Lewis Grizzard

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 23, 2012

In the time between 1980 and 1994, if you lived in Atlanta you heard about Lewis Grizzard. Some people loved him. Some did not. He told good old boy stories about growing up in rural Georgia. Many of them were enjoyable. He also made social and political commentaries, which upset a few people.

PG had mixed feelings about Lewis. The stories about Kathy Sue Loudermilk and Catfish were funny. His opinions about gays, feminists, and anything non redneck could get on your nerves. His column for the fishwrapper upset PG at least twice a week.

In 1982, Lewis (he reached the level of celebrity where he was known by his first name only) wrote a column about John Lennon. Lewis did not understand why Mr. Ono was such a big deal. PG cut the column out of the fishwrapper, and put it in a box. Every few years, PG would be looking for something, find that column, and get mad all over again.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia has a page about Lewis, which expresses some of these contradictions.
If Grizzard’s humor revealed the ambivalence amid affluence of the Sunbelt South, it reflected its conservative and increasingly angry politics as well. He was fond of reminding fault-finding Yankee immigrants that “Delta is ready when you are,” and, tired of assaults on the Confederate flag, he suggested sarcastically that white southerners should destroy every relic and reminder of the Civil War (1861-65), swear off molasses and grits, drop all references to the South, and begin instead to refer to their region as the “Lower East.” Grizzard also wore his homophobia and hatred for feminists on his sleeve, and one of the last of his books summed up his reaction to contemporary trends in its title, Haven’t Understood Anything since 1962 and Other Nekkid Truths (1992).
In the end, which came in 1994, when he was only forty-seven, the lonely, insecure, oft-divorced, hard-drinking Grizzard proved to be the archetypal comic who could make everyone laugh but himself. He chronicled this decline and his various heart surgeries in I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin’, and Now I Believe in Miracles (1993), published just before his final, fatal heart failure.

As you may have discerned, Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr. met his maker on March 20, 1994. He was 47. There was a valve in his heart that wasn’t right. The good news is that he stayed out of the army. At the time, Vietnam was the destination for most enlistees. The bad news is that his heart problems got worse and worse, until it finally killed him.

Sixteen years later, PG found a website, Wired for Books. It is a collection of author interviews by Don Swaim, who ran many of them on a CBS radio show called Book Beat. There are two interviews with Lewis Grizzard. The first one was done to promote My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of A Gun. This was the story of Lewis Grizzard Senior, who was another mixed bag.

PG found himself listening to this chat, and wondered what he had been missing all those years. The stories and one liners came flowing out like the Chattahoochee going under the perimeter highway. Daddy Grizzard was a soldier, who went to war in Europe and Korea. The second one did something to his mind, and he took to drinking. He was never quite right the rest of his life. His son from adored him anyway. When you put yourself in those loafers for a while, you began to taste the ingredients in that stew we called Lewis Grizzard.

PG still remembers the anger that those columns caused … he has his own story, and knows when his toes are stepped on. The thing is, after listening to this show, PG has an idea of why Lewis Grizzard wrote the things that he did. Maybe PG and Lewis aren’t all that different after all.

The pictures for this feature are from The Library of Congress. While picking out the pictures, PG listened to the other Lewis Grizzard show with Don Swaim. They both have last names that are often mispronounced. When Lewis wondered where Klansmen get those pointy hats… at the KKK mart, perhaps… PG had to stop the broadcast and write a postscript.

Shut Up, Listen, Save A Life

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 23, 2012

This is a double repost from this time three years ago. A news story at the time was the Jaheem Herrera. He grew tired of the bullies, and hung himself.
“They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said.. “All the time they’d call him this.” Many words were written about the gay bullying. Very few were said about the snitch part. We will never know which one hurt the most. Mr. Herrera would be 14 now.
The other part of this feature was based on an email from Allen Hunt. PG was added to this mailing list after he sent an email to Mr. Hunt. After a few unpleasant exchanges, Mr. Hunt removed PG from the list. The Allen Hunt radio show is still broadcast on sunday night. His motto is that it is not about right or left, but right or wrong. PG suspects that the show’s moral gyroscope needs to be calibrated.

PG got wound up today about a report involving super glue eight time zones away. Meanwhile, an 11 year old man, who stayed a few exits down the perimeter, hung himself.
“They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said.. “All the time they’d call him this.”
Jaheem Herrera was from St. Croix, in the American Virgin Islands. The picture shows that he had light skin. Dunaire Elementary School is on South Indian Creek Road in Stone Mountain. The area is predominantly African American.

PG does not know any of the kids who bullied Mr. Herrera. He suspects that many are Jesus Worshipers. The Jesus Worship Church has preachers that verbally abuse the congregation. The Jesus Worship Church has a book which teaches the hatred of homosexuals. They call it “The Word of G-d”.
The Jesus Worship Church has a phrase…”shame the devil”. PG wonders if “devil” was one of the things Mr. Herrera was called, along with gay and snitch. He looked different than his abusers, and was from a different place.

PG worked for seven years with a professional Jesus Worshiper. He clearly remembers the time that “Minister” taught PG the truth about Jesus.

“Minister” shouted down and humiliated PG one day, for  Jesus. After the mugging was over, “Minister” got a phone call. He picked up the phone and screamed “I never felt better in my life”.

Jesus Worship is an aggressive, angry business. Sometimes the results are fatal.

The email was from the Allen Hunt Show. . Mr. Hunt is a radio whiner, who used to be a Minister. He still talks about religion, whenever and wherever.

