Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear - A Descriptive Part #1

A buddy and I drove down early Saturday morning from Delaware, passing by quite a few buses heading in the same southerly direction. On I-95, we zipped through Baltimore taking a fast glimpse at the O’s stadium, a venue yet to see post-season play. We veered south onto I-495 to catch the ingoing Metro line at Greenbelt, the first station on the Green line. The parking lot, holding about 4,000 cars was already about 2/3 full at 9:00. Hmmmmm, a lot of like-minded sane and responsible people, it seemed, had the same rational idea. We briskly strolled into the station which was already packed with queues of folks politely waiting their turn. The 200 or so folks all seemed to be brewing at a low level of excitement, containing their delight at seeing equally self-controlled low-level brewing individuals. We lucked out in catching a Metro as soon as we purchased our $12 round trip tix and in a half hour and 10 stops later we exited the subway and ascended into a beautiful day breaking out of the Chinatown station.

There were short lines everywhere. Queues for Starbucks or other cafes, lines at the corners as folks patiently waited to cross the streets, and even a group of folks one following another slowly passing a Vet with a cup asking for small change. Hmmm, queuing for was going to be a rather different type of day.

We walked the 6 or 8 blocks down 7th Avenue, sun streaming down on the gradually warming day. From the feeding side streets, more people came. There was a giddiness flowing like first-date nervousness. Signs started cropping up, indications that folks had been heeding advice from Jon Stewart's Sanity site.   Costumes here and there were also evident of fans of Stephen Colbert's site or, perhaps, merely early Halloween celebrants trying out their gear.

Vendors, vendors, vendors everywhere. Badges, flags, banners, water, and any other purchasable paraphernalia easily carried by the purchaser were offered. The closer you got to the mall, the steeper the same merchandise was priced. Good to see basic economic theory was being practiced here, straight out of the books. Free Rally towels promoting the event were being handed out by volunteers. Later in the day, I saw the same Rally towels, already classic collector items, being sold by folks not outfitted with the official Restore to Sanity volunteer t-shirts. Russian underground economic theory being put into practice; what was free for me will cost you.....comrade.

We ended up on The Mall around 9:30, folks already packed in behind sectional metal fencing. My friend and I, being bachelors at the event and thus not attached with women of social niceties and responsible behavior decided to see how far we can ooze ourselves to the front.   Slithering through groups of folks who'd claimed their spots with blankets, fold-up chairs, coolers, or simply spread-out-like-snow-angels body frames, we worked our way from where 7th Avenue crosses through The Mall to 4th Avenue. There, we hit our first major issue, US Park Rangers and fencing. Like a creek around rocks (enough metaphors in here for ya?), we slipped off to the side of least resistance and continued on toward the Main Stage.

(to be continued.....)

Labels: ,

Saturday on the Mall with Jon & Steven

Some foreign countries seem to be concerned with our national sanity.   All opinions were welcome on this day.

The O'Jays, a surprise musical guest, gets the crowd agitated, in a good way, when they take to the stage, with The Roots as back-up musicians, to do their signature song, "Love Train".  Note here:  No one in the visual scope of this blogger was able to re-create the dance moves of the linked YouTube.  Luckily for all of us as there were no masseuses available for the possible pains resulting from all of that jolting & jiving.

Unlike most of the crowd, some characters were losing their heads over the sheer joy of being here in D.C. on such a gorgeous day sharing moments with like-minded raitonal beings.

Just one example of many showing the crowd's reaction at the multitude of pithy and not so pithy humourous remarks.  Much hilarity ensued at various times but sanity reigned so the D.C. firemen never had to draw their hoses to calm down the Fear-less crowds.

Folks from all states seem to be embarrassed with what their politicians are up to.

Delaware AGAIN makes the news.

More text and observations to follow shortly....Pics as well.

N.B.:  CLICK on the images for a MUCH LARGER version.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Tentative Schedule @ The Mall, Washington D.C. October 30, 2010


"He was sweaty," Talley said. And "he wanted eggs really bad."

In these tough economic times, folks are taking to any kind of work, legal or otherwise, that they may not be qualified for.  Here's a perfect example of such a situation.  You've probably read of lots of folks that are over-qualified for positions they are currently holding.  Personally, I have strong admiration for these folks as their work ethic and sense of responsibility certainly has over-ridden any case of hubris they may have been suffering when first unemployed.

