Frank Zappa

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 18, 2012

The first time PG saw the word Zappa, it was on an item at the Poster Hut. It showed a man sitting on a commode, with the words Phi Zappa Krappa rendered above. The poser, Frank Zappa, later said “I’m probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do.”

It was 1969, give or take a bit. FZ was already well known in some hip circles. His band, the Mothers of Invention, played at something called the Cosmic Carnival at Atlanta Stadium, where the music lovers were actually allowed onto the field. PG paid $1.98 for a copy of We’re Only in It for the Money at the Woolco on Buford Hiway. Years later, he would pay $16.00 for a CD of this piece of work.

The records started to come out like clockwork, with or without the Mothers. FZ started to become a star, with an appeal to druggies who fancied themselves intellectual. It should be noted that FZ was notoriously anti drug. His music made fun of the establishment and counterculture with equal glee. FZ was also a capitalist, known to be tight fisted when it came to paying hired hands. He stayed with his second wife, Gail, until his death, and produced four children… Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

The concerts came to town every year or so, and people liked them. A show at the Fox Theater in 1974 may have caught FZ at his peak. PG heard the raves about this show until he bought a ticket for his next show. This was in 1975, at the Municipal Auditorium. PG brought a half pint in with him, and didn’t remember a lot later, except some song about the Illinois Eneman Bandit.

Life goes on. Nine years later, FZ was in legal hell with a former manager, and could only make money by touring. One night, a friend had an extra ticket to a show. PG arrived after the band had started, and FZ was playing a fine guitar solo. This was going to be good.

Only it wasn’t. The rest of the show was social commentary. The man had opinions on everything, and was generous with them. At one point, the band started to sing “He’s so gay”, while a double headed dildo was lowered from the ceiling. PG thinks he heard FZ sing “one day you might be gay too”, but by then it really didn’t matter.

Frank Zappa was many things to many people. He had lots of opinions, which were dutifully recorded by the press. Here are a few .

Rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, in order to provide articles for people who can’t read. // I think that if a person doesn’t feel cynical then they’re out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can’t just swallow it whole. // When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else. // Let’s not be too rough on our own ignorance; it’s what makes America great! // The U.S. is a mere pup tent of a civilization. We’ve got two hundred years of stupidity behind us and we think we’re right up there with everyone else who’s been doing it for thousands of years. // Beauty is a pair of shoes that makes you wanna die. // After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like him! So if we’re dumb, then God is dumb — and maybe even a little ugly on the side. // Remember there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over. // Do you think you are protecting somebody by taking away seven words? // For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973. // If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. // There is no hell. There is only France. // The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. // Children are naïve — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you’re asking for trouble. // People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly ‘strange names’, but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. //

The reviews at Amazon sometimes have insights into the truth about an artist. Here are a few one star reviews of We’re Only in It for the Money.

I just don’t get this October 11, 2010 By Neomorphus “Neomorphus” (Superior, Colorado)
This is unlistenable. I could only get half way through before giving up. Too clever for me.

Put the kettle on June 7, 2006 By Noddy Box (New York)
This high-pitched snit fit might rouse the odd smirk if all you’ve consumed is a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit but on no account listen to it under the influence of anything stronger because then you’re liable to prang right into a hectoring bore who comes off like some renegade member of the school debating team rehearsing his–fnarr fnarr–naughty rhyming rebuttals. Farting around in Edgar Varese’s old corduroys is all well and good but this breathtakingly condescending harangue sounds depressingly like–dear oh dear–social commentary. Jacobs Cream Crackers but is there anything more tedious than windy social commentary set to popular music? And the exhortation to read Kafka in the liner notes? Please Frank, rock stars should never mix their drinks, or at least not so the stitches show. Zappa is much more bearable when he takes his own advice, shuts his cakehole and plays guitar. Like on Hot Rats, where the only vocal is the sublime Beefy on Willie the Pimp and Frank in the kitchen the whole time cooking up a kettle of wordless aural gumbo–a movie for the ears I think he called it, something like that anyway, it’s right there on the sleeve, good description at any rate of one of the authentically crunchy Zappa records. Well he did release over sixty of them after all, I mean he was bound to get it right once or twice, wasn’t he? So toss this turkey on the fire and get yourself out onna porch of the Lido Hotel.

The Doe Family

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 17, 2012


A doe is a female deer. There is also a human Doe family.

John Doe is rather slow. Not much is known about him.

How does a man without an face get in wikipedia?

Sha Dow is a mysterious figure. Why he changed his name, no one knows.

Jane Doe is the ex wife of Sha Dow. She is having an identity crisis.