The message yesterday was about “3 simple things you can to do grow forward in your faith life. “ The three items are read, pray, and talk. The reader(s) of this blog should know what is coming next.

PG “I received your letter about three words to improve your “faith life” I don’t have a problem with reading. I think more than five pages a day is indicated. I also think that any book..not just religious books…will be beneficial. Even if all you do is have fun, you have done something worthwhile.

The second two words…pray and talk…are way, way overrated. Jesus worshipers talk too much and listen too little. When you talk, you need to pay attention to your audience. You need to have the trust and respect of this person. You need to shut up and listen when it is their turn to talk.

Prayer is talking to G-d. Meditation is listening to G-d. Our culture does not value listening, and this is a serious problem.

A few days ago, an 11 year old in Stone Mountain grew tired of the abuse of his classmates, and committed suicide. How many of those bully children were Jesus Worshipers? How many of those preachers shout angry messages to those children? How many of those children were taught to hate gay people in their churches? I don’t see any of your messages about these issues.

The inability of Jesus Worshipers to quit their wonderful talking and listen to others is one of the biggest problems in our society. Your message…encouraging people to talk, after they read their five pages a day… makes the problem worse.”

AH ” If we do not talk with each other, how do we grow?”

PG ” by listening”

AH ” If no one is talking, no one can listen “

PG ” don’t worry there will always be someone who wants to talk…Right now, the focus of the Jesus Woship church should be toning down the anger and the shouting, reducing the level of venom in the church, before we lose any more 11 year old boys to suicide.”

Mr. Hunt did not reply to this last message. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

You Was An Accident

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 22, 2012

These visits to alternative reality are from a variety of sources. Included are Facebook (fb), twitter (tw), Futility Closet (fucl), All Aphorisms, All The Time (Aph), Texts From Last Night (tln) , and Overheard in New York (ony). Attempts to maintain a no profanity blog will be suspended for this post. // “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” — Bertrand Russell (fucl) // “There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it.” — George Bernard Shaw (fucl) // “Leave something to wish for, so as not to be miserable from very happiness.” — Baltasar Gracián (fucl) // Hey is there a picture of me in a trash can on your phone? (tln) // Guys with values who care about your personality don’t cum on your back the 2nd time they you sleep with you. (tln) // Sometimes when you’re feeling unsexy, unhappy, unloved, and/or unproductive, a good playlist can turn those feelings around. It’s worth a shot. (fb) // A shroud has no pockets. (Scotland) (fucl) // No one is a blacksmith at birth. (Namibia) (fucl) // The absent always bears the blame. (Netherlands) (fucl) // Please Share, Subscribe, and or Tag Yourself in these quotes. These are a few of my favorite quotes digitized. If something speaks to you, please feel free to share. Sharing gives the quotes life and meaning. As time permits, I will digitize more quotes. Be sure to check out the other albums. (fb) // Wherever there is injustice in the world, Americans will rise up against it by changing their profile pictures. (tw) // The Secret Service thing makes me wonder if the uterus is the wrong organ politicians should be trying to regulate. (tw) // Gay man #1: Yeah, he has a girlfriend. Gay man #2: Ugh. Girlfriends? That’s so middle school. (ony) // One cannot make soup out of beauty. (Estonia) (fucl) // Bad is called good when worse happens. (Norway) (fucl) // When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole. (Gambia) (fucl) // If it makes this person a happy person and also more self rightgouse then so be it. He is just voicing his opinion about the past. The past no 1 in RIGHT MIND needs to remember or even think about. You want to make a museum with picture to turn your stomach. Stop and take pictures of the hungry in the mountains of western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. We still have out houses in this country for God’s Sake. Now show those pictures, it would include all races and ethic carry overs. Now your talking current time current events current nightmares of inequity. Or better still let’s go to Compton California and show real edgy stuff. And we wonder where G-D is? We didn’t ask that question 60 years ago. DID WE? Wake UP AMERICA AND SMELL THE INJUSTICES OF OUR OWN “PRESENT DAY AMERICA”. Then see if you can sleep. (fb) // Under trees it rains twice. (Switzerland) (fucl) // Everyone is foolish until they buy land. (Ireland) (fucl) // Living with a dog does not excuse drinking out of the toilet. // Do me a HUGE favor – Un-“friend” me right now if you think that “G-d” gave you the right to sit in moral judgement of other people. You’re an asshole and your kind isn’t welcome on my page. Please go fuck yourself gently with a running chainsaw. (fb) // “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” – Robert Graves (fb) // Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more. Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief. // “While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life, I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance.” ~ Hans Bos (fb) // Apparently, my Saturdays now consist of biking around town and having a beer here, a whiskey there, a car bomb over there … I … am pretty much okay with this. (fb) // Every head is a world. (Cuba) (fucl) // The only victory over love is flight. (France) (fucl) // If I die tonight and was cremated, you could probably get high off the smoke. (tln) // do you remember when we thought we were both knocked up by the same guy like two days apart and would have half twins? Thats a best friend moment. (tln) // I feel like this is the moment of high where you have to write these texts down to remember to text them and feel that somehow this is important to the continuity of the world. (tln) // Halfway through he got an idea for a short story so he wrote it in magic marker on my boobs. Yeah, he’s a keeper. (tln) // Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped. (Liberia) (fucl) // Many lose when they win, and others win when they lose. (Germany) (fucl) // yeah. go ahead with that thinking of yours. At least this dude is trying to live his dream and fulfill it. What exactly have you done in your life aside from wishing bad things upon others? // I just screeched at a fuckn parakeet it responded (tw) // this is my favorite version of this song it makes me want to lie still and stare at the ceiling and become a ghost (tw) // Girl: God, I hate your vibrator. Friend: Ohmigod, right? So do I! (ony) // Child, thoughtfully: Did you have a baby shower for me mommy? Mother: No. You was a accident. (ony) // “It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins.” (China) (fucl) // Thank you, alliteration, for the dollar I just saved on this taco. (tw) // “A novel is a prose narrative of some length that has something wrong with it.” – Randall Jarrell, (fb) // Having sprained her ankle right in front of the Cornwall home of C. Van Ness, 82, Miss Wood is now his wealthy widow. (tw) // Bond, on trial for murder in Brooklyn, is not the kind of man to shoot his own daughter (the bullet was meant for his wife). (tw) // The shaft at Myrtle Avenue is deep, the boulder above it, immense, and Vonlonsky, working below, dead. (tw) // At Court Street, Mrs Flanagan and her dinner guest were found two days later, still seated. Gas leak. (tw) // you go white boy everyone who hates is just jelly you’re living the weeaboo dream //Selah