But this fellow?  It seemed he understood the first part of his new career, namely nabbing the money.  But the getaway part needs some serious work.  Fortunately for him, he'll have some quiet time to mull over his next caper.

A lesson to be learned here is best stated by Liquid Planet's Nathan Talley who had served the Cash Transporting Specialist after his foray into a local bank.

"Liquid Planet's Talley had an additional theory. The suspect may have tipped the cab driver, but he left no money at the coffee shop. "

"Bad karma", Talley said, "That's why he got caught."

WP?    La Vie Poème? Have any such shenanigans happened in your coffee & eggs experience?  I'm sure you have tales to tell.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saturday on the Mall

Hey!?  Anyone out there going to the biggest non-political Political Halloween Party this Saturday in D.C.?
Just wondering if I'll be able to recognize you by your sign or by your costume.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sticking it in My Ear

Now that Sony has announced the Death of the Walkman (though there are some Holy Grailers out there moaning that it's not dead yet), it's official that an era has passed.   Now, we await the imminent death notice of the iPod in the coming decade or so to be replaced by.....???  Implants is the only possible step with Wi-Fi Frankenstein posts.

A couple of articles from the Guardian made me feel not so much nostalgic as old.   I received my first Walkman back in 1980 as a parting gift from some of my work friends prior to heading up to Montreal for a year of fun, frustration, and changing career plans.  It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I ever received and, at least at that time, one of the most expensive.  $179!!  And that was in 1980 US dollars which, these days, translates to enough to buy one of those mortgage loan cast-off houses.

Recording one's music for the playlists of those days took days, not minutes like the wet-behind-the-ears MP3ers.  Yeah...and we walked uphill through 5 feet of snow in May to school as well.  Those were the days when women were women and men wore mullets...which meant we were almost women.  A selection of Guardian's reader's inclusions on their playlists had not one band I'd put on my cassettes.  On the list I saw not one mention of Little Feat (w/ Lowell George), Springsteen, Hound Dog Taylor, or ZZ Top.   Most of the dates listed were when I'd abandoned the Walkman and gone on to the Discman.  I kept the Walkman around for a while, almost like a museum piece or a faded baseball card.  It had worked when I packed it in some old socks in a drawer.  A few years later, when I pulled it out just to test out the sound, like a rejected girlfriend, it chewed up a few tapes before buying the ghost.

More so than the innumerable eardrum shaking concerts I'd gone to, I'm sure the Walkman and then the Discman helped me down the road to (eventual, I'm sure) deafness.  Both almost got me killed when I went skiing with them, as I took too well to the combination of sound and schuss and ignored Black Diamond signs, or worse, Black Diamond skiers.   But I do not miss those black buds riding on and in my ear disintegrating my hearing while disintegrating themselves into their baser elements, leaving my ears coated with coal dust.

Nowadays, I protest vaguely at the iPod/MP3 sound quality and the long term damage of short term musical attention all the time wondering if all of this started going downhill with Mr. Sony's introduction of his clicky Walkman.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

St. Georges, DE, Washington DC, The Morning After

Wow...what a weekend.

Helping a friend out with a live broadcast of his 33 1/3 year as host of "Red, Hot, & Blue", a blues show he started....33 1/3 years ago on WVUD. That's him just to the left of the lead singer, Garry Cogdell, strumming & singing. This'll be a performance @ the Cafe at the Country Store in (North) St. Georges, DE. 7 until 11 on Friday night, the 29th. Open invitation to all readers to drop on by for some free music, beer & wine, and NOLA type grub. The latter three items are NOT free but attendees are strongly suggested in partaking thereof. Feed the artists; keep the Country Store going.

Then, Saturday the 30th, if the body's recovered from all of the dancing, whistling, & general spiritual celebration and carrying on of the night before, it's off to D.C for the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity event and The Rev. Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. Keep Fear Alive rally.

..Followed by a dj-ing gig on Sunday, October 31st on The Morning After on WVUD, the voice of the University of Delaware. If you're lounging at the house, flip on your PC and catch the show form 9:00 until 12:00 noon EST from this link.

Sleep seems like an option this coming weekend.

When it rains it pours and who wants an umbrella anyways.

Labels: ,

Sisters: Guys, We Need Them Badly

 Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and NY Times columnist, wrote an article in today's NYT regarding the ameliorative affect having a sister around can have.  While, IMHO, the article is correct and touching (Don't you want to call your sister, if you're lucky enough to have at least one, after reading the article?), it was a tad wordy.

