Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wal-Mart and the Wacky World

You may be familiar with the story of Debbie Shanks. Some of you may have read about the Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death in New York. Are people so empty these days that they would do something so senseless just to get their hands on a piece of plastic? Is it any wonder why I don't follow the crowd?

I've been working at this Wal-Mart in Knoxville for about a year and a half. If the economy wasn't in such bad shape, I would be doing something that I really enjoy. Of course, I would love to be an NFL talent scout or directing/writing movies. At least I'm working on getting there slowly but surely.

To make a long story short, they terminated me last night. Of course, I have an incredible knack for when things are going to go down, so I saw this coming from a mile away. They claimed that I didn't notify them that I was going to take last Saturday off for my hiking trip even though I had put my request into the system over a month ago. They didn't tell me they had a problem with it until after the fact. They certainly didn't notify me that my request had been declined. Then again, communications have always been a issue with some of them. It is like I'm supposed to read minds.

Basically, they tried to get me to sign a document related to this matter that was inherently false. I rebuffed them. I supposed they weren't used to employees standing up for themselves, but the fact of the matter is that I don't allow anyone to bully me around. I don't care if it is a boss, police officer, the President of the United States, etc... I can wear that uniform just as well and carry the title even better.

I enjoy the co-workers very much, but a number of the people in the management ranks are arrogant and rude. I don't know if this is due to their training or that is just how they are in dealing with people. Sometimes being number 1 can breed a sense of superiority and inflated ego. After reading similar accounts, I'm inclined to believe it is mostly due to how managers are trained to interact with employees.

Basically what has been happening as of late is that because of the economy, it has cut into retail sales. So, as a way to reduce payroll without employees being able to file for unemployment, (not to mention increase their already hefty bonuses for increased store profits), Wal-Mart is just firing them outright over "reading a magazine in the break room" (it never was an issue before), not putting up the entire case of stock when it is already understood that we only put the entire case of stock up when it will actually all go up, etc...

They will eliminate part-timers first, then trim from there. The departments that will be hit in the coming weeks and months will be Lawn and Garden, pets, and Electronics as people spend less on these and foreclosures continue to rise.

Wal-Mart will do better than the majority of businesses this year. But even they will have to buckle down as the economy continues to get worse. I have it on good authority that about a year from now, particularly after what is sure to be a dismal holiday season, they will officially announce layoffs that could number as high as 100,000 in addition to what is going on now. Of course, only time will tell.

Aside from that, a little over a week ago, I was told of an interesting incident where two co-workers were looking at an air soft rifle that was in one of the co-worker's car. Apparently some customer just assumed it was a rifle and called the police while relying on false information even if it was mistaken. In a nutshell, one of the police officers took his air soft rifle away and threatened to shoot him on the spot the next time he has it. So much for protecting and serving.

Don't fret over me. I saw this recession (or depression) coming years ago. Therefore, I prepared myself as best I can. I have enough money saved up to hold me over for around a year. I'm going to take it easy this weekend, catch up on my sleep, enjoy the Super Bowl party and go from there. I already am working on some potential job leads. At least now I will have time to work on that screenplay I've been meaning to write.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pacemaker sales up 33%

I saw a video from ABC News that was posted on Yahoo, but the video went away before I could link to it.

In a nutshell, pacemaker sales were up 33%, McDonald's opened around 165 new locations and the sale of liquor and wine are up. Not to mention candy and video rentals. All at a time when layoffs have been big and will get bigger. So, what does this all mean?

It means we are seeking out ways to take our minds off our troubles because there will be plenty of them in the upcoming year.

"Their leaders talked... and talked... and talked... but nothing could stem the avalanche."

Can you feel it in the air? It is here folks!

The Sandwich Cookie Personality Test

You Are Traditional and Dependable

You view the world with childlike wonder. You are very inquisitive. You can help but spy, investigate, and ask questions.

You are a natural communicator and facilitator of harmony. You value peace above everything else.

You're easy going and easy to be around. You aren't picky or high maintenance.

