Friday, February 27, 2009

Real Cowboys Don't 'Skip'!..

They will,however,..lead you out onto the dance floor,place a firm left hand on your right hip,their right hand raising your left hand high, you safely across the full measure of available space for the express purpose of letting everyone in the room know that you belong to them!..

'Love is like a butterfly'


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

For ease of reference..

..I'm gonna go ahead and call it a 'State of the Union' address.

I was eagerly awaiting President Obama's speech last night,and I'll tell you why.
I love oratory!
The ebb and flow of well crafted ideas,delivered with impeccable timing and purpose makes me feel absolutely euphoric.
It's like fine dining for the soul,and Obama never fails to leave me feeling fat,and happy.

Fully 80% of America is now feeling more inspired,hopeful,and confident that we will get through these trying times,and come out all bright and sparkly on the other side.


This kind of public approval after a State of the Union address is nothing less than unprecedented in my lifetime.

PLUS!..As an added bonus!..Just when I was all set to lean back,unbutton the top button of my britches,and bask in the glory of my rhetorical gluttony,..Bobby Jindal rolled out the dessert cart!

His so-called 'rebuttal' of Obama's speech was like freshly baked schadenfreude with French Vanilla ice cream on top for a guy like me that revels in the out-loud-and-in-public humiliation of those that desperately cling to the antiquated dogma of the far-far away-right.

Yeah..It was that sweet!

He was physically awkward,verbally comical,and substantively clueless about what was actually contained in Obama's masterfully delivered speech.

That pathetic whimpering you hear wafting over the horizon,is the sound of Congressional Republicans bemoaning ever having selected Bobby to speak on their behalf...

It's Wednesday,..and life is a four course meal in Sling's Domain.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Form & Function..

'The world is so full of a number of things,that I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings'..
..Robert Louis Stevenson

For as long as I can remember,I've been fond of taking the occasional walkabout.
Aside from the satisfying mobility of wandering to and fro' with both feet on the ground,there's the added benefit of being able to stop and enjoy those serendipitous sightings that would otherwise escape one's notice while traveling at the speed of modern conveyance.
Having an actual destination in mind falls precisely at the bottom of my list of requirements for these little excursions,but my bi-weekly trek to the O-Town Post Office is no less enjoyable for it's having purpose.
I was pleasantly surprised this time around,to discover that the barren and ill-tended vacant lot I routinely pass had been transformed into this!..

The creator of this delightful little labyrinth happened to be puttering about the premises,and we chatted for a spell.
I told him how much I admired his workmanship,and he allowed that the purpose behind his humble endeavor was to give all and sundry that might desire a moment of reflective meditation,a place to walk in solitary communion..

..'The gate is always open!'..

I was reminded this day of something my Pops always used to say whenever he was engaged in some manner of handiwork, it professional,or domestic,..that defined his vision for all tasks great and small.

..'It should be useful,as well as decorative'..

I think this advice not only holds true for the works we do by way of crafting our livelihoods,..but also serves as a gentle reminder to strive for a measure of thoughtful flourish in those things we choose to build in our hearts.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Uncle Sling's Great American Circus of Fine Friday Jukebox Video Values!

..I'll work on the title a little bit later.

Times being what they are,I thought I'd present a little two-for-the-price of-one-mini-concert for this week's Friday funfest.
Isaac and Phil Everly,known collectively as The Everly Brothers,were a profound influence on such harmonious icons as The Beatles,The Beach Boys,and Simon and Garfunkel.
Just give a listen,and I guarantee you'll recognize that influence,and perhaps even come away thinking to yourself,.. 'Oh..yeah..whatever'.

They hold the distinction of having more Top 100 Hits on the Billboard charts than any other duo,and only fall into second place behind Hall and Oats for Top 10!

Still,..I think their greatest accomplishment may very well be that they were able to use the phrase 'Gee-Whiz' as a rhyming lyric,and totally make it work!

All I have to do is dream/Cathy's clown


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Six of one...

I've thought about it,and decided that there can only be one of two reasons why the editor at The New York Post thought this political cartoon based on a recent incident in Connecticut,was funny..

