Saturday, December 31, 2011

Their year begins when everyone else's ends---revisited

I missed a late-December birthdate:

Marianne Faithful...
...who turned 65 on Thursday...

...born on December 29 1946 in Hampstead, London.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another Musing For You

I think the penalties for committing "identity theft" are much too leniant.
I read once where some woman who was convicted of multiple charges of i.t. recieved a 3-year prison sentence.

I think that's outrageous!  Three years? For ruining HOW many people's lives?
And to think some pathetic 25-year-old sapsucker gets 5 years for having a brief "love affair" with a 15-year-old which never even culminated in "going-all-the-way"---just dating, flirting, and heavy petting, then---POOF---done and over with. And for that 5 years plus registering as a "sex offender" for 10 years afterwards upon release.

But, somehow, society can't see the similarity between identity theft and those more-despised acts such as molesting someone, robbing someone, embezzling from someone's account, or framing someone else for something insidious and/or atrocious of one's own doing.

Identity thieves either: loot from another person's financial account
---or: commit a heinous act, then use another person's name to cover up their deeds.

And in a society where we're all, pretty much, forced to depend upon it's economic systems as well as upon reputation and personal credibility, the loss of either personal finances or one's good name is tantamount to being robbed, raped, embezzled, or framed.

Personally, I think the minimum sentence for any kind of identity theft should be 30 years---for first-time offenders.

If one thinks that, perhaps, I might be thinking a little Draconianly, so be it.

Extended "Family"

As you may or may not know, I'm 57 years old---and STILL SINGLE.
...and I've never had any children.
---no kidding!

I probably should "feel funny" considering that most men my age are most likely grandfathers. Or at least belated parents anyway.

But the way I look at it:
I have, already: a landlord; an apartment: fellow tenants; social services; the postal system; the bank at which I have a checking account; the utility companies; all the local businesses (laundromat, supermarket, and a few others).
I figure, with all those "relations" to deal with and whose dumb mistakes I sometimes need to try to correct, I find that, on-and-off, I end up being the "babysitter" in spite of the fact that they're the ones who are supposed to be in control, not me.

...I figure "Thank God I DON'T have the real thing to deal with."
I can't see actually having grown kids, a wife, and grandchildren and STILL putting up with dysfunctional apartments and incompetent businesses and clueless fellow citizens---who sometimes tend to get a litte "defensive" if you dare to criticize them about anything.
Those alone, all by themselves, are plenty enough "extended families" for me.

I STILL remember all the times I had to move back in with my parents in between stints of out-of-town residencies coupled with brief bouts of employment.
No thanks for the real thing, because that would put all the dysfunctionalisms back under-the-same-roof-with-me.

Their year begins when everyone else's ends...

...meaning, simply, that these individuals were born on New Year's Eve...


Burton Cummings----born December 31 1947 in Winnipeg

Donna Summer-----born December 31 1948 in Boston (real name: Adrian Donna Gaines)



Also let's mention a couple Dec 30th birthdates as well:

Paul Stookey----born December 30 1937 in Baltimore

Michael Nesmith----born December 30 1943 in Houston

Friday, December 23, 2011

Downsizing

We all know how just about every major place-of-employment is "downsizing" to (presumably) "save money".
How everyone from major corporations to government agencies are closing branch offices and eliminating most, if not all, of their different departments.
And how, as a result, they're laying-off employees left-and-right.

And yet these companies and government agencies are still purporting to carry out the same functions and provide the same services they always have---but just with less divisions, branches, and employees to do so with.

Now, mind you, I've yet to figure out the merit and logic to this sort of mindset.

Who's the "guilty" party?

By now we've all read/heard about all the riots breaking out during all the recent "Occupy Movement" demonstrations.
And everyone seems to want to "take sides" on this issue.

As for me?
Well, I don't think it's a matter of which side is "in the right" and which one is "in the wrong".
That type of reasoning is way too simplistic.

The only explanation for all the mayhem is that of human nature.
Everyone knows the #1 afflicton of humanity is a psycho-phenominon known as "human frailty".
The notion of some people being "culprits" and others being "the victims" is purely a fantasy---a total fairy-tale.
There are no "innocents" among any of us. We're all guilty of something.

And humans have a propensity for "mirroring their environment" if they're in a certain environment long enough---or if their surroundings are intense enough.
Hence, turbulent environment with pandemonium all around triggers of those same elements in even the most otherwise sane and rational individuals, causing them to react to the environment in the same manner as the way those around them are behaving.

The police officers who are responding with excessive violence towards the demonstrators are probably officers who, under more normal circumstances, might usually be well-mannered.
Likewise there are probably a lot of demonstrators who are simply standing or marching and holding their signs, simply just "trying to get their message across", but are being drowned-out by all the noisy overzealous radicals who are getting all the attention with their erratic and anarchic behavior---and these "radical" types are the ones primarily responsible for agitating the officers who, being affected by the overall atmosphere and chaos, are responding in a manner similar to what they're dealing with.

Leave it up to a few scofflaws and crude louts among each faction---both the fanatically radical amongst the demonstrators and hot-shot/obsessively despotic amongst the police---and all hell breaks loose.
And the problem is, once the immediate social environment is "infected" by such an atmosphere even the most even-tempered among the crowds "fall into" this mindset---and all discretion goes-out-the-window.
...which is why a lot of even those who-were-still-behaving-peacefully-in-spite-of-all-the-mayhem STILL get batted-around and roughed-up.
Because everyone else around them is suffering from temporary insanity.

Me? I always avoid large crowds and main events myself.
I don't even go to rock concerts---I'll just stay home and listen to music on my stereo.
I'm one of those you "couldn't even PAY to attend Mardi Gras"---simply because of the "pandemonium potential" of such an environment.
Let's face facts: people are anarchists by nature, no matter who they are or what their position-in-life is.

As the Bible states:  Man has ruled over other men with great injury.
...or, better stated:  No matter how well-written or well-intended a law, it's still enforced by designated mortals---who are still vulnerable to the same frailties and temptations as the rest of us.
...or, a law or rule is only as good as it's enforcement and how well it's interpreted.
...Which explains corruption and on-again/off-again misappropriation of management and authority.

As someone who wishes to remain neutral and refrain from "taking sides", this is how it all appears to me.

