Saturday, October 31, 2020

Zela Trip: Day 6

(Previous) Day ZeroDay 1Day 2, Day 3Day 4, Day 5
Day 6
Joplin to St. Louis
We left Joplin in the morning after Wenonah had given Zela two hearing aids. This made conversation with Zela much more pleasant the rest of the trip.

On our way to St. Louis we stopped in Rolla to look up Howard and Shirlene, but they didn’t have a phone.

Howard is Grandpa’s brother.  He is sort of a “no-account-bum”. He was married originally to a rather slutty woman who gave him a daughter and, much later, a son that wasn’t his. It was “common” knowledge that the boy was someone else’s, but Howard took him after the divorce. Howard then married Shirlene. She was so much younger that she had gone to school with Howard’s daughter, but she loved him and has stood by him always.

They moved back and forth to California and Missouri often. I wanted to see them (they were one of the few relatives I knew) but fate was not with me.

The drive through the Ozarks was deep green. In St. Louis we stayed with Lula Mae Bedwell (HAM’s sister) and her daughters Sandi and Patti.

Lula is a kind woman who treated us great, simply because we are family.

Our first night in St. Louis, we had a terrible lightning storm. I stood outside and watched it for a long time. Sandi finally came out and said, “Now don’t tell me they haven’t got lightening in LA.” It was great.

I mention Howard and Shirlene here because Zela gave me the details on Howard and Sherlene. All those things you don’t hear when you’re young. And yes, it turns out her name was not “Shirley’ as I thought, but Sherlene. Add it to a long line of names I got wrong as a young man.

I had meet them many times before. Howard was Albert’s younger brother and had lived in Los Angeles once or twice while I was younger. I remember because they had a lovely young daughter and a rather belligerent older son. The son, Roger, was probably 4 years older than I was, so he was obviously cool. Today would call Roger autistic, but then he was just a delinquent. In fact, the last time I had met him he had just come from “Juvi” (that’s what he called it). Before he had just been kind of mean, but Juvi turned him into a much more angry, violent person. He was called a “retard” there and a “fag”.  He explained what both were to me – although clearly, I understood the term retarded at the time because of Martha It isn’t used now except as a slur, but in the 1960s, “retarded” is what they called kids with Downs Syndrome. And his explanation of “fag” hit a 10 year old me a little close to home.

On this trip is where I learned that Sherlene wasn’t Howard’s first wife. Howard’s first wife and Roger’s mom had left Roger behind, who was probably autistic, and took a runner. Sherlene was a girl almost 20 years younger than Howard and wound up pregnant at some point. Even though it was another man’s child, Howard married Sherlene and raised the newborn with her. The child was a lovely young girl. Howard raised her as his own. Oddly, the family seemed to have a problem more with the age of the wife, than the parentage.

Despite this rocky start, Sherlene and Howard were together until they both passed, with a few months of each other in 1991. I thought it was a bit odd they didn’t have a phone, but it turned out to be more common among my relatives than I thought. And Zela had tried to write them, but didn’t have an address, besides ‘they lived in Rollo.”

In St. Louis we stayed with Lula May Bedwell. She was Albert’s siter. She lived with her two daughters Sandy and Patty in a suburb of St. Louis. The girls were both extremely nice and treated us all well. They don’t seem at all upset to be around Martha. She quite often makes people, even relatives, uncomfortable.

Lula May was a warm kind woman whose biggest gripe at us was that we wouldn’t eat anything that first night in town. They had a basement, which again, I was amazed by. Sandy and Patty thought it was hilarious that I was impressed by the basement. This one wasn’t as nice as Wee Nona’s but it did have a bathroom down there, which I liked when I slept down there.
Image 16: (L-R) Zela, Martha, Lula May

There was also a funny moment as a thunderstorm moved over the city. I went on the porch and watched the lightning and loved it. I called Zela to come out and see it. One of the daughters came out and said, “Don’t tell me they don’t have rain in California either!”, referring to the basement. 

Zela laughed and said, “Well, we do have rain, but not like this.”
Image 17: Sandy and Patty

I think Patty and Sandy thought we were both a little slow. But lightning and thunder aren’t usually Los Angeles things. We get fog and rain, but not lightning. But it did mean that years later, when Ed and Lauren both called each other to enjoy a lightning storm I got it.

