Truthfully, I would never be quite content to settle for mere ascent in my simple airship (aka my hot air balloon) if, instead, I could be up in the skies in a sleigh pulled by enchanted flying reindeer! For, who would not want to be up in the skies in a sleigh pulled by enchanted flying reindeer? And, who knows, maybe one would find there a jolly fellow in a red suit, who would gladly hand over the driver's reins for a little while in exchange for a good cup of hot chocolate. Alas, I have never been quite lucky enough to be up and away in a sleigh pulled by enchanted flying reindeer, while holding the reins in hand, or not, but, nevertheless,
I would like to wish to everyone a very Merry Christmas!
And, let me not neglect to, also, wish everyone a happy Hanukkah, and a happy Kwanzaa too!
Speaking of sleighs and reindeer, I heard a cheerful story recently about a small boy. Mickey Mouse was known to be the boy's very favourite character of all-time! He was genuinely fascinated by all of the unique traits that made Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse, but, most especially, he was fascinated by Mickey Mouse's big ears(!). He even wished that he, himself, might have big ears like that. Then, suddenly, a sleigh, pulled by reindeer, swooped overhead, and landed on the roof of his house-- and, before he knew it, there was a brand new Mickey Mouse cap, big ears and all, with his name on it, underneath his Christmas tree. And it was not just any ordinary Mickey Mouse cap either: it was a truly choice product of only exceptional workmanship, hand woven of the finest silk, strictly top of the line! When the boy saw the new Mickey Mouse cap, with his name on it, underneath the tree he was simply overjoyed! He placed the cap on his head, and, then, his sister looked at him and, immediately, exclaimed-- "new ears!"
So, with that, let me wish, to everybody, Happy New Year's(!) (Day, Week, Month, and Year)!
Incidentally, because this year is a leap year, all of the giant rabbits in the parade (and, not to mention, the kangaroos too) jumped to the fore and strode with glee(!).
I am an unlicensed pilot of a magnificent, but unrecognized, and unregistered, thermal airship-- more commonly known as a hot air balloon. I do not climb aboard my airship and take to the skies every day, but I do take to the skies as often as I reasonably can-- and, from the elevated vantage point that my airship affords, I am able to enjoy some of the most wonderful adventures! I might even so much as say that I am to the skies what Captain Nemo is to the waters(!). From that vantage point, I can see all manner of man and beast, some of the most amazing landscapes, and the very tops of even the tallest of trees! And, it is all so ever changing, all of the time. From that vantage point, life, itself, is a better drama, and at times a better comedy, than even the very best, or most popular, of plays to ever open on a Broadway stage! It becomes apparent that life, itself, is the broad-way!! I do have to be careful sometimes, because with such breathtaking views in all directions it can be easy to get carried away(!). Especially as I look out, and watch it all unfold from the pleasing comfort of my capsule. In my capsule, I've got a state of the art audio system, along with GPS, and i've got WIFI, and a laptop computer too: I've even got a digital clock that is always turned on, but is never correct. That clock is a twenty-four hour clock, that always reads 32:10-- for, some reason, I've never been able to reset it; however, I gladly keep it, because it has become as familiar to me as an old friend. I have large bags of unpopped popcorn that I use as ballast for the capsule, but, if I need to release the ballast, I don't just drop a bag of unpopped popcorn off; rather, I have a special oven into which I place the bag, and, then, I release the contents from the oven after the popcorn has popped: I am by the way careful not to drop any of it on a roadway; many birds seem to appreciate my contribution, and, children seem to think that it is neat.
On some dry, temperate nights, those when I don't quite make it off the ground (by the way, to be clear, I have no use whatsoever for any substance, whether man-made, pulled off of a tree, or pulled out of the earth, that might in any way obscure my vantage or judgment: I am not striving to expand my consciousness, but, rather, only to make a good natural effort to try to broaden the one with which I was born-- to me, Norwegian wood is nothing other than timber that I might use in constructing a house (so my message to any users or abusers out there is please don't look to me for solidarity, as I am not one with the cause)). Anyway, with all of that, now, out of the way, turning back, straightaway, to what I was originally saying: even at my most earthbound, even on the most earthbound of earthbound nights, I am, yet, still particularly privileged to be able to sit alfresco in a cozy chair at an elegantly set table, sometimes in front of a garden or grove, while slowly imbibing Hyson Lucky Dragon or Gyokuro teas-- welcome varieties of green tea-- under the soft, qool, ambient light of a moon that is made of blue cheese, and at those times, I am thankful, very thankful indeed, that all of that blue cheese is way up there on that moon in the high heavens, because, down around here on the bountiful surface of the good earth, while a very little bit of blue cheese can, sometimes, be a pretty good thing, a whole, whole lot of blue cheese, on the contrary, tends to quickly lend rather a foul pungency to the air, both far and wide, and far and near, i.e. to raise quite an awful stink!
