Fame is a first-class organization, and we wish them nothing but success in their future.” Hallmark Hall of Fame movies have been a television staple for 60 years and have been shown on NBC, PBS and ABC in the past. In recent years CBS has telecast the emotional, upbeat movies around holidays like Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.


Why is this no surprise. The elimination of anything on television that might have a little class attached to it is doomed. Bring on another reality show quick. Our brains will atrophy if it they are not assaulted every night by carefully selected casts displaying their bad behavior and stupidity until their is hardly a television set owned by anyone over 30 still on.

Oh well someone who was elderly told me once to save my breath to cool my soup. She knew what she was talking about.

Seventy something conversation

So what's so funny about this? It's everyday conversation isn't it. Well at least it is for we seventy somethings.

May 1, 2011

Superman renounces his U.S. citizenship

Superman renounces U.S. citizenship in latest comic
Published: Friday, April 29, 2011

DC Comics
Superman renounces his U.S. citizenship in Action Comics No. 900 because of his concerns that his actions are seen as instruments of U.S. foreign policy. DC Comics says the story reflects the global nature of the famous Kryptonian and that he remains committed to his adopted home and roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville. (AP Photo/DC Comics)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Truth, justice and the ... global way?

Superman has started a stir with a declaration in the new issue of "Action Comics" that he intends to renounce his U.S. citizenship because he's tired of his actions being construed as instruments of U.S. policy.

The Man of Steel, who emigrated to earth as a child from Krypton and was adopted by the Kents in Smallville, Kan., comes to the conclusion that he's better off serving the world at large after he's accused of causing an international incident by flying to Tehran amid a large protest.

Noting the huge police presence and warnings from the army there about harsh repercussions, he wanted the demonstrators to know "that they weren't alone."
The nine-page story was written by David S. Goyer and was drawn by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman for 24 hours stands silently, bearing the brunt of gasoline bombs, taunts and threats but also receiving cheers and roses from supporters, as the more than 1 million-strong crowd protests but isn't fired on before the demonstration ends peacefully.
"I stayed in Azadi Square for 24 hours. I didn't move. I didn't speak. I just stayed there," Superman tells the U.S. national security adviser, who has feared the all-powerful hero has gone rogue.

But Iran's government refers to it as an act of war and accuses him of acting on behalf of the U.S. president.
And that, Superman explains, is why he is going to give up his citizenship.
"'Truth, justice and the American way' — it's not enough anymore," he says. "The world's too small, too connected."

It's not the first time a comic character has been fed up with being seen as part of U.S. policy.
In the 1970s, Marvel Comics' Captain America — aka Steve Rogers — gave up his famed suit and shield and adopted the identity Nomad around the time the Watergate scandal began heating up.

News of the Superman decision has drawn critical comments in blogs and online forums, but DC Comics says it not about criticizing the U.S. In fact, the publisher says, the Man of Steel remains as American as apple pie, baseball and small-town life.

"Superman is a visitor from a distant planet who has long embraced American values," DC's co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio said Thursday in a statement. "As a character and an icon, he embodies the best of the American Way."
And, they added, Superman, like his U.S. citizen alter-ego, Clark Kent, remains, "as always, committed to his adopted home and his roots as a Kansas farm boy from Smallville."

-- MATT MOORE, Associated Press

Gregory Peck gets a stamp

GREGORY PECK, one of the classiest of Hollywood actors gets a stamp honoring him in the role of Atticus Finch from the movie and book TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Annoying orange and smooth Senor Jalapeno

Annoying orange may have met his match, smooth jalapeno. But alas...