This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Jim Mooney, 1919-2008, R.I.P.


Legendary comic artist/inker Jim Mooney has died. I won't try to sum up his long career, or this posting would be even longer than my last few. (You're welcome.)

Prominent among the many characters he worked on over the years are Spider-Man, Batman, the Legion of Super Heroes, Tommy Tomorrow, the Sub-Mariner, Man-Thing, Ms. Marvel, Dial H for Hero, Omega the Unknown... and, of course, Supergirl. Many comic fans consider Mooney's to be the definitive rendition of Kara Zor-El, a/k/a Linda Lee Danvers, much as those growing up in the same era consider Curt Swan to be the definitive Superman artist.

Personally, I just love the fact that he portrayed Streaky the Super-Cat with those awesome cartoony eyes.

The cape just happened to fall snugly into place.
Coincidentally. Don't you just love that?


Thanks for your time.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

"No Mercy, No Quota"


(Anybody who can tell me exactly what the title of today's post is referencing will win... Well, actually, you won't win anything. But I'll sure be impressed!)

By and large, I have a great deal of respect for policemen, state troopers, and others in the law enforcement field. It's pretty much a thankless job. And before you start sputtering "But... But... !" let me point out that I am fully aware that the profession has its share of outright jerks, as well as those who abuse the power granted to them by their occupation. But so does any job, if you think about it... or has every boss, manager, or supervisor for whom you've ever worked been a peachy-keen, dandy, upright individual?

I also do realize that someone with as much power as the police have over the regular citizenry becomes so much worse than the above-mentioned managers and supervisors when the power granted to him or her is abused.

I must also point out that most (accent on "most") of the people who mistrust or even hate policemen in toto aren't those who've been wronged by said abuses; most of them seem to be people with rightfully-guilty consciences, or outright criminals.

I don't envy anyone in their field. It must really suck to be a member of a profession which (for the most part) attempts "to serve and protect," as the saying goes, knowing that so many people inherently dislike you, distrust you, disparage you, and/or -- oh, just add any other "dis" word which you can think of, including the word "dis" itself -- simply because of what you do for a living.

It's kind of like being a child pornographer. Or a drug dealer. 

Or a person who works for the local cable company.

However, having said all of that...

For almost as long as I've been aware of what a policeman's role is in society, I have heard rumors of the dreaded "quota system." For the uninitiated among you, what this means is that each month, those employed by both the local and the state police are expected -- if not required -- to make a certain number of arrests, or give out a certain number of citations, etc., in order to "prove" that he or she is doing his or her job. I've known several people over the years who actually feel more comfortable committing the most minor of legal infractions (such as "sliding" through a red light, or jaywalking, or being slightly drunk and somewhat obnoxious as opposed to being all-out drunk and disorderly, etc.) toward the beginning of the month, rather than toward the end of the month, when the pressure to "perform" is on any officer who hasn't yet met this fabled "quota." (Talk about performance anxiety!)

And every policeman whom I've ever heard about or read about being (pardon the expression) quoted on the subject of quotas has vehemently denied the existence of this "quota system."

Really.

Really.

Really?

Shortly after I'd left work today, I turned my car from a side street onto Main Street, and within seconds, a police cruiser was behind me, his lights flashing, pulling me over. I wondered what I'd done. My registration and inspection sticker were both valid. I was wearing my seat belt, mandatory in Massachusetts. I'd used my directional (that's "blinker" to you colloquialists) when making the turn. I didn't even have time to increase my speed to one above the posted limit. Did I have a tail-light out, or had my rear license plate been stolen, or... ? Damnit, why'd he stop me?!?

He asked for my license and registration, of course. The usual procedure after receiving both items is for the officer or trooper to take them back to his cruiser and run a "check" on them, to see if I had any outstanding arrest warrants, etc. However, he didn't move more than a foot or two from my driver's side window. He leaned over my windshield slightly, checking to see if my inspection sticker was up-to-date. He asked why I was in that particular town (which is, as is apparent from the address listed on my license, not the town in which I reside), and I truthfully replied that I had just left work. He asked where I worked; I told him.

