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Friday, September 20, 2019

Faded memories


Many years ago I bought a box at an auction that contained a bunch of old photographs. Most weren't in very good condition. Some included the name of the photographer and where they were taken but none included the names of the people.  The photo above is an example of one of the photos. Despite its condition, I love the photo. It appears to be of a group of friends wearing their best clothes and posing for posterity.

When I first got the photos I didn't really think of what to do with them. This was before digital scanning and Photoshop were really a thing. But several years back I scanned most of them with the thought that I'd eventually use them on my blog. A few days ago I decided to open up the files and see what I could do to restore them. Here's the restored version of the photo above.



Thursday, September 19, 2019

On remembering death

Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of my mother's death. I didn't remember it until some things popped up on Facebook today. I haven't really noted the anniversary from year to year. The last time I wrote about it in my blog was a year after she died.

I noted then that I didn't think the day a person dies should be the key thing you remember about them. It isn't something I put on the calendar. Like I said, I wouldn't remember the exact date unless Facebook wasn't so persistent about reminding us of things.

I couldn't tell you the day my father died either. I wasn't there so it wasn't quite as traumatic as when my mother died. And my father has been dead for 28 years. A lot has transpired since then.

I'm not good with death. I suppose no one is, but some people seem to handle it better. I mainly just shut it out. Oh, I can go through the motions. I can go to memorial services and be stoic and sympathetic. But I don't like death.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Smile without smiling


Smile without smiling sounds like a koan. Regardless, this disturbing photo of me with a Snapchat filter does the job quite nicely. I touched it up a bit because I didn't like me without my beard.

The photo reminds me of one I did some years back using only Photoshop. It was before Snapchat. My eyes are smiling in that one though.


It just goes to show you that a smile doesn't necessarily make you happy...or look happy. Though both of these are more of a grimace. It's kind of a Kirk Douglas look (Kirk Douglas was a famous movie star from the late 1940s...he was one of the first actors to play Spartacus...he is the father of Michael Douglas...I wish I didn't have to explain these things).


I have actually been told I have a nice smile...when I smile spontaneously. Too often I smile on cue, usually when I'm posing for a photo. Those are fake smiles. All you have to do is look at my eyes to know I'm not really smiling.

It's funny that we associate eyes with smiling when a smile is theoretically all about the mouth. For example:
When Irish Eyes are Smiling sure it's like a morn in spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing
when Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay
but when Irish eyes are smiling sure they'll steal your heart away
I suppose it sounds better than, "When Irish mouths are smiling sure it's like a morn in spring."

I guess all we can do is grin and bear it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

For the birds


Apparently the ledge outside my new office is quite the gathering place for pigeons and occasionally sea gulls. It is on the fourth floor of my building. My other office was on the 8th floor of another building and only attracted a sea gull on rare occasions.

I'm thinking pigeons are afraid of heights.

There are now four pigeons on the window ledge....wait...five. Two are staring at me rather balefully. The other three appear to be sleeping.

Two flew away.

This is dramatic stuff. I'm thinking of setting up a web cam and streaming it live. I'll call it For the birds. Apparently that phrase comes from the 1940s and was originally "That's shit for the birds" referring to birds pecking on horse manure for seeds.

I think calling the web cam "Shit for the birds" might not be a good marketing move. Come to think of it, probably not a big demand anyway for a web cam of pigeons on my window ledge. There are three of them now, BTW. I'm thinking they are hanging out because of the rain. It's hard to tell with pigeons. They always look a bit confused.

I suppose I'd be a bit confused if my eyes were on the side of my head. What is that all about anyway? What genius genetic designer thought it would be a good idea to put birds eyes on the side of their heads? They can't have any depth perception. I'm surprised they aren't flying into shit all the time.

Then it would really be shit for the birds.

Monday, September 16, 2019

I saw It (2)


I took my son to see It Chapter 2 over the weekend. I had relented and let him stream the first chapter last year around this time. So when they released chapter 2 I agreed to take him to the theater and see it.

Okay, Pennywise the Clown (played by Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård) is as creepy as hell. But then again, I think all clowns are as creepy as hell. And It and It Chapter 2 are 100 times better than the 1990s mini-series .  And they are a munch better adaptation of the book by Stephen King (who has a cameo in It Chapter 2...and let me say age has not made the man better looking).

I think I liked It better than It 2. Both are creepy, but chapter 2 seemed to rehash the same old storyline, just 27 years later. And as with the novel, chapter 2 doesn't really do a good job of explaining who or what Pennywise is or where he came from in a way a normal person can really comprehend.

My biggest complaint about It Chapter 2 was how long it was (It was ten minutes shy of three hours long). Fortunately I was in a movie theater with recliner seats drinking a $5 bottle of water (don't get me started on concession prices). I wouldn't say the movie was slow. It made me jump several times and I'm not easily spooked.

I have to say, although the adult cast was good, I don't think they were as likeable as the young cast of the It one. The first movie had a kind of Stand by me nostalgic quality to it. Not that you can really feel nostalgic about fighting an ongoing battle with a killer clown who chewed off your little brother's arm. But you kind of got a sense that the kids in It one had created a bond of friendship that most of us long for but never really have. It Chapter 2 reveals that none of them stayed in touch for 27 years.

Though I think that is closer to reality than people being friends for life with their friends from grade school. Hell, most of my friends from grade school are dead.

Anyway, It Chapter 2 is entertaining, especially if you are a Stephan King fan.

My son liked It, too.

I do crack myself up.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Once more into the windmill



Of course, he carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That's insane. But, thinking that they might be... Well, all the best minds used to think the world was flat. But, what if it isn't? It might be round. And bread mold might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what they might be, why, we'd all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes.
--Justin Playfair (George C. Scott) in the movie They Might be Giants 
I have been fascinated with Don Quixote for years. I had the above poster (sans my head) in my dorm room in college. And this isn't the first post I've written about him. I think the first was back in 2006 called Windmills or giants.


It was the movie They Might be Giants, that peaked my interest in Don Quixote. It is a 1971 film starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward. Scott plays a mentally ill man who thinks he is Sherlock Holmes. Woodward plays a psychiatrist named Watson. The best part of film is the above quote by the main character explaining to a certain extent why he believed he was Holmes and was trying to find Moriarty, his arch nemesis. He chased Moriarty for the same reason Don Quixote fought with windmills, because they might be giants.

