Friday, May 30, 2014


 'If the murder of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut didn't prompt the US Congress to pass stricter regulations on firearms, writes Tim Krieder for the Week, then the Isla Vista killings certainly won't.

"Look, we've collectively decided, as a country, that the occasional massacre is OK with us," writes the author of the book We Learn Nothing, a collection of essays and cartoons about the "dark truths of the human condition". "It's the price we're willing to pay for our precious Second Amendment freedoms."

He continues:

We're content to forfeit the lives of a few dozen schoolkids a year as long as we get to keep our guns. The people have spoken, in a cheering civics-class example of democracy in action.

He doesn't blame the National Rifle Association or politicians for the situation. They're just capitalising on the apathy of a US public that doesn't care enough about the issue to do anything about it.

If this is going to change, people will have to do more than mouth empty condemnations and make calls to "do something". They would have to take action - becoming single-issue voters, donating money to gun-control groups or writing their politicians, for example.

If not, then Americans should stop "pretending to care", he says. The next time a mass shooting occurs, he writes, let's just "skip the histrionics":

No pro forma shock, condolence photo ops, sombre speeches, flags at half-mast, meaningless noises from liberals about legislation, meaningless counter-noises from the NRA about armed guards in elementary schools. Why bother going through the motions of soul-searching when we know very well there's nothing to search?'
(From BBCOnline)


Friday, May 23, 2014


by William J Mann:
by William J Mann: I bought this book from a yard sale a few years back thinking it was a biography of an old-time movie star. Turns out, it is…but it’s also a fiction novel. Strange, right? It turns out that in the early days of movies, back in the silent years, Florence Lawrence (who started out as ‘Baby Flo, the Child Wonder Whistler’ in vaudeville theater) was the first movie star who was actually credited on screen! Then in 1938 she committed suicide…

Or faked it, which is where the novel portion of the book picks up. So Flo, now 107 is re-discovered and the story takes off from there. Fascinatingly written, scenes of young Flo are interspersed with scenes of current times until the story comes to a satisfying conclusion (except perhaps for the Cherry Sisters).
Oddly, since the author obviously researched his material in great detail, at one point Florence buys a 1957 Mustang (which wasn’t made until 1964). But other than that minor point, the book reads true to life and the characters all seem authentic.
One of those gems you unexpectedly find that makes reading so enjoyable, pick up a copy if you enjoy movie history and biographies.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Which is technically anti-choice since that is the exact opposite of pro-choice.
But really, can you call politicians who slash programs for the poor and build weapons of mass destruction pro-life?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


By Jack McDevitt:

‘”The fact is, we need bad weather. A day at the beach is much more enjoyable if we know that somebody, somewhere, is getting rained on.”

“Best way to deal with a conscience is to beat it into submission so it knows who’s in charge.”’

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BEER #1108

Hop On Or Die DOA IPA, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?  And an almost overwhelming mouthful of hops, too. One of the strongest IPAs I’ve can remember having, and to top it off, from Mexico! Found it at World Market, attracted to the cool label, and then saw it was from Mexico, so had to try it.
 Hopefully, the brewery (not sure of the name, since what it says on my bottle wasn’t the same name I found on the internet will expand their range of beers available in the U.S.  But, regardless, it was a nice change of pace from the usual Mexican ambers & pilsners that one usually finds in stores & restaurants.
So, if you see one, check it out and let me know what you thought.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


So when I went to UConn back in 71-72 (oh,  it was a fun year – all one of it!) a guy I knew went down to Willimantic with me, don’t remember why, probably because it was the ’largest’ town in the area.
Driving back in the evening up SR195 we saw a plastic baby doll on the side of the road at the same time Alice Cooper’s Dead Babies played on the radio – rather a strange coincidence, especially since that was the same year Alice played in Jorgenson Center (though I’m not sure that’s what it was called it back then).
Remembering going to see the show, don’t remember much except the decapitation part and some guy climbing down from the balcony to get closer to the stage!
Anyway, I thought of this while sitting at work today listening to a bootleg of a 1972 Alice Cooper show from 1972, which was probably a close set to what I heard (including Dead Babies).

Thursday, May 15, 2014


by Graham Greene: 

‘”You must forgive me,” Mr Smith replied with
courtesy, ”but I don’t touch alcohol.”

“I don’t touch it myself,” Jones said, “I drink it,”
and he suited the action to the words.’

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


February 5, 1940 - May 12, 2014

Best known for creating the Alien for the film of the same name, H.R. Giger also made a considerable contribution to pop music as well. Among others, he created album covers for Emerson, Lake, & Palmer's 'Brain Salad Surgery' album & Debbie Harry's 'Koo Koo'. 
He leaves behind a lot of creeped out people(us) and a cool museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland.


 I’m in the middle of reading a book, A Voyage Long and Strange, by Tony Horwitz, and basically it’s a book about early explorers of North America up to the time of the Pilgrims. Now, the author doesn’t tell you about them, he actually went to the places; such as Newfoundland to the remains of a Viking Settlement, the Dominican Republic to see the places Columbus went, etc.
 So this morning I read about Columbus in the Dominican Republic and Haiti (Hispaniola), which is where the Santa Maria sank, and a few hours later on my RSS feed from the BBC online news site…apparently the remains of the Santa Maria have been found on a reef off the coast of Haiti!
Cue twilight zone music…doo doo doo doo…
Really, what’s the odds?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


International Tuba Day...
And National Roast Leg Of Lamb Day (Yum)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014


International No Diet Day
(And the dieting crowd goes wild!)
(With thanks to the Alliday Poem Book of Silly Celebrations)

Monday, May 05, 2014


 by Bob Thomas: 

 ‘He(Walt)once remarked to Hazel,
”After I die, I would hate to look down at this studio and find everything in a mess.”
“What makes you think you won’t be using a periscope?” she asked.
“Smartass,” he muttered.'