When he handed my license and registration back, he said that I had to take down the air freshener which was hanging from my rear-view mirror. Although I fully realized that technically, that's a law, I resisted the urge to say, "You stopped me for that? Are you stopping everyone who's got a graduation tassel, or a CD (I've never understood the significance of hanging a freakin' CD from your rear-view mirror, by the way; anyone care to enlighten me?), or a dream-catcher hanging there?"

As I drove away, I smirked and thought, "Hmm. Almost the last day of the month. I wonder if he really has a quota to live up to?" But it was not merely the fact that I had been stopped for something that seemed (to me) to be so petty that sparked my curiosity... 

Nope. That came a bit later.

I didn't really take the whole thing seriously until later that night, as I ran several errands in the nearest "big city." In the course of three hours' worth of driving all over said city, I saw more flashing blue lights than one would see on any six Christmas trees in December. It made me wish I knew how many of those pulled-over cars had truly done anything deserving of a policemen's wrath.

Almost the last day of the month. Almost the last day of the month.

Total coincidence? I think not.

I wrote the bulk of this little RantZ entry but then decided to hold off on posting it in its entirety until I'd had a chance to question an ex-policeman whom I know about quotas. He said they definitely weren't an issue for patrolmen, detectives, etc., who deal with arrests and the like. He fell short of actually admitting that there was any kind of monthly quota for those officers and troopers who mostly drive around during their shifts; he did go so far as to say that any cop on traffic duty who returned to the station at shift's end with no citations to show for it would be asked "Then what the hell did you do all night?"

So. No end-of-the-month-type quotas, strictly speaking.

And I want to believe him. As the Cowardly Lion said in "The Wizard of Oz," "I do I do I do" want to believe him.

But... I just don't.

All I'm sure of at this point is that I'll feel a lot more relaxed as I drive my car during the first... ohhh... three weeks or so of next month?

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- The preceding blog originally appeared at my old blog URL, on May 31, 2005. Gotcha!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Richard Widmark, 1914-2008, R.I.P.

"I think a performer should do his work and then shut up".

At the old web address for David'Z RantZ, I used to do a tribute column any time a celebrity died, providing said celebrity was one "for whom I held a particular respect, fondness, and/or admiration." (Yup, quoting from myself there.)

However, these entries weren't only to praise said celebrities. If I may provide a lengthier quote -- and who's gonna stop me? -- let me give you the ulterior motive for this kind of posting, as it appeared on my 2/24/2005 tribute to actress Simone Simon:

[Ms. Simon's] passing is indicative of the very reason why I do these types of entries: Until this evening, I had thought she was already dead, although I'd be hard-pressed at this time to state exactly why I thought so.

I can name far too many actors, comedians, musicians, etc. who have done something relatively newsworthy during the last few years which prompted me to say "I thought he (or she) was dead!" On a related note, I have occasionally learned of a recent death which prompted me to say "I thought he (or she) was already dead!" In the latter category, I'd have to place such people as Donald O'Connor, Peter Ustinov, and John Raitt (whose February 20th death I just heard about yesterday).

Unlike many people, I never assume that someone is dead simply because I haven't heard anything "new" about the person in a while. I certainly don't know everything, nor even claim to, although you might not know that from listening to me at times... But I can't count the celebrities whom I thought had died because I could swear that someone had told me so... or because I could swear that I'd read it in a newspaper or magazine... or because I could swear that I'd heard it on TV.

I can throw a bunch of names at you, here... Dick Van Patten, Blake Edwards, George Kennedy, Jack Elam, John Mills, Sheb Wooley, Gene Rayburn, Harry Reasoner, Alistair Cooke, Shecky Greene, Elmer Bernstein... These are all people who fit either the former or the latter of my two categories, "I thought he was dead!" or "I thought he was already dead!" (And no, I'm not going to make it easier for you by telling you which names fit which category!) And again, it's not just because of a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" mentality that I thought these people were deceased. In George Kennedy's case, for example, I just know I'd read an obituary somewhere... months before I read that he'd just been signed for a brief stint on a soap opera! Hell, I can even recall how I felt when I learned of his death.

So. That's my poorly-kept secret, the main reason why I list people as they die... so I (hopefully) "won't get fooled again," as Peter Townshend would say.

Anyway... My tribute columns were only "regular" as long as my blog entries were, which eventually fell by the wayside for reasons too numerous to list. Due to that unfortunate factor, I missed out on writing some columns which still bother me somewhat. (I mean, comics god Will Eisner died, and I published nothing. I freakin' idolized the guy for so many years that I still feel actual guilt that I "ignored" the fact of his death, at least on the web.)

