Fascinatin’ Comtemplatin’

I like bizarre trivia. New information that makes my eyebrows raise and my brain freeze.
Information that I don’t need to know. We are inundated with this kind of crap on every web-site we open…from Facebook to Buzz feed, the weird stuff begs us to click and look.

Sometimes we realize we have been had by a headline and it’s just another click-hole that now can begin spying on us.
That reminds me, I gave out this website some months back and its priceless. You can get rid of all the spy-bots looking at your every move. Just download “ghostery.com.” You won’t be sorry.

And now, more things to clog the little bit of hard-drive left in my brain:

Before G-Mail I use today, G-mail was a free email offered by Garfield’s website.

“Three Men and a Baby” was directed by Leonard Nimoy.

Honey Tree Evil Eye was a female that portrayed a male on television. Do you know the male’s name she assumed?  It was Spuds Mackenzie the dog in the Bud Light Commercials
Spuds Mackenzie

The tallest known mountain in our solar system is on one of the smallest planets, Mars. It stands an incredible 79,200 feet high (15 miles).  That requires a pause to think about.

I was reminded by a news story about a horrible accident that happened before I was born. My dad used to talk about the Hindenburg. I saw a news article that the last surviving member of the Hindenburg crew died this weekend.

The Hindenburg disaster in 1937 was reported live on the radio and many pictures were taken as it exploded and fell in flames to the ground.

The disaster was also a miracle.
There were 36 passengers and 61 crewmen on board; a total of 97 people. When one sees the picture it is assumed to be like an airplane crash where all aboard perish. Yet, 23 passengers and 39 crewmen survived the crash. (62 alive out of 97). One person on the ground was also killed.

I hope you’re enjoying this holiday with family and friends.

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Facts I didn’t need to Find Out

I found out the USDA has approved the use of the term “wyngz” for wing-looking chicken products that contain no wing meat. When you rush out to buy them this weekend, let me help you zero in:

I found out that herring communicate with each other by passing gas. Uhhh, Okay. My brother and I did that in fourth grade.

I found out there is a third Apple Founder. His name is Ronald Wayne. He owned 10% of the company. But, he was a little impatient and sold his stock in 1976 for $800.  Wished I’d bought it. Hmmm, what’s 10% of $600 billion?

You remember Sara Lee?
Sara Lee
They had one of the weirdest advertising slogans of all time…”Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.” Well, I found out that Sara Lee introduced the Wonder Bra to the USA in 1994.  No comment.

I found out that our grade school kids are darn smart. I was shocked the other day when I heard a second grader and a first grader both sing Mozart’s “Ah, Vous-dirai-je, Maman.”  And in Bakersfield, no less. The weird thing was they both sang it with different words, but sang it correctly. The first-grader started his song – A-B-C-D-E-F-G…and the second grader started her song with – Twinkle, Twinkle, little star…

I’ll give you time to think about that.

OK…have a great Labor Day Weekend.  And no LABOR!

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Mama Said

I haven’t written anything about my Mom in Indiana for a while. She’s now been in a nursing home for about 14 months and I believe the stages of nursing-home-living match the stages of grief. Mom has now entered the “acceptance” part of this new adventure or at least she seems to be. Like many “old-time” moms, she has that special way of “silent-suffering.”


I talk to her most evenings on the phone. The three hour time zone usually means I’m her “good-night” call before her eight o’clock beddy-bye.

The main quantity-meal is served at 12:15. They call it dinner. The evening meal, supper, is around 5:30 and it’s a lite-meal. As you can imagine, the endless days revolve around food and the occasional entertainment. There are ongoing card games, bingo, crafts, daily-rehab stuff, etc. Yet, the gathering of 100 old farts in the dining room every day is a big deal. About ½ of them have to be fed. It takes a good hour to get through the meal, so there’s always anticipation and hunger build-up. Sometimes if things are running slow, they start banging there spoons on their water glasses.  These folks are serious about their food.

Every night’s conversation is hilarious, but last night was worth mentioning. I don’t record our talks but I can remember the dialogue.

ME: “Did you have a nice meal today, Mom?”

MOM: “Would you eat something if you didn’t know what it was…and it looked awful? I asked my table-mate what the hell is this supposed to be?  She said– it’s Spaghetti. I told her– this ain’t Spaghetti. Look at this big ball in the middle. I think its cabbage. Do you put cabbage in Spaghetti?  She acted like she couldn’t hear me.”

“Mom, I think it was probably stuffed cabbage. You know –basically hamburger inside a rolled-up cabbage leaves.”

“Honey, I can think of many things to do with hamburger before I put it in cabbage. What’s the matter with just giving us a good ol’ hamburger.  You know…grilled onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce.  No sticking it in cabbage for me. It looked horrible.  I waited till tonight and they had tuna-salad.  I ate that and it was ok.”

“Well, good, I know you like tuna.”

“I can’t go too many days without eating or my pajamas will fall off my butt. I have gained five pounds.”

“Really, what do you weigh now”?

“I’m up to 105. I think I weighed 110 when I got married in 1937.”

“Yeah, you’re getting fat.  Hey I got my plane tickets. I‘ll be there to see you in late October. I think I’m staying with George. He was very kind to offer me a place to stay.”

“Well, I probably will never see you when you’re home.”

“Why would you say that?”

“I know how you and George like to talk and drink beer.”

“Good night mom, I love you.

“I love you too and tell Amy I love her.  Good night.”

