Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Dance Fever

Yeah, that's not me.   Not hardly.  With arthritis now landing squarely on both of my knee joints, I'm already thinking about things that I won't be able to do when I'm 84.  Dancing will be likely be one of them.

But, then again, there's been this love-hate relationship with choreography.   In my younger days, it was mostly hate.   But things happen over time.   Follow me as I trace the...ahem...steps.

When I was a kid, my dabbles into hoofing were as misguided as it looks up at the top of this entry.  There was always impromptu dancing at family parties and I provided the perfect photo opportunity/comic relief.

"Here, have Lenny do the polka with __________."

"Put your cheeks together like you're doing the tango."

"Awwww, it's like you're Fred Astaire and _________ is Ginger Rogers.  How cute!"

How f-ing mortifying.

At wedding receptions, it was even worse.  I was thrown together with either a relative that was either much, much younger or much, much older.

"Come on, Lenny, dance with me a little."

You walk with a cane, you're a little drunk, and your dress smells like moth balls.  Umm, no thanks.

I'd sit in a corner.  Feet motionlessly dangling off the chair.  Wondering what the Mets were doing and, oh, yeah, pondering what all this fuss with dancing was all about.

Once I got to high school, I was even more confused.  Dancing was less formal and certainly more gyrations than anything else.  I think there might have been dances in school, but I never went.  I was convinced that I didn't know how.  Was there a right way to do this?  Were these dance steps communicated in back rooms and in alleys?  Did somebody whisper to you in secret just how to dance? 

Self esteem headed to the basement floor.  So, I retreated to my usual comfort zone.

I'd sit in a corner.  Feet motionlessly dangling off the chair. Wondering what the Mets were doing and, oh, yeah, pondering what all this fuss with dancing was all about.

Fordham University followed and the added horror of a college mixer entered my world.  Well, at least, I could be bored and drink beer to ease me through the torture of standing idly around the Ramskeller, which was the name of the Rose Hill campus' flesh co-mingling establishment.

And, still, I looked at this dancing thing and was convinced that there was something carefully organized to its every movement.

And, then, a visit from an angel.  Well, actually, my good college friend, Lorraine, who was as socially adept and in-tune as one could be. 

One Saturday night, I was hovering over the Ramskeller dance floor with some friends.  Emphasis on the "hovering."  Lorraine was out there.  A-bumping and a-jiving to some cover band that had its musical roots in some garage on Katonah Avenue.  Lorraine saw me languishing on the sidelines and waved to me.

"Come on and dance."

I looked behind me.  Who was she talking to?  Oh, crap, do you mean me?

In pantomine, I let her know that I didn't know how to do what she was doing. 

Lorraine pouted.  And pointed to the floor in front of her.  This was apparently an order to appear.

I gingerly stepped onto the dance floor and waited for buzzers to go off from my mere presence amongst the twisting and turning sophomores.  I told Lorraine that I didn't know how to dance.

"Like I do?  Just move around and do whatever makes you comfortable."

I turned to the left.  I turned to the right.  I turned to the left.  I turned to the right.  I put in a little bit of a sway.

"You're doing great, Lenny."

Oh, really.  Because I didn't know what the fuck I was doing.

Except, after about two minutes of my flailing like a mosquito dying on a car windshield, I made a startling realization.

I liked what I was doing.

And I was out on the dance floor for the rest of the night. 

Missing out on a campus mixer suddenly became an alien thought to me.  Once I knew there were no rules, I danced like...well, there were no rules.

Of course, becoming a semi-fixture at these events would have its potholes.  Take, for instance, the evening I was dancing with one girl who had a crush on me.  The feeling was not, as one would say, mutual.  But, she was open to dancing so why not?  I could easily be out on the floor, gyrating with her but also looking around and checking out the other "talent" available that evening. 

What do you want?  I was a guy.

Suddenly, the dance of sheer and rapid frenzy morphed into a sudden and unexpected slow song.  Ummm, okay, moving on....

But, before I had the chance to go over the prison wall, her hands were quickly on the back of my neck and her arms draped over me like shoulder pads.  This was the slowest of the slow dances.  My partner had seized the opportunity for some close and personal contact.

Okay, so I need to modify how I do this dancing stuff and make sure that I'm not left wide open for these sneak attacks.

