Monday, September 30, 2013




Dog Dreaming is a strange little poem I read this morning over at The Writer's Almanac. Even those who do not care much for classical poetry (like me) might appreciate this one. That post also has a birthday salute to Truman Capote.

Read it here.



On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.



On this day, September 30 in 1955, 24-year-old actor James Dean was killed in Cholame, California, when the Porsche he was driving hit a Ford Tudor sedan at an intersection. The driver of the other car, 23-year-old California Polytechnic State University student Donald Turnupseed, was dazed but mostly uninjured; Dean’s passenger, German Porsche mechanic Rolf W├╝therich was badly injured but survived. Only one of Dean’s movies, "East of Eden," had been released at the time of his death ("Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant" opened shortly afterward), but he was already on his way to superstardom -- and the crash made him a legend.

Rumor has it that Dean’s car, which he’d nicknamed the Little Bastard, was cursed. After the accident, the car rolled off the back of a truck and crushed the legs of a mechanic standing nearby. Later, after a used-car dealer sold its parts to buyers all over the country, the strange incidents multiplied: The car’s engine, transmission and tires were all transplanted into cars that were subsequently involved in deadly crashes, and a truck carrying the Spyder’s chassis to a highway-safety exhibition skidded off the road, killing its driver. The remains of the car vanished from the scene of that accident and haven’t been seen since.

W├╝therich, whose feelings of guilt after the car accident never abated, tried to commit suicide twice during the 1960s--and in 1967, he stabbed his wife 14 times with a kitchen knife in a failed murder/suicide--and he died in a drunk-driving accident in 1981.



1. A theatrical performer.
2. One who takes part; a participant.

An actor (alternatively actress for a female) is a person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity.



(born September 30, 1931)
Angie Dickinson is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the films Rio Bravo and Dressed to Kill, and for starring on television as Sergeant Suzanne "Pepper" Anderson on the 1970s crime series Police Woman.

(born September 30, 1971)
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.

(born September 30, 1957)
Fran Drescher is an American film and television actress, comedian, producer, and activist. She is best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV series The Nanny, and for her nasal voice and thick New York accent.

Drescher made her screen debut with a small role in the 1977 blockbuster film Saturday Night Fever, and later appeared in American Hot Wax (1978) and Wes Craven's horror tale Summer of Fear (1978). In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films The Hollywood Knights (1980), Doctor Detroit (1983), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and UHF (1989. In 1993, she achieved wider fame as Fran Fine in her own sitcom vehicle The Nanny. She received further recognition for her performances in Jack (1996) and The Beautician and the Beast (1997).

(born September 30, 1961)
Crystal Barnard is an American singer-songwriter and television and film actress, most widely known for her seven-year-long role on the situation comedy Wings.


When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn't acting. It's following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that.
--James Dean


This Is Who I Am

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Robberies by Guest Blogger

The Robberies


I don't know what I'm warning you about, exactly, since I haven't written this yet, but consider yourselves warned, anyway.

A temporary employee at my new company asked me the usual lunchtime questions (you know, who are you and what's your life like) and got some unexpected answers. Her reactions and the questions my answers brought her to ask made me do some thinking of my own.

I finally quit my night job in July of 1996. It was a difficult decision to make (ranks right up there with the birds in difficulty level), since I'd been there almost eleven years. I was giving up more than a paycheck; I was vested for retirement, I had friends among the crew, I had friends among the clientele (including the man who finally asked me to sleep with him), and I had what I considered a 'dream' job -- hours I liked (even if the rest of the family didn't), the ability to bring the birds if I needed to (and the dogs, even, a time or two), I almost never saw the managers, and I could spend two or more hours a night getting paid to cross stitch. Not to mention that once I quit I no longer had medical coverage. But, I finally decided that the guns outweighed the benefits and I didn't need to be shown another to come to that conclusion.

So, onward to the beginning...

