Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mid-Week Effort

Tucson Weather Today


Tomorrow is the beginning of National Novel Writing Month and I will be participating again this year. Last year I did not complete a 50,000 word novel, but the year before last I did finish it. Not worth a revision or a rewrite, though.


Wish me good luck this time.



Below is a complete Flash Fiction story --
with a five word title, five words of text,
and only one single says-it-all illustration.

Meeting My New Facebook Friend

"Come in, the door's open."


Would you believe that a person could have been given by his parents the unlikely name of Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer? Well, it's true. There was such a person with that name..

If you don't believe me, click HERE



vilify [vil-uh-fie]
Speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner.
Synonyms ;
slander - defame - traduce - malign - calumniate



John Candy
Born Oct 31, 1950
Died: Mar 4, 1994

John Franklin Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian. He rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of The Second City and its related Second City Television series, and through his appearances in comedy films such as Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, and Uncle Buck. One of his most renowned onscreen performances was as Del Griffith, the loquacious, on-the-move shower-curtain ring salesman in the John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. On March 4, 1994, while filming the Western parody Wagons East!, Candy died of a heart attack in his sleep in Durango, Mexico at 43.

Born Oct 31, 1912
Died: Feb 7, 2001

Dale Evans (born Lucille Wood Smith) was an American writer, movie star, and singer-songwriter. She was the third wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers.

From 1951 to 1957, Dale Evans and her husband starred in the highly successful television series The Roy Rogers Show, in which they continued their cowboy and cowgirl roles, with her riding her trusty buckskin horse, Buttermilk. In addition to her successful TV shows, more than thirty films and some two hundred songs, Evans wrote the well-known song "Happy Trails."

Born Oct 31, 1936
Died: July 1, 1991

Michael Landon was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is known for his popular roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza (1959–1973), Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1984–1989).

Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball (TV Guide, July 6, 1991).

Born Oct 31, 1930
Age: 81 years old

Michael Collins is a former American astronaut and test pilot. Selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963, he flew in space twice. His first spaceflight was Gemini 10, in which he and command pilot John Young performed two rendezvous with different spacecraft and Collins undertook two EVAs. His second spaceflight was as the command module pilot for Apollo 11. While he orbited the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned landing on the lunar surface. He is one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon.

For me, good description usually consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else.
--Stephen King

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Things I Miss, Some I Don't

Tucson Weather Today


On Thursday November 1, 2012 I will be taking a 30 day hiatus from my daily blogging. The reason for this is that I will then be beginning my participation in this year's competition (with myself) in another annual National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo.

If you are not conversant with this phenomenon, you can read all about it HERE

In essence I will be writing a 50,000 word novel over a one-month period of time, striving for a minimum of 1,667 words per day.


To develop within myself the discipline necessary to persist until I achieve success, which is not to write a perfect novel within that thirty day period but merely to accumulate the necessary quantity of words resulting in an imperfect piece of work that can later be rewritten into a professionally polished final draft, a finished publishable novel.

That's it.


I missed reading about a startling fact yesterday . . .

On October 29 1929, more than 16 million shares of stock were sold off in a panic in the stock market crash known as "Black Tuesday." Thirty billion dollars disappeared, 1,300 banks closed within a year, and almost 30 percent of the workforce was unemployed. Within four years, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in America had failed, and the Great Depression was in full swing.

The economy had been so good during the 1920s that people kept speculating in the markets, so stock prices were too high, much higher than the stocks themselves were worth. When they suddenly fell, it was a snowball effect. People had borrowed money to buy stocks, thinking that they could turn around and sell the stocks at a profit, and now they went bankrupt. On Black Tuesday, stock prices fell so fast that by the end of the day many companies couldn't sell their shares at any price.

The front-page story in The New York Times on this day read: "Wall Street was a street of vanished hopes, of curiously silent apprehension and of a sort of paralyzed hypnosis. Men and women crowded the brokerage offices, even those who have been long since wiped out, and followed the figures on the tape. Little groups gathered here and there to discuss the fall in prices in hushed and awed tones."

It was the most disastrous trading day in the stock market's history. The stock market lost $30 billion, more than a third of its value, in the next two weeks. By 1932, more than 100,000 businesses had failed and 13 million people had lost their jobs.

