Sunday, September 30, 2012

Life, Art, Etc.


Tucson Weather Today


Jerry A. Coyne, Ph.D is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He writes a website named Why Evolution Is True, wherein I just viewed an entry he has titled Amazing paper sculptures of animals.

And, in my opinion, the sculptures truly are amazing. I could scarcely believe that a person (Calvin Nicholls) could sculpt such lifelike figures of animals using only paper as a medium.


Take a quick peek HERE for more.
 Or see even more of the Calvin Nicholls sculptures at

Including this one . . .



An afterword is a literary device that is often found at the end of a piece of literature.  It generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or of how the idea for the book was developed.

Alternatively, it may be written by someone other than the author of the book to provide enriching comment, such as discussing the work's historical or cultural context (especially if the work is being reissued many years after its original publication).

"afterword" is often confused with "afterward" which is an adverb meaning: at a later or subsequent time; subsequently.



Truman Capote

Born Sept 30, 1924
Died: Aug 25, 1984

Truman Streckfus Persons, known as Truman Capote was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

Some time in the 1940s Capote wrote a novel set in New York City about the summer romance of a socialite with a parking lot attendant. Capote later claimed to have destroyed the manuscript of this novel; but twenty years after his death, in 2004, it came to light that the manuscript had been retrieved from the trash back in 1950 by a house sitter at an apartment formerly occupied by Capote. The novel was published in 2006 by Random House under the title Summer Crossing.

 Angie Dickinson

Born Sep 30, 1931
Age: 80 years old.

Angie Dickinson is an American actress. She has appeared in more than fifty films, including Rio Bravo, Ocean's 11, Dressed to Kill and Pay It Forward, and starred on television as Sergeant Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson on the 1970s crime series Police Woman.

Johnny Mathis

Born Sep 30, 1935
Age: 76 years old.

John Royce "Johnny" Mathis is an American singer of popular music.Starting his career with singles of Standard music, he became highly popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status, and 73 making the Billboard charts and Guinness World Record music chart historian Paul Gambaccini, confirms "Johnny Mathis has sold well over 350 Million Records Worldwide".

In late 1956, Mathis recorded two of his most popular songs - "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and "It's Not For Me To Say."

Jenna Elfman

Born Sep 30, 1971
Age: 40 years old.

Jennifer Mary "Jenna" Elfman is an American television and film actress. She is best known for her roles as Dharma Freedom Finkelstein Montgomery on the 1997–2002 American television sitcom Dharma & Greg and as Anna Riley in the 2000 feature film Keeping the Faith.

Elfman donated her lip print for a limited edition U.S. postage stamp created by Zazzle to celebrate Valentine's Day in both 2007 and 2008. Proceeds for the "Kiss Stamps" went to support the programs of The Humane Society of the United States. In February 2011, she filmed a PSA for The Humane Society of the United States to inspire people to donate to help animals.


All art is but imitation of nature.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Seeing Is Believing . . . Sometimes


Tucson Weather Today



NASA managers, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) officials and international partner representatives Thursday announced Sunday, Oct. 7, as the target launch date for the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

The launch of the Dragon spacecraft will be the first of 12 contracted flights by SpaceX to resupply the space station and marks the second trip by a Dragon to the station, following a successful demonstration mission in May. SpaceX services under the CRS contract will restore an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory -- a feat not achievable since the retirement of the space shuttle.

SpaceX, NASA Target Oct. 7 Launch
For Supply Mission To Space Station

Dragon is scheduled to return in late October for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California.

Read more . . .

ALSO . . .

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (left), Expedition 33 flight engineer and Expedition 34 commander; Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy (center) and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin (right) clasp hands Sept. 21, 2012
in front of a Soyuz vehicle mock-up as they wrap up two days of final qualification exams at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

The trio is scheduled to launch Oct. 23 in their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a five-month mission on the International Space Station.

End of NASA News


While house-sitting in the desert last week, I took a few pictures from the pool deck.

Below are two of them.

This is Eva

September 2012

Looking off into the distance I was struck by what seemed to me to be a sharp contrast between the vibrant colors of the  growing plants with the hard stark reality of the still and silent mountainside -- and then even more contrast of each with the pale white drifting clouds and pastel blue of the desert sky.

Desert Flora With Mountains
Just East Of Tucson, Arizona

But then, of course, as had become apparent to me long ago -- I do not always see the same things within a scene that others see.



taupe [tohp]
a moderate to dark brownish gray, sometimes slightly tinged with purple, yellow, or green.

Taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color. It often overlaps with tan and even people who use color professionally (such as designers and artists) frequently disagree as to what "taupe" means. Taupe itself, however, is not directly correlated with such colors as purple or pink. There is no single, generally recognized authority for such terms, but the addition of such colors can create a wider variety of shades which can benefit either art.

This is "taupe" or "dark taupe"


Gene Autry

Born Sept 29, 1907
Died: Oct. 2, 1998.

Orvon Grover Autry, better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was also owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997.

From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films and 91 episodes of The Gene Autry Show television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre's development after Jimmie Rodgers. His singing cowboy movies were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience. In addition to his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again", Autry is still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, "Here Comes Santa Claus", which he wrote, "Frosty the Snowman", and his biggest hit, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".

Madeline Kahn

Born Sept 29, 1942
Died: Dec 3, 1999.

Madeline Kahn was an American actress and singer. Kahn was known primarily for her comic roles in films such as Paper Moon, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, What's Up, Doc?, and Clue.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Born Sept 29, 1935
Age: 76 years old.

    Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. He is known by the nickname "The Killer". An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis had hits in the late 1950s with songs such as "Great Balls of Fire", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "Breathless" and "High School Confidential".

Anita Ekberg

Born Sept 29, 1931
Age: 80 years old.

Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg is a Swedish-American actress, model, and cult sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the 1960 Federico Fellini film La Dolce Vita, which features the legendary scene of her cavorting in Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni.


It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
--Albert Einstein

Friday, September 28, 2012

So . . .


Tucson Weather Today



- A total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
- The total rejection of Christianity by a baptized person who, having at one time professed the Christian faith, publicly rejects it. It is distinguished from heresy, which is limited to the rejection of one or more Christian doctrines by one who maintains an overall adherence to Jesus Christ.



Ed Sullivan

Born Sep 28, 1901
Died Oct 13, 1974

Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan was an American entertainment writer and television host, best known as the presenter of the TV variety show The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was broadcast from 1948 to 1971 (a total of 23 years), which made it one of the longest-running variety shows in U.S. broadcast history.

Born Sep 28, 1964
Age: 47 years old

Janeane Garofalo is an American stand-up comedian, actress, liberal political activist and writer. Garofalo's big break came in 1990 after meeting Ben Stiller at Canter's Deli in Los Angeles, where they were hanging out with stand-up friends. Her television series debut was on the short-lived Ben Stiller Show on Fox in 1992, on which she was a cast member alongside longtime friends Bob Odenkirk and Andy Dick. A chance meeting on the set of that show led her to be offered the role of Paula on The Larry Sanders Show on HBO, earning her two Emmy Award nominations in 1996 and 1997.

After The Ben Stiller Show was cancelled, Garofalo joined the cast of Saturday Night Live (SNL) for its 1994–95 season. She left SNL in March 1995 (mid-season) after only six months, saying that the experience left her "anxious and depressed" and that a sexist attitude pervaded the show and she called many of the sketches "juvenile and homophobic". Following SNL, Garofalo appeared in a plethora of guest star roles: the grown-up daughter of the Buchmans on the final episode of Mad About You; Jerry Seinfeld's female counterpart (and, briefly, fiancée) Jeannie Steinman on Seinfeld; a correspondent on Michael Moore's TV Nation and a former girlfriend of Dave Foley's character on Newsradio.

Throughout the 2005–2006 television season, Garofalo appeared on The West Wing as Louise Thornton, a controversial campaign adviser to the fictional Democratic presidential nominee.

Born Sep 28, 1909
Died Nov 05, 1979

Alfred Gerald Caplin, better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats and Long Sam. He won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award in 1947 for Cartoonist of the Year, and their 1979 Elzie Segar Award (posthumously) for his "unique and outstanding contribution to the profession of cartooning."

Brigitte Bardot

Born Sep 28, 1934
Age: 77 years old.

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a former French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex symbols of the 1960s. Starting in 1969, Bardot's features became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous due to her role in her then-husband Roger Vadim's controversial film And God Created Woman.