Friday, October 30, 2020

We Will Be Watching Results from Port Jervis

 This is Port Jervis, where we will be watching the results of Wednesday's vote.

Why, you ask? Well, our home is being torn the hell up. We have had leaks since we moved in, including these past 2 1/2 months in our closet. What, you ask, isn't it brand new? Why yes, yes it is. But it isn't as great as it should be.

So for the next 2 or (more likely) 3 weeks, our house is being screwed up. Next week they tear up the ceiling and the walls (wet and mold). The week after they redo the piping so that the condensation from the cold water pipes almost touching the hot water pipes - where everything changes above us will be fixed.

The final week is either spill over or closing the ceiling. 

So we are in Port Jervis this week (starting Sunday), close enough to come back and check the work. Then down to visit friends in North Carolina for a week with the pup. Then I go to Connecticut to teach, Ed will hopefully be back in the apartment by then.

Fun. I would say expect light blogging, but I will probably be hyped up on election results, so that isn't really true.

Also, Port Jervis is on the Deleware river, not the ocean. It was a Revolutionary war type port, not a sea port.

My FAVORITE Broadway Actor

This year, due to a shortened season AND the fact Aaron Tveit was so fantastic, he has won the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. He was the only nominee. Not the only available, but such an overwhelming favorite, there is a Tony Rule about a winner.

If you want to see why, watch this song from Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge is over the top, colorful and vast. But this moment, when Aaron - as Christian sings to Karen Olivia - as Sateen, is quiet and wonderful, and then they sing together loud and glorious. Now imagine these two singing the shit out of all these songs, 8 days a week.

And full props to Ms. Olivia, she is about a strong a singer as you will see ever. She is up for Best Actress in a much harder category.

I've seen it twice, luckily it opened very early. Twice with Eddie - one of those times accompanied by Shelly - and I am so glad she got to see it.

Be prepared to fall in love.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The L.A. Confidential House is for Sale

Richard Neutra's architectural triumph, the Lovell House, is for sale. It is a stunning piece of art, home and history. You may remember it from LA Confidential, the rich asshole's house.

But it is more than that. Forgive me for waxing nostalgic, but the Lovell house is very much of Los Angeles. It is perched in the Loz Feliz Hills, guarding its views and its history. Built by a pioneer architect who helped define the open, airy version of Los Angeles that we love.

From the pictures, structurally, it looks good. But also abandoned. As if it were primed for a film that was shot and then left town. Like much of Downtown LA did before the Loft invasion.

It is stupidly expensive, based on history, fame and fortune. It is a piece of art - and unfortunately will be treated like one. Not lived in, but hopefully preserved on some level - like John Lautner's Spaceship house. that has been rehabilitated, but only for movie shoots, fashion shoots and the occasional party for an owner that lives elsewhere.

Entrance back when it was maintained

For the Lovell House, you can see the dream right in front of you. It shimmers like a mirage, allowing you to overlook the dry and dying grounds, the empty pool and the scattered furniture and books. Books, like the house, now obsolete and forgotten.

Kind of like me -not in a bad way - just in a charming, obsolete way that elicits wry smiles and wistful memories of what once was.

Casa Biblioteca in Brazil

 This is a beautiful home...

So the house is set in the forest and steps own a hill. The lowest level, with the big volume(above and below) is the traditional "Living / Dining / Kitchen" open plan living. One level up is a library of books, and up from that is the bedroom. 

The roof is ground level at the entrance (you go down the steps in the center below) and the roof is a deck that appears to float above a lily pond that surrounds the roof edge. I am sure it is all kinds of violations of USA code (safety and railings on the roof, ADA access. etc) - but it is lovely.

Because the supports are set in a bit, not at the edges, it looks very much like the roof is floating above the house.

Now; Just waiting for it all to end

 Well, we voted. Eddie and I voted early last night. It took a total of about 2 hours - the wait time of 1 hour 27 minutes. Not horrible. It is odd that as an "advanced Democracy" we have waits that we would call anti-democratic in other countries, but, whatevs.

Now the nightmare ends. One way or the other. I am almost certain Trump will lose the total vote count. I am fairly sure that Trump will lose the Electoral College. I am not at all sure that Trump and the courts will allow a Biden Presidency. Thoughts I have about an outcoming I never dreamed. 

