Tuesday, December 30, 2008
This past Spring I flew from Ben Gurion in Israel to Istanbul (Israel has heated up since I was there, probably chaotic). This was my third time in Turkey and I've always found it to be a fabulous destination. My last time there had been 7 years before and it had cost a whopping $60 for the visa that you get automatically on arrival but this time it was only $20, the first time I was there was 17 years ago and the visa was free, that was more like it---hey, you go to these foreign places and you spend all this money so why would they gouge you for a visa? And now they have a subway system to get you from the Airport to where all the attractions are. In Istanbul most things that you'd want to see are within walking distance of each other. And I got a hotel room including breakfast for 30 Euros, that's cheap by the standards and it was close to everything. But 7 years before the prices were half of what they are today due to disastrous economic policies everything has gone up. And previously I've always found the Turks to be very friendly and now they were unfriendly. I asked why and was told it was because the people have no money (so keep your problems to yourselves and don't take it out on me). So I leave my hotel and walk to the Hagia Sophia, finished in 536 by the Emperor Justinian for almost a thousand years it was the largest building in the world and of course the largest Cathedral. It's very impressive. Once I was finished there I went to the "Blue Mosque," the only Mosque in Islam that has 6 Minarets. Built by the architect Mehmet Aga for the Sultan Ahmet it was completed in 1616. The tiles inside are blue hence the nickname, it has iron bars running throughout to guard against earthquakes, it's very beautiful. The Hippodrome is a large area outside the Blue Mosque and it has a gory History. Twice 40,000 people were slaughtered within the Hippodrome, which was bigger in those days, once in 532 by Justinian to save his throne and again in 1826 when 40,000 Janissaries (the Turks' best soldiers) met their fate there. There's a great archeological museum to see close by and other museums. This entire tourist area is on the peninsula known as the Golden Horn and you can walk across a bridge going from Asia on one side to Europe on the other. The next day I went to the Topkapi Palace which was the palace of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1863. There's fabulous things to see here and you'll be there for quite some time. One of the mosques I went to was that of Suleiman the Magnificent who ruled from 1520 to 1566 and his tomb is outside the mosque. Istanbul began when Constantinople was captured by Mehmet ll (the Conqueror) in 1453 after a 53 day siege, it had been on the downslide for a long time. Since the end of WW ll Turkey has been a great friend of the United States, when NATO was going strong the U.S. had the largest Army in it and Turkey had the 2nd largest. And how many people of Turkish descent have you ever met in the United States? Unlike other nationalities they don't leach us.
Monday, December 29, 2008
You People find me to be an interesting guy, isn't that cute? I was just listening to the radio and I heard Lorrie Morgan singing "Out of Your Shoes," I haven't heard that in a long time. Back in Ohio I listened to both Pop and Country Music (back there it was usually called "Hillbilly") and people regarded it as strange that I liked Country Music, I remember one guy looking at me quizzically and saying "You do?" Country Music has gotten a lot more popular over the past 30 years but most of the elegant and poignant phrasing has always been in Country as compared to other Music. I've been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and of course I liked them both. Natalie Maines of the "Dixie Chicks" made critical comments in 2003 in relation to President Bush and the Invasion of Iraq and immediately drew the ire of Toby Keith probably to get back at her for criticizing a song of his the year before. Toby Keith referred to her in vulgar language saying that she was unpatriotic. And then everybody jumped on Keith's Bandwagon and Natalie Maines seemed to back down somewhat from her position in order to save her career. You can't even talk anymore, you're not allowed to have a political opinion, which was actually that of a lot of people at the time, or else you'll be hounded until your Career is dead (and she did receive "death threats") That's the Mentality in this Country today, the way that people think has degenerated, what used to be rational thinking has become influenced by base emotions. People were after Maines like hounds relentlessly chasing a fox through the woods. Maybe people have become traumatized from watching so much TV. A while back Dave Bing who starred for the Detroit Pistons opined that he thought that the People of Detroit had been on Drugs for so long that it has permanently affected the Way They Think. Ha, ha, maybe this is true for the entire Country. It's Unfortunate, I can remember when it was a Great Nation.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tony Galento who was one of the leading Heavyweight Contenders of the 1930's said that he got his strength from Beer. The affable Tavern Owner said "I think when I was a baby that my Mother instead of milk must have fed me Beer." Indeed when Galento fought Joe Louis he was able to knock the "Brown Bomber" down before eventually succumbing. In my day I've toured 5 Breweries as I've supported that Industry for decades; the now-defunct Pabst Brewery and the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee, the Olympia Brewery in Olympia, Washington, the Stroh's Brewery in St.Paul, and the Coors Brewery in Golden, a suburb of Denver. To be at these breweries was very exciting. At the end of the Tour 4 of them gave you a free beer, as the Tour Guide at the Olympia Brewery said at the time, "You can't always get a free beer!" Indeed not. At the Stroh's Brewery you were allowed a Half-Hour to drink all the beer you wanted and they even furnished Pretzels! I had a daydream where at the end of the Half-Hour some guy being pulled away from the table. I never have drunk to excess and I hardly drink at all anymore, I pop a couple every few nights. I remember the first beer that I ever bought was "Fort Pitt," and it cost 85 cents for a 6-pack. In Ohio you had to be "21" to buy 4.5% beer and I was "17," I just walked into a Supermarket and bought it, no questions asked. In my adult life I've gone for as long as 6 weeks without drinking alchohol, I could always take it or leave it. But it never ceases to amaze me all of the people I've noticed who have an addiction to alchohol, their numbers are staggering, no pun. Alchohol will give you the blahs, give you depression, but they guzzle it anyway. Alchoholics Anonymous was begun in Akron, Ohio in 1935 and in my part of town, west Akron and Akron St. Thomas Hospital was the first hospital in the Country to treat Alchoholism as a Disease and not just a Weakness of Character. There was a Ward set aside exclusively for the Treatment of Alchoholics which was run by a no-nonsense Nun. This is certainly something that Akronites can be proud of. My younger brother, Tom, was born at St. Thomas and I, who was "5" suggested that he be named Thomas for that reason. I'll bet half of the boys born at St. Thomas were named Thomas. I know a guy here in Las Vegas named Tom who's from the Akron area and I asked him if he was born at St. Thomas and he said----yes. In 1979 I was driving through Wine Country in California and I saw the sign as I passed one Winery inviting people to stop by for a tour, so I did. I remember the Tour Guide said that it was the 2nd largest Winery in the Country, and I think it was Italian-Swiss Colony. I was the only one on the Tour, and I found it to be very nice, I remember the Tour Guide said that he was about ready to retire. At the end of the tour you could have a complimentary glass of wine and there was about a hundred bottles to choose from. The Tour Guide said "...Try this..." and I drank the glass of wine. Then he said, "Try this" and "Try this...." Before I left I had drunk 5 glasses of wine, I rode in sober and drove away half-drunk, maybe that's why I'm not quite sure of which Winery I was at.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Washington Crossed the Delaware on Christmas Day and defeated the Hessians at Trenton on December 26, 1776. It was a hundred years ago today that Boxing saw its first Negro Heavyweight Champion when Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns at Sydney, Australia on December 26, 1908. Jack Johnson had been following Burns around the World trying to get him to fight him and finally Hugh "Big Deal" McIntosh of Sydney offered so much Money that Burns was willing to risk his Heavyweight Championship against Johnson.. The two fought before 20,000 Spectators, which was actually a fair chunk of Australia's population at the time. Johnson was bigger and many thought better than Burns but Burns was a 7-5 betting favorite. The Referee? It was "Big Deal" himself. Johnson dominated the fight throughout and taunted Burns with "Poor Little Tommy," and "No Good, Tommy, I'll Teach You," and "Let's See If You Have Any Guts!" Burns would Reply "Come On and Fight (N-Word)!" It Was a Pretty Spirited Affair. Burns Was Being Beaten from Pillar to Post Until Towards the End of the 14th Round the Police Rushed the Ring to Stop the Fight. All Considering Burns' Staying Power and Will to Fight was Pretty Good. Jack Johnson was a Very Colorful Figure and a Very Likeable Guy, the Son of an Ex-Slave Jack didn't Come From Much and Made a Big Success of Himself. Only a 5th Grade Education, but 5 Years of Schooling Wasn't Too Bad By the Standards of the Day, One Could Learn Quite a Bit in 5 Years. Baseball Didn't Become Integrated until 1947, so Boxing was Ahead of Its Time. Ohio is Called the "Buckeye State" and Ohio State's Nickname is "the Buckeyes." When I was a Little Boy growing up in Akron there were Buckeye Trees all over the Place and I would often Play with Buckeyes, They were White When They Were Immature and Brown when Ripened. Later On in Akron I Never Saw Any Buckeyes Although I'm Sure That Out in the Country There'd Be Plenty. It's Better Than With Michigan As Naturalists Tell Us That Not Only Are There No Wolverines Living in Michigan Today, None Ever Have Lived There.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I don't need expensive things, they don't matter to me-e-e.... I always celebrate my half-birthdays on Christmas, I'm always something and a half on Dec. 25, so when's my birthday? June 25th, people have a hard time figuring this out for some odd reason. I always was aware of this, I remember when I was "10" thinking on Christmas, mmmm I'm halfway to being an adult. I was a thinky little boy. It's spelled "seamy" and not "seemy." The Presidential Libraries are Museums and I've been to 7 of the 12 and naturally I want to go to all of them. To be at one is very exciting. I've always thought that Washington's Crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve and attacking the Hessians at Trenton was a SuperMasterStroke. Washington knew that the Hessians being Germans would be drunk on Christmas Eve and be hung over when he attacked them Christmas Morning. I've seen the huge painting of "Washington Crossing the Delaware," it's not regarded as great art but us Americans sure like it. Washington never did win a pitched battle, he relied on Stealth. Where are those Great Men of Yore, They're Not Around Anymore. In the current "Ring" Magazine the 6 highest ranked Heavyweights are all from Eastern Europe and 8 of the Top 10. It used to be and for decades that American Blacks dominated the Heavyweight Division and the most prestigious title in Sports has always been "Heavyweight Champion of the World." Be there no "Great Black Hope" willing to Rise Up and Throw Off the Yoke of these Eastern Invaders? Those Eastern European Guys know how to fight good, I think that's their Secret. In Ring's Ratings the 2 highest ranked are the Klitschko Brothers, Vladimir and Vitali, and between them they have all the Heavyweight Titles. The Klitschko's said that they will never fight each other and rightly so It'd make me feel queer watching such a thing. Both of the Klitschko's have PhD's in Physical Education and they come from Something, their Father was a Colonel in the Soviet Air Force. For the past 4 years they've lived in Beverly Hills. They speak a number of languages amongst them, Yiddish, although I don't think they're Jewish, but it makes one wonder, why do they know Yiddish? I saw Vladimir fight about 7 years ago, he TKO'd a Black Guy named Phil Jackson, who had quite a good and extensive record, it was sort of a young guy taking advantage of an older guy. In the 2nd Round Phil Jackson turned to the Referee and I sensed that he was telling him that he couldn't see when Suddenly Jackson fell to the Canvas, only time I've ever seen that. Even in "Ring" I've seen them mention "...The Ugliness of Boxing..." and certainly that term would often apply. Phil did his Best and I wish him well. On October 11, 2008 Vitali Klitschko TKO'd Samuel Peter (from Nigeria) when Peter wouldn't come out for the 9th Round, exposing Peter for the Limited Fighter that he is. On March 8, 2008 Samuel Peter won a TKO over Oleg Maskaev in Cancun when the fight was stopped with 2 Seconds left in the 6th Round. I lost a good chunk of dough on that fight. Samuel Peter is well-known for Rabbit-Punching his opponents, that is hitting his opponent behind the head or neck, This is a Major Foul. I'm sure that Peter Rabbit-Punched Maskaev 15 times during the course of the fight and all he received was a Single Warning, there was no point reduction. And even the TV Announcers were making excuses as to why it really wasn't Peter's Fault that he had Rabbit-Punched Maskaev so many times. Sometimes you see a Fight and you know it's been at least Semi-Fixed and that was the Case Here. I don't think there's a Seperate Set of Rules for Samuel Peter and Another Set for Everybody Else. Maskaev never did go down, he was just groggy from all the Rabbit Punches. I had the Fight Handicapped Correctly, Maskaev was in very good Condition and had the Fight gone into the Later Rounds Maskaev would have Prevailed. Too bad.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
