Friday, June 29, 2007

A Problem With Acting

Imagine, you’ve worked hard at your acting skill since you were in the 8th grade play. You’ve studied Shakespeare, you’ve taken acting classes, you've done Summer Stock and taught yourself to cry on cue. You risk all your money and dreams by moving to LA hoping to find an agent and hopefully have a career in acting. You land bit parts and there is a light at the end of the tunnel when your agent tells you to audition for a part in a commercial, and then your feelings become mixed when you find out that you will be Miss Diarrhea in a Pepto Bismal commercial.

Do you go around bragging that you landed a gig as the person who holds their butt to make it look like you are holding back a stream of liquid shit? Just how do you add this job to your resume? Why couldn’t you have landed Indigestion, Heartburn or Upset Stomach? Nope, you're Diarrhea, and you know it will be on IMDB forever. Shit!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Summer Best

Every one has their favorite idea of summer. Maybe it’s the smell of the lawn, or cooking over charcoal. Maybe it is the sound of a baseball making contact with an ash wood bat. It could be thousands of things, like I really miss the fire flies that we had on the east coast.

I was thinking about the best things of summer this morning and I finally put my finger on the thing I love best about the upcoming season.

Waking up early every morning is a curse and a blessing. I often get more things done by seven than most people get done all day. Getting up really early removes all my guilt about squeezing in a nap every now and then. So, my most favorite thing about summer is having a nap by an open window where the smells drift on the breeze. It is almost cool enough to cover up, but not quite.

These are the best naps of the year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I was watching a documentary on consumerism recently and I was taken with brand loyalty. There are people who are like rabid dogs over certain brands of products. It amazes me that one can be so crazy about a product that they will wear an advertisement or drive around with an advertisement on their cars. I mean, is a Kenwood radio in your car really the best thing that has ever come into your life?

This got me thinking about my own brand loyalty. I went through my kitchen looking at what sorts of brand products were in my kitchen. I also questioned the other stuff I had and if the brand was an issue when I was at the point of purchase.

I was really relieved to see there were few things that were branded on me. Here is the list:
Van Husen shirts; I like them because they don’t wrinkle.
Best Mayonnaise; I grew up with Hellmann’s, and I can rely on the taste.
Snowqualmie Falls Pancake Mix; I just like it better than other mixes.
Purina animal feeds; because they use only domestic sources for their grain.
Tillamook dairy products because they are local and don’t use milk from rBST livestock.

That’s it. Those are all the brands I am loyal to with the attached reasons. Everything else in my life can from any maker, though I do consider the corporate social conscience and lack of packaging in other purchases. But I think I remain rather unbranded. None of these companies is making their fortune from me. I buy six to eight shirts a year, I buy three jars of mayo a year and two bags of pancake mix a year. I do buy dairy products weekly, and Purina probably gets the lion share of my animal feed money.

How brand loyal are you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mountain Beavers

Have you ever seen a mountain beaver? This is no joke, there is such a thing out here. If you see a six inch burrow hole in the dirt with some cut vegetation stacked around it, you’ve come upon a mountain beaver home.

They are also known as boomers, which is an odd name since these creatures are rarely seen and don’t make any noise. These stub-tailed rodents are not beavers at all, but their soft fur is reminiscent of soft beaver pelt.

I’ve seen them late in the evening or early in the morning before or after the sun is present. They are slow movers and seem to have poor eye sight.

The thing I find most remarkable about the mountain beaver is that they live in a Y shaped burrow. They make a device that is known as a mountain beaver baseball. What it is; is a ball of clay. In one arm of the Y shaped burrow is the tunnel where they rear their young. The other arm of the tunnel is where they store their waste. The remarkable part is that when they are in the burrow they roll the mountain beaver baseball over the entrance of the waste tunnel, and when they go out to gather food, they roll the baseball in front of the tunnel where their young are. This way if an invader comes down the tunnel, they go directly to the waste.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Warning: This fuel and by-products of combustion with this fuel contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

This is a warning label on a canister of Coleman propane fuel. I wonder if a similar label will be printed on the LNG tankers or on the storage tanks.