Juan Doe is undocumented.

Bro Doe is on the down Low.

TaeKwonDoh is the asian of the family. She will kick your ass.

Do Si Doe likes to dance. She thinks being called square as a compliment.

According to science and legend, there was once a bird, the Dodo.

This is doe-doe, not doo doo.

Which will bring us back to Doe.

Peachtree Street 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 16, 2012

PG finished a book, Peachtree Street-Atlanta. The author is William Bailey Williford, and it was published by the University of Georgia Press in 1962. PG found this at the Chamblee library, and this is probably the best way to find this book today.

How this road got the name Peachtree is a good question. Most peaches grow south of the fall line. The story goes that there was a Creek Indian village called Standing Peachtree, located where Peachtree Creek runs into the Chattahoochee. During the war of 1812 Fort Peachtree was built on this site.

There was a trail that ran from Buckhead to an intersection with the Sandtown Trail, at what is now Five Points. A short distance south of this intersection was a settlement known as White Hall. For many years, Peachtree Street south of Five Points was known as Whitehall Road. At some point in the last thirty years, a decision was made to change Whitehall to Peachtree. It did not help the rundown condition of Whitehall Street.

In 1835 Governor Wilson Lumpkin decided that Georgia should build a Railroad that would be centered near the junction of Peachtree Trail and Sandtown Trail. The new town was named “Marthasville”, after the youngest daughter of the Governor. Martha Lumpkin is a resident of Oakland Cemetery today.

The village was soon renamed Atlanta, which was a feminine form of Atlantic. Houses, churches, and businesses were soon built on Peachtree Road. In 1856, Richard Peters built a flour mill. To insure a steady supply of firewood, he bought four hundred acres of land, for five dollars an acre. The land was between Eighth Street, North Avenue, Argonne Avenue, and Atlantic Drive.

Another pioneer citizen with a large landholding was George Washington (Wash) Collier. Mr. Collier bought 202 acres for $150 in 1847. The land was between West Peachtree, Fourteenth Street, Piedmont Road, Montgomery Ferry Road, and the Rhodes Center. Much of the land was used for the development of Ansley Park.

In 1854, Atlanta entertained, for the first time, a man who had been President. On May 2, Millard Fillmore arrived from Augusta on a private rail car.

There was some unpleasantness in 1864, which we will not concern ourselves with.

In 1866, there was a shocking murder. John Plaster was found dead, in an area known as “tight squeeze”. This was an area of shanties, at the present location of Crescent Avenue and Tenth Street. A hundred years later, this was near “the strip”, Atlanta’s hippie district, also called “Tight Squeeze”.

As the nineteenth century rolled along, many mansions were built on Peachtree Street. The road was paved, and streetcars ran up and down. Automobiles came, and came, and came. An expressway was built in the 1950’s, and quickly became obsolete. One by one, the mansions were torn down and replaced with businesses and churches.

The book was written in 1962, when the party was just getting started. The High Museum was known then as the Atlanta Art Association. In June of 1962, a plane full of prominent Atlanta residents crashed in Paris, killing all on board. As a memorial to those people, the Memorial Arts Center on Peachtree, at Fifteenth Street, was built.

Another phenomenon which is not explained by the book is the custom of naming everything here Peachtree. There are countless streets and institutions named for a fruit tree that likes warmer climates. Atlanta has a one street skyline, that stretches from Five Points to Peachtree Dunwoody Road, almost at the city limits. PG lives a quarter mile off Peachtree, in Dekalb County, and has no idea why Peachtree is a magic word.

Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” and The Library of Congress. This is the annual repost. The book Peachtree Street-Atlanta has been reissued by the UGA Press.

Gator A Go Go

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 16, 2012

PG just finished reading Gator A-Go-Go. It is a crime story set in Florida. There are drugs, sex, gangsters, corrupt, incompetent lawmen, and muscle cars. The central figure is Serge Storms, a trouble maker with clever ways to kill people. Someone named Coleman is his sidekick. They drive a ’73 Dodge Challenger, and have an uncertain, though dynamic, source of income.

The story goes around various spring break locations in the Sunshine State. Serge is making a movie about spring break, and does a lot of research. The story never stays in one location for more than a page or two, which is a bit annoying until you get used to it. Just like multi colored posts written in third person. Instead of pictures from chamblee54, GAGG has a cartoon gator peering over the bottom of the page. Alligators don’t play much of a role in this story. The humans have sharper teeth, and duller minds.