You seek security in your life. Feeling safe is important to you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And The Hits Keep On Coming!

I find it funny that they are saying we are still in a recession. It took the officials a year to admit that. Will it take them a year to admit that we are in a depression?

Caterpillar to Cut 20,000 Jobs as 2009 Profit Slumps

Bloody Monday for Job Market

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Joan Leslie

Today is Joan Leslie's birthday. The first thing that stands out to me about Joan aside from her obvious beauty is that she is a multi-talented individual who could perform in comedies, dramas, and vaudeville. Those kind of individuals are rare. She is yet another reason why I wish I was born in the early part of the 20th century, so I could had at least had an opportunity to have worked on Hollywood movies.

Joan was able to hold her own against Hollywood legends like Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney. To think she was able to do it as a teenager is even more impressive. My favorite movie that she appeared in largely for sentimental reasons is Sargeant York (often simply referred to as Sgt. York). But it is her other movies like Yankee Doodle Dandy and The Sky's The Limit with Fred Astaire that enabled her to demonstrate her talents as a dancer and singer.

In her adult years, she appeared in some other movies like Born To Be Bad and The Woman They Almost Lynched before embarking on a successful career as a dress designer and having twin daughters who are both college professors.

Her husband, Dr. William Caldwell passed away in 2000 several weeks after celebrating their 50th anniversary. Joan has appeared at various film festivals over the years.

Feel free to join my Joan Leslie Group.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Take On The Williams-Lynn Matter

For the record, I'm an independent who thinks there isn't much of a difference in general between the Democrat and Republican parties.

If you follow Tennessee politics to any degree, you probably have heard about recent news regarding the allegations in 2007 made by Susan Lynn regarding Kent Williams.

I do question the timing of the release. I mean, when it involves something like sex, the media is usually all over it from day one. Did the media all of the sudden become interested in anything related to Williams just because he is now the new Speaker of the House?

I'm sure Jason Mumpower isn't losing any sleep over this. But you know what? I've been involved in politics long enough to know that when you have something documented like this, it can always come back to bite you especially if you are two-timing people. Williams played politics and now he is learning the hard way how politics is played. As for the events as detailed by Rep. Lynn, I don't doubt the facts as she laid them out. She is one of the few legislators that I do trust.

Eventually, whatever comes to pass, let it come to pass. But for now, Williams is learning that being Speaker of the House isn't what he apparently thought it was cut out to be.

This also goes to show you have be on your guard and use the head on your shoulders. Usually when men get together or when women have a Girls Out Night, they crack jokes about the opposite sex. But in each other's presence, those jokes take a whole other turn. This is one reason I'm very business-like with women with physical contact limited to a handshake and nothing more. I'm also keenly aware of how this issue can be made a political football at times. Ever notice how NOW sought to "hang" Clarence Thomas because he was the Supreme Court nominee of a republican president when ignoring even worse transgressions from their hero, democrat Bill Clinton. So it becomes a case of damn if you do and damn if you don't.

One final note: Jimmy Naifeh, the long-time former speaker of the house (and the public face of political corruption in Tennessee) was made aware of this charges almost as soon as it happened, and being the Speaker at the time, he was in his per view to handle this matter. I'm not saying we should hang Kent Williams, but for Naifeh to not even act is something worth noting. He knew this memo existed in addition to the accusation that he had was acting unprofessionally towards a fellow legislator, but went about making sure that he could be voted in as Speaker anyways. The ultimate joke is on him and the district he represents. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

It Is Not 1998 Anymore, Folks!

"Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction."
-Thomas Jefferson

It is hard to believe that Jefferson wrote this to a friend around 200 years ago. They didn't even have a telegraph at the time. And young people wonder how we managed to survive without cell phones and YouTube.

People who know me will say I don't talk much. I'm a better listener than a talker. But when I do have something to say, even if it isn't in the loud melodramatic form of a Baptist preacher on Sunday morning, you had better listen.

