Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ghost Hunters Always On

Every time I walk downstairs and past the room with the TV, I have to hear that blasted "Ghost Hunters" show. My wife is a big fan.

A while ago she was in the kitchen and I walked in like normal and it scared her. Thanks to the idiotic "Ghost Hunters."

C'mon, there can't be that many ghosts, infesting everything and every place. If there's so many ghosts, how come I've never seen or heard any? Believe it or not, I'm a spiritually sensitive person, intuitive, all that.

These guys walk into any building and something makes a noise, the building settling or something, and they're going, "I just want to be close to you, could you make that noise again?" Always looking for that cause and effect, responsiveness and compliance.

Bah! Focus on the living. They're much more interesting.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Palin/Sarkozy Summit

We need a summit meeting of Sarah Palin and President Sarkozy of France, since he's in the country.

They famously spoke on the phone in the heat of the 2008 campaign, which unfortunately for her turned out to be a faux Sarkozy playing a trick on her.

Now that the real thing is there, maybe they could get together and he could tell her what a gorgeous woman she is, etc.

(I know, true beauty depends on inner beauty, and Sarah Palin in that department is putrid.)

I Have Way Too Many Possessions

Now that I'm moving, getting boxes packed, and it seems like an endless process, I've made a resolution, that I will thin down in the years to come as far as my possessions go. That is my vow.

As it is now, I'm thinning out. I probably have 40 boxes of books and other stuff that I'm going to be getting rid of. And I know I have more to go. The problem is there aren't enough thrift shops to get rid of it all, assuming they have an upper limit of what they will accept. I don't know. I feel embarrassed to show up with a ton of stuff.

Some of it I hope to sell. Not really for the sake of the money. But for the sake of someone else hauling it out of my house. That'd be worth money to me right there, and if I can get them to pay me a pittance for the stuff, so much the better. I'm not pricing it anywhere what it's "book value" would be, because I need to get rid of it.

And the stuff I'm packing and taking with me, like I said, I vow to get rid of much of it in the years to come. Bit by bit. I hope I can be frugal about buying more stuff. How much happier and lighter I would surely be if I didn't have the albatross of a stuffed moving van around my neck all the time. And I'm not happier for having a million different things.

You could really get injured moving boxes of books and records and things around. My back hurts, I'm tired, my hands are sore from grasping the handles on boxes, and I'm saying Never again. Some higher power will help my in the future to thin down ... or my name isn't D.B. Kundalini!

When it comes to possessions, I don't know who's possessing whom?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nature Abhors A Vacuum

And I'm not too crazy about them either.

Crummy vacuum cleaners that break down and stay behind forever as a corpse. I have one in my basement, which I'm presently cleaning out.

I was down there for some hours today. I have managed to scratch the surface and actually go beyond that.

Among the junk is an old vacuum cleaner that quit working within the last couple of years. Now I have to make some kind of arrangement for disposing of it. It's not obvious how you're expected to get rid of stuff in our town.

I have a guy, though, who's going to help me on Friday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tea Party Activists On The Public Dole

Good grief, live up to your principles!

LOL, don't rail against the government and health care reform while taking federal disability checks!

Either you're for these benefits or against them. If you're against them, frankly it doesn't look good for you to take them.

The Past Catches Up With The Pope

The graphic is via the Huffington Post linked to an article at the NY Times. It concerns everyone's least favorite pope, Pope Benedict, not exactly a model of righteousness.

This is serious stuff. The pope, before he was pope, has a record of ignoring sexual abuse cases, of protecting and accommodating predators. It's disgusting, disgusting stuff. And there he still sits!

That headline's a real indictment. "NO ONE WOULD LISTEN. Deaf Boys Tried For Decades To Tell Of Priest's Sexual Abuse." If he had heard even a peep about a priest (or anyone) sexually abusing children, that should've been the end of that guy's career, assuming the facts checked out. The article mentions 200 boys, so that sounds like more than a peep.

There's a chilling photo at this link, showing an old picture (1960) of one of the main perps in this Wisconsin case. There he is with his hands piously together while boys are lined up below. You have to wonder what's going through everyone's mind in that photo. I bet it wasn't good.

The future pope, Joseph Ratzinger, had something to do with this guy's case ... and essentially nothing happened. The guy shouldn't be pope. That much is clear.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Did John Edwards Burn Down A Courthouse?

Here's one I wasn't expecting, which in my mind raises more questions than can be answered presently. But we can make some very good educated guesses!

The short story is that a courthouse in North Carolina, the very courthouse where they were keeping the John Edwards sex tape, was destroyed by fire. Officials aren't saying for sure what might have happened, but they're checking John Edwards for signs of smoke odor. And match DNA on his fingers. If they make a match they'll find out where the match was. In his hot little hand!