Come See Me Sometime

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 22, 2012

There is a nifty article about Cary Grant and LSD on the web now. It seems Mr. Grant, the onetime Archibald Leach, had a few issues. Duh. Married five times. Widely rumored to the the bf of Randolph Scott. A talented actor, but a mess in the real world.

In 1956, Mr. Grant was with third wife Betsy Drake, who had a tough summer. 
“It was an open secret between cast and crew alike that the married Cary Grant was sleeping with Sophia Loren during their filming of The Pride and The Passion. Drake had flown to Italy to be by her husband’s side during the shoot only to find Grant ignoring her. Distraught, she fled on what was to be a quiet voyage on the SS Andrea Doria. On July 25, 1956 her quiescent journey turned into a nightmare. The ship collided with a Swedish ocean liner off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, sinking to the bottom of the Sea and claiming fifty-one lives.2 Betsy survived but was traumatized. The incident, coupled with the estrangement of her husband, haunted her in her sleep.”
Betsy Drake had a friend named Sally Brophy, an actress. Miss Brophy also received help from a psychiatrist, which included taking LSD. Eventually, Cary Grant started to go see this doctor.

Taking a legal trip, in a Hollywood doctor’s office, is not like going to a rave. It was seen as therapy, a way of learning how to deal with your problems. According to Cary Grant, it worked very well. He talked about it to a reporter, and then confirmed that he wanted this to go out to the public.

“The shock of each revelation brings with it an anguish of sadness for what was not known before in the wasted years of ignorance and, at the same time, an ecstasy of joy at being freed from the shackles of such ignorance … I learned many things in the quiet of that room … I learned that everything is or becomes its own opposite … it releases inhibition. You know, we are all unconsciously holding our anus. In one LSD dream I shit all over the rug and shit all over the floor. Another time I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from earth like a spaceship … I seemed to be in a world of healthy, chubby little babies’ legs and diapers, smeared blood, a sort of general menstrual activity taking place … As a philosopher once said, you cannot judge the day until the night ..”

The only problem was, Mr. Grant had a movie coming out, “Operation Petticoat”. The studio “tripped out” when it heard the star of the show was praising LSD in the press. Mr. Grant had a share in the profits of the film, and was persuaded to call the reporter and recant on the interview.

Not everyone was impressed by the doctors that Mr. Grant used.
“Aldous Huxley had encountered the clinic prior to his death, but had sought his LSD experiences from the parallel practice of Dr. Oscar Janiger, the other acid doctor to the stars. Huxley witnessed Chandler and Hartman’s work and was unnerved by their approach. “We met two Beverly Hills psychiatrists the other day,” he wrote, “who specialise in LSD therapy at $100 a shot – and, really, I have seldom met people of lower sensitivity, more vulgar mind! To think of people made vulnerable by LSD being exposed to such people is profoundly disturbing.”
In any event, LSD became criminalized, Doctors Chandler and Hartman got in trouble, and Cary Grant got married two more times. While Grant never renounced LSD, he refused to use any other illegal drug, even marijuana. He was a conservative old fogey.

Maureen Donaldson was the lover of Cary Grant in the seventies, and was a friend of Alice Cooper. She finally persuaded Mr. Grant to go to an Alice Cooper concert with her. He wore sunglasses, gold chains, and dressed like a “seedy agent”. He sat through the entire show, wearing earplugs, hating every minute of it.
As Miss Donaldson recalled the evening
“Driving back to Los Angeles, I congratulated Cary for being such a good sport … He’d made an extraordinary effort to please me … [I asked him] ‘You really hated it, didn’t you?’ ‘It’s…’ he said, struggling for words, ‘you know what it’s like? Remember I told you about the time I took LSD in my doctor’s office and shat all over his rug and floor?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Well now I know how that poor doctor felt.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 21, 2012

The most recent episode of Radiolab is Crossroads. It is about Robert Johnson, who played the blues. The legend is that he went to the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in Clarksdale MS. At midnight, the devil came down, tuned his guitar, and gave Robert Johnson the ability to play the blues like no one had ever heard. In return, the devil claimed the soul of Robert Johnson. (It was near Clarksdale, on Highway 61, that Bessie Smith was in a fatal car crash.)