In 1917 a Munitions Ship blew up in the Harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia killing 2000 people mostly residents on land. The first city to come to the aid of Halifax, and in a big way, was Boston. Every year since Halifax has sent Boston a Giant Fir Tree to be the City of Boston's Official Christmas Tree. I've often taken trips around the Country and Canada on Greyhound, my last 5 years ago when I bought a 45-day "AmeriPass" good for unlimited travel on Greyhound and all the other bus lines and you could even go up to 4 places in Canada on it; Vancouver, Winipeg, Toronto and Montreal. I got a hundred dollar discount for some jive reason and the AmeriPass which was good for 45 consecutive days only cost me $345. That wasn't a whole lot more than nothing. And about half the time I didn't have to get a Motel Room because I was going somewhere at night on the Bus, the entire trip was dirtcheap, the Way we like it. About half of the Greyhound Drivers were Black, the Greyhound would be floating down the Interstate at 3 A.M. and everybody would be asleep except for the Driver----the Grey Knights of the Road. On that particular trip I went to Kansas City, Missouri (went to Kansas City, Kansas also which doesn't amount to too much). I was asking where this famous Kansas City Barbecue was but got no answers suprisingly. And yes, I went to 12th Street and Vine, I asked a City Bus Driver where it was and he laughed. I stayed in a Motel in a somewhat seemy part of town, I often do that as it's cheaper, I have no car to vandalize or steal, What are they going to do, gnaw my elbows? I went to the Fine Building that was in its 2nd year housing both the"American Jazz Museum" and the "Negro Leagues Hall of Fame." All of the Jazz Musicians they showed were Black, they could have added one more, Benny Goodman was the only White who was considered to be the Best (clarinet) on a Jazz Instrument, quite fine all considering that Jazz is not indigenous to Whites. During Prohibition Jazz thrived in Kansas City as there were hundreds of 24-Hour Clubs in this domain of the local Democratic Party Leader, Tom Pendergast, "Boss" Pendergast. Notoriously Corrupt, Boss Pendergast ruled Kansas City with an Iron Hand with Shootouts and Beatings commonplace on Election Days. Interestingly, Harry Truman who was scrupulously honest was a Product of the corrupt Pendergast Machine, I went to his Presidential Museum in Independence outside of K.C. Charley Parker, nicknamed "Yardbird" or "Bird," grew up 2 blocks from the Jazz Museum and was a Heroin Addict from the age of "17." A very good movie about Charley Parker, directed by Clint Eastwood who had seen him in Concert, from 20 years ago was "Bird." Forrest Whitaker played the title role and well. When Charley Parker went into cardiac arrest from a heroin overdose supposedly the attending paramedics thought the dying man was about "65," Charley Parker was "35." "Bird" said, "If you don't live the life it's not coming out of your horn." I went across to the other side of the Building and saw the "Negro Leagues Hall of Fame." I felt very honored to be there as the Negro Leagues produced many of the best players of that era. Banned from the Major Leagues due to their race, the White Major League Players would often play against the Negro Players and knew how good many of them were. Josh Gibson seemed to be the one that wowed everybody who saw him play, was a great defensive Catcher and a powerful Slugger. Towards the end of his Career and Life, Josh Gibson was beset by physical and mental illness and would spend the week in St.Elizabeth's in D.C. where they keep Hinkley, and be let out on the weekend to play in games. Josh Gibson also died at "35." As I left Buck O'Neil walked in still Tall and Spry in his late 80's.
Monday, December 22, 2008
A year ago last spring I was in Montevideo, Uruguay and I went to their very fine Cathedral and while I was perusing its features I saw a man go the entire length of the Middle Aisle from the rear all the way up to the Communion Rail on his knees. That's the only time I've ever seen anything like that, maybe Regis and Kelly....... In 1987 and again in 1988 I saw "Kid Akeem" Anifowoshe fight twice in Las Vegas on Boxing Undercards, winning both times. Kid Akeem was about 19 then and an up and coming prospect at 122 pounds. Very statuesque for that weight at 5'9" which is how tall I am at 217 (I'd be very lean were I an even 200, wish I was), Kid Akeem was originally from Nigeria but came to the U.S. at a young age and even graduated from Rancho High School in Las Vegas. Kid Akeem climbed the ladder in Boxing until he stood undefeated and challenging Robert Quiroga of San Antonio for his share of the Championship at 122. In a brutal and bloody Battle that was Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year for 1991 the 2 Warriors fought at the Hemisfair in San Antonio with neither Fighter Clinching and Both Fighters emptying their guns in the 12th and Final Round. Quiroga won a Decision and Kid Akeem not only suffered his first defeat but also collapsed in the ring with a blood clot on his Brain. Kid Akeem underwent emmergency surgery which saved his life with the Neurosurgeon who had performed the Surgery saying afterwards "I'll write every Boxing Commission in the Country" that Kid Akeem should never be allowed to Box Again. Robert Quiroga continued to Box and did well and eventually retired and became a Car Salesman. But Quiroga hung around with some Bad People one of whom stabbed him multiple times to death in 2004. Kid Akeem having his boxing ambitions destroyed and not knowing how to Make a Living any other way turned to Dealing Drugs. Kid Akeem never had become a Citizen of the U.S. and was caught dealing drugs and deported back to Nigeria. Away from the Constraints of U.S. Boxing Commissions Kid Akeem sought a familiar livelihood and began Boxing Again, after a training session in 1995 Kid Akeem Anifowoshe collapsed in the Shower and never regained Consciousness. Kid Akeem was 26. Boxing is a Melodrama, I must like Melodrama.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
In the early 80's Goodyear's most popular tire brand was "the Wingfoot." After awhile all of the Rubber Companies dropped their basketball teams due to the expense except for Goodyear who kept the Wingfoots going due to their love of basketball. As late as the 1964 Olympics Goodyear had 4 Wingfoots on the Gold Medal Winning U.S. Olympic Basketball Team. One of these Gold Medal Winning Goodyear Wingfoots was Larry Brown. Yes, that..... I had a good friend in high school (Akron Firestone High, Judy Resnik, the ill-fated Astronaut who was aboard the 1986 Challenger which blew up was a year behind me and I knew her slightly, Stu Powrie who was a member of the Thunderbirds, the Naval Aerobatic Flying Team, who was killed flying in 1982 was in the same class as Resnik, Chrissie Hynde was 4 years behind me and Angie Everhart went there, the 3 grades totalled a thousand, it was a public high school but had its own indoor Olympic Size Swimming Pool and its own Planetarium, the physical layout was impressive, I was in the 1st graduating class in 1965) whose father was a Vice-President of Goodyear and he threw a Cocktail Party at their house for the entire Goodyear Team in honor of the 4 Gold Medal Winning Wingfoots good effort. My friend was at the Cocktail Party, not to drink, he was just "17," but just to be there, I would have been there too except nobody invited me, that threw a damper on things. This was like a Command Performance, the entire Goodyear Team was there and one of the 4 who had won a Gold Medal brought his along to show his Hosts and one of his teammates took it and told my friend to hide it, ha, ha. The Naval Aerobatic Flying Team is the "Blue Angels," the Air Force's is the "Thunderbirds." So Everybody was Fat and Sassy in the Rubber City in the Fall of 1964. When my Father was playing ,Goodyear and Akron U would have a double-header and draw 4000, as this was in the midst of the Great Depression I would like to think that it provided Wholesome and Upbeat Entertainment for the General Public. I'm sure it didn't cost much to get in and you could have an entire afternoon taken up by an uplifting example of high athletic endeavor. You might enter the gym feeling down because you had no job and leave feeling much better about things. My Father probably only wanted to play 2 years for Goodyear as he had his work to do, being on the team entailed traveling long distances by train to say, Bartlesville, Oklahoma to play Phillips 66 and to Denver to play the Denver Truckers. Athletic Teams founded in the 20's and 30's often took the names of local occupations , i.e. the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburg Steelers. Unfortunately I must leave this fine subject to bring up Kelly Ripa's and her husband's threatened lawsuit against the Enquirer because the Enquirer said that she and her husband were on the verge of splitting up (I feel like a Gossip Columnist). I don't know about anybody splitting up but I do know that that wouldn't be the worst thing that the Enquirer knows about these 2. People who live in Glass Houses.......Kelly is sort of likeable in a Little Girl Lost type way, but really think of the Bohemian things that these Lesbians do with each other, ugh. It would seem like Lesbians would be kind of limited in what they could do with each other, Real Limited when you think about it. I tried to set a Good Example for Kelly for the past 8 years, I did my Best.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I notice that I have received zero comments on any of my 46 previous Blogs, how could that be as I know that they're widely read? You people act strangely, didn't you have No Proper Bringins' Up? My father was Bob Preusse and he was Large-Boned and 6'6", very tall for somebody born in 1910, in February he would have been "99". My father was Akron University's MVP in Basketball in 1934 and when Akron U played Kent State for the Conference Championship, the last game of the season for both teams, Akron U won with my father scoring two-thirds of Akron U's points. My father graduated with a degree in 3 different types of engineering, Mechanical, Civil and something else but functioned as a Mechanical Engineer. Apparently he had well over a 3 point which was quite good in those days before gross grade inflation and in a hard discipline. Graduating in the Heart of the Depression he had a number of job offers and chose to work for Goodyear. And he also played Basketball for Goodyear for 2 years, all the rubber companies had basketball teams, this was before professional basketball and the Goodyear Wingfoots were one of the best teams in the World at that time. It was extremely rare that Goodyear would have an Akron U player on their team as they only recruited Big Stars. One of my Dad's teammates was a brother of Tom Harmon, who had won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan, and another was Charley Shipp, one of the best players in the World in that Era. On Goodyear's team my Father was no longer a Star but was only a sometimes Starter. About 3 years ago Steve Rushin had a story in Sports Illustrated on the "Harlem Renaissance," an all-Black Team that was one of the best at that time. And every year Goodyear, an all-White Team, played the Harlem Renaissance and in 1936 they played in Akron. During the course of the game one of the Renaissance players took exception to Charley Shipp's play and Decked him. This was a very famous incident in Depression Era Akron. My father said that Charley Shipp was a dirty player and that he got what he deserved. But perhaps my Old Man's Reasoning was colored by Envy because he was no longer the Star and Charley Shipp was, I'm not saying this was the case I'm just tossing this out, could be. I wasn't there, I wasn't going to be born for over a decade and I wouldn't know the Right or Wrong of It. But I do know that if you come in and Beat Up a Team's Star that they might be reluctant to play you. That was the last time that the Goodyear Wingfoots ever played the Harlem Renaissance.