Over the years, there are some dancing memories that samba to the forefront of the supper club in my mind.

There was the best New Year's Eve I have ever had.  Dateless and dancing to oldies at a New York City club with a few friends and a whole lot of strangers.

There was the evening when a friend and I decided to go listen to what is now passing as the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  The whole place was decked out to resemble a dance hall during World War II.  A couple of the folks there even showed up in their old military garb, albeit with a button or two missing.   It didn't take long for us to figure out that this was not the venue for two casual dancers to hit the boards.  We were the youngest people by about twenty years and those dancers were serious about their jitterbugging.  I spent the evening as if I were back in high school.

Sitting in a corner. Feet motionlessly dangling off the chair. Wondering what the Mets were doing and, oh, yeah, pondering what all this fuss with dancing was all about.

Even slow dancing could be tolerated in later years.  Well, as long as it was with the right person.  I remember going to the wedding of a female friend in Connecticut.  I was invited with a "plus one" and this one was legit for a change.  A girl I actually was dating fairly seriously.  Except it didn't exactly become serious until that very day.  In the middle of a slow dance at the reception. 

Once again, I was blindsided by the sudden move of my date.  Oh, we're going to do that?  Here?  In the middle of all these people????

Yeah, I guess so.

I glanced over to the sidelines where the bride's mother sat.  Eyeing me suspiciously and likely wondering why I had brought a brazen hooker to her daughter's special day.

Indeed, though, my very favorite dancing memory was of an evening when I didn't move an inch onto the dance floor.  I zip back to a summer night between junior and senior year in college.

The school year had ended but fun had not subsided.  In the middle of it all once again was my pal Lorraine who loved to organize social outings.  She was a perfect conduit.  Lorraine had lots of girlfriends.  My guy friends and I didn't have a lot of girlfriends.  Mix and match.  Hanging out in a group and there were actually two genders represented.  Ideal for grinding it out to music in some Long Island disco.

As luck would have it, I now was on the offensive line of a crush.  One of those girlfriends struck my fancy.  Like an anvil.  This would be an ideal venue to, umm, get together.

And, going back to the very spot and reference where this blog entry started, disaster!

It was the first ever flare-up of my right knee, which I had originally injured during the very first gym class of my senior year in high school.  Dance?  Shit, I could barely walk.  My jeans fit around my right leg like a watermelon would fit into the eye of a needle.  So much for the disco night.  And perhaps even getting into the car to get there.  I envisioned being strapped to the hood like a dead deer shot on opening day of the hunting season in the Adirondacks.

I should have stayed home.

But, still....

Well, love will do that sort of thing to you.  Actually, in this case, like would do that sort of thing to me.

Somehow, I shimmied into my clubbing clothes and I might even have ridden there in somebody's car trunk.  But, I went.  And, as I lumbered into another world of strobe lights and crappy music, I pondered my next move.  I would be relegated to an evening of watching everybody else dance.

Suddenly, I was back in high school again.

Yeppers.

Sitting in a corner. Feet motionlessly dangling off the chair. Wondering what the Mets were doing and, oh, yeah, pondering what all this fuss with dancing was all about.  Especially when all my friends would be out there doing it while I sat there alone, watching the ice cubes in my drink melt.

"I don't need to dance.  I'll sit here and keep you company."

It was my crush-ee.  The object of my intended affection.

Suddenly, I melted faster than the ice cubes.  And the pain in my right knee disappeared instantly.

Dancing is fun.  Not dancing also had its rewards.

Dinner last night:   Bacon burger at Shake Shack.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Classic TV Theme of the Month - August 2017

Premiered forty years ago this fall.   Why isn't this show rerun more?

Dinner last night:  Bacon and cheddar omelet.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Your Weekend Movie Guide for August 2017

Fifty years ago this summer, "Barefoot in the Park" was the big summer attraction at Radio City Music Hall.  Light and breezy entertainment with no super heroes or explosions or F bombs.  Perfect for the whole family, although a lot of the double entendre jokes went over my head at the time.

Summer is the time to escape to the movies.  These days, you might want to escape from the theaters with all the super heroes and explosions and F bombs. You know the monthly routine, kids.  I'll sift through the LA Times movie pages and give you my knee-jerk reaction to what's polluting our cinemas in August 2017.

