Thursday, November 29, 2007

And today marks six years since he passed...

Today almost 'passed' me almost flew by me, totally unnoticed. Six years ago today, George Harrison lost his battle with cancer. And I almost forgot to commemorate his passing. He once said that he'd felt like an "economy-class Beatle", and indeed, when you're up against Lennon-McCartney, competition is formidable indeed. He was the wariest of The Beatles and the suffocating fame they endured. In the late '60s, during the 'Let It Be' sessions, Paul McCartney tried to talk the others into doing a concert somewhere; from what I've read, John Lennon and Ringo Starr could've gone either way; it was Harrison's flat rejection of the plan that kept the group from performing in public again.

After the Beatles, Harrison made some great music, and he made some not-so-great music, but the best of his music is right up there with the best of Lennon-McCartney's songs. When I was a kid, the first Beatles album I owned was "Yesterday and Today"; it was chock full of great John and Paul tunes, but even way back then, I thought Harrison's one composition on the album, "If I Needed Someone", was just as good as anything else on the album; to me, it really stood out; the song has a dark, somber melody and chiming, ringing notes which instantly told me I was listening to something really unique. The next album, "Revolver" contained 3 of his songs, one of which ("Taxman") started off the album. Later on, he wrote a #1 Beatles' single, "Something". After the Beatles, he had a pretty good solo career; it had its ups and downs, but still, 37 years later, his "All Things Must Pass" album STILL amazes me.

The purpose of this particular post really wasn't to write about Harrison's music, so much; I wanted to address the fact that I, a raving Beatlemaniac, almost forgot to observe the anniversary of his passing. And so I'll try to do that...

Somebody had written sometime back, that when John Lennon died, it was one of those "where were you when it happened" moments, much like that dark day back in November 1963 when President Kennedy was shot. Like Kennedy, Lennon's death was SHOCKING. On the other hand, George's death was less noteworthy; like many people, he got old, he had cancer, and passed away; an unspectacular death...although I do remember where I was when I heard he'd passed away. 'Twas a sad day for all of us Beatles fans.

So when I realized that the anniversary of George Harrison's death had passed me by almost unnoticed, I couldn't help but think, that, yes, what I read was indeed true. December 8th, 1980, the date of Lennon's murder, will be firmly ingrained in my mind as long as I'm on this planet, but 6 years later, George's death on November 29th almost flew right by me. I do know that on this day, back in 2001, I felt a TREMENDOUS loss. When John Lennon died, my prevailing emotion was white-hot Harrison's case, I felt sadness. A quite pervasive sadness. But I really wasn't surprised or shocked; all through 2001, I had read about his battle with cancer, so I knew he was gonna die. Just not "when". I actually didn't learn about his death until the day after; when the radio network news came on that morning and began with the strains of "Taxman", I knew what had happened even before the announcer began announcing.

In my mind, all of the Beatles are legends, equally important for what they brought to the band. George, however, cultivated a spiritually philosophical side. And he wasn't in it for the fame, not really. He did what he did because he was a musician. The last few years of his life, he stayed home, tending the garden. He wasn't a heavy-metal player, and certainly many great guitarists could play circles around him, but Harrison had a uniquely melodic approach to his instrument which immediately set him apart. So there I go again...I said earlier in this post that my purpose here really wasn't to talk about his music, for I've done that many times already. But you know, in attempting to write about George Harrison, the person, it inevitably does come back to his music, doesn't it? After all, he was a musician. I could go on and on, I 'spose, but I won't. Suffice it to say, I'm sad he's gone.

Besides his Beatles' tunes, I recommend the following George Harrison albums: 'All Things Must Pass', 'Living In The Material World', 'Thirty-Three & One-Third'; 'Cloud 9', and 'Brainwashed'.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I honestly and absolutely have NO IDEA...

I might as well get on the ol' political bandwagon. After all, everyone else is talking about the upcoming Prezzential election, WHICH IS NOT HAPPENING UNTIL NEXT NOVEMBER. So, much like you'll always see Christmas commercials airing before Halloween (not that many ads actually say "Christmas", but that's another matter), those who are serious about running for Prezzident spend an amount of time roughly equal to that of half-a-Prezzidential-term running for office. Kinda makes ya wonder who's really running the country, but then again, I've wondered that for the last 7 years under the Dubya-Bushed administration.

This time around, there are numerous candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties running for the Prezzidency. And that doesn't even begin to include the amount of Harold Stassen-type fringe figures out there, representing the Unitarian Liberal-Conservative Fundamentalist-Wacko party...there's always a few of those kind of nut cases out there, after all. And, this time around, for the first-time ever, a WOMAN is running for Prezzident. (Would she be more correctly referred to as a "Prezzidette"?) And, hoo-boy, is she ever an outspoken woman. She's kinda scary, actually. Of course, I find almost all outspoken people just a little bit scary...

I have heard that maybe it IS time for a Woman Prezzident. ("ette"?) And, there's a new MSNBC promo currently airing that says, "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are asking each other, 'Are You Experienced?'", and later in that spot, the network says it's the "Democratic Prezzidential EXPERIENCE". MSNBC gets points for paraphrasing Jimi Hendrix, but that doesn't make Hillary any less scary. Actually, I wonder if we should be scared of ALL the candidates. But, whenever I see Hillary giving a speech or answering questions, I just kinda get the feeling she is really LOUD and ABRASIVE. That's the sum of my political knowledge.

Yet, I have heard some women say that, yes, now is the time for a female Prezzidential candidate, but that Hillary isn't the woman they want in the White House. I heard one of the candidates ask, how can she be qualified for the Prezzidency if she has such limited political experience, that she's never run a corner grocery store, let alone a Prezzidential administration. Obviously, though, she has a way of picking up supporters, plus, she's got the "Bill Factor" thrown in, but whether the Former Prezzident will help or hinder her chances, well, I don't know. Although if she's elected, at least we don't have to worry about another MonicaGate. I hope.

Ya gotta admit, she does have ways of picking up political support!

So is it time for a Woman Prezzident? I don't know, but one thing I'm sure of is that she couldn't screw things up any worse than they already are...right? I said, "RIGHT?"

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Time for Remembering...
Thanksgiving dinner, a poignant tradition, one of the few I still observe...

