Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Christmas Strategy: One for me, one for them

Despite the admonitions of my sister who still talks to me that her daughters need nothing but love from me, put pressure on myself to give them something for them to have fond memories of me to pass on to their offspring as have tried to pass on the memories of my great aunt Helen, a fabulous woman from Mount Pilot, NC.

Without great financial resources, this proves difficult.

As for other sister who deigns not to speak with me, send her a bottle of wine to her local liquor store so she has to pick it up while she gives me nothing, so I feel less pressure buying for her and her 2 sons.  In fact, feel resentment which can make Christmas an emotionally trying time.  To solve this, I start with a gift for myself.

One for me, one for them works fine for me mentally.

As a frugal man, I rend not to buy clothes until my old ones disintegrate.  How many black t-shirts can 1 man own and wear?  Retired now so only need 1 pair of shoes and only replace when absolutely full of holes.  So this year splurged on a new pair of shoes or "kicks" as kids today call 'em.

Although generally not a shopper by brand but rather price, went back 4 decades to buy the trendy shoe of my youth, Converse Chuck Taylors.

As the prophet wrote, truly "There is nothing new under the sun."

What was once old fashioned would seem to have become fashionable again.

And comfy too.

Ethical Gift Giving

Now that Black Friday madness has passed for this year, please consider a gift from Mother Jones magazine      list of ethical companies producing goods or services in people and planet friendly ways.

[The best gifts are often wild cards. They're not the kind of stuff of malls and big-box stores, but objects that are handmade, limited edition, one of a kind. They're books and music that resonate deeply, crafts that reconnect us to a common heritage. They're also (ideally) ecofriendly and ethically produced.]

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Boycott Black Friday.

Never say this blogger refuses to consider contrasting opinions, recognizing other humans choose to see the world differently.  So saw Mr. Suderman on Up Too Early with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, and he compared the Black Friday hordes of people shoving each other for consumer items to a wondrous sporting event or a concert mosh pit.

[With Thanksgiving less than a day away, and the long weekend to follow, I thought I’d offer a brief appreciation of my favorite American holiday. No, not Thanksgiving, which is perfectly enjoyable but merely serves as a calorie-packing warm-up for the main event: Black Friday.]

As one trapped in a near riot to get tickets in Lakeland, FL, for Bruce Springsteen's The River tour this view holds some merit; we got 10 tickets and no stitches.  Heard announcement of sale one Friday afternoon and drove over with young lady and met some lads in line and hung out and partied while Lakeland Arena staff passed out tickers to first hundred people in line, including our new found friends.

At that time, the Center had a line of glass doors spanning the length of the building.  At 8 am, some idiot decided to open only 1 entrance to the ticket booths, the line surged and those tickets passed out became instantly worthless, our friends shouted "Follow Us!," and we proceeded to the end of the building furthest from the open door, sidled along the glass front of the building to within 10 feet of the open door.

Have you ever stood with your face against the glass pane of a building with a mob pressing in on you until you feel the glass move back and forth in response to the pressure?

Then while we waited to get forced through the opening by crowd pressure, the riot squad pulled up inside looking like Star Wars stormtroopers and wielding their billy clubs.

Thanks to dumb luck or the rock and roll Godz, we got through before the riot did ensue.

Worth the chaos?  Then with 1 broken neck under my belt I thought so.  Now at age 54, not so much.

So when we humans congregate, we do create group energy, a synthesis that momentarily brings us together to create connections between individuals, to relieve us from our essential aloneness.

This synthesis can lead to good or ill, to positive group action or a riot.

For Black Friday, we have a riot of consumer hysteria sweeping our country, leading to shootings over parking spaces, humans trampled under foot, and lots of behaviors which one ought to find shocking if not surprising.

Next year to save your soul, boycott Black Friday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like Getting Arrested at Walmart


A woman was arrested on Black Friday at an Altamonte Springs Walmart on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence.

Investigators said Samantha Chavez, 28, tried to pass the long line of people at the check out and walked past an officer controlling the lines.

Chavez was told to get in line and said "OK," but then she tried to walk past the officer again, police said.