I am doing reasonably well. I'm not where I want to be in terms of career options, but I'm working on it. Now if I can only find time to finish that screenplay. I've managed to keep my sanity through this mess plus a recession eight years ago. I've had to draw on my experiences as a kid such as being in the woods, interacting with the wildlife, growing my own vegetables, etc...
I then moved to Halls Crossroads just before I became a teen and moved away from that for a little while.

I've been warning people for years about NOT going along with that sub-prime mortgage nonsense. "But you have to because rates won't get any lower!" If the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is already 2%, then it won't get much lower. It will only go up...eventually.

I've been suggesting to people that they should not run up their credit cards because what would happen if you get laid off?
I rarely carry more than $100 balance on it and pay it off in full when it comes due. I've been suggesting when the opportunity presented itself to learn how to ride and care for a horse because even the rich have limits on how much they will pay for gas.

Now if these times don't cause people to wake up, I don't know what will.
I know what the problem is. We've become too damn comfortable!
I understand the convenience motive. But being too comfortable for too long obscures us from the real world. It is a brutal world. People die. People get sick. People get drunk, obese, run over by life in general. If you haven't had problems yet, you will.

I dare you! I dare you to get outside your comfortable little 5,000 square foot house, walk next door and say hello to your neighbor. You have been neighbors for years now, but never as much as say a word to each other. You say you need a new job? Who knows! Your neighbor might be a business owner and is looking for someone with your qualifications.

Job-hunting like it was the 1990's or even the 20th century in general will not work. Resumes are nice. Even a baby knows what they look like. College degrees look nice. If dead people can vote, then they can certainly obtain a college degree. If people don't grow, they die. You have to update and upgrade while at the same time, having a core set of beliefs and values and not wavering on those beliefs and values in the face of unfriendly fire.

I dare you! Maybe you grew up in the ghetto and listen to hip-hop. Back in the day, I was learning to break-dance and wearing that sequined glove and red jacket. I dare you to move out to the country with all those inbreds and rednecks. Maybe you could learn how to set up a garden and ride horses. Your 1970 something car is on the verge of a breakdown anyways.

I dare you! Maybe you are a life-long Republican who would have nothing to do with any other political party. Or you are a loyal Democrat because your parents are and your grand-parents were, and your family were Democrats since the 3rd century and what not. I dare you to at least expand your horizons a little bit.

I dare you to learn a thing or two about languages even if you will never become affluent in it.

Maybe you are an atheist who has something against Bible-believing Christians, Old-Testament believing Jews or even Koran reading Muslims. You never even read the Bible except through the view of other atheists and many of them never read the Bible too. So, I dare you to read it and begin with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Not Genesis as most people do. The Bible is something onto itself and must be treated as such. I have read the Koran and I will you tell you, although I am not and won't be a Muslim anytime soon, when Hamas or Bin Laden claim they do what they do because God approves of it, they are liars and blasemers.

The true cause of Muslims anger towards the United States is because of our policies towards them, not because we have strip clubs or because we have skyscrapers. There are skyscrapers in the United Arab Emirates and they aren't flying planes into those. Bin Laden himself was a CIA operative during the Soviet-Afghan war.

Equally people who justify burning lesbians at the stake because that is what God would want; well let those who are without sin cast the first stone. Besides, watching two women kiss each other is not that big of a deal. Then again, I'm a heterosexual guy, so what do you expect? Ultimately, you stand up for what is right and you stick to your core beliefs, but also be humble enough to realize God will be making the final decisions.

I dare you to check out my website.

I dare you to think outside the box. Times like these require people to do just that.

If we do that and it always starts with just a few people, then we can work towards getting ourselves out of this mess and move onto better things. Not necessarily a bigger house or a faster car, but something that brings us closer to the true purpose in life. I don't know. They didn't have social security when Daniel Boone and David Crockett were around. They didn't do too bad. I do have to admit I do like Davy more though. It sounds cooler.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good riddance, Bush. MOS from Obama

I won't write a book on the not-so-wonderful two terms of George W. Bush. It speaks for itself. He certainly has been the worst president in my lifetime which isn't saying much. Ronald Reagan is the only one I would have even voted for had I been able to vote at the time.