I like the concept of Thanksgiving; fellowship, good food, and warm times, even in the most dysfunctional of families (such as the one I grew up in). What I could never get over was how long it took to prepare all of the food for the Thanksgiving meal. Throughout the house, I could smell the fragrance of things cooking and simmering in the kitchen, and finally, when mealtime came, it was always soooo good. But later on in life, I began thinking, "all of this cooking, for hours and hours, and the meal itself takes a very short time to be consumed"...that was always a sort-of "Is That All There Is?"-type feeling for me.

But, Thanksgiving is a time I've always revered, for, generally, on that day, all was well with the world. After dinner, there was always football on TV...and Dad and I would always watch the games...we had a rough relationship for sure, but there were good times, too. Maybe not enough good times, but the passage of time helps me put things in perspective...and when there was nothing to quarrel about, our little family could be comfortable, at least for a while. Mom would play her Thomas organ softly in the background sometimes, as the football game progressed, and sometimes my little sister would watch the games with us. She's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan these days, while I live and die with the Seattle Seahawks.

I live alone now, and don't know anyone very well in this new place which I moved to right around this time last year. But, no matter where I am, I always have Turkey Dinner On Thanksgiving Day. I find a restaurant that's open, and in I go. I usually eat alone, but that's okay; I'm not much for dinner conversation. And as I ate, memories of Thanksgivings past come zooming into my brain. When I was younger, I used to be able to eat second and even third helpings; now, a single plate is more than sufficient. This year, in addition to turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, there was a good-sized yam on the plate. And then I remembered my Mom; she always ate yams instead of mashed potatoes. I never developed a taste for yams, but Mom sure loved 'em. She would've savored it. And I ate it, and you know, it didn't taste bad at all.

I found it amazing, how something as insignificant as eating a vegetable could bring back all sorts of memories. And, if there's a yam on my Christmas dinner plate, I'll probably think of Mom again. Then, as well as every single day besides.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Drive carefully this upcoming month; ol' man winter's on the way...and he's already arrived in some places. You wanna be around for Christmas dinner, after all...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Miss Lee Morse, songbird extraordinare:
A Long-forgotten voice from the past...
...and she's great, she really is...

I recently read a biography on the life of Libby Holman, a somewhat scandalous (allegedly scandalous) torch singer of the 1930's, so naturally, I wanted to hear what she sounded like, so I went over to YouTube, and some of her music was indeed posted there. And I thought she was pretty good, with a very unique vocal tone.

While on YouTube, I saw a 'related' listing for another singer of that era, MISS LEE MORSE...and, it turns out she made three 10-minute "film shorts", two of which I have enclosed here. I must admit that when I saw these "little movies", I became totally enraptured with her casual, off-handed, all-natural 'girl-next-door' type of personality. She passed away eight months after I was born, in December of 1954. But I'm glad I found her, anyway. Spirits like hers live on; they've just got to...

I did some research on Miss Morse, and she some of had the standard show-business problems that have persisted through the ages; evidently she had a problem with the bottle, and she could be hard to get along with; her temper was legendary. But I think she had a sweet, sincere side as well; I really do. These two "film shorts" were made in 1930, when her career was beginning to slide, but, if she's on the downhill side here, she must have been amazing in her prime.

Her talent, charm and grace is captivating; I've watched these films numerous times, and am literally blown-away each and every time I see them. Elton John once sang about Marilyn Monroe with the viewpoint of "a young man in the 22nd row" of the theater; here, I write about Miss Lee Morse from the perspective of an admirer who's discovered someone with something-special way too late. I stumbled upon her by sheer accident; and if you've got 20 minutes to spare, I'd like to share her with you...

This first Lee Morse "film-short" is titled "SONG SERVICE", in which she meets with a director for negotiations, but he wants her to sing, not negotiate...and the humor and charm in this little film is just absolutely undeniable...

This next Lee Morse movie-ette is called "A MILLION ME'S", in which she's got the blues over a quarrel with her beau, but her talent agent enables her to see things just a bit differently...she's everywhere, she's everywhere...

Miss Morse made quite a few records in the '20s and '30s, and again in the late '40s and early '50s, after a bout with strep-throat threatened her singing career. She and her husband ended up living in Rochester, New York, and she sang in some nightclubs and appeared on radio in the area. In December, 1954, she passed away due to complications resulting from her "battle with the bottle". Now she's one of legions of departed spirits, roaming out there somewhere...but the human condition, the life, the spirit...those can never die.

A bit of trivia...she was always billed as Miss Lee Morse so that people reading theater marquees or nightclub advertisements wouldn't mistake the name "Lee" for a man's name. Her first name was actually Lela. Miss Morse was 33 when these two "film-shorts" were made. And, although she had a big voice, she was barely 5 feet tall, weighing barely 100 pounds. So now you've met Miss Lee Morse. Hopefully, if but for a short while, with this post, I've succeeded in bringing her back to life.

If you're intrigued by Miss Morse as much as I continue to be, you can get to know her better, and listen to LOTS of her music at In addition, provides some good information. She's worth getting to know. She's quite a lady.

Especially if you're 1 of 2 turkeys in Washington, D.C....

Every year, a couple of turkeys in our nation's capital are brought to national prominence, because they've been spared from the chopping block. And so, newsclips of our Prezzident's turkey-pardon are being aired repeatedly all over the various news channels, and they'll be shown so often, we'll end up thinking a vegetarian-lobby is paying for all of the bird-mercy footage being shown these days.

Some critics say this administration isn't helping its image by pardoning ANYTHING, let alone a turkey. Well, it turns out that, rather than being spared from the chopping block, a few turkeys in this administration have been allowed to resign instead. And upon typing the above, the following joke just flew into my brain (I'd like to say I made it up, but this joke is so obvious, chances are, it's an old joke that I've never heard before.):

Q: What is the difference between a regular turkey and a Washington, D.C. turkey?
A: The Washington, D.C. turkey doesn't have feathers.

Finally, the week preceding Thanksgiving in our nation's capital can be quite stressful, as the following photo effectively demonstrates:

No Thanksgiving invites for me by, cos I'm always defacing their photos.

Happy Thanksgiving, all...

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm sorry, I've just never been that kind of person...

I think the very last part of that cheer is appropriate, and that would be "BAH". In today's modern workplace, I understand a lot of stores, though, not only want you to work for them, but management does its best to turn employees into "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" types who become androids, in the sense that they have turned their entire thinking process around, to the place where they've blindly adopted the "corporate philosophy", and even though big-box stores won't admit that they brainwash their employees, that's just about exactly what they try to do. Okay, I know that's harsh, and maybe that's not entirely true. But whenever I've had to participate in staff meetings, early-morning session-meetings, etc., I've always felt that the powers that be were trying to manipulate me. Add to that the fact that I am TOTALLY USELESS before NOON. In short, if it's before noon, just let me sit down, try to work and DON'T ANYONE SPEAK to me. Mornings have always been devastating for me. I just feel ILL until about 1 or 2 in the afternoon; I have never handled mornings well. And I've tried.