More Musings

Well...
Starting tomorrow life as we know it ceases to be for a period of 36 hours.
That's right, everything closes except for the bars and clubs.
It's what's known as mandated holiday worship ritual.
Mandated by the eternal "International Inquisition"---for centuries now.
And we have no choice but to abide.
So...
Three "Christmas" songs on my list for you...
...each one of these selections were single hits during late-winter and early-spring
---yet are still quite fitting for "the season":
SONG OF JOY     Miguel Rios   (May 1970)
JOY                        Apollo 100     (Feb 1972)
NUTROCKER      B. Bumble & the Stingers  (Mar/Apr 1962)
                               ...and also by Emerson Lake & Palmer  (Feb 1972)




I'm getting tired of computers.
Especially hard-drives which can't make up their mind whether-or-not to "let me on the internet".
When I use a gadget I expect it to work and operate according to expectations based on the protocols of predetermined designated functions.
What is there about all these "high-tech" contraptions that efficiency and promptness seem to be little more than an empty promise?
Going on the internet is, more often than not, like being in the waiting room of a doctor's office.  Nothing to do but just sit there and look around you, bored shitless while you're just waiting---and waiting---and waiting!
Everything has to be "processed", you know.  One byte at a time. (Remember, when you were a kid, any time you were at the dinner table and were eating too fast your parents would always caution you: Eat your food one bite at a time.)
Answer me one question:  Did we ever have such problems with any of the past technologies?
Transister radios...record players...hi-fi's...stereo systems...tape decks...
...back then, all one had to do was "press a button" or "flick a switch" and viola:
Instant Music (or at least instant sound).
It's like the only "digital technology" I actually like is CDs, DVDs, CD and DVD players.
They're the only "digital" gadgets which seem to actually "work promptly" when called upon to serve their user.
If one stops to think about it, it's really a betrayal of trust. You're being promised a unit which will deliver a certain type of performance and will perform certain functions ...but then craps out on you at the most inopportune time, or falls short in critical areas, not living up to all of it's grandiose promises. 
Computers only come through for you when they FEEL like doing so.
...and they're always so unpredictable at that, too.
Moody gadgets...it's almost as bad as having roommates or staying with relatives...



I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm not as concerned about whether-or-not anything I do or say offends others.
Frankly, I think the idea that one has to stop-doing-whatever-they're-doing (or were-planning-on-doing) simply because one person or one small group "has a problem with it" is ridiculous.
Why are they always putting so much power-and-control in the hands of select "overpriviledged" individuals?
Why do such types get to have so much command over the social environment?
Why are a select few endowed with the right to determine what kind of social climate the rest of us have to live in?
Why are all the rules set by tunnel-vision xenophobes with no aptitude for understanding or accepting other people's differences?



We can't afford to invest any money in:  improving infrastructure, high-speed interstate passenger rail, maintaining and repairing existing freeway/highway systems, maintaining social security, maintaining social services, maintaining critical government agencies, improving public transit, maintaining schools and libraries, continued existence and enforcement of health and safety regulations...
...yet we always have enough money to spend on:  drugs, alcoholic beverages, sports arenas and live performance venues, fancy nightclubs and expensive restaurants, exotic private motor vehicles, jails and prisons.


The United States is a lot like rock n'roll...
...it's still carrying on...
...but without the passion, enthusiasm, and creativity of it's once glorious past.


SUMMER (THE FIRST TIME) by Bobby Goldsboro...from 1973...
Have you ever listened to the lyrics of that song?
Ahh-hh-hhh...let us return to the days when---apparently---it was the "norm" for middle-age ladies to take it upon themselves to "teach the 'facts-of-life'" to teen-age boys...
...WITHOUT the fear of the type of legal repercussions of such behavior which has become so much the "norm" of modern-day society the last two decades or so...
...yes, it IS such a pleasant and compassionate song...the character in the song is actually paying homage to the "saintly" neighborhood "cougar" savior for the way she also enhanced his self-esteem as well in the process.
...or was it actually "corruption of a minor"?
...of course the song's character's age WAS "17"---maybe the "age of consent" was lower than 18 in the state they lived in...
...either way this type of scenario would never fly today...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Are you aware...

...that the only area the world's made any progress in within the last 20 years...
                        ...is that of digital technology?

All other areas have either completely atrophied or degenerated:
---Cultural/social climate
---Professionalism
---Civility
---Discretion/rational behavior and judgment
---General overall intelligence
---Historical knowledge
---Literacy skills
---Beneficial government programs:
    ---Space travel/exploration
     ---Social services
     ---Public school systems
     ---Health and safety regulations
     ---Upkeep and maintenance of government-owned lands and structures
     ---Government agencies endowed with the responsibility towards supporting artistic and public-supported institutions and entities.
---Morality and social ethics
---Progress in becoming a more integrated society
---The overall business climate
---The quality of commercial popular culture:
     ---Popular Music/ The music industry
     ---Television and movies
     ---Magazines and newspapers
     ---News and information programs
---The professional conduct by those-in-charge:
    ---Authority figures
    ---Broadcasters
    ---Business owners
    ---Politicians and other public servants
    ---Commercial transportation: Airlines; Bus lines
    ---Operators of commercial vehicles (e.g.: truck drivers)
    ---Government employees
    ---Celebrities/entertainers
---Public highway systems (in disrepair and either not maintained or undermaintained)
---Infrastructures (in decay and disrepair)
---Quality of consumer products
---The physical and biological condition of this planet
---Emergency-response agencies
    

Monday, December 12, 2011

Too Many People ...Too Few Personas

I often find it unnerving to go out in public, although it's a necessary evil if one wishes to accomplish needed tasks as well as pursue a few pleasurable ones as well (shopping, eating out, and so forth).

But it taxes one's sanity and composure to always never-be-able-to-go-anywhere-without-constantly-being-in-someone's-way.
Why so many people?
And most seem to be little more than obstacles---in-the-way, interfering with my freedom-of-movement and very imposing as I have to dodge cars, bicycles, and sidewalk-hogging pedestrians constantly.
It's not like anyone is "friend" or "lover" material. Or helpful in any way as I almost always have to take care of my affairs and responsibilities myself, which can often be quite complicated---not in the abstract sense (a la 9-movement symphony or nuclear physics or rocket science), but more in terms of their being multifaceted in overall content. That is, due to all the procedures and steps I have to take in carryng out certain necessary tasks. One look at the laundry-list of any one of my domestic duties and one can tell right away: "This is gonna take a LOT longer than 5 minutes...or even a mere half-hour."
These people are just "strangers". Judgmental, untrustworthy, bigoted, despotic and domineering. Thin-skinned and too-easily-offended. Maybe ready to take advantage of me somehow...
and likewise, they're dubious of me as well. Not candid or straightforward.
They're definitely no asset to me, for sure.