Now, at the new URL of David'Z RantZ, I still plan to do the occasional in memoriam piece, but only when the celebrity's death has hit me harder than the average, "Oh, So-and-So died? Damn." response. This way, I won't have to change the title of "David'Z RantZ" to "Bring Out Your Dead."

(deep breath)

Thanks for putting up with one of my longest-ever introductions, by the way. Now to the "real" article!

I was a fan of Richard Widmark's from an early age, somewhere between eight and eleven. I'm not sure whether my first exposure to the actor was in Down to the Sea in Ships -- a film I caught on television right at the height of my youthful obsession with the novel Moby-Dick and whaling in general -- or when my mother took me to see Alvarez Kelly at the local drive-in theater. It might even have been yet another film, perhaps a weekend Western watched on TV while sitting with my father, when I was too young to put a name to individual actors. But regardless, I'd still have to say that it was either in Down to the Sea in Ships or in Alvarez Kelly that Widmark made his first real impression on me. After that, I wouldn't ever forget the actor's name again.

I only own nine of his films on VHS, and the only reason I said nine instead of eight is that a quick look at his movies on IMDb shows that he was in Against All Odds, a video which I own, but have never watched in its entirety. Didn't even know -- or at least remember -- that he was in it.

Virtually alllllll of Widmark's obituaries have listed his immediate rise to notoriety as the homicidal lunatic Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death. And yeah, I own that, too. But my favorite Widmark movies, the ones I bothered to hunt down and purchase, were films like Down to the Sea in Ships, Alvarez Kelly, Don't Bother to Knock (a great flick for anyone having doubts as to whether Marilyn Monroe could really act), O. Henry's Full House, and a decidedly tasty bit of film noir entitled Night and the City, in which Widmark co-starred with the ever-luscious Gene Tierney, owner of the sexiest overbite in filmdom.

(The aforementioned "hunt[ing] down" and "purchas[ing]" of Down to the Sea in Ships and O. Henry's Full House were chores -- and eventual delights -- due to the fact that neither is currently available on legitimate VHS tapes or DVDs.)

Honorable mention must go to two other personal favorites. The first is To the Devil... A Daughter, which, I must admit, was a guilty pleasure for many healthy young males -- myself included -- due to the *ahem* quality of the scenes in which the youthful Nastassja Kinski appeared sans clothing. "Oh, Richard Widmark was in that, too? And Christopher Lee? Oh, yeah." The second is the "Dirty Harry" forerunner-of-sorts, 1968's Madigan, in which Widmark played the title role.

Funny thing, but if you had asked me last week whether or not Richard Widmark was alive, I would have been unsure, but if pressed to the wall, I would have said "no." No particular reason for thinking that, but I hadn't heard anything about him in a while, and gee, the guy must have been in his 80s by now, right?

Well, as I said above, I don't know everything. Until March 24th, Richard Widmark was still among the living. And he was even older than I would have surmised; he had reached the ripe old age of 93.

So no, I don't know everything -- If you quote me on that, I'll deny it! -- but I do know that he'll be missed. By me, and by more film fans than anyone could count.

Next time, something cheerier, I promise. And, maybe, less rambling.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just Wanted to Share These with You

Yep, I'm "phoning it in" for the next few days, due to a few time-sensitive "real" writing jobs. (Click on any image to see it in a larger format, if a larger format is available.)




(Psst! Hey, Sparkle! Look what I got!)

(Psst! Hey, Sparkle! Look what I got, Part Two!)

Now this kid's got hang-ups!

Redneck Cat Carrier

"Retire, Cheney."
Kinda like "Surrender, Dorothy," I guess.

Your 2004 Home Computer, as predicted in the mid-1950s!
(Looks like a ball-busting laptop, to me!)

Bad Kitty!

Parents: Never complain!

Why I love the Doughboy

But not enough to buy one of these...

And I don't know what this is supposed to mean...
But it scares the hell out of me!

Bush's Next Cabinet Member?

Too much Halloween cider, perhaps?

Parents: Never complain!

Really Bad Kitty!

"Duck" tape, get it? Get it?
(Well, I liked it.)

