The Enemy of My Anime is My Friend

I’ve missed lots of things over the decades. I blanked out when my youngest kid started blasting “rap” around the house in the mid ‘80s. I had “been-there done-that” with my albums of Gil Scott Heron from the early ‘70s. I traveled far distances to see and hear him and loved his music. The difference…he rapped with chord changes, jazz, blues and actual music. When I tried to listen to my son’s rap, one chord, one beat, words mostly covered up with too-loud beats, I hated it. Still do. It’s an art form, I will give you that, it’s just not the art form of music. Hip-Hop improved upon the art form by introducing real music.

If you old farts want to hear the rap I love, check out “The Revolution will Not Be Televised.” 1971—Gil Scott Heron:  http://youtu.be/qGaoXAwl9kw

 

I guess I missed the entire decade of the ‘90s. Sorry about that. The music sucked. But the fads were even worse. I kept head-phones on and wore dark shades the entire decade. No, I didn’t collect “Beanie-Babies” “Furbys” “Tickle-Me-Elmos” or dance the Macarena. Somehow I missed roller-blading, tongue-piercing and paying $1 a minute to suck on oxygen. All the boy-bands (Backstreet Boys, New Edition, N’Sync, New Kids On The Block, 98 Degrees) and the one girl-band (Spice Girls) just didn’t do it for me. I started listening to Sports Talk or playing CDs in the car. No More Radio Music Ever!

The 21st century has its own groups of fads and it looks like I’m still stuck in the past. The two big new fads are certainly not new. I was reading comic books in the ‘50s. Just never could have imagined dressing up like one of my favorite characters, except on Halloween. But the Comic-Con craze is here, it’s real and it’s GIGANTIC!
Comic Con 1

Comic Con 2

 YES THEY ARE GROWN MEN!Comic Con 3

 The other HUGE fad is Anime. It’s not new. It is an art that has different meanings in different countries. In America we used the word “Anime” to mean Japanese animated Film or Television. In Japan they used the word “Anime” to mean all forms of animated art from around the world. The Japanese introduced this art form in theater in 1912. Not new.

In the ‘60s, Japanese film and TV were showing lots of anime. The problem was getting it to the USA. We had decades of differences with our formats. Honk Kong and Taiwan introduced Video CDs (VCD) in the ‘80s but our broadcasters wanted nothing to do with it because of security (copying) problems. It was the old VHS tapes of the ‘90s that could be played in Japan and America that started the popularity.

It has grown bigger than ever. Now kids and grown-ups dress like cartoon characters from Japan and hold conventions. There’s a large one in Bakersfield this weekend. It’s called Bak-Anime. It’s like Comic-Con, only more bazaar.
Anime Girl

anime girl 2Anime 1

 

 I’m thinking I’ll start collecting Beanie-Babies and listening to The Spice Girls and maybe I’ll start to catch up.

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CKS

Matt Grimes has some problems. His mind is besieged by a lusty student, an unfaithful wife and a vicious, pounding migraine. Escaping to his special quiet cabin becomes an adventure that takes the reader on a wild ride to a future world that seems like a dream. What does the future hold for our grandchildren’s children? Can Matt Grimes be the chosen person to save humanity?

Another novel by Dan McGuire that keeps you turning pages until the end…The perfect week-end weight-loss plan. No eating or sleeping until the last page.

 

SO…my second novel is now yours for the taking…I should say buying. In the right hand column is the cover of CKS. Just click on it and a magic fairy will escort you to the Amazon page where one click will have my book heading your way.
fairy

Oh, and by the way, if you haven’t read Barstow Blues yet, that’s also a click away over there in the right hand column.

Appreciate it. Baby needs shoes.

You’re the greatest.

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OPERATOR

In 1955, MA BELL ,which was AT&T/Bell came out with a list of “preferred” names for local phone companies to call their exchanges. This was a way of standardizing phone numbers. Each customer had Two Letters and Four Numbers.
Here is a list of a few of the “official” exchanges.

REdfield
REdwood
REgent
REpublic
RIverside
RIverview
SHadyside
SHerwood

In the early days you would tell the operator what exchange you wanted followed by the number. You could pay extra and get a telephone exchange answering service. Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award for her role in “Butterfield 8.” Buttrfield 8 was her telephone answering exchange.
Before technology arrived in the telephone business, there were over 350,000 telephone operators.
exchange operators

My parents exchange was in the SHerwood exchange and their assigned four numbers were 2623. They kept those numbers from 1955 until we just shut Mom’s phone down last year (60 years with the same phone number) Sherwood 2623.

