March 2019 – Quote of the Month

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Hit and Run Breakfast

The humor in today’s video, speaks, I think, for itself. (But then again: I have a robust, dark sense of humor: so your mileages may vary.)

This snippet is from Dragnet, The Hit-and-Run Driver which first aired April 6, 1967. In this snippet, Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and his partner Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan) meet a reporter over breakfast to discuss an article he is writing on traffic accidents.

Spoiler alert: Joe goes on to make the reporter rush off to puke.

Here is the are a couple excerpts (variations) that can be used for a ringtone:

MP3: The Hit and Run Breakfast (entire snippet)
MP#: Snap at the Knee Joint
MP3: Striking You From Behind
MP3: You Aren’t Around to Experience
MP3: Your Dead

February 2019 – Quote of the Month

“The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.”

~Elbert Hubbard

Did Peter Make a Peter Joke?

Continuing my observations of watching late night reruns, today I bring you a shocking Brady Bunch double entendre. In this scene, Peter storms in, thinking his brother Greg has taken the girl he wants to date. At first, he only calls Greg a, ‘rat’. After confronting Greg, Peter basically calls his brother a big putz directly to to the faces of their parents. – But he does it in a classy way, because this was the 70s and a family show, after all.

(Premiered October 20,1972 “Cyrano de Brady“.)

“Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.”

~ Herman Melville

January 2019 – Quote of the Month

“How do I confront aging? With a wonder and a terror. Yeah, I’ll say that. Wonder and terror.”

~Keanu Reeves


Mike Brady’s AT-AT

In my efforts to ease my mind into sleep at night, I like to watch older TV shows. I find little easter eggs in them. Some quasi-historical, most TV trivial, and some musings of my imagination. And it is from the latter, that I bring you an episode (#17) of the Brady Bunch, “Coming Out Party“. The episode first aired January 29, 1971 and in it, Mike’s boss, Mr. Phillips enter’s Mike’s office and invites the Bradys to spend a day on his boat.

Mr. Phillips enter's Mike's office and invites the Bradys to spend a day on his boat.

What caught my eye was the artwork in the wall. Computer, ‘enhance’…

Clearly, this is very early concept are for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. – All Terrain Armored Transport / AT-AT walkers.

All Terrain Armored Transport, or AT-AT walker, planet Hoth.

December 2018 – Quote of the Month

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

~Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Iceland Seascape

The world doesn’t need another Iceland landscape photo. At least: not another unexceptional Iceland landscape photo. But I need a blog post and am out of time and out of sorts to do more than slap up one of the photos I took this year. Ergo: I give you: “Generic, but Lovely Seascape Captured in Pixels.” (My titles need help.)

There isn’t much of a story to it, other than to say that the photo was taken as part of our Ring Road trip this summer. The picture was taken on the shore the charming Lonkot Rural Resort in the North West of Iceland. We walked the lonely, stony, cloud crowned beaches and enjoyed a chilly, moody summer day.

Shoreline of Lonkot Rural Resort. September 10, 2018, photo by Glen Green.

November 2018 – Quote of the Month

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” 

~ Faramir
The Window on the West
The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien


Iceland’s Steinahellir Cave Signs

Along the road, In the south of Iceland, near the Bay of Holtsós is a small cave.

Steinahellir cave sign Iceland

The cave is not very deep: little more than an alcove. It is so shallow, in fact that it gets enough light that the entirety of the cave is overgrown with ferns and moss. The small grotto is gated, with a man-door, no doubt: to prevent people from driving their vehicles into the cave.

SSteinahellir cave, Iceland, interior, moss and gate

On the exterior of the gate are two signs.

One sign is a hand written, haphazardly cut white sign that reads, in fading ink, “NO CAMPING!’

Beside it, is a professionally illustrated, multilingual graphic sign that illustrates and reads, “NO HUMAN WASTE”.

I’ve never been one for scatalogical humor, but the dichotomy and priority of investment between these two signs, posted on a natural formation, amuses me and was the highlight of the visit to the cave.

SSteinahellir cave sign Iceland, no camping , no human waste

October 2018 – Quote of the Month

“Listen to them — the children of the night. What music they make.”

~ Bram Stoker

Dracula

Penny-ante

I shop a lot with Amazon. A lot. – With few exceptions, I go to Amazon for 95% of my non-perishable purchases.

But for some things, I still like to have an in-person experience. These things include: TVs and monitors (for first hand viewing of image quality), audio gear (hearing is believing), furniture  and vehicles (for a sense of mass and aesthetic details that aren’t easily translated in photos), home maintenance like lumber and yard care (due to bulk)  and shoes and clothes (for fit).

It is for the last of these: clothes – specifically: some jeans, that I found myself at J. C. Penney.

