Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Military Coup to Stop President Obama?

Found at Media Matters, from a MewsMax story. This is more than scary.

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.


Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don't shrug and say, "We can always worry about that later."

In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.

Are we really so afraid of a single black man that the nation may come to this? If it does come to this, I wonder if we'll be allowed to leave the country.

More later.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Facebook Obama Poll Investigated by Secret Service

Poll titled "Should Obama Be Killed?" has been taken down and is currently being investigated by the Secret Service. What are we coming to? Of course it has absolutely nothing to do with the President being a black man. No, of course not.
U.S. Secret Service is investigating an online survey that asked whether people thought President Obama should be assassinated, officials said Monday.

The poll, posted Saturday on Facebook, was taken off the popular social networking site quickly after company officials were alerted to its existence. But, like any threat against the president, Secret Service agents are taking no chances.

"We are aware of it and we will take the appropriate investigative steps," said Darrin Blackford, a Secret Service spokesman. "We take of these things seriously."

The poll asked respondents "Should Obama be killed?" The choices: No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.
The rest is here.

I experienced this kind of hatred as a kid in the South. I have memories of the remnants of lynchings as my grandfather drove through certain areas before dawn, to a good swamp for crawfish - telling me to get to the floor of the car, probably so I wouldn't see anything - the smell of burning flesh reached my nose, scaring me half to death.

If "these things are taken seriously" then why did the Secret Service allow people with guns strapped to their thighs anywhere near the president's appearances??? Hell, people wearing tee-shirts offensive to Bush were kicked to the curb or run out of town. A tee-shirt vs. a gun? Sorry, I just don't get it. There is no comparison.

I was raised in the segregated South. I remember the separate water fountains, restrooms, waiting rooms, and theater box offices. I remember what 'uppity' meant and how they were dealt with. Are we back in those terrible times?

What year is this ? Can anyone tell me?

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

DISH TV: Good News and Bad News

Isn't it always thus?

A real, live, fully animated, and knowledgeable DISH technician (aka troubleshooter of contractor's stoopid install mistakes) arrived this morning at 11 am. He spent the first half hour listening to what we wanted for the house and my apartment, then got out his trusty hipsack and went to work. If I had a quarter every time he's entered and left the apartment - I could retire.

OK, so far I have my own receiver and I had to purchase an HDMI cable because the other cables required would have never fit behind the TV stand. There were 6 of them and two were about an inch wide. He looked relieved by my request and quickly yanked the others out of the box, replacing them with a single coax cable of the precise length needed for the connection. No more, no less.

He climbed to the roof of the house checking out the alignment of the digital antenna because I no longer receive the local and PBS stations that I did while connected to the duel receiver in the big house.

The new Sony TV has a built in OTA tuner/receiver, but no booster. The technician tried connecting directly to the TV and the results were disappointing. Local channels are not available, or severely pixilated meaning no PBS stations, either. Bother.

This guy tried just about everything he could to give us what we wanted. My "I wants" were simple; a clear picture and, if possible, at least one PBS station.

The picture quality is amazing, so I can live without PBS. I have for the past 2 years. Speaking of picture, the HD movies are so crisp I can see the makeup on performers. Ew!

It is nearly 4:30 pm as I write and he is still tweaking the two TVs in the big house, and mine. If DISH had sent this guy to do the initial installation we (and he) wouldn't have had all the headaches and hours dissecting the problems created by the hired contractors. Mr. Ray just came back to ask if I had any other questions or required instructions on using the new remote. He gave me a quick run through and pointed me to the DISH user tutorial channel. That's where I'll be for an hour, or so.

The third time was the charm. I am happy with what I have now.

Time to prep supper and have a festive cocktail. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Gullible Caturday

That's me, all over...

More later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Random Restaurant Sillies

New parents want to bring their Mercedes of baby carriages into the restaurant - which is not allowed - and promptly pitch a hissy when I tell them so. As I explain that they can leave the carriage by the fence in the outdoor dining section (a veritable parking lot for the things) they aren't listening, tell me to shove it, and off they go up the street to another eatery. This one doesn't pretend to like young families. Ten minutes later they're back at the front door parking the Benz, looking defeated as their little darling remains oblivious to the scene and sleeps soundly. Some people with newborns should be required to take a class before traveling anywhere but Grandmas house.

