Saturday, December 31, 2011
S and P $1400
President Obama will be embarrassed by the OWS demonstrations at the convention, but he will be re-elected.
Congress The House will remain in Republican hands, the Senate in Democratic hands.
China There will be a Chinese spring with widespread protests and rioting.
Middle East will stabilize but no major changes except the Muslim Brotherhood will take power in Egypt.
Europe will offer travel bargains for Americans.
My predictions are probably overly optimistic. Happy New Year!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Back in the seventies we started this hobby, and now annoy friends with these things almost every year. Over time we migrated to CD's and now use computers instead of tape recorders. Clarence's stuff is more sophisticated than mine in terms of music used. He likes to blend sound effects and one or two music tracks together to create montages of sound. Mine are simpler, but have the advantage that I tell heart warming little stories on mine, between the songs. This year I got more sophisticated, adding echo to my essays, mixing in background music and tweaking them a bit with Roxio Creator 10. I noticed it sounded like I was in a windstorm at first, then I found that if I taped a Kleenex over the microphone I could eliminate that nasty wind noise. I redid a couple but left the rest. It's hard for amateurs to keep the lilt in one's voice the second or third reading.
People who have children with musical inclinations may have gotten singing versions of these things. Hearing your son play the electric guitar while yodeling is a special treat for parents.
The recipients of these treasures is not always appreciative, however. Many a homemade CD in a car's player gets half played then removed and thrown into the gutter while the car is moving. Art is not always appreciated by provincial audiences.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Editor's note: Click on the link. It's great. With apologies to Spike Jones, who recorded the classic rendition of the Christmas classic.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
However, the art still lives own in Europe. I once met a pickpocket there. It is comforting to know that certain crafts live on somewhere in the world if not here.
The best thing about Newt Gingrich is his slogans. The most famous is the "Contract with America". There are many more: American Solutions for Winning the Future, Renewing American Civilisation, Rediscovering God in America, Strong America Now, America only works when Americans are working. He loves the word America. I wonder if he means to include Canada in his slogans.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
That dirty joke you told, that will get you into Purgatory. That time you aggravated your wife for the fun of it. That will also get you into Purgatory. That little kiss you got from that teenage waitress. Well you get the idea. Purgatory must be a crowded place. Like a doctor's office in a practice that accepts Medicaid.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Ideally, one should have a wife or a mother to clean one's garments. During my college days I often avoided the college machines by trundling home my dirty clothes for dear Mama. Through the New Brunswick bus terminal, through the Port Authority, then onto Hackensack with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. Of course Mama was so happy to see me that she glady did my clothes and on Sunday night I was back in the dorm room with fresh laundry and a slice of butter cake.
When I ran away from home at twenty five I did have to learn to do my own laundry. I learned that I could save money on clothes dryers by draping clothes around the apartment. Trousers and shirts I hung up damp. I never to this day separate laundry. Everything goes in together except, perhaps, sweaters. I figure the undies can be grey as they won't see them at work anyway. If the undies look really bad I soak them in the sink with bleach. I also put my shirts and trousers in the dryer to get rid of the wrinkles. Then I hang them up in the closet, still damp. No point in wasting electricity. The next day I am at work, quite dapper. At least I think so.
Editor's note: "she glady did my clothes" is a split infinitive.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Twenty years later I was sitting in a bar and a young man walked in with hair past his shoulders. The woman next to me smiled and said, "he could use a haircut". I laughed with the other middle aged people at the bar.
Now I was now part of the establishment. Instead of fighting "the man", I now was "the man". I've noticed the change. Now when I hear a car on the street that is playing loud music I get aggravated while as a youth I would have been thrilled to hear loud rock music booming from a car at a red light. The last time I demonstrated was for my pensions, a pale echo of the idealism of the young, hip, WBAI listener of a happier time.
Which brings us to the current Wall Street protests. Oh what is it that they want to do? Put another thorn in Obama's side? Oh what do they hope to accomplish? Will these demonstrations bring them jobs? Will they make us all happier and make us willing to give up buying cheap shirts made in China? The aging baby boomer is full of dilemma. I wonder for a moment, what it is like at the demonstration. I suppose they communicate using social media instead of telephone loops. I wonder if there are LJG's like the old days.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
To the unsuspecting seventh grader who is given the class schedule in September lies that nasty word, "algebra". It is the one hurdle that will stand between happiness and misery, success and failure in school. Algebra. It re-emerges in community college, like a bad penny. There it is, the requirement to taking statistics. It isn't just the science majors. You must complete algebra first to be a social worker.
