Christmas Stories

Posted in Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on November 29, 2012

The day after thanksgiving is the official start of the christmas season. The last few years, PG has been weary of the turf fighting of the Jesus worshipers The jws like to think that they are the only ones entitled to a holiday celebration. It gets nasty.
The truth is, as long as PG remembers, Christmas has been a secular holiday with a religious element. The parties and gift giving are a great way to wind up the year. The so called birth of Jesus really has very little to do with it.

In the early days of christianism, the pagan romans had a major celebration around the winter solstice. This is the longest night, and the end of the annual cycle of birth, death, and revival. The early Jesus worshipers decided to have a comparable celebration. It is uncertain when Jesus was technically born, and many scholars today believe that it was sometime in the spring.

For a long time, PG was able to ignore the religious hoopla, and focus on the joy of the season. In recent years, the Jesus Worshipers have made more of an issue out of the “War on Christmas”. Bill O’Reilly, with his instinct for a divisive issue, has been a ringleader. Where once the secular and religious people could celebrate a happy season together…and, truth be told, many still do… there is a now a conflict. The Jesus worshipers make an exclusive claim to the festivities, and those who don’t agree with them are out of luck. It has become a fighting issue whether to say happy holidays or merry christmas. PG would like to get back to peace on earth, and good will towards men.

CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING THE CASHIER’S STATION! With all the Christmas shopping soon this is something we MUST do! I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn’t request a cash back and to delete it. She said I’d have to take the $40 because she couldn’t delete it. I told her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came and said I’d have to take it. I said NO! I didn’t want $40 cash advance! If they couldn’t delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order and re-scan everything! When I looked at the electronic pad before I signed again, a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier and she deleted it. The total then came out right. The cashier commented that the Electronic Pad must be defective. Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad was defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me and at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Alert everyone. My co-worker went to Walmart last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn’t give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My co-worker didn’t look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt had a $20 cash back entry . SHE HAD NOT ASKED FOR CASH BACK!

My co-worker subsequently called Wal-Mart who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank, and her niece told her this: This is new scam going on. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in line.

CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS RIGHT AWAY WHEN USING CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS! This is NOT limited to Wal-Mart, although they are the largest retailer so they have the most incidents. Here’s a personal experience: My husband and I were in Wal-Mart North Salisbury and paying with credit card when my husband went to sign the credit card signer he just happen to notice there was a $20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said that the machine had been messing up and she canceled it. We really didn’t think anything of it until we read this email. I wonder how many “seniors” or busy Moms/Dads have been or will be “stung” by this one? To make matters worse, this scam can be done anywhere, at any retail or wholesale location! Check your receipt BEFORE leaving the cashier’s station!

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

A Million Little Pieces

Posted in Book Reports by chamblee54 on November 28, 2012

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots: “Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.” The nearest book to the desk is A Million Little Pieces. This is a good excuse to finally write the book report on AMLP.

“I wish I could sit next to her, or call her, or pass her a note.”
James Frey is talking about “Michelle”. In the story, she is the only person in a small town who is not repulsed by James. She becomes his friend. One night, she has a date with an older boy, and tells her parents she is going to a movie with James. During the date, “Michelle” is killed by a freight train. The parents blame James, who becomes a drunken pariah.
As you may know, AMLP is a controversial book. It became an Oprah fueled sensation. Next, The Smoking Gun published an expose, A Million Little Lies. The story about “Michelle” was one of many instances where TSG called BS on James Frey.

The first time PG heard of TSG was about their collection of Celebrity Mug Shots.
This was also the link between TSG and AMLP.
“It was after the Oprah show aired that TSG first took a look at Frey. We had simply planned to track down one of his many mug shots, and add it to our site’s large collection. While Frey offers no specific details about when and where he was collared, the book does mention three states where he ran into trouble: Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina. While nine of Frey’s 14 reported arrests would have occurred when he was a minor, there still remained five cases for which a booking photo (not to mention police and court records) should have existed. When we asked Frey if his reporting of the laundry list of juvenile crimes and arrests was accurate, he answered, “Yeah, some of ’em are, some of ’em aren’t. I mean I just sorta tried to play off memory for that stuff.”
By the time PG found A Million Little Pieces at a yard sale, the controversy had become a trivia question. It had to be worth twenty cents. The question might be, is this book worth the time out of your life?

There are a lot of angles to AMLP, though probably not a million. There are some interviews with Mr. Frey on youtube. He seems to have a healthy ego. In AMLP, James comes across as being a very unlikeable person. For some mysterious reason, some people take a special interest in James, and he is rescued from his chemical addictions. Or so he says.

