Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday Wit

Welcome to November. I don't know where you are at, but it ain't to bad here. So far we had some cold mornings and comfortable days. Goods stuff. Well lets get into it....

207 years ago John Adams was the first president to move into the White House. Good stuff. I am sure he partied it up and all that jazz. Yeah and pink elephants would fly out of my butt. The place was barely finished and in some places not complete at all. The was little heat and it was a damp, musty place. Adams wrote this in a letter to his wife, "Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof." I guess he had no clue about the Bushies, Clintons, Nixon, or Harding. Side note, interesting how he capitalized the word Men.

I am trying to cut down on the pictures I post, so this was made available for public consumption in 1512. Beautiful. If your into art that is. Some people look at that and could care less. But those people usually refer to porn as art. Which is an argument for another day. I said another day. Just look at the paintings.

ahhh, the time was 1936 - Benito Mussolini made a speech in Milan, Italy, in which he described the alliance between Italy and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Berlin and Rome. I bet he had no idea he just made up the name for his team. You know Hitler held that shit against him. No matter how on time the trains were. Look when your trying to take over the world and one of your minions trumps you by casting your teams name into history, you may hold a grudge. Thats all I'm sayin here...

Man o War passed on in 1947 and became Can o Glue. But seriously, that damn horse won just about everything it ran in. The only race he lost was when the race started and he wasn't even facing the start line. Hell he almost won that too, only lost by half a length. Won over a quarter mil in 1920's. Thats a lot of cash people. Then got put out to stud and sired a whole string of champs. Everyone likes a sexy winner. And for us Marylanders, in 1918 Man o' War was sold for $5,000 to Samuel D. Riddle, who brought the horse to his Glen Riddle Farm near Berlin, Maryland.
As a sire, Man o' War was impressive as well, producing more than 64 stakes winners and 200 various champions. Though many complain that Mr. Riddle did not breed him to good enough mares after the first five seasons, Man o'War still sired many greats, including American Flag and Crusader, who won back-to-back runnings of the Belmont Stakes in 1925 and 1926. Both colts earned U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt honors, and Crusader was also voted U.S. Horse of the Year. Among Man o' War's other famous offspring were Battleship, who won the 1938 English Grand National steeplechase, and War Admiral, the 1937 Triple Crown winner. Another of his offspring, Hard Tack, sired Seabiscuit. His son War Relic was his most successful sire. Tiznow, Honour and Glory, and Bertrando are all sire-line descendants of Man o' War. Many great horses, if you look long into their pedigrees, are related in some way to Man O' War.
Don't you love it when history reaches out and touches you? Stop lying you know you do. I love the fact the greatest race horse in history trotted around my neighborhood. Love it. And he was a stud too. Good stuff. Alright lets move on...

If your into music, Wham had the number 1 hit back in 1984, they were singing about Freedom. Sorry for that, also this is the day we all had to carry our sad asses to the movies to see Titanic. Who knew? Its not like we, the public, can be left alone to like things that have taste, in 2001 the number one song was "I'm Real" by J Lo. WTF? J Lo sucks. That wench spends like $8000 a day on makeup and let me say that it aint working. But its all good cause if you born today, you share a birthday with Jenny McCarthy. And thats sexy. Plus she is more than a blond with boobs. If you haven't read anything about the struggles she had with her autistic son, go look it up. That is a strong woman. Plus I watched her brief comedy on TV and I laughed a couple of times. I liked it.

Alright, get out there and convince someone else that the GOP sucks.

Wednesday Wit

Greetings amigos. Today was a pretty busy day in history. The big headline is the 95 Theses Martin Luther pounded on the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church. This kicked off the Protestant Reformation in Germany. Hey this was a good thing, but I would suggest a reformation of most churches every few years cause it looks like they could use it.

Ahhh the Battle of Britain was won by the Brits today. This held the Germans from completely rolling all of Europe at the start of WWII. Thank goodness for the Spitfire. That is a beautiful plane. She couldn't take the beating of a Messerschmitt 109, but she could hang with em. Hey it can't be understated the use of radar to figure out where the Germans were coming from. This helped get those Spitfires in the right place at the right time. Germans still bombed London, but giving up on Britain was the first mistake Hitler made. I love The Battle of Britain. It was like the best of reality TV. See the population watched this play out in the skies above them. The consequences were real. When they saw a plane go down in flames, they knew a fellow countrymen just gave it up for them. And these cats fought like it was more than there lives on the line, they knew it was family, homes, friends on the line. All they had to do was look down at the earth to see what they were fighting for. And people from this generation wonder why WWII still sticks to people the way it does. Anyway big ups for the Brits for not getting rolled.

After 14 years of chipping, sculpting, and other artistry, we got Mount Rushmore. There it is. This big old monument was completed in 1941 and it still scares the hell out of kids on a daily basis. Nothing like a 60 foot tall Teddy R to put you in your place.

And in 1993 we lost a good actor known as River Phoenix. Home slice made it to the age of 23. I place the blame on Johnny Depp.
Only because it was outside The Viper Room, Depp's club. But what they hey, Johnny didn't make River do the drugs. Look kids, if it doesn't come straight out of the ground, don't do it. Straight up. Who needs a heroin addiction anyway? That shit takes up to much of your time.

