Saturday, April 30, 2011

Classic TV Theme of the Month - April 2011

The opening to one of TV's classiest dramas, which few sadly remember.

Dinner last night: Sausage and mushroom pizza at CPK.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Friday Morning Walmart Doorbuster Sale

He'll be really easy to find on the golf course.
I love the cocktails on her dress.  Let's hope nobody in her family is a recovering alcoholic.
She's not looking for excuses.  Okay, then, she's fat because she eats a lot.
"Can you tell which aisle the pimps are in?"
You forgot something.
Paging Jenny Craig.....
Well, there are some people who still dress up to go shopping.
In tune with the Spring pastels.
Nice breasts, lady.  "The ones in the front or the back?"

Dinner last night:  Clubhouse salad at the Cheesecake Factory.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

If I Tweeted in April....

I don't, of course.  But, if I did, this is what you might have seen this past month.

@LenSpeaks  While in California, Obama zoomed past my apartment.  He didn't stop to say "hi."  The Presidential edition of Passover.

@LenSpeaks  The restaurant he ate at was Tavern in Brentwood.  It was $35,000 a plate.  When I went there, I got by with spending fifty bucks.  That included two drinks.

@LenSpeaks  And the company was better...

@LenSpeaks  Two Black bitches beat the shit out of some transexual in a Baltimore McDonald's.  Not exactly a Happy Meal.

@LenSpeaks  When you take your life into your hands at a McDonald's, it should be because of the food and not the clientele.

@LenSpeaks   How come we never hear the President make any public comments about these hate crimes???

@LenSpeaks   Anybody who considers Donald Trump for President is a moron.  I'm just sayin'.

@LenSpeaks   A worse hair-do?  Gaddafi or Trump?  Show of hands, please.

@LenSpeaks   Trump keeps harping on Obama's birth certificate.  Who cares??  I stopped worrying about birth certificates when Luis Tiant couldn't produce his.

@LenSpeaks   Breaking news.  There is a birth certificate.  And, despite what some people think, his parents were humans.

@LenSpeaks   I wish this American Idol judging panel had been my faculty at Fordham.  I would have graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

@LenSpeaks   Looking at some of Jennifer Lopez' screen work, she should be no judge of quality.

@LenSpeaks   This year's Idol roster reminds me of the criminals on trial at Nuremberg.  You can't possibly like any of them.

@LenSpeaks   You just know that Idol finalist Casey Abrams got beat up a lot in school.  Heck, I'd punch him a couple of times myself.

@LenSpeaks   The Idol finalist James Durbin always looks like he's just been maced.

@LenSpeaks   Happy to say that another season has gone by and I still don't watch "Dancing with the Stars."

@LenSpeaks   I keep hearing that contestant Kirstie Alley keeps falling down.  What?  No tsunami warning??

@LenSpeaks   At the Dodger game the night that MLB took control of the team.  Nothing's changed, except Tommy Lasorda has to buy his own sodas now.

@LenSpeaks   Worst deficit run-up?  Obama or Frank McCourt?  Show of hands, please.

@LenSpeaks   Everybody's making Bud Selig into a hero because he kicked out McCourt.  Hell, Bud is the asshole who let him buy the team in the first place.

@LenSpeaks   Thinking of Selig, he's also the jerk who didn't see the steroids in baseball 15 years ago.  Stevie Wonder could have found them in the Cardinal clubhouse.

@LenSpeaks   All the steroids were visible on Google Earth!

@LenSpeaks   With such low attendance figures, Citi Field now really does look like Ebbets Field.  In September of 1957.

@LenSpeaks   Going to the TCM Classic Film Festival this weekend and this must be a typo on the schedule.  Q & A with Elizabeth Taylor?

@LenSpeaks   Oh, sorry.  That would be Debbie Reynolds.  I always get those two mixed up.  Signed, Eddie Fisher.

@LenSpeaks   Rachel Maddow reminds me of that androgynous Pat character on SNL.  Guess the gender.  It's a coin flip.

@LenSpeaks   I've formed an exploratory committee to investigate the possibility that there will be nobody for me to vote for in the 2012 Presidential election.

@LenSpeaks   Ron Paul is running for President again.  Which raises the possibility that the next First Lady could be the Queen of Fish Sticks---Mrs. Paul.

Dinner last night:  Chicken teriyaki at BJ's.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Day in History - April 27

What's Woody Woodpecker doing here today?  You will have to read on, gang.

1124:  DAVID I BECOMES KING OF SCOTS.

Any bets on whether there were bagpipes at the ceremony?

1296:  AT THE BATTLE OF DUNBAR, THE SCOTS ARE DEFEATED BY EDWARD I OF ENGLAND.

That Scottish euphoria was shortlived, wasn't it?

1521:  EXPLORER FERNINAND MAGELLAN IS KILLED BY NATIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Sounds like he got lost.  Which is pretty bad since his name is now on a locating device in cars.

1578:  THE DUEL OF THE MIGNONS BEGINS.

Well done versus medium rare.

1667:  THE BLIND AND IMPOVERISHED JOHN MILTON SELLS THE COPYRIGHT OF PARADISE LOST FOR TEN POUNDS.

Except the guy only really gave him five pounds.  Hell, he was blind.  How could he know the difference?

1773:  THE PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN PASSES THE TEA ACT.

We all know how this ended.  At the bottom of Boston Bay.

1810:  BEETHOVEN COMPOSES HIS FAMOUS PIANO PIECE, FUR ELISE.

On the flip side of the record, you found "Happy and Peppy and Bursting with Love" by Felix Unger.

1822:  GENERAL/PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT IS BORN.

Everybody thinks they know where he's buried, but does anybody care where he was born???

1840:  FOUNDATION STONE FOR NEW PALACE OF WESTMINSTER, LONDON, IS LAID BY THE WIFE OF SIR CHARLES BARRY.

Later that night, the wife of Sir Charles Barry was...oh, never mind.

1861:  PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN SUSPENDS THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.

A little more than four years later, Lincoln would be one dead corpus.

1899:  CARTOONIST WALTER LANTZ IS BORN.

Woody Woodpecker's father.  And the indirect creator of the expression "peckerwood."

1909:  SULTAN OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE ABDUL HAMID I IS OVERTHROWN.

That's a lot of commotion for some empire devoted to hassocks.

1916:  BASEBALL PLAYER ENOS SLAUGHTER IS BORN.

One great name for a ballplayer.

1922:  ACTOR JACK KLUGMAN IS BORN.

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar....

1939:  ACTRESS JUDY CARNE IS BORN.

Sock it to her. 

1945:  BENITO MUSSOLINI IS ARRESTED BY ITALIAN PARTISANS IN DONGO.

Something tells me he won't be hanging around long.