The story starts out strong. James is on an airplane. He has been beaten up, and does not know where he is going. It seems like he is going to rehab, specifically Hazelden in Minnesota. (This facility is never named in the book.) James is in bad, bad shape. If he doesn’t quit drinking and using, he is going to die. One thing he has going for him is wealthy parents. His father is a businessman working in Toyko. Apparently, this is where the bills will go.

James needs dental work, and has a root canal done without pain medication. Next, he wants to leave the program, but is talked out of it. The dude is a total jerk at this point, and the reader wonders why anyone would care about him. Also, there is little in his background that would lead him to being a horrific druggie. These are a few of the pieces that don’t fit into the puzzle.

PG was about a third through AMLP when he read the Smoking Gun hit piece. There were also a few video interviews to listen to. The picture of James Frey as an egomaniac jerk starts to come out, in addition to the numerous lies in the book.

James has some interesting ideas about addiction and recovery. He disagrees with the concept of addiction as a disease. James does not buy the idea of 12 step programs being the ultimate recovery device.
PG is a retired drunk, and has never been to an AA meeting. From what PG has heard about the program, it would incline the 12 stepper to start drinking again. While AA does help some people, it is not the only game in town.
AMLP is well written, and fun to read. Maybe fun is not the correct word for having root canal without Novocaine, but AMLP does keep your attention. If you can suspend your critical thinking long enough, you can easily get through this book. James Frey has a book about religion, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. He is quoted as saying that people accept the Bible as inerrant truth, despite many who dispute this claim. He says that one day AMLP will be seen as the truth. (This last statement was in one of the video interviews. It may not be totally accurate. Listening to all those interviews again, to confirm or disprove this memory, is too much work for this book report.)

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Forty Nine Years Ago In Dallas

Posted in History, Politics by chamblee54 on November 26, 2012

PG stumbled onto a video sunday about the murder of President John Kennedy. The new take this video brings to the discussion is the idea that the gunman in front of the President was not on the grassy knoll. Instead, this person was in a storm sewer, below street level.

Thanksgiving was the forty ninth anniversary of the shooting. The conspiracy speculation seems to have gotten quieter. Maybe it is a generation thing, but people don’t seem as interested in the Kennedy killing as they once were. People of a certain age seem to be full of speculation about what happened that Friday afternoon. When PG decided to do this post, he made a list of points to bring up. Almost immediately, three pages of notes appeared.

In 1980, PG was on a Greyhound Bus for British Columbia. It had a layover in Dallas. PG went for a walk, and soon recognized the triple underpass, the grassy knoll, and the School Book Depository. This was sixteen years after coming home from church, and seeing Lee Oswald killed on television.

The top video embedded today proposes a collaboration between the CIA and the Mafia. Both organizations would have motives for wanting to see JFK killed. It must have been a rude shock to any conspirators to learn that Abraham Zapruder had made a film of the shooting. Mr. Zapruder is in the second video. This is a broadcast on local Dallas TV, the afternoon of the shooting.

The Zapruder film was not played for many years. The film was purchased by Time-Life publications. Still shots of the film were published, and the various investigations allowed to view it, but the film itself was not played, as a moving picture, for the public for many years. PG first saw it moving in 1982, as part of an HBO film about Nostradamus. When seen as a moving picture, it is more supporting of a second gunman than if it is seen as still pictures.

After the killing, the Warren Commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, investigated the shooting. The Warren Commission reported that Lee Oswald, acting alone, killed the President. One member of the Warren Commission was Gerald Ford, who later became President without being elected. It should be noted that some people agree with the Warren Commission. One of the videos embedded here makes a semi-plausible case for the “Single Bullet Theory”. This video does not explain why the President was shot in front, by a gunman behind him.

Lee Oswald started work at the school book depository on October 16, 1963. The parade route went in front of the building. PG does not know if this is the normal route for parades in Dallas.

The FBI was probably keeping an eye on Mr. Oswald. He had a Soviet wife, and had tried to defect to the Soviet Union. It is possible that J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, knew what was going on, could have stopped it, but decided to let the killing go ahead and happen. The Hoover option is tough to prove, or disprove, and would explain a lot of other mysterious events. like Pearl Harbor and Nine Eleven. The government sees something about to happen, realizes there are benefits for certain players in that action taking place, and allows it to happen.

In addition to the CIA and organized crime, many other players had motives for wanting bad things to happent to John Kennedy. They include the FBI, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Hoffa, Fidel Castro, former Vietnamese dictators, jealous husbands, and enemies of Joe Kennedy, the President’s father. Since Jackie Kennedy was sitting next to him, and got her pink outfit dirty, she can probably be excused from suspicion. She had her own way of getting even with a skirt chasing husband.

