OtherLetter.com is more like a daily newspaper, full of page after page of hard-hitting, investigative journalism, while the Compact.OtherLetter.com displayed here (or alternatively via c.OtherLetter.com), is the magazine, or the weekend edition, where you can just slow down, take it easy, and watch hawks eat their prey (and other über-cool stuff, just not involving the law of the jungle).
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 their shutter 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).
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.
(geograph.org.uk, Ashley Dace)
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.
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.
In the warmer weather, 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
(or at least pullover to let them pass,
but what’s the fun in that?)
Walking (not marching) instructions: On your next walk, your legs will take you where you’d like to be — let them (or watch them) do their thing, they know how. Have a look-see around. Thinking is above the waist, walking is for your legs below it — there’s a division of labor here. Hang loose, swaying arms keep the beat, this is taking it easy among friends, or it should be.
- When you leave a room, turn off the lights.
- Keep the tires of your car at recommended levels of inflation. If you don’t want to bother, your mechanic will do this assuming he has mechanical aptitude. For most motorists, this alone will increase your gas mileage 88.1% to 96.7% on most circuits.
- Riders of mass transit, and those car-pooling, help to save the environment by lowering aggregate hydrocarbon emissions.
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
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. EST +0:00 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
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.)
by Driving Carefully
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.
(The Wizard of Oz,
© 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Did you ever notice that Dorothy Gale,
and the Witches of the North and of the West, who were, of course, all female,
were the only ones that had anything on the ball in Oz?
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: Oh. Well, is that the witch?
Dorothy: Who, Toto? Toto’s my dog!
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.
A weather station that does it all, the Ambient Weather WS-1001-WiFi
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.
The Weather Underground widget below for Half Hollow Hills is powered by the Ambient Weather Weather Station shown in these photos.
— This might take a few minutes to load into your browser (click here, if it won’t).
Here is the monitor.
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 itself, oriented to North.
Outdoor sensor mast brace, with crumpled aluminum foil to reduce wind vibration
which might throw off the rain gauge.
Mast pinning screws, the one in the middle holds it towards the deck post,
the one on the left stops the mast from turning.
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 when the farmer’s daughter sidles up to you at the State Fair asking for all kinds of profound weather insight like: “When should Daddy plant his corn? Is it time to irrigate? Daddy is getting older, he wants you to run his million acre radish farm, are you our man?” You now can make the farmer’s daughter’s dreams come true. Other than that, if you decide to jettison your current career, you may have a future as a meteorologist.
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.
(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.)
Suburban Archeological find of the Millennium
These were all found in my backyard in a suburb of Long Island. The one in the middle is the best example of the Native American hunting skills as seen, well, at least on my block. This is not quite Navajo or Sioux country, but they made a livelihood by hunting deer just around my house.
The notch in the middle arrowhead (indicated with the blue line) shows incredible skill, and had to be used to well-position, and provide a notch for wrapping the arrow tip over and over with saplings between the arrow shaft and the arrowhead.
Up where the Expressway is now, in the early 1960s, there were deer in the suburbs, but no more. All that remains of an apparently vibrant native way of life, at least for this neighborhood it seems, is what is seen here.
If I had sharper photography skills, they would all look even more like arrowheads.
Just being attentive to your surroundings, you can find all variety of wildlife, even in your own backyard.Bird Watching find of the Century
I’ve spoken to several area zoologists and they all are certain these feathers are from what is likely a bird, and one prehistoric in origin. That particular pattern is created when a pigment is infused circularly when, well to be honest, they had no clue how to achieve that pattern via biological systems. Please contact me if you know exactly what type of bird this is.
If you have them out back, they’ll make their presence known, then feed them dinner scraps such as four of five slices of bread daily (depending on brood size). They are nocturnal and skittish so getting close up video is difficult. There are “services” that will deal with your raccoon and opossum ”problem.” But if you leave them alone, they’ll do the same for you. Raccoons and opossums are going the way of the now extinct, Long Island toad and frog. One day, outdoor suburbia will just be a Scotts Dura-Lawn carpet in Pantone-adjusted, phosphorescent green.
In Mississippi, they hunt for raccoon and opossum. You have to be either very poor or very sadistic before that sounds like something worth doing. It’s too bad that the South rejoined the Union, because we could have gotten rid of these ignorant, Bible-thumping, Roy Moore-loving hicks forever. Eventually the South would have moved away from an agrarian, slave economy anyway, and the Underground/Overground Railroad could have brought the African Americans North. You would have saved 600,000 lives, but you blew it, Lincoln.
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.)
Metaphorically, and with the Blue State tax increase,
this is Trump feasting on the average American.
A Hawk eating its Prey
This is not for the faint of heart. Many, if not most, will be overcome with the viciousness of this predator. You will likely cover your eyes to avoid the sheer horror of the act you are about to witness, but first you hurriedly leave the room for a commode, because you will be overcome with nausea...
Eh, not really, this is just the law of the jungle, or of the woods, specifically the woods in suburban Long Island. This is his feeding time (or the he could be a she, who knows?) It is interesting how paranoid the hawk is, he looks around everywhere for what? — a homeowner with a rake? It’s like he feels guilt over his meal, or he’s uncomfortable on the ground when he’s mostly above it. I would guess he caught a mourning dove, they are fat and slow, and make an easy prey.
The only problem with feeding the birds with birdseed, is that you may indirectly feed the hawks as well. This must cull the flock, and the whole scene has been going on before man even flourished, or even before apes existed, if you look at the evolutionary tree.
After the hawk caught this bird, I’ve had to fill the feeder half as often. Witnessing the attack must have been too rich for the blood of many of the birds feeding here. In other words, they might have been traumatized — as far as birds get traumatized.
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.
Bluejays are the most aggressive by us. Cardinals are smaller so they wait their turn. These two larger birds hold off feeding until I leave, unlike the chickadees. The chickadees are getting more trusting and will eat from the feeder before I even set it on its post.
By the way, if you don’t feed the birds outside in winter time with bird feed there is a good chance many will starve. There’s next to nothing for them to eat once the leaves fall.
How are the birds in your backyard doing right now? You should feed them, because you fully encroached on their habitat.
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.
Call your travel agent, and book a stay with our number two advertiser today.
Or where to spend some time away, maybe drop a few bills — and it’s not such a horrific place to raise your family either. LPV is a breeding ground for all manner of fascinating insects, most non-life-threatening. It is a bit of schlock, but we have learned to call it home.
Shortcut Keys Saving You enough Time for that Trip to the Bahamas With my distinguished lecture series, I am often called on to field reference questions on shortcut keys. Oh, never mind...
|Shortcut Key||Its Purpose|
|ctrl + link-click||Open new browser tab with the link|
|alt + enter||Open new browser tab with the URL in the address bar|
|ctrl + “t”||Open new blank browser tab|
|ctrl + “n”||Open new browser window|
|ctrl + “h”||Open history of pages visited|
|Space bar||Toggles pause and resume play in Youtubes|
|ctrl + “w”||Close browser tab|
|ctrl + shift + “t”||Reopen last closed browser tab|
|F5||Browser page refresh|
|F3 or ctrl + “f”||Browser find in page|
|ctrl + tab||Cycle through previous browser tabs|
|ctrl + “`”||Browser last tab toggle (accent)|
|ctrl + enter||Adds “.com” to the end of a web site address|
|ctrl + scroll-wheel||Browser magnify or de-magnify|
|Windows-icon + right-click||Control Panel, File Explorer & everything else|
|alt + tab||Cycle previous Windows|
|alt + F4||Close Window|
|Windows-key + “e”||File explorer|
|Windows-key + “r”||Command line|
|ctrl + “p”||Print page|
|ctrl + “c”||Copy selection|
|ctrl + “x”||Cut selection|
|ctrl + “v”||Paste selection|
|Double-click a word||The entire word is selected|
|Double-click a word, shift, then a 2nd word||The entire phrase is selected|
|Triple-click a word||The entire containing paragraph is selected|
The Food Court for Thought
Ever wonder about the meaning of life, and the answers to life’s eternal questions? Haven’t we all tried to solve these riddles with varying success? What follows are better answers than the Holy Bible has along with plenty of practical info not found anywhere else. Be prepared for the wisdom of King Solomon (that may not be what you get, but be prepared for it).