It is concept that has inspired me for years. We shouldn't stop doing what we believe in just because other think it is pointless.

I think it is why I have been blogging for 14 years.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hello darkness


Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence 
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence 
--The Sound of Silence, Paul Simon
It is fall once again in Seattle. And the gray returns. Soon it will be dark in the morning when I go to work and dark when I come home.

Not sure how I ended up in such a place. I thought Boise was depressing. Well, it was depressing. But it was more about the people and politics than the weather. Though it would get oppressively hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But I don't recall the rain.

Seattle has the rain. And the clouds. And I've begun to think the people aren't all that great either. Maybe it is cursed by the native Americans or indigenous people who it belonged to until the white people moved in. Or maybe it has always been depressing.

Not that I'm a "walk into the light" kind of person.  I've moved into a corner office at work and it has been hard for me to get used to having so much light. I pretty much keep the shades drawn. When I was a teenager, my room was in the basement. There was pretty much no light.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Ch-ch-ch-changes



Strange fascinations fascinate me
Ah, changes are takin'
The pace I'm goin' through 
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Ooh, look out you rock 'n' rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time
--Changes, David Bowie 
I attended a memorial service over the weekend for the husband of a friend of mine. He was in his early 80s and passed on at an assisted living home. It was a nice celebration of the man's life with many of his life long friends telling stories, mainly from their youth.

I didn't know many of the people who attended the memorial. The ones I did were primarily people I'd worked with years ago who had long since retired.  And although I wasn't the youngest person there, I was one of they younger of the older people.

What struck me about the people I did know was how much they had aged since I last saw them. It's like that when you only have occasional contact with people. You don't get to see them gradual age. It just seems to happen over night.

I can imagine they felt the same way about me.

Aging is something you don't think about until it is rudely thrust upon you. There were so many years that I honestly never thought I would get old. It would help if you never looked into a mirror or looked at photos of yourself. You could stave off old age much longer. Oh, you would start to notice aches and pains and how long it takes you to stand up. But still, inside you don't feel old (as long as your mind stays clear).

Which brings me to Bowie's song Changes. He wrote and recorded the song when he was 24 years old.  And it has been conjectured that Bowie was writing about the changes artists go through as they reinvent themselves. It has also been suggested in a Rolling Stone article at the time, that it could be "construed as a young man's attempt to reckon how he'll react when it's his time to be on the maligned side of the generation schism."

I think in plain speak, it could be said that Bowie was having a premonition of what it would be like to be old and being blamed by all of the young people for everything that is wrong in the world. Sadly and ironically, Bowie only lived to be 69, which from an old person's perspective on things, isn't very old. But as an artist, Bowie certainly did go through a multitude of changes.

Now I'm not an artist, but I have gone through a multitude of changes in my own life.And so has the world and my little slice of it. I thought about that this morning as I walked from the train to my office and passed what for years had been a Tully's Coffee Shop. That company went belly up in September of 2018. The shop, which I'd frequented for almost 20 years has been boarded up. Though I hear rumors a pastry shop is opening in its place.

It is the other annoying curse of getting old to constantly point out to less than enthusiastic listeners what used to be. So in that sense, time may change me, but maybe I can trace time.




Monday, September 09, 2019

But is it art?


Okay, it's no Picasso self-portrait. Well, actually it began as a Picasso self-portrait. I just turned it into my own self-portrait because I love messing with Photoshop. And it does capture the essence of me. Or at least my nose. I think I have a pretty big nose.

Apparently Picasso had a pretty big nose, too. But then again, after a certain age, pretty much everyone's nose becomes more prominent as the rest of them shrinks.

Just something for you Millennial readers to look forward to.

I have to say, though, I have begun to question why some artists become famous and others languish. I'm starting to think it is the luck of the draw (no pun intended). Because I think Picasso was just messing with people with many of his paintings and drawings. But at least he was a commercial success. He was even touted as one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century.

Ehhh...I'm not seeing it. I'm more of a Vincent Van Gogh kind of guy myself. Ironic, that he died before his work became famous. Maybe that's why I like him. He didn't have Picasso's ego. And Picasso didn't have Van Gogh's ear.

Ha, ha, ha.


Friday, September 06, 2019

Little blog of horrors


I am of an age that I remember the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland as a pulp publication that ran stories about monsters and monster makeup from old horror movies. Much to my surprise, I Googled the magazine and discovered it began in 1958 (the same year I was born) and is still being published. So apparently I have a lot in common with the magazine.

Not that I am a famous monster.  I've worked with famous monsters, though (on ad shoots).



Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Making ripples


Despite all of my whining about being increasingly more invisible as I age, I have always been a person who didn't really like to draw attention to myself. I guess that is hard to believe when you see me Photoshop my face on just about everything.

But that is my virtual self. In the real world I like flying under the radar.

Sometimes, however, I am forced into making ripples, if not waves.  Case in point, Frontier Cable.  A little over a year ago, I contacted Frontier, the company that provides my television, Internet and telephone services, trying to determine why my bill kept increasing although I wasn't getting anything new.  After literally hours on their customer service chat line, I came away with faster Internet and a monthly bill that was still close to $300 a month.

Last week I finally decided that enough was enough. We have enough streaming services that we use that we don't need cable. So I contacted Frontier again. This time I used the telephone (the chat feature wasn't available...apparently because it is too easy to keep a written record). The first person I reached was a young woman named Amber. I asked her what my bill would be if I cancelled cable and just had phone and Internet. She seemed a bit confused, but told me it would go from $294 to $88 plus tax.  I said, "Okay, I want to cancel my cable."

Amber of course couldn't do that. She needed to transfer me to Robin who apparently had that super power. When I talked to Robin, she informed me that cancelling my cable would increase the cost of my telephone and Internet because I wouldn't have the discount of a triple play plan. I told her Amber had quoted me $88. Robin laughed. She suggested I just reduce cable to basic programming (something I had asked for a year ago). Then the prices would be $124 plus tax. If I cancelled cable and kept telephone and Internet, the price would be $144 plus tax.

I said okay, then give me basic cable.  After about ten minutes of typing and apologizing for a slow computer (I assume they have Frontier Internet), Robin gave me a confirmation number and said I'd receive an e-mail confirmation as well.