"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Hum Drum Life Is Still A Life


Tucson Weather Today


I slept a little later than usual this morning for some reason. My mind is still a bit foggy and anything I write while immersed in this dark swirl of non-focus should always be counted as suspect. So, perhaps I should skip over any introductory text beyond what lies here before your eyes in the hope that tomorrow will bring something better.



extremely patriotic, nationalistic



Greg Morris

Born September 27, 1933
Death Date: Aug 27, 1996

Francis Gregory Alan "Greg" Morris was an American television and movie actor. Morris began his acting career in the 1960s making guest appearances on many TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and Ben Casey. In 1966, he was cast in his most recognizable role as the electronics expert Barney Collier in the TV series Mission: Impossible.

Jayne Meadows

Born Sept 27, 1920
Age: 91 years old.

Jayne Meadows is an American stage, film and television actress, as well as an author and lecturer. She was a regular panelist on the original version of I've Got a Secret and an occasional panelist on What's My Line?, the latter alongside husband Steve Allen. Meadows is the real-life sister of Audrey Meadows (Alice, on The Honeymooners.)

Born Sept 27, 1934
Age: 77 years old.

Wilford Brimley is an American actor. He has appeared in such films as The China Syndrome, Cocoon, The Thing and The Firm. He had a recurring role on the 1970s television series The Waltons. Brimley has also done television commercials, including advertisements for Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical.

William Conrad

Born Sept 27, 1920
Died: Feb 11, 1994

William Conrad (born John William Cann Jr.) was an American actor, producer, and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film. and television.

A radio writer and actor, he moved to Hollywood, California, after his World War II service and played a series of character roles in films. beginning with quintessential film noir The Killers (1946). He created the role of Marshall Matt Dillon for popular radio series Gunsmoke (1952–1961) and narrated the television adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (1959–1964) and The Fugitive (1963–1967).

Finding fewer on-screen roles in the 1950s, he changed from actor to producer-director with television work and a series of Warner Bros. films in the 1960s. Conrad found stardom as a detective in TV series Cannon (1971-1976), Nero Wolfe (1981) and in crime drama Jake and the Fatman (1987-1992).


A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
--Charles Darwin

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Middle Of The Week Already



The Adventure of The Primrose Mind is the title of a fictional story, well, not a complete story, not yet anyway, but is at least the beginning of what could with some effort (much effort, lots of sweat and tears) blossom into a fully-flowered and strangely satisfactory story -- a tale that I like to call a William Faulkner story, one that starts with a quiet whisper and builds to a thunderous shout, then ends with a deafening whimper squeezed from a lifetime of unsuccessfully suppressed agony.

But I fear that its overly cautious author is once again preparing for the eventuality of failure by announcing hints of personal doubt right at the onset.

And that is a sad state of affairs with which I am quite familiar -- am eminently conversant.

Oh yes.

I have been writing for a great many years a certain fictional story, one based on actual characters and factual events that occurred both in and around the ramshackle bunkhouse of the Cross-5 cattle ranch, more specifically the main character is day after day out driving a tractor, raking hay in the hot summer meadows of Gordon, Nebraska in the mid-20th century.

The story concerns a young white man filled with idealism gleaned from a great deal of book-learned, high-school awareness of the pitiful plight of the noble but downtrodden red man who forever suffers under the boot heels of  evil and powerful Caucasians that ruled a cruel, selfish, and totally bigoted society.

The young man works alongside a pair of manual laborers, biological brothers, two full blooded members of the Sioux tribe living on the nearby reservation. Their names are Curtis and Philip Red-Owl.

The story is about how easily and swiftly a man's mind can be changed by personal experiences, from scholarly idealism into a stark realm of practicality, into a kind of wisdom that transcends the ephemera of high-minded liberal, progressive visions of morality.

Something like that.

But the story is devoid of an ending. Always. After each stint of writing, there exists no factual ending. Always, it just stops. Due to the most mundane of circumstances.

You see, I have never been able to craft a fitting fictional ending for the story. Neither through diamond hard fact nor velvet soft fiction.

Not yet, anyway.

And time, I fear, is running out.


(Even this much personal disclosure was exhausting.)


I was informed that last Thursday, September 20 at 11:15 A.M. Arizona Time was when the Space Shuttle Endeavour was to fly over Tucson on the back of a 747. Well, I watched, camera in hand, the partly cloudy skies above Tucson from 11 A.M until 11:30 P.M. and did not see hide nor hare of the double-decker duo. (Yes, I know it's deemed to be "hair" not "hare").

I did, however, hear the roaring engines of a large plane way, way up there above the clouds, and managed to get a shot of it as it broke into a clear patch of blue.