But I am certain that if there is a 2nd Trump term, I will get me a new home in Montenegro. You know, just in case...

The last 3 years (the first year wasn't the shit-show we have since descended into) have been hard on Americans. For the last year, Fox News watchers, and many people living near the riots in Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis have been afraid as they see violence on the streets. I understand their anxiety (except Fox Viewers, change the channel!). These cities and populations found themselves in the middle of protests that lasted long after the proximate reason was finished. And they saw lots of people with guns. 

For me, and many others watching this government, these 3 years have seen a hatred of anyone who doesn't love the Trump. We have seen democratic norms shattered, laws broken without consequences and a winking blind eye from much of the government. It is the prism I see this through. It is probably as 1 sided as the Fox News bubble. 

The President has made this worse, this "us vs. them" division in the America body politic. He defiens states, cities and friends into Red and Blue, never once talking of America, except when describing how we hate it. Which, duh!, we don't.

But next week ends the worst of it. We decide whether we make like Italy of the 2000s and vote the law-breaker out or whether we make like Italy of the 1930s and warp our laws and customs to invite the law-breaker into government.

We are all in our bubbles now. The Trumpers cannot believe he will lose unless there is cheating. The Rational People believe Trump cannot win unless there is cheating. (Yes, I know that is a value judgement.)


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Posted By Marla_UpallNight

 Posted by marla (and censored by me)... Now, with images. (Since the Dodgers finally won the World Series, mild fetishization is permissible.)

Take it away Marla.

Join me on a erotic journey: the most bangable Dodgers

I'm a 33-year old red blooded woman who had her earliest sexual fantasies about Mike Piazza so here we go!

  1. Corey Seager has the sort of 16 year old hayseed hustler sexual persona that will make you shoot your family then take off to the badlands with him. 

    Corey Seager

  2. A controversial pick, but Kike Hernandez for the fratty humor, jaw line, and very "I will eat your *** out" vibe. 

    Kike Hernandez

  3. Chase Utley: Make soulful afternoon firefighter chilli cook off winner love to Chase then enjoy a crossword 2gether. 

    Chase isn't my cup of chili


    Yasiel licks his bat a lot. A lot! 

  5. Feeling this Eddie Vedder van dwelling dirty feet f**k fumes on Charlie Culbersonnnnn. 

    Charlie... She has interesting views, this Marla.

  6. Kershaw: Would I f**k this eyebrowless, bible thumping, 9 foot corn fed leather god? Sure, why not. 

    I could think of a few reasons why not, but I admire her determination

  7. I consider Bellinger to be soda jerk hot. Like a suburban dad who thought JFK was "too radical" and likes to f**k with lights off (could also see him protesting interracial busing). 

    Her note is over a year old. Cody has since grown a bit of facial hair and now is just hot (bonus picture below).

    Yeah, the facial hair REALLY helped Cody here


Go Doyers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I Digresss

Forgive me while I digress for a few moments. I ate lasagna and have the wheat-based melancholy which accompanies it. This is not a melancholy post, per say, but my mind is traveling.

I was thinking today of starting a new story*. As I was doing I need a protagonist. I usually use the name Devon. Devon was the first boy I remember having a crush on. It was in 2nd and 3rd grade, and we were fast friends. We played "Man from U.N.C.L.E" a lot in the school yard. Devon, dark hair and darkish tan skin, played Napoleon Solo and I, blond and blue-eyed, played Illya Kuryakin.

Oddly I never found Robert Vaughn, the original Solo, to be handsome at all. And David McCallum's forehead was too big. But these were tiny points at the time.

Anyway, Devon and I hung out for a long time. I even joined the boy scouts because Devon was in them.

In the new one, both Henry Cavil and Armie Hammer are stunning.

So the use of the name, Devon, is based on some long lost muscle memory. I used to spin around every time I heard the name Devon back in the 1980s. But the name has since become quite popularish and it no longer even reverberates. 

I find that a bit sad. He's probably like me now. Older, fatter, married and hopefully as happy as I am. I am cursed, a bit, because I can remember some people and times so clearly. Sometimes I write about them so I can forget them. Happily convinced that the person is now memorialized, at least for me, I can let them go.