And speaking of other stupid celeb moments, does anyone remember when Debbie Gibson held that seance to get up with the spirit of Sid Vicious on this day back in 87? What would have been awesome is if Sid showed up and flung her around the room and threw up green goo on her friends. It may have extended her career more than the 14 seconds it lasted.

Alright peace out peeps.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Todays historical fit of wit.

On this day in 1938 Orson Welles decided he was going to scare the hell out of the American public. Sure sure he had no idea he was going to cause people to lose their freaking minds, but he knew that H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds would be a great retread for the media of radio. I mean look at that guy, you know it would have been good for TV too. Welles is an intense scary looking guy. Just look at that mug. That ain't a face for radio. But all kidding aside, Welles pulled off his hysteria with killer sound effects and some really good acting from his crew he had playing announcers and other characters. Hell he even had one lady in the mid west bust up in a church screaming it was the end of the world and New York had been destroyed. Good stuff. Fear is always there, in the public mind, eating at the backs of our skulls, working on our nerves. Look at 1938, 20 years removed from WWI when the newspaper industry laid the framework for driving a nation into a reactionary fear of destruction. The oncoming fear of Nazi Germany staring the world in the face, its no wonder that the population was driven like herd of spooked cattle from this great piece of entertainment. In the end Welles thought this may end his career, but it really got him noticed by Hollywood, and that gave us Citizen Kane in 1941. Which is a great flick, I recommend it. Although with todays generation, the straight acting and dialogue may render it unwatchable to many. You actually have to pay attention to speech! ahhhhhhhh.

But going a little farther back in our history today in 1735 we get the birthday of John Adams, the second President of the United States, was born in Braintree, MA. His son became the sixth President of the U.S. The first political family dynasty in the US. Somewhere you think we would have taken notice of this and tried to prevent other sons from being president if their pops ever held the office. But I guess it came down to the fact the Adams kicked some ass and we thought nepotism was a good thing. Lesson learned right? Anyway, happy birthday John Adams.

In 1945 the U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing. I know your like what? Why the hell would you ration shoes? But see this is from another time, another war when people actually had to do without to support the army in the field. It wasn't as simple as throwing money at the situation. Aside from the fact that American soldiers are dying, WWII doesn't draw any comparison to the Iraq war. Now your could draw some comparisons between the American Revolution and the Iraq war, but you wouldn't like the fact the Continental Army was playing the role of insurgents.

Alright ladies and gents, you have a good day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Now I have some good drinking stories but.....

nothing like this...The Great Beer-nami of 1814.

The Industrial Revolution wasn't all steam engines and textile mills. Beer production increased exponentially, as well. Fortunately, the good people of England were up to the challenge and drained kegs as fast as they were made. Brewery owners became known as "beer barons," and they spent their newfound wealth in an age-old manner -- by trying to party more than the next guy.

Case in point: In 1814, Meux's Horse Shoe Brewery in London constructed a brewing vat that was 22 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter, with an interior big enough to seat 200 for dinner -- which is exactly how its completion was celebrated. (Why 200? Because a rival had built a vat that seated 100, of course.)

After the dinner, the vat was filled to its 4,000-barrel capacity. Pretty impressive, given the grand scale of the project, but pretty unfortunate given that they overlooked a faulty supporting hoop. Yup, the vat ruptured, causing other vats to break, and the resulting commotion was heard up to 5 miles away.

A wall of 1.3 million gallons of dark beer washed down the street, caving in two buildings and killing nine people by means of "drowning, injury, poisoning by the porter fumes, or drunkenness."

The story gets even more unbelievable, though. Rescue attempts were blocked and delayed by the thousands who flocked to the area to drink directly off the road. And when survivors were finally brought to the hospital, the other patients became convinced from the smell that the hospital was serving beer to every ward except theirs. A riot broke out, and even more people were left injured.

Sadly, this incident was not deemed tragic enough at the time to merit an annual memorial service and/or reenactment.

Morning Wit on a frosty Monday...

Man I love watching the walking dead on a Monday. I was getting my shit together in my cubicle this morning and the woman who works across from me was going about her business of getting her act together. Then the horror, the horror. She was out on Friday, supposedly sick, but I know she has a new boyfriend, so who really knows? Anyway that is gossipy and I try to stay away from that. So last Thursday, in the morning she got a large tea from a fast food joint and that has been marinating on her desk since then. She comes in this morning with another large drink from the same joint and damn if she didn't get all confused and drink out of that old ass nasty drink. She is outside the back door now gaging and trying to puck that nasty shit out. Yeah it's disgusting, but it is freaking entertaining. I love a Monday like this...

From a historical standpoint, we got some cool events. Joseph Pulitzer died in 1911 which was ashame cause it would have been noteworthy to see what he would have said about how the press got involved in promoting WWI. It's a sad lesson we still haven't learned. You don't use newspaper reporters to sell a war.

Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) won his first professional fight in 1960. Freaking 1960. Hey I love the guy and I have watched many of his fights on the espn classics channel. The best is Richard Pryor talking about Ali in his stand ups. And if you ass isn't listening to Richard Pryor, you need to be slapped. Dude is the shinizzle. One of the best ever at saying it like he saw it. Some real wit there...

1993 - A group of U.S. athletes were attacked by skinheads in Germany. Why is this important? I can tell you this, Americans get attacked all the time by skinheads over there. It's like the south and the north in this country. Some people in German have not gotten over that WWII thing yet. Believe it. No one likes it when you walk up in their country and take their shit. No matter how right it was.

