Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Portable Feast!

I appreciate Xmas for different things, especially enjoying the subtle notes of irony and sarcasm which can underlie the fragile surface veneer of good will towards men supposed to characterize the season. As Xmas draws nearer, you can both see and hear how frazzled and worn many of the overworked and underpaid clerks are getting, like our good friend Jack as illustrated!

Waiting in a long line at the service desk of an area post office, I heard the attendant ask one of many customers if there was anything else he could do for her. While his words were properly what should have been said, his tone of voice, bordering on the edge of going postal, spoke an entirely different message that was absolutely marvelous!

--Ah, Christmas!--Is there anything else that so brings out the best and the worst in people?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another of the Greats, Gone...

- - Surely Leslie Nielsen can't be dead!

Yes, he is dead...and don't call him Shirley! Appearing in over 100 films including the Sci-Fi classic Forbidden Planet, Leslie Nielsen enjoyed great success as both a serious and comic actor. When you see him in a serious role in one of his earlier films like The Poseidon Adventure, you almost wait for Leslie to do or say something outrageous! The classic gags would come later in Airplane, Police Squad, and the Naked Gun series. Leslie enjoyed a second cinematic life in comedy, and was a natural master of it.

Thank you, Leslie Nielsen, for brightening our lives, and for doing a multitude of things well!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Distracted Driving...

 - -In the past five years I've been rear-ended twice by distracted drivers while stopped in the line of traffic, most recently while at a red light.  Both accidents would have been easily avoided if the other driver had been paying attention to what they were supposed to have been doing, but no, the one was on a cell phone and the other was paying too much attention to their passenger!

Distracted driving is a serious problem compounded by other unsafe driving practices in common use such as following too closely!  Remember how you're supposed to keep a car length behind the driver ahead for each 10 mph of speed?--It's true, folks!  Follow that simple rule, and you'll have plenty of room to stop; don't, and you won't be able's basic physics!

But back to distracted driving; I cringe every time that I see someone driving with a cell phone plastered to their ear.  Most of the cell phone conversations being held by drivers are completely unnecessary, nothing that wouldn't wait until they were out of the car!  Multi-tasking is a myth; in reality, multi-taskers are simply shifting their attention between one thing and the other, which isn't nearly good enough for potentially serious tasks such as driving where the circumstances and input variables can change rapidly, demanding,  yes, your complete and undivided attention!  While cell phones are a prime contributer to distracted driving, other potentially dangerous behaviors while driving and in motion include changing the radio or CD, eating, drinking, applying make-up, texting (God help us!), or paying too much attention to human or animal passengers.

Some states wiser than mine have already made it illegal to be using a cell phone while driving.  Until such laws are universal, please hang up the damn phone, and drive!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Solstice!

I, for one, am ready for fall after one of the hottest summers on record.  Well, fall is coming in with a full moon...So have yourselves a howling good time!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Death Becomes Him...

 - - It's hard to believe that Michael Jackson's already been deceased for a year, and as for Elvis before himdeath has proven to be a smart career move for the late King of Pop.  His estate has reportedly earned about a billion dollars since his demise, with Jackson recordings flying off the shelves that were previously languishing there.

Now that Michael's gone, we'll also be hearing some new recordings, with the singer having recorded over 100 songs, many of which were not to be released until after his death, a gift to his children.  All of this means that "Blanket" won't have to worry about funds for college...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Now "Skynet Jesus?"

 - - In Ohio a six-story statue of Jesus constructed of wood and styrofoam over a steel frame was struck by lightning, and burned to the ground.  Dubbed the "Touchdown Jesus" because of the statue's pose, only the steel frame remains.  

This brings to mind the scene in The Terminator movie where the T-800 has his human flesh burned away, leaving  just the metallic endoskeleton marching about, still a deadly menace to the human characters...

...and wouldn't a six-story Jesus endoskeleton on the rampage be totally cool?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bad Restaurant Art...

 - - There's a lot of really bad art hanging in restaurants, especially in the one- or two-star ones that I frequent (it's all about money, really)!  There's actually more bad art than good art about, and some of it is really interesting as you can sit there and ponder what the artists did wrong!

On one wall of one such restaurant, there's a still life featuring the classic basket of fruit, but this one is done so poorly that it makes wax fruit look mouth-watering!  On another wall of the same hangs a needlepoint of a smiling Greek girl, but the creator took the red of the mouth much too far, giving the girl a Joker-type leer.  On another wall hangs a needlework of a shepherd with a goat being approached by a girl with a dog.  To entertain myself while waiting for a meal, I write dialogue in my head about that one!

