Turn And Face The Strange

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 21, 2011

There was a post at neo prodigy yesterday that got me thinking. It starts …, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. Micro minds discuss the color of people. “ I added the last part of that.”
Now for the fallout of this. I may get motivated later to see if I can determine the author of that gem, but for now I do not know. For all we know, it is the same bartender who came up with the gem ” We are born naked, and everything after that is drag”.

I don’t know if what is going to follow is wisdom fatigue, thinking too much, or wallowing in a cynic’s swamp. As Oscar Wilde observed, ” A cynic is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing”. Maybe his credibility card was maxed out.

The point of all this ( besides providing text to go between some pictures) is that many well worded sayings turn out to be nonsense upon close examination. Take today’s headline quote, about great, average, and small minds. The discourse that followed that platitude was a commentary on the folly of gossip. Now, I agree that in a perfect world people would not gossip. Adding the phrase “bless his heart” does not make it any better. ( Any Yankee who reads this can ask a Southerner.)

May those who never gossip throw the first pebble. Yea, I thought so, lots of folks are hiding. The truth is, gossip is about as human as lying and pretending. I imagine there is a study of chimpanzees, where they talk about how mangy their neighbor’s fur is getting.

Not all ideas are good ideas. Adolph Hitler talked about ideas all the time. And a few million folks died as a result.  Jeremiah Wright talks about ideas. At the top of his lungs, and available on dvd.

I dare say the philosophers and thinkers of our time took an interest in the affairs of their neighbors. To think otherwise is to deny their humanity. “Great minds”…or the owners… have other shortcomings. I have heard too many stories about people who get a famous person to come to their party, only to get drunk and make a fool of himself.

There are other platitudes that sound good, but don’t hold up. “ I work to live, I don’t live to work” “ A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything” “youth is wasted on the young”.Maybe the test of a mind is the ability to tell the difference between wisdom and a clever phrase.

The first text section of this affair is a repost . In it, the threat was made to look up the perpetrator of a certain quote. A few more “jewels of wisdom” will get the same treatment. The pictures today are from The Library of Congress .

One issue with the origin of quotes is the question ” Who said it first?” Did Mark Twain have a kooky Uncle who he stole sayings from? What about Oscar Wilde’s barber? Maybe someone else said all these famous sayings, and the person who got credit just had a good memory, and no shame. As for politicians, they generally employ speechwriters ( and have no shame).

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people This gem is generally attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt . No one seems to know when she said it. ( If it was for her newspaper column, My Day, then it is possible that an assistant thought it up.) It is sometimes credited to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. He wrote an article for Saturday Evening Post ( November 28,1959), titled “The world of the uneducated”. He prefaces the quote by saying ” as the unknown sage puts it”. As for Mrs. Roosevelt, when she found out her husband was still seeing his mistress, her mind got a lot smaller.

It is better to have people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.This nugget is credited to Confucius, Proverbs (17:28), Abe Lincoln, Socrates, Mark Twain, and Silvan Engel. The Owner and maintainer of The Quotations Page, Michael Moncur, says “This is probably just one of those aphorisms that make their way through the collective consciousness without one definitive source.”

I work to live, I don’t live to work This saying is a doozy. Does your heart stop pumping when you hit the time clock? Of course not, you are alive when you are working. Life is more than having a good time, or doing what you want to do. Part of life is going to be spent doing ugly things.
Mr. Google disagrees, with 48 million results for that phrase. The top one is Divine Caroline, featuring a header ad for Smucker’s Peach Apricot Chicken Stir Fry. The rest of the results viewed for this study were equally uplifting.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything Many give credit for this to Malcolm X, and he may have said it in his speeches. Wikiquote says this is a mistake, and says a preacher named Peter Marshall first said this. Another source, , credits a British Journalist named Alex Hamilton. He is frequently confused for the Aaron Burr’s pal, Alexander Hamilton. The British Hamilton was speaking in a radio broadcast in 1978, 13 years after Malcolm X was killed.

Youth is wasted on the young This begs the question, is maturity wasted on the mature? Or, is youth wasted on the wasted? The concensus is that George Bernard Shaw first said this. The first page of Google results does not show where he said it.

Shock And Awe Day 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 20, 2011

Today is Shock And Awe Day . On this day in 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom began, with an invasion of Iraq by a US led coalition. The first impulse here is, if you don’t have anything good to say, at least give photo credits. ( ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” )

There are events in the world, for which commentary is appropriate. The UN Security Council is celebrating the anniversary of OIF by…starting another war. The Dictator in Libya is trying to stay in power, and is wasting a few of his citizens. With the best of intentions, a “No Fly Zone” has been established. The United States is already involved in the action.

