Cat Furniture Part Three

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 31, 2011

This is a rendering of Cat’s Cradle. Parts one and two are previously published. Pictures are from The Library of Congress . The picture of the Ambassador is from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”
24- what a wampeter is Mr. Vonnegut published a book of speeches, articles, and short stories once. It was called Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons . PG got a copy at a flea market, as part of a boxed set, including Slaughterhouse-Five and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. In WF&G, Mr. V observes that many writers make more money by giving a speech than they do by writing a book. PG did not read much more of WF&G, and is uncertain what all those goofy concepts really mean.
25- the main thing about Dr. Hoenikker In this chapter, we learn that Dr. Hoenikker was interested in truth, or so the administrative flack says. The word truth is a conundrum. It is like those round things called a globe. They have bodies of water, and masses of land, and purport to tell the truth about the earth. However, they are always shown with the northern hemisphere on top. The majority of the people on this planet live in the northern half. However, if you were to see this planet from outer space, you would be likely to see it from other angles, and the southern hemisphere would be just as likely to be on top. Maybe truth depends on what angle you are looking in from.

26- what G-d is Miss Naomi Faust says that G-d is love, no matter what Doctor Felix Hoenikker thought. This phrase spelled backward is evol si d-G, which almost would make more sense if you changed the o to i, saying evil yes dog. When PG lived in the attic apartment, most of his white neighbors had dogs, and in one way or another the dogs were all problems. While some say that dog is nam’s best friend, PG has his doubts. PG does not agree with everything people say about G-d either, especially fictional characters from 52 years ago.

27- men from mars Dr. Hoenikker liked to photograph cannonballs stacked up in front of courthouses. There is a building on Marietta Street where a bunch of cannonballs are stacked up in pyramid fashion. They have been welded together so they reamain in this shape, and greedy passersby don’t take one home. Cannonballs are much more pleasant when they are not used to kill people, unless it is a Yankee.

28- mayonnaise The other time PG did this render by chapter thing, the model book was “Trout Fishing In America”, The last chapter of TFIA is “The mayonnaise chapter”, and the last word is mayonnaise. Richard Brautigan did not like hippies, drank too much, and came to an unhappy end. Maybe he should have stuck to fancy ketchup.

29- gone, but not forgotten PG copped free tickets to see Neil Young once. The show was at the Omni, and there were lots of unsold seats. A man stood out in front of a radio station office, and had a shoebox full of tickets. Neil Young ( who is just as ugly as Neal Boortz) did a song about rust that night. There was a line…”the king is gone but he’s not forgotten, this is the story of johnny rotten.” .

30- only sleeping When in Ilium, do as the Iliuminati do. Dr. and Mrs. Hoenikker are buried in Ilium. The Mrs. has a hunk of marble 20 feet tall, with poems by her two older children. The marker for the Doctor is a forty centimeter cube, This was in his will. Forty centimeters is 1 9/16″. The monuments were financed by the Nobel Prize.

31 another breed The man who carves headstones in Ilium is Marvin Breed, the brother of Asa Breed. When PG was seven years old, his next door neighbor was Marvin Murphy. He wore undershirts with the straps over the shoulder, which is called tank top today,but was not fashionable in 1961. Marvin Murphy smoked cigars, and chewed Red Man tobacco. Every few minutes, he would go out the back door, stand on the landing, and spit.

32- Dynamite Money Dr. Hoenikker won the Nobel Prize. The prize was financed by Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite. Mr. Nobel was reading a newspaper one day, after his brother had died, and the newspaper got the facts wrong. The obituary said ” The merchant of death is dead”, and reported that Alfred had met his maker. The chemist Nobel was concerned about how posterity would view him, and set up a trust with his fortune, to be paid out to people who won his prize. It is not likely that a scientist, working on the atomic bomb, won the Nobel Peace Prize. However, the Nobel Peace Prize is not what it used to be.

33- an ungrateful man Marvin Breed was not a fan of Felix Hoenikker. This is not uncommon in history. For every great man, there is a mere mortal who thinks the annointed one is a son of a bitch. Even Jesus managed to get people so mad at him that…you know the rest of the story. Getting back to Iliuminati, there were rumors that Asa Breed was the secret bf of Emily Hoenikker. There are 94 chapters left, both in the book, and in the PG notes.

34 -vin-dit During the conversation with Marvin Breed, John asks about a certain carved headstone in the shop. It turns out a man ordered it for his wife, and then got robbed. The Breed family was fond of this stone, and refused to sell it. John took a close look at the stone, and saw that the name carved on it was the same as John’s last name. PG promises to tell the last name of John when it is revealed in the book. People named John need a last name, preferably one that isn’t Jones or Smith. PG, by contrast, was named Cam by his well meaning parents. After 56 years of explaining his name whenever introduced, PG now uses Luther, his first name.