- Being critical of others, especially hypercritical, by setting the bar up high for them has a drawback. To avoid sounding like a two-faced hypocrite, you’re setting the bar just as high for yourself.
- If one is truly serious about effecting change in a land entirely resistant to it, one must consider the worst that can happen. Martin Luther King had seen the mountaintop, he knew he had effected seismic change, and the possibility existed of him dying both tragically and prematurely yet with a measure of peace, knowing his life and struggle had historic significance for not just his race, but for all of humanity. Therefore, one can understand beforehand that they may become a martyr, or that they may take a bullet for their cause. If they take a bullet, it will likely send them into shock, so being unconscious, would the pain be felt? The reason I raise this, for everyone’s benefit really, is that tax season is upon us, and if we do not watch our backs, there may be severe consequences, even like the ones described here, if holed down in a tear-gas grenade standoff against the IRS for tax evasion. Just worth considering.
- Work can be done for love or for money. The former produces superior quality, the latter is only best at meeting deadlines.
- Love has infinite value, yet it costs nothing to give.
- Randomly House will be publishing a new line of college-level books designed to weed out less promising students. The series is entitled: “Don’t Bother Applying Yourself, Johnny, You’re Through.” Professors just need to order these for the University bookstore, and you’ll never again have to deal with deficient students lacking preparation coursework established for elites.
- How would you rate your latest Post Office experience? — because your U.S. Government would like to know. On a scale of 1 to 100, was it: Restorative? Rejuvenating? Liberating? Life-changing? Would you recommend going postal to a friend?
- At some point, doesn’t love leave the realm of the rational and logical? The reasons why you love your love interest are forgotten, you’re just in love. If you’re fortunate enough, you will find this romantic bliss. Then what you ultimately want from a relationship is to give one another joy, and make each other happy.
- If you are experiencing a severe toothache, then have you tried massaging the painful area with your fingertip? Until you contact a dentist, this beats overdosing on painkillers, or driving your car off the edge of a cliff. While you’re visiting the Toothache Expo don’t forget to also stop at the Tylenol, and maybe the Anbesol, booths. (Remember, I am a disinterested observer without any qualifications to offer medical advice. That said, try this if this sounds like it might benefit you.)
- Honor the grieving and suffering. Repudiate the insufferable, heartless, and hurtful. We know who I mean.
- If you consider that most people attempt to act honorably, you can clear away negative thinking. True, there are bad apples, but they have to face the consequences of their hurtful behavior.
- Without grand hopes, life gets boring, depressing even. This explains why gambling is such an attraction, and why it can be so addictive.
- You can set goals for yourself by the day, the week, the month, or for any duration. Assuming you don’t drive yourself nuts if you cannot meet your own self-imposed deadlines, having an expected completion timeframe can help to organize and prioritize what needs to be done... An Other Maxim: Everything takes longer than you originally planned that it would. There will always be related tasks needing your attention, besides just the task at hand. You can plan accordingly on the unexpected happening, and on getting sidetracked, by giving yourself more time to do what you originally set out to do.
- Why is it that so many dwell on their failures much more often than they do on their successes? Instead of viewing failures on a pass/fail basis, why not view them on a letter-grading scale? In other words, give a B- overall for a miscue, not a failing F like you would otherwise.
- Here’s a much safer, if less dramatic, chemical-free, LSD trip, one not indelibly mind-altering. Where you normally say I could never, say you can. And vice versa, where you normally say I can do whatever I want without considering consequences, beg off and say, “another time — maybe.” Whatever love you denied, now you will supply. You envision yourself in ten years, you look repugnant. It dawns on you that maintaining health is paramount, you will no longer eat or drink like a hog. You have seen the light. It is time to break on through to the other side.
- Have you ever noticed that you’ve become a slave to property, especially new property? I have new sneakers that I am really, really hoping stay looking new. Before they’re broken in, I will live in fear, praying chance won’t dirty them. Or say you have something else brand new, like an iPhone worth a full grand, and you take it outside. You watch over it like a hawk. Not one second goes by where you are not entirely aware of the exact location of your cherished trinket. You even know it has Find my iPhone, but you’re absolutely certain this would fail when called upon in an emergency. You have even rehearsed which choice expletives to yell at thieves while you engage in a tug-of-war with them over your iPhone. You even know which everyman or every woman should play you in the big screen version of this battle royale: Matt Damon or Sarah Jessica Parker.
- The best coaching, the legends of the game, can beat you with theirs, and just as easily beat you with yours. In other words, they win, no matter what they place on the field.
- I am of the school that believes if I am to truly appreciate the good times, then I must have also experienced the bad ones as well.
- Don’t you hate it when an hateful troll who you thought had killed themselves (and in the process did everyone a tremendous favor), is in fact alive — or at least alive in the broadest, most widely encompassing sense of the term.
- If the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passes, doesn’t this mean there will only be Unisex bathrooms? And that the NFL teams will all have to be half women on offense and defense? Or that women will be given raises based entirely on their gender? Wouldn’t this mean that clothing will have to be gender-neutral, and that men’s clothing departments must carry dresses with attractive silhouettes just as they do on the women’s side?
- The allure of social media is that you think you’re effecting policy change by presenting valid, political talking points. In reality, you’re only giving yourself headaches, and getting them from unpoliced, pigheaded losers. Your intellectual capital and original thought becomes grist for the Fecesbook mill of Mark Zuckerberg.
- Anyone reading this web site is far ahead of life’s curve. Seen globally, you are the elite. You have electricity, Internet access, and relatively expensive computer hardware; so you also have shelter, and food. In many places of the World, these basic commodities are by no means a given, and might never be available lifelong for the indigent.
- One of the greatest challenges of educators is presenting material that their students can use in the future, and do it in a way that they can understand the lessons given, and indelibly remember them.
- Americans are taught to respect power — right along with money — before they respect people. This is especially true of the Republicans and hardly true of the Democrats.
- Thoughts of anger and revenge have a significant overhead, they must be maintained and nourished in spite of the rest of you wanting peace. You can play out fantasies of getting justice in your head all you’d like, but you cannot revisit the past, and you typically cannot change what sadly went wrong.
- The Serenity Prayer used in 12-Step Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous: God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Heard on the Friday Metro North, the 4:43, out of Grand Central heading for the Shallows Oceanfront station in Fairfield:
We made it, Tina, we effing made it! MacErnerney approved the bonus, it went through! I just needed to knock out the competition, and man did I ever! A Mercedes Benz 39309 Class, you heard me, a 39903 Class. We won’t be keeping up with the Joneses, the Joneses will be keeping up with us. No, we are the Joneses from now on. I feel human, Tina, I have never ever felt human before, but no, man, do I ever, ever feel like I am part of the human race... I don’t care if the Greenbergs said it was Hitler’s car. Who gives an eff about the Greenbergs anyway, we own an effing Mercedes, an effing Mercedes. A 99309 Class Benz! THANK YOU, JESUS, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
- The joy to being a parent is the times when your kids are doing the right thing without you having to tell them to do it.