Oregon Ag Stats

As you drive the back roads of Clatsop County and see all the pastures full of cows and sheep you might wonder how much money is generated by agriculture in our county and how does it stack up to the other counties in Oregon. You’ll find us third from the bottom.

Also there is a link below to the ODA report where you may see what is being produced in Oregon:
ODA Stats

County gross farm and ranch sales, 2006
Rank County Dollars
1 Marion $585,255,000
2 Clackamas $394,556,000
3 Washington $321,692,000
4 Umatilla $289,434,000
5 Linn $282,043,000
6 Yamhill $276,491,000
7 Morrow $249,871,000
8 Malheur $249,437,000
9 Klamath $205,081,000
10 Polk $146,299,000
11 Lane $133,727,000
12 Tillamook $108,359,000
13 Benton $108,191,000
14 Jackson $82,056,000
15 Multnomah $79,277,000
16 Douglas $75,120,000
17 Harney $67,692,000
18 Wasco $66,097,000
19 Baker $65,657,000
20 Lake $58,692,000
21 Hood River $57,701,000
22 Union $57,233,000
23 Jefferson $51,744,000
24 Coos $46,493,000
25 Grant $44,762,000
26 Wallowa $43,313,000
27 Crook $41,015,000
28 Josephine $31,359,000
29 Columbia $30,419,000
30 Sherman $30,187,000
31 Curry $27,086,000
32 Deschutes $26,717,000
33 Gilliam $25,924,000
34 Clatsop $17,257,000
35 Lincoln $12,646,000
36 Wheeler $11,709,000

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Plumbing How Comes

How come no one ever has a urinal in their house?

How come hotel rooms have bath tubs? Does anyone ever take a bath in a hotel?

How come people call them Hot Water Heaters? Shouldn’t they just be “Water heaters” because you take cold water and make it hot, not taking hot water and making it hotter.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Stooges

If you are old enough you’ll probably remember The Three Stooges. Your memory will remember that there was always Moe and Larry, but the third position of the three stooges was a merry go round. If you were a fan you probably remember Curley Howard and Shemp Howard, both brothers of Moe, but what of the three others? Here they are, see if you remember any of them.

Also, Ted Healey was the original Stooge. He predated Larry.

Curly Howard
Real Name: Jerome Lester Horwitz
Born: 1903 Died: 1952
Stooge years: 1932-1946

Shemp Howard
Real Name: Samuel Horwitz
Born: 1895 Died: 1955
Stooge years: 1922-1925, 1929-1932, 1947-1955

Ted Healy
Real Name: Lee Nash
Born: 1896 Died: 1937
Stooge Years: 1922-1925, 1929-1934

Joe Palma
Born: 1905 Died: 1994
Stooge Year: 1956 (body double for Shemp)

Joe Besser
Born: 1907 Died: 1988
Stooge years: 1956-1957

Curly-Joe DeRita
Real Name: Joseph Wardell
Born: 1909 Died: 1993
Stooge years: 1958-1975

Harry (last name unknown)
Real Name: Emil Sitka
Born: 1914 Died: 1998
Stooge year: 1975
Sitka was officially named a member of the Stooges following Larry Fine's stroke, but never got to perform with the group.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer School

There are a lot of summer memories from my childhood. One is summer school. There were two years where I did poorly in math and I had to go to summer school. As I’ve mentioned I went to a Catholic grammar school, yet I attended summer school at the local high school, with kids my age from other private and public schools.

One thing I remember clearly was that I went into the sessions knowing more than most students. Summer school was a breeze. It was like they were covering things I had learned years earlier. It was then that I realized that we Catholic School kids were learning more advanced things than the public school kids.

I never took my education all that seriously. I hated studying, and I’ve always done well without it except for the two math classes I had to attend summer school for, and yet there I was ahead of the other kids.