Now onto Barack Obama. I can't help but to notice how everyone or most everyone is treating him like some sort of messiah. While it is still early to come to definite conclusions about what he will do, just based on what he proposes to do which is more of the same ole policies coming from Washington and his current nominations for various cabinet positions whom are mostly long-time Washington insiders, I have no reason to believe that things will get any better anytime soon. So it will be More Of The Same (MOS). Perhaps when he mentions change, he means change for the worst.

If you thought $4 a gallon for gasoline was bad, wait until it is $6, $8, or more. If you thought a 14 percent unemployment rate was bad, wait until it hits as high as 25 or 30 percent. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics claims the unemployment rate is "only" 7.2 percent. But I've learned from being involved in politics that when the government uses numbers, they are almost never accurate. The Pentagon claims only around 4,200 troops have been killed in Iraq, but it is more like 8,000-10,000. They don't factor in "non-war related injuries" like a mechanic being hit by shrapnel or friendly fire incidents as they are called. So how does the BLS get around this? By not counting those who have exhausted their eligibility, those who are underemployed (i.e. working two jobs, working 10 hours a week just to have some money coming in, etc...), those who don't have a current mailing address most likely because they are homeless or having to move in with relatives or friends, etc...

I have no reason to believe Obama could save us and he couldn't even if he sincerely wanted to. Therein lies part of the problem. He is not being sincere. He is a typical politician. So there you have it folks! Brace yourselves, stick together and prepare to ride it out because this current mess could go on for a long time.

Happy Birthday Lysander Spooner!

Lysander Spooner was born on this day in 1808. I've been interested in Lysander Spooner's works for a number of years now. Spooner is not very well-known today in large part because he was opposed to everything from slavery to big government in general and even competed with the United States Post Office long before UPS and Federal Express came onto the scene. In a nutshell, he was not and still is not politically correct.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cary Grant!

If there ever was a man who was born to model the tuxedo, it would be Cary Grant. Yes, Sean Connery as James Bond was pretty good, but Cary beat him to the punch. I can't help but to think Sean watched North By Northwest in order to pick up on some things.

Just like all those kids in the 1960's making a big deal about burning bras and protesting the Vietnam War when their grandparents and/or great grandparents had already lived it up during the Roaring 20's.

It is very hard to pick a favorite Cary Grant movie and he sure had a knack for picking some good ones to work on.

Cary started out with romantic and screwball comedies throughout the 1930's like Bringing Up Baby with Katherine Hepburn and His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell. I have to admit it though, Rosalind upstaged him in this movie. Another film in which I think he was upstaged was I Was A Male War Bride co-starring Ann Sheridan.

The movie that prolonged his career and showed he could do dramatic roles would be Suspicion co-starring Joan Fontaine. This also happened to be the only movie in which an actor or actress won an Oscar in an Alfred Hitchcock directed film when Joan won for Best Actress.

Perhaps his most famous scene is when he was chased by the crop duster. I also think in terms of pure excitement, this is his best movie.

In my opinion, his most underrated movie perhaps because it was done in a low-key manner would be An Affair To Remember.

Much has already been written and said about Cary, so I won't waste anymore space about it. We will still be talking about him 100 years from now. That is the true definition of a classic.

So to Cary Grant, Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Defending Journalists For This One Moment

Courtesy of Education Center Online

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you probably get the sense that I have a rather healthy distrust of institutions. I don't believe everything I read or hear in the press, especially corporate media. I don't worship corporations and I also don't trust churches or people who may operate them if their intent is seeking personal or political power or if they are in bed with the government. I never believe anything a politician says. However, I'm on good terms personally with several state legislators and even send them Christmas cards every year. Basically, I don't trust anyone who is power-hungry. Beyond that, I can mesh with many different people in many different situations; Yet I will never fit squarely into any one group. I may appear to be simple on the outside. But on the inside, I can't even figure myself out at times.