But back to this corporate-mentality thing. I was watching a PBS show on "Wal-Mart", where the cameras were present at one of Wal-Mart's "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" early meetings where the employees and managers pledge allegiance to Wal-Mart, and then each of the department managers gets to exhort how well their department is doing: "The Zircon-encrusted-TWEEZER department's sales have shot up 15% since this time last week!!!" And the rest of the employees whoop, holler and turn cartwheels at that GREAT news. Then the manager of another department speaks up and says, "our HOME ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT has increased sales by 35% over this time last year, due to the fact that we buy stuff that's OUTSOURCED and we can SELL IT CHEAPLY, putting our competitors out of business at the same time!!!" Goodness sakes, ol' Sam Walton hisself must be smilin' down from Heaven. Or Purgatory...

I imagine Wal-Mart ain't the only monolithic mindless moneygrubbing outfit that does this, either. And, I want to know, when did employees become "TEAM MEMBERS"? That implies that, not only do you have to stand on your feet, on a hard-tile floor with CEMENT under that tile, killing yourself to make the least-possible-wage that the company can pay you, but, being a "team" member, you're expected to THINK like the bosses do, and BELIEVE in what the company's board of directors believes in, and, well, before ya know it, yer BRAINWASHED. I've spent years of my life, working in big impersonal factory-type situations, and it's MINDLESS. You're tired when you get there in the morning, and tired when you leave at night. Maybe there's a fine line between being brainwashed and being exhausted. In short, you're too tired to think for yourself anymore.

I used to have to sit through department meetings, employee meetings, staff meetings, meeting-meetings and so on and so forth, and basically I just kept quiet. I figured the less I said, the sooner the meeting would be over and I could get out of there. I am not a "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" kind of person and never have been. Give me a job to do, and I'll do it best as I can, but don't expect me to believe in what you believe in, and if you're my boss, don't expect me to actually like you or feel comfortable around you. I was a conscientious employee who basically hated myself for being conscientious because I couldn't stand doing what I was doing. Those I worked with took a job situation I liked, and changed it so much or were so rude to me that I hated the workplace environment, and I hated THEM. I imagine a lot of the workforce today feels the same way.

This is why you're asked all kinds of manipulative, "psychiatriac" type questions at job interviews, like, "if you knew someone who worked here, that had an uncle in another state, who's brother in yet another state took DRUGS, would you tell management about it?" Okay, let's say you answer "yes". Management will perhaps think you're a nit-picking tattletale who'll waste valuable time running back and forth to the boss with minor gripes. Let's say you answer "No" might then think that you endorse drug-taking, and that before you come to work each day, you take half a bottle of valium, just so you can make it thru the staff meetings. In short, I've long held the belief that, since, during an interview, an employer can't rip off the top of your head to find out how your brain works, so they do the next-best thing; they psychoanalyze you.

And why do they call 'em "Job Fairs"? They're not "fair"! A Job Fair is an occasion where a few high and mighty employers can all get together, and herd in the zillions of job applicants like so much cattle, talking to perhaps 2,000 people in order to fill the 50 available positions, which means, in any given instance, that 99.5% of people who go to Job Fairs are Totally Wasting Their Time. First you fill out the "psychoanalysis" questionaire and then you talk to some anonymous gel-headed geek, employed by the company to find someone who will subordinate their beliefs, character and individuality all in the name of scoring some kind of job, ANY job. And they then dismiss you with a smile and you never hear from them again. And if you DO score a job, you'll be given an employee handbook, which basically lists All The Different Transgressions You Can Commit Which Will Result In Termination Of Your Employee Agreement. I'll just skip past all the "rah-rah-ziss-boom" and go straight to BAH.

Recently, where I used to live, a Cabela's sporting-goods outfit opened a huge monolithic store, complete with fake wildlife, a fake natural-woods setting, a fake fish pond and acres upon acres upon mindless acres of stuff that you could easily buy cheaper somewhere else, but you won't because after all, you waited all night to get into Cabela's Big Grand Opening Huge Big Sales Event! I think I can hear the cries of "Bah" off in the distance. And, Cabela's does that whole rah-rah employee motivational thing, in the mornings, before opening the store to the hordes of unspecting shoppers who actually think they are saving money by shopping there. I have proof...this is a picture of such an event; a Cabela's official "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" (mostly "bah") Early Morning Motivational Meeting:

...and as far as I'm concerned, the photo of the above event, is not altogether dissimilar from the BIG EVENT pictured BELOW:

Both pictures mercilessly swiped from So sue me.

