Take Five

If you were to ever somehow grow tired of the fare here, then the mondo, gigundo, gargantuan, Atlantic-blue-marlin-after-a-lifetime-of-predawn-sorties (when this wouldn’t have wrecked the marine ecosystem), Mother Ship, Parent Corporation, Big Kahuna of Big Kahunas, the OtherLetter.com, has put their shutter back up, and is open for operation.  The price point is even more incredible, it is free, and without any advertisers (I justify this to myself as a means to advance my screen writing career).


In an attempt to make the use of this compact version of the Other Letter easier, we can be found by pointing your browser to c.otherletter.com instead of just compact.otherletter.com.

Web cams, anyone?
Are you a shut-in looking for adventure?  Or are you just a regular person needing a break from the everyday?  Then join us, won’t you, as we enjoy Southampton, Long Island, Venice Beach, California, and the Hawaiian Islands, enjoying paradise the way it should be enjoyed, via web cam.  8/13/16.
When you’re thinking Summer, aren’t you really thinking Coopers Beach in Southampton, Long Island?  See if you can spot the sharks before the swimmers do.  8/10/15.
Enjoy taking your turn at running a controllable web cam of Venice Beach, California — where it’s always hopping, day in and day out.  Don’t think of this as voyeurism without the sex, just think of it as being perched up on a bridge with binoculars, except no one below can see you.  It’s not much different from what the NSA sees of Times Square.  So take out the tissue box, and do some California Dreamin’ on your friends at Other Letter (while fighting back the tears, also match the four, California, achievable employment archetypes with each person seen below — lower-level weed dealer, mid-level reefer supplier, upper-level cannabis distributor, and porn star).  11/02/13.
This web site has dozens of web cams strategically placed all over Hawaii.  It is proof that there is Heaven on Earth, but that Heaven itself is rather pricey.  Regardless of accommodation attainability, these resorts in paradise are hard to tell apart after awhile.  Many cams are from resorts, and include camera angles pointing to themselves with their requisite waterfalls, koi ponds, and tiki bars, many with ukulele accompaniment.  If you’re not much for water though, there may be better bets, and less expensive ones, like in much of escape-the-heat Canada.  8/11/15.
Then you are wondering, is there anything to commend the North Fork of Long Island, say a web cam of an ospreys’ nest perhaps?!  Well, you are in luck, your ship has just arrived, play the lottery today.  We have George and Gracie — yes, they have names — plus there are two hatchlings (be forewarned, this might take away some of the glamour of what you think it is like to be an osprey).  6/25/15.— The ospreys flew the coop in 2016.
Nine years of work and I still haven’t gotten any feedback for this.  Please tell me this was not a colossal waste of time and money.

(geograph.org.uk, Ashley Dace)

Star Trails around Polaris

Extended Exposure Star Trails around Polaris
The earth is turning towards the east; so the
stationary sky — or at least a sky stationary
during a single night — appears to move west.

Support our troops — get them home!

A new and popular — or at least, popular among the people who need it — health care reform initiative, one offering the nation the security of medical insurance, was unveiled this week.  There are definitely times when it feels good to be a Democrat.  10/03/13.

Now that we have the seasons of outdoor activity, bikers should stay on the right side of the road, so they can travel with the flow of traffic.  This way, cyclists are not distracted by oncoming cars, the car driver has more time to react if you veer off-course; and in the event of a collision, the combined velocities are less than it would be was there a head-on.  Cyclists without helmets — especially those on traveled roads — have death wishes.

Hiking is the opposite, travel against the flow of traffic on the left.  The reason here is if a car is bearing down on you, you’ll see it, and hopefully be able to jump out of the way in time.  Additionally, it will be less unnerving to not have cars whiz by you unseen.  Hikers generally do not wear helmets, although police get clipped often enough on the LIE, that I’m not absolutely certain why they’re not wearing them when they’re handing out tickets.


Slow for
Tailgaters

Preserve and protect our invaluable natural resources before they are beyond any reclamation.

Riders of mass transit, and those car-pooling, help to save the environment by lowering aggregate hydrocarbon emissions.

We’re quickly coming up on Halloween, and that can only mean one thing.  That’s right, it’s time to visit the 10,000 Ampere Service, Ginger Bread House, where you can have a hot drink, have the opportunity to meet new friends, and get reacquanited with old ones.  Remember, Halloween is when we scare away evil spirts from behind our scary masks, so why not celebrate All Hallows Eve every day of the year?  (Just a reminder, if you are new to the Northeastern United States, Halloween decorations here usually go up before Labor Day; and the rule of thumb is to never eat more than your dry weight in chocolate.  Have a safe Halloween!)  8/30/16.

This is not some of the best music there is, this is the best music there is (I wouldn’t lie, or even exaggerate — it is.  I’ll take bets on it).
Other Letter Radio
radio tower

Link to Other Letter’s You Tube play lists.

From the Radio Page:
“EST” indicates hours from the U.S. Eastern Standard time zone.  The number of clocks indicate the amount of time I’ve listened to them.  Three clocks mean I’ve listened to them often.

  • If you’re looking for surfing conditions in Southern Florida, do we ever have your ticket.  8/11/15.
  • Emma Stone, a friend near and dear to the Other Letter family of blogs, in an unannounced, unilateral partnership with Other Letter Radio, offers this listening suggestion (via Entertainment Weekly): Radio Nova from Paris, France.  Ms. Stone can sure pick ’em, she knows her music.  She gave an Oscar-caliber performance in Birdman by the way.  Emma, keep up the great work.  EST +6:00.  1/24/15.
  • The Grateful Dead heard on adult contemporary radio?  No, you are not entranced in the Land of Make Believe.  This is the Coast, St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the Canadian Maritimes, the Far East of the Western World (click for PDAs).  EST +1:30
  • At night, Americans in the Northeast, and Canadians in the Southeast, can listen in their car to 900 AM CHML.  Or listen anytime and anywhere here, for another fine day in Canadian sport — even if the Habs lost, the team from Montréal that won the most Stanley Cups.  CHML is Ontario’s official broadcaster of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger Cats (Ti-Cats).  More than sports put into play though — national and international news as well.  EST +0:00
  • Since 1949, listener supported Pacifica Radio from Berkeley, California (think NPR without corporate backing).  Wednesday 8PM PST features Dead to the World. EST -3:00  New York’s Pacifica affiliate broadcasts the always informative and entertaining Off the Hook and The PC Radio Show on Wednesday between 7PM and 9PM EST.  Great music Saturday night.  EST +0:00
Whenever I see a “Never forget” sign, I always complete their thought, and think “Never forget the reasons why.” I can never say why I think that, and why I think it every September, but I think that every time I see one of those signs.  10/04/13.

Fireworks scare pets and wildlife out of their little minds.  The noise easily has the potential of making pets run away from their home.  Animals have no clue what these explosions mean.  It is cruel and immature to use these explosive devices — they are stupid, illegal, and deadly.  Why can’t these amateurs pack into their sedan and see a professionally done, and safe, pyrotechnics show instead?


To pets and wildlife, roads and highways are war zones — so please, drive carefully.

If you’re taken aback by more than your share of road kill (essentially any road kill is too much), you might try throwing a oil-stained rag in the middle of the road near where the wildlife congregate.  If it looks like a dead animal from the distance, it could get people to slow down in their cars in the future.  Don’t do this on major roads, no one needs a multi-car pile up because of your civic-mindedness.


The next time you are at the park taking a walk, a hike, or a trudge, pick up and properly dispose of litter left behind by the pigs who got there before you, so the pigs who get there after you will be discouraged into thinking that this is their pigsty, and they can dump all they want on it.

When litter is removed, wildlife won’t choke, or be poisoned by, trash left in the woods that’s been leaching into the soil for years.

(Take note: late spring and early summer is the height of tick season.)


Save Wildlife
by Driving Carefully


On a walk, direct your body where to go, your legs will know to take you where you’d like to be — let them, they know how.  Have a look around.  Thinking is for above the waist, walking is for your legs below it — employ a division of labor.  You’re the most off course when your mind is taking over.  Loose, swaying arms keep the beat, we’re taking it easy among friends, or we should be.

How to Capture Insects

Even tarantulas are no match (we think).  A little side note: outside the trade, they call two bugs with one haul “a double.” We just call that “a good day.”


Cupping not Crushing,
Catch then Release

As an avid sportsman, I’ve hunted elephants, tigers, and giraffes across the Great Serengeti, I’ve fished for killer sharks and great blue marlin off the coast of Montauk, but that doesn’t compare to, or could possibly ever prepare me for, the exhilaration I felt today cupping a half dollar-size spider.

Let’s break to the play by play.  First, I sense spider webs.  I slip on my slippers.  Did I just crush my quarry?  No, thank god, but now he’s crawling up my leg.

What now, Batman?
This was no time for indecisiveness, old chum.  I haul off into the kitchen and flick him off my leg.  He’s playing dead or he’s exhausted.  Either way, he fell into my trap.  I cup and card without catching appendages on the cup lip, and then out the door into the great outdoors he goes.
You’re thinking: Can there be any day in the world of sport as fine a one as this one was today?
Old chum, I think not.  You see, when I was just a moppet bopping around the Wayne Manor we had all manner of spiders, even a spider man on occasion, but it wasn’t until...


The Now Legendary Mothra Capture  That is correct, the Mothra capture.  September 28th, 2016, on this date I bagged the greatest of all indoor prey, the Mothra moth.  Previous of my big indoor game won't measure up to the great 9/28, Mothra capture — yes Mothra, cupped and released in the wild without game wardens’ supervision.  That level of expertise, and insect acumen, has never been in evidence outside the Serengeti.

What is Other Letter?

It is self-paced reading matter, engaged by all current pointing devices, for daily, routed delivery to your electronic front stoop and terminal emulator, if you so choose.

Each rectangular viewing area of this product might be multi-hued, and is jam-packed with both alpha-numeric symbology — occasionally, and most artistically, represented with a striking, second typeface, like italics — and digital daguerreotypes.

Your Other Letter page instance not only embraces the latest in pixel technology to accurately render its text palette with clarity and visibility; its predictive one-ahead buffering foresees what you’d like to display, then displays it, after you give it the instructive say-so click on how to proceed.

Please patronize our advertiser.

(Click here to replay, F5 for IE)

(The Wizard of Oz,
© 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
via www.gonemovies.com)
Did you ever notice that Dorothy Gale,
and the Witches of the North and of the West, who of course, were all female,
were the only ones that had anything on the ball in Oz?

Dorothy Gale and Good Witch Glenda have a heart-to-heart.

Glinda, the Good Witch of the North:  Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?
Dorothy:  I’m not a witch at all.  I’m Dorothy Gale from Kansas.
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North:  Oh.  Well, is that the witch?
Dorothy:  Who, Toto?  Toto’s my dog!

to Top of Page

 


(The Wizard of Oz,
© 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM))

The screen of the Wizard of Oz pulled back by Toto.

The most important statement in all of cinema,
is that more often than not,
even the Mighty Oz had no clue,
and that even he knew he was only faking it.

to Top of Page

 


Indoor/Outdoor weather station, 5 degree weather on February 13th, 2016.

Indoor/Outdoor Weather Station on February 13th, 2016.

I live South of New England and far South of the Canadian Maritimes, yet this is the weather here on Long Island today.  The reading above is from 10PM, it will be colder still here before dawn (at one point that night, it did get down to one degree).  My concern is the water pipes and the raccoons out back.  The varmints have survived millennia, before the Native Americans were even here.  So I am fairly certain, that while cold, this weather is not going to, well, kill them off.  (By the way, it looks as though the groundhog was a bit off base when he predicted an early spring this year.  The groundhog tends to base his prediction on the current week’s weather, which on this Groundhog Day, was uncharacteristically balmy.)

If you do not have a weather station, in all honesty, this is a great one.  Buy it today.  I’ll wait until you get off the phone with Targét.  This is probably the best piece of electronics I have ever purchased, and when I bought it, it was just $85.  Now I don’t mean to brag, but I also own an eight-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain refracting telescope made by the same manufacturer, Celestron.  They make exceptional high-end electronics, and as seen from the image above, this has sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, as well as moon phase, barometer, hydrometer, time, calendar, and indoor and outdoor temperature — plus, barometric, temperature, and humidity trends.  I am not making a dime plugging this, but this is a seriously great thing to have.  Just thought you should know.

Technical Note: To get accurate barometric pressure, go to Weather.gov, enter your zip code, and get the current reading for your area.  Hold down the Relative/Absolute button for three seconds then keep pressing ‘+’ until your weather station reads true.  The station ships with absolute pressure which incorporates your elevation above sea-level, but you need to adjust it for relative pressure, that is, benchmark, regional, sea-level pressure.


We will be taking weather monitoring to the next level with the Ambient Weather WS-1200-IP (one caveat, wall-mounting is not easy).  This unit will send my readings onto the Internet via the Weather Underground.

— This might take a few minutes to load into your browser (click here, if it won’t).

to Top of Page

 


 

My new weather station, an Ambient Weather WS-1200-IP

I would get the WS-1001-WiFi console upgrade instead of the WS-1200-IP alone with its earlier generation, Internet box.  For me the WS-1200-IP had connectivity issues requiring an exchange to the WS-1001-WiFi.  The WS-1001-WiFi connects to the Weather Underground with no issue whatsoever.

The unit displays graphable wind, wind gust, and direction; indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity; wind chill, heat index, UV index, dew point, and barometer; sunrise and sunset, moon phase; and rain accumulation, by the hour, the day, the week, the month, or the year.  As seen above, this also broadcasts your weather onto the Internet via Wunderground.com — the Weather Underground.

I later found Davis has a similarly-priced model that I could not review by press time.  Davis can get super expensive though.  The advantage of owning any of this is that the farmer’s daughter sidles up to you at the State Fair asking for all kinds of crazy weather insight like: when should Daddy plant his corn?  Are we irrigating this week?  You now have all the answers for her.  Other than that, if you decide to jettison your current career, you may have a future as a meterologist.

I got this on Amazon for under $400 including mast kit and mast kit extension.  Final words, plan well ahead for dimensions, and placement.  Really helps if you are handy, or are from a family that is (you own a portable drill, for instance), you are good at following directions (Ambient Weather’s, not mine), but if you can follow the example below, then that’s all you might need for planning.


The power cord of the display (no battery-power for this) goes over a hook screwed into a nearby kitchen cupboard, then to a power strip with USB outlets (USB power is not necessary for many).

The brains of the outfit, the weather station display. The brains of the outfit, the weather station display

There are many, many ways of mounting this, and some of them involve ladders.  This way is relatively unblocked by the roof, and allows easy access without a ladder, but here you need a deck.

Outdoor sensor perched atop a mast. Outdoor sensor seated atop a mast.

Outdoor sensor itself, oriented to North. Outdoor sensor itself.

Outdoor sensor mast brace, with crumpled aluminum foil to reduce wind vibration
which might throw off the rain gauge. Outdoor sensor mast brace.

Mast pinning screws, the one in the middle holds it towards the deck post,
the one on the left stops the mast from turning. Mast pinning screws.

to Top of Page

 


Birds at Bird Bath during Daytime

For repeat visitors, the bird bath water should be changed daily.  They will not stop at your bird bath if the water has feathers, or other debris, already present.  You may notice other videos of bird baths on Youtube.  One of them looks as though they are bathing in, what is that, mud?  I'm appalled.  When there are that many birds in a bird bath, they must be mechanical birds, like drones, except much more bird-like.  I’m sure they picked them up at Radio Shack to make their video, the variety pack, with all the colors under the sun — I’m just surprised they don’t have any parakeet drones flying around their backyard.  Their whole video exercise is deceitful, deceitful and appalling.

to Top of Page

 


Raccoon with Bread at Night

When is the last time you fed your raccoons and opossums?  If you haven’t, are you prepared for their aggression?  If raccoons and opossums, being generally nocturnal, venture out during daylight, they may or may not be rabid — they might just be looking for handouts. As you probably already know, it is not such a wonderful idea to feed rabid animals, although there has only been one reported death ever from “raccoon rabies.”  The literature suggests that feeding raccoons will cause them to attack, although mine never have.  The hours we keep are different anyhow.  Isn’t a starving raccoon, one eyeing your calf as dinner, more of a risk to you and your loved ones, than a well-fed one?  (Coyotes are another story, they are carnivores whose diet is 90% animal matter.)

to Top of Page

 


How are the birds in your backyard doing right now?
You should feed them, because you stole their habitat.

to Top of Page

 


Opossum snow prints

The arrow points to what is likely opossum snow prints.  Opossum’s feet do not face forward
like the faster-moving raccoons.  Red-tailed hawks are also common to this area, but their talons
face forward and back as well, and hawks do not hop sideways, back-to-back, in unison
(or at least the ones around here don’t).
The smart money is riding on the opossum.

to Top of Page

 


Tracking feed is the courtesy of NASA, the NSA, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office


(Click here for more updates, F5 for IE)

to Top of Page

 


Illusion of a frog that also looks like a bicycle on a pedestal

Balancing Act or Bespectacled Frog
© Other Letter

to Top of Page

 


Call your travel agent, and book a stay with our number two advertiser today.

Leafy Pines Village town sign, Wherever particular people congregate, incorporated 1984, A good town to live in ...

Or where to spend some time away, maybe drop a few bills —
and it’s not such a bad place to raise your family either.
The grounds of LPV are a breed apart from anyplace you have ever visited before.

to Top of Page

 


Reduce your time on the PC in half — guaranteed (by turning it off).  As part of my lecture series, I am often called on as a reference authority for shortcut keys.  Oh, never mind...

Shortcut KeyIts Purpose
alt + tabCycle previous Windows
alt + F4Close Window
ctrl + “t”Open new browser tab
ctrl + “n”Open new browser window
Space barToggles pause and resume play in Youtubes
ctrl + “w”Close browser tab
F5Browser page refresh
F3 or ctrl + “f”Browser find in page
ctrl + tabCycle through previous browser tabs
ctrl + “`”Browser last tab toggle (accent)
Windows-key + “e”File explorer
Windows-key + “r”Command line
ctrl + “c”Copy selection
ctrl + “x”Cut selection
ctrl + “v”Paste selection
to Top of Page

 


The Food Court for Thought
(a gentle introduction to the parent company)

Additions to religious food for thought can be found in an Other Spirituality, within the mother ship, OtherLetter.com.  The most recent Food, however, will be found here.