Mr. Loudon Wainwright III said it better and more succinctly in his song, The Picture, from his most excellent of albums, History (a "Take Out Your Handkerchiefs" special).

"A brother needs a sister
To watch what he can do,
To protect and to torture,
To boss around; it's true;
But a brother will defend her
For a sister's love is pure,
Because she thinks he's wonderful
.....When he is not so sure.

It's o.k. there fella, can blow your nose now.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Anyone who's been lullabyed to bed with "Casey at Bat" knows what's coming for the Big Man.  The Big O-fer.  So, on late Saturday night in bottom of the 9th inning, SF Giants clinging by their finely manicured nails to a 3-2 lead, with Phillies on 1st and 2nd base, with two outs, with a 3-2 count, and with the Big Guy for the Phillies at the bat.... knew what was coming.  Anyone who winessed last year's World Series had a clue.

And so, Brian Wilson, he of the shoe-polished beard not he of the "Fun, Fun, Fun" fame, a left-handed pitcher did what lefties did to Ryan Howard all last year in the playoffs and the World Series.

He struck him out.


Not good company to be keeping for one's baseball fame.

It's over 36 hours later and I'm still bummed.  It's not that I'm laying the full blame of the loss on Mr. Howard; he ended the playoffs with the best batting average of the Phils.   It's just that, well..... you don't end your season with the wood parked on your shoulder.

Next year can't come around any sooner.  For the Phils this year, it's no longer GO!  It's GONE!

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gorgeous Day to Be Inside Perusing

...the Internet.
Gawd, it's beautiful out there!  A brilliant and sunny Fall day requiring desired sweaters and pullovers.   And, tonight, Game #6 of the NLCS.  Should be a great night to be visiting a local establishment for brews and views.

But, now?  Well, an unfortunate article appeared in this morning's NYT.
...and now I may be glued inside for a very, very long time.  Addicting reading, this.
Well, at least I'm parked by a window so I can occasionally peak at the blue, blue day passing me by.

May you not be so similarly smitten.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Philly...set to win in SEVEN!

O.k., the National League Champion Series is back in Philly for the last 2 games.

San Fran had its chance and they blew it.  From losing the clinching game, with Lincecum pitching against (as we found out later) a Roy Halladay pitching with one leg as he'd severely strained his groin muscle in the 2nd inning, to tromping out a gal and a hat to do the 7th inning rendition of "God Bless America", it was a night to remember.....
....if you were a Philly phan and one to forget if you were a Giants fan.

So, Saturday night, game #6 yelling, screaming, and hooting 'n hollerin' will create some sort of bedlam in South Philly.

And, for the 7th inning, they'll be sending out the professionals to show....

that gal in San Fran what costumes are all about.

What an amateur!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Modest Proposal : Chunkin'

The current World Record is 4,483.51 feet.
The U.S. Senatorial elections are on November 2, 2010.  The results should be finalized by November 3rd or 4th.
The World Champion Punkin' Chunkin' Festival east of Bridgeville, Delaware is from November 5th through the 7th this year.
Usually, pumpkins are the choice of items to be chunked or thrown.
How about (I can feel you getting the gist of where I'm heading with this) this year, the loser of the Delaware US Senate race be one of the items chunked?
If it happens to be Christine O'Donnell, I'm sure arrangements can be made to aim the pumpkin chunker winning entry over toward Jersey.  The Delaware River is just a few feet wider than 4,483.51 ft...but it'd be the right general direction, right?    We'd simply be returning to Jersey what rightfully belongs to Jersey.


I Heart Oswalt

O.K., so the Phillies are down 3-1 to a fine SF Giants team that has outspunkied them through 4 games. Tonight's a re-match of Roy "Perfect Game & Playoff No-Hitter" Halladay and Tim "Doobie-doobie-do" Lincecum. What a great series!.....even if the Phillies don't make it to the final round this year.

Cody Ross, part of Halladay's Perfect Game while with the Marlins is hitting up a storm with the Giants, who picked him up off of waivers. For all of us who've been rejected at least once in our lives, who can't but cheer (even quietly) for this guy?

Then there's Roy Oswalt. Last night he offered up his services as a relief pitcher even though he'll be starting in the (hopefully to happen) 6th game of the playoffs. This guy's a kid in love with the game! earlier this year he offered to and eventually played left field against his previous team, the Houston Astros, in a game where the Phillies bench was bare....and he accorded himself rather well.