- Geoffrey and Tyrone both went to Ossining the same month. Geoffrey murdered his wife for poor meal prep skills, while Tyrone rots in jail for selling a roach, a marijuana cigarette butt, to an undercover narc posing as an accountant. Geoffrey is getting out of prison this week, but Tyrone might never get out. Why? Well, just look at the tidiness of their cells. Geoffrey’s is tastefully furnished without cheap posters, he has no unbecoming penitentiary tattoos, and his bed always looks made even when he’s asleep in it. As for Tyrone, his prison cell is an absolute pigsty and his tattoos make him look like a leper so he is obviously not ready to reenter society. Other Letter readers in lock down take note: your path to freedom is one paved with cleanliness, good hygiene, and festive, if ersatz, prison wallpaper.
- There are not enough saints, and as you get further up the American hierarchy their ranks thin much further.
- You can work for a paycheck, or you can work at pursuing your interests. If you don’t become a workaholic, the latter is far more satisfying.
- Productive people are always asking themselves: “What do I need to do next?”
- You are better off not caring about people who haven’t shown that they really care about you. Of course you can be friendly to anyone you please, but before you emotionally invest in anyone, take care that they are warm-blooded, and will reciprocate any kindness you show them. Be further forewarned, even the icy can fake being a good person, although it’s guaranteed that their act will wear off eventually.
- When you wish you remembered something important, consider that there was a good reason you thought of it in the first place, it resolved an issue. The reason for the thought (or the issue itself) should come up again, and so the associated thought very often will as well.
- There is definitely an advantage to being an unknown in life: The blinding glare of the limelight is avoided. No one knows your business, and no one ever cares to know. You are not a target, or a lightning rod, for the hurtful, those hell bent on taking you down. You get to go about your life’s affairs with no unwelcome intrusion. All this makes you wonder why anyone would want to be a seeker of fame, assuming fame is typically sought instead of just stumbled upon inadvertently.
- More true in Hollywood than anyplace else, Tinseltown values women based on the magnitude of their sexual magnetism. Fortunes can be won and lost just on the basis of starlets’ looks, and how they present themselves on camera.
- Comics have one thing to thank courtesy of the Trump Administration, and that’s material — bizarrely plentiful, comedy material.
- A workable mantra of positive thinking is: “I’m going to have a nice day.” It does tend to dispel, or ward off, the negativity or uncertainty we might have as we get our day under way.
- Women love to be told that they look beautiful. What they cannot stand is being told that this is all they do. Saying that they are beautiful is another story, that’s entirely welcome.
- To avoid too many S’s, one “S” is permitted in every noun-verb pairing of a sentence, either with the noun getting the “S”, or the verb getting the “S”. This guideline almost always works in my experience. For example: The ’55 Bel Air cruises down the road; the ’55 Bel Airs cruise down the road. I just bumped up half of America’s SAT Verbal scores by 50 points. This works best with verbs in the third person (Dick, Jane, and the Robinsons), present tense (action happening now). The ’55 Chevy Bel Air cruised down the road — a past tense exception where there is no “S” in the sentence. The ’55 Chevy Bel Air will one day cruise down the road — a future tense exception. Will is an auxiliary, helper verb, one used in conjunction with other verbs. Auxiliary verbs include: should, can, do, is, have, and may. He swims, and they swim — you get the idea. There is much, much more to this discussion, and your local English grammar whiz (or professor) should be able to fill in the rest of the blanks regarding verb conjugation rules.
- If you want to reduce your quality of life to next to nothing, become a regular tobacco smoker — and almost all tobacco smokers are hooked, and smoke regularly. For one thing, you and your clothes will smell like stale tobacco smoke; and for another, you will need to smoke during your workday, outside, in the rain, with your boss wondering where the Hell you went.
- In the final calculus of eternity, today means nothing, and your life means almost as little. Try to get over yourself, have a little fun before you die, and make your part of the World somehow better than when you first got here in swaddling clothes.
- Who is cooler: Those who need a drug, a chemical crutch, to get by, or even survive (like suds, weed, or opioids); or those who don’t need anything at all?
- This just in: Flipping over a book works as a bookmark or use a post-it to mark where in the page you paused reading. This is a tip for the readers among us, so this won’t concern Donald Trump.
- Not only do successful super models need to be pretty, they need to be pretty in a new and different way. Another cookie-cutter, vanilla cutie wouldn’t make it. The glamour and men’s magazines are all looking for chocolate rocky-road, mocha fudge.
- If a policing organization is not trusted, will anyone report crime to them?
- Isn’t a Jihad, or Holy War, a contradiction in terms? ‘Holy’ resolves to the rewards of peace and love, while ‘war’ brings the bloody dividends from hatred and murder. They are diametrically opposed.
- Is fear the best motivator? Is fear the motivator of last resort — or is it the only motivator that actually works? Does fear of unemployment, of starvation, of being homeless, or of being ostracized, motivate more effectively than working to succeed, and achieve some noble, or satisfying, objective?
- Outside of weekly pillbox reminders, if you’d like to keep track of whether you took a supplement or medication, flip the bottle over after its taken. Then right it at day’s end. If you take it more than once a day, lay it on its side, facing forward, for the second dosage; orient at 6 o’clock on its side for a third dosage, and so on. For this to work, you just need to remember to right the bottle at day’s end.
- Meteorology is like economics in that both try to predict storms, be they weather depressions or economic ones. Both use estimation of trends, and time-based prediction statistics (known as regression analysis), instead of resolving hard facts to a model, or equation, like the other sciences most often do.
- Trigger warning, the following sentence involves dog crap as a food source: If dog crap was properly and extensively marketed by Madison Avenue it would be in every refrigerator in America.
- I am sure we’ve all heard this one: “Women give sex for love, and men give love for sex.” Then there’s: “Men are best at choosing one solution from two options, and women are best at choosing one solution among many options.” I would have to say, at least regarding more mature adults, the latter maxim holds more truth than the former.
- Friends who ask you for money are not your friends, they are only money-grubbing leeches who cannot get their acts together, and who need to seek help from the Social Services Division of the town in which they reside. A corollary to this: Any money you “loan” to a “friend” should never expect to be repaid, they are already a very poor credit risk.
- You can double the size of your wardrobe simply by buying one pair of trousers in the opposite shade as the predominant shade you wear now in tops. In other words, buy a black pair of pants, if you usually wear lighter shaded shirts. This opens up entire worlds of possibility with the tops you normally cannot wear because you look too pale or too charcoal. I probably just saved a few lives of the drab set, and every last one of my readers pocketed several thousand dollars each. With the savings, why not go out and buy yourself a Picasso, a Van Gogh, or a Lamborghini?
- When evaluating work that’s been done, many only focus on what went wrong, if anything; but what may be more valuable a lesson is considering what went right.
- There is always this internal debate when someone enjoys making you miserable: Do you do all you can to make them miserable in return? Jesus the Christ, of course, would say, “Turn the other cheek,” and have you enjoy your own misery. Maybe a middle ground is in order where you appropriately voice your complete and utter dissatisfaction, yet not hire a hit man.
- If someone nails you when you have done nothing offensive, it is only because they are insecure and weak. If you have made valid criticisms of someone, and they try to take you down, that is only because it was offensive to those guilty on your every charge. Reporters are realizing that this is true about the lashing out by Donald Trump. Trump gets called to the mat on hastily formulated legislation.
- It’s not too difficult to find examples where human life was just a commodity like salt and water. I mean look no further than the concentration camps in Hitler’s Germany where human hair was used for mattresses, fat tissue from people was boiled down to make soap, and human skin made lampshades.
- If you and your spouse spend more time in your S & M dungeon, than you do holding hands, then you will not have a happy marriage — or maybe I have this all wrong, and it’s the other way around. Then S & M dungeons lead to happier, healthier coupling...
- Improving your standard of living might include organizing, and un-cluttering your living space. Then arranging everything so what you need is conveniently, and even harmoniously, placed (this is known to the Chinese as feng shui, and is closely related to Taoism).
