Peter’s Church, a Failed Institution

Recently I watched a PBS presentation about the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage to a shrine in Northern Spain. Millions of people have made this pilgrimage over the centuries and most have their own reasons for doing so.

I found it interesting to listen to some tell their story and to watch each overcome the obstacles faced along the way. It was immediately obvious that faith and spiritualism played a huge part in their individual journeys.

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Oil Can Stilts, Did You Ever?

Back in the 1950s metal motor oil cans were everywhere and there were no American Pickers can collectors to gobble them up. Look behind most service stations and you’d find a pile of discarded oil cans leaking their remaining contents onto a thoroughly saturated and toxic plot of soil. I don’t know what eventually happened to these piles of cans but I guess junkmen came along and hauled them to Charley Cohen’s.

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Some Reality About AOC’s Tax Plan

Old white men wearing dark suits and sporting locks of bright grey hair don’t like change. That’s why whippersnappers who are young, female, beautiful, intelligent, and can bust a move in the hallways of Congress, scare the shit out of them. Most specifically I’m talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a major rising star in today’s progressivism. Besides her joy of dancing the old folks don’t care much for her suggested reforms to the nation’s income tax system. What’s got their sphincters in a twist is the 70% income tax she wants to impose on the nation’s wealthiest. If one doesn’t go beyond the 70% figure it is easy for the wealth and power block to lure the average American into thinking the government is coming after their money. Quite the contrary is the case.

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Didn’t it Rain – More About Sister Loretta Tharpe

I’ve written about Sister Rosetta Tharpe at least one other time. She is arguably one of the most important persons in the history and development of Rock and Roll music. All one has to do is listen to here guitar rifts and you’ll hear what the Chuck Berry’s of rock built their sound on. Tharpe showed them the path.

Anyway, I came across an article about the Sister that I wanted to share with you rock historians. It was written by James Jordan for The Writing Cooperative and contains a couple of examples of her music.  Click the photo below to read James Jordan’s article. Enjoy.

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Like One of Those Playboy Things

I don’t speak Italian and have no formal education regarding opera. I just enjoy hearing the wonderful voices of people like Pavoratti. I came across this video of him singing in a quartet of great voices. Now I have to deal with a personal question. Did I enjoy this clip because of the music or the abundance of full-frontal cleavage? Kind of like why you enjoyed Playboy. The truth was you enjoyed the nudity and the monthly centerfold. Some tried to claim, however, that they bought it just for the articles.

Trump’s Improbable History

A couple of days ago Donald Trump sat surrounded by his lackey cabinet and rambled for ninety-minutes about things he knows little of. The one thing I paid close attention to was his explanation of why the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.  History records several reasons for the invasion including the desire to increase Soviet influence in Southcentral Asia and to support the failing communist government of Afganistan.

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Sarah’s & Raj are Looking for Some Jobs

Rick Wilson’s book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, may be coming true for Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah, two of the people whose job it is to cover up Trump’s lies and lunacy. There are recent stories in the news feeds that both are looking for new jobs but are having difficulting finding them. They are damaged goods, tainted by selling their souls in service to one of our most corrupt and dishonest WH occupants.

According to RawStory, Sanders has changed from daily press briefings to monthly press briefings and Shah has removed the words,  White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, from his social media accounts. Apparently, both have finally concluded that they are not needed in Trump World, a world in which Trump is his own head of press relations and public communications.

Earlier in December Sanders spoke about her legacy. She said she wished it to be one of being transparent and honest. Well, we all know that ship sailed long ago and it ain’t coming back.

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The Almost Lost Art of Bent Willow Furniture

Back in the ’50s, it was quite common to see bent willow furniture sitting on people’s porches and patios. A childhood friend had two chairs on their porch and I always loved sitting in them. They were handmade by an older man who lived in a small shack along a nearby creek. The creek and surrounding wetlands gave him all the raw materials he needed.

He would build single chairs as well as couches and side tables. The fellow didn’t have a car or truck so he pushed a large two-wheeled cart loaded with his furniture up and down the village streets peddling his wares. On days he didn’t have furniture to sell he would push his cart around town hauling away people’s scrap metals and newspapers.

I believe the only piece of willow furniture we ever had was a small child’s rocking chair that one of our daughters used for her children.