Truth be told, I had my doubts before the Phillies brought him over from the Astros. He did not want to come to the Phillies, preferring to stay in the Mid-West and away from the fairly blood-thirsty press corps that devours its athletes in Philadelphia. But, he eventually came over and the Phillie Phans took to him instantly. His humour, his hunger, and his abilities almost made pholks forget about the Cliff Lee deal that the Phils did NOT make at the end of last year. But, it soon became apparent that Mr. Lee and Mr. Oswalt are cut from the same cloth; they both are killers on the mound and they both want a World Series ring.

So, whatever happens tonight, I'll think that the Phillies had a successful year. If only Mr. Halladay can extend the series one more game and allow Mr. Oswalt to take to the mound.....
Well, then it may just turn out to be a fabulous year.

Go Phils!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dumb & Dumber

Christine O'Donnell, in a recent US Senatorial debate, proved she can be (at least) two people at once, namely someone Dumb and also someone Dumber.  Should she try for the trifecta of Dumbest?  Her claim to be following the US Constitution as her guiding light for legislating is a bit dim as she proclaimed, "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" in response to the Democratic nominee Chris Coons' statement that, "...private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."

While her question is legitimate in that the phrase "seperation of church and state" does NOT appear in the US Constitution, her response to Coons' reply "...that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion." of  "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" took the audience by surprise....and not a pleasant one.  Her security blanket of being all about the US Constitution seemed threadbare.  Come on!  This is the First Amendment we're talking about...didn't she even read that far into the US Constitution?  When is this train wreck of a campaign going to end?   How much more embarassment will she be directing toward the Delaware US Senatorial election?

Come on, she's been complaining about the Republican Party not supporting her monetarily.  I'm sure she had enought money in her campaign to shell out for one of the Dummy books.   Nope.  Now, she's simply proved what Sanford's been spouting.

N.B> to Ms. O'Donnell, the Constitutional "expert", the actor in the YouTube is Redd Foxx...not President Obama. Just making sure you have your facts straight.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Delaware Goes National

In the last few years, my dinky state of Delaware has taken to the national spotlight like a natural.  The #1 son, (and now VP), Joe Biden was the first to crack the TV ceiling and, whether you love or loath him, he gets creds for being an engaging and entertaining presence.  This year we have the race to fill his US Senate seat with an alleged trust fund baby running against an alleged witch.   Last night, Chris Coons, accused by his opponent of inheriting his wealth and not in touch with the common man, debated Christine O'Donnell, a self-described "fun" girl who abandoned the life of dabbled witchcraft and easy dating to enter a full time job of campaigning for office (any office) the last 5 years.  What was a local event became a national event as CNN's Wolf Blitzer acted as one of the moderators and, IMHO, chief instigator in a one hour broadcast on CNN.

It was not a pretty evening especially for the young (oh, so very young) Ms. O'Donnell.  She was prepped in the Sarah Palin manner and came on strong at first, taking the offensive, as she should have in order to hopefully make Delaware voters conscious of her serious nature.  Unfortunately, like the town facade in Blazing Saddles, O'Donnell began to crumble with statements like "when we fought the Russians in Afghanistan", "the secret Chinese plot to take over our country by (not so fact with our encouragement) buying our debt", and failing to come up with one Supreme Court decision that she disagreed with (when questioned by a student) after proclaiming during her campaign that she disagreed with Supreme Court decisions.  The moderators, attack dog Wolf Blitzer and the always solid Nancy Karibjanian, kept the contestants in line, especially Ms. O'Donnell when she veered away from the point of a question into prepared speech land.  Ms. O'Donnell did face more pointed questions than Mr. Coons but she had laid herself out for this path with her ads and her mis-steps. 

An aside here, as a reminder of the TV ads, Ms. O'Donnell had a dark dress and a string of pearls.....waiting to cast a spell on her audience, perhaps?

In a bizarre turn (was she told to say this by her handlers?), she joked that Mr. Coons was jealous of her since she made it as a topic on Saturday Night Live.  Hmmm...didn't she get the point of the parody?  Does she know the definition of "parody"?  We knew from the debate that she was weak on history (the "fighting the Russians in Afghanistan" and confusing Iraq & Afghanistan comments) and finance (her lack of knowledge on how bond ratings are established or how county governments are legally required to balance their budgets).  Perhaps she didn't do too well in college in English and literature as well.