It wouldn't be so bad if there was some variety of personality and character.
But it seems that most people have "mass-produced" personalities. It's like they choose from a half-dozen cookie-cutter personas based on their gender, social class, ancestry/ethnical background, sub-culture they associate with, age---and so forth.
In a world with---what?---20 billion people or so, it's tragic that most people are such "think-alike" clone-heads, needing some demographical identity to determine how they behave, think, what kind of character and personality to project, what's suppose to give them pleasure or what's suppose to upset/offend them.

It's just that the hypothetical potential for individuality, diversity, and fresh unique concepts and ideas should be much more than it turns out to be.
But everyone wears the same clothes, speaks the same lingo, watches the same thing on television, listens to the same music, owns similar type of possessions, share the same beliefs, have the same opinions, share the same interests, have the same set of cliche personalities, and so forth.

So...what are all these so-called "individuals" worth? If most of them are so easily "duplicated"?
What's the sense in all these people cluttering up the planet, consuming all the resources, leaving their pollution and garbage everywhere, invading each others' lives with their domineering attitudes and radical viewpoints, taking up each others' spaces constantly---if they're all so "alike"?

And could the World Court ever be bold enough to initiate some kind of mandated martial-law decree requiring that 90% of the world's population be sterilized---even as an "emergency environmental measure" of some sort?

That may sound a bit harsh to some.
But, then again, so do a lot of "politically-correct" mandates of the past quarter century as well as laws based on such.
I think my proposal, while being just as brutal, is a lot more practical-minded than a lot of those recently-passed laws.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More on "bottom-line" mentality

It's no secret: Businesses and government agencies have become incessantly obsessed with figuring out as many ways of "saving money and profits" as one could ever possibly can...

Laying off employees; using cheaper materials and expedient methods to cut production cost; curtailing employee perks and benefits; outsourcing or hiring illegal foreigners who do the same work for less pay
---and other such "ethical business practices".

Yes, they all want to "save money" any way they can.
So....what do they plan to do with all this "extra money"?
...Perhaps all these CEOs and hot-shot politicians will pool all these extra earnings of theirs and put together a special fund which goes towards, perhaps, refurbishing and repairing this country's infrastructure: fix all the highway/freeway bridges, upgrade the roads, improve public and commercial transit systems, inspect and repair the dams, pipelines, utility facilities---and the like...

...but I doubt it.
Most likely they'll spend whatever they acquire on their own hedonistic/ephemeral pleasures and desires.

How about a new Mercedes?
But...what happens when you're flying down the fast lane of the freeway and suddenly your brand new Mercedes just craps out? The gear-shaft just shatters for no apparent reason? Or the tire rod breaks?
And you're stuck there in the far-left lane with traffic coming at you from behind full speed?

Yes, guys, what you've overlooked is the fact that it's not just you or your company who've done all this "cutting back" to "save money" and "increase revenue".
EVERYBODY'S done the same thing as well.
Even the companies who make "high-end" products of the kind you buy.
They're outsourcing and hiring ignorant "urban-ghetto losers" from third-world countries for 1/10th wage as well.
...and with that, forget "the nuances of Mercedes engineering."  You're now just paying extra for the namesake.
The type of workers who gave all these reputed companies and manufacturers their good name and reputations---GONE! Along with their unions and wages.  They were too expensive to hang onto.
Even in today's social/economic climate they would STILL be nervy enough to demand they be paid what they're actually worth (substance-wise). So "out-the-door" they went.

The same goes for most other goods and services one purchases or invests in...the quality is no longer there---regardless of the price-range of such.

This is to say:
You guys now have all this "extra money" to spend on luxuries and nice material things...
...but all that exists now is mostly crap---even in the higher price ranges.
Which means there aren't all that many things worth buying anymore.
You're mostly stuck with all this "extra money" and nothing worth spending it on.

Just where do the well-to-do live? In mansions with faulty plumbing and wiring---and poor construction and design.
Just what do the well-to-do drive?  BMWs that end up on the "recall" list 6 months after they roll off the assembly line.

Disillusionment With The Internet

Yes, folks, I'm getting quite "burned-out" by all the activities zipping their way back-and-forth over the "lines".

For one thing, the Internet's gotten way too commercial in the past decade or so. Too many ads, not only on commercial sites but also on a lot of personal ones as well---including most blog sites. Not to mention self-starting video commercials "built-into" a lot of sites to boot.

Also, too many sites comprising photo downloads and transferred videos as well. Often more photos and video content than actual transcript.

Those are among the factors which hamper efficient and quick loading onto one's computer when trying-to-view-the-site.
It's true we've come a ways since the primitive early days of the consumer-available internet services---however, with the quicker more-efficient computers and internet-provider services there also came the propensity to "take advantage" of this improvement-in-technological-units and thus load onto sites far more than what used to comprise sites in the past.  One disadvantage of this current-day practice is that most web sites have so much electronic clutter on them that it can take almost as long for a site to load as it did in the "early days" of the consumer internet era. (God forbid anyone should still be dependent on a dial-up service)

Another factor in "the Internet losing face with me":  The content of a lot of sites.
Granted, there a lot of subjects which don't interest me. And it makes sense that I simply don't view them.
But then there are all these radical sites featuring some really strongly opinionated individuals.  Just about all of them politically oriented.  Or derisive excuses for social commentary. 
I don't know where all these crusaders come from nor how anyone can be so confident as to be as self-righteous as they are, but they sure love going off about corruption, prejudices, and social inequality.  So...just what ARE their solutions to these age-old problems and how do they propose to carry out their plans?
What they write about is nothing new.  That type of stuff has always been going on since the beginning of time---mostly covertly, of course.  However, in recent decades it's been getting harder to keep things concealed, hence things are now found-out-about which, in the past, might of continued to "stay-under-wraps".  And the attitudes of a lot of those-in-charge is that of: Yes, folks, we've ALWAYS been "taking you for a ride", what about it? Well, now that "the-cat's-out-of-the-bag" we don't have to "sugar-coat" ourselves anymore---we can be as blunt about where we're coming from as we want.