I suspect my reasons for not trusting the media is similar to most people who happen to not trust the media. It is because, too often, journalists are too close to the people they cover or would not want to lose a major advertiser and thus may not run a story that portrays the advertiser in a negative light. Of course what is the "media" these days is blurred in large part due to the internet with all that it brings to the table.

Other issues I have with the media or at least the traditional media is they either don't report independently what politicians may say and are willing to look the other way when government officials engage in misconduct.

Worse, they do the government's public relations work for them. I gather this is more of an editorial or a political issue than a reporting or business issue. Editors and reporters can be just as motivated by personal or political interests as anyone.

I have dealt with this first-hand to the point of butting heads with an editor because of my refusal to allow myself to be an errand boy in accordance with another certain individual who certainly acted and thought like a politician although she was supposed to be representing the people of her district. I will let you fill in the details on what this matter may have involved. Basically, it would be allowing them to tell me how to write my articles that would serve as a front for their personal and political opinions as if people didn't already suspect something was amiss with their local paper. Of course, the editor runs the paper and runs it as they see fit. It is their right as it is my right to not work there if that is the way it has to be. It may have cost me my job, but I have no regrets. Ultimately, they will have to answer to the same God I answer to.

So I do take a step back when I hear or read something along the lines of journalists being blamed for all the ills in the world or people wondering why they can't figure things out even after there is so much information available on many subjects. Want to know what causes inflation? Look it up. Why do cold fronts do what they do? Google it. These days with access to the internet, there is no excuse to not expand your sources for information. Of course, until the government decides that the internet must be censored or cease to exist.
I wonder how well that will go over.

I sometimes have to remind people who have commented in this way that while we may not like everything we see or hear and perhaps we shouldn't, reporters, journalists, and what have you have bills to pay and make ends meet like everyone else. They have families to feed and do have a social life or at least I hope they do to an extent. It is hard to be an effective reporter if you are sitting behind a desk in a dark room all day and night. They often have to do things they may not want to do and wouldn't in a perfect world, but alas we don't live in perfect world.

It is just that while a journalist's work is so public, the process of deciding what gets put on air or published is done in a way that is not privy to the public eye i.e. editorial decisions being made in conference rooms.

I communicate regularly with journalists in my area and have several of them on MySpace, Facebook and what not.

As one of my newer friends on Facebook wrote to me, "[Y]ou help keep us employed".

News organizations are businesses just like any other business. They have production costs to meet primarily paying salaries and have expenses to meet like the utility bill, the cost of purchasing and maintaining their equipment, and receive their revenue primarily from advertising which is becoming more diluted with the advent of the internet. Newspapers are certainly feeling the brunt of this.

So, keep this mind next time you want to condemn them for everything that is ailing you and the world around you. They are just messengers or at least they are supposed to be. They don't make the news, they just report on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Night with Mendelssohn, Mozart and Bach

"Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God."
Felix Mendelssohn

I've been interested in music going way back to the disco days as even I remember listening to the Bee Gees in addition to being part of the MTV generation or whatever the term that is used these days. I even branched into song-writing about a year ago as a way to get more in touch with the right side of my brain otherwise known as the creative-emotional side whereas the left-side is logical, analytical, etc...

I'm new to the world of classical music beyond hearing some of Beethoven's Symphonies (in which Symphony No. 3 is regarded as the end of the Classical Era and the beginning of the Romantic Era and doing some reading on Wolfgang Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach.

I'm still learning about the terminology and personalities instrumental in Classical music. I attended my first KSO event in October. I sat four rows from the stage, so I was able to get a very good first-hand view of the roles that each individual performs. I don't feel qualified to critique their particular performances no more than I would be qualified to provide commentary on any other subject in which I'm not familiar with.

However, in terms of just taking in the sights and sounds, it is certainly a different tune compared to attending a rock or country music concert with just as much work if not more so in order to make it come out flawless. This is a subject matter that will require of my time and effort to learn. But as the way I am, I have an eagerness to learn new things and try something at least once.