The speculation here -- my own -- is that something terrible happened. My own suspicion, and I have no more facts at my disposal, is that Edwards probably had something to do with it. That there's something on that sex tape, if nothing more than the sex act itself, that he doesn't want us to see. But is he willing to burn down an entire courthouse? My guess is an unqualified yes.

One, simply to burn the office where the tape was kept would be too obvious. As it is, though, the drastic measures he must have taken -- torching the whole place -- is also very obvious. He might be thinking he'll get off on account of reverse psychology, that since it's so obvious he did it we won't believe it to be true. There is something to that. Because even though I'm certain he did it, I still have to wonder, Did he really?

Did he really? That's the question. Would it be worth it to him to burn down a courthouse to destroy one sex tape? Because there's probably nothing on the sex tape that we haven't all seen a million times. Body parts are interchangeable. Just because they're his in this instance doesn't make them unique. The whole thing is ho-hum. Really, sex is the same as shaking hands, you're just using different organs to get the job done. Whether it's John Edwards or Hugh Hefner, what's the big deal?

The fact is, John Edwards better pray that that courthouse had insurance, or he's going to be out a hefty fine. Plus, no one likes a firebug.

UPDATE: Thankfully the tape survived, despite Edwards' best efforts. But even if it hadn't, we can all guess what it showed. The actual tape can't be any worse than our imagination, in which we can picture the scene in its entirety, from its tentative beginning to the satisfied collapse at the end.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

President Obama At The Bookstore

Wow, this is cool. The president at a bookstore in Iowa City. I love to see this. It's fun to watch it.

How interesting that he'd buy books by Mitt Romney and Karl Rove. I personally would not do that but he's in a position where that might come in handy down the road.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Crazy Senate Rule

Now the Republicans are obstructing the work of the Senate through exercising a little known rule that no committee can meet after 2:00 p.m. without a specific daily vote to dispense with the rule.

Leading me to cry once again, "Arrrrgggggghhhhh!"

How many more poison pills are there hidden in the Senate's rule book to keep things from happening there? The Senate has to be the most ridiculous institution I've ever heard of.

And why weren't the Democrats gumming up the works when the Republicans were in charge? It seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in those days.

When Will The Republicans "Get It"?

Is this really tough stuff to get? The idea that statesmanship is still possible in this country, and desirable.

There's no reason to be such enemies that we have to have death threats, cut gas lines, children being targeted, and all the other outrageous things that the Tea Party activists, mostly aligned with the Republicans, have been doing.

John Boehner just the other day suggested that a particular Democratic congressman wouldn't be able to go back to his district or he'd be "a dead man." That kind of language is the same as inciting violence. And at Boehner's level of power and responsibility, you'd think he'd know better.

We need to get back the concept of "the loyal opposition," where we accept that we're all Americans with different opinions in some cases, but that shouldn't mean we're trying to kill one another. Good grief, have the Republicans so lost their moral compass that they can't get this simple, basic truth?

Remember, they used to be called the party of law and order! Those were the days!

If this other thing, the way of violence and hatred, is what they've decided to carve out for themselves, then they need to be dealt with through the law and prosecuted. Make an example of a few of them, and perhaps the others will finally get the message.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Differences Between Democrats And Republicans

In the whole health care reform debate and the way it's worked out, we've clearly seen the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats are the ones who want decent, responsible social progress and well-being. Republicans are the ones who are content to fatten the fat cats and deny Americans the things of basic well-being.

It is a disgusting picture, but thankfully they've made it all so obvious to us. Anyone looking can see those who are looking forward, trying to make the country better, trying to include more people in America's blessings. Then there's the Republicans, whose mantra of "No" tells their side of the story.

It was a proud moment to see the President today and all the others, bringing this progress to our country, to so many who've been kicked down so many times. It would've been better, in my opinion, if some of the Republicans would've had the decency to show up and join in the celebration. But they made their bed and have chosen to lie in it.

One side is responsible, the Democrats. The other side refuses to rise above the level of social vandalism. One side holds out a promise to all people. The other has nothing but catcalls, ethnic slurs, idiotic signs, and spitting on their fellow Americans.

I don't believe America supports the Republicans' despicable vision of the way things should be. We want progress and decency instead.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Obama To Sign HCR Bill Tuesday Morning

That dirty fascist. How totalitarian of him. Baby killer.


It's A Happy Day

I'm happy that the House of Representatives did the right thing and passed health care reform. Now they have some tinkering to do with it in the Senate, but even if they don't get that right, we still got something definite.

Big marks for President Barack Obama, who succeeded in getting this accomplished for the American people! It was great to hear the Democrats chanting "Yes We Can," reminding us that we can make good progress in this country.