Tuesday, September 03, 2019

No comment


I've always believed in allowing comments on my blog. At one time the back and forth of the comments was usually more interesting than the original post. I didn't even use Blogger's moderation function for a long time. Then I had a run in with an online stalker/bully/psycho and started moderating the comments.

The way moderation works is that someone leaves a comment, but it isn't posted until the blog owner (me) approves it. This has eliminated a great deal of spam over the years. But recently I hadn't been receiving any notifications of comments on my blog. I just assumed it was because...well...no one was commenting.  Then someone mentioned they had tried to leave a comment on my blog and it wasn't showing up.

I checked my account and sure enough, there were a slew of comments waiting to be moderated, many several months old. Now granted, many were spam.  But there were some real ones (sorry Baggy, several were from you).

And there were many odd ones, especially on a post from back in 2005 called Elvis drove a truck.  There were about 20 or so new anonymous comments from August that seemed as though some class in blogging had been assigned to go to the post and comment (not necessarily read it). They were largely generic with platitudes like:
This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I've shared your web site in my social networks!
Normally I'd suspect that some URL for Russian porn was embedded in the comment, but there doesn't seem to be any. Though only one of the anonymous posts even mentioned the content of the post:
I believe everything published was very reasonable.But, what about this? suppose you were to write a awesome post title?I am not suggesting your content isn't solid., however what if you added a title that makes people desire more? 
I mean "Elvis drove a truck" is a little plain. You should look at Yahoo's front page and see how they create article titles to grab people interested. You might add a video or a pic or two to grab people excited about everything've got to say.Just my opinion, it could bring your website a little bit more interesting.
 My writing has many faults, but writing plain headlines is not one of them. And advising me to add a "pic or two" to get people excited leads me to believe this person (?) didn't look at the blog either. I rarely post without some image.

If these are spam bots leaving these comments, I also wish they'd learn spelling and grammar. Spam me with complete sentences and I might take you a bit more seriously.

Oh well, at least I know the comment section still works.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Milky Way



The term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος (galaxías kýklos, "milky circle"). From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within.
--Google
The Milky Way bar is a chocolate-covered confectionery bar manufactured and distributed by the Mars confectionery company. Introduced in 1923, the Milky Way bar's American version is made of nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate, similar to the Mars bar sold outside of the U.S. 
--Wikipedia
I don't know about you, but I find it ironic that the Milky Way bar is manufactured by the Mars Company, especially because if you eat too many Milky Way bars you won't have a heavenly body.

Dad joke.


I was never really a fan of Milky Way bars though. I'm just not into nougat. Because what the heck is nougat anyway. Okay, it's sugar, egg whites with an occasional nut thrown into the mix. And it doesn't really have anything to to with Milky Way, the galaxy.

I have always been fond of the Milky Way the galaxy. Because pretty much every star you see without a super telescope is part of the Milky Way. And our star, the sun, is part of the Milky Way. So the Milky Way is basically where we live.  The nearest other galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million light years away.

That's far out...literally. Makes sending a person to the moon seem like a stroll around the block.

I've mentioned one too many times laying on my back on a camping trip staring up at the stars and marveling at the shear number of them. Is it little wonder mankind dreams of a heaven that is in the stars and a hell that is here on earth (or below it...though you already know I think black holes are where hell is at). 

But not once when I was a kid laying on my back staring up at the Milky Way did I think about the candy bar. Or at least not about that candy bar.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Black hole



A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole.
 --Wikipedia
So maybe black holes are hell. After all, nothing, including light can escape from them. But then again, I sometimes think my blog is a black hole. I keep posting and nothing seems to escape from it into the universe.

I did Google "black hole" before writing this post, but all I discovered is that no one seems to be able to simplify the description of a black hole enough for me to understand it and in turn post about it in my typical cynical and sarcastic manner. Thus the Wikipedia definition.

I was impressed by the types of questions that pop up on Google about black holes, like: "Can a black hole kill you?" Now, my response to such a question would be something along the lines of, "If you are hanging around in a seedy bar in a sketchy neighborhood and a black hole wanders in, I'd suggest looking at your watch, muttering something about being late and hightailing it out of there." The  short answer actually is, "yes, a black hole can kill you." Apparently your body would be pulled apart as you got near the black hole. The process even has a name, spaghettification (which makes you wonder what spaghettification and meat balls looks like).

But don't we  have enough real things in the world that can kill you on a daily basis to worry about a black hole knocking on our door and turning us into cosmic spaghetti? The nearest black hole is apparently 3000 or so light years away from us anyway, so I imagine I'll be long gone before the remote possibility of a black hole sucks the life out of earth.

Apparently black holes are the result of a dying star. When all of the energy in the star that was pushing outward burns out, all that is left is the heart of the star. And apparently that heart is so dense that its gravity sucks everything around it in with such force that even light can't escape. I've known people like that in my life.

Why should you or I care about black holes, you may ask? I haven't a clue. And as far as I'm concerned, black holes suck.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dust in the wind (or space)



neb·u·la : ASTRONOMY a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter.
I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone 
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity 
Dust in the wind 
All they are is dust in the wind
--Dust in the wind, Kansas
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
--Sigmund Freud (perhaps)
Unlike most of my blog posts, this one began with me messing around in Photoshop and creating an image of me staring into a nebula that looks quite a bit like a giant eyeball. I had no motivation to do this other than my love of Photoshop and its filters. I liked the image so much that I had to post it and now I need to come up with some text that somehow gives it some cosmic meaning.

But if the image is art, I shouldn't have to explain it. Because one thing I've learned from artists over the years is that sometimes they don't have a clue as to what their work is supposed to mean. They rarely admit it, however.

Does everything have to mean something, though? Is there really any cosmic significance behind the Mona Lisa's smile? Even Starry, Starry Night was likely just a schizophreniac's view of a night sky.

Not that I don't fall into the trap of trying to find meaning in things. Though I hate platitudes like, "Everything happens for a reason." Does it really? Maybe Popeye's sold out of its new chicken sandwich because of the hype not because they are miraculously good sandwiches.

I will likely never no. I have never tried a Krispy Kreme doughnut, either. Being in marketing has taught me not to get too caught up in persuasive messaging.

Though I do think it is human nature to try and find meaning in things, particularly their own lives. It is easy, however, to get too caught up in that tail chasing exercise. Perhaps this is why the super computer in Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy answered the question, "What is the meaning of life?" with "42." When questioned further about the answer it responded that people were just not asking the right question.