I joined the hotel team in July of 1985; not a newcomer to the hotel business, but this firm then was a ... family. The corporation didn't feel like a corporation, and the staff invited me to join them at a dinner get-together the day after I was hired and several days before I actually started working there. I'd never before had a job that I enjoyed quite so much -- except the kennel helper I'd been in 1981 or so.

The managers I had then moved out and a new set moved in and I liked these even better. (That they were constantly trying to move me into the night slot notwithstanding.) At that time I was working the 3-11 shift.

In May of '88 I was robbed the first time. It was just after 10 pm and the security guard was not yet there. Funny how the image is now overlaid by the more recent robbery; remembering details is hard to do. My guard then was... we'll call him Michael. Personable; just doing security until something better came along. I can't remember the 'bad guy' at all. All I see in my mind's eye is the one I faced in a courtroom more recently. Ah, well. Maybe this is a good thing.

The bad guy hit us again a day short of two weeks later -- I was then on nights (when the doors are locked) so he got different clerks. Got more money, too. The managers were fired over it (negligence with company funds) and we got a new set of managers which I liked. They eventually got fired (can't recall why) and I got another set of managers which I didn't like. (I would make a 'number of managers fired' comment, but, litigation, you know.)

In March of '96 I was robbed the second time. This one was at 3am and my guard was on the second floor. He saw the truck leave, but nothing else. This guard was... we'll call him Roger, sweet guy, girl shy, from the old school even though he's not that old. Reminds me of a big puppy. Have I detailed this robbery before? Seems like I have. Guy with a hat, buzz him in, give him the money, buzz him out, watch the truck go by the front doors, then a blurred image of cops and the videotape and the manager and Robert saying "Are you going to be all right?". A trip to look at the guy they caught and cleaning that black powder off the desk. The manager asking if I could finish my shift out. And anger. Lots and lots and lots of anger. I still have some of it.

The only real difference between the two robberies were the managers I had, and I have to wonder if I'd liked the managers the second time, would I still be there anyway?

My coworker asks me at lunch, "Weren't you scared?"

No, not particularly. Maybe I'm abnormal or something, but the fear didn't hit until the guy was gone. Before the gun, you think maybe something's fishy here (ah! the first robber had a western scarf bandit style over the lower half of his face -- knew immediately I had a whole fish market in the lobby for that one), but maybe he's got a hot date in the car or he's on something. Then after the gun, you think of nothing. Nothing. Blank. Zero. Your entire attention is on the one with the gun's words and obeying them. Listen. Do. Keep your eyes down.

Then he's gone and you shake. The trembling begins slowly as you're trying to dial the phone -- the cops, the manager, the other hotels on the strip. By the time someone else is in the lobby, you're shaking like an earthquake's going on. My memory went fruity on me. I can normally dial a phone number and be able to recite it back to you an hour or so later (it's a curse but the numbers fade after a bit). A gun seems to create a short in the synapses -- with the first robbery I checked someone in immediately after it and the cops wanted to know what room I'd put them in. Hell, I didn't know. I should've. Normally, I would've. For about an hour, maybe two.

That night, you don't sleep well. Noises mean more; things you took for granted as secure no longer are.

For about a week, you're jumpy.

And you have a remarkable appreciation for life. Breathing is enjoyable and waking up each morning a miracle meant to be savored. Trees are greener, grass more lush, and the welcome in your dog's eyes when you come home is the most important thing in the world. (I spent several days with a friend after the first robbery; the second I didn't -- and I think if it had been an in-house crime, I'd want to move. I can't imagine living where a criminal knows you are.)

For awhile, you doubt your life's goals and where you are at this point in time. And you consider quitting.

You make peace with enemies and you put your affairs in order. (Not that they stay that way.)

And you watch television with a new perspective.

Violent crime is a lot like a wheelchair; people are curious, but they won't  ever, ever ask.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala



Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013






In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand (or attempted to do so).



Just after midnight on this day, September 27 in 1869, Ellis County Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok and his deputy responded to a report that a local ruffian named Samuel Strawhun and several drunken buddies were tearing up John Bitter's Beer Saloon in Hays City, Kansas. When Hickok arrived and ordered the men to stop, Strawhun turned to attack him, and Hickok shot him in the head. Strawhun died instantly, as did the riot.

