Friday, November 28, 2008

Surgical Subterfuge..


That whole Smallpox vaccine debacle wasn't the first time I had been victimized by the malevolent machinations of the medical community.
Oh no..

Back in the day,when every one on TV wore black-and-white,and doctors still made house calls,our family physician,Dr. Simon,apparently went door-to-door in the neighborhood on a relentless quest to complete his collection of little boy's tonsils,and the organically redundant appendix of their hapless siblings.
(A practice which was abandoned in the early 60's,due to the falling demand for tonsils and appendii on the world wide market,no doubt).

In any case,it was decided on one such visit to our house,that as long as my big sister was being scheduled to have her appendix removed,it would be economically prudent to go ahead and jerk my tonsils out at the same time.
Sorta like a package deal don'cha know.

Well of course I had no clue what this procedure entailed,..but I did know this!
I was going to get to watch cartoons,color in coloring books,and eat all the ice cream I wanted!

Shortly after this ill-fated conference,I found my self happily sharing a hospital room with my sister,laughing heartily at the folksy observations of Foghorn Leghorn,and deftly filling in the lines of Donald Duck's sailor suit with the multi-colored bonanza that was contained in my newly acquired box of 64,..when out of nowhere appeared a lady-in-white,brandishing a syringe the size of the freakin' Chrysler building!..

Nurse: 'It's time for your shot little Sling,..I promise,this won't hurt a bit'..

It occurred to me that,in point of actual fact,this thing was gonna hurt like a sonofabitch,..so I offered up my most eloquent protest.

Little Sling: 'WHAAAAAAAA!!'

Nurse: 'Now,now..This will all be over in a second'.

Big Sister: 'Yeah Little Sling,..don't be such a big baby!'.

Little Sling: 'WHHAAAAAAAAA!!!'..

Clearly,I had made a compelling argument,because the nurse gently refrained,..when suddenly,something outside the window next to my bed caught her attention.

Nurse: 'Oh my goodness!..There's a Giraffe outside!'..

Little Sling: '???!!'..

Quite naturally,I leapt to the window in an effort to behold this wondrous sight and,..wait a minute?,..I don't see no Gira..

**STAB!**

When I woke up,the room was darkened,my sister was sleeping soundly,and my throat hurt like hell!..This is my recollection .
I lost my tonsils that day,but I did get to feast on some damn fine Neopolitan,and keep all 64 colors..


video

'Colors'

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Sure...

..The economy is goin' down the shitter,the weather is getting colder,I'm bored to tears,the cat keeps trying to steal my breath while I'm sleeping,Bush still has eight weeks in office,and I'm unemployed.

But at least I'm not gonna get Smallpox!..




..Ratz.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Daisy a day..

Grandma's birthday was a couple of days ago.
She would have been 108 years old.
She's been gone for 40 years now,.still,it's one of those dates you accumulate over time,and pause to reflect on by way of remembrance.

I tell people that I had 'fairy tale' grandparents.
You know,the type that spend their entire lives together,good times and bad,working hard to raise their children,and showering love on the grand babies.

They had a routine down the would always make us kids giggle with delight.
Grandpa would pretend to commit some act of mischief...Sneaking food from the stove top,or straining his neck to get a peek at her cards while playing gin rummy,..anything to provoke her response.

'PA!..I'm gonna jerk a knot in your tailbone!'

She was all of five-foot nothin',and he was well over six feet,but he'd make a great show of cringing at the prospect of suffering her wrath.
We loved it!

Grandma died at the age of 68,after a long battle with Diabetes,and Grandpa followed less than a year later.

No doubt,there were times when they must have argued in earnest,but all we grand kids ever saw was how very much they cared for each other.

This song has always reminded me of them.

video

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A comprehensive list of things I don't understand..

..would prove impossible to be contained in all of cyberspace,so I'll just have to deal with one thing at a time.

Question: How did proposition 8 even get on the ballot,and once that was accomplished ,how the HELL did it actually pass??

As near as I can figure,a single group of religious fanatics,which shall remain nameless,gathered together in fellowship,and decided that their brand of theology should override one of the most dearly held tenets of our democracy,..Equal Rights for all.