1950:  IN SOUTH AFRICA, THE GROUP AREAS ACT IS PASSED FORMALLY SEGREGATING RACES.

Somehow, they managed to do the same thing in my hometown of Mount Vernon, New York.

1965:  NEWSCASTER EDWARD R. MURROW DIES.

Person To Heaven.  He died of lung cancer.  Surprise?  Anybody?

1967:  EXPO 67 OPENS IN MONTREAL, CANADA.

When did you think it opened?  In 1965?

1974:  10,000 MARCH IN WASHINGTON DC, CALLING FOR RICHARD NIXON'S IMPEACHMENT.

He looked out the White House window, saw the crowd, and probably thought it was an "Up With People" concert.

1981:  XEROX INTRODUCES THE COMPUTER MOUSE.

And also Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome.

1999:  TRUMPETER AL HIRT DIES.

He was obviously more than hirt.

2000:  DISCO SINGER VICKI SUE ROBINSON DIES.

You can only turn the beat around so many times.

Dinner last night:  Pepperoni sandwich and salad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Press #3 For English

I had a totally surreal experience two weeks ago.  I had taken in a matinee at the Century City shopping mall three blocks from my house.  I walked out of the theater.  The sun was bright.  The breeze was warm.

And, for about thirty seconds, I didn't know what country I was in.

Somehow, in the course of one two-hour movie and about three dozen trailers, I had been transported to another spot on the globe.  Where was I?

All around me, I heard no English. 

I was surrounded by words that meant nothing to me.  Persian.  Spanish.  Chinese.  Japanese.  Indian.

How do you say "help" in either Persian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian?

My sensation is undoubtedly no different than one you might have shared in your own metropolitan neighborhood.  Territory you once enjoyed that you now share with strangers from a foreign land.  At least, on a phone, you can press a digit for English.  How do you manage that in public?  Is there a switch that we can flip so we're all on the same page?  Or tongue?

Now, there might be one or two of you out there who might counter...

"But, Len, this is a country that was based on immigration.  Look at the photo on your own blog today."

I am looking at it.  And I will still argue that what was then is not now.

The folks "off the boat" in that snapshot of Ellis Island from the early 1900s are coming from Europe.  Italians.  Germans.  Irish.  Poles.  Jews.  My grandparents.  Your grandparents.  The grandparents next door.  All of them searching for a better life.  A better place to live.   A better place to work hard.  A better place to own property where your family might get a better shot in this world.

Can you say that today?

The folks above came in with European values entrenched in their souls.  The love of family.  The love of land.  The love of the opportunity to get a job and earn a living.

Can you say that today?

Over time, there has been an attrition of values.  The immigration of the first fifty years of the twentieth century certainly was not the immigration of the second half of the twentieth century.  The folks coming in over the last several decades are not from Europe.  They're not here to become Americans.  They're here to be citizens from their own country who just happen to live in America.  And God forbid anyone suggest the slight bit of assimilation to these folks.

Several years ago, during the whole "weapons of mass destruction" debate, my pastor inexplicably turned over one Sunday service to an Islamic community leader who wanted to share her thoughts on what life was like for her people "over there."

After fifteen minutes, I was appalled.  Not at her description of living conditions in the Middle East, but of her view of the very country she was standing in at that very moment.  She took her alloted time to chide the United States for its disdain of "weapons of mass destruction."

"After all, the United States has them.  And this country is the one who has used them in the past."

What???????????   You bitch-and-a-half.

I was kind that day.  I said nothing. 

Not so today.

This woman represented to me everything that's wrong with America's open door policy.  She's scolding the very nation that has accepted her ass with a warm embrace.

Of course, this dumb broad has zero perspective when it comes to American history.  Yes, we used the atomic bomb.  In fact, most of the world was looking for us to settle that World War once and for all.  It was essential to the freedom of so many nations far and wide.

I'm thinking that, if we don't use that weapon, she might not even get a sniff of American soil.  She'd be stuck in her homeland.  She'd be one of a dozen wives to some guy who may or may not hit her with the butt of his rifle.  Who knows?  She might not have even lived to experience her first menstrual cycle.

Tough words?  You bet your boots.  Especially when, as this slob drove off that day, I noticed she was behind the wheel of a Mercedes.

Yeah, America did suck for you, didn't it?

Folks, this is what our latest edition of multi-culturalism is failing.  The reasons for being here now are very different than the reasons why my family and your family landed on red, white, and blue terra firma.  Yes, this is now the United States of Handouts.  Give us your tired, your poor, and your outstretched hands.

I think of my own grandparents.  Coming from a very poor farm country in Germany.  I am sure they didn't know English.  But they must have learned because my grandfather had a variety of jobs from bartender to milk bottling.  And, they certainly were part of America when they had four sons in World War II with one not coming back at all.

I think of my family's friends.  I heard a lot of accents, but English accompanied all of them.  I think of my childhood best friend not even born in this country.  He's an American through and through.  His mother still speaks with an Italian accent but she has assimilated in all things United States.

Somewhere along the way, it stopped being about one big melting pot.  Now it's a lot of little pots on one huge stove and the end result is that the kitchen is a complete mess.

In its stead, we make a call to customer service and no longer can understand the person on the other end of the phone.  We ask for directions from somebody working in a gas station and they shrug with a confused look.  Yeah, I got it.  You don't speak English.  You really could if you wanted to.

But, nobody does.  Because there is no need to.  Certainly the lowest point of this country's once storied history.

It's over, gang.  In any language.

Dinner last night:  Pork chop at Dominick's.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Video Laugh - April 25, 2011

The famous Teensy and Weensy from an episode of "I Love Lucy."


Dinner last night: Hibachi steak at the Cheesecake Factory.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Sunday Memory Drawer Redux - Easter Outfits


Jesus Christ is risen today.  Hallelujah!! 

Good enough of an excuse for me to dip into the archives for a rerun.  Once again, I rationalize that there are so many recent additions to the readership roster that the following is new material to them. 

Remember when I wrote....

Thank God I've outgrown this nonsense. Indeed, Easter has become for me the lost holiday. I'll go to church, for sure. But, after that, I usually head home, switch to my play clothes, and watch a baseball game. If you're not exchanging gifts, what the hell is the point?

I didn't have the luxury when I was a kid. Because this was the annual family photo op day. The women in my family decked out in their finest. And me winding up in some ridiculous get-up that no self-assured five-year-old should ever endure. For instance...

This is the Easter picture during my Bing Crosby period. I don't look happy in this photo. Would you? I look like some old Jewish ex-vaudevillean waiting for a bus on the Grand Concourse. Or one of those Jerry Mahoney dummies. With emphasis on the word "dummy." This is why all children, at some point in time, hate their parents.

To make matters worse, my father was going through his creative period in playing with his prized Argus Technicolor camera.

"Lenny, go stand by that tree and pretend you're looking for something."