But of Devon, you see, I don't want to let go. I had a crush on Devon before my parents divorced and my life turned into something so unlike anyone else's. I love the occasional flash of remembering how I felt, young and confused but happy with a friend. There was never anything sexual about our friendship, I mean we were seven. But it was a funny, fuzzy feeling.

I never liked guns, but I liked a radio or camera that turned into a gun!

* About time - yes, yes I HEAR you!

Election Chicanery

Election chicanery is occurring as we watch. The latest result is not particularly striking, the Supreme Court overturned a State Court and an Appellate Court and ruled that any ballot received after election day in Wisconsin can be ignored. Because the Post Office is actively trying to delay mail, the lower courts allowed ballots received up to 6 days later to count. The Supreme Court said no, the post office under a Trump executive IS allowed to change vote total by not delivering mail.

But what is scary as hell is Brett Kavanaugh's comments. Brett (Chief Bro of the Supremes) said that “States want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after Election Day and potentially flip the results of an election.”

But, as Justice Kagan thankfully pointed out, there are no results to flip until the votes have been counted. This comment is particular ominous as we head into an election under a pandemic. As my mother and Lynn have stated, we need to win big so they cannot steal it.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Zela Trip: day 5 Joplin

Zela Trip Day 5:  Joplin Missouri

(Previous) Day ZeroDay 1Day 2, Day 3Day 4

Wenonah and Donna drove us around Joplin today. I saw parts of the beautiful old city lying under a fairly ugly, smallish town. I took pictures of some great places. The railroad station and the old truck terminal.

Wenonah also show us every place where someone had been mugged, raped or killed in the city. She seemed preoccupied with death. The worst came when she drove us all out to the cemetery and showed us her plot.  That wasn’t so bad except where she had her headstone put down with the name and year of her birth. She said all Donna would have to do is put on the date she died and put her in the ground.
Image 13: The Old Train Station in Joplin

In retrospect, it does seem I found the death fixation a little off-putting. I did love the buildings in Joplin, particularly the old Art Deco train station. 

As a preview of things to come, you will see two examples of things I thought were cool in these Joplin pictures. The first is interesting buildings.  I was putting Greg through Architecture Grad School and was pretty interested in building types. I am still very interested in buildings and Architecture – so all that time and money wasn’t completely wasted. 

Image 14: An old Art Deco Store (now closed)

The second was a rather unhealthy obsession with multi-part pictures. Maybe you will give me credit, assuming couldn’t back up far enough to get everything into the shot. I wish I could use that excuse, but no. I thought it was interesting and cool in 1984. PS – it wasn’t.

I drove around in the morning, looking at various buildings, and taking pictures. When I got back to the house, I loved the city. When I got back, I proclaimed how cool it was and Wee Nona took us all out for a drive. On this drive is when we had each and every place where someone was murdered or raped pointed out to us. Wee Nona had an unhealthy obsession with death. I suppose part of that is because Joplin was famous for being where Bonny and Clyde were killed in a shoot-out. Since then, Joplin has become much more famous for a terrible tornado, but that was decades after our visit.
Image 15: Wee Nona with Martha and Zela

My guess is Wee Nona was trying to appease me, for the cool old buildings were downtown, but that is where the violent crime mainly was too. And she was tuned into the crime. The penultimate stop on the tour was the actual shoot-out spot where Bonny and Clyde had met their end. One interesting thing, we have playful pictures of Bonny and Clyde because of Joplin. While they were staying in Joplin, a neighbor tipped off the police. The pair escaped the raid, but the pair left a camera. It was the Joplin Globe that obtained it and published the pictures that would later be famous (and the real-life counterpoint to the movie).

Our final stop was indeed the Cemetery where we viewed Wee Nona and her husband’s tombstone. This was a first for me. But there was a big headstone with their last name. And then there were two plaques with her and her husband’s name. At the time I thought she seemed remarkably happy to show it to us and added, “That’s my name right there. All they have to do in put me in the ground and put the year of my death.” Looking back, either time or nostalgia has convinced me she was just content and ready to go. She died two years later.

Friday, October 23, 2020

It Wasn't Me

 This billboard looks like I wrote this ad, but it wasn't me. Dementia. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

These Are a Few of Ed’s Favorite Things...

 When the dog bites...

When the bee stings...

When Ed’s feeling sad....

