Sunday, May 21, 2017
My wife and I have tickets to two theater presentations this summer.
The first is Arsenic and Old Lace
The second is Avenue Q
And the final in September is A Comedy of Tenors
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
My wife and I have tickets this summer to three productions at the Lakewood Theater, which is located about twenty miles north of us on a beautiful rural lake shore.
The Lakewood is designated the theater of Maine. It is the oldest theater in constant production in the U.S.; founded in 1901 – now beginning its 117th. Season.
Besides being known as the theater where many thespians honed their trade before moving to Broadway, the Lakewood is also haunted – or so it is claimed.
The ground the Lakewood sits on was once the site of an Indian settlement, then in the late 1800’s a spiritualist community was located there.
The following is copied from the Lakewood web site:
It would have to be...displaced Indians, disgruntled spiritualists, the energy of thousands of actors...
In the two decades plus that CUE has been at Lakewood the reports, stories, rumors, sightings, and sensations have been numerous and remarkably similar. Common experiences include:
A man has been observed watching rehearsal from the balcony. The greenish outline of a person moves back and forth in the balcony. Heavy footfalls start at the back of the balcony, come down the right side of the theater, and the side door to the wings is heard to open and shut. Actors in the wings have experienced the sensation of being unable to move and a cold breeze passes by. On the warmest of August days there are cold, damp, "make your skin crawl," icy pockets throughout the theater. Many actors claim to hear conversations that they can't quite understand and there is no one else in the room.
Several no-nonsense type actors have heard musical numbers being sung as they hurry to rehearsal and then finding stage is empty upon arrival. In the days of the temperamental old light board, actors could break for lunch, lock the Theater, and return to find the lights "all set."
There has always been noise and activity from Herbert's office. In the age of computers the clickety-clack of an old typewriter fills a quiet afternoon. The sound of drawers being opened, papers being shuffled, someone walking upstairs, coming down the stairs, the muffled sound of a telephone conversation...all part of the Box Office experience.There is spirit at Lakewood.
There are spirits at Lakewood.
The idea of ghost is fanciful, and people would like to believe their existence, just as they would like to believe in gods and devils and angles and heavens; but reason and common sense defies that lack of logic.
You were born naked. Clothing is a vanity and protection from the elements; but clothing is not alive and is not a part of you. If ghost existed, they would be naked. You would see fat dead uncle a Poopy, who always wanted to bounce you on his knee, gliding down the stairs like Donald Trump on an escalator, with all his junk swinging in the breeze. Now that’s scary!
But people always see ghost with clothes on… In Vicksburg Confederate Park people claim to have seen a Confederate Officer in full dress riding a white horse. Is there a ghost clothing locker, ghost swords and pistols and ghost horses? Why is the beautiful female ghost always dressed in a gossamer night gown when she floats through you room at the haunted Inn? Logically ghost would be naked.
And exactly at what point in evolution do our ancestors qualify for ghost after death statue? Are there Neanderthal ghosts; is there the naked ghost of Lucy wandering somewhere on the plains of Africa? Do only homo-sapiens qualify for ghostiness? (Ok, I made that word up.)
Ghost are like fairies and big foot and angles. People see what they want to see. People believe what they want to believe. At least, that is what I believe.
If I am ever haunted by a ghost I hope it is this one:
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Here in Maine we have had torrential rain for the last two days. Yesterday I drove into town and on the way I saw a young woman walking in the downpour, holding an umbrella while focusing on her cell phone held a foot from her face. I could not help but wonder what world her mind was in.
In 1970 Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock pose the proposition that man could not adapt to rapid change; that like evolution, social and environmental changes must occur slowly in order for humans to adapt. This is now easily disproved.
The most massive changes in human history has occurred over the last forty years and man not only adapted, but led the demand.
During the 1980’s basic personal computers became available. These computers were able to run simple word processing programs and games. Since that time, we have the internet, a truly world wide web, extremely powerful personal computers, cell phones, social media, GPS and now driverless cars. Changes have come so fast that often a product is outmoded before it’s released. People will wait in lines all night to buy the newest iPhone.