Well, as I said, it was way, way up there.


My sister, Phyllis, posted a picture on Facebook of herself (youngest)
me (the oldest) and my two younger brothers, Johnny Joe and Ronnie

Rensselaer, Indiana -- circa 1951


calm; imperturbable



Linda Hamilton

Born Sept 26, 1956
Age: 55 years old.

Linda Carroll Hamilton is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Julie London

Born Sept 26, 1926
Died Oct 18, 2000.

Julie London was an American singer and actress. She was best known for her smoky, sensual voice. London was at her singing career's peak in the 1950s. Her acting career lasted more than 35 years. It concluded with the female lead role of nurse Dixie McCall on the television series Emergency! (1972–1979), co-starring her best friend Robert Fuller and her real-life husband Bobby Troup, and produced by her ex-husband Jack Webb.

London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate, Arthur Hamilton, and produced by Troup. The recording became a million-seller after its release in December 1955.

Olivia Newton John

Born Sept 26, 1948
Age: 63 years old.

Olivia Newton-John is an English born Australian singer and actress. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 and ten other Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two No. 1 Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. Her music has been successful in multiple formats including pop, country and adult contemporary and has sold an estimated over 100 million albums worldwide. She co-starred with John Travolta in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease, which featured one of the most successful film soundtracks in Hollywood history.

James Caviezel

Born Sep 26, 1968
Age: 43 years old.

James Patrick Caviezel, Jr., known professionally as Jim Caviezel is an American film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for portraying Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ. He has also played Bobby Jones in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Detective John Sullivan in Frequency, Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo, Catch in Angel Eyes, Carroll Oerstadt in Déjà Vu and Private Witt in The Thin Red Line. He currently stars on the CBS crime thriller Person of Interest as John Reese.


All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
--Edgar Allan Poe

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Once Again, AVT beckons . . .


Tucson Weather Today


I arrived at my home a couple of hours ago from the desert where I had been house and dog-sitting for the last eight days or so. After unpacking and putting away my clothes and things, I went out into the clean, fresh morning air and embarked upon my two mile walk to Fry's Supermarket.

After I returned, I sat down here in front of my keyboard to catch up on my too long neglected email and blog reading.

What to my wandering eyes should appear but a boat load of wondrous words at Abandoned Dreams - Observations by Anthony V. Tocsano.

So . . . I'm off to return there and read my fill of new literature.

More later.

Oops! Sorry about that. No more today. No more till tomorrow.


Friday, September 21, 2012

To Be Somebody . . .



I tuned into the morning news and heard that the stores are nearly overwhelmed by the super long lines of customers waiting to buy the new Apple i-phone. And some were even selling their place in line, for hundreds of dollars.

All for a freakin' telephone.

And smirking (not outraged) protesters are throwing rocks at police in front of some U.S. embassies in cities all over the planet, while the president holds secret meetings, or so it's reported. Insanity among the human race is apparently growing, and for no real reason.

Except to grab their fifteen minutes of fame.

Good Golly Miss Molly!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just A Word Or Two . . .



Here I am out in the desert with Eva for the rest of the week.

On the TV news this morning I was informed that the space shuttle Endeavour, on the back of a 747 from Houston bound for California will pass over Tucson at about 11:15 (Arizona Time)) and if I remember I will look up from the pool deck at that time. The sky is supposed to be sunny and clear and perhaps I will be able to see it.


Monday, September 17, 2012

And God Said . . .



What does a concerned parent do when there are no local schools offering an education consisting of a curriculum with which you you disagree?

Home School Them

Teach Them Your Values

Sometimes one must take matters into one's own hands. Instill your beliefs in your child no matter what . . .  Especially if you were taught that your god demands it of you.

Good Golly!

Christian Dogma

Prov 13:24: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).”
Prov 19:18: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Prov 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Prov 23:13: “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
Prov 23:14: “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel).”
Prov 29:15: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Good Golly!



dogma  [dawg-muh]
-  an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church.
-  a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church.
-  prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group.
-  a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.
 article of faith, canon, conviction, credenda, credo, creed, doctrine, gospel.

Born Sep 17, 1923
Died  Jan. 1, 1953

Hank Williams, born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one. Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'," and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Born Sept. 17, 1948
Died Sept. 11, 2003

Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter was an American actor, voice over artist and comedian perhaps best known for having played Jack Tripper and Paul Hennessy in the ABC sitcoms Three's Company and 8 Simple Rules, respectively. He is also known for being the voice of the title character Clifford in the PBS television series Clifford the Big Red Dog. Don Knotts called him the "Greatest physical comedian on the planet". Ritter died at the age of 54 from an aortic dissection.