From: The Writer's Almanac, 10/29/2012.


Another thing I missed a long time ago and just ran across it is one delightfully fine site for either readers or writers. Or both.

Bartleby Snopes is a literary magazine devoted to publishing the finest fiction on the web.

Here is the Link


And here is yet another thing I've been missing out on for a number of years. Excellent flavor in coffee.

Throughout nearly sixty years of my life I have been drinking coffee of myriad strengths and consistencies, from barely colored limpid water to the thickest of muddy sludge, I have sampled them all. Or so I thought.

Until this week I had never given in to the popular fad of imbibing in that outlandishly expensive libation labeled Starbucks.

Bur, a couple days ago I was browsing the grocery shelves and I espied a variety of Starbucks packaged coffees. So, merely on a whim, I bought a 12 ounce (340 grams) package of Medium Breakfast Blend.

Of course, when I got home, I opened the package immediately, like an excited kid with a wrapped gift in hand on Christmas morning.

Guess what. It was filled, not with the ground coffee I had expected, but with whole coffee beans.

And I had no coffee grinder. In fact, I'd never had one, never had the occasion to grind anything.

I threw my hands in the air and loudly vocalized a couple of choice exhortations.

To make a long story a  bit shorter, I put the beans aside for the moment, until the next time (the next day) when I was in that supermarket, where I bought myself a new $16.00 Mr. Coffee coffee grinder.

After getting the piece of equipment home, I first read the manual, then ground and brewed up some Starbucks coffee. When it was steaming in my NaNoWriMo coffee mug, I took a tiny sip. And then another, and another.

It was delicious. I can say without a doubt that this was the best cup of un-sugared, un-creamed dark black coffee I had ever tasted.

I've got to admit it. I was wrong.

And the general public was right.

Starbucks is great.


One thing I did not miss was popular atheist and outspoken liberal PZ Myers blogging that he does not like Obama. No, I'm not joking.

Read it HERE



tableau [TAB-low]
graphic description; dramatic or artistic grouping.
tableau vivant (living picture;) pose reproducing a well-known painting, sculpture, scene, etc.



Charles Atlas
Born Oct 30, 1892
Died Dec 23, 1972

Charles Atlas, born Angelo Siciliano, was the developer of a bodybuilding method and its associated exercise program that was best known for a landmark advertising campaign featuring Atlas's name and likeness; it has been described as one of the longest-lasting and most memorable ad campaigns of all time.

Note: I dreamed of taking this Charles Atlas bodybuilding course all through my sub-teen years. But Mom and Dad wouldn't let me.

Born Oct 30, 1735
Died July 4, 1826

John Adams was the second President of the United States (1797–1801), having earlier served as the first Vice President of the United States. An American Founding Father, he was a statesman, diplomat, and a leader of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism.

Born Oct 30, 1945
Age: 66 years old

Henry Franklin Winkler is an American actor, director, producer and author.

Winkler is best known for his role as Fonzie on the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days. "The Fonz", a leather-clad greaser and auto mechanic, started out as a minor character at the show's beginning, but had achieved top billing by the time the show ended.

Since 2003, Winkler has collaborated with Lin Oliver on a series of children's books about a 4th grade boy, Hank Zipzer, who is dyslexic. Winkler also has the learning disability, which was not diagnosed until he was 31. The dyslexia was an unhappy part of his childhood. Winkler has published 17 books so far about his hero Zipzer, the "world's greatest underachiever".

Born Oct. 30, 1896
Died Aug 28, 1985

Ruth Gordon Jones, better known as Ruth Gordon, was an American actress and writer. She was perhaps best known for her film roles such as Minnie Castevet, Rosemary's overly solicitous neighbor in Rosemary's Baby, as the eccentric Maude in Harold and Maude and as the mother of Orville Boggs in the Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way but Loose.

Note: She was so funny in that movie. (And so was Clyde.)


The only place were 'success' comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary.


Monday, October 29, 2012

I Admit That I Did It

Tucson Weather Today


President of the United States, Senator, Congressman, Judges, Sheriff, Dog Catcher, and all the rest. All the hopeful candidates.

Well, not a one of them matters a whit to me.

Yep! I did it.