I can't answer for Douglas Adam's as to where the number 42 came from as the meaning of life. But I do find it interesting that both Elvis and his mother died at aged 42. Jackie Robinson's jersey number was 42. In Egyptian mythology, there are 42 questions asked of a person making their journey through death. The Gutenberg Bible is also known as the "42-line Bible", as the book contained 42 lines per page. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil. The Orion Nebula is also known as Messier object M42,

If that doesn't have some cosmic significance, I don't know what does.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Fame

Remember my name, fame
I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly, high 
I feel it comin' together
People will see me and cry, fame
I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame, fame
I'm gonna live forever
Baby, remember my name
Remember, remember, remember, remember
Remember, remember, remember, remember

--Fame, Irene Cara

I'm feeling a bit self-conscious about my latest posts. For whatever reason, I've dissected different aspects of my life to over share with god knows who. Not that it is anything new. I have been blogging for 15 years and have shared about all there is to share about my life.

At least I'm not on TikTok blurting out crap in one minute installments. And yes, I still indulge in watching TikTok videos while I wait for my train in the morning and on my evening commute. For the most part TikTok makes me sad. There are so many people out there who want to be "TikTok famous" and I think it is because they think it will make their lives worth something.

But all fame is fleeting. And TikTok fame is more fleeting than most. What is truly sad is TikTok caters to people who feel marginalized. Lots of young people in service industries. And way too many people who shop at WalMart.

Even if I felt the urge to make a TikTok video, I am so outside the age demographic for doing so that I'd be immediately ostracized. So I just flip through the videos, marveling at this glimpse into generations that are surging up behind us and shaking my head.

It's not that I don't understand that desire for fame. It's why I wanted to make it as a writer. It's why I've blogged for so many years to no avail. I want to be remembered for something, anything...good, that is. I'd be happy if that was just my children. If they would someday say, "Dad, you made a difference in my life."

But in my experience, people don't do that much. I don't remember saying that to either of my parents. So, I'm not holding out hope for my children saying that to me. In reality, it is them that have made a difference in my life.

So perhaps that is the key. I need to say that to them.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Traveling man




“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy.”  
 ― Richard Francis Burton
Growing up, we didn't do a great deal of traveling. For the first 13 years of my life, we'd spend two weeks each summer camping at the Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho, a campground at the Middle Fork of the Boise River or at Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho.

It wasn't until I was 14 years old that my parents took me on a road trip to check out some desert property my father bought through an ad in back of a True West magazine. It was located in Alamosa, Colorado. My parents and I set off the summer before I entered 8th grade leaving my older brothers at home to watch the house (big mistake it turns out).

Our first stop was a run down motel outside of Rock Springs, Wyoming. It was the first motel or hotel I'd ever stayed in.  It was pretty run down. They seemed surprised that we wanted a room for the entire night. They did up sell us to a room with a color television in it. That was a major treat for me since we still only had a black and white television at home.

Some time later I saw a program that talked about Rock Springs being a crime ridden stop over for the drug trade at the time with a corrupt police department.

The road trip included stops at several small towns and motels on the way to Alamosa (where we discovered that my father's purchase was pretty much barren desert property with nothing but cactus). We also passed through Denver and Colorado Spring. And we visited the Custer National Monument at the Little Big Horn.

When we returned home, we discovered my brothers had several party's, shattered the sliding glass door to our patio and let my pet rabbit escape.

Despite my brothers' indiscretions, I still thought the road trip was kind of cool.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Daddy Dearest or being a papa isn't always pretty


Okay, disturbing as this image is, I just use it to spoof on another of my roles in life (and for me, late in life) -- being a father. The Internet being what it is, I won't share too much information here about my children or show photos. Suffice it to say I married late in life and had children when most people my age were anticipating being grandparents.

There are pros and cons for being an older parent. On the pro side, I've just about exhausted all those things that distract you in your 20s and 30s. My career is established and doesn't monopolize my time. And I make an okay salary and have excellent benefits. That is definitely a plus if you are going to have kids. My patience level is also much better than it was when I was younger.

The cons: helping out at one of my kid's classrooms and being referred to as "that grandpa dude." I also dread going to curriculum nights and being the oldest person in the room by at least 20 years. In addition, although I'm in fairly good shape, it still is a challenge physically to keep up with young children.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Funny Man


I am not sure where my sense of humor came from. Neither of my parents were particularly funny (though my father, like all fathers, thought he was). Nor are my brothers funny. In fact, I can't think of a single person from my formative years who was funny.

Regardless, my sense of humor is one thing I hold on to as part of who I am. Despite my insecurities about my blog not going viral because of my rapier wit, I am a funny man (and I mean "funny, ha, ha," not "funny, not right in the head").

I am not sure when my sense of humor started developing. I remember sitting in our family room watching television and my father asking me what was on the TV and I'd say something like, "A light, some plastic flowers and a TV guide." He would of course be irritated with me and tell me not to be smart (which is kind of an ironic thing for a parent to say to his kid."

One time at dinner, my father asked me to pass the butter. I pulled the cube off from the butter dish and tossed it to him. On retrospect, although a bit funny, that wasn't a good choice.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mr. Green Jeans


You have to be a certain age now to know who Mr. Green Jeans was. He was a supporting character on a children's television program I watched as a child -- Captain Kangaroo. It was on the air from 1955 through 1984.

But this post isn't about Captain Kangaroo or even Mr. Green Jeans. It is about yet another aspect of my life that, although not ever considered as a career path, takes up a great deal of my free time -- gardening. Actually, it is less gardening and more yard work than anything else.

I actually wrote a post back in April called Dirt and weeds, that gave the history of my life pulling weeds. So I won't rehash it here. Suffice it to say, hardly a weekend goes by that I'm not mowing grass, pulling weeds or cutting back some invasive species of plant. And like Mr. Green Jeans, I often wear overalls. Though mine are not green.

The irony is that I wouldn't say I'm particularly good at it. I definitely don't have a green thumb when it comes to planting things. This is the third or fourth year that I've planted pumpkins and I've yet to actually have more than one or two by Halloween.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Mad Man


No, this isn't a post about Trump. It is another in my series of posts about my career choices. And although I've never actually worked at an ad agency, I have worked with ad agencies on the client side for more than 20 years.