35 -Hobby Shop The oldest son of Dr. Hoenikker was named Franklin. He was a weirdo, just like the rest of the family. Franklin made models, and went to Florida after his father died. Franklin had the bad fortune to get involved with a criminal operation, and is widely believed to be deceased. PG has a sense that F-H ( no middle name has been assigned yet) is going to appear at some point in this tale. And no, when PG refers to Mary’s babydaddy as G-d, he does not imply that Mr. Dammit has a middle name. That is just how some people spell G-d. PG tries not to think about G-d too much, which requires great concentration in the Jesus happy United States.

36- meow John made a foolish mistake. When he left for Ilium, he let a poet stay in his apartment. The man did not appreciate the kindness, and returned it by trashing the apartment. The poet must have been a jesus worshiper. John should forgive him.

37- a modern major general John finds an advertisement for the republic of San Lorenzo, which will prove vital to the plot of this book. The word modern is used sarcastically, which is perhaps the best way to use this word. Modern implies that something is up to date, the state of the art. Once modern was seen as a good thing, then the avant garde took over, and then retro was the rage. We are in a post modern age, where we look back to see if we have indeed lost its way. Or perhaps, the best use of M word was a band that PG used to hear about. The band was the modern mannequins.

38- barracuda capital of the world The ad sang the praises of San Lorenzo, although if karaoke had been invented this melody would not be a hit. It seems that one of the founding fathers of this island delight was Frank Hoenikker, the wayward son of the atom bomb scientist. He is the blood son of Felix Hoenikker, although the path to glory is not yet spelled out. You have to have mysteries to keep those pages turning.

39- fata morgana In 1966, the Braves had been in Atlanta a year and a half, and had stunk. They lost more games than they won, and the thrill of major league baseball in a commode shaped stadium was wearing thin. One afternoon, a third baseman named Clete Boyer was at bat. A young lady got out of the stands, ran up to home plate, and gave Clete Boyer a big kiss. She was gently arrested and led off by the police. The lady was an exotic dancer named Morganna, the wild one. She was appearing in a nightclub on Peachtree Street at Broad Street. It was downtown, upstairs from a Krystal. The aroma of dried onions on the grill wafted upstairs, to the bar where Morganna, the wild one, performed.

40- house of hope and mercy San Lorenzo had characters, and a few plots. A man named Julian Castle gave up being a playboy to build a hospital, the house of hope and mercy. Shirley and goodness left mercy for greener pastures, and soon all she had was hope. Alas, Bob Hope was another celebrity who was beloved by millions and found boring by those who knew him best. Soon, Vietnam would come along, and his show would be booed by the servicemen ordered to attend. He sold his share in this hospital…which was nothing but a tax gimmick anyway…to some religious fanatic.

41-a karass built for two John is on a plane to San Lorenzo, to interview Julian Castle, or maybe his idiot son. There are a lot of idiot sons in this story, and most of the dads aren’t too bright either. His first two companions are the ambassador to San Lorenzo and his wife. An anagram for ambassador is mad ass boar. There used to be a restaurant downtown called the Ambassador, or maybe Buckhead.

Peachtree Creek Trails

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 30, 2011

PG saw a notice on Facebook about a new trail by Peachtree Creek. . There was going to be something going on Sunday afternoon, and at 1:00 pm he was at the starting place.

The first part of the day was a trail clean up. The “meadow trail” is a loop, off Lindbergh Drive, just before you go under the freeway. Plastic bags were handed out, and the people walked down the trail until it reached Peachtree Creek. This area was prone to floods, and garbage was in the trees as much as ten feet above the water. PG filled a couple of bags, and walked back to the start to get more.

There were two ladies looking at plans. One introduced herself to PG, giving the name of her friend. She then introduced the real owner of that name, and told PG her name. PG is bad with names, and cannot remember either one. The first lady encouraged PG to take a break from cleaning up and walk down the other side of the path, which loops back around to join the cleanup.

PG walked down the right side of the loop, until it went under the the freeway. The underside of the big road was populated with huge chunks of granite, which is not easy to walk on. PG made it past one set of highway, and turned around.

This neighborhood is highway happy. The first big road…the one PG walked under…is now known as the Spring-Buford connector. It is the original I85, and is now used as an access road. The regular I85 passes by, in it’s twelve lane glory. A bit south, by the site of the second trail, is the place where highway 400 joins I85. The land for the meadow trail is owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation, and was possibly intended for an extension of highway 400 south of I85. That road was a center of controversy, and was never built.