Question Mark and the Mysterions: Question Mark and the Mysterions were a 60's, British, mod rock group, similar, but not equal, to Mott the Hoople; their biggest hit was a song called "96 Tears." There is some old footage of the band floating around, mostly on PBS stations (and, probably on Youtube as well)-- the lead singer, who ably enacted the persona of Question Mark, was, what one might call, a renowned weirdo-- he was one of the original drag queens, or, one might say, drama queens: he looked sort of like a crossdressed version of Mick Jagger, after having been additionally crossed with Keith Richards or Steven Tyler. I, on the other hand, am absolutely nothing like Question Mark, but, I do have one thing in common with him, if only but one-- my diffidence (if well masked by an apparent effulgence) in regard to answering this question. During the 2012 US Presidential election, we were introduced to a new term, describing a newly recognized medical condition, Romnesia; I would like to introduce, yet, another such condition-- netnesia, which describes those of us who tend to lose our way on the internet, and, therefore, can not remember who we are. Tomorrow, I may very well remember who I am; today, however, I am a porpoise without purpose, a dolphin plagued by deafness, a shrunken head in a quiet village on some remote Pacific island, just one item in the collection of some long-forgotten tribe. Thus, a conundrum even Holmes, Poirot or Columbo couldn't solve, and, anyway, does it matter?
As regards the 2016 US Presidential election by the way I fear that we may be in for more of the same-- i.e, a deja vu, only with different actors playing essentially the same characters.
Hear ye, hear ye, I say ye to those, who might care to hear, might I, rather, interest you, if I could, in a rose garden, and a primrose pathway-- or, was that an overgrown eyesore, and a brimstone pathway? Can't quite seem to remember...
Anyway, I'm neither a fruit, nor a vegetable-- but, I'm smarter than the average pear.
And I do know how to make a mean tossed salad too: first, I make my way to a local grocery store, and I walk to the aisle where they sell condiments, sauces, and salad dressing, and from there I pick out a brand and flavour of commercial salad dressing that seems like it might be savory enough, and I purchase it; then I go to the produce section, specifically, to the part where they keep vegetables in plastic bags, and from there I pick out a tidy, fresh bag of lettuce and garden vegetables, and I purchase that as well; finally, I take all of that home, and, once home, of course, I wash the lettuce and garden vegetables off, just to be certain, and, then I mix everything up together, and voila!
And, besides that, I also know how to make a nicer tossed salad: the mean tossed salad, for example, might be dressed in a vinegar based dressing; whereas, the nice tossed salad might be dressed in something richer, sweeter, and creamier, while the salad, itself, might offer a hint of fruit, and maybe some pine nuts for texture, plus the edible petals of English daisy, Hawaiian hibiscus, lavender, marigold, and nasturtium, along with, maybe, a sheet, or, just possibly, even two, of edible gold leaf, for colour, but no olives, cucumbers, spicy hot peppers, or blue cheese.
Answer a few of the match questions, and next thing you know in their Personality summary okcupid labels you "less spiritual." Well, I must zealously protest. As a matter of fact, I'm a pantheist, of sorts. Just because I don't believe in stuff like magic mirrors, magic flying carpets, pixie dust, witches, warlocks, elves, faeries, astral projection, alternate realities, alternate planes of existence, reincarnation, vision quests, extrasensory perception, or telekinesis, that does not de facto mean that I do not imagine that that sort of stuff could all be very true-- and very real. And, not only that, but, did I mention, that I do believe in the Easter Bunny. Not to mention, moreover, the Birdman of Easter Island. And, by the way, perhaps I might also mention that I even go so far as to make routine supplication to the sun, the moon, and to each and all of the cars (even the Yugo and, yes, the Pontiac Aztek)(!).