This technology has brought about a rapid cultural change. People have become less personally interactive as they live vicarious lives on social media. A recent study claimed that people between the age of 16 and 35 will interact with their cell phones an average of 150 times a day: e-mails, social media, blogs, text messages, phone calls, games, photos, special aps – the cell phone now tends to regulate our life.
This constant obsession of being plugged into technology has got to be rewiring our brain and, perhaps in a dystopian fashion, leaving us vulnerable to programming by those that would control us.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Stephen King has two movies due to debut this summer. A remake of It will be out soon, followed by The Dark Tower. If you are a King fan you will not want to miss either.
If you have a dead body you need to dispose of you probably need the cleaner.
Stephen King's cameo in the The Sons of Anarchy:
They all float down here!
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
Gifford's Ice Cream pays taxes and they sell ice cream.
Churches sell religion and they don't have to pay taxes.
Seems to me Ice Cream is more important.
Monday, April 24, 2017
People that accept science are aware that Einstein’s theory on the curvature of space time has allowed us to program GPS to accuracy within a few feet, and program space probes to explore other planet and universes.
Quantum mechanics have led the way to micro-miniature circuitry that allows us to have computers and cell phones.
DNA research is curing age old illnesses and opening up new fields in research and development that will benefit the human race, and medical research has led to new treatments for cancer, AIDS, and other devastating diseases.
Fields in biology are helping us to understand life on this planet, and chemist are developing new products that make our everyday life better.
While people that deem their knowledge from a two-thousand-year-old book, written in the desert at a time when the wheel borrow was cutting edge technology, believe that people can return from the dead; walk on water; part an ocean with a stick; put two of every animal on earth in a wooden ship and sail around for forty days; produce wine, bread and fish with magic… and pray away all of their problems because some magical god in the sky that looks exactly like them, loves them – because their book tells them so.
The world has been through five major extinctions: Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic/Jurassic, and the Cretaceous. I won’t go into the evolutionary progression at the end of each period; but each extinction has been the results of climate changes, volcanic eruptions or asteroid/meteor impacts.
These extinction periods happened gradually due to circumstances that kicked off changes, that became self-sustaining and progressed over a time line of from twenty-five to two hundred million years - resulting in a drastic restructuring of life on this planet.
The sixth extinction is not going to be caused by a natural phenomenon, but as the result of a destructive life form with the ability to bring about rapid atmospheric, oceanic and climate change.
Animal, bird and insect species are going extinct at an alarming rate due to the destruction of rain forest.
Most African large animals are endangered due to poaching and decrease of natural habitat.
There is over fishing in the oceans and whale populations are barely surviving.
Carbon dioxide emissions from cars, power plants and animal populations are increasing the surface temperatures resulting in glacial melt, which results in exposing long frozen tundra which releases methane and carbon dioxide – that self-perpetuating system that could eventually sustain its own change.
The human population is increasing at an almost exponential rate resulting in more consumption, more waste products and more habitat expansion; with famine and water shortages predicted in the foreseeable future.
Chemical pollutants are in every phase of our water and food supply: the breast milk of Greenland Inuit women, that depend on whale and seal fat in their diet, is so polluted that it would be classified hazardous by the EPA.
Now on top of that, mankind has the ability of mass destruction with nuclear weapons.
We are not a dependable creature to have such power. Up until now, men with some degree of restrain have has control of these weapons; but it only takes one fanatical religious group or one or two unstable individuals with launch codes to bring about almost immediate world destruction – Kim Jong-um… Donald Trump?
We are in the process of the sixth extinction – and it will not take millions of years.
What can we do about this?
Judging by the history of mankind I would say enjoy yourself while you can, because eventually mankind will have to bend over and kiss its own ass good-by.
Have a good day
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I love the winter. Winter is my favorite time of year. I am always excited when the first snow fall cleanses the earth and the weather is cold enough to put on long johns.