Before 1955 it was a mish-mash. Some cities had Three Letters and Four Numbers. Some had Two Letters and Three Numbers.

But as the population grew we needed more numbers so a fifth number was added after the exchange. My parents’ number became: SHerwood 2 -2623.

Finally, in the early ‘60s, we didn’t have to go through an operator and an exchange…we just dialed the numbers in place of the letters.  My parents number became 742-2623.

 I did say “dial.” When direct dialing happened all of us did not have push-button number on the phone.
dial phone

We could direct dial by adding the #1 and then the 10 digits. If it was a long-distance girl-friend call and her line was busy, it was easy to get finger and hand cramps by the fourth try. It was also real easy to dial wrong numbers and you never knew if you didn’t bring the “zero” all the way around or you just grabbed the wrong hole….or the stupid phone company did it.

Some people went nuts when the exchange names were stopped. Two large groups formed: The ADDL (The Anti-Digit Dialing League) and the Committee of Ten Million to Oppose All-Number Calling. I kid you not. Rallies, marches and thousands of letters opposing dropping the Exchanges. They faded as fast as they were formed.

For me, the only cool thing about a phone exchange was the big music hit of the Glenn Miller Orchestra “Pennsylvania 6-5000.” It would have never been written if it had only been what it became “ 736-5000. Anyway you try to sing it, it’s just not right.

In Indiana in the ‘50s, we heard that the “big” cities were adding “area codes.” By the mid-‘60s it was implemented around the country. We now had a 10-digit systems with the three new “area-code” numbers in front.

We now have 293 area codes, 30 in California. We have surpassed 500 million phones, two per adult. Why?  Not sure. BUT…anyone of those 500 million numbers can be reached by just touching the person’s name or picture in my smart phone.

And don’t we get pissed when it sometimes takes five or six seconds before it rings?

There is something nostalgic thinking about talking to operators and exchanges. One of the great songs by someone who left us to soon is called “Operator.”

Here is a video of the great Jim Croce.

http://youtu.be/FPu_G-T28iU

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Questions and Observations

I went for my routine check-up today and everything seemed to be going fine until he stuck his index finger up my butt!
Do you think I should change dentists?
DentistHumor11

I had to wait a long time to get in to see my dentist today. The guy ahead of me, a Buddhist, was having a root canal and he refused a Novocain injection. I guess he wanted to transcend dental medication. (ba-doom)

The #1 song TODAY on the Billboard charts is “Uptown Funk.”  I have no problem with that song. I love it. It’s by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars. Is it really #1?  I don’t know because things have changed drastically in the music business. Remember when a song went on the charts based on the number of record sales?  No more. Now one of the calculations to slot a song is based on “Ringtone” downloads. True.

Congress is always making laws with corny or screwy acronyms. Here are some from a year ago: There is the FRESHER Act. (Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act.

Then there’s the famous FAIRCREDIT (Fair Allocation of Internal Revenue Credit for Renewable Electricity Distribution by Indian Tribes Act.   I LOVE THAT!
And there’s the SUCCEED (Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development Act.

What I didn’t know is the acronym for the USA Patriot Act. It is: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept & Obstruct Terrorism.

Here’s a question you haven’t thought of nor give a damn about. Have you noticed that most restaurants that sing birthday greetings to their guests never sing “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear whoever, Happy Birthday to you?
They sing some corny, cutesy diddy instead.
birthday song
There’s a simple reason for that.

The Happy Birthday song is still copyrighted until 2030. True. It’s a long clumsy story that I don’t have the space to tell all the details, but it started with two sisters who were school teachers back in 1893. Court case after court case has upheld this copyright (now held by Warner/Chappell) and there are still cases being argued. That hasn’t stopped the royalties from flowing in…around Two Million bucks a year. Not Bad.

When we sing it to our friends and families, that is not a copyright infringement. However if it performed in a public place where people gather (restaurant)  or by a band,  or for profit, in a greeting card, movies, radio, television, etc….you pay royalties. A license to perform has to be granted from the Harry Fox Agency or ASCAP.

So, when you hear the waitpersons at Applebee’s singing some dumb melody for a person’s birthday…understand…Happy Birthday costs money to sing.

ONE MORE IMPORTANT THING:

The other day some less-than-astute observer said, “There ain’t no white guys in the NBA.”
I ignored the remark, but did some research and I figured out why that may be true.
Click here: https://i.imgur.com/8oewHKo.gif

 

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So Now They Tell Us

My elementary education was pounded, literally, into my head by Franciscan Nuns. A few of us nasty boys did not give them much respect. That got us more pounding from paddles, yard sticks, or closest hard object.
Nun with stick

 

 

I appreciate the good education I received, but not the mythology and stern-faced attitudes. I’m jealous of my friends who received the same knowledge given with smiles.