It's just a pity that the Republicans time and time again have to put themselves on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of right. Fortunately, with the removal of pre-existing conditions clauses, maybe we'll at long last find a cure for the missing chromosome. Some of the Republican hayseeds in Congress -- the ones with the more snake-like look -- look like they might be able to take advantage of this chromosome therapy, if indeed that's what the problem is.

I missed Boehner's speech -- drat. I went upstairs to do something, can't remember what. The announcer was saying he might go on to the middle of the night, which I wasn't hoping for. So I wasn't gone very long and by the time I got back, he was done.

I saw a snippet of his insane remarks on the internet today. It's really giving me pause, the whole idea that our elected officials can be such baldfaced liars, and get away with it. He was shouting at the top of his lungs, "No you can't!!!!!!" or some such idiocy. The man has to be a deeply unhappy person. Or maybe a better word would be a Republican favorite, "flawed." He's a deeply flawed person. Where do we get these nitwits?

Anyway, it's a very very happy day. One, I can't stand the Republicans. Even when they win they're still losers. How much better when they simply lose. Two, it's good to have progress in this country. The health care system we've all suffered under has been a global disgrace. To think a country this great would have a health care system this despicable, it boggles the mind.

Big kudos to our great president, Barack Obama, and the House leadership. And we hope we can have good things to say about our Senate leadership very very soon. Of course we'll never like some of them, like the execrable senator from Nebraska, Ben Nelson, and a few others.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

OK, They're Going To Get It Done

I like the sound of things. It sounds and looks like the Democrats have the 216 (plus) votes to pass the health care bill.

I also like the sound of what that means for the future, that the Democrats will get the credit for actually getting something done that will do America some good. The Republicans, on the other hand, will get no credit, only the blame for doing nothing and voting no.

It's a terrible scene, what the Republicans have encouraged in all these Tea Party wackos, where every third person to them is Hitler, LOL, or someone out to end their "way of life." As to what "way of life" that is precisely, they seem fairly miserable, so maybe good riddance to it!

I'll tell you, if we end the "way of life" of pre-existing conditions, the "way of life" of being canceled when you get sick, the "way of life" of endless premium increases, and the "way of life" of no insurance and people dying early because of it ... then certainly good riddance to it!

This stuff ought to be a no-brainer. Except it was the Republicans who were the ones who had no brain. Maybe something in the bill will provide a way for them to get a brain transplant. We know they have a major pre-existing condition, since you'd like to have something to work with. But, hey, even Dr. Frankenstein had to start somewhere.

The rabble is threatening violence, they're calling out the N word, calling people faggots, and they've probably got the kerosene on their brooms by now. They want us to think they're the true American people. Ha, that's a laugh. If anything, they're traitors to this country. They don't embody our values and aren't seeking what the Constitution calls a "more perfect union."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Tea Party Wackos

How is it all these deadbeat Tea Party wackos have all the time in the world to always be in Washington, D.C., waving their flags (they want to secede, you know), and shouting insults at everyone?

Now we have reports that they've been spitting on people, shouting the N word, calling people "faggots," and who knows what all else?! And they have Republican members of Congress right there supporting them. Is it any wonder the Republicans in Congress can't legitimately be called the "loyal opposition" any more. They're traitors to our country's great heritage and values ... is what they are.

What is it these cretins want? We're not sure, but we know that if President Obama supports it, they're automatically against it. It seems like they're very PRO Constitution, except in the sense that the Constitution allows those in the majority to vote by majority vote to get certain things done. They're very ANTI the idea that anyone who disagrees with them would also have an agenda that they would like to enact.

And by the way, how is it these crazy people have free run of the Capitol building? I thought there was some kind of security system there to protect our representatives. If they're just congregating, wandering the hall, shouting down the representatives, calling names, spitting, etc., isn't there any penalty for that sort of thing? You mean anyone can just go in the Capitol and make a public nuisance of themselves?

These people are terrible. I believe this is the same bunch of idiots who don't want government health care: "Just keep your hands off our Medicare!" LOL.

Kansas Vs. Northern Iowan

Oh, that was a tough game for KU. I watched the whole thing and was for them, but, hey, you can't play like Grandma and hope to win. Still, it turned out close. If they would've played with some of that intensity the whole time, they could've done it.

It was tough that so many of the three pointers wouldn't go through. And the front end of free throw shots. You add up a few of those, like 2 (as it turned out) and it would've made a big difference.

I had the sense all the way through that something would kick into gear for them. That at some point they'd turn it and end up winning by 9 or 10 points. But it wasn't to be.