Though I maintained a 3.86 GPA, these poor study habits stuck with me all through college where I never studied. I think I only purchased three text books in my entire academic career. I still have two of them. Text books never did it for me and I found better resources for course information elsewhere; no matter what the subject was.

The point I was trying to get to here was how cool summer school was. Every June when school got out there was a certain joy that everyone felt. Yet under the joy there was some sorrow that our routine would be broken. We would not see some friends for a couple months. There was the nagging reality that we all would be returning to enter a higher grade with new instructors and material. Summer school added a buffer to this transition. We could extend our school experience another six weeks. We could remain social and engaged. We could get out of the house yet the classes were always done by 1:00PM so we could still have a lot of time for summer activities.

Out of all the time I’ve spent in school, I will say that summer school was the best and most memorable of it all. It was relaxed and the classes were smaller. It seemed more like a review of the things I already knew. School was easier in the summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Summer of Love and Stink

A recent drive by the Waunna Mill reminded me of the summer of 1969. Paper mills have a stink about them. I always wonder what sort of toxic stuff they are putting into the air. Maybe it’s OK, but it doesn’t smell safe.

During the summer of 1969 I was involved in another type of stink. While many of my friends at the time were at Woodstock, or at least claiming to have been at Woodstock, I was working on a farm in Northern New Jersey. The summer of 1969 was a hot and muggy summer that seemed to never dry out. It would rain and it would be hot all the way from June through September.

The farm I worked on was a 40 acre farm with about four acres planted in cabbage. In the wet hot summer, cabbage heads will often split open allowing rain to get into the head and then when the temperature rise the cabbages cook in the field.

I spent 10 hours a day weeding cabbage in that heat and stink. The smell permeated my being. It was a smell that couldn’t be bathed out because the stinking molecules got lodged on my nose. In reality I doubt people could smell it on me after a good shower, but I could smell it for weeks because the stink molecules became lodged in the nose and sinuses. Even that winter when I was free of the smell of rotting cabbage and molecule would find its way to an olfactory sensor and I’d smell it all over again. It took years to shake that smell.

Now when ever I catch a whiff of a paper mill I am taken right back to that awful summer of heat and stink and the smell that wouldn't die.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


It is odd for me to talk about movies being I haven’t been to a theater in over three years now. Movies aren’t marketed to men in their 50s. The target audience is 16 year old white boys.

With this said here are some of my observations on films.

Have you ever noticed that movies about baseball are usually pretty good and movies about football usually suck? Have you ever met a guy who likes chick flicks? Strange, huh? How is it I have never seen a bad film come out of Australia? Why are the films of Ireland and New Zealand always depressing? Ever notice that the movie usually sucks if the word “Man” is in the title? (except Waiting for Guffman.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Priceless Debt

It is always interesting to come across some archival television footage where children were jumping around in the back seat while their father drove down the high way. There were ads for Winston cigarettes on the Flintstones and folks riding motorcycles without helmets.

It appears that public health and safety now commands what is acceptable to be shown on broadcast television. Ads for products that contain alcohol are quasi acceptable again, but strongly regulated.

So the government is looking out for out health and safety on the surface. What about our overall well being? The point I’m trying to press here is, why are ads for credit cards allowed on TV? They give the impression that debt doesn’t matter because the things you will go into debt for are “priceless.” And not only that, but you can switch from cash back to points anytime you want. They make it all appear that every transaction with a credit card grants you unimaginable benefits not only to your pocket but to your precious time and soul as well.

Presently the average savings of the average American is 0. Consumer debt has taken away all savings and people are perpetuating their existence on credit. Eventually this massive debt will crush our country. People in this country have little chance of paying off their debt before they die.

The United States is in debt to China for hundreds of billions of dollars. What happens when this debt is called in? What would happen to you if all your debt were called in? What will happen to you if you miss a payment and you suddenly find your interest payment quadrupled?

Lobbyists from banks and credit institutions paid for legislation that is now favorable to their business interests. They changed the rules on interest and on how consumers can go bankrupt. The cards are stacked against consumers to the point that they will never be able to recover. This massive debt may cause the next depression and this depression will change the United States as we know it.