One of the big “no-nos” was chewing gum. Gum was mostly a “girl thing” as boys had to keep their mouths empty for spit-wads and hocking loogies. By eighth grade we boys had become expert tonguers. We learned to roll our tongue in a groove, collect a small amount of moisture and softly, silently, but forcibly, flick a small ball of spit on to the shirt or blouse of the unlucky person sitting ahead of us. Sorry, gross I know, but true. I just slapped myself for even remembering how nasty we were (Come on, I wasn’t alone)

Back to the chewing gum. This was a bad, bad thing that usually brought a homework penalty of 500 sentences stating, “I promise I will never chew gum in class again.” Most of us learned to write with two pencils in our hand so it became 250 sentences. Half the work.

In my sixth grade class we had one heavy-duty girl gum-chewer and one heavy-duty girl booger-eater.
Young girl licking lips

 The summer after sixth grade I volunteered to help clean classrooms and the hallways. That was when I got to see the bottom of each girl’s desk.  Eweeeeeeee. I understood the gum under the desk, it had to be hid. But, how could any one girl have that many boogers….enough to eat and dozens to store. After all, we were allowed to blow our noses so there was no need for storage. I’m just sayin’.

Now I read that the British Journal of Psychology is now stating that gum chewing is a good thing.
It improves concentration.
It increases the flow of oxygen and glucose to the brain.
Chewing gum reduces stress and improves test scores.

Take that Sister Bertha.

I’ll let you know when they discover the benefits of booger-eating.

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This Guy Started it ALL

I love learning about interesting people. They don’t have to be nice, just interesting. My parents were hooked on a show that was very much like the American Idol that some of you are hooked on. (or were hooked on….it’s now fading away…like all shows do)
This is about the guy who hosted the show that carried his name.

Back in the mid-‘30s, a Baltimore DJ started interviewing guests, playing a ukulele, singing ornery songs and doing commercials by making fun of the companies. He would crack jokes with his guests, and use double-entendre to crack-up his audience. He moved his show to Washington D.C. and became number one. People would be late for work waiting on him to advertise Bayer Aspirin, which he called bare-ass Prin. He was probably the Howard Stern of early radio.

In the late ‘40s he recorded zany original songs that became huge hits. His first hit was called “The Too Fat Polka.” (Oh, I don’t want her, you can have her, she’s too fat for me). His other hit tunes, playing the uke, were Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch, What is a Girl, Candy and Cake and The Thing. He was probably and early Weird-Al Yankovic.
Here he is singing “Little Grass Shack”

In the first years of television CBS gave him his own show, Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. The show was once a week for 90 minutes. Some of the talent that appeared on Talent Scouts was a who’s who of future stars: Lenny Bruce, Don Adams, Tony Bennett, Patsy Cline, Pat Boone, Marilyn Horn and Roy Clark. Some of the rejects that didn’t make the talent-cut were The Four Freshmen and Elvis Presley. This show was probably the first “American Idol.”

Chesterfield ad

In 1949, CBS gave him another show in prime-time called “Arthur Godfrey and Friends.”
He had a band, musical regulars and guests. Godfrey would hire the talent winners from the Talent Scout show for his “friends” show and call them “Little Godfreys.” He would not allow them to have agents or any representation…he handled their talent and bookings…for a price. His first regulars were Julius LaRosa, Marion Marlowe and Irish tenor, Frank Murphy. This show was the start of the format for the Tonight Show and every other live-band and guest-interview show.

In 1952 his “Arthur Godfrey Time” was a daily 90 minute mid-morning show and he owned the viewing public.  He made millions for Lipton Tea and Chesterfield cigarettes (until he got lung cancer five years later).

He was a tyrant and fired his singers on the air.  Julius LaRosa was replaced by Pat Boone. He fired the Chordettes and replaced them with The McGuire Sisters.
Julius LaRosa

His guest hosts (remember the guest hosts on Johnny Carson) would come on the show and be discovered and go on to their own fame.  Steve Allen was a guest host and then was rewarded with the first Tonight Show job. Robert Q Lewis was a guest host and had his own daily TV show.

Arthur Godfrey had one of the first-ever hip replacements out of plastic parts in 1953. It was successful.

He became an avid anti-smoking activist after contracting lung cancer. Of course Chesterfield cigarettes (Liggett & Meyers) became unhappy and left his show as a sponsor…duh.