Trust me, it ain't going to be light and breezy.

Gook:   I can only imagine.

An Inconvenient Sequel - Truth to Power:   One campaign that Al Gore does always win?   The one for Oscar.

Detroit:   Reliving the riots of the 60s.   For those who find the riots of 2017 boring.

Atomic Blonde:   Blog reviewed the other day.   It's better on CD than DVD.  

The Dark Tower:   Something something by Stephen King.  Boo...and yawn.

Dunkirk:   Christopher Nolan ruined Batman and now he has messed up World War II.

The Big Sick:  Reviewed here several weeks ago.   Might be my favorite movie so far this year.

War for Planet of the Apes:   Compared to everything going on these days, monkeys would be an improvement.

The Emoji Movie:  😝

The Glass Castle:  A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who's.....oh, God, no.

The Nut Job 2:   There was such a thing as the Nut Job 1?

Annabelle - Creation:  A horror movie that involves orphans, dolls, and a nun. Sounds like the start of a great joke.

Kidnap:  Halle Berry is looking for her son who may have been abducted.   Along with her career.

Columbus:  John Cho as a scholar who finds himself stuck in Columbus, Indiana.   Yep, that's the plot.

Wind River:   The FBI investigates a murder on an Indian reservation.   Oh, wait,  Native American.   

Good Time:  A bank robbery gone wrong.   That's all I could find.

The Trip to Spain:  Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.  Didn't I see this on the Travel Channel?

Step:  A documentary about a girls high school step team based in inner city Baltimore.   Let me guess....they win?

The Hitman's Bodyguard:   Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, and Samuel L. Jackson.   Okay, you lost me with the last guy.

Logan Lucky: Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as NASCAR drivers planning a heist.   Sounds interesting, but I refer you to my standing policy of never ever going to a movie that includes Channing Tatum.

Marjorie Prime:   A dying old lady conjures up a computerized version of her husband.   Control-alt-delete.

Planetarium:   Psychic sisters in pre-World War II France.   Predictable.

Lemon:   An actor considers his failing career.   His first name is not Jack.

Dave Made a Maze:   And I don't care.

The Ice Cream Truck:  Good Humor goes on a killing spree.   Seriously, that's the plot.

Patti Cakes:  A plus-sized white girl from New Jersey seeks a career as a rapper.  For those who wondered what Janice Soprano was up to.

Dinner last night:  Had a big lunch so just a small salad.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Man Who Would Have Been President

You all remember this guy.   Al Gore.   The man who lost the 2000 Presidential election when he, as Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much."  Like Hillary Clinton later on, here's another Democratic candidate who blamed everybody but himself for his loss.  He ran a bad campaign, pure and simple.  I mean, like Hillary should have done to Trump, Al Snore shoulf have easily trounced the lummox that is George W. Bush.

But, as you well know, Gore parlayed that into another cottage industry which has become the equivalent of Microsoft when it comes to championed causes. Global warming.  This guy is the expert and his documentary about ten years ago was the great thing since sliced bread.  As a result, he won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, the Nobel Peace Prize, and probably came in third for that season's "American Idol."

Well, knowing a good thing when he sees it, Gore has jumped on again to try and duplicate all those platitudes with a sequel called "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power."  Hey, if there can be nine or ten editions of "Fast and Furious," why not this?

Okay, don't search these blog pages for a Len review of this movie.   You won't find it.  I have better things to do with my time than seeing a reiteration of why it gets hot during the summer and cold during the winter.  Nor is this going to be a revisit to the notion that Al Gore needs to practice what he preaches.   It is well known and documented that his Tennessee mansion is one of the greatest wasters of energy in the country.  

Nope.  I'm not going to get into a general trashing of Gore here.   I just want to pose a very basic question.

As his sequel opened three weeks ago, I noticed a quite curious development in Los Angeles.  Gore was in town to promote it quite heavily.   And the way he was doing that was by making continuous appearances at the theaters that were running it.   Seriously.   He was at the Landmark one Saturday for five different Q and As.  I mean, that was reminiscent to me of my youthful days when Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe kept showing up at my local RKO to promote "Snow White and the Three Stooges."