In September of 1963, John Kennedy was scheduled to speak at Georgia Tech. For some reason, there was controversy. On August 16, 1963, the speech at Georgia Tech was cancelled.

In earcly November of 1963, the government of South Vietnam was deposed in a CIA assisted coup. There was talk of withdrawing the American advisors, and staying out of that war. It may be a coincidence, but the war was escalated under Lyndon Johnson. Millions of American soldiers saw duty in Vietnam, and fifty nine thousand died.

While trying to find out more about the Georgia Tech non appearance, this item was found. This incident was the week before the ill fated trip to Dallas. This was published in Time magazine, which later purchased the Zapruder film.
“Near week’s end, Kennedy flew into Manhattan, aged his Secret Service detail ten years by forgoing the usual motorcycle escort into the city. At one of ten midtown traffic lights that stopped the presidential limousine, an ambitious female camera bug rushed up and fired a flashbulb at Kennedy’s side of the car. Moaned a New York police official: “She might well have been an assassin.” (italics mine) As for the purpose of the President’s stop-and-go entrance into New York, the official explanation was that he wanted no “fuss and feathers.”
This is written like H. P. Lovecraft.
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Two Stories

Posted in Music, Politics, The Death Penalty by chamblee54 on November 25, 2012

Today’s production is two stories from 2008. PG walked down New Peachtree Road. This is Atlanta, where there are a couple of hundred roads named Peachtree. No one seems to mind that most of the peach farms are south of Macon. The peaches grow a lot better there. They fuzz comes in heavier, and the pits are pittier. One time Dagwood Bumstead asked why peaches have fuzz. His wife Blondie said, if they has arms they could shave. PG was walking down the road in the rain, with a freight train going down the tracks in a southern direction. This is forty percent of the ingredients for the perfect country and western song.

When PG was younger and drunker, there was a place on Clairmont Road called the watering hole. He would go there, drink beer, play pool, and have a good old time. As was the custom in such facilities, there was a jukebox. The patrons put money in the box and played the songs that they wanted to hear. A favorite was “you never even called me by my name” There is a little spoken part, where David Allan Coe talks about the perfect country and western song. This song must talk about rain, Momma, trains, trucks, prison, and gettin’ drunk.

New Peachtree Road has this gravel yard where the eighteen wheelers come and go. There was a big rig backing into place when PG walked by, and he may have heard the truck bump into a trailer. PG walked in the rain, between the train, and a big rig going bump against the trailer. The problem was, Momma’s gone, PG doesn’t get drunk, and prison is too much work. So much for the perfect country western song.

The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ” I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this.

PG told the Steve Goodman story another time. A few weeks later, this comment was in the spam folder.

Great to see your blog post that invokes Arlo Guthrie’s version of Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” Goodman often doesn’t get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music.” The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of “City of New Orleans,” and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,080 interviewees.

The book also delves deeply into “You Never Even Call Me by My Name.” John Prine and David Allan Coe were key interviewees, and the book debunks the notion, promulgated by Coe, that Coe had anything to do with triggering the famous last verse of the song.

Finally, the Humphrey story actually stems from Goodman campaigning for Sen. Edmund Muskie in Florida in early 1972.

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book’s first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography. If you’re not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. ‘Nuff said!

Back to empathy for a minute. The word always takes PG back to an auditorium in Clarkston GA in 1971. PG was in his first quarter at Dekalb College. Today,the institution is known as Georgia Perimeter College. One of the selling points of college has always been the outside speakers that were brought to campus. This day, the subject was abortion.

A note on set and setting is appropriate. In 1971, New York state had legalized the abortion procedure. Roe vs. Wade was in the pipeline that would lead to the Supreme Court. That ruling would not be issued for another fifteen months. In the meantime, abortion was illegal in 49 states, including Georgia. The debate about abortions was not as politicized as today. The nomenclature of choice and life had not entered the vocabulary.

The Vietnam war was still being fought, although with fewer Americans in combat. The withdrawal of US forces took most of the steam out of the anti war movement. The modern spectacle of a person supporting a war, while claiming to be pro life, did not happen.

PG walked into the auditorium and found a seat. The lady began her presentation. After a few minutes of talk…she said something about a woman who was artificially inseminated with masturbated semen… the house lights were dimmed. A black and white film of an abortion was shown. It was noted when the fetus went into the vacuum cleaner attachment. The house lights were brought back up. They should have remained dim, as the woman was not kind on the eyes.

The closing part of her presentation was a song she wrote. She sang acapella. The song was written out of empathy with the not to be born baby. The song was titled ” My mother My grave”. PG left the auditorium, and went to world history class.