Like what? My dignity. That's AWOL.

 As I look at these photos all over again, I can feel the shirt tightening around my neck one more time. As if I'm being choked by that fucking bowtie. Now, I know why they didn't flinch when I told them I wanted to live at a college that was less than 10 miles from my house. They knew that these pictures existed and there was a price that needed to be paid.
At least, the three of us are captured for posterity in this one. Knowing my mother's fashion sense, I have no idea why she's wearing a red dress that clearly clashes with my red sport jacket.

A RED SPORT JACKET! With something in the pocket that might be a handkerchief. What the hell is going on in my life at this juncture??? And, from the twisted expression on my face, I'm pondering that very question at this exact moment. Either that or perhaps I'm the youngest person to ever endure a stroke.

In retrospect, I realize that my dad wore a suit rarely. On Easter or whenever somebody wound up being "stretched out" down at Suchy's Funeral Parlor in the Bronx. From what I see here, he wore the fancier outfits well. I doubt Mom wore this dress to any wakes. On second thought, she might have. It all depends on who it was.

Happy Easter. Time to put on the sweats.  And drag out your old photos.

Dinner last night:  BLT sandwich at Blue Plate Diner.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Classic Movie Trailer of the Month - April 2011

What else on Easter weekend?

Dinner last night: Mushroom and olive pizza at Maria's Italian Kitchen.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Your Easter Weekend Movie Guide for April 2011

Now here's a great way to celebrate Easter.  At the wonderful Radio City Music Hall with a terrific Disney movie on the big screen.

Not anymore.

Today, we've got the usual dreck that is programmed to give mental erections to the 20-year-old male who alternates between playing video games and trying to get his girlfriend in the sack.  That's no way to cultivate a discerning movie audience.

You know my monthly drill.  I'll drift through the movie pages of the Los Angeles Times and give you my gut reactions on what's stinking up the local theaters these days.  These aren't Easter eggs that are getting laid.

Paul:  Another CGI illegal alien on the loose.  The trailer looked atrocious.  I've seen some young males around the age of 20 on Facebook yakking about how awesome the movie is.  That pretty much confirms that this is a big ole pile of shit that needs to be avoided at all costs.

Soul Surfer:  The true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who continued to surf despite being a smorgasbord for sharks.  Now there's a sport that costs an arm and a leg.

Arthur:  A needless remake starring a needless member of the human race, Russell Brand.  Helen Mirren is in this and I can only imagine she has some gambling debts to settle.

Scream 4:  Truth be told, I've seen the other three Scream movies and they are guilty pleasures.  At this point, the scares are probably predictable, but it might be worth just to see Courtney Cox and David Arquette scrap and try to figure out what's real and what's not.

Rio:  More listless animation in an arena which is dying for cleverness.  A rare macaw from Minnesota fights animal smugglers in Rio.  Rabbit season, duck season, macaw season.

Your Highness:  Extreme lowness.

Insidious:  The Barney Frank Story?

The Conspirator:  Now this looks like my movie.  Directed by Robert Redford, it's a true account about the woman who "helped" John Wilkes Booth escape after the Lincoln assassination.  It's real and historical, which means no one under the age of 22 will be interested.

Battle - Los Angeles:  It's still hanging around, which means it must take an awful long time to fumigate a movie theater.

Hanna:  Barbera?  An easy joke and I don't think this film is a documentary about the creators of "The Flintstones." 

The Lincoln Lawyer:  Matthew McConaughey as an attorney??   Is it possible to portray one when you don't have more than a grade school education?

Limitless:  A writer discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities.  Sounds like a two hour commercial for Five Hour Energy Drink.

Sucker Punch:  A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility. I've heard this story before.  It's called "Women Len Has Dated."

Source Code: Jake Gyllenhaal in an action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.  Chicago never gets a break.  First, this and then maybe Rahm Emanuel as mayor.

Win Win: Paul Giamatti as a disheartened attorney who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach.  I can't think of two occupations more closely aligned.

Hop:  E.B., the Easter Bunny's teenage son, heads to Hollywood, determined to become a drummer in a rock 'n' roll band. In LA, he's taken in by Fred after the out-of-work slacker hits E.B. with his car.   This is a movie for kids, so somebody please explain to me why the vile Russell Brand does the voice of the Easter Bunny.

African Cats:  Documentary follows three big cats on the African savanna.  On first glance at the title, I thought this was one of those dreadful Tyler Perry movies.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family:  No, this is one of those dreadful Tyler Perry movies.  The sooner this guy beats up his girlfriend and gets thrown in jail, the better for all of us.

Incendies:  In the wake of their mother's death, twin brothers travel to the Middle East and learn about her tragic past.  I'm guessing she was either a terrorist or a "Price is Right" contestant.

Baboya:  Examines the life of late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan.  The cinematic equivalent of one of those Sleep Number mattresses.

Meek's Cutoff:  Three families on a wagon train try a risky shortcut.  Hold it!  This is a western?  What the hell is that?

Water for Elephants:  A former veterinary student falls for a star circus performer and they bond over a special elephant.  This was some best selling novel.  It sounds like Doris Day in "Jumbo" without the music.  Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson star.  I have no idea who is playing the elephant, but I'd search for Rosie O'Donnell's name on the IMDB credits.

Meeting Spencer:  A stage director tries to raise money for his production that he hopes will be a comeback.    The ad says "on a night nothing can go wrong, everything does."  That's my life.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold:  The guy who did the "Supersize Me" documentary examines product placement in the media.  I expect to see a lot of crumpled-up Big Mac wrappers in every shot.

Henry's Crime:  Released from prison for a crime he didn't commit, an ex-con targets the same bank he was sent away for robbing.  If you're thinking that's a stupid thing for a main character to do, Keanu Reeves stars in the movie.  Enough said.

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1:  The Tea Party does a spin on Ayn Rand, who, in turn, is spinning in her grave.

The Bang Bang Club:  Four war photographers in post-apartheid South Africa.  You want a surefire way to keep out of your movie?  Set it in South Africa.

Dinner last night:  German salami sandwich.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Did You Get Here?


How the hell do I manage this?  Why the hell do I even do this?

Here's a little irregularly scheduled gut check for Len Speaks.  Sparked largely by the major increase in readership here over the past twelve months.  It's time to think about the folks who venture here.  The Sitemeter at the bottom of every page gives me a wonderful way to analyze the daily circulation.

Truth be told, there are about 65 regular or semi-regular readers.  I know who you are because your location of access rarely changes.  If you come here from a work e-mail address, that server is what comes across Sitemeter.  You might work in New York, but your company server is in Connecticut.  Ding, Connecticut gets credit for the readership. 