The good citizens of Hays City, the county seat, were tired of the wild brawls and destructiveness of the hard-drinking buffalo hunters and soldiers who took over their town every night. They hoped the famous "Wild Bill" could restore peace and order, and in the late summer of 1869, elected him as interim county sheriff. Shortly after becoming sheriff, Hickok shot a belligerent soldier who resisted arrest, and the man died the next day. A few weeks later Hickok killed Strawhun. While his brutal ways were indisputably effective, many Hays City citizens were less than impressed that after only five weeks in office he had already found it necessary to kill two men in the name of preserving peace.

During the regular November election later that year, the people expressed their displeasure, and Hickok lost to his deputy, 144-89. Though Wild Bill Hickok would later hold other law enforcement positions in the West, his first attempt at being a sheriff had lasted only three months.



shibboleth  [SHIB'-uh-leth]
1. The use of a word or pronunciation that distinguishes a group of people.
2. A slogan, belief, or custom that's now considered outmoded.

A shibboleth is a word, sound, or custom that a person unfamiliar with its significance may not pronounce or perform correctly relative to those who are familiar with it. It is used to identify foreigners or those who do not belong to a particular class or group of people. It also refers to features of language, and particularly to a word or phrase whose pronunciation identifies a speaker as belonging to a particular group.



(born September 27, 1972)
Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress, singer, and food writer. She made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. After appearing in several films throughout the decade, Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as Seven (1995) and Emma (1996).

Following the films Sliding Doors (1998) and A Perfect Murder (1998), Paltrow garnered worldwide recognition through her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998), She also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011 for her role as Holly Holliday on the Fox hit TV show Glee in the episode "The Substitute". In April 2013, Gwyneth was named "Most Beautiful Woman" by People Magazine.

Paltrow has portrayed supporting as well as lead roles in films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Shallow Hal (2001), and Proof (2005), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama. Since 2008 she has portrayed Pepper Potts, the love interest of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013).

(born September 27, 1970)
Tamara Taylor is a Canadian television actress. Her most famous role is that of Dr. Camille Saroyan, head of the Forensic Division, on the forensic crime drama Bones.

(born September 27, 1971)
Amanda Detmer is an American actress who has appeared in various films and television shows. She made her onscreen debut in 1995 with the television movie Stolen Innocence, and her big screen debut playing Miss Minneapolis in the beauty pageant-set comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous. She made film appearances in Final Destination, Boys and Girls, Saving Silverman, The Majestic and Big Fat Liar. On television she has appeared in the 2006 made-for-TV movie Proof of Lies and episodes of such drama series as What About Brian and Private Practice.

(born 27 September 1969)
Sofia Milos is a Swiss-born Italian/Greek actress. She is best known for her role as Yelina Salas on CSI: Miami. She has also had recurring roles on The Sopranos as Camorra Boss Annalisa Zucca, as well as Curb your Enthusiasm, Friends, ER, and many more.


Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
--Ambrose Bierce



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Things Worthy Of Cogitation



Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.
--Aldous Huxley

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child,
I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things.
--King James Bible
1 Corinthians 13:11

One of the most childish things I can think of is harboring belief in The Bible as being the absolute and unquestionable Holy Word of God. Even more childish is my effort to convince Christians that they are childish.

Will I never learn?



An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.



On this day, September 26 in 1996, U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid returned to Earth in the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis following six months in orbit aboard the Russian space station Mir.

On March 23, 1996, Lucid transferred to Mir from the same space shuttle for a planned five-month stay. A biochemist, Lucid shared Mir with Russian cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev and conducted scientific experiments during her stay.

Beginning in August, her scheduled return to Earth was delayed by more than six weeks because of last-minute repairs to the booster rockets of Atlantis and then by a hurricane.

She was the first American woman to live in a space station.



factotum  [fak-to'-tuhm]
A factotum is a general servant or a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities.