Woman complained about the Romaine Lettuce in her salad and tacos. She expected iceburg. Not in this restaurant, honey.

Couple complained about the spiciness of their entrees. Hers was too mild, his was too hot. They ordered the same items. Communicate much?

Woman mumbling to herself takes a seat at the bar just as the punchline of a joke is delivered and another group howls with laughter. She scowls and says to no one in particular, "what the f**k have they got to laugh about?" yanks her purse off the bar and storms out. Clearly, this was not the place for her. How about a funeral home?

A five-year-old in a party of 6 was dancing around entertaining the family while annoying the other diners. I paid a visit telling her that this was not a theatre and she could hurt herself. She and family ignored me. A few minutes later, as I seated another party, the darling slipped, fell, and banged her head on a table leg. I leaned over and said as loud as I could without disturbing other diners, "Did that knock any sense into your head?" She got up rubbing her sore head, didn't cry, and as I expected the family complained to the owner. He backed me up telling them to come back when the little sweety learned social manners.

A middle-aged couple choose the fried ice cream for dessert. As they were leaving I asked how everything was. The man responds that the meal was excellent except for the dessert. The fried ice cream was COLD!

You can't make this stuff up.

More later.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Armed America. Not Good News

This does not bode well for the country. While ammo sales did rise during the Clinton Administration, the hysteria surrounding the current president is like nothing seen before.
Bullet-makers are working around the clock, seven days a week, and still can't keep up with the nation's demand for ammunition.

Shooting ranges, gun dealers and bullet manufacturers say they have never seen such shortages. Bullets, especially for handguns, have been scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up on ammo, in part because they fear President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation — even though nothing specific has been proposed and the president last month signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

Gun sales spiked when it became clear Obama would be elected a year ago and purchases continued to rise in his first few months of office. The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported that 6.1 million background checks for gun sales were issued from January to May, an increase of 25.6 percent from the same period the year before.

"That is going to cause an upswing in ammunition sales," said Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association representing about 5,000 members. "Without bullets a gun is just a paper weight."

The shortage for sportsmen is different than the scarcity of ammo for some police forces earlier this year, a dearth fueled by an increase in ammo use by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We are working overtime and still can't keep up with the demand," said Al Russo, spokesman for North Carolina-based Remington Arms Company, which makes bullets for rifles, handguns and shotguns. "We've had to add a fourth shift and go 24-7. It's a phenomenon that I have not seen before in my 30 years in the business."

The rest is HERE.

Over react much? Or, is it overcompensation?

More later.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Film: Rethink Afghanistan

This showed up in my inbox and I thought I'd share since the possibility of a troop increase hasn't been ruled out. Here's what was sent by Robert Greenwald:
The full length Rethink Afghanistan film is here!

It's time for you to help build the momentum to stop the war. Get DVDs of this film, host a screening with neighbors, invite your Congressmen to attend, give this DVD to a school.

Want to get two free tickets to an exclusive NYC premiere of Rethink Afghanistan? Pick one of these options::

1) Get Rethink Afghanistan on DVD. Join us at the opening with a special panel including Jeremy Scahill, myself, and others.

2) Host a screening of the film.

3) Invite your Congressman or Staffer to a see the film: (202) 224-3121. Send us a note about your conversation or post it on your Facebook wall and direct us there.

4) Post one of the six Rethink Afghanistan segments with a message to get the DVD on your Facebook. Then, tell us about it on Facebook.

Use the tickets for yourself or give to a friend. Details of the premiere will be given once you sign up. We look forward to seeing you there.

Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Foundation team
Blogger is not allowing links at this time, so go HERE to find out how you can help.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Protect Insurance Companies and Execs!

Celebrity Satire from Move-On:

Uh Huh. That's what I said. Feel free to embed in your own site.
And so it goes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

AMERICAblog: FOX is upset that Obama "snubbed" them

This insightful piece is by John Aravosis at AMERICAblog:
Obama snubbed FOX. They're the only network not to get an interview this weekend. Now they're angry, and talking about how oppressed they are.

Over the past twenty years of working in politics I've learned that you can either control the media or have the media control you. Specifically, when it comes to politicians, and how they should respond to the media when it gets out of control, there are two schools of thought - both are true. The first school is the Democratic school of thought. We simply must be nice to the media, and keep talking to them, regardless of how nasty they are to us, because they'll be even nastier if we DON'T talk to them. The second, equally true, is that the media needs politicians, and thinks it needs the politicians more than it thinks politicians need the media. Thus, the media will do anything to stop itself from losing access to senior politicians in Washington.