Every time you whip out that Visa Card and not pay off the total balance at the end of the month you are adding another nail to the coffin of your personal and the national economy. How long can this go on before it all crashes?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Well, I Never...!

Because Beth brought it up after I wrote this article Things I Haven't Done, I feel obligated to expose other things I have not done, but this time the things are not of a sexual nature.

I have never killed anyone or attempted to kill anyone. I have never been in a fist fight. I have never served in the military. I have never been without health, auto, or homeowners insurance. I have never colored my hair, nor have I been pierced or tattooed. I have never attempted suicide.

I have never been to another continent. I have never ridden in a Rolls Royce or a Bently. I've never ridden on a cow.

I have not been to a movie theater in the last three years. ( I know the previous item isn’t something I’ve never done, but I’m proud of my three-year avoidance.)

I have never joined a fraternal or a service organization. I never do anything or go anywhere without an exit strategy or an excuse to leave in an instant.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Business Names

There was a bit on the Simpsons when Marge and Homer were trying to come up with a name for their son and as they went through the list they found that most names they came up with had uncomplimentary words that rhymed, like Bob the Slob, Fred is Dead… They finally thought of one that they couldn’t think of a rhyme for, Bart. They were wrong, of course.

I often wonder about business that come up with a name that can be twisted beyond recognition and eventually harm the whole company. When I was growing up we never called it Radio Shack, it was always Shit Shack. Stewart Anderson’s Black Angus was always Stewart Anderson’s Black Anus. In Astoria the Custard King was turned to Mustard King. I have heard many for the Pig and Pancake that not only insulted the food, but the staff as well.

Lelo, while driving through town even did something about Hunt’s Home Furnishing on her blog, and she was just passing through. Something about it being owned by Mike Hunt…

Businesses, please think about your name before you commit to it. If poorly named, your business will never be able to gain momentum in the business world. It will always hold you down and give us more to laugh at that we deserve.

I say this as I'm about to invest in a new business for up-scale pet products. We are thinking of calling it "Doggie Style."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yet Another Difference

There are many differences between men and women, but there is one in particular I’d like to bring to light. Light has a lot to do with it.

Women like sparkly things, most men don’t. Sparkly things reflect light. So often I’ll be asked if I like a certain piece of jewelry that someone was wearing and I have to admit that I never saw it. To me it’s like jewelry doesn’t exist. Like how humans can't hear dog whistles, I am unable to see jewelry. The jewelry booths at Sunday Market don’t exist. I’m not at all drawn to them. They are vacant spaces.

However men can not resist something that emits light, like emergency lights or televisions. I swear I have to put blinders on when ever I drive through Poulsbo where they have those bill boards that have moving pictures on them. I get so distracted that I’ve changed lanes without even knowing it. I simply can’t look away.

They could replace those billboards with the largest most sparkling sixty-foot diamond and I’d never see it, but let me pass someone on the road that is looking at a photo on their cell phone screen I start driving off the road.

Also, men can not pass by a hole without looking into it. It can be a post hole in the ground. It can be a hole in a wall. If there is a hole, a guy has got to look in it. If we ever find a light emitting hole we are screwed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Big Trouble in Big China

There is big trouble for us brewing in China. NAFTA not only opened the door for Americans to lose their livelihoods, it also open the borders to global trade without tariff in ways it had never been done before.

Started by Ronald Reagan, and bolstered through George H.W. Bush tenure; it was made law by Bill Clinton. Michael Waldman had a chapter dedicated to NAFTA in his book POTUS Speaks. NAFTA has so much political momentum behind it that the slogan at the White House was, “NAFTA Cuse We Hafta.”

The Capital Press had an article last week about how Chinese plywood is ruining the American plywood business. The American companies by lumber from sustainable forests adhering to environmental guidelines, and their product is made in compliance with safety standards, where the less expensive Chinese product may come from trees that were cut without regard to the environment and the binding glue that is used is a toxic substance.