1998 - The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with John Glenn on board. Glenn was 77 years old. In 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth. I bet they will not do this shit again. Can you imagine if Glenn was on the shuttle when that shit fell apart in the atmosphere? How freaking stupid would NASA look then? And why they hell are they launching geriatrics in space anyway? Do we really need to know what effects space has on the 65 and above crowd? I mean how many more are we going to put up there? Seriously isn't this something that we could figure out when the situation up there is a little more commercial? You know when people are constantly heading up for martini's on the moon? And you know that shits coming. It is the only way for space to get on that fast track to exploration.

Alright, let's all remember Joe Albero Licks Balls and smile cause the week is what it is.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Friday bee-otches!!!!

Oh the joy! What a freaky ass week at work. I will be glad to wash my hands of this place for 48 or so hours.

SO what to say about the day? We got a patented for the rotary washing machine. I know that aint much new to you, but rest assured when that patented was filed, it wasn't big news either...the First Continental Congress of the U.S. adjourned in Philadelphia. Hear ye hear ye! Let's kick some British ass! 1955 the first "The Village Voice" was published in NY. I read this paper online and enjoy it a lot. You would too. Check that shit out, especially the Savage Love column. That shit is funny. And kind of scary at time. Entertaining non the less. ITMFA!!!!....Remember Baby Fae? To sad to write about, wikipedia that shit. But I would do what ever it takes to spend as much time on earth with my child. Even if its only 21 days. Crazy how stories like that really fuck with your emotions when you have kids...Yea Yea Gretzky may have been the first player to 2000 points, but Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins) scored his 500th National Hockey League (NHL) career goal against the New York Islanders in his 605th game. He became the second-fastest player to attain the plateau. Wayne Gretzky had reached 600 goals by his 575th NHL game.

Alright folks, keep comin back today. I got the feeling some haiku is in order.

Oceanshaman...enjoy your new found freedom.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Morning Wit

Greetings on this wet and rainy day! Well here it is wet and rainy, but we need it after the last 5 months of drought. But on with the show, guess who that fellow is. Come on, you know him, or better yet you know of him. That is Pablo Picasso. He was born on this day in 1881. The argument could be made that he is the most influential artist of the 20th century. Now I could agree with that, but my heart lies with the impressionists. So I will always put the work of Monet ahead of him, but that is just personal preference. Everyone likes something different, thats why we say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." There is over 50,000 works of art out there by Picasso. They span all kinds of periods: WWI, WWII, Cubism, the 50's, the 60's. Dude lived till 1973. SO if your in college and need to write a paper, here is a subject for you, Picasso's blue period. Here is one of my favorite Picasso paintings. The Old Guitarist. I love this period of his work, of course there are plenty of other paintings he did I love, sculptures too, but I don't have that much time to show you all that jazz. Just enjoy this and drink your coffee.

Here are some other points of interests for the day. In 2137 B.C., Chinese Royal astronomers, Ho and Hsi, were executed after not predicting a solar eclipse that caused panic in the streets of China. Now thats how they handled their shit back in the day. You fail, you die. So take it easy on yourself, the human race is more understanding now than its ever been.

In 1955, the microwave oven, for home use, was introduced by The Tappan Company. Because god wanted people to cook a turkey in 12 seconds. I still hate how a microwave will cook that out rim of my soup and I have to mix that cooked skin in with the soup. Call me petty, but you think they could have solved that problem by now. WTF? It's been like 50 years since this technology was made available to the public, you should be able to heat your soup with out some weird skin forming around the edge.

And for a bit of music knowledge, on this day in 1960, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards accidentally met on a train. They had known each other previously from school. In 4 years The Rolling Stones would appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. Who knew?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Human socials, way earlier than expected...

Apparently humans have been throwing clambakes for thousands of years. Well for over 164,000 years ago to be precise. Now why is this significant? First, this sort of behavior, partying down on the beach and eating seafood, was thought to have happened about 120,000 years ago, so that leads one to believe that we either evolved earlier than thought, or small clusters of humans developed faster than others. But wait on that cause its a whole other discussion. See I have been saying this all along, its way easier to live by the sea and eat from its bounty than hunting or be hunted on the plains of Africa. Now some of us still get down with the hunt, buts thats only for the use of firearms or other weapons. Hey seafood is way better for you. Plus its a party folks. Lets get some food, paint ourselves up and party down. Now here is where the imagination comes in. So there is the scene, people celebrating the seafood harvest, eating and what not, what else did they do? Dance? Did they have music or at a minimum a beat to dance to? Were there other rituals? Marriages? Celebrations? Or was it just a great social gathering? All very interesting questions. Does it sound like those folks were dumbass cavemen with very limited social interaction? Not to me. The clambake is a complicated social event. Still to this day.

Believe me when I say, we know nothing of our past.

Morning Wit

Man this is a boring ass day in history. Brutus killed himself, which wasn't a bad thing cause if your eyes ever wondered to the back of Newman's Cesar Dressing, the "Don't dilute us Brutus!" saying is fucking hilarious. It does make for some good salad though...NBC managed to broadcast a videotape today in 56. See what I mean? Who really cares about this crap aside from tech junkies?

There was that whole Russian school massacre back in 02. That is still to close to talk about. Scary stuff. Terrorism flexing it self. Funny how this generation thinks we are the only ones to experience terror. Any of you remember Carlos the Jackal?

