Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday rerun, May 31: Surrender "Dorothy"!

Surrender "Dorothy"

Seems to me that no one ever likes their hair, what there is of it.   Compliment a woman's long flowing curls, and she will likely say, "I worked for hours to straighten it!"  And then a woman with straight hair will tell you they rolled it and curled it and wadded it up in italics for hours, only to have it go straight again.

Most men, as long as their bangs don't block their view of whatever screen they're looking at, do not care.

But how about their names?  Do people like their first names? Well, the high school class of 2032, 18 years from today, will have a lot of boys named Noah ( a whole flood of 'em!), Liam, Jacob, Mason, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Jayden and Daniel. Noah just bumped Michael out of the top spot for the first time since 1960.

Over in the girls' locker room, they'll be answering to Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Madison and Elizabeth.  Sofia with an 'F' is # 13 and moving up fast, especially among viewers of Modern Family.

Now, a hundred years ago in 1914, the top boy names were names by which every person my age knows a dozen of each, at least: John, William, James, Robert, Joseph, George, Charles, Edward, Frank, and Walter.  For girls in the nineteen-teens, you had Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, Anna, Mildred, Elizabeth, Frances and Marie.  All lovely names, worn by some mighty wonderful people.  #100 that year for boys was Irving, and you don't meet too many of them anymore, but Sophie was #100 for girls then and it's still around in various iterations.

Tito Puente
What names made the biggest jumps in popularity, you're asking me?  Well, say hi to Jayceon (#262).  That's the birth name of the rapper known as The Game, and he has a reality show on VH-1, so his name is out there and being given to lots of little Jayceons.  For girls, it's Daleyza (#585), the name of the young daughter of Larry Hernandez, a Mexican-American singer with a show called "Larrymania."

Tito Tito
All I know is, I wished my folks had named me either Leon or Tito. How cool would that be, to call somewhere and go, "This is Tito.  I'm on the way over.  Have everything ready."

And you know, they would!
Toriano "Tito" Jackson

John Patsy "Tito" Francona

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Saturday Picture Show, May 30, 2015

Somewhere, in some old brick on some old building, someone named "Junior" pulled out his knife and left his name for posterity. It's so great, the human need for recognition, just to have someone know we are around and to notice us.

This week's Album Cover shows two models who couldn't be more than, say, 35 posing as typical lovestruck teenagers in a phony malt shop.  The people who made this record didn't even bother having the models pose in a real malt shop, choosing to let us think that there are ice cream parlors around with golden wallhangings for backdrops.
Being the younger brother of Dennis Bennett was not the only thing remarkable about Dave.  He was truly old before his time.
I love everything about this monkey...his little jacket, his resolute strut, the way he seems ready to take on the world.
Ornithology buffs, please identify this little guy.  I just thought it was a pretty picture of the rare (      ) bird.
Up in New York, they are celebrating Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with the street grid and monolithic buildings.  This is 42nd St in Manhattan from a previous year.  The phenomenon was visible last night and will be again tonight.
While in other parts of the country that don't have 88-story buildings in the way of everything, here is what the sunset looks like every night.
Those are those really old-time light bulbs.  This looks like the ceiling of an amusement arcade or movie theater that has seen a few too many setting suns.  See you next week!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tell me about it

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don't know how to say it in Swedish.  I don't know a thousand Swedish words. The only one I do know is "Smörgåsbord," which is a word made from two other Swedish words: "gåsbord" - a table upon which hundreds of foods are spread, many of them fibrous, and "S'mör" - which means the same in any language.

I love to shop at IKEA, though, and I hope you have one in your town.  It's a giant yellow-and-blue store that sells everything from frozen salmon to the refrigerator to keep it cold to the oven to bake it to the table to serve it upon to the cutlery and dishes to use while gobbling it.  It would be possible to live in an IKEA, since they have beds, too, and telephones scattered around the store for free local phone calls, and a snack bar and a restaurant.  If you've never been to an IKEA, I can promise you, it's not like any place you've ever been before.

I love IKEA.  But there is a hitch.

This looks like a faucet that is going to drip
and needs a good tightening,  But how?  HOW?
Actually, it's only a hitch if you, like me, are the victim of pictographophobia, the fear of assembling something when the instructions contain only pictures, not words.  I am a wordy person, a prolix, pleonastic sort of guy, which means I use far more words than necessary.  Which is fine, but I could use all the help I can get when I go to put together a bookcase or a kitchen faucet.  Tell me to flurble the pfisteris and tell me how, and I can do it.  Show me a picture of a pfisteris being flurbulated, and I need words.

