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Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Dogs are Better than Cats . . .

"Good mornin' Punkin!" (Ignored)

"Good mornin' Farfle!" (Yawns)

"Good mornin' YumYum" (Ignored)

"Good mornin' SunnyBoy!" (Sound Asleep)

"Good mornin Trixie!" (Jumps up and down, runs to me, jumps up on my leg, begging to be picked up, wagging tail incessantly . . . "Me! Me! Me! Love me! Hold me! Hold me! I love you so much! I want you to love me back! Right now!
Hold me! I will kiss you! Lots! Let's play! Wanna watch me play with my Chewie Toy? Wanna see me chase my ball? Wanna see me chase those lazy cats? You're the most wunnerful person in the whole world! Did I tell you you're the most wunnerful person in the whole world. Oh, yeah, I did. Well, you're even better than that! Pick me up, will you please? Wait! Wait! Just look at these eyes of mine! See how longing they are? Those are for you to know how much I love you and want you to pick me up!"


And that . . . is the difference between dogs and . . . those other animals, called, I think, cats.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Speech Every High School Principal Should Make:

If every school principal gave this speech at the beginning of the next school year, America would be a better place.

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.

The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.

If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race- and non-American nationality-based celebrations.

They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values -- e pluribus unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America's values.

This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self --while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country.

And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

by Dennis Prager, July 13, 2010

For our beloved Canadians . . .

JOKE # 1


After the North American Beer Festival, all the brewery presidents decided to go out for a beer. The guy from Corona sits down and says, 'Hey Senor, I would like the world's best beer, a Corona .' The bartender dusts off a bottle from the shelf and gives it to him.

The guy from Budweiser says, 'I'd like the best beer in the world, give me 'The King Of Beers', a Budweiser.' The bartender gives him one..

The guy from Coors says, 'I'd like the only beer made with Rocky Mountain spring water, give me a Coors.' He gets it.

The guy from Molson Canadian sits down and says, 'Give me a Coke.' The bartender is a little taken aback, but gives him what he ordered.
The other brewery presidents look over at him and ask, 'Why aren't you drinking a Molson's?'

The Molson Canadian president replies, 'Well, I figured if you guys aren't drinking beer, neither would I.'

CANADIAN JOKE #2

A Canadian is walking down the street with a case of beer under his arm. His friend Doug stops him and asks, 'Hey Bob! Whacha get the case of beer for?'

'I got it for my wife, eh.' answers Bob.

'Oh!' exclaims Doug, 'Good trade.'

CANADIAN JOKE #3

An Ontarian wanted to become a Newfie. He went to the neurosurgeon and asked, 'Is there anything you can do to me that would make me into a Newfie?'

'Sure it's easy.' replied the neurosurgeon. 'All I have to do is cut out 1/3 of your brain, and you'll be a Newfie..'

He was very pleased, and immediately underwent the operation. However, the neurosurgeon's knife slipped, and instead of cutting 1/3 of the patient's brain, the surgeon accidentally cut out 2/3 of the patient's brain.

He was terribly remorseful, and waited impatiently beside the patient's bed as the patient recovered from the anesthetic. As soon as the patient was conscious, the neurosurgeon said to him 'I'm terribly sorry, but there was a ghastly accident. Instead of cutting out 1/3 of your brain, I accidentally cut out 2/3 of your brain.'

The patient replied 'Qu'est-ce que vous avez dit, monsieur?'

CANADIAN JOKE #4

Did you hear about the war between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia ?

The Newfies were lobbing hand grenades; the Nova Scotians were pulling the pins and throwing them back.

CANADIAN JOKE #5

In Canada , we have two seasons...six months of winter and six months of poor snowmobiling.

CANADIAN JOKE #6

One day an Englishman, an American, and a Canadian walked into a pub together. They proceeded to each buy a pint of Labatt Blue. Just as they were about to enjoy their beverages, three flies landed in each of their pints.

The Englishman pushed his beer away from him in disgust. The American fished the offending fly out of his beer and continued drinking it as if nothing happened. The Canadian picked the fly out of his drink and started shaking it over the pint, yelling, 'SPIT IT OUT, SPIT IT OUT YOU BASTARD!!!'

CANADIAN JOKE #7

A Quebecer, staying in a hotel in Edmonton phoned room service for some pepper.

'Black pepper, or white pepper?' asked the concierge.

'Toilette pepper!' yelled the Quebecer.

CANADIAN JOKE #8

An American, a Scot and a Canadian were in a terrible car accident. They were all brought to the same emergency room, but all three of them died before they arrived. Just as they were about to put the toe tag on the American, he stirred and opened his eyes. Astonished, the doctors and nurses present asked him what happened.

'Well,' said the American, 'I remember the crash, and then there was a beautiful light, and then the Canadian and the Scot and I were standing at the gates of heaven. St.Peter approached us and said that we were all too young to die, and said that for a donation of $50, we could return to earth. So of course I pulled out my wallet and gave him the $50, and the next thing I knew I was back here'

'That's amazing!' said the one of the doctors, 'But what happened to the other two?'

'Last I saw them,' replied the American, 'the Scot was haggling over the price and the Canadian was waiting for the government to pay his.'

Send these on to all of your Canadian friends to give them all a good laugh...EH?!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Pup . . .

Trying to figure out what she is. She's so small I suspect she may be part Chihuahua, kind of a longish back so she could be part Dachshund, floppy ears and head shape that's something like a Beagle. Don't know as we'll ever know, but she is a fun little thing.

A bit shy at first with anyone or anything; once she knows you or it is safe, she makes friends. She runs, not walks, wherever she goes.

Getting potty trained fairly well. Only two minor accidents so far. We laugh with her so often and talk to her so often that I'm not sure she knows when we praise her so heavily for going to the bathroom that this is designed to condition her. Not sure if we're training her or she's training us.

I find I'm reluctant for both of us to leave the house. Can't really take her with us because lots of times we wind up at a restaurant and the Health Department won't allow dogs, other than service dogs, into restaurants. And, anyone who leaves an animal of any type in a car, in the middle of summer, should be taken out and shot. I know she misses us when we are both gone. We put her in a large cage with blankets, food, water, chewy toys . . . but it just ain't the same as when mommy or daddy are home. We can hear her crying when we leave and it makes my heart hurt.

I'm reminded of when Scott, my eldest, was about three or four years old and Mary, my ex, and I, went out for the first time and left him with his first baby sitter. As we pulled out of the driveway, there was Scott, looking out the big front picture window, bawling his eyes out, watching mommy and daddy leaving him, probably forever and ever.

I kinda get that same kind of feeling whenever we leave the pup. But, when we return, do we ever get lots of puppy kisses!

I call her Trixie; evelyn calls her Bella.
She doesn't really care what we call her, just as long as she gets to love us and gets loved in return.

We are having so much fun with this little tyke that I keep asking myselfe,
"why did we wait so long?"

This house is a happy house.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trixie . . . an update

Evelyn advises me she has already begun her chewing stage. On her bedroom slippers.