In 2002 Chinese honey was banned in the United States because it tested positive for chloramphenicol. There are approved antibiotics for use in bee colonies, but chloramphenicol is a last resort medication that is used when nothing else will work. If bacteria in humans develop a resistance to the strongest drug out there, these human can be taken to their death by a simple infection.

Fresh is everyone’s minds is the recent pet food contamination where the Chinese grain traders spiked products with the chemical melamine so that they would appear, in tests, to have more value as protein products. This contamination killed hundreds of pets through out the Untied States.

I had been working on this article on Wednesday when Jim Hightower came on the radio with speaking on this very same subject, and I quote:
“Food fifth is back with a vengeance: scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria; prunes with chemical dyes not fit for human consumption; frozen shrimp preserved with a cancer-causing agent.’
“These stomach-turning (and deadly) foodstuffs are not products from American processing factories – but from China. With the likes of Wal-Mart scouring the world for the cheapest possible products it can find, China is the fastest-growing source of U.S. food imports, flooding our markets with products unfit to eat. "Low-priced" food, you see, can come at a horrendously high cost.”

Not only the food bad, but we also need to beware of the lead based jewelry. Children’s toys are often made with lead and painted with lead paint.

Aside from the poisonous foods and toxic materials they are shipping to us for consumption, their civil and employee rights are non existent. China is a nation of low paid slaves and every time we purchase something that was made in China we are saying it is OK.

What will it take to get people to stop buying Chinese products? How many people could have been killed had the melamine made its way into human food chain? Is that what it will take? Do they have to kill off a couple thousand Americans before the government throws out another 9-1-1 style defense against this enemy? We are closing the borders, yet the market for Chinese foods and products remain open in the name of free trade.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Zoom Zoom

I know I wrote about this sometime last year, but what the hell is going on with car ads on TV? They try to sell cars by demonstrating totally unsafe driving techniques.

There is one where a group of cars are weaving in and out of each other on a highway. There is a truck with a loaded trailer attempting to stop before it gets to the edge of a cliff. There are cars that skid sideways into parking spots. This is the feature of several commercials.

Then there is the group of cars that drive crazily through the night and return home as the sun comes up. VW has maniacs screaming out their windows about three V-dubs under 17k. What about Zoom Zoom?

Can’t the auto industry sell their cars without the aid of an unrealistic fantasy of dangerous behavior? Alcohol ads remind people to drink responsibly. Lottery ads remind people the lottery isn’t an investment and shouldn’t be used for investment purposes. Auto adds only state that it is film on a closed course with a professional driver. What they need is a caption that states, “If you drive like this you may lose your drivers license, wreck your car, and cause personal injury or death, asshole!”

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rust Collectors

Gearhead me gave a heads-up to this topic. He was telling me of all the people who consider themselves as collectors who have bone yards of rusting tractors. They say that their tractors are valuable to them, yet there they sit rusting in the Oregon rain.

Even on my jaunts in the country, I’ll come across a tractor rusting in someone’s field. I am always tempted to knock on the door and ask if they would like me to remove the tractor for them. The only thing stopping me is my total lack of mechanical ability and it costs over a thousand dollars to replace the tires on really big wheels.

Anyway, if you are rusting some old equipment out back you aren’t increasing its value. If you have an old back hoe or a Bob Cat you want removed from your property, send me an email.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I am fascinated by clear things. How odd is it that there are things in this world that we can actually see through. In nature there are transparent crystals, there are gasses and some liquids and ice. Generally, everything we come into contact with is solid or opaque.

Isn’t it a wonder that humans heated up some opaque silica and came up with a clear glass? All our building are designed with glass windows. We take them for granted. They keep the elements out and let the light in and out.

Not only was that a remarkable discovery, hundreds of years later someone discovered a way to create clear plastics like Plexiglas and flexible plastics for wrapping food and making baggies for food.