I'm also nothing like Don Draper (though I wouldn't mind looking like him). But I like to think my role as a marketing director is close to being a creative director at an ad agency. And like a creative director at an ad agency, I don't actually come up with creative ideas any more. I just review them and creatively nudge them in a direction I think will work the best.

There was a time in my career that I was a freelance copywriter. I wrote several radio scripts and one television script. And in my day job, I wrote ad copy and campaigns on a very small scale. But I found myself in my true element when I began managing my first advertising agency contract for the company I work for.

For the most part, the attitude the ad agency people on Man Men, the television series, have about clients is pretty spot on. The creatives at an ad agency think working at an ad agency would be great if it weren't for the clients.  And it truly is the account people's job to make the clients think they are well liked, smart, funny and highly respected.  The operative phrase is "make the clients think."

In my early days working with ad agencies, I believed they liked me and thought I was incredibly witty. I also thought, as the client, I wielded the power to mold the creative work that placed before me. After a few years, I realized that the creatives  barely tolerated me and the account people actually thought my jokes were as funny as my children think my dad jokes are. And I realized that I was often being steered towards creative that the agency wanted to produce rather than the creative that would be the most effective.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Writer



"I suspect that most authors don’t really want criticism, not even constructive criticism. They want straight-out, unabashed, unashamed, fulsome, informed, naked praise, arriving by the shipload every fifteen minutes or so."
~Neil Gaiman

I feel like I'm doing one of those theme weeks I used to do back in the good old days of Dizgraceland when I had my little band of people who commented on a regular basis. The theme seems to be career or talent paths I've taken or avoided.

Since I never made art or music my career path, I suppose I identify most as a writer. I have a degree in Journalism. I have written a blog for almost 15 years. My career path has mainly relied on words.

I think I can turn a pretty good phrase. I'm good with puns. I've always been good at writing headlines and I am a fairly creative copywriter.

I wrote a humor column for my college newspaper. I have written several unpublished short stories. I started a novel once but never finished it. I've ghost written articles for trade journals. I've written greeting cards (but only for family) and I've self-published several photo and travel books (but again only for my family). I have been a freelance copywriter and written umpteen brochures, newsletters, radio scripts and ads. I have also posted some pretty spiffy reviews on tripadvisor.com.

But I have never been what anyone would call commercially successful. One of the biggest disappointments of my life is that I never finished a novel and had it published (the key obstacle being never having finished writing a novel).

I know that the optimists out there would tell me that there is still time for me to write a novel and perhaps get it published. The pessimist in me says that having written more than 1300 blog posts with very little positive (or negative for that matter) feedback, no one wants to read anything I've written.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Musician

I can't remember a time when music wasn't a part of my life. But I don't think I ever really considered making music my career. I'm kind of glad of that. One, although I have played guitar for a little over 50 years, I am a good player, but not a great player. Two, I enjoy music too much to make it a job.


I got my first guitar when I was ten years old. I asked for one because I was inspired by watching the Glen Campbell Show on television and was impressed by his guitar playing. People also said I looked like a 10-year old Glen Campbell.



I had the guitar, but it took several years before I could figure out how to play it. I taught myself because my parents didn't have enough money to get me a guitar teacher and I don't take criticism well so having a teacher or tutor for anything makes me break out in sweat.

Not a great trait, I know.

I started band in 5th grade playing the soprano clarinet. I chose clarinet because my dad owned one and there was no way they would spring for a new instrument. I went on to band in junior high, but switched to the contra alto clarinet in 8th grade. I switched because the band director told me that I could only make it in concert band if I switched to the contra alto clarinet, because I wasn't a great clarinet player.

I stayed in band in high school. My sophomore year I played bass clarinet in the marching band and contra bass clarinet in the concert band. I became the drum major in marching band my junior and senior year. I also started playing bass guitar in the jazz band.

On the guitar front I had bought a better acoustic guitar while in junior high and I learned a few more chords. Then I bought an electric bass guitar from Sears. I figured it would be easier to play since it only had four strings and you didn't actually play chords. So I sort of taught myself to play it. This gave me the opportunity to play bass for the jazz choir when it performed in a music competition. It also gave me an opportunity (or so I thought) to appear sort of cool.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Artist


There was a time that I toyed with majoring in art and becoming an artist instead of a writer. I suppose I ended up being a writer because I wasn't certain how you actually could support yourself being an artist.

Not that you can support yourself being a writer unless you followed the meandering career path I did and became a copywriter and then a marketing person. Growing up in a relatively poor family instilled in me the desire to be gainfully employed. Being an artist or an artistic writer doesn't lend itself to gainful employment. The term, "starving artist" wasn't created for nothing.

Over the years I've known a few artists. And none of them were able to support themselves strictly through their art. And as I've said, I only supported myself through writing by writing what other people wanted me to write. This blog is the perfect illustration of what happens when you simply write for yourself.  No one reads what you've written and certainly no one pays you to read what you've written.

But even the writers who have a certain amount of success have done so by selling out. I follow one of my favorite current authors, Garth Stein, on social media and the guy always seems to be hawking himself like literary snake oil. His most famous book, The art of racing in the rain, has just been released as a movie and Stein is still marketing himself.

So I'm starting to think that true art isn't commercially successful. Or at least it isn't successful when you are producing it. Case in point Vincent Van Gogh.


Tuesday, August 06, 2019

I love technology

I do. I really do love technology.  But I question it at times.

For example I am a bit baffled when my Apple Watch reminds me to stand to achieve my daily goal of standing up. I wouldn't have understood the importance of standing up a few years ago. But once you hit 60 it seems more like a reasonable goal.

The thing that really baffles me, however, is that I can ignore my watches reminder to stand up and then 10-minutes later it will congratulate me for achieving my stand up goal despite the fact that I have remained sitting.

The watch does the same thing with my daily move goal (and by move it is not referring to exercise, but to simply not remaining comatose). I can be sitting in a meeting and the watch starts heaving platitudes to me for achieving my move goal even though I've been sitting at a table for an hour.

I wear my Apple watch while I do my daily hour of elliptical exercising. But even after an hour working out the watch sometimes chides me to do a brisk ten-minute walk to achieve my daily exercise goal.