Second editorial note:
I don't know what the deal is with those match questions, and the personality summaries that OkCupid derives from them; now, they're saying that I am only slightly more liberal than average. Only slightly more liberal than average(!): I somewhat emphatically take issue with at least a few, and perhaps even more, of the characterizations that are listed on the personality summary that OkCupid has attached to my profile-- including the one that I mentioned in the first editorial note in the paragraph above; however, for the moment, anyway, I'll focus just on their characterization of me as only slightly more liberal than average. For, if the truth be known, I'm so bloody Green that I make Kermit the Frog look like a ruddy red elephant!! From my perspective, with respect to a good number of issues, US Senator Bernie Sanders is right! Well, maybe I am overstating the point, and exaggerating, just a little bit, but...
Update-- I have answered a few more match questions in the hours that have passed since I wrote the note above, and in that time OkCupid has bumped my liberalness rating up ever so slightly. Hooray for progress(!).
Third editorial note:
If anyone cares about Myers-Briggs-- though I can not necessarily say that I do-- I might mention that some measures identify me as an INTJ and some identify me as an INFJ, while others identify me as INFP. That is because my scores tend to hover around the fiftieth percentile on the last two factors. I am really somewhat of a cross between INTJ, INFJ, and INFP, viz. INTJ-INFJ-INFP. Of the three, however, I believe that I tend to be a little bit more precisely defined as an INTJ. But, then, sometimes, I also believe in, well, the Fairy Godmother, so what do I know(?). (I'm not quite as certain, on the other hand, whether I believe in the Virgin Mary, or not, but, even if there are some times when I do feel fairly certain that I do not, I do, nonetheless, try to be respectful of other people's (expressions of faith in their) points of view.). On the other hand, I do not drink Bloody Mary's-- as the idea of drinking tomato juice in alcohol is just repugnant to me!
Aspirations encompassing art, writing, architecture, civil rights and human rights law, some academic research here and there; hoping, to that end, to soon launch an internet start-up, which I am hopeful might be profitable enough to fund my aspirations in art, writing, architecture, civil rights and human rights law, and research.
Perhaps my greatest aspiration, pertaining to those above, is to try to gain mastery over the art of New Orleans Voodoo, so that I might turn bogey-men into straw men, and repurpose them as pin cushions. With that goal in mind, I should mention that I do have a fair amount of experience with the necromantic arts, as parlour magic used to be something of a hobby of mine, and not just a hobby either, because I used to get some good part-time professional gigs, here and there, as I was sometimes hired to perform at local birthday parties-- one of my best tricks, that was always sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and one of the ones for which I was best known, was pulling a large, leafy carrot out of my top hat, but, then, that eventually got me to thinking, that if only I could, additionally, master the trick of pulling a bogey-man, who is wearing a top hat, from out of the inside of a large, leafy carrot I could take my act all the way to Vegas, and, maybe even see my name up there in bright neon lights at the top of a marquee(!) (but, as yet, I've still not discovered the secret to that trick).
I still aspire to gain mastery over the art of New Orleans Voodoo, but, as for my magic act, just to show how quickly things can change, and how very competitive things can get, in the magical realm-- while I was trying to discover the secret to the perplexing trick I just mentioned above, several more flamboyant magicians made their way onto the regional scene (one of them does a trick where he floats on a bed of hot coals and dancing flames, and one does a trick where he swallows flaming swords and exhales blazing fire, while walking on sharp points of cut glass, and, one of them even does a trick where she dances on water, all the while juggling a good number of crystal plates(!)), and, hence, very soon after their arrival, all so suddenly, abracadabra, they deftly waved their magical wands, and, wouldn't you know it, poof, they made my own poor act just disappear!
Getting back to more mundane details, lately I've been getting a lot of part-time work as a freelance signtist, making enticing signs for storefronts on commission, so, as a practical matter, let me be the first to concede that a good sign does not have to flicker and glitter in splashy neon in order to attract good business.
Besides, sometimes it's better not to be heard, than it is to be seen. A very long time ago I used to be an inaudible piano tuner, but that was a ways back-- before that big baseball game in which I threw a perfect pitch (and I did do that, even despite being a little bit slight of hand).