Don't get me wrong..I will steadfastly defend their right to revolve their own lives around a book that some farm-boy-turned-con artist magically discovered under a tree,while stumblin' around down in the pasture one fine day happily listening to the voices in his head.
..Freedom of religion,and all that.

Freedom this,and freedom that.
The point is,that nobody has the right to usurp any one's Constitutionally guaranteed rights,..PERIOD!
Hence my confusion over the passage of a Constitutional amendment designed specifically for that purpose.

The fact that I'm not included in the exclusion,has no relevance whatsoever.
What is profoundly relevant to me,..to all of us really,..is that any segment of the population can be singled out by well-funded special interests,and deprived of their birthright under color of law.

The California Supreme Court has wisely decided to hear arguments in opposition to this travesty,tentatively scheduled for March of next year.
At that time,in my considered opinion,two things need to happen.

1) Proposition 8 will be overturned,on the basis of all things that a civilized democracy demands of itself,..and,

2) Subsequently,any religious organization that chooses to violate the Separation of Church and State, (another fundamental premise upon which this country was founded), by actively engaging in political lobbying,will be summarily stripped of it's tax-exempt status.

You wanna play?..You gotta pay!

It's Thursday,..and life is fed to the teeth with self-righteous assholes in Sling's Domain.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Page 56..

It seems there is an international conspiracy afoot in Bloggertown!
After some thorough investigation,I've tracked the course of this sinister plot backward from Willym-in-Rome,via Lorraine-O'-Seattle,to its source,..the mysterious Lorene.


..Follows,the sordid details;
Open the book nearest your computer.No fair hunting for something that sounds intellectual and impressive,(like that could happen!),to page 56. Post the 5th sentence,plus one or two thereafter for context.

Well,..I haven't yet deciphered the significance of this 'page 56' phenomenon,but you can bet that it doesn't bode well.
In any case,when I reach into the giant stainless steel vault I keep next to my laptop,I discover my anniversary issue of Life magazine,and turn to page 56...

Well,..no,..I guess a magazine isn't technically a book.
Hang on..

How about page 56 of the official O-Town phone book?
It's got balloons!!..
No?
Fine then..


You people are relentless!..

I keep,for sentimental reasons,the Inaugural Issue of Unbound Press at hand for just such an occasion!


Turning now to page 56:

*'He went into therapy and talked about Carla Antonucci and emotional burnout;cultivated his friendships;stopped dating anybody;got worried about a sudden drop in interest and had his urologist check his testosterone level.
Life puzzled him:he was a success in business,and that puzzled him.His friends claimed to like him,and that puzzled him,too.
He decided that he'd been much more interesting when he was younger,and he valued his friends from his prep school and college days because they'd known him then.
Particularly,he valued Phoebe,and so told her nothing of his problems in their twice yearly telephone conversations'.


Curiously enough,when I turn to page 159 of this amazing anthology,I find a most delightful article,'Will write for food',by one of my all-time favorite authors,..Lorraine Thomas!
Co-incidence?..I think not.

Comes now,the time to pass this mission along,should they decide to accept it,to the unsuspecting Lost in Color,and Random Thinker..

Have a great week kids!

*excerpt from 'Lover by Lover',by David Beaty..

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Friday, November 14, 2008

A Public Service Announcement..

As a long time numismatist,(that's a coin collector,..but you knew that),there's one aspect to the hobby I find particularly aggravating.
..Insulting,even.

Every time something of an historic nature occurs,these greedy,opportunistic cockroaches come crawling out from behind the baseboards,in a mad frenzy to capitalize on the prevailing public sentiment.


video

'Own a piece of American history!',..an heirloom you can proudly pass on to your children,and grandchildren.