George Bush, the son, was expert at controlling the media because he simply cut their access when they got out of line. I remember hearing from mainstream media sources in DC that their colleagues refused to criticize the Bush administration because the reporter in question couldn't afford to lose his job. And lose his job he would if he were no longer granted access to the White House and he was a reporter covering the White House. In today's economy, a big newspaper, or magazine, or network can't afford to be paying a reporter who doesn't have access when they could just fire him and get a new reporter that does have access. And so it went with George Bush - he had the media eating out of his hands, for a while at least.

It's a lot like mainstream news sites dealing with blogs. Or even blogs hiring additional writers. Who is benefiting more, and who should be paying whom? Should ABC, for example, pay me to link to their stuff? Or should I be paying ABC for the right to post their snippets on my blog? Who benefits more? It's all in the eye of the beholder. Same goes for hiring writers. Should you pay new writers to write on your high-trafficked blog, or are you giving new writers a chance to make it big by giving them such a high-profile pedestal, writing on your blog, that they, at the very least, shouldn't expect to be paid. Again, it all depends on perspective, and who spins better.

FOX News wouldn't whine near so much about being snubbed by Obama if they didn't care.
Read it all HERE.

John, Joe, and Chris is Paris are always my first 'must read' of the day.

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Planets Perfectly Aligned.

It is an absolute joy when this happens. My first day off in two weeks and there were lots on the to-do list of errands to run and chores needing attention, so after a good night's rest I was out and on the move early wanting to get back to take advantage of this beautiful day.

First up a search for a new kitchen faucet sprayer. Found it with some help, paid for it and checked it off the list. Next stop L.L. Bean where I hoped to find a messenger's bag (now called a "murse" or man's purse in some circles - don't get me started on that one) as they were out of stock last time I visited. The old backpack is causing back pain, and a friend suggested one of these to replace it. Struck gold again!!! They received a shipment of a half dozen yesterday and they were on sale for 50% off this time.

Then it was off to hunt for comfortable shoes suitable for both jobs. I have three pair and one offers less comfort than it used to, so I go to BASS (where two of the three pair came from) as the planets held firm and I found a beautiful, rather hip and sleek pair of black "Comfort Step" shoes which just happened to be 50% off, plus another 10% off with local ID, and topping it off, I had a 'rewards' check giving me another $10.00 off the entire bill. Walked back to the car with a spring in my step (no pun intended) having paid a whole $35.05 for these great shoes.

Next to last and in the home stretch I needed to find new slacks for work; two pair of Khakis were ruined by the finger print dust left in the store after to the robbery.

Once upon a time I used to wear a 32" inseam, then two years ago realized I had shrunk requiring a shorter 30" length. But, I swear since fracturing my spine last year the 30" are way too long and a 29" inseam is a must. Hard to find in the best of stores, I know, I've been looking. I am still a 34" waist but the 34 - 29 combo is rare perhaps because many guys are shrinking like me and snap them up, or manufacturers don't see the market for it. Whatever.

You can imagine my surprise when Jupiter aligned with Mars and I found three pair in one store, and of course, due to the economy, guess what?, they were on sale. I love one-stop shopping.

The final stop as I made the loop back to the apartment was a bit of grocery shopping; spent more than the budget because I'd run out of Rosemary and Thyme - had plenty of fresh parsley, (I knew you'd go there!) - so I bit the bullet and went for the extra $12.00 purchase. After all, they enjoy a long shelf life and I use them all the time. When did herbs and spices become so expensive?

A happy camper hit the dusty trail back to the bunkhous... uh, apartment. It was not yet 11 am as I unloaded the last of the treasures; the plan is to enjoy a bit of sun on the deck before I prep supper while deciding which of the chores on the list will get done and which will have to wait another day. Fiddle dee-dee! Where's my magnolia?

My humble efforts to stimulate the economy has ended. I hope everyone, including the President is proud of me as I gave it my all, and then some. The total cost of today's spending spree came in under $100.00, including the groceries part. Only the Universe knows what the outcome would have been if the planets hadn't aligned in my favor, so let's not think about that, OK?