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bloglovin is a new place I will be posting my thrice-weekly ramblings

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Our brains are a funny thing, aren’t they? I’m guessing your brain is similar to mine…maybe not.

Have you ever been in your car, maybe heading home through city streets, when you see a person on the street and then, later, you can’t get that person’s face out of your mind?

Now, guys, I’m not talking about a half-clad beauty, although maybe the similarity of that experience would be the same. Something about that person won’t move out of the picture-screen of your mind’s eye.

It happened to me Saturday evening. It bothered the hell out of me for two days…still does. So I’ll write about it.

We had left my wife’s car at a Big O’ Tire place for a realignment problem. It became one of those three-phone-call fixes that grew the bill with each ringy-dingy.

#1 Ringy-dingy…Sir, the bad alignment has worn two tires to the cords. You need two new tires…uh-huh.
#2 Ringy-dingy…Sir, we regret to inform you but your right side front axle is broken. You need a new axle… ok
#3 Ringy-dingy…Sir, they sent us the wrong axle and it will be another 90 minutes. We’re staying overtime to get it fixed….yeah.
So, the $79 alignment had become $500 and that’s life. We picked up the car and I followed her to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner.

I allowed Amy to back-out of the parking lot first, and began following her home.

That’s when I saw her. And I’m still seeing her in my mind.
I passed her doing 10 or 15 mph, so the image was quickly past. The first thing I saw was the big white sign that said, “Funeral Money Needed.” There was a name on the sign I didn’t catch because I then glanced up at the woman sitting in the lawn chair with the sign at her side.

I need to interject something about “Funeral Money” signs. I see them every week, at least two or three. Young kids are getting shot and killed by senseless people with senseless guns. Their friends and families are holding up signs and waving towels and begging to wash your car for “Funeral Money.” There are two business I pass on my way home that allow these car washes so I see them each and every week.

So, seeing a “Funeral Money” sign Saturday evening was not something new. But the woman…She was a tall, gaunt, hollow-cheeked older white lady sitting in a lawn chair, staring straight ahead at nothing. Her narrowed eyes were not angry or sad, but empty. Empty eyes staring at emptiness.

I came to an immediate stop-light and turn to make and followed Amy on home. We had a few things to take care of at home and then other stuff popped up and I forgot the lady for a few hours. But when I got in bed I couldn’t stop thinking about her. She seemed familiar, even though I knew I didn’t know her.

Sunday morning, yesterday, I had to make an early run to Pasadena to an all-day meeting. When I was about a half-hour away from home I thought of that lady. I called Amy and told her I had trouble sleeping because her face was imbedded on my brain. I asked Amy to go look for her and offer some money and help.

She couldn’t find her. I got home from my meeting, we had dinner together, watched a couple of our Sunday TV favorites and then it was time to start my blog for today. The lady’s face came back into my mind.

Then I remembered reading the exact description of that woman. I remember the words that described this book character drew a face in my mind . It was the face of that poor lady needing “Funeral Money.”

So, just now, I Googled the book that described her. All of us here in Bakersfield are celebrating the 75th anniversary of “Grapes of Wrath.” The “okies” came here by the thousands and John Steinbeck wrote of their journey that ended here in Bakersfield.

Even though it has been years since I read the book the words about “Ma Joad” described my lady with the “Funeral Money” sign. Here are some of Steinbeck’s descriptions of her:

When told about the “California dream—the nice little white house surrounded by orange trees ripe for picking—Ma Joad said, “I’m scared of stuff so nice. I ain’t got no faith. I’m scared somepin ain’t so nice about it.

And then a scene with Tom Joad talking about his mother. “Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding.”

 I should have made a U-turn.

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Whose Fantasy?

So, just 14 days until the new NFL season starts. Millions of people are busy this weekend with “draft-day” for their fantasy football teams. What was laughed at a few years ago is now taken so seriously that ESPN is trying and succeeding in owning the TV shows, podcasts and web sites. They feature a daily podcast featuring strategies, injuries, player previews and game previews.

I have DIRECTV and now they are getting involved with a new NFL package unlike anything imagined. The price for the entire season is now under $200.

Here’s what you get:

On your ONE screen you can have EIGHT games all playing at once, each with a scoreboard and clock. Wow!
Eight games One screen

For you fantasy players, you can click on a screen with 20 of your fantasy players following their performances, updating their stats, and GET THIS—Big Play Alerts!  Yes!

And brand new, they now have a dedicated channel called “Fantasy Zone Channel” with four talking heads (yes, they have one female) just talking all day about fantasy football. Constantly talking. Constantly updating. Constantly talking.

And of course you get every game played on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. Every game.

Sounds exciting, but I’ll pass. Again.

The NFL television “rights” is the most lucrative and expensive rights of any American sport. Each network pays over ONE BILLION dollars per year (Five billion total) to televise the NFL.

Rumor has it that Google is biding their time until it’s time for a new contract. Since they have more money than God, they can outbid anyone. By 2021 all television watching will be finished. Our huge computer screens will show us football unlike anything we’ve ever imagined.

Maybe I’ll get the package then.

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Get Up and Get to School (or work)

This is a public service announcement. I’ve already heard anguished cries from parents about getting the kids out of bed for school this week.

On the same subject, I’ve even heard some adults are having trouble getting their bods out of bed.

Here it is…the perfect answer. Just get a cheap laser pointer and turn the dog loose. In our house it works fine with the cat, too.

Just 42 seconds, so try this out. You can thank me later.


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