1) He is an incredibly backwards-assed,socially malignant bigot,with absolutely no sense of the positive consequences that truly subtle political satire can produce..Or,
2)..There is no 2nd reason.

Don't get me wrong.
When it comes to the first amendment,I may not agree with what you say,but I'll be first in line to defend your right to say it.
'The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls',..after all.
But, matter what angle I view this from,I can't come away from it feeling enlightened,or amused..

There's my two-cents...Before taxes.
Let us cleanse our intellectual palates,..shall we?

..Now that stuff's funny right there!


Monday, February 16, 2009

So..What's in it for me?

President Obama is scheduled to sign the Economic Stimulus Package,recently passed by Congress,tomorrow in Denver.
Why in Denver,by the way?..I mean,it seems like the kind of landmark deal he'd want to enact for posterity,sitting large-and-in-charge behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Maybe I like that image too much in my own head?
I just don't know..

In any case,..I'm proud of him for jumping in there with both feet,and bulldogging this legislation through Congress short of his first thirty days in office,just like he promised he would do during the campaign.
I'd like to note that the Republicans also did their part in living up to my expectations,..thumping the podium,rending their garments,and generally raising the hue and cry over how disastrous this partisan Democratic boondoggle would surely prove to be.
I'm not exactly sure who it is they're trying to convince that anything they have to say about anything holds merit at this point,but if it helps them snuggle up to the thirty-seven morons still left in this country that buy into their philosophies,I say let 'em go ahead and enjoy the delusion.
Just please,..don't speak out,or rustle papers while the grown-ups are having a discussion.

If I've left you with the impression that I'm confident the stimulus deal is gonna be the miracle salve that soothes the economic rug burns on our knees we've suffered over the last eight years,allow me to clarify.
I haven't got a clue..

But I do know this!
Part of the package includes an extra $100.00 a month in unemployment benefits.
After I've budgeted out my rent,utilities,and food,..I'm left with exactly $19.00,every two weeks,to use as I might for such habitual luxuries as tobacco,brown liquor,and personal hygiene products.
..In that order.

I'm really not complaining...I know for an actual fact that many of my worker-bee brethren would gladly trade places with me,..but I gotta tell ya,I'm fit to hoot and holler,and throw babies all up in the air over the prospect of having an additional $25 smacks a week!!

Is that selfish?..Yes..It is.

Perhaps I'll repent of my greed while I'm standing in line at Wal-Mart to purchase that 6-pack of Hane's no-droop crew socks I've had my eye on,'lo these past several months.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Predator..A Love Story Redux*..

*I'm re-posting a little Valentine's day tale from two years ago.
My reasons are bi-fold;
a)I got too hammered last night to come up with something original,and..
2)I really do like this story!..

Titus used different Internet dating services to find his victims,and never more than twice in any city.
Two in San Diego.
Two in Oceanside.
One each in Manhattan,Santa Barbara,and San Francisco.

He had an easy way with women.Tall and athletic,with a quick wit and disarming smile,they gravitated to him naturally.It seldom took more than a few flirtatious and complimentary E-mails to secure a “get to know each other better” meeting in person.
These women had tired of doing the bar scene.Nothing but creeps,and posers,and married men looking for a one-night stand.So they scoured the profiles of “perfect matches” promised by the instant notifications in their in-boxes,in search of that elusive soul mate.
More than anything,they were lonely..
It was what made them such easy prey.

He would suggest they get together for a casual lunch,at a restaurant of her choosing.
Never dinner.It was too presumptive for a first encounter.She would feel safer,more in control in the conspicuous light of day.Titus understood this.Hell,he counted on it. She would be nervous,at first,just enough to betray her vulnerability.
Titus could taste her savory weakness.He would seize upon that fragile instant to be ever so charming..Warm,sensitive,and attentive.She would,predictably,loosen her guard.
”Could this really be true?” She would think to herself.After ALL the losers that had gone before,was this finally the “real thing?”..Hope springs eternal,..and YES!,..She’d love to have dinner with him Friday next!


Seven times before,there had been the inevitable intimate conversation,in whatever dimly-lit establishment had been touted as “The cities finest!”.
Seven times before,the evening had concluded with her clutching his arm.The intoxicating scent of her perfumed hair electrifying his senses,as they crossed the threshold of her inhibitions.
Seven time before,he had left them,..bound,..and lifeless..

