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.