This is Pride Weekend in DE and while I'd like to join in the festivities I'd rather relax here. I know, I know, I'll never meet new people if I keep holding up at the apartment. There will be other opportunities throughout the Fall and Winter. After all, I live in Gayberry Delaware, anyway. I know all the vendors who'll be there and many of the people. This is more of a celebration for those from the northern counties who live, shall we say, 'quieter lives' out of necessity. Oh there are folks in town from NJ, PA, VA, MD, and DC to be sure, who want to get in on the fun, too. They were in the restaurant for lunch as they arrived yesterday and were clearly ready for the good time ahead.

As a dear old friend used to say as he lifted his martini, I send them hugs and kisses and a sh**load of happy thoughts. I'll drink to that.

And so it goes.

Incurable Caturday.

"Truth is just truth. You can't have opinions about the truth." - PDQ Bach.

More later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Thoughts and Questions

Why is it when servers and bartenders go out after work, party, and get wasted they're surprised that they feel like death warmed over when they arrive at work the following day? They do it over and over again, but never seem to make the connection.

Why is it that 4 weeks after opening a new checking account the bank will hold checks for 10 days EVEN though the new checks and the ATM card haven't arrived yet?

Haven't been able to figure out why most people wait until Friday to bring mass mailings to the Post Office and then complain about the lines and crowded lobby. I see the same people week after week and they just don't get it.

On rainy days many drivers forget that the speed 'limit' refers to optimal road conditions. Slower speeds are suggested when conditions are dangerous or compromised by the weather.

I have confirmed that Eastern European and Russian folks can drink most Americans under the table. While this may be due to the oppression they have lived with, the fun was in viewing this competition firsthand.

Wal*Mart will allow a person wearing a tee shirt with the image of the swastika to shop, but will remove a young mother sitting in the pharmacy area for breast feeding her baby. It boggles the mind.

Why do banks offer incentives only to NEW customers? Conclusion? They are under the impression that they already have your business and will not change financial institutions. Oh My! Why not offer your best customers these incentive and special enticements as well? I am told it is a tried and true banking model. Maybe back when there were fewer alternatives. Not today. How stoopid and how wrong.

It's time for a cold compress and a quiet end to the week.

And so it goes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"YES" - Hooked on New Pet Shop Boys CD

Always loved the PSB and their new CD doesn't disappoint. Titled "YES" the songs are mostly about love, moving on, acceptance, and getting over it. I posted the video of the first cut on the CD "Love Etc." earlier, but have gotten hooked on the song "Did You See Me Coming?" The tune is lovely, the driving beat is contagious and the lyrics are sweet and endearing. Ah, new love...ain't it grand?

I have it playing in the car all the time. It makes my day much brighter. After you hear the song and read the lyrics I hope you understand why I love this song. An incurable romantic. Sue me!
All the live recordings were busy, stoopid, or distracting. This video contains the lyrics so you can pull down the "more info" link and read them while you listen.

The Pet Shop Boys at their best, IMHO.

After a long day babysitting festive jewels, it's time for a cocktail and supper.


And so it goes.

Sad News Thursday

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary has died.

Henry Gibson of 'Laugh In' and 'Nashville' fame was her escort.

More later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Broadway Tonight with Menken and Friends

No, I haven't gone off on some theatrical tangent. The Premier Performing Arts Theatre Company is the love child of the childhood friend written about a while back.

I am so happy that the fundraiser went off without a hitch and garnered this review at Broadway World. (Click the image to embiggen.)

Premier Performing Arts, a non-profit professional theatre company producing in Westchester County, presented its inaugural fundraiser, Broadway Tonight with Alan Menken and Friends, at the Tarrytown Music Hall to an enthusiastic crowd.
Broadway's history books were opened as the audience was treated to an array of performances by a long list of notable talents from the Great White Way. The fundraiser was to benefit PPA's yet to be announced spring musical-the first of many offerings expected to grace the Music Hall stage.

The evening opened with a welcome speech by Producing Artistic Director Dennis Edenfield, Managing Director David Guerdette and Music Director Chloe Sasson. The speech was interrupted by an "unexpected" speaker phone call to Edenfield's cell phone by PPA Advisory Board Member Bebe Neuwirth, who was not able to attend the event, but was calling to wish them well. Edenfield then turned over the mike to media personality Valerie Smaldone, who hosted the evening.