I met John Ritter in the late 1980s in the lobby of The Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World near Orlando FL, where I was employed for a short time. He seemed to be a regular ol' 'down home' guy.
Born Sept 17, 1931
Died June 06, 2005

Anne Bancroft was an American actress associated with the method acting school, which she had studied under Lee Strasberg. Respected for her acting prowess and versatility, Bancroft was often acknowledged for her work in film, theatre and television. She won one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two Tony Awards and two Emmy Awards, and several other awards and nominations.

She made her film debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and, following a string of supporting film roles during the 1950s, won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Miracle Worker (1962), receiving subsequent nominations for her roles in The Pumpkin Eater (1964), The Graduate (1967), The Turning Point (1977), and Agnes of God (1985). Bancroft's other acclaimed movies as a lead actress include Young Winston (1972), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975), To Be or Not to Be (1983), and 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).

Born Sept 17, 1928
Died Oct. 03, 1998

Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude "Roddy" McDowall was a British actor and photographer. His film roles included Cornelius and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes film series. He began his long acting career as a child in How Green Was My Valley, My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home, and as an adult appeared most frequently as a character actor on stage and television.


Every dogma has its day.
--Anthony Burgess

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maybe I Can Get Some Nature Photos


Tucson Weather Today


Good Gravy! I woke up at 2:22 this morning and could not get back to sleep. So I got up and turned on the computer. Caught up on some blog reading that I had been neglecting. Then started thinking about what I could possibly write about here in the blog so dad-blamed early in the morning.

Well, for one thing, it seems that the New Atheists, the hyper activist Atheists, are still bickering with the common Atheists about their most recent big split. The A group, which stands for the old Atheist and the A+ group which symbolizes the new and improved group (A with an added plus-sign group) all of whom believe that true Atheists should not only believe there is no evidence for the existence of God or gods plus should also embrace every last one of the ultra-liberal policies, such as no discrimination against ethnicity, women, or any minority... and on and on and on. You know, elitist stuff. Stuff like "I believe THIS, so everybody else should believe this way as well, and if they don't then they are cretins."

Oh well.


I will be leaving this evening for a week out in the desert where I will be hacienda-sitting and dog-sitting for Eva, but I will strive to continue blogging even though my customized computer will remain here at home in the city. There are two computers I can use at the desert location but they do not have the specialized software as does this one, such as my photo editing program... and others. Also, with hundreds of available satellite TV channels to choose from (instead of my usual dozen or so) I find it difficult to pull myself away from such a plethora of relatively uncensored entertainment.

And there is the billiard room, and I always seem to need more practice at nine-ball.

And Eva needs her play time, too.


Updates  and second thoughts (if I have any) will go here . . .



Of no value or importance.
Useless; futile.

trifling - trivial - futile - insignificant



Peter Falk

Born Sept 16, 1927
Died June 23, 2011

Peter Michael Falk was an American actor, best known for his role as Lt. Frank Columbo in the television series Columbo. He appeared in numerous films such as The Princess Bride, The Great Race and Next, and television guest roles. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice (for 1960's Murder, Inc. and 1961's Pocketful of Miracles), and won the Emmy Award on five occasions (four for Columbo) and the Golden Globe award once.

Allen Funt

Born Sept 16, 1914
Died Sept. 5, 1999

Allen Albert Funt was an American television producer, director and writer, television personality, best known as the creator and host of Candid Camera from the 1940s to 1980s, as either a regular television show or a television series of specials. Its most notable run was from 1960 to 1967 on CBS.

Lauren Bacall

Born Sep 16, 1924
Age: 87 years old.

Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske) is an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks. She first emerged as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have And Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946) and Dark Passage (1947), as well as a comedienne in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.

David Copperfield

Born Sep 16, 1956
Age: 55 years old.

David Copperfield (born David Seth Kotkin) is an American illusionist, and has been described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history.

Copperfield's television specials have won 21 Emmy Awards of a total 38 nominations. Best known for his combination of storytelling and illusion, Copperfield’s career of over 30 years has earned him 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a knighthood by the French government; and he has been named a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress.

