Monday, September 27, 2010

Toddler's Rules

This is making the e-mail rounds:

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5. If it's mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.

6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8. If I saw it first, it's mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
becomes mine.

10. If it's broken, it's yours.

Humm, these also seem to be the rules for at least half the members of Congress.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things I Truly Dislike

Banned Book Week, Sept. 25-Oct. 02 2010

Banning books. Below is a list of books that have been banned for reasons such as being too political, too sexual, irreligious, and my favorite category since it seems to be a catch-all for banning books for any reason other that the ones stated above, socially offensive:

Too Political

1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852

2. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, 1928

3. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway, 1929

4. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939

5. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, 1940

6. Animal Farm, George Orwell, 1945

7. 1984, George Orwell, 1949

8. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957

9. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 1969

10. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Peter Matthiessen, 1983

Too Much Sex

1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, 1856

2. Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy, 1891

3. Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922

4. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway, 1926

5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Law­rence, 1928

6. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller, 1934

7. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955

8. Peyton Place, Grace Metalious, 1956

9. Rabbit, Run, John Updike, 1960

10. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, 1969

11. Jaws, Peter Benchley, 1974

12. Forever, Judy Blume, 1975

13. The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy, 1986

14. Beloved, Toni Morrison, 1987

15. How the GarcĂ­a Girls Lost Their Accents, Julia Alvarez, 1991


1. On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, 1859

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954

3. The Last Temp­tation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis, 1960

4. Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, 1972

5. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, 1997-2007

Socially Offensive

1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, 1791

2. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

4. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930

5. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932

6. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

7. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, 1937

8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, 1947

9. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951

10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953

11. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960

12. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl, 1961

13. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961

14. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962

15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey, 1962

16. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1966

17. Cujo, Stephen King, 1981

18. The Color Purple, Alice Walker, 1982

19. Ordinary People, Judith Guest, 1982

20. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley, 1991

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things I Truly Dislike

The wind. In a post last April, I wrote this poem about my dislike:

I do not like the wind, it's true,
I do not like it, how about you?
I do not like it when it roars,
I do not like it when it snores.
I do not like it bending trees,
I do not like it bending me.
I do not like it around my house,
I fear it more I do a mouse.
The way it rattles, rocks and rolls,
I feel it right down to my toes.
I do not like the wind, you see,
I wish the wind would let me be.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things I Truly Dislike

Sand Burrs. They cling to my boots, my bootlaces, and my trouser hems. They get stuck on my jacket sleeves and on my gloves. They embed themselves in my dog's paws, in the fur on their legs, in the fur on their chests and in the fur on their ears. They also bury themselves into my fingertips when I try to remove them and, damn it, that hurts.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yard Sale Mania!

Today was the start of a three day town wide yard sale. My finds:

Yard sale jewelry

Salt and pepper shakers

The ones on the left are plastic propane bottle shakers given out by the Skilgas propane company. The ones on the right are souvenir shakers from the state of Colorado. I picked them up for my sister who collects salt and pepper shakers. I was smart enough to go out with only a little money. I figured I would be less tempted to buy something that was too expensive if I had to go back home to get more money to pay for it. My plan worked as I only spent fifteen dollars and that includes the dollar I paid for a gardening book and the dollar I donated to a good cause.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Morning Has Broken

God's re-creation

Of the first dawn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If You Don't Have It, Fake It

The instant I saw pictures of fashion designer Mac Jacobs' new collection I though of Jody Foster.

No imagination on Jacobs' part and it seems I'm not the only one comparing his current work to Jody Foster's look in Taxi Driver.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Below 110th Street

There are signs of intelligent life in the USA. John Stewart on the incidents of Quran book burning, the media, Fox News, Imam Rauf and the "Ground Zero Mosque."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Monday, September 13, 2010

Across 110th Street (1972)

Sometimes a movie will bring you right back to where you were emotionally when you first saw it. I watched Across 110th Street yesterday- a film that came out the year I turned twenty-one. Let me tell you, my twenties were some of the worst years of my life. In fact, most of that decade is a blur as I was wrapped in a cloud of fear, anxiety, and depression. I now know those feelings were a combination of post traumatic stress and hormones. My mother suffered from clinical depression and I now see that I was in the middle of my own bout with it at the time.