Except the very next weekend Gore was back at the Arclight doing another strenuous schedule of appearances.

Hmmmm.

Now I understand he wants to promote the film heavily.   But, the ultra-liberal Hollywood already has the lion's share of people who will run out to it. Even if he didn't show up at all, the box office would be big with all the Tinseltown types who drove in their gas-guzzling Range Rovers to see it.

To me, Gore should be pushing his movie in the areas where he needs to get the most converts.  Norman, Oklahoma.  Prescott, Arizona.  Sioux Falls, South Dakota.   I mean, aren't the so-called Red States where Gore's message should be pushed most?   Those are the folks that aren't buying in.

That's the question I ask Al Gore.   How come?

But, then, moments later, the answer is as plain as the blue recycling bin in my garage.   This is nothing about global warming or making a difference.

How many Academy members are in Norman, Oklahoma?   How many Emmy voters are in Prescott, Arizona?  Does anybody even know what the Grammys are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota?

I got it now, Al Gore.  It isn't about the Ozone.  It's all about you.

Say hello to Tipper for me.   Oh, wait...

Dinner last night:   Chopped steak and vegetables.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

This Date in History - August 16

A particularly busy day in history, not to mention Julie "Catwoman" Newmar's birthday!  Meow!

1 BC:  WANG MANG CONSOLIDATES HIS POWER AND IS DECLARED MARSHAL OF STATE.

Love that name.   And dig that year.

1328:  THE HOUSE OF GONZAGA SEIZES POWER IN THE DUCHY OF MANTUA.

Well, that's just Duchy.

1780:  AMERICAN REVOLUTION - BATTLE OF CAMDEN.

Oddly, that's Camden, South Carolina, not New Jersey.

1793:  FRENCH REVOLUTION - A LEVEE EN MASSE IS DECREED.

Not sure what that is, but it sounds delicious.

1812:  WAR OF 1812 - AMERICAN GENERAL WILLIAM HULL SURRENDERS FORT DETROIT WITHOUT A FIGHT TO THE BRITISH ARMY.

Hull of a wimp.

1841:  US PRESIDENT JOHN TYLER VETOES A BILL WHICH CALLED FOR THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SECOND BANK OF THE US.  THIS LEADS TO THE MOST VIOLENT DEMONSTRATION ON WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS IN US HISTORY.

I am surely that will be surpassed very soon.

1858:  US PRESIDENT JAMES BUCHANAN INAUGURATES THE NEW TRANSATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLE BY EXCHANGING GREETINGS WITH QUEEN VICTORIA OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

The Queen's response:  ROFLMAO.

1870:  DURING THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR, THE BATTLE OF MARS-LA-TOUR IS FOUGHT.

Prussia won...for those keeping count.

1891:  THE BASILICA OF SAN SEBASTIAN, MANILA, THE FIRST ALL-STEEL CHURCH IN ASIA, IS OFFICIALLY INAUGURATED AND BLESSED.

All steel?  Must be a bitch to kneel on those pews.

1913:  TOHOKU UNIVERSITY BECOMES THE FIRST UNIVERSITY IN JAPAN TO ADMIT FEMALE STUDENTS.

Somebody needed to pour the sake.

1920:  RAY CHAPMAN OF THE CLEVELAND INDIANS IS HIT ON THE HEAD BY A FASTBALL THROWN BY CARL MAYS OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES AND DIES THE FOLLOWING DAY.

Talk about an exit velocity.

1923:  THE UNITED KINGDOM GIVES THE NAME "ROSS DEPENDENCY" TO PART OF ITS CLAIMED ANTARCTIC TERRITORY.

In a way, Rachel on "Friends" also had a Ross Dependency.

1924:  ACTOR FESS PARKER IS BORN.

Davy...Davy Crockett.

1928:  ACTRESS ANN BLYTH IS BORN.

Still with us.  She played the despicable Vida in "Mildred Pierce."

1928:  SINGER EYDIE GORME IS BORN.

Paging Steve Lawrence.

1930:  ACTOR ROBERT CULP IS BORN.

He Spy.

1930:  SPORTSCASTER AND FOOTBALL STAR FRANK GIFFORD IS BORN.

There's an interesting sidelight to this fact that will pay off later on in this blog entry.  Be patient.