I was talking to someone a couple hours before the game that this could happen, since anyone can have a bad day ... and anyone can have a great day, like UNI had. They were a very impressive team, with some real standout players. I was impressed. While disappointed in the Jayhawks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wingnuts Weigh In Against Healing On Sabbath

Glenn Beck and Rep. Steve King, of course among the worst of the worst Republican crazies, have objected to the congressional vote on Sunday as being "an affront to God."

Because it is Sunday and all, and apparently no one's supposed to do anything on Sundays. Nothing, let's say, that would do anyone any good, like health care reform. These guys' version of God would have God sitting on the sidelines while people suffer.

Hmm, where have I heard that philosophy before? Oh yeah, the Bible!

Matthew 12 from the NIV:

1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"

11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
So Glenn Beck and Steve King have aligned themselves against Jesus and with the Pharisees! Nice.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dare We Hope? Health Care Reform

It sounds like everything is starting to align so that the Congress will actually get something accomplished as far as health care reform goes. But it's still being presented as a nail biter, like the votes aren't quite there yet. That sucks. I want a slam dunk.

Our health care system in America is a disgrace. The premiums go up incessantly and the benefits go down at the same time. You're forever dealing with the concept of "pre-existing conditions" and wondering if you'd be accepted or rejected. It's a system, that if it had any actual design behind it, you'd say was designed by sadists. Or Republicans, not trying to be redundant.

Speaking of Republicans, if we ever find out what planet these aliens came from, I'm all for an embargo on immigration between there and here. Their idea of the common good is no idea. If I had the opinions the Republicans in Congress (and Fox News and talk radio) have, I would immediately seek psychiatric help, if I weren't committed by someone before I got there. How it is they're able to walk around freely without some kind of mandatory meds check, I don't know.

Certainly the ones in Congress are a pack of wolves or a brood of vipers, whichever predatory nuisance you're most uncomfortable with. The idea that they're going to use every underhanded trick to demagogue this thing and obstruct it is sickening to me. It'd be great, if they're so against health care coverage for everyone else, if they voluntarily gave up their own and that of their children. But of course that would require principles.

The Republicans' big idea is to "promise" to repeal health care reform after the next election. We would greet this with several hoots, since the idea of someone not wanting affordable health care seems unbelievable to me. It's like if the cost of gas went down and the Republicans "promised" to raise it again as soon as they got back in office. We would say ... "Huh?"

I'm all for rewarding the Democrats if they are somehow able to get their act together and get this done. Why it took them so long, and why it's not already a done deal, is beyond me. But the ways of corporate pigs at the trough are not my ways.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In A Perfect World

In a perfect world...

I'm trying to think of what it'd be like in a perfect world, with all the annoyances of life dealt with, because it'd be a perfect world.

Right off the bat, though, it seems like what would be perfect for me wouldn't necessarily be perfect for someone else, so it wouldn't be a perfect world. OK, I will pronounce it, that in a perfect world, what would be perfect for me would be perfect for everyone else too.

In a perfect world there'd be no suffering. How exactly this would work out, we'd have to examine it. Because it might mess up the food supply, since a lot of the stuff I eat suffers somewhere along the way.

In a perfect world there wouldn't be any snow, except a light dusting on Christmas Day, all melted the next day.

We wouldn't have partisan hacks, Republican obstructionism and lying. That really would have to be a quality of a perfect world, since they've got this one so messed up it's basically unbelievable.

In a perfect world, the anxiety I feel on a minute to minute basis would be wrapped up as maybe one minute's worth of anxiety in a year. I would go from 100% content to 100% anxious for one minute a year. If that. Then back to completely content.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't cut myself shaving. It's so unpredictable. I shaved today and it went well. Then later in the day I noticed a little spot I missed, I got the razor and went over that little spot, and somehow cut myself. Crazy. Nothing that would happen in a perfect world!

In a perfect world I'd be making a couple thousand a day and my expenses would be about a hundred bucks. So there'd be lots left over.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Might Be Mission Impossible For Me

I was reading a little bit about "Mission Impossible," the TV show yesterday, for reasons that had nothing to do with Peter Graves dying the other day. It was strictly a coincidence.

I was with a guy who was showing me some of the TV shows he has downloads of, and he happened to have a number of episodes of "MI." The natural question came up, how many episodes were made, as we wanted to determine how many he'd need to have them all. He had around 20 and at first thought maybe that's all they were. I had no idea how many there were, but I knew it had to be more than 20 some.

It turns out -- a big thanks goes out to the bean counters at Wikipedia -- that there were 171 episodes and the pilot episode. And that the show went on for seven seasons, at 20 some per. So this guy had the first season out of what was virtually an endless run. 171 missions that seemed impossible but turned out not to live up to their billing, actually being not only possible but done.

I was thinking, What if I had the entire series? There's so many of them that it might turn out to be Mission Impossible for me to watch them all.