And even in the case of sites which DO have interesting content, one can only talk(write) about the same subject matter for so long and so many times over before even IT becomes tedious and redundant.  And then I'm bored with just reading about it and reading other people's opinions about it as well.  I just want to enjoy the subject itself without being bogged-down by "opinions on it".

So there you have it---I'm worn-out by all the slow-loading sites which take their turns at "seeing which one can finally fry my hard-drive once-and-for-all via overworking it to the hilt".  And by all the self-righteious "social/political-conscience" hacks who are apparently "out to save the world from corrupt governments and authorities".  And all other manners of the mindless fluff which permeates these cyber-lines and cyber-waves.
Oh, and let's not forget about all these illustrious cyber-vandals. Those who hack their way into other people's sites and/or who infect the lines and waves with various electronic viruses. The omni-presence of such charming individuals are but one more reason this here internet system has lost face with me.

The days of "high-tech worship" are limited for me, I think... 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Musings and Additional Adages

I'm in the stall of McDonald's and I can't get the door open to get out when I'm finished.
So I simply push harder on the door---it's jammmed for some reason.
So I push harder on it until it breaks and falls over, hanging only by it's bottom hinge.
That's when i realize: the door swings in, not out. "Ohhh!" I think---too late to undo the effects of my dumbass behavior.
But that's essentially the despotic aspect of human nature:
If something doesn't budge it simply means you're not using enough force.
Just push it harder until it finally gives.
Or, maybe:
If someone doesn't respond to what you're saying, it simply means you're not being assertive enough.
Shout a little louder and be more demanding of them to abide what you tell them to do or to understand your point of view.
As you can see---your way isn't the only way to do things ...and if someone's not responding to you (or the way you would want them to) it might mean they're either ignoring you or they just don't see eye-to-eye with you.
In other words: "Don't push it."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Two Days That Will Live On In Infamy

December 7 1941
The attack on the U.S. Navy Base in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Air Force.

December 8 1980
The murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon.


It's kind of ironic that the late ex-Beatle's second wife, to whom he was married at the time, happened to be Japanese.
...And that December 7th and 8th of both years---1941 and 1980---happened to be Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Did I miss these?

Let's see now---what did I forget to mention during my absence from this site?

Oh, yeah---Happy Birthday Gordon Lightfoot!
It was Thursday November 17 the iconic singer/songwriter turned 73!

And the late Andy Rooney---the much-maligned journalist and television commentator genius who epitomized and mastered the concept of observational humor and commentary.
His observations were dead-on and presented with unbridled candidness.

Last Tuesday, November 29, marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of ex-Beatle George Harrison---who died from, I believe, either throat cancer or lung cancer on Thursday November 29 2001.

Demoted!

I don't know how to feel about all these "occupiers" who've been in the news so much lately.
I have my mixed emotions about them.

Don't get me wrong---I also have low opinions of modern-day government, business and industry.
I, too, think most corporations are little more than skin-flints and scam artists, and that most politicians are despotic elitist snobs, and that most authority figures are paternal/maternal power-and-control freaks who suck up to the whims of the overprivileged and impressionable sycophantic "socially-correct" types.

However, being a bonafide pariah, I've also never gotten along much with most "average" type people either---except,occasionally, on a one-on-one basis. And even then it would only be these select individuals I'd get along with, not everybody-in-general.

And that's where my dilemma is with this "Occupy" movement.  A lot of those who are protesting the current crop of "status-quoers" are folks who used to be among the middle/upper-middle class. That is, they used to be among the "regular" somewhat privileged classes before the pay cuts, layoffs, cut-backs and the like.
At one time someone "out-of-place" would stroll into a McDonald's or a Denny's, and if they looked too conspicuous or behaved too eccentrically the police would escort this individual out of the place---and it was done on behalf of all these socially-correct "mainstream"-type people. To appease their "impressionable masses" going through the charades of "looking out for their safety". ("Keep the freaks and weirdos away".)
And it was a lot of these people who are now "in the streets" who were among those "masses".
And that's why I don't know whose side to be on in this matter.

Of course now that a lot of them have themselves now been "reduced" in social rank and status they're experiencing quite a "culture shock".
Now that they're being subjected to a lot of the strongarm tactics by their precious "civil servant" authorities which used to be reserved for minorities and freaks and weirdos, they're crying "foul"...because they're not suppose to be the ones being treated that way.  I mean included among those manhandled and even arrested are retired police chiefs and formerly respected small business owners.

Wow! From an experience pariah I can only say: "Welcome to the club folks! Be ready to compromise yourselves and even your whole lives for that matter. Because from here on out THIS is to be your norm."

Additional Adages and More Musings

It's error is human. To really screw things up requires a know-it-all "educated mother-fucker" type who's "never wrong".


I couldn't care less about "getting along with others". I've learned my lesson about that a long time ago. Too often "getting along" means "going along with"...someone else's ideas and personal standards...everything being about what's fitting for them and to hell with compromise and accommodating my needs and desires...


SEXISM AT IT'S FINEST...
Does anyone else besides me ever get tired of all these women who think of their bodies as being some kind of "sacred temple"?
Secretly, now, wouldn't it be great to run into some fine-looking lady who considered her body "an amusement park" for a change?


Someone goes to college for years learning a profession followed by a long internship to refine their skills in said field...
...or, if blue-collar, someone enters into a long apprenticeship to learn a skilled trade and to refine their skills and knowledge of such...
...and, upon completion they're ready to go out into the world with their skills and knowledge...
...naturally these people are going to charge more for their services being that they're now "first-rate" in their field...
...so what do all the businesses, government agencies, landlords, shopkeepers and such do?
...they always hire the "lowest bidder"---the one who charges the least amount to do the same work...
...and so you have all these professional-grade people who can't find work while you have a plethora of cheaply-made products, poorly-done repair jobs, poorly-designed structures made from cheap materials, and poor service provided by some of the most uninspired individuals one could ever run into...
...and one wonders why the economy is tanking and why the U.S. is now so "third world".