We counterbalance that with the fact that both Evelyn and I were awakened several times last night by puppy kisses. A rather pleasant experience that have way too long been absent in my life.

True to form, however, I'm the dog guy. Evelyn's the cat person. So, naturally, the dog is gravitating toward Evelyn rather than me. She is one of those folks who must emit pheromes that tell animals "this person is special." Cats, dogs, people . . . most anything that breathes seems to take to Evelyn right away.

With me, it takes a little longer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We Gots a Puppy! We Gots a Puppy!

So there I was, doing what any right thinking, elderly American man would be doing . . . lying down and resting. At about 11am

Phone rings.

It's Tim Cunning, our beloved, kindly, and wild-eyed Irish president of our Kiwanis Club.

"I was having breakfast with the kids and when we left we saw a bunch of dogs running around, one of which was just a little puppy. It ran out into the street and then would come back, then back into the street."

One of the waitresses said . . ."yep, there goes another pup that's gonna get run over.'

"Then it hit me. That innocent little pup is gonna get killed, I gotta do something."

"So I went and picked the little thing up and looked around for its owner. No one knew who the pup belonged to. And I thought of you."

"What kinda pup?" sez me.

"Little thing. Small pup. Short haired, terrier, female."

"Well," sez me, "I don't know if the cats would accept her, or vice versa. I suppose we could keep her for a day or two and see how they adapted; bring her on by and we'll take a look at her. Are the kids with you?"

"Yes, both Morgan and Andrew are with me."

"Well, I might keep one or two of them as well. Come on by."

About three minutes later he was here, with the kids. And the puppy.

Quiet little mousy thing. I like my pups to have some spunk. To be playful, curious, adventurous. This one liked to sleep.

Morgan was holding her and petting her, while she slept. I could see that Morgan was already getting attached . . . which is what Tim was worried about. They already have four dogs.

At first Evelyn was reluctant to take the puppy. "If we take her she's YOUR dog! You'll have to feed her, take care of her, clean up after her. I'm just too busy. Too many other things to do."

"Well," I sez, "that settles it. Out in the street with the little tyke. Let a car or two run over her. Here . . Evelyn, why don't you hold the puppy just for a few minutes before we throw her to the wolves."

Ever the obedient woman, Evelyn held the puppy and I knew right then we were gonna have a new puppy in the house. I could see Evelyn melting right in front of me as that pup laid its head into the crook of her neck and just commenced to snooze, big as you please.

After a few minutes, Evelyn allowed as how maybe, just maybe, we would keep the pup for a day or two.

As to a name? I suggested "Trixie," as that had been the name of all the dogs I had ever known.

In unison, Tim and Evelyn said, "No! This pup's name will NOT be Trixie!"

They kicked around a few names and then Tim and the kids left for home . . . leaving Evelyn, and me . . . and Trixie.

Farfle, one of the cats, crept out slowly and the two looked at each other. Farfle even tried to make friends with Trixie, gently holding a paw out to touch . . . but Trixie withdrew . . . a little on the shy side. She wags her tale when she sees me. She sleeps a lot, as puppies do. She slept for about an hour with me . . . she's on Evelyn's chest right now, sound asleep, as is Evelyn (who supposedly was watching Dr. Phil).

The house is finally complete. A man. A woman. Some cats. And a puppy.

We gots a puppy! We gots a puppy! And her name is Trixie!

Impossible!

video

Survived by his wife . . .

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Monster Hamburgers . . .

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Impossible!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Looking for a Summer Job?

You may already be aware of this. If so, great. If not, be forewarned. Also, let your friends and family members know about these tips as well:

Looking For a Summer Job? Watch Out
for Online Scams That Steal Info
It's an unfortunate predicament of people looking online for summer jobs: in order to get the work, you have to provide information about yourself. That in turn leaves you at the potential mercy of scammers posing as legitimate employers. Here are some tips to make sure the online job-seeking process results in you gaining a gig, instead of losing your identity.

1. Be suspicious of emails telling you you're being considered for a job you didn't apply for. If you get a mass email from someone who says they saw your resume online and thought you might be a good fit, but they need more detailed personal information—or they need you to fill out an online application—be very suspicious. These days legitimate employers don't need to solicit job applicants. Job-seekers are beating down their doors already.

2. Don't give away too much too soon. While it's true that many legitimate employers will conduct a background search and even investigate your credit history before offering you a job, it's generally the last step in the hiring process. If a potential employer asks for your Social Security number, a photocopy of your ID, or other sensitive personal information before they'll even schedule an initial interview, it's probably a scam.

3. Be wary of anybody who asks for a fee upfront. Whether it's a job placement fee, a fee for access to jobs overseas, or a fee for the "inside scoop" on federal jobs, if you pay it you'll probably be lining the pockets of a crook. For one thing, there is no inside scoop on federal jobs—they're all publicly announced. Additionally, no legitimate job placement service will guarantee you a job in exchange for a fee.

God Plays Golf

Moses and Jesus were in a threesome playing golf one day. Moses
pulled up to the tee and drove a long one. The ball landed in the
fairway, but rolled directly toward a water hazard. Quickly Moses raised
his club, the water parted and it rolled to the other side, safe and
sound.

Next, Jesus strolled up to the tee and hit a nice long one directly
toward the same water hazard. It landed right in the center of the pond
and kind of hovered over the water. Jesus casually walked out on the
pond and chipped the ball onto the green.

The third guy got up and randomly whacked the ball. It headed out over
the fence and into oncoming traffic on a nearby street. It bounced off a
truck and hit a nearby tree. From there, it bounced onto the roof of a
shack close by and rolled down into the gutter, down the drain spout,
out onto the fairway and straight toward the aforementioned pond. On the way to the pond, the ball hit a stone and bounced out over the water
onto a lily pad, where it rested quietly. Suddenly a very large bullfrog
jumped up on a lily pad and snatched the ball into his mouth. Just then,
an eagle swooped down and grabbed the frog and flew away. As they passed over the green, the frog squealed with fright and dropped the ball,
which bounced right into the cup for a hole in one.

Moses turned to Jesus and said, "I hate playing with your Dad."

The Baby Ward . . .

A pregnant woman gets in a car accident and falls into a deep coma. Asleep for nearly 6 months, when she wakes up she sees that she is no longer pregnant and frantically asks the doctor about her baby.

The doctor replies, "Ma'am you had twins! a boy and a girl. Your
brother came in and named them."

The woman thinks to herself, "No, not my brother ... he's an idiot!"
She asks the doctor, "Well, what's the girl's name?"

"Denise," answers the doctor.

"Wow, that's not a bad name, I like it!" she exclaims. "And what's
the boy's name?"

"Denephew," says the doctor

Crankiness . . .

I had occasion to talk to a good friend of mine this morning. He owns a
travel agency. I had mentioned that a week or so ago one of his
employees was rather short and abrupt with me . . . to the point of
being rude. He responded that he was glad I'd mentioned it, that he'd
talk to her . . . but that he understood one of the reasons she
sometimes reacted strangely.

