Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

The Misanthrope, writer, pointer-outer of all that is wrong

As far as I am concerned this group was the scariest part of the Wizard of Oz.

I nearly forgot that it was Halloween since I have no young kids around.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Californication by the Banks and Government

From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any FIRST AND FOREMOST object but one—to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for HIMSELF.
Mark Twain (1835–1910), writer

Californication is without a doubt the best show on television. Last night was the season finale and the ending was completely unexpected.

I love this show. Weeds has gone a bit over the top and not nearly as good as it was the first season.

This is not the post I intended to write tonight, but the show was fantastic.

What I planned to write about were the banks and the insurance companies that took out ads in the Sunday Los Angeles Times pretending that they were offering something above and beyond for the victims of the fires in Southern California last week.

Those companies were showing their shameless, greedy pandering during a time of true suffering for many families. Oh, they have waved their ATM fees, a fee that is unnecessary and does not cost the bank companies anything. Their help is akin to airlines offering free seats on a flight that is not 100 percent booked.

The banks could do more. They could offer some real help instead of pandering at the expense of suffering families for public relations.

What could the banks do? How about for starters offer the families who lost their homes discounted loans along the lines of what they give to their employees or better yet their executives.

To the banks, insurance companies, the U.S. Vice President and the carpetbaggers preying on the misfortune of others -- in the words of our esteemed vice president, who showed his callousness for those who suffer by sleeping -- "Go fuck yourself."

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Way to Perfection

I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active—not more happy—nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–45), writer

Tip of the hat to The Kentucky Democrat for this video.

More Republican Compassion

Saving lives is not a top priority in the halls of power. Being compassionate and concerned about human life can cause a man to lose his job. It can cause a woman not to get the job to begin with.
Myriam Miedzian, writer

Unless he is planning an attack, shooting his hunting rifle, giving no bid contracts to his former company or taking direction from oil companies he'd rather sleep. Let the people and their homes burn.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Time for Silliness

The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), playwright

I was inspired by friends in the 10th grade who had just made a home movie; I opted to take a roll of farcical pictures; there are more of these shots, but I have no idea where. These just happened to turn up in my sister’s stuff.

Would you buy a used car from this guy? This was a friend's car and their family dog. The little sign, I believe is offering six Blue Chip Stamps, if you buy now.

How about a CD from these guys? Don't blame them, I organized the whole thing including the Groucho Marx masks to protect the innocent.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shine a Light

Rock ‘n’ roll is a combination of good ideas dried up by fads, terrible junk, hideous failings in taste and judgment, gullibility and manipulation, moments of unbelievable clarity and invention, pleasure, fun, vulgarity, excess, novelty and utter enervation.
Greil Marcus, rock journalist

Time to purge the negative engery and enjoy a preview what is to come.

Tip of the hat to B2 for making me aware this little promo was floating around

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Shameless Positioning

That a right-wing administration motivated by insatiable greed and sustained by murderous lies and led by a privileged dope should answer American’s infantile idea of morality – how do you manage to insulate yourself from stupidity so bottomless?
A Philip Roth character from Exit Ghost

I gave up on the Bush White House gang a long time ago, but I am still appalled that they continue with the same crap. And worse, continue to use dead soldiers to push through their agenda.

President Bush on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor to a navy SEAL mortally wounded two years ago in Afghanistan. Shortly after the Medal of Honor ceremony Bush requested $45.9 billion emergency funding for expenses related to U.S. military campaigns around the world.

The best thing Congress can do is to stop giving this administration money to carry out its worldwide calamities.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sadistic Santa Anas

The wind began to switch, the house to pitch. And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch
The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

Dorothy, Wizard of Oz

These winds have destroyed more homes than if a tornado blew through southern California. I don’t have as much reason as some unfortunate others, but I do not like these winds.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where There is Smoke...

The world, an entity out of everything, was created by neither gods nor men, but was, is and will be eternally living fire, regularly becoming ignited and regularly becoming extinguished.
Heraclitus (c. 535–c. 475 BC), Greek philosopher

Our company has left and it’s a bit before 3 p.m. and the brush fires are again back to accompany the wild Santa Ana winds. We are in no fire danger, just finding the smoke a bit annoying, but again nothing compared to the people whose homes and lives are threatened.

Beatles, All You Need is Love

There is love of course. And then there’s life, its enemy.
Jean Anouilh (1910–87), French playwright.

