December 28, 2011

the ooze is flowing

It's that time of year again when the election ooze starts to flow.  Break out the hazmat suits.

December 26, 2011

A Dog Named Bo

A Dog Named Bo

The talent between these two guys is immense.  Now add a sure fire tear jerking poem, well enjoy. After a short interruption for a commercial.

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas one and all, HO HO HO.

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One of my favorite comic strips harking back to my young boyhood. I was a believer. I was an only child which I think was why I could indulge myself. I was absolutely sure I saw the old fat man in his sleigh one moonlit Christmas eve. I only saw him once. I must have been at the age limit and had to give up my believing and get on with playing soldier. I grew up during the WWII years.

Slightly Exaggerated

This is one of Hazel and my favorite blogs for humorous writings usually about THE husband and/or THE boy, or whatever else that is just a little exaggerated.

Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

Hazel's creative juices are in overdrive.  The holiday is fast coming to a conclusion, but her imagination is not.  When I awoke this morning I found the remains of another project  finished in the middle of the night.  She furnishes this narrative of what she has done:

Whenever I passed the tomato cages stored in the garage, all my imagination saw was a Christmas tree. So I located a wadded up mess of lights, got them untangled and wrapped around and fastened them to the cage...voila, I had a little Christmas tree. Now I have to take it outside and figure out if there are any spare outlets.?? MERRY CHRISTMAS

Darlene's Hodgepodge

Darlene's Hodgepodge

Christmas is the greatest day  on the calendar for children.  It is a day of love and hope.  From Darlene's Hodgepodge are thoughts on love from children, articulate and unspoiled.

December 21, 2011

A picture's impact is weighed many ways. Although I didn't take it, nor do I know who took the picture, it seems so familiar to me. My wife and I were born in the 1930's. I have pictures that look so familiar as the subject in her dress and the hairdo. I wish I could say I've learned the secret to staying together so long, luck I think, and since retirement a dozen years or so ago, we have opened up a conversation that still goes on and on. We have discovered that we like each other quite a lot. She is definitely my best friend

December 17, 2011

A glimpse of the beginnings

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, November/December 2011

I’d choose to live in very early childhood, just at the beginning of discernment. There’s no time there, beyond the eternal rhythm set by meals at the breast and the oblivion of sleep, which comes as gently and immediately as the closing of an eye; there’s no place there, beyond one patch of sunlit grass, one fold of blanket, and the whole enormous world laid out for exploring.

In this time and place, poets tell us, dreams and waking are the same; we move easily from one to the other. We may still keep, as Wordsworth supposed, intimations of some ante-natal life, and know why we home like bees towards the song of a bird or the sparkle of sunbeams on water. With our small hands, we believe that everything can be grasped; with our small, soft mouths we try to eat it all, assuming everything we find will be sweet and rich as milk.

No one makes demands on us, and the world revolves effortlessly round no one but ourselves. Our griefs are soothed and forgotten almost before the tears fall. We are carried if we want to be, in hugging arms, but we can pull ourselves up, reach things, and creep away from where we’re put: every day more confident, stronger, keener-eyed. Slowly, like a shell, the world opens and light floods in. Any day now, we’ll stand to meet it.

Everything is new, unnamed, important, and belongs to us. A stone is new, and a blade of grass. We see their potential as unlimited, like our own. We make time for it. A puddle astonishes us. A piece of paper, blown by the wind, becomes a playmate, and the night-time tree a ragged monster. Coleridge once took his crying baby son out of the house to show him the moon; the moon silenced him, shining on his tears. It is good to be silenced by beauty. Too briefly we stay there. But infancy makes of everywhere the best time and the best place.

Ann Wroe is the obituaries editor of The Economist and author of "Orpheus: The Song of Life" and "Being Shelley: The Poet's Search for Himself".

December 12, 2011

Election for President is not that far off.