Anyway, here is a quote I found for the day-
"From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."
- Groucho Marx

Alright, there will be light posting today, maybe, I got to attend a meeting this afternoon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Haiku

cold dew streaks windows
the willow leaves shade to brown
sunlight warms my face

Morning Wit

Greetings and welcome to the work week! Some ballsy shinizzle went down today back in 1797, the first parachute jump was made. Think of that for a hot minute. Would you jump out of a balloon around 3000 feet with 1700's technology? HELL NO!

ANd this gentleman here on the right is Pretty Boy Floyd. So my question to my female readers is he a pretty boy? To me he looks kinda boyish, but I would not consider him pretty. I guess its all gangsta innuendo. Anyway the feds killed his pretty ass on this day in '34.

And back in the day, 1939 to be precise, the first pro football game was played. Brooklyn beat Philly. Philly better get used to it.

But here's the kicker for the day, 1975 - Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich was discharged after publicly declaring his homosexuality. His tombstone reads " "A gay Vietnam Veteran. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one." I always get a kick out of telling upstanding red ass America they there are gays all through out the military. Watching them shudder and deny deny deny. Well they guys are there, they do the job as well as anyone, and former soldiers like me who served with gay soldiers could give a two shits less about the whole deal. Hell 2 of my best drinking buddies were gay. Life in the military would have been a complete drag with out them. One girl is still in. 15 years and counting. It is a strange dynamic though, hard core christian bible thumpers and gays standing next to each other in ranks.

Have a nice day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Haiku

bay grass tassels burst
wet stones shine in the driveway
soft rain comes and goes

Morning Wit

Greetings amigos. This is a small footnote in history, but today marks the first battle of Ypres in WWI. This, in my opinion, is one of the bloodiest, harshest, and bearing battles ever fought in any war. The men who fought for the Allies got the short end of the stick here. See this here map? On the right side of that bubble was the Germans, on the left side Allied forces. Notice how that bubble curves into German ground? This meant that those men who were entrenched there got shells and bullets rained on them from 3 sides. To make matters worse, Germans retreated to the high ground and left the swampy mess to the Allies. Everyone dug trenches and settle into what is now called "mutual siege". Nice if your feet are dry. This little bulge became known as "The Bloody Salient" and with good reason. Bullets and trenchfoot killed equally. And the artillery. Look at this shot from the air. They rained shell after shell down. The troops spent most of their time in holes in the ground. There has been numerous books written about this part of WWI, documentaries have been made, hell even the science channel is getting in on the action these days. Pure hell. WWI took millions and millions of lives. I don't think people in this day and age understand that. The size of the sacrifice.

And the last thing I want to bring up is today is Evander Holyfield's birthday. Dude is 55 and looks great. All I got to say is you got to stop fighting. It really is gonna hurt you. You should want to ride out these last few decades of your life with the ability to recall your glorious past. Dude you were one of the best ever. A warrior in the ring, but please, for your own sake, give it up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Art of War

Sun Tzu says
"Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished."

Now this makes sense. We you have an army in the field for an extended period of time, it will tax the nation that supports it into poverty. This Iraq war is doing a fine job of destroying the middle class in this country. All I got to say is less than 1% of the population has over 21% of the money.

I have been tagged!!!

Alright, I got the tag from Oceanshaman the other day and I am finally getting round to posting this up. Below is the task...

5 things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything at all at all was possible. Spend some time day dreaming…and then post them on your blog, passing the idea along to 5 others..because sometimes we need to pause and remember our dreams, hey? Maybe just saying it out loud will help you discover even little ways you can make them happen. You can write about that, too.

1. I want to write something memorable. You know something like "I think therefore I am." or "Transformers: more than meets the eye." Hell I would settle for that. Does this mean I want to be a celebrated author, not really. I guess a professor would be the right choice of words. I guess the ultimate end goal here is I want a phd. You know, Dr. Historical Wit.

2. Learn the art of flyfishing. All of it. Always had a thing for flyfishing. Always will. So I been on the path to fishing enlightenment since I was a kid.

3. Another dream I have had since I was about 12 was to own 10% of IBM stock. I know that sounds pretty lame, but I heard that once when I was 12 and it stuck. If I owned 10% of IBM stock, I could do what I wanted.

4. I want to be a pilot. Not any of that 747 crap either. I am talking P-51 mustangs. Piston driven power. If I was of age in WWI, I would have tried to get into that, even WWII, Korea, but after that probably not. Today, if I could be a cropduster, I'd do it. But I read that is a dying industry, so not much incentive to pursue that, but if money wasn't an issue....

5. This is something I always wanted to do and am on my way to accomplishing that. I wanted to start a family and grow it up right. Something that my pops couldn't do. Twice, maybe three times. It will take time, but I got that in spades.

So those are my goals, my aspirations. The things I wish I could do and the things I am trying to do.

Unfortunately, I know not of 5 people to pass this onto, so this is what it is.

Morning Wit

Greetings all my peeps out there. Hope you are doing well. Today we hold witness to the greatest bargain in the history of this country. We bought Alaska from the Russians for about 2 cents an acre. All those resources, all that pristine wilderness, all that salmon. I thought the Lousiana purchase was a big deal, but Napolean was strapped for cash. The Russians pretty much didn't want to defend it so they unloaded it. Good for us eh? Either way the Russians are not hurting for remote wilderness, they do cross 8 time zones after all. See Americans at the time actually didn't want Alaska and ragged on Mr. William Henry Seward for making the deal, but people quickly ate that crow when they found gold up there. Funny how a little money changes everything. So instead of "Seward Folly" we got the Klondike gold rush, which in someway has to be connected to the Klondike Bar. Which is good for all of us, cause what wouldn't you do for a Klondike?