Okaaay, that's it...I'm done squawkin' now...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Posting with wild reckless abandon...
In short, anything can happen here...
First of all, the thought comes to mind (and I have no idea where it came from), that I could be POSTING IN THE NUDE right now and none of you would ever know!____________________
SOMETHING YOU CAN RELATE TO: According to a wire report in the local nooze-paper, Congress' Joint Economic Committee has recently reported that, so far, the "Hidden Costs of the Iraq War" have cost the average American family of four some $20,000. When you break it down that way, it's easy to relate to those figures. We can think in terms of "thousands" of dollars. What's hard to relate to is that, so far, the overall total of expenditures of our war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan total approximately $1.5 TRILLION dollars. It's a little harder to comprehend a TRILLION. Suffice it to say "it's a whole lotsa money". Whenever we spend money, we like to get something for it, right? Well, what are we getting out of THIS? Other than higher taxes, wounded soldiers, and loss of life? I can't see that we're making any progress over there. But then again, I don't possess a "great military mind", either. All I know is, we don't have to worry about the national debt getting paid-off anytime soon.
SAY IT ISN'T SO, ETHYL: Driving down one of the main streets tonight, I passed the place where I buy most of my gas. And, I did such a fast double-take, that it almost gave me whiplash. What I saw was the stuff of horrific nightmares: Gasoline here is now up to and over $3.30 a gallon. This is not good. I daresay that the old cartoon I saw, picturing a guy going into a finance company to take out a loan so he could buy gas, may prove to be more than fairly accurate. Heck, if this keeps up, fuel companies won't be able to afford the gas for all their big tanker trucks that deliver the gas to you and me. Perhaps, in the (not-too-distant) future, cars will become nothing more than oversized paperweights. How does the public deal with all this? Well, we all just keep driving, but less is spent less on other stuff. Which in turn puts more people in more industries out of work. Can you say "downward spiral"? I knew ya could...
EVERYONE KNOWS IT'S WINDY: (okay, music scholars...who did that song, and when did it come out? Answer in the obligatory italicized portion of this post, located at the bottom of this latest entry.) It has been WINDY lately. I was impulse-buying at a convenience store down here on the coast, and I remarked to the clerk that "most of the commercial fishermen must be staying home today", and someone in line said, "you'd have to be crazy to cross the bar (link between the bay and the ocean) today." That kinda told me that, although I'm a know-nothing newcomer to this area, that at least I was in the ballpark, concerning the severity of the weather. One point on the Oregon Coast, Cape Meares, experienced 92-mph winds a coupla days ago. I'd say that's quite a noticeable little gust of wind there.
LEGAL DRUG DEALING: I didn't even know stuff like this happened. And I hope I'm understanding this properly. Things like this used to not mean much to me, but now I'm at the age where I'm partially relying on prescription medication. Allegedly, there is a thing called "reverse payments" in which a brand-name drug-making company pays a generic manufacturer to DELAY the introduction of (the money-saving) generic version of the drug. (That info came from an AP report.) So a Senate bill has been introduced to deal with this situation. And at the present time, Lobbying has STALLED that bill; those lobbying efforts costing close to $20 MILLION in the last year. Which means, full, "inflated" drug prices make the big drug co's more money for longer periods of time. So, let's look at this from a more personal level...
While I was standing in line at the local in-store pharmacy last week, an older lady pushing a shopping cart came by to pick up some prescription drugs. She paid over $600 for what I guess was a month's worth of various meds. (I would venture that at least some of her meds were NOT generic.) I could tell, by looking at this lady, that she wasn't exactly in a higher-income-tax bracket. And in some cases, some people must choose between food and drugs, both of which they need to survive. Pure madness. I'm glad my meds don't cost a lot. I spend about $80 a month for prescriptions. All generic, thankfully. But them fat-cat bigwigs at the drug companies are makin' money off people who'll die (or at least, not function semi-normally) if they can't afford their medications. I remember how much all-over-body-pain I had before I began taking one of my vital prescription drugs, which I'll be taking the rest of my days...and I thank my lucky stars it's an economical GENERIC drug. Were it not, I'd pay easily 3 or 4 times as much for it. Then, I'd have less to spend on for GAS. Or other stuff. "Full circle", eh? And something else I've realized...staying alive costs a whole lot of money, doesn't it?
He probably swore a lot, too: One last vital news tidbit here: This past weekend, a guy up in Washington state was working on his car, trying to remove one of the wheels. He had gotten all the lug nuts off his right rear wheel, except for one stubborn lug nut that just would not MOVE. He tried and tried and tried, and the lug nut just wouldn't budge. (sorta reminds me of Chuck Berry's struggle with his girlfriend's seat-belt in the song, "No Particular Place To Go".) So anyway, this guy got more and more frustrated with the stubborn lug nut, so much so that he pulled out a SHOTGUN and SHOT THE WHEEL OF THE CAR...some of that shot ricocheted and hit him, as far up as his CHIN. Which makes me ask, "Who is the real LUG NUT here?" His injuries were determined by fire & rescue personnel to "not be life-threatening". Which was good for him, considering his health insurance policy probably didn't cover "serious, debilitating injury caused by IDIOTIC actions."
It's been a while since I distorted a photo: I'm sure the folks at will really appreciate my defacing the upcoming beautiful little picture that was on their website. This photo immortalizes a moment that Marlon Perkins would have truly appreciated:

And now, for the "obligatory italicized closing portion" of this post: In the "Windy" section, I posed a question, which I shalt now answer: "Windy" was recorded by The 'Association', in 1967. It is a rock song, but I read somewhere that it was originally meant to be played in 3/4 (waltz) time. The song was written by one Ruthann Friedman, who was never heard from again. So there ya go. Oh, and, by the way (in reference to the title of this post), I still have my clothes on...

Monday, November 12, 2007

...or, why didn't I know that???

Whenever I listen to someone who alleges they are the sole authority on something, or if I encounter a pamphlet, book, or other piece of propaganda which espouses to be the end-all source of Real True Facts concerning something, a red-flag pops up in my mind, making me question things. Skepticism is a normal thing, although, if you exhibit that skepticism, you might get called a smart-ass by those less skeptical than you...

But there are some things in life that are totally beyond dispute, as I've found. For instance, "water is wet", "sin is wrong", and "there will never be another Beatles." Recently, while fine-dining in an area restaurant, I came across one of those little trivia-filled pamphlets which are basically a vehicle for advertising. And, it contained some Real True Facts...such as...

1. The memory span of yer average GOLDFISH is 3 seconds. Which proves two things: There is actually a creature on the planet with a shorter memory span than me, and, every circling of the goldfish bowl is a journey of unknown proportions, since the goldfish is incapable of realizing he just swam around the bowl 4 seconds ago.

2. There are 118 RIDGES on the edge of a DIME. So, if you're down to your last dime, that's something to contemplate before spending it. Although, I'm not sure if a single dime buys anything anymore. As a matter of fact, a certain potato-chip maker utilizes a similar scheme: "Ruffles have ridges".

3. PEANUTS are used in the manufacture of DYNAMITE. Oh yeah? If that is indeed true, then Peanut Butter (which is actually 'peanut concentrate') could used to make a BOMB. And if you use 'crunchy' peanut butter, little peanut fragments will fly helter-skelter upon detonation, causing more damage. An organic "smart-bomb", if you will. (I never thot I'd ever put bomb-making info on my blog!)

4. Your LEFT HAND does 56% of the typing when you type. Actually, since I'm left-handed, my right hand probably does more of the typing, 'cos when I get mad at the computer for screwing up, I SMACK it with my left hand. A classic case of computer abuse.

5. The SHARK is the only fish that blinks with both eyes. Makes sense, because if you're innocently swimming in the surf, Mr. Shark wants to have both eyes open at once so he can see you with both eyes as he dines on YOU in much the same way I gobble up the contents of one of those little flat cans of Sardines. CHOMP!!!