Walking back on the loop, PG easily filled a bag with garbage. When he got to the start of the cleanup, the lady said she was leading a hike on a trail nearby. PG followed her to the trail head of hike number two. They were joined by some people, and led by two patient dogs. The trail starts across the creek from the end of Faulkner Drive, a warehouse road off Cheshire Bridge. In a warehouse, about 100 yards from the trail head, volunteers were painting decorations for the Intergalactic Love Affair.

The trail is on an access road the City built to facilitate an expansion of the sewer system. There were some silt fences, which blocked the view of the creek. The path was in fairly good shape, although what will happen when plants start growing is anyone’s guess.

After a little while, the path went under the three branches of freeway. When the big I85 was built, PG remembers the rows of concrete beams. rising out of the ground like cement lollipop sticks. Now this path goes underneath this, including an empty space with impressive grafitti. One of the paintings was a self portrait, of a graffiti artist. PG stayed behind to photograph the spraypaint, and missed the commentary on the trail. One section had a thin shaft of light landing on the ground, below the painting, which was an excellent way to light the pictures.

The trail came to an abrupt halt, across the creek from apartments off Lindbergh Drive. This is near the confluence, where the south fork of Peachtree Creek meets the north fork. The meadow trail is off the north fork; trail number two is on the south fork. To the right, Highway 400 roars into I85.

The trail head, across from Faulkner Drive, is not intended to be the end of the trail. There is a wildlife refuge on the other side of Cheshire Bridge road. There are two alternatives to joining the sections. One is to build a bridge over the creek, and take the path on the concrete of Faulkner Drive. The second is to buy land easements from people by the creek, and extend the path on the north side of the creek. The plan is to have the neighborhood vote on how to proceed.

Half A Million Strong

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 29, 2011

PG has read “The Road To Woodstock” by Micheal Lang, ghostwritten by Holly George-Warren. Mr. Lang was one the the producers of the Woodstock music and arts festival in 1969. It is quite a story.

Mr. Lang was a Brooklyn kid, who got turned onto the counterculture in 1959. When he decided that college was not for him, he did what Jews do…he moved to Miami. Before long, he owned a head shop, and was promoting a rock festival. The Miami Pop Festival, in 1968, featuring Jimi Hendrix and a big rainstorm, was sort of a success. Micheal Lang was back in New York soon.

Mr. Lang met Artie Kornfield, who was in the recording business. They started to talk about ventures, and had an idea for a recording studio in Upstate New York. They met some guys with capital, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman. The four of them became Woodstock Ventures. Somewhere along the way, a music festival in the country got started.

Back to 2010, with PG waiting to talk to someone at the Department of Labor. A book is a handy companion in a waiting room. He brought a notepad along.

PG is reading a memoir about the Woodstock festival, and it is a gold mine of trivia. Did anyone know that Joan Baez was pregnant? Jim Morrison would not appear because he was afraid of an on stage assassination. The promoters kept Pete Tomnsend up until 8am to convince him to play. When it finally went off, the Who followed Sly and The Family Stone.

In Woodstock, the town of Walkill kicked out the festival, and, with a few weeks to go, they met Max Yasgur. Max rented the farm to 50k. This was the same price that David Selznick paid to Margaret Mitchell for GWTW.

Bethel approved the festival July 21, one day after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. The festival was August 15-17.

The Jeff Beck Group cancelled, when Rod Stewart quit the band to join Faces.

PG got his business done at the DOL, and the festival on Yasgur’s farm went off. There was a lot of chaos and ignorance, but good will saw the thing through. The first act to perform was Richie Havens. He was playing an acoustic set while the electric PA was set up, and was not allowed to leave the stage. Finally he ran out of material, and just started to say the word Freedom and jam. This is what appeared in the movie.

PG saw Richie Havens in 1974, at a nightclub in Atlanta called Richards. Havens played a Guild guitar, which he strummed, hard, across the front of the instrument. He would wear holes in the front of his guitar, which apparently did not last for more than a show or two. The crowd…this was the second show of the evening, starting at 2am…kept yelling for Freedom.

Back to the dairy farm. The story is familiar by now…it was a free concert, they ran out of food, and tie dye was perfected. Abbie Hoffman jumped on the stage during the Who, and Pete Townsend hit him upside the head with a guitar. Stephen Stills did not need a laxative.

After Jimi Hendrix played the final set, the crowds went home, and the workers wanted to get paid. A series of meetings took place to settle the business end of the festival. Lang and Kornfield were bought out, and Roberts and Rosenman owned the franchise.