As the fired unhappy “little Godfreys” started talking about what a mean controlling person Arthur Godfrey was, his audience dwindled and he faded away. He died in 1983 at the age of 79.

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WRITE AN EMAIL LETTER PLEASE

I know you don’t have time to “get involved” with political crap. I understand.
Neither do I.

HOWEVER, there’s something coming to a head now and there isn’t one of you who will benefit from this thing if the WRONG Big Corporations have their way.

This thing is called Net Neutrality. It is what we have now and always had.

You and I can help stop it from changing. Sometimes it’s tough choosing which big companies we allow to rule us.
Boys Fighting

In this case the answer is very clear.

Let’s face it; every morsel of food at our supermarkets is controlled by BIG corporations. Every drop of fuel we burn is controlled by BIG corporations. Every TV show you watch is controlled by BIG corporations. The seeds that grow our food is owned and controlled by BIG corporations. Our prescriptions drugs are controlled by BIG corporations.

The one and only place we the citizens have freedom is the internet. I have the power to choose between various telecom companies (cable, phone, wireless, etc) to bring the internet into my home to my computers, my phones, my TVs and my tablets. I have the right to buy “speed.” No not meth, internet speed. I can also buy a fast computer and a fast wireless modem. Then my apps and selected search engines, my Facebook, my Pinterest, this Blog I write are basically delivered to you and me at those speeds.

Some of YOUR best friends in Congress want to change that.  WHY!

My own Congressman, Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority leader, wants to change that. Ask him why? He mumbles a bunch of crap about regulations. He doesn’t give a damn about his constituents, just the money. (it would be called bribes in any other country)

Let me try to explain in simple terms about NET NEUTRALITY.

If you choose to pay for the Netflix service, you get the movies and shows they offer from their computers to yours. If you enjoy buying TV shows or movies to download to your computer they will download at whatever speed the modem you own allows.

If you choose to search for a website on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or whatever, you have the same search speed that you pay for with your telecom deliverer plus the speed of your computer.
Internet-marketing

BUT the BIG corporations that deliver your internet have decided they want to control the speed of delivery of your Netflix, your Google, and yes…your Facebook.

Who are these control freaks?  Comcast, Verizon, AT&T—all the companies that deliver your selected programming.

Who wins?  The most money wins.

So…Comcast, who owns NBC, might want to deliver their programming much faster than Netflix…after all, they are rivals for your viewing time.

So those giant BIG corporations are throwing money (Bribing) our congressmen to allow this to happen. They are lying and saying the government wants to regulate the internet. And of course they say “regulation” means no FREE MARKET.  Wrong!

Don’t believe the lying liars. The FCC is being asked to make the internet a public utility so BIG corporate telecom money does not control the speed of flowing information. Becoming a public utility will insure the internet will stay the way it has always been. If they don’t make it a utility (regulate it) we will experience the same phony “free markets” that we experience with drugs and food. Controlled by BIG corporations.

Here’s where the money is flowing and here’s the sides that are fighting the battles.

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Cisco and BIG TELECOM have given $750,000 to the Republican Senatorial Committee and $750,000 to the Republican Congressional Committee to allow them to control the internet speeds.

Facebook, Google, Netflix and six other “tech” companies have given $482,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee and $366,000 to the Democratic Congressional Committee.

There it is….the bribes are in. Line up and choose sides.

Republicans want BIG TELECOM to be able to charge for “fast lanes” on the internet.
Democrats want the internet to be a public utility so BIG TELECOM can’t decide who gets to travel on the “fast lanes.”

I have to say, you and I have to be on the sides of our “tech” companies….Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc. The Republicans disappoint me. They have lined up on the wrong side of this fight. Don’t they realize that if a BIG telecom company has a “pro-choice” board of directors they might decide that “pro-life” organizations should be slowed down on the internet? Regulation to insure Net Neutrality has long been advocated by conservative and liberal users of the internet. We can’t allow our apps to be “slowed down” in favor of something the telecom companies want to shove in our faces.

If any users of the internet reading this post can give me ONE good reason why we shouldn’t have Net Neutrality (the way we have always had it) speak up.

If you can’t, then please write Mr. Tom Wheeler of the FCC and ask him to make the internet a Public Utility so the BIG corporations keep their greedy hands OFF. Mr. Wheeler has publicly stated consumer letters mean plenty to him. He wants to know how YOU feel.

The decision is going to be made before the end of this month. Here is Mr. Wheeler’s email. Tell him to keep the internet just like it is…Keep BIG TELECOM where they are now. Insure Net Neutrality.

Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov

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