Before that, sometime back before I started making signs, I aspired to carry signs: way, way back, when I was a kid, I aspired to become a crossing guard. Even back then, I became convinced that one thing that the world really needs is more crossing guards-- to guard against crossings, and, specifically, to put a stop to wayward and irresponsible crossings(!). After all, what do you get when you cross a panda bear and a koala bear? You get a couple of very cute, cuddly animals, who are in a surprisingly surly mood! And, besides all that, innocent children should have reliable protections, as they should never have to come face to face with a rampaging cyclist, a speeding Prius, or an overly aggressive Beetle (even if Beatles do make what is, all in all, a pretty sweet sound).
(To that end, I am secretly taking a course in Neptune exobiology, which includes extensive training in theoretical Neptunian endocrinology, and, also, in the theoretical taxonomy that one might apply to Neptune.).
At those times when I am not presented with any life on the planet Neptune, which I might endeavor to identify, I tend to devote some of my free time to any number of challenging pursuits, such as Tic-tac-toe. And, I'm really very good at Tic-tac-toe too; indeed, as a matter of fact, I usually tend to come out a winner just about fifty percent of the time when I play the game! That is really quite a lot better than when I toss a coin: sometimes I play a game where I toss a coin, and, then, try to guess whether it is heads or tails, but I have noticed that, whenever I do that, I always tend to be wrong at least seventy-five percent of the time. Back in the day, I used to be really good at Solitaire, but, I can't deny that I used to cheat a good bit back then, and, now, I don't even remember how to play(!). Apart from that, I believe that I could be really good at Gin Rummy-- but, the problem is that I rarely drink.
I'm the man in Tijuana, who sells Cuban cigars to tourists. All the while, simultaneously, selling sombreros, and tequila, to tourists on the streets of Havana.
I'm on a third grade reading level, so, if you are seeking informed recommendations for more advanced readers, you may be better advised to look elsewhere, but, that said, I'll go ahead, anyways, and I'll give it the ol' schoolboy try--
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1957)
"Oh, the Places You'll Go" (1990)
"Green Eggs and Ham" (1960)
"The Cat in the Hat" (1957)
"Puss 'n Boots" (1697 French, 1729 English)
"The Tale of Peter Rabbit" (1902)
"The Three Little Pigs" (<1890)
"The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" (1993)
"James and the Giant Peach" (1961)
"Where the Wild Things Are" (1963)
"The Gruffalo" (1999)
"Charlotte's Webb" (1952)
"Tikki Tikki Tembo" (1968)
"The Story of Babar" (1931)
"The Little Engine that Could" (1930)
On the other hand, my appreciation of movies, television, and music may be slightly more refined:
"Boyz 'n the Hood" (1991)
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
"How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953)
"Guess Who's coming to Dinner" (1967)
"The Talk of The Town" (1942)
"Dinner at Eight" (1933)
"8 and 1/2" (Italian) (1963)
"Our Man Flint" (1966)
"The Third Man" (1949)
"The Professionals" (1966)
"Designing Woman" (1957)
"To Have and Have Not" (1944)
"The Towering Inferno" (1974)
"The Devil's Disciple" (1959)
"Hell in the Pacific" (1968)
"Beat the Devil" (1953)
"The Big Sleep" (1946)
"The Big Heat" (1953)
"The Big Chill" (1983)
"Straw Dogs" (1971)
"Sexy Beast" (2000)
"Diabolique" (French) (1955)
"Johnny Guitar" (1954)
"Kiss Me Deadly" (1955)
"Lady in the Lake" (1947)
"Libeled Lady" (1936)
"Taxi Driver" (1976)
"Red River" (1946)
"The Prize" (1963)
"The Killing" (1956)
"The Stranger" (1946)
"The Searchers" (1956)
"The Gunfighter" (1950)
"Ministry of Fear" (1944)
"Heaven Can Wait" (1943)
"North by Northwest" (1959)
"Arsenic and Old Lace" (1944)
"Bell, Book and Candle" (1958)
"I Walked with a Zombie" (1943)
"It Happened One Night" (1934)
"It Happened on Fifth Avenue" (1947)
"The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946)
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" (1962)
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)
"You Can't Take It With You" (1938)
"The Poseidon Adventure" (1972)
"The Limits of Control" (2009)
"Full Metal Jacket" (1987)