  • Latest and GreatestButter corn on its end, so the dripping is more favorable.  In other words, so the butter doesn’t all end up on the plate.
  • Latest and GreatestWhat does it mean when a super-model says she works very hard?  Very hard at what, starving or dressing herself?...  Please pardon my ignorance, but I would really be interested in knowing how modeling, even elite modeling, is actual work.
  • Latest and GreatestTime management strategies might include knowing how long tasks take for scheduling and prioritizing purposes; assigning a priority letter grade of, say, A-D to the task; and moving less important, non-essential work to after hours.  Another strategy is interrupting your sidetracking dalliance mid-train-of-thought, to go on to more important uses of your time.  Knowing the categories of effort, and the time spent in each category can also be helpful.  For instance, you may notice you spend half your day reading gossip about Kenya and Kim K of the KKK, when that is not your established, primary job function.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you have had the air conditioning on all summer long — then depending on latitude — early September might be the time to turn it off, and open the windows, even the shower window when showering.
  • Latest and GreatestOne day in the distant future, today will be considered an infinitesimal part of the ancient past.
  • Latest and GreatestAmerica was founded to be free.  Free to keep slaves.
  • Latest and GreatestHave you ever wondered how to get a fly or other insect out of your house without a biohazard, or chemical weapons grade assault?  If the answer is “Yes,” then this is what you need to do.  Slide open a glass door or window — keeping the screened, window or door, that also slides closed — in the area where the insectoid intrusion has occurred.  Wait until your arachnid friend has an interest in the outdoors.  Remember, unless you are infested with bugs, they were originally from the Great Outdoors, and have an abiding interest in returning there.  Next, open the screen, and close the glass door in front of it.  Eventually, your insect friend will get the hint, exit Stage Right, and tada, you have saved Gotham once more.
  • Latest and GreatestGood people can’t let the unholy define them negatively.
  • Latest and GreatestIf the Vatican commanded its followers to hop around all day on one leg in the name of Jesus the Christ, half the world's population would do just that.  Don't get any ideas, Francis.
  • Latest and GreatestI hereby absolve myself of all responsibility by writing about this taboo subject: Younger people have about a ten-year window in their twenties to experiment with weekend night substance abuse before they deal with full blown adulthood.  (To the über wholesome Amish, this experimentation is known as Rumspringa.)  In that time, legal and illegal drug use might kill you, it might damage your relationships, it might give you a life long and expensive addiction, or it might become a temporary rite of passage.  You might get away with this extracurricular nonsense, or you might not.  Well, this is what I think, and studies bear me out.  What studies?  Those studies, okay?!
  • Latest and GreatestFor all you women out there (and I guess, a few guys) we're taking a quiz: From the dynamic boys band, the Jonas Brothers, who’s your favorite brother?  Would it be: Poncho, Vladimir, Ché, Kimberly, Tiffany, Samuel L., Miguel, or the Donald?  (I am not endorsing or condemning this dynamic boys band, because I have no idea what the sing.)
  • Latest and GreatestIt’s very difficult to find someone who’s all bad.  I mean even Adolf Hitler liked children — Aryan children, of course, but he did like children.
  • Latest and GreatestHe died for his country, the country of Rock ’n’ Roll.
  • Latest and GreatestI would suggest that there are millions more people taught in a manner non-native to their nature, than there are people who cannot learn.  As a result, education fails in producing a broad, well-educated class of society.
  • Latest and GreatestIn the Eleveth Grade, I had an English teacher who pointed out the fatal flaws of particular roles in dramatic works.  That stuck with me, I’m not sure if it’s morbid or not, but people can have a flaw in their character, or in their makeup, that will spell their doom.
  • Latest and GreatestHave you ever witnessed someone have a major reversal of fortune?  By someone who was so malevolent and hurtful, that you were actually glad, no, you were over the moon, by their fall from grace.
  • Latest and GreatestTo all of you summer-schoolers out there, one of the hardest things about homework is just finding the time to crack open the textbook.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you watch enough French films, you begin to realize why the Academy, the Oscar crew, created a Best Foreign Language Film category.  If they didn’t, America’s Hollywood wouldn’t be winning the Best Picture Oscar — France would.  The Academy needed to make non-Hollywood films a side show.
  • Latest and GreatestPeople who exceed their optimal weight, or who are heavy, must not be living their life as they had hoped to live it.  There had to be a disruption of some kind or another.
  • Latest and GreatestSee, the organ donor promoters don’t take into consideration the obvious.  And that’s if we die, and our organs are removed, the aliens from distant galaxies will have nothing to work with to restore us back to life.  These organ donation people are so foolish, they are laughable really.
  • Latest and GreatestThere are those among us who own dogs, and walk them outside.  There are, of course, small dogs, larger dogs, and dogs which are the equivalent of wooly mammoths in canine form.  Whichever variety you may possess, if it is far too much to ask for you to scoop its poop, the absolute minimum you should do is to flick it into the woods — when there is actually woods — with a stick, shovel, payloader or backhoe (the last two are for the wooly mammoth canine, which must exist because I almost stepped into its poop today).
  • Latest and GreatestOne way to limit your time spent on social media is to remove the number of feeds — by unfollowing, and unliking, unnecessary ones. For instance, perhaps Johnny Depp’s is now less interesting, and might be deleted.
  • Latest and GreatestFortunately, kiddies, America is not a one-strike-you’re-out country.  No, it’s two strikes.  Scratch that, because I’ve even heard of America being a three-strikes-you’re-out country — and that’s just the first inning.  If at first you do not succeed, what else is there for you to do, but try, try, try again.
  • Latest and GreatestTo further establish the cachet of the McDonald’s restaurant marque, corporate HQ will be building The Club Mickey with exclusive seating, tasting and prix fixe menus, patisserie assortment, a bistro night club for after hours dancing and carousing, and valet parking.  Ronald offers his best regards, “Bon appetit à vous.”
  • Latest and GreatestIs so much of the human brain devoted to the processing of symbolic logic and its processing — meaning language and math capabilities — that outside of this symbolism, mammals can essentially do what we can?
  • Latest and GreatestI always thought society hated the young.  They made being a grundge the only viable path to future happiness.
  • Latest and GreatestWhile you might or might not be able to get away with illicit substance use and abuse on a Friday or Saturday night; if you are doing this during the work or school week — or even worse, doing it daily — you are heading for full-blown, rehab, drug addiction.  You know who I mean...
  • Latest and GreatestAnd while we are discussing the undiscussable, if teens had an interesting and engaging academic experience, one with an emphasis on generating lifelong curiosity instead of high-stress testing based on useless rote memorization, would they have any need for drug use?
  • Latest and GreatestLife cannot be one-hundred-percent perfect all the time, but it can be 99.99 percent perfect enough of the time to make it all worthwhile.
  • Latest and GreatestCoin collecting, of the World’s permanent medium of exchange, and store of value, is the hobby of history, economics, and organization.  Stamp collecting offers similar satisfaction with a sometimes less expensive pastime, yet one with a more colorful and broader canvas, along with more numerous issues.
  • Latest and GreatestI’d suggest that criminal behavior is much more transient and temporary than our criminal justice system would lead us all to believe.  The transgressions’ lessons of right and wrong are almost instantly apparent to all but the mentally deficient, and these deficiencies are rarely, if ever, permanent.
  • Latest and GreatestAre you in doubt about your latest post?  Is the editing just not there yet?  Do you have fewer than a thousand followers yet desperately need that many if only to bolster your flailing ego?  Do you have Twitter, Instagram or Facebook issues that require resolution?  Arrange a consultation with your social media professional today.  They will have all the answers you need.  (They now have certification to accept Snapchat clients.)
  • Latest and GreatestReflection has it all over thinking.  Thinking is a forced march in the cold; reflection is soaring above, and well-noting the interlocking contours of the terrain passing beneath you.
  • Latest and GreatestEver notice how good cops give special treatment to the handicapped?  If a murderer is caught in a wheelchair, he walks — figuratively, I mean.  Everyone else should know better than to try and get away with murder.
  • Latest and GreatestCompared against eternity, Man and Woman are given a very brief lease on life.  This shouldn’t be wasted worrying about how other people think you should live it.
  • Latest and GreatestBefore being so hard on yourself for a mistake you made, consider its severity.  Will the Earth stop spinning?  Will your Earth stop spinning, that is, will you or someone else die from your blunder?  What will be the expected term of your penitence?  Will you never live this down, will you be on your death bed cursing yourself for the day you spilled all that milk?  Will you lose your job because of this, will your relationship with a significant other be FUBAR’d (effed up beyond all recognition), or will one of your pets despise you now?  Most likely, will you even be thinking about this by the time you go to bed tonight?...  Because fault recovery is often only a matter of applying well-practiced, failsafe breach protocols to the given scenarios.
  • Latest and GreatestOverheard at the It’s the Bradys Convention: “No, you’re wrong it was Season 4, Episode 8 — not 7, no way 7 — and it was when the Donald held the talent show at his Trump Motel, Casino, and Gaming Lodge.  The Ping Pong Competition was where Trump accused Greg of cheating with keeping score, remember?  Poor Missus Brady had to break up the fight between the Brady Kids and the Donald, remember?  Then the Brady Singers almost got disqualified, and would never have come in first, because Jan had the flu and was coughing all the way through their act, don’t you remember anything?”
  • Latest and GreatestSocial media such as Facespam, Twitspam, and Instaspam, are little more than marketing sites of spam run by their resident celebrities.  For good measure, they occasionally promote charities, but for the most part they use the platform to promote themselves or their careers.  Then, to be completely frank, the celebrities themselves are back sliding on their looks, or more accurately, on how they used to look...  You might as well enjoy the spam, because it’s about the only game in town these days.
  • Latest and GreatestAny civilized society requires its citizens to adhere to a minimum modicum of acceptable behavior so everyone can go about their business in peace.  When laws are just, such as drunken driving laws, they are held in contempt by only the most depraved.  Marijuana laws are different, even cannabis’ effects are different.  Alcohol can make one very aggressive, while weed can make one very passive and mellow.  Ingesting grass out of harm’s way on the weekend is a victimless crime.  Which is not to say that everyone has to get high, but those that do, should be shown a measure of clemency that drinkers of alcohol have always had.
  • Latest and GreatestIf someone makes a real overture to someone they are attracted to, and the other person declines, is it okay for them to just coldly blow off the person being so nice?  Or is something a little more gracious called for from the one getting all the attention, and something not so cheap as the cold shoulder, or at minimum, the apropos, sensitivity equivalent of: “Thanks, but no thanks”?
  • Latest and GreatestIf you designed a Heaven on Earth, what would be a major difference between it and the life you live today?
  • Latest and GreatestYou are much more likely to find God around you in Creation, than above you in the ether.
  • Latest and GreatestAn individual is in a much stronger, stable position, and is better able to surmount difficulties or withstand adversaries; when one stays true to one’s values, one’s self, and one’s innate sense of right and wrong.
  • Latest and GreatestRespect who you can, bow to none.
  • Latest and GreatestYou’re only responsible for the effort, not the result.
  • Latest and GreatestIf ninety-five percent to ninety-nine percent of cops deserve to wear the badge, then it is a very small percentage that get the headlines for being incompetent, poorly trained, racist, or xenophobic.  Yet if a population knew how to best address their anger, their drug dependencies, or their carelessness, as well as demonstrate simple, common courtesy, then we would need much less police intervention.  One should remember that police are only charged with enforcing the laws handed down by our elected officials.  So, ultimately, we decide what is legal, and which laws require enforcement.
  • Latest and Greatest“Now even though your character is a neurosurgeon, she is Black and a woman, so she will be pole dancing in a few scenes.  Can you pole dance, Kerry?”
  • Latest and GreatestThe ninety-nine percent are the only ones there are to blame for letting the remaining one percent walk away with the keys to the shop (and to Heaven).
  • Latest and GreatestThere exists an expansive cohort of a species human-resembling, that if a reincarnation of Adolph Hitler appeared on this Earth, these miscreants would be clapping like seals upon his arrival.  Donald Trump is one such reincarnation, but there have definitely been others unleashing evil such as George W. Bush.
  • Latest and GreatestIn the sports where toughness and physicality are valued more than athleticism and spontaneous play making — this is mostly hockey, but also true to a lesser extent of football — is the typical fan drawn more to the sport for the brawling, the combat, and the lowering of the dignity of the opponent, than whatever interest the sport itself may hold?
  • Latest and GreatestEconomic prosperity never meant bowing to the interests of Big Business and the wealthy, it means bowing to the interests of the People, and especially, the consumer.
  • Latest and GreatestOne problem with standardized tests is that they cannot measure, and thus cannot reward, creativity.  There are no open answers on them.  They measure how tightly you can stay within the supplied lines, not how you know how to get around them.  Great people did not become great by simply staying inside the boundary lines.
  • Latest and GreatestTo paraphrase Orson Welles, being heavy was evidence of his one vice, gluttony, that he always carried with him in plain sight, and one that everyone knew was his weakness.
  • Latest and GreatestRegarding online dating: the looks-challenged have hearts of gold; the lookers have hearts of stone.  Where’s Doctor Frankenstein when you need him the most?
  • Latest and GreatestWhere in the fossil record are there obvious failures, such as feet pointing backwards, or eyes pointing out the back of one’s head?  In a random, ungoverned, try anything, what works stays, evolutionary system, these should be plentiful, and as far as I know, these fossil mutations don’t even exist.  Even if one contends that evolution occurs in minute, sure-footed, increments; how can one explain the lack of missing links that would account for large-scale species advancement?
  • Latest and GreatestA mythical crossing of the fan-starlet divide has long been hypothesized by the texts and in the literature.  What’s more, the hope of any potential friendships between the inert, high-and-mighty and the hoi polloi form the foundation of the entire social media industry.  As of the present day however, fan-starlet, in-person contact, outside of simple meet-and-greets, only exists as pure mythology.
  • Latest and GreatestThose abandoning, or otherwise dumping, their unwanted pets, should serve felony jail time.  Cats and dogs have feelings just like we all do, and dumping these helpless creatures likely means their starvation.  Pets will more likely run away when not neutered or spayed, and this simple operation reduces chronic overpopulation.  Humane societies are the appropriate places to drop off pets when their care is impossible, and their original adoption was entirely a careless mistake.
  • Latest and GreatestFollowing a roadside bomb, and with the latest robotic walking devices, we can send paraplegic soldiers right back onto the front lines of the battlefield so they can fulfill their tour of duty obligations.
  • Latest and GreatestDid you ever notice that if you post something original on a widely-coveted starlets,’ social media account, the person after you posts something irrelevant about drug addicts, or feels they have the in with the starlet by posting, “You were great in Tomorrow means Never, and your butt was special too.”
  • Latest and GreatestRepublicans mean well, it's just that they only mean well for themselves.
  • Latest and GreatestFor seafood without the thrill of the kill, yet much more importantly without any killing, try shrimp — or better, scallops, clams, mussels, or oysters — instead of getting it via recreational fishing, or even commercial fishing.  Just based on common sense, shellfish, and if necessary, their cultivated beds, are best for the ecosystem.  Unlike the meaty food-source shrimp or its myriad of scaly, depleted, interdependent kin, underground shellfish aren’t consumed by whales, who will beach when starved, or sharks, who will eat people when their food supply has been entirely tapped.  (Note that the Kosher prohibition against shellfish consumption was handed down during a time when raw, untreated sewage was common.)
  • Latest and GreatestIf we make contact with alien life within the next few centuries, they will be visiting us, we are nowhere near visiting other galaxies.  We cannot even get to Mars, the next planet further out.
  • Latest and GreatestCreation help me through this day, as many not unlike me have gotten through days not unlike this.
  • Latest and GreatestYou know you’re mechanically inclined if you have two sets of Allen wrenches.
  • Latest and GreatestWhen you consider that life on Earth is in great degree the product of interstellar dust, and interstellar dust fills every pocket of the Universe, the odds that human beings are the only ones in the cosmos are essentially nil.
  • Latest and GreatestNo one is privy to whether Heaven exists or not, because if it does exists, and people knew that it did, they would never tend to their responsibilities back on Earth.  They would only concern themselves with the hereafter.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you stop to consider it, being bestowed British Royalty puts incredible pressure on a mere mortal.  It is essentially saying that the coroneted have to be perfect, when they know that they’ll never be.
  • Latest and GreatestThe problem with America has always been that at least one half of the populace wants to hold down and subjugate the other half; while the other half has to deal with the abrogation of their natural and inherent rights, and often enough, these are ones not provided by its Constitution.
  • Latest and GreatestAll of these discussions concerning the instituting or the promulgating of community policing would mean that an informal talk between a police officer and a citizen within the law is not confrontational.  In fact, that is how a policeman should learn about his beat.  When the police are aiming to protect a community, instead of just looking to bust anyone in sight, the law abiding can appreciate their town, or county’s finest, and can be assured that the police have the town’s best interests in mind.
  • Latest and GreatestAmericans are so in love with being first or numero uno, that when they are not, they generally cannot appreciate those who come in ahead of them.  They have been all soured by sour grapes.
  • Latest and GreatestBeware the withholders of kindness and goodness — raise the stakes a notch and they become the back-stabbers.  What they fail to understand is that you won’t like them more if you’re forced to do so.
  • Latest and GreatestI would have to say that a major reason the young get into drugs is because their schools’ texts, the curriculum, and even the teachers themselves, are stultifyingly boring, dry, irrelevant, and unengaging.  Then what is taught is often of such limited practicality that the only benefit of high school is to hopefully instill curiosity and a lifelong love of learning.
  • Latest and GreatestOther Letter has begun discussions with Wall Street VCs (Venture Capitalists, not Viet Cong, there’s a difference) about contextual commerce, in other words, breezy articles about some hotly desired product followed by links to purchase it.  For instance, one of our first contexts will be peanut butter.  We will have an eight-page “spread” about the tasty legume, where and how it’s grown, who eats it and why and when, what foods go good with PB, and how to prepare those foods (it’s not just for PB & J sandwiches anymore); followed by where you can buy some of this precious commodity for your very own home.  The marketing trade calls this contextual peanut butter immersion.  After the immersion, your only thought will be of PB, and where you can get your hands on some — not next week, not tomorrow, but today, and right now online!  This is what I have prepared to present to the boys down on Wall Street.  Then I’ll just tell them I want one of those checks with the numeral followed by seven zeroes not the kind for a newly patented toothpick followed by six zeroes.  They’re not slow on the uptake, they’ll get it.
  • Latest and GreatestConfirming the presence of racism on television and film is only a matter of imagining a role reversal.  If African American and Caucasian roles are swapped and the result looks ludicrous, then that staged depiction is an example of racism.
  • Latest and GreatestThere is an infinite difference in being an abject failure, and just not yet succeeding where you hope to succeed.
  • Latest and GreatestWhat’s in a name?  A great deal if you’re a marketer.  Imagine, for instance, if Marlboro cigarettes were named Puffers.  Do you think young men would flock to something that will have them stricken down with lung disease by something as ineffectually named as Puffers?  Not your brand, you’re going at cancer whole hog.  You’re a cowboy out among the open range, developing a permanent hack, and craving for your next fix that will bring you that much closer to death.  Do you think this devotion would come from a brand like Puffers?  No, Marlboro is your brand, you hope to die a macho cowboy, and this crap will do it to you.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you’re attempting to make a logical argument going from Point A to Point B, don’t go to Point C via Points P, Q, and R.  Find a way to get to Point C from Point B.  Points P, Q, and R, will so divert your audience they will likely have no clue where Point C came from, if anywhere.
  • Latest and GreatestRebelliousness against the unjust, is a sign of strength, not one of weakness.
  • Latest and GreatestWhat is more important, your worth as a person, or your worth on paper in material goods?  Where I grew up, that was a very, very difficult question, it always tended towards class via cash.
  • Latest and GreatestCelebrities do not have a presence on social media to make friends, they are only there to self-promote.
  • Latest and GreatestIn the Master-Slave, celebrity-fan, public relations and publicity hierarchy that is social media, there are two cardinal sins of the Master: One, ignore regular contributors; and two, even much more than a cardinal sin, is to nitpick, then delete the posts of anyone not malicious, when vile ones of trolls are allowed to stay in the feed.  When either of these sins occurs, the Slave packs up his or her kit bag and moves along to warmer climes.  The cardinal sins of the Slave are not always demonstrating slavish rank because they hope to maintain their objectivity; they don’t toe the celebrity’s “company line;” or the opposite tack, they are an outright troll.
  • Latest and Greatest“...It’s always a good time...” — was this a Mickey D’s ad, a Burger King one, does anyone know?...
  • Latest and GreatestThere are just two qualifications necessary to become a starlet.  One, they must be very-good looking, even unusually so; and two, they must have the means at their disposal to deliver their lines convincingly.  That’s all.  They don’t need to be good with people, have their heads together, be selfless, be mature, be clean and sober, or not be stuck up.  They only need to have the looks and the delivery.
  • Latest and GreatestThe only reason people would think starlets are any more than their looks and how they deliver their lines (see above) is social media.  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are PR campaigns run wild, where those interested get an incredibly biased view of starlets’ lives, who lay out seductive bait for their fans’ feeding frenzy of celebrity aggrandizement.  Fans beg for attention, always thinking they will catch the eye of their favorite starlet, or much more realistically, the ever so slight interest of their publicity assistant.
  • Latest and GreatestA major reason that dreams are dreamt is to counter the nightmares lurking in the shadows.
  • Latest and GreatestThe rewards of beauty are given so arbitrarily.  Just because a girl watches her figure, and understands makeup and fashion, and has perfect physical genetics, she’s given the keys to the kingdom.  Most of her success in life has nothing to do with anything she has developed as a person like her compassion; but rather her human value is based on her bloodline, and its genetic effect on the contours and proportions of her face and body.  Of course, Charlize Theron has a perfect perspective besides a perfect appearance, and there are likely other exceptions to the rule offered.
  • Latest and GreatestThe beauty of technology lies in the pyramiding of basic elements, such as millions of transistors consisting of simple, plus-minus voltage, true-false, logic gates, into hardware that can mimic people in their complexity and functionality.
  • Latest and GreatestI need the ability to coin viral phrases at will like Taylor Swift.  “Mom-crooning,” for someone Mom-like deep in her music, Taylor deduces effortlessly.  I might arrive at “Dad-crooning,” and people would hurl insults and mock me until the day I hang up my blogging kit.  What kit?  Who the eff knows?  I’m only here to collect a paycheck, leave me alone.
  • Latest and GreatestUltimately, democracy is glacial, nothing any one individual says matters very much unless the words are beamed down from alien spacecraft — then people start to pay attention.
  • Latest and GreatestA successful, albeit traditional, marriage implies husband and wife are more often verbs than nouns.  Husbands husband resources, and wives are customarily wived for home and hearth.
  • Latest and GreatestI would have to imagine that there is a level of money-making where the wealthy can possess more than they would ever desire to have, and the acquisition of greater wealth only serves to pad the well-to-do’s bank account, thus bettering their own self-aggrandizement.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you are not enjoying what you are doing for a living, it might be time for a change, and time to look into doing something else instead (as if you didn’t already know this).
  • Latest and GreatestJesus Christ and the Vatican continue to make goodness so onerous and demanding, many just choose the lower overhead of evil instead.
  • Latest and GreatestWhen you are with the light of the redeemed there is hope for great things to happen in your life.
  • Latest and GreatestAn evolution-only explanation of Creation falls short because it suggests that the infinite diversity and functionality of life can be explained simply by non-governed molecular collisions and DNA mutations.
  • Latest and GreatestNo matter how smart you are, or how smart that you think you are, you will not possess all of the experience of Creation.  If you do not try to benefit from what others have learned from their own lives, you will never reach all the goals and milestones that you were otherwise set to reach.  People who advance themselves in life, almost inevitably are able in some measure to trust in the judgment of others.  Going solo puts you on a par with Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Essentially, you would be hard-pressed figuring out how to build a fire, or even knowing what one was.
  • Latest and GreatestDespite all that you read in the news each and every day, the world is really not such a terrible place.  Sure, there are a few gun-toters going on homicidal rages, but there are an infinitely greater number of forgiving, kind, and caring people.  When you consider how far Mankind has gotten from a Garden of Eden campfire with little readily available food, and entertainment consisting solely of sing-alongs; to any need now being met both night and day, and so much with which to enjoy ourselves (and not just free Internet porn), aren’t there cogent reasons to be cheerful?
  • Latest and GreatestIn for-profit medicine — such as exists in America, but not in Canada — there are incentives for so-called physicians to jack-up the number of visits, and associated tests.  Doctors need “regulars,” in other words, patients who visit often, and ones who can pad the payroll.
  • Latest and GreatestRe forgiveness, if I turn the other cheek, they get away with spiritual murder.  Maybe I need the transgressor to understand that what they did was wrong, and that they will never do it again.  Absent of that measure of security and peace of mind, can I just push them out of the door of a flying airplane?
  • Latest and GreatestIf an Other Spirituality really took off, I would drop into Pope HQ for an audience.  What I would be most interested in knowing is how he maintains and preaches forgiveness.  He definitely sounds like he has a bead on that one, and I would be very interested in knowing from whence it came.  Answers like, “Jesus gives me all I need each and every day,” would not be accepted.  I would hope for a much more secular and worldly response.
  • Latest and GreatestIt says something about Christians that they have waited two-thousand years for their Savior to return.  I’m not sure what it says exactly, but rest assured, it does say something.
  • Latest and GreatestIf a set of facts is not presented on newsprint, or projected on a video display by a paying conglomerate, it is not of record, and it is of no consequence whatsoever.  Even an organization with the reputation for open mindedness like National Public Radio, would rather feature a xylophonist for an hour, than challenge the status quo for three minutes, talking about the Other Letter.
  • Latest and GreatestMany hurt someone else with insults, and laugh if off by saying, “I’m bad,” when in fact they are no-class, miserable sociopaths.
  • Latest and GreatestPeople need to understand that it would be such a better World, if everyone emphasized the positive in others, instead of only the negative.
  • Latest and GreatestWhen your dreams won’t come true, it’s time to invent new ones.
  • Latest and GreatestThere are classes of activity that you only look forward to them being done, with the possible solace that they never have to be done again.
  • Latest and GreatestYou know you are getting older when you get a sense of accomplishment from sleeping through the night without having to use the bathroom.
  • Latest and GreatestIf regrettable at all, hating someone is usually more regrettable than loving them.  Yet there obviously are exceptions — consider loving someone who did not deserve your love.
  • Latest and GreatestOne’s ability to lose weight is often predicated on the practices of the rest of the family.  Is the food purchased by others for family meals nutritious?  Is it prepared in a way that doesn’t add a lot of fat?  Are desserts brought home every other day?  Can takeout meals also be used to grease your car’s axles?
  • Latest and GreatestThe fourth leading cause of suicide in the United States, is being stuck with wearing ugly fashion choices.  (The first leading cause being a broken heart — according to all verified, statistical samples.)
  • Latest and GreatestWhere I ended up calling home, it’s the thickheaded nerds on witch hunts who are the bullies, the cool peaceniks are the ones who have to watch their backs.
  • Latest and GreatestWhen I was young — and remarkably, before I had all my wits together — it was more about having fun, a good time, and peace.  Now, it’s just a form of twisted, Satanic worship.  See if you can possibly figure out what I am talking about.
  • Latest and GreatestWhen you feel as though your life is all uphill, you’re actually on your way to Heaven.  If you think you have it worse than anyone else, just keep in mind, there are people who are Dumpster-diving right now for their dinner.
  • Latest and GreatestCaitlyn, all the Kardashians, and every last Duggar, you can run naked in the woods for all I care.  Just stop hogging media bandwidth with all the posts you spawn.  I do not need to know any more about your lives than I unfortunately somehow know already.
  • Latest and GreatestWe exist in the service of the State — for proof, we need not look any further than our tax bill.  Just as our ancestors were in service of the Queen, we are circumscribed certain allowable behaviors to advance the State’s interests.  (Yet understandable alienation is no excuse for disrupting legitimate, public safety efforts.)
  • Latest and GreatestHaving to avoid being late for an event, speeding in a car to stay on schedule, and dealing with deadline pressure, are just three by-products of the tyranny of time-keeping.  The alternative though, a clock-free, timeless existence, means having life’s events occur at random points in the day, making things like get-togethers impossible — people would essentially show up whenever the mood strikes them, like they do when on vacation.
  • Latest and GreatestA Taylor Swift insight: “You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet.”
  • Latest and GreatestTo paraphrase Taylor Swift, if you don’t want bad things said about you, then don’t do bad things.
  • Latest and GreatestSticking a needle in your arm is about as cool as picking your nose.  They are both gross, but only injecting heroin will kill you — and you might only be one shot away from ending it all.
  • Latest and GreatestTwitter is only a marketing tool, one selling a false bill of goods in its promise of enabling contact with celebrities.  If it was a more substantial communication method, where a dialog between a starlet and a fortunate, vetted, and insured Tweeter might be established, it could make money.  As Twitter stands today though, it’s been in the red the last five years.
  • Latest and GreatestI am often nicer to people than they deserve to be treated, because I hope, however falsely, that they will one day seek redemption with the greater good.
  • Latest and GreatestProduction today is seen as a means of maximizing green-paper profits; whereas it should be seen as the way to make the most people, the most satisfied and contented.  No one would ever suggest that the first objective maximizes the wealth of everyone as the second would.
  • Latest and GreatestAlbert Einstein is famous for having uncovered the equations describing, underpinning, or defining, natural, physical laws.  It is easy to imagine though, that because these axioms were a distillation of nature, they would be discovered later by someone else, albeit someone with much greater resources and instruments with which to test their hypotheses.
  • Latest and GreatestIt is much easier to be god-like, or of God, than to actually be God.  Being God requires being God beyond a shadow of a doubt, or the degree of proof in a criminal trial.  This means performing miracles like walking on water and making twelve baskets of fish out of two fish.  This is the incontrovertible evidence that will pack them in at your Church.  If this is not one’s speed, then being God-like only requires a preponderance of the evidence, just as a civil trial requires (this is how OJ Simpson was finally convicted and forced to pay damages).  Moving the spiritual mountains of the masses puts one ahead of the Holies based on this degree of proof.
  • Latest and GreatestIf you were 18 years of age, and you committed a murder (or murders), would you rather receive the death penalty for it, or spend the rest of your life in jail without the possibility of parole?  I would have to think most would choose the former over the latter, although this defeats the purpose of capital punishment wherein the guilty do not get what they want — execution might be exactly what they want.
  • Latest and GreatestA question when deciding whether or not to voice your dissatisfaction on the Internet: Will my blood pressure be higher by not venting my anger; or by venting it and worrying about push back, or even retaliation?
  • Latest and GreatestIf you don’t develop a sense of humor or humility about yourself, someone else will do it for you.
  • Latest and Greatest“No” is not a very popular word around here.  Wasn’t it Socrates who said, “Lead, follow, or get the eff out of the way” — or was it Plato?
  • Latest and GreatestIf a civilization was discovered in deep space, would the aliens there treat one another better or worse on aggregate than Earthlings do to each other here?  In other words, would you say we have done a good job with treating our fellow man on this planet, much better than any other, hypothetical planet; or are we really, really screwing things up?  I get the impression that the latter would hold true, we’re blowing it, much more than the former.
  • Latest and GreatestInstead of saying who you are, character is better demonstrated by setting a worthy example.  Recently for instance, the celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, claimed she was “very close to the common woman.”  People at first doubted her, but she is putting her money where her mouth is, and spending $29 on her food for the week, the same as what the food stamp program allots for the indigent.  While her motive was to demonstrate how devastating poverty is, she is also proving she doesn’t live in an ivory tower far removed from the concerns of the masses.  She is showing by doing, instead of just talking a good game.  Way to be, Gwyneth!...  (Hopefully, she’s not caught cheating at restaurants the whole time.)
  • Latest and GreatestOther Letter Legal advises us that there are three different types of pleas in a criminal trial: innocent, guilty, and guilty by reason of insanity.  These crimes can then be prosecuted based on intent, that is, whether or not they are premeditated.  A further consideration, and this is very important in any criminal trial, is whether or not the defendant will violate the same law of society again.  Was the crime committed during a fit of pique; with malice aforethought, but malice not still felt today; or did he really, really mean to do the evil deed, is this his character, and he would he do it again?  People do not belong in cages for their entire adult lives.  One year in jail and most criminals have learned their lesson forever.
  • Latest and GreatestScissors cut paper, paper covers rock, rock breaks scissors. For those of you hoping to play our home game, and have always wondered how the dueling rock-paper-scissors game worked, those rules determine the winning hand.  Two people play one of the following gestures simultaneously: paper is a flat horizontal hand; rock is a fist; and scissors is a vertical hand.  For instance, if I gesture paper and my opponent gestures rock; I win, because paper covers rock.  The younguns will be overjoyed learning this — nah, truth is they’ll say if it doesn’t even need electricity, it’s a dumb game.
  • Latest and GreatestGod won’t give you more than you can handle, but Satan sure will.
  • Latest and GreatestRe-entered, rewritten Tweets demonstrate a lack of spontaneity, even no presence of mind, because Twitter was designed as an impossible to edit, impromptu medium.  By hook or by crook, with or without a rough draft, the first time is the charm.  That said, you can delete and rewrite, over and over as you please, our lips are sealed.  Try to keep in mind, social media exists for fun and to be enjoyed, regardless of what trolls would have you believe.
  • Latest and GreatestPremise in film — or even in novels, and in myth — can generally, and very surprisingly, be reduced to one of the following three kinds of story: heroes overcoming obstacles to do great things; the valiant resolving considerable opposing conflict; or a man of mettle winning the hearts of those they love the best.
  • Latest and GreatestWho puts a greater value on the here and now, those who believe in an afterlife or those who don’t?
  • Latest and GreatestBased on the theory of Evolution, if you cordon off a fifty-mile-square, lifeless sand pit with a 30-foot-high concrete barricade, in a million years you will have a clan of humans, ones near our species development today, with a few McDonalds, and with cars that look Cuban in their disrepair.  Charles Darwin would have us rest assured, this is what would happen.  Actually, with only the molecular happenstance of Darwin’s (DNA building-blocked) genetic mutation, and his survival-of-the-reproducing, that sand pit is still a sand pit in a million years from now.  Although with help from Creation (perhaps even an inanimate facilitator, one not sitting up in Heaven) to generate phenomenal sensory processors of sight and sound, and life support systems purifying blood et al; the walled-in, fell-behinds will want to know if you would like fries with your order.
  • Latest and GreatestCustodians prevent much more disease than doctors do, yet very few custodians drive Mercedes.
  • Latest and GreatestHave you ever stopped to think how safe life would be if we were all rubberized?  People would try to pull each other’s heads off but to no avail, and bullets would never penetrate the thick, outer, rubbery flesh.  There would be no murders, anger would be vented without incident, and police would have so little to do.  Perhaps one day our genome will be grafted and reedited with a rubberize gene making such a distant dream become reality.
  • Latest and GreatestAmerica does many things well, although it often makes the mistake of thinking it does everything well.
  • Latest and GreatestWeighing yourself everyday lets you quickly know if your weight is trending in the desired direction so if it is not, corrective diet, exercise, or even medical consultation, can be undertaken.
  • Latest and GreatestThere is always an aspect or two of one’s life that might be improved.  Being on time more regularly is a common one.  What would you say yours might be?
  • Latest and GreatestHallucinogens are for those among us who lack any real imagination.
  • Latest and GreatestStandardized tests test how well-prepared a student is to take standardized tests.
  • Latest and GreatestI never thought I was exceptionally bright, it’s just that were so many that seemed so goddamn stupid.
  • Latest and GreatestIt would seem that much of violent crime results from people, especially young males, not having the resources at their disposal to vent anger and frustration.
  • Latest and GreatestWouldn’t it be nice if someday everyone gets what they deserve?  Be it the good are rewarded the good stuff, or the bad, are left with the bad.
  • Latest and GreatestInstead of trying to save the World, Bill Gates should be trying to save his own company, Microsoft.
  • Latest and GreatestA new purchase is exactly like a marriage.  First, there’s the delicate, getting-to-know-you phase, when you don’t want to risk or ruin anything by being careless, and then get stuck having to return, or annul, your purchase with some lame, elaborate excuse.  Next, is the honeymoon phase when new uses for your item are discovered, and when it seems like anything and everything goes full steam ahead.  Then there’s the middle part of the marriage, when it seems like nothing works as advertised earlier.  At last, a sad farewell to your item as you two go your separate ways, so it must be tossed into the trash and recycled, as it has exceeded its useful life.
  • Latest and GreatestUnfortunately, good looks doesn’t prove someone has strong character.  The opposite is often true, the attractive-looking ones don’t need to be as nice to get what they want from life.  Yet the opposite might hold true, they might feel so blessed by their pulchritude, that they bless everyone else with their warmth and gratitude where ever they roam.
  • Latest and GreatestI’m going to start Tweeting Tweets so esoteric, I won’t even know what they mean.  Texas 3/10/95.
  • Latest and GreatestWhat do you do when you’re in a generous mood?  Give to charity?  Do someone a favor?  Adopt a cat?
  • Latest and GreatestLife is not fair.  When one decides that it is because they are successful, it only demonstrates their conceit.
  • Latest and GreatestA dream deferred is still much preferred over a dream forever denied.
  • Latest and GreatestDon’t you hate it when a so-called “product improvement” only makes the merchandise worse?
  • Latest and GreatestThe devout can be the most hypocritical of all, proclaiming they know of love, when the only love they know is of themselves.
  • Latest and GreatestTattoos are for masochists hoping and praying they will one day become tough like sadists, and get the minions to join them, or at least give them more respect than they might get otherwise.
  • Latest and GreatestHave a tombstone epitaph indicate what the deceased thinks of the World they left behind, instead of what the World we know thinks of the deceased.  “God shall exonerate me, Mankind hasn’t the character to do likewise,” might then be a fitting headstone inscription for those wrongfully executed for crimes they never committed, and one damning to last on the grave for all eternity.  Of course, white trash could corrupt their epitaph privilege by placing advertising on their headstone to pay down their family’s debts, which in itself would be an indictment of the crassness of Commercialism.
  • Latest and GreatestGiving love fills our hearts with it; denying others love, denies that same feeling to ourselves.
  • Latest and GreatestWhy try to sell anything that’s not worthy of selling itself?
  • Latest and GreatestProduction is greatly constrained by the amount of currency rendered, not so much by the scarcity of raw materials and manufacturing inputs (as unemployment is perpetual, finding additional labor input should not be so difficult).  Was the currency requirement removed, and no longer of consequence, output quantity would take off and sky rocket.
  • Latest and GreatestIs the system we know and tolerate as capitalism, the most natural, organic, organizing principle, the one that best optimizes economic activity?  Does its foundation of Darwinian, survival of the greediest give the nations of the World, the most possible goods per capita, by the most equitable means available?
  • Latest and GreatestThe expression of hatred says more concerning the hater than it does the hated.  In a somewhat similar vein, Coretta Scott King once said: “Hate is too great a burden to bear.  It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
  • Latest and GreatestAfter the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the United States had called the Soviet Union’s bluff.  Anything that was there for the taking, would be taken — look at what happened in Viet Nam, for instance.
  • Latest and GreatestConsidering how good some women look — and women have always said there are men who look just as good, so I’ll believe them — and given the random nature of cell development, humanity can all be thankful that each of us doesn’t look like bulbous-faced, potato heads.
  • If you’re looking for God, you’ll be much more likely to find her all around you, than above you.
  • Latest and GreatestThey say, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  Well, there are no Quakers in there either.
  • Latest and GreatestExternal beauty is fleeting, internal beauty is eternal.
  • “These are our next superior screenplays from our incredibly talented winners in the Oscar-Sundance Fellowship for Screen Writing Genius.  A highway patrol officer finds hidden treasure in the back of his squad car.  A farmer realizes that, with his own hands, he must eradicate his crop of a deadly, mutant worm, or his hometown will not eat corn for at least a year.  A high school educator learns that, when she teaches music in the ’hood, especially rap music, she best be well-prepared for anything her rambunctious students can give her, because even the apples are rotten.  A nation must come to terms with its intolerant views towards safety dogs.  A mouse gets sucked into an Underworld of graft, corruption, and prostitution, all the while escaping the claws of a cool cat named Tom.  A teenage girl’s cautionary tale is voiced over as she sadly decides to choose a career in the Arts over one in science and mathematics, only to find she has no aptitude for anything with people or beauty — and all the while her non-quirky friends cured a disease in high school, have been pulling in six-figures, and, instead of taking the bus to class each morning, they all drive brand-new Mercedes.  Honorees, welcome to the Club, consider your passport to success stamped and validated.”
  • I would hope to one day be rich enough to afford a house that isn’t exclusively built with ninety-degree, right angles.
  • A conscience is a two-edge sword.  It makes sure you get things done, yet it can make it so anything you do is never good enough.
  • The benefit of being a pessimist is that you are never surprised by the worst, when bad things happen they have already been discounted.
  • Latest and GreatestThe Kennedy assassination was the end of the American, sleepy innocence that was carefully cultivated in the Fifties, and was a jarring wake-up call for the horrors of the War in Viet Nam which began eight-and-one-half months later — a war that Kennedy, after the Cuban Missile Crisis imbroglio, had little interest in pursuing.  Just four days after Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon Johnson, newly installed as President, reversed JFK’s decision to start pulling troops out of Viet Nam.
  • At the heart of all great stories — be they novels, plays, or movies — is either love, or the absence therein.
  • The key to a successful screenplay competition entry is to not stray far from core literary disciplines.  Ergo, your work must have something or other to do with a Victorian picnic in a meadow involving romantic intrigues (Elizabethan picnics are almost as acceptable as Victorian ones, although you must then demonstrate intent).  There should also be a romp and gambol through the woodlands — most aspirants choose Bavaria, or the Black Forest, but you are permitted non-Norman-Saxony tree stands as well.  If you hit these two tropes, and hit them as hard as you can, you will receive Awards podium laurels.  Trust me, you will.
  • As for claims by hunters they are needed by Mother Nature for culling: there has always been Mother Nature, there has not always been hunters.
  • Words that might be worth living by: “Try not to be an a-hole, and stay away from those who are.”  That and, “Try to have a little fun before you die.”
  • The longer I live, the more I realize Nazism was not a historical aberration — jealousy or self-righteousness will beget hatred, which still begets violence.
to Top of Page