Have you ever noticed?...that anytime you're at the helm of the ship and someone else pushes you out the way so they can steer, the ship always ends up changing direction?


Living in this society is like...
...an elementary schoolroom where the teacher asks a question, and instead of a few kids raising their hands, everyone in the class starts shouting out answers all at once.
...an episode of Ed Sullivan in which he introduces the first act and every act comes onto stage at once and try to perform. (And poor Mr. Sullivan can't just get-disgusted-and-quit, as CBS would sue him for breach-of-contract.)
...attending the Who concert in Cincinnati in December 1979.
In short, no sense of sanctity, boundaries, propriety, or discretion.
It's all "Me first!"



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog sites

If you want to view a few blogs sites which won't dump on you (like mine does), here are a few I can mention which actually enhance cyberspace as opposed to merely cluttering it up:

FORGOTTEN HITS
Ken Kotal's fantasic oldies music site. Informative, digs deep into the history surrounding the popular music of the 1950s thru the 1980s.
Guest commentaters include famous recording stars, song-writers, record producers, and former radio disc jockeys. Plenty of familiar names show up on this site.

WLNG
The oldest oldies station in the U.S. and still going strong on the internet as well as locally in the Long Island NY area.
My only complaint is that there are way too many commercials and announcements in-between songs. Otherwise, probably the most diversified selection of songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s one will ever run across without having to put their own programs together themselves. These guys have a far better playlist than you'll ever even find on satellite radio.

WALKABLE DALLAS/ FT. WORTH
A professional landscaper offers is alternative veiwpoints on how cities should be designed if the intentions really are that of making one's hometown user-friendly and optimumly functional, both culturally and financially.
And how the traditional vehicle-dependency syndrome actually impairs the potential cities could otherwise have.

MUSIC YOU (POSSIBLY) WON'T HEAR ANYWHERE ELSE
My brother's music site. A lot of hard-to-find recordings featured on this site. Most pre-dating the rock-and-roll era, although the 1950s-and-beyond also get featured alongside recordings dating all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century.

THE GALLOPING BEAVER
Retired Canadian military veteran expresses his strong political opinions.  Mostly on the subject of Canadian and U.S. politics and corporate shenanigans.
Interesting site if you can stomach this guy's somewhat self-righteous demeanor.

                             http://www.keener13.com/
The official website of the legendary Detriot-area iconic radio station from the-days-when-AM-radio-ruled-the-airwaves (music-wise, that is).


SUSAN'S MUSINGS
Definitely a "must-read" site for many reasons.  The best one being it's one written by someone who's actually mentally stable, and who obviously has her life together and her head on her shoulders where it belongs.
Web address:  http://www.susanlapin.typepad.com/


And, finally, one great site that's also truly a "must-read":
http://www.writog.blogspot.com/




What's my TRUE motivation...

...for even having a blog site anyway?

In what can best be described as self-dubiousness, I don't always believe my intentions are always so honorable.

When one looks at the internet in general, one sees an awful lot of self-importance and self-boasting.
And strong opinionation. And self-righteousness---nobody's ever wrong about whatever it is they're contending. Plenty of that element.

As for me, I think my attitude towards the concept of self-expression is not much different than that towards urinating and deficating.
That is, to me expressing my opinions, attitudes, and perspectives is essentially a form of relief for me. A way to expel a bunch of disturbing and agitating thoughts and feelings I feel are "poisoning" my mind and spirit.
Just get rid of them---dump them all onto cyberspace and let them disturb someone else's minds.

That's it---to me the internet is little more than an electronic dumping ground.
An electronic landfill, so to speak.

I've always notice that once I do a post I hardly ever go back onto this site.
I simply browse around and look at other people's offereings.  Try to see what THEY'RE thinking or have to say about things.
But my own site? Once I'm done adding another post, I'm hardly likely to even as much as glance at what I put out.

Does one think this attitude of mine a bit strange?

Yet Another Musing

One thing wrong with modern-day business and industry are the ways they cut back to keep from spending any more money than they have to.

Like, for example, the way they're constantly laying off one employee after another so as to not have to pay so many people to perform the same number of tasks. Which results in overworked employees who are so foggy-headed they're liable to make more mistakes and commit more oversights---not to mention also start getting more sloppy with even their regular tasks.

I don't subscribe to the "bottom-line mentality" concept---the notion that businesses only exist to make money and nothing more. Businesses and companies exist to earn their money via providing goods and services to others for which they get paid. If one's only goal is to see how much money they can accumulate, then one might as well just take up embezzling, or robbery---or maybe join a gang and just sell drugs and contraband. Or maybe join the mafia and live the dangerous life.

When it comes to simply making money we're not talking about contributing anything to the world anymore. It becomes all about taking and not giving anything back.
Is this really the way modern business and industry should operate?

Of course there's also the American people as well.
Let's face facts---Americans are a bunch of spoiled brats, with their remote-control existences and arrogant highfalutin "civilian monarch" attitudes.
They're too-good-to-farm-the-fields---don't want to get their hands dirty, see---and too lazy to bother with cooking. They're always eating out all the time.
But, with being laid off or having their wages cut back, suddenly they can no longer afford to eat out every night. So now they complain about being too hungry all the time.

When one's a taker but not a giver, they find everything eventually dwindles until it all eventually disappears altogether.
Maybe that's what happened to the economy, for example.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Essential Wetlands

Remember the 1960s sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY?
Do you remember the episode where Gomez was running for a political office?
How one of his proposals was to "save the swamps"?
And how that was supposed to be considered "dark humor"?
At the time such was considered a "deviant" concept. The ideal concept of "modern-day development" at the time was one of "beautifying" communities and neighborhoods.  Some of nature's "aberrations"---like overgrown vegetation, certain aesthetically unappealing native plants, and swamps and the like---were considered "eyesores" and either removed or paved over and replaced with either more appealing vegetation, or mad-made structures.  All in the name of progress and beautification.

Of course more recently we've become more aware of the follies of counteracting nature---even of disregarding the aspects of it we may find repulsive.  That by making too many unprecedented changes in the landscapes we have thrown the ecosystem in disarray, and that doing so might possibly be among the reasons for a lot of the unusual number of  natural disasters of the recent decades.  Among these revelations are of how essential all those wetlands are and of the purposes they serve(d).