BHO is following a Presidential tradition of starting a military action, often without even a fig leaf resolution from Congress. This is another case of a candidate saying one thing to get elected, and doing something else when he is in office.

“In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve an IMMINENT threat?)

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”

Trying To Kill Terrorists

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 19, 2011

March 20 is “shock and awe day”. This is the day that “Operation Iraqi Freedom” began, with the “Coalition” invasion of Iraq. That conflict continues, although without the fury of a few years ago. Some say we won in Iraq. Very, very few are saying we won in Pakistan.

Afghanistan was invaded as a knee jerk response to 911. Revenge was the order of the day, and an effort to kill terrorists there before they kill us here. When people began to cross the ill defined border with Pakistan, the war machine followed.

Much of the killing has been from the air . Thousands of missions have been flown. The people on the ground are essentially helpless to stop the killing. The last American shot down by an enemy was Michael Scott Speicher on January 17, 1991.

Many of the planes are drones, or unmanned aircraft. Often, they are flown, by remote control, from Creech AFB in Nevada. There is a sign as you leave the base… Drive Carefully This is the most dangerous part of your day.

The governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan are caught between Iraq and a hard place. They need the support of the USA to stay in power, but have to listen to the cries of grieving families. After a drone attack that killed women and children, Gen. David H. Petraeus had a meeting with top Afghan officials. “BetrayUs” is reported to have said
” in the midst of the [operation] some pro-Taliban parents in contact with a government official decided to create a civilian casualty claim to pressure international forces to cease the [operation]. They burned hands and legs of some of their children.”
Meanwhile, in *neutral* Pakistan, a “covert war” is being fought. In a recent incident, an American named Raymond A. Davis was accused of killing two Pakistanis. He was released after a “blood money” payment to the families. (Some say that this method of settling a dispute is a feature of Shariah Law.) The incident caused some tense moments for US-Pakistani relations, with the US government promising to tone down the covert war. Soonafter this promise, a drone stike in Miranshah, North Waziristan, killed forty people.

Bloggingheadstv had an episode about the Davis affair this week. A commenter said
“Like Jeremy and Saba, I am shocked, shocked that the American government is engaged in trying to kill terrorists in Pakistan, and moreover, shocked that an American could get away with defending himself against two armed assailants in Pakistan.”
Pictures today are from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

Georgia DCOR Busted For Drugs

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 18, 2011

The Georgia Department of Corrections has been busted for illicit drugs .
“At the Georgia state prison in Jackson, Drug Enforcement Administration agents confiscated for the first time nationally a state’s supply of sodium thiopental, a sedative that is part of a three-drug cocktail used to put inmates to death.” No DCOR employees were arrested.
When a person is executed, using the quaint phrase “lethal injection”, three drugs are used. The first, sodium thiopental, is a sedative, used for obvious reasons. As reported earlier at this blog, the drugs Italian manufacturer objects to this use of their product. The state copped it’s stash from a London company, of dubious integrity. As could be predicted, defense attorneys for condemned prisoners make an issue of this. That is what they do.

A case about lethal injection made it to the Supreme Court a few years ago. All executions were postponed until the verdict was rendered. The Supremes ruled that governments have the right to execute the condemned, using the Kentucky protocol. This protocol specifies the use of sodium thiopental. If this specific substance is not available, can states substitute another downer? Some attorney will make an issue of this. Capital punishment is a jobs program for the legal profession.

Rookie Governor Nathan Deal discussed the drug bust with WABE on Thursday. The money quote
”In our republic, states have opportunities and responsibilities. But we do need, of course to work with our federal authorities, whose primary mission in this case is to make sure that controlled substances are not distributed and put into the wrong hands. I do not consider the reception of these drugs by a state agency that is properly licensed by state law, and authorized by state law, to fall into that category…But we want to abide by the rules, and that’s what we intend to do….We’ll find out how this oversight happened and we’ll correct it.”
Georgia does not have any executions scheduled at this time. Three cases have almost exhausted their appeals, however. Any termination of these three men (who are all white) would require a new supply of a legally approved sedative. The three men at risk are: Roy Blankenship , whose scheduled execution was stayed last month to allow for DNA testing of the evidence in the case. Blankenship sits on death row for a 1978 burglary, rape and murder of a Savannah woman in her apartment. Andrew Grant DeYoung , convicted in Cobb County for the stabbing deaths of his parents and 14-year-old sister in 1993. Marques Ray Johnson , who was sentenced to death for raping, murdering and mutilating a woman after meeting her at a bar in Albany in 1994.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