In April the temperatures rise, the snow turns dirty, the roads began to mud up and all the summer chores loom just beyond the present - this is a time of unrest and transition and I am ready to move on.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Yesterday I posted a blog about the inadequate computer systems throughout our government. I mentioned that the Air Force Squadron tasked with launching nuclear weapons still uses floppy disk to enter launch codes.
I have to admit, this is where I got my information from.
Even as scary and insane as this seemed at the time, we now have to add another layer of insanity: that Donald Trump may wake up during the night and instead of tweeting, push the nuclear button because Sweden or some other country dissed him!
Saturday, April 8, 2017
A blog by blogfodder started me thinking about the real problem with Russia being able to hack our latest Presidential election.
We spend more on our military than the next half-dozen most powerful militaries combined, and now Trump wants to increase military spending dramatically.
It is not a matter of how much we spend, but how we spend our defense money that should be of concern. Congressional and Senate persons finance their reelections by whoring for companies wishing to sell big money items to the government. Thus we often spend way too much money on military products that are obsolete before they are even delivered, or products that have massive cost overruns and don’t work as advertised.
The new F-35 fighter jet, at a billion dollars per aircraft, is an example of an imperfect money hole.
How does this tie in with election hacking?
Our computer infrastructure throughout the government is sorely inadequate. The computer industry doesn’t have the same lobbying clout as Lockheed Aircraft Company – so we will dump an easy trillion into Lockheed while leaving ourselves with third world computer technology throughout the government.
Our general government and military computer systems are out of date, and the computer systems of the VA are embarrassingly antiquated. The military and the VA systems cannot even transfer and share data, which is one of the major causes of the VA’s inability to promptly service new veterans. Even more concerning is our nuclear delivery systems with computer technology so old that launch codes have to be entered with floppy disk.
The Obamacare roll-out is a prime example. We have some of the most advanced computer hardware and software manufacturers in the world located in the United States, and yet we bumble along and get along with outdated and outmoded technology running our government.
The only thing that saved us from Russia being able to totally manipulate or even crash our election last year is that our election computers – where they exist – are not standardized; they are out of date and not mutually connected to a secure internet system.
Much of the next war will be fought by crashing critical vulnerable computer systems. Our computers are hackable, our cars are hackable, the F-35 is hackable, our power grid is hackable… But we continue to contract for billion-dollar aircraft while ignoring our real vulnerability.
We have for too long been focused on our ability to attack and respond, and not on our vulnerabilities; and we have for too long allowed congressional pork to dictate our military spending.
There is only one fix for this misappropriation of government money, and government priorities that are for sale. It is called TERM LIMITS.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
My wife and I have been making our own bread since 1985 when we taught in an Athabaskan Indian village in remote Alaska. There was no store in the village so commercial bread was not readily available. My wife was teaching kindergarten, first and second grades, and I had the easier job of third, fourth, fifth and six. All of our time was spent either teaching or planning lessons so there was no time to become bread bakers.
That year we bought our first bread maker that looked similar to the R2D2 robot on Star Wars and produced a cylindrical loaf.
Since that time, we have always made our bread with bread machines.
This is my favorite bread recipe:
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of water
1 ½ cups of white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of whole wheat stone ground flour
4 teaspoons of sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of yeast
If you measure carefully the bread comes out perfect almost every time. Just before the last rising we remove the dough, remove the paddle, lightly kneed and shape into a ball and return the dough to the bread machine for the final rise and bake. We find the 1 ½ pound recipes give a better consistency bread than the 2 pound recipes.
We have had numerous bread machines. The worst one was a terribly expensive, two paddle machine made in Sweden – the bread came out lousy. The one we like the best is the Bread Machine Ultra that cost about $90 on line.
We have made breads, cakes, pizza dough and rolls with our machine – the machine does most of the work.
My favorite bread machine recipe book is: Bread Machines and Beyond by Jenny Shapter, my next favorite is Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Cook Book. I like the first one best because it has pictures – I like pictures
Enjoy some fresh bread
Saturday, April 1, 2017
THE OL'BUZZARD'S LIFE SURVIVAL KIT FOR SONS AND GRANDSONS
If I had a young son or grandson coming of age I would give him the gift of an Ol’Buzzard’s Life Survival Kit consisting of a Leatherman and a roll of Duct Tape; and I would tell him that if he is man enough and will stand on his own two-feet, the Kit will take care of 98% of his problems – the other 2% being women that he will never be able to comprehend.
