June 29, 2011

July and American Freedoms

Recently Hazel and I were in Alexandria Virginia after an absence of many years. It is certainly not the same place. It is now a bustling, busy place of commerce with wall to wall people and I say that literally. I am starting to age and my first impression is physical. It is difficult to get around fighting traffic and the amounts of people milling about. My second and more deeply thought about impression is that the American dream is still alive. I have an immediate flashback of a painting/illustration by the famous American artists Norman Rockwell titled freedom of speech. Our founders defined it as one of our freedoms and we still cherish it as one of our cornerstones. We may have turned up our volume when we converse with others or about others but the freedom of speech is still firmly in place. Franklin Roosevelt in 1941 declared in a speech to congress these four freedoms should apply to all Americans:

Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear

Enjoy your fourth of July this year, and remember how fortunate we are in this country that we still strive to ensure those four freedoms. Some of us are more quiet and less vocal, or less able to speak of our love of freedom, but none the less we are no less grateful than the newest immigrant to our shores for the freedoms we have. Listening to the largo from the THE NEW WORLD SYMPHONY, you can imagine how it would touch a new citizen from the old world now and all their lives.


Thanks Jim, that symphony speaks to me on so many levels.

Have a happy 4th.


June 22, 2011

B.O. Plenty

If you are of a certain age and in your youth read the DICK TRACY comic strip, you would certainly know about some of it's characters. One of whom was a favorite of most of us was B.O. Plenty and his eventual wife Gravel Gertie. Read this. Did you know B.O.'s name was Bob Oscar and that Gertie worked in a greenhouse?

June 21, 2011

In Your Face Warning Video about Smoking


By James Flagg circa 21

I suspect it will always be so. Most of us will feel the same way and do the same. We're human and certainly not perfect. We sometimes (ha ha) talk out of both sides of our mouths. You think?

Exotic Destinations

HGTV ought to be able to sell one of those little orange ones for about a million. Of course a rowboat for your use while in residence is thrown in on the deal.

June 20, 2011

Bright Light at Russell's Corners

Bright Light at Russell's Corners
George Ault
Born: Cleveland, Ohio 1891
Died: Woodstock, New York 1948
oil on canvas
19 5/8 x 25 in. (49.9 x 63.4 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lawrence
Smithsonian American Art Museum
1st Floor, West Wing


BOO AARP. I like your magazine but not enough to swallow your disregard for the welfare of that element of the population who very much needs the help of its government to survive. Read this article and also the article in the Wall Street Journal if you are so inclined.

June 18, 2011

ah coffee, the morning jumpstart.

..just one more cup and I'll be ready to face the day. Great imagination at work.

June 16, 2011

What is your favorite movie?

Today I made a comment on another web page about my favorite movie. The answer to that is only as good as your memory is at that particular moment. I said mine was MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE. It is a comedy filmed in black and white in 1948. If they would ask me again I might say it is THE DEAD, a James Joyce story from the Dubliner's directed by John Huston and starring among others his daughter Angelica. I loved both of these movies. If I would be asked what criteria went into judging a favorite movie, I would probably fall back on the question, 'would you watch it again?' I would, and have watched both of these movies numerous times and they are always fresh to me and even though I know what's coming I always watch it eagerly and enjoy it thoroughly.

Mr. Blandings has star power with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvin Douglas and of course I think one funny moment after another. They are all intelligent characters with intelligent lines to speak. I know the funny lines and yet miraculously it does not spoil it for me. I laugh every time where I think I am supposed to.

The Dead is a wonderful story written by James Joyce. It is set in Dublin in the early nineteenth century. It is a dinner party given by three young to elderly sisters for their friends and acquaintances. The span of action is dancing in an upstairs ballroom, a dinner, and performances by some of the invited guests. It is civilized and touching as they become aware of the passing time and their lives also. It is a snowy night and a guests wearing of the new fangled footwear called galoshes cause a hired servant to comment, what will they think of next.

It's not an action thriller but if you are willing it has a lot of thought provoking drama. Enough for me to admire it over and over.

A dogs tale.

It's the dogs great nose that would have led him to the guys vehicle. I think he made a lifelong friend freeing him or her from his dilemma. I liked the title a dogs tale, but did you see that dogs tail never stopped wagging.

June 15, 2011

If cats could talk...

Ronnie Balliard retires.

Ronnie Balliard retires. Balliard played for a while with the Indians and my memory of him besides being an adequate second baseman was similar to 'pigpen' of snoopy fame. He would no sooner take the field when his shirt tail would work its way out of his pants. This picture illustrates the point. Enjoy retirement Ronnie Balliard.

June 14, 2011

Jeff Bridges makes watching a drunk bearable.

First chance I've had to view CRAZY HEART. It is, in case you've forgotten, the role that won Jeff Bridges the Oscar. Bridges plays the part of a country singer who drinks. I am not a fan of watching drunks fall down and purge the contents of their stomachs at regular intervals. Bridges does the latter, but other than that he plays a drunk without the pratfalls and stupid talk that seems to bedevil over drinkers. Jeff Bridges deserved the award for not overacting and make watching a drunk strut his stuff bearable.