For his part, it must have been difficult for Mr. Coons to not subsume into Dan Akroyd vis-a-vis Ms. O'Donnell's Jane Curtin.   When asked to respond to some of the fact-less claims and throwing-out-chum statements by Ms. O'Donnell, Mr. Coons tended to respond that there wasn't enough time to go point-by-point or where should he begin.  At one point, he looked over at Wolf Blitzer and said that if he (Mr. Blitzer) could make sense of the contradictory things that Ms. O'Donnell had just spouted in response to a question then Mr. Blitzer was a much better journalist than Mr. Coons had given him credit for.  At points, one almost felt sorry for Ms. O'Donnell as to her lack of sense and knowledge and this was a very dangerous place to be as she is counting on the "I am you" stance against the "elitist educated" opponent she's running against.  Funny that the 2 President Bush's, representing her party, had both graduated from the the same eilitist institution of Yale.

In the closing statement by the candidates, Mr. Coons noted, "She's focused too little on the issues that really matter to Delawareans, and too much on the issues that make good soundbites," Coons said. "Ms. O'Donnell has experience running for office, but not really running anything."  That pretty well sums up the evening and the campaign choices.  Do you want a yappy dog nipping at your heels or a calm & collected Labrador guiding you.

The short of the debate matter was that Ms. O'Donnell spoke in generalities and with the insinuation that her judgements of error and lack of responsibility were traits that Delawareans would cling and claim to while Mr. Coons provided logical answers backed by experience and a hard-earned education. She was going for the sympathy vote; he for the thoughtful one. We'll see which voters show up in Delaware on November 2nd.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Creativity is Being Curtailed.. tonight's debate at the University of Delaware between the 2 main US Senatorial candidates for the state of Delaware.  One of the ground rules listed here is :

No participant in the debate (neither candidates nor questioners) shall be allowed to use props or visuals.

Bummer!  This being October and all, I was fairly sure one of the students posing a question to the candidates would have been appropriately dressed for Halloween.  Wonder what will happen if someone sneaks in and dons this or this? The latter link is related to the latest political ad by Ms. O'Donnell.

Should be interesting and, now that CNN will be broadcasting part of it nationwide, beyond the importance of this interim position post (only 4 years left in the 6 year US Senator term).  Tune in @ 7:30 EST.

Everyone seems to be stirred up by tonight's happenings and, since the 1st round of baseball playoffs are over, folks in the First State should be tuned in.  Hmmm...wonder if anything actually substantial will be debated or if the potential nastiness of the crowd will dominate the proceedings?


Thursday, October 07, 2010

China & O'Donnell: Importing Good Values

Perhaps we've been too hard on Christine O'Donnell's self-proclaimed educational achievements (though she did blame "Others" for attaching such claims although the "Others" have yet to be identified).  As per today's NYT, it seems an entire nation suffers from the OECD syndrome (O'Donnell Education Credentials Dilemna).  Maybe she's simply been ahead of the import curve.  In addition to having our shelves stocked with goods manufactured in China for the past 2 decades, we'll soon be practicing the Chinese Art of Self-Accreditation.

Oh, where have we gone since we've sold off and shipped off our manufacturing might to places overseas?   Being a Global Citizen has long lost its cache..but that's another tpoic, another day.

This morning's major Delaware paper had an article regarding some poll results for the US Senatorial elcetion.  Perhaps, sanity has returned to the even-keeled state.   Although.....

.....Last night a pollster called the house and the Ever Loving Wife, a possessor of patience in quantities that I've never been familiar with, answered questions for over 10 minutes from some clown (there's my "patience" showing) who definitely had a biased view in her questioning.  Why do I say "clown"?  It was the 8th and 9th inning (yes....that's how long the questioning went on) and the Phillies, up 4-0 over the Reds, were closing in on the 2nd ever post-season no-hitter as masterfully spun by Roy Hallyday.

Why the ELW did not hang up is one of those miracles without explanation.  She explained it as, "I had to make sure that this pollster knew that Coons was head, hands and feet above O'Donnell as far as a competent candidate."   Yes, the ELW, aside from having loads of patience, also has tons of idealism and the mindset that people can change especially if you talk to them reasonably.   All I got out of it was this idiot was not a baseball fan and, worse yet, not a Phillies fan.  Using the logic of the O'Donnell campaign, I'll go on to state that O'Donnell hates the Phillies!  There, that's a campaign slogan sure to get the vote out in Delaware.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Why I'm Still a Sucker for Barack

Obama.  I know the young man's been rained on by a lot of tirades by some boneheads and also by some folks with justifiable gripes. be able to step away for a moment and give that short tight critique of Bob Dylan's shadowy entrance and exit from the White House?