Several years ago I was driving through the Florida Panhandle and came upon a large pickup truck with a cab-over rack. The vehicle was heavily loaded with beautiful bent willow furniture. I don’t know where they were from or where they were going but I sure wish I’d chased them down and brought a couple of chairs home.

It’s been a long time since I gave the subject any thought but today I came across a video of a young man in Kentucky who’s keeping the craft alive. If I wasn’t so damned old now I’d look the guy up and place an order. I’ll post the video below and hopefully, this will bring back some pleasant memories for you.

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So, Why Now Mitt? Where You been?

A major news item today regards the “scathing” op-ed Mitt Romney wrote for the Washington Post. While Romney is now calling Trump out, I have to wonder why he waited this long to do so?  Romney was

Now, let’s talk about this Secretary of State job.

a major target of Trump’s vitreal during the GOP campaign and the victim of a Trump prank when he thought he was being offered the Secretary of State position. Romney handily won the vacated seat of Warren Hatch and probably would have even if he had spoken out long before sewing up a seat in the Senate.

Senate seat now secure Romney is openly claiming Trump to not be up to the mantle of the job. Romney is critical of Trump’s not calling out to our better angels but instead, had given reign to our worst angels. “He [Trump] has failed to offer examples of honesty and integrity.”

In the arena of world affairs, Romney said this about Trump’s behavior on the world stage, “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada, and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.”

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Dow Jones by the Presidents

Donald Trump never tires of telling us how intelligent he is, how good a businessman he is, and how much better he is than anyone else. Of course, his favorite targets are Clinton and Obama. All year he has tooted his own horn over the record levels attained by the stock market and in fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did reach a record high. But in December the bottom fell out, canceling all of the year’s gains and leaving the Dow around 4,000 points lower. Where he took full credit for the gains he has several people to blame the losses on.

So what’s the truth? How has the Dow performed under his leadership compared to other presidents? During Trump’s first two years in office, the Dow has grown by 19.2%. Now let’s compare that against some other presidents.

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My Very Limited New Year’s Eve Stories

This is January 1, 2019, and so far it’s not been much different than yesterday, December 31, 2018. Two major differences are, there are far more hangovers being cared for today and there are tens of thousands of people not waiting ten to fifteen hours in the rains of New York’s Times Square for a crystal ball to be lowered at midnight. If there’s anything I can’t imagine it’s me standing in the rain with 100,000 others waiting to watch a shiny thing descend upon the earth.

When it comes to New Year Eve stories, however, those ball watchers will have a story that will far exceed anything I’ve done on New Year’s Eve. Neither Janet or I have been much for leaving the house on these occasions. In 2000 we did attend a community millennium celebration and maybe a couple of years afterward we went to a nearby neighbor’s and played Trivial Pursuit with some friends. Increasingly we don’t even bother staying up to watch the ball drop, which was the case last night. By eleven o’clock I was asleep and having dreams about when my first piss call would take place. In case you’re into these things, it was 1:22 am.

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To Smoke or Not to Smoke?

Recently I pulled into the drive-thru at McDonald’s and in front of me was a car with two teenage boys. They weren’t paying attention and keeping up with the line. So, expecting a flock of angry birds I honked my horn. It woke them and from then on they mostly paid attention.

What I noticed, when their heads weren’t bobbing to something I wouldn’t recognize as music, was that both were either smoking cigarettes or vaping. I could fault them for that but at their age, I was on my way to becoming totally nicotine addicted and working my way towards two or more packs a day.  The brief experience made me reflect back on my own experiences.

Ironically the Marlboro Man died of cancer.

I guess that I began smoking around age twelve, if not younger. That would have been 1954 and I continued smoking until 1982 at age forty when I attended a smoking cessation class and six weeks later snuffed out my devil weed. So, I smoked 28 years and have been smoke-free for 36 years.

In 1954 a pack of cigarettes in New York was .23 cents and I was smoking one or two a day.  By 1960, the year I graduated from high school the price was .26 cents and I was consuming a pack a day. In 1982 cigarettes were .82 cents a pack and I was smoking three packs a day and if I went bar hopping on Friday night it would be another two packs for a total of five.

Continue reading To Smoke or Not to Smoke?

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