Now, people who care about fashion, most likely snort and turn up their nose at Penneys; but I’ve never been one to care very much about clothes nor branding. (A fact, I’m sure, is probably all too obvious for those who see me.) Penneys have always been a simple, affordable option. Unfortunately, increasingly, too many local brick and mortar shops have been failing in their value and Penneys has been on the same downward spiral.

This makes me sad, because I can appreciate the loss of local retail, even big-box retail to Amazon, but my shopping experience for jeans is surely an example of why  brick and mortar stores are getting their asses kicked.

The fundamental disappointment I encountered with Penneys was the lack of service. – Caused, by the store being short staffed. There was no one in sight in the mens’ section, and I was left to find it by myself, and comb through the jeans for style and fit without an offer of help. Next: the dressing room was dingy and unkempt. The pincushion on the wall looked liked it hadn’t been cleared for who knows how long. Other pins were littered on the floor.

J. C. Penney's dressing room pincushion

Finally, at checkout, the line was about four people deep, with a single clerk working to resolve a customer’s problems, leaving me to wait for about 20 minutes to get rung out. And when they did tally my sale, the sales promotion didn’t ring up correctly and I had to have it redone. (An error that I noticed: not the clerk.)

Now, I list these ‘grievances’, fully aware that they fall into the category of ‘first-world-problems.’ But that isn’t my point. My point isn’t that this isn’t any kind of real suffering but rather: to highlight why I think stores like these are failing.

With Amazon, I could have saved myself a 30 minute drive to the mall.  (x 2 for return trip home.) – I could have shopped from my phone anywhere I was. With Amazon, I could have filtered and sorted my choices within seconds. With Amazon, I could have just as easily shopped for a Gummy Bear anatomy puzzle or a vinyl wall decal of an Asian businessperson. With Amazon, I could have checked-out with a click of a button.

Yes, with Amazon I would be waiting two days for them to arrive but 99.9% of the time: I can wait. So, the only real remaining shortcoming with Amazon is the hassle if I have to return a product.

But consistently, where Penneys should have shined: they failed – customer service.

I can’t help but think that some CEO made a short-term decision to cut staff at Penneys to ‘help the bottom line.’ And I well imagine that having shown some operational savings, the CEO pulled their golden parachute and drifted away on a cloud of bonus money, leaving the company that much less prepared with a competitive advantage.

Amazon, on the other hand, has sacrificed short term profitability in order to master the world of retail.  This is why they will win.

September 2018 – Quote of the Month

“Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.”

~ Ralphie (Narrator)
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd

Carol’s Dating Didn’t Go Well After Mike Brady Left the Family

August 2018 – Quote of the Month

“I don’t want to hear the specials. If they’re so special, put ’em on the menu.”

~ Jerry Seinfeld

Insect Screens Will Not Stop Children from Falling Out of Windows

I love product warnings about obvious things and I wonder if they’ve ever stopped a single injury. I figure if you’re not smart enough to figure it out on your own, you’re probably not smart enough to heed a warning. – Assuming you’re able to read in the first place.

Of course, the reality is that these stickers aren’t put on products to warn stupid people. They are put on to protect companies from lawsuits from stupid people.

I spotted this warning a few years ago in an office building and just recently uncovered it as I was combing through old iPhone photos:

Waning Open Windows Can Be Hazardous. Failure to heed this warning may result in personal injury or death. Insect screens will not stop children from falling out of windows. Keep children away from open windows.

Warning open Windows can be hazardous. Failure to heed this may result in personal injury or death.

Insect screens will not stop children from falling out of windows. Keep children away from open windows.

Insect screens will not stop children from falling out of windows. Keep children away from open windows.

 

July 2018 – Quote of the Month

“Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”

~Christopher Hitchens

And the Award for Most Wasteful Packaging Goes To…

The chain we use to hang our hammock has gotten tight as the trees have grown. I decided to replace them with webbing. So, along with a number of other items, I ordered two climbing slings at the same time.

I received a few boxes including one each for the webbing slings.  It was actually depressing: I felt like I burned an acre of rainforest.

Wasteful Amazon packaging for climbing slings.

June 2018 – Quote of the Month

“Thus mystery is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”

~John Adams

Dismembered Drawings

I’ve been doing some significant reorganization which has required combing through lots of stuff I haven’t looked at for ages. Among some of the containers I found old drawings. Here are two that I did – probably when I was in eighth grade. I’m pretty sure that the drawings that I did then would not pass the new ‘zero-tolerance’ standards of today’s schools. but I turned out alright. Mostly.

Dismembered finger drawing

Dismembered finger drawing.

Dismembered eyeball drawing

Dismembered eyeball drawing.

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