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♫ When I’m 64 ♫

♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with youI could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

(apologies to Paul McCartney)

Well, I turned 64 today.
There’s no one special person to whom this song applies.
I suppose I should be grateful I’ve made it this far.
But, frankly, doing it alone sucks.
(I’ll stop whining now.)
I DO have friends, family and animals to whom I can turn in time of need.
And that means everything.
Almost.
A touch, a hug, a kiss.  Holding a hand?
Doesn’t appear to be in my future.
(Okay, I will stop whining now!)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Robert Vaughn RIP

rv1

lv3

(So, the Angel of Death (aka 2016) marches on.
And we are lesser for it.  I hate you.)
Robert Vaughn played Napoleon Solo, in the meme-changing TV show The Man From UNCLE.
Television was populated with ubiquitous cowboy and cop shows. Then Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond) approached NBC with a concept.
And stars and genre were born. (the other star being David McCallum – Ilya Kuriakin. David remains with us, thankfully, as Ducky on NCIS.)
Mr. Vaughn played many other roles, but never lost identity with the Solo role.

rv2Before UNCLE, Vaughn was one of the original Magnificent Seven. He was the last surviving of the seven.

By all accounts, he was a fine man.

He died of acute leukemia. He was 83.

Being a survivor of another blood cancer (lymphoma) this interests me. Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on my sidebar.

My youth keeps falling away…

RIP Mr. Vaughn

Decency And Character

Yep.  I’m speaking of the recent dustup of things long-time ago said by candidates.

Mr. Trump has been recorded using language that might have originated in a high school locker room.  As has Secretary Clinton (at least in print).  And her husband.  And Jack Kennedy.

And, The President.

Use (or non-use) of such language, of course, is not a qualification for The Presidency.

My question is, what ever happened to the character of individuals?  Used to be persons with character aspired to be The President.  Washington, Jefferson and John Adams come to mind.  All persons of character.  Each very different.  (Yes, I know Washington and Jefferson owned slaves…)

They were human.  I suspect they might have uttered socially-inappropriate language in private moments.

But they rose to the challenge to move this Constitutional Republic forward.

I don’t see that in any of the current of recent candidates.

Now, it’s reported by the Clinton’s that they have victims of rape by Mr. Trump coming forward!  Seriously?  Not only is the timing questionable, but the whole pot-kettle thing!

I know politics by it’s very nature is dirty.  Regardless:

I weep for The Republic.

Hugh O’Brian RIP

Okay, 2016, enough already!

Another one of my childhood icons, Hugh O’Brian, passed yesterday…

He was 91.

For those too young to be baby-boomers, he was Wyatt Earp in the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1955-1961.

When the Western was King.

(Yeah, he didn’t sport a mustache, and didn’t truck with hookers on the show, I know!)

(from Wikipedia)

O’Brian first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then the (now defunct) Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O’Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.

(…)

Hugh O’Brian dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.

One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an “ambassador,” is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries. The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.”

O’Brian’s message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic:

I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.

— Hugh O’Brian, The Freedom to Choose[10]
When I get depressed, and think the Hollywood crowd consists primarily of self-centered leftist morons, I remember there are folks out there who have dedicated their lives not only to entertainment, but the betterment of others.
Hugh O’Brien is one of those folks.
And now he’s gone.
RIP, Sir!  And thank you!
hugh

Mr. Crayola

I’m no artist.  Cannot draw/paint/sculpt to save my life.  Lucky to be able to sketch a short straight line if needed, usually crooked.  (I can sing (moderately) – but, is my singing ART?)

Because of this, I’ve a great appreciation for true artists, people like my college roommate Dave – who has been making art since he could walk.  And the classical artists – Leonardo, Michaelangelo and such.  Modern folks not-so-much.  An exploration of random color splotches doesn’t move me as does La Giocanda.

And my understanding of art is it is to make one feel something…

My friend Doc In Yuma sent me a collection of art (via email) which did move me.  Not just because of the skill of the artist, but, because of the media used.

Crayons!