Last Thursday morning. I held my nose and marked my ballot, sealed it in the postage-paid envelope, then surreptitiously slipped it into the rural roadside mailbox.

So that means, I suppose, that I should have nothing more to write about concerning the election until November 7, 2012... at the very earliest.

Below are a couple of questions followed by Wiki-based answers which you may  or may not know.

What exactly is a republic?

The term republic most commonly means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another basis, such as heredity or divine right. This remains the primary definition of the word republic in most contexts.

Federal republic -- a federal union of states or provinces with a republican form of government. Examples include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Germany, India, Russia, the United States, and Switzerland.

What exactly is a democracy?

Several variants of democracy exist, but there are two basic forms, both of which concern how the whole body of citizens executes its will. One form of democracy is direct democracy, in which citizens have direct and active participation in the decision making of the government. In most modern democracies, the whole body of citizens remain the sovereign power but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives; this is called representative democracy.

Majority rule is sometimes listed as a characteristic of democracy. Hence, democracy allows for political minorities to be oppressed by the "tyranny of the majority"

This stuff is probably no big deal; I just thought you might be interested in reading the above. That's all.



surreptitiously [suhr-uhp-tish-uhs-lee]
Synonyms: covertly, privately, secretly, stealthily



Richard Dreyfuss
Born Oct 29, 1947
Age: 64 years old

Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Always, What About Bob?, Poseidon, Mr. Holland's Opus, and James and the Giant Peach.

Born Oct 29, 1921
Died: Jan 22, 2003

William Henry "Bill" Mauldin was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist from the United States. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters "Willie and Joe", two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field. These cartoons were broadly published and distributed in the American army abroad and in the United States.

 Willie and Joe

Born Oct. 29, 1891
Died May 29, 1951

Fanny Brice (born Fania Borach) was a popular and influential American illustrated song model, comedian, singer, theater and film actress, who made many stage, radio and film appearances and is known as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series, The Baby Snooks Show. Thirteen years after her death, she was portrayed on the Broadway stage by Barbra Streisand in the musical Funny Girl and its 1968 film adaptation.

Note: When I was a little kid in the 1940s, the Baby Snooks radio show kept me and the whole family laughing.

Born Oct 29, 1948
Age: 63 years old

Kate Jackson is an American actress, director, and producer, perhaps best known for her role as Sabrina Duncan in the popular 1970s television series Charlie's Angels. Jackson is a three-time Emmy Award nominee in the Best Actress category, has been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards, and has won the titles of Favorite Television Actress in England, and Favorite Television Star in Germany—several times—for her work in the television series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. She co-produced that series through her production company, Shoot the Moon Enterprises Ltd., with Warner Brothers Television. Jackson has starred in a number of theatrical and TV films, and played the lead role on the short-lived television adaptation of the film Baby Boom.


I was up late last night yapping about the elections on CNN and up early this morning doing the same thing in my daughter's kindergarten class.
--Tucker Carlson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sharing Of Personal Opinions

Tucson Weather Today


My latest (10/27/2012) Kindle purchase is Kindred ($4.95) and I'd like to offer a brief description of it, not a personal review, since I have not read it yet. That will come later.

Kindred is the title of a book written by Octavia E. Butler who is an author I had never heard of until yesterday when I happened upon her name while reading an intriguing review of another of her books.

Octavia E. Butler is author of many novels, including Adulthood Rites and The Parable of the Sower. She is the winner of the Nebula Award and twice winner of the Hugo Award.

 (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006)

 One reader said about Kindred --

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Kindred utilizes the devices of science fiction in order to answer the question "how could anybody be a slave?" A woman from the twentieth century, Dana is repeatedly brought back in time by her slave-owning ancestor Rufus when his life is endangered. She chooses to save him, knowing that because of her actions a free-born black woman will eventually become his slave and her own grandmother. When forced to live the life of a slave, Dana realizes she is not as strong as her ancestors. Unable to will herself back to her own time and unable to tolerate the institution of slavery, she attempts to run away and is caught within a few hours.