They said she was given several opportunities to oblige, but refused to do so and began screaming.]

Scriptural Socialism

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Merry Thanksgiving!

Woke up this morning which comes as a blessing now that have reached middle age with encroaching decrepitude.

Then even though did not get to see my nieces this holiday had a nice chat with both although somewhat abbreviated because of atrocious ATT calling card rates.  They've reached their late teens with coltish grace and still charming enough to pretend they like their maternal uncle.

Had traditional turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole for midday dinner here in the joint with pumpkin pie for dessert.  Somebody was gonna die if did not get my pie.

Stay safe if shopping on Black Friday.  What doth it profit a person if they gain the big screen TV yet die, trampled to death with box clutched in their hands?

Overly dark thought?

Yes, but 'tweren't I that ruined Thanksgiving by commercializing it.  The Holiday should come as time for semi sober consideration of actual blessings, the greatest of which out to come as our family and friends, not material crap which really doesn't matter in the eternal scheme of things.

Capitalism already killed Christmas and encroaches on my favorite holiday.  Fight the marketing power.

Love your family today for Thanksgiving Day.

(Now about that $49 Android tablet computer..., Santa.)

Richard Roeper's list of top 5 Thanksgiving movies.  Personally would put Hannah... in top spot as has scenes where Woody Allen finds meaning of life in a Marx Brothers film fest, or at least as much meaning as we fragile humans can find in this carnival we call life.

5.   Pieces of April
4.   The Ice Storm
3.   Home Alone
2    Hannah and Her Sisters
1.   Plans, Trains, and Automobiles

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday in the Beauty Palor

Manor Care does offer a beauticain and one free haircut to residents.  No, did not chop off ginger tresses but neck shave and good trim always help.

Several of the ladies dress up with their besr pearls, sweaters, and Hillary Clinton type pants suits, always putting their best foot forward with fresh lipstick and eau de parfum.

Others of sound mind and less fastidious fashion sense roll around like slobs with only ratty housecoats and tattered slippers.

Then we men folk throw on any damn thing we got and pay minimal arrention to grooming even though forced by aides to take care of hygiene, aides who do a splendid job of caring even for those unable or unwilling to get our of bed; God bless the nurses aides.

Remember, always keep moving forward 'cause staying static leads to regression.

The more you try the more you will do.

And put on your best pearls.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Inane Rules

Any organization makes rules to ser procedure and thus create conformty across the company or enterprise.  Mostly these rules make sense and organize activities and procedures.

Since hunans, however, come in infinite varieties, most organiztions admit of the need--nay indeed the necessity--of exceptions to stated rules.

Not so with Manor Care "skilled nursing care" facility in Wintr Park, FL with Thanksgiving. 

No inmate--err, I meant patient--can stay out past midnight without immediate discharge.  Smce Mapquest estimates this at 71.87 miles from my cell--oops, meant location-to the ramily manse and a time of 1 hour and 25 minutes it seems too far to make 3 trips in 1 day, especially after a turkey dinner with all the fixings.

It could prove dangerous due to triptophan induced drowsiness.

No exceptions to this rule, thus ruining my favorite holiday and chance to see my Gator nieces and rest of the family, despite the facts my insurance will still pay the place OK's the leave and it has therapeutic value to see if my family CAN provide minimal assistrance to keep me healthy would I were not safely able to return home.

Companies seem to make the rules for stupid people and administrators to relieve them of need for rational thought, especially in this case, damn your eyes,

No Child Hungry for Thanksgiving

Jeff Bridges:  [We’ve got to take care of our kids, and you can start by making a tax-deductible gift to No Kid Hungry This Thanksgiving. Your gift will help bring a child to the No Kid Hungry table, connecting them to healthy meals throughout the year.Our deadline for raising $300,000 is just two days away. For every $46 you donate, we can connect a child with up to 220 meals throughout the year — meals like school breakfast and summer lunches that they would otherwise miss.

Childhood hunger in America is a silent epidemic that robs children of the opportunity to grow up healthy. The good news is that we know how to stop it.]