A few examples, and his story:

MR CRAYOLA
Mr. Crayola Don Marco
Don Marco, the Master Crayola Artist

Don Marco was born in Northern Minnesota in the late 1920’s. His interest in art was evident even before starting school. As a young adult in the Army Air Corp, he began his life’s career in Air Traffic Control, which continued until his retirement from Honolulu International Airport in 1973. Much of his spare time was spent as a professional artist.
Before retirement, Don started developing a technique to create fine art, using Crayola Crayons. Shortly after retiring, he published his first print. Living in Southern California, his work was in demand, including commissions from Burt Reynolds and a one-man show at his Dinner Theater in Florida …

It’s hard to imagine these are done with crayons!
Burt Reynolds

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM

Mr. Crayola | LETVENT.COM

Seascape

Story Don Marco..... The Master Crayola Artist

Kaepernick

Regular readers of GiA know I’m no sports fan.  It’s only when a sports figure does something of note (as with many of the Olympic athletes) or does something onerous (as with some Olympic athletes) that it gets my attention.

This Kaepernick guy apparently refused to stand for the National Anthem at the last game.  And, in spite of the firestorm of controversy reacting to his remaining seated, said he will continue not to stand.  Until things change regarding the oppression of Blacks in the United States.

He’s Black.  His parents are White.  He makes NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND LIVES IN A MANSION.

What could have happened?  What oppression?

A quick search (on Duck Duck Go) regarding the National Anthem situation made it appear his protest was all about injustice done to Blacks.  BLM stuff.  A subsequent search adding the term ISLAM brought forth stories that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season – probably because his girlfriend is a radical Islam radio show personality…

Funny how the more narrow Internet search failed to mention this conversion.  And the ‘news’ outlets in the broader version consisted of bloggers and sketchier news outlets (IOW, NOT CNN, NBC and such.  WND for example).

Which brings me to my point.  Many of the folks leaving comments on the National Anthem story demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand.  As repulsive as his behavior my be, forcing someone to stand in ‘free’ Republic doesn’t sound like an appropriate response to me.

I’m a big believer in free markets.  And voting with one’s feet, TV remotes and wallets.  And via Email and post if necessary.

If you don’t want to support this clown, don’t watch his game, buy his team’s foam fingers or products advertised.  Hit ’em where it hurts.

I LOVE this Republic and her Anthem.  Singing along with my hand over my heart sometimes brings me to tears.

But forcing someone to stand – that smacks of fascism, and certainly doesn’t paint a portrait of the Land Of The Free.

I don’t care what religion he is.  But, it IS interesting that the mainstream media has been soft-pedaling that information.

Hmmm.

♫ Feelings ♫, Part Dos

I, generally, want the government to leave people alone.  If you think you are really a six-legged otter, and not a human, go ahead.

Be happy in your delusion.

Just don’t bother ME with it, or petition the government to mandate some kind of accommodation for all six-legged otter thinking people!

Just because you feel you are a woman inside a man’s body – or vice versa – doesn’t mean you are.  I’m a big believer in scientific evidence.  If you can show your chromosomal makeup is somehow skewed, then please, get help!  Have surgery and counseling.  Be who nature intended you to be.

BUT, if your opinion is just based on HOW YOU FEEL – also, seek help.  Don’t force others to join you in your fantasy, however.

Although popular culture and many of the leading media organizations have bought wholeheartedly into the idea that gender identity is something distinct from one’s biological sex — that a man could be born in a woman’s body or vice versa — such beliefs have no grounding in any credible scientific evidence, according to a report published Monday in the journal The New Atlantis.

Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer and John Hopkins University Medical School professor of psychiatrics Paul McHugh co-authored the report, which examined top peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences.

“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” they noted.

Sounds as if many of these folks have ‘issues’.  Please seek help.
h/t Free North Carolina

Dear Friends, Part Three

Back when I was newly married (I’m now long divorced), my then wife was interested in finding ‘couples friends’.  Basically, other couples we could hang with and share interests with.  Socialize.

Instead of the more common I had my friends – she had hers.

Thankfully, this post is NOT about that!

I am most fortunate to have a small cadre of good friends.  Some of whom happen to be couples.  I am not currently part of a couple (my landlord being an ex gf is the closest I get) 😦

But recently, two of my ‘couples friends’ have come to my aid and comfort!

After my last scheduled medical procedure, wherein I was advised at the last minute I would owe a substantial co-pay up front, and I had to reschedule for lack of funds, one of the couples came through with the necessary amount!  (Customer Service, Part Cinco)

I finally go in for that procedure this morningOut-for-the-count @ 1130.  Thank you, Dear Friends!
(Hopefully, I’ll be back in my blogging chair again tomorrow…)

Last week, yet another couples friend advised me they were going shooting at an air-conditioned indoor range.  And asked me if I would like to accompany them!