OK, there's no commercials. That knocks them down to about 46-48 minutes each. Still, even if I watched one a day, that's virtually an hour for 171 days. That's a pretty good chunk of time, not even counting whether I'd be interested in one impossible adventure after another for that long. I'd probably lose interest and it'd all fizzle out.

That was a great show. But who knows if it'd be great enough to watch the whole thing now?

He and I watched part of the pilot episode. They had a phonograph record instead of the little tape recorder. And it decomposed after the guy listened to it. Then Martin Landau, the man of a thousand faces, was going to have the mission of disguising himself to impersonate a guy he himself was playing as a second character! Looking at the guy's picture, then seeing Martin Landau, it didn't look all that hard, frankly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manxman's Morality

I wrote about the film "The Manxman" yesterday, a film by Alfred Hitchcock, a silent film from the '20s.

Yesterday it was in honor of the beauty of the leading lady, who played Kate, the love interest of ... the two leading men. Yes, the two.

First, the fisherman loved her. Then his lawyer friend. The fisherman entrusted her to his friend's care while he was away making his fortune in Africa. His friend promptly fell in love with her ... and apparently went all the way at some point afterward.

I'm thinking this is a very mature themed movie, and risque. Not having lived through the '20s, I'm no expert in the mores of those times, especially overseas, England in this case.

She doesn't love the fisherman, but because she promised herself to him she married him anyway. But it all turned out badly for them, with justice finally prevailing to establish certain things about the other relationship. Folks in the crowd were heaping scorn on them.

It was a very good movie. I might want to see it again someday. I recommend it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Manxman Beauty

I'm watching this Alfred Hitchcock silent film from 1929, "The Manxman." These scenes are from the beginning. I'm looking at Kate Cregeen played by Anny Ondra and thinking, Wow, she's great looking! She doesn't have that weirded out old fashioned look at you see in lots of 1920s pictures. Instead very fresh and natural.

But let's say I was an eligible bachelor and she wouldn't be around 100 years old now, I still wouldn't want to face her gruff old dad, Caesar Cregeen played by Randle Ayrton. That's Pete Quilliam played by Carl Brisson getting the evil eye for his efforts, and looking like he's about to blow a gasket.

I'm just a little farther than this watching the film. Pete's getting ready to go to Africa to make his fortune, with the idea of coming back to reclaim Kate. Unfortunately, there's others around who happen to notice some of her obvious virtues as well.

Health Care Reform This Week (?)

Supposedly we are going to have the health care reform bill done by the end of next week. Good, great, get it done.

The Republicans are out, in full throat, stirring up their usual amount of discord and vandalism. But it is my hope that we (our slow moving beloved leaders) won't be swayed by them. This after all was one of the promises of an Obama presidency when we voted in 2008. And there's no reason whatsoever that we shouldn't have it. In fact there's more of a reason, because the problem with health care has only gotten worse in the meantime.

To leave it to the private insurers to do the right thing, which is the Republicans' plan, would be a disaster. The same as leaving wolves in charge of the hen house. If you really like your morning egg, don't be surprised if your layers come up missing.

Now the Republicans are looking for this to be the killer platform for them, to repeal health care reform. To take us back to those glory days of endless, unregulated insurance increases, etc. Of course I don't think we're going to have it so much better afterward, because the insurance companies were part of the buy off process in Congress. But anything has to be better than nothing. And to think I would leave myself to the tender mercies of the Republicans? Yeah, that would be smart.

How's this for a quote:

Karl Rove warned on Fox News: "If they pass this thing, I think they lose the House of Representatives this fall".
The "concern" is duly noted. Karl is always looking our for our electoral best interests!

To which I would say, "If that's what it takes." There's no good reason to have power if you're never going to use it for the public good. If we get involved in a campaign that has in it a key promise to get health care reform, then if we can never get health care reform because someone might lose a future election, what was the point of the first campaign? To win elections just to win more elections is pointless.

And as for Karl seeing a one-to-one action and consequence here, look at his boss's administration. They misgoverned this country (like skunks) for years in my opinion, and they got reelected.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pizza Hut $10 Deal Small Print

There must be some small print on the Pizza Hut TV ad that I didn't notice.

I thought I heard them unambiguously say words to the effect of Any pizza, any crust, any toppings, $10. No nothing about any kind of exclusions.

But like I say, there could've been some small print to tamp down the deal so you couldn't go hog wild. I know when I first heard it on TV, I was saying, What if a guy ordered 100 toppings? Because it definitely sounded unambiguously like there were no limits.

Well, what something sounds like on TV (a $10 pizza, any pizza, any crust, any toppings) ended up being a $12 pizza and would've been a $14 pizza except we canceled the last $2 topping.