I had Direct TV installed about a year ago and I told the installer that I wanted the antenna to be convenient enough that I could clear it of the wet sticky snows we sometimes get at the beginning and at the end of the winter season. He told me to spray the antenna with WD-40 and the antenna would stay clear. It worked.
Today we had about five inches of that wet sticky snow with temperatures above freezing. With this kind of snow my snow blower usually clogs up in the chute and I end up shoveling my driveway; but for some reason I thought of the advice of the Direct TV installer. I went out and sprayed the snow blower chute liberally with WD-40 and blew the snow away with no problem – the chute never clogged.
I think I would add WD-40 to the Ol’Buzzard’s Life Survival Kit.
I have been married to my wife for thirty-six years; and honestly, it seems like only yesterday that I took off my war suit, hung it on the coatrack outside the commanding officer’s door, drove off the base, picked up my girl and headed into the Maine back woods for what was the beginning of our lifetime adventure together.
We are totally suited – we know each other’s thoughts and often don’t have to finish a sentence or sometimes even speak to know what the other is thinking.
This morning I lay in bed and listened as my girl and our two female cats went down stairs and carried on their conversations – went through their morning routine – until the cats were fed and my wife asked me if I wanted a cup of tea.
I know better than to interfere with this morning ritual as the girls don’t wake up happy. As a man, I can just get up and do what needs to be done; but the girls need their wake-up time, and then all can be right with the world.
That burn-up-the-bed sex at the beginning of a relationship is fantastic; but it is awfully nice having that comfortable companionship where you are so much a part of each other that you feel like one single individual. And if you are wondering – sex is still great, and contrary to advertising hype, no pills needed.
Friday, March 31, 2017
A remake of Stephen King’s IT is due out this September.
If you are a follower of King, as I am, this is a must see movie.
Remakes are rarely as good as the original; but I will hold my opinion until after the release.
One thing we know, King is at his best when his subjects are kids. He has always been able to realistically step back into childhood and touch a scary place that we all remember.
Very rarely are movies as good as the books; but Stand By Me and It were well done, and I have high hopes for this new release. It will be ruined if script moves away from the story and the young actors to spectacular computer animation.
We all have to admit; clowns are scary as hell.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Actually I was there to attend an art venue: a concert by the Irish Descendants. I had not been in a church for a number of decades and I was surprised how it affected me. A large stained glass representation of a tall, sandy hair Jesus stared down at me from over the alter. I felt absolutely disgusted as everything in the church screamed of hypocrisy.
The tendency of our race to portray the image of Jesus and the disciples in conformance with our cultural norms was clearly on display, when anthropology states the Galilean Semites men of that era were dark skinned, dark hair with average height around five feet and weight about 110 pounds.
The ostentatious display of décor - ornate architecture, carpeting, engraved pews, six stained glass windows, rich alter trimmings – stood in the face of the poster asking the congregation for used coats for underprivileged school children.
All in all it seemed surreal as the Irish Descendants sang about a sailor getting laid by a hooker and having his clothes stolen.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tomorrow night The Irish Descendants from Newfoundland are performing at a local arts venue and we have tickets. This is the second time we will have seen them.
Turn up the volume and enjoy:
The only thing missing will be Newfy Screech,
but in it's place a little John Jameson when I get home.
I remember my mother in her late seventies telling me she hated to go to sleep because everyone she dreamed of was dead. I blew it off as old people talk.
I don't dream about people; but of all the music I grew up with almost everyone is dead. 1950's and 1960's Rock and Roll - mostly gone, or if they are still around they are fucking old.
And now Chuck Berry. To me, he and Jerry Lee were the original rockers.
"It's only Rock and Roll
Go with the flow
And try to have a good time"
( Cledus Purcell from James Lee Burke's Robicheaux series)
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Mid March, moving toward Equinox and I have rambling thoughts of nothing much.