Gator A-Go-Go is not great literature. If you are recovering from a twisted knee, and easily amused, it will do. It is cheaper than pain medication. Three reviewers at Amazon gave it one star. Their comments are enlightening.

JUST SAY NO February 11, 2010 Douglas M. Zuccollo “dougiez” (Chicagoland USA)
NO CD…. what’s up with that ???? EASY good-bye Serge ..Good-bye Tim Good-bye Harper Collins and 20 bucks for an audio download …guess my days of donating old CDs to the Veterans Hospital are over … Thanks and Good Luck you greedy PIGS

impossible to read unless you read scripts?
December 26, 2009 willie “roadie” (pineapple park, FL, USA)
i cannot recommend this book as i found it impossible to read for a number of reasons – first, it reads like a TV script converted to a book with the prose infused with stream of consciousness dialect that jumps from thought to scene and back again (there is a lot of conversation, but little in the way of description) – second, only a few paragraphs in the book are longer than one or two sentences – third, disruptive use of onomatopoeia combined with italicizing and exclamation marks… also every chapter is broken up with sometimes bold and sometimes roman sans serif subheads, and use of all caps in the text is liberally used throughout – also, the ‘flip comic book’ animation effect of a gator eating the page numbers did not endear this reader to what is essentially an unreadable book – avoid this stinker

Gater a-go-go December 1, 2009 Isabelle Jolly (El Segundo, CA)
Cute title, huh? Blurb sounds good, too. Said it was a humorous murder mystery. The book opens with some seemingly irrelevant vignettes, and the prologue includes a gruesome murder which occurs after a good dinner. The hostess dons a raincoat, and with guests observing, proceeds to cut off a prisoner’s head with the electric carving knife. You don’t know why or who. Next, four men force their way into a room, gun down 5 students enjoying spring break in Florida, and throw a midget who had been in the bathroom off the balcony on the count of three. Still no explanation. Next, a man who had keyed a car, admittedly very bad behavior, is caught, tied up, and left under a garage door on which razor blades had been glued. The door has been rigged to fall when the sun hits it! The book may have something going for it later, but I couldn’t stomach anymore. I quit reading it at the end of chapter 4. It may get funny later, but much too gruesome for me. I’ve read a lot of murder mysteries, but nothing like this.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 15, 2012

PREAMBLE Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people, Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations, Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge, Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by lawArticle 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association. Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

98 Percent

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 14, 2012

There is a controversy about Catholic orgainizations being required to offer contraceptives as part of health care insurance. This is a rather strange flap, which seems intended to score political points. The non Catholic PG (which should not be confused with PC) has a few thoughts.

PG will never be a Catholic. The business of claiming to believe something, while living your life another way, just does not make sense. Maybe there is a mindset which allows people to be happy with this custom, but it simply does not work for PG.

There is an oft repeated claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control. Get Religion has a festive post about the silliness of this claim. It really doesn’t matter what the numbers are, the point is, a lot of Catholic women are doing what they want to do, and ignoring the Pope.

There is also the issue of employers being responsible for the health care expenses of workers. Many feel that there should be a one payor system, and others feel that individuals should take care of themselves. The concept that an employer should enforce archaic beliefs on their employees private lives is puzzling.

The Catholic Company starts with an ancient text. Men, wearing funny hats, interpret it for the followers. Another text based religion, Islam, is having some weird scenes these days. The birthday of the Prophet was celebrated recently, and Hamza Kashgari decided to send a happy birthday message . The government of Saudi Arabia is not amused, and Mr. Kashgari might die.

It is tough to imagine why these messages are offensive. These are English translations, and the Arabic original may be tougher. Also, it is not known what the clerics were telling the faithful. Once a message starts to “go viral”, it’s meaning can change. PG heard a radio broadcast on the Catholic controversy, where they said the Church was now required to hand out abortion pills.

Jesus and Mo have not discussed the matter of the forbidden tweets. (Rumor has it that the barmaid thinks Mr. Kashgari is cute.) They did post a sign this week…We politely request that you refrain from laughing at and/or joking about our religious beliefs.

Pictures today are from the Atlanta Beltline, taken November 11, 2009.

Probably Not Lady Gaga

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 13, 2012

There is a dandy feature at 99% Invisible now about US postal service stamps. Stamps are many things… collectables, miniature works of art, a cost of doing business. 99pi talks to some of the people who determine what image will be on your mail.

The USPS receives thousands of stamp suggestions every year. They must be submitted by US mail. (The USPS despises the expression snail mail.) There are lots of rules and guidelines, which should surprise no one. First you had to be dead twenty years, then ten years, then five years, before you could have your picture on a stamp. Soon, the USPS will announce the first living person to be honored with a stamp. It probably will not be Lady Gaga, even though the curator likes her music.