 


(This section is intentionally left blank.)
to Top of Page

 

Other Letter sees its Future  3/29/14.  If you were wondering where OL went, my team and myself began work on an artisanal car.  Just as there is artisanal cheese, each artisanal car will be built by hand, made-to-order, and each will be completely unique.  This turns back the hands of time until before Henry Ford’s mass production methods.  It will be called the Chevord, because it will combine the best of both Worlds — the Chevy and the Ford.  The most difficult aspect so far has been getting the body lines straight, finding the right size screw for each hole, and finding all the other necessary parts while managing to stay within budget.

We hope to be shipping the first Chevord in 2020.  If you would like, you can be the first on your street to pre-order your Chevord.  Why not do it today?  Just like Henry’s Model T, the Chevord will be available in luster-free, coal-black, yet with a modern, tan, deep-pile, shag-carpet upholstery.  Let us know what features you’d like, and we’ll see what we can do for you.  Our motto is, “America, you can do better, do better with Chevord.”  That, and: “Don’t expect grease where there shouldn’t be grease — that’s our promise to you.”

With the reorganization, we are scaling back our religious, political, and science reporting.  Frankly, we bit off a little more than we could chew.  So instead, we will be culling the police blotter for stories most important to our core readership, the citizens of Western Suffolk County, Long Island.