Other spots in history today include this: Mason and Dixon drew a line. Who knew where that would go?

And back on this day in 1969, artificial sweetners were banned because it was discovered they caused cancer. Seriously. So why in the hell are you still using them. I know I know, there is a report you once read that said blah blah blah. What? You gonna stake your life on the faith you have in a report. Remember the definition of faith, belief without proof. Now that might be all good with religion, but just buy that organic sugar ok? It's good stuff. Or have you tried sugar in the raw? Good stuff also.

And here is your Prince quote of the day:

In France, a skinny man died of a BIG disease
With a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle
And soon she did the same
At home there are 17-year-old boys
And their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called The Disciples
High on crack and totin' a machine gun
- Prince, Sign 'O' The Times

Prince is the closest thing we got to Elvis, so enjoy while you can. And if you haven't seen his show, you need to go. Make it a pilgramige. Dig?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Morning Wit

Well folks sorry for the lack of writing, but I have been ill the last few days. Just some mild flu and body ache stuff. Still getting the hot flashes but good enough to work.

Alright kiddies lets take a gander at the past and see what's interesting out there today. Well I would have to say the biggest event of the day is Al Capone was sent to the clink for tax evasion. Ain't that some crap? I mean this guy has been the image of what it means to be a gangster for a few generations and all they could get him on was tax evasion? Either way it ultimately landed his ass in Alcatraz because they said he manipulated the system and was living the cushy life in the ATL. In the end we got a great movie by that other guy named Al and that eventually lead us to the fabulous ring tone "Say hello to my little friend!" If any of you actually bought that shit, shame on you.

Ahh on this day in in 1918 we got the fabulous Rita Hayworth. Pop icon, sex symbol, WWII super pinup girl. What more could you ask for? And then there was Gilda, still a great flick. If you want to watch what a movie is supposed to be all about, rent it. Most kiddies this day and age couldn't follow it cause its all dialogue. But thats not the most impressive thing about her, it was the dancing. Most people have this perception that Fred Astaire was the shinizzle when it comes to dancing, and while the man was good, Rita and Ginger Rogers were way better. Why some of you may gasp? Cause they did everything he did, but backwards and in heels. Why do you think he wanted to stop working with both of them? People started to figure that shinizzle out. Props to Ginger, but Rita was the full package. Out of that era of actresses, Rita and later Audrey Hepburn were timeless.

Alright, you all have a good day. Watch out for the flu bug, its out there.

Friday, October 12, 2007

We know nothing...

That is what Picasso said after he saw the paintings done by ancient man in the caves at Lascaux. We know nothing. Of course he was referring to art. See this goes back to my theory about prehistoric man, he was not a dumbass like many of us think. Prehistoric man has gotten a stereotype that may never go away. It kinda give me hope when I see shows like Caveman on ABC, but in trying to change the stereotype, they just perpetuate it. See prehistoric man knew what was going on around him. Maybe he didn't want to advance as far as we did, or maybe they did in their own way. Who knows for sure how far they came? I know they were not the idiots we think of them as. They had complex thought, they used imagination, they developed a language, and they were astonishingly good artist. The painting at the top of this post was found in northern Syria and has been radiocarbon dated to be around 11,000 years old. Older than the Bible, older that the great flood, the pyramids of Egypt, even older than any of the written tablets found in Bulgaria or Egypt. Freakin old. Just look at the detail, the complexity of it.
The article says the archaeologist on site compared that painting with the work of Paul Klee and I have to agree. This is one of Klee's paintings called "The Highway" and there is a striking similarity. It really is funny cause artist strive to paint in originality and want to invent new ways to depict the world around us. Thats what its all about. Expression and individuality. Just think if we could have had prehistoric mans knowledge of art and painting passed on to us, think of how much farther we would be. Instead we are slowly relearning our past because in essence, we know nothing.

Morning Wit

Well I aint gonna get to deep into the historical aspects of this day. I will day this, Columbus reached the new world and Private First Class Desmond T. Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery. The important thing to remember about Doss was he was a conscientious objector. Doss voluntarily put his life in the utmost peril during the bloody battle for Okinawa, saving dozens of lives well beyond the call of duty. War, battle, conflict with an armed enemy will bring out the best and worst in a human.

What I wanted to get to was this article about the homeless drunk that kicks some serious ass in chess. Read the article, it shows the duality of man in real world. Here is a man who can play chess with the best of em, but can't seem to overcome his vices. Dude is like Samuel L Jackson's character in Searching for Bobby Fischer.