The number of things wrong with that premise are way too numerous to mention.
Follows,..the short list:
  • The 'New England Mint'?..sounds all official n' stuff don't it..There are three government authorized United States mints..San Francisco,Denver,and Philadelphia..The New England mint could very well be located in some guy's basement in Connecticut.
  • How about that glorious,full color portrait of Barack Obama?..Well,it's clearly not enameled,which would be cheesy at best..My guess is that it's printed on paper,and stuck on like those decals that come with 'Easy Bake' ovens..It's illegal for our government to portray the image of a living person on genuine coin of the realm by the way..This isn't a monarchy,or dictatorship we got goin' on up in here!
  • Layered in pure,24 carat gold!!..Layered?..I don't even know what the hell that means..Genuine United States Commemoratives will either be solid,pure .999 fine,or maybe 'clad'..One pure precious metal bonded to another precious metal..This thing is likely cast from lead,and then gold leafed..There's more pure gold in a bucket of seawater.
  • Not available in public circulation!..no shit..Neither is Wampum,or Wooden Nickels...There's a reason for that.
All this for the low introductory price of just $9.95!..plus shipping and handling.
Hurry!..this 'Limited Edition' is only being struck for the next 75 days!
..Just enough time to crank out one for every person on the planet.

I can absolutely guarantee you this!
50 years hence,you might be able to sell it at a yard sale to a collector for a buck and change.

..end of pontification.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

A fly on the wall..

GW: ..'and this here's the Oval Office!..Yep,..this is where I do all my Presidentiary thinkifyin'!

Obama: 'I'll have to admit Mr. President,this is quite a moment for me.
I've been anxious to speak with you one-on-one to discuss...'

GW: 'Hey!..Looky here!..I got this mechanical contraption I use to he'p me concentrate on all that gubament stuff!'..(pulls on little steel ball,and lets go).

*klack*,*klack*,*klack*,*klack*..

Obama: 'Yes,I see'..
'Very nice sir..Now,about this economic crisis we're currently embroiled in.
I'd really like to get your take on..'

*klack*,*klack*,*klack*..

Obama:'Um.. you know,..maybe we should spend a few minutes going over some strategies for handling the situations in Iraq,and Afghanistan.
In my view,nothing could be more important than...'

*klack*,*klack*,*klack*..*klack*..

Obama: 'GEORGE!!..Can you at least tell me where the friggin' nuclear launch codes are?!?..'

GW: 'Wazzat?..Oh,yeah..Cheney borrowed 'em...*klack*,*klack*..
'Hee-hee-hee!'..
'Hey!,..you wanna give this gadget a try?..'

Obama:..*sigh*..

Fly on the wall: ..'welcome to my world'..

Friday, November 07, 2008

You know,it suddenly dawned on me..

Hey!..We're allowed to have fun again!

I could go into a long spiel about celebrating cultural diversity,and masters of their craft,and all that..But the bottom line is that this is really just some kids, havin' a ball!

video


Edit:.. For my friend 'Citizen'..


My brother was in the crowd at Venice Beach,watching them film the movie,and they put out the call for an unsavory lookin' character.
..I'm so proud!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

First things first..

Well,it's over,and we won!..(I use the term 'we' as a means of distinguishing them,from us),and it's time to get down to the business of,..business.

Healing the wounds endured by both sides of the aisle,reaching out to the other side,and building a bridge between our ideological philosophies.

In that respect,the second most important decision President-elect Obama has to make,(first being the appointment of the White House dog),is the selection of his Chief-of-Staff.

Everything I know about politics,I learned from watching 'West Wing',..so trust me when I tell you that the President's Chief-of-Staff is the designated hitter for the Oval Office.

So today,when I learned that Rahm Emanuel had accepted that position in the Obama administration,I lickity-split on over to Google,and did a little vetting of my own.
It's my job..

Turns out,the guy has a reputation for being doggedly ambitious,fiercely argumentative,and decidedly 'old school' when it comes to the subtle,and not so subtle machinations of politics..
A freakin' raptor,poised to swoop down,and gorge upon the bloody entrails of the freshly slaughtered Republican carcass!

..works for me.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

PLUS!..as an added bonus!..

We got a totally HOT First Lady!..

I just wanted to be the first to declare my love for Michelle.
..carry on.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm so happy I could squirt!..

8:00 PM,..Pacific Standard Time:..

I have read this very day,a quote that I wish I could attribute to it's source.
Sadly,in my haste,I just can't remember where I discovered it.