Seems about a year ago her husband had unsuccessfully attempted suicide by shooting himself. He failed, but sustained brain damage that left him with the mental capacity of an 8 year old. Later, it was learned
that the reason for the attempted suicide was that he had apparently
embezzled $3 million from his company and lost it all.

One begins to understand how his wife might react to pressure and
sometimes be less than diplomatic in her exchanges with client and/or
friends of the business, given the severe pressures she must have been,
and continues to be, under.

This brought back a memory of mine, where I had frequented the Escondido Library on a number of occasions and noticed an unusually tart and bitter older lady who worked on the desk there. Never a kind word, never so much as a smile . . . even though, on several occasions, I
sought to cheer her up by bantering with her. To no avail. About a
year after my last encounter with her I noted in the paper that she had
died. . and learned that she had been suffering from cancer for a number
of years. Apparently this gal was in constant physical pain, as well as
the emotional pain of knowing she was terminal. She probably ought not
to have been working. . .at least not in a job that involved people
contact. But, my suspicion is she had no choice. Financially, she
probably had to work. I found myself being a bit ashamed of myself for
having judged her to quicky and too harshly, not knowing the reason for
her crankiness.

I'm seldom cranky. Usually a bright, bubbly lad, always cracking a
joke. Still, I'm capable of being moody and have been rude, on
occasion, to my later embarrassment and shame. When I have been rude, it's usually for similar reasons. Some major crisis has occurred in my life . . . and I'm uncomfortable with it. That also can make me be a
bit short and abrupt. Fortunately, that seldom occurs. Normally, I'm
just good ol' loveable Lyle. But, there are exceptions.

Those of us who make up the human race can be funny folk, can't we?

True Stories . . . Really . . . I wouldn't Lie . . .

A mortician was working late one night. It was his job to examine the dead bodies before they were sent off to be buried or cremated. As he examined the body of Mr. Jenkins, who was about to be cremated, he discovered the longest private part he had ever seen!

"I'm sorry, Mr. Jenkins," said the mortician, "But I can't send you off to be cremated with a tremendously huge private part like this. It has to be saved for posterity."

With that the coroner used his tools to remove the dead man's privates. The coroner stuffed his prize into a briefcase and took it home. The first person he showed was his wife.

"I have something to show you that you won't believe," he said, and opened his briefcase.

"Oh, my God!" she screamed, " Jenkins is dead!"

How To Handle a Bad Day . . .

For all of you who occasionally have a really bad day when you just need to take it out on someone!! Don't take that bad day out on someone you know, take it out on someone you DON'T know!

Now get this. I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone call I had to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered nicely saying, "Hello?" I politely said, "This is Patrick Hanifin and could I please speak to Robin Carter?"

Suddenly the phone was slammed down on me! I couldn't believe that anyone could be that rude. I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her. She had transposed the last two digits incorrectly. After I hung up with Robin, I spotted the wrong number still lying there on my desk. I decided to call it again.

When the same person once more answered, I yelled "You're a jackass!" and hung up. Next to his phone number I wrote the word "jackass," and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills, or had a really bad day, I'd call him up. He'd answer, and I'd yell, "You're a jackass!" It would always cheer me up.

Later in the year the phone company introduced caller ID. This was a real disappointment for me, I would have to stop calling the jackass. Then one day I had an idea. I dialed his number, then heard his voice, "Hello." I made up a name. "Hi. This is the sales office of the telephone company and I'm just calling to see if you're familiar with our caller ID program?" He went, "No!" and slammed the phone down. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're a jackass!"

The reason I took the time to tell you this story, is to show you how if there's ever anything really bothering you, you can do something about it. Just dial 823-4863.

[Keep reading, it gets better.]

The old lady at the mall really took her time pulling out of the
parking pace. I didn't think she was ever going to leave.

Finally, her car began to move and she started to very slowly back
out of the slot. I backed up little more to give her plenty of room to
pull out. Great, I thought, she's finally leaving. All of a sudden this black Camaro came flying up the parking aisle in the wrong direction and pulls into her space.

I started honking my horn and yelling, "You can't just do that,
Buddy. I was here first!" The guy climbed out of his Camaro
completely ignoring me. He walked toward the mall as if he didn't even hear me. I thought to myself, this guy's a jackass, there sure are a lot of jackasses in this world. I noticed he had a "For Sale" sign in the back window of his car. I wrote down the number. Then I hunted for another place to park.

A couple of days later, I'm at home sitting at my desk. I had just
gotten off the phone after calling 823-4863 and yelling, "You're a
jackass!" (It's really easy to call him now since I have his number on speed dial.)

I noticed the phone number of the guy with the black Camaro lying on my desk and thought I'd better call this guy, too.

After a couple rings someone answered the phone and said, "Hello." I said, "Is this the man with the black Camaro for sale?"

"Yes, it is."

"Can you tell me where I can see it?"

"Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th street. It's a yellow house and the
car's parked right out front."

I said, "What's your name?"

"My name is Don Hansen."

"When's a good time to catch you, Don?"

"I'm home in the evenings."

"Listen Don, can I tell you something?"

"Yes."

"Don, you're a jackass!" And I slammed the phone down. After I hung up I added Don Hansen's number to my speed dialer.

For a while things seemed to be going better for me. Now when I had a problem I had two jackasses to call. Then, after several months of calling the jackasses and hanging up on them, it just wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be. I gave the problem some serious thought and came up with a solution:

First, I had my phone dial Jackass #1. A man answered nicely saying, "Hello."

I yelled "You're a jackass!" but I didn't hang up.

The jackass said, "Are you still there?"

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Stop calling me."

I said, "No."

He said, "What's your name, Pal?"

I said, "Don Hansen."

He said "Where do you live?"

"1802 West 34th Street. It's a yellow house and my black Camaro's parked out front."

"I'm coming over right now, Don. You'd better start saying your
prayers."

"Yeah, like I'm really scared, Jackass!" and I hung up.

Then I called Jackass #2. He answered, "Hello."

I said, "Hello, Jackass!"

He said, "If I ever find out who you are..."

"You'll what?"

"I'll kick your ass."

"Well, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now Jackass!" And I hung up.

Then I picked up the phone and called the police. I told them I was at 1802 West 34th Street and that I was going to kill my gay lover as soon as he got home. Another quick call to Channel 13 about the gang war going on down W. 34th Street. After that I climbed into my car and headed over to 34th Street to watch the whole thing.

Glorious!

Watching two Jackasses kicking the crap out of each other in front of 6 squad cars and a police helicopter was one of the greatest experiences of my life!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Review of New Orleans

This is what New Orleans was like back in August, 2002, before Katrina. A review we published in August 22nd, 2002 issue of The Paper: issue:

New Orleans! Year Round
Party Time!

by lyle e davis

This is some town. New Orleans . . . famous for narrow streets,
second-story balconies with shuttered windows, lacy wrought iron fences, shady courtyards, jazz music on almost every street corner, and plenty of Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is said that no American city has been shaped by more cultures than New Orleans . . . and it is readily apparent that this is true. Throughout the French Quarter you will see tiles on buildings
reminding you that during the Spanish ownership of New Orleans, this street was known by one name, in Spanish - today that same street has a French name "The Big Easy" is a 'gumbo' of Native American, Spanish, French, German, African, Irish and Anglo influences.