Shut Up Franklin Graham

Posted in Politics, Religion, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on November 24, 2012

PG was researching the previous post, and decided to check up on little Ralphie Reed. His group’s website has a headline video, Franklin Graham: America Has Turned Its Back on God. It does not mention why anyone should care.

Franklin Graham’s claim to fame is his father. Billy Graham is a TV preacher superstar. The elder Graham is still alive, so it is fair to make negative comments. PG walked through the living room countless nights, and saw parents glued to the tube. The Billy Graham crusade was a staple of television. The blow dried superpreacher stood in front of a football stadium full of admirers, telling people how not to go to hell. Sin, salvation, send money. Is that all there is?

If Franklin Graham did not have a superstar father, he would be nobody. Life is not fair, and the opinions of Franklin Graham, and his sister, Anne Graham Lotz, are treated with the reverence Catholics give to the thoughts of the Pope. Franklin Graham has gotten a lot of attention with some rude comments about Muslims. Islam and Christianity use the same G-d.

It was some comments about G-d in the video that annoyed PG. “We’ve turned out back on G-d. We’ve taken G-d out of our schools. We’ve taken G-d out of our government.” Apparently, Franklin Graham and PG have different thoughts about G-d.

G-d is in everything and everybody. If you turn your back on G-d, she will still be looking you in the eye. If you have a room full of children, then G-d is present in that room. This idea of a puny G-d, that you can turn your back on, may be the most offensive thing ever said by the Graham family, Inc.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. @Franklin_Graham has 0 tweets and 21,213 followers.

Arlo Guthrie And Ralph Reed

Posted in History, Music, Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on November 24, 2012

PG is a slack writer. This does not mean that he writes about slack (a contradiction), but that he often has an idea for a post, and then never follows through. His desktop is cluttered with files, each containing the start of a post. The concept today is to take a few of these, write a bit about each, through some pictures in, and call it a day.The pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

The first snipoid is about Ralph Reed . Mr. Reed is a professional Christian, the youthful looking head of publicity groups. At one time he was the big dog at something called the Christian Coalition. He left that to start his own consulting company.

This was the first time Mr. Reed and PG became connected. There is an office space on Presidential Drive, just down the road from the round hotel. PG ran bluelines in this space, until circumstances moved him into a midtown workplace. After the blueprint company moved out, a company called Century Strategies moved into this space. Century Strategies was the consulting firm that Mr. Reed started after leaving the Christian Coalition. While PG does not know whether Mr. Reed actually used this office, it gives him a warm feeling to think that he has shared a commode with this celebrity.

Later, Ralph Reed caused another problem for PG. In 2006, Mr. Reed ran for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. He lost to Casey Cagle, whose shoelaces become untied. When the Republican Primary was held that year, PG felt obliged to help put an early stop to Mr. Reed’s elected ambitions.

The problem lies in the primary system. In Georgia, you must choose either Democrat or Republican, and in the inevitable runoff vote in the same party. To help Mr. Reed spend more time with his family, PG needed to vote Republican. There was a race on the Democratic side which was important.

Hank Johnson was running against Cynthia McKinney. While PG used to like Miss McKinney, after a while the joke grew old. She needed to retire. While Mr. Johnson won the runoff, PG would have liked to help. The bottom line is, Ralph Reed cost PG his last chance to vote against Cynthia McKinney.

This is a recycled post from two years ago. In the 2012 election, Mr. Reed tried to be a player. After it was over, there were harsh words for WMR. “At the National Press Club the day after the election, Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, criticized the Romney campaign and the Republican Party for “underperforming.” “We did our job,” said Reed. “But we can’t do the Republican Party’s job for them, and we can’t do the candidate’s job for him or her.”

The second part of this entertainment is about Arlo Guthrie . Last week was thanksgiving, which is connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, or tofurkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. It seems probable that he will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which claimed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line is, Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ” I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” (A biographer of Mr. Goodman said that it was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from two years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.

From Bad To Hearst

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on November 23, 2012

There is a delightful rantette, No Twinkies please, we’re dying. It is from a San Francisco web page, affiliated with a Hearst newspaper. PG wonders if Pattie read it. There is a person who can appreciate when things did not look too good.

The feature starts out: “Surely you must see. Surely you must understand. Don’t you know rockets are falling all over Gaza and Israel? Do you not read that more than 100 people have died already in brutal and insidious fighting that’s been going on since God was knee-high to a bogus misconception? Jesus Christ, quit whining about Twinkies already. Stop anonymous commenting about your little pet peeve social issue tech glitch culture itch fashion bitch. You do not have it so bad. You have never, comparatively speaking and with the proper sort of lens in place, had it so bad.”