The Woodstock festival was a milestone of sorts. Richard Nixon was new to the Presidency, and the war in Vietnam was going strong. The moratorium in the fall of 1969 was the high water mark of the anti war movement. Soon,the government started to withdraw troops, and look for “peace with honor”. And so on and so forth. The sixties were too beautiful to live, and too profitable to die.

Pictures are from “Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. They are from 1969 ( give or take a bit) in Atlanta, GA. This is a repost.

Kids Do The Darndest Things

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 28, 2011

When PG was in grammar school, there was a popular TV show called “House Party”, hosted by Art Linkletter. At the end of the show, Mr. Linkletter interviewed some children, who said cute things. There was a popular book based on this, “Kids Say the Darndest Things! “ “.

Some of these kids get older, and become “senior officials” in governments. Unlike the house party kids, they do not show a face on camera. They say the darndest things.

Egypt is in turmoil now. Her neighbor, and ally, Israel, is watching with concern. An American media outlet interviewed a “senior official…who spoke on condition of not being identified by name or portfolio,” “But while it may be more efficient to deal in with a strongman in Cairo — Mubarak has ruled for 30 years — and a king in Amman, democracies make better neighbors, “because democracies do not initiate wars,”.

This might come as a surprise to the people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. But then, some say the United States is not a democracy, but a republic. Maybe that is the difference.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Dirty Thirty

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 28, 2011

1. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov
2. “As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.” ~Rhys Alexander 3. “Whether or not you write well, write bravely.” ~Bill Stout (ed. note: I don’t think these are mutually exclusive but I appreciate the sentiment) 4. “Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.'” ~Jef Mallett 5. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” ~Anaïs Nin
6. “Sometimes a flat-footed sentence is what serves, so you don’t get all writerly: ‘He opened the door.’ There, it’s open.” ~Amy Hempel 7. “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” ~James Thurber8. “Write about what you know and care deeply about. When one puts one’s self on paper — that is what is called good writing.” ~Joel Chandler Harris 9. “Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.” ~Ezra Pound 10. “Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” ~David Eddings 11. “Revision is one of the true pleasures of writing. I love the flowers of afterthought.” ~Bernard Malamud 12. “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~Gloria Steinem 13. “Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.” ~Jules Renard 14. “The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.” ~Isaac Bashevis Singer 15. “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance.” ~Alexander Pope 16. “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” ~Gene Fowler 17. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” ~Anaïs Nin 18. “The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.” ~John Steinbeck 19. “I have been correcting the proofs of my poems. In the morning, after hard work, I took a comma out of one sentence…. In the afternoon I put it back again.” ~Oscar Wilde 20. “I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.” ~P.G. Wodehouse 21. “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” ~Oscar Wilde 22. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” ~ Mark Twain 23. “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin 24. “We writers dream of a future where actors are mostly computer generated and their performances can be adjusted, by us, on a laptop, alone.” ~Tina Fey 25. “Anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer.” ~Harlan Ellison 26. “A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.” ~Baltasar Gracián 27. “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E. L. Doctorow 28. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” ~Isaac Asimov 29. “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired to write at 9 o’clock every morning.” ~Peter De Vries 30. “Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.” ~Margaret Atwood 31. “I’m an avid collector of quotes. They’re cheaper than vintage records, don’t take up as much space as a retro lunch box collection, and unlike most other tchotchkes, have the potential to keep those creativity juices flowing.”~ Urban Muse 32. HT to DailyPost. Thank you Urban Muse. Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. chamblee54 regrets the omission of a George Bernard Shaw quote in this collection.

Post A Day 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 28, 2011

The folks at WordPress have a new site, called Daily Post . No, this is not Wilbur’s kid brother. We don’t know if DP talks to horses or not.

The idea is to encourage people to post something everyday. This was the concept behind NaBloPoMo. This is a good idea, with a flawed execution. The name sounds very much like NAMBLA. The mailing list is the hotel california…once you get on it, you never leave. PG blogged every day for November 2008, said it was a good time, but there is more to life.

So now WordPress is doing the same thing, and PG is signing up. Do we see a disconnect here? Maybe. PG knows deep down that there will be days when he doesn’t get a post on the innertubes. Occaisonally, PG goes out of town, sometimes to places the internet does not reach. He sometimes gets work, and doesn’t feel up to writing stuff when he gets home. On the other hand, maybe someone else can be encouraged or supported by the effort here.