Hence, a slogan like "Save the swamps", instead of being snidely ridiculed, would these days be revered as one of environmental sensibility.  Seems the Addamses were actually ahead of their time---and no-one at the time knew it.  Not even them.
Gomez Addams---accidental "environmentalist"?  I guess so...

Monday, October 24, 2011

More musings

A return to the definition of the word "respect":
While "reverence" means adulation of someone considered to be a "saving grace" or, maybe, a "gift from God" of sorts, "respect" is a little different:
One might say that a TRUE definition of "respect" is when you treat that other person like they're "part of the plan"---that is, like they're an integral part of everything else, an asset to those around them, like their coexistence enhances all around them.
Likewise, a definition of "disrespect" (or "disregard") is when you treat another person like they're "in-the-way"---either interfering with, or detrimental to, all around them. Either like they're an obstacle, a nuisance, or maybe even a threat somehow.


Speaking of social status issues, it's often been said that there are basically two types of people:
those who are allowed to enjoy life---and those who have to "carry the piss-buckets around" for everyone else.
A simple examination of one's own personal life can render the answer to which category you fit into.


Pride---what is it?
Someone once said that "being proud" is essentially having the demeanor of one who's never been beat up or locked up for doing anything wrong.
Being able (or willing) to behave like someone who's used to believing they're "never wrong".
Like one who's never had to answer to anyone for anything, thus they're able to be completely oblivious to any occasions in which they either are mistaken---or just plain unscrupulous, but since they're so sure of themselves they're able to rationalize and "justify" their words and/or behaviors.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More musings

Today at the laundromat, when I dried my "lights-and-whites", some of my towels and washrags came out shredded in spots.
I ended up having to cut out numerous loose threads after I got home.
Seems someone's coat zipper broke off and got stuck in the frame housing the dryer's lint filter, with the sharp broken ends sticking out, shredding the garments of the subsequent unsuspecting customers.
I don't know who the culprit was, the one who tore their jacket off the inside of the dryer and failed to notify the attendant-in-charge, but I'm guessing it was probably some stupid college kid. (This laundromat gets a lot of business from nearby Ohio State  University.) Anytime something is all-fucked-up I always blame "some stupid college kid".
Just something about "educated mother-fuckers"---they usually "don't seem to know very much".

That's what's always bothered me about the way society worships the "college crowd".  Like they're such geniuses already simply becaused they passed a GPA test in high school and get accepted at an accredited university.
They're just getting started already---they haven't even had a chance to prove anything by themselves yet.

The true geniuses are the ones who get honorary degrees AFTER achieving something great, substantial, or meritable. They're the ones who are able to figure things out on their own just out of simple curiosity and self-motivation.
Often they would otherwise not have much to show for themselves---in some cases not even having as much as a high school diploma.

I think the most successful people are not necessarily the brightest or most able. It's usually the most confident types. The one's who never have self-esteem problems.
They've always been patted-on-the-head and reassured how "special" they are. Hence, without self-doubt and self-consciousness or any other kind of psychological stumbling blocks distracting them they're able to stay focused and proceed unfettered. Even if they're not the sharpest cookies in the world they can still accomplish more than, say, someone who does have greater aptitude, but who suffer from a lot of "personal issues" they can't get off their minds long enough to relax and stay focused on anything.
The success of the "most confident" might account for all this incompetence we suffer from the business and professional realms. A little more patience with the "unsure" but sharp-and-more-aware could yield better overall results in the long run---but the world always "wants results now", so they always give the tasks to whoever is the quickest and has answers on the tip of their tongue.

It is kind of disgusting, really---the way society and the world are always fawning over the intelligentsias and academiacs.
Honestly, the academic circles are little more than regimented social and country clubs. And it's members are always obsessed with the latest trends, fitting in with the right crowd by looking and behaving in the proper demographic manner (the right clothes, using the right terminology and vernacular), and all sorts of self-image obsessive.
And the problem with those who are "more intelligent and knowledgable than you are" and who are "always right" is that when such people DO "fuck it all up" you can't point out their mistakes to them. It's like: "Are you sure it's not something YOU did?" ...or "No way! We know what WE'RE doing---and we never do shit like that."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Copy-Cat Cars

Have you ever notice how much cars these days all look so much alike?
I think anymore there's just one company who designs car bodies, and all the makers do all their business with this one company.

You'll notice there'll be three or four cars parked side-by-side: a Honda, a Ford, a Chevrolet, a Lexus, a Mercedes
...and, unless you look at the front logo, you can't hardly tell one apart from the other.

It's like that long-standing joke: "How does one tell a Lexus from a Honda? By the sticker price."

You know, in the late-1950s/early-1960s Mack had a really classy truck rolling on the highways---the G Model (which, personally, I think was the best-looking truck Mack ever made).
But, as the story goes, the truck maker Kenworth had a cabover model which looked somewhat similar. And they threatened to sue Mack for design plagiarism if they continued manufacturing their G Model. Hence, the G's were only in production for just under 2 years.

These days I don't think it would even be possible for any of the automakers to even attempt such a suit.
They'd only end up suing each other indefinitely.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Politics should be done sparingly

I'm getting sick of all the political telephone messages cluttering up the space on my answering machine.

Why are there so many election periods anyway?
Why don't they just have ALL elections once every four years as they do the main presidential ones?
We don't even just have "election years" anymore. We have "election periods".
It's not bad enough, they figure, to just have an-election-a-year---they now have "mid-year" and "mid-term" elections---like, elections in-between other elections (talk about "changing horses in the middle of a stream").
If you hate politics like I do, you stand to "never get any relief".

And they almost always involve undoing issues that were approved of just a few months earlier.
What's with all this "changing all the rules every five months" nonsense?

You don't suppose it might be because the legislation they keep offering up and approving is usually pretty worthless stuff?  A bunch of crap so unworkable and unrealistic that the flaws in them start showing up, like, maybe two weeks after being approved by the local and regional legislatures?
So, as soon as one new rule is enacted you have all these disgruntled "other groups" campaigning to undo it---maybe due to it's disruptive nature.

Would it be too much to ask of these idiots-in-charge to, maybe, come up with a rule or regulation that's actually worth-it's-salt?
A rule, an ordinance, which is comprehensive and comprises enough all-inclusive equilibrium that it can stand on it's own merit even ten years down the road without the necessity for any kind of amendments within.