Tonight would be the occasion of Titus’ and Trina’s second date.

This evening passed with an ease that he hadn’t expected.
She was bright,and bubbly,and not at all like his previous “conquests”.
Still,he knew with the clinical certainty of the driven psychopath that he was,how it would conclude.

He would imply..
She would demure..
He would coax..
She would feign..
In the end,..they arrived at her loft in West Sacramento.

Trina was a new wrinkle in the fabric of Titus’ experience.
He felt a spiritual connection to her,unlike anything that had gone before.

She would have to die, question about that...It was the natural order of things.
Women were the root of all evil,and HE was retribution...Salvation,..and redemption.

Trina eased herself next to him,stroking his cheek with the back of her hand.
“I’ll pour some wine if you like”..
Titus felt a flush of desire...
He brushed back her long black hair,and pulling her toward himself, kissed her full on the mouth,their tongues teased for one brief moment.
“I’ll take that as a yes”....

He watched her glide into the kitchen,and then made himself comfortable on the leather sofa.

They would have a few drinks,after which he would make love to her.Then,after a gentle kiss,he would choke the life from her.
He sensed her presence behind him,smelled her perfume..Turning to accept the wine,..Titus was dead.

The claws of the hammer made a wet,sucking sound as Trina retrieved it from his shattered skull.

“You would have lied to me eventually Titus”,she said aloud.”All men do”.

She wiped the blood from his face,and set about the task of cutting out his tongue with a pair of pinking shears.This,she would wrap in a silk kerchief,and place in the mahogany treasure box her grandmother Hattie had given her for her 12th birthday,..along with the eight others she had collected.
“Lying bastard’s” she thought,.."and so predictable...You are all so readily led around by your cocks!"..

It’s what made them such easy prey..

Happy Valentine's day!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Watch Out For Them Folk Singers!...

..They might be dangerous!

It's a little known,nor oft remembered fact,that I was enrolled for my entire Freshman year at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach,California.
I say enrolled,rather than attended,because it was my routine to walk in the front gate when my mom dropped me off on her way to work,and proceed directly out the back gate to meet up with my runnin' mates at the Horse-shoe Pier in Hermosa Beach for some casual misbehavior.
I do have a vague recollection of sitting in on one class,..English I think,..but can't for the life of me tell you why I bothered.
I'm guessin' there was a female involved..

Clearly,..R.U.H.S. isn't bustin' it's buttons over having me as an alumnus.
They can however,boast of the kids featured in today's Jukebox Video.
Not only did Tommy and Dicky Smothers graduate from that noble institution,but they went on to achieve some measure of fame,along with a notable dash of admirable infamy!

Their top-rated television show,'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour',kept the censors working overtime just trying to figure out '..exactly,what did they mean by that??'..
HA!.. Those of us in the so-called counter culture were hip to what was really goin' on..Know what I'm sayin'?..
Every week,they had folks the likes of George Carlin,Steve Martin,and that euphoric and charming miss Goldie Leigh,putting a fine satirical edge on the socio-political morass that was the Vietnam-era of the late 60's.
Eventually,the powers that be over at CBS decided they were all a bunch of radical Hippies,whose intention it was to overthrow the status quo,..and the show was cancelled.
..It sure was fun while it lasted!

Still,I chose this video not for any kind of political statement,but for the simple fact that,..damm..These boys can sing!

'They call the wind Mariah'


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Live and Let Live?..

..I DON'T freakin' think so!!..

Sadly,..the little fellow met with a tragic tennis shoe accident shortly after this video was filmed.


Monday, February 09, 2009

A Moment of Clarity..

Three weekends out of each month,we get to have Little Newt all to ourselves!
Of course,he's The Lizzard King's little boy,and Mom O' LK's grandson,so quite naturally they get first dibs on the quality time.
This is as it should be.
But Newt and I are buddies,so a portion of the weekend is set aside for the two of us to engage in such mischief as is likely to occur whenever boys are left,unattended,to their own devices.

Much of our time together of late,has been spent marshaling our resources in an attempt to put a stop to the ever present 'Raptor' problem!
..damm things get worse every week.