Here is the comment to Daily Post:
I didn’t learn about this until today. I have missed three days so far this year, but had more than one post on several other days. I was in something called nablopomo a couple of years ago. It was gimmicky, and sounded like nambla. I would hope that the WordPress version is better.
The more I write, the more I find to write about. If you keep the quantity up, the quality takes care of itself. Like Grandpa Walton said to John Boy, you are not a writer when you say you are writer. You are a writer when someone else says you are a writer.

The theme of chamblee54 is pretty pictures and ugly opinions. The pictures have little to do with the text. I got a telephone message today from a friend who said he enjoyed pictures of dogs and children, when I am writing about horrible subjects. Maybe I can post some inspiring text, and have horrible pictures to go with it.

I am glad to have this site as a source of ideas. There are always going to be days when I can’t think of anything to say, and there is nothing good to repeat. ( I make frequent use of my archive. The best way to do reposts is on the same day as the original.)

And so it goes. I can’t promise I will have something up every day, but I will on most days.  chamblee54

The world is full of things to write about, some of them entertaining and/0r educational. There is no shortages of pictures. The historic databases are formidable, and new pictures are just a click away. Or, pictures can be repeated. Pictures for this effort are from The Library of Congress

The Second Great Flood

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 27, 2011

Somewhere in his drifting around the internet, PG found a reference to the story of Noah and the Ark. A light bulb above his head switched on, and the answer was apparent: Global warming is the second great flood.

In the Biblical story, G-d was upset with the way man was doing things. She gave Noah a heads up, who was ridiculed by the good citizens of the day. Finally, it rained forty days and forty nights, and everyone except Noah got wet.

In the modern version, G-d sees man making a wasteland of the bountiful planet. An amazing resource like oil is controlled by hateful tyrants, and burned to make cars run. The signs of dis ease are apparent to some, but they are ridiculed by the good citizens of the day.

This time, things are different. Instead of forty days and forty nights, it is two hundred years of burning fossil fuels. It is a time of war, and rumors of war. This is a repost.

Foolish Law

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 26, 2011

In 1994, there was starting to be controversy about the Georgia State Flag . PG went to the microfilm files at the downtown library to investigate certain claims about the origin of this flag. Along the way, he saw a few things about the way Georgia government operated in 1956.

One of the things that caught his eye was a bill that was introduced to the Legislature. The bill would make it a felony to support integration. Laws that don’t make sense are proposed all the time.

There is currently a bill before the Georgia Legislature that deals with immigration. It is similar to the law in Arizona that has stirred up so much controversy. The proposed law here goes one step beyond.

“The bill also creates criminal penalties for any individual that encourages an illegal alien to come to Georgia or that transports or harbors an illegal alien once they arrive.”

And Marta thinks they have problems now. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The Death Of Capital Punishment

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 26, 2011

The execution of Emmanuel Hammond was delayed by the Supreme Court last night. If the state had waited a few minutes, he could have had a midnight ride. The delay was caused by concerns over sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs used in the procedure.

It seems like the Italian producer of sodium thiopental does not want the substance used for executions. Georgia copped a supply from a British company, Dream Pharma. Apparently, it is ok for the State of Georgia to get a barbiturate from a third party source, and import it to the United States. If PG wanted to have a party (instead of an execution), imported hard drugs from a British source, and got caught, he would be in a lot of trouble. Being a government has it’s privileges.

The concept of offing condemned criminals by injecting stuff originated in Oklahoma. The electric chair needed repairs, and the state needed a new method for killing. A three drug protocol was proposed by Chief Medical Examiner, A. Jay Chapman. The first person to be dispatched with this method was David Gregory, in Huntsville TX on December 7, 1982.

One of the problems is the fact that many medical professionals refuse to participate in this procedure. Many executions are performed by prison personnel, who don’t know what they are doing. Dr. Chapman was quoted as saying “It never occurred to me when we set this up that we’d have complete idiots administering the drugs.” There are a few horror stories.

February 5th 2006 Joseph Lewis Clark, Ohio. Prison staff took 22 minutes to initially insert a single IV line, but Clark’s vein collapsed 3-4 minutes later and he raised his head and cried out “It don’t work. It don’t work.” It took the execution team a further half hour to find another vein and he was eventually pronounced dead 90 minutes after the execution had begun.
December 13th, 2006. Angel Nieves Diaz, Florida. Diaz took 34 minutes to die and required a second injection when the needle went through his vein rather than into it. His arms showed burn marks from the chemicals.
March 10th, 1992. Robyn Lee Parks. Oklahoma. Parks had a violent reaction to the drugs. Two minutes after the drugs were administered, the muscles in his jaws, neck, and abdomen began to react spasmodically for approximately 45 seconds. Parks continued to gasp and violently gag. Death came 11 minutes after the drugs were administered. Wayne Greene a reporter on the Tulsa World newspaper described Park’s execution as looking “scary and ugly.”.
April 23rd, 1992. Billy Wayne White. Texas. It took 47 minutes for the prison staff to find a suitable vein, and White eventually had to help them.