Ah, Calvin, we hardly knew ye...

And, last but not least...

Yeah, ain't it the truth?

I should also mention that if you own the copyrights to any of these images, and want it removed, leave an appropriate notice in my "comments" section and I'll comply ASAP.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bad News for All of You Easter Fans

*sigh* I hate to have to be the one to break it to you all of you little guys'n'gals...


The Easter Bunny and David in
hoppier... that is,
happier times...

But...

Easter is canceled. (News at eleven.)


So sorry.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Saga of David in South Park

I've had a few people ask what the story is behind my profile picture, which looks like it was swiped from an episode of South Park. Not quite. Actually, I created my South Park doppelgänger on this website, and it's only one illustration in the following story, a story [he intoned oh-so-dramatically] "...of my beginning... and my probable end!" (Quote freely "borrowed" from "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley," Detective Comics #457, written by Denny O'Neil.)

Here it is:

The Saga of David in South Park


David as a boy, before anyone ever really knew him... including himself. (That's a toy gun, of course!)


David in his early twenties, fighting a pre-emptive war against the world.


David as he is today, older and... wiser?


The Ghost of David-Yet-to-Be, older, befuddled, and drinking a sissy drink with a freakin' parasol in it, no less!

A gravy-stained David. Even older. Even more befuddled. No longer allowed even sissy drinks with freakin' parasols in them. One last hurrah, as he tries to recapture his happy childhood. (That's a toy gun, of course!)

Oops. Damn. Guess it wasn't a toy gun, this time around... !

"One last hurrah," indeed!


Thanks for your time.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Gotcha!

Since I started blogging at this new URL, which was only about a month ago, most of my entries have been new, while some have been lifted from my old DiaryLand.com website and designated as being "From the Archives."

Funny thing. Only the brand new posts have received comments from my readers. Anything labeled "From the Archives" has received no comments whatsoever. I'm not sure why that is, but it seems an unlikely coincidence. Maybe people are ignoring anything from the archives because they figure they've already read it? That would make sense if it wasn't for the fact that I already have a lot more readers in this location than at the old one -- say, eight million as opposed to six?* -- so most of you haven't read the older stuff... and I assume you're smart enough to have realized that. I mean, what, are you avoiding the "archived" crap anyway, out of some misguided gut reaction?

So I tried a little experiment with the posting entitled "There's No Need to Fear." That was a golden oldie, folks! It originally appeared at my old web address back on... well, I've already deleted it without noting the date, but I do know it was written very soon after one of the Super Bowls, so it was at least two years old. Maybe three. I edited it slightly, and palmed it off on you as new. What the hell, why not? I own it.

And you read it this time around, and left comments, too, so I know you read it. Heh, heh, heh. So guess what I'll be doing -- for the most part -- from now on, whenever I want to use an older entry?

And the beauty of it is that no one will know, except for... what, like, two of you, who will no doubt say, "Oh, terrific, the butt-head's recycling again!"

Well, of course I am. Recycling is a good thing. In fact -- and this is right outta the headlines, boys'n'girls -- God wants us to do it!

And you don't wanna tick Him off, do you?

Thought not.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ I made two entries shortly after midnight this morning, so make sure you check out my previous post!

*Yeah, I'm exaggerating both numbers for emphasis. Lighten up, dude.

GOOGLE, FIX YER F**KIN' CLOCKS!!!

As I begin drafting this blog, it is fifteen minutes after midnight on Friday morning. That's according to my computer's clock. But if I hit "save now," I get a message saying "Draft saved at 11:15 p.m." (That's exactly one hour off, for those of you who are severely mathematically challenged.) However, if I were to go immediately to someone else's blog and post a comment, it'll say that the comment was posted at 12:15 a.m.

Hold on, hold on, it gets better.

My primary email account is a Gmail account. Gmail, for those of you who've been on Mars for the past three or four years, is supplied free of charge by Google. For the first twenty-four hours or so after an email arrives, Gmail tells you exactly what time it arrived.

At 12:23 a.m. -- "real time" -- I sent myself an email, as a test. According to Gmail, this letter arrived at 11:23. *sigh* That's the previous day, technically. Nice trick. But here's the real kicker: Even as it's screwing up the listed arrival time of my email, Gmail is also telling me that the email's 11:23 p.m. arrival was one hour ago, thereby contradicting itself by acknowledging that it is now 12:23!