So here are some March pictures with comments.
Have dug out from what hopefully what will be the last major snowstorm of this winter.
Still have snow stacked half way up the back window - the results of a metal roof.
Spring time is an ideal time to buy a snow blower. I bought this one from Sears sixteen years ago. The price was $750 but it was the beginning of spring and I offered the manager $500 - or he could be stuck with it over the summer. He took the $500.
I have had to replace belts twice and the friction disk once; but I can't complain as this little seven horse has moved tons of snow over the years.
However if you are in the market I suggest you look for a snow blower with a round snow shoot. This rectangle shoot tends to clog up in wet snow
It is not easy typing a post with a cat in your lap; but my lap seems to be where she likes to settle when I am on the computer. This is the baby girl - two years old.
Her aunt (six years old) takes over my wife's computer chair when it is vacant. You can see we have two hairy cat and so regular brushing is a must.
We have been cat people since 1992 when we got our first Maine Coon while in Alaska.
Combing and brushing our cats in the winter has always been a problem since any comb or brush we bought seemed to create static electricity and and caused shocks - the cats always resisted combing during the winter. Catch me comb me!
Two years ago when we adopted our girls ( our Ragdoll cat had died at 18 years old) combing again became a problem in the winter.
At the grocery store we happened to buy this unlikely looking brush. The brush is made of a soft rubber type material with wire tines with little rubber tips. The handle evidently acts as an insulation and doesn't build up a charge - so the cats don't get shocked. As soon as we pick up one of these brushes the cats drop down and wait for a combing - the look forward to it.
Cat approved - my cats recommend it.
My wife is in the bathroom doing her shower and make-up while I wait and wait and wait.... but it is always worth it. The woman is fantastic - I don't know how I ended up with her.
We are going shopping and will have a lunch out. The temps are in the low twenties with a twenty mph wind, but this is Maine and we are use to the weather.
I have just been notified that she is ready and I am not - so it's time to go.
We got sixteen inches of snow in the last Nor-Easter and yesterday and I spent over two hours snow blowing and shoveling.
It should be the last hurrah as far as large snow falls go this year.
No real complaints.
I guess my hero Red Green says it best.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The people with the loudest voices are the ones that get attention.
It is important that liberals become louder - in your face - calling out Trump and the Republican legislatures, by constantly confronting their hidden agendas and misrepresentations.
Following is a copy of a letter-to-the-editor that I sent out today to the local online newspaper. Feel free to copy all or any part and join me in Resistance Publishing.
I am constantly amazed how the Republican Party has been able to dupe the average working man by touting God, guns, gays and a black President, while sliding through their real agenda of cutting social programs and channeling money to the wealthiest people and large businesses.
Since Reagan and his ‘trickle down economics’ the Republican’s mantra has been tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Tax cuts, of course, disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Trickle Down Economics told us that if the rich got richer we would all be better off – that has worked really well, hasn’t it?
The thing that is most alarming is the Republicans, for forty years, have been trying to do away with Social Security and Medicare. They call it ‘privatizing Medicare and privatizing Social Security; which simply means they do away with it and you are on your on to buy insurance to pay for your own medical emergencies and retirement – and if you can’t afford it, you are out of luck.
When Republicans tout ‘the Free Market, they are talking about you enrolling with unregulated insurance companies whose bottom line is paying out as little as possible in order to make maximum profit for their investors and CEO’s. Another bait and switch as Republican politicians look into the camera and tell you that the ‘free market’ will offer you more choices, give you better coverage and at a lower cost.
Can you really be that gullible?
Trump Care, the new Affordable Care Act replacement, proposed by the Republicans will kick millions of people off insurance and cut benefits for the elderly while giving huge tax windfalls to the mega-wealthy. This should not be a surprise if you have been paying attention, as this has been the goal of the Republican Party for decades.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I haven’t been on the computer for a few days. I guess you would say I am in kind-of-a-funk. It just seems that every time I think about writing a post I ask myself: what is the use.