I also love Amazon's Alexa and my Echo devices, but Alexa can be a bit troublesome at times. Because every time my 12-year old daughter asks for some music like say, "Alexa, play the soundtrack from Disney's Descendents 3" Alexa will respond with, "Playing Fat Daddy's Get Bent album three." And of course the songs Alexa misunderstands and plays all have explicit lyrics.


My watch just congratulated me on achieving my move goal and I've been sitting here for 20 minutes typing this post. Maybe it admires my typing speed.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate how far we've come with our devices. I would be lost without my phone (literally without its GPS function). But I wonder at times whether we depend too much on it. I mean really, do I need to ask Alexa to pause the video I am watching when the remote is literally two inches from my hand?

I just have to sit back and appreciate that I live in the future that used to be just science fiction when I was a kid. But at least back then no one had to remind me to stand up or move.


Friday, August 02, 2019

Time after time


I've posted this image of a contact page I made from negatives shot with a large format camera I bought years ago. These were the only photos I ever took with the camera. It is locked away in a foot locker in the garage. It's been there for years.

The photos were shot in the late 1980s. I'm guessing when I was in my early 30s. I was growing my hair out in another rebellious phase. And I still fancied myself as an artist trapped in an office worker's body.

The photos were black and white. I hand-colorized them in a style made popular at the time on Saturday Night Live. I hadn't yet discovered Photoshop. And this was long before digital photography and long, long before smart phones.

I ran across the digital version of these photos the other day and started playing around with my smart phone and Photoshop to recreate the photos now. So I converted them back to black and white and reposed my 61-year old self in similar shots.


First I have to say I miss my long hair (at least how it looked, not taking care of it). And I want to go on record that it takes courage to compare your aging self to your young self. Time makes things shift. My nose and ears seem bigger. I grew extra chins.


But one thing I learned from this exercise is that, although I don't always recognize myself when I look in the mirror, there are certain parts of me...my expressions and my eyes that confirm that I'm still in there.

Some where.

Monday, July 29, 2019

You dirty rat!


Fifteen years ago, I wrote about the dilemma of trying to get some dead thing removed from the crawlspace under my house. There simply do not seem to be businesses who dedicate themselves to removing rodents who inconveniently die under your house (or in the attic for that matter). Back in 2004, my only alternative was to either go under the house and remove the dead thing or wait it out until it decomposed to a point where it stopped smelling.

I chose the latter. It was only when I sold the house and an inspector crawled into the crawl space and noted there were bones from a small animal there.

So now, 15 years later, I smell that familiar smell of something dead and decaying. But this time it was in my garage. And since I am now married and have two children, the option of waiting it out until whatever it was rotted away didn't seem to be prudent.

We detected the smell on Friday afternoon. I kind of hoped it was just the cat's litter boxes. But by Friday night, even I couldn't deny the unmistakable odor of something dead. While I was eating my breakfast Saturday morning my wife reminded me I needed to go in search of the source of the odor.

Our house is a split level with a daylight basement. So there is no crawlspace. The garage is built upon a concrete slab, so that further narrowed down the possibilities for where the smell was coming from. Our first thought was the attic. There was a small access hatch on the ceiling of the garage.

So I donned work clothes and retrieved my extension ladder and reluctantly ascended to the attic.

Friday, July 05, 2019

The reluctant runner


I have never been an overly athletic person. This is not to say that I don't attempt athletic things, I'm just not particularly good at them. One of the few "C" grades I ever received was in 7th grade Physical Education. Part of it was that PE involved running a great deal and I have always been of the mind that a human shouldn't run unless they are being chased by a wild animal.

I did go out for various sports in junior high. I was on the 7th grade wrestling team but never won a match. I played intramural volleyball. I played basketball in 8th grade but was on the 5th quarter team. We only played after the regulation four quarters were over. They threw in the extra quarter so we got an opportunity to actually play. No one stayed to watch us however. Even the cheerleaders packed up when we were playing.

I was on the tennis team in 9th grade. But again, I don't think I ever won a game.

I was also on the Junior Varsity Quiz team in 9th grade and I was president of the chess club, but those don't count as athletics.

I had to take PE again my sophomore year in high school. I got an "A" grade in it because the instructor believed in grading on effort not skill. I didn't go out for any sports, but I was in the marching band and was the drum major my junior and senior years.

I didn't do much athletically my first few years in college. When I moved to Seattle to finish my education, I did participate in intramural volleyball again.

After college I played tennis occasionally. I also played on my office softball team. But I pretty much sucked at baseball. I blew out my ankle trying to slide into third base. I got the "Rodney Danger-in-the-field, I deserve no respect" award that year at the end of the year party.

I did manage a work volley ball league for a few years.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hobby hoarse



My entire life, I have dabbled in hobbies but none has ever really stuck. Oh, I suppose you could say Elvis is my hobby. I have a massive collection of Elvis Christmas ornaments that I use to decorate my annual Elvis tree. But it isn't something I do year round.

As a kid I tried collecting stamps for awhile. But I got bored after awhile. And I collected a bunch of stuff related to the Apollo space program around the time Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. It is in a box in a trunk.

My brothers and I build famous monsters of film land models. They, like much of my childhood toys, didn't survive.

I collected antique bottles for a brief time. It was something I did with my dad while he was using his metal detector to discover hidden treasures in ghost towns. I dug up some really cool old bottles. Not sure where they are now.

I collected shot glasses and snow globes from places I traveled for awhile. The shot glasses are packed somewhere and the snow globes dried up.

During later vacations, my wife and I started to collect native American masks and masks carved by indigenous people in Mexico. Some still hang on our walls.

I went through a phase of collecting vintage restaurant ware many years ago before I was married. I'd visit antique malls and thrift stores looking for Homer Laughlin crafted dinner ware and the like. I had cupboards full of the stuff for awhile. Most of it returned to the thrift stores. I do have a pretty good collection of Coronado stuff that we sometimes use on holidays.

I collected troll dolls including a two-headed troll for awhile that lined a shelf at work. I haven't a clue where they are. I have a hunch they ended back at the thrift store, too.

I did have an expensive hobby of collecting guitars for awhile. I think it was because I was searching for one that would improve my guitar playing ability.

I have a ton of Star Wars bubble gum cards somewhere from 1977 when Star Wars first came out. I assumed at the time that they would be worth something. Every now and then I go on eBay to see what they might be worth today and discover that lots of people had the same assumption and they really aren't worth much.