And today also saw history in the making, if you didn't already know, Al Gore has won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Let the frothy conservative outcry come forth and spew hate and consternation! You know they will, but how many of them there right wingers have won an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize? In the same year no less. I tip my hat to you Mr. Gore. Now about that run for POTUS...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Morning Wit

Well well well, it's good to see you back here after the doom and gloom of yesterday's post. I promise not to be such a bummer today. The big news of today is in 2002 Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Now a lot of people like to run Mr. Carter down, lefties and righties both, but I love the guy. Dude has got real class. Being president was not his greatest achievement in in my mind. See after he left office, Carter and his wife Rosalynn created the Atlanta-based Carter Center in 1982 to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. Since 1984, they have worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes and raise awareness of homelessness. Among his many accomplishments, Carter has helped to fight disease and improve economic growth in developing nations and has served as an observer at numerous political elections around the world. You gotta give him props. Oh and he would have won another Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the middle east peace talks he mediated while president, but his nomination didn't get in before the deadline. Killa huh? If your wondering he wasn't the only prez to win it, I think Wilson and Teddy did also. I may be wrong on that so don't quote me.

What else, what else? I still trying to keep it happy today...oh did you know the first SNL broadcast today back in 1975. Now I am not a big SNL fan, hell I hardly ever watch the show, but I would have that night cause George Carlin hosted it. Now I get my Carlin fix when he narrates Thomas and friends on The Goodnight Show.But seriously, I got friends that will drop everything to go watch that damn show on a Saturday night. They will even goes as far as to pull my ass off the dance floor and drag me home to watch that. Hell from what I hear it aint even funny anymore, besides I gotta shake it every now and again. Know what I mean?

Oh here is one for you, also in 75 on this day, Bill and Hillary were married. People can say what they want, but that is over 30 years together. What an accomplishment. Seriously, you know she put up with more than Monica. Speaking of Monica, everytime I hear her now I think of Dave Chappelle saying she will go down as the biggest cocksucker of all times. It's sad, funny, true, and strangely enough true. No wonder those conservatives hate the big dog, they are jealous of the action he gets.

And I will leave you with this sports tidbit, today in 1984 Mario Lemieux played in his first NHL game for the all mighty Pittsburgh Penguins. Homeboy scored on his first shift, first shot in the NHL. Now that is killer. I started watching hockey cause of him. Great player. Got to see him once playin the game. Freakin beautiful. If homeboy didn't have a bum back, he would have broke a lot of those records 99 put up there. Taking nothing away from 99, but 66 was the 3 of hockey. Follow that?

Peace out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something a little more postive than the last post....Hope by Emily Bronte

Hope was but a timid friend;
She sat without the grated den,
Watching how my fate would tend,
Even as selfish-hearted men.

She was cruel in her fear;
Through the bars, one dreary day,
I looked out to see her there,
And she turned her face away!

Like a false guard, false watch keeping,
Still, in strife, she whispered peace;
She would sing while I was weeping;
If I listened, she would cease.

False she was, and unrelenting;
When my last joys strewed the ground,
Even Sorrow saw, repenting,
Those sad relics scattered round;

Hope, whose whisper would have given
Balm to all my frenzied pain,
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
Went, and ne'er returned again!

-Okay while its not that much more up lifting, it is a beautiful poem.

Morning Wit

Reader beware, this is a morbid reminder of the evil men do. If you don't feel like connecting with the incredible sorrow man can create, skip this blog post.

See them crematory ovens there? They are the ones located at the Auschwitz compound. Why are you looking at them? On this day in 1944, Nazi Germany systematically killed 800 Gypsy children. 800 children. Because they were deemed "unreliable elements who cannot be put to useful work" and "carriers of disease". 800 children. What was Auschwitz? Auschwitz was really a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller "satellite" camps. It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, established in October 1941, that the SS created a complex, monstrously orchestrated killing ground: 300 prison barracks; four "bathhouses," in which prisoners were gassed; corpse cellars; and cremating ovens. Thousands of prisoners were also used as fodder for medical experiments, overseen and performed by the camp doctor, Josef Mengele ("the Angel of Death").

Sorry to bring you down, but some events are so horrible, so unbelievable that they should never be forgotten. So today when you think you got it bad cause your job sucks, think about Auschwitz and the incredible atrocities that happened there. When your buddy starts talking about the war on terror being the most important event to ever happen to mankind, remind him or her that evil has lived here before. 800 children dead in one day. Death based on nothing more than the fact they were gypsy children.

Hey if I really wanted to bring you down, I would go into detail about the postal worker that snapped on this day in 1991 and committed mass murder of his former colleagues.

Hell of a day in history huh?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Morning Wit

Hey, today in 1967 professional revolutionary Che Guevara was executed. If you need further education in the matter, go rent The Motorcycle Diaries.