Because somewhere in the small print, which we didn't see, must be a clause that says it's only good for three toppings. Because that's what the phone person at Pizza Hut said, After that it's $2 per topping.

I really can see why they wouldn't want it to be unlimited. But what I can't see is how they can make an ad like that that makes it sound so unambiguous. Then they spring it on you when you call or when you show up.

I've never understood why a big corporate place, Pizza Hut or anyone, wants to make their customers mad by seeming to over promise, then when it comes time to deliver, it's just a disappointment. So I'm sitting there saying, No more "$10" pizzas!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Conductor Bert Haid -- Random News

This news is from The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN, Jan. 24, 1913, p. 15, in a column called "Wawaka News":
Conductor Bert Haid, who has been off duty several weeks on account of illness, resumed his run on the plug this morning.
What else happened in the life of Bert Haid that made the news?

1913 -- G.C. Griffith of Toledo is relief conductor for Bert Haid, while the latter is at Grand Rapids on a visit. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, July 25, 1913, p. 6).

1914 -- Bert Haid is visiting friends in Wawaka. (Fort Wayne News, April 29, 1914, p. 4).

1917 -- (Bert is a conductor with the New York Central lines.) Two men stole some clothes from him. One of the men, Joseph Rogers, later in custody, tried to escape, but after a ten-minute tussle was overpowered, double handcuffed and taken to jail. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, March 13, 1917, p. 3).

Joseph Rogers, who stole Bert Haid's clothes, was given a sentence to the reformatory at Jeffersonville this afternoon by Judge Wrigley. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, March 29, 1917, p. 8).

Bert has been compelled to be off duty several days on account of illness, but is now up and about again. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, April 17, 1917, p. 2).

Mrs. Bert Haid was the guest of Ligonier relatives today. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Dec. 7, 1917, p. 27).

1919 -- Bert Haid was among that big crowd at Toledo yesterday. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, July 5, 1919, p. 2).

What big crowd? In Toledo, Ohio, July 4, Jack Dempsey defeated Jess Willard in three rounds to become the world's champion heavyweight boxer. It was a very hot Fourth of July, with the thermometer at 110 degrees. How big was the crowd at Toledo? There was a Methodist conference in Columbus, at which officials estimated there were more than 110,000 persons. This was said to nearly triple the number who witnessed the Willard-Dempsey fight at Toledo. (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, July 5, 1919, p. 1).

John Haid celebrated his eighty-sixth birthday last Friday at the home of his niece, Mrs. Beanda Hall, at Chicago. A roasted pig was served and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Among the guests were Mrs. and Mrs. Lou Haid, of Wawaka; Mr. and Mrs. Bert Haid, of Kendallville, and Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Williams and son, Clarence, and wife, of Toledo. (Fort Wayne News and Sentinel, Dec. 16, 1919, p. 27).

Mrs. Bert Haid is the guest of friends at Elkhart. (Fort Wayne News and Sentinel, Dec. 22, 1919, p. 33).

These items were found at It's not necessarily exhaustive, since I only searched for "Bert Haid." But the top entry (pictured above, from Jan. 24, 1913) didn't show up on the search. The print is fairly broken up. So it's likely that there's other Bert Haid news out there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Republicans And Massa

It's not just on the issue of Congressman Eric Massa, former Congressman, that the Republicans are troublemakers, it's every issue. But this is their latest thing, probing for some damaging information about Nancy Pelosi over this idiot Massa's troubles.

Of course the Republicans don't care anything about it per se, but only how they can gum up things for the Democrats. Meaning it's part and parcel of their entire legislative strategy, which is to stir up trouble ... constant and non-stop.

What does this make the Republicans? They're really nothing but vandals. Civic vandalism, that's what the Republicans engage in. No wonder we have so many troubles in this country.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Honk If You've Been Groped By Eric Massa

Honestly, I can't believe people go around groping one another. Isn't there a first date rule on stuff like this, dining, dancing, flowers, groping?

I don't want to say too much about myself, but I never liked the idea of showering with others in P.E. Speaking for myself, the chances of anything happening there were zero or less. But I'm not a Congressman, I don't have that immediate thought that I'm God's gift to other nude people.

It's my opinion that if you're going to be in Congress, you really have to watch your reputation. The amount of stuff that these guys get away with before they get caught boggles the mind.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Billion Year Contract?

I just heard on MSNBC that Scientologists sign a billion year contract that they'll be loyal, faithful, and true to their organization. And if they should try to finagle out of it -- say with most of the billion years left -- then they owe some big time money for "counseling." The case they told about on the news owed $40,000 for "counseling."

First, anyone who would consider joining such a lunatic religion probably needs counseling, but counseling from outside that particular organization. That's insane.