Expect hard-hitting stories, as per the usual, but this time out they won’t be about Biblical miscues, or corporate excess, they’ll be about community and police efforts to corral a lost poodle, or how long it took power to be restored to your neighborhood after a lightning storm, compared to the rest of Suffolk County.  We’ll be ripping and reading the ol’ Teletype machine, for news you can use, today and everyday.  We are sure you will enjoy this incarnation of Other Letter, just as much as you might have enjoyed the last one.

to Top of Page

 

The Royals are not Inconsequential  12/25/13.  One of the aspects to being British as opposed to being American, is that the Brits have a Monarchy, some say a vestigial, or fading one, but a Monarchy just the same.  There are those in Great Britain who feel the Royals are simply free-loaders, given everything for doing nothing.  The British Crown provides an important function though, one that the States mostly lack, and that is they act as figureheads, and they set a commendable example.  They are essentially good will ambassadors for their country everywhere around the World.  Whether the British government is rising or falling in international popularity, the Monarchy is largely independent of external strife, and they promote tourism as well.

The United States does not have any permanent representatives, when this country goes South, there is no one hearkening back to the glories of our nation, or to anyone who exists as a direct lineage to its inception.  Given their continuous responsibilities, in America they might be seen as mid-level managers (although hopefully Prince Harry’s sexcapades are behind him).  I feel the House of Windsor should be a source of pride, not one of derision.  This may sound like I’m selling out, but from this side of the pond, the Royals just seem like good people doing a thankless job.

to Top of Page

 

Drinking or Toking should not be a Way of Life  11/09/13.  Cannabis Sativa, as marijuana is known more formerly, has been essentially legalized in Colorado and Washington, and is almost as permitted in California as medicinal grass.  It is very strange how one drug of choice, alcohol, is allowed to be freely marketed anywhere; whereas a second, weed, will probably never be widely and publicly promoted, and its use, or at least its distribution, could remain severely punished.

There are economic arguments to allowing people access to marijuana, the favorite drug of millions.  Government, for example, would not have to devote vast amounts of time and effort in attempts to shut down its trade, both via the criminal justice system or incarceration, and law enforcement.  What is more, weed purchases spent to advance the interests of gangsters and mobsters, can instead be a cash inflow to the government through its taxation.  Today, for recreational users in many states, getting caught in the act leaves them with a drug offense, and an extremely damaging criminal record.

Even in Washington and Colorado, where you can buy it legally, you cannot sell it in bulk as an individual legally.  The only lesson there would be to provide it for yourself, that is, grow your own (and you can grow up to six plants of your own in Colorado).  To transfer more than an ounce — a lot in 1977, when almost everyone I knew smoked it, and when it wasn’t nearly as potent as I hear it is now — you must have a state license, very similar to a liquor license, and use the license to run a retail store.

That said, alcohol is physically addicting, if you drink enough of it, your brain will need it.  Marijuana can be psychologically addicting, many people have formed apparently unbreakable habits requiring its ingestion.  There are public health issues that must be addressed when regulating both substances.  A chemically-addled society is a weak and lazy one.  While there may be a place for a little weekend fun out of harm’s way to counteract life’s daily grind, to cope with a life of monotony and unfortunate circumstance, or to accept a life where true romance may be an impossibility, daily doses of anything designed to make you think and feel differently from the norm has got to be unhealthy and harmful.

to Top of Page

 

The Sociology of Celebrities and their Fans
(return to the Mother Ship)

This is from an article of a few pages in Other Letter.  I was actually referring to certain parties when I wrote it, but they shall remain nameless so I do not have to hire an attorney, or a bodyguard.

... There is an end-around to the entire meeting-a-starlet-is-impossible quandary, and that is to start a fan club.  You can go for the big-time and make it nationwide, or even international; or start more modestly, and keep it local and intimate.  Either way, you are almost guaranteed exclusive photo ops, and private meet and greets.  Your starlet may even want to visit the front lines for herself, and meet her fan club president personally, perhaps for some milk and cookies (my guess is that guys would more likely devote the time and effort necessary to make their fan club successful, as women would somehow find it less dignified).  These days, it is just a matter of setting up a web site, and any appropriate activities like parties, as well as handling correspondence and dues collection; and electing officers, having meetings, as well as finding a place to hold them.  True, parties without your starlet present might seem like a drag, but why not make them co-ed?  Besides, fan club parties without their quarry will have something to strive for, and that would be to have your starlet show up one day ...




Jennifer Connelly’s intentional Wardrobe Malfunction  4/03/14.  The wardrobe department for Noah promotions should not make Jennifer Connelly wear the equivalent of a burlap sack.  It is being done to make their young, pixie co-star, Emma Watson, look younger and pixier.  Instead of drawing attention away from Ms. Connelly, they have actually done the opposite, as photogs train on Noah’s perplexed and forlorn star.

What the production team needs to do is either give Jennifer a real burlap sack to fully tip-off their intentions, or have their only Oscar-winning actress not show up on the Red Carpet at all.  Most recently in Paris, this trend was reversed, hopefully they stay on track regarding suitable attire.  If they fail to offer this small measure of respect, I would suggest to Ms. Connelly that she wears her own wardrobe to such events instead — even Daisy Dukes, and a tails-knotted shirt, would be a major, and most welcome, improvement.




... Kate Hudson hangs with a gang of the most hardcore, passionate, resolute, and unflinching femmes in all of Santa Monica.  More formerly known as the Goopsters, they are: Gwyneth Paltrow, their good-humored, always vivacious leader, who’s always there when any might need to call on her; Cameron Diaz, their fun, good-times, sunshine Angel donning double-secret-agent disguise; Stella McCartney, bringing daughter-of-royalty cachet with a daring and bold Continental mien; and Sarah Jessica Parker, who checks the haul, and pulls the band back together, after a long, intense day in town of non-stop shoe-shopping up and down Rodeo Drive.  In a ‘Males-only’ World, these Super-Sweeties rule the roost supreme, holding court over this hardscrabble, ragtag burgh, this Pacific Ocean end of Route 66, this SaMo, Populus felix in urbe felice ...




If you ever find yourself slipping off the path of righteousness, or you find yourself lost, at your wit’s end, and you have nowhere to turn, then just summon the spiritual oneness, the Holiness, of guru of life, Gwyneth Paltrow (“lifestyle guru” only describes her work in making your home and lifestyle the best it can be, “guru of life” is her ordination, her spiritual calling).  No matter where you are, in whatever state of mind, she will transport you to that exalted, ethereal plane of positive self-affirmation, self-actualization, and harmonious self-perception.

Walk her path, and become a loving part of a woman so much greater than yourself — greater than anyone, a woman who loves profoundly, is not wracked with doubt, is disarmingly candid, and possesses a joy and warmth emanating deep within her soul.  Say Hallelujah, Gwynnie!  Trust me, those three words are the most calming, blessèd, and restorative, in all the English language.  Say Hallelujah, Gwynnie!  Say Hallelujah, Gwynnie!  I feel better already.  Say Hallelujah, Gwynnie! ...

to Top of Page

 

Portraits within Quotes
(certified Launch Point)

As the name implies, these are dialogue excerpts that certain actors might have said.  You can try guessing who they are (there may be one entirely fictional invention, or a modern, very, very twisted take on a true legend).  In Other Letter, there are over fifty actors to choose from; and twenty musical acts, most of which have been grossly under-promoted.  The first one, as you might have guessed, is much more personal (my apologies to all the guys named Vin out there).

  • Thank you.  You look, um, great, too ... After all these years, you still have a crush on your high school crush?  What am I going to do about you?  I’m married ... I was not the most attractive girl in the school ... You always, um, you always had a nice way with everyone, too ... I’m a what, a sylph? ... You’re kidding, I was the one the guys adored, and the girls admired, I was the one? ... Back in the day, I was not the most adult in the grade ... That’s so kind of you to say, but I didn’t feel I was always good with people.  Why were you always so sweet on me? ... I’m not the kind of woman a man will never forget — and you’re not proof that I am ... Okay, maybe I am not full of myself ... No one has ever, ever told me I felt like home to them.

    ... Oh please, you were happier just being in the same classroom as me? ... Now you’re just being ridiculous — I was not the Holy Grail of girlfriends.  I hope I wasn’t seen as a conquest ... Well, I’m glad I wasn’t seen as one by you at least ... No way, I mercilessly radiated femininity, and I just won’t quit?  Now you really have me blushing ... You sure know how to lay it on hot and heavy, don’t you?  Stop with that.  I didn’t “have it all,” but I know there were plenty of other girls there who did ... No, the ones that did were not all my bffs.  Don’t say I was the class of the class, we were all just kids then ... Don’t go saying that to me, “I was the hottest girl then, and I still am today.” ... Um, well, I always knew you’d be going places, too.

    Okay, it’s my turn now, isn’t it? ... Oh, this is my husband, Vin.  Do you ever give up? ... Not you give up, Vin, him give up ... Yupe, Vin beat you to the punch ... Yeah, I’m married, and I always will be, and he does landscaping ... Vin, sure, park our SUV in handicapped ... It’s no problem, we gave to the cops ... No, Vin, he’s cool, no point in drawing your Glock.  Good to see you again, but I’m used to all the attention.  I can’t remember your name.  Just now you looked like Vin did on our wedding night.  Try to stay out of trouble.  Jeez, go find another girl to be your religion.

    And Vin, stop growling.  Hey Vin, I’ll make you your favorite tonight, steak tartare ... I’ll never forget you, too ... No, Vin, that’s not what I said.  Your hearing’s no good.  You gotta stop listening to all that head-banging, heavy metal music ...

  • When he’s going long, I keep telling him not to turn around until he completes his route, the ball will be there.  He never listens to me though — he has trouble with the bomb.  Have you ever seen him miss a crossing pattern? ... No, Dad, they’re never a problem; but third and very long, look somewhere else.
  • I don’t think you understand.  If the Mauritanians never get the vaccine, the Creepers will infect them, and we’re next in line.  Then they’re right on schedule for infecting the rest of the planet.  Now if you intend on sitting there with the patented cultures in your little lab fridge, then you can just keep them, because I’m leaving Biomort Foundries — I’ll try to wash my hands of all your blood money.  When the rest of the life on this planet gets wiped out, don’t tell me I didn’t tell you so.
  • I deed not know.  How deed you ekspect me to know?  The recipe sez “9 T-S-P baking powder,” that’s not tablespoons?  And dees is a “9” not a “3.”  The First Lady and the First Boppers are kind and friendly, so what if the dinner bread is the seeze of a laundry basket? ... How am I like dees Lucy person?  And stop making fun of my eksent.
  • I’m having fun, are you having fun? ... Okay, are we done for now, Mr. Thompson? ... No, please Mr. Thompson, keep out the paddle.  Let me start working on your proposal right away, and if I dally, I eagerly accept your discipline.  My typing is actually very good, Mr. Thompson ... I know I’m not the best typist, but otherwise I’m a great secretary ... Okay, if you insist, I’ll hike up my skirt ... I try to be so good for you, Mr. Thompson, can’t you see that?  You’re the best boss I’ve ever had, and because you’ve been so good to me, I need to show you my appreciation ... All us girls in the pool look up to you, we’re all sweet on you.  We adore you, and you have our full adulation.  But we don’t need to tell you that, because it will be plain to see, and we’ll show it to you again and again ...
  • Sure, if my husband comes home, and he has had a bad day, I’ll ask him if he’d like a three-way.  If he finds that amenable, I’ll check my Directory of Victoria Secret Models for the Powerful, we’ll select a model that suits both of us that night, and we’re all set.  That perks him right up, and I can rest assured knowing I’m a good wife, one attentive to all his needs, and the kind indulging his every whim ... Before these love bacchanals, I remind him I need to always be his giver, never his receiver of pleasure, and that there are no such things as taboos in our little Universe.
  • You really look lovely, I just can’t take my eyes off of you.  Now, uncross your legs, further apart, good ... Unbutton your blouse, nice, very nice ... You’re absolutely gorgeous, just stunning, like a breathtaking work of art, or the sweetest, most intoxicating spirits ... Okay, cut! ... What do you say we get away from all these testosterone cases, and have a few drinks, just you and me.  Up for a little girl talk?  ’Cuz you’re getting to be like a little sister to me, you’re becoming my closest girlfriend.  Does this sound good to you?  We can get to know each other so much better.  Would you like that?  Would you like to join me?  There’s a first time for everything ...
  • Up next on Time for Living Life, is the cure for cancer in any well-stocked larder?  But first, we have Taylor Swift in our studio.  She said her next man, her 100th, will be the one, if you know what I’m saying.  If you are the 100th caller right now, you will win a week-long vacation in the Bahamas with Ms. Swift and her closest girlfriends.  This is our Taylor Swift, Welcome to Heaven Sweepstakes.  Be serenaded under the moonlight, go skinny dipping, be privy to days and nights of girl talk, and be fêted with all the delights the sea and land could possibly offer ... Okay, what radio station set you up for a week in the Bahamas with Taylor Swift and all her buddies?
  • Most memorable Cavett?  Sure, when Dick had Hope, Sinatra, and Ann-Margaret the same night.  I could have had the chops for that one, too.  “How’s Nancy?”  “Bob, how’s Bing?”  “What was it like opposite someone deaf, dumb, and blond, Ann-Margaret?”  Okay, I know, there couldn’t be a Bing and a Bob and a Dick, at least in life as we know it ... Where was I?  Oh sure, I’ve seen all the tapes, Ann-Margaret was the real gamer of the lot, knew how to sing, she was so, so young.  An older Sinatra was flat compared to her, in more ways than one ... You think I could get her on my show?  I should call her agent, shouldn’t I? ... For a sidekick, you’re really on the ball — I’m calling her agent.  Sure, Ann-Margaret would do wonders for my ratings, especially East Coast numbers.  West Coast really goes for those holistic acts, they prep for questions about their favorite yoga coach, and vegan solidarity.  Everyone from So Cal just loves to stretch out their legs, their arms, their backs.  They get to the studio, bop over to the Green Room, and first thing you know, they’re unrolling their mats wall-to-wall, plopping down, stretching, passing around guac dip and God knows what else.  But we’re East Coast, so I’m thinking I’ll open with “How ’bout that snow?  How ’bout those Yankees?  Are you a Winter person, Ann-Margaret?”  Then, “Do you do your own shoveling?”  You know, along those lines.  That’s a solid hour right there.  I’m talking quality TV entertainment ... My cred?  I’ve guest-hosted all of them, and I ran down the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  • Whatever you ever do, I’ll tell you right now, you do not get your father angry.  Whatever it is, you can do anything else on God’s Great Earth, you just do not do that.  At dinner, or in the den, if he closes in, remember I warned you, do nothing to get him angry at you.  You wussies today with a belt pounding your sorry ass getting your weekly whupping — you couldn’t take what we got every stinking day.  We were caned, and man, did it hurt like the Dickens.  It would leave big, red blisters everywhere, you know it did.  So you are over in the den loading your bb gun, and Dad is reading his evening paper.  Don’t do like I done, even if you’re a sure shot, whatever you do, just don’t ... You’ll want those years back, but you ain’t gettin’ ’em.
  • to Top of Page

     


  • I was always promoted as a folk artist, although if you listen to my later albums, that’s not what you hear.  And my later albums are really some of my best albums, they use jazz instrumentation and rich harmonies between parts — without a need to be “harmonized” by back-up singers, or by overdubs, as those with weak voices require.  My act did not play well for arenas, it was more for intimate venues.  What I could never understand was why my records never sold well in the States.  I mean Madonna and Britney have their own private jets, I have my own private studio where I can paint.
  • Being a Canadienne is different, I would have to say much different, than being an American woman living in the States, but not so different from living in Britain.  Even after gaining independence from Great Britain in 1867, Canada still had close ties with the high-brow sophistication of the Crown of England.  The Province of Québec, or course, has even closer ties with culture-obsessed France.  Canadienne musicians have absorbed both these cultural influences, and music is probably more a part of our lives than it would be in the States, where the professional emphasis for women seems to be on more safe and predictable, corporate management-type positions, and music education is not taken as seriously.  We will take our opportunities where we find them, n’est-ce pas?
  • The Eighties, as were the two decades prior, were unusually prolific times for music.  A lot of the finest from then was known as New Wave — the original wave being punk music.  Greatly over-simplifying, this music incorporated styling and an arts sensibility, and made effective use of synthesizers.
  • When I was a teenager, there were two sources of music, two bands really (I don’t mean the Who and the Grateful Dead).  One was soft and mellow, was more likely to be a love song, and had a vocalist to sing a clear melody.  Their songwriters and singers were often not the same person, the music could be sung, and the lyrics readily intelligible.  The other band was much more hard edged and visceral, could be improvisational or esoteric, and ambitiously stretched musical horizons and virtuosity, combining rock with classical, folk, rockabilly, and jazz music.  These songs might use rhythmic syncopation, might be openly sexual, tended to be irreverent, have trippy lyrics open to interpretation, and much of the music, and the musicians themselves, were usually found at the vanguard of the music scene.  To further complicate these weighty matters, we could select hard rock or we could select soft rock.  The latter two were the origins of frequency modulation, or FM band radio, the former, amplitude modulation or AM band radio.  Both bands sound great today on You Tube, as neither consistently surpasses the other, but not so back in the day.  Back in the Seventies, FM skewed towards a younger audience, and the young didn’t appreciate their elder’s AM radio, one which often carried a lot of static, and was destined to become a talk medium.
  • The Sixties brought us the Summer of Love, and as outrageously vicious counterpoint, the War in Vietnam (although can’t those adjectives be used to describe any event where soldiers are paid to put bullet holes through each other?)  These times also brought us love songs like the following, the first two of which, while male-centric, offer exceptionally beautiful sentiment.
  • If you’d ever wondered what we were all about, we were about something like this.
  • Before there was that skull and roses band from Haight Ashbury, there was us.  We made music the coolest thing in the world.
  • Did you ever get the feeling white people just don’t get it, especially after hearing much of their music?
  • There are just two songs that can make me weepy, Miss American Pie by Don Mc Lean, and Morning has Broken by Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam).  The first was a classic of my Fifth Grade class way back in the day. Our favorite teacher gave out copies of the single before she left for surgery.  Her death, related to this illness, appeared in the newspaper several years later.  The second was the song for my Elementary School commencement exercise.  Why I find this one touching is because it is somehow so pure of spirit, and at the time, I guess we were too.
to Top of Page

 

Building your own Country, a better Israel

Here we explore all the rudiments on how you can change the environment you live in, all the way up to the national level, and beyond — without resorting to treason.

... Paparazzi photographs will not be banned, but our publishing citizenry, out of common decency, will not print any of them, ever.  As a consequence, celebrities will make an exodus from Hollywood to Other Nation, making our homey, little Valhalla, the new Entertainment Capitol of the Universe.  Press junkets, parties, and interviews without any project to promote, and television shows and movies, will be the only events where we will get a sneak peek into the lives of stars and starlets.  In addition, planned photo ops will replace the around-the-clock stalking by paparazzi ...

... If you have ever been soaked by a car mechanic, take heart, you will never be again in an Other Nation.  We will promulgate auto upkeep insurance contracts as a repair garage’s exclusive mode of billing.  These will provide for full maintenance of your car, for the life of your car, without the expected hassles of unexpected charges.  Your mechanic’s business will never be slow, and his income stream will be level, so he will have no incentive to try to fix a car that does not need to be fixed ...


The following is much more controversial and summarizes a separate article that fleshes out the details.  Unlike the above, this has less to do with nation building, than whether or not an economic engine can run without enforcing the Gospel of Mammon.


Are trinket-exchange economies, ones based on green bank script, organic?  In other words, is money a natural consequence of Man’s evolution, or is it an abstraction ordained by the well-to-do?  Is money an abstraction introduced to: skew wealth distribution; require exclusive, money ‘tickets’ for otherwise shared, Earth resources; solidify social hierarchies; and gate off Earth’s bounty?

Do trinkets, like goods and green script, always need to be exchanged before objects can be procured, or will goods ever be given freely, especially to those most marginalized, such as the poor?  Is goods production much more constrained by the scarcity of green financial script, than the availability of renewable resources for manufacture?

Will economic equality always remain a fantasy of Marxists; those utopians reined in with conventional notions of the roles played by currency, incentive, green-paper-limited production, and closed markets?  Will greed-based, competitive goods distribution ever be supplanted by a trust-denominated, cooperative one, incorporating unified Worldwide prosperity?


You may say a currency-free society is sheer fantasy, but look at how our civilizations have progressed to this day.  After 2,500 years of nation-states founded on trinket-exchange economies, we always have had war and famine, usually from overtaking dominion to gain bank-script-metered wealth and resources.

