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whining

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Life

It’s a cereal; it’s a board game.  A defunct television series.

It also is what it is.

My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”

M

‘M’

And that might be one definition of Life.  Things changing.

Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School.  Others having birthdays.  A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!

The bad?

That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.

Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.

Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill.  Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?

And some already gone.  More than I ever expected.

Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present.  Apparently, friends no longer.  :-(

“Things change, Guffaw.”

I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.

I already know.

Things are as they are.

This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.

Gender Inequality

…or at least equal opportunity for yuck!

I’m speaking about equal opportunity for MEN here.

I’ve been taking out the trash and the garbage my entire life!  Or, at least since I was able to walk, lift and receive an allowance.

My sister?  Nope.  And SHE, too, received an allowance.

Why the disparity?  I AM MALE!

Don’t you know – IT’S THE JOB OF THE MAN (OR BOY) TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

How do we know this?  Every woman – starting with my Mother and stepmother – said so!

And subsequent girlfriends and even the (now ex) wife!

And currently my female roommate!

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Everyone in the house makes trash and garbage.  I don’t mind sharing the duty necessary to get it to the dumpster.  But, when did it become solely the purview of the MALE?

I tried the argument that if there were gender-specific jobs that she should take care of the house and make the meals and do the wash.

That didn’t go over so well…

And I also received the counter-argument that they had to suffer childbirth and other things feminine.  As if I created women to be that way!

garbage rights

It’s an argument with a woman.

Men lose, automatically.

“A Pizza Is Like A Woman…”

Hot, crusty, cheesy, pepperoni…no WAIT!:-)

I like symmetry.  Things that go together, in balance.

A woman with a huge, uh, chest area, doesn’t appeal to me.  The same goes for the bottom area.

IF the rest of her doesn’t match!

(And I don’t like Kardashians just on that principle!)

(I’m speaking in generalities here – please don’t write angry missives.)

And PIZZA.

I LOVE PIZZA!  Probably too much.

Many folks have moved here (the Valley of the Sun) from New York and Chicago.  And Connecticut!

And started their pizza places.  Some quite yummy!

My all-time favorite is RED DEVIL.  Started in 1960 by the Digeno family, their Margherita-style thin crust pizza is the BEST.  With quality, savory sauce and toppings.  Sadly, my roomie thinks their crust is too tough, and the location near us is not of the same quality as the original.  :-(

But, it all goes together.

In search of ‘other’ pizza, we sometimes try other places around the Valley (when we have money).  We have found some that were pretty good.  Brooklyn V’s, owned by a NY couple and her ex-husband(?!) in Gilbert is pretty good.  And reasonably priced.  And the cannoli and tiramasu are to die for!  Good crust, quality toppings – but (for me) the sauce is meh.  No ZIP!  Not even savory.  Ketchup.

We only go there when J. has a medical procedure in the East Valley, and we have money, anyway…

Recently, we found a long time Valley favorite, Spinato’s.  Ken and Elaine Spinato came to the Phoenix area and opened their business in 1974.  From Chicago.  The thin crust is to die for.  And they don’t skimp on the quality toppings.

But (again) with the sauce!  Slightly sweet, and no spice!  MEH!

It must all go together!

If only RED DEVIL would share their sauce recipe!  Or Tommy’s on Dunlap (long out-of-business)…

The search continues, both for the perfect pizza and the perfect woman.

(Of course, I’m broke until the 20th, so the search will have to wait!  Both pizza and women require money.  Wait – that didn’t come out right…)

SIGH.

Great, just like reading Brigid, now I’m hungry!  Hoist on my own pizza…

(FTC – I pay for my own pizza.  Get your own!)

RedDevilPizzaCouponsPhoenix

 

Mixed Emotions

Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!

Of course, I love her and miss her.  Daily.

I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!

With a boy.

While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather.   And, of course, that never happened.

And I’m a little jealous.

I’m certain Molly is happy for them.

Apologies…

In planning some changes to my blog, I inadvertently hit a wrong button, and it changed!

Sigh.

Of course, now I need to research where I made the error, and make corrections.

And, I’ve an appointment this morning (!) so, off I go!

Later.

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

Black Lives Matter

…and so do others of any color, and cops! – Guffaw

Then there’s THIS (from Kevin Baker):

“…no political will in the country to address inner-city violence.”

As I’ve said here and on other fora, if you really want to do something about homicide by firearm then you need to pay attention to who’s doing the killing, who’s doing the dying, and where it is taking place.  ProPublica has an article out, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives, on this topic, and the title to this post is THE pullquote from it.