1930:  THE FIRST COLOR SOUND CARTOON "FIDDLESTICKS" IS MADE BY UB IWERKS.

Just love that name...Ub Iwerks.

1933:  ACTRESS JULIE NEWMAR IS BORN.

Still with us...and I hear she's nuts.

1945:  AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT IS MADE ON JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER KANTARO SUZUKI.

Ichiro's dad?

1946:  ACTRESS LESLEY ANN WARREN IS BORN.

My writing partner once found him seated next to her at a theater.   He stared at her.   She changed her seat at intermission.

1948:  BASEBALL STAR BABE RUTH DIES.

He ate a lot of hot dogs, smoke, and drank.   Yeah, that'll kill ya.

1953:  TV PERSONALITY KATHIE LEE GIFFORD IS BORN.

See how that paid off.   Who knew???

1954:  THE FIRST ISSUE OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IS PUBLISHED.

And, in a way, this is also the birth of the bikini.

1956:  ACTOR BELA LUGOSI DIES.

We think.

1960:  JOSEPH KITTINGER PARACHUTES FROM A BALLOON OVER NEW MEXICO, SETTING A RECORD THAT HELD UNTIL 2012 FOR THE HIGHEST FREE FALL AND SPEED BY A HUMAN WITHOUT AN AIRCRAFT.   

The people jumping out of the WTC on 9/11 don't count.

1962:  PETE BEST IS DISCHARGED BY THE BEATLES AND WILL BE REPLACE BY RINGO STARR.

Yeah, John, Paul, George, and Pete didn't have a ring to it.

1966:  THE HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE BEGINS INVESTIGATIONS OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE AIDED THE VIET CONG.

Surprisingly, Trump was not involved in this.

1977:  SINGER ELVIS PRESLEY DIES.

How long will that bathroom be off limits?  I really have to go.

1989:  ACTRESS AMANDA BLAKE DIES.

Miss Kitty succumbed to AIDS transmitted by blood.  Sad.

1998:  ACTOR PHIL LEEDS DIES.

Only a few months ago, I saw him on the "Murphy Brown" set.  You know the face.  He was on every sitcom ever made.
2002:  BASEBALL PLAYER JOHN ROSEBORO DIES.

Not from a bat to the forehead.

2003:  PRESIDENT OF UGANDA IDI AMIN DIES.

Not to be confused with Eydie Gorme who was born on this date.

2008:  THE TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND TOWER IS CHICAGO IS TOPPED OFF AT 1,389 FEET, MAKING IT AT THE TIME THE WORLD'S HIGHEST RESIDENCE ABOVE GROUND LEVEL.

Okay, Mr. Kittinger, you can't jump off this.

Dinner last night:  Dodger Dog at the game.






Tuesday, August 15, 2017

See The Movie, Buy The Soundtrack

Or if gut crunching, neck cracking, knee breaking violence isn't your thing, just buy the soundtrack.   The latter is the best part of "Atomic Blonde" anyway.

We go back to the late 80s when President Reagan has told Gorbachev to "take down that wall."  All mayhem is breaking out just as this is supposed to happen and there's some important government file that has gone missing or perhaps to Russia.  Isn't everything about Russia these days?

Well, Charlize Theron plays a secret agent for either Great Britain, the US, or maybe Lower Slobovia and she is entrusted to get it back.   So off to Germany she goes and there's a sinister Russian hiding behind every corner.   And aren't there always sinister Russians hiding behind every corner these days?  Have no fear.  Theron meets everyone of them with a painful groin kick, a snap of the neck, and, for one unfortunate foe, a set of keys lodged firmly in his cheek.

Naturally, none of this makes any sense just like everything going on with Russia these days.  You are thoroughly confused about who is playing on which team but that I believe is the objective of director David Leitch who adapted this all from some graphic novel I never read.   Wait, have I ever read a graphic novel to begin with?

If this all sounds like a big old thumbs down from me, it's not.   There was something about "Atomic Blonde" that was oddly entertaining to me.  Sure, when you get to the 39th or 40th fight scene, you do think that the violence is excessive.  But something about it in this movie sort of raised it to the type of nastiness you might wind in a Road Runner cartoon.   They're having a lot of pain up on the screen, but you know it's just for fun.   