There is so much to do in and around New Orleans that the greatest difficulty lies in which choice to make. There are beautiful antebellum homes, historic landmarks, first-class museums, four-star restaurants and legendary night clubs and cafes, all awaiting you. You can take an old time streetcar down St. Charles Avenue, or, along the Riverfront, enjoy a mule-drawn carriage ride through the French Quarter, take a riverboat cruise for an hour, a day, several days, several weeks . . . or, forever. Or perhaps you'd prefer to take a tour of Cajun Country, zip through a bayou
and see alligators, egrets, deer, or perhaps you just want to casually stroll through the streets of the French Quarter . . bargain with the merchants in the Flea Market . . .shop in the many kiosks that make up the Riverwalk . . . it's all there, in New Orleans.

It would be impossible to cover everything there is to do in New Orleans, but we'll cover a few of the places we visited and hope you capture the feeling, the atmosphere, the enjoyment we felt in visiting them.

Restaurants:
We have a bit of a surprise for you. Our favorite restaurants are not the ones you normally read about. We scouted around and found a wide variety of restaurants, in every price range. We also inquired of the locals as to where the best places to dine were.

Topping our list? The Ugly Dog Saloon BBQ.

I know, I know. It’s not on the top 10 list of restaurants of any
restaurant guide you’ve read. Well, it should be.

We walked into The Ugly Dog Saloon and BBQ . . . and immediately smelled the delicious aroma of smoked meat (they have their barbecue smoker inside the restaurant). We ordered their pulled pork sandwich, 1/2 lb. of pork on a
sesame seed bun with Sassy Jones Original BBQ Sauce. And we spent a whole $5.00! As important as the HUGE serving of food at a very reasonable price was the service.

Linda, our waitress, is the sister of one of the owners, Stephen Rouquette (who is a partner with Joe Schackleton). Linda made us feel like we were cousins who had just arrived in town. She could not have been friendlier, the food couldn’t have tasted any better, and the price couldn’t have been more reasonable. Elegant it ain’t. But it’s a homey atmosphere and a fun place to go. They’re at 402 Andrew Higgins Boulevard (formerly Howard Avenue), just a holler away from the D-Day Museum. Indeed, it was one of
the docents from the D-Day Museum who recommended The Ugly Dog Saloon . . . for which we will always be grateful. In addition to the Pulled Pork Sandwich we had, they offer Beef Brisket Dinners at $5.75, Pork Spare Ribs at $6.75 and Chicken at $5.75. Betcha ya can’t finish your meal! The plate is loaded with food!

Another outstanding restaurant that we absolutely loved was also not an elegant place, but has built its reputation on providing great food, lots of it, at a reasonable price. The reputation is so well earned and so widely known that it’s an almost guarantee you’ll have to wait in line to get in for breakfast, lunch or dinner at . . . Mother’s.

Mother’s is located at 401 Poydras Street at the intersection of
Tchoupitoulas (pronounced Chapitoulas). Sidebar Story: The “T” in Tchoupitoulas doesn’t belong there. It’s an Indian name and in the early years, when the French populated Louisiana, the soldiers would go around to the various Indian settlements and locations and if they had been converted to Catholicism, the soldiers would write down a cross (in the form of a T) in front of the name. Thus, the Indian name of Choupitoulas, became Tchopitoulas. Good small talk conversation for your next cocktail party).

Just to give you an idea of how good Mother’s is . . . in any given year the restaurant will cook more than 100,000 lbs of ham, 40,000 lbs. of turkey, 90,000 lbs. of jambalaya, 30,000 lbs. of homemade sausage, and more than 275,000 eggs.

Mother’s serves cafeteria style. The secret to their success is that they serve great food at reasonable prices, in large portions. Folks on a budget eat here, folks used to high end dining eat here. Their early bird special offers scrambled eggs, smoked sausage, grits, biscuit, coffee or orange juice . . . $4.25. Their regular breakfast, all day, 2 eggs any style, grits, biscuits or toast, choice of meat or sausage, with coffee, $7.50.

Mother’s is also the home of the Po’ Boy sandwich, said to be the best in the Crescent City (yet another name for New Orleans). The name comes from the time when there was a railroad strike and Mother’s would prepare sandwiches made of French bread and would have roast beef and hot gravy ladled on, generously. Today, there is the original Po’ Boy, and variants, such as the Ferdi Special . . a Po’ Boy with a combination of baked ham,
roast beef, debris, and gravy (debris (day-bree) is the roast beef which falls into the gravy while baking in the oven).

Mother’s is a 'must do' on your restaurant tour de force.

A lot of the other restaurants we enjoyed . . . but we also found some of them overrated, and, not incidentally, overpriced.

Bozo’s: Our first exposure to New Orleans style restaurants was a mixed one. We went to Bozo's, 3117 21st St, Metairie (near the airport; they also have a location in the French Quarter). The food was absolutely outstanding. We had our first New Orleans style meal. We had chicken and andoille gumbo (andoille [pronounced an-do-we] is a spicy sausage) - a combination of chicken, sausage, rice and spices. We also had catfish, very tasty. We experimented with Rex Louisiana Hot Sauce. We liked it so much we looked
all over New Orleans to find it and buy several bottles to bring home. But the biggest, and most pleasant surprise, was the hot roll of French bread given to us. Crunchy crust, light as air inside, and slathering on butter just makes it almost a meal in itself. The mixed reaction we had, and what we could not understand at the time (but now do) was the rather somber atmosphere. We didn't see much in the way of smiles . . . not the joie de vivre we've come to expect. We now know why. It turns out that Mary Ann
Vodanovich, the sister of Chris "Bozo" Vodanovich, the owner of Bozo's, had died several days earlier. She was recognized as one of the city's finest restaurateurs and her sudden, unexpected death had shocked her family and staff. We'll definitely go back to Bozo's.

Andrew Jaeger's - two locations, one in Metaire, the other at 622 Conti St., in the French Quarter. Primarily a seafood house, food is adequately gourmet, atmosphere comfortable. We had a super waitress who checked on us frequently, to make sure we were happy campers.

Mr. B's Bistro, 201 Royal Street, French Quarter - thus far, my favorite of the upscale restaurants we visited. Plush, club style décor. Old world opulence and modern day service by well trained wait staff, always ready with a big smile. Ask for Ceasar Morton . . a handsome devil with a winning smile and a great personality (see a smiling Ceasar above) I had an absolutely delicious grilled chicken breast salad with an award winning red currant vinegarette salad dressing.

K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, the restaurant owned by Paul Prudhomme and his late wife, Kay. Located at 416 Chartres St., French Quarter, we found the food to be adequate gourmet but probably a bit overrated and quite pricy. Prudhomme is seldom there, now that he has his tv shows, his books, etc.
Once in a while, it is said he drops in, puts on a quick cooking show and then leaves. Long lines in the evening attest to it's popularity. We got in easily because we went early, arriving at about 5:30pm. While the food was good, I probably would not return. Too pricey for what you get. The one thing I did like about K-Pauls . . . they don't allow smoking. Hooray! (Most restaurants in New Orleans DO allow smoking. Boo!)