The featured performer was pianist Navah Perlman.

Afterwards, I attended the reception and was able to meet some of the people involved with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for the first time including conducter Lucas Richman, Director of Communications Stephanie Burdette and fellow blogger Frank Murphy. I personally don't like having my picture taken, but I will summon up the courage to do it here.

Afterwards, I endured the temperatures of around 15 degrees as I headed back to the warmth of the house and enjoyed a much needed sleep afterwards.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Sign of the Times

A sign hangs in a window at Fishs Eddy store in New York, New York December 24, 2008. Small business sentiment deteriorated in December, posting its second lowest reading in 35 years, highlighting the worst post-war economic climate that has seen a dramatic cut back in consumer spending.
(Michelle Nichols/Reuters)

Friday, January 9, 2009

A one-party country? The GOP is trying to help you out

Laura's E-Blast

January 9, 2009

If you've ever wondered what America might look like as a one-party country, Republicans are trying to help you out. And by "trying" I mean rolling over and dying. President Elect Obama and his congressional henchmen are in the midst of swiping another $1 trillion-plus from American taxpayers. And Republicans -- who once upon a time professed concern for taxpayers -- could apparently care less. Either they believe stealing from our grandkids makes for sound policy, or they're too afraid to second-guess the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Whatever the case, it's embarrassing.

Today's Gallup poll finding 53 percent of Americans support Obama's "stimulus" plan is actually shocking. That his plan only registers support from half the country -- without anyone speaking in opposition! -- shows not every American has lost his way. Unfortunately those who have all work in Washington.

Today's pols -- and their media co-conspirators -- are monopolizing the "debate" over America's recovery. To sell a Washington economic power-grab, Obama spin-doctor David Axelrod is reportedly teaching Dems to use poll-tested, focus group-approved words -- like, "recovery" instead of "recession," "investment" instead of "infrastructure," "bold" and "urgent" instead of "a reckless and impulsive waste."

The sad reality is that marketing-as-politics actually works. Just ask President-elect Barack "Hope 'n Change" Obama. Or even Republicans of yore. In the 90s, opposition to the estate tax grew to more than 80 percent once Republicans took to slurring it the "death tax."

Now, everyone's a slave to platitudinous political rhetoric. No pol interested in surviving the next election will oppose an "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," aka Obama's trillion-dollar Treasury blowout.

Yet it's not like we need to dust off our Econ 101 textbooks to find out how well this latest "fix" will work. The U.S. economy has already taken a swan dive into a bottomless abyss of debt. This time last year Congress passed a $200 billion "stimulus" -- and just look how well that's worked out.

Let's see how popular this "stimulus" bill is once Republicans rebrand it the "Downfall of the American Economy Act." Or the "Trillion Dollar Deficit Protection Act." Or, my favorite, the "Suicide Pact of 2009." Whether the GOP's still capable of being so bold is another matter. After yesterday's Obama presser, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the mic and threw down the gauntlet. Yes, he'd support a "stimulus bill" -- but only if it costs less than a trillion dollars. Pow! Take that, Democrats!

But at the risk of sounding cynical, it's worth noting Congress still has a few voices of sanity. USA Today reports, "As Congress prepares to borrow and spend billions of dollars to revive the economy, a growing group of conservative House Democrats is angling for long-term changes to reduce the federal government's soaring budget deficit. Leaders of the 51-member Blue Dog coalition ... say they want tighter spending controls in exchange for their support of the proposed stimulus."

That's right -- Democrats are now the last best hope for the American taxpayer. Not that the Blue Dogs will ever prevail against their party's poobahs.

To at least slow down America's rapidly accelerating deficits, the first step is clear. Republicans need to address its leadership deficit. Fast.

Is Blagojevich Much Ado About Nothing?

Am I the only one who notices the irony of the matter involving Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich?