If you live someplace on Long Island and you access through Optimum On-Line, the location of readership will be most likely the business address where you send your cable bill every month.  The same goes for any broadband service.  So, if you're thinking that I can actually tell that you're reading this while using your laptop on the toilet, well, I can't get that specific.  At least not yet.

Now, the real spikes to Len Speaks have come as a result of Google searches.  I can see that because Sitemeter shows me what folks have searched.  I now realize that people are doing exactly what I sometimes do when there is time to kill.  I will think about somebody buried in my past and wonder what happened to them.  You type their name into Google and voila.  Instant update, provided the person is still alive and not in jail.

So, that's what a lot of gremlins are doing.  On a daily basis, I get at least four or five hits from people googling "Jonathan Goldsmith."  Who?  Oh, for Pete's sake, don't get me started again.  It's that dopey Dos Equus guy and the mere mention in today's piece will get me another few hits a day.  The world's fascination with this dude is astounding and pathetic all at once. 

There is one interesting sidelight to the incessant Googling of this clown.  One such search came for the always-dreaded-to-see "doj.gov."  That would be the Department of Justice for those not up on their governmental alphabet.  Hmmmm.  Is somebody there Googling me or him?  They clearly typed his name into the search box.  Just what have you done, Jonathan Goldsmith?

Imagine my surprise when I noticed three different people showing up at Len Speaks because they typed in the name of my pediatrician, Dr. Fiegoli.  What are the odds of that?

Think about my horror when I realize that one reader from Brooklyn, New York has come back to this site multiple times to read the same article I wrote about my teachers in high school.  And their initial Google search was for "Miss Kass," my tenth-grade world history teacher.  I wonder now if this is Miss Kass herself.  And, if it is, I wasn't very kind.   But, heck, if you're egotistical enough to do a Google search on your own name, you're going to have to live with the results no matter how insulting they might be.

Digging down deeper into the same entry on my high school teachers, I remembered that I sort of intimated the possible sexual orientation of one certain English instructor.  I started to immediately worry that, if Miss Kass is Googling herself, the same could be done by this other teacher.  And what if she still, decades later, is not out of the closet?  Or wasn't even in amongst the winter coats to begin with?  Hmmm, she didn't seem to be the litigious type when I took her in the tenth grade.  But, who knows how the subsequent decades have soured her?

Uh oh.

Now I've written even snarkier stuff here and I hold my breath when the location "Washington DC" shows up on Sitemeter.  Gulp.  I start to obsess on whether I will be able to use my laptop in a concentration camp so I can, at the very least, keep writing even snarkier comments for this blog on a daily basis.  

Yep, I look at Sitemeter all the time because I love to know how you got here.  Maybe I should be worried more about how I got there.

Dinner last night:  Polish sausage at the Dodger game.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This Day in History - April 20

If you've got some time on your hands, why not spend it here with our weekly history lesson?  And celebrate Harold Lloyd's birthday.

1303:  THE UNIVERSITY OF ROME LA SAPIENZA IS INSTITUTED BY POPE BONIFACE VIII.

Or, as the college is known in the sports pages, URLS.  A member of Italy's Big-o Ten-o.

1526:  THE LAST RULER OF THE LODI DYNASTY, IBRAHIM LODI, IS DEFEATED AND KILLED BY BABUR IN THE FIRST BATTLE OF PANIPAT.

Poor guy.  He is killed in battle and his sole legacy is some town in New Jersey.

1534:  JACQUES CARTIER BEGINS THE VOYAGE DURING WHICH HE DISCOVERS CANADA AND LABRADOR.

if the guy had an ego, we might be watching "Hockey Night in Cartier."  Or petting our Cartier Retriever.

1653:  OLIVER CROMWELL DISSOLVES THE RUMP PARLIAMENT.

Rump.  The word itself is all the funny we need.

1657:  ADMIRAL ROBERT BLAKE DESTROYS A SPANISH SILVER FLEET UNDER HEAVY FIRE AT SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE.

He, however, did not shoot his wife later in the evening.

1775:  DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, THE SIEGE OF BOSTON BEGINS.

This is the one Bucky Dent was not involved in.

1792:  FRANCE DECLARES WAR ON AUSTRIA.

Way to pick a fight, Frenchies.  Who can't kick the shit out of Austria?

1809:  TWO AUSTRIAN ARMY CORPS IN BAVARIA ARE DEFEATED BY A FIRST FRENCH EMPIRE ARMY LED BY NAPOLEON.

See!  And they were beaten by some asshole who had one arm in his shirt.

1828:  RENE CAILLIE BECOMES THE FIRST NON-MUSLIM TO ENTER TIMBOUCTOU.

Now you know why people aren't exactly flocking to Timbouctou.  Or even spelling it correctly.

1836:  THE U.S. CONGRESS PASSES AN ACT CREATING THE WISCONSIN TERRITORY.

What do we need Wisconsin for?  Oh, yeah, cheese.

1862:  LOUIS PASTEUR AND CLAUDE BERNARD COMPLETE THE FIRST PASTEURIZATION TESTS.

How come it's not the Bernardization Test?

1865:  ASTRONOMER PIETRO ANGELO SECCHI DEMONSTRATES THE SECCHI DISK, WHICH MEASURES WATER CLARITY, ABOARD POPE PIUS IX'S YACHT.

The Pope's Yacht?  I love those vows of poverty.

1884:  POPE LEO XIII PUBLISHES THE ENCYCLICAL HUMANUM GENUS.

Big freakin' deal.  Where's your yacht, Leo?

1889:  ADOLF HITLER IS BORN.

Boy, that was an evening of reproduction Mrs. Hitler lived to regret.

1893:  ACTOR/COMIC HAROLD LLOYD IS BORN.

One of the most creative guys to ever work in Hollywood.  Watch one of his old movies.  He did all the stunts himself.  Not an ounce of special effects needed.  Unlike the crap we have to watch today.

1902:  PIERRE AND MARIE CURIE REFINE RADIUM CHLORIDE.

You just know these two are lying in caskets and still giving off light.

1912:  TIGER STADIUM IN DETROIT AND FENWAY PARK IN BOSTON OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Almost 100 years old.  No wonder these parks felt apart years ago.  The only trouble is they're still using one of them.

1916:  THE CHICAGO CUBS PLAY THEIR FIRST GAME EVER AT WRIGLEY FIELD.

The place had to be new at some point.

1918:  MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN, AKA THE RED BARON, SHOOTS DOWN HIS 79TH AND 80TH VICTIMS MARKING HIS FINAL VICTORIES BEFORE HIS DEATH THE FOLLOWING DAY.

Snoopy, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

1923:  NUN/BROADCASTER MOTHER ANGELICA IS BORN.

You don't see that career often.  "Nun/Broadcaster."  On second thought, even rarer would be "Nun/Navy SEAL."