It's hard to steal time away to write when one has a houseful of company.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

John Fogerty, Don't You Wish it Were True

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
William Congreve (1670–1729), playwright

I have not been able to stop playing this CD. I love when this song comes on.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More Joey Bishop

“Marilyn, I told you to sit in the truck,”
Joey Bishop (1918-2007), comedian, In the middle of a performance at the Copacabana in Manhattan, Marilyn Monroe suddenly appeared, swathed in white ermine. From the New York Times obituary

From the book Photo By Sammy Davis, Jr. text by Burt Boyar
At opening night during Sinatra’s sold-out engagement at the Copa, the room was packed full with major celebrities, crackling with excitement, anticipating Sinatra’s presence. Frank skipped the dinner show for opening night. He would open at midnight for the heavy hitters. Every columnist, every name in New York was there, glued to their coveted seats, waiting for Sinatra.

The buzz around the room was restrained hysteria. Two words could be heard over everything: Sinatra…Frank…Sinatra. Finally, the band blared, a drum roll, the show was starting. The announcer said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Joey Bishop,” and on walked a virtually unknown comic, Frank’s opening act. The disinterest in him was embarrassing. People hardly turned their heads toward him. He stood in the center of the tiny stage, just a few feet away from tables on this left, right, and in front of him. He did not speak. He waited. Slowly the room began quieting down, focusing on this curiosity. When there was silence he looked meaningfully around at the overflow crowd.

“You think this is something? Wait’ll Frank’s people get here.”

It shattered the ice. Joey had worked for months on a brand new act, he threw it all way that night and ad-libbed himself into becoming a star.

This is the stuff my parents and grandparents watched when I was a kid. The video is really rather corny, but it gives you a feel for the era.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joey Bishop, Dead at 89

The Misanthrope would have my head if I didn't make note of this while he's otherwise occupied...

Joey Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found fame as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack, has died at 89. He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998.

The Full Story, at Yahoo

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Addams Family??

Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
H. L. Mencken (1880–1956), journalist

You can’t make this stuff up, but on the other hand what does it mean?

In an interview with MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell, Lynne Cheney revealed that while researching the Cheney family tree for her new book "Blue Skies, No Fences," she discovered that the Vice President Cheney and Barack Obama are related -- albeit distantly. According to Mrs. Cheney, the two politicians are eighth cousins.

The Sun-Times says that Obama and George Bush are 11th cousins, and Obama and Cheney are ninth cousins once removed. It seems we're all related....

I just heard that someone from Obama's campaign said, Cheney is obviously the black sheep of the family.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lego Wishlist

Last post on Lego... probably. My wife was peeking through eBay, trying to see if she could find my "long lost" Lego to surprise me. In case any of you Toner Mishap fans were thinking the same thing, here are my favorite classic space Lego sets which, were I to find them at a garage sale or on Craigslist, would soon be set up in my office.

Blue Monday by Fats Domino (live 1985)

Blue Monday how I hate Blue Monday
Got to work like a slave all day
Here come Tuesday, oh hard Tuesday
I'm so tired got no time to play
Here come Wednesday, I'm beat to my socks
My gal calls, got to tell her that I'm out
'Cause Thursday is a hard workin' day
And Friday I get my pay
Saturday mornin', oh Saturday mornin'
All my tiredness has gone away
Got my money and my honey
And I'm out on the stand to play
Sunday mornin' my head is bad
But it's worth it for the time that I had
But I've got to get my rest
'Cause Monday is a mess

Fats Domino, singer/songwriter

I am outa here, off to paid my debt for tardiness in donuts.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Wife Must Have a Fetish For Guys Who Like Lego

At least, that's the only thing I can imagine. When we met, I was still in high school, and I was (of course) still living at home. I had always had bunk beds, and I had my own room -- so I converted the lower bunk to a Lego spaceport. How? A big piece of gray plywood, covered by Lego space plates, upon which rested all of my various Lego space creations.

I figure that seeing so much Lego in a room is a big hurdle to overcome when evaluating a potential suitor, so she must have been weirdly turned on by it. How else to explain the fact that I successfully wooed her?

Years passed, and through the craziest long story you'll have ever heard (but to which I won't treat you), the Lego is no longer in my possession. And now, my kids are getting into it. So let me share with you some pix (culled from the web, to which I daily give thanks for such trivial pleasures) of my old Lego sets. Not the space stuff, which I got into only after a few years of Lego enjoyment (and I should add, over which I am now obssessing through eBay) -- but rather the first sets I had, which you will note (if you, too, were a Lego fan) are quite old, and many of which predate the modern minifig standard (note the baby in the kitchen set, and the non-articulated minifig limbs in the hospital and police sets). Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Séance is so Old School

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife—a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it’s being held.
Woody Allen, filmmaker

If you are determined to bug those who are gone and you refuse to let those in the afterlife relax or rest in peace, well now you can go to the cemetery and use your wi-fi.