It is funny reading about all these politicians who would know a thing or two about corruption calling for his head. After all, in order to get things done in politics, you first have to create a channel of corruption. What will they think of next? O.J. Simpson giving us a pep talk on how to have a happy family life?

The only difference is that we don't have a Mr. Smith going to Washington, but Mr. Burris.

I guess we will see how this thing unfolds. But for me, it is the same old politics as usual. It is hardly news worthy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do Women Really Care About Size?

WARNING: This is not for the faint-hearted!

I am a reader of Life According to Candice in large part because she is a witty writer and pretty hot too at least judging from her picture. But she is already married, so that ruins it for me. Now Candice, if I send you an invitation to my birthday party, you will attend right?

She posted a recent topic regarding a "Conversation with Taylor" about a guinea pig. LOL.

This got me to thinking about a blog topic all its own, so here goes:

Okay, so I admit it: I've seen episodes of Ally McBeal (or is it McMeal?) and Sex and the City out of plain curiosity, but I'm not what one would consider a truly obsessed raving lunatic of a fan of these shows. I'm a bigger follower of the Dukes of Hazzard and the X-Files which is not to be confused with the pornographic movie version which came several years after the show was already on the air. Now for any of those Sex and the City fans, which episodes have female mud wrestling in it?

I gathered from watching a handful of Sex and the City episodes is these ladies really have a thing for men who have a big penis as well as a lot of money.
One scenario has Samantha finding a man she wants to have a relationship with, but for one problem: his penis is too small. She cries about it, whines to her friends about it, and finally, in a couple's therapy session with the unfortunate dude, blurts out that it is too small! The guy storms out, and the female counselor nods sagely at Samantha in sympathetic understanding. All to the good, since Samantha's friends had already agreed it was OK to dump a guy if it's too small. The Ally McBeal program also depicted women ditching men who weren't up to their size standards.

Women also make a distinction about length vs. girth, in that the thickness is mentioned by some as being more important than total length. Indeed, a penis that is too long can be the cause of discomfort or even pain (there's another episode of Sex and the City where Samantha dumps a guy for being too big). And to think women have it tough today.

I first became aware of the issue of big versus small penis after reading The Devil and John Holmes by Mike Sager which appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in 1989.
I was 12 at the time. Apparently, John Holmes was an icon for men at that time. These days, I gather it is Ron Jeremy (Oh Lord!) or Peter North who first started out in gay porn.

Among my buddies back when I was even younger, we referred to it as "the dooger". I looked up definitions about this term online and came up with a sampling:

"weird, $$$$ed up, messed, also can mean wild, thrilling, or just cool."

"a good fellow who deserves a much better life than what he is given, being constantly teased but then rising up to have mad respect out of the unique characteristics he has from being teased as a child, a good, non annoying christian person who is fun for a laugh or so. there life sucks."

"A slang term, commonly used to refer to males named Luis from Puerto Rico. Normally the individual in question will be a walking hard on, prone to sleazing on Asian girls in a drunken and over bearing manner."

I never met anyone by the name of Luis from Puerto Rico by the way.

"That girl over there, she is a dooger." I think this means a transsexual or a hermadite.

"A hot dog, particularly prepared at a summer cook out." Indeed! Best topped with relish and mustard.

But what can I say? I'm an oddball. Even as a teenager, I wasn't into "the game" because my hormones hadn't revved up yet. But nowadays, at an age when most men are starting to wind down, I'm on super turbo charge. I will not divulge details about my naughty dreams because well, it speaks for itself. Besides, it would save a lot of embarrassment for all those women I've dreamed about over the years and especially if they are already married, involved or in some other kind of relationship. When I'm not dreaming about what I will be doing 25 years from now, economics, my screenplay, or a million other topics, I dream about this important topic.

But personally, I prefer that men (and women!) use the head that is above their shoulders more than the one down there. Penis size, breast implants, etc... are exaggerated in society. But the society we live in is one of instant gratification and hype. Not exactly complimentary traits if you are seeking a long-term relationship or marriage. I largely suspect just as most men don't care for breast implants, most women don't care for large penises especially if it is fake. After all, recalling from a question and answer session that Kylie Ireland did once, she says that men should be more focused on being better listeners and lovers more than being concerned about the size of their girth.

