Wednesday, March 11, 2015



JOY and  I always take time to do a day trip to a nearby town  when we are in Paris. The Champagne area & Rouen are only about an hour  by train, so we have done that a few times. The first time, we nearly missed our stop as the conductor was hollering "Rhon'" until we realized what he was saying, On latter travels, we huddled with a friend in Graton who is fluent and reviewed all the names of towns we were to stay. It's no problem in Italy as pronunciation there is what it really looks like, but France? There id no correlation between spelling and pronouncing,

This is one of the problem with holidays in the Us. Here we are again, it's Lincoln's birthday.  But today is Thursday and all County offices are closed, but everyone else will be closed Monday to celebrate 'Presidents Day' .  Next thing you know, we will be celebrating 'Al black folks who got themselves assassinated.(King)  And is there really a holiday for Cesar Chavez? Who's in charge of all this bull-shit? What did Chavez do? Just got a bunch of poor farmworkers organized into a Union to get some relief from hard working conditions?  I guess we had to give Lincoln a day since he got shot. Well, we shot a lot of our Prezes, but only Lincoln got a day  almost in perpetuity).

I started this blog about 6 ears ago. It was really a vehicle for me to be able to rant about all the stuff that bothers me but doesn't seem to affect most other folks. I've been labeled a "Curmudgeon", which means I complain a lot, but actually present solutions to these problems, occasionally. It isn't like I do this to gain support or a following (Nobody in their right mind would want to agree with me). My miserable voice is heard regularly all over the US as well as a couple of European countries. Since I only notify you intellectuals when I have a new blog up, (all 45 of you!), I am certainly not looking for a mass market. As a matter of fact, it is the "Unwashed Masses" that I am usually anting about.

   With all the brau hau about how to kill some of our citizens who have shown deviant behavior, let me add my two pence worth.  Recently, ISIS Inc. have been outraging the Christian world with a few beheadings of their prisoners who may have thought some carnal thoughts of some woman covered head to toe in a 'burkha'. The horror of it all!  It takes me back to the French Revolution and the clever invention of the Guillotine, that lethal, efficient, machine of final retribution. We Americans, in all our benevolence, have been working on the final solution and finally came up with an overdose of Heroin in order to snuff out a life of no good.   Somehow, this is not working out like it was supposed to, I'm not sure why. Is it due to the contented smile on the face of the victim?

   Given these problems, allow me to ask a few questions; What method would you choose to end it all if you had a choice?  There are an infinite number of ways to snuff out life, so lets look at some. Historically, crucifying has always been in favor if you want to extend the suffering for a few days. Putting one in a small iron cage hanging out in the elements for a month or so was very popular with the Catholics priests in Middle ages (and you thought boy abuse was bad?). But burning at the stake was more popular, especially young girls, like Joan de Arc. Then hanging became de riguer in England in the last few hundred years as it provided some real entertainment for the unwashed & un-TV'd masses. But lets not forget drowning by our overly zealous Protestant priests . Currently, ISIS has upped the ante by burning Kurds to death in an iron cage but documented the whole thing with their iPhones so it can go viral on the internet. What have I forgotten? Firing squad? That may be a hit or miss situation (pardon the pun) as the human body sometimes is pretty damn resilient. Electrocution! To keep up with technology, this should be a no brainer, but no. The small gallery didn't like the smoldering head of the convict.  I guess the only thing left is The Greatest show on Earth; Evisceration and dismemberment by four horses, all rolled up into one. 
   So, please pick one of the above  and we'll schedule you in for an interview.

  The western, 3:10 to Yuma , written by Elmore Leonard, was made into a movie in 1957 and unfortunately re-done recently with Russell Crowe. Not remembering the book, I was rather put off by the stupid ending of the latest movie  version as all the townsmen were turned against the poor  starving cattleman, resulting in a running gun battle to end all gun battles, where Russell and the Good Guy were able to get thru to the train station.  I therefore rented the original 1957 version (Van Heflin & Glenn Ford ) to see what Leonard had actually in mind.  Well, what do you know! The latest was "Loooosley" based on the novel, while the Good Guy got killed in the final shot and the Bad Guy allowed himself to go to the hoosegow as he always escaped from there anyway. But in Elmore's original, the town folk kept out of all the action and Mr. Good Guy  lived to tell about it to his little family back on the ranch.

   While were on the subject of messing with 'Based on ' how about the new flick "The American", with Clooney as the Bad Guy Assassin. The title said it was based on the book "A very Private  Gentleman"  by Martin Booth but the word loosely again takes precedence here.   The plot got kind of fuzzy towards the ending and Clooney died, as he should have by American moral standards, just as he was getting the girl. However, curiosity led me to read the book to find out, firstly, he was modifying a Spanish version of the Israeli Utzi for a better weapon for some unknown purpose .  But here in the book,  the Bad guy gets to live happily ever after with the beautiful young college/prostitute.  Although  I did like the idea of the main character getting offed at the end in the US version.

   My friends, the Dodsons, are going to Africa on Safari to hunt big game but only armed with cameras. I believe they are on a catch & release program of lions and rhinoceros.

  How did the Jews escape from Egypt? How many of them made up 12 tribes? what were they doing in Egypt anyway?  Where did they come from before Egypt?  Who was living on the land they took over in the desert?  Aside from asking my Jewish friend, I'll have to Google it. Just asking.

   They have decided that there are about 1000 worlds similar to ours in the Universe. Why are they called "Goldilocks Planets"?  Probably because the temperature is Just Right for Life to exist on them.

  As each Federal Holiday rolls around, it gives me a chance to rant a bit  as that is the prime purpose of this blog or essay.  We now have one called 'PRESIDENT'S DAY as we just can't  seem to make up our mind of who to favor.  Let me help out. First of all, if you're black, Mexican or been assassinated recently, you qualify for your own daywhere all Federal workers get another day off.  I spent my President's holiday  celebrating Mr. Nixon's scams in office, as well as how the Bush's have got us in a couple of un-winable wars that eat up more than half of our budget as the world's Warlord.  But if it's between Lincoln & Washington, you have to go with Lincoln due to his demise as a assassinate. Jefferson doesn't seem to count with anyone but Señor Chavez has his day, if you can believe that. I mean, he was probably drinking decaf lattes in  Starbucks in Salinas all the time.