A legal challenge to execution by Lethal Injection went to the Supreme Court.
In the state of Kentucky, condemned inmate Ralph Baze, successfully appealed against the use of lethal injection on the grounds that it was a “cruel and unusual punishment” which is therefore unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment. His case was heard by the Supreme Court on January 7th, 2008. On Wednesday, April 15th, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled by a majority of 7-2 that lethal injection does not violate the US Constitution by inflicting cruel and unusual punishment, which cleared the way for executions to resume in 2008. As a result of the earlier ruling, there were no executions in the US from September 25th, 2007 to May 5th, 2008. The Supreme Court ordered the release of the Kentucky protocol for lethal injection which can be read here . Kentucky uses the same three drug cocktail that most other states use and has carried out two executions by injection, both of which appeared to go smoothly. (Eddie Harper in May 1999 and Marco Alan Chapman in 2008).
With sodium thiopental becoming unavailable, states need to find a new sedative to kick off the process. Oklahoma is once again the national innovator. On December 16, 2010, Oklahoma wasted John David Duty using 5 grams of Phenobarbital sodium.

The Kentucky protocol , the method of lethal injection execution approved by the Supreme Court, specifies the use of Sodium Thiopental. Is the use of another sedative permitted? No doubt defense attorneys are filing motions saying no. This will  provide fodder for legal gymnastics over the next few years. Capital punishment is a jobs program for attorneys.

In the preparation of this post, Mr. Google supplied two articles which were generous with facts. Both should be read by anyone interested in these issues. The New York Times Sunday magazine has a slightly sensational approach, which perhaps exaggerates the clumsiness of the execution industry. A website called Capital Punishment U.K. has a clinical approach. (Here is the contents page. ) Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

Cat Furniture Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 25, 2011

This journey was funneled by Cat’s Cradle. Here is Part one.
9- Vice President in charge of volcanoes John goes to Ilium, NY, to work on his book. This is a fictitious city, that appears in many Vonnegut visions. The concept of an imaginary city, with imaginary police, garbage collectors, and village idiot, is much beloved by lawsuit conscious publishers.
10- Secret Agent x-9 John gets drunk with a whore in this chapter. She went to school with Franklin Hoenikker, but didn’t know him. Alcohol facilitates conversation on a wide range of subjects, which makes retired drunks wonder what to talk about. This is usually better than wondering how to explain away something foolish you have said.

11-Protein The mad scientist Hoenikker was supposed to talk at the graduation of the whore’s class. He didn’t show up, so the bartender talks about the meaning of life. It has something to do with protein. The titles of the chapters were supposed to be lower case, but there is a strong instinct to make the first letter of the first word capitals. That is capital with an a. The only word which has an o in capitol is a government building downtown, the state capitol. You know this because the capitol building has a rotunda, which is round like an o.

12- End of the world delight John and the whore, whose name is Sandra, are still in the bar, when an ancient bartender comes over to tell John about the scene in this bar on August 6, 1944. The ancient bartender had a nose like a prize strawberry. In the story the bar is the Cape Cod Room, and has a nautical theme. In 1944, it was the Navajo TeePee, and was decorated in Early Americana.

13-The jumping off place John meets Asa Breed, the big dog at the company that owns Ilium. In 1782, a man was hung in the town square of Ilium. The man, named George Minor Moakley, had killed 26 people, or at least those were the ones they could pin on him. Police record keeping is not an exact science. So, before his execution, he composed a song about his murders, and he sang it before they put the hood over his head, which tends to muffle singing. Moakley was not sorry for the murders.

14-when automobiles had cut glass vases John and Mr. Breed were going to a building that had 30k employees. This meant a lot of cars were trying to fit into the parking lot. The police tried to instruct the traffic where to go, and the author used the phrase “glacier of automobiles”.
One night in 1983, PG was driving to the omni to see the police. He was driving a 1970 Plymouth Satellite, painted gold, just like Dekalb county drove in the early seventies. PG’s friend Bradley was talking about the concept of glacial swiftness. As the car went down Spring Street, near the Varsity, the omnoids noticed a lot of cars on the road, creating a condition of glacial swiftness. It turns out the Georgia Tech had a football game that night, hence the mass of cars, moving with glacial swiftness. PG started to cross North Avenue, when a car decided that red lights were for other people. Since PG started out of traffic lights slowly, this person got by without causing any damage.