1926:  WESTERN ELECTRIC AND WARNER BROTHERS ANNOUNCE VITAPHONE, A PROCESS TO ADD SOUND TO FILM.

Yeah, yeah, we know.  We ain't heard nothing yet.

1937:  ACTOR GEORGE TAKEI IS BORN.

Oh, my.

1939:  ADOLF HITLER'S 50TH BIRTHDAY IS CELEBRATED AS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY IN NAZI GERMANY.

Head on down to Bamberger's for the big "Hitler Day" sale.

1945:  DURING THE LAST DAYS OF WORLD WAR II, ADOLF HITLER MAKES HIS LAST TRIP TO THE SURFACE TO AWARD IRON CROSSES TO THE HITLER YOUTH.

Happy birthday and it's almost over, you miserable piece of shit.

1959:  ACTOR CLINT HOWARD IS BORN.

Even less hair than his brother, if that's even possible.

1961:  BASEBALL PLAYER DON MATTINGLY IS BORN.

Donny Baseball!!!

1984:  THE GOOD FRIDAY MASSACRE, AN EXTREMELY VIOLENT HOCKEY PLAYOFF GAME, IS PLAYED IN MONTREAL, CANADA.

And if it weren't for Jacques Cartier, we might never have heard about this.

1993:  MEXICAN ACTOR CANTINFLAS DIES.

Unofficially, he's the last Mexican to enter the United States legally.

1999:  VENTRILOQUIST SENOR WENCES DIES.

S'right?  S'right. 

2008:  DANICA PATRICK WINS THE INDY JAPAN 300, BECOMING THE FIRST FEMALE DRIVER IN HISTORY TO WIN AN INDY CAR RACE.

I've said it before and I will say it again.  Auto racing is NOT a sport.

Dinner last night:  Cervelat on English muffin.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Picture, Way Too Many Words

We're going to deviate from the funny and get a little ugly today, folks, so I need to start you off with a beautiful picture. 

We can adore this snapshot because there is another one rolling around the internet that is vile and disgusting.  I won't give it another moment's consideration by posting it here.  Perhaps you heard about it.

There are two chimpanzees in the photo.  They are holding a baby chimp and the face of Barack Obama is superimposed over Monkey Junior.

Ha ha.  Yeah, that's really clever.  You got anything, Shithead?

What makes this even more annoying is that this artwork is the product of some moronic Republican woman from Orange County, where moronic Republican women are as easy to find as Mickey House ears in Anaheim.  This Dumb Dora has just set the Conservative/Republican/Tea Party movement back fifty years.  Here's a lady who needs to be fired and/or shot.

Of course, there's an avalanche of histrionics from the Democrats and Liberals on this ultra poor use of Photoshop.  How could they??  How disgusting???  See, we told you so.   Conservatives are racists!

Well, there's plenty o'blame to go around.  You over there on the Left side of the aisle?  You're shitheads, too. 

Go ahead and Google the name of any Republican President along with either the word "chimp" or the name "Hitler."  See what comes up.  You will be astounded by the hypocracy that runs rampant.  One more sterling example of "it's okay for you to have an opinion as long as it's the same as mine."

Equally vile and disgusting.

We're in a really bad place, gang.  Our political world is collapsing around us.  Where else but in America in 2011 can a millionaire/game show host be considered to run for the most powerful political office in the world?  Any one who even remotely thinks the insane Donald Trump could be President of the United States is almost as nuts themselves.  This guy makes Ross Perot look like Winston Churchill. 

Indeed, the Donald really has only one bullet in his gun.  He is challenging the omnipresent notion that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States.  Don't get me wrong.  I think there's some chicanery at play, especially since his birth certificate and Osama Bin Laden are equally as difficult to find.  But, still....

You want to enjoy democracy and take issue with the President of the United States??  Have an open dialogue on his policies and his performance.  Believe me, there is plenty of ammunition there.  But, don't stoop to gags, jokes, and slurs.

Oh, wait.  Gags, jokes, and slurs.  Isn't that politics are all about?

Dinner last night:  Evelyn's Favorite Pasta at the Cheesecake Factory.

 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Video Laugh - April 18, 2011

The always priceless "Laugh-In" joke wall.

Dinner last night:  German cold cut sandwiches.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Tumbling Tumult

If you have any sort of memory, you'll know that the kid in this picture ain't me.

Okay, let's review where we left off last Sunday.

I hated gym class.

Check.

I particularly hated gymnastics.

Check.

And I really, really hated one of my elementary school gym teachers, a snubnose named Seth Hicks.

Check, check, and check.

I forget what grade of school Mr. Hicks infiltrated my life, but the gym classes that year couldn't disappear quickly enough.  He had the lofty expectation that every kid in our class was as athletically gifted as he might have been during his college basketball days at Seton Hall or his one or two games playing in the NBA. 

My athletic gifts had apparently been returned to God unopened.

This was a collision course from Hell.

He'd stand in front of us all and give us some asinine instructions on what we were going to do next.  I'd immediately assume a quizzical pose.

He wants me to do what and then what and then what?

"Yes, you will participate, son."

That rankled the shit out of me.  Son?  First of all, there is no way we're related.  You're tall.  I'm not.  Yet.  You're skinny.  I'm...well, not.  And, oh, did I mention that I'm white...and you're.....?

Yeah, I couldn't possibly be your "son."

I have never hated any one teacher more.  To wit, I had completely forgotten his name until two weeks.  I obviously had blocked it from the innermost recesses of my mind.  But, when it was uttered again by one of my school chums on Faceback, all the fear and smarminess and attitude came back to me in tsunami-like waves.

I knew my problems with Mr. Hicks could only get worse as the school year plodded on.  I thought of discussing this with Mom and Dad, but, in those days,  my parents were rarely seen and virtually never heard. 

"Mind the teacher."

That's what I got.  But what if the teacher is a scummy piece of crap that needs to blow up in an explosion down at the local iron works plant.

"Mind the teacher."

Thanks.

I feared the almost inevitable battle with this jerk when that gymnastics time of year rolled around.   It was bad enough with the most gentle of gym teachers.  What would it be like with this Snidely Whiplash in shorts and a whistle?

You see, I had a particular problem when those gym mats were down and those ropes were hanging from the ceiling.

The forward roll.  Also known as the somersault.  We don't get along.   Because I have done one of these things just once in my life when I was about eight years old. And never again.  And the horror had begun not in a gym class but....well, here's the tale I have told here before.

It was during my ill-fated attempt at attending a summer day camp. The Boys Club-sponsored Camp Mohawk. I was supposed to be there all summer, but I lasted just two weeks. What was supposed to be a field trip or some great activity every day turned out to be perhaps one bus trip and nothing but a daily eight-hour-long gym class. And, on one disastrous day, there were gymnastics. Rings, the ropes, and the balance beam. To me, all crap that is better left in the backyards of China.