6. The average SCALP contains an average of 100,000 hairs. Well, I could say that, once upon a time. So far, I think my hairbrush, over the years, has removed at least half that total. So now I have half the hair, covering up twice the space. Except, I'm too lazy to do a comb-over. So I wear hats. An added advantage of wearing a hat: no scalp sunburns in the summer.

7. BANGING YOUR HEAD against a WALL burns up 150 calories per hour. This is good to know, because if you're really, really frustrated about something, you can DO THIS and get an aerobic workout at the same time. Don't smack your head into the wall so hard you pass out, however, or you'll lose out on the exercise benefits.

8. HUMANS are the only creatures on the planet that can BLUSH. Well, think about it...the animal kingdom doesn't have hopelessly stupid members such as Senator Larry Craig, Prezzident George W. Bush, sportscaster Tony Kornheiser or Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richard, who wasn't hurt when he fell from a coconut tree and landed on his HEAD. Figures.

9. The amount of DUST in yer home consists of 70% shed human skin or hair. So next time a guest enters your house or apartment and says, "this place is really YOU!!!", well, that's truer than they know. You (or pieces of you) are all over the place.

10. We have all spent a half-hour in our lives as a SINGLE CELL creature. Some humans actually prolong that single-cell existence by quite a few years, if not an entire lifetime. Those individuals are in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. And unlike the goldfish, those in 'solitary' have more than a 3-second memory span.

There. This blogsite is now officially a Center for Higher Learning. You now know All There Is To Know. Unless I come up with some more gems of wisdom in the future...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Better living through Chemistry?
Or, what are we doing to ourselves?

Or, perhaps, the question should be, what are the food-makers doing to us? And don't tell me that deception isn't involved...a person really has to look at the label closely to know exactly what he/she is buying. How many times have I accidentally bought a diet Coke or diet Pepsi, because all of the labels look so similar to each other? In other words, the word "diet" really doesn't scream forth from the label; more often than not, it's "embedded" into the label so you don't notice it unless you really look at it before you pull it off the shelf. (I'm speaking specifically of the 20-oz. plastic bottles, which are, for some reason, my favorite 'volume' of liquid fizz.) So, I now look really closely at the pop labels before buying. I'm paranoid in a 'consumer-sort of way'.
One of my favorite things to eat, especially in the evening, is SLICED PEACHES. I do have a tendency to put on weight, so I avoid the peaches packed in heavy syrup. So, I buy the peaches packed in light syrup, and those taste okay as well. So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a dozen cans of sliced peaches, the "light" version, took 'em home, put 'em in the cupboard. Later that evening, I opened one of 'em, took it to the TV room and proceed to eat peaches. And, gosh, they tasted weird. Kinda artificial, somehow. A sorta soap-sudsy sensation lingered in my mouth after swallowing. So I looked at the label, and indeed, the peaches were "lite". However, the word "lite" on the label, meant "lite" as in, NO SUGAR. And as I looked closely at the label, I saw a small "SPLENDA" emblem. That's right, artificially-sweetened peaches!
Let's face it, no one is as good at sweetening things as nature is. All of the artificial sweeteners designed to taste like sugar, WILL NEVER taste like sugar. And now I have several cans of Splenda-saturated peaches in my cupboard, and I'm not sure I wanna eat them! And I'll look like a real cheeseball for taking Splenda-peaches back to the grocery store. I'd donate 'em, but I don't wanna subject someone else to the chemicals in those Splenda-laden peaches. Those poor "Splenda-soaked" peach slices, imprisoned for posterity in tin cans. Gag. So now, I'm much more careful when I shop for sliced peaches. And there is a difference between "Peaches in lite syrup" and "Peaches lite". A BIG difference. A difference that sometimes isn't evident until you actually stuff 'em into your yap...
This, folks, is SPLENDA. And it's different than SWEET N' LOW. Allegedly, that is. Artificial sweeteners do sweeten, but they also render whatever they're sweeting almost INEDIBLE. I have NOT added any artificial sweeteners to my coffee in almost a year, now. So, when I encounter artificial sweeteners, alarms go off in my taste buds. I think I've built up a heightened "Splenda-sensititivity". When my mouth tastes like STYROFOAM, I know I've ingested some illicit artificial, supposed-to-taste-like-sugar-but-doesn't-even-come-close substance. Plus, who knows WHAT'S in them that's bad for you? Better living thru chemistry? What is the cumulative effect of a lifetime of artificial sweeteners? I wouldn't be surprised if "Splenda" was one of the primary ingredients in EMBALMING FLUID; that's how awful Splenda is.
So, as I wrote above, I look for the word 'diet', no matter how carefully it's camouflaged on soft-drink pop-bottle labels. And, I look for the nasty word "Splenda" on the cans of sliced peaches I buy. So, the other day, I went into the local grocery store in search of Cranberry-grape juice, because I love the stuff and it's GREAT source for Vitamin C. And, the label on the juice bottle said, "Cranberry Lite", so I figured it was a juice that most of the sugar had been filtered out of. And, it was on sale, so I bought a coupla bottles. Later that nite, I was drinking my juice (again, in the TV room) when I noticed a familiar soap-sudsy sensation in the back of my mouth...and I looked at the bottle, and sure enough, it had a little "SPLENDA" insignia positioned on the label.
Face it, in the usual cacophony of a grocery store, with music coming over the speakers, kids yelling and screaming, and other shoppers trying to run you down with their grocery carts, it really takes a lot of mind-presence to find the exact thing you want. Usually, you spot a brand, or a sale price, and you yank it off the shelf, and take it to the checkstand as soon as possible, 'cos you just want to get out of there as quickly as U can. And, I guess the thot never entered my mind that CRANBERRY juice would be spiked with "Splenda". So I'm stuck with two bottles of the stuff. I have a quart of it here tonite in the TV room, and I'm dreading drinking it. It's awful; any Splenda-laden beverage dries out my tongue and the insides of my mouth. I'd hate to dump it all out; many people in the world have no food, after all. Plus I have those cans of Splenda-drenched peaches in my cupboard. ANYBODY WANT 'EM?
When a "Splenda-situation" happens to me, I feel deceived, in a way. But then, I feel awfully stupid, because it's my fault I bought the stuff. So, I guess, now, I'll never buy ANYTHING that says "light" again. Or, if I buy peaches in "Light" syrup, I'll have to take out my magnifying glass and do a half-hour's worth of research by reading all of the excruciatingly small print on the ingredients to make sure there is no "Splenda" anywhere. And that's getting harder to do, because even with bi-focals, my eyes just don't do a good job of focusing up-close anymore. I think I'd rather put on healthy, organic extra weight, than to save a few calories by consuming "diet" stuff and pickling my kidneys in the bargain.
You know what? I think I'm gonna go dump out this chemical cocktail that's disguised as Cranberry-Grape juice. I'll fill the quart bottle with Water. Hopefully there's nothing artificial in THAT.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How WAL*MART hi-jacked my business...
I'm guilty as charged; Wal*Mart is $11.88 richer because of me...