Her illiterate ancestor Alice succeeds in eluding capture for four days even though "She knew only the area she'd been born and raised in, and she couldn't read a map." Alice is captured, beaten, and sold as a slave to Rufus. As Dana is sent back and forth through time, she continues to save Rufus's life, attempting during each visit to care for Alice, even as she is encouraging Alice to allow Rufus to rape her and thus ensure Dana's own birth. As a twentieth-century African-American woman trying to endure the brutalities of nineteenth-century slavery, Dana answers the question, "See how easily slaves are made?" For Dana, to choose to preserve an institution, to save a life, and nurture victimization is to choose to survive.

As I hinted at above, after I finish reading Kindred I will attempt an in-depth review of it, similar to the one above, but which will be my personal opinions.

And if that works out, I might do the same here on the old' blog for each reading of forthcoming books, ones I like and those for which I don't care much.

Should be interesting to some readers.



cilia [sil-ee-uh]
plural noun
cilium [cil-ee-uhm]
singular noun

Biology  minute hairlike organelles, identical in structure to flagella, that line the surfaces of certain cells and beat in rhythmic waves, providing locomotion to ciliate protozoans and moving liquids along internal epithelial tissue in animals.
Anatomy  the eyelashes.

Nasal Cilia



Dennis Franz
Born Oct 28, 1944
Age: 67 years old.

Dennis Franz is an American actor best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz, a hard-boiled police detective, in the television series NYPD Blue. He previously appeared as Lt. Norman Buntz on Hill Street Blues, and earlier played Detective Benedetto on the same show.  He starred as "Earl", the abusive husband, in the Dixie Chicks' music video "Goodbye Earl", as Captain Carmine Lorenzo in the 1990 action film Die Hard 2 and as Nathaniel Messinger in the 1998 film, City of Angels.

Born Oct 28, 1914
Died Jun 23, 1995

Jonas Edward Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist, best known for his discovery and development of the first polio vaccine.

Until 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the post-war United States. Annual epidemics were increasingly devastating. The 1952 epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 people died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis, with most of its victims being children.

Born Oct 28, 1955
Age: 56 years old.

William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third;[in 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the second wealthiest person. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.

Born Oct 28, 1967
Age: 44 years old

Julia Fiona Roberts is an American actress. She became a Hollywood star after headlining the romantic comedy Pretty Woman (1990), which grossed $464 million worldwide. After receiving Golden Globe Awards and Academy Award nominations for Steel Magnolias (1989) and Pretty Woman, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Erin Brockovich (2000). Her films My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), Mystic Pizza (1988), Notting Hill (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), Valentine's Day (2010), The Pelican Brief (1993), Ocean's Eleven (2001), and Ocean's Twelve (2004) have collectively brought box office receipts of over $2.4 billion, making her one of the most successful actresses in terms of box office receipts.

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
--Octavia Butler

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Written In Haste


I am back home from my dog and house-sitting duties and so might be able to do a bit more daily insertion of text ahead of the birthday pics in the blog than I have been doing for the last three weeks. Starting tomorrow. I can't think of any valid excuse for not doing so, anyway.

We'll see.



-  to ask, demand, or claim.
-  to claim or assume the existence or truth of, especially as a basis for reasoning or arguing.
=  to assume without proof, or as self-evident; take for granted.


Born Oct 27, 1939
Age: 72 years old.

John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s he became a member of Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

In the mid 1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He also starred in Clockwise, and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films as Q, two Harry Potter films, and three Shrek films.

Born Oct 27, 1858
Died: Jan. 6, 1919

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909). He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912.

Before becoming President, he held offices at the city, state, and federal levels. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician. Roosevelt was 42 years old when sworn in as President of the United States in 1901, making him the youngest president ever; he beat out the youngest elected president, John F. Kennedy, by only one year. Roosevelt was also one of only three sitting presidents to have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Born Oct 27, 1920
Age: 91 years old.

Nanette Fabray is an American actress, comedienne, singer, dancer, and activist. She began her career performing in vaudeville as a child and became a musical theatre actress during the 1940s and 1950s, winning a Tony Award in 1949 for her performance in Love Life. In the mid-1950s, she served as Sid Caesar's comedic partner on Caesar's Hour, for which she won three Emmy Awards. From 1979-1984, she appeared as Grandma Katherine Romano on One Day at a Time.