When you open your IKEA package and go to read the assembly instructions, you realize in a jiffy that you don't need to know how to read anything for the next several hours.  No sir, you're in for a period of trying to figure out what the picture means.

The instructions for ruining your afternoon begin by showing just what you're going to need to put together your BÅGVIK SINGLE KITCHEN FAUCET and what they should tell you is, besides the two screwdrivers and hammer, the other thing you need is to be hiring the pantless man shown at the left, since he is the only person who knows how to handle your BÅGVIK.

And that's really an ömka (Swedish for "pity.")

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Do you?

When I want to hear music when I'm on the computer, and none of the 2,381 songs on my iTunes is getting it done, I go to iTunes Radio and flip around.  There's a channel for most every artist you could name...Sammy Davis, Jr. Radio, Perry Como Radio, Bing Crosby radio, and so forth.  They also have stations for people who have been popular in the current century, but I don't care for them.

But while I was listening to Bing Crosby Radio the other day, here just after Memorial Day in the merry, merry month of May, they started playing Christmas songs!  It sounds incongruous, but then when they played my favorite holiday song ever by der Bingle, it gave me hope, and these days, you can't get enough of that.

The song is "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and it wasn't really written as a Christmas song at all, although it was first made a hit by the Harry Simeone Chorale, the people who made that "Little Drummer Boy" a holiday evergreen.  Back in October, 1962, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world was playing a dangerous game with its new nuclear weapons, and we came awfully close to an awful close, as America and Russia bickered over Russian missile sites aimed at us from 90 miles away in Cuba. That's when the song was written. For those who only know of the missile crisis from history books, let me assure you, it was a terrifically scary time, wondering if the world was about to blow itself up.   

Noël Regney wrote the words to the song, with music by his wife, Gloria Shayne Baker.  Regney had set out to write a Christmas song on an autumn day, but events in Washington and Moscow made him, along with millions of others, wonder if there would be a December that year, so he expressed his feelings in words and his wife's music: 
Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

Riots and disharmony all across the country. Texas wants to secede from the nation, and claims that the Federal government is set to storm in and take their state away, and then a storm storms in and takes a large portion of the state, and the state begs the Federal government for help.  ISIL and other enemies proliferate, and as if we don't have enough external enemies, we have our own homegrown hate, and drugs, and tormented souls running around.

So I say, May is not a bad time to hear this song, and whether you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or whatever, or atheist or agnostic or whatever you are or are not, if you have an interest in being around for a while longer, can you at least hope for someone to bring us goodness and light?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just this once

I don't want to pile more misery on this man's family, but seeing the story about a man in Riverdale, Maryland (one of those DC suburbs that might as well be in Hong Kong for all we know about it in Baltimore) who decided that it was a good time to take a smoke break as he pumped gas, and was killed in the resultant fire, makes me think about a lot of things people do that, if they took .3 seconds to mull them over first, they would not do.

In the non-fatal category, let's talk about how, in six months or so, the guy who got the KFC Double Down Sandwich tattooed on the back of his calf will wish he had not done so. A Double Down Sandwich is bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and "the Colonel's sauce," sandwiched between two 100% white meat Original Recipe® filets. That's right.  Instead of bread up and down over the bacon and cheese, they substitute chicken filets, and even as tasty as this concoction might be, is it something you want permanently on your epidermis?

Tattoos are not a crime, but ankling out of a restaurant without paying for your chow is. An officer with the Lakeview PD in Texas was chasing a guy who ran out of Gabacho's Mexican Restaurant, and suspected he was in a nearby vacant building. Entering through an open door, the officer called out "Marco!"

Police arrested the suspect after he responded, "Polo."

And of course, Brian Williams will remind you that smart people will not only do a dumb thing, but will also decide to keep riding that pony all the way to oblivion.

Again, not to trivialize the sad death of the man at the gas station, but unless this was a suicide, he paid a mighty high price for doing something something many people do dozens of times per day. Just like taking a chance and passing a slow truck on a blind curve, or jumping from roof to roof, you might get away with stuff many times, but there's always that once.

Pain of Glass
And mistakes can act like the tiny little time pills in Contac cold medicine.  Stephen Glass was a young man doing very well in journalism until it was revealed that one of the reasons for his early success was that he just plain made stuff up...people, companies, quotations, events: stories he presented as fact were all fiction. Disgraced, he went to Georgetown law school instead, but twelve years after graduation, he is still barred from passing the bar because the lawyers in both New York and California don't want him and his past prevarications around them.