So cherish the abundance of bad art that you'll see everywhere around you, gratified by the fact that you probably could create better than at least half of what you see about!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Forgotten and Obscure Instruments...

 - - It entered my mind the other day that no one plays the ocarina anymore; in fact, you could probably ask a crowd of people what an ocarina was to find few who knew.  The ocarina is a strange little musical instrument looking like a potato with holes that is played with the mouth.

The ocarina is an obscure musical instrument in the same class as other little-known music-makers such as the jaw harp and kazoo.  If you pulled out any of these devices today, you'd probably be wrestled to the ground as a probable terrorist as they are largely unrecognized in current times.

When I was a kid in long-ago times, we had and played kazoos; in fact, I participated in some great and spirited choruses of kid kazoo playing.  I was pretty good with a kazoo, actually, and could produce lots of recognizable melodies.  That was because in those primitive and medieval times, we didn't have and feel entitled to $200 hand-held video games...being ignorant, I didn't even  realize how bad I had it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rum Dumb...

The other day while watching a Jeopardy show, I aced all of the questions in a category about liquor without really trying.   This might surprise anyone who knows me, because I haven't had an alcoholic drink in many years, and was never into drinking.  I'm rather knowledgeable about alcoholic beverages, however, because of my mother!

Most people have mothers who teach them about flowers, birds, cooking, the social know, nice stuff!  My mother, however, was rather heavily into beer, and actually couldn't enjoy the greatest meal in the best restaurant unless she was able to get beer served with it.  My mother fit most definitions of being alcohol-dependent, and actually tried hard to get me to develop a taste for beer before I went away to college...she was not successful!- -Ain't that a kick in the head?--I disappointed my mother by not becoming a beer drinker!   Through intensive exposure and vicarious learning, I came to know a lot about alcoholic beverages in general and beer in particular.

I came to know the inside of taverns even when a child, and was taken to bars while on family vacations.- - My mother actually had a beer can collection!  I came to know the fine points of domestic versus imported beers, and it was not unusual for my parents to down a pitcher of beer with a restaurant meal.  My mother consumed at least a quart a day, often having a "nightcap."

Some parents wind up being ashamed of their children's drinking...I wound up being ashamed of my mother's!   Even when a senior citizen. she was actually cut off by bartenders in some  establishments, a fact for which I give them credit.  Alcoholism, you see, is not a problem restricted to the young...

...things like this are why I can't really get excited or nostalgic on Mother's Day...


Monday, April 12, 2010

Furry Predestination...

 -- I think that I was born furry, and had that animal-orientation even before I realized what it was and could attach a name to it.  I had tons of comic books and watched countless hours of 'toons on TV, especially the classic Warner Brothers stuff.  This interest and orientation continued into my teenaged years and into adulthood, albeit secretly...adults aren't supposed to still be watching cartoons or identifying with animal characters in them!  It was actually kind of a solitary existence, since I never realized that there were others like myself until the advent of the internet.

How have 'toons changed since I was a kid?--Well, generally with some exceptions,  production values are lower, and they aren't as well-drawn; story lines are far more daring, however, and go places that were utterly unthinkable way back when.   More real life situations are covered as well, which means that 'toons have actually become somewhat therapeutic, almost psychotherapy for the masses.  Edgy and dark things are not only acceptable, but are far more mainstream, and art and literature can be united in the best of them...

Monday, March 29, 2010

He Who Yells Loudest...

 - - The way politics has gone lately (especially on the far right), one might think that the person who is correct is not the one with the best argument, but rather the one who states his viewpoint the most often and the loudest, preferably with the greatest intimidation factor...

...when and why did civil disagreement cease to exist in America?!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Sweet Irony!

 - - I picked up a ten dollar bill recently on which a wingnut-type had written some comments.  On one side, it was written, "9-11 was an inside job!"  On the other side of the bill, the handwritten legend read, "Back to the Constitution!"

Ironically, writing on currency is technically defacing it, which is a violation of the law.  The Constitution is the foundation of law, so the currency bill writer wasn't practicing what he preached!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Choose Your Apocalypse...

 - - Lots of people are hung up on December 21st, 2012 as the day when the global shop of mankind may be closed down owing to the Mayan calendar running out on that date...

...then you might wish to select the year 2018 as a cause for concern, as Terminator movies suggest that's when Skynet will become self-aware, and the War of the Machines will commence...

...or, you might prefer to look ahead to the year 2029, when astronomers say there's about a 1-in-37 chance of an asteroid hitting the earth!

In short, choose your doomsday...if any!