It feels like I have gone to sleep and found myself in a crazy psychedelic dream were the country is being run by Krusty the Clown, with Moe, Larry and Curly as his brain trust.
I was afraid it would get to this point where I would become so saturated with outlandishly bizarre Trump news that I would no longer care to stay informed.
There are so many serious issues to deal with, from climate change to poverty to health care; and at present, the one that should scare the hell out of us is North Korea’s Kim Jong-um with nuclear weapons developing an ICBM that can reach the United States, and Donald Trump with the code to our nuclear arsenal.
You don’t have to look very close to see that these two people are extremely similar.
I feel like that crazy man standing on a soap box on the street corner shouting and waving his sign that The End is Near.
I am almost thankful that we have a nor-easter coming into Maine Tuesday into Wednesday with snow accumulations predicted between twelve and twenty inches.
This should ground me back to reality.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Anyone who has read more than one or two of my blogs probably knows that I don’t believe in a god or angles or devils or tinker bell - even if all the children clap.
I have, all my life, been surrounded by Christians that want to proselytize and legislate their religious beliefs.
I do not argue with these people because their belief is stronger than logic.
But when asked why I don’t believe, I usually sight: women.
Christians claim a God of all power, all knowing and all seeing; an infallible designer of the earth, the stars, the galaxies and the solar system.
And yet, any man who has ever accompanied his wife to a gynecologist office realizes that women’s plumbing systems have a real design problem. They seem to have the same road dependability as a Yugo automobile.
Women are plagued with painful periods, irregular periods, prenatal, postnatal, uterine cancer, breast cancer, menopause, leaks, discharges, prolapses, rashes, dryness, urinary tract infections, pain, sensitivity, and an infinite number of things that I will probably never understand.
If an automobile company put out a product that broke down that often their engineers and design teams would be fired and the company would probably go bankrupt.
Don’t get me wrong. I love women’s nether parts and all the bells and whistles and accompaniments that go along to make The Total Woman. But, my point is, that if there were actually a pluperfect, infallible God – designer of the universe – It seems He would have been able to do a better job for women.
The Yugo automobile that sold in the 1980’s was totally undependable. The engines were known to explode, electrical systems regularly shorted out and parts would fall off for no reason. Many insurances companies refused to insure Yugos.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Attached is a letter to the editor that I posted today to our local on-line newspaper.
It is important that we continually air items of Donald Trump's unfitness to be President. To sit silently only reinforces his supporters.
Feel free to use the entire post or any part in your own resistance publishing.
Donald Trump put on his big boy trousers, appeared in front of Congress and read a prepared speech off a teleprompter without veering off into some conspiracy theory. Republicans thought it was marvelous.
Then on Saturday Trump tweeted: ‘Terrible! Just found out Obama had me wire tapped in Trump Tower just before victory.’
White House staff are now running around trying to claim that the President is privy to information no one else has. The FBI and other national security groups absolutely deny the allegation.
So, where does ‘The President’ get his information from?
On Thursday night the far right conspiracy theorist Mark Levin claimed on his pod cast that President Obama may have used surveillance techniques to gather information on Donald Trump during the election.
This was picked up by Alex Jones on his radio show.
Alex Jones is a right-wing conspiracy nut that has claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre didn’t happen, but was a government TV production staged as an argument against gun control. Alex has also claimed that the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9-11 attack were orchestrated by the U.S. government, and that the U.S. moon landing was a fake.
Then on Friday Breitbart News carried the conspiracy.
Breitbart News is a platform for the alt-right white supremacist organization formally run by Steve Bannon – Trump’s chief strategist. Among other things Breitbart News has claimed that President Obama was a Muslim born in Kenya, and that Hillary Clinton was involved in running a child sex ring operating in the back of a pizza shop in Washington D.C.
Then on Saturday morning it was wake up and tweet time for the President of the United States; accusing a former President of committing a felony by illegally taping his phones at Trump Tower.
Trump has been known to skip formal government intelligence briefings; I think we know where the President of the United States gets his information.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
And if there were a hell
it would be my choice
Who would want to spend eternity
in the company of fundamentalist Christians?