Café du Monde (Café of the World) - 800 Decatur St., a New Orleans tradition that we'll pass. We tried the beignets (pronounced ben-yays) which are, essentially, donuts, dusted with lots of powdered sugar. They tasted like, well, powdered sugar donuts. They are three for a $1.50. You're supposed to drink café au lait . . . but, not being coffee drinkers, we passed on that. Worth a try, just so you can say . . . "oh, yes, I had
beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde . . . in N'Awlins." (Besides, it's kind of fun to say . . . 'beignets').

The Alpine, 620 Chartres, French Quarter . . . Cajun/ Creole cuisine.
Quite reasonable in their prices. I had the barbecue shrimp for only $16 . . a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at $6. Service was fairly good, good menu, pleasant corner location. They do have a non-smoking section. The only complaint I have about them is we had eight persons, four couples. I asked for separate checks and the waiter claimed his computer system couldn't handle that. These folks are in the restaurant business, dealing with tourists and business people. They need to accommodate requests to settle
the bill quickly and easily and if they need to spend a couple dollars to upgrade their computer billing system, then they need to do it. I also don't like a waiter telling me how to settle the bill (just take the total and divide it by each of the four couples. That never works. Someone always gets shortchanged. . . and it's not the restaurant.)

Marriott Hotel - Café du Marche', on the ground floor. Horrendous prices. $10.95 for an omelet for breakfast! $8.95 for a simple hamburger. We ate there. Once. I will not go back.

Central Grocery Co., 923 Decatur St. Talk about tradition! From the moment you step foot into the Central Grocery Company you feel as though you've stepped back in time. Yellowed ceilings and walls, probably the original paint from early 1700's, 1800's; loads of supplies of all types . . but the lines that form here are for the world famous Muffuletta. This is the ONLY place to get a Muffuletta. All others are mere imitations. Folks have been
coming her for 25-30 years, just for the Muffulettas. It's a large roll, sliced in half, then loaded with salami, mortadella cheese, all types of delicious salad makings, olives, drizzled with rich extra virgin olive oil, wrapped for travel or eating, whichever you prefer. A half Muffuletta is a lunch for one. We bought one and a half Muffulettas. Two of us ate the half-Muffuletta, saving the whole one for later, possibly for breakfast the next morning. They are huge! And only $8.95 for a full Muffuletta, $4.95 for a half-size.

Expect long lines, but the wait is worth it!

When planning a trip to New Orleans, (and we can’t urge you strongly enough to go! New Orleans is a whole different way of life) remember, it’s not just the food . . . it’s an ambience that causes one to pause and analyze which form of amusement one wishes to pursue tonight. There’s night life here - even during the day.

You’ve heard of Bourbon Street? Wow!

You absolutely, positively, must travel up and down Bourbon Street at least once in your life.

It’s colorful (oh, is it colorful!), it’s gaudy, it’s loud, it’s bright,
it’s . . . it’s fun! There are countless restaurants here on Bourbon Street of course, but there are night clubs, there are curio shops, there are the horse drawn carriages, there are the balconies . . . there are . . . what? You never heard about the balconies? Lemme let you in on a little secret. Come nightime in New Orleans, on Bourbon Street, there is a phenomenon that kicks in. College girls, housewives, even grandma’s seek to collect as many
beaded necklaces as possible. It all started as part of the Mardi Gras celebration. Celebrants on the sideline would throw beads, pretty colored glass bead necklaces, to women who would . . . well, show their, you know, upper torsos. It got to be a tradition . . . and you’d be surprised at how popular a tradition it is! Lots of ladies who would otherwise be prim, proper and prudish, find that when they’re on Bourbon Street, they get caught up in the enthusiasm (and the eager appreciation shown by the male
celebrants in the area) . . . and begin collecting beaded necklaces. And the strange thing is . . . it doesn’t come off as gross behavior. It’s just a bunch of people having a lot of fun. You really have to be there to get the full effect and understand the phenomenon. Sitting at home in your easy chair won’t quite generate the atmosphere necessary to understand or enjoy New Orleans.

New Orleans - The Big Easy - The Crescent City - call it what you will. It is the city to go to when you want to have fun, and lots of it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poem of Tribute about 2 year-old Christine Hanson, Who Died on One of the Hijacked Airliners on September 11

My name is Christine Hanson.
I am only two years old.
I am going for a ride,
or thats what I am told.

I am sitting here quietly,
next to my mom and dad.
I am having a fun time.
Everyone seems glad.

Why is he yelling Daddy?
Please tell me what' s wrong!
Please don't cry Mommy,
this ride won't be that long!

Why are we getting up
and moving to the back?
Why is everyone crying?
Why is she being attacked?

What did I do wrong?
Why are they yelling at us?
Why is everyone screaming?
What is all the fuss?

I thought you said that
this plane ride would be fun.
Is this a game Mommy?
Am I it, am I the one?

I think I will hide behind you,
so that I don't get caught.
Daddy this isn't fun anymore!
This isn't what I thought.

Why do I see buildings
right out the next window?
Shouldn't we stop now?
Shouldn't we go slow?

What was that loud boom?
Why do I see fire?
What just happened Daddy?
We should have been higher!

We have hit a building,
the World Trade Center I think.
I am slowly dying now.
I can't open my eyes to blink.

Where are you Mommy?
Why can't I hear your voice?
Why did they drive us here?
This wasn't our choice.

My name is Christine Hanson,
I am only two years old.
We were going for a plane ride.
That's what we were told.

I'll never go to prom.
I wont reach the age of three.
Why did this happen to these people?
Why did this happen to me?

Please pass this on in memory of Christine Hanson who was killed on
flight 175 at 9:03 am and for the thousands more who died on 9-11-01, the day America was under attack.

Will You give this to my Daddy?

(While it's true that Southwest Airlines does support Red Fridays, I think the story itself is apocryphal; no matter, it's a touching story):

Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed One of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and Cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our Service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi...'

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her...

The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second... Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday - and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED.

Israeli Defense Force in Action . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuCzHQB1sks

Children Writing About the Ocean.

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (, age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is a always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers. (Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water.. Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass.. (Julie, age 7)

14) - The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)

Sme new . .. some old . . .

I have kleptomania,but when it gets bad,
I take something for it.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
Except that one where you're naked in church.

Sometimes too much to drink isn't enough.

Heaven is Where:
The Police are British,
The Chefs are Italian,
The Mechanics are German,
The Lovers are French and
It's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is Where:
The Police are German,
The Chefs are British,
The Mechanics are French,
The Lovers are Swiss and
It's all organized by the Italians.

Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Welcome to Utah
Set your watch back 20 years.

In just two days from now,
tomorrow will be yesterday.

A bartender is just a pharmacist
with a limited inventory

The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.

I may be schizophrenic,
but at least I have each other.