The Gospel of Mammon, lucre, money, whatever you want to call it, is only one way of facilitating the creation of wealth, and the distribution of manufactured goods.  One can envision a currency-free economy, as one had in clan-sized economic entities such as in the early Amish settlements, in the Plains populated by tribes of Native Americans, in the tundra inhabited by the Eskimo, in the Islands of the Pacific, or in the early Chinese prefectures — where money was not a requirement for a successful society.

One of the problems with money is that because of it, goods cannot be given freely to those in need — either from one person to another, or from one nation to a second.  Another problem money creates is that it establishes an artificial constraint over production and employment.  Without the mandate requiring the rendering of green paper, the spigots of production could be opened wide.  Once the logistics of satisfying demand are established, people would have all they need, and they could share all they would like to share.

The only obstacle preventing millions of people from having a decent standard of living, and permanently escaping the manacles of poverty, is a deficiency in engraved green paper.  One often gets the impression that, because of the enforcement of the Gospel of Mammon, Mankind took a wrong turn at a fork in civilization’s evolution ...

to Top of Page

 

Fair Bargains, and the Merchants Heaven Sent (the Other MBA)

Commerce, especially its advertising and marketing functions, should be a proposition to a potential customer to exchange currency for equal utility or value, in a comfortable setting absent of wheedling and pressure tactics.  In a perfect transaction, I remit currency to purchase an object whose price is competitive to other merchants’ posted prices, while including the customary, industry-wide, profit margin.  That’s how to do business — I get what I bargain for, and what I deserve.

This is how to earn repeat customers, and shed any reputation as being just a profit and wealth maximizing agent.  If terms of the bid are met with élan, the buyer gladly parts with her hard-earned lucre, in part because of a sense of obligation for being allowed to participate in this exclusive, friction-less merchandising, one equally beneficial to both parties, whose advertising and promotion is never a shrill din of meaningless cacophony.  Further, this transparency of pricing diminishes the chances of customers finding out later that their purchases were overpriced, or lacked inherent value, and consequently they must shop elsewhere the next time they’re in the market.

Ram-rod practitioners of the hard sell rely on cowering the unsuspecting with intimations that we are not prosperous enough to purchase their predominantly cheap or shoddy wares.  Whatever weakness they can find in their quarry’s demeanor, these pushers will use to work over their customers — having never researched their goods, or relevant product comparisons.  They will use a variety of guilt-edged swords besides just saying you cannot afford this widget.  They’ll say you’re not smart enough to work this widget, you are not cool enough to rate this widget, or you are simply not worthy of this widget — stock is only reserved for those who are.

Whatever they are selling cannot be sold on its own merits, people have to be talked into buying it, against their better judgment.  These needlers will desperately search for any sign of weakness to score their next mark.  When things need to be sold in such a manner, they never needed to be sold in the first place, they are little more than junk.

Bear in mind that a business whose distinction becomes one of “schilling over-priced rubbish to suckers,” cannot be expected to survive its shoddy reputation.  Instead, through either media, or word-of-mouth, buyers should recognize your marques as consistent values — if not economical or low-priced purchases, then at least wise ones.  In addition, an emporium with the expectation that the rich will buy anything with an expensive price tag attached, does not understand the acquisition process that allowed the rich to get that way in the first place — they won’t give away their money for trifles.

For the very well-to-do, none of this comes into play as price and pushy salesmen are not put into play.  The sole consideration for the well-heeled is a positive shopping experience, or better still, a memorable one.  Then marketing efforts can be reduced to tailoring your innovative offerings, and their promotion, to target your established socioeconomic and age demographics — as well as where these demographics are positioned along any status quo-trend setter axis.

Listening to your clientele express their needs, and then understanding them; or seen at a deeper resolution, and recognizing the hopes and dreams of what might well be interpreted as your constituency; is key to integrating your mission with their lifestyles, and even, with their aspirations.

Courageously, enthusiastically, and credibly promote your wares, having added value to their purchase, sourced with sensitivity to the ecology, well-differentiated from any existing offerings, in under-served markets.  All the while knowing that your customers are why you are in business, and they have needs that must be met, and you are the ones to meet them.

One final point to remember: if your business concept somehow proves to be unviable, if you do not have a “White Knight” waiting in the wings, and if you have to auction off all your assets at a fire sale, at fire sale prices; then you can just be glad you are not incorporated in Germany, the most debtor-unfriendly nation in the World.  There, if a company’s liabilities exceed their assets, the Board of Directors must liquidate the company within 21 days, or its Board of Directors are personally liable for payments missed to first-in-line creditors.  12/09/13.

to Top of Page

 

The historic, world-changer that the discovery of E=MC2 was to Physics, the assembling of the ancient puzzle pieces of the Crucifixion Eclipse will one day be to Religion, especially Christianity.  If I am known for one thing in my life, it will most likely be this, my whys and wherefores of the Crucifixion Eclipse.  This is about a few almost unknown and weakly researched chapters of the Bible — specifically the New Testament’s Book of Luke, Chapters 23 and 24.  (The text that accompanies this is in the Nature section of OtherLetter.com.)

 

If You’re Hankering for a Lord Fix  4/27/14.  It has been proposed that we may live in a multiverse, we occupy one of a myriad of universes.  I would suggest we may live in a biverse.  There is the universe that we know of today; and the one any mortal may never know or see, but is rather passed into if the challenges of the first universe are met.  This second universe is invisible, and considered an impossibility, because our sensory tools — our eyes, our ears, and our instruments — have never penetrated into this next domain.  This unknown universe, and all the powers it possesses, surpasses the infinite, and far exceeds any current comprehension of physical processes.

to Top of Page

 

Act now, and we will throw in the entire Other Letter Script Library free-of-charge.  That’s right the finest scripts for your review.  So make that call today...



 

Nikky Helps the Little Guy

Nikky Kidman:  Sure I’d love to help him, Gwynnie.  You say he’s a screenwriter, must be a starving artist type.  You know, I swing by the West Hollywood Subway when I pick up my moppet from her Scientology crap.  Do you think he would like a chicken parmigiana submarine sandwich?  I eat them all the time.  You wouldn’t believe — it’s real chicken.

Gwynnie Paltrow:  I’m not sure if he likes chicken, I’ll ask.

Nikky Kidman:  Then how about quesadillas?  My second fave.  This is what I’ll do.  I’m in Malibu on Wednesday.  I’ll pick up two quesadillas for him from Taco Bell.  Then I’ll throw in a tortilla gratis.  And his type requires bus transportation — he must need to hustle something or other.  I go by the bus depot on my way to the studio on Monday so I can drop him off.  He can go anywhere in the World from there, how’s that?  Is he clean though?  He has to be clean.  If he’s smelly, he’s not setting foot in my Rolls, okay?

Gwynnie Paltrow:  He’s clean as far as I know.

Nikky Kidman:  Gwynnie, he sounds like a huge deal.  If I wasn’t married, I’d ask you if he was married.  Is he married?  Don’t answer that.  Just tell me what’s the next stop on our appearance circuit, at the Twenty-what?

Gwynnie Paltrow:  The Twenty-Eighth year of the Digital Projectors Festival.  I’m giving out the Lifetime Award in Digital Achievement to my godfather, Mr. Spielberg.

Nikky Kidman:  Yeah, that.  I envy you.  What do you call him, your Goddad?

Gwynnie Paltrow:  Sometimes Dad or Goddaddy, sometimes Steven or Steve, or yes, I go with, Mr. Spielberg.  Depends on my mood that day.

Nikky Kidman:  How cool is that?  Anyways, we’ll have our little Other friend sit at the ethnic table, show him he still has a ways to go.  What has he written?  I’ll write it down.  I always write little notes to myself.  Helps jog the old noggin.

Gwynnie Paltrow:  He has complete proof Christ’s crucifixion was a hoax...  Hello, Nicole?  Nicole?  She hung up.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

Dorothy and the Wizard of ISIS

Here we have a thoroughly modern take on a classic fairy tale, and one with a twist, the twist being it’s twisted; and where the blame of wrongdoing and misdeeds are spread evenly and everywhere...

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  Are you sure you want to go through with this, Dorothy?

Dorothy:  I sure do, Zeke.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  I don’t know, Dorothy.  There may not be a hereafter.

Dorothy:  The Wizard of ISIS said there will be reward upon reward waiting for me.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  But why bother?

Dorothy:  Because there is no place like home, and this just isn’t home any more for me.

Auntie Em:  You shut your mouth, Dorothy, why I ought to—

Dorothy:  See, here we go again.  I just can’t take it anymore, and I’m bringing Toto, too.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Toto, too, Dorothy?

Dorothy:  Toto, too.  I’m getting on the train from Kansas, and I’m going as far as my fare will take me.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Well, where’s your destination?

Dorothy:  Des Moines.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  What will you blow up in Des Moines?

Dorothy:  The Wizard said—

Auntie Em:  The Wizard, the Wizard, he has no clue.  When did he become your svengali?  He’s off his rocker, the Wizard.  Ha!

Dorothy:  Auntie Em, you’re wrong, you’re all wrong.  I just can’t stand it.

‘Hunk’ / The Scarecrow:  Dorothy, you surrendered to the dark side.

Auntie Em:  She surrendered her humanity.

Dorothy:  You all get me so angry  Humph!

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  How’d you put the TNT pack together, Dot?

Dorothy:  The Wizard of ISIS taught me everything  Humph.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  You’re sure the conductor won’t notice it?  It’s so big.

Dorothy:  I’m a White female, he won’t care one bit.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  It looks like it’s about a hundred pounds.  You’ll get a hernia.

Dorothy:  I’ve been doing squats.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Well, if this is it.

‘Hunk’ / The Scarecrow:  Goodbye, Dorothy.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  See you on the other side.

Dorothy:  Very funny.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  How is that funny?  We won’t meet up there?

Dorothy:  Your kind is different than my kind.

Auntie Em:  Again with the my kind, your kind — it’s humankind, Dorothy.  I wish I could drill that into your pea-brained noggin.

Dorothy:  Whatever, I’ll be free as a bird.

Uncle Henry:  Have Des Moines send back your remains, Dottie, so we can put them in the family plot.

Dorothy:  Eh, whatever.

‘Hunk’ / The Scarecrow:  Don’t forget, Toto.

Dorothy:  I almost forgot you, Toto.  Just think of it, we’re going to Heaven for blowing up Mireson Department Store, where they rejected my application for employ...


‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  She got so jaded.

Auntie Em:  That’s not the Dorothy I raised.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Or the one I thought I’d marry.

‘Hunk’ / The Scarecrow:  She’s underage though.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Not by much, this is Depression-era Kansas, men have prerogatives, rights.

‘Zeke’ / The Cowardly Lion:  She got so grungy, ick.

Uncle Henry:  Do you think we’ll get her remains?

Auntie Em:  Nah, who cares?...


‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Auntie Em is so hard on her, I can kinda see why she’d want to blow herself up.

Auntie Em:  Hey, I heard that.

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Maybe this is just a bid at emancipation.

‘Hunk’ / The Scarecrow:  Where’d you learn to talk like that, Hickory?

‘Hickory’ / The Tin Man:  Well, the Wizard helped me out, too.

[Cue: We’re off to See the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of ISIS, because...]

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

Taylor Swift Signs with the Trump Team

Entertainment Anchorwoman:  Yes, folks, the only thing that would derail Taylor Swift’s career right now would be an admission she had a deep fondness for Nazi war criminals -- or the equivalent.

Entertainment Anchorman:  Or the equivalent.


Taylor Swift:  Candice, Anastasia, Karlie, and the rest, come over here.  I was sifting through my neighbor’s trash, and check this out, Donald Trump literature.  Here, look at his simple, straightforward solutions to complex and intricate American and global problems.  We just need to build a wall around Mexico.  Immigration problem solved.  He’s pure genius.

Karlie Kloss:  How high would the wall be, Tay?  I mean if it’s too high Secret Service people wouldn’t even be able to get inside to do their stuff.  What’s more important?

Taylor Swift:  What?  It’s 8.3 feet high, except 11.7 feet if they’re putting in fences over a culvert.

Karlie Kloss:  What’s a culvert?

Taylor Swift:  I’m pretty sure it’s an underpass.

Karlie Kloss:  Sounds good, and he doesn’t beat around the bush.  Now what does he say about women?

Taylor Swift:  Well, let’s see, women should continue their role as domestic servants.

Karlie Kloss:  What would that mean for us, Taylor?  I mean we’re not domestic servants right now.  Would this be a demotion?

Taylor Swift:  Listen to you with the vocabulary, “demotion.”

Karlie Kloss:  I’m taking night courses for super-models at Harvard.

Taylor Swift:  No, he says this is not a demotion, it’s a return to simpler times when America was a winner.  He uses that phrase a lot, winner, winner, well, let me count...  78 times “winner” is in a two-page brochure.

Karlie Kloss:  I’m signing with you, Taylor, and with Mister Donald.  Trump’s gotta be a winner if he uses that word for other Americans.

Taylor Swift:  Plus, he wants to get rid of all the Muslims.  Did I tell you during Blank Space

Karlie Kloss:  Your encore, right?

Taylor Swift:  My encore, there was a Muslim girl in a Punjab.

Karlie Kloss:  It’s called a Sari.

Taylor Swift:  No, a Sari is what South American woman wear on their shins because Lady Gillette won’t deliver south of the Equator.

Candice Swanepoel:  You’re both wrong, Muslims wear ascots.

Taylor Swift:  Well, it was like a Punjab, and she wasn’t dancing.  During.  My.  Finale.

Karlie Kloss:  Sign me up, Taylor, I’m all for getting rid of the Muslims.  They have no sense of fashion, no style whatsoever.  And they always seem tense, like they’re about to be attacked — yuck.  All they wear is black.  Black was the color I wore when my old Granny died, or was that powder blue?  What does he say about the catwalk wars?

Taylor Swift:  Well, here he’s a little less specific.  Here, you can read it, it’s in English.

Candice Swanepoel:  Good, I speak English.

Karlie Kloss:  Does he mention his position on fast food?

Taylor Swift:  Ronald the Donald? — he’s all for snackin’.  I would love to snack with him.

Karlie Kloss:  I’d snack on him, too.

Taylor Swift:  No, with him.

Karlie Kloss:  What?

Taylor Swift:  Never mind.  So we’re on for the Trump rally next sunday.  I’ll be singing, “Shake Hillary off, shake her off.”

Karlie Kloss:  What?

Taylor Swift:  Listen please, Karlie.  He’ll pull us up on stage like with Courtney Cox, Livin’ in the U-S-A.

Karlie Kloss:  Taylor, I really mean it this time, what?


Entertainment Anchorwoman:  You couldn’t sell your album to your national fan club prez now, Taylor.  You’re done; you’re history, kaputsky; time to call it quits; laughing stock, return your private jet, your lease is up; penthouse up for sale below book...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

Republicans just Bring it to a Whole Other Level

Sarah Palin is in discussions (honest) about being a Judge Judy type, although unlike Judge Judy, Sarah has no legal training.  So here we have: “This Fall, Sarah Palin as judge in: Sarah Palin, Legal Giant.”

Cue Sarah: What do you think got me here?  These two champions?  Check the heft.  No, not even these, it was my legal and policy wizardry mixed with down-home, salty frontier chatter.  But that doesn’t mean I studied any law, you do not have to study law to be a judge, the Governor of Alaska, or the Vice President of America.  Hey, I’m just looking to get laid and forget old Todd here.  Let out the lines, bring in the lines, all day long.  I’m hankering for some smart ass lawyer to take me to the next level, get it?  Get what I’m saying?  And how do you think I’ll get him?

By sprouting terms like: “Send that child into protective custody.”  Terms from my very own family life.  “We’ll put you in an Anchorage lockup for drinking and brawling with all the blubber-chewing Eskimos, like that, do ya, eh?  If you don’t put up child payments and stop being a deadbeat dad, I swear I’ll knock the living crap out of you...”  You hearda: “Don’t commit the crime, if you can’t do the time”?  Well in our family we have: “Don’t commit to baby, if the daddy is a maybe.” – not that anyone here listens to me anyway.  We’re just birthers here.  Tracking down the father is a whole other ball of wax.

We also have a saying up here in Anchorage, snow capital of the Universe: “Last one outs a rotting moose carcass.”  Ol’ Bullwinkle I just shot for kicks because I had nothing to do until my entertainment agent, enterrrtainnnmenttt agenttt called me.  He begged me: “Please do this here thingamajig, legal eagles, televised broadcast,” mind you, televised broadcast.

Hey, anyone got plugs for a ’93 Polar Pull.  We can’t get to the other side of the lake without fresh spark plugs for the snowmobile.  She dunt work, then we’s duns dun eatin’.  Do you carry?...  No, everyone carries a gun.  I’m talkin ’bout a flask.  I’s just runs outta my juice...  This almost First Lady says, “Thank you.”  Gotta do sumptin when there’s no daylight half the year.  Slurring my old wordies again I am.  SNORT — that’s better, cuts right through.  Like my rack?  Not the gun one.  Everyone just loves them, they pair up well, too.  Wanna see?

Cue Announcer: New this fall on NBC...

Cue Sarah: ...Then I’m like here comes da judge, struttin, you see.  Just like the negro folk do.  Does you see what I’m getting at, do ya?  What am I gettin at?  Only wish I knew...  Vice President Sarah from the Golden State of California...  Next case, bailiff.  I’ve been on jury duty, I know all about legal, I can be a judge of anyone, and I have...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

Taylor Swift is Looking to Buy the Other Letter

Because I write the Other Letter, I often find myself on the charity circuit, looking to help those less fortunate and in need.  I recently had a chance encounter with Taylor Swift, the pop princess impresario, at a banquet for New York’s inner city business owners.  Each year, we give an Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and Taylor was presenting the award to this year’s recipient, McDonalds.  After a well-received presentation by Taylor to a Ronald look-alike, she and I bumped into each other on the crowded buffet line.  What follows is my wide-ranging discussion with her, verbatim.


Taylor Swift:  I’ve never had these before.

Other Letter:  They’re called pigs in a blanket.

Taylor Swift:  Gross, they’re made from pigs?

Other Letter:  Well, pork, and the blanket is the pastry.

Taylor Swift:  Can you bring these back for me?

Other Letter:  Just toss ’em in the trash, it cost enough for us to be here — and to honor Ronald.  Hey, I’m surprised they're not handing out Big Macs.

Taylor Swift:  That would be too expensive.  I hear you write a blog, Other.

Other Letter:  You know my name, and yes, I do, it’s called the —

Taylor Swift:  I know what it’s called, how much do you want for it, I’m prepared to pay ten million dollars, bank check —

Other Letter:  Well, wow, I hadn’t really put it up for sale, you say ten million dollars?

Taylor Swift:  Playing hard to get?  Thirty million dollars, and that’s my final offer.

Other Letter:  Taylor, I don’t know if this is really worth that much, it’s just twenty HTML-coded web pages.

Taylor Swift:  Hardball won’t stop me, Other.  Then it’s fifty million dollars, once, twice...

Other Letter:  Okay, fifty million dollars it is.

Taylor Swift:  Now, what is this web site about?

Other Letter:  It’s a blog.

Taylor Swift:  Is it any good?

Other Letter:  I like it.

Taylor Swift:  That isn’t what I asked.  Is it any good?

Other Letter:  Yes, it’s good.

Taylor Swift:  I’ll get my check-writing team to send you a check for fifty million dollars.  What is it about?  Fun, wholesome stuff?  Stuff that kids shacked up in a hospital for years at a time would go for?

Other Letter:  Yeah, they might like it, it’s a blog.

Taylor Swift:  You didn’t answer my question.  Would kids shacked up in a hospital for years at a time like your, what, your blog?

Taylor Swift:  I guess they would.  Why, if I may ask, would that ever matter?

Taylor Swift:  I do hospital tours, sorta like the USO.  You know with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Ann Margaret, except I’m not on the front lines, these kids don’t have any war wounds, and I’m no candy striper handing out chotchke swag.

Other Letter:  I see.

Taylor Swift:  But their hearts are broken.  Would your blog help them live normal happy lives, and fix their broken hearts?

Other Letter:  Don’t these kids have terminal cancer?

Taylor Swift:  Some do, some don’t.  Stop it with the questions, I just gave you fifty million dollars for twenty lousy web pages.

Other Letter:  Okay, no more questions, I’m sorry.  To answer your question, assuming they don’t have cancer, then yes, my blog may help them live normal, happy lives.

Taylor Swift:  Welcome aboard Taylor Nation.  My Personnel team will be vetting you for any personality irregularities you may have.  Got that?

Other Letter:  Um, yeah?

Taylor Swift:  For cripes sakes, stop it with the goddamn questions.  I’m not your mother for crying out loud.  So we’re set for bowling this Friday?