Being of limited resources, I rarely get to go shooting, anymore.  I jumped at the opportunity.

We got to go yesterday to C2!  A very nice range, staffed by young, pretty people.  And I was just required to bring my eyes & ears and whatever firearm.  (I also found some ammo, although they kindly offered to share theirs!)  Thank you, Dear Friends!

Often, I remind you to hold your family and friends close, and tell them you love them, because one never knows…

I’m taking my own advice, today, just in case something happens.

I Love You Guys!

Customer Service, Part Cinco

(Here we are, revisiting a common theme in this blog.  It’s as if they are not listening!)

I was fully prepared (okay, 85% prepared) to post last night for today, as this morning I was to be occupied during my blogging time-frame.  Another medical procedure.  Sigh.

Another endoscopy.  A camera-down-the-throat (and biopsy) to see the ‘progress’ of my esophageal erosion due to chronic acid reflux.  Which might lead to cancer and/or surgery.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be doing it!

This was set-up by my primary physician, as she saw I was suffering from this condition, and wanted to see the progression of the disease.

SO…I was referred to a specialist who saw me six weeks ago, and scheduled this procedure.  One day, outpatient, a few hours.  Roomie J will be driving, as I will be rendered unconscious by propofol (the Michael Jackson drug) for the procedure.

Last time I had this done, the clinic-de-jour called me (and sent me a letter) a month in advance to ask me questions about medical power-of-attorney, organ donation, that kind of icky stuff.  And advised me there would be an intake charge.  Up front.

I was grateful for the heads-up, as being on disability I don’t have lot’s of spare cash lying around for unexpected expenses.  I still wasn’t thrilled at the charge, of course.

But this time, the different facility (I changed doctors as the previous guy seemed to want to get as much Medicare money out of me as possible) had not called or sent a letter.  I assumed (NEVER do that – D. Brown) that if there were a charge, they would bill me.

WRONG!

They called me yesterday afternoon at 1630 hours (I was to be at the hospital at 0700 this morning) and advised me there would be a charge of over one hundred dollars!  They would not bill me, and if I didn’t have the funds, I would have to reschedule!

Of course, I don’t have the money.  And the caller had NO IDEA why I was upset, that this was in the very least an inconvenience and poor customer service!

THEN, she hung-up on me!

But not before telling me to reschedule I had to call my specialist’s office – THEY couldn’t do that!  At 1630 in the afternoon.

(I did rant, but used no foul language.)

Fortunately, my doctor’s office was still open.

SO…it’s been rescheduled for August 16.

Grrr.

PS – While I was writing this, the hospital called to see where I was.  I advised them of yesterday’s conversation and the rescheduling.  Must I do everything?

“We Must Do SOMETHING!”

This seems to be something inherent in humanity.

When a crisis occurs, we want need to do SOMETHING!  ANYTHING!

Even though so much of our lives is out of our control…

“There must be something we can do?”  (After someone had passed, to comfort the survivors) “If there’s anything I can do?”

And, of course, after tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, or riots, or a mass shooting (or stabbing, as recently in Sacramento)…

We must do SOMETHING!

It makes we, as humans, feel better about our powerlessness.

“I KNOW!  Let’s pass another LAW!”

When did we become so disconnected from how things work that we think ‘the government’ passing yet another law (which are selectively enforced, if at all, anyway) will solve any problems?

Bank robbery is already illegal.  Let’s make it even more illegal by passing laws restricting the kinds of firearms the robbers might steal to use!

“Double-secret probation!” – Dean Wormer (Animal House)

I have an idea.

First, lets undo the glut of useless, poorly-written laws clogging up the books since the first gun control (prohibiting freed slaves from owning firearms) was passed in 1809.

THEN…

Let’s let people protect themselves and others from those who would threaten harm.

As we used to allow do:

Protecting our families with hope while evil has guns is not protecting our families. We are in a gun fight and some do not want to give us a fighting chance.

John Croom's photo.

John Croom

1973, a student and teacher guarding a Delaware high school after someone called in a shooting threat during a morning class. Juniors, seniors, and teachers went to their cars and trucks to grab their guns, and guard the doors between classes. No shooter ever arrived.  (from FB)

And how about school districts hiring  honorably-discharged veterans (with security skills) as school security?  Jobs for vets, and schools more secure.

Easy-Peasy!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…