I was just looking online to see if there's any other links to this billion year contract topic. And there's plenty. So I guess I'm the last one to hear about it. Plus you can find lots of other information about this organization, including enough to make you want to get a really good crucifix to hold up if they ever come around! Or some wolf bane for the doorpost.

If you're really looking for a religion, try one of the normal ones.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bush Wouldn't Have Been So Bad

It's an odd thing to say, since George W. Bush perpetually disgusted me, but he wouldn't have been so bad if wasn't able to ramrod things through Congress. If he would've just sat lifeless in the White House and been thwarted at every turn, I could've endured him.

Finally we get someone elected that I do like, and what do we get? Someone who probably won't be able to get a Mother's Day proclamation through Congress and apparently doesn't do much else.

Why are the really bad guys so effective at pushing their agenda?

Every Six Months

I should've grabbed a scratch pad. By the time you get to the computer, your ideas are withering or congealing. They don't stay fresh more than a minute.

Which is to the point, my constant thing, the passing of time and its relation to us. You think that everything's the same, until you see pictures of the past and realize what a foreign world you were living in at the time and didn't know it. At the time its utter familiarity meant it was normal, and the average person didn't want to go around snapping pictures of everything. It was normal.

It wouldn't be normal for someone to be going around now doing that. He might say the point is to show them all in 40 years what the differences are. Except most of them are going to be dead anyway. His efforts will serve the people at the time, who will glance at the pictures and some of them will recall the way it was. Which is the way it is right now.

So it's not staying the same, but incrementally at least changing all the time. Like how a room gets messed up. A few books that don't make it to the shelf. A stack of papers that gets tipped over one day. Some newspapers set askew. Some pieces of crumpled paper that missed the waste can. Next thing you know you're living in squalor. But it's onward and upward for the town, downtown, the suburbs, other buildings. With funerals everyday for the previous generation.

I've got a couple magazines on the shelf that I bought, probably six months ago. I haven't done anything with them except keep them in good condition. At the time I had a real collector's instinct about these things. Now I'm looking at them with disbelief that I succumbed to that at the time. But no one tried to talk me out of it. The intention was to get a couple plastic bags to put them in, then to put them in a box.

The key thing about them today is that it's surely been six months. Meaning a whole half a year has already passed away right under my nose. Whatever I'm inexorably going toward in life, I'm inexorably that much closer. Sleep a little, eat a little, go out to eat, worry, and all the rest. It all adds up.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Someday When I'm In The Graveyard

Filling out the census form yesterday reminded me that I am alive. Because they wanted to know about Person Number 1 and Person Number 2 and how old we are. But if we were dead, you're excluded. So I immediately felt my pulse and knew the government cares about me because I'm alive.

I keep thinking about the results of the census being held confidential by the government for 72 years. So by the time 72 passes and all is revealed and I'm able to see what my name was again, I'll be in the graveyard. Just there, a forgotten box of ashes, suffering through winter cold and summer heat, although obviously suffering might be the wrong word for it.

If my family does what I want, they'll be able to harvest any body parts that still work properly. Then whatever leftovers there are, those they'll try by fire. Then when the fire has reduced them to ash -- no more legs, no more arms, no more privates, no more belly, etc. -- I'll fit in one of those tiny little boxes and that'll be it. I was small when I was born, so it's only fitting that I'll fit in a small box someday.

It'd be nice to know more about it. Do they cremate you nude or fully dressed? Maybe cremation has its own Wikipedia page. I'll look. ... Here it is, with me quoting just part of it.

The box containing the body is placed in the retort and incinerated at a temperature of 760° to 1150°C (1400° to 2100°F). During the cremation process, a large part of the body (especially the organs) and other soft tissue are vaporized and oxidized because of the heat, and the gases are discharged through the exhaust system. The process usually takes 90 minutes to two hours, with longer times associated with larger bodies, and older furnaces.
90 minutes to two hours, with longer times associated with larger bodies, and older furnaces ... I'm not that big a guy, and I hope I don't get an older furnace. I've had old cars, old houses, old hand-me-down clothes all my life. Give me one thing that's new. That's all I want, a new furnace.

I ought to start a blog about my death. That'd be a cool niche blog, just a guy ruminating about his death, perhaps 20-40 years in advance. Then they make a big printout of it and it's there at my funeral, looking like a big Congressional bill. The preacher says it's 1,300 pages of dense print, and we're not leaving till we read every word, or something.

Anyway, someday when I'm in the graveyard -- the silent city -- the government won't care about me. Only my family, till they all keel over, one after the other. Then, after all the heirs are totally gone, it'll just be me and the worms.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Poo Of The City To Be Divided

When you search for articles at they return a bunch of results with little snippets of various articles on the newspaper page.