Come on, Google, we set the clocks ahead almost a week ago! Get it in gear, willya?

Man, I can't wait to see what time this posting will actually say it was posted!

Charlie Brown said it best: "AUGH!"

(Now I'm just gonna sit back and wait for the comment explaining how this is all somehow my fault... at which point I'll delete the whole damned post. HA!)

Thanks for your time. (Daylight Savings Time, that is.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

There's No Need to Fear!


Hey, does anyone besides myself remember the old
Dennis Miller line about the Underdog balloon
"hump[ing] the Kremlin into submission?"
No? Didn't think so...

Ahhh, Underdog. Wasn't it great seeing his cameo at the end of the Visa commercial that featured all the tacky-looking Marvel superheroes? It was to me.

And the "Underdog" theme song? Arguably one of the greatest cartoon songs ever. One of my five personal favorites, along with the "Jonny Quest" theme, the "Top Cat" theme, the theme from "The Mighty Hercules," and that catchy Vince Guaraldi piano composition played in countless "Peanuts" specials (which is officially titled "Linus & Lucy").

I'm sure you recall the "Underdog" theme, if you ever saw the show:

When criminals in this world appear
And break the laws that they should fear
And frighten all who see or hear
The cry goes up both far and near
For Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!


Classic, huh? Of course, you also probably know the second verse, usually heard during the ending credits:

When in this world the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
Who rob and steal from those who need
To right this wrong with blinding speed
Goes Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!


Yup. Classic, indeed. But I remembered hearing a third verse, seldom used, but occasionally played during those ending credits. I could recall nothing about the actual lyrics, however, just that another verse existed. So I did an internet search, and quickly found this:

And when our woeful monologue
Is how by evil we've been flogged
Then breaking through the clouds and fog
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog
Comes Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Now unleash the Dog of Wonder
Tearing evil's bonds asunder
Underdog. Underdog!


As I've said before, ya gotta love the internet! Now I finally knew all the verses, after about forty years!
All of them, do you hear?!? All... of...

Oh, s**t.

Another freakin' verse popped up. Could it be true?

When Polly Purebread starts to fall
From buildings 20 stories tall
She knows the hero she can call
His ears prick up when Polly hollers
Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
There's no need to fear or quaver
Underdog is here to save her
Underdog. Underdog!


Are/were there really four verses? And are there more? Is someone writing them to this day, leaking them to those of us who are still... ummm... panting... for more?

I mean, geez, how many verses did this son of a bitch have?

Hey. Hey! Calm down, you! I did not just profane the name of a cherished cartoon icon! He's a male dog, right? So he really is the "son" of a "bitch." I was just being literal.

So. Bark... I mean, back... off.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feel Free to Skip This...

...at least, if you've never followed comic books, or been involved in comic and/or fantasy fandom. Because most of its references will probably be lost on you. This isn't going to be funny, or clever, or entertaining. I just need to vent, and hereabouts, venting = ranting, pretty much. So here's where I get to do it.

I just found out that artist/writer Dave Stevens died. Yeah, the guy who created "The Rocketeer" and almost single-handedly revived interest in the 1950s cheesecake/bondage model Bettie Page. He was 52, which was a few years older than I'd thought he was, and only a tiny bit older than I.

There have been far too many creative people in or "around" the field of comics who've died in the past year or two or three, not that there's a lesser amount which I'd deem "acceptable." It's bad enough when we lose someone like a Will Eisner, a Jack Burnley, or a Martin Nodell -- men who'd been around since the start of the Golden Age of Comics -- but the passing of (relatively) younger people like Steve Gerber, Gary Gygax, Marshall Rogers, Dave Cockrum, and Dr. Jerry Bails -- and several others for whom I'll probably return to this post to magically edit in -- is starting to wear me down. We're losing people my age, or slightly older, making me feel my own mortality more and more with every new obituary.

That's all. No jokes, no irreverent "Oh, So-and-So died? I can make fun of him, then!" Nope. I'm done.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Up, Up, and... Oh, Sh*t..." (Superman, Again)

In a New Yorker article written by Michael Chabon, he tells of a "religious-school teacher," Mr. Spector, who told "a fine story about a boy who loved Superman so much that he tied a red towel around his neck, climbed up to the roof of his house, and, with a cry of 'Up, up, and away,' leaped to his death. There was known to have been such a boy, Mr. Spector informed us—at least one verifiable boy, so enraptured and so betrayed by the false dream of Superman that it killed him."

