Friday, November 20, 2015

And so it begins....

I decided to start a blog so I can record some of my random thoughts.  I know no one will read these ramblings, but it is a narcissistic catharsis that will empty out my brain, so to make room for more important things.  Like remembering how to tie my shoes.

I hope you enjoy this entertainment.  Please let me know what you think.  Oh...and lets keep things classy and civil, shall we?


Saturday, March 15, 2014

What I learned about you on Facebook.

What I learned about you on Facebook.

Here is a list, in no certain order, of facts I have learned about my family, friends, and associates on Facebook.  Social media, you say?  I think Facebook is more of an individual psychosis thing.  The following are all based on TRUE posts.  You be the judge.

1) You have deep maternal instincts.  So deep, in fact, that you continuously post pictures of your "fur babies."  They are not babies.  They are pets.  And most of us really don't care if they look cute curled up on your beds or laps.  Have a kid already!  Or adopt one.  Then I will care about your "cuddle time."

2) I don't care what you ate for dinner.  Taking a picture of your home-made lasagna or birthday cake does nothing for my personal growth.  Invite me to your house for dinner - don't brag or tease us.

3) There is no reason for you to tell me you hate the current weather conditions.  I watch the news.  I know its snowing in the North and warm in the South.  I learned about that in grade school.

4) Please stop your incessant whining!  I am a human and capable of sympathy, but that sympathy must be earned.  I want you to stop complaining about how you are too cold, can't eat gluten, you have a head ache, or any other normal malady that we all suffer from.  Why in God's name would you think it is interesting for me to read about your petty complaints?  Channel that energy into something constructive and educational on Facebook.  Or at least, post something funny.

5) Please stop putting pictures of your kids or your pets for your profile pictures.  I be-friended YOU and would like to see pictures of you.  When your profile picture is that of your 6 year old, it is kinda creepy.

6) Leave opinions, political or otherwise on Facebook, but don't leave them to troll others and start arguments.  If you like a TV show or movie, say so and give intelligent reasons why you like it.  Don't try to belittle other's opinions just because you don't like what they watch or listen to.  Everyone has the right to like or dislike what they want.  Facebook really is not the arena to bash each other in idiotic, attention-mongering ways.  You should do that in real life.

7) For God's sake, please stop bragging.  It really makes you look like an asshole.  We really don't care about your new car, dining room set, your concert tickets, or the grades your kids are getting.  We are just being polite to you by congratulating you.  Underneath, we despise you for getting things we don't have, and think you are a pompous ass for showing off on Facebook.

8) Stop berating people who play games on Facebook and send you invites to play these games.  Most of the apps do this secretly, or subtly, and the players are not even aware that messages are being sent out.  That is how the game designers want to populate their creations and find new players.  It is real simple to turn off those notices, yet stay in touch with the sender as a friend.  It really is just 2 clicks to turn apps off from spamming you.  Grow up and learn how to use Facebook properly.

9) You are soooo lazy!   Read and watch the posts on Facebook!  Specially the ones by smart friends or families.  You will learn something.  Yes, you may have to read a whole page of words.  Yes, you might have to watch a 15 minute video.  But you will grow and become a better person.  The person who posted these longer stories obviously cares enough about you and thinks the material is important for you to see.  Make your judgement AFTER you read and watch.  Stop scrolling by these things to see videos of cats playing pianos.

10) Stop bating us with cryptic posts.  This is SOCIAL media, not "guess what I am talking about" media.  It does not make you more interesting or avant guard when you post shit we have no clue about.  Make your posts relevant.

11) Don't bate me about your up-coming birthday, you sorry, lonely and self centered person.  I see your birthday is coming automatically.  If I care about you, I will tell you Happy Birthday on my own.  Not because you are desperate for attention.

12) Don't use Facebook to be preachy about religion.  It is not up to you to educate me about Jesus, Buddha, witchcraft, or your nihilistic lack of religion.  There are far better places to learn about these things - like church.  Politics, sex and religion, are best not argued about in social arenas.  It leads to bad things.  Like wars.  Keep that shit to yourself.  Personal inquisitions are disturbing and flawed.  So knock that shit off, will you?

13) Have a sense of humor.  Facebook is a great place to share laughs.  Post funny stories about your life's foibles.  Post pictures of yourself doing dumb shit.  Have the self confidence to laugh at yourself.  If I am your friend already, then I know that you are fat, too thin, balding, too old, gay, black, a vegan, or what ever else that makes you imperfect or human.  Knock that chip off your shoulder and laugh with the world.  Even if they are laughing at you.