According to a report from WPSD-TV, a cemetery in Paducah, Kentucky has made the graveyard a hotspot of sorts. Apparently it’s to help with genealogy research.

It seems to me that the living are now haunting the dead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sadly Another Good Blog Says Good-bye

Partir, c’est mourir un peu.
(To leave is to die a little.)

French Proverb.

The sad news is that Anything They Say has called it quits. I can’t disagree with his good-bye statement. I enjoyed his reporting and stories that were insightful, frightening, and discouraging about our government and corporate leaders. The good news is that Ken Anderson will continue to write and focus on areas important to him. He will be missed in the world of blogs, but I will certainly look for his articles.

All the best!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If it's a Tuesday Video
It Means There is No Time

Clearly the most unfortunate people are those who must do the same thing over and over again, every minute, or perhaps twenty to the minute. They deserve the shortest hours and the highest pay.
John Kenneth Galbraith(1908-2005), economist

I wonder if I could do the whole week this way. In any case you can see that I don't have much time. In the meantime, any suggestions for a Wednesday video?

I tried to resist, but it was futile: Rolling Stones with Brian Jones:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hillary, All but certain

Another Salute to Monday

Let us work without theorizing, ‘tis the only way to make life endurable.
Voltaire (1694–1778), French philosopher

The original Monday Monday song. I just can't trust this day, However, every other day of the week is fine.

Check out "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney over at Jack's Shack; his link is to your right, I am running late.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Music Miscellany

For the introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state; since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions.
Plato (c. 427–347 BC), Greek philosopher

I love attempting to match quotes with posts. When the Chandira sent me a personal note about the Bob Dylan idea and I had to use it, but I also realized it was a clever marketing ploy. Hence, the quote from the Tom Waits song “Step Right Up.” I went to my library of CDs and see if the lyrics were included and the lyrics to all the songs except one, “Step Right Up” were included. The note under the song title said:

For the lyrics to Step Right Up send by prepaid mail a photo of yourself, two dead creeping charlies and a self addressed stamped envelope to the Tropicana Motor Hotel, Hollywood, California c/o Young Tom Waits. Please allow 30 days for delivery.

You gotta love Tom Waits. I wonder if he ever received any requests? I found the lyrics on Google, the answer to most everything.

Lately, I have been supporting the troops per George Bush’s request, I’ve been a good consumer making myriad purchases of CDs. However, the artists don’t seem to appreciate the president’s encouragement to shop. John Fogerty has three songs that point out the decider’s shortcomings, Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell all have songs that are very critical of the administration.

Here are my thoughts:

Revival from John Fogerty – This is a terrific CD. I highly recommend it. If you buy individual songs, then, I have a couple of suggestions, the first being “Don’t You Wish It Were True,” which as the lyric poignancy of John Lennon’s “Imagine” with a infectious happy tune. The entire CD is excellent and he is an example of a truly under appreciated rock and roller from the late ‘60s, who because of legal skirmishes faded to the background, but he has been back for a while and Revival is a classic. Everyone who I have played this for has asked for a CD.

Shine from Joni Mitchell – Starts off with a nice mellow jazz sound and continues with the personal convictions that make Mitchell the force she has always been. She takes the war to task in “Strong and Wrong.” My current favorite is “If” her adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s poem of the same name.

Magic from Bruce Springsteen – Bruce is always Bruce. His music takes a few listenings to appreciate and let it grow on you. I find that if I read the lyrics I have a better appreciation of his songs. The problem with most of Springsteen’s music is that the lyrics seem loss in the sound of the music. He points out the hardships and hypocrisies of life in the US of A in “Gypsy Biker,” “Last to Die,” and “Devil’s Arcade.”

The War (soundtrack to Ken Burns’ film) – I thoroughly enjoy being transported to a time of relative innocence and patriotism as our country fought the last justified war. He brilliantly mixes the old song with contemporary artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Nora Jones with the giants of the time such as The King Cole Trio, Count Basis, Duke Ellington & his Orchestra, and many others. Among my favorite songs: “Solitude,” “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” “How Long Blues”

The very best of Diana Krall – I wanted this because it had three recordings I didn’t have (yes, this little marketing ploy worked because I enjoy her take of my favorite songs), “The Heart of Saturday Night” written by Tom Waits, “Only The Lonely,” and “You Go To My Head.”