When the film began, with its shots of the dirty streets of New York, I unconsciously breathed deeply and then let out a long sobbing sigh. Was it because those bleak streets reminded me just how bleak my own soul was at the time? Probably. Then Bobby Womack started singing the movie's theme song and my soul lifted. Across 110th Street was a hit on the radio at the time reaching 19th on the Billboard charts. I forgot that the movie version of the song is different from the radio version so listening to it again was like hearing it for the first time.

Across 110th Street is a perfect example of an early 1970's movie; earnest, paranoid, gritty and cynical. The cops are crooked, the whites are racists, the black men either victims, pimps or drug lords. The black women in the movie fair no better being portrayed as either victims or whores. The movie is violent, although it was missing a gory scene that I remember well, with the violence undercut by copious amounts of very, very fake blood. The other thing I noticed is that no one said the word Motherfocker or use any other swear words. This lack of "reality" did not diminish the impact of the movie one bit.

I want to close this post with examples of both versions of Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street. The first is the film version and I could only find that in this 10 minute clip of the movie. The opening of the movie is violent so you may want to stop watching after the credits end.

This second video is a recording of the radio version of Across 110th Street. If you listen to both interpretations of the song I guarantee you will never read or hear the words Across 110th Street without automatically singing them.

I was the third brother of five
Doing whatever I had to do to survive
I'm not saying what I did was all right
Trying to break out of the ghetto was a day to day fight

Been down so long, getting up didn't cross my mind
I knew there was a better way of life and I was just trying to find
You don't know what you'll do until you're put under pressure
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester.

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that's weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won't let the junkie go free.
Across 110th Street
Woman trying to catch a trick on the street
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street

I got one more thing I'd like to tell y'all about, right now
Hey brother, there's a better way out
Snorting that coke, shooting that dope, man, you're copping out
Take my advice, it's either live or die
You've got to be strong, if you want to survive

The family, on the other side of town
Would catch hell, without a ghetto around
In every city you find the same thing going down
Harlem is the capital of every ghetto town

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that's weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won't let the junkie go free.
Across 110th Street
A woman trying to catch a trick on the street
Across 110th Street,
You can find it all in the street
Yes you can

Look around you, just look around you,
Look around you, look around you, uh yeah

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How To Keep Facebook From Tracking You

1. Go to Privacy Settings.

2. Make sure the word Custom is Blue Highlighted.
 a. Click on the words "customize settings" at the bottom of the list.

3. Under Things I Share,  go to "Places I check into" and change to Only Me.

4. Under Things I Share,  go to "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in" and disable.
5. Under Things Others Share, go to "Friends can check me in to Places" and disable.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bigotry May Be Roughly Defined As The Anger Of Men Who Have No Opinions

-G. K. Chesterton

The rising sun can dispel the darkness of night, but it cannot banish the blackness of malice, hatred, bigotry, and selfishness from the hearts of humanity.
-David O. McKay

It was under a solemn consciousness of the dangers from ecclesiastical ambition, the bigotry of spiritual pride, and the intolerance of sects... that it was deemed advisable to exclude from the national government all power to act upon the subject.
-Joseph Story

Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth.
-Edwin Hubble Chapin

Bigotry is the sacred disease.

Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.
-Charles Caleb Colton

Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it.
-Rabindranath Ragore

Bigotry and intolerance, silenced by argument, endeavors to silence by persecution, in old days by fire and sword, in modern days by the tongue.
-Charles Simmons

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
-Maya Angelou

In response to the actions of that bigoted religious yahoo in Florida, I have just bought an English copy of the Qu'ran. I will peruse it and then keep it next to my bible.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Howling Good Time

One of Duke's major joys in life is to join the neighbor's dogs in howling at the noon siren.  He never starts the howling, just runs over to the fence to add his voice to the others when they begin to vocalize.  Yesterday I was out in the backyard with Duke when the noon siren went off .  He looked up, listening intently, but the neighbor's dogs must have been inside because there was no other noise except for the siren's wail. Duke looked at me expectantly so I lifted my head skyward and gave a howl.  Duke joined in and continued howling for a few seconds longer than I then tapered off to silence. He stared at me and again I started howling while Duke followed my lead.  Compared to me, Duke was a howling virtuoso giving out a melody of  "Ooooww, ooooww, ooooww"s to my one long, "Oooooww." We did this three time and each time Duke waited for me to start before joining in.  Does that make me the leader of the pack?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Traveling In The USA

Carry your Green Book with you- You may need it.

Back in the really bad old days African-American citizens had a hard time finding a place to stay and/or eat as they traveled across our country. That is why in 1936 New York travel agent Victor Green created The Negro Motorist Green Book. The book was available at Esso gas stations and listed places and businesses where African-Americans were welcome. In addition to hotels, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, nightclubs, bars, and gas stations, the book listed tourist homes, private residences where travelers were welcomed to stay the night. As I perused the 1949 edition of the book I was surprised to find two listings under tourist homes for a family named Anderson.

I know some Andersons and, although the addresses are wrong, I wonder if Mrs. G or R. B. were related to them. I'll have to ask the next time I see them.

The book was last published in 1964, the year the Civil Rights Act was passed, becoming living proof that the times, they were a changing.

-A complete copy of the 1949 edition of the book can be found here.
-An article about the Green Book in the New York Times can be found here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

No Wonder So Many Americans Are Obese

Left, an 8 oz. glass, middle a 12 oz. glass, right a 32 oz. Burger King cup.

Good morning, everyone, just starting my day after after spending the Labor Day weekend in Denver and Fort Collins visiting my sister, niece, and father-in-law. It was an very enjoyable three days and the long drive to and from was worth it. On our way home we drove through a Burger King for lunch and I ordered a Junior Whopper without fries and a Coke. The girl working the drive asked me what size Coke I wanted and I said a medium.

Now, lets talk about what the word medium means in my take out food world, a world that no longer exists. Back in the olden days (before 1976) a small drink was 6 oz., a medium drink 8 oz., and a large drink 12 ounces. Imagine my shock when I was handed the cup on the right in the photo above. My bladder cringed, my kidneys started sobbing, my insulin hormone started revving up in anticipation of the job it was expected to do absorbing all that sugar. Since I care about my bladder, kidneys, and insulin levels, I calmed their fears by drinking only a quarter of the amount of liquid in the cup. The shock of being handed that monstrous size cup made any unconscious desire I may have had to drink the whole thing just because it was there disappear.

What does it say about our society when having a 32 oz, sugary drink with your meal is considered normal, when we eat more calories in one meal than our bodies use in a day, when we do all this without blinking an eye?  What does it say?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Kitchen Update

Still waiting on the trim but did do a few other things around the house.

New kitchen curtains

Old view out bathroom window

New view out bathroom window

We used a product called Wallpaper For Windows in the bathroom which is easy to use and put up. I highly recommend it. As for the rest of the kitchen update, soon, hopefully, soon.

Oh, in other news Cowtown Pattie as a wonderful post on growing old over at her blog Texas Trifles. Go check it out.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Sound and the Fury

According to an article in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Sarah Palin's title for her autobiography is more apt that we ever suspected.

Even as Sarah Palin's public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her. Following the former Alaska governor's road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits-a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family-and the sadness she has left in her wake.
-Sub headline of Vanity Fair article by Micheal Joseph Gross

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Humanity On The March

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.
- Henry David Thoreau  (1817-1862)

My sister sent me a video this morning of a satellite view of air traffic across the world during one 24 hour period.

I find this video disturbing; man as a virus spreading across the globe.