Radiolab takes a look at the story. Before they are through, there are several Mr. Johnsons. One was messing around with a married woman, whose husband gave Mr. Johnson poisoned whiskey. Another one had syphilis. An old blues man tells the story of a bluesman who shows up one day with his playing incredibly improved, only it was not Robert Johnson. Another story was that Mr. Johnson married young, and his wife died in childbirth, and that was what made him a guitar superman. In the end, we really don’t know much about the man, except for the recordings he made.

Another radio show, The Delta Blues at Full Speed, asks a few questions about the recordings. Some say they are as much as 20% too fast. When you slow them down, they sound better. One commenter said that if a man was going to sell his soul to the devil, then his voice should be lower.

A later radio show, Robert Johnson and Studio Alchemy, has another “expert” who says that the recordings are probably pretty accurate. The discussion goes on to the concept that all recordings, to one degree or another, are fictions. Music recordings originally sought to record the sound of the artist. When the creative potential of the studio became apparent, the finished recording became a work of art in it’s own right, where the sound engineer was just as important as the players.

There was an ad campaign once, is it live, or is it memorex? The idea was that the tape had a sound so clear that you could not tell it from the original. The thing is, what the tv viewer heard was a recording, which was probably not on memorex. The copy embedded with this post is transferred to digital somehow, which distorts the slogan of the commercial even more.

While PG was listening to these radio shows, he was editing pictures from The Library of Congress. Some of these pictures are included in this feature. This is another example of how editing, after the fact, can affect how you perceive a unit of merchandise. Some say that the only thing that should matter is how the product makes you feel.

The Pants Of The Family

Posted in Music by chamblee54 on April 20, 2012

Ted Nugent went on a “Journey to the center of the mind”. When he got there, the lights were on, but no one was home. (Spell check suggestions: Gent, Nugget)

Theodore Anthony Nugent has had quite a career. The Amboy Dukes were leaders in music, and vocalist fashion. The “motor city madman” enjoyed a prosperous solo career. He has also become a “right wing” spokesman, expressing opinions on a variety of subjects. Some comments recently earned him a private meeting with the Secret Service. That agency has it’s own PR problems. The fly on the wall, at the Nugent – USSS meeting, is not talking.

In the comments to a report on the TAN-USSS conference, PG found this:
“Ted Nugent doesn’t have any right to salute flag draped coffins. He’s nothing but a coward. // How so? // he is a taxpayer,citizen.he has his rights // He literally shat his pants at a recruiting station just to avoid serving in Vietnam, for one.”
One thing Mr. Nugent likes to talk about is hunting. There is a difference between deer season and the Vietnam war… Charlie shot back. Mr. Nugent was born in 1948, making him the perfect age for the party. A copy of his draft record is available. Radio show notes discusses the codes.

1-In February 1967, Nugent was classified as 1-S (Deferment to complete high school).
2-In December 1967, Nugent was classified as 1-A (Available for unrestricted service)
3-In February 1968, Nugent was reclassified as 2-S (Deferment for college study)
4-In February 1969, Nugeent was reclassified as 1-A (Available for unrestricted service)
5-In August, 1969, Nugent was given an armed forces physical exam Two months later, Nugent was reclassified as 1-Y (A designation usually given to those with limiting medical conditions. He was eligible for military service, but only in case of war or National Emergency)
6-In December 1972, reclassified again. Hard to read on the document, but it may say 4-F. (Most former 1-Y registrants were reclassified 4-F, not acceptable for military service, when the 1-Y classification was abolished in late 1971)

In April of 1968, Journey to the Center of the Mind, the second album by the Amboy Dukes, was released. The title track, fueled by lead guitarist Ted Nugent, became a hit. The band toured endlessly, playing 300 shows a year. This was when Ted Nugent enjoyed a 2-S student deferment.

One show was at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. The headliner was Jimi Hendrix. The legend is that Mr. Nugent was playing a Hendrix song. Jimi came on stage, and told him not to play his song.

If you are eating, don’t read the rest of this post. Skip ahead and enjoy the pictures, which are from The Library of Congress . Ok, here is the best part of the story. The Rutland Herald quotes an interview Ted Nugent gave The Detroit Free Press, July 15, 1990.
“He claims that 30 days before his Draft Board Physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and a week before his physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether, virtually living inside his pants caked with excrement and urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment.” In the embedded video, no one in the band wants to stand next to Mr. Nugent.
The fact that Mr. Nugent did not go to ‘Nam did not prevent him from saying what he would have done.
“… if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed, or I’d kill all the hippies in the foxholes … I would have killed everybody,”

Are You Sick Of Possums?

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 19, 2012

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10 Smart People

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 19, 2012

The wordpress home page directs the surfer to a festive post, “10 smart people who died in really dumb ways”. The appearance of this notice on Four Twenty Eve is probably a coincidence. Also noted is the latest on Susan Boyle. Miss Boyle is reportedly planning to market a brand of lipstick.
One problem with this post (about post postmortem smarties) is the fog of history. Only three of the smarties are contemporary. The rest are legends. Take Aeschylus for instance. Around 500BC, an eagle mistook his head for a rock, and dropped a tortoise on it. Even if wikipedia were more reliable, that would be tough to prove.
The three contemporaries can be verified. Jim Fixx wrote a book about jogging, and had a heart attack while running. Jerome Irving Rodale was promoting the health benefits of organic food on the Dick Cavett show. He dropped dead during a commercial break. Tennessee Williams choked to death on an aspirin cap while intoxicated. It could have happened in one of his plays.