In other words, they feel that admitting him to their ranks is not a mistake they wish to make.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Warning! Dangerous Curb Ahead

For those seeking an easy way to make some side money (or front money, for that matter!) I can suggest opening a tire and wheel repair shop.

The State of Maryland, in its finite wisdom, has decided to remove the requirement to demonstrate ability to parallel park a car from its driving test.  It follows, obviously, that driver's education schools and classes in high school will no longer be teaching this valuable skill, and this will lead to people in neighborhoods where there is only on-street parking waiting for 20 minutes or so while Junior or Sis from down the street try to put the Impala away.

And of course, they will slam the poor Chevy's tires into the curb out of frustration when that awful man from down the street who would never purchase any pizzas or cheese or cookie dough to help the annual fund drive at Saint Ronald's School hollered out his truck window.

And that's where you come in, with your all-service tire business. I can't see how you won't become a millionaire by Christmas

I also can't see why Maryland is making it easier for people to get a a driver's license.  And no, this is not my old-guy "I had to learn it and so should you!" rant.  This is just the word coming from someone who has sat in his truck watching as someone made 27 attempts to park their car before zooming off in a huff.  Or a Hyundai.

(But I never hollered.)

The Washington Post's story about this said that a man who runs driving schools is hearing from driving test inspectors that the state wants more people to pass the test. So! Let's not raise the bridge, let's lower the water! Or the standards.

Maryland's future
I guess next, Maryland will say that too many young people who want to be neurosurgeons have had their feelings bruised when a tester reported that they didn't know the difference between a trepan and a bedpan, so they will make the test easier now.

It says here, there should be a test to pass for the people who run the Motor Vehicle Admin. before they can make it easier for someone to drive, which is, after all, an activity that could have fatal consequences for the poorly-skilled.  The test would have one question:

1.  Are you insane?  ____ Yes   _____ No

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

However you spend your day today, please remember the reason for it is to salute those who have given their lives and limbs in battle under our flag.  We await the day when war is but a dim, awful memory.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday rerun: Calling All Earthlings

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm not from here, meaning earth.

So I'll take a turn looking at things as if I were ET <<(and not Ernest Tubb) and wondering about things that people on earth do.

Such as...they will spend untold fortunes on 92" television screens. That's 7 feet, six inches of video right on your wall, 5 inches taller than Shaquille O'Neal laid diagonally. (And he probably has been.) Twin speakers the size of Chevy Volts, with a sound system so loud that you expect to see that THX guy rolling out of your kitchen, sandwich in hand, ready to crank it up.

Then they sit down and watch their shows on their cell phones.

Some Americans give birth to babies and, from the moment that young Brattleboro emerges, they want to help the child establish his own identity in the world.  No slave of the mass culture, he! 

Then they mail away for a baby toupee for the kid to wear.

And how many times have you seen this?  Slim and trim, toned and zoned, they strut into Jittery Joe's Java Hut for a cuppa mocha java and a protein bar.  They're talking about their workout, their carb intake, their plan to reduce their BMI to HFA (hardly friggin' anything!) 

Then they take their coffee and their snack outside to have with their cigarette.

And of course, you'll see earthlings NOT calling 911 when someone is having a coronary occlusion or a baby, saying that it's better to put the patient in the Explorer and drive on over to the medical center.

And then a week later they'll call 911 to ask if the medic crew outside saving their neighbor's life could be a little quieter as they save the guy's life.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Saturday Picture Show, May 23, 2015

There's something very sad about a ballpark being torn down. This is what's left of venerable old Candlestick Park in San Francisco.  I tell you, sometimes I drive past where Memorial Stadium used to be in Baltimore, and I can still hear the crowd roar.  But it turns out, it's just some impatient motorist behind me wanting me to get moving.
Baseball uniform purists are overjoyed at how many young ballplayers are wearing the old-style stirrup sox, as Adam Jones and David Lough model here. You can't beat the orange and black color scheme, either.
Just so's you know, if you have a baby pygmy hippo over for lunch, serve salad!
This is Mary Winsor, a colorized picture of her, and she was a suffragette in the early 20th Century, working for the cause of women's suffrage, which is to say the right of women to vote.  I still see people writing that they wish to end "women's sufferage," a noble notion, but not a word.  It still boggles the mind to realize that women couldn't vote before the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920.
In the canalways of dear olde London, someone has created a duck lane, which could also be called the fowl line.
This is what happens when you ask an OCD person to straighten up the Ballroom at Kiddieland.
Yes, it is! One pizza dog, coming right up! Makes me think of the good old days when I weighed 140 and gobbled whole pizzaburger subs and washed them down with a quart of Budweiser and weighed 141 later.
This week's classic album cover art is from the great group Love, of which I am a huge devotee. This is their 1967 album "Forever Changes," which was the summit of their achievements before drugs and crime washed them up on Dismal Beach.  The title comes from when their genius leader, Arthur Lee, was breaking up with a girlfriend who told him that he had promised they would stay together forever.  "Yeah," he said, "but forever changes."  Not for me, but anyway...happy Saturday!