15- Merry Christmas John and Asa Breed are moving through the bowels of the company building, when they have a chat with Miss Pefko. She types letters for a researcher, and says they may as well be foreign languages. Miss Pefko says that Asa Breed thinks too much.
PG has been told that he thinks too much. When he worked at Redo Blue, across the walkway was the Digital Imaging Manager. or D.I.M. The D.I.M. was a libertarian. He used to be a republican, but was disillusioned when the Contract on America turned out to be a worthless gimmick. The D.I.M. told PG that he thought too much. PG replied HURRY UP.

16-Back To Kindergarten In this chapter, John goes upstairs at the research lab with Asa Breed, the manager of the research division. Paragraph 16 is the return to work on this clifsnotes rendering of “Cats Cradle”, and PG is beginning to doubt that it will last for 127 chapters. The book is set in 1959, which is the year PG went to Kindergarten.

17-The Girl Pool John meets Naomi Faust, an employee of the research lab. Mr. V is into the names of characters at this point of his journey. In a few books, the names will be less picturesque. This is something that the early readers of Mr. V did not know. PG thinks of funny names for characters too, but he does not have Mr.V’s knack for story telling. Gnarlene Widget will have to reside in novel limbo, until there is a story she can have a role in.

18- the most valuable commodity on earth There is a trendy word now, commodification. It means to make a commodity out of a person, or of a person’s skills or output. If you look at the word, it could either mean that you make a commodity out of something, or a commode. The pronunciation would be slightly different, but the meaning essentially the same. People who read Chamblee54 regularly…if anyone like that exists…may have already heard this thought. Recycling.

19- no more mudWhen astroturf was first introduced, there was a story floating around about a halfback who drowned in mud during a game. This was supposed to make people go out and buy astroturf for their teams to play on, never mind that 300 pound lineman would instead be knocking that halfback onto concrete, with a foam rubber pad on top of it. When PG was pretending to be a cameraman at the Georgia dome, he took a couple of naps on astroturf, which is surprisingly comfortable to lay down on. It has to be better than taking a nap on mud.

20- ice nine Asa Breed tells John about Ice Nine, an invention of Felix Hoenikker. This is one of the crucial elements of the story, this ice nine. It is a crystal that will induce water to freeze, thus eliminating the existence of mud.Or rather, transforming mud into mud ice, which is still not a good surface for a nap. This lecture was interrupted by the girls pool breaking into the office to sing “oh little town of bethlehem” The visit to Ilium takes place during the xmas season. These days, Bethlehem is near Israel, and is home to Palestinians. It is close enough to Israel to have a huge concrete wall nearby, and someone spray painted “Bethlehem Ghetto” on the side of that wall.

21- the marines march on So the marines are wallowing in the mud, and one very smart marine pulls a capsule of ice nine from his shirt pocket, and turns the mud into ice. The tanks roll on, the marines march to glory, and everything is cool. The only problem is, the war of 2011 is in a dry country. Science fiction does not always plan for such realities. Also, if human beings are mostly water, wouldn’t they freeze as well? A Popsicle marine cannot kill too many people.

22- member of the yellow press Asa Breed continues to lecture John about ice nine, Felix Hoenikker, mud, and pure research. It seems that pure research, the discovery of knowledge for the sake of knowledge, was the goal at this research facility. This is an archaic vision, if indeed it ever existed. Today, the scientist is intended to turn a profit, or secure another research grant from Uncle Sugar. John was supposed to feel like a philistine after the tongue lashing by Asa Breed, but instead wondered what Sandra was going to be doing when he got back to the hotel.
At some point in his career, Kurt Vonnegut was a flack writer for General Electric. This was based in Schenectady NY. The reader can be excused if he thinks there is a connection between this company and GE, and Ilium and Schenectady. Ilium is easier to spell, and sounds like valium . Valium was an improved version of librium, and was introduced to the market in 1963, the year this book was copyrighted. Whether of not there is a connection between valium and Ilium is a good question.

23- the las batch of brownies In this chapter, we establish the date of the story as 1959. We also learn that ice nine really exists, and that all three of Dr. Hoenikkers children have a sample. Those who say the fifties were the good old days, a simpler, innocent era, don’t know what they are saying.

The S Word

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2011

There is a feature today on NPR discussing ” “What’s The Longest Word In The English Language?”. The old crowd pleaser antidisestablishmentarianism was dismissed as “Just a bundle of suffixes and prefixes piled up into a little attention-grabbing hummock.” It also has 28 letters, which won’t even get it into the playoffs.