The list is not complete. Many famous people have made bizarre exits off the stage of life. Isadora Duncan was well known as a dancer. One night in Nice, France, she was riding in a convertible sportscar, wearing a long hand painted scarf. The scarf became entangled in the open spokes of a wheel, and Miss Duncan was thrown out of the car, and slammed to the pavement.

Even in more recent times, legend sometimes exaggerates the facts. Actress Lupe Velez was troubled about an unplanned pregnancy, and decided to end her life. According to Hollywood Babylon, Miss Velez took an overdose of pills, and then felt ill. She went to the bathroom to get sick. She passed out, fell face forward, and drowned in the commode. This version is disputed by her secretary Beulah Kinder, who claimed to find her asleep in bed.

The eddywu blog has another recent story, “Disappearances that made History”. This is similar to the other post, except that the body was not found. Included in this collection are D.B. Cooper, Judge Crater, Amelia Earhart, and Jimmy Hoffa. With the construction of a new football stadium in New Jersey, Mr. Hoffa will no longer have season tickets.

People who look at links may have seen this message: “ is no longer available. This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.” Google has no more information about a Susan Boyle brand of lipstick. This is a repost.

Golf And Shopping

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on April 18, 2012

One Sunday afternoon, a man was playing golf. On the third hole, he hit the tee shot, and was walking down the fairway towards the ball. The fairway was next to a road. A funeral procession was driving down the road.
The man stopped his cart, got out, took his hat off and put it over his heart. He stood still, with his head bowed, until the mourners had driven by.
The playing partner of the man was astonished. “Don, why are you making such a big deal over that funeral procession”
“It was my wife”.

There was a small town once, with a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church, and a Jewish Synagogue.
One day the Catholics decided to give their priest a new car. They got an Audi, sprinkled a few drops of holy water on the hood, and gave it to the priest.
The Baptists thought this was a really good idea, and they decided to give their pastor a new vehicle. They got a Ford pickup truck, took it to a boat ramp, hooked a winch up to the front, and lowered the truck into the lake until it was completely covered in water.
Not to be outdone, the Jewish congregation decided their rabbi needed a new ride. They bought a Lexus, and cut half an inch off the tail pipe.

A woman was in town on a shopping trip. She began her day finding the most perfect shoes in the first shop and a beautiful dress on sale in the second. In the third, everything had just been reduced by 50 percent, when her mobile phone rang.
It was a doctor notifying her that her husband had just been in a terrible car accident and was in critical condition and in the ICU.
The woman told the doctor to inform her husband where she was and that she’d be there as soon as possible. As she hung up she realized she was leaving what was shaping up to be her best day ever in the boutiques. She decided to get in a couple of more shops before heading to the hospital.
She ended up shopping the rest of the morning, finishing her trip with a cup of coffee and a beautiful chocolate cake slice, compliments of the last shop.  Then she remembered her husband.
Feeling guilty, she dashed to the hospital. She saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about her husband’s condition. The lady doctor glared at her and shouted, “You went ahead and finished your shopping trip didn’t you! I hope you’re proud of yourself! While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself in town, your husband has been languishing in the Intensive Care Unit! It’s just as well you went ahead and finished, because it will more than likely be the last shopping trip you ever take! For the rest of his life he will require round-the-clock care. And he will now be your career!”
The woman was feeling so guilty she broke down and sobbed.
The lady doctor then chuckled. “I’m just pulling your leg. He’s dead. Show me what you bought.”
Thank you Gartalker for the last story. This is a repost.
Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

Eye Of A Needle

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on April 18, 2012

There is a quote attributed to Jesus that many have heard. The key words are rich man and camel. It is interpreted in many ways. One way to begin this discussion is to look at the King James Bible. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him,
Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
[there is] none good but one, [that is], G-d: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder,
Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honor thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you,
That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

As with all quotes from the bible, a bit of thought is helpful. Was this said only one time, or was this a standard part of his teaching? Was the meaning changed in the transition from Aramaic to Greek to English? Had Jesus been taste testing the water and wine?

With the current vogue for “prosperity gospel”, many Jesusmongers have some splainin’ to do. Once, PG heard the redo blue preacher talking about this quote. His version was that there were caves in the desert where travelers would take a break on their journey. They would go in the cave, use the restroom, eat lunch, and then go on with their journey. The entrance to these caves was sometimes rather small, and it was tough to fit a camel inside.

Another version is about the local geography of Jerusalem. There was a gate in Jerusalem called the eye of the needle. It was a tight fit, and camels had a tough time getting through. Had Jesus been to Jerusalem at this point in his ministry?

According to, the Koran tells the same story.
“The impious, who in his arrogance shall accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find the gates of heaven shut: nor shall he enter there till a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle. It is thus that we shall recompense the wicked.” Al Koran. Surat vii. ver. 37.” (The home page of Biblos has an ad… “What investment is up 18% a year for the last 11 years? Click to see now”)
Whether this quote is fact or fiction, literal or symbolic, it can make for some funny stories. Once PG walked through a living room, while a religious tv show was on. The telepastor was in his church’s private studio, which was not cheap to build and equip. The man was wearing a beautiful preaching costume, which no doubt cost a pretty penny. By the standards of the world, the dude was filthy rich. During the few seconds that PG paid attention, the man on the tv said something about a camel.

Those who go For The Win should take heed of the last verse of Matthew 19.
“But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.”