Broadway favorite Lee Roy Reams opened the evening with a short rendition of Menken's "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, and then tickled the audience's funny bone with a medley from Sweet Charity. Next, John Treacy Egan reincarnated Chef Louis' "Les Poissons" from The Little Mermaid, then offered a medley of "Shall We Dance/I'd Rather Eat Than Cha-Cha."

Up and comers Will and Anthony Nunziata sang "Lullaby of Broadway" in preparation of their Feinstein's debut later this month.

Victoria Mallory and Kurt Peterson, who both sang beautifully as soloists, treated the audience to the most nostalgic moment of the evening when they sang "Tonight, Tonight" from West Side Story which they performed together at Lincoln Center in 1968. Mallory and Peterson were joined by Harvey Evans and Penny Worth to sing "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs" from Sondheim's Follies.
Read the rest of the piece complete with pictures - HERE.

I wish I could have been with him for this important milestone for the theatre company.

And so it goes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beck: NOLA Levees Allowed to Fail to Hide ACORN Corruption

This guy gets more frightening by the day. His listeners are even more frightening. This is from his radio show on 9/11/09 and includes a very gullible (and stoopid) caller.


From Media Matters.

An avalanche of crazy. Be sure to read the comments after listening to the clip. No wonder the man has lost over 60 sponsors of his wingnut show.

I need another Sazerac!


As Autumn Draws Near...

Now that the official summer tourist season has come to an end I imagined things would slow down; a time to catch my breath and maybe take a day (or two) off. No such luck.

The restaurant was pretty damned busy serving families of all sizes last week. They seem to have discovered that after Labor Day the ocean is at it's warmest, room and rental rates are lower, and eating out is less expensive. Soooo... The initial plan was to return to the two-server, one host setup of the spring, but Tuesday after Labor Day got busy and remained so throughout the day and evening. We had to call in 3 more servers while the manager helped serve meals and we both were pressed into service busing tables. Wednesday was about the same, but the extra servers that day were faster on their feet.

Meanwhile, with the looming demise of the jewelry store, the special big sale is bringing in customers from all over the mid-Atlantic states to snap up bargains at huge discounts. Remember, there is no sales tax in Delaware. The owner isn't losing money, but he's not cleaning up either. Since there is usually one person on each shift this is good and bad news. Good because all the commissions go to one person; bad because sometimes customers arrive in herds demanding to know the story behind the closing as the store continues to fill up with new people; all that talk cuts into possible sales. We have wonderfully loyal customers, so we deal with it.

With extra bucks coming in from the 2 jobs these past 6 months (at least until the end of this month) I've been making higher payments to bring down the medical bills quicker and that eases my mind, somewhat. I began actively seeking another job, as well, I cannot stick around hoping all will turn out well and the store (and my job) will be saved at the 11th hour. They're not happy with that choice, but that's where I have to go. This time it's about ME!

I won't see a day off until next Saturday - the 19th - at which time I plan to get out with a few friends and cavort at the Parrot, or Cloud 9, maybe even Dos Locos (job #2).

I really need to ditch this hermit persona and become socially active again. I am too used to the privacy and security of the apartment and this so-called life that it scares me a little to think about being "out there" again after such a long time. 2006 seems like a lifetime ago, but I ain't gettin' any younger just sitting here looking stoopid every evening. Yesterday morning my fave bartender at the Parrot stopped by the restaurant and said, "hey, why don't you stop by Sunday after work and have a martini while we have a long overdue chat about life." Now, he's straight, but I've known him for a dozen years and he was sincere. After selling baubles tomorrow, I will head into town for a few hours at the Parrot catching up and maybe meeting new people.

I have done my duty today, enjoyed a few sales, wrote this post, and will now treat myself to a Sazerac as a reward. I'm worth it, goddamit!

And so it goes.

JMG: "That Day"

From Joe My God:
(This story makes its fifth and final annual appearance on JMG. I just wanted to run it once under a president other than Dubya.)

Manhattan, September 11th, 2001

That day, I got to my office on 42nd Street at about 8:55am. About ten minutes later, I got a call from Thomas in Orlando. "Honey, you should look out your window because a plane just hit the World Trade Center!"