I am a Nobody.
Nobody is Perfect.
Therefore I am Perfect.

KENTUCKY:
Five million people,
Fifteen last names.

Dyslexics Have More Nuf.

I LOVE COOKING WITH WINE
Sometimes I even put it in the food.

When you work here,
you can name your own salary.
I named mine, "Fred."

money isn't everything,
but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

Reality is only an illusion
that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.

I like cats too.
Let's exchange recipes.

Red meat is not bad for you
Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

I am having an out-of-money experience.

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,
"Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on 280 Interstate.Please be careful!"

"It's not just one car," said Herman. "It's hundreds of them!"

Don't sweat the petty things.
Don't pet the sweaty things.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines!

I want to die while asleep like my grandfather,
not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

A. Withney Brown . . .

A. Whitney Brown is the man who said, "I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants."

A. Whitney Brown is the man who said, "The saving grace of doing humor is that if you fail, no one is laughing at you."

A. Whitney Brown is the man who said, "A group of white South Africans recently killed a black lawyer because he was black. That was wrong. They should have killed him because he was a lawyer."

A. Whitney Brown is the man who said, "The past is what actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down."

A. Whitney Brown is the man who said, "There are a billion people in China. It's not easy to be an individual in a crowd of more than a billion people. Think of it. That means even if you're a one-in-a-million type of guy, there are still a thousand guys exactly like you."

A Potpourri of Collectibles . . .

Which sexual position produces the ugliest children?
Ask your Mom.
•••••
How do you know when you're REALLY ugly?
Dogs hump your leg with their eyes closed.
•••••
Politicians are like baboons: the higher they climb, the more they expose their least attractive aspects.
•••••
"I believe in the fundamental Truth of all the great
religions of the world. I believe that they are all
God given. I came to the conclusion long ago...that
all religions were true and also that all had some
error in them."
- Gandhi, February 16, 1934
•••••
Even the lotus blossom has its roots in the muck.
•••••
"Don't go knockin' the mountain ---how'd ya like to climb this high without no mountain?"
Porky Pine to Pogo Possum, 1970 June 20
•••••
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
-- George Bernard Shaw
•••••
"'My country, right or wrong' is like 'My mother, drunk or sober.'"
--Chesterton
•••••
From Yogi Berra:

When I was watching a Steve McQueen movie on TV, I said that he "must have made that before he died.''

When I went to the mayor's mansion in New York City on a hot day, Mayor Lindsay's wife, Mary, said to me, ``You look nice and cool, Yogi.'' I answered, ``You don't look so hot yourself.''

They sent him [Johnnny Bench] a telegram and said, ``Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.'' I don't know who the ``they'' was, but it was signed Yogi Berra.
•••••
Feminists are OK, but I wouldn't want my sister to marry one.
- Unknown
•••••
As a woman, I find it very embarrassing to be in a meeting and realize I'm the only one in the room with balls.
Rita Mae Brown, in _Starting From Scratch_
•••••
Being a woman is of special interest only to aspiring male transsexuals. To actual women it is merely a good excuse not to play football.
Fran Lebowitz

I've decided to go into the music publishing business and have acquired all these titles. I reckon they would best serve as country music songs.

Now all I have to do is find someone to sing them.

"Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares."

"How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?"

"How Can You Believe Me When I Say I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?"

"I Been Roped and Throwed by Jesus in the Holy Ghost Corral."

"I Can't Love Your Body if Your Heart's Not In It"

"I Don't Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling."

"I Fell In A Pile Of You, And Got Love All Over Me"

"I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart."

"I Meant Every Word That He Said"

"I Wanna Whip Your Cow"

"I Wish I Were In Dixie Tonight, But She's Out of Town."

"I Would Have Writ You A Letter, But I Couldn't Spell Yecch!"

"I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dawg Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win"

"I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me than a Frontal Lobotomy."

"I'll Get Over You, as Soon as You Get Out From Under Him"

"I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate our Home."

"I'm Just A Bug On The Windshield of Life."

"I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here"

"I've Got Four On the Floor and a Fifth Under The Seat"

"I've Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back in My Bed 'n' Cryin' Over You."

"If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You"

"If It's Got To Be Later, How 'Bout Later Tonight?"

"If Love Were Oil, I'd Be A Quart Low"

"If You Don't Leave Me Alone, I'll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will"

"It Takes Me All Night Long To Do, What I Used To Do, All Night Long"

"Learning to Live Again is Killing Me."

"My Every Day Silver Is Plastic"

"My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, and I Don't Love Jesus"

"My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him"

"Oh, I've Got Hair Oil on My Ears, and My Glasses are Slipping Down, but Baby I Can See Through You."

"Oh, Lord! It's Hard to be Humble When You're Perfect in Every Way"

"Please Bypass This Heart"

"She Got the Gold Mine, and I Got the Shaft"

"She Got the Ring, I Got the Finger."

"She's Got Freckles On Her, But She's Pretty"

"She's Out Doing What I'm Here Doing Without."

"Swing Wide Your Gate of Love"

"They May Put me in Prison, but They Can't Stop My Face from Breakin' Out."

"When the Phone Don't Ring, Baby, you'll Know it's me."

"You Can't Deal Me All the Aces and Expect Me Not to Play."

"You Done Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat."

"You're Ruining my Bad Reputation."

"You're The Reason Our Baby's So Ugly"

Wonderful cartoon in The New Yorker years ago. Drunk sitting on couch at big cocktail party. He's talking earnestly to the woman sitting next to him.

Caption reads: But I AM your wife and I DO understand you.

Doubtless you've heard of the prudish amputee, Goody One Shoe.

"I find humility means to be hurt.
It's not the earth the meek inherit, it's the dirt."

The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.
-- Mark Twain

Victory belongs to the most persevering.
-- Napolean Bonaparte

Men are born with two eyes, but only one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.
-- Charles Caleb Colton

BONUS QUOTE:
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
-- William James

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he is buying.
--Fran Lebowitz--

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I never wrote to thank her.

I only drink in the event of snakebite, fortunately, I always carry a small snake.

Churches with all the answers don't allow questions.

The raised arse through which conservatives pontificate, while their head is buried in the sand, makes a dandy target.

A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits.

I used to date a girl who told me that she flunked her first five driving tests. Seems that every time the car stopped, she jumped in the back seat.

"When I go, I want it to be just the same way my grandfather
did...totally asleep and not screaming and crying the way his
passengers did."

Texas bisexual: a man who likes both cattle and sheep.

Democrats cut red tape....LENGTHWISE

On a "one-night stand", who stands?

I just heard the bad news that Lorena Bobbitt had been killed in
an automobile accident. Yes, it's true...some dick cut her off.

A Willowdale OR ordinance forbids profanity during sex.
Are electronic buggers ohmosexual?
Aural sex produces eargasms.
God created sex. Priests created marriage. (Voltaire)
I remember when safe sex referred to a padded headboard.
If you can't give up sex, get married and taper off.
In some, chastity produces pimples; in others, sex laws.
Rural safe sex: painting an "X" on those cows that kick.
The hand is probably the primary sex organ.