- If there’s a truth about those guilty of road kill, it’s that there are likely few repeat offenders. Run over some defenseless creature with the front tires of your car, and you realize it’s time to drive responsibly.
- Forewarned is forearmed. The fearless understand that experience informs them of what to expect. They are also well-versed in the parameters or limits of possible action, in the relevant risks, and know to adjust for the potential severity of these obstacles.
- A dispute is much easier to handle if it can be seen as an innocent mistake made by them, by you, or by both parties; instead of an attempt by the other person to screw you.
- Outside of the police and the military, only paranoid cowards need guns — especially those who need to reassure themselves of their gender identity.
- Words to live by: Try not to be an a*hole; get something done; and live a little before you die.
- If we do not dream dreams, how will the dreams we have never dreamed ever come true.
To explain their obesity, heavy people can say that they are going through a nasty divorce, but it might be a nasty divorce because they overeat.
There are plenty of vices out there, but the one that you cannot hide is gluttony, it is on you wherever you go. Everyone knows when someone overweight has been over-eating, but not so with the drinking of alcoholics, the drugging of stoners, or even, the often poverty-inducing wagering of gamblers. No one knows when any of the latter have been slowly committing suicide, but over-eating is as plain as day.
While the visibility of having a crutch is more of an issue with the obese, any addiction can be rationalized away to others — and even privately to themselves — as being a product of a bad marriage, bad family, bad job...
For the hope of a happy life, what the fallen will need the guts to admit, is that the bad marriage, bad family, and the bad job are because of their addictions; the addictions are not caused by the bad marriage, bad family, and the bad job... Upon further reflection, aren’t the addictions nothing but failed coping mechanisms.
- Ever know a guy who is so annoyingly aggressive, that his next move might be trying to sell you a used car, or if you are a woman, even be sexually inappropriate? Pretty women must know the type extremely well. Women are oddly cursed with their own attractiveness. Every day of their lives, they could encounter disciples of the brute force school of interpersonal relationships .
How does Other Letter take care of business as necessary, and not get killed, or have an ulcer? There are just a few simple rules of defense. If I see guns or knives, I dial 911 to contact the police the second that I can; or they would also be called if any malefactors look ready to attack, or are menacing.
Police earn their very nicely-sized paychecks responding to calls of people who see themselves as being in danger. This is what they are trained to do.
You can’t go around looking to start fights, but on the other hand, you must offer resistance, or the bad guys will take advantage. Like pit bulls, the bad guys can smell fear, and will attack if for no other reason.
- Enjoy what you may of the good in life, because what makes us happiest comes and goes, and it never seems to be here forever.
- When one is young, the main objective is to find a way of fitting in. Those that cannot figure this out without compromising any principles that they may have, can go as far as taking their own life. As we age, we know enough to find our own way. We have a firmer idea on how to become individuals, and not rely on the over-appreciated pack mentality, and group acceptance, to decide our way.
- When you’re insulted, doesn’t this say much more about what type of person the insulter is, than the type of person you are? Typically meanness derives from their jealousy of you, or otherwise it may be because they’re just plain hurtful. When a cretin wants to take you down, they are really looking at themselves in a mirror, and describing what they don’t like of themselves as being in you. The only thing the intentionally difficult hate more than you, is themselves.
- All of life’s torment and strife is reduced to string and wind instruments in classical music. It’s a parable of life (in upbeat major keys and downbeat, sad, minor ones) without the hard to deal with, and tough to swallow, aspects. All of life’s clutter is removed.
- If someone did not believe in Heaven and Hell, how would they ever get closure on someone who murdered or committed genocide such as Adolf Hitler?
- Have you ever had any type of relationship with someone where, if you could forget or forgive just one or a few verbal exchanges, you would get along or even like this person, but as it stands, you despise them?
The Scholastic Assessment Tests for Reasoning — they keep changing their name to hide measurement inadequacies — do not gauge genius or creativity, they measure the level of obedience to overarching authority, and prior preparation, in the digestion of whatever academic tripe the students were served up as Pabulum. Whoever takes the most of these elitist preparation courses, often starting years in advance of the actual test, has the best shot for getting into the all-important, Ivy League schools, with their solid-gold credentials.
Besides doing a good job of determining test preparedness, the SATs also detect if a student’s environment is academically enriched, which can just as easily be found by getting the student’s zip code, or minority assignment.
- I was there when Jerry opened with Scarlet Begonias at Winterland two frets lower, I was there... And then The Airplane opened for the Dead, and they took me backstage to meet Grace Slick. She gave me her guitar, but it was kinda smashed up from the show, so I had to chuck it...
- Some grow old, some won’t have the need...
- There exists a benchmark of initial competence for everyone, at say, eighteen years old (or younger for those not yet eighteen). This is the baseline, which when compared to today, shows how far we have all progressed. Thoughts, achievements, occupations, and preoccupations from back then were so limited compared to what almost everyone (except those whose growth has been retarded) has accomplished today.
- Cemeteries are often dug on land where houses cannot be built. The terrain for them is too steep, too far from town, or otherwise unsuitable for the living. These remote graveyard plots help to ensure that even if the grave marker disappears nothing will ever be built over the buried, and in any way disturb the dead, nor will the living need to be painfully reminded of them everyday.
- There are those who say that libraries are obsolete. This cannot be true. Libraries are literary collectives. Unless people want to waste their cash paying top dollar for what they would like to read, sharing the cost in a central system saves a great deal financially for the community, and especially, to the individual. As long as people continue to read in the long form, and authors require payment for their work, the best way to meet the needs of the writer and the reader is on the economical collective basis of the library.
- Do record temperature lows correspond to economic recessions or depressions (and conversely for record highs during economic boons)? The reasoning being that less greenhouse gas is being emitted when no one can afford to drive their car. When that is true, it should lower temperature.
Additionally, when people spend more time inside instead of driving places, like when they are reading Other Letter, that again should lower average world temperature. As soon as our readership hits the hundred million mark, we here at OL will be single handedly responsible for ending global warming and putting a stop to climate change.
- The only thing that a poor man owns is his word, so he makes certain that it is true.
- Class, say you need to conjugate verb endings. Here’s a clue: singular subjects get verbs conjugated with “s” at the end; plural subjects it is vice versa, they get conjugated without the “s”. For example, Dick goes, Dick and Jane go. The reason for this is so plural nouns ending in “s,” are not doubled up with verbs ending in “s,” and singular nouns are afforded an ending “s” in their verb conjugations.
- When women are treated well, and with respect, it is reflected positively in their appearance. They look more attractive.
- What does it mean when a super-model says she works very hard? Very hard at what, starving or dressing herself?... Please excuse my obvious ignorance, but I would really be interested in knowing how modeling, even elite modeling, qualifies as actual work.
- If 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.
- It’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.
- In the Eleventh 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.
- If 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.
- Is 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?
- Coin 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.
- 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.
- If someone makes a real overture to someone they are attracted towards, and the other person declines, is it okay for them to just coldly blow off the person going out of their way? Or is something a little more gracious called for from the one getting all the attention such as, “Thanks, but no thanks”? On online dating, many have no clue how to be nice or courteous. It’s really disgusting.
- If you designed a Heaven on Earth, what would be a major difference between it and the life you live today? McDonalds at every street corner is not a valid, acceptable response.
- You are much more likely to find God around you in Creation, than above you in the ether.
- Respect who you can, bow to none.
- You’re only responsible for the effort, not the result.
- If 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. Furthermore, 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. My point being the huge disparity between weed and alcohol legality.
- “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?”
- In 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 in-your-face combat, and the lowering of the dignity of the opponent, than whatever interest the sport itself may hold in the players athletic ability?
- Economic 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.
- One problem with standardized tests is that they cannot measure, and thus cannot reward, creativity. There are no open answers on them requiring creative, grade-able answers. They measure how carefully you can stay within the supplied lines, not how you know to work outside them. Great people did not become great by simply regurgitating facts.