Eat Pray Love Chronicles Part One

Posted in Book Reports by chamblee54 on April 18, 2012

Bead 109This story starts when PG heard a TED talk, Atheism 2.0. The TEDder, Alain de Botton, said
“Okay, we’re not going to have new TED. We’re just going to run through all the old ones and watch them five times because they’re so true. We’re going to watch Elizabeth Gilbert five times because what she says is so clever,” PG had seen a bloggingheads episode with Miss. Gilbert, and she seemed like a pleasant enough person. A few weeks later, as if by magic, a copy of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia showed up on the new book shelf at the Chamblee library.
The first chapter described the way the book was to be organized. There is a prayer bead device in India called japa malas. It is a string with 108 beads, and is used in meditation. It is the forerunner of the rosary. Ms. Gilbert decided to divide her book into 108 chapters. This is a magic number. It is three, to the third power, multiplied by two, to the second power. PG read this immediately after writing a post with 108 lines.
PG has written chapter by chapter impressions of books before. It has been a while, and EPL seemed like a good candidate. If it gets too corny, there is no obligation to finish. The PG chapters may only have the slightest resemblance to what goes on in the book. It will be an excuse to write. It is also a good way to read a book.

Bead 001 Ms. Gilbert is in Italy. This is the first part of her year abroad. She has a friend named Giovanni, who she is hot for. She also thinks it would be a bad move to fool around with him. In this chapter, she goes to dinner with Giovanni, and goes back to her room, alone. Before she goes to bed, she offers a prayer of thanks.
When PG hears the name Gilbert, he always thinks of a gas station attendant in Florida. It was one of the last family vacations, before PG got to be old enough to stay home. The family went to Panama City, to a hotel run by Ora Lovelady. At the gas station en route, the man looked at mom, and said
“She putts me to mind of one of the Gilbert girls, from DeFuniak Springs.” Dad thought this was hilarious, and told the story dozens of times.
Evidently, Elizabeth Gilbert was born Elizabeth Gilbert, and stayed that way. The last post of the eat-pray-love-fans blog was Hyperion cancels book by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ex-Husband. His name was Michael Cooper. Her current husband is José Nunes.

Bead 002 In this chapter, Ms. Gilbert time trips back a few years, to the time before her marriage fell apart. She realized she did not want to have a baby, nor did she want to be married. The trouble was, no other options were very appealing. She decided to pray about it.
As regular readers of this blog know, PG is not a Jesus worshiper. Nor is he an atheist. The concept of prayer can be very appealing, and seems like, at the very least, it could not hurt. And yet, after the turmoil kicked up by Jesus worshipers, PG just cannot bring himself to pray. The person, who had the most spiritual influence on PG, snarled
“I’m going to pray for you brother” out of anger. This, and many other incidents, makes PG unwilling to try prayer. If you get drunk on a particular kind of whiskey, and have a horrible hangover, you never want to even smell it again.
Another problem is the question, who is prayer directed to? Beliefs about G-d are like assholes and opinions… everybody’s got theirs. The best concept that PG has heard is the one from the lecturer at a Moonie camp. The value of the chemicals in the human body is estimated to be anywhere from six to a hundred dollars. And yet, no white coat chemist can combine these elements to make a person. To the moonies, G-d is the difference between a human being, and six dollars worth of chemicals.
There are other ways to express this concept. Some see G-d as the software, or the DNA, of the universe. Others say her domain is limited to earth. Gustave Flaubert is credited, by G–gle , with the saying “G-d is in the details.” Maybe G-d is the whirlwind that blows through a junkyard, and creates a jet engine. Some say G-d and man are indivisible, others say they are separate. PG is only sure of one thing. G-d does not write books. (To those who say prayer should come from the heart, and not the head … the pain Jesus has caused PG is felt in the heart. Mental pain is easier to rationalize away.)

Bead 003 Ms. Gilbert goes paddling up a tributary in this chapter, talking about what she means by G-d. At the end, she believes in a magnificent G-d.
A few hours ago, PG put eight tomato plants in the ground. While walking back uphill, to the one part of the backyard that gets sunlight, PG decided to have a few words for G-d. Any help you can give will be appreciated. Lets see if we can do better than we did last year. When you get tired of sending rain, send more rain, and then more. The people in Texas can dry up, just don’t let any more of their governors get elected President. Just because Jimmy Carter came from Georgia, that doesn’t mean Texas can get uppity. This was not said in anybody’s name. PG wonders why anyone would talk to G-d in somebody else’s name.

Bead 004 Liz is still in the bathroom of her fabulous home, praying away. Finally, G-d speaks to her, and tells her to go to bed.
A few years ago, PG had a job driving a truck in Cobb County. When he was stopped at a red light, next to the Big Chicken, he would talk to G-d. One time, the question was “why does Jesus hate me?”. The answer was
“I don’t know”.
Bead 005 The story of EPL is simple. The life of Liz Gilbert is a disaster. This chapter tells a big part of the story. She decides to leave her husband. A rebound bf comes into the picture, and a blissful summer ensues. Then it is September 11, 2001. The divorce machinery is warming up. David, the bf, starts to be a problem. This is not good.

Bead 006 Miss Gilbert’s life is in ruins, but she now has time to do what she wants to do. One thing is to learn Italian. For some reason, the language has always appealed to her. Every new word is a like a piece of candy.
PG is not wired for learning new languages. The first class he ever flunked was ninth grade Latin. In 1996, he bought some tapes and books, and tried to learn Spanish. His mexican friend looked at him like he was crazy. The tapes gave him brain damage. This is living next to a census tract that is 92% hispanic. Outside of “tu trabajo es su credito” at the used car lot, PG is just as monolingual as ever.