(born 26 September 1948)
Olivia Newton-John is an English-born Australian singer, songwriter, 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 genres including pop, country and adult contemporary and has sold an estimated over 100 million records 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.

(born September 26, 1956)
Linda 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 1987-1990 television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy. Hamilton had a recurring role as Mary Elizabeth Bartowski on NBC's Chuck.

(born September 26, 1933)
Donna Douglas is an American actress best known for her role as Elly May Clampett in the CBS television series, The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971).

(born September 26, 1981)
Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on six separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and regained this ranking for the sixth time on February 18, 2013, becoming the oldest world no. 1 player in WTA's history. She is the only female player to have won over $50 million in prize money. Williams is the reigning French Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships and Olympic ladies singles champion.


America faces a fundamental choice: either the blessings of liberty or the servitude of liberalism.
--Nancy Pearcey



Wednesday, September 25, 2013




It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open

On the morning of September 25 in 1978, a Pacific Southwest Airlines jet collided in mid-air with a small Cessna over San Diego, killing 153 people. The wreckage of the planes fell into a populous neighborhood and did extensive damage on the ground.

David Lee Boswell and his instructor, Martin Kazy, were in the process of a flying lesson in a single-engine Cessna 1732, practicing approaches at San Diego's Lindbergh Field airport. After two successful passes, Boswell aimed the Cessna toward the Montgomery Field airport northeast of San Diego. At the same time, Pacific Southwest Flight 182 was approaching San Diego. The jet, a Boeing 727, was carrying 144 passengers and crew members

The pilots of Flight 182 could see the Cessna clearly at 9 a.m., but soon lost sight of it and failed to inform the controllers. The controllers believed that the pilots of the 727 had the Cessna in view. Within a minute, the planes collided. The fuel in the 727 burst into a massive fireball upon impact.The planes nose-dived straight into San Diego's North Park neighborhood, destroying 22 homes and killing seven people on the ground. All 144 people on the 727 were killed, as well as both of the Cessna's pilots.

at loggerheads
-  strongly disagreeing
-   in conflict with someone; having reached an impasse (about something)

(born September 25, 1968)
Will Smith is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music.  In 1990 he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In the mid-1990s, Smith moved from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films. Sixteen of the twenty fiction films he has acted in have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million, and four took in over $500 million in global box office receipts. As of 2012, his films have grossed $6.36 billion in global box office.

Smith's first major roles were in the drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the action film Bad Boys (1995) in which he starred opposite of Martin Lawrence. In 1996, Smith starred as part of an ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich's Independence Day. The film established Smith as a prime box office draw. He later struck gold again in the summer of 1997 alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J. In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State.

US President Barack Obama has stated that if a film were to ever be made about his life, he would want Smith to play his part, because "he has the ears." Obama stated that the two have discussed the possibility of a film based on the 2008 election, but this may not happen until the end of the Obama presidency.

(born September 25, 1961)
Heather Locklear is an American actress, known for her television roles as Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty, Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker, Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place, and Caitlin Moore on Spin City. She had a recurring role on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland and, as of 2013, she has a main role on the TNT drama-comedy television series Franklin & Bash.

(born September 25, 1951)
Mark Hamill is an American actor, voice actor, producer, director, and writer. He is best known for his performance as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as his voice role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, its various spin-offs, and the video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Hamill has also lent his voice to various other villains and anti-heroes in various other animated productions.

(born September 25, 1969)
Catherine Zeta-Jones is a Welsh actress. She came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies including the 1998 action film The Mask of Zorro and the 1999 crime thriller film Entrapment. Her breakthrough role was in the 2000 film Traffic.
Zeta-Jones subsequently starred as Velma Kelly in the 2002 film adaptation of the musical Chicago. Later, she appeared in the 2003 romantic comedy film Intolerable Cruelty and 2004 crime comedy film Ocean's Twelve. Zeta-Jones starred in the 2005 sequel of the 1998 film, The Legend of Zorro. She also starred in the 2008 biopic romantic thriller Death Defying Acts.


Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
--Ronald Reagan



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Conspiracy Theory Or Simply Conspiracy?



I recently read a quote attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt that went like this: "A financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson."

What exactly does that mean? It seems to me (and to others) to be either a gem of revealed truth, or a type of paranoia, a conspiracy theory. There is an almost endless discussion about this at debunking websites... such as

A term I have never been able to understand the meaning of is: "larger then life." -- as in, "Abraham Lincoln was a man who was larger than life."

What does that mean?

According to the dictionary, it means: more interesting and more exciting than an ordinary person or thing.

Is that all there is to it?

Who'd have thought so?

Oh! By the way . . .

Last week I posted a picture of graffiti on a sidewall of Robb Wash.

Here it is again.

It seems that Mother Nature didn't appreciate the vandalism

She dropped some dead limbs to conceal it.

This picture was taken yesterday morning



A shrimp's heart is in its head.


On this day, September 24 in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson received a special commission's report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which had occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

Since the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed by a man named Jack Ruby almost immediately after murdering Kennedy, Oswald's motive for assassinating the president remained unknown. Seven days after the assassination, Johnson appointed the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy to investigate Kennedy's death. The commission was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren and became known as the Warren Commission. It concluded that Oswald had acted alone and that the Secret Service had made poor preparations for JFK's visit to Dallas and had failed to sufficiently protect him.

The circumstances surrounding Kennedy's death, however, have since given rise to several conspiracy theories involving such disparate characters as the Mafia, Cuban exiles, military leaders and even Lyndon Johnson. So persistent was the controversy that another congressional investigation was conducted in 1979; that committee reached the same conclusion as the Warren Commission.



conspiracy  [kuhn-speer'-uh-see]
1.  An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
2.  A group of conspirators.
3.  A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.
4.  Law An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.


(born September 24, 1930)
John Young is a retired American astronaut, Naval officer, test pilot and aeronautical engineer, who became the ninth person to walk on the Moon as commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.

Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut, becoming the first person to make six space flights, over the course of 42 years of active NASA service, and is the only person to have piloted four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.

(born September 24, 1979)
Erin Chambers is an American actress commonly known for her roles in LDS films and as the Irish girl Siobhan McKenna Spencer on General Hospital. She has made guest appearances in a number of television shows such as Drake & Josh, ER, Veronica Mars, Joan of Arcadia, Stargate: Atlantis, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, Bones, Standoff, and Cold Case. Chambers starred as Priscilla Presley in the 2007 film Tears of a King alongside Matt Lewis as Elvis Presley, which depicts Elvis's last years.

(born September 24, 1945)
Lou Dobbs is an American television personality and radio host on the Fox Business Network, and author. He anchored CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight until November 2009 when he announced on the air that he would leave the network.

On November 10, 2010, Fox Business Network announced that Dobbs would host a show on the channel. The network announced on March 3, 2011 the start date, show title, and time slot of Dobbs' new show. The show is titled Lou Dobbs Tonight and began on March 14, 2011, airing at 7 PM Eastern. That is the same title and time slot that Dobbs' old CNN show had.

(Sept 24, 1918 - Oct 16, 1997)
Audra Lindley was an American actress, most famous for her role as landlady Helen Roper on the sitcom Three's Company and its spin-off, The Ropers.


Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.
--Jeremy Bentham



Monday, September 23, 2013

Easier To Criticize Than To Act



"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty'."
--Theodore Roosevelt

Even though I remember that Bill O'Reilly called Robert Reich a communist who loves Karl Marx, I also remembered there were many times I had heard O'Reilly say some outlandish things that I knew to be absolutely untrue, and sometimes intellectually stupid. So when I was informed that Bill Moyers would be interviewing Robert Reich about his upcoming movie, Inequality For All, and since I have long admired Moyers and his show on PBS, I decided to watch it.

Wikipedia states: "Working and middle-class Americans have a passionate advocate in Robert Reich, secretary of labor during the first Clinton administration and currently Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He has long contended that growing income inequality is an injustice and a threat to the nation, and he makes a compelling case in a new documentary, "Inequality for All."