Collectors buy stamps, and then do not use the service of mail delivery. This makes collectible stamps a profit center.

One of the most popular stamps in recent years has been one for breast cancer research. It cost an extra eight cents, and has raised millions of dollars. It has avoided the lawyers of the Susan G. Komen foundation in two ways. The color pink is not used, and the stamp says “a cure” instead of “the cure”.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress

Why Telephone Keypads Are Different From Computer Keypads

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 13, 2012

It is a question for the ages…why do telephones have 123 on the top row of the keypad, while computers have 789? The best answer is , we don’t know.

Calculator/computer keypads were an improvement on cash registers. These devices had a matrix of buttons, with the 9 row on top. The row at the far right had single digits, and the row next to them had digits ending in one zero. To ring up a sale for $1.95, you had to push 100, 90, and 5. This evolved into the adding machine configuration of three rows of three buttons, with 0 on the bottom row and 789 on the top row.

When we got started, the telephone used a dial. 1 was at the top, and 0 was at the bottom. The early phone systems used letters as part of the phone number. The first three letters of the seven digit code were two letters and five numbers. (This is what PG remembers from childhood. It may have been different before then).

The two letters referred to an exchange, or part of town where the number was located. The two letters referred to a word. An example would be PG’s grandmother. Her number was TR2 2345. The TR stood for Trinity. Many numbers in midtown Atlanta still start with 87.

In the sixties, ma bell started to develop a keypad to use for what were then called push button phones. In a break with the adding machine tradition, the numbers 123 went on the top row. There are a few ideas why this is, but nothing is certain.

In the early days, the phone switching equipment was not as fast as today. Some thought that by switching the numbers to the top of the keypad, people would have to slow down a bit to “dial” the number. This answer does not make sense to those of us who have grown up with these keypads, and who learned to punch in numbers fast, no matter what system is used. (Anyone using a rotary phone, after getting used to touch tone, is shocked at how slow it is.)

Another concept is the phone company wanting to model the new keypad after the dial phones. This would mean putting the 1 at the top, and 0 at the bottom. Also, with the letters assigned to each number, it would make a lot more sense to have 123/abc def ghi on the top row.

It was suggested that the calculator keypad was patented in the 789-on-top format. Western Electric did not want to pay royalties on this important piece of equipment, so it designed another one. There is also the thought that the calculator was on a desk shelf, where the lower numbers should be at the bottom of the keypad. At the same time, the telephone was on the lower part of the desk, and having 123 on top would be easier to use.

This is a repost. This comment was left on facebook, after the first post.

I won’t pretend to know exactly their reasons, but I will say that I can see some logic in doing it this way. In a numerical context (calculator/computer), you’d want zero next to one, which is where it is in the number sequence. However on… a telephone, 0 has a special meaning: call the operator (at least, it used to mean this).

The guys at Bell Labs took this into consideration when they implemented the “touch tone” or DTMF dialing system. Old style pulse dialing was annoying because it would literally send a pulse for each number (two pulses for two, nine pulses for nine, etc). I meant larger numbers took longer. To change this, and also in anticipation of the fact that eventually phones would be connected to computers, they instead put all the numbers on a grid with each row and column assigned a unique frequency. Each key on the pad combined the two frequencies to produce a tone. In order to accommodate ten numbers, you need a grid of at least 4X3, which they actually increased to 4×4 because they wanted some additional tones (A-D) for extra network functionality. Given these constraints, I feel like their final design is inevitable:
1 2 3 A
4 5 6 B
7 8 9 C
* 0 # D

Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 12, 2012

PG just used up 101 minutes of his life watching Slacker. The first movie in the machine was “The Women”, but the copy kept skipping around the screen. It might have settled down, and it might have gotten worse, but PG figures that is another 25 cents he should have spent on something else.

Slacker is a movie about life in Austin TX. It is populated by people who talk in monologs, with no concern for the person who is listening. There are a lot of people like that loose in the world, with notions about John Kennedy, space invaders, the gynecology of Madonna, war, peace, taxis, police, and the sum total of reality. The thing about a movie like this is, you can hit stop at any time.

The movie goes from one monolog into another. A woman is caught shoplifting, and a girl walks by. She says to her old man companion that the shoplifter was in her ethics class. The old man tells a story of something he saw in Paris one time, while he walks across the parking lot of the store. They go past a billboard… Ron Paul, Libertarian for Congress.