14) Stop spreading false rumors.  Just because you read it on the Internet, (including Wiki), does not make it true.  I see so many stories that you post that were debunked days ago.  You can believe in aliens, Bigfoot, Lochness monsters, Bermuda Triangles, and all that other rubbish all you want.  But don't try to make me believe in it too.

15) Be proud of your sports teams.  Stop bashing other's teams.  That again, is trolling.  You should support the teams you live the closest too - whether they win or lose.  Fan support sometimes lets those teams see we care and maybe they will win more.  If you don't like the local teams - move the hell to the town where the team you do like, plays.

16) Learn to be social.  Be kind and polite to everyone you meet on Facebook.  Just because you are hiding behind a computer, does not make you immune to abiding by social etiquette.  We are all human, whether virtually communicating, or seeing each other in the real world.  Spread the love and show people you care.  Face to face or on Facebook.

See you in the funny pages...


Monday, January 2, 2012

Cool Optical Effect #3

Find the cat.  And yes, it really is there!  Once you see it, you will not be able to "not see it!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Holiday Walk

The other day, my daughter and I decided to walk up to Shoreway Shopping Center, in my home town of Sheffield Lake, Ohio.  We wanted to poke around in the few remaining stores there, to find some stocking stuffers for her mother.  "Tiss the Season," after all, and I could use the exercise with a nice hardy jaunt to my old stomping grounds.  I used to travel to this above average-sized shopping strip thousands of times in the past.  Even though there is only a handful of open stores left, my daughter and I could have fun exploring the junk that may be left from the last minute holiday shoppers.

 What we discovered on this impromptu journey, however. was shocking enough to be entered into this blog project of mine.  Set back, my fine (and sparse) readers, and let me compare and contrast for you what is certainly an American Tragedy of epic proportions...

The air was crisp, but unseasonably warm for late December.  There was no snow on the ground to cover the open, puss-filled wounds that was my old stomping grounds.  Instead, we were assaulted on our walk up to the Center, by empty beer cans, plastic bottles, candy wrappers, and at one point, even a dirty diaper.  All of this garbage was floating in the side ditches that run along our antiquated roads.  Simple flotsam and jetsam, having been heaped by lazy passer byes, on their way to obviously somewhere very important.  So important, in fact, that throwing garbage out their car windows was not only necessary, but mandatory.  The sight of this spinning miasma of trash was the first kick in the balls.

We passed small empty fields that have become nothing more than dog turd minefields.  Fresh piles of animal crap littered the landscape, becoming reminders that pet owners would rather have their beloved "Fifi" dump in your yard, or convenient open grassy area, than clean up their own yard.  Or pick up the poop like they are supposed to.  "Hooray for me and the hell with you!"  (See previous blogs.)

We passed the empty, abandoned Post Office. Then the decaying, abandoned Bowling Alley.  The roads are nothing more than war zone battle fields, filled with craters and large chunks of cement and mud.  Hopping over the enormous mud puddles, I must admit, was a bright spot in this depressing landscape.

Finally, we made it to the shopping strip itself.  Well, what is left of it anyway.  You see, our city officials decided to tear half of it down awhile ago.  I guess they were afraid of the giant rats or nuclear large roaches that claimed the empty shell of a building as their home.  The place was empty, with hardly anyone around.  Regardless, there was still half the strip left, so we walked down the sidewalk, peering into empty store after empty store, until we came upon human life!

Shoreway, as it turns out, still has a few retail outlets, struggling to survive in the plague and pestilence that is still our center of commerce.  The strip sports a Dollar Store, a Family Dollar Store, a horrible little Barbershop, and, what I think is a tavern.  It was hard to tell, for these building's mostly shattered windows are covered in dirt and grime.  But a plastic bucket of smouldering cigarette butts and the smell of old vomit and stale beer, indicated to us that this was still a watering hole.

We walked around inside the Dollar stores for about 10 minutes.  That is really all it takes to realize that this is sad, depressing place, filled with a lot of "buy-out" crap from India and China.  And not the good kind of stuff either.  I am talking about the horrible, ugly, barely-passing-code garbage that no other store with pride or dignity would sell.  And the white trash clientele that was browsing around inside, were seemingly thrilled to purchase such items as off-brand colas, slightly irregular clothing, and hammers that had plastic handles.  After purchasing these horribly cheap items, these holiday shoppers would no doubt toss the bag and packaging out their windows, adding to the ungainly landscape that we had just traversed through.  Ah, the circle of life.