'The only thing we have to fear,..is hope itself'.

WONDERMOUS!!..In all it's sincerity,and historical implications.

Even still,I wished,and prayed,and dug down deep into my most sober moments of clarity,..to hope against hope.

I truly do not have any naive expectations that life in these United States will be all rainbows and Unicorns after today.
..BUT THIS CHANGES EVERY..SINGLE..FUCKING..THING!..

(Slips into cranky old bastard mode)..
'By god!,..when I was your age,we had to walk 5 miles through the snow to work 27 hours a day and!,..

..Sorry.

Anygiddyasaschoolgirl,..I just couldn't help,but to burst out into spontaneous song.

Follows,my humble offering..
Presented here,in Karaoke format,for your 'Feel free as an arctic wolf in summertime to sing along!'.. shopping convenience.

..You KNOW you want to!..


video

I am SO PROUD! to be an American!!
..A blessing on all our houses..

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Majority Rules..

When I was a kid,the very first thing I learned about the concept of Democracy was that simple phrase,..'Majority rules'.
It's instantly understandable to even the very young,and perfectly elegant in it's fundamental fairness.

'Those that choose 'A'..raise your hands'.
'Those that choose 'B'..raise your hands'...

You may or may not have been delighted with the final tally,but you took comfort in the fact that your views had been acknowledged,and whatever the outcome,the majority of the group would be duly served,and cries of 'No fair!' would be rightfully abandoned.

When you're young,the consequences of the end result are generally benign.
..'Either we all go to the movies,or we all go to the beach'..Like that.

The second thing we learned about Democracy was the practice of 'Drawing straws'.
Leave the final decision to the whims of chance..
The prospects here,while 'fair' in their basic execution,tend to exclude thoughtful considerations,and are pretty much always far less appealing.

'Which one of us is gonna go in the crazy lady's back yard,and retrieve our baseball?'..

I think it's safe to say that anyone over the age of ten years,recognizes that 'Drawing the short straw' universally sucks.

Well,..we're all grown up now,but those two Democratic processes still apply.
We can get out and vote tomorrow,and actively participate in deciding which direction our Democracy is headed,..or we can opt to just stay at home,consign our future to the apathetic finger of fate,..and draw straws.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Culture n' stuff..

Like most bloggers,I found myself hopelessly baffled over the sudden appearance of a whole extra hour this weekend.

Where does it come from?..
Did we have to borrow it from China or something??..
Is it a Right-Wing conspiracy,designed to postpone the inevitable???..
I just don't know.

So,I decided to leave those questions to Stephen Hawking,and use the additional time to take that long awaited field trip to O-Town's very own Chinese Temple.

This place has got to be O-Town's best kept secret!

For a mere two dollars,you get to wander about the grounds of an absolute treasure house,and get a glimpse of what life was like for a whole 'nuther culture over 140 years ago.

Built in 1863,it replaced two wooden buildings that had burned down,probably due to the use of incense and candles.
It served as the only place of worship for the nearly ten-thousand Buddhist,Taoist,and Confucianist Chinese residents in the area.

You may enjoy the furnishings,artifacts and peaceful ambiance,but whatever you do,..DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!!..Or the little blue-haired lady in the gift shop will beat you like a rented Mule.
..don't ask me how I know.

The altar in the Main Temple building..You need to cross two thresholds to enter,so as to confound any evil spirits that may be trailing you.


Temple Deities..



The central courtyard,..

..and Koi Pond.

Upstairs,to the rear of the Main Temple,is the 'Moon Temple',..built for the worship of Buddha.The bricks create a 360 degree circular entry..again with the two thresholds.

The 'Tapestry Room' also houses some stunning furnishings,donated by the Emperor of China..


.. Brass incense Burner,approximately four feet tall!..Beautiful.



And finally,a lovely collection of traditional dress,circa 1860..


Chinese Bridal Gown..


These photos barely scratch the surface of this wonderful place.
Flash photography is quite naturally verboten!,and much of the Temple is too dimly lit to accommodate proper documentation.
..I guess you just had to be there.

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