After viewing the Reich interview I found that I had gained a new respect for what appears to be Reich's deep insight into the economic policies, problems, and possible solutions concerning a corrupt government, and the dangers existing and seemingly escalating in the United States.

Full Interview

Since I do not attend movie theaters,*  I will probably have to wait a while until I can find some means to watch the new (documentary) movie, but I assume that, as usual, I will eventually find a way. (DVD, download, etc.)

Film trailer for Inequality For All

* I do not attend movie theaters because the currently acceptable cacophony of rude and unnecessary noises that abound in theaters prevent me from hearing the dialog.


I have been a Star Trek fan since about 1966, and any announcement about it catches my eye, One of them that surprised me is:

Patrick Stewart And Bride Share Wedding Day Photo

Sunny Ozell, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

I read in one online magazine or another that Stewart, 73, and Ozell, 35, had been dating since 2009. I wish them the very best.



A crocodile can't stick its tongue out.



On this day, September 23 in 1969, the trial for eight antiwar activists (The Chicago 8) charged with the responsibility for the violent demonstrations at the August 1968 Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago. The defendants included David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee (NMC); Rennie Davis and Thomas Hayden of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, founders of the Youth International Party ("Yippies"); Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers; and two lesser known activists, Lee Weiner and John Froines.

The group was charged with conspiracy to cross state lines with intent to incite a riot. The trial, presided over by Judge Julius Hoffman, turned into a circus as the defendants and their attorneys used the court as a platform to attack Nixon, the war, racism, and oppression. Their tactics were so disruptive that at one point, Judge Hoffman ordered Seale gagged and strapped to his chair. When the trial ended, Judge Hoffman found the defendants and their attorneys guilty of 175 counts of contempt of court and sentenced them to terms between two to four years.

Although declaring the defendants not guilty of conspiracy, the jury found all but Froines and Weiner guilty of intent to riot. The others were each sentenced to five years and fined $5,000. However, none served time because in 1972, a Court of Appeal overturned the criminal convictions and eventually most of the contempt charges were dropped as well.



cacophony  (kuh-kaw'-fuh-nee)
1. harsh discordance of sound; dissonance.
2. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds.



(born September 23, 1959)
Jason Alexander (born Jay Scott Greenspan) is an American actor, director, producer, writer, singer, and comedian. He is best known for his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld, appearing from 1989 to 1998. He has also had an active career on the stage, appearing in several Broadway musicals including Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989, for which he won the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He appeared in the Los Angeles production of The Producers with Martin Short.

(born September 23, 1957)
Rosalind Chao is a Chinese American actress. Chao's most prolific roles have been as a star of CBS's AfterMASH portraying South Korean refugee Soon-Lee Klinger for both seasons, and the recurring character Keiko O'Brien with 27 appearances on the syndicated science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

(born September 23, 1938)
Tom Lester is an American actor. He is best known for his role as farmhand, Eb Dawson on the television series Green Acres, and appeared in the movies Gordy and Benji.

(born September 23, 1947)
Mary Kay Place is an American actress, singer, director, and screen writer. She is best known for portraying Loretta Haggers on the television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a role that won her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series in 1977. Place also recorded one studio album for Columbia Records in the Haggers persona, which included the Top Ten country music hit "Baby Boy."


"The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity -- a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop."
--Isaac Asimov, Foundation



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lessons by Guest Blogger


We're all learning things during this time away from home.

Harry has learned to tell the difference between his phone charger and mine.

I've learned that there are five people I know still working at the hotel I left seven years ago.

And Tracker has learned about automatic sprinklers.

He's staying with friends, getting along pretty well with their lab cross. (If you remember "Christian," this is Christian's home, and when we took the dog over, Christian drew a picture on his etch-a-sketch -- stick boy and stick dog with captions and arrows: Christian and Trackr.)

There, though, he's not the pampered housedog. He stays and sleeps outside. That house has automatic sprinklers, which come on in the wee hours of the morning.