I don’t mean to get over romantic about clear things, but without them we wouldn’t be able to have any lenses for cameras or eye glasses. No microscopes or telescopes. We wouldn’t be able to have commercial air liners, TV, movies or computers. Consider all the cool things that clear items make possible in our lives.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spam Poetry

I’m sure we all get spam. I used to employ a spam filter, but I was missing a lot of wanted mail so I turned it off. Some spammers are pretty honest with their subject lines. You know what sort of spam you delete before you open it. However there is a new type of spam that I started noticing a year or so ago. These messages come with subject lines that are most unattractive. So much so that when I see one I am annoyed by the nonsensical verbiage. Here are some samples:

Go bangkok well chaos
bolshevism greater occidental
A executrix each marina
But malnutrition that monogamy
doses that you destitution.
Which kuna the boxford
He fellsmere many corrales
in leoma as holtville

Who is writing these things and why do they think I’ll open them?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Passion and Song

Humans are passionate creatures. We express our passions in song. Looking back through recent history we will find songs about the people we love or desire. We have songs about dancing, cars and surfing. There are songs about war and peace. There are songs about victory, disappointments, drugs, alcohol and food. All are topics of extreme passion among people.

This leads me to wonder why there are only a handful of songs that even mention computers or the Internet. I mean computers are our life. People use computers and the Internet to work, communicate, date, and to look at porno. This is revolutionary. If it only provided oxygen, food and transportation we could get rid of everything else around us.

Why is it that the only homage can be found on old albums by Kraftwerk?

Friday, June 08, 2007

No News is Bad News for News Media

I have gotten out of the habit of watching television news. It all started when I realized that the morning national news shows had ten minutes of news and then three hours of fluff and entertainment news. I mean, who really cares where Matt Lower is?

At that point I turned off the news at 7am. Then I realized that the local TV news that was on before the national news was all traffic reports, mattress and car commercials. I no longer watch that either. So then I went to the radio for news, and found that lacking as well. Last week I was in to position to read the Orgonian every day, and found that too was lacking.

It then dawned on me that there really isn’t any news out there. It isn’t that the news organizations aren’t reporting anything, they are, when ever news happens, but nothing interesting happens. This is why there is a feeding frenzy when something does eventually happen. It’s sad to see that the biggest feeding frenzies are now around entertainers. It sure takes the pressure off the politicians. They have learned to play their hand close to their vests and if caught be evasive and hope a starlet dies or goes to jail which will deflect the spotlight from them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Excuses for Auntie

Here are ten excuses that Auntie L can use when she’s too lazy to post a blog article:

10. She though of how sad bag pipes make her and was too bummed to write.
9. Her new ISP isn’t set up yet and the Scorcher is closed on Mondays.
8. She woke up early and was obsessed with the idea of a kip to the point of being unable to write.
7. Her very large cat was sleeping on the key board and couldn't be moved.
6. Her meds kicked in and she’s got nothing to complain about.
5. She was too busy replying to e-mail.
4. Was evidently totally distracted by corresponding with her new BFF that posting slipped both their minds for the week.
3. She actually did post, but thought better of it and deleted it, again.
2. She couldn’t find her glow in the dark St. Isidore statue.
1. She wanted to conserve electrons.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Animated Ag

I haven’t done an Ag article for a while and one needs to be done if I want to keep face with you farmers out there.

One of the readers with agricultural interests sent me a link to Cows With Guns, so in return I sent her these two:

If you've never seen the Meatrix you really need to. It is about the evil stuff factory farms do to the food we eat. After the film you will be able to see Part II and then Part II & ½. Follow the link below.

And this one is about organic produce.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Finally…I went for a long drive this weekend with no mechanical event cropping up. I had to deliver a horse to Lake Stevens Washington for someone, and return with another horse. (I hope you noticed I continued posting the blog while I was hundreds of miles away, such dedication…, as opposed to Auntie who can't post because she moved up three blocks up the hill during the weekend...)

The only thing that went poorly was that the compressor for the truck air conditioner was out. I knew that it didn’t work in advance and it isn’t pleasant driving a heavy load on the hot freeway through the traffic of Olympia, Seattle and Everett with the heat.