"Swept Away" (Italian) (1974)
"Breathless" (French) (1960)
"La Jetee" (French) (1962)
"Jules and Jim" (French) (1962)
"Boys Night Out" (1962)
"The Big Country" (1958)
"Good Will Hunting" (1998)
"Bachelor in Paradise" (1961)
"Bringing Up Baby" (1938)
"Sullivan's Travels" (1941)
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
"The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
"The Band Wagon" (1953)
"The Last Wagon" (1956)
"Boeing Boeing" (1965)
"Being There" (1979)
"Point Blank" (1967)
"Altered States" (1980)
"Hard Contract" (1969)
"The Terminator" (1984)
"The Seventh Seal" (Swedish) (1957)
"The Satan Bug" (1965)
"The Andromeda Strain" (1971)
"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)
"Between Two Worlds" (1944)
"Midnight in Paris" (2011)
"Solaris" (Russian) (1972)
"Black Orpheus" (Portuguese) (1959)
"Carnival of Souls" (1962)
"Cries and Whispers" (Swedish) (1972)
"The Exterminating Angel" (Spanish) (1967)
"From Russia with Love" (1963)
"You Only Live Twice" (1967)
"The Last of Sheila" (1973)
"Live and Let Die" (1973)
"Charley Varrick" (1973)
"The Wheeler Dealers" (1963)
"The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968)
"The Notorious Landlady" (1962)
"The Usual Suspects" (1995)
"Don't Make Waves" (1967)
"Merrily We Live" (1938)
"Touch of Evil" (1958)
"The Party" (1968)
"The Arrival" (1996)
"The Swimmer" (1968)
"I Love You Alice B. Toklas" (1968)
"I Married a Witch" (1942)
"Roman Holiday" (1953)
"Tony Rome" (1967)
"Holy Year" (French) (1976)
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975)
"Support Your Local Sheriff!" (1969)
"The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)
"Village of the Damned" (1960)
"Experiment in Terror" (1962)
"A Shot in the Dark" (1964)
"The Narrow Margin" (1952)
"The President's Analyst" (1967)
"Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (1989)
"Strangers When We Meet" (1960)
"Remember The Night" (1940)
"Never Let Me Go" (2010)
"One, Two, Three" (1961)
"The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974)
"The Day The Earth Stood Still" (1951)
"The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965)
"No Highway in the Sky" (1951)
"Bonjour Tristesse" (1958)
"The Ipcress File" (1965)
"Marathon Man" (1976)
"The Graduate" (1967)
"Midnight Cowboy" (1969)
"The Out-of-Towners" (1970)
"The Philadelphia Story" (1940)
"Cash McCall" (1960)
"Where the Boys Are" (1960)
"One Way Passage" (1932)
"Major League" (1989)
"What's New Pussycat" (1965)
"Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985)
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" (Spanish) (2001)
"Forbidden Planet" (1956)
"Fantastic Planet" (1973)
"Dark City" (1998)
"Wings of Desire" (German) (1987)
"The Emerald Forest" (1985)
"36 Hours" (1965)
"The Blue Light" (German: gifted/tragic director) (1932)
"The Mortal Storm" (1940)
"Night of the Demon" (1957)
"In the Heat of the Night" (1967)
"Colossus: The Forbin Project" (1970)
"The Destructors," aka "The Marseille Contract" (1974)
"Duck, You Sucker," aka "A Fistful of Dynamite" (1972)
"Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974)
"The Doctor Takes A wife" (1940)
"American Graffiti" (1973)
"THX 1138" (1971)
"Play Misty For Me" (1971)
"The Quiller Memorandum" (1966)
"Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round" (1966)
A special mention for "Real Genius" (1985)-- as one of its major characters, namely Chris Knight, stands as a minor hero of mine.
A fortune cookie (that's a pretty good movie too, by the way, though not quite one of my favourites) once foretold of me that I might "aspire to be a Sheldon Cooper in Knight's clothing" -- but, then, I suppose that's a whole lot better than being a knight in Sheldon Cooper's clothing; anyhow, I do not know how much real credibility that particular fortune cookie had, because, another fortune cookie from the very same batch said I would "soar like a sale on the winds of propriety": I assume it meant 'soar like a sail on the winds of prosperity,' but the spelling was a little off.
-----: both versions are, more or less, good, but classic (pre-1989)
-----: trumps contemporary (post-2005)
"Top Gear" (British version) (sometimes)
and formerly, "House, MD," but the "House" has been closed and shuttered for a few years now. As a matter of fact, sadly, most of the shows on this, my original, list are goners, or near goners, now.