Other Letter:  What bowling?!

Taylor Swift:  There you go again, don’t ask questions.  Didn't I ask you to not ask me anymore questions?  But no, you did it again anyway, you really blew it now.  Don’t make me rip up the check for ten million dollars.

Other Letter:  I thought it was for fifty million dollars.

Taylor Swift:  What do I look like to you, Other, a patsy?  We’re done, we’re through, Other.  Kiss all your dreams goodbye, you blew it big time.  Get packing, you’re finished on Easy Street.

Other Letter:  What just happened here?

Taylor Swift:  You ask way, way too many questions.  Good day.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

Kanye West’s Grammy-winning Rap, Ghetto Chant — Official Lyrics

The hood, where everyday is a struggle for survival — kill or be killed.  I’ve been there, I know.  I’m talking ’bout the hood you think I’m talking ’bout, folks.  People dying everyday just buying groceries, folks.  Just buying loaves of bread — picking up milk’s a death sentence in my hood where I always called home.  Home, sweet, home, right?  No, home, the hood where there is no hope, the hopeless hood.  Where the only way out is to deal crack cocaine.  Nope, the car wash won’t punch your ticket to Chicago, not bodega checkout bagger, it’s only crack cocaine, your one-way ticket to freedom.

But we’ll get out, are you with me, folks?  The only way folks, I know because that is my life, damn you, my life, can’t you see?  Do you hear me?  I can’t hear you.  That’s better.  Much better because I couldn’t hear you.  I’m tone deaf.  But we’re talking the hood and I have inside experience.  We’re tougher than nails, more explosive than dynamite, because we know we might be sleeping somewhere besides our home tonight.  That kinda tough.

The cops know us by name.  Cops invite us to dinner but we turn them down for kicks.  That kinda bad.  We’d rather eat mom’s slop when she got home from turning tricks.  Except we were dirt poor, because dad sold crack cocaine, the cheap kind that don’t make money though — Dad only supplied the deserving poor.  Dirt poor because we ate dirt; and fought over the earthworms in the dirt if we were lucky enough to find them.  That was a good night, when the earthworms were a plenty.  Then washed them down with pitchers of Olde Mexican, Double-Eights, Malt Liquor.  We’re talking my hood now — my hood.

We is Harlem on steroids, we is Compton on overdrive.  That kinda bad, us right here.  So now, can’t you feel us in your gut?  Feel it with me, girls.  Reach down lower, reach down deep, and feel it right here, that’s right, you learnin’.  Oh yeah, oh yeah.  That kinda pepperoni chubby, oh yeah, oh yeah.  We’re not just bad, we is double bad, and right here at me, you’re looking at triple bad, one more bad than the rest.  That kinda bad, folks.  Duck and cover bad.  Oh yeah, oh yeah, folks...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

The Heists up in Winchester

[Bill and Dan at the Québec Mercury City Desk]

Bill:  You know the heists up in Winchester?

Dan:  Sure, what about them?

Bill:  They found the guy.

Dan:  They did?  Who was he?

Bill:  Well, get this, he was actually a cyborg.

Dan:  A WHAT?!!!

Bill:  Oh yeah, he was from outer space.  He was beamed down.  It took him a few light years to get here.  He needed food, so he held up liquor stores.

Dan:  Why liquor stores?

Bill:  They have a lot of money, and they’re open late so there’s no eyewitnesses around to catch him in the act.  He learned fast.

Dan:  Well, sure, I bet he did — if he was from outer space.  Aren’t they supposed to have superior intelligence? — and now they walk among us.  You know he was from outer space though, right?

Bill:  Oh yeah, that’s straight from the police blotter.  Five-hour interrogation but he broke down and confessed.

Dan:  An eyewitness account of this cyborg spilling his guts would be our biggest edition ever.  I just can’t believe the stuff we come across.

Bill:  Got that right.  [Jane enters the Québec Mercury City Desk.]  Oh, hi, Jane, you know those heists up in Winchester?

Jane:  Sure, what about them?

Dan:  Show her the blotter.

Bill:  See, aliens, who would ever expect?

Jane:  This is too much, just too much — aliens in Winchester.

Bill:  No, one alien.

Dan:  We only know of one, there could be several, or we’re looking at the start of an invasion.  Who knows?  We sure as Hell don’t.  This changes the entire conversation, you two, the whole equation.

Jane:  Boy, does it ever!

Bill:  Go for drinks?

Dan:  I can’t treat — I’m paying off the new oil burner.

Jane:  You are so cheap...

[Reminiscent of how Saturday Night Live used to be, a theater of the absurd.  It’s been said they steal material these days, but I wouldn’t copy off of them, there’s nothing worth taking.]

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




The Champ’s X-90 versus the Chump’s Chumpmobile

Chump: Hey, Champ.

Champ: Hey. I got the new X-90, but you’re just —

Chump: Driving my old Chumpmobile.

Champ: The X-90 has FM radio, AC, carpeting — everything under the sun.  I could show it to you.

Champ’s Girl: Don’t bother, Champ!  He’s just driving a Chumpmobile, how could he possibly appreciate the X-90?!

Champ: She’s right, sorry to get your hopes up.  Maybe next time, when you’re about to trade up from your Chumpmobile, I’ll take you out for a spin in the X-90, show you what it’s like to drive with a champ.

Chump: Okay, next time, Champ.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Taylor Swift’s Dark Side

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  After the first set —

Taylor Swift:  I go home?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  No, there’s a second set.

Taylor Swift:  I thought Cleveland was only getting one set.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  No, Cleveland gets two sets, but you need to choose which sponsor you plug at intermission.  Would you like McDonalds or Coca Cola?

Taylor Swift:  I thought I was Pepsi.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  No, you’re Coca Cola now.

Taylor Swift:  Okay, then McDonalds.  Thirty or sixty second patter?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Sixty.

Taylor Swift:  I’m still okay with that, as long as it’s a product I believe in, and I really like what McDonalds has been doing with their brand recently.  Scripted, no improv though, right?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Scripted, they knew it would be too much to ask of you to speak off the top of your head about McDonalds — especially half-way through your show.

Taylor Swift:  But I nailed it at MSG.  Remember that penniless, dying girl?  Pulled her out on the stage on a gurney with drips?  We made her sign a release that if she died on stage, we wouldn’t be stuck paying for her funeral.  Then segued into a heartfelt McDonalds spot.  “You deserve a break today,” ballad tempo, in four-part harmony.  My favorite numbers have multiple meanings.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  That was priceless.  You didn’t die that night.

Taylor Swift:  She did though.  Hey, any Mastercard tonight?  They’re high end.  The simplest things in life are the best.  Hey, here’s a song.  To the tune of Galveston: “Mastercard, oh Mastercard...”

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Catchy, but no Mastercard pitch tonight, this is Cleveland.  It was tough enough to sign on Pizza Hut.  And don’t forget you’re promoting the Taylor Swift Life-size Action Figurine for this leg of the tour.

Taylor Swift:  Oh please, what do I have to do for this one?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Two Taylorettes just cart it out in its packaging, and you have a few nice words to say about it.

Taylor Swift:  Like what? — “If you want a sex doll of me, now is your chance to get one”?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  The manufacturer included a little spiel.  Just say it’s made of high-impact styrene plastic, so it will outlast the pyramids.

Taylor Swift:  When do I say this?

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Coda of I Knew You were Trouble; you sing, “...When you walked in,” the spotlight turns on you, and the Taylorettes walk down the ramp with the action figurine on a hand truck.

Taylor Swift:  Okay, whatever.  But I want Gwyneth to pop out of the wings during my 1989 encore, I want her to kiss me, cop a feel of my breasts, then exit stage right.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  We can’t do that.  There’s 60,000 people, too many mothers and daughters.

Taylor Swift:  Well, there’s more the reason.  Give me the favorable demographic metrics.  I’m paying you people for something.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Okay, okay, we’ll run the statistical models...  Most favorable with 18-35 males, then females, same age cohort, least favorable with the under 12s.

Taylor Swift:  Then it’s a go.  Get GP on the phone, stat.  Fly her into Cleveland International —

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  He, he, he.  “International”?

Taylor Swift:  I know, “International.”  He, he, he.  I’m sure Paris is a major hub for them.  Anyhow, bring her in on Air Force Tay.  Give her a stripper costume with G-string.  I sing “1989, 1989, 1989...” and she walks in stage left, kisses me on the lips, cops a feel, and exits stage right.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  This may damage your career, Taylor.

Taylor Swift:  Hey, look how good Madonna did with her lesbo tricks.  This is exactly what this tour needs, get them standing on their feet, and begging for more.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Okay, we’re sold.  Taylor Nation will call Gwyneth’s nation, or whatever she calls her nation.

Taylor Swift:  And Gwynnie gets a shot in the arm for her career post-Oscar, and she finally proclaims her love for me before the World.  I feel good about the Universe again.

Taylor Swift’s Manager:  Anything else, your Excellency?  I mean, Ms. Swift.

Taylor Swift:  Yes, Gwynnie waits for me backstage after the show because I gave her a free vacation, albeit one to Hell.  Tell her to dress appropriately, meaning wearing next to nothing.  Tell her there’s more private jet frequent flyer miles where those came from, if she knows what I mean...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




The Last Anniversary Gift

Other Letter:  These are nice socks, Gwynnie, they’re—?

Gwynnie:  They’re argyle.

OL:  I’ve never had argyle socks before.  They’re kind of heavy, and they itch.

GP:  Well, of course, they’re wool.

OL:  Wool socks in the summertime?

GP:  They’re Merino wool, it’s a lightweight wool.  In the summertime, it goes perfect with the madras shorts I got for you.

OL:  But this pattern — it’s argyle, you said?  Isn’t that a little showy for summer time, and with shorts, especially these shorts?

GP:  Well, that’s my Anniversary gift celebrating our love together — why not wear them everywhere?

OL:  Okay, okay, I’ll wear them.  I have that poker game tomorrow night with the guys.  These will look very fashion forward.

GP:  You know what, I think I got you the wrong size.  Yeah, I got the wrong size.  Let me bring these back.

OL:  No, these kind of grow on you.  They’ll go well with the sweater I’m tying around my neck.

GP:  That’s not all you’ll be tying around your neck...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




After the First Table Read

Charli:  Cluck like chickens?

Ash:  Have either of you ever worked with this director before?

Gwyn:  I’ve heard of him, you could say he’s established.  He’s not like a Coppola though.  He does do a lot of big budget stuff, it’s very low-brow unfortunately.

Ash:  I hope I’m wrong, but don’t you already have a bad feeling about this?  I’ve seen directors like him before our little chicken saga.  They end up blaming everyone else when it bombs.  I just wish he’s at the top of his game.

Charli:  I heard of a director bowing out, and his last film was only to satisfy a contract.  The chicken story better not be his last gasp in this industry.

Gwyn:  We can only hope.  Don’t give up the ship yet.  There’s still a chance this director has the Midas touch.

Charli:  A slight chance.

Gwyn:  Okay, I know, you’re right, a slight chance.  Um, next to no chance.

Charli:  It’s pretty much hopeless.

Gwyn:  Your words, I won’t hold you to them though.

Charli:  You won’t have to, Gwyn.

Gwyn:  I know.  Don’t leave here bitter though, Charli.

Charli:  I’m fine ... A chicken comedy doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies.  How good could a comedy about chickens possibly be?

Ash:  I ran through the script last night.  It’s not a comedy.

Gwyn:  It’s not a comedy?

Ash:  No.

Gwyn:  It’s a tear-jerker?

Charli:  But if it’s not a comedy, then why would he have us cluck like chickens?

Ash:  Chickens are some sort of metaphor for Western civilization.  I couldn’t quite figure it out.  It was indecipherable.

Gwyn:  I’ve done some method acting, but I don’t think I can inhabit a chicken.

Ash:  Are they anthropomorphizing chickens?

Charli:  I don’t know, you’re the one who went to Harvard.

Ash:  Can I trade my Harvard Masters for either Oscar of yours?

Charli:  Wait, Ash, when you say anthropomorphizing, is that a real word?

Ash:  I keep forgetting Afrikaans is your first language — are they giving chickens the attributes of people?

Gwyn:  Well, they must be because we’re human actors playing chickens.  We’re not chickens playing chickens.

Ash:  I can see your point ... So we stand on our marks, and cluck like chickens?

Gwyn:  Well, he said all of us harmonize our clucking to the melody line.  It will be a symphony of clucking.

Charli:  I sang once on Saturday Night Live.

Ash:  I can carry a tune, but I’ve never sung professionally in a musical, or anything else.  I’m sorry, but I’ve been miscast.  I’m thinking of flying the coop.

Charli:  Me, too.  How can they be serious?  I don’t make bird calls; and it will be a little difficult for me to emote on chickens.  What is their motivation — being spared the chopping block? ... The money does not sound so bad though.

Gwyn:  Not so bad, but not so great.

Charli:  Will this do anything for our careers?

Gwyn:  Clucking like a chicken won’t win us any Oscars.  Unless there’s a weak field that year.

Ash:  Why does my agent send me out on poorly-conceived, investor, ego-massagers?  I need to hire someone else.  This is my last straw.

Gwyn:  Join the club, Ash.

Charli:  Get no argument here.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




The Who asks: “Is there dignity in pinball?”

(A Master’s Critical Thesis in British Rock Operas)

The answer from Tommy, his Mum, Nora Walker, Cousin Kevin, Uncle Ernie, and the Acid Queen is a resounding, heartfelt “Yes.” Consider his station in life, he is chief executive at a spiritual organization with a cult-like following.  His rise to prominence is largely due to his skills at manipulating a silver ball around a glass-enclosed maze.  Not only is his sporting acumen praised, “He always plays it clean” — Tommy never tilts, his approach to the sport is uncompromising.  His experience is myriad as well, he has played every pinball machine from Soho to Brighton.  Mr. Peter Townsend, the scorer of this work, makes claims concerning Tommy’s pinball prowess, that “He’s must have played them all.”  How many arcades has Tommy played that he has played every single pinball machine?  Who is financing this venture, pinball is not state-subsidized, not even in Britain where this would have had to take place.  There is no mention of Tommy earning any outside income to further his pinball career.

Now here is the point at which this listener’s credulity is almost irreparably strained, forcing him to take exception — Tommy “plays by intuition,” he knows where next the ball will be, only knowing where the ball was prior?  This pinball wizard cannot see, nor hear, the progress of the ball fall per gravity down the table, he only plays by sense of smell.  Is this actually possible, can this pinball wizard, this Tommy, play solely using his olfactory senses?  What odoriferous trail might the silvered ball leave?  Perhaps with significant friction there may be a smoky residue trail.  Are we to believe this Pinball Wizard can carom a pinball so sharply it leaves smoke behind it?  Yet as mentioned heretofore, the table is glass-enclosed.  How can the vapor trail leave the gaming area and enter his nostrils?  Here, Mr. Townsend’s writing really requires fuller exposition.  Granted that part of the Pinball Wizard’s success can be attributed to his ability to tune out distractions, “Can’t hear those buzzers and bells.” Yet, somehow he possesses the crown to all of pinball.  With the aforementioned skill set, is this even possible?

Various sundry characters enter and leave Tommy’s rather tortured existence (or at least tortured initially, later his life laudably comes around full circle).  Some of these characters, and I use the word in its pejorative sense, are true malefactors, only capable of causing Tommy harm.  Others enable Tommy to see more important facets in his life, and ultimately that in his congregation and beyond.  Cousin Kevin, Uncle Ernie, and the Acid Queen fall in the former category.  Nora Walker, his patient, over-burdened mother — remember she is caring for the deaf, dumb, and blond — comprises much if not all, of the latter category.

[Exactly one-hundred pages of scholarly text later ...]

Tommy is imprisoned within himself by the traumatic experience of seeing his Mum in bed with a sleazy dalliance named Frank Hobbs.  Said sleaze kills Tommy’s real Pa, Captain Walker, and makes Tommy psychosomatically deaf, dumb, and blond.  Tommy breaks a mirror, thus freeing his soul from the torments of Hell.  So then we are led to believe that when Tommy no longer sees himself visually, he can sense his true self, his inner core.  Can we buy into this conception of catharsis, this vision of enlightenment, and this depiction of epiphany?  Can mirrors replace psychotherapy?  Are they a valid treatment modality supported by the current literature?  Answering such a question must be left as an exercise to the reader (because looking at G. N. Berzac’s early work in Le Parisienne Critique de Psychologie the query is so weighty one can hardly even hazard a guess).

There is a “camp” involved in this rock opera, this Tommy.  All in attendance understand the reason why they were so chosen — “We all know why we’re here.”  Once welcomed to Tommy’s camp, they will be receiving enlightenment training to enter into the next level of consciousness.  The instruction will be offered by Tommy, here the pinball wizard, not to be confused with the eponymous, somewhat ambiguously-named, rock opera.  Further, Tommy was written in 1969, and the Camps, plural, were liberated just 24 years earlier, in 1945, at the end of World War II.  A distinction might have been made between the two, but none was supplied.

While the Who and I embarked on a satisfying musical journey, this magnum opus possessed a few weak, less than logically acceptable verses that would need to be remedied in concert with live, updated and more carefully-edited, performances.  Is there dignity in pinball then?  If Tommy is at the flippers, then yes there must be.

A future, very invaluable, PhD treatise topic, beyond the Master’s, is whether or not there is not only dignity in pinball, but is there redemption in it as well?

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Other Letter and his Other Letter Girls

Other Letter:  Over here, Other girls.

Other Letter Girls:  Yes?

Other Letter:  I’m reading there is a heroin problem in the schools.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Which schools?

Other Letter:  Hmm ... Well, all schools it would appear.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  What should we do?

Other Letter:  Let’s have a “Don’t do Heroin Day” in all the schools of the World.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Should we do India?

Other Letter:  Sure let’s do India too.  Why wouldn’t we do India?

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  I don’t know, they seem so polite somehow.

Other Letter:  No, we’re including India, they deserve a “Don’t do Heroin Day,” too.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Good, because I was afraid we’d skip India.

Other Letter:  No, we won’t skip them, while polite, they probably have a heroin problem.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Red China probably has one too, but would they give us access to all their schools?  They’re an awfully big country.

Other Letter:  I’m sure they would, I can’t see why not.  I’ll call the Chinese Premier, what’s his name?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Ping Chow Pong.

Other Letter:  Is that really his name?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Could be, I think I read that somewhere.  Here’s his phone number.

Other Letter:  Why do you carry his phone number?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  For emergencies.

Other Letter:  What kind of emergencies?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Well, what would you call this?  Kids are doing heroin in China, we gotta help.

Other Letter:  Okay, I’ll call.  That’s an awfully long phone number.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Well it’s out of state.

Other Letter:  Hello, Ping Chow Pong? ... Is this the Prime Minister of China? ... No?  Who am I speaking with? ... No, thank you, we’re not interested in Chinese take out this evening.  Girls, that was the wrong number.  It wasn’t the Prime Minister of China, Ping Chow Pong, it was Chow Now Chinese Takeout.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Sorry, Other Letter, we made a mistake.

Other Letter:  You sure did.  Now what?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  We need a phone directory for Beijing.

Other Letter:  Where can we can get one of those?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  The phone company might have them.

Other Letter:  Okay, let’s go ... Now we’re starting to look foolish, who else besides the phone company would have a Beijing phone book?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  How about the library?

Other Letter:  My library card lapsed, that’s out.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Mine too.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Mine too.

Other Letter:  No surprises there.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  What’s that supposed to mean?  Yours lapsed, too.

Other Letter:  Never mind, we have to save the kids from heroin.  Let’s brainstorm.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  I’m thinking, I’m thinking.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Well then don’t talk if you’re thinking, okay?

Other Letter:  Come on, girls, we need teamwork.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Hey, we’ll get the Prime Minister of China to call us.

Other Letter:  Now you’re talking.  How would we do this though?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Let me see, hmm.

Other Letter:  We put a full-page ad in the New York Times inviting the Prime Minister — is it Prime Minister or Premier?

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  — I’m sure either way is fine —

Other Letter:  Inviting the Prime Minister to stop by our place for tea.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  They love tea over there.  That ought to be enough to get him here.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  An invitation to a tea would be enough to get China’s Head of State to visit us?

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Well it’s about saving their kids from heroin.

Other Letter:  Yes, then he would be interested, very interested ...


Premier of China:  Mr. Other have a seat.

Other Letter:  Thank you.  Meeting with you is like trying to get an audience with the Pope.

Premier of China:  I don’t have the time to chitchat.  What brings you to Beijing, Mr. Other?

Other Letter:  I’m saving the kids of the world from heroin and I need your help.

Premier of China:  This is admirable, but how can, The People of the Great Revolution, help?