Lynn Voted! So Where Are We?

Lynn noted in a blog post she voted by mail, and today got notice her vote was counted. That is great news.  Congrats Lynnie!

In "not great" news, let's see what else is happening around the Country as Republicans step up efforts to stop votes from counting.

North Carolina

A Federal Judge overruled a state judge (even though, yes, state's determine voting systems) to disallow absentee ballots from being "fixed" if there is a problem. Given that the state officials discover problems they can put them aside to be fixed. But they do not have to tell voters to fix them. You might think this is a common problem will all voters, but no. Black voters submit 16% of absentee votes in North Carolina, but 40% of the problem ballots are from black voters (CNN). So, a voting official can sit on them, without telling the person they have a problem (1,000 were found SO FAR in 1 voting district). (The problems can range from mismatched signatures, to wrong addresses, to "illegible witness signatures" - so an official can say "I can't read the witness signature on Shaniqua's Absentee" and toss the ballot.)

In case you think this isn't discrimination, in 2013 North Carolina Republicans made election changes that a judge found illegal and said:

“Before enacting that law, the legislature requested data on the use, by race, of a number of voting practices. Upon receipt of the race data, the General Assembly enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans,” Motz wrote. “Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist.”


The US Supreme Court overruled a local court which allowed for Covid positive patients to do curbside voting. the US Supreme Court ruling was 5-3. Now they have to stand in line and get everyone sick - which yes, is designed to making voting more threatening for people afraid of getting Covid and impossible for those with mild covid to stand for hours to vote (link).


This was a very worrying decision and I'll explain - even though voters won this in the short term.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that, because of Post Office delays and Covid problems this year, absentee ballots would be counted if they were received up to 3 days AFTER election day, provided they were postmarked by election day. This decision was based on the Pennsylvanian Constitution. The Republicans in the state legislature challenged the ruling to the US Supreme Court, saying that Federal Law - which lets the legislature define the process to select electors (you read that right, technically the states are not required to even have elections). They said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the state Constitution overstepped.

Now the decision to allow these state votes to count was 4-4 (no Amy Barrett yet). That means the the 4 most conservative judges (yes, these were opinions were attributed) agreed with Republicans that the State Constitution doesn't matter and the State Legislature can choose any electors they want. And the state legislature is controlled by Republicans. So, in a close race, the Legislature might choose the Trump slate, saying it is too close to call. When Amy Barrett joins the court - after the election, but before the state electors are chosen - there will be a 5-4 group that agrees the state's voters don't have the rights the sate constitution gives them. This election CANNOT come down to a close Pennsylvania race or it will make Bush / Gore look like a playground game.


You may notice the Texas map here is different, that is because I wanted you to see the counties. A Republican judge "modified" a new Covid rule saying that voters can drop off early ballots at ballot drops. The judge says this is okay, but a county can only have 1 drop box per county.

In rural counties, i.e. white Republican areas, this is no problem. For example: Jim Wells County TX has 41,000 people and even fewer voting age residents.

In an urban county, i.e. diverse race Democratic areas, this is laughable. For example, this means in Harris County (home of Houston) a very Democratic area there is 1 drop box for 4,2000,000 people (more people than the country of Croatia, very near Ireland's population). Equality never looked so un-equal. Even parking, walking to the box and waiting in a long line to deposit your ballot - and you hope it isn't too stuffed to take your ballot - constitutes a very different dynamic now for white and black populations.

General Voter Intimidation

The Republican Party has been under a court order to NOT have poll watchers, given that they last time they did they directly intimidated minority and Democratic voters. That court order expired last year and they are back at it. (You can search any of these)

  • Trump Fans / "Poll Watchers" blocked access to early voting in Arlington Virginia. After they had to let those voters pass, they have been back daily, making sure the line to vote has to thread through their rally.
  • A Tennessee Republican Election official turned away voters who wore "Black Lives Matter" T-Shirts, even after being instructed DIRECTLY that BLM shirts are legal.
  • A Miami Police officer working the election location wore his TRUMP 2020 face mask, even though campaign paraphernalia is not allowed at voting locations (yeah, you tell the policeman to take that off!)
  • At a California ballot drop off location (rural CA), a Trump Support Rally, complete with flags, long guns and over 300 people blocked access to the Nevada City ballot box for drop offs.
  • California Republicans refused to comply with a court order requiring them to remove unauthorized drop boxes - which they labelled as "official". This will just cause confusion and facilitate legal action after the election.
  • Finally... this

And away we go!