Fabray appeared as the mother of the main character on television series such as One Day at a Time, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Coach, where she played mother to real-life niece Shelley Fabares. She also made appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, Burke's Law, Love, American Style, Maude, The Love Boat, What's My Line?, and Murder, She Wrote.

Born Oct 27, 1872
Died Sep 25, 1960

Emily Post was an American author famous for writing on etiquette. She produced newspaper articles on architecture and interior design, as well as stories and serials for such magazines as Harper's, Scribner's, and The Century. She wrote the following novels: Flight of a Moth (1904), Purple and Fine Linen (1905), Woven in the Tapestry (1908), The Title Market (1909), and The Eagle's Feather (1910).

In 1922 her book, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home (frequently referenced as Etiquette) became a best seller, and updated versions continued to be popular for decades. After 1931, Post wrote a column on good taste for the Bell Syndicate; it appeared daily in some 200 newspapers after 1932.


"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
--Albert Einstein

Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Worry About It


TEXT Goes Here
(maybe . . .)


-  to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms.
-  to give up resistance.


 Born Oct 26, 1947
Age: 64 years old.

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

 Born Oct 26, 1947
Age: 64 years old.

Pat Sajak is a television personality, former weatherman, actor and talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show Wheel of Fortune.

 Born Oct 26, 1914
Died: Mar 1, 1984

John Leslie Coogan, known professionally as Jackie Coogan, was an American actor who began his movie career as a child actor in silent films. Many years later, he became known as Uncle Fester on 1960s sitcom The Addams Family. In the interim, he sued his mother and stepfather over his squandered film earnings and provoked California to enact the first known legal protection for the earnings of child performers, billed as the Coogan Act.

 Born Oct 26, 1911
Died Jan 27, 1972

Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel". Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as "the single most powerful black woman in the United States". She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen "golds" -- million-sellers.


"It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life."
--Terry Pratchett

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too Late In The Day


There were so many chores that arose to confront me this morning that I neglected to think about and write a Blog posting. I will try to have some interesting text and possibly some new photos tomorrow.

Sometimes rel life interferes with my writing.

Sorry about that.



tertiary [tuhr-shee-ehr-ee]
of the third order, rank, stage, formation, etc.; third.


Born Oct 25, 1912
Died Mar 4, 1996.

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedienne who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.

Born Oct 25, 1881
Died Apr. 8, 1973.

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, known as Pablo Picasso, was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

Born Oct 25, 1941
Age: 70 years old.

Helen Reddy is an Australian-born singer and actress. She is often referred to as the "Queen of 70s Pop". In the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States, where she placed fifteen singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six of those 15 songs made the Top 10 and three of those songs reached No. 1, including her signature hit "I Am Woman."

Born Oct. 25, 1892
Died Oct. 16, 1972

Leo Gratten Carroll was an English-born actor. He was best known for his roles in several Hitchcock films, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Topper.


The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal.
--Elia Kazan

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Question -- No Answer


Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc., that contradicts natural science.

It seems that each member of a congregation believes his or her specific personal perception is identical with that which constitutes the actual precepts (dogma) of one's adopted religious cult, sect, or denomination. One need not know the details of the particular dogma, but merely think the actual precepts are the same as those harbored within his or her mind.

For example: A lady of my acquaintance is adamant in her belief that each and every deceased member of her family and each of her deceased loved ones still exists, still lives on in the glory of Heaven, and is looking down and watching over her and over  all the Earthly members of her Church.

And yet, her Church doctrine (Southern Baptist, I think) teaches that the dead  will remain in their graves and then rise up from those graves on Judgment Day and those that were saved by the blood of Jesus will be separated from those who were not saved, and the saved will be allowed into the Pearly Gates of Heaven.

Get it? No instantaneous transfer at the time of death. Not until Judgment Day.

But it's useless to attempt to reconcile actual church teachings with the stubborn wishful thinking of individual personal beliefs.

I've tried.

And I really don't know why?

Why do I continue to be the busybody and think it's any of my business to interfere with the beliefs of others?

Why indeed?



tantamount [tan-tuh-mount]
equivalent, as in value, force, effect, or signification: His angry speech was tantamount to a declaration of war.


Born Oct. 24, 1936
Died Jan. 11, 2011.