I Don’t Give A Blank

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 17, 2011

This is a two part post. (In 2011, it is a repost. ) The first is a story, borrowed from Gartalker. The second is a commentary on this story. The comment appears at the original post, in the digital version of saying something to someones face. ( Which is one of those things that many people like to boast about doing, only to resort to backside chatter when it is convenient.) The comment is going to be expanded a bit here. While we try to keep profanity to a minimum, sometimes you just have to say it.

A precious little girl walks into a petsmart shop and asks, in the sweetest little lisp, between two missing teeth, “Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?”

As the shopkeeper’s heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he’s on her level and asks, “Do you want a widdle white wabbit, or a thoft and fuwwy, bwack wabbit, or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?”

She, in turn, blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says, in a tiny quiet voice, “I don’t think my python weally gives a thit.”

You could have told that story with the punch line “python weally cares”. It would have been just as funny, although it would have had one less lisp joke.

It is ironic that you use the “give a ____” line in this joke. I don’t know where that line came from, except that it usually has a cussword in the third part. It means that the person does not care about something. It is kind of an odd phrase for a number of reasons….when you give a damn ( to use the mildest expletive, and probably the original one for this saying), do you gift wrap it?

The F bomb is commonly used as the third word of this phrase. When you consider how much most adults prize intercourse, what would you give a f*** about? Considering the nature of the sacrifice, this does not say very much.

The third wirty dord frequently used in this saying is an onomatopoetic term for animal waste. Say it out loud…when the python is through with the wabbit, it will, indeed, give a thit.

Fukushima Freedom

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 16, 2011

Nuclear plants produce rhetoric, at a level equaling their production of electricity, debt, and radioactive waste. A nuclear power plant costs billions of dollars, which is real money. When you have that many zeros involved, the cost of hiring flacks to promote your glow machine is minimal. In the disaster unfolding in Japan, the pr guns are blazing, on both sides of no man’s land.

The loyalties can be confusing. When the Chernobyl incident went down, Communism was still a hot issue. However, there was little condemnation of Commies in the aftermath of Chernobyl. Apparently, being pro nuke was more important that being anti communist.

Bloggingheadstv posted a discussion of nuclear issues on May Day of last year. No reactors were burning at the time. (Chamblee54 got a few words in. )
Today, the same two talkers are back. One has a new job (Rod Adams, the pro nuke talker), and one has a new hairstyle (John Horgan, the Bloggingheadstv regular). The discussion could be used as a text of rhetorical fallacies.
After the introductions, Mr. Adams blames the media for their method of reporting. The second question was “what concerns do you have?” Mr. Adams discusses first what specifically happened at the Fukushima plants. He then talks about a scientific study that was made after the Three Mile Island incident. Mr. Adams claims that the infrastructure at a nuke plant is strong enough to prevent a disastrous release of radiation, no matter what the circumstances.

Apparently, one of the circumstances that was not considered was a seven meter tsunami. But then, the study was not really about nuclear plant disasters. It was a post 911 study about the hazards of shipping nuclear waste. Mr. Adams thinks that there are plenty of other things to worry about other than the release of radiation.

There is a human error moment in the next segment. Mr. Horgan asks about the explosions at the plants. Mr. Adams explains how these “small explosions” came to happen. Apparently, hydrogen is produced during nuclear reactions, and must be vented out of the facility. When your diesel fueled backup generators are washed out by a seven meter tsunami, then you don’t have electricity to operate the hydrogen scavengers. Things tend to blow up when this happens.

Mr. Horgan asks about the workers who have been evacuated from the Fukushima facility. Mr. Adams starts to ramble about radiation, and the rhetoric spins out of control. Before long, he is talking about the dangers of aspirin . This clip ( the folks at bloggingheadstv call this a dingalink) begins with the words “I personally believe”. These are the same three words Miss Teen Age South Carolina used to begin her famous monolog.

Mr. Horgan asks what this incident means for the future of the nuclear industry. Mr. Adams mentions that these are older plants, without many modern safety features. He compares this to driving a 67 corvette. Energy is not created in a vacuum.