Don't overthink the movie plot.

How many times have you grumbled to yourself when this happens.

George Sanders

I watched the old movie, LLOYDS OF LONDON, last night. Again I am convinced there was not another actor who could play a more smug, smarmy role like George Sanders could. In one scene he wears a silk suit and talks with that pompous way that only he could do. You hated him because he was always up to no good.

He committed suicide at age 65 and left an ill-considered note that said he was bored and was only anticipating his death by a few years.

June 12, 2011

Edward Hopper (Gas 1940)

What Things Cost in 1940:
Car: $800
Gasoline: 18 cents/gal
House: $6,550
Bread: 8 cents/loaf
Milk: 34 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 131
Average Annual Salary: $1,900
Minimum Wage: 30 cents per hour

Edward Hopper immortalized the gas pump when he painted this in 1940. Gas sold for eighteen cents a gallon that year. War was ablaze in Europe and would be worldwide the following year.

June 9, 2011


One of the comments on this cartoon was 'why are you picking on Palin, she's not running for anything".

Another was "what about that empty suit in the white house"

My comment on the comments are that it is important to do your homework on all of the events going on around the world and be conversant with each of them if you want to run for president or even be taken seriously about it. Most of us would not like any part of campaigning for high office. Too much work and too presumptious to believe we were qualified for the high office. But if you do, you have to do your homework and have a prepared answer for anything the media or citizens throw at you. Obama may be an empty suit, but he talks a good fight, and Palin did not then seem prepared and still doesn't.

The Social Network

We watched THE SOCIAL NETWORK last night. Word of caution, fasten your seat belt, it moves fast and I found myself watching from behind, if that's possible. It's one of those films that to really get it all you have to watch it a second time. I didn't, but you may want to, in able to get all the legal angles coming at you from left and right. I determined this from the movie:

If I could use one of my wishes from the magical whatever, I would wish to be born with the wherewithal and the brains of Harvard students. I'm old so really for me it's just a what if kind of thing, and blowing smoke rings, but you cannot, even in a tale based on fact, wonder how great it would be to have the advantages these segments of our population were born with, social, monetarily, and all that goes with it. To watch a movie like this you can get an idea of what it was like, and maybe still is, in the caste systems of England and India.

Well about the main character Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg he is an insufferable person, bordering on a sociopath, but brilliant when it comes to computers.

The story is about the 'invention' of Facebook and the legal implications for Zuckerberg and his co-founder and his friend if Zuckerberg could have one.

Most computer users know about Facebook and that Zuckerberg is now the youngest billionaire on the planet. Somehow I don't feel happy for him.

I hope, I think, that he finds a friend someday.

June 6, 2011

Lighter or Heavier

Leon Forado @ photo net

Do I love these types of photo's or not? Do I want to stretch the brain at this advanced age? Would a light bulb lit weigh more than a light bulb off? Is the glass half full or half empty? My guess might be that the lit bulb is heavier because it is full of energy thus heavier; although it might be lighter because the electricity activates the bulb and lifts it off its base momentarily causing it to weigh less.

Of course you understand that I am a moron when it comes to anything scientific and mathematics and....well that is enough confessing. Enjoy the photo.

The Chesapeake Bay

I'm retired. Where in the world do I want to spend some time?

June 5, 2011

The Indians Sputter, but it was sure fun while it lasted.

So that's how it feels to be astride a champion caliber racehorse or in my favorite sport, backing a competing major league baseball team. From the get go starting in April through these warm days of June we have been having a whale of a time backing the longest of the long shots, the Cleveland Indians.

It has been fun I can tell you, They have not convinced many people that it would last long, but fun it was. How can a team that spends so little expect to be a pennant contender featuring the same cast of characters, costing about the same as last year and the year before that? This is the major leagues and to play with the big dogs you really have to invest more in order to get a better return.

But the Indians have much too soon begun to sputter and swing at that elusive baseball and missing. The other teams are not impressed with their lightning start, nor do they or we believe in magic, it seems very much like the Indians of last year and the year before that.

I will say again though, Thank you for a snapshot of what it feels like to watch a contender. It was really fun.

A Great Friend Till The End

Walter Cronkite and his friend Mike Ashford

You can always tell a real friend: when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job. ~Laurence J. Peter

June 4, 2011

Pit Bulls

(News) - Baby and pit bull. The breeds gentle nature led the animals to be adopted by families who wanted a safe 'nanny dog.'

Found this at Yahoo. Things must have changed radically
in the last century, or the pit bulls have forgotten the rules about who they are supposed to be protecting. Perhaps over-breeding, or being used for nefarious sporting events. Whatever it is a shame.

A Determined Dog Wants to Play

June 1, 2011


funny gifs