David Oswald Nelson was an American actor, director, producer. He was the elder son of bandleader/TV actor Ozzie Nelson and singer Harriet Hilliard and the older brother of singer Eric "Ricky" Nelson.

Born Oct 24, 1960
Age: 51 years old.

Bradley Darryl "BD" Wong is an American actor, best known for his roles as Dr. George Huang on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as Father Ray Mukada on Oz, as Dr. John Lee on Awake, Henry Wu in the movie Jurassic Park, his portrayal of Ngawang Jigme in the movie Seven Years in Tibet, the voice of Li Shang in the movie Mulan and for his Tony Award winning role as Song Liling in the Broadway production of M. Butterfly.

Born Oct 24, 1930
Died Feb 3, 1959.

Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. also commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace".

On February 3, 1959, a day that has become known as The Day the Music Died (from Don McLean's song "American Pie"), Richardson was killed in a plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

Born Oct 24, 1915
Died Nov 3, 1998.

Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman, along with Bill Finger. He was inducted into both the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.


"I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university."
--Albert Einstein

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Valuable Are Values?


Have you ever wondered what the devout and the religions people were really like back in olden times?

I have.

So I have been browsing selected history books (and novels) and websites that reveal the daily routine of what was considered to be both the rabble and the landed gentry,  circa 1500 BCE.

Medieval monks were often the dregs of medieval society. Poggio Bracciolini, a former papal court official, was of the opinion that monks was less than favorable:

Poggio did not like monks. On the whole he found them superstitious, ignorant, and hopelessly lazy. Monasteries, he thought, were the dumping grounds for those deemed unfit for life in the world. The Noblemen fobbed off the sons they judged to be weaklings, misfits, or good-for-nothings. Poggio thought, they were a pack of idlers. With his friends in the curia Poggio shared jokes about the venality, stupidity, and sexual appetite of monks.

The peasants were even worse,

Much of the above I learned from "Misfit Monks" at Delancey Place.

There is more to be learned but even I have a hard time swallowing some of it. But my research only strengthens my belief in disbelief.


There is also much available to be learned regarding modern knowledge of physics. And a lot of it is understandable, even by non-academics like me.

Sean Carroll - "From Particles to People" is the title of an interesting half-hour Youtube presentation that I enjoyed immensely. In it, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll uses science to explore the nature of humanity.

It's a good video.

It really  is.



A medium-sized or large wild cat such as a lynx or bobcat, especially. a cougar.

Cougar, or Puma


Born Oct. 23, 1925
Died Jan. 23, 2005

John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Governor Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.

Born Oct 23, 1956
Age: 55 years old.

Dwight David Yoakam (born October 23, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter, actor and film director, most famous for his pioneering country music. Popular since the early 1980s, he has recorded more than twenty-one albums and compilations, charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and sold more than 25 million records. Johnny Cash once cited Yoakam as his favorite country singer.

Yoakam has also starred in many films, most notably in critically acclaimed performances as an ill-tempered, abusive, live-in boyfriend in Sling Blade (1996), as a psychopathic killer in Panic Room (2002), as a police detective in Hollywood Homicide (2003) and as the sheriff in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005). He appeared in a supporting role as Doc Miles, the doctor for Chev Chelios, in Crank and its sequel, Crank 2: High Voltage. In addition, he also guest starred in the King of the Hill episode Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men as Lane Pratley. Yoakam also had a cameo appearance in the 2005 comedy movie Wedding Crashers. In 2008, Yoakam played Pastor Phil in Four Christmases, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, and he appears in the 2010 film Dirty Girl. He also appeared in The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, an independent 2010 Western that also stars fellow country singer Kris Kristofferson. In 1993, he played a truck driver in the Wyoming crime thriller, Red Rock West.

Born Oct 23, 1969
Age: 42 years old.

Sanjay Gupta is an Indian American neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.

Known as a media personality on health-related issues, he is best known as CNN's multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent, hosting the network's weekend health program Sanjay Gupta, M.D., and making frequent appearances on television. Gupta publishes a column in Time magazine and is a special correspondent for CBS News. His books Chasing Life and Cheating Death were New York Times and national bestsellers. His latest book, Monday Mornings, a novel, was released in March, 2012 and became an instant New York Times Bestseller. It is currently being adapted as a television show with David E. Kelley and Gupta serving as Executive Producers.