It is a lovely day in Georgia. PG intends to finish writing and go for a walk. The rest of the diavlog has Mr. Adams comparing a Federal loan guarantee for Nuclear Plants to co signing a car loan for his daughter. He mentions the development of small scale reactors ( one of these developers is his current employer). One of these mini reactors is one third of the size of one Fukushima reactor. It is hardly comforting to know that a relatively small reactor has caused this much trouble.

If you want to hear the complete discussion, go here. You might hear it better if you disable your BS detector. Pictures (except for the two talkers) were taken on a Sunday afternoon in Little Five Points. They probably are not the results of nuclear radiation.

The Certificate of Debaptism

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 15, 2011

PG is a recovering Baptist. However, he was never baptized.

The Baptists like to pressure pre adolescent children into making a “Profession of Faith”. Every Sunday, the mob would sing “Just as I am” and the kids would walk down the aisle, shake the preachers hand, and be recruited into the Baptist way of life.

Every few weeks, the Church would fire up the Baptismal pool, and go to work. The house lights would dim, and the young Baptists were dunked in the pool.

A while back, the wiring was carelessly installed in a Baptist building. The Preacher was electrocuted when he used the microphone in the Baptismal Facility.

Now, the British have an answer. The Church of England goes for infant baptism, using the sprinkle on the noggin. This is too much for some, who object to the  indoctrination into the cult of Jesus Worship, made before a person is eating solid food. One answer is the “Certificate of Debaptism”

The certificate is the work of the National Secular Society , which suggests hanging it in the loo. The various churches involved thus far decline to remove the baptized from any church records. The certificate is purely symbolic.

The text above is a repost HT (for the original post) to JoeMyG-d. Pictures (with one obvious exception) are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

The importance of baptism is questionable. To some , it is a big deal. In a society without an official state religion, there are few measurable benefits or penalties for being registered in a religious organization. The concept of baptism is essentially symbolic. It is usually practiced on children, often on infants. Many  adults realize that this children’s ritual no longer fits the person they are.

The National Secular Society has a web page about the efforts of people to make their de baptism official. Some of the stories are worth reading.

From Chris Taylor: After reading about other NSS members successfully managing to ‘de-baptise’ themselves I thought that I would give it a crack with the CofE mob. I emailed the diocese where I was dunked many years ago asking if I could be struck from the record as I have always thought it to be a load of old rubbish and said that if my parents had given me the choice of going through some sort of black magic voodoo ceremony performed by a probable child abuser in a dress I would, even at the age of 6 months, have said thanks but no thanks. I received a reply telling me that there was nothing that I could do about it. I replied asking again, suggesting that it would be easy, and a good christian deed (as these christers like to call it) to simply remove me from their register but it was to no avail. They replied again saying that it was just not possible and that I would just have to live with it. I would be interested to know if anyone has been successful with CofE as the RC lot seem to give different answers to different people. Maybe it depends on how god is feeling at the time!

Here is the reply sent by the Catholic Church, to someone who wanted to officially cut his ties :
If you have decided formally to renounce your Catholic faith, there is a simple procedure. You need to write to an official known as the diocesan chancellor for the area within which you were baptised. Give him as much detail as possible about where and when you were baptised, and briefly state the reasons why you wish no longer to be considered a member of the Catholic Church. Keep it factual and avoid anything that he might construe as aggressive or insulting to the Catholic religion.
A note will then be made in the baptismal register of the Church where you were baptised stating that you have formally renounced your membership of the Catholic Church. For all legal purposes, both in the law of the Church, and, where applicable, in civil law, you will no longer be considered a Catholic. It is not possible to cancel your baptism as such, since baptism is regarded by the Church as leaving an indelible mark on the soul, but of course, this will not concern you since you no longer believe in that.

Apple Pi

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 14, 2011

Today is 3-14. It is a monday, and 314 are the first three digits of pi (affectionately known as π ). It is a math thing, the number you multiply a diameter by to get the circumference. When your grammar school math teacher told you about π, she probably used 3.14, or 3 1/7. ( PG went to school when Hewlett and Packard were still in the garage.)

You might also have heard the formula for the area of a circle, the racy π r squared . This means that you multiply π by the radius ( half the diameter, a line from the border to the center point), and then multiply the whole contraption by the radius again. The formula has a funny sound to it. Pie are not square, cornbread is square, pie are round. Like Sly Stone says, all the squares go home.