Of course, as prefaced above, the real star of "Atomic Blonde"...sorry, Charlize...is the wonderful 80s soundtrack with the biggest hits of the decade playing behind all the nonsense.   From Til Tuesday to the late great George Michael to several from the later and greater David Bowie.   The stuff never sounded better than when it was punctuating some scene where Theron was castrating some Russian with her high heel.

And, gee, do we wish we could castrate some Russians these days?

LEN'S RATING:  Three stars for the movie.  Four stars for the soundtrack.

Dinner last night:  Salad.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Morning Video Laugh - August 14, 2017

The dog days of summer.

Dinner last night:  Steak and pan roasted tomatoes with balsamic jam.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Lounging By The Pool

So I just completed a summer week at my Hastings-Yonkers border apartment and things were a little wistful.  I am trying to figure out how much longer I will keep it and boast of this very nice, but growing-more-expensive bi-coastal existence.  Indeed, I had the unit renovated five years ago with the idea of putting it on the market.   You see how far I got.

Yes, it is tougher to afford this luxury today, but I do love having this little oasis in the Lenoir Nature Preserve.   My view from the terrace, which covers the length of the apartment, is nothing but leafy trees in the summer and snow-covered branches in the winter.  What is not to like?

I've had this place for 24 years and, statistically, probably have spent less than ten years of nights there.  I've been there through all sorts of blizzards and heat waves and rainstorms and blackouts.   For the snowy days when I was cooped up there for several days in a row, there was a certain decadence being able to do some laps in the indoor pool downstairs.

As for the outdoor pool shown above, I have not used those facilities since I lived there full time.  But, when I did, I became one of those people.   You know, the lazy summer person who just spent one day after another lounging at the pool.

As a matter of fact, the summer prior to my move west I was down at the pool almost four or five days a week.   I took a lot of time off that year and went into the same robotic mode I bet regular patrons of the Hamptons fall into.   

You know the drill.  Get up in the morning.  Look outside.  Ah, hazy, hot, and humid as only New York weather can be in the summer.   I methodically grabbed my towel and my lounge chair.   Packed the newspaper and my current book and my sun screen and a water bottle and my Walkman (yes, Walkman) and headed down to the pool next to our building.  I was there in five minutes, tops.   Seven minutes if the building custodians were slowing the elevator with a garbage pick-up run.

And then I would be there the whole day.   I would go upstairs at lunchtime to eat a quick sandwich and then back to the chair.

This was the first and only time I ever spent a summer like this.  And it heralded a lot of other firsts.

I finished about ten books over a two month period.   This is an enormous accomplishment for me.

I got the best tan I ever had in my life.

I was in the best shape of my life for some reason.   Why else run around in a bathing suit?

I listened to more current music on local radio stations than I had since I was 12.

I met neighbors I had never seen or barely talked to before.

Most importantly, it was the most relaxed I had ever been in my life.

And it never happened again.   I long for one more summer like that.  Oh, unlikely.   I worry about skin cancer.   I'm not in that same shape anymore. And I stopped listening to current day music a long time ago.

But, still, as I contemplate what to do with my New York apartment, I wonder if there could be one more summer like that.   Doing nothing and not having a care in the world.

Dinner last night:  Szechwan beef at PF Chang's.






Saturday, August 12, 2017

Classic Newsreel of the Month - August 2017

Seventy...and 69 years ago this month.

Dinner last night:  Hamburger at Back on the Beach.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spell Check!!!!












Dinner last night:  Had a long travel day so just some ice cream.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

This Blog Brought to You By.....

Perhaps you have seen them if you have looked closely.   Scroll down to the bottom of this entry.

Yes, this is an advertisement attached to my content and it is part of a small experiment I am trying.

I have done this blog for ten years plus and have never attempted to monetize it.   But something happened last January that made me think....hmmm....

I can see the daily and weekly page views.   Starting at the first of this year, something must have happened behind the scenes at Google because page views went up astronomically.   Moreover, the entries with the greatest amount of play are those with comic photos or videos.   This is certainly not gratifying given those pieces that I write with great care and humor.  But, for whatever reason, I now have huge traffic because people like to see funny signs outside of churches or videos of dogs eating ice cream cones.