The feature should be read in full. It will not take that much time, if you focus on it and don’t take any facebook breaks. A commenter notes “You may have caught me off guard and wasted two minutes of my life with this crap but the joke is on you as it took what, an hour of yours to write this?”

Another commenter is nicknamed lurch 394. PG always felt a kinship to the harpsichord playing butler. “I could not help but notice that powers that be (PTB) has the same initials as Phineas Taylor Barnum. One is born every minute, indeed.” P.T Barnum was sort of a contemporary to W.R. Hearst. Neither thought the public was very bright.

Getting back to the twinkie column, there does seem to be a lack of appreciation for how good things are. This is partially human nature. Part of it is the Darwinistic nature of Capitalism. If you were happy with the widget you had, there would be no need to build an ultrawidget. If you were happy with the POTUS, there would be no need to spend billions of dollars trying to replace him. Some of that money does trickle down to working people, although it is hard to tell sometime.

As for twinkies, this is textbook economics. If Hostess cannot make a profit on their junk food, then they go out of business. It doesn’t matter if it is greedy bosses, nitwit moneylenders, or a clumsy union that did Hostess in. It is probably a combination of all those factors. When you factor in the fact that people are starting to read the label on the box, and wonder what those chemicals do to them, you might wonder why dingdongs lasted as long as they did.

Maybe PG could add a personal note of gratitude. This is being written in the backyard. The laptop has wireless access to the rest of the world. The table was thrown away by someone else, but works just fine. The water is in a plastic cup, washed and reused countless times. PG has made it to 58 years old, despite misadventures that should have killed him long ago. Ditto the mister adventures. His body stills works without crippling pain, most of the time. The snack is steamed collard stems. No one has tried to save PG today. Life is good. It will be better when the neighbor is finished leafblowing his yard.

The pictures today were taken at Oakland Cemetery. Being buried in a cool place is not a good substitute for being alive. As for the dogs, they do not want to be human.

Turkey Dead Head

Posted in Georgia History, Music by chamblee54 on November 22, 2012

New Yorker has a long article this week, Deadhead The afterlife. It is about the tape archive of the Grateful Dead. There is no liberal media bias.

PG has known about the Dead since reading a Saturday Evening Post article about up and coming musical acts. This would have been in 67 or 68, when PG did not get it. There was a show in Piedmont Park in 1969, and a Veteran’s Day show at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium in 1971. A friend of PG, Hampton, went to the Auditorium show, and was born again. PG heard about every note of that show. Finally, in December 1973, PG saw the Grateful Dead at the Omni. It did not live up to expectations.

Here is something from a previous chamblee54 post. At page 213 , the Dead have just played the seminal concert at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. The Auditorium was a sturdy old building, with a marble statue of Enrico Caruso in the lobby. Before the Fox was liberated from movie shows and the Civic Center civilized, the Auditorium was the only place in town to play. The bottom floor was horseshoe shaped, lit by naked light bulbs sticking out of the wall at a ninety degree angle. The base of these bulbs was blacked out to create an ersatz shade.

Soon after that show, 1971 became 1972, the dead went to europe, and america set out to re elect the president. Mr. Nixon had such an odious name, his own re election committee did not utter it. Meanwhile, Jerry and the boys went to Europe, recorded an album, did not get arrested, and were introduced to an opiate called Persian White. The latter would dominate the life of the fabled Garcia in the years to come.

About a year before that Omni show, another friend, Clam, had a Buford Hiway apartment to himself for a couple of weeks, and a new stereo. He had a copy of “Europe 72″, a three record set of the Dead playing in Europe. This has degenerated to this:”A whole section of the vault housed the sixteen-track fourteen-inch reels from the Dead’s tour of Europe in 1972. Last year, the Dead released the entire tour: a seventy-three-disk boxed set containing all twenty-two concerts and more than seventy hours of music. It came in a small steamer trunk and cost four hundred and fifty dollars. A run of twelve thousand two hundred sold out in four days. It is a pinnacle of completism, by the standards of any genre, and even a diehard might find it a test of patience to work through twenty-one versions of “Sugar Magnolia.” I got bogged down somewhere around Luxembourg.”

The NY article is written by another longtime fan. “The first memory I have of the Grateful Dead is of a classmate in sixth grade telling me he’d gone to see them with his older sister. He reported that the band consisted of a bunch of hairy old guys in baggy clothes sitting on a stage eating spaghetti. It occurred to me later that he might have made this up, or that his sister had perhaps said something about “noodling… I’ve never found anything in the literature regarding spaghetti.”