Friday, December 12, 2008
For the past 2 years the National Media has known that Kelly Ripa is a Lesbian. ABC bought everybody off as they want the American Public to continue to believe that Ripa is a devoted wife instead of the Adulterous Fairy that she actually is. Kelly makes a lot of money and therefore Kelly's husband wants her previous image to continue, he has his women and so does she. Regis perpetuates this Fraud in order to save his show. The American Public deserves to know the Truth. Everyone that you see on TV has known for these past 2 years what Kelly is and they've all allowed themselves to be bought off, they have the scruples of an Alleycat. The Fourth Estate in this country who want the American Public to believe that they are seekers of the Truth are in Reality---Whores, they're nothing but Streetwalkers. There is no Lie that they won't tell and there is no Truth that they won' t conceal, all they're interested in are their paychecks. They're Judas with their 30 Pieces of Silver. This Country is so Rotten and Corrupt that I don't see how it can last much longer, how can such a Vile Entity continue? I'm not like the Prevailing Interests in this Country, I'm cut from Finer Cloth but they're dragging me down with them and I'm not too happy about this. I have nothing against Kelly and find her likable in her own quirky way but the American Public Deserves to Know the Truth. If anyone takes Umbrage at my Statement please let me know. -- Ed
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I was talking to a friend of mine today, "Bob," who I know from the gym and I asked him how old he was, I thought maybe "68" and he said "81." Bob has a Harley and rides regularly and only retired 5 years ago. If you keep yourself up you'll last a long time, just ask Bob. Bob has been married for 47 years but has no children, maybe that's part of it. Bob can put up a pretty fair amount of weight too, I'm all-around impressed. For a couple seasons John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. But then Rocker gave an interview in January of 2000 in which he made politically incorrect statements and everybody hounded this guy after that and John Rocker was out of the Major Leagues after the 2003 season. One of the things he said was "How did some of these people get in the Country?" Now this was prior to 9-11. Bobby Kennedy, who I think would have been President, was assassinated in the spring of 1968 by a Moslem Arab who didn't like Kennedy's support for Israel. Good Sense would dictate that some of these people are very dangerous people and their numbers should be limited in the United States. Contrary to popular beliefs today not everybody in the World is entitled to live in the United States. Instead of limiting the numbers of Arab Moslems in the U.S. about any of them who wanted to come here were still allowed. All 19 of the Hijackers on 9-11 were Arab Moslems who had had Legal Status in the United States at one time or the other, all had been Legal Residents of the United States. And 9-11 was as big a suprise to the FBI and the CIA as it was to anybody else, they thought, gee, look at that. The FBI spent 50 million dollars and 17 years looking for the Unibomber and the only way Ted was caught was when his own brother turned him in. According to the late Peter Maas, the author of "Killer Spy," the CIA agents would often work while they were drunk. Could have fooled me. None of Rocker's statements bothered me, Rocker was a public figure being less than diplomatic, but you can't even talk anymore? If you express unpopular opinions people will hound you like pit bulls until you have no blood left in you. On Jay Leno's show he had people swinging a bat at a likeness of John Rocker. Every time Rocker pitched large crowds would shout horrible things at him. In a baseball sense Rocker broke under the strain and couldn't pitch well anymore. John Rocker was a country boy who would hunt even 40 days in a row and his opinions were common to people like himself, millions of Americans looked favorably on his stated opinions. You can't even talk anymore? All the many people in the media who jumped on Rocker and hounded him out of baseball are all Bullies, Cowards and lowborn Swine. They have no Shame.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Cece was in her late 70's and when she died the Cat Lovers Club fell apart, nobody else had the experience and energy to keep it going. Cece had a very large obituary in both of the Las Vegas Newspapers and it was said that Cece's father had been a Rabbi, so we can guess that she probably wasn't Catholic. But I don't think that I hurt anything, once somebody is dead you're sort of limited in what you can do for them, regardless of anybody's religion, having 4 Masses said for the repose of their soul would be a good thing. Cece was widowed and had no children but there's a lot of people in that situation who wouldn't devote so much time and effort for so many years to help the Powerless. For decades I've had these Masses said at "Guardian Angel Cathedral" just east of mid-strip, the land for the Cathedral had been donated by Moe Dalitz, a famous gangster and a Jew. Moe is the only gangster I've heard of who was also a philanthropist, a pretty rare combination. Coincidentally I met Moe's great-nephew Chuck Dalitz when I was in Guatamala 12 years ago, Chuck had married a local woman and lived there. For this coming spring I'll have Masses said for my 2 relatives and also a Black and a Filipino (this is in addition to the 2 I've already had Masses said for), and maybe others. A year ago this past spring one of the people that I had Masses said for was Jim (English last name) who had been the manager of a motel that I had stayed at in San Diego, sometimes even for a month. Jim had lived at the motel with his wife Karen and their 2 children, a girl "12" and a boy "10," goodlooking nice-acting blonde ones. Karen always seemed to be into the parental thing but I was told by Jim that she had suddenly announced to her family that she didn't love Jim anymore and was leaving. What day did she choose to do this? Christmas Day. Jim told me that Karen lived out of state with her boyfriend that Jim found out that she had had and he told me that he still loved her and hoped that she would return to him. Jim was a tall good-looking extroverted type man who could have easily dug up another woman but didn't, Jim just devoted himself to raising his 2 "golden nuggets" as he put it and you could tell that he really loved those kids. The next time I stopped at the motel there was a different manager and I was told that Jim had suddenly died from a heart attack. Jim had died from a broken heart.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Every couple years I have 4 Masses apiece said for the repose of the souls of my Grandmother, my father's mother, and my younger brother, Tom. And each time I do this I also have 4 Masses apiece said for maybe 2 others, people who I had known who had died and for whom I had esteem. It could be anybody no matter their race or religion, if any, just people who I had found to be worthy. I've done this for a Filipino, a Black, a Mormon, for Cece leBoef, a longtime Animals Rights Activist in Las Vegas and founder of the Cat Lovers Club, ha,ha, of which I was a member. We'd pay for the neutering and shots of any cat (and dog) and we'd find them wonderful homes if they were homeless. The District Attorney at that time was one of the Trustees, and we got most of our money from Bill Bennett of Circus Circus and other casinos who at that time was worth three-quarters of a billion dollars. As soon as money was donated it was spent. The last cat I brought into the Vet's for the Club was a big long-haired male who belonged to a fat slobby white couple who had an apartment near mine. They used to keep him outside in the dark and cold and I used to feed him. And he was always hungry so they must not have fed him too well, just themselves. I called Cece and said that I was bringing him in and she called the Vet. The cat was happy to be with someone and out of the cold and rode to the Vet with his chin on my left thigh. He was a year and a half old male, the Vet neutered him and gave him his shots and 3 days later he was adopted out. We were very choosy to whom we'd give a cat, it had to be people who would take good care of the cat even if he lived to be 20. Oh, the next morning the slobby woman saw me doing something on my car and came over and asked me with a tone of wonder, "Did you see that cat?" I shook my head no (well, I hadn't seen him that morning). This reveals the question, is Cat-Stealing a Feliny?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Orenthal James Simpson is to be sentenced today and everybody says he'll get slammed. It's a pity it's come to this, I've always admired OJ's athletic ability. The first time I ever heard of OJ was the spring of my sophomore year at Ohio State, I was reading "Sports Illustrated" and there was an article about Southern Cal's 400 yard relay team and their anchor was----OJ Simpson, I didn't even know he played football. OJ had just transferred from City College of San Francisco. I don't want to see OJ punished severely, his most recent didn't seem to be all that bad of a crime. I'm sure that he did butcher those 2 people 14 years ago, they found the Juice's juice all over the crime scene. To purport that the LAPD planted evidence to frame the virtuous OJ Simpson is silly. OJ used a lot of cocaine and drugs make one act badly, we all heard what he sounded like on that 911 tape. I sort of grew up watching OJ's athletic feats, indeed I'm exactly 2 weeks older. Back in Ohio I used to pick up a black guy named "Doug" and drive him to work every morning, we worked at the same place. One morning Doug didn't come down when I honked, I knocked on his door and there was no answer. I learned that the night before Doug had stabbed a white guy in a bar, for this he was made to do a year in jail. Another black friend of mine, "Leon," in commenting on this incident said, "They took Doug out of the Ghetto, did they take the Ghetto out of Doug?" After he served his sentence Doug returned to Cleveland and I hope things went well for him, I liked Doug. Doug's case reminds me of OJ who really didn't come from much. In his adult life the only black people he had anything to do with were his own family and longtime friends like Cowlings, when he was acquitted one of the jurors gave OJ the clenched fist Black Power sign and I laughed, under ordinary circumstances OJ wouldn't have bothered to look in this guy's direction. The Blacks who had been very successful like Jim Brown and Richard Pryor all said that OJ was guilty. Once OJ's sentenced and sent off to prison a lot of people will say that OJ finally got what he deserved, What Goes Around Comes Around, but it's a sad event in the Melodrama that is OJ Simpson.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