According to wikipedia, π seems to have been known as early as 1900 b.c. The pyramids of Egypt have a π based feature. The Greek letter π is the first letter of the Greek word περίμετρος (perimeter) . This was determined OTP.

The pyramid- π function is fairly simple. The total length of the four sides, at the base, will be the same as the height of the pyramid, times two, times π. PG likes to make model pyramids. They are 6″ tall, and the base sides are 9 3/8″. The combination of these four sides is 37 1/2″. If you multiply 6x2x3.14, you get 37.68″ The .18″ is because of a measuring error.

A lady named Eve Astrid Andersson has a page of her website dedicated to π. The only trivia question that PG understood was the first one…1. What is the formal definition of pi? …the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter // 3.14159 // the radius of a unit circle // the surface area of a sphere of diameter 22/7 // a delicious dessert, especially if it contains cherries.

There is the football cheer from M.I.T. ” Cosine, secant, tangent, sine 3.14159 // Integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT!”

In 1998 a movie titled π was released. It caused brain damage in 3.14% of those who saw it. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 1998 = 666 x 3.

π has been calculated to over five million digits. The second part of this feature are a few of those numbers. There are 82 characters in each line. This feature shows π extended to 10,165 digits. This is .02% of five million. The pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” .

4419735685481613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477624168625189835 6948556209921922218427255025425688767179049460165346680498862723279178608578438382

Sunday The Thirteenth

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 13, 2011

PG was trying to learn how to use a drawing program. Then he got to…”The text, stored as a text object, needs to be converted to a path object for editing. This process is not reversible and the text will lose its memory of being text.” It was time to get out of the house.

It was the second sunday of march, and spring was fixin to break out in Georgia. PG and Uzi had planned to go down to Piedmont Park, and it was now or…later. The slack lifestyle gets out of hand. Ok, put your shoes on, and meet by the Target.

Uzi had a detour on the way downtown. There was a furniture store across from Target called “the dump”. Bette Davis is not involved. The idea is to call it a discount store, and then charge high prices regardless. Uzi saw what he needed to see, and the pair moved on.

Turning onto the parking street, there were lots of lots of cars. Suddenly, an SUV moved out of a prime spot. PG turned around, and took over the spot. Clean living has subtle rewards.

The attaction in the park was a “play in the park” event, with jugglers, gymnasts, and other assorted fun seekers. After a sunny walk around the top of the playing fields, PG followed the drum circle beat to the activities. (did that bastard take a picture of me?) It was fun to stand and watch.

After a while, it was time for dinner. Uzi wanted to go to the Colonade. He assured PG that it would only be a couple of dollars more expensive that Piccadilly. It turned out to be more like double the cost, even when you order water. PG got a chicken steak, which covered his plate, and was fine.

In the checkout line, the discussion turned to venerable restaurants in town. PG said something about Pilgreens, mentioned that he never ate there, and saw the jaw drop on the checkout lady. It turns out that Pilgreens burned to the ground years ago, and was never rebuilt.

Typing Or Writing

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 13, 2011

Whenever you discuss Jack Kerouac, there is a quote by Truman Capote that gets mentioned. “That’s not writing, that’s typing”. PG thought a trip to Google city would help to show a bit of context on that quote. The first page of results, only, rule will be enforced here. The context of the original remains a mystery. ( Hey, maybe someone else made it up, and said that Capote said it. The ladies who lunch are not that clever, but Capote had big ears.)

There is a review of Going Rogue with the title, “That’s not writing, that’s someone else typing”. The nit picker has the audacity to say that the P lady gave a ghostwriter some tapes, and went off to hunt endangered species. A commenter observes “at some point in her book tour, someone will ask her a question that she won’t be able to answer because she won’t be familiar with what’s in her own book.” This post advertises downloading audio books, and copping grant money.

The Chicago Reader advertises teeth whitening chemicals with the post “That’s Not Writing, It’s Typing” It seems that someone is trashing today’s internet generation, with it’s tweets and blogs that say nothing, by comparing them to the product of Jack Kerouac. The money quote: “Kerouac survives because he (allegedly) wrote great works; the insufferable logorrhea the Beats inspired biodegrades in niche bookstores because, sensibly, nobody reads it. The Web makes things worse only in the sense that it democratically preserves the crap alongside the genius. Even more so than libraries!”

You probably know what is coming next. Yes, there is a blog titled That’s Not Writing, That’s Typing . It is written in Australia, and last had a post in 2007. The next to last post was about a trip to Dubai, and has a picture of a large hookah.