So, if they are coming because I built it, why not get a few coins for it?   Realistically, this is not going to be a 401K account.   The page views might pay for my groceries one week of the month.   Admittedly, I have tried to do this in the most inconspicuous way.  

So, yes, that is an ad you see and bear with me.  I will try it out for three months initially as a trail.   Let's see how it goes.

Dinner last night:  BLT sandwich at JP Cunningham's in Mahopac.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This Date in History - August 9

A very busy day in history.   You'll see what I mean.  But, let's start off with a birthday greeting to Anna Kendrick, who's cute and can sing and can act and even has a pretty funny Twitter page.

48 BC:  JULIUS CAESAR DEFEATS POMPEY AT PHARSALUS AND POMPEY FLEES TO EGYPT.

Caesar's always enjoying himself unless, of course, it's March.

1173:  CONSTRUCTION OF THE CATHEDRAL OF PISA BEGINS.  IT IS NOW KNOWN AS THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA.

Who the hell were the workmen on this project?  Moe, Larry, and Curly?

1500:  OTTOMAN-VENETIAN WAR CONTINUES IN MESSENIA.

So, it's footstools versus window blinds?

1810:  NAPOLEON ANNEXES WESTPHALIA AS PART OF THE FIRST FRENCH EMPIRE.

Any word on Eastphalia?

1842:  THE WEBSTER-ASHBURTON TREATY IS SIGNED, ESTABLISHING THE US-CANADA BORDER EAST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.

No wall needed.

1854:  HENRY DAVID THOREAU PUBLISHES WALDEN.

A high school requirement.

1877:  A SMALL BAND OF NEZ PERCE INDIANS CLASH WITH THE US ARMY.

How soon before they are running their own casino?

1892:  THOMAS EDISON RECEIVES A PATENT FOR A TWO-WAY TELEGRAPH.

Dot---dot---dash---dash---dot.

1896:  GLIDER PIONEER OTTO LILIENTHAL HAS A FATAL CRASH.

Paper planes kill.

1899:  AUTHOR P.L. TRAVERS IS BORN.

The author of "Mary Poppins."

1902:  EDWARD VII AND ALEXANDRA OF DENMARK ARE CROWNED KING AND QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.

How the hell did Alexandra manage this?  Greedy little skank.

1927:  ACTOR ROBERT SHAW IS BORN.

We're going to need a bigger cradle.

1930:  BETTY BOOP MAKES HER CARTOON DEBUT.

Boop, boop a doop.

1936:  SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES - JESSE OWENS WINS HIS FOURTH GOLD MEDAL OF THE GAME.

You'd run fast too if you were in Nazi Germany.

1942:  BASEBALL STAR TOMMIE AGEE IS BORN.

Shamsky with Agee...he dives...and makes the catch.

1942:  INDIAN LEADER MAHATMA GANDHI IS ARRESTED IN BOMBAY BY BRITISH FORCES.

Gee, this might make a boring movie some day.

1944:  THE US FOREST SERVICE RELEASES POSTERS FEATURING SMOKEY THE BEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Only you...

1945:  WORLD WAR II - NAGASAKI IS DEVASTATED WHEN US PLANES DROP AN ATOMIC BOMB ON THE CITY.

Somebody's gonna have to clean that up.

1963:  SINGER WHITNEY HOUSTON IS BORN.

Wonder when nurses gave her the first bath.

1963:  PATRICK BOUVIER KENNEDY DIES.

The Kennedy child nobody remembers...because he died.

1969:  CHARLES MANSON AND HIS FAMILY KILL PREGNANT ACTRESS SHARON TATE AND OTHERS AT HER HOME.

I actually know somebody who remembers hearing the screams that night.

1974:  RICHARD NIXON BECOMES THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE US TO RESIGN FROM OFFICE.  VP GERALD FORD BECOMES PRESIDENT.

I told you this was a big day in history.

1979:  DODGER OWNER WALTER O'MALLEY DIES.

And Brooklyn dances.

1985:  ACTRESS ANNA KENDRICK IS BORN.

I still think she's cute.

1995:  MUSICIAN JERRY GARCIA DIES.

Grateful.   Dead.