- To 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.
- Regarding 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?
- Where 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 entire lack of missing links that would enable tremendous species advancement?
- A 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.
- Those 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 less likely run away when neutered or spayed, and this simple operation reduces chronic overpopulation. Humane societies, or no-kill animal shelters, are the appropriate places to drop off pets when their care is impossible, and their original adoption was entirely a careless mistake.
- Following 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 and complete their tour of duty obligations. Just send them off saying, “Be more careful next time, artificial limbs are expensive.”
- Republicans mean well, it's just that they only mean well for themselves.
- For 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 aka fish, 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.)
- If 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. Alpha Centauri, our nearest star, is 40 years away at our maximum current rocket speed (one-fifth the speed of light), that’s 80 years round trip. So unless we’re loading infants on the space shuttle to get there, we're not getting to that lifeless (it seems) star.
- Creation help me through this day, as many not unlike me have gotten through days not unlike this.
- You know you’re mechanically inclined if you have two entire, complete sets of Allen wrenches.
- When 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 on Earth are the only ones in the cosmos are essentially nil.
- No 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.
- If 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.
- Americans 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.
- I 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 not engaging. 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.
- Confirming 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.
- A major reason that dreams are dreamt is to counter the nightmares lurking in the shadows.
- The 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.
- Ultimately, democracy is glacial, nothing any one individual says matters very much unless those words are beamed down from alien spacecraft — then people really start to pay attention.
- If 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 — or maybe this paragraph changed your life forever).
- Jesus Christ and the Vatican continue to make goodness so onerous and demanding, many just choose the lower overhead of evil instead.
- An 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.
- No 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.
- Despite 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 today 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?
- In 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.
- Re 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 particular measure of security and peace of mind, can I just push them out of the door of a flying airplane? If this might be arranged, I would forgive...
- If 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 where it came. Answers like, “Jesus gave me forgiveness,” would not be accepted, sorry Pope Francis. I would hope for a much more secular and worldly response.
- It 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.
- When your dreams won’t come true, it’s time to trade them in for new ones.
- There 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. Certain term papers may or may not fall in that category.
- You know you are getting older when you get a sense of accomplishment from sleeping through the night without having to use the bathroom.
- One’s ability to lose weight is often founded upon 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 eaten every night? Are takeout meals so greasy they can be used to grease your car’s axles?
- Where 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.
- When you feel as though your life is all uphill, you’re actually on your way to Heaven, you are learning how to live better. 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.
- Having to avoid being late for an event, speeding in a car to stay on schedule, and dealing with insane deadline pressures, 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 or meetings impossible — people would essentially show up whenever the mood strikes them, just like they do when they’re on vacation.
- A Taylor Swift insight: “You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet.”
- To paraphrase Taylor Swift, if you don’t want bad things said about you, then don’t do bad things.
- Sticking 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.
- Production 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.
- If 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.
- A 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?
- If you don’t develop a sense of humor or humility about yourself, someone else will do it for you.
- “No, you can’t,” is not a very popular phrase around here. Wasn’t it Socrates who said, “Lead, follow, or get the eff out of the way” — or was it Plato?
- If 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.
- Instead 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.)
- Scissors 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.
- God won’t give you more than you can handle, but Satan sure will.
- Who puts a greater value on the here and now, those who believe in an afterlife or those who don’t?
- Based 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.
- Custodians prevent much more disease than doctors do, yet very few custodians drive Mercedes.
- Have 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.
- Hallucinogens are for those among us who lack any real imagination.
- Standardized tests test how well-prepared a student is to take standardized tests.
- I never thought I was exceptionally bright, it’s just that were so many that seemed so goddamn stupid.
- I’m going to start Tweeting Tweets so esoteric, I won’t even know what they mean. Texas 3/10/95.
- Don’t you hate it when a so-called “product improvement” only makes the merchandise worse?
- Giving love fills our hearts with it; denying others love, denies that same feeling to ourselves.
- Why try to sell anything that’s not worthy of selling itself?
- They say, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Well, there are no Quakers in there either.
- 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.”
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.
Princess Kate bequeaths Crown Jewels to Other Letter 12/09/17. Other Letter readership statistics have been slipping, so in partnership with her Royal Highness, Princess Kate, the Crown Jewels of Great Britain will be given away to the billionth reader of Other Letter. You heard right, the Crown Jewels can be yours. Enter early and often, because the billionth reader will walk away with all of these fine specimens of the metallurgic arts.
You’re saying: “Why on God’s great Earth would Princess Kate want to give away England’s greatest prize, and somehow that’s not herself.” The reason is simple, at a poker game several years ago, with me and other various and sundry Royals present, she wagered the Crown Jewels. I called her bluff, she only had a pair of deuces, so she lost all her Jewels to me.
You’re asking: “How did I get invited to such a high stakes poker tourney?” Well, I’ll just say this, when you’re an internationally known blogger, anything can happen, and more often than not, it does.
Understandably, Princess Kate was hesitant to part with them, but they just collect dust in Liverpool’s Royal Museum besides Ringo’s first drum kit, and Paul’s beloved accordion, so she felt it was at last time to settle her bets with me, and give them a new home on the other side of the pond. Plus, she is an immense fan of my blog, and she felt that anything she could do to boost my readership stats would be doing the World tremendous good, which is her sole mission in life as a Crown Regent. 11/23/17.
Attribution: Ricky Wilson
Meet Princess Kate: Other Letter benefactor, bequeather of Crown Jewels for an OL contest prize, and scandalous card shark. Shown here waving goodbye to her Jewels, and without her trademark cigar.
Where are you Other Letter billionth reader? You like? Keep coming back and the Crown Jewels of Great Britain might be yours!
To our contest winner: Please take care when vacuuming jewels so they aren’t dislodged from tiaras, and sucked up into your vacuum cleaner. While you will own them, they still have historical value.
Princess Kate and Taylor Swift cannot deal with the Great Unwashed 10/18/16. What does Princess Kate do with all those flowers she gets at her hospital visits, and the car and horse shows she’s always attending? Well, it depends how public the appearance is, and if the cameras are trained on her. She hates picking up germs from the common folk, so if no one is looking she hands the flowers right back to whichever now chagrined spectator gave them to her, and trots off to her waiting, chauffeured Rolls (it would not be lady-like for the Princess to sprint away, in spite of her desire to do just that).
The protocol changes when she has a crowd of onlookers. Then she’ll hand them to her assistant. When Katie returns to Kensington Palace they burn them in a huge bonfire. This is very similar to funeral pyres which burned off the diseased remnants of the dead. And that’s just how Kate views her flowers, as what is likely contaminating her person from those god-forsaken commoners.
You’re thinking why then is she called the People’s Princess? It’s all smokescreen and well-crafted PR BS to hide the truth, and that’s that she’s anything but good and kind. Ever notice when she’s doing her hospital stints she’s always checking her watch, tapping her foot, and looking nervously at the exit? She’s ready to explode from both her profound germophobia and her absolute loathing of the working classes.
Taylor Swift is the same way, although Taylor doesn’t get as many flowers. Her assistants have to drag her into the hospital room by her arm, and plop her into her seat for the sitting over the ill. Taylor has even practiced vocal scales, often off-key just to unnerve, in front of visibly upset, terminally-ill, cancer patients. As she leaves, one often hears the patients call out: “don’t come back.” To which Taylor replies: “That’s going to be impossible now, isn’t it? You’ll be six feet under.”
Taylor has become such a smooth customer, she gets photo ops grinning ear to ear, while her kids are getting injected with foot-long needles. Mostly though, she just says a few Hail Marys (for herself), and hightails it out of there.
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. In America, given their continuous responsibilities, British Royalty 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.