Another movie from this extended weekend was Raising Arizona. It is over the top, makes no sense at all, and is a lot of fun. When PG put it on, he was in bad shape. The knee hurt, and the future looked bad. Raising Arizona was the sort of escapist nonsense that can pick up your spirits from a low point.

Pictures today are from Gwinnett County. PG is getting tired of this, and is probably going to take a break. If he decides to start collecting mug shots, they will be waiting for him.

66.6 Minutes Of Air Time Left

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 11, 2012

The weekend got off to a bad start. PG though a step down was 18″, and turned out to be 27″. When he landed on his right foot, his knee twisted into an uncomfortable position. He spent most of Thursday reading and going to bed early.

There was a pair of crutches, left over from a knee episode in 1988. They had been a tough item to store, and had been in the way several times. NEVER throw a pair of crutches awy.

You take walking freely for granted. You forget what it is like to plot every step, and figure out how to get by. You learn that plastic bags fit over crutch handles, and can carry things. Later, you learn that some tupperware containers do not seal all that well. Plastic bags are disposable.

Some friends were having a party friday night. PG had helped with the preparations, and was going to throw a costume together, and have a good time. Instead, PG saw Free Jack, a 1992 movie starring Mick Jagger. Some scenes of this were filmed downtown, and PG was working in the Healey Building at the time. Free is supposed to be set in dystopic New York of 2009. It had nuns, and high tech shoot em up…in other words, a good substitute for the party.

Saturday, the knee was feeling better. PG decided to go see Dr. Xu. (The Doraville office had been closed Friday). PG explained what had happened, and the Doctor led him into a 7″x9″ treatment room. PG lay down on a table, and needles were stuck in his leg. A heat lamp was turned on, and two of the needles connected to a little white box. Soon, PG could feel a current going through his knee. The Doctor left, to go attend to other things.

The cell phone went off. PG did not know if it was safe to talk on a portable phone, while having electricity pumped into his leg. The Doctor came in, and told him it was ok. When the message from the call center was over, PG had 66.6 minutes of air time left.

PG stayed in the treatment room for what seemed like a long time. Finally, the Doctor came in, and pulled the needles out. He put a plaster on the knee, said to apply heat to it, and come in tomorrow.

At some time or another, PG bought a heating pad. The trouble was finding where he had put it. His brother, GP, found one on top of a box of Christmas decorations.

PG hadn’t written anything for a day or so, but was feeling lazy. The first movie he picked skipped around the screen. The second movie was All About Eve. Margo smoked and smoked, but never flicked an ash. When PG was finished, he cranked up the computer, and found out that Whitney Houston had died.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 9, 2012

One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to G-d, “G-d, I have a problem!”
“What’s the problem, Eve?”
“G-d, I know you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and that hilarious comedic snake, but I’m just not happy.”
“Why is that, Eve?” came the reply from above.
“G-d, I am lonely, and I’m sick to death of apples.”
“Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you.”
“What’s a man, G-d?”
“This man will be a flawed creature, with many bad traits. He’ll lie, cheat, and be vain and glorious; all in all, he’ll give you a hard time. But…he’ll be bigger, faster, and will like to hunt and kill things. He will look silly when he’s aroused, but since you’ve been complaining, I’ll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won’t be too smart, so he’ll also need your advice to think properly.”
“Sounds great,” says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow. “What’s the catch, G-d?”
“Well… you can have him on one condition.”
“What’s that, G-d?”
“As I said, he’ll be proud, arrogant, and self-admiring… So you’ll have to let him believe that I made him first. Just remember, it’s our little secret…You know, woman to woman.”
Somebody else wrote the story. Pictures are from The Library of Congress

World Star Hip Hop

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on February 8, 2012

There is a video making the rounds. It shows a young man getting roughed up on McDaniel Street, and has caused quite a fuss. The entertainment was posted on World Star Hip Hop,

WSHH appears to be an urban YouTube. It has a twitter feed, facebook page, and Candy, home of the World Star Hiphop Freaks. WSHH is full of advertising, with McDonalds, ATT, the free credit score players, and much more.

There are a lot of videos here. There are 339 pages of videos, and PG was counting the videos on page one. He got to 37 rows, of three videos each, when a screen popped up. It seems like the antivirus works had prevented something from coming in. While PG would like to share the splendor of WSHH with you, testing the limits of antivirus protection is asking for too much.

The viral epic, shot in Jack City, was posted on February 6. It is no longer listed with the rest of the videos recruited that day. We cannot tell who submitted it. The police might have had a chat with the autuer by now. There was one Oscar caliber performance, My Pussy feels like Jesus.

Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”


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