Other Letter:  I have printed a billion of these info packets, one for every Chinese student.

Premier of China:  But they’re not in Chinese ... and even so, they have many typos.

Other Letter:  Let me see that ... So the Premier said next time consider using a spell checker and a translator.  When I asked if we should recycle the billion copies, he said, “No, belongs in landfill.”  So we left it at that.  I tried, Other Girls.  Where next?

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  Hawaii.

Other Letter:  Hawaii?  Hawaii has a heroin problem?  Why Hawaii?

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  We need a vacation.

Other Letter:  Agreed.  Let’s get packing.

Other Letter Girl, Desirée:  Time to find another of Earth’s problems to solve, how about World hunger?  We might have bit off a little more than we can chew with this here.

Other Letter Girl, Daisy:  You can say that again.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




I was watching a little of the Harry Porter series on cable, and noticed there are similar plotlines running through comparable fare.  For instance, when competing powerful interests confront one another before battle, the saber-rattling commences and each side states the justness of their cause.

So the following is a take on the clichés in the modern movie genre of sci-fi and fantasy.  Here we find the Khan Almighty struggling to articulate his vision of interstellar domination smoothly and effortlessly, while Chief Text Support settles old scores, and offers the Great Khan sage counsel on forming sentences, and with expression in general.

The Almighty Khan

The Almighty Khan:  I have the fear thing going on just about everywhere.

Chief of Text Support:  Then are you the most feared in all the land?

The Almighty Khan:  Humph, you have disgraced my greatness with your so-called greater greatness.

Chief of Text Support:  Have my many powers disgraced you?

The Almighty Khan:  You will pay the bill, foot the bill —

Chief of Text Support:  Pay the price?

The Almighty Khan:  Is it pay the price? ... Okay, you will pay the price as they all must.  You will have little choice —

Chief of Text Support:  No choice, it’s no choice.

The Almighty Khan:  Okay, you will have no choice but to submit to my whims —

Chief of Text Support:  To my demands.

The Almighty Khan:  Okay, because when you decided to release the Gates of Hamburg —

Chief of Text Support:  Don’t you mean open the Gates to Hell?

The Almighty Khan:  You should have known I would return to claim my prize —

Chief of Text Support:  Do you mean claim your victory?

The Almighty Khan:  You know what I’m trying to say.

Chief of Text Support:  I’m not so sure I do.

The Almighty Khan:  No one cons the Khan.

Chief of Text Support:  Why would anyone even try?

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




This One’s for my Peeps

I was dealing drugs by the age of three,
Didn’t have a pot for me to pee.
I bought an AK-47,
But now my baby’s up in Heaven.

I went to jail,
But who will pay my bail?
Don’t you know I’m from the hood?
Hoes, drugs, and guns, I’d get them all back, if only I could.

Now I’m afraid I’ll die alone,
The note you wrote cut me to the bone.
You’ve made me a gang member,
My initiation was scheduled for September.

Eminem, Tupac, Jay-Z, you know what?
They all wish they were me.
Dedication?  I’m laying down these nasty tunes,
Everyday, all through the month of June.

I am the composer from the future,
Rap don’t need no fancy, sheet music suture.
There’s no call for rhythm, music theory, or harmony,
When I got this jackhammer melody.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Track 17 (or why I don’t write song lyrics for a living)

We’re at the end of the line,
Where you’ll find Track 17, the flip side of Heaven.
When there was only wax on the stacks,
An LP went only as far as track 7.

Beyond track 7 is the wasteland.
The CD is never played out this far anyway,
Or that’s what recording execs hope.
Now everything before track 7 ends up getting diluted, and that’s the dope.

We know to face facts,
We’re wise to the truth,
We have nothing left to write,
So Track 17 is just one nasty stinker.

Chorus: Plink, plink, plinker.

Taylor Swift can’t even do anything with Track 17.
No broken hearts left to mend,
No more lyrics left to write, rhythms to pound, harmonies to sound, or melodies to tinker —
We’ve used them all up.

Chorus: Plink, plink, plinker.

With no ideas left, we’re sampling spoons thru Pro Tunes at Track 17.
“I just bought this CD — agghh, Track 17,” screams the now mean teen,
“This band had me hook, line, and sinker.”

Chorus: Plink, plink, plinker.

Spoken:  “I got a good feeling about Track 17.  It will chart, give it time, this has legs.  Don’t worry about airplay, royalties should be low-priced, any radio station can play this.  Can you imagine this live?  We won’t even need all of Totem of Frustration on the stage, just run the studio version through the arena’s speakers, and our current front man can prance around with the mic next to his mouth.  Tag on a half hour drum solo at the end, and that’s half the set ... No worries, we have the music prompter.  They don’t have to remember any of the music, they just have to be able to read — or just dance for two straight hours ...”

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Note: the intention here was to lessen stereotypes.  At the same time this introduces them, because when you say something is wrong, you have to say what that something is.


We promised, now we deliver.  It’s the Aryan Supremes dizzying climb up the charts with their smash hit — to the tune of This Land is my Land — the spoken and guitar-accompanied, This Homeland was my homeland.


The white boy bakes the pita bread, while the warmongering A-rab cooks the burger.  I look at my Red, White, and Blue, then lower my head to cry.

The white teenage girl tattoos her face, the colored one does well in school.  Just let me know this, God, why do you torture your chosen ones so?

The boy from the Dark Continent knocks up the white girl.  We cannot make him kneel before the burning Cross anymore.

The white mother has to bring her baby to work.  The negro Mom stays at home smoking menthols, and makes her kid make her grits, while she watches game shows all day.  When will we ever see our mountaintop?

The white Man is learning the indispensable spreadsheet, while the rice-fueled are inventing ways of taking over our computers.  Have they no common decency?

One of ours goes under the knife in white flowing gowns, the Tex-Mex is paid for his transfusions.  This mingling of blood sickens my soul.

The Jew texts porn stars in his indoor pool, while our Aryan brethren break their backs working eighty hour weeks shoveling snow, coal, or landfill.  When and where will we find American-style justice? ...


... Yes indeed, that really tugs at the heartstrings.  Up next, Country classic, Bobby fell into the Grain Silo again on your home of down-home Country, WCHT Country 109.1, Dubuque and Velma — “Where the Turnpike meets up with the Interstate.”  WCHT, Dubuque and Velma’s number one for music, news, sports, and Jesus Christ.

We’ll be right back on this Nativity Broadcasting Network station after a word from Soap Plus — packing French sophistication with American manufacturing know-how, every bar of Soap Plus is soap for the Third Millennium ...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




If Other Letter produced children’s educational television ...

Major General Mathespastic:  Now Lieutenant Isosceles, you and your men will charge up this hill, guns-a-blazing.  This might very well be a suicide mission — can your men give me 110%?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  Well ...

Major General Mathespastic:  Well, can they or can’t they?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  You see ...

Major General Mathespastic:  Are they men, or aren’t they?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  Well, the most my men can fight is really 100%, the most any man can fight is 100% — we can’t go beyond that.  We can shoot for 105%, but that really isn’t possible.

Major General Mathespastic:  Why is 105% not possible?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  It’s more than the most any man is capable of fighting — it’s greater than the whole she-bang, it’s more than all we’ve got.

Major General Mathespastic:  Listen, do you want to fight this bloody war, or don’t you?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  We can’t give you 110%, or even 105%.

Major General Mathespastic:  I’ll have you tried for desertion and treason.  You’ll be shipped Stateside, then you’ll be court martialed, do you hear me?

Lieutenant Isosceles:  We’ll give you 100%, we have no problem with that, but 105, or 110%, that’s where we run into Major Issues.

Major General Mathespastic:  If I ask for 110%, I get 110%.

Lieutenant Isosceles:  Sorry, Major General Mathespastic, I just don’t see that happening.

Major General Mathespastic:  You’ll be hearing from HQ zero-six-hundred hours.

Lieutenant Isosceles:  You’ll see, I’m making perfect sense.


Postscript, Lieutenant Isosceles and his squad were sent Stateside where they were acquitted.  Falsely accused, they now live very comfortable lives from a very large, class-action settlement.  For his stupidity, Major General Mathespastic was stripped of his General’s rank, and now does barrack and latrine inspections.  The moral: basic math skills can save your ass in combat situations.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 



 

The Story of all the Peoples of the World

His Dad began, “I’ll tell you the story of all the peoples of the World, and why White Christians are the supreme race.  For us, our heritage begins at birth, at the Christening.  For everyone else, it starts at the age of twelve.

“The Red Man has the ceremonial tasting of the poop.  You see, they are dirt-poor people, and this reinforces their belief that this will be as bad as life can ever get, or so they thought.

“Next, we have the Coloreds.  They celebrate coming of age with the handing down of the crack pipe, because they know that with their shiftlessness, selling crack is as far as they will get in life.

“Then we have some more, the Slant-eyed, and the Dot-heads.  On their capstone, thirteenth birthday, they have 48 hours straight to code an operating system.  If they fail, and they all will, they get shunned forever, and put back a grade.

“Finally, we have the Jews.  The Jewish priests knew their flock would receive a well-deserved lesson at the Holocaust about being too frugal.  So, Jewish boys and girls were given gelt, with the same meaning as the word guilt, chocolate coinage that they gobble down after being starved all day, but just before they were gassed.  See, Hitler knew to choose the winning team, the best religion — and our Pope Pius XII wisely, and in his infinite mercy, remained neutral on the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.  All those fearing our Lord Jesus Christ will be grateful when his canonization is finalized.

“But all of us bridled, chaste, uniform, little soldier-men in Christ, and billions-powerful I might add, decide women’s reproductive health and contraception, we decide stem cell research, we decide politics, we decide gay rights, and what is normal for the heathen — we are the anointed high and mighty.  It is all in God’s plan that we rule, and it is also in his plan that we make sure we spread his word, and make sure there are no dissenters among us.

Where are you going?

His son replied, “I’m leaving to taste the poop, start selling crack, code an operating system, and repent for being starved to death; because I would rather ...”

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




... Get the Heirloom, 24kt Finger Sleeve for just $10,695.  Or settle on your piece of finger-adorning history with the $695 sterling silver finger sleeve.  Each encases your finger in the safety of precious metallurgy for both futuristic and traditional high-end protection, the kind preventing dental-flossing tourniquets, or onion-slicing amputations (don’t miss our special on onion-slicing goggles, pair them with your finger sleeves, and you’ll be more than ready to take on ratatouille — see page 739).

Or use your sleeve for more traditional, domestic diva work like sewing.  Please note, this is longer than a regular thimble, so sewing can only be contemplated with this model.  As soon as we deplete our finger sleeve stock, it is back to the foundry to cast sewing length, thimble/finger sleeves.

Our best customers buy these by the gross in bulk lots, and the sleeves stay with them forever, or they melt them down at opportune times, and trade them as futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange (they make a mint, literally).  Either way, these cannot be beat for the great value they represent — as either ingots, mantelpiece adornment, or casket sendoffs.  This particular design of finger sleeve won the prestigious Zürich Grand Prix for Innovation in the Finger Wear Oeuvre just this April, beating out dozens of other exceptionally well-qualified entrants.

Save 5% if you buy the complete set of ten, one for each digit — that’s just $101,602.50 to go golden, or $6,602.50 to settle on silver.  Your finger sleeves arrive at your shipping destination in pristine condition, in packaging well-designed for transit over great distances.  In our endless quest to add value for our customers, you may now request that a note of explanation be included with your gift orders.  Finger sleeves are the new status-conscious, luxury good you know you cannot live without.  This is only a public service announcement.  We’re just informing you of an unmet need you have, so call now.  Our operators are standing by to take your order.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Overheard on the most privileged of Aircraft

Starlet:  How can anyone not love plastic?  That’s Triple Platinum Red, bet you never saw one of those before.  It gives you embassy accommodation privileges at every consulate except North Korea’s.  This is worth its weight in, well, platinum.

Starlet:  When our plane hit turbulence and you started singing “Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home.  A band of angels coming after me.”  Well, you stole my heart right there.  I thought it was ironic, how you stood tall, when even the stewardesses wouldn’t get out of their seats.

Starlet:  Then we touched down and I wanted to hold your hand, it was like a decompression, like a cloud had lifted.  I could see clearly now.  It was the end of a wild odyssey, or was it the beginning of another one, Other Letter?  I need to know ... Tell me those aren’t lyin’ eyes.

Starlet:  I want to thank you, Other Letter.  I really mean to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  We will always have the memories, the stopover at O’Hare, asking the stewardess to get extra snacks for me.  I will treasure them wherever I go.

Starlet:  A woman in my position doesn’t just give their heart away to anyone, but I’m giving you mine, it’s yours to keep until forever.  Take my heart, pleaseDo you love me, Other Letter?  I want our love to be more than a romantic cliché, another sad dirge of heartbreak, or just another silly love song.

Starlet:  So long, Other Letter.  Follow me on Twitter, and like me on Facebook.

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




In Reality, The Other Letter is a complete Gentleman

OL Up and Comer:  Other Letter?

Other Letter:  There’s no need to be so formal here, call me Other.

OL Up and Comer:  We’ll go with Other?

Other Letter:  Yes, please, Other.

OL Up and Comer:  Other it is.  Other?

Other Letter:  Yes, go ahead, you have my permission now.

OL Up and Comer:  Other, I was meaning to ask you, I’ve been working here for over two years now ... And, well ...

Other Letter:  This wouldn’t be about a raise, would it?

OL Up and Comer:  I hate causing difficulty for my superiors ...

Other Letter:  Well?  I said you could talk, and you may do so now. 

OL Up and Comer:  You see, I need to move out of my studio and into something with just a little extra room.  I was hoping I could stop using a hall bathroom.  The security is not very good at Leafy Pines Village, and if I need to go out into the hallway past ten o’clock, it gets risky.

Other Letter:  Except for a few minor amenities like my summer home in Crete, this company is just scraping by.  I doubt you know how competitive the non-celebrity blog publishing market really is.  You don’t, do you?  You may answer me.

OL Up and Comer:  I always complete my assignments on time, don’t I, Other?

Other Letter:  Although I would prefer you call me Other Letter in public.

OL Up and Comer:  But we’re not in public so —

Other Letter:  Other Letter is not an issue now.

OL Up and Comer:  Other?

Other Letter:  Yes?

OL Up and Comer:  Now may I begin?

Other Letter:  I will also allow OL in public instead of the non-abbreviated, Other Letter.  But again, we’re not in public, so you can call me Other.

OL Up and Comer:  How about O in private?

Other Letter:  You mean because I allow OL in public?

OL Up and Comer:  Yes, is O okay?

Other Letter:  No, that’s Oprah’s letter of the alphabet, she took that.  It’s a copyright issue, I’d have to clear it with Legal first — and I’m sure Oprah would need to be apprised, too.  I just don’t have that kind of time.

OL Up and Comer:  How do you feel about The Other Letter?

Other Letter:  I feel if the staff really made the effort, we’d have something special.

OL Up and Comer:  I mean your name, The Other Letter.

Other Letter:  The definite article, as in the one and only — like The Sultan of Brunei?  Sure, I can work with that.

OL Up and Comer:  So, how’s this: The Other Letter, Other Letter, or OL in public; and Other in private?

Other Letter:  That’s good.  What’s your name, by the way?

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Ask Other Letter

“Is it okay to ask questions in social situations?”  Puzzled in Pittsburgh

Glad you asked, Puzzled.  In the erudite, American game-show, Jeopardy, answers are given in the form of questions.  An answer might be, “I was your first U.S. President.”  The question our host, Alex Trebek, would be seeking might be, “Who was George Washington?”  In many social circles, questions are given in the form of answers.  For instance, “Now that we agree we have a tarantula in our bedroom, I wonder if there is anything we can do about it.”  The real intent here may be, “Is it time we call someone who knows a little bit about pest control?”

Declarations are more highly valued than questions.  To some, questions imply weakness, ignorance, and immaturity.  So as to not appear socially inept, questions are avoided, however awkward and impractical this rule is in practice.  In my humble estimation, if you want or need an answer to a worthwhile question, ask the question.  More importantly, questions imply a genuine interest.

If you have no interest in acquiring knowledge, as when you’re hitting on someone you’re interested in, you may try to limit the Q & A.  The reason I say ‘limit the Q & A,’ and not ‘avoid the Q & A at all costs,’ is because it would be helpful if you knew their background, and this is how questions are often used.  A downside of a question, is that the one you’re asking may have no clue as to what the answer is, making them look like a moron, and making you look overbearing.  Sharing strength, hope, and experience can be a winning strategy.

Do you understand?  This last question is not a worthwhile one.  Do you see why?  Again, not worthwhile, you’re hogging the conversation.  Are we in agreement?  You’re really starting to irritate me.  Don’t you understand anything?  Now you’re being offensive ...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




At least there was no Line-up

The President’s First Deputy:  Well, Nixon had an approval rating of 5 the day before he resigned.

The President:  What’s mine?

The President’s First Deputy:  Yours is a 2 out of a possible 100.

The President:  What was Nixon’s rating on the day he resigned?

The President’s First Deputy:  A 10, an additional 5 percent of Americans liked the fact that he surrendered peaceably, so to speak.

The President:  So tomorrow, this puts me at an approval rating of 7.

The President’s First Deputy:  That’s right, Mister President.

The President:  Feel like trashing the White House?

The President’s First Deputy:  Sure Mister President, why not?

to Top of Sketch Pass

 




Matchmaker, Matchmaker ...

Grandpa:  Why not go out with that Dutch girl, Charlize?

Alex:  She’s South African, Grandpa.

Grandpa:  Dutch, South African, six of one, half dozen of the other.

Alex:  Grandpa somehow thinks my prospects are that good.  I know he means well, but I couldn’t afford one dinner like the kind they’re used to having.

Grandpa:  Then go Dutch treat with your Dutch treat.

Alex:  — And Grandpa’s ideas about women are just a little old-fashioned.

Grandpa:  I heard that! ... Hey, how about that spicy Italian dish, Marisa.

Alex:  She only dates philanthropists.

Grandpa:  Hmm ... Then how about the one with all the curves, Scarlett?

Alex:  Grandpa, how would I ever meet any of these women?

Grandpa:  You have a web site, don’t you?  Post an ad.  Put your picture on it, too.

Alex:  I’ll have to think about this, Grandpa.

Grandpa:  Say, there’s the one who’s always in the news, what is her name?

Alex:  Gwyneth.

Grandpa:  Yes, Gwyneth.

Alex:  She’s married, Grandpa.

Grandpa:  Married in name, or in deed?

Alex:  Does it matter? ... Grandpa, we’ll take this up again after dinner?  It’s ready now ...

to Top of Sketch Pass

 

 

This is from my Dinners even a Bachelor can cook portion of the Big Show.  These practical recipes were created to have everything cooks want most — taste, nutrition, and easy preparation.  These have eight ingredients or less.  More than that many, and time you should spend enjoying your creation, is instead spent at the markets hunting for novelty ingredients such as fennel and anchovies (anchovies may actually be fine, I tried them once, and to be honest, it tasted like a salt lick might, was I a horse).

Easy Raspberry or Blackberry Smoothies, and now, with Strawberries or Blueberries

I haven’t been counting, but if I were to guess, I’ve made this particular recipe over forty times.

Be sure the berries are fresh.  Blackberries seem to last longer in the fridge than raspberries.  Blackberries have a richer flavor, raspberries a more subtle, nuanced one (you’ll see what I mean).

Raspberry and Blackberry Smoothies should be poured through a sieve into the glasses after blending, as they will have small seeds.

Two cups milk
Four tablespoons maple syrup (two tablespoons if including banana)
EITHER An entire 6oz. package of fresh, rinsed raspberries, or blackberries;
OR 3/4, or 12oz., of a 16oz. package of fresh, rinsed strawberries cleaned of stems and blemishes with a paring knife — and optionally, one half of a banana;
OR Half of a pint of fresh, rinsed blueberries;
OR Half of a banana without strawberries.

Dust off and wash blender.  Pour ingredients into jar — pour milk first to have the blender function as a measuring cup.  Without the banana, use four tablespoons of maple syrup; with half a banana, two tablespoons of maple syrup.  Cover jar, run at purée, or smoothie setting, for 45 seconds (60 seconds for strawberries).  Makes two drinks (although you may like to double the recipe).  That’s all there is to it.

Key to the Blueberry Smoothie Recipe found!  Instead of taking an entire, 6-ounce package of blueberries and adding it to the 2 cups milk like you would in the new raspberry and blackberry recipe, add just 3 ounces, or half of a package of blueberries to it.  Because the blueberries are fully diluted by the milk, that blueberry sludge issue you’ve all been reporting is avoided.

to Top of Page

 

Stick-to-your-ribs, Hot and Spicy Chili

This is a supper that will have you hosannaing this recipe, just as it will have you feeling fully nourished.  Defrost a half pound of hamburger meat overnight in the refrigerator, or, assuming any pets can’t get at it, leave it out on the kitchen counter two hours before preparation.