With my history of mechanical trouble on the road I obsess on my gages. Every few miles I glance down at the gages. Good on fuel, temperature was always good, oil pressure is good, the tachometer is steady. The computer tells me I’m getting 12 MPG on the flat road. I am relieved and then I tense up as I see another exit sign and check it all again hoping not to have to leave the freeway. Every upcoming exit on the freeway caused the same reaction and then relief.

I was delighted to look down as I pulled into my driveway and not see the Check Engine light shinning up at me.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sick Day XIV

(I almost titled this article Sick Day XIIII just to piss off Jeff.)

Anyway I’m sick of all the musical stars from the 60s and 70s who have been elevated to the status of god, but frankly they always sucked. I’m talking about Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Biez.

Next, I hate the song, Kodachrome. It makes me sick. The premise is so stupid. It was like Paul Simon was looking around his house for an object to write a song about and there it was, a roll of film. And I want to know what he did with that one hit wonder, Eddie Brickel? She suddenly has a music career, Simon marries her, and she’s never heard from again.

Next, what the hell does anyone see in U-2? How is it Bono is suddenly an expert on everything, just when we got rid of Bob Geldoff. And what’s up with those stupid wood shop glasses he wears? I just don’t get it and it’s all making me sick.

I also think that Paul McCartney and Ringo should just stop it all right now. They’ve made enough money, so why ruin our fond memories with your geriatric material. How can we miss you if you won’t go away? We miss John and George, so please give the world a little break and let us miss you, too.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I still don’t understand RVs. They just don’t make any sense to me unless you need all the comforts of home in the wilderness. Let’s do a comparison. Let’s say you conservatively spend $50,000 on an RV, which is now worth 30,000 as soon as you drive it off the lot. You could spend close to two years in a motel for $80 a day for 50k.

Then you are using it to travel and getting maybe 7 miles per gallon when the average highway mileage on a car is about 23mpg on the highway, so it cost you three times as much to travel the same distance.

Then you also have to pay for parking and hook-ups.

Am I missing some benefit here? It seems to me that RVs make time shares look like a good investment.

Friday, June 01, 2007

ChaChaCha Changes...

Recently the string of comments on Tryan’s article Living in Astoria: The Good brought up some interesting points about when something isn’t what it once was. The discussion revolves around groups, such as the Kingston Trio who perform under the name of the group, but have none of the original members. Are they really still the Kingston Trio? When does a group lose its charter? Did the Rolling Stones end when Brian Jones died? Did Van Halen end when David Lee Roth left the group? Could the Doors tour again without Jim Morrison?

Let’s go a little deeper. Let’s say you buy a car and drive across the country, and every few miles you replace a part on the car and by the time you get to the Atlantic Coast you’ve replaced every part in the car. Is it the same car if the only original feature is the license plates?

It is easy to say that it isn’t the same car at all, but do you have all the same cells you had when you were born? Are you a different person?

The Brothers

I wrote about practical jokes recently, and I just remembered an event which was absolutely tense and priceless.

I long ago mentioned that I once did some fishing guide work in the Adirondacks. I was hired by two old brothers from the Philadelphia area to take them to the good spots in the Tupper Lake area. I took them trolling for pike in the reedy area between Big Tupper Raquette Pond.

The elder brother was a joker. I could tell that younger brother was a life long victim. Some things never change.

The younger brother was in the front of the boat, and he removed his upper denture and placed it on the seat next to him while he ate a sandwich. The older brother, seated in the middle of the boat, removed his upper denture and switched it with the one next to his brother. He placed the brother’s denture in his shirt pocket. He winked at me so I was in on the joke.

After eating, the younger brother picked up the denture and placed it in his mouth. I could see his tongue and jaw moving back and forth in his profile. He was adjusting and adjusting trying to seat the denture in its proper position. After a minute or so he reached in and removed the denture and threw it overboard saying, “Those goddamn things never fit me!”

I watched the white and pink appliance flutter down like a fishing lure as the boat I piloted trolled by.