Bead 007 This has nothing to do with James Bond. The numbers in the book are single digit, then double digits, then, finally after 99, triple digits. PG got into triple digits when he was working with creating print jobs from files. It just works a lot better with those useless zeros.
Zero is the great improvement of arabic numbers over the roman variety. Even though nothing is nothing, it should take a place when it is time to count. Without zero we would not have negative numbers, nor the existential threat of the square root of negative one.
In this chapter of EPL, David, the rebound bf from hell, introduces Liz to an Indian spiritual teacher. It turns out she lives in India, has an ashram, and no one in New York has ever met her. The mantra of choice is Om Namah Shivaya, which translates as “I honor the divinity that resides within me. Lady Gilbert decides to go to India, and visit the Ashram.

Bead 008 The magazine that Liz Gilbert works for hands her an assignment to go to Indonesia. This was after Barack Obama lived there… the whereabouts of his stepfather were not mentioned in this chapter. While there, she met a Balinese medicine man.
“What I want to learn is how to live in this world, and enjoy it’s delights, but also devote myself to God”. Ketut Liyer, the medicine man, showed her a drawing. “It was na androgynous human figure, standing up. hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart…. To find the balance that you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the the earth this it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart instead. That way, you will know G-d”  PG wonders if he could keep this advice.
Bead 009 The divorce drama is getting intense. The ex is refusing to sign an agreement, and it looks like a court battle is eminent. Meanwhile, Miss Gilbert goes on a book tour, with a supportive friend in tow. The friend convinces Liz to make a written petition to G-d, to resolve this divorce business once and for all. The petition is written, and numerous friends and celebrities sign on, by proxy, in a motorcar driving across Kansas. At this point, the cell phone rings. It is an attorney, with the news that the ex has signed the papers.

Bead 010 There is a symmetry to 010, especially when it is preceded by a blank space. Liz Gilbert would be very happy if this bead had been preceded by a blank space, instead of the turmoil of her 911 life. This chapter is the end of the beginning. The divorce is paid for, the properties disposed of, and a handy publisher contributes an book advance. The plan is to be in Italy four months, India four months, and Indonesia four months. It would have been cheaper to spend the time in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, but then it would have been called Dribble, Duck, and Eat. It would have a corny ending.

Bead 011 Miss Gilbert eats her first meal in Rome. She quotes a letter by the poet Shelley, who was horrified that women of social rank ate garlic in Italy. After the meal, Miss Gilbert goes to her dwelling and falls asleep.
Today is download day for Chamblee54. If you are going to have pictures from The Library of Congress, then you have to download. The machine pulls down 11mb a minute. The current image is Hoerr’s feed store in Peoria, IL. It was photographed for the Farm Security Administration in 1938. PG has never been to Peoria, IL. An acquaintance of PG named David Wallach used to talk about moving to Peoria, IL, and opening a bar. This was before he killed himself.

Bead 012 The campaign to learn Italian is going full blast. Miss Gilbert will read newspaper articles, and look up every third word. She learns that Italian babies are the fattest in Europe. There is more talk about the fountains of Rome, and the aqueducts that brought all that water into the City.
The day before, PG had gone to a park near his house. Mason Mill park was an abandoned water works. The old buildings are covered with festive graffiti. It had been a while since PG had been there, and going on this day was not really a good idea. On February 8, PG twisted his right knee, and has been carefully rehabbing it ever since. One is carefully with the route, if every step has the potential for pain. As it turns out, some do gooders had been to the park, building concrete walkways and fences. One more neat place has been nannified into bland regularity. And yes, one of the concrete structures had been turned into a fountain.

Bead 013 This is where Liz Gilbert evaluates herself as a traveler. She has her good points and her bad points. The best of her good points is the ability to make friends easily. This might be the weakest of PG’s weak points. He is a Zorlack… the race of people that even the most politically correct feel encouraged to hate on. PG did not ask to be a Zorlack. If he had his druthers, he would still be on Thrunombulax, among critters who understand him. Life is not fair, even if fair is a baseball hit between first and third base. PG is a popup headed into the seats behind the catcher. The good news is that his continued existence is an annoyance to people who need to be both pissed off and pissed on.

Bead 014 The idea of going to Italy is to learn Italian. PG could walk a mile from his house, (if his knee would cooperate) and be in Mexico. This is not what Miss Gilbert wants, so she has to go to Rome, where she will consider doing as the Romans do. She goes to the first day at the Leonardo da Vinci Academy of Language Studies. A test is given, and Miss Gilbert is placed in a level two class. A few minutes into the first session, her head is spinning. A trip to the office is made, and Liz Gilbert is placed in a level one class.
In 1971, the fad in Dekalb county was to have students spend their last year of high school at a community college. Some schools were overcrowded, and saw this as a handy way to get rid of students. PG was just happy to get out of Cross Keys. When it was time to register, you could take English 101, or a remedial class. PG was a good writer, and signed up for 101. The first week of class, PG wrote an essay. The teacher, Ann Peets, read the essay to the class. It was presented as being an example of how NOT to write.
Ann Peets was a great teacher. She said things that PG remembers 40 years later.
A woman went to William Faulkner, and said she had read Sanctuary five times, and did not understand it. He told her to read it a fifth time. The best way to win an argument is to use statistics. The best way to get statistics is to make them up.
Bead 015 The bead is about the origins of Italian. It is a good story. PG hopes it is true. This is a problem, when authors take a break from their story to deliver a lesson. You have to trust them to know the facts. Since it doesn’t much matter anyway, PG will believe her.
It seems as though Latin was the dominant language of Europe. As time passed by, the dialects of the regions got more and more different. The language spoke in the dominant city became recognized as the correct version of the language. PG is happy that american english did not adopt New Yorkese as the accepted variety.
Italy was another story, with it being a collection of warring city states most of it’s history. To this day, many wonder if a unified Italy is a good idea. (Is today an abbreviated form of to this day?) So anyway, some fart smellers smart fellers decided to use the language of Dante as the official Italian.
A few months after PG took English101, he got a job on the maintenance crew at Northlake Mall. There was a security dog there named Dante. It was PG’s job to go walk Dante. This was before the office buildings surrounding the mall had been built. Northlake Parkway had a bridge over I285, with woods on all sides of it. Atlanta was a much greener city then.