Half pound, lean ground beef
Entire can of dark kidney beans, drained (15 oz.)
One and a half cups of marinara sauce
One teaspoon of chili powder (not chili pepper)
One to three garlic cloves (optional)

In a large frying pan, brown ground beef at medium-high heat.  In the sink, pour off the grease into a tin can or a coffee cup; or if you prefer, the fat of the ground chuck, or chopped sirloin, can be kept in the frying pan for flavor.  If you like garlic, use a knife blade to crunch a few cloves, and remove its husk.  Then dice it and sprinkle it over the ground beef (approximately five cloves to a bulb, many people prefer no more than one clove).

Lightly cover marinara sauce over ground beef (a cup and a half works for me).  Then pour a can of dark kidney beans into the frying pan.  Sprinkle in a teaspoon of chili powder, or just shake the spice container lightly a few times over the pan.  Stir constantly, reducing all ingredients at medium-high heat for five more minutes, or until you feel heat radiating off the chili onto your hand, and the very liquid consistency has become a very moist paste.  Serves two.

to Top of Page

 

From my surprisingly vast experience with being subjected to Other Letter hate crime, I offer the following.  These are a few selections from my fully comprehensive Dealing with Idiots page.  Here we have the means to deal with the anger and frustration when a competitor or detractor, vying for your turf, or space in your brain, attempts to hurt you verbally.  If you have heard of the Game of Life, here are the cheats to the Game of Death.  Oddly enough, attempting to inflict pain on people is the only joy some people have.

Keep in mind, the insult or offensive comment you receive, generally means you are the opposite.  If they say you are gay, then you are not gay at all — how could such cold evil possibly hurt you if you actually were a homosexual?  By the same token, being called a freak is meaningless if one is already a freak.  If they feel your behavior is outside the norm, they would just say that.  In reality, they are only two-bit bastards.  You can tell their aim is only to do as much damage as possible, and to be as hurtful as they can be.  Their modus operandi is to change your self-image to what they want your self-image to be.  Who then is the freak?


Note: it would greatly help matters if there was a distinction that could be made between the hate crime use of the word faggot, a use unfortunately implying same-sex partnership, and thus someone like Elton John; and how I would like to use this to describe my neighbors.  I have several neighbors who cannot make it with anyone, they are socially and empathetically inadequate, cause everyone here nothing but trouble, and will never admit it when they are wrong.  If I call them “faggots,” by a sick quirk of language, I am dragging wonderful people like Elton John into the mix.  My neighbors are faggots, but not in the derogatory same-sex partnering sense.  They are faggots in that they are: socially incompetent, icy, frigid, venomous, only passionate about sticking it to people, ruining it for everyone else, and generally a stain on humanity.  Yeah, the neighborhood here changed a lot from when I was young, and when it was completely peaceful.  This sickness started with Reagan, and survival of the meanest, until we got blocks of talentless, hopping mad, middle execs vying for the corner office so they can feel human again.  Ones whose main joy in life is crapping on people.  Thank you.


Younger Idiot, with a bright future ahead of him as a middle manager of a paper plate manufacturer:  Other Letter is stupid!

Other Letter:  You need to provide your frame of reference against which this web site can be judged as being stupid.  Are we talking Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment where you picked up on all the new ways you can needle your future underlings?  Because ultimately for you, isn’t management and even life itself, little more than a sadistic power trip?


Obese Lemon Tree Hair-clipping Idiot:  You’re nerdy!

Younger Other Letter:  Ma’am, you are female, right?  Who the Hell are you?  I am a paying customer — okay, a former paying customer.  What you need to do is sign up with a fat farm, and then people won’t look at you, and expect you to start oinking, and rolling around in sewage.  You are simply a repulsive specimen, both to the eyes, and to the ears.  If I was running your clip joint, first I would fire you for bad haircuts, and then I would hope you become accustomed to street life, because that is the only place you belong, given your level of civility.


Younger Idiot, with a much less than satisfying home life:  You’re just a gay boy!

Younger Other Letter:  Well, I like girls, and I’m not so young.  How do you know so much about gay boys anyway?


Idiot Stranger:  Freak!

Other Letter:  [I check my New Yorkers’ Dictionary as I had not heard the word used without any context.  This is how the entry for “freak” reads:

“1.  Said by an effin’ loser who thinks he’s cool, and should know better, but he is a fag (see note at top of section) who will never make it with anyone.
2.  Said by a likely suicide.”]


Idiot Neighbor:  We’re just good Christians!

Other Letter:  Every Nazi was baptized, they were all good Christians, too.  What does that say about you?


Idiot Neighbor:  Why don’t you move!

Other Letter:  You’re the one causing all the problems, why don’t you move, NOW!!!


Idiot:  The Feds want you bad!

Other Letter:  You got it all wrong.  You’re the ones doing the harassing, doing drugs and getting obscene.  If you don’t know by now, I’ll clue you in, the Feds are after you.


Idiot, for no apparent reason:  Look at that freak!

Other Letter:  Where do you learn to be such sh*ts?  Long Island was once a very nice place.


Tailgating Idiot:  Vroom!  Vroom!  I’m bad!

Other Letter:  You don’t seem to understand, bad implies doing something poorly, what you are is a sh*thead.  You really need to understand the distinction to survive in the modern world.  Identify yourself as such, and everyone will be clued in that you are a sh*thead, and that you’re essentially an a*hole with diarrhea, leaving crap everywhere you go.


Tailgating Idiot, typically in a truck or SUV, but not always:  Look at me.  I go fast.  I am stud, I am bitchin’.  Driving fast cool, me, cool.

Other Letter [increasing my speed limit to five to ten miles above the posted limit, so I am not rear-ended]:  What the Hell does your record of convictions look like on your license?  Do you even own a license?  Is that even your car legally?  Regardless, it is only a matter of time that morons such as yourself get pulled over by the police for driving like you do.


Idiot:  I can do all I want, including throwing a six-pack in the middle of the road!  Because I’m a man, and that’s what men do, they’re wild and uncontrollable!

Other Letter:  How do I put this gently to you?  This is what fags do (see note above).  Drinking a six-pack involves putting the phallic bottle in your mouth and sipping continuously.  A baby can do that, and obviously here, a baby has.  Next time, why not drink two six-packs by yourself?  Then wait for the cops to pick you up, and handcuff you as you retch onto the hood of their patrol car.


Idiot, driving at least 50 in a 30:  Wow, hey, I just ran over another rabbit!  Or was it a squirrel — or was it both?!

Other Letter:  That was the town rabbit, you low-life pond scum.  Can you possibly understand how decimated wildlife is in this community, or everywhere else for that matter?  If the better part of society is lucky, you will be clipped or sideswiped on your next outing; because if we are all really lucky, a car tire will run over your head — POP!


Idiot, seemingly a female:  Homo!

Other Letter:  There is more to being a woman than just being a bitch — not that you will ever know.


Idiot:  Freak!

Other Letter:  Freak meaning non-human?  In your life, this must be the one thing that you have full knowledge.  You do seem like an animal, part twerp, part rat.  I’ll let you off easy, you’re just a moron.


Idiot in a white pick-up truck [took down plates if anyone has an interest]:  A lot of people want to kill you!

Other Letter:  That’s funny, there’s no reason anyone would want to kill me.  You, on the other hand, you think in terms of murder, are you about to kill someone?  You must have enemies, who wants to kill you?


Idiot:  How could you [take down my Baby Jesus]?!

Other Letter:  Easy, for one thing he has been dead for two thousand years, and two, he created a misogynistic, homophobic, arbitrary monster of a belief system whose time has passed.  Spotlight, the story of the Vatican’s, pedophile priest cover-up, just win Best Picture at the Oscars — this says volumes.  How could you still believe in it?


Idiot:  You’re not welcome here!

Other Letter:  I know I’m not, but your freaky aggression won’t stop me from saying what needs to be said.


Dog-owning Idiot:  My dog will poop everywhere and anywhere a dog can poop!  I am an American, and it is within my rights to make it impossible to walk through a park without stepping on excrement!  I do not pick up my dog’s poop because I am a lazy, disease-spreading American!  I am very proud of this God-given American right to do as I please to anyone!

Other Letter:  This is what I am going to do.  You are obviously a loser who needs canine companionship instead of the human kind (assuming you have not lost, because of trauma, most of your trust in Man).  I will flick your dog’s pile of filth off the trail, then I will take the stick used, and drive it into the ground.  This way: A, I clean up the mess you lack the good courtesy to clean; B, you may trip over the stick next time, and hopefully, you land in your dog’s crap; and C, you might note where your filth-spewing unit crapped, so you will know better next time.


Idiot:  You’re not welcome here!

Other Letter:  What makes you think I would like to be welcome where you are?  Are you that overwhelmingly arrogant?  What is more, who gave you the right to decide who is welcome here?  Did you appoint yourself the Grand Poobah?


Idiot:  Nut!

Other Letter:  Moron, stop for a second, and think about what you just said.  A nut is what a tree produces, it is a seed.  Why the Hell are you calling me a seed, whack job?

 

Missy Idiot at Large:  Killer!  Murderer!

Other Letter:  Does this have anything to do with my exposing the Crucifixion Eclipse to the World?  Or does this have anything to do with the fact that Jesus the Christ, a former-day carny, was alive following the Crucifixion?  Because someone likely suffered in his stead, he amounted to being a coward.  Actually, even if Simon the Cyrenian — you know, the one who carried Jesus’ cross — didn’t die, Jesus weaseled out of his punishment.  The same punishment that his Church has claimed for centuries has so demonstrated his character.

Missy Idiot at Large:  I loved my Jesus, my Baby Jesus!  And you smote him.

Other Letter:  I only smote him because he deserved smiting, no other reason, nothing personal.  Just a reminder, he has been dead for over two thousand years.

Missy Idiot at Large:  No, no, he’s not, he’s in this room.  He talks to me every day, I have pictures of him on my wall.

Other Letter:  Paintings?

Missy Idiot at Large:  No, pictures.  Right beside my other God, the Pope.

Other Letter:  The Pope is not God.  I’m sorry, but you are possessed.  You’ve crossed into Holy Roller country.

Missy Idiot at Large:  Apologize to my Baby Jesus, apologize.

Other Letter:  You’ve lost your effing mind.  I’m saving your soul, it has been corrupted by Jesus dead guy worship, and out of the goodness of my heart, I am saving your soul.  No more of your high and mighty crap to laud over everyone, or getting forgiven for being a God-awful sinner.  Welcome to modern reality.  You’re welcome.

Missy Idiot at Large:  You’re just a jew.

Other Letter:  Well then, you’re just a Nazi.  When a form requires me to select a religion, I check “Other.”


Bad Mofo:  [Breaks a beer bottle at the park into forty razor-sharp shards]!  I hate wildlife, and I want to see it die!  I hate people too, and I hope someone cuts their foot open on my handiwork!

Other Letter:  What don’t you hate?  I hope you don’t own a gun as well, loser.


Bad Mofo, Caught Dead to Rights:  Forgive me!

Other Letter:  Forgive yourself.  You’ll be very lucky if you ever get any forgiveness out of me.


Hot Rod Idiot (going 50 in a 30, age-inappropriate car, in Notre Dame, navy blue and gold):  Me go fast-fast!  Vroom-vroom, look at me!

Other Letter:  You almost clipped someone walking their dog, loser.  That’s not manslaughter, that’s vehicular homicide.


Druggie Idiot [no longer of the peaceful variety, parked, usually tinted windows, rolled up in Summer]:  C*ks*cker, f*gg*t, c*t, sc*mb*g, dips*t, sh*th*d, moth*rf*k*r, a*hole [all with adjective “freaky”]!  I need to take drugs in a quiet, park environment!

Other Letter:  [I park behind the: troglodyte, loser, reprobate, no class, waste case, base case, fly-eater; and I wait fifteen to thirty seconds.  I note their plates, because I know who can run them for me.]  That’s all I need to wreck your life for good.  [I slowly pull away, then speed away.]

Druggie Idiot :  Sh*t!  We’re done!  [Works every effing time, although what works in my neighborhood, may be a death sentence in yours.  I gave away the trick, it may no longer work.]

SCPD Cop:  Thank you for your help in local law enforcement, Other.  What with budget cuts and six-figure salaries, there’s nothing left in the pie to fight crime.  Our hands are tied.  Some of us on the force are a little soft on crime anyway, we’re glad you’re stepping up to the plate though, and handling this for us.

Other Letter:  Just so you know, I’ve contacted your precinct twice, my Congressman, my Senator, and even the POTUS, yes, the President of the United States.  Goes to show that the American government is entirely incompetent at every level.


Manipulative Idiot:  Take care!  Take it easy!

Other Letter:  We just spoke for a while, I wasn’t taking care then?  I wasn’t taking it easy then?  Yet now you are advising me to both watch what I say more closely, and be more relaxed, if that is somehow possible.  It is an attempt to shift the debate in your direction.  Well, the only effective counter to the lauding of your self-proclaimed good breeding is: “You, too,” or better, “Good luck,” because we all need more luck, some much more than others.

Ethnic Arriviste Idiot:  [To his moppets, watching me do my good deed of throwing litter into the Dumpster]  That’s a trash collector!

Other Letter:  If you weren’t standing in front of your kids, I would toss you in the Dumpster with the rest of the garbage.

Unneighborly Idiot:  You’re not welcome here!

Other Letter:  I don’t have to be welcome anywhere.

John at the Park Idiot:  What are you staring at?  She’s a hooker, and I’m a hit man!

Other Letter:  I couldn’t figure out why you were so much older than her, and why she had pink hair.  I’ll wait while you review your cache of weaponry until you find one suitable for my hit...  I did not think so.

Park Doper Idiot:  You can’t be here, this is where we get wasted, you blah, blah, blah, blah!

Other Letter:  I long for the days when the police patrolled the park, but some of Long Island’s finest are definitely lacking — and we’ve especially seen this nationwide — in their ability to pick out the innocent from the felonious, and criminal.  If they ever want to pick up any quality of life violators, they know where to find them.  (Hint: if it is 70 degrees outside, and someone spends their entire park visit just sitting in their car, they are not there to enjoy the greenery.)

SCPD Cop:  [Toots his horn at me before a walk, then later inches up his cruiser into a shared exit with my car to test my ability to not be rattled by his attempts to rattle me]!

White Other Letter:  Ferguson, Long Island.

SCPD Cop:  [Next day after this was posted, a predawn wake up call, a police cruiser’s siren was heard outside, about 100 yards from my house.  That hasn’t happened before.]

Idiot:  [apropos of nothing, at the “mostly crap and applaud table read”] You’re a loser!

Other Letter:  [completely taken aback] Who needs you anyway, you crazy witch?!  You’re a dirty c*t, and you’re a suicide!

Golfer Idiot:  Are you okay?!

Other Letter:  Stranger, I’m only taking a walk.  Why would you suggest I wouldn’t be okay?  You’re not one of those s*theads, are you?  I mean it’s winter and you’re playing golf on a public course.  You’re not one of those worthless losers, are you?

Starlet:  This tweet is just ninety percent complimentary so I’m going to have to delete it. My therapist-swami said to remove anything in my universe that doesn’t entirely attest to my perfection.  If I’m wrong, who cares?  Everyone tells me I’m perfect so who am I to judge myself any differently?  Where was I?  Yes, is there anyone else I would care to delete right now?  Swami says: “All losers must be dumped, so I dump, dump, dump.”

Other Letter:  I spent 15 minutes of my evening composing that tweet and this twit rejects my warm, heartfelt sentiment by deleting it.  Just because I hint at the stark contrast between her humble origins and her latest work, I’m dumped.  Well, there’s no point in bothering next time.  She has offered no apologies and ultimately none are needed because she is now to me what I was to her, nothing.  I’ve seen her other tweeters use every obscenity in the book and not get deleted.  To the starlet, the real obscenity is the truth.

Arriviste Idiot:  That’s the park guard!

Other Letter:  You win!!!  I’m not going to come across a better put down than that for a month, maybe even two.  Hats off, to you and those mutants you call sledding athletes.

Idiot:  You’re not welcome here!

Other Letter:  I’ve lived here my entire life, where do you get off telling me if I am and am not welcome?!

Idiot:  I am legitimate and you are illegitimate!  Nah, nah, hah, nah, nah!  Nah, nah, hah, nah, nah!

Other Letter:  I am sane, and you are sick.

Idiot:  We called the cops!

Other Letter:  Then where are they?

Idiot:  The cops will be here, any day now, any day!  I can feel it in my bones!

Other Letter:  I wait... and I wait... and I wait.  You’re just plain nuts, a tad unbalanced, kind of a kook, because you sure act that way.

Idiot:  You’re mad!

Other Letter:  People who know me don’t say that about me.  You’re in a position to assess my mental health?  How would you possibly know this?  If you say this to strangers you must be nutty, a real whack-oh.

Idiot:  You’re a freak!  You’re not well!  You’re immature!

Other Letter:  The value of these in the hate crime canon, and why they are so often used as weapons, is that they are so nondescript, they can apply to any activity you do during your day.  Freakish meaning far from the mean?  Not well meaning sickly, near death, or poorly conceived attempts at reaching goals?  Immature meaning activities would be done entirely different by others my age — yet how?  The specifics are never specified, because in trying to understand what could have possibly been meant, the damage is done.

Idiot:  You’re slipping!

Other Letter:  Again you go with the “you’re not in charge of your affairs” gambit, although this time with a component involving the loss of mental faculties.  I’ll trump with: my brain is the same brain it’s been all week, all year, and all my adult life.

Idiot:  [Apropos of nothing, driving by on the street] Do you know who you’re messing with?!

Other Letter:  A punk in a huge, white sedan?  I mean God put punks on this Earth, that must be why you’re here.

Idiot:  You’re the one they want to hit!

Other Letter:  We always knew there was a problem with organized crime in this rather affluent neighborhood, everyone has a story about how incestuous and inbred ‘family’ ties are.  Then bring it on, Sugar, I already have the plates of all the bad actors here.  It’s only a matter of running them.

Idiot:  Be careful now!

Other Letter:  From the “you’re not in charge of your affairs” gambit, comes: you’re not taking care now, but with this head game you will be, but in a twisted, invasive kind of way.

Idiot:  [Apropos of nothing, driving by on the street] Freak!

Other Letter:  Is there any reason I should take your judgment to heart, when it differs entirely from anyone who has ever known me?  These snap judgments are a disease, Ma’am, take your huge white sedan and go to seek treatment immediately.

Idiot:  You’ll be killed, I know it!

Other Letter:  Is that a word of caution concerning the exercising of freedom of the press in modern America; is it a brush back pitch to get me to toe the Churchy line; is it a veiled death threat; or have you completely lost your mind?  Just because you want to hide away from the weaknesses in your belief system, does not mean the next generation will as well.  By the way, don’t you have anything better to do than to play head games with law-abiding citizens?  It’s bad ass America getting hard by going after their superiors.  This is the kind of people you are — the bad and miserable kind, male or female like pit bulls in your viciousness and temperament.  I’m getting tired of wishing your car rolls on the Parkway, so instead, I hope you have all the joy in life a black heart is capable of enjoying.  Get a life!

Idiot:  Prove it!

Other Letter:  That you’re a jerk?  Everyone knows you are.  What further proof would anyone need?

Idiot:  How could you?!

Other Letter:  How could I what?  How could I enjoy the freedoms that you will never know?

Idiot:  You’re a radical!

Other Letter:  If you call standing up for human rights being a radical, then I guess I am.  This makes you a whip-cracker at best, otherwise this makes you a cold, heartless murderer.

Idiot:  You’ve got so weird!

Other Letter:  You weren’t half bad a while back, now you’re just all bad.  Why did you give in, and sign on with the Nazis?  It’s sick enough living among the dying, you had to join them.

Chef Idiot:  How could we?!

Other Letter:  Well, you have the rest of your life to figure that out for yourself, now don’t you?

Chef Idiot:  We get off on tainting our food for certain customers, it really turns us on!  That, and selling cold take out, or to-go boxes you later find out have no food in them!

Other Letter:  I know where you keep your rat poison.

Idiot:  Are you cracked [or possess any other mental deficiency I need to be aware of]?!

Other Letter:  From what I understand, the Nazis used to say stuff like that a lot.  Besides your obvious people skills, are you a Nazi too?

Idiot:  How could you?!

Other Letter:  I’m beginning to wonder that myself.  Although given we were taught that we live in a free country, I’m only testing the waters.


Much, much more of Dealing with Idiots can be found here.

to Top of Page