The Economy is so bad that . . .

· I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

· African television stations are now showing 'Sponsor an American Child'
commercials!

· I ordered a burger at McDonald's and the kid behind the counter asked,
"Can you afford fries with that?"

· CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

· Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

· my ATM gave me an IOU!

· a stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

· I saw a Mormon polygamist with only one wife.

· I bought a toaster oven and my free gift with purchase was a bank.

· Barack Obama changed his slogan to "Maybe We Can!"

· If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," call them and ask if they meant you or them.

· Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

· McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

· Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

· Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's
names.

· My cousin had an exorcism but couldn't afford to pay for it, and they
re-possessed her!

· A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .

· Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

· A picture is now worth only 200 words.

· They renamed Wall Street "Wal-Mart Street."

· When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

· The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

· Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Oh
Great! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally...

· I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I
was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck...

THE OLDER CROWD

A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.
'Is it true,' she wanted to know,'that the medication
you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?'
'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her.
There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied,
I'm wondering, then,just how serious is my condition
because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'..'
***********************
An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery
and he insisted that his son,a renowned surgeon,perform the operation.
As he was about to get the anesthesia,he asked to speak to his son
'Yes, Dad, what is it?'
'Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember,if it doesn't go well,
if something happens to me,your mother is going to come and
live with you and your wife....'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Aging:
Eventually you will reach a point
When you stop lying about your age
And start bragging about it.
---------------------------------
(My favorite)
The older we get,
The fewer things
Seem worth waiting in line for.
---------------------------------
Some people
Try to turn back their odometers.
Not me!
I want people to know 'why'
I look this way.
I've traveled a long way
And some of the roads weren't paved..
********************
When you are dissatisfied
And would like to go back to youth,
Think of Algebra.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You know you are getting old when
Everything either dries up or leaks.
-------------------------------
One of the many things
No one tells you about aging
Is that it is such a nice change
From being young.

Ah, being young is beautiful,
But being old is comfortable.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First you forget names,
Then you forget faces.
Then you forget to pull up your zipper.
It's worse when
You forget to pull it down.
---------------------------------
Long ago
When men cursed
And beat the ground with sticks,
It was called witchcraft....
Today, it's called golf.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two old guys
Are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart
When they collide.
The first old guy says to the second guy,
'Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife,
And I guess I wasn't paying attention
to where I was going.. The second old guy says, 'That's OK, it's a coincidence..
I'm looking for my wife, too..'
I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate'
The first old guy says, 'Well,
maybe I can help you find her..
What does she look like?'
'The second old guy says,
'Well, she is 27 yrs old, tall,with red hair,blue eyes,
long legs,and is wearing short shorts..
What does your wife look like?'
To which the first old guy says, 'Doesn't matter,
--- let's look for yours.'
*********************

Lord,
Keep Your arm around my shoulder, And, Your hand over my mouth!

Truths For Mature Humans

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection ... again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry," means I will never wash this - ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18 I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

20. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

22. I would rather try to carry 10 over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text. )o:

24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate bicyclists.

31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet any-thing everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

JOKES THAT CAN BE TOLD IN CHURCH

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?''
The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.'
The child thought about this for a moment then said, 'So why is the groom wearing black?'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!'
While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But please don't shove me either!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, 'My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.'
The second boy says, 'That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.'
The third boy says, 'I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

An elderly woman died last month. Having never married , she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, 'They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?' He answered, 'Call for backup.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem . A small child replied, 'They couldn't get a baby-sitter.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to 'Honor thy father and thy mother,' she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?' Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, 'Johnny, what is the matter?' Little Johnny responded, 'I have pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, 'What do you think about all this Satan stuff?'
The other boy replied, 'Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.'

People Just Like It Better That Way - The Four Lads

"Moments to Remember," brought back memories of high school back at Benson High School in Omaha, Nebraska. In fact, Mark Rothman, in his blog http://markrothmansblog.blogspot.com/, brings back a lot of memories . . . memories of listening to The Four Lads . . .

As Mark writes . . . he winds up with a three-parter, as follows:

People Just Liked It Better That Way. Part One.

These are the lyrics for "Istanbul", a HUGE hit record for a group known as the Four Lads in 1953:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople's still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night
Evr'y gal in Constantinople
Is a Miss-stanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it, I can't say
(PEOPLE JUST LIKED IT BETTER THAT WAY)

Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks'

Istanbul!! Istanbul!!

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it, I can't say
(PEOPLE JUST LIKED IT BETTER THAT WAY)

Take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks'

'Istanbul!!

-----------------

The capital letters in the lines in parentheses were provided by me, to point out that the other three Lads laid out for the bass singer, Connie Codarini, to take those lines as a solo.

The last time I saw them perform it was on a PBS concert called "Magic Moments---The Best of 50's Pop."
It was taped it 2004, and aired again last year.
That's when I saw it.
When the other Lads laid out for Connie to sing "People just liked it better that way", the audience went nuts. Both times.

If anyone could be described as the "soul" of the Four Lads, it was Connie.
He looked markedly different from the other undistinguishable Lads, who at this point were all at least in their seventies.
The oldest Lads you'll find. The others all had white hair, were tall, and looked decidedly unethnic.m Connie, on the other hand, was short, dark-haired, and olive-skinned. To say he stood out is a major understatement.

In a week rather filled with major celebrity death, Lena Horne, Lynn Redgrave, etc., Connie kind of slipped between the cracks. But he died last week, and it was barely noticed, except by me, and probably his family.

I did find this obit:

"Corrado "Connie" Codarini, an original member of the popular Canadian all-male singing group The Four Lads, died Wednesday in Concord, N.C., his son said.
He was 80. A cause of death was not provided.
The Four Lads had many gold singles and albums, including million-selling hits Moments to Remember; Standin' on the Corner; No, Not Much; Who Needs You; and Istanbul.
The group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1984.
Codarini, a bass singer, and the other three founding members - tenor Bernie Toorish, lead Jimmy Arnold and baritone Frank Busseri - learned to sing as members of the St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto."

The group goes on, with only two surviving original Lads. Jimmy Arnold has passed away as well.

Why does any of this matter?

Well, I loved the Four Lads.
I loved the Four Aces.
I loved the Four Ames Brothers.
I loved the Four Diamonds
Generally speaking, if they came in fours, I loved them.
More than that, I love the era of popular music that they represented.
The era that was just pre-rock and roll.
When popular music was purely fun, and brought people of all generations together.

The death of Candy Codarini just throws another shovelful of dirt on that era and what it meant and should mean to a lot of people.

When Eddie Fisher wished we were here, and cared about his father in song,
When Perry informed us that HIS father loved Mambo, and warned us not to let the stars get in our eyes.
When Teresa Brewer wanted no part of a Rickechet Romance, preferring to spend her time putting nickels in Nickelodeons.
When Rosemary Clooney, the reigning Queen of Real Estate, was up front with us about the problems with This Ole House, and beckoned us to Come On-A-Her-House with the promise of all varieties of food items.

I miss it all.