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 inexplicable 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 first drug of choice to millions. Government would not have to devote armies of officers and entire law enforcement budgets trying to shut down its distribution via incarceration. Instead of a weed economy existing to make gangsters and mobsters wealthy, it can instead be a cash cow to the government through cannabis taxation. Today, in many states, recreational users who get brought in on charges live with a criminal record that effects their choice of career, and consequently, their level of income.
Even in Washington and Colorado, where you can buy it legally, you cannot legally sell it in bulk as an individual. What a smoker can do to increase their supply in small measure, is to grow their own (and you can grow up to six plants of your own in Colorado). To transfer ownership of 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 this license to run a retail store.
That said, alcohol is physically addicting, if you drink enough of it, your brain will regularly need it. Marijuana can be psychologically addicting, many people have formed apparently unbreakable habits requiring its continued ingestion. There are public health issues that must be addressed when regulating both substances. A chemically-addled society is a weak and lazy one.
There may be a place for a little weekend fun out of harm’s way: to counteract a life of monotony during the week; or to accept a life where one’s prospects are limited occupationally or as half of a couple. The real danger lies with daily doses of anything designed to make you think and feel differently from the norm. This has got to be extremely unhealthy and harmful.
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. If the wardrobe was not production-supplied, it is time she invested in her career by buying nice clothes. Or if she wanted to discredit her involvement in a sub-par production she succeeded beyond her expectations.
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!...
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. We begin with the most obvious weak points in the world order today: Paparazzi photo intrusions, and auto mechanic ripoffs...
... 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 in the main Other Letter web sphere 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, or without the demand of the mean green.
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 obtained, or will goods ever be given freely, especially to those most marginalized, such as the poor? Isn’t goods production much more constrained by the scarcity of green financial script, or paper currency, than the availability of renewable resources for manufacture?
Will economic equality always remain only a fantasy of Marxists; those utopians reined in with the conventional importance of currency, and closed markets? Will greed-based, competitive goods distribution ever be supplanted by a trust-denominated, cooperative one, incorporating unified, Worldwide prosperity?
You may suggest that 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...
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 they 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.
The historic, world-changer that the discovery of E=MC2 was to Physics, the assembling of the ancient, Biblical, puzzle pieces of the Crucifixion Eclipse will one day be to humanity, not just Christians. 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 overlapping universes. I would suggest we may live in a bi-verse. There is the universe that we all know of today; and another one that 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 all we do not realize today as being mundane, and it far exceeds any current human-cerebrum-limited comprehension of physical processes.
Your pass to a newly edited, list of scripts, now better than ever. Although looking at the older ones I removed, that may not be saying all that much.
The Other Letter Financial Statement
Other Letter has a financial problem, and this is because it doesn’t generate enough revenue, or any revenue at all for that matter. Everything is done on a fire sale basis, the articles are all given away with the illusion of being promotion for the author. To that end, OL will now be charging readers by the minute. The first minute will be $20, and every successive minute gets a discount of $10 per minute.
That is really rather reasonable, it is much like a person-to-person call to someone in Shanghai, China, or Melbourne, Australia. Plus, if you actually were calling Shanghai, your time would be wasted, you wouldn’t understand a word they said there. With OL, you come out way ahead of those phone calls to both China and Australia.
Because, again, Chinese makes no sense to you, and two, Aussies just chase kangaroos for sport all day, they have nothing interesting to discuss, about anything, unlike this fine web site. If you disagree, have you ever lived in Oz? Hmm? I thought so. Yes, I worked in the Outback, I took care of Nicole Kidman’s pride of kangaroos there, on and off, for many, many years. Nikky and I have spent entire summers chasing her ’roos for tagging purposes.
Why do we tag ’roos? We tag because the University of the Outback has taken a special interest in her farm’s exceptional, purebred, nationally-known, kangaroo clan. Nicole in conjunction with the U. of O. have spent millions of Aussie pounds and years of her mostly valuable time on the ’Roo Initiative to ensure that her special strain of Brown ’n’ White ’Roo stays prolific.
I help, but mostly I just stand back as Nikky employs her magic on her beloved kangaroos. She’s a wonder. Nicole has such a way with ’roos, from the cub to the full-grown adult, because she has been working with them all her life. Everyone says she’s the expert out on the range, from the farmhands plowing her Vegemite fields to the milk maidens milking Nikky’s prize dairy cows.
Yet I digress. Without net neutrality, I won’t be getting the money, your Internet Service Provider will, but that’s another story. Just thank the Trump Administration, and their Federal Communications Commission, for being entirely out of touch with the people. 1/01/18.
In Heaven and In Hell
A bit of hopefully tolerable ethnocentrism I found on the Internet several years ago. Memorize this before you buy your Euro-Rail pass, so you’ll know where to stay given your sentiments.
The French are the chefs.
The Swiss are the bankers.
The Germans are the engineers.
The Italians are the artists.
And the British are the police.
The British are the chefs.
The Italians are the bankers.
The French are the engineers.
The Swiss are the artists.
And the German are the police.
Gwynnie fills in for Cindy at Goop Sex Toy Customer Service
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, hello, Gwyneth Paltrow here...
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, the real Gwyneth Paltrow. How may I help you today?
Gwyneth Paltrow: No, the dildo will fit properly, just use your lube. The dildo comes with a 112-page instruction booklet.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, the instruction booklet has a troubleshooting section.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, we do offer a lube kit in the Party Premium Pak, but I’m sorry, it does not come with the dildo.
Gwyneth Paltrow: We do have videos for insertion on our web site... the Goop web site, yes.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Oh, definitely, there is a money back guarantee, but please check the video first. That should answer all your questions.
Gwyneth Paltrow: We will exchange your dildo for one of similar value, or we will give you a courteous refund for your dildo. But rest assured, we do stand behind all our dildos.
Gwyneth Paltrow: These sell incredibly fast, but we have a warehouse with tens of thousands in stock, and inventory workers who can find your exact model within minutes, if that.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, we’re all highly trained professionals here.
Gwyneth Paltrow: The Goop department you reached is the Sex Toy Division, or more informally, we just call it Goop Sex Toys. Just ask for me, Gwyneth. I’ve been working evenings the last several weeks.
Gwyneth Paltrow: You’re much more than welcome, have a nice day...
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, hello, Gwyneth Paltrow here...
Gwynnie handles Oscars glitch...
[The 2017 Academy Awards with Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey, Jr., and Sylvester Stallone presenting Best Actress.]
Gwyneth Paltrow: ...So that’s how the Elia Kazan’s Actors Studio set me on course for the Academy’s Oscar and is paving the way for future hopefuls, like these scholarship winners, so they may one day join me, join us, on the Academy podium. Hey the TelePrompTer — what happened to my TelePrompTer?
Robert Downey, Jr.: We can’t give this award.
Gwyneth Paltrow: I have nothing prepared...
Robert Downey, Jr.: What did you have for dinner tonight Gwynnie?
Gwyneth Paltrow: I had White Castle, the slider twenty pack.
Robert Downey, Jr.: I’m surprised because White Castle is not quite known for their health food.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Well the kids like it and I just love it... So I told Chris, “Chris, if that’s your favorite porn channel, and you can’t get it anymore then there’s something wrong with the TV. We’ve had this Sony for at least a year, we’ll have to get a new one. It’s not like we don’t have the money, because we do have the money.”
Robert Downey, Jr.: Did you get the new TV?
Gwyneth Paltrow: Yes, we did, but surprisingly it didn’t fix the problem with Chris’ porn channel.
Robert Downey, Jr.: How was that fixed then?
Gwyneth Paltrow: We called cable and they gave us the porn package upgrade, "The El Supremo," plus a credit.
Robert Downey, Jr.: If you are one of the billions just tuning in to this globally broadcast, Oscars telecast—
Sylvester Stallone: The TelePrompTer is not working.