When it comes to big words, there is nothing like science. In 1964, a book called “Chemical Abstracts” published a 1,185 letter word, referring to a protein found in the tobacco mosaic virus. It starts with glu and ends with sine. This word is 8.44 tweets long.

Words like glu…sine are not used often, which brings us to the obvious winner, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious .It is the theme song for a dance routine in a movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke , and a few dozen animated characters.

According to the urban dictionary, Miss Andrews was not fond of Rob Petrie.
“It’s reported that Ms. Andrews replied, “Fuck you! I hate you!! You’re a ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidouchebag’!!!! And get away from my door!! Why don’t you go eat “A Spoonful of Feces “!!!” (This problem might have been caused by SupercalifragilisticexpiHalitosis )
At 34 letters, the s word is the longest english word that most of us have heard of. While it probably was made up by over-imaginative songwriters, it is defined by a reputed dictionary. It translates as superkalifragilistikexpialigetisch (German), supercalifragilistichespiralidoso(Italian) and supercalifragilisticoespialidoso (Spanish). The French are too cool to use it.

A website called Straightdope has a highly entertaining feature called Is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” a real word referring to Irish hookers? .
“Our research first took us to a lawsuit that was filed after the movie came out by Life Music, Inc., against Wonderland Music, the publisher of the Mary Poppins song. It was a copyright infringement suit brought by Barney Young and Gloria Parker, who had written a song in 1949 entitled “Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus” and shown it to Disney in 1951. They asked for twelve million dollars in damages. The suit was decided in the Shermans’ favor because, among other reasons, affidavits were produced from two New Yorkers, Stanley Eichenbaum and Clara Colclaster, who claimed that “variants of the word were known to and used by them many years prior to 1949.”
The decision makes for fairly humorous reading. Apparently the judge got tired of writing out the whole word, so every time it had to be mentioned it was replaced by the phrase “the word” as if it were some loathsome artifact that had to be held at arm’s length. “

There is another story that has the s word appearing in a humor magazine at Syracuse University. An archivist named Mary O’Brien says that rumor surfaces every ten years or so, and is not true. Another old husbands tale has children in summer camps taught a song super-cadja-flawjalistic-espealedojus. This cannot be confirmed or denied.

As for the tale about Irish entrpenuers, there is a story in Maxim magazine. It says
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the word supposedly coined by Mary Poppins to make kids sound “precocious,” was actually invented by turn-of-the-century Scottish coal miners. It was used to request “the works” from prostitutes by men too shy to recite specific acts.” The link supplied by StraightDope does not work.

Death Penalty Drug Problem

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 24, 2011

When a convict is poisoned by Georgia, he (or the one woman on death row) receives a “cocktail” of three drugs. The first substance is sodium thiopental (ST), a sedative. The capital punishment as revenge crowd does not like this part of the process, As it turns out, neither does the Italian manufacturer of ST.

ST is made by the Hospira company. The Italian owners of the firm have long deplored the use of their product in executions. The US manufacture of ST has been halted, because the company cannot be guaranteed that ST will not be used to poison convicts, resulting in death.

Emmanuel Hammond is scheduled to be strapped in the gurney going byebye Tuesday night. Georgia has secured a supply of ST for this procedure. The substance was copped from a British firm called Dream Pharma .
“Dream Pharma is said to have sold the anaesthetic sodium thiopental that will form part of the lethal injection given to Emmanuel Hammond in the US state of Georgia. The small company is run from the back of the Elgone Driving Agency in Horn Lane, Acton, west London by businessman Mehdi Alavi. Reprieve UK claims the 50-year-old knew that the drug was being sold for use in executions. Mr Alavi, who describes his company as an independent pharmaceutical wholesaler, said today that he did not want to comment on the matter. Earlier this month he said he had “no idea” why a prison in Arizona had ordered the drug, and two other chemicals, from him. Chemicals supplied by Dream Pharma are thought to have been used in that state last October for the execution of Jeffrey Landrigan, also a convicted murderer.”
The protocol for chemically offing convicts involves three substances.
“Thirty-five states, including Virginia and Maryland, execute prisoners. All use lethal injection, and until recently all but two had used a three-drug cocktail that included sodium thiopental to kill pain, pancurium bromide to paralyze the inmate and potassium chloride to stop the heart. … Oklahoma last year became the first state to switch to another method, replacing sodium thiopental with pentobarbital, which is widely used to euthanize animals. After winning a court challenge to that decision, the state has executed three inmates since December.”
HT to PeachPundit for the ST story. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.