The strip does still have a drug store.  We finally made our way to this seemingly normal location, at the end of the strip.  It is a chain store, so I figured they had to be cleaner and perhaps a bit more reputable.  We found overly wide aisles with sparse shelves being stocked by an elderly women.  Even though my wife's Christmas stocking gift list was varied and long, I did not find one fucking thing in that store that was on her list.  Lots of peculiar things, like cupcake pans, some type of "more comfortable" bra, and other "as seen on TV" items, but nothing practical.  They did not even have the candy bar she wanted!  So we left with a new sense of depression.  We could not even get a glance of Lake Erie, for that landscape has been long built up with ugly apartments.  So we headed home.

What is really pathetic, was the attempt of the maintenance crew to "decorate" this empty shell of a once, retail marvel.  They took old and moldy plastic wreathes, and nailed them to the walls of the walkway.  At first, I thought it was a haphazard, random attempt at decorating.  Then, after further inspection, I realized it was a sincere attempt at covering up the gaping wounds in the walls.  Huge, rotten holes with exposed water-soaked wood gazed out from beneath these tacky wreathes.  In one case, water dripped out, forming a sort of soup of chipped paint, dirt, and perhaps asbestos.  We walked around these pools to avoid health concerns.

So with heavy hearts, my daughter and I made our way back home.  Pass the empty, plastic, newspaper vendor, sitting like a silent sentinel in the middle of the parking lot.  Past the over-turned shopping cart, a refuge from better days.  Past the condom wrappers, the dead birds, and the other endless supply of debris that littered the landscape.  Yes, Shoreway Shopping Center was dead.  It is now a festering corpse of fetid decay and memory mocking evil.

When my family and I first moved here, more than 45 years ago, Shoreway Shopping Center was a splendid utopia of shopping glee.  I remember walking up there with my Mom, near Christmas time, and being thrilled by the many sites, sounds and smells of the season.  The strip had two grocery stores, (Krogers and A& P), an awesome Woolworths (filled with incredible toys and trinkets), and so many small shops that I can not even remember them all.  I do recall a butcher shop, a bakery, several clothes and shoe stores, a beauty parlor, a barbershop, a hardware store, and many other "mom and pop shops" that were fun to explore.

The air was filled with holiday music over the front sidewalk, and Santa would ring the collection bell.  The sidewalk was filled with many shoppers, all saying "Merry Christmas" because they were happy and friendly.  And they would be dressed up too - in nice clothes, not the "hillbilly chic" that most were wearing on my recent outing.  All the stores would be dressed up for the holidays too, with elaborate displays of lights and other decorations.  I remember a huge Christmas tree, a manger scene on the roof, and cotton snow on all the window ledges.

The best memory however, was the last store on the far northern edge of Shoreway.  It was an old fashion drugstore named Marshall Drugstore.  After what seemed like an endless hike to get there, my Mom and I would stop into Marshall's, where I would buy some candy and and an inexpensive toy, and we would settle in at a stool at their soda fountain.  This counter would face north, so you could see the frozen Lake Erie in all its winter splendor.  My Mom would buy me a hot chocolate (which always came with a free cookie), and we would chat with other holiday shoppers and watch the white fluffy snow fall across the winter north.  I think the snow was actually fluffier back then.

Shoreway Shopping Center was a wonderful, productive, clean and safe place to shop and socialize.  I miss the old place dearly.  If any Sheffield Lake "Officials" are perhaps reading this, then please do us all a favor.  Tear that fucking place down and bulldoze it flat.  Plant some trees and grass.  Right now, it looks like our dead, rotting grandparents in an open grave.  Their face is full of frozen pain and loathing.  It is far to sad to bare anymore.  Cover up that disgusting eyesore and give that location back some dignity.  We, the Residents of Sheffield Lake, will continue to find our holiday memories elsewhere, in another town that has some pride.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Secret

Everyone complains about the world being such a shit hole.  Unemployment, rotten economy, corrupt governments, pollution, crime spiraling out of control.  We live in a veritable living hell on this planet.  And there are so many things we can blame it on.  Matter of fact, that's exactly what we do - we blame it on other things or other people.  Certainly, my lovely reader, you are not to be blamed, right?

Wrong.  I blame you for a very simple reason.  You were born.

I know the real secret why everything is so screwed up.  And its a secret that no one wants you to know.  You see, if you knew, you just might start telling others.  And they would tell others.  And the truth would leak out and we would have a hysterical pandemic global panic.

Ah, hell, no one reads this anyway.  So I will reveal this secret here.

The problem with the world today is over-population.  Its that simple.  We have over 7 billion people in the world now.  And its growing every second.  Let me spell that out for you:

7,000,000,000 living souls - and by the time you read this silly blog there will be something like 10K more folks coming into this wonderful world.  The population is out of control.  It just keeps getting bigger and there is no way to stop it.  It will lead to the end of the world.