That describes most of my Elvis collection as well (including a limited edition Elvis themed Epiphone guitar).

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

No stopping

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

--The 5 Man Electrical Band



There is something about signs that trigger me.

I was in L.A. last week shooting some ads for my agency. And there were so many signs. One was on the video monitor I was watching the shoot on.


Signs just beg me to challenge authority. Signs are created by petty people to try to control other people. And the irony is that, when there are too many signs with too many words on them, people just ignore them.


I just can't stop myself.




Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Flying monkeys


I saw on Twitter that Trump told world leaders today that the U.S. has the cleanest air and cleanest water in the world because he had been elected. I couldn't help but re-post the claim with a comment that first he had monkeys flying out of his butt.


But of course, CNN reported a poll in which 54 percent of Americans believe Trump will be re-elected. And I read another report that said his administration was working to open up national game reserves and fisheries to hunters and fisherman because there weren't enough places where American's could be introduced to those wonderful past times of killing fish and endangered animals.

I want out of this bizarro universe in which crap like this keeps happening.




Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Tending your own garden


Learn to cultivate your own garden.
--Voltaire
It is largely believed that when Voltaire had his character Candide state, "Learn to cultivate your own garden," he was sending the message that people need to mind their own business.

Or that is what I like to think he meant.

It is the season that I spend most of my free time on weekends cultivating my own garden...literally. Or perhaps more accurately,  I spend most of my free time weeding my own garden, and mowing my own lawn.

It is back breaking work. And my body aches when I'm done. I won't say I ache more at my age, because when I was younger, I didn't put much stock in yard work.

But now, with a family and a home that begs for constant yard work, I accept my fate. Part of it is that I don't seem to be able sit idle at home. I wonder in fact, how I filled my time when I was younger. Now I feel compelled to always be doing something.

Though there is Fortnite. That can easily occupy any time in between projects.

But I digress.

Unfortunately, the world is full of people who want to cultivate everyone's garden. And ironically, they do so while their own garden is choked with weeds. If they only knew how much relief they would feel if they just got back to tending their own garden.

And don't get me started on fertilizer.

Friday, May 31, 2019

So long Mr. Redbone


Leon Redbone died yesterday. Although he went through most of his performing life avoiding revealing who he was behind his characteristic Panama hat, suit, tie and dark glasses, (including his age), it was revealed after he died of "complications of dementia," that he was actually 69 years old. His real name was Dickran Gobalian. He was born in Cyprus, the son of an Armenian orphan.

But Leon Redbone was Leon Redbone. He appeared out of nowhere in the early 1970s and made a couple of appearances on Saturday Night Live.

As with Andy Kaufman, we loved him because he was certifiably weird. He sang old songs that most of us had never heard before (other than a few Hank Williams covers).

The really weird thing is that I swear I saw him in concert in Boise around 1975. I have this image of him sitting on the stage playing with only a spotlight on him. Some people came in late to the concert and Leon pulled a flashlight out of his suit pocket and guided the people to their seats.

But now, forty-some years later, I wonder if I didn't just see him do that on television and now imagine I saw him in concert.

I worry that I'm experiencing my own struggle with dementia.

But I digress.

Regardless, I am sad that Leon has “crossed the delta for that beautiful shore” as a family spokesperson put it. And I am sad that it took his death to remind how much I appreciated his quirky music. Rest in peace Leon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Still "not" Laugh In


The critics were kind to the Netflix tribute to Rowan and Martin's Laugh In, Still Laugh In. But to me it was no laughing matter.

Laugh In was on television between 1968 and 1973.  So I watched it from the time I was ten until I was a Sophomore in high school. It was kind of the Internet meme of my era bringing us catch phrases like, "Sock it to me," "You bet your sweet bippi," "Very interesting," "Fickly finger of fate," and "Here come da judge."

It was hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.  And that was the first weird thing about the Netflix's tribute. It was hosted, for no apparent reason, by Neal Patrick Harris and Tiffany Haddish. I at least recognized Neal Patrick Harris. But I have no idea who Tiffany Haddish is. The other weird thing about the tribute is that it never really mentioned Dan Rowan and Dick Martin (both are dead and couldn't make an appearance).

In fact none of the male stars of  Laugh In made it to the reunion. And again, it is because most of them are dead (though Artie Johnson is still alive but at age 90, probably wasn't up to making an appearance). (Bloggers note: Artie Johnson has since died) Three of the female stars of the show, Ruth Busby, Lily Tomlin and JoAn Worley did make it. Goldy Hawn, who's career was launched by the show, didn't make it.

Maybe it is because the tribute brought in a slew of today's stars that I'm not familiar with that made it seem totally convoluted to me. Or maybe it was intermixing them with clips from the original show that made it seem too surreal. It was like a collision of generations. Because I'm willing to bet any millennial that watched the show (if any did) wouldn't recognize the stars who made cameos on the original like Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr., John Wayne, Orson Welles or even Richard Nixon.

What's even sadder to me is that in many of the write ups of the show they made it clear that it is the type of show that could be reprised today because there were so many restrictions on the topics that could be mentioned on television today.

So much for progress. It was Laugh In's ability to laugh at the taboos of the past that made it successful.

Maybe it's time everybody lightened up and laughed again.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Blog posts from the edge

I'm still baffled by Bloggers stats page. It still shows me getting fairly high traffic from Russian porn sites. I still imagine it is some sort of hacker slight of hand that tricks people into going to the porn sites, but I'm not sure how it shows up as the jumping off place to get to my blog.

I suppose I shouldn't think too much about it. Despite the stats showing that I've had a couple of hundred visits, they also only show two views of my most recent posts. And I imagine one if not both of those are me.

Metrics seems to rule our worlds these days. Its all about hits, likes, follows, thumbs up, comments, shares and views. It is the same at work in the digital marketing world. The irony is, I don't think people really like things they click on social media. It just helps break up the monotony as we scroll mindlessly through our news stream.

I have 173 "friends" on Facebook. Honestly, they are mostly just acquaintances.  Some like my posts. A few even comment now and then. But other than the ones I work with, I rarely see any of them in the real world.

Twitter is even worse. I have 925 followers. And I probably only really know maybe three of them in real life. Instagram is about the same. But as with my blog, I don't really like people who know me to follow me. For some reason, it stifles my creativity. Because it is easier to be judged by strangers than by people who actually have met you.