Come on.....give the man his props.

Labels: ,

My Apologies Go Out To All Dogcatchers....

...and Animal Control Agents when I reply to the inquiry from my Republican friends in Delaware as to what my thoughts are on their party's choice for this November's US Senate election for our state.

My thoughts on Christine O'Donnell could not be better expressed than the opinion voiced by the Head of the Republican Party in Delaware, Tom Ross, when the primaries were still being run in our fair state.  Mr Ross stated that she "could not be elected dogcatcher".  As she has taken to the mattresses recently and is not available for conversation outside a few selected members of her splintered party, I have to assume that Mr. Ross, being the leader of Delaware's Republican Party would have a much better feel for her capabilities to represent Delaware in a distinguished and effective manner than I would, a party outsider.

So, if his thoughts had her as incapable of achieving election at that position, I have to accede to his more robust knowledge base and agree in total with his words of wisdom.

Again, my apologies to the fine Animal Control Agents who keep us safe from creatures of indeterminate affiliations.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Creative Things IMPOSSIBLE with a Kindle or an iPad

This article brought a gallon (specifically a gallon of Benjamin Moore) of memories back for me.

*** Caution *** : Notification of  statement sure to date me.

It's junior year in high school, back in the day when jobs were easily obtainable.  A buddy and I were hanging out at my school one early summer's evening just kicking a soccer ball around.  One of the brothers running that fine institution happened to be strolling that very night and espied two young lads obviously in need of deeds to better their moral character while honing their manual skills.  He approached us and, as was usual with men in that particular religious order, exhibited the silver tongue skills the brothers were all blessed with.   He easily cajoled us into summer long work re-painting the school's classrooms.  Our financial rewards were minimal as we knew that the school was somewhat strapped and we were learning things about life at that point, such as how to negotiate one's pay with a guy who wore an awfully large silver crucifix around his neck.

Our painting superintendent was a older fellow by the name of Auggie.  His stature was more wide than tall and his humour was broader than his girth.   We religiously showed up on time for work each weekday, occasionally worked through lunch, and waited patiently for our week's pay......which did not arrive each week.   Our accounts were all squared away come the end of the summer but Friday's payday process was eagerly looked forward to as Auggie, aside from being the head custodian, had a hefty taste for the betting game while also carrying out the duties of paymaster.

Our payment was in cash as the Lord and the IRS had some sacred relationship that we, as mere high school students, were not privy to.  Being closer to God than to Uncle Sam, our institution (and I speak only for myself and for the olden days times.....I'm sure there's a "closer" realtionship these days) had minimal use of OSHA and Labor Boards and payroll accounting.   Where the cold cash came from was as much a mystery to us as the Divine Conception was and, just like the latter, any explanations of the payment's origins left us more confused.    Like the miracles that folks in the Bible sought out and waited for, each Friday's pay date rolled around with expectations but no certainty.  We learned to follow the horses and certain baseball teams from cities not in the Northeast.   Like I said, Auggie was good for the wages come the end of our summer stint, but we knew that telephone calls on Thursday afternoons governed whether the money would be riding on our palms or on Sugarcoatedbiscuit over at Belmont Park.

Early each morning, while we drank our milked-down coffee and gagged/chewed on buttered yesterday's Kaiser rolls and waited for that day's painting assignments, Auggie was into the sheets.   Each day's papers were used for Auggie's "research" projects and he would fold and tear and notate the necessary pages.   Once he was satisfied that he had the facts for the day, he would clear off a worktable and set the untorn and unmolested pages down.  Auggie would carefully fold out all of these sheets, making sure that all of the pages were the same size.  Then, with gnarled but busy fingers, he'd craft painter's hats for all of us, knowing that paint, testosterone, loud FM music (the only clause in our working "contract" that the brothers caved in on), and general ADD-like traits of teenage boys would combine in a spray of paint sure to hit our hair.  Each morning, he'd create new hats and different motifs.  One day we'd be the Painting Pirates.   Some days we'd get in touch with our feminine sides and be the Benjamin Moore Bo-Peeps.  Another day, the Painting Popes.  Auggie was a newspaper milliner of extraordinary speed and imagination, among other quirks.  He wove curses into a web that always drew us and usually left us sprawled out on the floor laughing.  After any such tirade, he quickly looked around the room, found where the nearest crucifix was hanging, crossed himself, and then hitching up his pants, he'd stroll out the room.