Back in the 60's, there was a big scare about over-population.  The news covered it.  The hippies made a stink about it.  China even created birthing laws.  (One kid a family.)  But that all kind of got swept under the carpet in recent years.  It is easier to blame social and political mal-functions on other, more tangible things.  Global warming?  That's just mufflers on cars and cows farting.  Crime waves?  That's just a shitty economy.  Unemployment?  That's just lazy folks and greedy employers.

But they are all due to over-population.  There are too many people in the world.  We will never have enough jobs for all these folks.  Ever.  So crime rates go up, we make more garbage, we have no where nice to live, there is not enough cash to go around, and there is no peace and quiet anymore.  There are just too many people.

I don't have an answer to this predicament.  I'm just pointing out that all of our problems stem from there being way too many people in the world now.  We are doomed to stand in long boring lines and be caught in huge traffic messes, the rest of our lives.

When I was small, I would sit on my porch and count the cars that went by my small corner intersection, out of boredom.  My friends and I would count the colors and actually make a dumb little game out of it.  It passed those lazy days of summer when there was nothing else to do.  (We didn't have computers and video games back then.)  On the average, we would count about 4 cars an hour that would putter through my quiet, suburban neighborhood.  Most of those cars were driven by little old house wives on their way to and from the grocery store.

The other week, I went out and played my childhood car counting game again.  In 2011.  The results?  In about an hour, over 200 cars drove by.  Cars filled with mostly 20- 30 year old males, who I assume were unemployed, considering it was about 2PM on a Wednesday afternoon.  My quiet little town had become a noisy megalopolis.  This number did not include trucks, delivery vans, motorcycles, pedestrian traffic, or bicycles.  If I had counted them, the number would have been closer to like 300 vehicles, with close to 500 actual people in or on them.  Going God knows where and doing God knows what.

My own street corner is now an over-populated mess.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?  How many kids have you had?  Want to blame the world's problems on something?  Blame your horniness.

It will never go away.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cool Optical Effect #2

A couple more optical effects. Old prints, but still pretty cool....

Garbage Nazis

In the old days, garbage men would come around in old rusty and extremely noisy trucks and collect our trash.  Once a week.  Fine young men would jump off the truck's sideboards and haul away anything we would put on the curb.  Filled cans of trash, boxes of trash, old sofas, broken washing machines, piles of leaves, what ever.

Now that we live under times of fascism, we have to follow the "new order" of the Garbage Nazis.  Many years ago, the big business garbage mafia moved into my town and created all types of new rules and regulations.  The old local city trucks were scrapped and sleek, new trucks took over.  A few years after that, an even bigger business took over and large corporate America was able to distance themselves, away from the public that stood confused and puzzled.  Our monthly charge for garbage pick up doubled.  Our communication attempts fell to hour long phone cues, and these new Nazi giants demanded all types of garbage protocol.

The biggest new "law" of the trash wasteland was that we MUST recycle!  Recycle or die!  (OK, maybe not die, but you could receive stiff fines if you did not follow their weekly protocol.)  This included using THEIR cans, not yours.  (BTW - you are borrowing these mammoths containers, so don't lose one or damage one - or you will pay for it!)  We also are forced to divide our garbage carefully.  The Gestapo are watching!  (There are code bars on each can, so they can monitor your your refuse habits.)  Certain things had to go in certain cans.  Items have to be "cleaned off" first too.  They certainly did not want to mess with dirty garbage.  Certain days were assigned for "unusual" garbage to be sat on the curb.  And there was some stuff they just did not want to deal with at all.  Break any of these strict rules and you are punished.

The big, modern robot trucks, with their robot arms, still creep noisily down our streets.  The rusty wheels have been replaced with constant electronic warning beeps.  Their long and powerful robot arms grab the new mandatory cans and toss them back like a SS Officer throwing back a cognac.  No one gets out of the truck.  No communication.  Nothing.

The ironic thing?  We have to recycle our garbage or be put into a gas chamber.  Recycle?  What the hell for?  All this crap goes to the recycling center anyway!  Guess what they do there?  They... wait for it.. sort garbage!  Don't they have people, (or at least machines), that do that anyway?  (Unless they eliminated all their employees to save even more money.)  Of course they do!  Its a scam!  We follow their rules because we don't want to be whipped or castrated.  They sort through all our junk and debris and remove what they can make money on anyway.  So we pay them and do all their work.  We do THEIR work.

Nothing is going to stop the landfills from filling up.  There are way to many people in the world and we all make billions of tons of garbage a year.  This is life.

But can't we at least have the option to purge or unwanted stuff with freedom and no fear?
I risk going to the furnace by writing this for you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shop for Christmas or die!

Shopping season is upon us - because the 1% says so.  So here is a reminder why you really should stay out of Walmart.  Seriously.