1999:  RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN FIRES HIS ENTIRE CABINET.

Kind of Trump-like.

2008:  COMIC BERNIE MAC DIES.

Hold the fries.

2014:  ACTOR ED NELSON DIES.

Dr. Michael Rossi of TV's "Peyton Place."

2014:  MICHAEL BROWN, AN 18-YEAR-OLD BLACK MALE, IS SHOT AND KILLED BY A FERGUSON, MISSOURI POLICE OFFICER AFTER ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTING THE OFFICER.

There goes the neighborhood.  In flames.

2015:  FOOTBALL STAR FRANK GIFFORD DIES.

Years ago, Johnny Carson caught him in bed with his wife.   Hi ho.

Dinner last night:  Pepperoni pizza.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Moron of the Month - August 2017

In an American ocean riddled with political predators, Maxine Waters just might be the great white shark.   Or, should I say, great black shark.  No, wait.  I better not.   That's the kind of comment that Maxine would use to call you a racist.

Hey, it takes one to know one.

Frankly, "Auntie" Maxine could be honored here as my monthly moron every thirty days for the next twenty years and it wouldn't be enough for me.   She is the absolute epitome of an uncaring and unresponsive member of Congress.   Sure, most of them are.   This old bag has to be the worst.

If you have lived under a rock (and that makes you lucky with regard to exposure to Ms. Waters), she's represented in the House the area that is mostly south central LA.   You know where all the riots were after Rodney King?   Yep, that would be Maxine's district.  Perfect, right?  Well, of course, she totally defended all that violence and mayhem back in 1994.  Maxine's words back then?

"If you call it a riot, it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason.   I maintain it was somewhat understand, if not acceptable.  A spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice.   There were mothers who took this as an opportunity to take some milk, to take some bread, to take some shoes...they are not crooks."

Uh huh.   Tell that to the poor unsuspecting truck driver who was beaten to a pulp at an intersection.   Did he undergo that brutalization because he had packages of Pampers in his cargo hold?

Maxine's been running that district since the early 90s.   Mostly a hell hole then and a hell hole now.  I hear from people I know who live in her district that she really only responds to constituents if the names "sound Black."  Her major objectives over the past twenty-five or so years has been to keep getting elected. The slob is 78 years old and still trolling around.  All she's really spending her time on these days is constantly yapping about the impeachment of Donald Trump.  And going to New Hampshire which prompts speculation of a possible Presidential run in 2020.   Um, God help us all.   Even if she was the model of a perfect politician, I wouldn't elect somebody who's over 80 years old!!!  Is this mike on?   Can you hear me?

Apparently, there's a good reason for Waters' long Congressional tenure.   The money is apparently good.  Lots and lots of ethics charges filed against her and her family over the years.  Look them up on Google.   You'll be reading for days. But the dough is needed because Maxine has to maintain a four million dollar plus home that's not even remotely in the district she covers.  Heck, the upkeep on those 150 or so Diahann Carroll wigs she always sports must be pricey all by itself.  (And don't you wish you could see what this bitch's real hair looks like?)

Now when she was confronted indirectly about this on some Fox News gabfest, she accused the host of being a racist.   What, Maxine countered?   A Black woman can't be successful in her business holdings?

Nobody said that, Stupid.  Heck, I would question why any politician of any color was living that high on the hog and not even in the district they're supposed to be in touch with.   But, naturally, racism is rampant in Maxine's world.  Yet, from everything I've heard, it's not exactly one sided.

So, as fate would have it, I got up close and personal to Maxine just the other day after I had already written the bulk of this "tribute."   I was on an American flight to JFK from LAX last Thursday and I was dumbfounded to see Waters boarding the same flight.

In first class, of course.  Where she was already having a smart adult beverage at 8AM!!!

So she was headed to NY?  Why?   That's not her office in DC.   Or back at home helping her constituents when she comes out of her mansion.

I already knew she was a jerk.   This all confirmed it.   

Look, I come from the prevailing opinion that most politicians are frauds.  I expect nothing.   When it comes to complete and utter abusers of society and democracy, I expect even less from the likes of Maxine Waters.  

Do they make a bug spray for somebody her size?

Dinner last night:  Meat pizza at the iPic Theater in Dobbs Ferry.