The Prisoner (1960's version);
The Prisoner is absolutely and thoroughly captivating, and, yet, The Prisoner is, also, plenty liberating, as The Prisoner takes way more liberties than The Fugitive ever does!
Update (as the above list of shows is slightly out of date)--
I began watching The Big Bang Theory and Castle a couple of seasons ago.
This season I've begun watching Rosewood and Limitless.
The only one of those that I am absolutely certain that I will continue to watch is The Big Bang Theory.
The one that I am almost certain that I will not continue to watch is Limitless.
I listen mostly to rock, especially art house and progressive rock, but I also like, and sometimes listen to, jazz, especially fusion jazz, and, every now and again, classical.
The Bee Gees
The Four Tops
Earth, Wind, & Fire
The Moody Blues
Ash Ra Tempel
Amon Duul II
Goo Goo Dolls
Puddle of Mudd
Foster the People
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Smashing Pumpkins
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Quicksilver Messenger Service
The Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Alan Parsons Project
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
The Beach Boys
Return to Forever
Almost forgot to mention drummer Max Roach, and the legendary legends Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Sonny Payne, and Buddy Rich!
Please, bear with me, while I make yet another Liszt--
I am by no means an expert on any of the above composers, and do not mean to represent myself as being one, but I do enjoy their music, and I do listen to it occasionally.
Opening nights on a big stage near you (if you happen to live near a very big stage):
* Congratulations to principal ballerina Misty Copeland!
Closing on a sad note:
We have lost Dave Brubeck, Ed Cassidy, the drummer for Spirit, viz., the bald guy, who looked like Mr. Clean, and Huw Lloyd-Langton, guitarist for Hawkwind, in this month of December. Ed Cassidy and Huw Lloyd-Langton both passed on the same day, namely December 6th.
Whatever the cosmic reason, December 2012 has not been a good month: in the time since I wrote the above, Lee Dorman, bass player for Iron Butterfly, has passed.
And that is not to mention the terrible tragedy that has taken place in Newtown, Connecticut.
Even more sadly-- we've lost lots and lots of others in time since i wrote that note-- far too many to mention. The all too grim reality is that some very good people must leave us from time to time, but, yet, the world goes on.
One of those, whom we have lost very recently, who does deserve special, and particular, mention is the great B.B. King-- so very sad to know that he has left us!
5) Clothing (though some might say that's optional)
And, thinking outside the cube, I might acknowledge a seventh:
"Money Makes the World Go Round"-- "Money Makes the World Go Round" is a famed song from the multi-Academy Award winning, Hollywood musical, "Caberet," starring Liza Minelli and Joel Grey, which was set in Berlin, Germany during the early 1930's, immediately prior to the Nazi uprising, and which in retraction of my earlier comment was actually filmed on location in Berlin, Germany, but, which despite effectively capturing the nuances and details of its period, and, genuinely, appearing to be authentic to that period, was actually filmed during the early 1970's. A tidbit that may be worth mentioning is that I do believe that that particular big screen venture turned out, per se, to be very profitable.
But the above serves to raise the following question:
Would it be better if the world were simply flat?
Apart from gobs of troubles pursuant to that abovementioned, rather inconvenient, fact, I also think about:
Well, most recently:
I have been thinking about why I was matched with Justice John Paul Stevens, and not Justice David Souter.
I took the silly Which Supreme Court Justice Are You(?) test on OkCupid.
The test purports to match examinees with the most like-minded US Supreme Court Justice. Possible results include all Justices who have recently sat on the Court, except for the two newest Justices.
My results on the test were--
80% match with Justice David Souter, greater than 86% of my peers;
80% match with Justice John Paul Stevens, greater than 86% of my peers;
and, additionally, 79% match with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, greater than 84% of my peers.
I was assigned Justice John Paul Stevens.
First of all, I want to know how I could have gotten 80% for Justices Souter and Stevens, and 79% for Justice Ginsberg-- when the test, per se, had no more than thirty questions? As it is numerically impossible to distinguish between 80% and 79% on a test that has fewer than 51 questions.