Copperfield has so far sold 40 million tickets and grossed over $3 billion, which is more than any other solo entertainer in history. He currently performs over 500 shows a year.


Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
--Albert Einstein

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Couple Of Noteworthy Items



Much ado about less than nothing . . .

Here is a link to the amateurish movie trailer that is causing all the stupid hubbub seen in the news for the last few days:


I can't imagine why this ridiculous little piece of trashy silliness created such a stir.

I just can't.

The Value Of An Education is a short piece I read yesterday and was impressed with it. It is well worth investing a small bit of your time to read it.

That's my opinion, anyway.


Will New York's ban on overly-large soft drinks stamp out obesity?

Oh come on! Be serious.


While reading the 14 September 2012 entry of Something Surprising  I came across the following:

"He seemed to claim that the story of Isaac showed that Jewish people care much more for their children, much more than anyone else. He could only get away with this in any small way by comparing his race with the surrounding races during the bronze age.  I would say that this argument has passed its sell-by date."

I couldn't let pass that ending: ". . . has passed its sell-by date." so I left a comment saying that I really like it.

That was so clever.




“Swoft” is a very rare word. It’s about dirt and dust bunnies.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “swoft” as “sweepings.”

This is such a rare word that about the only place you will find a full description of it at Grammarphobia  and they provide a quite interesting write-up about it.



Fay Wray

Born Sep 15, 1907
Died Aug. 8, 2004

Fay Wray (born Vina Fay Wray) was a Canadian-American actress most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong. Through an acting career that spanned 57 years, Wray attained international renown as an actress in horror movie roles, leading to many considering her as the first "scream queen".

Tommy Lee Jones

Born Sep 15, 1946
Age: 65 years old.

Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He has received three Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive.

His other notable starring roles include former Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call in the award-winning TV mini-series Lonesome Dove, Agent K in Men in Black and its sequels, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men, the villain "Two-Face" in Batman Forever, terrorist William Strannix in Under Siege, a Texas Ranger in Man of the House, rancher Pete Perkins in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which also served as his directorial debut, and Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger. Jones has also portrayed real-life figures such as businessman Howard Hughes, executed murderer Gary Gilmore, Oliver Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, and baseball great Ty Cobb.

Jackie Cooper

Born Sep 15, 1922
Died May 3, 2011.

 Jackie Cooper was an American actor, television director, producer and executive. He was a child actor who managed to make the transition to an adult career. Cooper was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. At age 9, he was also the youngest performer to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Rorl--an honor that he received for the film Skippy (1931). For nearly 50 years, Cooper remained the youngest Oscar nominee in any category, until he was surpassed by Justin Henry's nomination, at age 8, in the Supporting Actor category for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

Cooper had a major role in the Hal Roach movie series Our Gang and was the main character in the episodes The First Seven Years, When the Wind Blows, and others. His most notable Our Gang shorts explore his crush on Miss Crabtree, the schoolteacher played by June Marlowe, which included the trilogy of shorts Teacher's Pet, School's Out, and Love Business.

Jackie Cooper found renewed fame in the 1970s and 1980s as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve.

Roy Acuff

Born Sep 15, 1903
Died Nov 23, 1992

Roy Claxton Acuff was an American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the "King of Country Music," Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.

Acuff began his music career in the 1930s, and gained regional fame as the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, and although his popularity as a musician waned in the late 1940s, he remained one of the Opry's key figures and promoters for nearly four decades. In 1942, Acuff co-founded the first major Nashville-based country music publishing company--Acuff-Rose Music--which signed acts such as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. In 1962, Acuff became the first living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Roy Acuff was the name of one of the first singers I can remember listening to on the radio (way before TV came along) while staying with Grandma and Grandpa Morris back in the 1940s. Acuff, along with Hank Williams, Cousin Minnie Pearl, and LulaBelle & Scotty were their favorites on the radio shows, The Saturday Night Barndance and The Grand Ole Opry.


Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Ongoing Search For Knowledge



While reading a friendly atheist's blog, I encountered: ". . . looking through the comments, I can’t differentiate between actual Christians and Poes." Well, not sure what was meant by the term, "Poes" I looked it up.

It seems that Poe’s Law is an attempt at effective liberal Internet satire and declares: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”

More about Poe's Law . . .


I learned a fascinating new fact today.