But, it all started with the basics. We were to learn the proper way to do a forward roll. You know. You squat into a crouch. Lock your arms around you for support, tuck your head, and over.

Except I was afraid of it. A fear of being upside down, which also means I have no future as a pineapple-adorned cake. When it was my turn to crouch, tuck, and roll, I pretty much locked into position and wouldn't move. There was no way I was going to do this. The psychopath who doubled as our loving camp counselor wanted no part of my obstinance. He grabbed my feet and flung me over.

OUCH!!!!!

I thought my neck was broken and did what any eight-year-old would do. I cried. Now, if this had happened in today's litigious society, this chowderhead would have been fired by the end of the day. But, back then, when I got home and told my parents about the inhumane treatment I had received from Attila the Hun, I got a non-reaction. And the usual command.

"Can you run to the grocery store? We're out of pickled beets."

With my back seemingly broken, there was no way I was going to run anywhere, regardless of our dire need for vacuum packed vegetables.

So, as I closed in on the forward roll that I would likely be presented with by the nastiest gym teacher in the history of the Western world, you can imagine my impending doom.  I quickly put myself into "medical excuse" overdrive.  How fast could I screw up a part of my body so that I would be a slam dunk for the sidelines?

I devoted several days to literally throwing myself onto the floor or into a wall.  I'd purposely roll out of bed.  Several times in a row.  Over and over and over.

Nothing.

While watching television at night, I would use my down time productively.  I'd grab hold of my ankle and try to twist it out of shape.  Surely, you could self inflict a sprained ankle. 

Nothing.

I finally confessed my fears to Mom and Dad. 

This time, I did get something.  As told previously...

My parents decided that you conquer fear by meeting it head on. One school year, they made it their personal mission to get me to roll forward. My mother demonstrated it, probably with a cigarette in her mouth. My father showed me several times, perhaps as a result of one too many Schaefers at the local gin mill. And then out came the piece de resistance. The deal closer.

Grandma.

She told me that, if she could do one, so could I. And, then she promised that seeing would be believing. Out into the hall she went with every single cushion from every sofa and chair in the house. Laid out from wall to wall, Grandma had constructed her own Gold's gym. And, in lickity split fashion, she bent down, tucked her head, and rolled over. Only once. That was probably all her 70-plus years could muster. I was impressed. I was nonplussed. I was ashamed for making such a fuss all these years.

Terrific, Grandma.  Thanks for the help.   Now, excuse me while I throw myself down the cellar stairs.

The day of the forward roll came all too soon.  Our stalag commandant of a gym teacher lined us up.  You'd reach the edge of the mat, squat, and turn over like an omelette.  Naturally, I kept letting my classmates go ahead of me.   Eventually, I was on the end of the line and had run out of other kids.

I stepped up to the mat and then turned to Mr. Hicks. 

"I can't do this."

There was a five second pause that lasted a decade.  I steeled myself for the verbal barrage.  Except...

"Okay."

HUH???????

You're kidding, right???  Is that all you got, Hicks???  "Okay?!!!" 

I walked away.  The fact that I had indeed bitten the bullet on this year's edition of the forward roll wound up in the back seat of my mind.  I was thinking about this gym teacher of mine.  I was shocked.  I was mystified.  And I was oddly and suddenly impressed.  Was there actually a heart inside this ogre?  Had I completely misread this guy? 

Well, the flying donkey didn't stay up in the air long.  On the very next day, we had moved onto rope climbing.  I got about three feet off the ground and pronounced my mission as "completed."  Mr. Hicks had other ideas.

"You're kidding, right???  Is that all you got, son????!!!!"

Yeah, a zebra never does change his stripes.

Dinner last night:  Turkey burger at Pig N'Whistle.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Classic Newsreel of the Month - April 2011

Just in time for Passover...

Dinner last night: French dip ham sandwich---back at Philippe's for the Friday pre-game meal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Awkward is as Awkward Does

Twelve years later and he's still trying to strangle his son.
You can't wait a couple of hours????
The latest remake of Gulliver's Travels.
If my mom had hair like that, I'd be scowling, too.
Home Decorating Tip #75:  Always make sure your draperies match the bridesmaids.
Moe Howard, Japanese style.
Hopefully, both of these idiots have been declawed.
Let's hope Dad doesn't start to branch out.
It's Bath Night in North Carolina.
Where's the widescreen shot, please?  We want to see...well, you know...

Dinner last night:  Garlic beef from Century Dragon. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chocolate Milk and Other Horrors

Okay, it's been years since I downed a glass of chocolate milk.  But, when I was a kid, this was a real treat.  Sometimes, you could get it in a plastic container from the grocery store.  Or you simply made it yourself.  A couple of spoonfuls of Bosco into a glass.  Or a pump or two from the Cocoa Marsh dispenser.  Bingo, bango, instant chocolate refreshment.

As an adult, I have looked at the calorie content of chocolate milk and pretty much pushed it away from me.  But, still, it's milk, I'm no longer ten years old, and kids do need a treat from time to time.

Except it was recently revealed that some school systems have now banned it from their cafeterias.  Sorry, kids, you're too fat.  Go expand your waists elsewhere.

What????

Now that you've rolled that around your noggin, try this one on for size.  There are some schools in the increasingly brain-dead metropolis of Chicago that are now prohibiting kids from bringing bagged lunches from home.

What????

I guess the thinking is that the school cafeterias can do a much better job than Mom or Dad when it comes to giving their youngsters a noontime meal.  Okay, I don't know who's dishing out the slop in the Chicago schools, but I remember what passed for lunch at Mount Vernon High School.  And it usually passed right through me.  There was one edible item on the menu.  Friday pizza.  How can you fuck up frozen pizza?  Miraculously, the ladies with the hairnets at MVHS didn't.  But, on most days, I had my brown bag.  Taylor ham with mustard on a roll.  And I grew up just fine.

Wait, guys, there's more.

This dumbbell of a mayor in Boston had to get into the act.  He's banned all sugar-based soft drinks from any city property.  Soda, punch, sports drinks?  Good luck finding them in selected areas of Beantown.  Of course, he did negotiate a special deal with the Boston Red Sox so baseball fans can still buy a soda at Fenway Park.

What the hell is going on??????

Trust me, I'm the first one to admit that America is woefully out of shape.  Let's face it, the Midwest in this country is just one big XXL pair of sweatpants.  But, still, shouldn't the policing be done at home?  What happened to self control?  Where is the parental responsibility?  What is wrong with any of these pictures?

A lot of this is a direct by-product of the desperatate need for First-Lady Michelle Obama to have something to do with her days.  All Presidential wives have to adopt a cause.  Lady Bird Johnson cleaning up garbage on the side of Route 80.   Nancy Reagan showing on "Diff'rent Strokes" to tell kids not to smoke weed.  Laura Bush yakking it up about the reading skills of children.  With Mrs. Obama, there was a fervent desire to give her a cause that was so benign that she couldn't possibly screw it up.    Wow, the eating habits of children.  How hard could that be for her?