You people have no talent, there's nothing that you can do that a whole lot of other people can't also do. You're haughty and pretentious and endemic of all the ills that infect this country and why this country probably is on its last legs. All you can do is a whole lot of talk, most people can talk. Maybe you should get religion, it would have to help. 4 years ago last spring I was traveling around North Africa and Western Europe and I was all over France, I was in Paris, of course, Avignon, where several Popes ruled, Arles, where Van Gogh lived, was in the asylum, and where he famously cut off his ear (Van Gogh had wanted to establish an Artists Colony, after the ear incident Paul Gaugan quickly left town), and Lourdes. I had been to Fatima many years before and gotten their water and now I was going to get Holy Water from Lourdes. Surrounded by the beautiful Pyrenees, Lourdes was packed with Pilgrims on a Tuesday. In 1858 Bernadette Soubirous, a 14 year old girl, told the townspeople that she had seen Appiritions of the Virgin Mary out by the town dump. The mayor wanted her to be taken to the bughouse but eventually Bernadette was able to persuade the townspeople that she had seen the Virgin Mary 18 times in this grotto. Told by Mary to dig in the grotto Bernadette struck water. Always sickly, Bernadette became a nun and died from her chronic ills when she was "33." What we learned from Bernadette is that we can be happy despite our afflictions. 67 Miracles of the Catholic Church have been attributed to the Holy Water in the Grotto, thousands more unofficial "miracles" have been attributed to the water. There's several faucets in and around the Grotto and you can have all the water you want. I drank it (bland), I poured it on me (can't hurt) and brought a liter and a half bottle back to the States. I'd let anybody have some even if I didn't know them, it's in my fridge now but just enough that I have some, I gave the rest away. Making a Pilgrimage to Lourdes was a wonderful experience that I'll always treasure and my Holy Water never evaporates even when left in a warm place for a month and a half. "Apparitions," correct spelling. I also went to Normandie and toured the Normandie Beachheads("Bloody Omaha" where after 2 hours and 43 minutes Omar Bradley demanded reinforcements for fear the Americans would be thrown back into the sea). The French were giving out nice keychains to the Americans in appreciation as it was the 60th Anniversary of D-Day, the keychains said "D-Day." Once I got back to the States I gave my Holy Water from Lourdes to my friend's mother and a D-Day keychain to his father who had actually been at D-Day on one of the boats and they liked this very much. Sam's parents were very old and about ready to die and have since died, I was glad to make them happy.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I had a fine blog wiped out yesterday, I was wondering if you people did it but I guess not, I pressed Publish Post and it was gone. I'm not really existing to amuse you people, I'd like to get some Public Recognition for my Extremely Rare Ability, see what you can do. Here we go again--I crossed the border into Eilat, Israel, Aqaba and Eilat are the southernmost cities in their countries. Nothing to see in Eilat so I took the 5 hour bus past the Dead Sea, which is suprisingly big, and arrived in Jerusalem. This was the 4th visit to Israel and I've entered 4 ways, Eilat, Rafah, Amman, and Ben Gurion. I always stay in the Arab Section of Jerusalem as it's 3 times more expensive in the Jewish Section for the same thing, and I usually stay on Saladin Street, a stone's throw from Damascus Gate. The first 2 times I stayed in Moslem Arab hotels and the past 2 in Christian Arab hotels, makes me no difference. And the hotels are a lot more expensive than just 4 years before in large part due to the huge number of Russians, yes, here too, on their cutsie package deals. Jerusalem is always very exciting and I never get tired of it, I saw the new excavation that they're doing on the Second Temple, a further extension of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). Men wail on the left, women on the right. I just love to walk and walk and walk inside the Walled City, so much to see. At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher there's the Tomb of Jesus, which I always go into, and other things related to Jesus and it was full of ------Russians. The Russians were singing songs and kissing everything in sight, it was sort of like Dr. Zhivago. I climbed the Mount of Olives and went into all the churches along the way. The next day I went to the Jerusalem Museum and saw some of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as fine works of art. Nobody likes Art more than me, my tastes are typical, everybody likes Van Gogh and I've seen about 300 of his paintings, he only painted for 10 years but cranked out over 800 paintings. My favorite? "The Potato Eaters," figures seem to move. In natural light the "Venus de Milo" looks like it's alive. I was in Jerusalem 3 days and then took a van to Tel Aviv for 2 days. Tel Aviv is a real nice city, I went to the beach and I went to the exceedingly good Tel Aviv Art Museum, that place is really something. On the way to Cairo there was a 7 hour stopover in Brussels and I went into the town and saw their very good Art Museum and also their Cathedral (a big barn). My last morning I shopped around at the nearby travel agencies and bought a ticket to Istanbul and I was in the air 4 hours later. Two days ago on Saturday I saw Palo Verde play Las Vegas High School in a State Big School Semi-Final with Palo Verde winning 42-21. Palo Verde's Torin Harris is one of the best players in the country and is going to USC. I don't think I'd go some place where they stockpile tailbacks. I'll take Palo next week when they play McQueen in Reno for the State Championship. My first time in Israel I swam (floated) in the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea on the same day.
Friday, November 28, 2008
The 5 Gulf States that I was in I had never been to before and I'm always glad to add extra countries to my collection but Jordan I had been to just 4 years before. I didn't cat around Amman this time but got on a van going to Wadi Musa, the town next to Petra. Lots of hotels just pick the one you want. In the morning I hopped a van for the 2 miles to Petra, the "Lost City," the city of Sele in the Bible. Settled by the Nabataeans in ancient times and rediscovered by the Swiss adventurer, Johannes Burkhardt in 1822, Petra was kept secret to the West for a thousand years (ha, ha, actually I don't know why), a city largely carved from Red Stone. And the redness of Petra had largely faded in the 4 years since I had last been there, I have no idea why, I asked and didn't get any good answers. The most famous building is "the Treasury" which is the first you come to and it's about a mile and a half to the furthest point, "the Monastery," which I reached this time. There's a lot of climbing involved and 4 years before a silly Arab was acting up and kept me awake at the hotel I stayed at, I didn't have the energy to get to "the Monastery." There's lots of other tourists and they're riding camels, horses, donkeys but I made it a point to just walk, to me that's part of it. The area around Petra is strange, I've seen cumulus clouds that were barely above the ground. The Moabites were originally here and denied the Jews passage through their land, the Jews eventually returned and threw the Moabites from the cliffs. I ate at the huge buffet in the middle of Petra, $12, it was just basic grub but you could have all you wanted, calories you need to explore the place. I didn't miss anything this time, I was exhausted by the end of the day but I enjoyed it. The next morning I got on a van going to Aqaba, on the Red Sea. Little to see there, this was my 3rd time to Jordan, I had been in Aqaba 15 years before. Took a taxi to Wadi Rum, it's like a national park, it's just a lot of desert and mountains. I stayed at this friendly place which has a restaurant and a bunch of tents out back which cost $4 a night. I walked out into the desert and read for a few hours, it was pretty nice. I ate at the restaurant, wrote postcards and eventually retired to my tent for the night. No light, just darkness after the sun went down and it was cold as heck but plenty of blankets in the tent. And the wind howled that night like you wouldn't believe and swayed that tent back and forth like somebody waving their hand. All in all it was a pretty good experience and I slept well. The next morning I took a taxi back to Aqaba and then took another taxi to the border and crossed over into Eilat, Israel.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Gobble, gobble. I wish that I had kept the receipt from the pharmacy of that Coptic family in Kuwait City so that I could send them a Thank You card or postcard. It's not like me not to have it, I'm German, I keep records when I don't want to keep records. Maybe it was because I was so sick that it got lost in the shuffle. I was coughing up a lot of blood, I was really sick. I think that maybe I got something from the illegal aliens at the gym I go to and the bad air of Cairo enhanced it. When you're in a plane even 2 miles up the air is brown, only time I've even seen that. They say that antibiotics are the biggest medical breakthrough of the past century. In the mid-20's President Coolidge's teen-age son died from an infected tennis blister, the President's son would have the best of medical care but the advent of antibiotics was in the 30's. From Dubai I took the bus to Muscat, Oman, got in late, found a hotel behind the bus depot and flopped. Ha, ha, I did bargain there and got 20% off, basically all you have to do is ask, they had a room to sell and a buyer standing in front of them. I didn't even know where Oman was until just before I went there. Muscat is pretty good, I don't think they have the oil wealth of the 4 northern Gulf States. I liked their History and Cultural Museum and they give you a nice memento of your visit. Their Military Museum is real big and interesting and you have a military escort showing you around, I had a picture taken of me with this Warrant Officer, this was quite nice. Oman's National Mosque is fabulous! And boys and girls, that's the biggest carpet in the world, it took 600 women three years to weave (bet they were tired) it. I went to some town 60 miles away where they had a fort and catted around out there. Back in Muscat I had a taxi driver drive me some places and then to the airport and we got into a disagreement about the bill. I was being generous and I thought that he was trying to take advantage of me, to decide this the head officer in charge of Security at the Muscat Airport sort of had a mini-civil trial. This officer sat behind a desk with me sitting in front of him and the taxi driver sitting a distance to his side and a bunch of Security Personnel sitting in chairs in a semi-circle behind me. The officer asked to hear my side first and then he heard the taxi driver's side and then he rendered his decision in favor of the taxi driver. It was actually a trifle blown out of proportion, I just thought that the guy was trying to take advantage of me after I was being nice to him. I pulled myself together and hopped on a plane to Amman, Jordan. Yemen is the only Gulf State that I haven't been to, I was thinking about going there but they've had a lot of bad incidents and kidnappings and I was thinking about going there overland by bus. Also I didn't think that I could get out of there to Amman very easily. Royal Jordanian is a nice airline, I like to fly different airlines and I've flown a lot of them. One of Man's basic instincts is to explore, that is go places, and I find travel to be very exciting, it's good clean fun that hurts no one.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I watched the 1986 Kentucky Derby on TV, a really dramatic race with Willie Shoemaker aboard Ferdinand in a masterful "trip" through the "Invisible Hole." When I learned 2 years ago that Ferdinand had died in a Japanese Slaughterhouse it went all the way through me. I couldn't believe that such Evil had befallen this Equine Champion. A groom said of Ferdinand, "He was so sweet. He'd come over to me and press his head up against me." I saw the 1991 Kentucky Derby, I was basically dropping down from Ohio to Florida and ran into it. All it cost to get into the Infield was $20, they didn't even give you a ticket and there was no limit to the number they'd shove into the Infield. It was a real good time, I was out there 5 hours and everybody would be walking around talking to each other. The Derby itself was the 8th race, I had thought that they just ran the Derby and then everybody went home. I had bought the local newspaper and it seemed like Strike the Gold was undervalued at 6-l so I put $20 on him. I didn't really feel like betting at all but I would have felt stupid being there and not betting on the Kentucky Derby. In the Infield all you see is the beginning and end and you watch the race on Big Screens (although I was right there on the Rail at the Start-Finish at the Preakness 5 years ago, a really good "Seat"). Strike the Gold won and I won 116 dollars on the son of Alydar and Majestic Gold. I had never been on the Internet before 3 months ago but once I was I Googled Strike the Gold. Apparently he's in Turkey and they're talking about eating him! Some people are more civilized than others. There's a retirement home for thoroughbreds in Kentucky called "Old Friends," and its at www.old friends equine. com. Since Ferdinand's fate in 2002 became well known a couple years ago "Old Friends" has received a lot more support and maybe we can all pitch in and save Strike the Gold and other Equine Champions from a dreadful fate and give them the retirement that they deserve. Half the Country was watching the Stakes Race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure in 1975 and a lot of people thought that Ruffian, a filly, would win. When Ruffian broke her leg so badly and had to be destroyed right there at the track that for me was one of the all-time Tearjerkers. Apparently due to the demands of a Stakes Race this was the last one ever run in this country. In 1917 Man O' War lost his only race at the Sanford Downs at Saratoga, the horse that beat him giving his name forever to unexpected victory, "Upset."