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rehab Reflections

No, not substance abuse rehab as family, friends, and favorite bartenders might think, but physical rehab in a "skilled nursing facility."

Lower back locked up and left me unable to stand from sitting position, making it hard to live life much less ger off the damn floor.

Oh welll, ain't nuthin' but a thang--unrelated to what some deem my disability, due to middle age actually.  Have a cracked L5 verrebrae as if had worked construction for whole life.  Situation seems ironic since carrying concrete block as a kid convinced me to buck up and finish college to get white collar work.

Even office work, however, came fraught with danger and injury by paper cut or even sraple stabbing.

All of these years of hard drinking made me think my liver would kill me, not have problem with my kidneys.

Oh, not to end up moaning in seeming pain like lady down the hall in angst but more as a child seeking attention for she stops when I enter the room, or perhaps just burdened with the most basic of human needs: to not feel alone and have a hand to hold.  Not all can live as der Steppenwolf as do I, rhe lone wolf of the steppes.

Or  not to live as the old thread of a lady encountered yesteday, bent over and gibbering in unknown tonngues, answeriung voices only she can hear.

Lord, Jesus, thanks for making me happier even with bent body and cynical and critical higher brain functions intact.

(This computer hates me but will place links for videos attempted to insert below:,

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Sodom and Gomorrah: They "did not aid the poor and needy"

[This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.]
- Ezekiel 16:49-50

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Not Impressed

[McKayla Maroney, known for her jaw-dropping vault, hinted on Twitter Thursday that she may have taken her "not impressed" face all the way to the Oval Office.]

Beliebers Lose Their Collective Minds

My nieces and nephews give me hope for the future generation; they have refused to become Beliebers.

They also eschew the other main scourge of the modern era: the Kardashians.

Redcent limitations to basic cable introduced me to this clan of do nothing, done nothing, no talent bimbos apparently marketing their bosoms to make a buck.

Nothing worng with that; the Amercan idea of mo' $ mo' better; og for the right price but pobably mock myself for doing so.

Nevertheless, never have my eyes have beheld such a vapid and insipid group of alleged humans, not even the Romney clan could match this bunch for absolute lack of self awareness.

[Seth Maxwell, the charismatic 24 year old founder and director of the Thirst Project did not know what to make of it. The savage tweets were rolling in at a rate of 20 per minute occluding all other activity on their twitter feed. Charming sentiments like: "@ThirstProject LMFAO No one likes you!" and "@ThirstProject You are retarded f*** you Dreke" or the truly unthinkable "@DrakeBell @ThirstProject Who wants to help those jungle bunnies anyway?"

Who would launch a hate campaign against an organization that provides clean safe drinking water to impoverished people in places like Swaziland? What's to hate and who would hate it?....

One of these is Drake Bell whom Seth recruited to be the 'face' of the campaign. Drake is the star of Nickelodeon's "Drake and Josh" which has a large following of young folks and he has over a million twitter followers. Drake loves the Thirst Project and was happy to pitch in , seemingly a perfect fit and yet here is where the worm turns. Apparently Drake horrified "Beliebers", (yes that is what these rabid Justin Bieber fans are called) last July by suggesting that perhaps the age of 18 was a tad young to be touting a bio-pic called " Never Say Never The Justin Bieber Story." At the risk of igniting their ire I am going to have to agree with Mr. Bell's take on this. If you cannot order a glass of wine or enter the armed services, I do not want to hear the story of your life. You have in fact not lived it yet.] (emphasis added for scorn)

Freedom of Choice Saves Lives

Remember this for the next election cycle, voters; radical Republican'ts would deny women--your mothers, sisters, or daughters perhaps--medically necessary abortions and sisiss resulting pain and deaths as God's will,
Not my God, nor His Son.
[Public outcry and further debate has erupted over abortion in Ireland since the death of 17-week pregnant Savita Halappanavar in Galway. The 31-year-old first time mother died of septic shock having suffered a miscarriage. The doctors stated they could not abort her pregnancy due to the current Irish laws....

Savita, an Indian native who worked as a dentist, asked that her pregnancy be terminated several times but the doctors at the Galway hospital had to refuse because the fetus had a heartbeat. Her husband Praveen Halappanavar (34) said the doctors had told them “this is a Catholic country.”