The first morning he was there, Christian's mom said she heard Tracker and looked outside. He was absolutely soaked. Apparently, he didn't move quickly enough when the sprinklers started "sputting."

I feel like a divorced parent, because I pick the dog up on weekends. During last Saturday's painting party Tracker discovered he can howl.

There are other lessons, too. I now know I'm not meant to be a traveling salesman. Hotel life is fine for awhile, but not for long-term. I've learned I don't want to refinish hardwood floors for a living, either. The guys who did our floors (finished yesterday) worked very hard for three days.

Being a mover is out, too, since I watched those guys move our home into storage. I felt like we were moved by giant spiders, because everything got wrapped in plastic and during the move at any given moment two or three pieces of furniture would be standing upright in the living room, shrouded in what looked like webbing.

I'm also very glad I no longer work at the hotel.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? A fishkeeper, I think, since our aquarium is being delivered on October 8.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala


Saturday, September 21, 2013

If You Can't Create - Don't Deface



While walking over one of the washes (Robb Wash I think it was) on East Speedway, I noticed someone had been down there with a spray can of paint, not to beautify the concrete wall, but to deface it. While I am aware that some sensitive souls have decided to call this Primitive Art. I do not. I call it vandalism.

Malicious Graffiti

Close Up

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about graffiti:

Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.

Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

Here is what I have to say in justification of graffiti:
"                                                                      "


Ripoff's Believe It Or Not

You can spend $16,999 for a bottle of Scotch whiskey at a liquor store in Scottsdale, AZ. After all, it's been aged for 60 years.

(No, the above is not a joke.)



In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.



On this day in 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold met with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word "traitor."

In 1780, Arnold was given command of West Point, an American fort on the Hudson River in New York (and future home of the U.S. military academy, established in 1802). Arnold contacted Sir Henry Clinton, head of the British forces, and proposed handing over West Point and his men.

On September 21 of that year, Arnold met with Major John Andre and made his traitorous pact. However, the conspiracy was uncovered and Andre was captured and executed. Arnold, the former American patriot, fled to the enemy side and went on to lead British troops in Virginia and Connecticut. He later moved to England, though he never received all of what he'd been promised by the British. He died in London on June 14, 1801.



1. To mar or spoil the appearance or surface of; disfigure.
2. To impair the usefulness, value, or influence of.



(born September 21, 1947)
Stephan King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, movies and comic books. King has published 50 novels, including seven under the pen-name of Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has written nearly two hundred short stories, most of which have been collected in nine collections of short fiction. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.

Note: The Writer's Almanac has a fine tribute to Stephen King.

(born September 21, 1961)
Nancy Travis is an American actress. She is known for her roles in films Three Men and a Baby (1987) and its sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), Air America (1990), Internal Affairs (1990), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), Greedy (1994), and Fluke (1995). Travis joined the cast of the CBS comedy series Becker as Chris Connor. She currently stars as Vanessa Baxter in the ABC comedy series Last Man Standing.

(born September 21, 1950)
Bill Murray is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live in which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in various comedy films, including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), What About Bob? (1991) and Groundhog Day (1993).

Murray gained additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), Broken Flowers (2005) and a series of films directed by Wes Anderson, including Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012).

(born September 21, 1965)
Cheryl Hines is an American actress, comedian, producer and director, known for her role as Larry David's wife Cheryl on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards. She is currently starring as Dallas Royce on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory. In 2009, she made her directorial debut with Serious Moonlight.


"Gray hair is god's graffiti"
--Bill Cosby



Friday, September 20, 2013

Back Home Again In Tucson



O.K. -- Here I am back in my snug little apartment on the Northeast side of busy, noisy, traffic-jammed Tucson. Of course, the heavy traffic only affects me marginally since I no longer drive a motor vehicle. I'm too old and uncoordinated for such  a grave responsibility, which I discovered when I turned 70, four years ago and had a few sudden and frightening close-calls on the highway.

But that's an old story, reported here on the blog [too] many times before.