Friday, May 22, 2015

He's a pistol

You might want to sit down for this news.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who gave up his jersey number 81 for prison shirt #174954,  took part in a jailhouse fracas Monday at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.

Hernandez, who is supposed to be very busy serving a life sentence following his murder conviction in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, took time away from his deep penitence to serve as a lookout for another inmate who confronted another prisoner in that inmate's cell.  That's what officials told CNN, anyway.

After the two inmates had their fight, they, along with Hernandez, were disciplined, and the former NFL star was sent to what prison officials call a "special management section."

Aaron must be a very busy guy up in the Ironbar Hilton, what with preparing an appeal for the life sentence he got last month and preparing for a double-murder trial coming up in Boston.  He is accused of shooting two men in 2012 after one of them made him spill his drink at a nightclub that I heard is called T.J. Shootington's.

"Hi there!  I'm Aaron!  What's YOUR name?"
Nah, I made up that last part, but here is my question.  Hernandez, at the very least, is an unpleasant fellow, already guilty of one murder and about to stand trial for two more.  Why is he out and about, strolling through the cell block, available to serve as lookout for a friend in a fight?  Why are these people not locked up in their cells, away from each other and far away from us?

But, look at the bright side.  At least old Aaron is making new friends in the calaboose.  So many times, it's hard to reach out and connect with the other vermin.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

There's one in every zip code

One of the reasons that we decided to move our vast financial resources (six digits, if you count the cents column) from the Bank of These United States of America to our Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union (and there were many reasons) is that the credit union is not very likely to be the scene of an armed holdup, since bad guys know that lots of police are in and out of there all day, some in uniform, some in plain clothes, but all toting sidearms.

Whereas, the BoTUSoA has to hire an off-duty cop to hang around, armed, all day to deter armed robberies and whatnot.

It's a good idea to have public safety personnel out and about, in my opinion.  It shows the public that they are on the job, which is why for the life of me I can't get this guy's point.  He's out in California, and he sees the local fire crew getting their groceries at a store (they have to eat, too, you know) and he does not like it, so he starts honking on them.

Apparently he is upset that they are not buying groceries - even he acknowledges that firefighters cannot just punch out and go to H.R. Stuffingburger's for a two-hour three-martini lunch- but he chooses to quibble over their choice of where to shop!  He insists that they deal with some specialized meat shop just because it's closer to the firehouse.  Never mind that it's probably much more expensive than at a chain supermarket.

The next time you see a police officer taking a break to see a man about a horse and maybe grab a drink, or see a fire crew at the BuySumMor gettin' the fixin's for chop suey, how about just a) thanking them for going into a line of work that provides protection for you and yours  - or at least b) leaving them to their business?

People.  I tell you.  They come in all types.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Out in Weld County, Colorado, lives a young man named Tanner Brownlee.  Tanner's father, Sam, was a county deputy sheriff when he was killed in the line of duty five years ago.

And his patrol car was being put up for auction.  Lots of people like to drive used police cars, Jake and Elwood Blues among them, but this was a little different, since it was a chance for Tanner to reconnect with his dad.  And the auction was to benefit Concerns Of Police Survivors, a group that assists the survivors of slain officers.

It was good all around, so Tanner started a Go Fund Me page to come up with the scratch to get the car.  It really meant a lot for him to be able to have the winning bid and get that car, but it was not to be.

Tanner raised $50,000, but he was outbid by a local rancher named Steve Wells, who plunked down $60,000 for the keys to that Dodge Charger Pursuit squad car with over 100,000 miles on its odometer.

But it became clear that Wells had a noble reason for buying the car, as he handed the keys right over and said, "Tanner, here's your car."

The key to happiness
Every now and then you hear about some act of generosity or selflessness or kindness, acts that negate the awful deeds of some others, and this is one of those times.

