Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Midshipman Heinlein, from the 1929 US Naval Academy yearbook

Heinlein’s quote sounds like a job description for a single mother.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

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Didn’t much care for the program, but loved to watch Sally Field flying around in her cornette.  Sally went to high school with junk bond king Michael Milken and was linked romanticly to actor Burt Reynolds for years. I still hate Reynolds.

When lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag, anything can fly.

– Elsie Ethrington, aka Sister Bertrille

A painting of cornette-wearing Sisters of Charity by Armand Gautier (1825–1894)

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Tommy Emmanuel

Originally uploaded by Riru

I think, therefore I play

Tommy Emmanuel is one of my favorite musicians. From Australia, Emmanuel is a “Certified Guitar Player.” This is a big deal in the guitar world, being personally presented by Chet Atkins. I don’t go to concerts anymore, but he’ll be playing in Knoxville this month and if I can talk the boss into it, I sure would like to go. I was surprised to see tickets were available and at a reasonable price. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tommy was born in the Upper Hunter in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia. He received his guitar in 1959 at the age of 4 – being taught by his mother to accompany her playing lap steel guitar. At the age of 7 he heard Chet Atkins on the radio. He vividly remembers this moment and says it greatly inspired him. (more…)

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Brad Schlozman testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5, 2007. According to the Justice Department investigation, Schlozman bragged about hiring real Americans. AP

Brad Schlozman testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5, 2007. According to the Justice Department investigation, Schlozman bragged about hiring "real Americans." AP

A U.S. Attorney is a political job, appointed by the President and subject to confirmation by the Senate. In March of 2006, President Bush signed into law the Patriot Act, which changed procedures. In effect, his Attorney General could now appoint an interim U.S. Attorney. As long as the President didn’t nominate anyone else for the position, this interim appointee could remain indefinitely. Good-by checks and balances. 

Now, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, except a U.S. Attorney decides who is prosecuted in his District and for what crimes. If, for example, there is a tight Senate race in Missouri, and ACORN is out there registering voters or whatever, the U.S. Attorney could announce voter fraud indictments just before the election. This just might have an impact on the election. George Bush certainly knows the value of a helping hand when it comes to close elections.

Bradley Scholzman was acting head of the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department under Roberto Gonzalez, who appointed him interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. He replaced Todd Graves, who confirmed that he had been forced out by the Department of Justice and had not departed on his own initiative.

A Justice Department investigation has concluded that Schlozman  illegally hired attorneys based on partisan credentials and then lied about his actions to Congress. The report quotes e-mails to colleagues in which Schlozman called civil rights attorneys “pinkos” and “commies.” He bragged about hiring “real Americans” and “bitch-slapping a bunch of attorneys” he perceived as liberal. In one voice mail to a colleague, Schlozman tried to justify hiring people with no record of civil rights experience. “I just want to make sure we don’t start confining ourselves to, you know, politburo members because they happen to be a member of some, you know, psychopathic left-wing organization designed to overthrow the government,” Schlozman said.

Schlozman’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, cautioned, “Let’s not confuse inartful comments with breaking the law.” Yeah, and let’s not Bradley Schlozman with a lab rat. There are some things a lab rat won’t do, even for the President.

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Clarence Turns 67

Everybody is getting older, even the Big Man from E Street.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clarence Clemons (born January 11, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.


Clemons was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in Norfolk County. He attended Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore) on a football athletic scholarship — he was a lineman with professional football aspirations until an injury derailed his sports career.

There’s a lot more in this biography, but listen to any E Street live recordings and you’ll hear what is important . . .

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Groucho Marx dedicated his 1959 autobiography, “Groucho and Me,” to “six masters without whose wise and witty words my life would have been duller.” The six were Robert Benchley, E.B. White, George S. Kaufman, Ring Lardner, S.J. Perelman, and James Thurber.

Thurber’s book My World and Welcome to It is a collection of short stories and humerous essays. A short-lived television series of the same title was based on Thurber’s book. I remember watching this program and enjoying it very much, but at the same time I knew it wouldn’t last. You had to think a little to appreciate  what was going on. Television at the time was being dummed down, a sad trend which continues. Each episode was like a blog post, short and sweet with a point made  somewhere in or around it. 

Thurber died before the Internet existed, so he isn’t the original blogger. But his essays and his illustrations would have been perfect for a blog and if he were alive today I’m sure he would have a great one. And the television show would be the original video blog.

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Tom Jones

Tom Jones is 68 years old.  I don’t know how that happened, we were both so young just a little while ago.  Excuse me while I have a Nick Nolte moment . . .

From Wiki

Sir Thomas John Woodward KBE (born 7 June 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh pop music singer particularly noted for his powerful voice and wide vocal range. He was born in Trefforest, Pontypridd, near Cardiff in Wales. Since 1965 Jones has sold over 100 million records.

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The Kippen König walked by the house a few days ago, head down and looking for kippen.  This is German for cigarette butts.  The König, which is German for king, has been around a while. I don’t recall when we noticed him for the first time.  He is an older man – small, thin, and unkempt.  In the summer months he’s mostly just plain dusty.  He’s alone now, but one summer a couple of years ago he had a wretched looking woman trudging along beside him.

The König looks for cigarette butts he either stuffs into his pocket or lights up then and there.  In the morning he walks toward Food City, then comes back up Morgan Avenue heading west.  In good weather he might make this round twice.  I don’t know where he lives, but I have seen him in Jonesville, ten miles down the road.

One day I saw the König with his queen and a young girl. They were sitting around the Middle School, chowing down on something from MacDonald’s.  I didn’t think much of it at the time; the girl looked like she was spending the day with her down-on-thier-luck grandparents.  Maybe she was.  The Kippen König is Sam’s father.  Before Sam moved away he worked part time stocking shelves at Food City.  Sam studied French for a year in Paris. That’s Paris, France. Not Paris, Tennessee.  Sam was ashamed of his father.

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