Robert Downey, Jr.: Gwynnie Paltrow is regaling us with the story about the porn upgrade with her ex. Now, this is before you divorced?
Gwyneth Paltrow: No, just last week.
Robert Downey, Jr.: Okay, and I heard he’ll take a bullet for you, but you still won’t get it on?
Gwyneth Paltrow: No, we won’t. I mean, he’s British. Have you ever ate British food? He actually eats British food, that’s what he wanted me to make him for dinner. To Chris, this is food: haggis, kippers, and bangers and mash. That, and he was younger than me — five years difference. I introduced him to his favorite porn channel though.
Robert Downey, Jr.: What was it named? Just curious.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Tasty Tarts. He’s British.
Sylvester Stallone: You said that already — thank god, we’re going to commercial.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Did I say something wrong?
Robert Downey, Jr.: No, you’re fine, oh, just fine.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Why are you so quiet, Sylvester?
Sylvester Stallone: Just am.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Strong silent type?
Sylvester Stallone: Oh, yeah. One hour to go, Gwynnie. Let’s just hope we get to Best Actress, and make a break for it...
The Glorious Trump-Batesian
[The year is 2019, a Rolls flies down I-80 heading West from Omaha, Nebraska...]
Other Letter: This driving is starting to give me headaches, highway hypnosis.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Hey, “3 Miles to the Trump-Batesian.” We have to stop here, this is where we’re spending the night.
Other Letter: Why are you so high on the Trump?
Gwynnie Paltrow: Goop just did a piece on the Trump-Batesian. He’s on his mettle post bankruptcy. It’s his classiest motel yet, Mitch.
Other Letter: I’m not Mitch, I’m Other. You know, Gwynnie, you’ve been much different after your latest vaginal steaming.
Gwynnie Paltrow: C’mon, Mitch, I feel like a new woman.
Other Letter: If you call me Mitch one more time—
Gwynnie Paltrow: It’s a pet name, you don’t like pet names? You give me a pet name.
Other Letter: Matilda.
Gwynnie Paltrow: You’re dead, Other.
Other Letter: Oh, here’s your Trump-Batesian. It looks like, well, something from a Hitchcock movie.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Mitch, please, it is a bit rustic though. I’ll have to speak to my travel editor on why she gave this motel five Goops.
Other Letter: Well, we’re here, let’s just shower and get ready for tomorrow, Matilda... [The pair walk from their car to the motel’s lobby, luggage in hand.] Yes, we’d like a—
Gwynnie Paltrow: You’re THE Donald Trump.
Donald Trump: That’s right, may I take your bags?
Other Letter: We haven’t even checked in yet.
Donald Trump: Mere formalities. Join us later for sushi, no?
Gwynnie Paltrow: Can’t wait for that, we’re set [she looks at Other approvingly, then both walk to their master suite]... And you were poo-pooing the Trump-Batesian. I’ll poo-poo you.
Other Letter: Did you want to shower now?
Gwynnie Paltrow: I was going to have a drink in the lounge, but I’m hungry, never mind. Let’s just have our sushi, or the Nebraska equivalent... [A bit more relaxed, they return to the dining area.]
Other Letter: I’ll have the crab legs and filet mignon, and my wife, Matilda—
Gwynnie Paltrow: You’re dead, Other—
Other Letter: Will have the, what, again?
Gwynnie Paltrow: The kale-feta salad, does that come with vinaigrette, or better, ranch?
Donald Trump: For you, my dear, ranch.
Other Letter: Hey, you’re talking to my wife, Matilda, here.
Donald Trump: Matilda, the pleasure is all mine [he hands her salad dressing from another table].
Other Letter: Did I just step into an Addams Family sketch? Just make our dinner please, we have a thousand miles to cover tomorrow, and we really need our rest and nutrition.
Gwynnie Paltrow: You should listen to yourself talk sometime, Mitch... That’s a very sharp knife, a Number 14 Takei Sushi Special, if I am not mistaken.
Donald Trump: Very good, Matilda, you are sharp — ha-ha.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Ha-ha, he understands puns, Other. Monsieur Trump, none of us will be having the sushi tonight; because, well, where do you source your fish? The nearest body of water is the mighty Mississippi, three hundred miles behind us [she points behind her].
Other Letter: You should listen to yourself talk sometime, Gwynnie...
Donald Trump: The sushi is primarily catfish, but I guarantee you, it is the freshest you will ever find in Nebraska. And the trout, ah, the trout — then we have a salamander California quasi-roll to die for...
Gwynnie Paltrow: Is it too late to change my order? I mean the kale-feta salad sounds delicious, but the delicacies you just mentioned—
Other Letter: It is too late.
Donald Trump: Gwynnie, for you the moon, I will speak to my executive chef concerning your order substitution.
Gwynnie Paltrow: What?! You recognized me?! I am THE Gwynnie Paltrow.
Donald Trump: How could I not? Your reputation proceeds you, as well as your sumptuous beauty.
Other Letter: Hey, I’m trying to eat.
Donald Trump: Sorry.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Look at how he sharpens the knife, Mitch. Back and forth, and then back and forth again. I have never seen such technique. He is quite the master, he’s giving me the goose bumps.
Other Letter: I can sharpen knives just as good as he can, Matilda. Where’d you learn to sharpen knives like this, Donnie?
Donald Trump: Trump University, it’s now a correspondence school for the ambitious restaurateur.
Other Letter: I was surprised to see you at this motel, Donnie, I mean we didn’t know what you were doing following your impeachment.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Mitch, that’s a former President.
Other Letter: I mean the charges just started racking up.
Donald Trump: Why don’t you two shower in your state room, and you can meet me down in the bar after — I will fill you in on my legacy work... [The couple hurry to their room.]
Gwynnie Paltrow: Why did you drill him, Mitch? He wasn’t such a bad guy. I’d say he was one of our most hospitable presidents. Definitely a gracious host, I kinda like him.
Other Letter: No, you’re in love with him. You live in the same places. Boca Raton, Malibu, Aspen, Montreal, Vancouver—
Gwynnie Paltrow: Stop right there, Mitch, I never went Canadian. That’s slumming it as far as I’m concerned.
Other Letter: He calls this a state room, it’s a dump. It smells like, well, kinda like corpses.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Mitch, Mitch, Mitch, your days doing heavy drugs have effected your olfactory senses.
Other Letter: Matilda, you did more than I ever did. Just get in the shower, and we’ll get blotto down at the Trump-Batesian Room.
Gwynnie Paltrow: You know, this place does look like the Bates Motel. You shower first.
Other Letter: Hey, we’ll shower together.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Mitch, like on our honeymoon. Last one in is a poor person... I always did approve of your sexual technique, and your innate manly prowess... YES!!!!!!
Donald Trump: Room service.
Other Letter: Oh come on, what the?!
Gwynnie Paltrow: Get on a towel. Mr. Trump is nice enough to serve us.
Other Letter: Hey, Trumpy, my man. [A wild-eyed Trump attacks the two.] A knife, run for it Gwynnie! He’s got a knife!!!
Gwynnie Paltrow: Oh no, a struggle ensues, I’m scared... SLASH!!!
Other Letter: How ’bout that, Gwynnie? You just killed the 45th President with his own sushi knife.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Interviews, questions. Does my hair look okay?
Other Letter: Itinerary changed, off to the Mexican border, hopefully we can scale the wall there...
Bruce of Asbury Park
On track 17 of his latest, Bruce Springsteen re-explores his most popular themes.
I was driving through the Garden State.
Along that ribbon of Parkway, how else?
Up past Mahwah, then down ’cross Cape May.
Got Rosie by my side, who else?
We’re talking Jersey, oh yeah, our Jersey.
Living life as it was meant to be lived:
Cars, girls, and the Jersey Shore.