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Twittering your life away

I kind of got sucked back into Twitter looking for the latest dead celebrity. It reminded me why I stopped looking at Twitter. It is just depressing.

I am just sick of politics. The thing on Twitter now is the back and forth about whether the House Democrats are going to start impeachment proceedings against that buffoon that is in the White House.

The problem is, it's all this hopeful blathering that the man will be kicked out of office. And impeachment or not, I don't think it's going to happen. If it did, it would probably take as long to get him out of office as he has left in office. And it would just fuel the fire with the whack job's supporters that the liberals are usurping the will of the people.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the man booted out of office. But the whack job Vice President isn't much better and he'd just pardon Trump anyway and he'd get off scott free after gutting the White House.

It is an embarrassing time to be an American.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Oh my GOT!



And so the Game of Thrones is over (until they make a movie).  None of my predictions about who would sit on the Iron Throne were realized.  Though Jon Snow does make Daenerys his ex-girlfriend but with a dagger instead of a "It's not you, it's me" text. And the last dragon melts the Iron Throne anyway so no one will actually sit on it.

Bran Stark ends up king of the six kingdoms (there were seven, but his sister doesn't want to play anymore so she pulls Winterfell out of the mix). Jon Snow is banished to the other side of the wall and Arya sails off into the sunset and presumably an HBO movie sequel when everyone runs out of money from the residuals.

I guess I'm okay with it all. I was late to the Game anyway. I started binge watching it after it had been out for five seasons. So it's not like I invested seven years in it like some people. There's not really a final scenario that would have pleased everyone anyway. Though Daenerys did go off the deep end rather abruptly in the end and killing her with a dagger while kissing her and professing your love to her does seem a bit harsh.

Twitter is all a buzz about the finale. There is probably more mourning going on for Daenerys than there was for Doris Day, Tim Conway and Grumpy Cat (I'm really going to miss those memes).

I really hope they don't come out with a movie or sequel. That would just unravel all of those nice loose ends they tied up to finish the thing off.

Though I wish Tyrion had become the king. I think the writers were pretty short-sighted when they passed him over.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The power of three or not dead yet


I checked Twitter (since so far no one has taken me up on the challenge to create OBITTER)  just now to see if the curtain closed on anymore celebrities. So far, no one else has checked out. But since these things seem to happen in three's, I think it is just a matter of time.

Twitter, BTW, is just chock full of the typical political churn about abortion and women's rights, how much of a twit Senator Lindsey Graham is and some breaking news about the Spice Girl's double-decker bus being available to rent.

I'm not sure why celebrities seem to die in groups of three. One could conjecture that they don't like being upstaged and want to steal one more headline from their peers when they see one of them giving up the ghost. Though Tim Conway was reported to have dementia when he passed, so he probably wasn't aware of the day that Doris Day died.

The day that Doris Day died. No disrespect for the dead, but that would have made a great headline. And if Doris Day had married Morris Day and hyphenated her last name, she would have been Doris Day-Day. Then she could have had a renewed singing career as a rapper.

But I digress.

I realize that joking about celebrities popping off in three's may be offensive to some, but that is one of the few perks to writing a blog that no one reads. I don't get a lot of complaints. In fact no one has commented on any of my blog posts since April 18, 2018. And if someone does complain, what's the worse that could happen? Are they going to stop reading my blog? Puleeze....I don't get paid to write it. I don't have sponsors. What do I care if some one who randomly found my blog doing a Google search for how to write the perfect blog post gets offended and threatens never to read my posts again.

Don't let the browser hit you on the way out.

Still no third dead celebrity yet.

Check back tomorrow.

Blogger's note:

Twitter reported that Internet sensation Grumpy Cat has died. She was seven years old.  So the trinity of celebrity deaths is complete. 







Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Obitter

It dawned on me yesterday when I learned of Doris Day's death through social media that Twitter is one of the main places I check these days to find out who died. Actually to find out what celebrity died. No one seems to Tweet when some ordinary person dies.

So I wonder why no one has created a social media app that just has posts about who died. I was thinking, "OBITTER" would be a good name. A Google search does show the urban dictionary definition of Obitter as someone who "starts the day twittering the obituaries finding comfort knowing that people of lesser age are being consumed by the reaper."

The definition kind of captures the spirit of what I'm proposing, but I was thinking more of a literal app where people post actual obits and information about dead celebrities. I would be a way to cut through all of the other crap on Twitter that you don't want to see or read.

Speaking of Doris Day, I was actually surprised that she was still alive. Not too many Hollywood stars live to be 97-years old. And I just saw that Tim Conway died at age 85. Apparently he was holding out until Doris Day died. But we would have found all of this out sooner if there was a OBITTER app

There is a Dead People Server where you can look up whether a celebrity is dead or alive. It's a bit clunky and reminds me of list pages on the Internet in the 1990s, but it has lots of celebrities listed. Since it seems to be maintained by one person by hand, it isn't all that up-to-date. It still shows Glenn Campbell as being alive (he died in 2017). And Doris Day is still listed as alive. So I wouldn't rely on the Dead People Server to let you know the latest on who is dead or alive.

All the more reason for some bored developer to create OBITTER. I think people would be dying to use it.

Monday, May 13, 2019

GOT Snow?



If you are a Game of Throne fan, then you know that this is the last season and everyone is trying to predict who will ultimately end up on the Iron Throne. If you aren't a GOT fan, then it "sucks to be you," (as my son likes to say).

At the beginning of the season I assumed Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons would sit on the throne. After all, she had good intentions and is a strong female role model. Then we found out that Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne. Since he is in love with Daenerys and doesn't really like being in charge, he says he doesn't care and professes his love and loyalty to his queen.

Then Arya Stark destroys the army of the dead by killing the Ice King and makes you wonder if she should be on the throne.

And of course Daenerys goes bat shit crazy in episode five and pretty much destroys King's Landing with her last remaining dragon. So you can bet that Jon Snow is thinking of making her is crazy ex girlfriend and reluctantly accepting the throne (which is pretty much toast at this point).

So who will take what's left of the Iron Throne (now literally a hot seat)?

I'm hoping Jon Snow, but it will likely be Arya.

Or not.

You heard it first here at Dizgraceland.