Monday, November 24, 2008
I pumped some gas today and they had a TV screen on the pump, I went to the supermarket and at the check-out stand they also had a TV screen, in the locker-room of the gym I go to they have 2 TV's and I posed the question, "Why do we have TV's in the locker-room?" Hearing this an old man said, "It's to traumatize the Masses to make them subservient." Hmmm. I can put my thoughts into people's minds in old movies or old newsreels. I was watching the "History Channel" and I did this with Hitler once. It was a scene where Hitler was viewing a military parade passing beneath him, I said, "Adolf," and 2 seconds later I said,"Heil." Hitler exploded with laughter and had a hard time containing himself. Eh, that was funny. Of course I wasn't pledging allegiance to Hitler, how many people do you think addressed Hitler by his first name? He knew that I was an entity equal or superior to himself and reacted accordingly. It was just a joke between 2 guys. Hitler was often seen smiling and laughing unlike the rest of the Nazis who always had an air of gravity about them. If you didn't know better you'd think, a happy-go-lucky Bavarian. That Adolf had a malevolent side is well-known, his father used to beat him all the time and I think once put him in a coma, he made young Adolf address him as "Herr Fater," Mr. Father. We can all agree that Hitler had a mean side to him and this is why. Adolf had great ability and it's a pity that it couldn't have been utilized for Good. Hey, I'm so different from everybody that Hitler might have gotten me in the Holocaust had I been around in those days, we wouldn't want that. But I can't change History and it's not a wise idea to try. I did try it with whatshisname who played Superman, I'd see him in movies and think "Don't Ride Horses!" I would think that somebody would heed this warning, it didn't work. That was the only time that I ever communicated with Hitler, there's nothing to be said. I don't know why the Nazis did what they did, you have intrinsic knowledge, you're born knowing that it's wrong to rob and murder people. And look at the zeal they put into it. I don't think they did regard the Jews as being inferior, they had better jobs and more money than most, I think they regarded them as a competitor to be gotten out of the way. The Nazis also killed 400,000 Gypsies and they despised them. It's good that those days are behind us but is the World actually better today than it was then?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
California State Employees receive a paid holiday for "Cesar Chavez Day," there's Washington, Lincoln and ..... As small as Kuwait is it possesses 10% of the world's oil reserves. I flew to Manama, Bahrain. Bahrain is an island and has good things to see but not nearly as many as Kuwait. The National Museum is real good, both Kuwait's and Manama's National Mosque are real good. Generally speaking I prefer a great Mosque to a Cathedral, there's nothing in it to speak of and you can admire its grand simplicity. The Arabs love to dicker, you can bargain about anything, hotel rooms, taxi rides, you name it. From my hotel I wanted to go to the National Museum and I expressed this desire to a taxi driver and he said 7 Dinar (a Dinar is 2.50). I raised 2 fingers and said, 2 Dinar. Onlookers smile as they like the interaction. After awhile we settled on 4 Dinar, it was worth about the 2 but I'm not a very good bargainer. Due to the oil riches throughout the Gulf States you can see beautiful big buildings and more of them being built. Any place is worth 3 days, even Qatar. I flew to Doha, Qatar and there's close to nothing to see there. Even a hotel concierge would tell you this. I liked their Mall, I ate there every day. I took a boat ride into the harbor, big thrill. But just to be in a place where there's all these beautiful skyscrapers and just as many being built is very interesting. An English guy recommended a Souk (market) where they had all these falcons. The best of these would cost several thousand dollars and they are very beautiful birds, I really enjoyed seeing them. I flew to Abu Dhabi, which has 9% of the worlds's oil reserves and is one of the 7 United Arab Emirates, a country which has existed since 1958. Abu Dhabi is better than Dubai, not nearly as congested, decent air. Good things to see, the best of which is the Emirates Palace Hotel, a 3 billion dollar hotel and much better than anything in Las Vegas. And very friendly personnel who act as though they enjoy your walking around gawking at everything, that's our kind of place. I took a bus to Dubai, 2 hours, and I should have gotten a hotel around the Gold Souk (a zillion shops selling gold jewelry) instead of a hotel out a ways, due to the bad traffic it was hard to get to. Eh, got to look around. Went to the Jumeirah and Burj al Arab Hotels to look around, they're shaped like boats. Went to this mall where they had a long indoor ski-slope and a lot of people were using it. The Gold Souk and its vicinity are real interesting and I enjoyed their History Museum. I was getting bad misdirections on where to take the bus to Muscat, Oman and I commented, "These people don't seem to be too bright." Hearing me say this a guy from India said, "You've got that right," and he showed me where to go.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Previously I've been all over Egypt, to Aswan, Alexandria, the Suez Canal but Cairo and Luxor are the best at least for a layman, I'm certainly no archeologist. I flew to Kuwait and had to wait an hour to get a visa at the airport, usually you get it instantly. They made a guy who worked at the American Embassy wait 2 hours. Kuwait's real good, I went up their tower in Kuwait City (which is most of Kuwait for practical purposes, the rest is just oil fields), there's a lot of neat stuff to see. I made a friend at the airport, the manager of one of those exchange booths, the one that has all that foreign currency layed out. I talked to this guy coming and leaving 3 days later. In the Gulf States there's a sevant underclass to do most of the work. They're not citizens, not paid too much, have few rights and can never share in the oil largess that the Arab citizens do. This guy's family had come from Iran 50 years before but can never be citizens of Kuwait, in fact his brother was jailed the year before for a few months, the Gulf State Citizens roust these people every so often to keep them in line. A lot of the servant class are Filipinos of either sex and guys from India and they make more in the Gulf States than they could in their own country. This manager, wouldn't know how to spell his name, was "27" and really a sharp guy, he manually counted a big stack of bills a lot faster than I've ever seen in Vegas. He gave me a bill from the Iraqui Occupation of Kuwait with Saddam's picture on it, which they normally sell, and an Iranian bill with the Ayatollah Khomeini's picture on it, it was very nice. Later when I was in Qatar a young fellow, "24," from Nepal told me that he made $320 a month working 60 hours a week as a plumber, a lot of that heavy labor, say lifting a toilet, and this was better than he could do in Nepal. My last day in Kuwait I was still sick as a dog and I decided that instead of going in a hospital that I should go to a pharmacy as I had read that in Cairo you could buy medication without a prescription and I hoped this was true of Kuwait. There was a lady pharmacist with her family in there and I told her that I'd been coughing incessantly and she reached behind her and pulled out a small box of antibiotics and then a box of anti-inflammatory, both Swiss pharmaceuticals and twice a day and a bottle of local cough syrup every 4 hours. She and her family were Coptics, the Coptics began when Saint Luke came to Egypt, a sect like Greek or Russian Orthodox, they don't give allegiance to Rome. The Coptic women stand out in a Moslem world by often or usually wearing a cross around their neck. This lady knew that my Easter was the next day and wished me "Happy Easter." All the Coptics that I've ever met are personable, smart, save you money and in this instance save your health, I think they're very good people. From the time that I entered the pharmacy until the time I left was 10 minutes, the medication costing 32 dollars total, I took it as the Coptic lady told me to and two and a half days later I was cured.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