Have you ever had something you really, really wanted, but there was only ONE PLACE that you could get it? And then you went to that "one place" to get it? Well, folks, that's how WAL*MART manages to get dollars from people like me who don't shop there, because of principle (like me) or because they don't want to immerse themselves in a crushing sea of humanity in a building that's large enough to hold the entire state of Rhode Island. (Again, like me.) Well, that "one thing" I wanted was the new album by THE EAGLES. And, Wal*Mart is the only retail outlet in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES that is selling this doublt-CD set! It was either, I go to Wal-Mart and get it, or go to Ebay or Amazon, and pay the price, PLUS postage. So I went to Wal-Mart. So that's the third time I've been there this year...and here's what I got for only $ gotta admit the price was right...although, I wouldn't be surprised if this is one o'them Wal*Mart loss-leaders, and they're losing money on it, but that's okay, because while you're in there, you'll prob'ly spend a whole-lotsa money on other stuff...

You heard that right, $11.88 for a double-CD set. That's less than the cost of most single CD's. This is the Eagles' first album in 28 years, and in releasing it, the group provided a valuable public service, because "Long Road Out of Eden", the Eagles' new album, knocked Britney Spears from the #1 chart position, according to Billboard magazine. Now, say what you want about the Eagles: They've never been an exciting concert band; critics have accused them of being pretentious, while still other critics say that the band has a lousy attitude. The group members themselves have had rather violent disagreements over the years, but I guess age has a way of mellowing things...EVERYONE in this band is a great singer. They play their own instruments, and wrote 3/4's of the songs in this CD Set. So I respect them, I really do. Although they were never one of my favorite bands, they've always been pretty good. Pretty great, in fact. (I bought their "Take It Easy" single when it first came out in 1972, and bought all their albums in the '70s, so I'm no 'late-arriving' fan here.) You see, EVERYONE knows who the Eagles are. And, just about everyone wants this new Eagles music, whether they know it or not. I can't see Wal-Mart sewing up exclusive sales rights to a group like, say, the Dead Kennedys or, perhaps, the White Stripes or Twisted Sister...while all those bands are/were very popular, there's no MASS APPEAL. And, face it, the Eagles have mass appeal, and really, they're probably the best group out there these days. Their new material is just as good as their older stuff. Young bands, take note!

If nothing else, Wal-Mart is gonna play it safe. The Eagles will never SHOCK anyone. So, not only does WAL*MART get dollars from folks like me who CAN'T STAND Wal*Mart, they'll also make tons of cash from regular customers who pick up the Eagles' CD along with their weekly hundred-dollar-plus grocery purchases, as well as new customers who come in for the CD and think, 'Wow, they sure do ROLL BACK PRICES in this store!", and then proceed to fill up their shopping basket (or cart) with hundreds of dollars of overpriced trinkets, thinking they're REALLY SAVING MONEY. Well, yeah, the FEATURED items on display in yer typical Wal*Mart are rolled-back, but where the real "rolling-back" occurs is the stuff that's not on sale...often rolled-back to the rear of whatever department the item is stocked in. That way, when you see the featured item on sale, you'll think, "well, if Wal*Mart is this cheap on a sale item, then EVERYTHING here is cheap." Not so! That new-and-improved version of the "on sale" item is typically priced HIGHER than you can find it elsewhere. I watched that Wal*Mart PBS special, so I know of whence I speaketh. If it ain't on sale at Wal* it somewhere else.

This next subject needs all the "HELP!" It can get. Yesterday, November 6th, was the Official Release Date of the Beatles' movie, "HELP!" on DVD. The video is digitally enhanced, the music sounds better than ever, but all the technological improvements in the world can't disguise the fact that as a movie, "HELP!" is pretty awful. John Lennon once said that he and his bandmates were basically "extras in our own movie", and that is painfully evident. The action whirls all around the group, with silly actors and silly actresses, overplayed parts, and helter-skelter location changes which zoom the action from England to the Swiss Alps to the Bahamas. I remember watching this movie on TV several years ago and I fell asleep halfway thru it. "HELP!" is a sort-of action-type movie, and the plot involves some weird far-eastern troupe (who don't look far-eastern) who are trying to kidnap Ringo in order to get a valued sacrificial ring off his finger. (The movie doesn't show how Ringo got the ring in the first place.) Trouble is, you see, the ring is stuck on Ringo's finger. And all sorts of merriment and mayhem result from the Beatles' interaction with the illustrious band of weirdos in the movie who try, but fail, to do all kinds of gory things to the Beatles. Yawn.......

Oh, those madcap Beatles. I read that the only way they could get through the making of the movie was to get STONED all the time, ruining take after take in uproarious fits of uncontrollable laughter...hmmm, maybe THAT should've been filmed. "HELP!" is as BAD as their first movie, "A Hard Day's Night" was innovative, exciting, original and genuinely funny. The music in the "Help!" movie (at least the Beatles' songs, anyway) are just FINE; no problem there. Although it is rather unbelievable to see them doing a song on a Scottish Moor (a cold, flat plain in northern England), or on the beach in the BAHAMAS. And unless you really crave to see the Beatles skiing...the Swiss Alps footage ain't great, either. I love the group's music, passionately, but other than a brief glimpse of genius in "A Hard Day's Night", the group really should have stuck to record-making. That's where their talents immortalized them for posterity.

Our heroes, left out in the cold, taking a break while filming in the Swiss Alps. This movie leaves me cold, too.

Yep, good ol' Apple Corps, who administers all things Beatle, including this DVD issue of "Help!" that I shelled out for. They've found yet another way to fleece me out of thirty bucks. I guess that's what I get for being a collector.

While typing this, the TV was tuned to MSNBC, which was showing an interview with Charles Manson, who's never been known as being the nicest guy on the planet. And, I was taken aback by the realization that, during my lifetime, I've met a whole lotta people in bars and taverns who sound and talk just like him! Everyone's got a tale to tell, especially the DERANGED. Shudder........