The results are a bit better at Writingortyping . It has been updated in 2011, and the lady knows how to write. Here is an example: “Overheard at our house, French steampunk edition… September 30, 2010 By Jill… Me: “So remember that trailer of that French steampunk film I showed you earlier this year?” John: “Yeah – I think so.” Me: “Well, apparently it was only in theatres on limited release and isn’t on DVD in the States at all.” John: “So, New York and L.A. basically.” Me: “Yeah probably.” John: “And Northern Maine.”

There are two sites for Truman Capote quotes They do not provide any more information about this quote, other than to repeat it. Mr. Capote was a clever man, who would be a challenge for Mr. Kerouac in a drinking contest. Mr. Capote also said “Mick Jagger is about as sexy as a pissing toad.” Brainy quotes sells digital speed plans and blackberries. There are links to quotes from “your favorite authors”, including Marilyn Monroe, Buddha, and Muhammad Ali.

The top result for *the phrase* is perhaps the most true to the style of Mr. Kerouac. It was written 27 days before 911 by Jonah Goldberg, of all people. He is trying to make it to a wedding, where he will play the underrated role of groom. He wants to get his dress shoes before he leaves town, because asking for “black loafers” in a Montana truck stop might lead to unexpected adventure. Being a thoughtful conservative, he makes the case that government intervention makes poor people poorer. The piece is written in a deadline driven frenzy, with jokes about black loafers and Truman Capote. The header ad is for Grove City College, and the Wall Street Journal.

Typing With Mr. K Part One

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 12, 2011

This is the PG notes edition of Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac. The slim volume was published in 1966, and has a drawing of the Eiffel Tower on the cover. The idea is to read a chapter, and record the reaction. The pictures in part one are from The Library of Congress. The pictures were made between 1861 and 1865, and document the War Between the States.

1- Jean-Lous Lebris de Kerouac is the full name of the author. There is supplemental punctuation for the last name, which may or may not find it’s way into digital manifestation. The best way to use foreign punctuation is to find it somewhere and copy it into your text. The best way to use this name, for our purposes, is to call him Kerouac. If the spirit is there, a mister may be added. The other real name in this first paragraph is Raymond Baillet, the cabdriver who delivered the satori of the title.
The first impulse was to call this man Jack. This is such a versatile word. Money, masturbation, and car lifting devices are all referenced by this name. When the book was published, the cash cow of the tabloid press was Jackie Kennedy, soon to be Jackie O. Her husband was also a Jack, until it became inconvenient keep him in office. He was hi jacked, or maybe low jacked.

2- The copy of SIP that PG works with is old, produced in the fifth printing of the book. ( How appropos of the drunken Kerouac to have a fifth printing.) It was owned by a man who is now deceased. When he quit living, a friend cleaned out his apartment, and some of his books wound up in a box. This box went from the apartment to a van, where it remains to this day. One afternoon, PG helped his friend move a chair into this van. To make room for the chair, the box of books had to come out. PG looked through this box, found SIP, and decided to read it.
This uneven storage, over a period of 45 years, has worked a hardship on the glue that binds the pages. The sheet of chapter 2 is now loose, and can be picked up, waved, examined up close, and inserted upside down in the book. This does not help this chapter any. It is two paragraphs long, and ends by mentioning adults who don’t like to look in a mirror if they are insane.

3- What about Mr. K? It is short and to the point. K is a great letter, used for a thousand and a strikeout. Mr. K might have enjoyed Special K. When you talk about a person like Mr. K, who was at once the king of the beatniks, and got a headache from the crown, a faux hip expression like Mr. K might or might not be appropos. As we get further into this venture we can make further adjustments.
Chapter 3 is about the arrival of Mr. K in Paris. We will be looking for clues when the action takes place, but there is an indication here that it was the early sixties. He mentions the landing going off “without a georgia hitch”. On June 3,1962 , a Boeing 707 crashed at Orly Airport, with 130 fatalities. Most of those on the plane were part of a Museum tour of Europe, from Atlanta GA. PG saw the TV reports, with a list of the dead scrolling down the screen. Malcolm X said that it was a gift from G-d.

4- Mr. K gets adjusted to life in Paris. He goes to a spectacular church, and spends the night with a lady he met in a gangster bar. The lady wants to marry Mr. K, but that is not going to happen.