Bead 016 Depression and Loneliness plugged in a GPS, found Liz Gilbert, and came to pay a visit. This is to be expected. PG calls it the 24 hour syndrome. Typically, about a day into your adventure, you realize that you are the same sorry person as before. You let it pass, and a few hours later you are back in the game.
By contrast, PG is having an excellent day. He rode his bike to the county tax office, chained it to a railing, got his wallet, cellphone, book, and car renewal papers out of the box, and walked into the office. The guard said to go to the lady at the first window. There was no waiting in line. This may never happen again.

Bead 017 It turns out that Miss Gilbert uses anti depressants. The standard story is told…she was staring at her left wrist, with a knife in her her right hand. (This is an invented detail. When you ask Mr. Google if Miss Gilbert is left handed, you are referred to a blog post. One of the commenters said
“Take some time, using the left-hand navigation list on their site, and dig into topics you are interested in.” ) So modern chemistry saved her life, la dee dah.
PG never saw any benefit from using pills. Years of self medication with beer and reefer was fun, but PG got bored. It is true, when you sober up, your problems are still there. PG does not rule out chemical depression suppression. It might indeed work for others. It might not work for PG, and the money can be better spent elsewhere.

Bead 018 Part of the maturity process is learning to enjoy cheap food. You can buy a bag of mixed beans at Kroger, divide the bag in half, soak half the beans, and store the other half in an empty peanut butter jar. When the beans have absorbed water, you put them in a pot, and turn the gas on full blast. Set the timer for 4:00, and be prompt about going back to the stove. Turn the heat down to where the blue flames are just barely visible. Put the lid on, with a little bit hanging over the edge so the steam can get out. Set the timer for 33:33. When the timer makes the appropriate noise, go turn the heat off. This is a dangerous process. If you don’t turn down the heat after 4:00, the frothy mix at the top will boil over, and make a horrible mess on your stovetop. (This frothy mix is more edible than Santorum.) If you forget to turn off the heat after 33:33, then the beans will eventually burn, and you will need to evacuate your kitchen.
The other night, PG went to a potluck supper. When he made the pre dinner trip to Kroger, the easter candy was 70% off. PG bought a handful of little chocolate bunnies, only one of which was chosen by a diner. This did not hurt PG’s feelings, who looked forward to having chocolate bunnies to snack on. When it was time for lunch today, PG scooped a serving of beans out of the plastic container, and placed them in the pot. To this he added a little chocolate bunny, which he broke into pieces. After a few minutes of heating, a bean soup, with chocolate bunny sauce, awaited PG.
Ok, this is supposed to be about Bead 018. In this chapter, Miss Gilbert is in panic mode. She is depressed and has run out of Wellbutrin. The answer is to take out a secret notepad, and tell the notepad about her trubbles. The spirit within tells her to write a message, saying that she was loved. Miss Gilbert goes to bed, and all is well.
By amazing coincidence, before he wrote about Bead 018, PG listened to a conversation on BlogginheadsTV. Ross Douthat is hitting the mammon circuit with a new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.
(“What’s the point of writing a book if you can’t be a little bit judgmental”) One of the featured segments was The heresy of “Eat, Pray, Love”.
Here is the money quote. (Mistakes happen when PG transcribes.)
Ross Douthat– The problem is, the word I use is narcissism. The peril of having too close an identification between G-d and the self. Robert Wright– You mean she hears G-d as her own voice when she has an epiphany? That it sounds like her talking, is that what you mean? Ross Douthat– Thats what I mean. More generally, it’s the idea that you identify G-d with your most authentic self. ” Mr. Wright has never read Eat, Pray, Love, but he describes the chapter that PG was about to critique.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The spell check suggestion for Douthat is handout.

Dribble, Morsel, People

Posted in Commodity Wisdom by chamblee54 on April 17, 2012

Before the haggle of hypocritic haha hit the whoha, PG checked in on TwentyTwoWords. The subject today is “10 normal words that sound funny when you think about them too long.” This is  more fun.

The original ten words are
buffalo, clump, dribble, morsel, people, rattle, shampoo, smock, wasps, wool. The comments add blog, canker, Cool Whip, duty, gesundheit, forehead, goiter, machete, problem, scissors, soap, trouser and umbrella. In the case of wasps and goiter, the word may be funny, but the reality is not. Got a problem?
One commenter who pays attention added :
“Last week for this very reason I had to run spell check on the word “been” because it appeared too absurd to be possible.  FWIW, Ed Clowney, former president of Westminster Seminary, maintained that this effect was at the root of much Eastern mysticism. Persevere Perserverate on any word and the discursive part of our brain would be thrown into neutral and what he called the intuitive would take over, leading some to believe they had become one with the universe.”
As obituary readers know, many dead people have funny sounding names. It is considered rude to laugh. This is a repost.