I have a fabulous view of the Chrysler Building from my office, but to see the World Trade Center I had to go downstairs and walk over to Fifth Avenue. There was already a crowd on every corner, shielding their eyes against the morning sun. All we could see was a plume of smoke. Just as I got back into my office, the word spread that a second plane had struck.

A few minutes later someone reported that the subways had stopped running and it only took about another 15 minutes before office decorum began to dissolve. Davita, our normally stoic sales manager, began sobbing, worrying about getting home to her daughter in Brooklyn. Some of our staffers nervously took post at our windows overlooking Grand Central Terminal, watching the sky over the Chrysler Building one block away. We all tried calling our families but got nothing but busy signals.

Our CEO called us into the conference room at 10am and announced, "It appears that the United States is under attack. I'm suggesting that we all try to make our way to our homes at once. Please call the office tomorrow before you come in, to see what our situation is." His voice was overloud, his nerves overcoming his normally lilting Liverpool accent.

A moment later someone with a radio announced, "One of the towers just collapsed." That sent the office scrambling for the door. A few minutes later I was on the street. I headed towards my apartment on 22nd Street in Chelsea and had just turned south onto Sixth Avenue when the second tower collapsed. I watched the top half of the building slide from view. Everybody stopped walking and stood in silent horror. From our distance there was no noise.

As I continued walking I began to pass people in varying states of distress. Lines began to form in front of payphones as cellphones were now useless.
*Image from the web.

The rest is HERE. Including some powerful images.

More later.

Happy Caturday

More later.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

Does anyone remember, anymore? Does anyone care? As far as I know there are no services of remembrance going on here. I still have trouble wrapping my head around what really happened 8 years ago. The senseless cruelty and hatred directed at innocent human beings going about the business of life. And then it was all over for thousands of them in a few hours.

There is this on the national scene, from a UK paper, of course:

Nearly 3,000 people died when the four planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are to be held at these sites and all Americans have been encouraged to contribute to a national day of service.

President Barack Obama and defence secretary Robert Gates will speak at the Pentagon, where 184 people died, and meet members of the victims' family and lay a wreath.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Mr Obama would "speak about what the day means and the sacrifices of thousands, not just at the Pentagon, but in Pennsylvania and certainly and most obviously in New York".

Vice-President Joe Biden will attend a ceremony at the site of the World Trade Center towers in New York. There will be four moments of silence there - one for each of the times a plane crashed into the towers and also for the collapse of the towers. The names of more than 2,700 victims from the site will be read out by family members and volunteers who helped in the aftermath of the attacks. Ground Zero still remains a building site eight years on despite plans to build a permanent memorial, a museum and five new skyscrapers.

Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, will speak at the site of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash where the names of the 40 people on board will be read out.

For the first time, the anniversary has been designated as a national day of service. Americans have been encouraged to contribute their labour and time in the memory of the victims.

At least that's something.

Prayers ascend.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer's End? Not Yet.

Driving to the park & ride this morning heading to job #2 there were few cars on the road and I figured the Season was over. Arriving in town there were few cars and even fewer people walking about, so I thought we'd have a very light lunch crowd today.

Two servers were scheduled - one called out sick - with the cool, cloudy, and drizzly weather, I knew we would need more than 1. A call was made to 2 other servers who agreed to help out. I thought we would be covered with 3. Boy, was I wrong...

How wrong was I Johnny?

When I opened to doors people came from everywhere and anywhere. Within 45 minutes we were close to a full house - and they kept coming. By this time the manager had taken control and called for reinforcements. At least one more server was on the way. We had to make the best of it until he arrived. We did. When he arrived he was faced with a party of 6 and a party of 8.

By 2 pm, we had seated 54 parties, most 4 or more. Many were families of 6 or 8. While the manager pitched in to deliver meals to various tables and booths, I found myself bussing and cleaning tables to ready them for the next seating. The servers kicked into high gear and eventually we found ourselves working like clockwork.

Thankfully,everyone was in a great mood, as many had only just arrived for the first off-season week ready to relax and unwind without hordes of tourists. They were ready for a good time in a relaxed atmosphere, which they created themselves by their behavior and attitude. A saving grace for all of us trying to make them comfortable, happy and content.

We all hung around for our after-shift cocktail to commiserate in an attempt to figure out what had happened. From what was overheard it is clear that some people are coming to the realization that after Labor Day the rental rates are less, the Ocean is at its warmest, restaurants have more specials - and happy hours - and the beach is half empty. Hell, I'd drink to that.