Um, pretty hard.   She screwed it up anyway. 

Thanks but no thanks for the guidance and teachable moments, folks.  I personally know what I can eat and what I shouldn't eat.  And, if I do, so do my friends with children.  And, for those who don't have the time to give guidance to their young'ins, well, them thar is the breaks.  If you take your kid to McDonald's three times a week, you shouldn't be surprised when they grow up to look like Rosie O'Donnell the day after Thanksgiving dinner.

But, at least, they should be allowed the choice.  You can have normal children.  Or they can be supersized.  But it should totally up to you.

When does the insanity stop?  To quote a good friend of mine...

"The only one who can tell me what to eat is my mother.  And she's dead."

Dinner last night:  Smoked sausage with salad. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This Day in History - April 13

The original Jefferson who moved on up.

1111:  HENRY V IS CROWNED HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR.

What's with all these Henrys who become rulers?  There were no Hanks?

1204:  CONSTANTINOPLE FALLS TO THE CRUSADERS OF THE FOURTH CRUSADE.

Of course, they were Crusades.  What else would the Fourth Crusade produce?  Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?

1250:  THE SEVENTH CRUSADE IS DEFEATED IN EGYPT.

Okay, let's do some math, gang.  In 46 years, there are three different Crusades.  That's less than 16 years per Crusade.

1256:  THE GRAND UNION OF THE AUGUSTINIAN ORDER IS FORMED.

Later it merged and became the Waldbaum's of the Augustinian Order.  New Yorkers are laughing their asses off at that gag.

1612:  MIYAMOTO MUSASHI DEFEATS SASAKI KOJIRO AT FUNAJIMA ISLAND.

In two out of three falls.  The main event was Bruno Sammartino vs. Killer Kowalski.

1742:  HANDEL'S MESSIAH MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND.

Isn't this a Christmas thing?  Hello, it's April.

1743:  PRESIDENT THOMAS JEFFERSON IS BORN.

This had to happen or else there would be no reason for a memorial.

1796:  THE FIRST ELEPHANT EVER SEEN IN THE UNITED STATES ARRIVES FROM INDIA.

This almost prompted a Liz Taylor joke, but I'm still in mourning.

1852:  F.W. WOOLWORTH IS BORN.

The original nickel-and-dimer.

1861:  DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, FORT SUMTER SURRENDERS TO CONFEDERATE FORCES.

I didn't know Fort Sumter was in France.

1870:  THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART IS FOUNDED.

Oddly enough, the gift shop opened two years earlier.

1902:  J.C. PENNEY OPENS HIS FIRST STORE IN WYOMING.

Still the best place to shop for really cheap washcloths.

1906:  WRITER SAMUEL BECKETT IS BORN.

Yep, we're still waiting....

1919:  EUGENE V. DEBS ENTERS AN ATLANTA PRISON FOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE DRAFT DURING WORLD WAR I.

And you thought Jane Fonda started this?

1919:  ACTOR HOWARD KEEL IS BORN.

Clayton Farlow of "Dallas."  And, oh, yeah, some other stuff.

1921:  THE SPANISH COMMUNIST WORKERS' PARTY IS FOUNDED.

And that explains why the matador's cape is always red.

1923:  ACTOR DON ADAMS IS BORN. 

He was almost born on April 12, but he missed it by that much.

1935:  TV PERSONALITY LYLE WAGGONER IS BORN.

His biggest claim to fame is that he invented the trailers that movie stars hide out in when not on set.

1943:  JAMES BOARMAN, FRED HUNTER, HAROLD BREST, AND FLOYD G. HAMILTON TAKE PART IN AN ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ.

An attempt?  Never a good sign.

1943:  THE JEFFERSON MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED IN WASHINGTON, DC, ON THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THOMAS JEFFERSON'S BIRTH.

I told you.

1945:  ACTOR TONY DOW IS BORN.

"Ward, I'm never worried about Wally."

1963:  AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS, SIDNEY POITIER BECOMES THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE TO WIN THE BEST ACTOR AWARD FOR "LILIES OF THE FIELD."

Amen.

1970:  AN OXYGEN TANK ABOARD APOLLO 13 EXPLODES, PUT THE CREW IN GREAT DANGER.

But it also gave Ron Howard an idea for a kick-ass movie.

1976:  THE UNITED STATES TREASURY REINTRODUCES THE TWO DOLLAR BILL ON THOMAS JEFFERSON'S 233RD BIRTHDAY.

Okay, enough already with the Jefferson shit.

1983:  HAROLD WASHINGTON IS ELECTED AS THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAYOR IN CHICAGO'S HISTORY.

At least, his name wasn't Jefferson.

1992:  THE GREAT CHICAGO FLOOD.

Probably due to years of neglect during the Mayor Washington regime.

1997:  TIGER WOODS BECOMES THE YOUNGEST GOLFER TO WIN THE MASTERS.

The golf course is the only place where he drives correctly.

2009:  PHILLIE BROADCASTER HARRY KALAS DIES.

He dropped dead in the press box.  Going, going,...

2009:  DETROIT TIGER PITCHER MARK FIDRYCH DIES.

Big Bird falls out of the nest.

Dinner last night:  Garden medley salad with chicken at BJ's.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Morons of the Month - April 2011

We've got a whole busload of morons this month, gang.  All of them spinning around the horrific tragedy that took place in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day. 

Unless you've been hiding in a closet, you know the story.  Some poor unsuspecting Giant fan is pummeled to a cranial pulp after the game by the absolute shitheads shown in an artist rendering above.  Now there's a dragnet out to catch these two neanderthals plus the woman who drove the getaway car.  And there was a child with them!!

Good luck finding them.  Don't bother looking anywhere in the Los Angeles environs.  I'd bet dollars to burritos that this bunch has hightailed it over our gravy strainer of a southern border and are now back where they came from.  Most likely illegally in the first place.

If they show their faces ever again on American soil, let's hope their greeters shoot to kill.  And, if the driving senorita and the little nino get hit and suffer collateral damage, oh, well, life's a bitch.  How do you say "tough love" in Spanish?

So, they're the easy picks to be April's Morons.  But, there are others skirting this whole situation that also need to be recognized for their excess stupidity.

Another simple target for projectile vomiting would be the increasingly inept Dodger owner Frank McCourt.  Heck, even before this happened, 99.9% of Dodger fans wanted this guy shipped back to Fenway P-ahrk with the rest of the cre-tahns who reside in Red Sox Abomination.  Now, everything Frank does looks like the last act of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."  If it's true that McCourt neglected to hire a new head of security last winter in a cost-cutting measure, the recent violence could be his Dodger Blue waterloo. 