It's almost election year and I'm unhappy with the way it's going. The republicans are whipping through their possible nominees like corn at harvest time. Mr. Cain was the latest to bite the dust which puts Mr. Gingrich in the lead.

Are they serious.

My God this guy is must be made of the toughest Teflon made. He is vulnerable from being in bed with the biggest and richest PAC's in Washington; casting off two wives in very public fashion; shutting down the government while speaker, and it goes on.

Romney seems to be nobodies favorite and it goes down from there.

On the other side of the coin we have poor tired, seemingly incompetent incumbent Barack Obama. Have you seen recent pictures of the man? He looks beat after three years. He has forgotten the promises he made three years ago or just can't get it done. Whatever. We have to vote for one of the candidates next year, and unless you are a party robot who only votes for whomever the party leaders tell you to vote for, then a decision is coming up, and I for one am already uncomfortable with that fact.

Could the democrats unseat a sitting president by running an open convention?

Could the republicans convince other qualified people to take the plunge, or is it too late?

It seems that the mood of the country is antagonism toward our current crop of politicians and would welcome a chance to replace those we can.

I, for one, know that I am ready. The republican and democratic names that seem destined to be on the ballot next year is not an inspiring bunch. The job facing the new administration will be daunting. There must be a man or woman out there up to the task.

December 5, 2011

Sean Connery

From comes this excerpt of an unknown actor Sean Connery trying out for the lead role in Dr. No, and convincing them that he is James Bond. Something all of we movie fans could have told them hands down.

In today's excerpt - Sean Connery, a marginally successful, hard-working young actor from a poor background, auditioned in 1962 for the role of James Bond in Dr. No. Bond, the sophisticated, impeccably-styled fictional hero of Ian Fleming's spy novels, had taken the British public by storm as the antidote to their enfeebled post-World War II status. A number of established actors were considered for the part - including Cary Grant, Michael Redgrave, and Richard Burton - though none were likely to handcuff themselves to a movie series, especially considering the low pay being offered. Connery was not an obvious candidate since he was not given to wearing suits, much less to Bond's sophistication. So he took a gamble in the audition to convey the power of Bond and thus startle the producers into giving him the part:

"At least initially, [director Terence] Young himself had other ideas for who should play the part, too, petitioning for a television actor named Richard Johnson to be given the part of Bond. When, however, it became clear to Young that Connery was seriously in the running for Dr No, he thought enough of the young pup he remembered from the Action of the Tiger shoot to offer him some advice for the meeting [co-producers Harry] Saltzman and [Cubby] Broccoli had invited him to. 'I knew how he dressed,' Young remembered in the eighties, '[so] I said, "Sean, come wearing a suit." He came without a tie on and wearing a sort of lumber jacket.'

"In fact, Connery seems to have approached the interview almost like a Method actor approaching a role. Those scruffy, unpressed clothes, the unadulterated Scots burr, they might have been put on in order to goad the producers into telling him he wasn't quite what they were looking for. That way, Connery could slam their desk with the palm of his hand and tell them that they either took him as he was or they didn't take him at all. Was he acting up, or was he just acting? Certainly, he had planned the whole thing out. 'I shall establish myself on Overpowering,' he told [acting teacher] Yat Malmgren a few days before the meeting, 'and take the interview like that. That would be a good thing, don't you think, sir?' Indeed Malmgren did, adding that Connery ought to be 'thinking about cat animals' during the proceedings because 'they are very loose'. 'I think he walked into that audition very self-assured, very large, very secure,' Malmgren would say years later. Or, as Connery himself would put it: 'I put on a bit of an act, and it paid off.'

"In putting on that act, Connery was giving Saltzman and Broccoli all they needed to know about how he'd play Bond - with macho, devil-may-care menace backed up by a Brando-style sense of relaxed rebellion. Indeed, the casting interview sounds like nothing so much as that Bond movie staple - the meeting 'twixt our surly, mocking, ironic hero and Bernard Lee's irascible M. As Harry Saltzman would recall: 'We spoke to him and saw that he had the masculinity the part needed. Whenever he wanted to make a point, he'd bang his fist on the table, the desk, or his thigh, and we knew this guy had something.'