Twice so, because Tanner turned over the money he had raised to the COPS fund, as well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Devil if I know

"I'm not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” said St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, who is part of a lawsuit accusing more than 100 priests and church employees of sex abuse. “I understand today it's a crime.”

Oh.  OK then.

Nancy Gordeuk
Then there's Nancy Gordeuk,  the founder of TNT Academy, a nontraditional high school where students can follow nontraditional paths to a diploma.  Recently, at her school's graduation exercises, she messed up the order of speakers and had to call the audience back to hear the valedictorian speak.  You know how that was going to go; the crowd was excited to share in the moment with their graduates, and suddenly they're told to sit back down, and things got confused and some people got up again to leave.

"Look who's leaving! All the black people," she said, in what turned out to be her last official act at the school, which fired her several days later.  But before they let her go, she said, "My side is I’m not a racist, I didn’t know black people was a racist term, I didn’t say the n-word or anything like that, because that’s not in my vocabulary!” she said, arguing that it was merely an observation. “I made a statement, it wasn’t a racist remark.”

Some observations don't need to be made, in case she didn't know that. Here's another one, from the email she sent to the parents of her students:  “The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness is in your hearts.”

So she admits racism and drags the devil into all this, and she went on, asking her school community to move forward and forget all this unpleasantness.

Travis Gordeuk
And then her son Travis got on Facebook and backed his mother with these well-chosen words: "If anyone has something to say about my mom and how she ran her graduation—come say it to my face," he wrote. "Yall [n--gas] aren’t talkin about [s--t] so if u got somthing [sic] to say come see me face to face."

And he included their home address, for those wishing to see him face to face.

Meanwhile, a Boston jury rejected the notion proffered by the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev defense team that the Boston Bomber was influenced by his radical older brother.  Surely, no one of 20 years has their own mind, and is always willing to do as their older sibling suggests/demands/orders.  Ask any older brother.

We look to clergypeople to uplift us all and provide the moral underpinnings of society, and here we have one whose defense is that he did not know it was illegal to have sex with children.

We look to educators to teach our young and lift them from the morass of stupidity and ill-preparedness that awaits the uneducated, and here was a school principal laying out her prejudice for all to see, and blaming Satan, who is down in hell preparing for the arrival of a young man who killed and maimed out of hatred, and was defended by lawyers who blame his older brother.

No one wants to accept responsibility for their actions and harmful behavior? Are we just going to say "the hell with it"?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Reading is FUNdamental!

"The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day," if you mean "yesterday" for "that day," and "The Baltimore Orioles" for "The Mudville Nine."  They've gotten this baseball season off to a muddy start, winning one, losing one, and never getting momentum built up.  This past weekend, they lost games to the Anaheim, California Angels of Greater Los Angeles, California on Friday and Saturday nights, scoring only one run in each game and looking, shall we say, either lacklustre or slapdash as a team. Possibly even haphazard.

So, what a ballclub needs to get out of a slump is a good pitcher, and when one regular pitcher reported out with bronchitis and another said his back was sore, the team turned to a rookie without one inning of big-league experience, Mike Wright. All Wright did was, he pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings as the team beat the Angels, 3-0.
Now, you might expect that Wright might have been a trifle jittery before making his major-league debut.  He said he was a little nervous in the first inning, and then settled in for the rest of a great day.

I refuse to make a
"The Wright Stuff" joke
“That’s everything you dream of going into it, and it was really fun,” said Wright, who gave up four hits, walked none and struck out six. “I was a little nervous the first inning. It’s to be expected.”

Here is the secret, one I'm glad to pass along to those of you still employed in situations bound to make one jumpy:  Instead of sitting in the locker room with the rest of the team, hearing all the baseball team chattering and getting all worked up, Wright took a book and sat reading in the vacant stands.  Several hours later, some fan sat in the very seat once occupied by the man the fan was watching pitch so well!

And the book that Wright, a graduate of East Carolina University was reading?   “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows,” the last of the tripartite novel series by J.K. Rowling. 

Wright says he has always stayed in the habit of reading in the stands before a game, and also says he has read all the Harry Potter books at least three times.

Let's hope the next book he reads will be that sensational best seller "Adam Jones and The Coconut Cream Pie of Victory."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Rerun: Bad Office Manners

Bad Office Manners

Never ones to be outdone, the good folks at the Comcast website have published a list of the Top Ten obnoxious things that people do at work.  I looked it over, but I can't say they hit everything.  I mean, for some people, the obnoxiety starts before they even GET to work, the way they drive and, once there, take up two places or so.  The other day, we got an email advising that someone had parked out front in a B.A. Ford Excursion, taking up FOUR spots at once.  That's got to be some sort of record, but where would you look it up?