But when I got around to seeing this, it wasn't Guevara's story I was reminded of. His execution annaversary got me to thinking about the revolutionary Christians in this country. Radical, revolutionary, extremist, call them what you will, they have similarities with many other revolutionaries in history. Unfortunately, not the revolutionaries they wish. As I interact with more and more of the radical right, I keep hearing this same notion, America was founded on religion. The founding fathers built this country on the bible. Really? It's been my experience with most of these righties that they have a limited or no sense of history. Or they really like to cherry pick what they want from history, either way it's a skewed outlook on the facts. Look at the time line, Puritans came here in the early 1600's and the founding fathers did their thing in the late 1700's. That's damn near 200 years. Hell by the time the founding fathers got around to kicking British ass, the Puritans were all but done. Sure the right wishes they could live like the Puritans: branding people on their cheeks for not following their religion, women who were obedient to them to raise their children, rich in trade from the import export business, killing Indians cause they were heathens, rule of local population through the church. No wonder you guys want to role back the clock 400 years. See if you went back to the 200 years or so years of the founding fathers, it might not be authoritarian enough for you. Your religion wouldn't have enough power to crush Planned Parenthood, gay marriage, or the hate crimes bill. And that's the difference between this right wing talking point that America was founded on religion and the facts. Massachusetts in the early 1600's was founded on an authoritarian religion that dominated the local populations, unlike this country which was formed by men who understood what could happen when religion was introduced to government. See history of Church of England. So in essence this country was founded on the ideas that religion is a great thing, but not something that should be controlled by the state or even promoted by the state. And this is where Christians of today seem to have a selective memory because those Puritans the modern extreme right seems to idolize would have branded their cheeks with hot little H's and stuck their pompous asses in the stockade in the town square while their kids pelted them with rotten meat. See it was all about getting rid of your rivals to the old school Puritans. These modern day wishy washy evangelic wannabes would have gotten their asses kicked swiftly and with extreme prejudice by those shiny belt buckle wearing theocratic loving men. With that history in mind, the Founding Fathers set about creating a nation that didn't persecute people for practicing witchcraft, or being a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Zen Buddhist. Now we have come full circle and people like Pat Rob or the late Falwell spend their fortunes working on turning this country into a theocracy where anyone except people involved in their evangelic vision is the enemy. Once again history escapes people like them.

So what happens next? Will this come to pass as a fad or will these evangelic Christians go down as another extremist footnote in American history next to The Branch Davidians in Waco or the original religious thugs the Puritans? I don't know. But I know this, they ain't no revolutionary like Che Guevara.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A freakin tragic crime....son of a bitch must pay!

This is a freaking tragedy. Some assholes broke into the Orsay Museum and punched a 4 inch hole in the Monet painting "Le Pont d'Argenteuil". I'd like to punch a 4 inch hole in their freaking head. Burn in hell you assholes!
Article in NY Times

Morning Wit

Ahh today was the day the Great Chicago Fire ripped through Chi-town. Way back in 1871. And while it wasn't a fire, the Bears ripped through Green Bay last night. It was a much needed win for those Bears. But I digress, back to the fire. Even though there was a massive loss of property (over 17,000 buildings), Chicago quickly rebuilt and became one of the premier cities in the US.

Lets see what else happened today...oh can't forget this one, the great comedic actor Chevy Chase was born today. I love that guy. Him and Akroyd are great. Spies Like Us, Fletch, and Modern Problems are killer killer flicks. If I am flipping through the channels and I find any of those on, I usually stop and check them out. Spies Like Us has been running on some of those channels I can't name that are three letters, you know AMC or TBS or T something or the other, pretty often lately. It's a fun movie to put the 80's in perspective.

Oh and for all of you who used to read the Sargent York comics, in 1918 - U.S. Corporal Alvin C. York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France. York had originally tried to avoid being drafted as a conscientious objector. After this event his was promoted to sergeant and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pretty bad ass. In a bad ass war. WWI was something. It was probably the single biggest event that shaped the 20th century and it still being felt today. All this fear mongering the Bush Admin is thumping their chest with is a tried and true method learned from that Democrat Wilson and his brigade of propagandists from the turn of last century. Never use newspaper men to sell a war. You will not be able to control what they unleash.

I will leave you guys with two important music notes for today. First John Lennon recorded Imagine today in 1971. What a beautiful song. That is a tune that will stand the test of time. In a few hundred years when scholars are looking at the music of this time, they will look at that song.

The next thing is pretty darn significant, in 1980 Bob Marley collapsed onstage during a show in Pittsburgh. It was the last show he would ever perform. He died seven months later of cancer. This was an omen that would show how crappy the 80's would be. Well some good things happened in the 80's, but not enough to offset the loss of Bob. So I leave this edition of Morning Wit with some No Woman No Cry. What a loss....

Friday, October 5, 2007

The much needed weekend...

I can't tell you how hard this week has been. My daughter got a really bad case of Croup and it scared the living shit out of mom and dad. Tuesday night was especially rough. The tiny tiny had real problems breathing. It sounded like her esophagus was damn near closed. She slept next to me that night and there was times she would bolt upright where she could not get air. But I would hang her head over the humidifier and that usually pulled her out of it. The next day we take her to the doctor and they admitted her to the hospital. That was no fun. She hates the hospital. So it was miserable Wednesday night. She did get a lot better over that night. The doctor administered some steroid shot and that took like 24 hours to take effect, but when it did her breathing got better fast. She slept soundly last night but mom and dad have yet to recover from the loss of sleep. Mom is doing better than I am, she went to sleep at 7 last night, I had to get involved watching the Indians beat the crap out of the Yankees. Which I am not sorry for. Anytime you get the chance to watch the Yankees get an ass whoopin, its a good day. So here's to the weekend and good health. Posting will be back to normal on Monday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Morning Wit

Well this will be short, my daughter has a bad case of croup and my attention is needed else where today.

OJ was acquitted in 1995. Lot of good that did him.

The founder of MAD Magazine was born today. Thanks for the laughs Harvey Kurtzman.

And in 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club was shown on ABC. That show would go on to give us the wonderfully intriguing life of one Brit Spears. Good stuff huh?

Sorry for the short post.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Morning Wit

Greetings mis amigos. This will be my only post today, I will be out of touch the rest of the day. I am on a road trip. But I could not leave without you daily feed of knowledge.