"And so, after he left their West End offices, Connery's prospective producers went to the window and looked down as he crossed the road to where he had parked [his new wife] Diane Cilento's sexless little Fiat. 'He's got balls,' Saltzman said. 'In 30 minutes he sold us both,' Broccoli would remember. 'It was the sheer self-confidence he exuded. I've never seen a surer guy ... It wasn't just an act, either. When he left we watched him through the window as he walked down the street. He walked like the most arrogant son-of-a-gun you've ever seen - as if he owned every bit of Jermyn Street from Regent Street to St James's. 'That's our Bond,' I said.' "

Author: Christopher Bray
Title: Sean Connery
Publisher: Pegasus
Date: Copyright 2011 by Christopher Bray
Pages: 72-74

Sean Connery: A Biography
by Christopher Bray by Pegasus

December 1, 2011

Proudly it was shoved back in their faces.

I'm sure friends that you recognize the following as one of those chain letters. Well it is. Instead of apologizing for some of the schmuck traps the USA falls in too often, these are great comebacks that you wish you'd been there, if they actually happened.

You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop

At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for our
country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots
handled negative comments about our country.

Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when
DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US
Military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded,
"Does that include those who are buried here?"

Did not respond.

You Could have heard a pin drop.

When in England ,
At a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the
Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
'empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying,
"Over the years, the United States has sent many of
Its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
Beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for
In return is enough to bury those that did not

You Could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France
Where a number of international engineers
Were taking part, including French and American. During a break,
One of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you
Heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft
Carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he
Intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer
Stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three
Hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are
Nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to
Shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to
Feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand
Gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a
Dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and
From their flight deck. We have eleven such ships;
How many does France have?"

You Could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral
Was attending a naval conference that included
Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French
Navies At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large
Group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
Languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that
We always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
Speaking French?"

Without hesitating,
The American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the
Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't
Have to speak German."

You Could have heard a pin drop.



Robert Whiting,
An elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport
In his carry on.

Have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked

Mr. Whiting
Admitted that he had been to France

You should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said,
"The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

The American senior
Gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he
Quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at OmahaBeach on D-Day in
1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen
To show a passport to."

You Could have heard a pin drop.

It probably will never happen, but I like the effort.

Sen. Claire McCaskill U.S. Senator from Missouri.

Today, I introduced a measure in the Senate to shift funds for large-scale construction projects in Afghanistan toward the construction of roads and bridges right here at home.

Click here to become a citizen cosponsor of this important measure.

The spending on infrastructure in Afghanistan simply isn't working.

The majority of the money we spend in Afghanistan is used to support our troops on the ground, to train the Afghan army, and to integrate and train the Afghan police so that there can be rule of law and stability in that country -- and my measure wouldn't affect any of those resources.

But the amount of money originally set aside to fund small-scale humanitarian and repair projects to build goodwill in local populations has ballooned.

Vast sums of money are now being used to build entire electrical grids in Kandahar, networks of roads and highways in Helmand Province, and other projects that the country of Afghanistan cannot possibly secure or sustain.

Furthermore, a study carried out for the commander of our military forces in Afghanistan found no persuasive evidence that the infrastructure projects are enhancing the military's counterinsurgency mission.

If America is going to build roads and bridges, I believe they ought to be built here, not in an unstable war zone.

Let's use that money instead to build roads in the United States, where we don't have to hire security to keep workers from getting shot or run the risk of funds being funneled to our enemies.

By passing my measure, we could immediately infuse up to $800 million into the U.S. Highway Trust Fund to start making headway in our country's backlog of infrastructure needs, and -- even more importantly -- put folks back to work here at home.

I still support the mission in Afghanistan. But with so many needs at home, and so much instability there, we should be using American money to invest in the infrastructure projects we need here.

This measure is an important step in that direction.