A lot of times things are as good or better when you return to them. To see the 4 Temples and the Valley of the Kings across the Nile I hired a taxi and driver for the day. Luxor tour buses are for sissies, a little bit of time here, a little bit there and back on the bus, a canned tour and poorly canned. Each time I've been in Luxor I've gone to around the Luxor Museum and hired a taxi and driver and it works out great. This time I paid Ali $40 for 10 hours, a different driver each time. We took the ferry across the river to where the taxi was and it was great as always, you can take as much time as you like, say see all the tombs that are open instead of 3 or 4 (except for Tut's, clogged with Russians). I also had Ali take me to a real good place he knew of where I bought 6 alabaster Scarabs for people back home. The Scarab (dung beetle) is the ancient Egyptian talisman for Good Luck, all of us need to catch some every so often otherwise we'd all be toast. The only athletic team that I've ever heard of that had the Scarab as their team nickname was Cleveland East Tech High School (the Scarabs). Cleveland East Tech produced Harrison Dillard who won the 100-meter dash at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic and Jesse Owens and their Luck was Good. The first time I was in the Valley of the Kings I rode in on a donkey, well, I'm a humble guy. The next day I do as I always do the last day I'm in Luxor, I crossed the Nile and rented a bicycle. I rode it about 15 miles in 6 hours, you ride through villages, you ride past the archeological sites and a lot of the people you pass wave to you, it's a whole lot of fun. That night I took the train back to Cairo. I was sitting in 1st Class and the conductor asked me if I wanted a sleeping berth for no extra money, I said I was happy where I was at, but it was quite nice, I've always had a good opinion of the Egyptian people. The train pulled into Rameses Station in the morning and I took the subway (only the strong survive the Cairo Subway in the late afternoon) to around the Egyptian Museum where you can buy airline tickets at many places and bought a ticket to fly to Kuwait, where I had never been, that night. Except for a ticket to a general area and back, I always buy my air tickets on the fly, no pun, to use that day or the next, they're reasonably priced and there's always space, not like in this country. And you don't have to take your shoes off at the airport, why would it be necessary for people to take their shoes off? Reminds me, on November 17, 1997, 62 tourists, mostly Swissies, were gunned down by Moslem Extremists at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor. I was there several years later and I asked at the ticket booth where exactly did this occur? I was told, "Under your shoes."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This past March and April I was in the Middle East for a 47 day trip with a stopover in Brussels and I flew back from Greece. I flew into Cairo, my 4th time in Egypt as it's the most interesting to a tourist of any country in the world. From the airport I took a taxi to a hotel that I had stayed at before----I never make reservations, they can expect me once they see me walk through the door. In the morning I went to the Pyramids via city transportation, Giza is on the outskirts of Cairo. I rented a camel, "Miken," who was "9" (camels live to be about 25) and rode Mike around the Pyramids and the Sphinx and the other archeological sites, that Mike was a real good boy. Cheops, the largest, is about 4000 years old and is still the heaviest man-made object. I've gone inside Cheops before to Pharoah's Burial Chamber but did this for Chephren, the 2nd biggest, this time. I saw "the Boat" and walked around and saw the little pyramids, etc. You used to be able to get real close to the Sphinx in the old days but no longer can. Lotsa fun. Mikerinis is the 3rd biggest, and they're all so nice. My previous visit I rode an Arabian horse around, change of pace. The next day I went to the Egyptian Museum, by far the best museum in the world, not air-conditioned, I've always been there in the spring. The place is packed with pieces any one of which would be the best at most museums. The ticket doesn't cost much, for a little extra you can pay to see the Pharoahs' mummies, I think there were 15, they show more each time, by the time I left Egypt I had seen 22. You can see Rameses II, the Pharoah in Exodus and his dad, Seti I. What Egypt had this time that they didn't have before were Russians, the Russians are now oil-rich and the place is full of them on package deals. I talked to some, seemed like nice people, but I think that you probably have to be say, like an engineer to be able to do this. Under the Czars the serfs only fun was potato vodka and it's the same for the lower class today. Tutankhamun's Treasure is always very good, they show different pieces each time and because I've been there 4 times over the past 23 years I've probably seen it all. I was in the Egyptian for 7 hours, if I'm in a great museum I'll stay there until they're ready to throw me out, it's just the way I am. Took the train to Luxor and stayed at a real good 3-star, the Hotel Emilio, just $30 a night, Egypt is still cheap although Israel next door has gone way up. Good breakfast buffet included and nice restaurant on the roof. The maid for my room took the very large bath towels and shaped one like a swan and the other like a flower in blossom, I've never seen anything like that before, true artistry, they looked so good I didn't use them. I started to cough in Cairo, I think the terrible air brought this on, I'd cough every few seconds and I couldn't sleep at night for this reason, just layed there coughing but I never slacked off on my trip, I put as much effort into seeing the sights as I would otherwise. Went to the Temple of Karnak, the Temple of Luxor, the Luxor Museum, the 4 temples on the other side of the river and the Valley of the Kings. I think there were 12 tombs open and I went into all of them except for Tut's, easily the smallest but most famous, even though I had gone into Tut's 4 years before but now there was a long line of Russians. A lot of times things aren't as good when you return to them.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Whenever somebody on the street asks me for money I always give them $5, today even. To buy something to eat you're going to need that much and even if they don't spend it on food and instead, say, spend it on a hit of crack, the fact that somebody that day found worth in them is something that they might be able to build on. I don't recommend that women do this. In February I'm going to have my third colonoscopy. My father died at "63" from the effects of colon cancer, I'm "61" and I'd like to avoid that. I had my first colonoscopy when I was almost "47" and the lady doctor said that my colon was "a thing of beauty." This sounded pretty funny and so I told the boy doctors what she had said and Dr. Weinburger said, "You should have asked her for her phone number, I'm still waiting for my wife to say something like that to me." I had my second colonoscopy almost 10 years later and they found a small pre-cancerous polyp (they snip it out right then, it doesn't hurt) and so I'm having one 5 years and 4 months later. I'm getting older but I'd like to avoid learning that One Great Secret for as long as possible. Life has its off-moments but its better than being dead. I urge everybody I know to get a colonoscopy, a lot of the guys I know walk around with their chests stuck out and most of them are too pansy to get a colonoscopy, they have the "ostrich" attitude about it. What sense does that make? I'm really looking forward to my next colonoscopy. In my previous 2 they gave me an IV of joy-juice and if they said that they were going to shove you out the window you wouldn't care. You're on your side when they do this, at least for me its this way, and you get to see your own colon in living-color, that is so much fun! Katie Couric was on the lecture circuit, maybe she still is, about getting a colonoscopy because she had a good husband who died at "42" from the effects of colon cancer (my father died in bits and pieces) and she wanted others to avoid this fate. I think that last year Katie, who was "50," had a boyfriend who was "33" so it sounds like she's found some solace (ehhhh young stuff). And yes, having a colonoscopy is one of the most fun things you can do in life.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The most common name for an English King is "Edward," and my father met the last of these. During the Korean War my father was Officer-in-Charge of the Brook Park Tank Plant, also known as the Cadillac Tank Plant, outside of Cleveland. My father was a reserve officer who didn't even like the Army because it didn't produce anything. In its wisdom at the time all able-bodied men who attended Akron U. had to take ROTC and this provided an officer corps for WW II, all they had to do was plug it in. For WW II he had to go overseas but for the Korean War, not as big, he stayed stateside. We never lived in Cleveland, the Army gave him a car and he drove back and forth, hey we were Akronites. Ha, ha, yes that's what a resident of Akron, Ohio is called. The Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII who gave up his throne "For the woman I love," as part of his official duties as English Royalty toured the plant as it was the largest tank plant in the country at that time. A picture was taken afterwards of the participants in this event and there was my father and other Army officers in uniform and the Duke looked very dapper in a suit but there was also this little fellow wearing factory workers' clothes. I said to my father, "Who's he?" And my father replied, "He was a worker at the plant who was from England and he wanted to meet the Duke." I've been told by an English guy that Eddie was probably too soft-hearted to be King, this guy was telling me about a Welsh Coal Miners Strike that Eddie had gotten all worked up about. Nobody would have wanted this guy in that picture except for the Duke, believe me this guy looked terrible, my father wouldn't have wanted that worker in the picture and neither would anybody else. Edward Windsor didn't want to be the King of England but he really did care about his People, it didn't matter how grubby they looked, it didn't matter how grubby they were, he really did care about them. I once told another English guy about this picture and he got a real serious look on his face and said, "That's a very historic picture," and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I don't know if it still exists, I'm not in it. I think my older brother, Bob, might have it.