Of course politicians have this OCD "power-and-control obsessive" disorder, in which they have a constant need for controlling things and other people's lives.
They need any excuse to hog the media spotlight as well as "get in everyone's faces"---and the only way they can accomplish this is by creating "issues".  To make it look like they have "just cause" for creating a stir.
And the crappier the rules they come up with---the more said rules created discord and dysfunction as opposed to actually solving any problems, the better the excuses they have for further jacking with the system. And with our private lives as well.

All some of us want is for these clowns to simply---once and for all---come up with a formula which will actually SOLVE the problems which get-in-our-way and prevent us from being able to just live-our-lives.
Rules and laws meritable and sensible enough to be worthy of keeping on the books indefinitely because they address the "human factors" and respect common sense and the ethos of functionality and practicality.

But---what do we get instead? Politics!
And with it blowhard politicians, radicals, and annoying telephone calls cluttering up space on my answering machine
...and all those annoying fliers being left on my screen door handle.

I hate politics!

Terms of Estrangement

One thing wrong with most people: no-one's ever "just a person".
I'll tell someone that and they'll get all confused.  They have no idea what I mean by that.

We have lots of "elitists", "homeless", "authority figures", "celebrities", "business owners", "students", "minorities", "gays", "union workers", "professionals", "teachers", "teenagers", "elderly", "middle-aged", "athletes", "those in the media", "meth-heads", "potheads", "lesbians", "crack-heads", "CEOs"---and the like.
But hardly anyone is ever "just a person".

When you're out in public and you run into others, do you think to yourself: "Oh! A fellow human being."
...or are you apprehensive about what you say or do?
This person might "take offense" if I say the wrong thing, and I may end up getting beat up, sued, or arrested.
There's always a fear factor involved when it comes to interacting with others.
You never know who they are, where they're coming from, or where they've been.
They could be out to scam you---or be observing you to see if you're "up to something".
There's never any kind of  trust factor when dealing with others.

And everyone's so cliche---so self-pegeon-holed---as well. Fitting into some demographic, whether academic, genderic, or social class.  No-one is ever "just another person"---just living their own life and only representing themselves.

Some people, you say "Hello" to them and they just glare at you, as if to say: "Excuse me---but I don't associate with your kind."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

AZN Television

Am I the only one who misses the cable TV channel AZN? "The Network For Asia-America" as they called it.
...although I watched it (part-time) myself (and I'm a middle-age white male).

Some of the things I appreciated about it:
It was well-programmed...it had a tight format;
It was very punctual---none of this "running five minutes over" or "starting five minutes early" nonsense that seems to be the modern-day norm for most of the other cable TV networks...when a program started at, say, 10:00 P.M., it started at just that: 10:00 P.M.;
Exposure to the type of commercial television programs which typified what was in vogue in some of the various countries comprising the Asian continent. With the courteous addition of subtitles it felt sort of like I was "being let in on a few trade secrets", as it's normally hard to establish any intimate ties with those of different backgrounds, being that everyone tends to be more-or-less loyal to one's own subculture, teachings, and beliefs, not really feeling "safe" in sharing such with those outside the realm of their "communities". Hence, there's always that element of "divisiveness" and "unknowing".

One thing about AZN that I found surprising: their broadcasts were always in mono---even though just about everything they programmed was recorded in stereo they themselves transmitted in mono.
Another thing about AZN:  they didn't really have a very big budget to operate on. They were kind of "small-time" operatives.  Of course this could explain why their primary source of revenue seemed to be all those cheesy infomercials.
I can attest to the fact that TIME-WARNER CABLE (on which I recieved AZN) didn't exactly hold AZN in highest esteem.  I always remembered the reception being really fuzzy---with considerable "drop-outs" during the period of 2003 through about mid-2006.  Later on there would periods where AZN "locked up" (both picture and sound) rendering the cable channel virtually unwatchable.  I'm sure this was probably a "TIME-WARNER thing"---but such irreverence on the part of major carriers might have also accounted (in part) for the "special-interest" cable channels eventual demise. 

More musings

What's with all these suitcases with the long handles and wheels on the bottom? WHEELS!!!
And people are actually strolling down the sidewalk pulling these along behind them---with the wheels rolling over ...God knows what: hock-wads; mud patches; dog crap...
And how does one navigate cracks in the sidewalk, uneven slabs, potholes?  Or crossing the street? If a car makes a sudden turn "right into you" unexpectedly, how do you "get out of their way" just as quickly? I would think pulling these babies behind you would impair one's flexibility in terms of agility.
Have people in general become so lame they're not able to carry their own luggage anymore?
And why is it always this one person---in the middle of town---strolling down the sidewalk dragging these suitcases behind them? Nowhere near the airport or the bus station... They're just pulling this thing behind them just all by themselves... ???


Have you ever noticed, when you're around a university campus area, how all college students have the same personalities? Nobody ever has their own individual character. Everyone is so cliche.
"College kids" remind me of the menu at McDonalds: you know, where everything comes from the same source, but is put in different containers? Pffft: Big Mac...Pfffft: Choclate shake....Pfffft: Apple pie
Well, it's that way with college students as well: Pfffft: Clueless "suburbanite" student....Pfffft: sorority bitch...Pfffft: Jock....Pffffft: Domineering "boyfriend"....Pfffft: "Minority" student....Pffffft: "Asian" student....Pfffft: Token geek....Pfffft: Punk rocker....Pfffft: Dopey lobotomized "skateboarder" dude....Pfffft: "Bicyclist"....Pffffft: Jogger.....Pffffft: Fitness freak....Pffffft: Stick-in-the-mud "femme fatale"....Pfffft: "Girlish" co-ed who acts likes she's still in grade school....Pfffft: Non-stop talkative "socialite" chronic butt-kisser....
Sometimes I wonder how anyone can write stories, movies, or television shows around the "college environment". It must take a few hat tricks of poetic license to pull those off, as a real-life portrayal of average college students would never lend itself to any possibilities of character development. For in order for there to be "character development" one must first have character to develop in the first place. But in the real-life college campus environment, FORGET IT!!! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why isn't Wall Street in jail?

...probably because it would be physically impossible to incarcerate an entire city street---or even an entire city block for that matter.