5- Mr. K gave the lady from the gangster bar $120, which was real money in 1962. She tried to call him at the pension, and he let the pederast desk clerk shoo her away. Mr. K is going to get drunk now instead of having sex.
The english language is full of oddities. The concept of calling a small hotel a pension is one of them. What does a reduced salary for your old age have to do with a little hotel in Europe? PG stayed at a place in Berlin once, that his fellow traveler “P” said was a pension. One morning, PG took over the breakfast room, and watched German music videos on tv. One had Adolf Hitler moving his hand in front of his face, and someone put a toothbrush in that hand, so he was brushing his teeth while making an inflammatory speech.
One problem with working on a computer is the distractions. An email just came in, announcing a comment at Chamblee54. This is usually cause for celebration. However, this was a spam announcement, from some kind of weight loss blog. The comment was about a post titled “fat tuesday”, which is understandably fodder for the weight loss industry. The only problem is, the post about Fat Tuesday was taken down a couple of days ago. It was about Mardi Gras, and a few memories that Georgia boi PG has about Carnival. It was posted on the Tuesday a WEEK BEFORE MARDI GRAS. Like we said, PG is a Georgia boi that does not know much about Carnival, such as the day that it occurs in 2011. He quietly took the post down, only to be reminded of his mistake by a spammonger at weightlossnetworks dot com.

6- The pages are starting to stay glued into the book by now, and PG is determined to be careful and not have any more fall out. This might not be possible while telling the story of Mr. K. It might be a symbol of his life, that the pages fell out of the binding. In chapter 6, he goes looking for the perfect bar, and a policeman points it out to him. He chats up various ladies, meets one who likes him, and then gets drunk and forgets about her. The pension is asking him to leave, but he is on a mission. He is determined to find the history of his family, whose motto is Love Suffer And Work . The next part of the sentence is “you dumb old bourgeois bag”, which is either a part of the motto, an ad slogan for a purse, or none of the above.

7- The original mission for this trip is to do research on the Kerouac family. He goes to a fancy library, and the lady tells him that the Germans burned all the papers when they were visiting. Mr. K takes a timeout to go to a bar, drink, and tell women they are beautiful. This doesn’t work out, so he sits at a sidewalk cafe and watches Paris ride by.
So it is a couple of days later, and facebook says it is the birthday of Mr. K . PG’s mother was born on July 23 of the same year, in Memphis TN. Her mother was from Washington GA, and her father from Paragould AR. 1922 was a different world from 2011.
Anyway, PG decides that the bd of Mr. K would make a dandy day to post the first installment of this rendering. We still don’t have a title, and a handle that would attract the attention of google would be hip. Or elbow, or ass, PG gets those body parts mixed up sometimes.

It is a lovely pre spring day in Chamblee GA, sun pouring in through the windows, a mug of coffee on the table, basketball on the tv, files of african american union soldiers streaming over the intercom… does life get any better? PG knows the answer to that, and is in steadfast denial, but then it could always be worse. Stream of consciousness is more fun to write than it is to read.
The next file to come through…these are big files, and you can do a lot of writing between clicks to download another one…is titled “Child named Carl who became a soldier; with handwritten note and lock of hair in case”. The note is legible and heartbreaking, even though this is a yankee we are talking about. “my beloved son Carl taken from me on April 1, 185 at age 18 killed at (unintelligible). In another week or so, the south surrendered, and the war was over.

8- In this chapter, Mr. K takes an Arab girl to a musical performance, goes to a bar, and leaves before a fight breaks out. There are a few paragraphs that are just a few words long, and they tell the bulk of the story. “I teach her Christianity…I just don’t know…You’re kidding…Paris is a rough town”. The page threatens to fall out of the book, but with gentle persuasion stays in place.
We now have a working title for this effort. Typing With Mr. K. You can’t talk about Jack Kerouac without mentioning the quote by Truman Capote. “That’s not writing, thats typing.” Mr. K was more butch than Mr. Capote.

9- This is a short chapter that does not advance the plot. Mr. K remembers his grammar school teacher, who went on to be a nun in New Mexico. How did this happen, or is it nun of my business? So, Miss Dineen, as she was known in the pre Sister Mary days, wrote that Jack and his sister were friendly children with unusual charm. Miss Dineen was told that the K kids were descended from French aristocracy. She believed. Later, Jack became a drunk, “Because I like ecstasy of the mind.”