Why is there a shortage of nurses in the United States? Nurses have to show that they've passed algebra. Why does America have a shortage of high tech manufacturing workers? Algebra. Why does your doctor have a weird accent? Americans are limited with their algebra so we have to import doctors from overseas.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
After a long wait in the jury assembly room, I got a chance to be chosen to go to a court room for jury selection. I couldn't believe the questions they asked. What do you do for a living. How about the other people in your house. What TV shows do you watch. Where do you get your news. What magazines do you read. If you could talk to any one, living or dead, who would it be. What bumper stickers are on your car. It was fun watching everyone try to weasel out of serving on a panel. The judge left most of them off.
Being selected, I got to actually serve on jury duty. It wasn't too bad. We even got to watch a surveillance video. Things have changed since the days when jurors were all male and smoke filled the room. Oh Henry Fonda, where are you when we need you?
Monday, September 12, 2011
I have never been to a hotel that had this feature. It seems like such a nice touch. "There's nothing on tv, let's see if there's any action in the bar downstairs". And you could find out by turning on the radio.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
About 100 people had to pull the crocodile, which weighs about 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms), from the creek to a clearing where a crane lifted it into a truck, he said.
The crocodile was placed in a fenced cage in an area where the town plans to build an ecotourism park for species found in a vast marshland in Agusan, an impoverished region about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southeast of Manila, Elorde said.
"It will be the biggest star of the park," Elorde said, adding that villagers were happy that they would be able to turn the dangerous crocodile "from a threat into an asset."
Despite the catch, villagers remain wary because several crocodiles still roam the outskirts of the farming town of about 37,000 people.
They have been told to avoid venturing into marshy areas alone at night, Elorde said.
Editor's note: I have always believed it to be a good policy not to venture into marshy areas alone at night.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
In high school, on the last day of English class, the teacher decided to kill time by asking the class what the future would be like. I raised my hand and said that all jobs would be eliminated and all workers would be replaced by machines. I (quite the high school wit) added that the only job that would still exist would be that of being a contestant on a game show.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Going to musical festivals and sleeping in a tent was one of the rites of passage (along with the trip to California and the youth hostels) of being young in the 70's. Heeding this life requirement I went to the Philadelphia Folk Festival in the summer of 1971. Muddy from the recent rain, there were a number of great performances by Janis Ian, Doug Kershaw, and Doc Watson. Oscar Brand sang bawdy songs, and lots of other amateur and professional musicians played. The Hare Krishna people chanted and sold spiritual food. Our group made hot dogs, then used the water to make corn. What a swell weekend.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
This may be anecdotal, but this weekend, driving around Mercer County, I noticed a lot of corn fields in the suburbs. Vacant tracts, being held in waiting for the next housing development or mall are being utilized as corn fields. Apparently corn harvests are supposed to be high this year. Sort of fun, passing corn fields on the way to the mall.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
There are two types of people in New Jersey. Those who flock to the Jersey shore on weekends and those who don't. The ones that do get to enjoy the traffic jams, overpriced food, entrance fees, crowded beaches and iffy weather. A weather forecast for hot and humid can turn into cold and clammy once one gets east of the Parkway.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Viewers of television in New Jersey have lately been subjected to this ad about sharing the road with motorcycles. I guess it is trying to show that your grandmother, doctor and accountant can ride motorcycles. True, due to the overall greying of America and the higher costs of owning a motorcycle, the young, tattooed toughs that we think of as motorcycle riders may be an out of date image.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I guess I come from the old school. You buy a toaster, you keep it til it breaks. You buy a stereo, you keep it and all the components until they break. I am on my fourth TV and I've been very happy with it. Planned to keep it til it broke.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
First we had the story of the head of the International Monetary Farm chasing a maid up a hotel corridor at noon on a weekeday, like in a French movie. Then the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child of his maid. Now the latest news that dear Queen Elizabeth is visiting a stud farm in Ireland. Sex is everywhere.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
For next year, I propose replacing that with "take your boyfriend to work day".