I am really looking forward to my morning walk to Fry's Market and back. I missed it while temporarily residing outside the city limits, and missed the greetings of my friends I meet along the way... Roger who lives at Edgewood Apartments halfway between my home and Fry's, and Cedric who also lives there... and Haika, the happy handsome produce clerk who always cries out and wraps her arms around me in a big hug whenever I've been away for any length of time... and Marta who always calls out my name whenever she sees me in the store... and, of course, Jennifer, the beautiful, young, energetic, bouncy, smiling Customer Service clerk from whom I always eagerly buy my twice-weekly lottery tickets. And, whichever somewhat disheveled, dolorous, conversation-starved, homeless person that happens to be holding down the loafer's smoking-bench outside the store's entrance.

Yes, I miss my daily routine, and am always glad to return to it.



A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.


On this day in 2012, 16 members of a dissident Amish group in Ohio were convicted of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of fellow Amish with whom they had religious differences. The government classified the ruthless attacks as hate crimes because beards and long hair have important religious symbolism to the Amish, who are known for their pacifism, plain style of dress and refusal to use many forms of modern technology.

The men and women convicted in the attacks belonged to a group of about 18 families who lived on an 800-acre farm owned by their leader, Samuel Mullet Sr. The perpetrators -- sometimes wielding shears meant for horse manes—restrained victims and in some cases hurt those who came to their aid. Afterwards, the attackers took photographs in order to further humiliate the injured parties.

On September 20, 2012, the 66-year-old Mullet was convicted along with three of his sons, one of his daughters and 11 other followers. On February 8, 2013, a federal judge in Cleveland sentenced Mullet to 15 years in prison. His co-defendants received sentences ranging from one to seven years behind bars.


Marked by or exhibiting sorrow, grief, or pain.



(born September 20, 1967)
Kristen Johnston is an American stage, film, and television actress. She is most famous for her two-time Emmy Award-winning role as Sally Solomon in the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun. She also starred as Wilma Flintstone in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. She currently appears as Holly Franklin in the sitcom The Exes.

(born September 20.,1934)
Sophia Loren is an Italian actress. In the late 1950s, Loren's five-picture contract with Paramount launched her career as an international movie star. Notable film appearances around this time included; Houseboat, That Kind of Woman, and It Started in Naples. Loren's deglamorized performance as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women confirmed her status as an acclaimed actress. Later notable films include Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian-Style , Sunflower and The Voyage.

Her first starring role was in Aida (1953), for which she received critical acclaim. After playing the lead role in Two Nights with Cleopatra (1953), her breakthrough role was in The Gold of Naples (1954) and Too Bad She's Bad.

Over the next three years she acted in many films such as Scandal in Sorrento (1955) and Lucky to Be a Woman (1956). In 1957, Loren's star had begun to rise in Hollywood, with the films Boy on a Dolphin (her U.S. film debut), Legend of the Lost with John Wayne, and The Pride and the Passion in which she starred opposite Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

In later years she has appeared in American blockbusters such as Grumpier Old Men and Nine.

(born September 20, 1929)
Anne Meara is an American actress and comedian. She and Jerry Stiller were a prominent 1960s comedy team, appearing as Stiller and Meara, and are the parents of actor and comedian Ben and actress Amy Stiller.

(born September 20, 1991)
Spencer Locke is an American actress who is known for her role as K-Mart in the Resident Evil film series. Prior to appearing as Candida on Phil of the Future, she had a recurring role as Bitsy on season one of the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.

Locke has also guest starred as Brandee Case in Without a Trace in the episode "Wannabe", Kayla in That's So Raven in episode "Mad Hot Cotillion", and as Jenny in the animated film Monster House. She appeared in the 2007 film Resident Evil: Extinction as a girl found in the ruins of a K-Mart, hoping to find a safe haven in Alaska. Spencer reprised her role as K-Mart in the film Resident Evil: Afterlife, released September 10, 2010. She also has appeared as Amber Bradley on The Vampire Diaries.


Depression is rage spread thin.
--George Santayana