Not to worry however,because young Newt is equipped with an armory of such state-of-the-art NERFological whizbangery necessary to dispatch the hordes of ravenous Raptors that have somehow managed to infest our house during his week long absence.
It's our job..
It's what we do...

We don't perform this vital public service for nothin' you understand.
We are mercenaries,after all..
Newt and I are compensated for our tireless efforts with great zip-lock bags, filled to the breach in Million-Dollar Bills!

Saturday last,between skirmishes,Newt relaxed on my bed and took an accounting of our well-earned bounty.

Sling: 'Hey Newt,..are you puttin' those bills in the proper order?'..

Newt: 'No..It's not real money'.

Sling:.. 'Oh,of course...How foolish of me'.

Newt: 'If I was gonna put it in the bank,I'd organize it myself,..because Bankers don't really like to organize'..


Surely,..there's a place for this level of insight in Congress..


Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Jukebox

I don't know about you,but when I think Reggae music I think Bob Marley!
..It's only natural.
So,I was a little surprised to discover that the first Reggae artist to break into the top ten in the United States,and the first to hit #1 in the UK, was a cat named Desmond Dekker.

I liked this song when it first came out in 1968,even though I had no clue what the hell the guy was talkn' about.
I still haven't a clue,..something to do with bustin' yer ass just to put food on the table I suspect,..but I like Desmond's updated version even better!



Thursday, February 05, 2009

Whippersnappers Need Not Apply...

Paris Hilton,Bernie Madoff,and those myopic and Machiavellian miscreants over at Merrill-Lynch may not be getting a clear view of the panorama of economic devastation burning on the horizon from their Ivory Towers,but we lowly serfs down here in the trenches know well enough that we're not in Kansas anymore.(Unless,of course,you actually are in Kansas)..

No rainbows..
No Unicorns...

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that those of us rising in the Autumn of this discontent,are finding it especially difficult to compete in an ever dwindling job market against our more youthful counterparts.
I mean,..face it,..when an employer is confronted with a mountain of resumes,odds are they'll elect to housebreak a new pup,before attempting to try and teach an old dog any new tricks.
..It's human nature.

There is a resource for the 'seniors' among us however,and it's right here in O-Town!

A fairly new,and little known program,functioning under the auspices of the Employment Development Department,called 'Experience Works'...And get this!..
You must be 55 years or older to qualify!

Advantages of participating in the program exist on several levels.
Notable among them:

  • Many of the employment opportunities available through EW are not listed in the usual 'Help Wanted' ads in the newspapers and such,narrowing the field of applicants considerably.
  • Depending on your skill level,they offer some interesting training with pay classes to help you secure employment with one of their 'clients'.
I had my second meeting today with Bobbie,the soft-spoken and genteel woman who runs the program,and we went over the last of the in-house paperwork needed to get me channeled into the system.
There is still much to do.
I'll need to go to their website,(Bobbie gave me my very own secret password..HA!),and fill out reams of evaluation forms in order for them to assess my goals,and determine what skills I may already possess toward that end.

I don't expect this to be some kind of manna from heaven,but I do see it as an opportunity to gain a welcomed edge.
These days,..that may just be enough.

'You're younger now,than you'll ever be again..Even if you live to be a hundred!'..
Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bag O' Tricks...

I've been having some fun the last couple of days playing with a new toy..
I may very well be the last person in Bloggertown to check out 'Google Earth',but if not,go here and download the free software!

Aside from the usual maps and directions and stuff,it's got tons of cool interactive bells and whistles.

..That's the O-Town Dam in the opening pass..Tallest dam in the United States!
(You might want to mute the sound).

..sorry I couldn't get around to all my Blogpals this trip,but it's hard to navigate,and video at the same time.

Anywhiz, can visit Mars,check out the night sky above any location on Earth,and follow the terrain on the ocean floor.

I love that stuff!...

If you're anything like me (and who isn't?) you'll wanna crash into the Eiffel Tower,or bail out over Mount St. Helens using the 'Flight Simulator'.
You can choose between a jet,or a prop-job.

Not much else to report on from O-Town.
I do have an appointment downtown tomorrow that might prove interesting,so I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Superbowl Commercial They Don't Want You To See!!..