10- The supertitle here is ( Strange Chapter) Below this is a thin line, stretching from border to border. Then there is a space, and then 10., with a period, centered in between the top line and it’s twin line, stretching border to border one space below the 10. This is the format used for all 38 chapters. There was not an ink shortage when this 5th printing was produced.
Mr. K is searching for the National Library, so he can research his family. The gendarme gave Mr. K bad instructions, and he got lost. While he is wandering, some men in uniforms give him unwanted attention, but do not arrest him. Finally, Mr. K goes into a bar, and the bartender gives him accurate directions to the Library.

Historic Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 11, 2011

Visitors to this blog (thank you one and all!) quickly notice the historic pictures. They come from two primary sources at this time. This are The Library of Congress and ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

PG learned about the LOC collection by reading Shorpy , where the slogans are ” e pluribus pablum/ always something interesting”. There is a header ad for Levis today. The GSU collection is featured at Atlanta Time Machine. Both sites can steal hours of your time.

The LOC collection that PG mines is the “Prints and Photographs” collection of the overall Library of Congress. At last count there were 67 groups in this collection, with more added from time to time. One of the better new collections is the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs . It is a collection of framed portraits of soldiers from the recent unpleasantness.

The pictures at the GSU library are from two primary sources. They are the Lane Brothers Photographers Collections and the Tracy O’Neal Collections. Regarding the Lane Brothers:
“The Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection consists of about 258,100 (196,800 4×5 inch and 61,300 2 1/2 inch) acetate negatives which are housed in 43,486 envelopes. The collection spans the years 1920 to 1976 with the bulk of the negatives dating from 1939 to 1975. Some of the images are copy negatives of photographs which date as early as 1864. The envelopes are organized into six series (1) Corporate bodies, (2) Geographic places, (3) Events, (4) Portraits, (5) Things, and (6) Miscellaneous-sized negatives.
The collection consists of photographic negatives and prints of the Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers (Atlanta, Ga.) and its predecessor the Lane Brothers Photo News Service from ca. 1920-1976. Early materials (1920’s-1939) include glass plate negatives and photographs taken by Jack Lane and his brother W.C. Lane as freelance photographers for the Atlanta News, other newspapers, and wire services. “

“The Tracy W. O’Neal Collection consists of about 31,500 4×5 inch acetate negatives which are housed in 10,814 envelopes. The collection spans the years 1923 to 1975 with the bulk of the negatives dating from 1950 to 1974. Some of the images are copy negatives of photographs which date as early as 1889. The envelopes are arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically within each year.”

Each picture has its own web address. When you view a picture at Chamblee54, hold the mouse over the picture for a minute, and a number will be shown. This number can be used to look for more information about the picture. Typically, when the picture is processed for blog use, an x is added to the end of the number. ( If more than one detail is used from a picture, there will be an extra letter after the x. Typically, this is xa, xb, xc and so forth. Also, some LOC numbers are used for more than one image, and xa xb xc is used to distinguish between the images.) If you are looking for more information about the pictures, you should disregard the x, and any letters after the x.

For the LOC pictures, it is fairly simple. Enter the number in the search engine field, and click go. For the GSU pictures, it is different. The number is a code. Take picture LBCB023-113ax. LB stands for Lane Brothers. CB is corporate bodies. The drawing is in box 023, and envelope 113, and is picture a. The x indicates that this picture has been processed for blog use.

Most of the Lane Brothers categories are self explanatory. Geographic Places ( GP, no kin to PG) has Named Streets (NS), Facilities (F), and Outside Atlanta (OA). Portraits are indicated by P. Events are a bit trickier. LBCE is corporate events, with the E at the end. There are Person events (LBPE), Movie Premieres (LBMPE), and others. The last two are things (LBT) and miscellaneous (LBSCB and a few others). The system can be confusing.

In blessed contrast, the O’Neal Collection is signified by an N, followed by a box number and envelope number. N10-67b is O’Neal, box 10, envelope 67, picture b.

Many of the images in the LOC are public domain. There is a note on each page about the copyright status, along with the message that “Rights assessment is your responsibility”. (This is in red letters.)

One of the more popular collections is the Farm Service Administration / Office of War Information. This was a Government sponsored program to document American life during the Depression, and later during World War Two. It produced the famous image known as “Migrant Mother”. The majority of these pictures are public domain. According to the rights and restrictions page,
“Most photographs in this collection were taken by photographers working for the U.S. Government. Work by the U.S. Government is not eligible for copyright protection (see page 5 of the Copyright Office’s Circular 1, “Copyright Basics”).”
The photographs in the GSU library are owned by the library, and some restrictions apply to their use. For information about use of these pictures, contact