When high school went back into session that year, I noticed that for a long time afterwards my painting com padres and I tended to cross ourselves in our classes (as was required) and then hitch up our pants afterwards.   When we caught ourselves doing it, we were initially embarrassed.  Eventually, it was our bonding signal of that Summer of Painting and Newspaper Hat Wearing.

Years later, I went back to visit the old school grounds, even going to some of the older classrooms to see if our paint jobs had survived.  Auggie had passed away long ago but his stories were still repeated and his memory was vibrant.  One summer he had a brush with success.  His picks of horses and of his baseball teams were of a Divine nature.  He cleaned up and then he retired from calling his bookie.  Staying one more year to guarantee his successor knew his stuff, he then retired to the Shore.  He gave the school about $100k on his last official day at work.

I never did find out, though, if Auggie's successor was schooled in the art of Newspaper Hats.  That talent may simply have passed away with Auggie.

Labels: ,

It Ain't always Sunny in Philly...

On the freefall to ignominy that officially started today, a poll by the local Philly papers as to reader's opinions on the performance of the 4 quarterbacks ( wait...wait...wait) who were involved in the 17-12 defeat of the Iggles to the Capital of this country's Redskins, with their 80th ranked (I exaggerate, but just a touch) NFL defensive unit, it seems Mike Kafka of the Iggles beat out Kevin Kolb by 62% to 41%.  The fact that Mr. Kafka (no relation to Franz, as far as we know) never let go of his clipboard, never donned his helmet, nor ever ventured onto the playing field gives you an indication of where the balance of the season will go for the unfortunate Mr. Kolb.  His sad days have only begun.  I hope he has a dog to come home to.

Andy Reid, involved in football since he first started sucking on a (kicking) tee, has still to grasp the concept of time and its necessary management.  He is beyond doubt at this point in his coaching career, the worst on-field coach pacing the sidelines.  It is a question of how uniquely he will squander time-outs these days; he keeps on inventing new versions of what was, until he came along, a limited field of possibilities.


J K Rowling's new HP Installment - Delaware Version

Surreptitiously "borrowed" from  Cagle Blog .  Cartoon by the political cartoonist extraordinaire, Jeff Stahler, of the Columbus Dispatch.


Morning After Sunday Oct. 3,2010

Hey Folks,
  Late announcement.  Down here at the station doing the Morning After gig again.  Tune in & Listen!  Apologies for the late announcement...

10/4/10:  Set List for Sunday's show has been posted here for your post-listening critiquing.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 01, 2010

Nonexecutive Chairman?

For any folks out there who have had the unfortunate pleasure of being around or even periphierally involved in an enterprise undergoing conversion to a SAP software product, you may be as surprised as I was to hear that Hewlett-Packard has named the ex-chief of SAP, Léo Apotheker, as the company’s new chief executive.  This will be most interesting.  It was also announced that Ray Lane, a managing partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a former Oracle executive, was named to H-P’s board and will serve as non-executive chairman.

So....Mark Hurd was let go by Hewlett Packard due to some sloppy travel expense padding issues and then is shortly thereafter picked up by Oracle to be their co-president, a surprise to most folks in the know.  Then, HP picks up an ex-Oraclite, Ray Lane, to be a non-excutive chairman.?

Hmmmm.     The stock market reacted to the news of Apotheker (German for pharmacist) reacts by dropping H-P's stock 3 percent to $40.82 in after-hours trading.   I didn't really understand the non-executive chairman bit at first.   Now, it's all too clear.  If Apotheker's business chemistry doesn't produce immediate results with HP's previous success run or with Wall Street's perception of the company's success, Mr. Lane is the chief executive in the boardroom easily in place to replace the ex-SAP now Hewlett-Packard CEO.

Well, that most certainly must make Mr. Apotheker feel all warm and fuzzy.  He served a mere 7 months as CEO @ SAP (after working there over 20 years) before being removed from that position.   Seems that H-P is playing it safe in case his stay is equally short or shorter @ H-P.   You've got to be even a tad empathetic with Mr. Apotheker's Damocles Sword position; may he have at least some restful sleep in the coming year.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Wilmington, Delaware Forecast Locations of visitors to this page eXTReMe Tracker
follow me on Twitter