So what are we looking at today? Well for one, back in 51, Sting was born. I am ever so grateful for that cause dude has supplied most of the music I listen to. I can't tell you how much I listen to that band. Even more now i saw them live. So here is a treat, below is the 1st time "Message in a Bottle" was performed. Before it was released.

Ahh it was this day back in 1985 that Rock Hudson died of AIDS. Now I know there is a whole bunch of you young uns out there that have no idea who the hell The Rock was, or better yet think The Rock is a washed up wrestler and The Scorpion King, but let me tell you, when it came out that The Rock died of AIDS, there were a lot of white bread Americans out there in denial. Hell it was pure shock. Pure freaking denial. Take my mom for instance, she felt like a friend had lied to her. People took that shit personal. Good for them. Rock, in death, brought immediate attention to the cause and world wide attention. You can make an argument that with out Rock dying from AIDS, awareness may not have come around in this country when it did. After all AIDS was a "gay" problem to most people. Sadly that stereotype still has much strength in the population's urban legends.

And my last shout out, today in 1869 Mahatma (Mohandas) K Gandhi was born. He was known for his advocacy of non-violent resistance to fight tyranny. And my favorite Gandhi quote "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

Alright gotta roll. Driving like 300 miles today. Plus my baby girl is still running a good fever. She is completely miserable and I will be on edge all day until I can get home to her and my wife.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Research on instincts. Your connection with the caveman.

While it is known that I am a advocate of prehistory research, it is rare to find others who actually contribute something to the cause. But here is an article on why our instincts still tie us to our ancestors of 50,000 years ago. Some of the highlights I agree with:
Immersed in a rich, biotic environment, it would have been imperative for our ancestors to monitor both humans and non-human animals. Predators and prey took many different forms—lions, tigers and bears—and they changed often, so constant eyeballing was critical.

While the environment has changed since then, with high-rises emerging where forests once took root and pampered pets taking the place of stalking beasts, our instinct-driven attention has not followed suit.

"Having this pop-out attentional bias for animals is sort of a vestigial behavior," said study team member Joshua New of Yale University's Perception and Cognition Lab.
Hell yes. For thousands of years, humans have been eyeballing every damn thing in sight. It was one of the few protections from getting eaten. Guys, you ever find yourself just standing around eyeballing something other than women? Probably all the time. God forbid an airplane fly over cause everything temporarily stops until you actually see the plane, then life can go on. So now when that other party asks what you are doing, you can reply "Just following my instincts." One of the other points I found interesting.
Overall, the subjects were faster and more accurate at detecting changes involving all animals compared with inanimate objects. They correctly detected nearly 90 percent of the changes to "living" targets compared with 66 percent for inanimate objects.

In particular, the students spotted changes in elephant and human scenes 100 percent of the time, while they had a success rate of just over 75 percent for photos showing a silo and 67 percent for those with a coffee mug.

Though we are more likely to meet death via an SUV than a charging wildebeest, the results indicated subjects were slower and less successful at detecting changes to vehicles than to animals.
Now doesn't that give you a kick in the pants? To me, that explains why people blindside cars so damn much. We are basically operating machinery that our bodies haven't caught up with in determining distance, velocity, trajectory so well yet. Now you have even more reason to be scared of soccer mom in the SUV.

So go out and get in some nature and let those instincts out. I was dropping advice on a fellow blogger the other day and going on about much the same thing. If you don't get out there and let those primal senses do their thing, it will make you tense, edgy. You have to let that instinct release itself. If you got an outdoor cat, hang out with them for awhile. They may be domesticated, but still have all the great qualities of an instinctual predator. You can learn a lot by watching them.

Morning Wit

Welcome to October. This is one of my favorite months. The weather gets cooler, I get closer to the s'mores. Ahh but all is not well. This is also the time for fever, sniffles, and annoying colds. And that comes into play when you got a tot. My girl is running a fever today and is home with mom. You just worry excessively when you child is ill. I hope mom doesn't get it either. I am anxiously awaiting a report from the doctors office. But all is not doom and gloom, my tiny tot will turn 2 this month, so thats just another reason October rocks. That and playoff baseball. And football. Hockey too.

Alright what else is going on today that we can look at and say, "Damn that's worth remembering!" Well first I gotta give props to my man's birthday, President James Earl Carter, born in 1924. Conservatives love to hate on Mr. Carter, but without him, they wouldn't be what they are. Sure he couldn't deal with that hostage situation, but in reality, who could have? Let's look at some other interesting things Mr. Carter did: graduate of the Naval Academy 1946, involved in the nuclear sub program, peanut farmer, President of United States, Governor of Georgia, devoted countless hours to Habitat for Humanity, founded the Carter Center, and won a Nobel Prize for his efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights and to promote economic and social development. So for all you conservatives that want to dump on JEC, what have you done lately?

The other big event of the day, back in 1890, Congress actually did something constructive and gave us the Yosemite National Park. What a beauty. Yellowstone was the first national park created, Yosemite follow a few years after. I can not emphasize enough the importance of our national park system. And if you have not started the trek to see some of the beauty that lies within these treasures, you are cheating yourself. People come from all over the world to see what this country has in it's national park system. You should take advantage of it. It doesn't matter where you live, there is a park near. I could launch into a diatribe about man and nature here, but you would never finish this post. If you have never been exposed to what your missing, click here or here

Alright my working brethren, welcome to the week!