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Recently I read about the page 69 test. The theory is that if you open a book and like page 69, you'll probably like the book. It's sort of like the flip side theory. I developed this theory as a teenager. In this theory, I posited that if you like the flip side of a hit single, you'll probably like the album. It shows the group has depth. It's like meeting someone at work. At work you see the person's page 69 not just the hit single.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Editor's note:Recently finished reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. In this entertaining book on walking the Appalachian trial, the author and his buddy twice give up on hiking the AT. But at least they gave it the old college try.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The working woman goes through her condo. "I hate those bathroom closets! I hate that shower-head." She imagines in her mind a husband. A cute guy, dusty with shaving from the power saw, getting ready to stain the cabinets he is building.
"Oh to have a husband!" she thinks.
I have simpler thoughts. I dream of having a summer place. No, too much work and responsibility. What I want is to have a sister who has a summer place. A pleasant place, perhaps near the shore or the mountains. I would have a standing invitation. A place to go on Memorial Day, Easter, Labor Day, the Fourth of July. And of course there would be a boat.
"Where are you going for the weekend"? the nosy secretary asks.
"I'm going to my sister's summer place."
A change of scenery. Lots of parties with summer people. My own room reserved just for me.
Married people and people with sisters with summer places are going to tell me I am dreaming. Most husbands don't build cabinets for their wives. Most wives don't sweat over a hot stove. Most sisters only invite their brothers to their cottages once a year, to help entertain the other relatives.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Some of you may have heard from the grapevine that I was in the hospital for a spell. The
hardest thing I had to learn was how to tie a hospital gown. That took me half an hour the first time, only to be told by the nurse I had put it on backwards. I also learned how to use a portable urinal, sleep through noise, and choose from a menu. Navigating the menu is difficult at first, as the knowledge of pain avoidance in bad food is more relevant than choosing appetizing selections.
Sickness has been so overdone in blogs and magazine articles that this blogger will probably avoid the topic in the future. Just like every baby boomer has their sixties coming of age stories, now they are all coming up with their heart-by-pass and cancer stories.
The nursing home had a plethora of events. Bingo, movie night, wheelchair relay night, but one thing that caught my eye was happy hour. Here people drink non alcoholic beer and juice shooters. I was thinking this country needs a place where people would be taught how to drink, smoke, have affairs, play cards, and taught the pleasures of recreational drugs. But, alas, we already have such places. They're called colleges.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
It was being changed to the name "Sympathy for the Devil."
"It is nothing but a sellout from art to commercialism," the caller ranted.
Being a big Stones fan, naturally this caught my eye. Apparently, there was a Rolling Stones movie out directed by a French arteur.
Two weeks later I was on the bus with some friends and we were headed for the movie, "One Plus One", then playing in New York. To be fair, the Stones footage is interesting. The Stones didn't look like they were having too much fun though, and the stuff outside or in the junk yard was preposterous, I thought.
Later at Rutgers, I took the class, "The French Film" (my mother used to get laughs at parties reciting the classes I was taking) and it showed "Breathless". In 1972, Jean Luc Goddard, spoke at school and I got to see him. Jane Fonda had appeared around that time too. Apparently they were both in New Brunswick, tied to the movie "Letter to Jane". Goddard's film criticized Jane Fonda and perhaps she was on the heels of Goddard to stand up for her dignity, according to one story.
"Breathless" I chiefly remember for Jean Seberg selling Herald Tribunes. Saw it again on TCM and I actually enjoyed it and understood it for the first time. I guess there are advantages in age.
I never saw "Weekend" until recently although I told a white lie about it many years ago. The teacher had said in class that we could see any film in the library collection if we needed to for a paper. The next day, however, I was turned down flat by the staff of the library. There I was informed that they never set up a projector for one student. Luckily the library had a book of the screenplay with pictures. I implied in the paper that I had seen the movie when actually I was stretching the truth.
It's hard to say that Jean Luc Goddard was a great filmaker, but he was definitely of his time. In the year 2020 when the class at high school is assigned "movies of the sixties", his films will be introduced as relics of the madness of that decade.