Some other choice selections:

In 2012, 90 people were killed in shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. That same year, nearly 6,000 black men were murdered with guns.

Mass shootings, unsurprisingly, drive the national debate on gun violence. But as horrific as these massacres are, by most counts they represent less than 1 percent of all gun homicides. America’s high rate of gun murders isn’t caused by events like Sandy Hook or the shootings this fall at a community college in Oregon. It’s fueled by a relentless drumbeat of deaths of black men.

Gun control advocates and politicians frequently cite the statistic that more than 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. What’s rarely mentioned is that roughly 15 of the 30 are black men.

Avoiding that fact has consequences. Twenty years of government-funded research has shown there are several promising strategies to prevent murders of black men, including Ceasefire. They don’t require passing new gun laws, or an epic fight with the National Rifle Association. What they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.

Lost in the debate is that even in high-crime cities, the risk of gun violence is mostly concentrated among a small number of men. In Oakland, for instance, crime experts working with the police department a few years ago found that about 1,000 active members of a few dozen street groups drove most homicides. That’s .3 percent of Oakland’s population.

Two weeks after Obama unveiled his plan, (Pastor Michael) McBride and dozens of other clergy members, many of them from cities struggling with high rates of gun violence, met again with staffers from Vice President Biden’s task force.

The mood at the January 29 meeting was tense. Many of the attendees, including McBride, felt the president’s agenda had left out black Americans.

“The policy people working for Biden worked with the reality of Congress,” said Teny Gross, one of the original Boston Miracle outreach workers who now leads the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”

Gross said he “blew a gasket.” The clergy members in the room were pleading for help. “We bury hundreds of kids every year in the inner city,” Gross recalled them telling the administration representative. “Some of the solutions need to apply to us.”

A staffer said that the political will of the country was not focused on urban violence, several ministers who attended the meeting recalled.

“What was said to us by the White House was, there’s really no support nationally to address the issue of urban violence,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a pastor from Indianapolis. “The support was to address the issue of gun violence that affected suburban areas — schools where white kids were killed.”

The Rev. Jeff Brown, from Boston, was angered by the administration’s calculated approach. “When you say something like that and you represent the President of the United States, and the first African-American President of the United States, you know, that’s hugely disappointing,” he said.

It would seem that Obama’s a huge disappointment to a lot of people.

RTWT.  And especially the comments.

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    Of course, most of those black-on-black murders are related to the drug trade. When you’re dealing in a product whose sale has been prohibited by government fiat, and a dispute in the course of business arises, you can’t just take the other guy to court. It should come as no surprise that many of them seek out “alternative means” of dispute resolution.

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      That depends on whether you believe the article, which states:

      “But it’s not drug deals or turf wars that drives most of the shootings.

      “Instead, the violence often starts with what seems to outsiders like trivial stuff — ‘a fight over a girlfriend, a couple of words, a dispute over a dice game,’ said Vaughn Crandall, a senior strategist at the California Partnership for Safe Communities, which did the homicide analysis for Oakland.

      “Somebody gets shot. These are men who do not trust the police to keep them safe, so ‘they take matters into their own hands,’ he said. It’s long-running feuds, Crandall said, that drive most murders in Oakland.

      “Men involved in these conflicts may want a safer life, but it’s hard for them to put their guns down. ‘The challenge is that there is no graceful way to bow out of the game,’ said Reygan Harmon, the director of Oakland Police Department’s violence reduction program.”

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      “Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to define the problem …”

      Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to recognize and admit what the problem is.

      There. Fixed it for you.

      For blacks in America, the “problem” is that race shouldn’t matter, but the “solution” is to behave as if race is the only thing that matters. This is known as “hypocrisy” in those who understand what they are doing, and “stupidity” in those who don’t.

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      Two blogs I read regularly dealing with the topic are as follows:

      http://stuffblackpeopledontlik…

      http://www.jameslafond.com/

      James LaFond is mordantly funny and an acute observer of the situation. At the right side, he lists the topics under categories – the Harm City and the Blog are the two most relevant but his Modern Combat category is worth a browse.

      From reading these blogs, the BIG 800 pond gorilla in the room is the refusal of the black community to take responsibly for their own behaviour and their automatic defence of black criminals. The mainstream media and politicians support their viewpoint and the “more of the same” approach that has lead to the situation is demanded (and delivered). More money, more welfare, more police backing off etc.

      Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to define the problem …

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    “… including Ceasefire… [w]hat they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.” This unbelievable crock of fantasy monkey shit destroys any chance this article had of credibility with me. The state of Illinois, specifically comically incompetent governor Pat Quinn, gave the Chicago branch of these thieves over A MILLION dollars to do something about the shooting in Chicago. What did they do with it? Well, nobody knows, because there was no accounting made. No demand for results. No accountability for the money. It just vanished. And there hasn’t been a bit of difference made in the shooting in Chiraq.

      
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      “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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      “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”

      Why would the Democrats want to do that? The violence is the excuse they need to reduce us all to total helplessness in the face of their tyrannical ambitions.

      Put another way, their goal is not to fix the problem, it’s to destroy freedom. The problem of inner city violence is not actually a problem to these ideologues, it’s a tool, an opportunity, an excuse to “take advantage of” so they can take guns from free men. If they actually fixed the problem it would destroy their ability to achieve their true objectives.

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    Political Will, my friends, is what worked so hard for decades to create the problem. The War on Drugs, the Great Society, all the Community Organizing to keep people pissed off, hopeless, divided, feeling like victims and voting Democrat; these things are the fruits of Political Will. Surely you don’t expect Political Will to drop everything it’s worked so hard for generations to accomplish and suddenly work in the opposite direction.

    So just who is this Political Will person whom you all seem to believe has absolute power to solve problems? I tell you he’s a trouble-maker and good for nothing. Political Will seeks power, money and influence for the purpose of keeping people from solving their own problems, and now you expect him to solve the problems he created? This crisis, it seems, is not going to waste for it is leading to calls for more government action. Perfect success!

    Who was it who became famous for saying “the mindset that created a problem is not the one that’s going to solve it” or something to that effect?

    And so I am given to wonder whether we are all insane.

    Maybe we need to be asking ourselves what we are doing to solve these problems, rather than childishly tugging on the coattails of those who helped cause them.

    (…)

     

 

What’s In A Name?

Billy Shakespeare said that.

I’d a recent experience, wherein I left a blog post comment @ one of my blogfriend’s™ blogs.  A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I’d addressed him by someone else’s name!

And there was no method in his blogging software by which I could make a correction.

(I did go back and make a second comment, apologizing.)

This reminded me of a year-or-so ago, when a kind soul sent me a few dollars on my sidebar Paypal link.  (hint, hint).  It was late, I was preparing to retire, and had taken my evening meds.  (HALF of the medication I am prescribed has possible side effects of memory loss!)

And I thanked him profusely, using a wrong name!

Then, I sent him another email, apologizing.  Hopefully, I got it right the second time(?)  I’ve not heard from him ever again.

Sigh.

At least, in the few significant personal relationships I’ve had in my lifetime with the opposite sex, I’ve not uttered another woman’s name whilst in flagrante delicto!

I don’t think?  I wasn’t on this kind of medication, then…

I don’t know…

I See Dead People

dead…or rather, I wish I did!

A number of folks close to me have pre-deceased me.  And with some (not all) it would be nice to have another 15 minutes.

Or a day.

My Mother, who passed when I was in the Second Grade.  My maternal grandfather, Gramp, when I was 24.  Of course my daughter Molly, when she was 12…

And a couple of others.

But, I’ve never had that kind of  spiritual connection.  And I’m a little envious of those who have!

My friend Bob – who saw a vision of his mother in the moment of her passing.  Five miles away!

A girlfriend who saw ‘something’ resembling my deceased dog Ilsa wandering around my house.

My daughter had a childhood friend and neighbor who awakened one night to see a black cat outside on her closed window sill.  My daughter loved cats.  And the cat opened her mouth and laughed, sounding just like my daughter!  Of course, this could have been a dream – except the girl’s mom ran into her room and exclaimed, “I heard her, too!”  This was about one month after Molly’s passing.

But for me, bupkis.

I like to think I’m a spiritual guy.  Perhaps I am, but just not in that way.

Damn.

National Proletarian Radio II

(aka our tax dollars at work!)

NPR:

Shooters Quicker To Pull Trigger When Target Is Black, Study Finds

You racist gun nuts. What with your wanting to actually be able to see your target and stuff.  (Say Uncle)

  1.  Read the article at the above link.  2.  Get physically ill (at your option).

The nice part is the ‘researchers’ who wrote the article are listed with their bonafides and email addresses published!

You might want to drop them a well-reasoned critique…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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