So, stop worrying and start living.

Liz Smith article on Kim Novak

I've been a fan of Kim Novak's since the Vertigo restoration came out in 1996.

Another fantastic interview and the best about Kim IMO appeared in an article by Tom Shales in the Washington Post that same year.

I wish I had been around during the day to see her movies in the theatres.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I May Build An Ark

If you live in the East Tennessee area, you know we've had a LOT of rain this week.
I just may have to build an Ark.

I wonder if that dream I had was referring to a flood and God was telling me to get ready really soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Earth In 2050

Ten years living in a paperbag,
Feedback baby, he's a flipped out cat,
He's a platinum canary, drinkin' falstaff beer,
Mercedes rule, and a rented lear.
Bottom feeder insincere,
Prophet lo-fi pioneer,
Sell the house and go to school.
Get a young girlfriend, daddy's jewel

Sheryl Crow, "A Change Would Do You Good"

I remember many years ago, the former WBIR anchor Bill Williams giving a speech at Pellissippi State (as us locals refer to it). One point of emphasis during his speech was that the only thing constant in life is change. I've certainly taken that to heart over the past few years.

I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks for the most part, our daily lives are a little out of whack at times. Basically, especially for the average American, the Yin and Yang are out of whack. This would certainly account for the large number of people in the hospitals as our daily lifestyles are geared towards working ourselves to death during our early years, only to retire to a leisurely life of medicare and social security and who wants that anyways? I just don't see the attraction of spending my so-called Golden Years in constant suffering or rocking back and forth in a rocking chair. So, I learned to be pro-active about my health and I'm still seeking to improve which is not easy to do in our surroundings.

Speaking of our surroundings, it is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. We are always in a rush about everything. A constant rush in our daily lives causes us to produce excessive chemicals in our brains thus speeding up the aging process. It is no different than a car constantly going 90 MPH. It will run out of gas faster and break down more often than keeping a constant speed at say around 60 MPH.

In the 1920's, people made the move to the big cities from rural areas as we started to become a mechanized society. After World War II, the suburbs starting cropping up as people sought to move from overcrowded cities, but not too far out.

How do I see Earth particularly the United States shaping up by 2050? I believe we need to look to the past for some of our solutions such as the time when natural springs were a health remedy instead of everything being solved with pills and surgery. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the horse or passenger train making a comeback at least on a limited basis. I like the thought of being able to carry on a decent conversation and having a meal that isn't fast food while traveling at the same time.

The combination of geopolitics and the realities of our modern transportation system will cause us to take a long, hard look at facing this crisis head-on. We've wasted decades sitting on our hands and now we have people dying in Iraq over it. I now see people moving away from the suburbs as the realities of commuting to work become too much to deal with. Factor in the cost of trucking foods, commodities and what not across the country and it is already becoming unbearable for many to deal with. I think we are now having to come to terms with this. As the areas that are now suburbs start to dry up, it will be converted to farmland again. This will spur a growth in farmer's markets and food co-ops. The gradual re-design of urban areas particularly in downtown and its immediate outlying areas will have to adapt too. This is already happening in small stages. I wouldn't count out a beloved symbol of our past coming back: the horse. On another stage, alternative fuels, technologies and other factors will come onto the scene. The automobile is not going away.
It is just that we became too comfortable and now we are paying a price for comfort. In all, it will be a society of mixed use since we have now learned the hard way about not putting all our eggs in one basket.

Change is a part of life. Those who are willing to adapt while not throwing away the time-worn emphasis on character and vision will survive and ultimately thrive.

How Much Do You Remember of 2008?

You Remember 90% of 2008

You were paying attention during 2008.

And you remember what happened really well.

You'll be able to talk about 2008 for years to come...

Even when most people have forgotten what went down.