Putting aside the mystery of 80%/79%, however, I want to know why I got Justice John Paul Stevens and not Justice David Souter. Justice John Paul Stevens is really a great Supreme Court Justice in his own right, but David Souter is, or was, my very favourite Supreme Court Justice-- and, therefore, I wanted David Souter. It seems arbitrary that I was given Justice John Paul Stevens, and not Justice David Souter.
Does anyone ever get matched with Justice David Souter on that test?
As a pointless aside, I will say that, ironically, John Paul Stevens is the Justice whose name is closest to my own real name.
Anyway, those are more recent thoughts, some of my thoughts of times past were:
A lesson learned from the 2012 US Presidential election:
Those who pledge to stand for everything, surreptitiously stand for nothing at all(!); likewise, those who openly stand for nothing, stand for nothing at all, yet, in the end, those who openly stand for nothing are much more honorable-- because, at least those who openly stand for nothing are not habitually lying to us!
Plaudits to Scott Prouty (who vidoetaped Governor Mitt Romney, viz. Mr. "47 percent" himself, as he spoke at an overblown Republican fundraiser, which was disguised as an elegant dinner party for moneyed fat-cats): Governor Romney defined the contemporary Republican Party on that day, and Mr. Prouty is a true American hero for bringing that definition out from behind closed doors, and sharing it with the world!!
Not that I am claiming that the Democratic politicians in the United States-- who, themselves, in recent years have proven to be a rather disappointing group-- are a whole heck of a lot better.
I wrote the above (except for the part about Scott Prouty, and the Republicans and Democrats) prior to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, which has affected many of us in the United States so deeply. I would like to add that, if more politicians stood for gun control, and a general reduction in the number of guns in circulation, and if they genuinely meant that, and stood firm on that issue, then, maybe, the rest of us would not be left so often holding, so many, body bags.
Let me add that, every now and again, I wonder why some people with small minds are perceived to be larger than life. In real life, maybe the late Charlton Heston was a reason why the apes were able to successfully take over the planet in the first place. But enough about Charlton Heston. I take far more interest in the proposition that Douglas Adams is the the cube root of 42; though, alternatively, Douglas Adams could, technically, also be considered the fifth root of 42-- depends upon who's counting. I do readily confess that I would almost certainly not be aware that Douglas Adams is the cube root (or fifth root) of 42, if I did not watch the occasional movie (as I am on a third grade reading level, and I would like to believe, if perhaps a bit naively, that most third graders are still innocent enough to not really understand what a hitchhiker is).
But, yet, then, I'm left to think about the challenges that one would face in trying to keep 42 goldfish alive in a zero gravity environment.
I'm a light sweeper, so, when I'm awake, I sometimes wonder why vacuum cleaners can so often be found inside of broom closets, but, yet, brooms can never be found in vacuum sealed bags inside of freezers.
And, as if that is not enough, occasionally, though not too often, I do catch myself wondering why in the world magnets, especially electromagnets, almost invariably, appear to be crude, and ugly.
But, then, I must regret the latest intrusion into my thoughts:
as I'm thinking of the crude and ugly--
Prayers for Peace in Paris;
however, I can not resist the urge to blame the former US Administration of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom I truly to believe to be the root cause of the problem,
yet, nor do I hold the current US Administration (President Obama et al.) to be blameless in the matter, as I do not believe that they have done nearly enough over the past eight years to, at the very least, end Western involvement in the volatility of the region, and withdraw the Western World from a festering quagmire-- for granted, the problems created in the region by the George W. Bush Administration need to be resolved, but, while I believe that it was the Western World which caused those problems, I do not believe that it will ultimately be the Western World which will resolve them.
I may even go so far as to say that US Presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul has the right idea-- and, yet, i may even go so far as to say that despite the fact that I generally despise Senator Rand Paul.
CNN goes almost, but not quite, as far as I do-- not in terms of half-heartedly praising Senator Rand Paul, but in terms of blaming the G. W. Bush Administration for Isis. CNN claims that one man, viz. former Iraqi Prime Minister Nori al-Maliki, bears primary responsibility for allowing Isis to form, grow, and spread within, and, ultimately, throughout the region(!). And CNN blames President George W. Bush, and the Bush Administration, and does so by name, for its unwise appointment of Nori al-Maliki to the role of Iraqi Prime Minister!