We never get as far as New York,
Never cross that border of filth, where Sammy Satan hangs.
Truckers everywhere on the West side of the Hudson, the glory of Jersey.
Oil refineries, rotten egg smell,
Pure progress baby, this ain’t Hell.
We got the cheapest gas in the nation, and rightly proud of it, too.
Mobsters paying their fair share of taxes,
Most of the rest of us honest, simple folk do, too.
Sopranos didn’t tell the whole story of the Cosa Nostra,
Just loyal capos doing their part for the good of the cause.
Christie, Mister Blimpie, says it’s “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
We’re cool with that, because we’re cool with Jersey,
We know what it means to live here.
We have our own code of honor, it’s time for Jersey justice.
Because it’s always a matter of pride here,
We’re sticking by our round mound of Guv,
How could you not love this behemoth, our not-so-gentle giant?
A suspenders, pant-splitting, kinda guy.
All that matters is we get respect,
That Siciliano, welcome to the Family, look out for our kind, kinda respect.
Atlantic City? Sure, drop a few bills, or a few grand,
Look real cool for your girl.
Then you got her, you show her who’s boss,
Force her to put out in the back seat.
Nothing beats a Jersey girl, even the Monster Mickey Man, or Boardwalk Lanky Louie either.
Jersey guys don’t hit their Jersey babes,
Even if they deserve it, and we know they do.
We just don’t buy ’em dinner for a month — let ’em starve. We have our priorities straight.
We’re blue collar and our girls all look like super-models.
Cruisin’ on back to Asbury Park.
Back to pure heaven on Earth, baby,
That and Long Branch,
Can’t forget Tom’s River, or Point Pleasant on a Wednesday,
Welcome to God’s country. Easy parking.
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 can ask.
Nikky Kidman: Will you? Then how about quesadillas? My second fave. This is what I’ll do. I’m in Malibu on Wednesday to see Miss Knockers.
Gwynnie Paltrow: Wait a second, Miss Knockers?
Nikky Kidman: She’s our sexual therapist. Hubby and me don’t always get it on like we did. Then we get grouchy and the kids get whiny. So this is our special time together.
Gwynnie Paltrow: With Miss Knockers.
Nikky Kidman: Yes, our Miss Knockers. She takes medical plans if you’re interested. I mean if you’ve ever been sexually frustrated, please see Miss Knockers. Tell her Nikky sent you.
Gwynnie Paltrow: I’ll have to pass.
Nikky Kidman: Miss Knockers saved our marriage, Gwynnie, but suit yourself. We mostly do it for the moppets anyway. Jesus just doesn’t cut it anymore. Anyhow, where was I? Oh, the care package, I’ll pick up two quesadillas for him from Taco Bell. Then I can 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, Gwynnie. If he’s smelly, he’s not setting one 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 the circuit, at the Twenty-what-something-or-other?
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, and sure, I go with Mr. Spielberg. Depends on my mood that day. I can let down my hair and call him Stevie.
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.
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...]
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 directed 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, I’d use the tongs, instead of your fingers.
Taylor Swift: Gross, you say they’re made from pigs?
Other Letter: Well, pork, and the blanket is the pastry.
Taylor Swift: Can you bring these back to the table for me? I’ll pretend like I didn’t waste someone’s piglet. Once you take them off the tray, you can’t put them back on the tray.
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. Word is 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.
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.]
The Champ’s X-90 versus the Chump’s Chumpmobile
Chump: Hey, Champ.
Champ: Hey. I got the new X-90, vintage driving at its finest, 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.
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? Our stagehands 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 destination 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...
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...
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.
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.
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 ...”
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 either.
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.
In Reality, The Other Letter is a complete Gentleman
OL Up and Comer: Other Letter?
Other Letter: Yes? I like your dress, by the way, you really have style — and nice gams.
OL Up and Comer: I need to talk with you about something.
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?
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?
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?
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 ...
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).
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.
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.
Dealing with Idiots
From my surprisingly vast experience with being subjected to Other Letter hate crime, I offer the following. 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?
The great distinction between two uses of the word fag. 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 talent less, 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.
Don’t get mad, get even. These are the comebacks to hate speech. You don’t need to use these, just know what the bastards who creeped into your life are really like...
Doper parked at park: [translated into English] You skew to the feminine side of the gender spectrum, and I would know that you do. I am king of this park now, I am, get ready for it — Park King!
Other Letter: [I pull my car behind yours for, now this is proprietary, but for argument’s sake, let’s just say for ten seconds. I may be jotting down your plates to run them later at the precinct.]
Doper parked at park: Is he writing down my plates?!!!! I’m done!!!
Other Letter: Works every time. I don’t care that you do drugs, what won’t happen is you being profane and ruining my visit here. OD for all I care, but do it at home, okay? Don’t let your complete loss of self-control detract from my day. The reason I restore order to my park, is because local police are on strike.
Park Drug Den Idiot: See this, this is a cell phone camera! I can take videos with it! He, he, he, he. You’re screwed!
Other Letter: [Not spoken] I’ll keep this to myself, but there was a cop by the entrance when I pulled up. They know you like Blue Devil brand heroin in the micro Ziploc bags, you really shouldn’t litter. Enjoy. Keep it on the road, or don’t.
Other Letter: You’re acting out, you lowlife freak. You’re only talking about who you know best, and that’s who you see in the mirror. You’re the one no one ever liked. You’re frigid, icy, hardly human. No, you’re not human.
Antisemitic Idiot: Jew!
Other Letter: Wikipedia Dachau. Or better, let me.
Creepy Idiot (we all get this often from them): You’re not welcome here!
Other Letter: Who cares what you think? — you effing moron.
Creepy Idiot: Faggot!
Other Letter: You’re saying I am not straight even though I fantasize about the opposite sex; or you’re saying I fantasize about the same sex, when I do. Either way, you are doing your best to hurt me, by saying you are intimidated by me, because your repressed, puritanical nature won’t allow you any self-expression.
Troll Loser: You’re just a freak!
Other Letter: Then you’re saying I am sub-human, which is what a Nazi would call all those they also called “defective.” You must be a Nazi who prays before a shrine to Adolf Hitler in your bedroom.
Garden-variety Loser Idiot: Get the Jew!
Other Letter: You’re in the wrong part of the country to say that kind of sh*t. You need to go where the white-hooded, queer creatures are, where they jump up and down in front of burning crosses for no known reason. Those are your kind, that criticize people for how they came into this World, and not for what they did once they got here. Just get the f*ck out now. Got that?
Idiot parking in a No-parking Zone: How is that for cool?! I am just too cool!
Other Letter: Then you’re saying your desire for better parking, exceeds the right of emergency personnel to the same space? And the same right of the handicapped for easy access into this building? Let me see how loud my car alarm is. WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! Let me see if I can remember how to turn it off. WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! WAHHHH!!!! You are human garbage.
Slut Idiot with elder “Mom” Idiot in Tow: We’re just two bitches in heat on the prowl. Better step back. Hey you, we’re calling you out. You’re an effing fag, got that? Go to Canada!
Other Letter: Okay, why don’t the two of you stop cruising supermarkets looking for tricks. The much younger one looks like she’s ready to pull down her top. Have you tried cruising at the KMart? They will likely be a better fit with your, well, White trash crowd. I hear they are having a big sale on Rolling Stones overstocks.
Trump Poll-Loitering Idiot: I intimidate at the polls, and say stuff that’s hurtful, because isn’t that what the cool people do?! I am a faggot and I love Trump! [See note above for usage distinction of the word faggot.]
Other Letter: I’ll tell you, you say that on the ice in Canada, and you just lost a tooth.
Other Letter: If I have a sense of humor, I am a clown? Bill Murray is a clown? Eddie Murphy is a clown? Clowns sure sound as though they are in good company.
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.
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?
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?
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.