(And I'll bet my bottom dollar that, as he plummeted downward, the poor kid was singing that unofficial "Supe - er - maaannnnn!" tune I wrote about here at the top of his lungs, in case that could provide the power of flight which the makeshift cape hadn't.)

Ah, yes, the towel-necked kid who jumps off the roof... I've always put that particular urban legend one notch above that damned Walt Disney story.

So. I interrupted my reading of Chabon's article and took a brief time-out to check Snopes.com, the internet's best urban legend debunker (at least, it is in my opinion, which, as you may have noticed, is pretty much the only one that counts here at David'Z RantZ), to see if they could shed any light upon the old "kids-dies-trying-to-fly-like-Superman" tale. Nothing.

There is this, however, taken from a short article in the September 11, 1939 issue of TIME Magazine : "[Y]oungsters have taken to wearing Superman capes and carrying shields. In Milwaukee one enthusiastic young Superman fan jumped off the roof of his house and survived."

(Aside: "Shields?" WTF?)

Okay, so TIME says the kid didn't actually die. Small consolation, I suppose. But the article doesn't offer any actual substantiation for the story, either. Hell, even Wikipedia doesn't let people get away totally unscathed for that!

But even as I sat there wondering if anyone ever could or would prove the roof-jumper story true or untrue, another thought came to mind: Long before the modern days of political correctness and the tendency to childproof everything in sight, this planet and the people on it operated under the "survival of the fittest" principle. Cars didn't have seat belts. Nobody wore crash helmets just to ride a freakin' bicycle. Anybody who could pull open the door to the cabinet under the sink would have access to ammonia, and bleach, and Pine-Sol, and all sorts of cool stuff! And if somebody wanted to smoke a cigarette, he or she would just light up anywhere and you were pretty much required to suck in the smoky air just like the rest of us! (Possibly the true origin of the phrase, "sucks to be you." Just a thought.)

Anyway, I'm enough of a comic fan not to want to step on anybody's wanting to indulge in a little bit of fantasy, especially a child's, but... It does occur to me that even if you could truly acquire the power of flight by attaching a freakin' towel to your neck, you still needn't jump off a roof to fly. You could either simply jump upwards from a starting spot on the ground, or get a running start and then leap... and with or without that shout of "Up, up, and away!" you'd be... well... up and away. Wouldn't you? I wouldn't climb up on a freakin' roof to try it unless I was... oh... 101% sure it'd work! I mean, were these legendary kids that stupid?

Look, even I'm not so cruel as to actually suggest that the little roof-leapers deserved whatever they got, but... well... come on.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Love Stevie

No, no, no... Sorry to disappoint you, I'm not coming out of the closet or anything. No, I'm talking about Stevie Nicks, formerly of the Buckingham Nicks duo, then with Fleetwood Mac, and soloing since then. Yep, I've been a fan of hers for more than thirty years.

Having said that, I wanted to mention something which occurred to me years ago, but I uncharacteristically kept my mouth shut because I didn't have a forum like this back then.

In "Dreams," Stevie wrote/sang, "Thunder only happens when it's raining." Well, Ms. Nicks, sorry to (the pun is unavoidable) rain on your parade, but that just simply isn't true.

In "Edge of Seventeen," Ms. Nicks also wrote "The clouds never expect it when it rains." Hmm. Chick's got a thing for rain, doesn't she?

"The clouds never expect it when it rains." That one could be true. I wouldn't know.

And why wouldn't I know?

Because I don't have conversations with f**king clouds, that's why!

But then again, maybe I would have, if I'd had access to the same kinds of drugs she could afford back in the seventies...

Thanks for your time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Some Great Childhood Memories

You know, folks, when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, things seemed so much simpler than they are today. Television programs expressed values which were just as "black and white" as the flickering images on the TV screen.