When the fetus’ heart stopped, two days later, Savita was rushed to surgery. She later died of septicemia while in the intensive care unit.

Savita’s tragic story is being reported around the world. From the Herald Sun, in Australia, to the Times of India, The Guardian and New York magazine, they report that Savita died having been denied an abortion.]
Read more:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Michelle Bachmann, Republican Representative from State of insanity, Pushes Self as Bipartisan.

As one fairly delusional myself, i must always confront my illusions and decide which could get used towards positive ends to make my little corner of the world a better place and those which amounted to absolutely batshit crazy.

Michelle Bachmann has developed no such filter.  Even her constituents 'bout laughed her off the stage in clip below.

At some point, a delusional self righteous perspective can become even a more dangerous addiction than to illegal narcotics.

Most addicts i've met at least show a sense of shame.

[How do you absolutely know a re-election campaign is going badly? When ridiculous ads like this appear. Despite spending over $20 mil in a red district, Bachmann has been unable to shake her opponent Jim Graves, who's being outspent 12-1. The residents of Minnesota's 6th district have not forgotten her ridiculous presidential campaign it seems, and she just might pay a price for it on Tuesday.]

And speaking of delusional, Michael Brown, former FEMA brain dead chief thinks acting too fast to forestall bad effects of severe storms might not do too much good; as Juanita so pithily described this foolish utterance; "He’s selling stoopid on a ignorant stick with a lick of dumb."

Funny or Die: Romney Boys Election Special

How I learned to Love My Inner Geek

Lord of the Rings fan boys irk me and deserve as much mockery as we can muster (Language Alert!)  But Funny!).  Nevertheless, even though the movie version chopped some plot lines and added totally extraneous love interest--what, like Steve Tyler's  kid needs to make more $ in her charmed life--the movies worked for me as epic adventure fiction, visually breathtaking, and stayed mostly true to the original Tolkein works.

Thus the fanboy hysteria over the release of a trailer for the next installment amused me to no end.

Still gonna pony up my cash for the flick when it comes out, and others feel the same.

So have at it lads, whatever distracts us from mundane details of our lives for a couple of hours can't amount to something all bad.

[I’m not generally comfortable with the kind of grown man who embraces the word “geek” as a self-identifier because most of those who do so seem to be making an active attempt to forestall adulthood by barricading its way with sky-high piles of endlessly replicating, increasingly self-referential, post-juvenile pop-culture junk. But when the trailer for “The Hobbit” first appeared nearly a year before the film’s Dec. 14 release (which is just plain goofy — like marketing on geologic time), it prompted what one Facebook poster termed a collective online “nerdgasm” — and I wasn’t immune. And so it must be said that those of us who do manage to move comfortably about in the larger world are evidence that a certain Y-chromosome tendency to gibbering fannishness does in fact exist, and many of us have points of contact with this phenomenon that we tend to coddle and then feel guilty about it later.

And some of us wonder why.]

"We all get a little weird sometimes."

Elephant Imitates Human Speech, Makes More Sense Than Republicans

[SEOUL, South Korea —
An elephant in a South Korean zoo is using his trunk to pick up not only food, but also human vocabulary.

An international team of scientists confirmed Friday what the Everland Zoo has been saying for years: Their 5.5-ton tusker Koshik has an unusual and possibly unprecedented talent.

The 22-year-old Asian elephant can reproduce five Korean words by tucking his trunk inside his mouth to modulate sound, the scientists said in a joint paper published online in Current Biology. They said he may have started imitating human speech because he was lonely.

Koshik can reproduce "annyeong" (hello), "anja" (sit down), "aniya" (no), "nuwo" (lie down) and "joa" (good), the paper says.]

I Have 500 Problems But Mitt Romney Ain't 1

Seriously--as if the mythical :"independent voter" even exists, here you can find a list of reasons to NOT vote for Willard Romney:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Scriptural Socialism

Do Mormons read the real Bible?  Do justice indeed.

[He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
- Micah 6:8]