Watch a GREAT Streaming Show for free from The Mint Theater

 I reviewed Conflict when it was out two years ago. It is being broadcast for free for two weeks at The Mint Site. the password to watch is "vote!" Here is the first 2 paragraphs of my review...

Conflict Points a Way Forward

The Mint Theater team somehow seems to find perfect shows for our time by scrounging around old and forgotten pieces of theater. Conflict is no exception, in fact, it might be one of the Mint’s best shows. Even with the Mint’s transformative eye to detail and period, it doesn’t take long for Conflict to register with our current political situation. 

Conflict is a love story layered onto a discussion about politics and class (this is a British play, after all), all of this played out during an election. The handsome young Conservative in this soon to be triangle is Major Sir Ronald Clive (Henry Clarke). The young woman who is the object of his affections is Lady Dare (Jessie Shelton). The Labour candidate is an old friend of Clive’s, Tom Smith (Jeremy Beck). 

Jeremy Beck, Jessie Shelton and Henry Clarke

I do love this show, and the playwright Miles Malleson.

About Miles. He was an early 20th century writer and actor specializing in befuddled middle aged men on screen. But, on a personal level, he was quite the Bohemian. He was married 3 times, two of them seemed to overlap. He and his wives were often in a monogamous relationships. His second wife, in particular, was a super intelligent woman who advocated for birth control long before it was fashionable (or available at all).

So his shows, set in England in the 30s and 40s, often contained unique and surprising viewpoints on marriage and female sexual desire - viewpoints that are still pretty progressive.

In Conflict, one of my favorite Mint Actors, Jeremy Beck, is a key player. I have reviewed him often in both Mint Productions and other productions.

Take two hours (and it has a well timed break) and watch Conflict. Filmed productions can be a little static without the stage, but it is the best we can do right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fun Knee

It is a "reveal" on a make-over sow where (I assume) neighbors redo a room. She is, to put it lightly, not impressed. At least, that is my take on it after she starts with the comment "Hell to the no."


Maybe You're Wondering...

Maybe you're wondering why I am not going crazy right now. I mean, Trump is still an active, tweeting, stumbling nightmare - but I am relatively calm.

Well, it is either a: the calm before the storm or b: I am pretty okay with this. 

Don't get me wrong, Trump and his team are still fuck-sticks. Releasing questionable information from what was allegedly Joe Biden's son's computer. "Was it hacked? Was it even his? How did it end up 2500 miles away from where Hunter lives, only to be delivered to a computer repair shop where a legally blind man recognizes a disguised Hunter Biden, before illegally reading private emails?" As Rudy Giuliani says "Even if it is a lie, people should see it." Which is an odd comment for a former prosecutor, but whatevs (you can read more here).

And I was shocked / not shocked that Trump pays more in Chinese taxes in one year than the last decade of American taxes combined (story below). But I am okay.

You see, Trump and Trump World is flailing. They are squirming and giving off the sweet sweet reek of desperation. Even stalwart Republican Senators like John Cornyn of Texas (TEXAS!) is leaping off the ship like a rat running for the exits. A rat trying to save his own shit, as Johnny now says, he "disagreed, privately" with much of what Trump says, tweets and does.

The endless march of weeks and months until the election has turned into less than 14 days. And I can vote in 3 more days myself. As many have said, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It might be daylight or it might be a train coming at us, but either way, the end is nigh.

Okay: I Know It Is Hokey as Hell

I know this ad is hokey. But, true or not, this is how I WANT to feel about this country again. Make America One Nation Again....

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Troy Aikman Hot Mike'd Dissing Flyovers

 Okay, on this one, it is nothing Eddie and I haven't ben saying. During the pandemic the military flew a bunch of flyovers over New York whenever Trump was depressed. And we weren't allowed outside or inside and it was just a waste of money.

But then, we weren't football commentators on television. They got some real shit. FYI - Troy is a famous UCLA Alumni. Here he was in his glory days when I went to his games.

Here is the CNN article.

(CNN)Military flyovers can be awe-inspiring to watch and are practically tradition at many sporting events.