The article spends time discussing a show at the Fox Theater November 30, 1980. By this time, PG had done the vagabond thing, gone home, and was working at Davison’s downtown. He was totally out of the deadhead thing. The band soldiered on through the eighties. Jerry’s drug issues got worse and worse, and in 1986 he went into a diabetic coma and almost died.

At some point after that, the band became a floating party. The deadheads would take over the parking lot at the omni when they played here, and the community was a welcome lunch hour break from reality. On Mardi Gras day in 1992, PG said happymardigras to a girl, and she gave him a string of beads. Somehow, PG got to see omni shows in 1990 and 1991, and his life was not changed.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This was written like Arthur Clarke. The pictures have a thanksgiving theme. When November 1 is on thursday, turkey day is November 22. Forty nine years ago, John Kennedy went to Dallas, with unfortunate results. Millions of turkeys empathize.

“I used to work for a company that produced annual reports. One year, I was sent on this huge cross country trip to art direct a series of shots for a food processing mega-company, and one of the stops involved a turkey farm. Okay, so you have to understand that turkeys are extremely skittish birds. The slightest thing will set them off, so the farmer kept them in a large, basically dark barn just to keep them under some semblance of control. So we go in, and the photographer sets up the lights, which he gradually turned on so the birds (and me, for that matter) could get used to it. Everything’s going fine. We have the farmer in front of his (literally) hundreds of free-range turkeys. The photographer clicks off the shot… and in doing so sets off a flash he forgot he had triggered. Immediate chaos: birds running everywhere.At least a dozen fainted and died right on the spot. Farmer was none too happy.”

William S. Burroughs met his maker a while back. The hypocrisy accountants like to point out the moolah corporate amerika is making by picking the bones of his literary carcass. Those companies are mostly owned by Germans now. The profits are being loaned to Greece, at usurious rates that insure their poverty for the next millenia.

There are two Burroughs famous for writing. The other is Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote the Tarzan books. A hippie is someone who dresses like Tarzan, wears his hair like Jane, and smells like Cheetah. There is the Burroughs office equipment company, whose success fueled the decadent lifestyle of William Seward Burroughs.

Maybe The Cheetah is the place to be on this turkey day.
In compliance with United States Code, Title 18, Section 2257, all models, actors, actresses and other persons that appear in any visual depiction of actual sexually explicit conduct, simulated sexual content or otherwise, displayed on our Website, were at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time such depictions were created. Records required to be maintained pursuant to United States Code, Title 18, Section 2257, are kept by the custodian of records | Jack Braglia, VP, Operations | Cheetah Lounge | 887 Spring Street, NW | Atlanta, GA 30308.
Back to Willie Burroughs. The comments at his video give lie to the thought that intelligence is transmitted in a linear fashion. Like the humanoid who opined “William S. Burroughs was nearly jailed for obscenity for his words half a century ago. Now you can find his thanksgiving prayer on youtube, framed by Vevo artist Rhianna, pre-empted by a commercial for Ford Trucks. The revolution will be televised to sell Nike sneakers.” And whoever said that the occupation movement is really about consumerism run amok? “wow! buying stuff is almost as fun as creating something, but only requires the cognitive skills of a counting german shepherd. consumerism IS better than thinking.”

So, maybe this has gone on long enough. Today is the day for eating too much, watching overpaid steroid fiends bash each other in the gut, and maybe go to the store for the first round of shopping. But don’t forget to remember…”The neo-liberal is about as liberal as Archie Bunker. They are doctrinaire, intolerant of dissent and essentially unable to think outside of the talking points they get at the Daily Pus and Mania Matters. impressionable. gullible and driven by a deep seated hatred of western civilization, nee Christianity. That may be why they identify with Muslims, Castro and every other species of arrogant ideologue and totalitarian. Neo-Liberalism is a dangerous auto-immune disease.” “Your literary style isn’t effective. It is needlessly flowery and pretentious. Bravo.”

Happy Urban Legend

Posted in Politics, Religion by chamblee54 on November 21, 2012

A facebook friend posted a commentary at three am. The entire piece would spoil the rythym of this post, so you can read it here. Authorship was credited to a man named Ben Stein. At some point in the affair, Mr. Stein says “Next confession: I am a Jew”.

Evidently, Mr. Stein was not happy about the “war on Christmas”. Every year, about this time, people huff and puff about the way people greet each other between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The “Merry Christmas” sayers are offended that everyone does not same the same words.

It used to be the holiday season was a time of celebration. If you wanted to go crazy about the christian legends, you could. If you wanted to shop until you drop, you were encouraged. If you wanted to eat, drink, and be merry, that was fine too. In fact, the original meaning of merry was drunk.