Because they were scanning mostly bad looking newspaper copies, sometimes it's just gibberish. But sometimes they're pretty good, but since the samples are automatically truncated, they come out sounding funny. Like this one:

"The poo of the city to be divided among the several churches." Speaking for the churches, we don't want the poo of the city, thank you very much!

But the actual article tells the true story:

"A collection was taken up for the poor of the city, to be divided among the several churches represented at the meeting."

Friday, March 05, 2010

Jimi Hendrix "Valleys Of Neptune" Released Early?

I was at Walmart and saw the new Jimi Hendrix CD today, March 5.

I was saying to my wife, "I thought this was supposed to come out on March 9." But there it was on the shelf, several of them. So I figured it must have come out on March 2.

I bought one and came home to see when the release date was supposed to be, since I could've sworn it was March 9. And indeed, that's what the internet sites all say.

Meaning that I, apparently, for once in my life, got something early. What a big coup, huh? It probably sounds the same this week as it would next week.

What I was actually more concerned with was that I thought some of them were going to be numbered, like the CD single was, but these didn't appear to have any number. Still, who cares? The numbers never do me any good anyway.

I'm listening to it on my little computer speakers. Sounds fine.

In case you don't know, Jimi Hendrix was a well known rock guitarist from some years back. Initially he had quite a bit of success, then died and refused to release his last album for another 40 years. In eternity, it seems, he's got all the time in the world.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Elvis' Last Days

I have a book called "Elvis Up Close," subtitled, "In the words of those who knew him best." It always seems to be setting around and I pick it up once in a while.

Tonight I was sitting there, kind of depressed (about other things), and started looking through some of it. I went to the end, to the part where Elvis' friends had to deal with his death.

They had that weird sense of disbelief in many cases. I remember hearing it, sitting in my chair in the front of the TV, and feeling like crap that Elvis was dead. Which has been a long time ago.

He was only 42, and, as we were reminded earlier this year, would've been 75 in January. But he was looking terrible at the time and seemed to have other issues, including a bunch of medicine around.

It's tough to believe Elvis was so young and that had to happen. It's tough to think of Elvis being younger than me. I probably shouldn't have reminded myself he's dead.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Mysteries And Anxieties Of A Q-Tip Container

The generic kind aren't called Q-Tips, since that, like Band-Aids, is a trademarked name for something everyone knows. They're called cotton swabs.

Our box always gets buried under some stuff in the bathroom, with the flap stuck down and no one knows what it looks like or what its exact circumstances are. Even though it's buried, it's still halfway peeking out so you know right where it is. I know I never see it clearly.

So I'm reaching for it, whether day or night, light or dark, and getting some swabs. Sometimes the flap's in the way but it doesn't usually matter. It's those rare times when it does matter that really bug me. Then you have to work the flap up and let some swabs escape its block. Then we're back to normal, the flag being a nuisance but not preventing the dispensing of swabs.

It's one of the few things that I'm continually reaching for when you can't see it. There might be a mousetrap in there and that's when I'd discover it.

I have a lot of anxiety about getting them out in time, so that I'm not blocked too many seconds.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Automatic Shower Cleaner

On paper the automatic shower cleaner has to be a good idea. You have it hanging there, you push the button, it beeps to give you time to close the door, then it sprays, and, theoretically, it's cleaning the shower. It probably is. But I don't know, maybe a whole army of mildew eating bacteria couldn't get my shower clean.

I haven't noticed any difference in three or four days.

The only difference I've noticed is the inconvenience to me personally having the automatic shower cleaner hanging on the shower head. Since I'm used to leaning my head back to wash out shampoo and to rinse my face. But now when I do my familiar backwards motion, bang, my head hits this big automatic machine hanging there. Not good.

But what can I say? Honey, your shower cleaning thing sucks? Honey, I threw away the shower cleaner? You can't do that. You can just grin and bear it until it becomes clear that it's not making any difference. Like when we're on the third or fourth refill.

Anyway, how hard would it've been to just buy some spritz on stuff, and spritz it on the mildew directly, and let it eat its way free of food? We really don't need it up there whirling around in a widely dispersed area when the problem is more localized.

But hey, that's just me!

Monday, March 01, 2010


I have a bunch of stuff going on. It's stressful.

Someday I will know everything by hindsight. I'm looking forward to that day. Then I will be able to look back and see what happened. Then I will know exactly how everything worked out.

One thing in my favor, I've always been OK in the past. So in the future I'll probably be OK too.

The things that have already happened, that I can look back with hindsight on, of course I have a few regrets. I can always think of things I could've done differently. But by the time it's all past, it's set in stone, so there's no worries about the past.

I need to get through the next little bit. Then things will be come clearer.

It's time to make my prayers come true, if I knew precisely what to pray about.