Songs of Mass Destruction from Annie Lennox – I haven’t listened to this enough yet
to pick a favorite, but it sounds like classic Lennox

Sophie Milman and Make Someone Happy from Sophie Milman – the Los Angeles Time Jazz critic gushed over her performance at Catalina’s Jazz club, so I figured I would take a chance and her “Make Someone Happy” CD with “Something I the Air Between Us,” “Rocket Love,” “Undun” and others was so good that I purchased her first CD too. This is just solid contemporary pop jazz in the style of Dean Martin, Peggy Lee and others. Great for a quiet romantic evening.

It’s Not Big It’s Large from Lyle Lovett and his large band – This
is another one that I have not listened to closely to yet. I played it once, maybe twice and it was a bit too country for my taste, but I will eventually try again.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Monkey to Man or Man to Monkey

For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.
George Orwell (1903–50), author

It seems we are becoming more like chimps based on a new study published in the journal Science involving chimps and a separate study testing human identical twins, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

The study was to determine if a sense of fair play belongs only to humans and apparently it does because the gregarious anthropoid ape (Pan troglodytes) readily accepted stingy offers humans would tend to reject. An example is that one person is told to divide a small amount of money between them, if the second player accepts the offer, the money is shared. However, if the second person rejects the offers because it is not generous enough, then neither player gets anything. The chimpanzees were offered trays with raisins and the second chimp always accepted whatever was provided.

Based on this study, it seems that we humans are devolving as we readily accept what government tells us, accept that CEOs continue to make 100s times more than the lowest paid employee, accept reductions in benefits, and simply accept the status quo without argument.

Sleazy California Politician

For nothing can seem foul to those that win.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), writer, poet

California’s Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is living the high life on your campaign contributions and partaking in nonsensical fact-finding boondoggles to justify vacations on our dimes.

The Los Angeles Times article details his jet set life style staying at top-rated luxury hotels and buying high-end goods such as Louis Vuitton and wines. His reasoning includes studying high speed rail and preschool programs in France, studying renewable energy in Germany and Denmark, and visiting South American to study global warming solutions.

Another politician at work at our expense.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Note From Bob Dylan
to Toner Mishap

Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you're tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go, going out of business, going out of business
Going out of business sale
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don't settle for less
"Step Right Up" by Tom Waits, singer/songwriter


A big tip of the hat to Chandira. Hell, hats off to her for the note!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Jena Six -- Mellencamp Video

I saw cotton and I saw black
Tall white mansions and little shacks
Southern man when will you pay them back
I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

"Southern Man" by Neil Young, singer/song writer

Attempting to make up for my lack of blogging regarding the Jena Six Protest with this new video (released yesterday) by John Mellencamp. I did and do feel bad that I missed supporting the protest from my little piece of cyberspace.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bad Jacket

Whoever designed (and I use the term loosely) this jacket needs to have his mouse taken away. Letter spacing, anyone?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Baseball Playoff Picks

Two things only the people anxiously desire,
Bread and the Circus games.

Juvenal (40–125), Roman satirical poet

I believe the Cubs will get into the World Series, but probably will need to return next year in order to win it all.

American League
Red Sox v. Angels: Angels
Yankees v. Indians: Yankees

Pennant: Angels

National League
Diamondbacks v. Cubs: Cubs
Rockies v. Phillies: Phillies

Phillies OTM
Cubs TM

World Series:
Angels v. Phillies OTM
Angels v. Cubs TM

Champions: Angels

Please share your picks.

Traveling Luggage

All the modern inconveniences
Mark Twain (1835–1910), writer

Flight canceled, pulled aside for an even more moronic security search, amazed at how dumb someone can be and still hold a job (I’ll leave the obvious joke about Bush for someone else), well just wait, things are getting worse, according to an article in the Washington Post:

More than 1 million pieces of luggage were lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered by U.S. airlines from May to July, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. June and July ranked among the 20 worst months for mishandled baggage in 20 years.

Photo below shows all the lost baggage winging its way cross country to an unscheduled destination. click on photo for a better view
Someone knows where you luggage is, unfortunately not you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Monday

Monday, monday, can't trust that day
Monday, monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh monday mornin you gave me no warnin of what was to be

The Mamas & the Papas

What the subway and commuter lines look like across the country this morning...