People Just Liked It Better That Way. Part Two.

Here are the approximate lyrics, as performed by Lou Monte, in his Italian version of
"The Darktown Strutter's Ball", circa 1953:

"Ma di benioc punioc coo quat di chooch
Cumana sina liote mene
Benemola pun de mene
Zoto baccia mene
Zumelia gadi padrua
Gasa nome bangueda
Bene gimine tarantelle
Bina tantarantelle belle
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutter's Ball...."

I loved Lou Monte.

Here are two couplets from his recording of "Lazy Mary" from the same era:

"Lazy Mary you better get up
She answered back 'I am not able'
Lazy Mary you better get up
We need the sheets for the table....."

They just don't write 'em like that any more.
The Italian Anti-Defamation League probably wouldn't let 'em.

Lou was, and still is, my favorite.

Back then, in many circles, the mere mention of his name would most-likely elicit an "Awwww." For those who still remember him, that same "Awwww" would still be in place.

Lou epitomized Fun when it came to popular music.
Just about anyone named Lou or Louis represented Fun when it came to popular music.
Armstrong. Prima. All of them.
The early 50's themselves epitomized fun when it came to popular music.
Maybe I'm biased because those were truly my formative years.

Today's post will primarily be anecdotal, and involve much traipsing down memory lane.
I'll most-likely get to the main point of all this tomorrow.
So if you're not so much for anecdotal or traipsing, you might want to just skip the rest of this and come back tomorrow.

Guy Mitchell.
A total creation of Mitch Miller when he ran Columbia Records.

Loved Guy Mitchell too.

"There's a pawnshop on a corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
And I walk up and down 'neath the clock
By the pawnshop on a corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
But I ain't got a thing left to hock......."

Elvis came in, sang "Hound Dog", and pretty much changed everything.

I thought Elvis was great.
My father came home from work one day and gave me an election-type button that said
"I Hate Elvis".
I thought it was funny.
I wore it to school.
But I didn't hate Elvis
My father hated Elvis.
If I'd known what Elvis would do to the music that preceded him, I might have hated him too.

Frankie Laine.
Loved Frankie Laine.

"Mule train, hyah, hyah!
Clippetty-clopping over hill and plain.
Seems as how they’ll never stop.
Clippetty-clop, clippetty-clop, clippetty, clippetty, clippetty, clippetty, clippetty-clopping along.

There’s a plug of chaw tobaccy for a rancher in Corolla;
A gee-tar for a cowboy way out in Arizona;
A dress of calico for a pretty Navajo.
Get along mule, get along..... "

I remember going into a record store to buy Elvis's "Blue Suede Shoes"
The proprietor, having none on hand, having sold out what he had, handed me a Pat Boone record, saying
"Here. This guy's just as good."
Having inherited my mother's susceptibility to just about anything approaching salesmanship, I purchased the Pat Boone record, "Why, Baby, Why?".
Now, Pat Boone had a great pair of pipes, but "Why, Baby, Why?" did not show them off well.
Certainly not like ""April Love" or "Love Letters In The Sand".
It never made the charts.

Remember the Chordettes?
Two hits.
"Lollipop", and this one-----

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream
(Bung, bung, bung, bung)
Make him the cutest that I've ever seen
(Bung, bung, bung, bung)
Give him two lips like roses in clover
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over
Sandman, I'm so alone
Don't have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mister Sandman, bring me a dream
(bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,
bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,
bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung,bung)......... "

Around 1959, when "American Bandstand" and Rock and Roll established it's foothold on the landscape, Lou Monte had a record, "The Sheik of Napoli" that got pretty high up there on the charts.
This elicited an invitation to lip-sync it on "American Bandstand"
I never saw anyone who looked or seemed to feel as out of place as Lou Monte on that show.
This record made the charts because some adults were still buying records.
The teenagers on the set certainly didn't know what to make of him.
Dick Clark, to his credit, did.

You can hear all of these songs, with the music and everything, on YouTube.
If you want to have fun.

Today, I nearly approached the point.
I think tomorrow I'll finally get to it.

People Just Liked It Better That Way. Part Three.
I think it began with Brando.
In 1953.
In the movie "The Wild One".

He and his motorcycle gang swung into a small town, and immediately began raising hell. Somebody asked him "Just what are you rebelling against?"
"Whattya got?", Brando replied.

That sure tapped into something. There was an undercurrent of rebellion that people, especially young people, couldn't wait to unleash.

It was shortly followed up by "The Blackboard Jungle", with Bill Haley and the Comets wailing "Rock Around The Clock" as it's theme song.
It was all about rebellion, and it touched that same nerve.

The new music got intertwined with the rebellion.

And, of course, black people, who were always ahead of the curve, never cared how much that doggie in the window was. They had their own music. It was then called "Race Music."Little Richard. Ray Charles. Hank Ballard. Big Mama Thornton.

Pre-Brando white popular music was just that. White.
About the only crossover was Nat "King" Cole.

Blacks always had solid reasons to be rebellious.
Maybe whites did too.

And when the Bastille was stormed, it was at the expense of the music I loved.
It became unfashionable, unsellable, and to many, unlistenable.

Careers were dashed.
The survivors, with rare exception, had to scrounge for work, never to resurface again until there were nostalgia shows a generation later.

There used to be a big hit TV show called "Your Hit Parade".
It was on every Saturday night beginning in the early 50's.
It featured people like Dorothy Collins, Gisele Mackenzie, Snooky Lanson, and other folks nobody remembers but me.
They sang the top ten songs of the week.
They always tried to dress up these songs by putting them in some contextual story context.
Somewhere around 1958, after they tried the eighth version of Dorothy Collins singing "Hound Dog", they threw in the towel.

Maybe it was the natural order of things.
I myself took to early Rock and Roll.
I loved Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and all the doo-wop groups.
But my receptivity pretty much ended with the Beach Boys.
It didn't quite reach the Beatles.
I was old when I was young.

And I never abandoned my affection for Johnnie Ray, The McGuire Sisters, and Kay Starr. Because of that, I was looked down upon by my peers.
I never condemned anyone for liking something I didn't like.
But boy, did they condemn me.

It wasn't only me.
Generational warfare broke out.
Over music.
I don't know if the wounds have ever healed.
This had never happened before on a grand scale.
Oh, sure, previous generations who adored Caruso couldn't make head nor tails out of Crosby. But the rift was far more benign.

As Rock Music became more and more popular, the music itself became more tense.
And the tension between generations became larger.
Nothing about the music or the situation was upbeat.
There was and is enough tension in our lives.
Why did it and does it have to extend to music?
The music was becoming clearly no longer fun.
Rock Music was a generational badge to be worn in defiance.

I was no rebel, and I had no cause.
Except that I didn't like being discriminated against for what I liked.
And what I liked was terrific.
Yes, it had some excessive silliness.
But so did music of EVERY generation.

Where was Rodney King, saying "Why can't we all just get along?", when we needed him?

If I've caused any of my younger readers to seek out any of the names I've bandied about in these articles, then I think I've accomplished something.