One of my favorite programs was "The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet." And what adventures they were! Harriet Nelson and her second husband, Ozzy Osbourne -- along with their two sons, David and Ricky -- sure got into all sorts of mischief! And Ozzy, of course, was instrumental (no pun intended) in coaxing young Ricky to enter the ranks of the early rock'n'rollers. (By the way, trivia fans, did you know that the real first name of "Ricky" -- later "Rick" -- Nelson was actually Eric? But since Ricky was a product of Harriet's first marriage -- hence the "Nelson" surname -- there's obviously no truth to the oft-repeated rumor that Ozzy named the younger Nelson son after his good friend, Eric Clapton!)

Yep, a ton of giggles, chuckles, and some outright guffaws were prompted by that sitcom, I'll tell ya!

I think my very favorite episode was the Thanksgiving show where Harriet was in the hospital, so poor Ozzy was stuck cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Ohhh, boy, lots of mayhem ensued, by golly, when Big Daddy Oz brought the cooked turkey to the table and it still had its head... which, of course, Ozzy bit off right before the actual carving. Loads o'laughs, yessiree-Bob!

(Man, I can't wait to see if any of this crap winds up on Wikipedia!)

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cross Talk

Sometimes I'm walking, and sometimes I'm driving. Of course, many times, I'm merely walking to or from my car, which strikes me as being the best of both worlds. But having been on both sides of that particular fence, I must say that there is one realization I came to long ago: Pedestrians are, for the most part, an arrogant bunch of S.O.B.s. Or hadn't you noticed?

And any stunt they pull that irks one or more drivers is usually justified with "Well, people have been around longer than cars, you know," like that's supposed to excuse their stupidity somehow. That's almost like if you give me your newborn baby to hold, and I drop it, and follow up by saying, "Oh, well, I can remember before you even had the little diaper-dumper!"

Look, folks, no one alive today is old enough to remember before there were automobiles, so in everyone's mind, cars have "always" been around, just like people. Which blows that "people have been around longer" argument out of the water quite nicely, I think.

My state, Massachusetts, has a law that says that drivers must stop if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, attempting to cross the street. I assume most other states have this law, and most other countries as well... at least those countries that have enough people and automobiles so that this is even an issue.

However, what about those bothersome little pukes that are not in the crosswalk, but are attempting to cross anyway, and pretty much demanding that drivers stop for them, too? I think there should be some kind of "equal time" provision in the law which says that if the pedestrian is not in the crosswalk, the driver is allowed... no, make that required by law... to drive right into that self-important little rectum-head! Not enough to seriously injure, kill, or even maim, I should point out. Even I'm not that vicious... usually... But rather, just enough of a jolt to shake that sucker up a bit, and knock him or her about ten to twelve feet forward. Hell, that'll probably place him smack dab in the middle of the crosswalk he was too lazy to walk over to in the first place.

(And by the way, "Mr. Walker," who the hell do you think you are, raising your hand to stop me as you defiantly walk in front of my vehicle? If my car's brakes can't -- or won't -- stop me, do you really think that waving your pudgy little palm is capable of doing it?)

Okay, okay, maybe I'm going a bit overboard with the vehemence this time around, but perhaps that's the real reason they call it a crosswalk. Ya think?

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Biting Insight

From Telegraph.co.uk, one of the online newspapers I get regularly emailed to me: "A man blinded in an industrial explosion has regained partial sight after [emphasis mine] his son's tooth was transplanted into one of his eyes in a groundbreaking operation." Yep, you read that correctly. The full story is here.

Okay, aside from the fact that this'll hopelessly screw up the old expression, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," this is just... wrong. I mean, sure, I'm glad this poor guy got his vision partially restored. Out of all the things I could ever conceivably lose-- my hair, digits, limbs, senses, my personally-autographed photo of Alan "The Skipper" Hale, etc. -- the two things which would bother me most would be the loss of my eyesight and/or the loss of my mind. (And no comments from the Peanut Gallery concerning that latter one!)

But still...

The ramifications are staggering. This could drastically change the future, and maybe even make us look at our past through a distorted lens! (All vision-related puns -- "look at," "lens," etc. -- are unavoidable, but would be welcomed by me anyway 'cause that's the kinda guy I am.)

To list just one example, we may have to rephrase the lyrics of an old song by The Who to say "See me... feel me... bite me... heal me!" Nope, not a good thing.

And I'm sure you can all think of at least one more on your own, eh?

Thanks for your time.

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