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hot Off The Presses...
...and it may happen to a newspaper near you soon...

Blogger's note: No, I'm not psychic. The date should've been 2007, not 2006, in the above fake newspaper. And now we turn to regular programming, already in progress...

I wrote the copy in the above fake newspaper. But these developments actually happened. The old movie line comes to mind here..."coulda been a contender." It's the times, I guess.

Monday Misinformation Menagerie... you can tell, this post is a royal fake job, but aren't they all?

JUST GLEANED FROM THE NEWS: Not that I'm paying a whole lot of attention to this, because I'm not, but I understand there's some kind of situation that's brewing over there in Pakistan, and the U.S. is faced with how to deal with these guys. The U.S. under the bumbling Dubya-Bush administration, that is. Something about Pakistan's government turning fascist and jailing opposition and imposing media blackouts. Well, we already know we're going to be in Iraq until at least the end of this administration. After that, will the soldiers be crossing a few borders to war in Pakistan under divine Prezzidential authority? Quick, where are the diplomats? Pakistan does have nuclear power, after all. And I've always thot it's gonna be some rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, third-world wacko (in a Pakistan-ish country) that's gonna set off the next nuclear device (or, "NOO-kya-ler" if yer Prezzident Bush).

WILL IT REALLY MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?: Steee-rike!!! That's what script writers in Hollywood and New York and who knows where else are gonna do, beginning today. As if there's any deliberate quality of writing in fictional TV these days, anyway. At least, the sitcoms have a good chance of surviving this. All they have to do is take old scripts from any sitcom program from seasons past, and use them old scripts in their new shows. Just change the character names around, and I don't think you need a script writer for that. Trust me, no one will know the difference. No one with any kind of long-term memory, anyway, which is probably what the networks will be banking on. And the experts tell us all to be on the watch for more reality shows. Somehow I think the terms "reality show" and "network TV" are mutually exclusive.

JUMPING ON THE GREEN BANDWAGON: NBC (no, not the National Biscuit Co.) is setting off on a highly original broadcasting idea...they're taking a cue from Nobel Prize Winner and Not A Prezzidential Candidate If He Has Any Sense AL GORE, and all this week, they'll be doing "Today" shows from Greenland, Antarctica, and perhaps the most desolate place of all, the Tri-Cities area of Washington State. (I'm kidding on that last one. Maybe.) It's suddenly fashionable to report on the Environment, which has been deteriorating FOR YEARS NOW. And get this; to start things off, NBC, on some of its' weekend's sports programs, did pre-game shows in the DARK, using only flashlight illumination. Yep, that's gonna solve the nation's energy bills. Although there was one positive effect: Chris Collingsworth, one of the sports guys, looks better if there's no light shining on him. Maybe the CBS Evening Nooze with Katie Couric should try that. Couldn't hurt their ratings. Not at all. Back to NBC...will the startling innovation never cease? They're using occasional GREEN back-lighting, at least on the "Morning Joe" talk show, this morning's edition of which host Joe Scarborough is absent. It's "GREEN" week, you see.

THEY'RE MOODY AND THEY'RE BLUE: There's a great 2-DVD/1-CD set that's just been released, featuring the complete story of the Moody Blues, one of my most favorite groups. It's amazing how much great music they put out between 1967 and 1973. They were churning out great albums during those years, and I put 'em right up there with The Beatles and all the other bands I continue to love oh, so much. Although, towards the end of the 'Moodies' video, the tone of the DVD gets a little-bit schmaltzy in a sort of pseudo-promotional way (it is the 'fully authorized story' after all), but there's plenty of good stuff to offset that. We even get to hear from Original Moody Blue Mike Pinder, who left the group just after it recorded its' weak reunion album, "Octave", which came out in 1977. When I bought that album way back then, I thought that "something was missing". Suffice it to say the group was undergoing a whole lot of turmoil at the time, which can definitely interfere with the muse. It was a largely lifeless record. I guess they had a "Moody Muse", ha ha...anyway, below is a picture of the DVD set, so you know what to look for...

DVD One is 2 and a half HOURS long; DVD Two is 92 minutes long. I haven't played the CD yet, but it consists of early music all of the group's members were involved with before there was a Moody Blues. While watching this DVD set, I learned that flute player/vocalist Ray Thomas had to retire in 2002; he'd been ill, implied the DVD. So I googled his name, and I found out that he'd had fairly severe feet problems which seriously affected his movement on stage. The affliction he was suffering? My old (and currently subordinated) nemesis, GOUT. Believe me, I wouldn't wish severe gout pain on ANYONE. (Well, I can think of a FEW people...) My own gout symptoms are largely non-existent. Of course, to achieve that, I'm taking 600mg of Allopurinol every day for the REST OF MY LIFE. And finally, how did this paragraph get to be about ME all of a sudden?

MAYBE IT'S NOT SUCH A GOOD DEAL AFTER ALL: You've heard about Wal-Mart's $4.00 prescription deal for quite a few "eligible" medications. I went to a Wal-Mart this week to see how many millions of dollars I could save on the stuff I toss into my system. I inquired as to Allopurinol, the drug I mentioned above. Yes, it's $4.00 for 30 pills. Trouble is, I take 60 pills a month. So Wal-Mart would charge me "twice four" ($8.00) since I'm taking "twice thirty" (60) pills per month. Not a whole lot cheaper than what I'm paying at my present home-grown pharmacy. I also take Ambien to sleep, since I'm really an insomniac (check the time I posted this, below). Ambien is NOT eligible under Wal-Mart's bargain jurisdiction. I was told that for a bottle of GENERIC Ambien, Wal-Mart would charge me $60. I presently get the same damn thing for $20, once again at my small, independent pharmacy. Oh yeah? That's how Wal-Mart hooks ya. They blast-out the big price cuts at maximum volume right in front o'yer face, all the while not really tellin' ya like it is. So far, I've been in a Wal-Mart twice in the last year. The last time, I bought a little teeny-tiny pack of fuses. Did I save money at Wal-Mart? Who knows?

NOT SOMETHING TO GET PUMPED ABOUT: Tourist season is all done with. Yaaay. Demand for fuel is down. Yaaay. Traffic on the Interstate Highways is down from Summer levels. Yaaay. We're in the season in-between air conditioners and ultra-high heating bills. Yaaay. And all of this means that gas prices are going down. Right? WRONG!!! Here on the coast, gas is up around $3.20 a gallon. If gas keeps going up at this rate, pretty soon the mandatory service-station attendant (remember, this is Oregon, after all), will take my debit card, punch in $20 bucks, and then proceed to put gas in my tank with an EYE-DROPPER.