But you can count broadcasters Troy Aikman and Joe Buck among those seemingly not impressed with them. The pair are in hot water after a hot mic picked them up apparently criticizing and mocking the display of jets flying over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa prior to the Green Bay Packers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on Sunday.
Airplanes fly over Raymond James Stadium before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
"That's a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover," Aikman is heard saying in a video clip.
"That's your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work!" Buck replied in a mocking tone.
    "That stuff ain't happening with (a) Kamala-Biden ticket," Aikman added. "I'll tell you that right now, partner."
    It's unclear whether Aikman and Buck are against the flyovers or are mocking critics who oppose them. Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.
    "Flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training and meet proficiency requirements for our pilots," Navy spokesman Lt. Rob Reinheimer told CNN.
      The military classifies flyovers as training and they are not an additional cost.
      Raymond James Stadium is allowing only a limited number of fans in, at a 25% capacity, so only a small crowd was on hand to watch the display.

      Roman Boars (and Venice Ducks)

      The things you learn in the news! Turns out, Rome has a wild boar problem. Apparently trash pickup is not perfect in Rome and the resulting garbage has lead to an influx of boars.

      This is not, in and of itself, surprising. Humans have lead to an increase in many animals that are getting less and less afraid of people. Coyotes in the West, Deer in the Mid-West and East. Alligators in Florida and Louisiana. Bears in New Jersey. Wolves in Wyoming. Foxes in England. Wild pigs in Roma, makes sense.

      But the police just got in trouble in Rome for killing a bunch of these diseased swine. 

      A mother sow Boar and her 6 children were herded into a fenced area, and then euthanized a few days ago in Rome. That is the nice way to put it. The slightly worse to put it is that the Roman Police herded up the boar family onto a fenced playground in a park. The children playing there were feeding anything they could find to the boar family, only to be scooted away by the police who then shot them with tranquilizer darts, then administered lethal injections as the kids watched the furry friends squeal and die.

      And, as much as I want to feel real empathy, and I do for the children, I kind of get it about the boars. I must repeat my favorite story about the Ducks in Venice.

      Ducks in Venice Italy - But that isn't what we are talking about

      Everyone knows I love ducks. LOVE DUCKS. But when Eddie and I were living in LA, there was a need to cull the ducks in Venice. The problem was the ducks had spread a disease through out the flock. The disease was causing wasting in the Duck population, but worse, it was near spring and the Venice area is vital for the Pacific flyway. So the great fear was that the ducks would spread this disease to the wild population of migrating birds, with disastrous results in death and the spread of this disease.

      So animal control had discussions with local residents, the Audubon society and scientists - the answer was to cull the local duck population before migration season. Well, animal control went out as they said they would one morning at 6:00AM to kill and remove a bunch of diseased ducks. But the outcry was huge. Non-locals came out to protect the ducks, raise a ruckus and bring the news crews. And they did stop the culling.

      Here we go, Ducks in Venice California

      The authorities tried to explain this was better for the wild ducks, migrating wildlife and the local ducks. But crazy don't care, and the protests went on. Finally, Los Angeles relented and told the protesters they won. They left. The protesters celebrated on the news and all was okay.

      Until the next morning at 5:00AM, when animal control went, without telling anyone, and culled the ducks as required by law and science. And now, the wildlife is safer and healthy ducks frolic in the waterways of Venice (California).

      Monday, October 19, 2020

      New Addition to the Museum of Broken Relationships

      So, I gave advice for someone to see the Museum of Broken Relationships while he was in Zagreb, and he took it. He loved it and posted a few pictures, one set of which I can TOTALLY relate to:

      Saturday, October 17, 2020

      Zela Trip Day 4

      Zela Trip Day 4: Elk City to Joplin

      Day ZeroDay 1Day 2, Day 3

      Day 4

      We drove from Elk city to Joplin today to visit Wee Nona Kukenydall. I made Zela and Martha accompany me on a small trip to Norman OK first. Their first football game was against Stanford and the “freeway” to campus as basically a long thin parking lot and the California plates caused a small stir. I ran into the student store and I think Zela was bemused by all the problems of parking.