Friday, November 14, 2008
In the most recent "Ring," Dr. Margaret Goodman who is a ring doctor and who often has a column, states that lately several of the ring physicians in Las Vegas "...Have been shirking..." their duties and she even gives a couple names. You don't see that too often. The greatest problem in this world is OVERPOPULATION and you hear very little about it except from me right now for some odd reason. In 1950 the world's population was two and a half billion and today it's six and a half billion and this is why the earth's resources are being exhausted, why the earth's stratosphere is all messed up, why there's all these droughts, most of the ills of society can be traced to overpopulation and it's getting worse all the time. China's and India's burgeonning populations are competing more and more for natural resources which drives up the price of everything for everybody, these depleted resources eventually will be exhausted. With a more managable population things would be a lot better. There's over 300 million Americans with another 40 million aliens of one type or the other, that's why we've had this lengthy drought in the Southwest, everybody's using up the water. Mexico's population is 105 million and that's not counting all the ones in this country, in 1960 it was 35 million. If the Mexicans had some control over themselves they wouldn't have any problems at all and their teeming masses wouldn't be illegally entering this country. 90% of the Mexicans you see walking around either entered this country illegally or their parents did, strict law enforcement wouldn't have allowed this to happen, any country that doesn't even enforce its own laws isn't worth its salt. There's been a general weakmindedness among the American people for the past half century or more and they're dragging me down with them. Unfortunately I see this trend continuing, it's no doubt impossible to reverse it. So belly up to the buffet table while you can, whatever you plan on doing hurry up and do it, probably after awhile you won't be able to.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
There were 2 very personable Indian tour guides with 10 tourists apiece for the tour of the Cerra Rico Mine (correct spelling). First we had to buy six sticks of dynamite and some goodies for the mine workers so that they'll tolerate us, soda pop, coca leaves (big bag), bags of chips. While this was going on I bought a bowl of llama stew (also cute n' tasty) for fifty cents to fortify my innards for the task at hand. Then our guides had us don miners clothes and boots for the arduous half mile climb into the mountain. My mistake was selecting boots too small, these things are hard and you need some room so you don't hurt your toes. We also wore miners lamps on our hardhats. The only other American was some guy "63," I was almost "60" and the other 18 were all Europeans or Australians of college age. Into the mine we went (if you ever go to Cadiz, Spain, the cathedral was the last built with riches from the New World), they say that the Cerra Rico built the Spanish Armada. Many, many thousands of slaves died in there, at first they used the Indians but later used African slaves as they could work harder and survived longer. The Catholic Church initially banned coca leaves as evil intoxicants but relented when the Spanish learned that the slaves could work much harder while chewing them. It's rough as heck climbing all hunched over into that mine which gets hotter and hotter, there's a track running through the passage and you have to step to the side every so often for an ore car to pass. Zinc, lead and some silver, not a lot, are what the mine produces today and boy is that hard work! The workers seemed happy with our gifts, glad to brighten up their day. My boots began to hurt me with every step I took and 2 weeks later my left big toenail came off, I was actually glad to get back to the surface. We were 14,000 feet up and that was quite an effort. Once outside we were all standing around when I heard a voice behind me say, "Hold this." It was my affable tour guide and what he handed me was a lit stick of dynamite. Some of the others also were holding lit sticks of dynamite which fortunately our tour guides gathered up after a bit, I said, "Let's not forget any," which drew a general laugh. The guides took the dynamite off a ways and then ran away while letting it explode. It was a dynamite tour and a memorable experience, I tipped each of the guides $6 in their money, I then urged the rest of the group to tip them something and nobody else tipped them anything. Such bad conduct goes against my grain and when we all got on the bus I said loudly, "You're all a bunch of cheap bastards!" They actually seemed to take my critique well, I guess that I could have been more subtle but how are young people to learn if older people don't teach them? I paid some guy $9 to drive me a hundred miles to Sucre (with him chomping on coca leaves all the way) and then took 3 buses (and a third of that was hard bump city) over a day to Iquique, Chile and got the bus for a day-long trip to Santiago, it's very good and I hadn't been there for 17 years, and 2 days later flew to Easter Island.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A year ago last spring I flew into Lima, Peru to begin my trip, getting in around midnight. I bought a ticket to Cuzco to fly out around 6 A.M. and I hoped to be more successful than 17 years before when I couldn't get out 2 mornings in a row due to bad weather, this is commonplace. I bought a couple backrubs, relaxed and bided my time. Flew to Cuzco! Destroyed by Atahualpa in 1532 in the Incas' Civil War, the Spanish began to rebuild it in 1534. There's a lot of great stuff to see in and around Cuzco. Took the train for 3 hours to the Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." Discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, later U.S. Senator from Vermont, it has a surrealistic quality with huge pillars hewn from rock seamlessly joined without mortar. There's a mountain next to it with artifacts at the top and climbing it is a rite of passage. They only take 300 a day and the last is by l P.M., I didn't know this, I just wandered in there, I was the 2nd to the last taken that day. If you make a false step you'd be maimed or even killed but any able-bodied person can do it, sissies won't attempt this---so what are you gonna do? It was quite an exertion, I wouldn't want to do that 2 days in a row but it was a lot of fun. I spent that night in the village below and the next day enjoyed their baths from the mineral hot springs and bought souvenirs at their very good market. I took the train back to Cuzco and had a really good dinner of alpaca steak for $9 at an upscale restaurant on the town square. Alpacas are really cute but they sure do taste good, this one didn't die in vain. The next day I took the bus to Puno on Lake Titicaca which also borders Bolivia, at 12,400 feet the highest big lake in the world. The Indians out there live about the same today as when Pizarro rocked their world. I went out on the lake on a day-tour, the Indians have small villages floating on the lake itself and I went to a couple. There's an island on the lake and they had us climb, rough at altitude, up a long trail to the village at the top where we had lunch. Quite an experience, I had always heard of Lake Titicaca. Then I took a bus to La Paz, the capitol of Bolivia, the highest capitol city in the world at 12,500, and 13,000 at their airport. They've only had a fire department over the past 40 years or so just because big cities are supposed to have one, no fire will burn very long due to the altitude. La Paz is neat, they have all kinds of nice, little museums and churches. Was in the coca museum and bought a bottle of coca liquor. The Indians in Peru and Bolivia eat coca leaves like candy, they're supposed to greatly increase your stamina but I never felt anything myself. Took the bus to Potosi, today one of the poorest cities in South America. I got a nice room for $12 at the "Koala Den," a really nice hostel there and I paid $10 to go on their "Mine Tour." Founded in 1546, for 200 years half the silver mined in the world came from Potosi's "Cerro Rico" mine, and this is where I went.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The soldier then took me to a well-lit area where he could see well and had me take everything out of pockets and empty out everything that I had in the bag around my neck. He pawed through everything I had getting to my cash and travelers checks last. I always take a lot in travelers checks, why not, I might need it for something and they're replaced if they're lost or stolen. Well, actually, the only possible downside to t-checks is that if a foreign government seizes and keeps them that you're supposed to be out that money. In a pig's eye. From looking at the large amount of money that I had in t-checks I could tell that the soldier was beginning to think that I might be somebody of importance and I tried to foster that belief by saying, "Mucho dinero." The soldier then nicely told me to collect my stuff and that I could get back on the bus. The soldier seemed like an all-right guy, I just rubbed him the wrong way. But in the meantime while all this was going on the rest of the soldiers got all worked up and made everybody get off the bus until the one was finished with me, so my fellow passengers were probably happy with me. 3 more security checks for a total of 10 from the border to Caracas. Caracas is very rough as are a lot of the cities in South America so be a little mindful. Venezeuela is the only country in South America where baseball is the main sport and has produced many Major League baseball players, a lot of shortstops. I would have loved to have seen the "Caracas Lions" of the 6 team "Venezeuelan League" play a game but their season is from October through February. Very bad air in Caracas so you don't want to stay there too long. The art museum was quite good, the Tomb of Simon Bolivar was good, good subway system, nice place in general. A country of only 30 million, Venezeula (correct spelling, sorry) has won more international beauty pageants than any other country, the place is full of beautiful women. Decided to go to Margarita Island, not far away in the Caribbean, the favorite vacation place of Venezeula. I was there 3 days and enjoyed it, nice beaches, nice warm saltwater, mmmm. Venezeula is awash in oil money and has been ever since oil was discovered around the Maracaibo Basin in the early 19teens but very little has ever gotten down to the common people. Venezeula was ruled by Juan Gomez, a caudillo (strongman), from 1908 to 1935 and there was so much oil money that in the early 1920's Venezeula paid off all its foreign debt but still the people remained poor. A gallon of gas was a quarter the last I heard, a little comfort. I was talking to a reputable businessman concerning Venezeula's politics and their history of caudillos in relation to Hugo Chavez and he said, "...But they were right-wingers, this monkey's a Communist."
Sunday, November 9, 2008
What's with these "Hate Crimes," there's "Love Crimes"? I hate Daylight Savings Time, gets dark at 4:30. A year ago this past spring I flew into Lima, Peru for the 2nd time on my trip to South America, where I hadn't been in 17 years. Lima is real interesting, the Cathedral, the bullring and its museum, the Presidential Palace, etc., but today very dangerous, you don't walk around past the city center. I then took 4 buses to get to Quito, Ecuador, buses are cheap and you don't see too much flying from one sterile airport to another. It's good to look around and the buses are real comfy---but I like any kind of transportation, say the "chicken buses" in Central America so called because somebody might get on with live chickens. I had a nice, big hotel room in Quito for $9, find a bunch of taxi drivers and ask them and then one can drive you to it. Everything in this country costs too much, in South America they have those cheap prices that we like so good. The Equator runs just outside of Quito and I had my picture taken with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere. Quito has beautiful churches and the Cathedral, it's at high altitude so cold at night. Took a bus to the Colombian border and then another to Cali which was interesting, then to Bogata which has a bunch of good museums (I had a private tour of the Police Museum where they proudly showed me a roof tile stained with the blood of Pablo Escabar). Everything in Colombia is very good. Took a long bus winding through the beautiful green mountains to beautiful Cartegena on the Caribbean, the finest example of 17th Century architecture in South America, one long street hasn't changed at all since then. I paid $17 for a nice room across the street from the beach, that water was good, nice warm calm clean saltwater. It felt so good that I just stayed in for an hour and a half without coming out, such a wonderful feeling. After 3 days I took a bus to the Venezuelan border and then yet another to Caracas. This was towards the end of my 47 day trip and I had traveled unimpeded throughout but now the bus was being frequently stopped by soldiers who wanted to see your passport. By the 7th time we were stopped I was tired of this and glared at the soldier who was asking to see my passport. The soldier didn't like my attitude and made me get off the bus saying to the busdriver, "Who is he?" With the busdriver replying, "A Gringo who came from Colombia!" I'll resume this story later, Little Ones.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
As I mentioned my favorite sport is boxing and this past July 26 I went to the MGM here in Las Vegas to see Antonio Margarito of Mexico challenge undefeated Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico for Cotto's WBA Welterweight Championship, 147 pounds. The place was packed with Mexicans and Puerto Ricans with a lot waving flags as Cotto was considered to be close to the best boxer in the world, there was a lot of build-up but without animosity as neither had spoken ill of the other. Only maybe 10% of the spectators were white. Cotto is an excellent boxer who also hits with power and was a 3-1 favorite while Margarito bulls in and showers his opponent with hard punches while disdaining defense. A lot of the Mexican boxers are willing to die in the ring and are known for this. After 6 rounds Cotto was ahead making Margarito miss as many as 5 punches in a row with both fighters still able to land frequent punches. I had bet Cotto to win in the last 3 rounds and was looking forward to this but it was Cotto who was weakening due to Margarito's harder punches. During the course of the fight Margarito was hit flush in the face I'm sure over a hundred times but without any seeming effect. The ceaseless barrage of Margarito's attack brought the bout to an end in the 11th round as it was stopped after Cotto went down twice, blood flying out of his mouth, his face covered with blood. The fight was stopped at the right time, I'd be the last one to want to see a game lad get hurt but you have to give a great champion the chance to see if he can somehow pull it out. Hopefully it's not a career-ender, I don't think it is. At the beginning of each round Cotto would cross himself and then kiss his right glove, I thought this was cute, ha, ha. This was regarded as one of the best boxing matches of the past 10 years, I've seen 69 pro boxing cards in Las Vegas and the promoters really lucked out on this one because the undercard was weak (I saw a good Don King card around Christmas years ago entitled "Seasons Beatings"). Neither Cotto or Margarito has any tattoos to show how tough they are. Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito are both valiant and skilled fighters and it would be my honor to share a carrot juice with either or both.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
In 1996 I was suprised that nobody, at least where I read, had noticed the resemblance between Bob Dole and a more successful presidential candidate, Richard Nixon. I thought that they looked roughly similar, sort of a dark-white, I had read that Nixon's ancestors came from an area in England near Scotland and I'll bet Dole's also came from around there. I thought that their public personalities seemed much the same, I thought that Dole seemed to share a quality that I've seen ascribed to Nixon, the "dour hardness." In 1966 I saw the Cleveland Browns play the St. Louis Cardinals at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland and the quarterbacks were Dr. Frank Ryan for the Browns and Dr. Charley Johnson for the Cardinals. Both these young men were in their late 20's and had acquired Ph D's in their spare time. Frank Ryan had a Ph D in Mathematics and Charley Johnson (his full first name) had a Ph D in Chemical Engineering. And both of them were among the best of NFL quarterbacks and both had very lengthy careers. Frank Ryan is more or less retired but Charley Johnson is still a Professor of Chemical Engineering at his alma mater, New Mexico State. There's nobody like that around today, most of the current NFL quarterbacks don't have one degree. In 1993 I wrote the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio (if you go to see that also go see McKinley's Tomb) saying that Leroy Kelly should be in the Hall of Fame and I received a really nice letter in reply. No doubt coincidentally Kelly was inducted a year later. A year ago I wrote them that Gary Collins should be in and there was no reply. Gary Collins caught 70 touchdown passes in a 10 year career and scored all 3 of the Browns' touchdowns when they defeated the Colts for the NFL Championship on December 27, 1964. I took my younger brother, Tom, out to "Koch's Clothing Store" in west Akron to see Gary Collins and ask him questions (some guy was trying to bait him about his punting), he was an exceptionally good-looking guy. In his 10 year career Collins estimated that he dropped 8 passes, in the first half of this season Braylon Edwards has dropped 13 (bring back the stick-em).