Of course that was the title to a strongly opinionated news article about all the shady business practices of some of the major investment firms, major banks and a few other prominent outfits whose activities adversely affected the stock market as well as numerous other interactive clients and customers.
And of how their unscrupulous behaviors managed to, among other things, pretty much turn the world economy "on it's head". And of how ineffectual the U.S. government is in the way it's dealing with this particular scenario.

Personally, I think the World Court should have the authority to rule on major issues of both moral and economic concern.  After all, they have a "human rights counsel", don't they? (Or something along that line, anyway).  And the events of 2008 have the ramifications of both (moral and economic), do they not?  If the World Court had even more authority than it does now (via inclusion of more "international laws") so as to overreach even further than it does now, they would then have the power to override the decisions of any country's "high court" in the event of any clear violations of international laws on the part of said country. That way not even a country's highest courts would always necessarily "have the last word" on actions and behaviors which can---or have potential to---affect the moral, financial, political, or social well-being not only nationally but also globally as well.

Of course the notion of the World Court having that kind of extensive legal clout is not an idea that would ever set too well with most nations.  The idea does have that element of "invasiveness" about it, for sure.
And what happens if corruption starts occurring inside the structures of the World Court itself?  Where is there to go after that? 
Good questions, yes.

Dilemma after dilemma.  Obviously the U.S. lacks that sense-of-responsibility to itself and to it's own people to tackle a lot of it's legal and moral problems resolutely and effectively---but, yes, what are the alternatives to allowing a major country (ANY major country) the right to continue it's sovereign right-to-self-governing?  There is something to be said for the notion of allowing any "outsiders" to intervene with U.S. affairs.

By the way, leave Wall Street itself alone.  It's only the offending moguls who should be locked up and charged ...and, upon conviction, sent to "the big house" a la "Al Capone".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fellow Libras

Coming up in another week---give or take---my 57th birthday. October 12.
Alright, so MY birthday is certainly nothing "eventful"---but there ARE a handful of others from around this time of year who's birthdays are more noteworthy:

The late former Beatle, John Lennon: he would have turned 71 this Sunday if he was still with us.

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, already a living legend, turns 70 a week from Thursday (the 13th).
"How terribly strange to be seventy." Actually, reality itself is always the same no matter where you're at in life. He was still in his 20s when he wrote that back in 1967 ...or 1968.

And an honorary mention of South Korean actress Bae Doo Na. You don't know who she is? Obviously you've never followed Korean dramas (or movies). Ms. Bae is probably one of the most talented character actresses ever in the history of cinema---in this case we're talking world-wide cinema. (As opposed to just that of one country or of one region, etc.). She definitely has the "getting into character" thing down-pat. To this day I STILL don't know what kind of personality she has---but I know the characters she played on each of the three dramas I saw in which she played the main characters ...I know THOSE characters by heart. And I'm sure in real life she's nothing like any of them.
Anyway, Bae Doo Na turns 32 on Tuesday, October 11 (Korean time, that is---she was born in Seoul on October 11 1979---which, by the way, was on a Thursday. However, on this here North American continent, that could mean it might be still-Monday-night, the 10th, when she turns 32).

And, finally, is Chuck Berry still living? If so, he'll turn 85 on October 18---which is a Tuesday. Is October 18 still in the "Libra" range? I'm not sure. But I don't care---Happy Birthday Charlie, just the same. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ad nauseam

You notice my site (so far) doesn't have any advertisements cluttering up the corners of each web page.
I hope to keep it that way, too.
I can't stand it when I come across something that looks interesting either on a search engine or as a link on someone's web site, but then when I try to get on that site there's so much unrelated clutter on it that it takes a good 3 or 4 minutes for the whole damn page to even load onto my computer ...and when it finally does I STILL can't scroll down to read whatever article I'm interested in reading due to continuous "loading"-in-progress---mostly advertisements and other "excesses".

I remember a quip I once heard describing advertising in general---whether TV or radio commercials or magazine and billboard ads:
That commercials and ads are "stationary medicine shows"---as opposed to the old "traveling medicine shows".
The mindset and contents are still pretty much the same, when one stops and thinks about it: the peddling of either "magic pills" or material gadgets which are supposed to "improve your life" somehow.

Hopefully those who venture onto this blogsite will experience and easier time getting to it's contents
...and not get all "bothered" about the absence of all those "fancy frills" a lot of other sites have---like the videos, mp3 audio tracks, and plethoras of photos.
I let my WORDS do all the work and provide all the contents for this site. Because that's what blogging is all about in the long run---an outlet for one's personal self-expression. If one's words can "speak" and "speak" well then they alone should be adequate enough to carry a whole blogsite completely on their own.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just don't call it "Immigration"

"Illegal immigrant"...what the hell is an "illegal immigrant"?

I don't know if anyone has ever thought about it before, but that term is an oxymoron. It's literally inaccurate and really makes no sense.

One cannot immigrate to another country unless said country makes it official. It has to be on record with the government of whatever country one's "moving to" that said individual has applied and has "been accepted" into said country as a "naturalized citizen" in order for said individual to be doing anything there besides just visiting---or even merely physically present in that country's territory, but maybe without the knowledge of any of their officials.

To immigrate requires abiding by whatever legal proceedings said desired country has for determining "eligibility" for being accepted into their society---and also of being able to meet their requirements for such as well. If you're lucky enough to be accepted by said country's government officials, then you become a citizen of said country. It's all a matter of paperwork and legalities.

To which I ask: What do you call someone who simply manages to enter into a strange country of which they're not a citizen---even somehow bypassing the customs officials at the borders---and then proceeds to simply start casually residing there the same way they did back in the country they come from?

Certainly not a citizen. An invader---in the legal sense, maybe. Granted, this person might otherwise not cause any problems for anyone---but the fact remains: this person should be just "visiting" and not hanging around for "the long run" as they haven't even entered this country legally so as to even have lawful entitlement to visit or to "just explore", being that they didn't even go through customs---which is always legally required, even for returning citizens of said country, who themselves have been "out of the country". This person's not even supposed to be here at all---and they're trying to LIVE here.

People who enter another country unlawfully are not immigrants. They're not even "visitors". They are INVADERS. They may not be dangerous ones necessarily or pose any kind of threats or anything of that nature...but they're still "invading" in the legal sense---a.k.a. internationally trespassing.