      Wee Nona is a kind, sweet and demented lady. She is Zela’s cousin. Her mother and Zela’s mother were sisters. Her husband recently died and a large part of the first evening was spent discussing dead husbands. I was sick the second day. I had been sick since we left California, but this was the first real stop where my body had a chance to fall apart.

      Wenonah’s daughter (Donna) and son-in-law (Don) came over on the second day. She is beautiful and her husband is a crazy (funny) sicko who likes to dress up in masks.

      First a bit about the drive from Elk City OK to Joplin MO, which manifest itself a few times. It was on a toll road, which in and of itself was novel for us from California (at least in 1984). We took our ticket and, at one point, stopped at a rest stop (also a novelty for us) and someone informed us we should eat breakfast here. Why? Because Oklahoma Police would check the time you got your ticket, and the time you left at the end of the road, and give you a speeding ticket if it was too fast and you were above 55 mph. This dissuaded lead-foot Zela from driving for a while.

      I did make us stop off at University of Oklahoma. It was a Saturday and Oklahoma was playing football against (and I believed stomped) Stanford. Because I had gone to UCLA and visited a lot of other colleges, I had a T-shirt collection from schools I had visited. I was happy to grab an Oklahoma T-shirt. The California plates did generate a lot of looks from the people walking to the game, but the presence of Zela and Martha calmed them down. In fact, they let me park in a no-parking zone so I could run into the student store and by a T-shirt.

      Digression. I did visit Norman again a few years later to watch UCLA get stomped by Oklahoma. We (at the time, Greg and I) visited Norman for the Oklahoma game and later Nebraska to watch UCLA play Nebraska. The people in Nebraska were more certain of a win and were a lot nicer. The people in Oklahoma were not nice. They kicked our ass and scored on us with ease. Every time they score, that little Oklahoma Sooner Schooner raced across the field. I grew to hate that little wagon. Also, isn’t it weird that the celebrate cheaters. A “Sooner” is a person that was lined up to grab land in Oklahoma (from the native Americans). The race was from the state lines at a certain day and time, but the “sooners” cheated and started the race early. Just sayin’.

      We left Oklahoma and stopped for a few days in Joplin MO. Here we were hosted by Wee Nona (the birth certificate spells it Wee Nona, but she seemed to have lapsed into the more common “Wenonah” spelling later). She was Zela’s cousin. Zela’s mother and Wenonah’s father were siblings. I had met Wenonah once before in Anaheim. I think the girls in the family were all friends when they were children in Kentucky. Wenonah was a lovely woman, with a beautiful daughter and a goof-ass son-in-law.  I said demented at the time because she was obsessed with death.

      Image 9: Wee Nona from Joplin (Zela's Cousin)

      She lived in a typical home in Joplin. It was your nice suburban home and her family was lovely. I slept in the basement, which was very cool for me.

      I know that for most of America, a basement is a totally normal thing. But at this point in my life, I hadn’t really traveled much out of California except to UCLA games and for those I stayed in hotels or at frat houses or dorms. And in Los Angeles, there are no basements. Houses tend to do very badly in earthquakes with a basement. It’s better to slide around on the foundation.

      I loved spending a couple of nights in a basement, totally outfitted as a guest space (or in-law unit). It was an experience that I enjoyed. Weird, huh?

      (Update) I also need to point out a problem I referenced in my notes at the time, but never really understood until Ed yelled at me for ruining vacations. It turns out, before I go on vacation, I normally work a ton. Double shifts if I could get them, and I clean like crazy. I tended to think it was a good thing allowing me to relax on vacation. Turns out, I usually burned through my entire reserves of energy and spent a day or two sick no matter where we went. I didn’t realize this pattern until Ed pointed it out (loudly and not happily). Anyway, back to our story.

      Wenonah lived very close to her daughter, Donna and her husband, Don. Donna was a lovely woman - given the dates in® I think she was 49 in this picture. Martha really wanted a picture with Donna and her husband and was super annoyed they refused unless they were wearing Halloween masks. It was all very funny and very surreal.

      Image 10: Donna (Wee Nona's daughter) in Joplin

      Image 11: Martha with Donna and her husband (masked)

      Image 12:Donna and Don - unmasked

      While some rural-dependent brands dump LGBT and CEI - there is Campbells Spoon

       I totally get how John Deere and Tractor Supply felt the need to publicly repudiate their DEI and LGBT support positions; they are, after a...