To what I said above, I might add that I presume that the United States was the real target, and that, even though France has little to do with the current Middle Eastern conflicts, France was perceived by the perpetrators of the attacks as "guilty" due to its association, and general allegiance, with the United States-- and, the brutal and truly terrible reality is that France is an easier, and more convenient, target for people from that part of the world to hit right now, than is the United States.
Heartfelt prayers, as well, for Russia, and for its lost flyers(!!)-- and, not to mention, prayers for Beirut(!). And, now, alas, add Mali to the list(!).
I hoped that Mali might be the end of it, but it didn't stop there. Now, sadly, add to the previous list solemn prayers for the good people of San Bernardino, California. The scale of gun violence in the United States is rarely, if ever, as sweeping or extensive as the horror that overtook Paris last month, but, like drips from a leaky faucet, gun violence on a smaller scale is becoming an everyday occurrence in the United States. I have been thinking about how life in the United States has been becoming like the lawless, wild, wild West, as portrayed in Hollywood Westerns: condoners and enablers in Washington, DC, who kowtow to the NRA, oblige to provide the lawlessness, and, then, very heavily armed people proceed to do the West!
Though, sometimes, in the summer months, when it is warm, I fire up my thermal airship, the ol' hot air balloon as it were, and I peer onward with wonder as i go for a rise-- I wish I could say I did all the custom paint and bodywork myself, but at least the basic pattern is mine-- sometimes I just go for a spin above the block, but, sometimes, I make it all the way up to Cloud 9, where I make my way to the Pearl River Cafe, where I sip a delectable cup of ambrosia, and savor an invigorating tin of sublime stratus flavored water ice, while listening to a four armed, twenty-four fingered, virtuoso play dulcet tunes on a glittering, golden, heart-shaped harp.
I might also mention, that I am not related to former US President Calvin Coolidge. In fact, I might even be willing to add that my name is not really Kelvin, and I am not really all that qool.
H.R. Pufnstuf, on the other hand-- H.R. Pufnstuf is qool(!)
An optimist is a person who, even if ravaged by thirst, nevertheless, believes that destiny carries a divining rod.
Time is a bounds that tries us all,
but, there are good ones to be had,
And, I've seen the light (bulb);
I have seen the light (bulb);
I've seen the Jetsons and the Flintstones too;
I've seen an injured terrapin learn to swim, twice;
Like a scientist seeking the bedrock of absolute proof,
or, a mathematician seeking beauty in a fountain of proofs;
Or, a saxophonist hearing perfect melody in a sequence of notes;
Wondering whether a bird in a fountain is worth two in a bush,
Supposing a bird in a fountain is worth a golden hen's tooth;
To an optimistic hitcher chasing endless trails 'long a roseate road;
To a wandering hiker scaling a mountain in search of a wider vista;
Arising mist, arises in mystery, reaches upward toward the horizon;
Whence the majestic eagle boldly soars, to reach an aerie abode;
The world at large, is so large, and is turning all around us(!);
The world at large is turning up ventures around us(!);
The world at large is ever turning all around us(!);
The world at large is ever awake around us(!),
Presents us with a symphony of sounds;
The world turns and turns around(!),
the world is around(!)...
I would like to apologize for the photographs that I have attached to this profile. I do not believe that they provide an entirely accurate representation of what I look like, as I believe that I look a little bit better than that in real life. The photos were taken almost three years ago, but only a few days before they were posted to this profile. Up until last month, my profile had remained up, but I had been inactive on this site for some time. I am not sure what went wrong with those photos: camera angle, focal length, or whatever. I have not posted better, or more recent photos, in the time since-- because, honestly, I have not taken very many photos recently, for, as a rule, I simply do not take a lot of photos. I have taken far, far better photos-- though, as I said, I've not taken very many recently. Though these photos are nearly three years old, I look exactly the same now (other than that I believe that in real life I look better than I am, hereon, portrayed): in other words, I have the same amount of her, and my hair is the same colour, and I have just as much of it (sometimes I wear it a little bit shorter than in the photos), and my skin is basically the same, and so forth. One that has changed a little bit is that I believe that I was 250 to 255 pounds when those photos were taken, and I am 225 to 230 pounds now: I now have a lower percentage of body fat, now, than I had then, but, regrettably, I fear that I also have a little bit less muscle mass.
**Lesson learned from Billy the Piano Man: it's sad, and it's sweet, and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man's nose.**