I don't think it would be any cheaper to assemble some sort of automotive-"still"-device in your garage, then go to your nearest "Whatever"-mart, buy a case of oil, then take it home, DILUTE it and "cook" your own gasoline...not yet, anyway. That's assuming a gallon of gas is still cheaper than a rock of 'meth', anyway. And, depending on "Which-ever" mart you go to for your oil purchase, you probably won't get the best price anyway. P.S. I can just see it now: "Meth-lab to Fuel" conversion kits. We could see that soon on some late-nite infomercial...

Back to the Moody Blues for just a minute...Their 'Days Of Future Passed' album was released in 1967. But, "Nights In White Satin", which was on that album, didn't become a chart hit until 1972. That's a pretty doggone long musical incubation period, huh?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What if you see a cop up ahead...what do you do?

Comedian Steve Martin once offered a blanket solution designed to resolve most any conflict. According to him, all you say is, "I FORGOT". When someone asks you why you didn't conform to this or that regulation or policy, you just open yer yap and say, "I......FORGOT". However, that's not gonna help ya if you get stopped for not having your seatbelt buckled. And, oftentimes, the situation just worsens if the motorists sees the cop, THEN tries to buckle the seatbelt while the car is still moving, before getting stopped.

So I am going to provide a public service here. I am going to tell you HOW to buckle your seat-belt while you are still driving, and that way you won't be driving like the proverbial drunken sailor while trying to appear that you're conforming to the seat-belt law. Bill Cosby once said on one of his old '60s comedy LP's: "Seatbelts come in handy 'cos the ambulance driver's too lazy to look for the BODY!" Actually, seatbelts are essential in this age of uncaring, selfish, out-for-themselves, rude, aggressive drivers. And since I live in OREGON now (a mandatory seatbelt state) I (almost always) buckle up before I get moving. And if I FORGET...I buckle the belt while I'm moving. How do I do that?

I've heard on various newscasts that cops have busted drivers who try to put their seatbelts on before getting stopped, because their cars swerve all over the place, and in addition to a no-seatbelt charge, they can get slapped with reckless endangerment, being a nuisance to society, erratic driving, being a total fricking hosehead and who knows what else. Don't ya just love the way law enforcement can pile on the charges? My chief motivation for following the law is, I DON'T WANNA GIVE COPS THE SATISFACTION OF DIPPING INTO MY WALLET. So every day I follow the regs is one more day THEY CAN'T GET ME. I may have a lousy attitude, but I'm still alive. Because I follow the laws.

I've heard that cops do red-light stings. They'll be at an intersection and when they see motorists pull up and stop for the red light, the cops will look into the motorist's car to see if he has his seat-belt on. Of course, if your windshield is tinted, they may or may not be able to see that accurately. I don't know how successful a still-moving seat-belt buckle-up would be at that point, but down here in Oregon, every time I get in the car (or when I get down the road a ways), an automatic trip-sensor in my brain flashes a red alert: "SEAT BELT!!! SEAT BELT!!!" And I'd say that about 80% of the time, I buckle up before entering the roadway. But, since I know a cop won't take "I FORGOT" for an excuse, well, here's my backup plan, used when "I FORGET" to buckle up:

1. Keep your right hand on the steering wheel and make sure you're going down a straight stretch of road.

2. With your left hand, reach back and grab the seat belt by the metal clasp with your left index finger grabbing the belt.

3. Then, pull the seatbelt, by the clasp, to where your RIGHT hand is grabbing the steering wheel.

4. With your right thumb, grab the belt and hold it steady.

5. With your left hand still on the seat belt clasp, move the clasp BACK along the belt, and then pull MORE of the seatbelt forward, repeating instruction #1.

6. This time, grab the belt and clasp with your RIGHT thumb/forefinger as you grip the steering wheel with your LEFT hand.

7. By now, you should have plenty of 'belt'; pull it across and down with your right hand until you can feel the belt's locking mechanism, and gently glide the metal clasp into the lock.

Note: You might want to practice this a few times before you start your car, just to make sure you're comfortable with manipulating the seatbelt into the lock using the above instructions.

I think of this post as a PUBLIC SERVICE, for your SAFETY as well as your WALLET. It kinda wrecks yer day when you've been handed a ticket for more money than you make in 2 weeks, for something you FORGOT to do. And, I want the cops to EARN their money; not by nabbing me in some deceptive 'sting' operation. I'm sure police are all concerned about our safety, but, but, BUT...even though they'll widely deny it, a large measure of a cop's job is taking in MONEY from motorists. And if I can help it, I don't wanna give 'em the chance. I don't wanna contribute to some law-enforcement REVENUE DRIVE.

To any law-enforcement people reading this, I am NOT advocating that a person deceive the police. I myself have no criminal record and have not spent ONE SECOND in jail, and I'm 53, and have been driving for 35 years. But, us motorists hate getting "dinged" for money, and oftentimes, that's why we react negatively when YOU pull US over. At the same time, I don't want ME or ANYONE ELSE to die in a car crash. And actually, now that I live in a "mandatory seatbelt" state, when I buckle up, I feel like I'm truly a part of this area. Silly, I know. But I HATE the word "sting", and I hate the CONCEPT of "sting". Stings are DECEPTION, pure and simple, and oftentimes it's a thin line between "Sting" and "Entrapment".

In the meantime, I'm getting better at remembering to buckle up before entering the roadway. Call it "survival skills", I guess. I respect cops; I know their job is tough. I couldn't do it, though. I couldn't park in a shady spot somewhere, during a sting operation, and wait for one of my fellow human beings to screw up. It's just not in me to do stuff like that. I don't like to deceive people. And it IS deception. Even if it's's STILL deception. And that doesn't sit right with me.

CLOSING BIT: I just saw an interview of Barry Bonds. It seems someone bought the baseball Bonds hit, which broke Hank Aaron's home-run record. The owner of the ball is going to paint an "asterisk" on it, and give it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. An "asterisk" implies that the statistic is "altered". Bonds said that if the ball, with an asterisk, is indeed kept in the Hall of Fame, he won't go to his own induction ceremony (assuming he's admitted). I'm not sure Bonds has room to gripe. After all, he ALTERED his body with STEROIDS. Everyone knows it. And the baseball post-season soap operas continue.