From the Writer's Almanac I learned:

Samuel Wilson, the original "Uncle Sam," was born in Arlington, Massachusetts (1766). During the War of 1812, Wilson was a successful meatpacker in Troy, New York. He had obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army, and he shipped it in barrels stamped with the initials "U.S." to show it was the property of the United States government. However, his workers -- and, later, the soldiers -- joked that it stood for "Uncle Sam," Wilson's nickname. Over time, the association grew and soon the nickname became widely linked to the United States. The association was made official by an act of Congress in 1961.

  Old Photo of Samuel Wilson

The first personification of "Uncle Sam" was
developed by political cartoonist Thomas Nast

Nast is also responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus, as well as the donkey and elephant of our political parties. He gradually developed the character of Uncle Sam over the next decade, eventually putting him in a suit decorated with the stars and stripes and giving him a white beard. But for most people, it's the World War I recruitment poster -- designed by James Montgomery Flagg -- that first comes to mind when they hear "Uncle Sam." It's the image of Sam, pointing directly at the viewer, above the words "I Want You For The U.S. Army." It first appeared in 1916.



Political Correctness (along with censorship) has long been a subject that makes me grind my teeth in frustration with the arrogant foibles of politicians and other elitists who believe that they are superior to others (and thus deserve favored status) because of their intellect, social status, wealth, or other factors.

Examples of language commonly referred to as "politically correct" include:

-  "Intellectually disabled" in place of "Retarded" and other terms.
-  "African American" in place of "Black," "Negro" and other terms.
-  "Native American" (or "First Nations" in Canada) in place of "Indian".
-  "Caucasian" in place of "White", and other terms.
-  "Gender-neutral" terms such as "firefighter" in place of "fireman," police officer in place of policeman.
-  Terms relating to disability, such as "visually impaired" or "hearing impaired" in place of "blind" or "deaf".
-  "Holiday", "winter" or "festive" in place of "Christmas".

Whenever I happen upon some mention of censorship or political correctness I perk right up and dive headlong into the story, opinion, or essay and read, and keep on reading until I either give up in disgust or nod my head in agreement and persevere to the end of the piece. I am always eager to find someone of like mind and see whether or not their words might strengthen my opinion on the subject.

Taboos, Political Correctness, and Dissent is an 8 minute Youtube video wherein Steven Pinker presents his views on those subjects. In this video he notes the irony that campuses, which rely on the open exchange of ideas more than any other institution, often restrict speech more aggressively than society at large. Pinker describes how the urge to censor is related to the "psychology of taboo,"

Steven Pinker

Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-born experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

More about Steven Pinker . . .



-  Board a train.
-  To pull or draw along after itself.
-  Chemistry To carry (suspended particles, for example) along in a current.



Walter Koenig

Born Sep 14, 1936
Age: 75 years old.

Walter Marvin Koenig is an American actor, writer, teacher and director, known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5. He wrote the script for the 2008 science fiction legal thriller InAlienable.

Born Sep 14, 1944
Age: 67 years old.

Davenie Johanna "Joey" Heatherton is an American actress, dancer, and singer. She began her career as a child actress, appearing in 1959 as a member of the ensemble and an understudy in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and received her first sustained national exposure that same year as a semi-regular on The Perry Como Show. She also appeared extensively on The Dean Martin Show; Dean Martin invited her to perform numerous times on the show, starting with the premiere episode of September 16, 1965. From June to September 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr., she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy hour, Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers. She also made multiple appearances on 1960s television shows such as The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Ed Sullivan Show, and This Is Tom Jones.

Heatherton also appeared in the movies Twilight of Honor (1963), Where Love Has Gone, (1964) and My Blood Runs Cold (1965), alongside veteran actors such as Claude Rains, Bette Davis and Susan Hayward.

Sam Neill

Born Sep 14, 1947
Age: 64 years old.

 Nigel John Dermot "Sam" Neill is a New Zealand actor who won a broad international audience in 1993 for his roles as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Alisdair Stewart in The Piano. Neill also had high-profile roles in Reilly, Ace of Spies, Omen III: The Final Conflict, Merlin, The Hunt for Red October, and The Tudors.

Clayton Moore

Born Sep 14, 1914
Died Dec 28, 1999

    Clayton Moore was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character The Lone Ranger from 1949–1951 and 1954–1957 on the television series of the same name.


The phrase "political correctness" was born as a coded cover for all who still want to say Paki, spastic or queer, all those who still want to pick on anyone not like them, playground bullies who never grew up.
--Polly Toynbee
The Guardian