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I think it might be all these drugs that have been going around this country for the past 40 years. Yes, I see that the Drug Scene has taken its toll. In the wake of the Goldwater disaster in 1964, Ray Bliss, the Republican National Chairman from 1965 to 1969 was greatly lauded by all for rebuilding the Republican Party. It seemed as though everyone regardless of party affiliation was grateful to Ray for strengthening the 2-party system. In the late 20's Ray Bliss was President of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at Akron U. of which my father, a freshman, was also a member. Ray's girlfriend was elected Homecoming Queen---Ray had stuffed the ballot box and was caught after the act. In those days you were expected to have honor and his fraternity took this very seriously. The members of Phi Kappa Tau took a vote to decide whether to expel their President, Ray Bliss, and the vote came out that they wouldn't, Ray remained a member and their President. I didn't ask my Dad how he voted, I figured he would have said had he wanted us to know but I'd guess that he voted to expel him. Ha, ha, well Ray wouldn't know this and he was always very thankful to all of his fraternity brothers for not ousting him. Had Ray been thrown out I don't think that it would have fatally effected his career as a politico but it would have been an inauspicious beginning for sure. HEY EVERYBODY-----Ray is dead and gone but the Republicans sure could use him today.
Monday, November 3, 2008
After the Civil War a young dentist in Georgia named John and his 18 year old cousin Melanie Holliday were in love and wanted to be married. The Catholic Church said you're first cousins and you definitely can't be married. Broken-hearted and wanting no other Melanie entered the convent where she lived to be quite an old nun while John drifted out West where he became a skilled and feared gunfighter known as "Doc Holliday." The nun and the gunfighter stayed in touch throughout John's life until he died from the effects of tuberculosis at "36." I went to Tombstone, Arizona 15 years ago, the site of "the Gunfight at the OK Corral," the most famous event in the Old West. Over 20 movies have been based on this gunbattle between Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt Earp and their ally Doc Holliday and Billy Clanton and the 2 McLaury brothers. To be there was very exciting, they have figures of the combatants set up in the exact location where this occurred , you can see where Billy Clanton stood and then died with his trigger finger twitching as well as where everyone else had been on October 26, 1881. It's a tourist town and it was really good with all these restored saloons and other buildings, I'm sure it's the same now as it was then. I bought 3 copies of the next day's "Tombstone Epitaph" and sent one to my brother Bob and gave one to somebody else and kept one for myself and I'm looking at it now. It says as a heading, "Three Men Hurled Into Eternity In the Duration of a Moment." It describes Doc Holliday as being "Cool as a cucumber." There were only 2 witnesses to what was a longtime feud between the 2 groups coming to a head, they said that Wyatt Earp yelled "Throw up your hands!" And both sides began firing simultaneously. President Garfield threatened to declare martial law in this boomtown which had only been in existence for 4 years founded by a prospector named Schieffelin who had made a huge silver strike after being told by the soldiers at Fort Huachuca that if you go out there all you're going to find is your own tombstone. Doc Holliday often said, "I'm your daisy," this was due to his fatalistic outlook regarding his tuberculosis, that he would be pushing up daisies. Some regarded Doc Holliday as a "derelict dentist," indeed there was another newspaper in Tombstone called the "Nugget" which saw the Clantons as honest cowboys constantly being harassed by Doc Holliday and the ruffian Earps (Ike Clanton died 6 years later while rustling cattle). Others saw him differently, Margaret Mitchell was related to Melanie Holliday and based the character of Ashley Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind" on John Holliday, a man of honor.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Two years ago this past spring I was in Berlin and I was reading in the newspaper about the most recent "Honor Killing" in Germany, the 50th over the previous 10 years. These were amongst Moslems, mostly Turks, and they involved a male member of a family killing a girl of the family who they felt had dishonored them. The most recent "Honor Killing" at that time was of a girl by her brother because the girl had wanted to study electrical engineering. A member of this family in saying what a good thing this was said "...She wanted to wear lipstick, she wanted to live like a German..." In Germany they have a lot of pansy laws and pansy punishments for lawbreakers to show the world that the Germans are no longer bloodthirsty murderers. Germany has been a 4th rate country ever since the end of WW II and a good place to be from for the past 100 years. Oh, I forgot, her brother stabbed her to death. All the other Western European countries also have pansy laws and pansy punishments and in fact are all a bunch of pansies. No wonder they're contiguous (the Chunnel), they have this in common. When Gunther Parche stabbed Monica Seles in the neck he just had to go to jail for a bit, he didn't have to go to prison. Things in Western Europe are a lot worse than in this country, they have all these Moslems and they bend over backwards to appease them. The Moslems are a lot different from the indigenous people of these countries so why would they be there at all? Who needs them?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I saw "Changeling" today at the "Orleans" and thought it was okay. I go to the movies about every week, for a few dollars you can see the new 40 million dollar movie on the giant screen at the nice theater, one of the most fun things you can do in life. I've never rented a movie, I don't want to sit around in my domicile all scrunched over watching a 6 month old movie on a small screen, I want to go out. Did you know that both Bush and Kerry were members of "Scull and Bones"? Also Bush the Elder was, why is it that you have to have had an association with either Harvard or Yale to be President (Clinton was a law professor at Yale)? There's a lot more capable people throughout the country that are better presidential timber than what we've seen over the past 20 years, and Obama of course went to Harvard. Out of 300 million Americans we should be able to come up with a lot better than what we've seen lately. Tom Tancredo was my favorite, a rough and tumble guy and good for these times (I did vote for Barr). The United States passed its first serious anti-immigration legislation in 1924 because it was thought that they already had enough people, a lot of the people that they've allowed in the country over the past 50 years are really bad people, this country is full of trash and why it's probably not going to last too much longer, it's dying by its own hand. It used to be a big honor to be an American, it's certainly not that now. Did you ever read "King Rat" by the late James Clavelle? He was a prisoner of war during WW II at Changhi in Singapore, where I've been to, he said "The Japanese tore the soul from my body." A substory in "King Rat" was about a giant rat who consumed all the smaller rats and thrived but eventually he lost the will to dominate and he himself was consumed.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I like Halloween a lot, I think it's one of our best traditions, I hope that I get a lot of trick-or-treaters and I'm ready for 'em. What's with this Obama thing? I never heard of this guy before 3 years ago. He was elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois just 3 years ago and from the getgo he wasn't content with that. Ha, ha, he wants to quit doing that just halfway through his first term after assuring the citizens of Illinois how well he would serve them. He's served them poorly as he's spent the past 3 years jockeying to become President, being the junior Senator from Illinois is far beneath his Highness. I knew who this Palin woman is who's running with McCain because she got a lot of pub this past April when she gave birth to a Downs Syndrome baby while serving as Alaska's Governor. I thought, why, that's the same nutty woman who had a special needs baby because she gave birth at the ancient age of "44." Apparently Ted Stevens stands a good chance of being reelected as U.S. Senator from Alaska even though he was convicted of 7 felonies the week before. Maybe it's good that I haven't been to Alaska. Maybe the cold has numbed the people's brains. Now every crook and wacko is heading up North, the Rush is on. Throughout American History it always seemed as though there was an abundance of Great Men and I personally can't think of anybody who would come close to this today. This once-great country is dying by it's own hand.
Monday, October 27, 2008
A lot of people like my car, already today some guy in a supermarket parking lot was eager to buy it, reminds them of the good old days. In 1920 Eugene V. Debs garnered a million votes for President while a convict in the federal prison in Atlanta. I asked my brother recently, who are the great men today, throughout American History there always seemed to be a lot of great men, it escaped me who is today. Bob said that David Hackworth and Bill Carpenter who he served with in Vietnam were great men and also that John McCain was a great man. So I guess he'll vote for McCain. I toured what was left of the "Hanoi Hilton" 3 years ago and they had a plaque up that said in English "...The American Aviators were well-treated..." About 6 years ago I met a guy at a Superbowl Party in Las Vegas who said that he had been in the "Hanoi Hilton" for years with John McCain. I forget his name, University of Michigan, and this guy said "...My back looks like a roadmap..." I don't really care for either candidate, I'm going to vote for Barr. There's far too much government, it's strangling us all. Having a minimal amount of government just to smooth things along and have natural laws prevail would be best. Everybody sucks the federal teat, the federal government is anything and everything for everybody. I knew the late Dave Riegle who was the middleweight, 165 pounds, in weightlifting on the U.S. Olympic Team that Jimmy Carter had boycott the Moscow Olympics in 1980 to mess it up for the Russians. Not only was this mean-spirited but why would this be the option of the American President? Why would he be able to weigh in so heavily on that? In relation to the Russian Invasion of Afghanistan, Dave said, "...Who gives a hoot, I would have liked to have competed in the Olympics!" Is the U.S. President a semi-dictator?