PG doesn’t mind people saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Super Solstice. It depends on what kind of soup you are offering. It should be meant as a friendly greeting, an expression of peace on earth, and good will to men. If saying Merry Christmas means that your way of celebrating is better than mine,  that leaves out the good will.

Mr. Stein, whoever he is, is entitled to his opinions. What is fun to watch here is the way people embellish the original commentary. Before long, “Billy Graham’s daughter” is running her PK mouth about what G-d was telling us after Hurricane Katrina. It was very similar to what she said about nine eleven. It has been viralized before, and probably will be again. (spell check suggestions: vitalized, liberalized, visualized, trivialized, federalized) These viral things never seem to go away.

PG made a comment about the FB post, and went out. Soon, there was another comment. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter when something was originally written or who modified it afterward, after all this is not court room testimony. This is especially true if the message has meaning. I guess if you can re-release a statement based on current events, and the statement remains applicable, then the statement is relevant. Wouldn’t we all like to say or write timeless dialog. Thanks for sharing it.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is written like H. P. Lovecraft.

Turkey Talk

Posted in History, Politics by chamblee54 on November 20, 2012

Ben Franklin thought the turkey should be america’s national bird. It is identified with Thanksgiving, the holiday in November before Christmas. Mr. Franklin would not recognize the old bird today.

Turkeys have a tough life these days. Raised in factories where the lights are on 24/7, their beaks and claws are routinely broken off early on. For more details, read this piece in the New York Times, or a tasteful blog, What Would Jesus Eat.

PETA sometimes goes too far, and sometimes violates good taste. The commercial here was rejected by NBC. It uses the cliche of the little girl praying to call attention to the sorry state of the turkey. While annoying and easy to dismiss, the commercial does tell a tale.

PG should fess up at this point, and admit that he is a party to these horrors. A full blown carnivore (except for vienna sausages, which are gross), PG has no room to talk about the horrors of industrial meat production. It is Babylon…the government borrows trillions of dollars from the Chinese to pay for a war in Iraq, a book assembled by a Catholic Committee is called “The word of G-d”, and meat producing animals are raised in squalor.

A person, who is sometimes called a turkey, gave a press conference last year. The photo op was in front of a device that mutilates turkeys, and the meat processing continued while she talked. “At least this is fun”. This is a repost.

Selling Christian Singles

Posted in Religion, The Internet by chamblee54 on November 19, 2012

This stream of consciousness business is not working. It is not even fun to write, and probably less fun to read. WordPress has a gimmick today, Weekly Writing Challenge: Break the Ice. “This week, find five blogs you’ve never read before, and leave substantive comments on each of them. Many of you have blogrolls of your regular reads and subscribe to blogs you love, which is great. Now step outside that circle, and see if you can broaden it.” Under the post is a row of little pictures, representing bloggers who like this post. This is where this adventure will begin.

The first gravatar to get a hit is a smiley face. This is one step outside the comfort zone. The venue is The Other Category, and the top post, written November 13, is Being a Creator. The post is 1193 words about being a creative person, and how the world usually does not understand.

This is something PG relates to. Whenever PG mentions that he makes faux stained glass pictures, someone will say “do you sell them?” The concept of creating something because you enjoy doing it is lost on many people. The only thing that seems to get across is making money.

There was an interview once with a person who had a novel published. This is something PG cannot conceive of… to go beyond these tacky little 600 word blog droppings, and create a full length story. That is just the first step. You have to send it to publishers, and collect rejection letters. But this person did all of these things, while holding down a full time job. So what do people say to this person of achievement? “Are they going to make a movie of it?”

So PG reads this post, and relates to some of what is being said. The trouble is the use of “I”. First person singular is the shortest and stupidest word in the language. When the focus of the author is herself, there is not much room for a reader.

Thank you for saying these things. People who create are often not understood by the rest of humanity. If there is a criticism, it would be the abundant use of “I.”

One of the people leaving comments at “Creator” was author4u. The blog has a nice appearance, with photographs of a woman mixed in with text. The page is dotted with copyright warnings. PG read a short story in two parts, Angel.

The story is fun to read. The fact that it is preposterous is of no concern. A free lance writer is rude to someone, who turns out to be the owner of the company. The owner gets his revenge by acting out a punish-the-bad-little-girl scene. Fifty shades of maroon.