From 1997 to 1998, he served as one of fifteen White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. In January 2009, it was reported that Gupta was offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the Obama administration, but he withdrew his name from consideration. In January 2011, he was named "one of the 10 most influential celebrities" by Forbes magazine.

Born Oct. 23, 1942
Died Nov. 4, 2008

John Michael Crichton was an American best-selling author, producer, director, and screenwriter, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994, Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at No. 1 in television, film, and book sales (with ER, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure, respectively).

His literary works are usually based on the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his future history novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and science background. He was the author of, among others, Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Travels, Sphere, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline, Prey, State of Fear, Next (the final book published before his death), Pirate Latitudes (published November 24, 2009), and a final unfinished techno-thriller, Micro, which was published in November 2011.


I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.
--Willie Nelson

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Rich Get Richer And . . .


The divide between the HAVEs and the HAVE NOTs is said to be ever widening. There are wealthy citizens of several nations who have personal fortunes of millions and even billions of dollars. And there are many, many more people who live in almost unbelievable poverty with no hope of ever escaping it.

For the mos part, the rich posses power along with their great wealth, and they know how to use it and to hold onto it.

For the most part, the poor possess no power and little or no money, and would neither know how to use money and the power if they did obtain them, nor how to hold onto either of them. The Earth's total wealth will not be equitably redistributed.

The poor cannot do so, and the rich will not.

That's how things are and will continue to be.

Unless some unforeseen event should occur.

(extraterrestrial alien invasion, international biological pandemic, thermo-nuclear war, or sudden ultra-severe global warming)

Or an unlikely miracle happens and some GOD appears to set things aright.


All the disingenuousness and downright lies in the form of misleading sound bites from bloated political speeches emanating from the candidates running for office in the upcoming election will change absolutely nothing for the better.

*Copied from Anthony Dauer, on Facebook



allocate, distribute, or apportion anew



  Born Oct 22, 1942
Age: 70 years old.

Annette Joanne Funicello is an American actress and singer. Beginning her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve, Funicello rose to prominence as one of the most popular "Mouseketeers" on the original Mickey Mouse Club.

 As a teenager, she transitioned to a successful career as a singer with the pop singles "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess", as well as newly establishing herself as a film actress, popularizing the successful "Beach Party" genre alongside co-star Frankie Avalon during the mid-1960s.

Personal Note:
 When I was a teenager back in the 1950s I was captivated by the young Mouseketeer known as Annette Funicello. In later years I would never miss any of her Beach Party movies. Remember the old song, Puppy Love?

Now, as a doddering old man, I am still mesmerized by the memories I have of Annette, and the fact that she, at 70, is still alive but caught in the clutches of Multiple Sclerosis.

There is a video, that when I first viewed it, struck me emotionally; it struck me HARD. I am a product of the mid-20th century, back when we were taught that "Men Don't Cry" -- but, when I watched the video, well ... well, that's enough about that.

LINK to video



Curly Howard
Birthday: October 22, 1903
Date of Death Jan 18, 1952

Jerome Lester "Jerry" Horwitz, better known by his stage name Curly Howard, was an American comedian and vaudevillian. He is best known as a member of the American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges, along with his older brothers Moe Howard and Shemp Howard, and actor Larry Fine.

Curly is generally considered the most popular and recognizable of the Stooges. He is well known for his high-pitched voice, vocal expressions ("nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!", "woo-woo-woo!", "soitenly!" and barking like a dog), as well as his physical comedy, improvisations, and athleticism.

Born Oct 22, 1938
Age: 73 years old

Christopher Allen Lloyd is an American actor. Among his best-known roles are Emmett "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values, and Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as Jim Ignatowski in the television series Taxi.

Born Oct 22, 1952
Age: 59 years old

Jeffrey Lynn "Jeff" Goldblum is an American actor. His career began in the mid-1970s and he has appeared in major box-office successes including The Fly, Jurassic Park and its sequel Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and Independence Day. He starred as Detective Zach Nichols for the eighth and ninth seasons of the USA Network's crime drama series Law & Order: Criminal Intent.


. . . man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.
--John F. Kennedy