Still, it's really too simple to draw a bulls eye on his back.  Why not recognize the true Moron in the McCourt travesty?

Yes, that would be Major League Baseball's woeful sap of a commissioner, Bud Selig.

There has never been a more likely stooge since the days when Shemp was wielding a lead pipe at Larry's head.  Selig, who was inexplicably elevated to the commissioner's seat after years fucking over the Milwaukee Brewers franchise as chief owner, has screwed the sport royally.  Under his leadership, baseball suffered through the steroid debacle as Bud conveniently looked the other way as science projects like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire made a mockery of the record books. 

Most importantly, with regard to our topic today, Selig is the one who approved the deals that turned the likes of Frank McCourt into baseball owners.  Let's face it, from everything we hear, McCourt bought the storied Dodger franchise on his Sears credit card.  Who allowed this to happen?  Bud Selig.  And let's not forget that Bud has also let the New York Mets franchise to wilt on the vine in the wake of the Bernie Madoff/Fred Wilpon alliance.  Two major baseball franchises.  Stripped of both dollars and dignity. 

It's time for Bud Selig to pick up his Velveeta processed cheese and go back to Milwaukee where shoveling mounds of snow is considered a creative achievement.

But, wait, there's more.  Morons galore in April.  Lots and lots of them found in the pages of the Los Angeles Times. 

These days, I'm still a fan of newspapers and love to go through one in the morning.  But, the Los Angeles Times is making it hard for me to keep my subscription.  They're a Sudoku puzzle and a Blondie comic strip away from losing my business.  Their coverage of the Dodger Stadium situation has been that biased and inaccurate.

The regular Dodger beat writers like Dylan Hernandez, Steve Dilbeck, and columnist/alleged stand-up comic TJ Simers are already working overtime in their daily attempts to trash the team both on-the-field and in the front office.  Their rants are the journalistic equivalent of week-old Chinese takeout.  They seem to be on a crusade to run Frank McCourt out of town and, while I'm not opposed to the notion, the Times sports hacks are blaming him for everything from the recent earthquake in Japan to the stoning of Lot's wife in the village square. 

But, now with the parking lot calamity, everybody who writes for the Los Angeles Times is piling on as if there's a rumor going around the building that Frank McCourt is secretly sleeping with Sarah Palin.  Regardless of their expertise or lack thereof, all of the columnists are waxing philosophically on the violent element at Dodger Stadium.  Because, at the Los Angeles Times, you can pull an opinion out of your ass and call it news reporting.

Take, for instance, some dumb broad named Sandy Banks, whose journalistic skills lead me to think that her time would be better spent at home doing the wash.

I've never paid attention to anything she's written before, but, suddenly, she's an expert on Dodger Stadium.  In a recent column, she even admits that she's rarely been to the ballpark over the past three decades.  But, that doesn't stop this nincompoop from spending two dozen paragraphs lecturing us on the deplorable situation that Dodger fans must endure every game.  This is all based on a worrisome text message she got from her daughter on Opening Day.  Just where was her daughter sitting at that game?  That is apparently not the issue.  But, if Sandy Banks is so darn worried about her daughter's safety, she might use her pull to get the kid some seats on the Loge Level where absolutely nothing sinister happens on any given day. 

At the very least, I give Banks credit for insinuating in her column that ethnicity might play a part in the Dodger Stadium problems.  But, still.  Come to a game once every ten years or so and then have something to say.

Then there's the Times' Pulitzer-Prize-winner-wannabe/resident crybaby Steve Lopez.  If his photo looks like a mug shot, that's fitting.  What he writes in his column is frequently borderline criminal.  An uber-do gooder, Lopez is most known for befriending some screwball schizophrenic bass player and turning it into a movie called "The Soloist."  That's a good title for the film since I think only one person saw it.

Anyway, if there's a sob story to be told in Los Angeles, Lopez will find it and write it.  You read his dribble and you just know that cold hard facts are being overlooked in favor of whatever heart strings Lopez wants to tug.

So, naturally, he has to weigh in on the Dodger Stadium fracas.  His focus is on the neighborhood around the ballpark where fans are now parking their cars in lieu of spending $15 to put their cars in the stadium lot.  Since this was raised from ten dollars a few years back, the folks in the environs have seen an increase in hooliganism as a result.  That blasted Frank McCourt!  For an extra five bucks, our front lawns are now littered with beer bottles.

What????

First of all, parking fees are parking fees and an easy way to gouge more money from fans.  This is a fact that all baseball owners now subscribe to.  Heck, there are some Met game tickets at Citi Field that cost less than the $19 parking lot.  Hello? 

Meanwhile, Lopez zeroes in on the neighbors and their plight now living near a ballpark.  Excuse me?  Dodger Stadium didn't suddenly emerge from the ground one night.  It's been in the Chavez Ravine area in some shape or form since 1958.  Most of the people Lopez chatted up were relatively young.  So they moved to a house, knowing fully well that a ballpark was nearby.  These are the kinds of idiots that Lopez likes to empower in his columns.  And, once again, logic and facts need not be included. 

Let's hope he finds another classical music lunatic living under a freeway overpass soon, so he can stop beating the hell out of Dodger Stadium.

None of this is to say that there is not a serious problem lurking the top levels of Tommy Lasorda's famed Blue Heaven on Earth.  But, I can tell you all that I have never once dreaded a single moment attending a game at Dodger Stadium.  I have found the customer service staff there efficient and friendly.  Last weekend, when a foul ball fell two rows in front of me, a security person was down the stairs immediately to see if anyone was hurt.  I have seen ruffians dealt with when I called over the attention of game day staff.  I'm totally comfortable.

But, then again, I'm in the pricier seats.  Upstairs, in tickets affordably priced so EVERYONE can attend a baseball game, you have a clientele that mirrors what is happening to the population of Los Angeles.

Let's face it.  Here's something you don't hear from the Los Angeles Times.  The Mexican influx into California has severely degraded the region.  And, almost automatically, it couldn't help but permeate the 56,000 chairs at Dodger Stadium.  Frankly, there is nothing happening in this city that isn't happening to any other major metropolitan area.  But, to hear it from the mouths of the assholes at the Los Angeles Times, you would think this was a problem totally unique and confined to Dodger Stadium.

Shame on them. 

Trust me, I would like nothing better than to think it was 1965 again.  It's a bright sunny day at Chavez Ravine and Sandy Koufax, as Vin Scully might say, is putting some smoke rings on the scoreboard.  But it's not.  Those days are long gone. 

Yep, plenty of morons this month.  And, given our lax immigration policies, there are even more headed our way in years to come.

Dinner last night:  BBQ Ribs at Kate Mantilini.