The next gravatar leads to Christopher De Voss. His tag line promises LIFE, HUMOR, AND ZOMBIES. The top story, written November 16, is The Finals Of The World Championship Uno Competition. Uno is a card game for people who don’t like cards. It is easy to pick up on, and can be fun. The last time PG played was at the home of someone named John Igo. This means that it was at least 24 years ago. There is no need to mention ego, or ogo, and canine resident Hugo was well behaved that night. Mr. Igo, who had a few screws loose, was talking about playing Uno in the army using “combat rules”. Whatever.

“Alright, the cards have been dealt, and a yellow number 5 has been reviled to start the round. Play begins with “The Butcher”, he looks at his hand in total concentration…after many minutes of senseless debate he plays a yellow 8. The crowd claps.” How do you revile a card? Yea, he probably meant reveal, and the spell check let one go by. Or maybe Revile is supposed to be relive, and we have to watch this horrible excuse for a reality show again.

The first commenter at the unofest was tales of a charm city chick. Dog owner and lover. Urbanite-Suburbanite. Music addict. Editor. Explorer. Wine enthusiast (Malbec, please). Orange Crush abuser. Anglophile. People watcher. My dream job? Writer, or a Tom Jones back up singer. Well, not Tom Jones now, but Tom Jones in the early ’70s…so let’s go with the writing thing. The top post was part two of something, and after the Angel experience that is not going to happen.

In fact, it is not going to happen at all with CCC. The only post PG read all the way through was her husband requirements, and how he needs to be tough during the zombie attack. But all is not lost. There is a story about a Another Skype Date, and there is a link to Maggie… and she isn’t a douche bag. The top story at Maggie’s place is about two kids who sneak into the fridge to steal ding dongs. With the recent euthanasia of the Hostess company, this is a timely feature.

There was a tacky party in the back yard once. That morning saw me at the Hostess thrift store, buying twenty four dollars worth of twinkies, ding dongs, and other stuff. As many chemicals as those critters had in them, they are probably still edible today. As were the ding dongs in this picture. Why would anyone keep that stuff in the fridge? Maybe you wanted to get the beer and the snacks in one handful.

This is turning out to be not so much fun. There are only so many aspiring writers with anything of interest to say. The last featured blogger today is I Fkkn Rokk. The top story at his venue is The New World Is Scaring The Shit Out Of Me.

It is good form to read the post before you leave a snarky comment. In this case, the post had a link to a previous post, which was about the something the shrink told the author. This post had an ad from Christian Mingle. The ad read “Jesus Christ is Lord. Christian and single? View photos of local Christian singles on Christian Mingle. Browse for Free>>

It was a lot of trouble learning how to read. It was even more trouble opening my eyes this morning. The only reason I did that was because there was a better chance of hitting the commode that way. If I had gone in the back yard, that would not have been necessary. I know you worked really hard on this post, so I read this before leaving a snarky comment. I followed the link to the story about boundaries. I did not browse the photos of local Christian singles at Christian Mingle.

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

Types Of Intelligence

Posted in Book Reports, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 18, 2012

There is a book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The concept is that people are smart in different ways. This is not news to someone who can see the world outside. The book describes seven types of intelligence, which was expanded to nine.

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
4. Existential Intelligence
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

Not everyone is impressed by the book. Lemas Mitchell notes “This book is just ENTIRELY too wordy. 412 pages of text could have been cut down to 103. (This is about the same waffle-to-information ratio as an Ayn Rand book.) ” This comment was in the second paragraph of a lengthy review, where it is easily noted by the casual reader.

Another way to divvy up the mind is left side of the brain vs. the right side. The left is logical, linear, and factual, where the right side is emotional, intuitive, and random. There is possibly a connection here to the yin-yang divide in Taoist thinking.

Most of the results on the first page of google are repeats of the text above. There are two tests for the different types of smarts. PG is too slack to work on this feature, so he is going to see what the tests say.

The Learning Disabilities Resource Community has the Multiple Intelligence Inventory. There are 80 statements, like ” I can hear words in my head before I read, speak, or write them down. ~ I enjoy playing games or solving brain teasers that require logical thinking. ~ I enjoy fishing, hunting, gardening, growing plants, or cooking. ~ I sometimes think in clear, abstract, wordless, imageless concepts.” There are five possible answers: 1. very little like me, 2. a little like me, 3. somewhat like me, 4. like me, 5. a lot like me. PG scored Linguistic=32, Mathematics=32, Visual/Spatial=30, Body/Kinesthetic=33, Naturalistic=25, Music=23, Interpersonal=22, Intrapersonal=24.

The Quizilla 7 Types of Intelligence – Which is yours? test is a lot less work. It is one page of multiple choice questions. It said PG was “Linguistic”.

This is written like David Foster Wallace.
Pictures are by Chamblee54. They were taken October 7, 2012, in Oakland Cemetery.