So, if the sun shines tomorrow, we'll likely be very slow for lunch until about 2, but if the sky remains cloudy and cool temperatures prevail, it will be a repeat of today. I don't mind that one bit, and neither do the servers.

Time for a bit of supper and a G & T.

And so it goes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Changes in Weather and Life

On September 1st. the hot spell ended as if turned off by a switch. Literally overnight the temperature dropped 25' and the humidity plunged even more.

The glass doors were thrown open at the restaurant and everybody was in a happy, relaxed frame of mind. The breeze coming off the Atlantic was fresh and salty. Perfect! This entire week has been a carbon copy (does anyone know what that phrase means, anymore?) with temps in the 70s by day and 60s at night. Great sleeping weather as well as great for the working environment.

Today it reached the 80' mark but only for a short time as the winds kicked up and clouds moved into the area. As I left work this evening the temp was 76'...that's the local weather update here at OT.

Meanwhile, with the store set to close at the end of the month, I have to begin searching for another part time job to take up the slack. While the owner wants me to stay on in the event the a**holes at Outlet headquarters renew our lease at the 11th hour, having witnessed their treatment of other family owned businesses, I doubt that is going to happen. They make more money off the big companies and, unfortunately, they continue to believe that "greed is good" and all the rest be damned, kicked to the curb.

I will stay on until another job is locked in, then I will reluctantly give notice. This will be difficult for me. I've loved this job; the folks I work with have been there for me through the health issues and the end of the 30-year relationship; I doubt that I'd have gotten through the past three years with my sanity without their encouragement and emotional support. Yes, we've had a unique working relationship, we're always there when needed and I have been thrice blessed by them. I love them very much.

In any event, it appears to be time to move on, and after the many life-changing events of the past three years I am no longer afraid of moving on. Looking forward to a change, actually. Scared? You bet. As the saying goes, "if change is all there is, choice is all you've got" - can I get an Amen?

I'm looking forward to the possibility of a better paying job so I can take my dream Alaskan Cruise. That may sound silly, but it has been a dream, a goal, for a very long time. I had been putting money aside for 4 years before the breakup. That money eventually went to pay medical bills. But since the cabin prices are based on double occupancy, someone to share the experience must be found. I could not afford to pay for a cabin on my own.

Ain't life grand?

Tomorrow means another long day selling baubles.

And so it goes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Silents: Keaton Was a Visual Comedy Master

I am an avid fan of cinema - especially the Silents era. While at NYU film school I was privileged to have Terry Pathe (descendant of one of the Pathe Freres in France) as my historian, professor, and mentor of all things Silents. I even met a few of my heroes and sheroes at Q & A's following various screenings of their work. Lillian Gish, Leatrice Joy, and Viola Dana to name a few. These were dramatic stars - few comedic stars were still alive or available. By far, my fave male comedy star of the Silents is Buster Keaton. I used to own many of his films on film and VHS in my previous life. That's gone now, but I have slowly been replacing them on DVD.

I remember while living in Greenwich Village sitting in the Bleecker Street Cinema with a few others of like mind. One of those was Al Kooper, musician, singer, music producer extraordinaire - think Blues Project, and the original Blood Sweat and Tears - who seemed as mesmerized as I by the work of the Silent geniuses. There was always a double-bill with organ accompaniment, sometimes playing the original score of the film.

So, when I spotted this entry last evening at probably the best Cinema blog site around, all these memories came back to me. I would love to see this film. From Greenbriar Picture Shows:

Discredited as he was in Hollywood by 1934, there was still enough residual fame in Buster Keaton’s name to interest producers outside industry mainstreams. Europe was mad for our sight-gagging comedians and spent more to look at them than domestic audiences. Chaplin’s foreign revenues were often leagues ahead of what he realized stateside, and Keaton was revered by French audiences whatever the reduced circumstances he’d come to on US shores. Euro producers came calling after ignominious dismissal from MGM left Buster unemployed but for a season of low-budget shorts at Educational. American majors might shun him, but starring feature work was but an ocean away (and here’s Buster shipboard with second wife Mae). Le Roi des Champs-Elysees was for Nero Films in France. It never had a United States release. There is no English language or dubbed version. There was a 16mm print that Bill Everson used to run for his class and occasionally loan to film cons. My seeing it initially was upon one of those rare occasions. Le Roi is a must for Keaton purists. His voice is substituted by an inexpressive double, but there’s so little dialogue as to make the switch unimportant. Buster was experienced with at least phonetic readings of varied tongues in Metro foreign versions he’d done previously, so it’s likely the comedian took a whirl at speaking French for Le Roi (lip readers say yes to that). Maybe producers decided as after-thought not to use his tracks, which is too bad because it would have enhanced the finished product. Le Roi floats among fans on DVD-R and each of them roll dice (or a ten-dollar bill) hoping copies scored off E-Bay or dealer tables will be watchable. The one I found turned out to be unusually nice, with overture and exit music (!).

