Saturday, March 04, 2017


As every College kid knows (Hopefully) 40 percent = 80 proof. But here’s the deal with the term. In the good old days, when sailors got a tot of Rum each day, they had to test it to see if the Captain (or Purser) was cheating them by putting too much water in the Rum, they would mix it with gun powder. The concoction would only light it was higher than about 57% alcohol, a ratio the earned the distinction of “overproof”.  Rum won’t explode? It’s underproof (and you’ve been ripped off). This is serious and maybe time to mutiny?



  I was perusing a Garage sale a few years ago when I came across a print of an architect that seemed to be foreign. It was just a few dollars so I snatched it up, Just because. Later,  Looking closer, it was a small poster add for a Belgian Architect, bent over his drafting board (standing) with a cigar and a wonderful beard. (See above). I discovered his name , Paul Hanker, who was a student of Victor Horta, the Master of Art  Nouveau Architecture in Brussels. We visited both their works while in Belgium.

I came across a swell little book "MASTERPIECES OF MODERN DESIGN" published with the Modern Museum in London, it identifies outstanding designs in pretty much all categories, including typography. I was excited to see ow many of these items figured in my life somewhere. I couldn't help but identify with such places as 'Ronchamp Chapel of Corbu’s and Pompidue Center Museum in Paris,  we always tried to stop in to see important works on our travels. But I got serious when they identified early autos, especially if I had assisted the their development by purchasing them when they were kind of an unknown product. Beginning with the early Volkswagen car with the "rabbit ear turn signals, no gas gauge, the early version of Porsche 356, still revered by affectionados, with an interim of owning a Citroen 2CV (The term means two horses!). usually it was more like 13 HP.   Of products, we can't forget my Moka Expresso maker, long before we all had our own Nespresso automatics machines.  I always cherished my small nifty Olivetti portable typewriter. Add Smart Car to list above.  Somehow Sun Maid Raisons & Coleman's Mustard are included, most for their longevity.   And packaging.  Must not forget the Sopporo Beer Can, a sensuous stainless steel container with beer better than most breweries. In 1959 I had to have the Nikon F camera,  when I realized the Japanese surpassed the Germans in the design & manufacture of quality cameras. A surprise was the inclusion of the movie "Barbarella", although I remembered it for the great strip tease Jane Fonda did during the credits while floating around in zero gravity. However, it seems the sets were a mélange of inflateable furniture, etc. and included more for that.

It appears here are primarily 3 types of folks who live on the street or in their car (The lucky ones). Drug addicts, Crazies, and Veterans of our wars. Maybe there are a few of them that lost their lease and can't afford the security deposits and maybe we don't build small, low rent $600 per month?) studios. Not much you can do with a total drunk or Heroin addict but there should be someplace for our veterans to live? ?While we're on that subject, couldn't vets that have lost a leg or arm or something major wear a badge or something to denote they gave all for their country (Right or Wrong!?). Another major point ; Don''t just give these folks something for free. They will not have an investment in it , therefore can walk away from whatever you gave them Housing, etc..The Architect, Donald McDonald, designed some swell plywood containers, big enough to sleep in & keep a few miserable belongings but where do up you put them? Who could buy one? (He also designed your new multi-Billion dollar bridge to Oakland).

A fundamentalist religious group who believe beheading is an act of love. 
Most of us think of the slick, clean cowboy do-gooder on a super white horse from the movies but let me illuminate you about the origins of the real ‘Hopalong’.  Originated by Clarence Mulford in about 1910, Hopalong was a lame cowboy probably from some horse landing on him  This critter was dirty, always cursing, but a dead shot and an outstanding cow puncher. He was also a really swell guy, always fair.  

 The first thing is to change our national symbols. Forget the Egyptian obelisk on the mall of America,  celebrate the St Louis Arch (by Saarinan, an intruder).  The obelisk is a bit of fakery with a steel skeleton, etc. But the Arch is a magnificent piece of structural as we'll as Architectural design. Let's make a statement. What if we have to move it to the Mall? Or how about moving the Mall to St. Louis?  Think big!

No , not the doll but the origin of the word for our favorite food time; barbecuing. The term originates from the Central America's as they had a huge grill that they could put on a poor prisoner if they needed some information or just to have some fun. It was called 'Barbeqoa' or something like that. And we worry about water-boarding. I suppose we got the word 'Grilling someone for information came from that.

There are a couple of fashions currently going around, other than these idiotic ones perpetrated on us by the gurus of the fashion world (Is'nt the richest guy on earth involved with this?)  The one that really got me was the blossoming of facial hair by nearly every Ball player (Base, basket & foot). Not only that, some of these dudes have long dreadlocks. We,, maybe our new president will put a stop to that.
Let's move on. What is it about the elevation of cooks into a semi-Devine area if they know how to make your salad a wonderful tiny work of Art? If they tell us to eat gold plated ants , we flock to their sanctuary and chow down on it.
Looking in on the Real Estate section, I notice the Realtors nowdays always have a smiling photo of 'The Realtor' in each add. Usually. It is a gorgeous young blond who is hawking this particular deal.  Maybe I can get a date with her if I buy the property?