I haven't even taken a gander at the Comcast list of offensive things to do at work.  I thought of my own - and I must point out that this list is not reflective of where I work now!  Those people are all angels, and put up with my singing and bad jokes. 

But let's go with:
I like to use a picture every day. Say hi to Phil Silvers!
  1. wearing stanky cologne or perfume or aftershave, or having other forms of bodystank.  Will cause people to use the fisheye.
  2. playing someone's favorite music loudly on a scratchy cheap broken clock radio that they didn't want in their bedroom any longer, it's such a brokedown relic, but it's good enough to play Cyndi Lauper's execrable "Time After Time" every day around 10.
  3. having an office that looks like the Rain Forest down at the Aquarium, with vines and trailing arbutus hanging in one's face when one stops by to pick up the Bramblebury account folder.  Notice: this sort of foliage is often accompanied by macrame.  Beware.
  4. Setting up what looks like the Salad Bar area from a Golden Corral buffet on the work area.  
  5. Similarly, setting up what looks (and smells like) the coffee section at a WaWa.  Mr Coffee, Keurig, French Press, Drip-O-Lator: we've seen all the coffee setups in offices, with the little note about remembering to feed the kitty, and the IOU's in the coffee mug where dollars ought to be.
  6. The people who have something to sell on behalf of their children, fraternal group or Chowder And Marching Society every week.  Every so often, sure, and everyone likes a chance to purchase pizzas and candles and popcorn, especially when it benefits a good cause.  But...every week?? For young Brattleboro's Free Form Ballet group?  How much candy can we eat?
  7. Smokers who congregate right by the door so they can exhale something KOOL right in your face as you enter the building.  I am sorry for smokers, a group that once numbered me among them, but I am willing to betcha that most smokers would still go out and puff up if they were required to put on some sort of clown costume and ride around the parking lot on a unicycle while getting their nicotine fix.
  8. People whose cell phones are set on maximum volume with the weirdest ringtones you ever heard...and will hear...all day.  Enchanting as the lilting love ballad "Beaten, Gagged, Bound and Chained," by Sadie O' Masochist might be to you, others  might find it, well, repugnant.
  9. People who "speak' to service personnel by using only hand gestures (pointing the index finger at them, and then pointing that finger at a spill or pile or trash) or third-person irregular ("Custodial! Custodial! Overflowing bidet in executive men's room!")
  10. Insensitive, inappropriate "jokes" or comments about someone else's race, color, creed, ethnic background, physical condition, area of domicile, or sexual preference tell us a lot about the boors who spout this bilge.
That's your Top Ten, and be sure to tune in next week to see if anything changes.  "Using swear words, cheap vulgar terms or taking the Lord's name in vain" is moving up fast!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Saturday Picture Show, May 16, 2015


As the last of the spring blossoms fade away, I give thanks to the good people at Flonase. I don't mind giving them a free plug in exchange for two squirts of their magic fluid up my nose every morning, squirts which stop my itchy watery eyes, itchy watery nose and itchy watery non-stop whinging about spring allergies! This is from our jaunt to the lovely Winterthur Garden and Museum last weekend.

Harry Shearer says he is leaving The Simpsons, and this time, his annual threat to stop being the guy who plays the voice of authority figures from Principal Skinner to Monty Burns to local news anchor Kent Brockman might be for real.  The show has never replaced actors before.  Phil Hartman and Marcia Wallace both passed away, and so did Troy McClure and Edna Krabappel with them.  Let us pray that cooler heads - if there are any in Springfield - will bring sense to this sorrow.
Two album covers make the list this week...and this one is,
just simply, plain dreadful. Clowns are just too bizarre.  Still, it would be funny if you opened this album and 117 little records came piling out.
Not long after The Beatles released their groundbreaking "Sgt Pepper" album, Baltimore-born Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention replied as only they could.   This is thought to be the only album cover to contain a photo of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Everybody say "Awwwwwwww" for this little fox cub who was "adopted" by a collie as stepmom.  Thanks, Lassie!
They say that everything is bigger in Texas.  Here's a photo of a tornado-producing storm cell from down there this past week.
This young lady and her cat both are living with "Heterochromia iridium" - each have two eyes of different colors.  
Of course, the most famous person alive with Heterochromia iridium is David Bowie.  I asked for a picture of him showing his two different-colored eyes, and here's what I get.  See you next week!