The feature runs not much over an hour. Buster performs routines traceable back to his silent shorts. He’s bound to have given plenty in a creative capacity, for much of the humor is unmistakably Keaton’s own. There’s plenty of street shooting as well with pedestrians reacting to a prominent American clown in their midst. I'd like to think Buster was accorded respect by Le Roi's French producers, as Von Stroheim would be when he traveled there to do Grande Illusion. Keaton looks healthy and from all appearance seems to have bucked up from the Metro descent. Perhaps he was energized by co-workers who recognized his genius long before we would. I’d say Le Roi surpasses then-recent Keaton features just for being his vehicle and not one to be shared with Jimmy Durante or other MGM comics (Polly Moran, Cliff Edwards) nibbling at margins. It was made for a price, but doesn’t look so cheap as Educational shorts coming before and after. Effort and energy is clearly put forth here, not only on Buster's part, but also by those in support of him both behind and in front of the camera. There’s a music score throughout that really helps, and a nice payoff to what’s actually a well-constructed little story. For lack of Hollywood polish, Le Roi’s a bit raggedy at times, but it’s no disgrace to Keaton and he acquits himself nicely throughout. Too bad a US release couldn’t be managed. Paramount seems to have handled it in at least some foreign territories, and doubtless considered distribution for here. Considering they'd pass on handling Harold Lloyd’s The Cat’s Paw the same year, I guess the studio figured visual comedy was, at least for 1934, a dead issue.
Harold Lloyd was also a fave, Harry Langdon not so much. Maybe I'll try to hunt down a DVD of LeRoi in the near future.

More later.

Singles Bar Caturday

Late to the party. Had to work this morning. Bother!

And so it goes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Maori Chant: Tarakihi

And now for something completely different...

This certainly got my blood flowing. I love the ancient Maori culture of New Zealand ever since Whale Rider and the behind-the-scenes material in the extras on the Lord of the Rings DVDs.

What I like about this video is the mix of the ancient and modern; a chorus of Maori singers and a full orchestra with Kiri Te Kanawa in the lead. It is quite loud so keep your hand on the volume control.

Powerful and uplifting, to say the least. Enjoy.
Found at C&L

And so it goes.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Sony Surprise!

The cool, glorious weather made job #2 a relaxed joy. I joined a few co-workers for an after-shift cocktail and had two, actually. Something I never do. We all headed for the bus and I decided to hit the Sony store to search for a new TV. The pleasant buzz and the good news awaiting me was unexpected.

I was happily surprised to discover the 32" L5000 was on sale for nearly the same price as the 26" (there were no 26" units left) so I purchased the larger TV for little more than the smaller one and it fits nicely in the corner of the apt. It is also nice that I got an additional $100.00 off using the gift certificate that arrived in the mail from a previous purchase that offered a rebate and the gift card.

Long story short - I came home with a 32" Sony Bravia TV for less than $300.00. And I purchased the 2-year in home warranty, mainly because of my bad back, but for $25.00 I figured it was worth it.

Setting it up was a piece of cake and the picture is beautiful. And the DVD/Video combo unit connects directly into the TV. No receiver necessary, so more money saved.

Lemuel, you were right!!! Thanks.

Funny, this new Sony was about half the price of the old one. Of course, the old TV is much heavier, so I will have to ask someone to help remove it.

Now it's time to enjoy a G & T and wait for Olbermann and Maddow shows.

Love it when things work out easily and smoothly. Happy, happy!

And so it goes.


Four Years On In Purgatory

Just go and READ IT!

Update: Found the link at bigezbear. I had two sazerac cocktails and forgot to give credit.

More later.
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