Daily Archives: July 7, 2012

This and that from re Thau r ment, by 3Th. October 30, 2011

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

I have no news today since I have not read the newspaper, looked at any television programs nor been connected to the internet. I can report that the temperature in LA is wonderfully warm and pleasant and the traffic on the freeways horrendous as usual.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

I flew from Oakland airport to Long Beach where Monty met me. We drove into downtown LB to have drinks and to meet with some guy looking for investors in a business to develop diesel engines that run on hydrogen. The promoter is a disbarred attorney who claims to have served on the SF planning Commission and started a community bank in the SF Mission district during the 1980s. (I have seen this movie before.)

Monty and I then went to Monty’s home where we watched several music videos featuring Irish Music, “The Irish Tenors,” “The Three Priests” and Michael Crawford, the guy who sang the role of the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.

I slept on the sofa. It brought back memories of the many years as a child when the only bed I knew was the living room sofa. This was more like the camping I remembered than freezing my ass off in the woods like I did last weekend.

As a young man Monty made a living as a professional boxer. By the time he was about 20 years old he had amassed a record of 42 wins and only 5 defeats. This record was remarkable because he was a middleweight and at the time and that division contained some of the finest fighters that ever lived and was dominated by perhaps the greatest boxer ever, Sugar Ray Robinson. Monty could have been a contender, but his career was cut short by the loss of an eye to a knife in a street fight.

He then went into the family business, so to speak, horse racing, for which he retained a life long passion. This was followed by a number of careers including a stint in sports broadcasting until he, like half the nation it seems, found himself in southern California where he turned to a career in real estate untimely becoming a developer of shopping centers and quite well off until, alas, he fell in love with a magnificent piece of property located on the coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. This soon lead the loss of his wealth, family and the longest bankruptcy in the nation’s history, but it produced our friendship.

The next morning we drove to Venice to visit Ruth to see her newly remodeled home; then to downtown LA for lunch with Lina an old friend with whom about 10 years ago I travelled to Honduras and visited the Mayan ruins there.

After we returned to Monty’s home, we watched a marvelous movie entitled, “Going the Distance,” a documentary about ex-boxers who gather at a restaurant called the “Spaghetti Factory” in LA. In a way it resembles the Buena Vista Social Club for boxing. Instead of cutting away from interviews aged with the musicians to shots of them playing music, we went from interviews of the elderly pugilists to shote of them beating each others brains out.

Monty used to meet there with them. While Monty knew all of them well, he had a close personal relationship with Ray Mancini (Ex-lightweight champion), Carlos Palomino (Ex-welter weight world champion) and Bobby Chacon (former light weight champion of the world). The movie shows the now retired fighters old, often broke and in many cases sadly addled from the blows that ultimately destroyed their brains.

One of the most poignant moment of the film was when the great Bobby Chacon, reduced to the mental acuity of a child, tells, in words so slurred they had to be repeated in sub-titles at the bottom of the screen, about the night his wife, distressed at his unwillingness to give up boxing, killed herself. With tears running down his cheeks he told or receiving a call that night from his son crying into the phone, “Daddy, mommy shot herself.” A few years later that son also died in an episode of gang violence.

Later Monty told stories about boxing and his friendship with many famous fighters; from when he was a young Boxer, getting advice from Rocky Marciano, to more recently, conversations with Joe Frazier about what it was like to fight “Ali,” and of befriending Jerry Quarry. During his final years Quarry was broke and lived in Monty’s home. Monty took him in and cared for him during the fighter’s descent into poverty and dementia until that day he died in Monty’s arms.

I think the guy with the knife did Monty a favor.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

For those readers of “This and that…” who recall “Gun Girl,” a revised version of that saga is being republished.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: An interlude with Meg:

Meg stood next to her patrol car in a turn out on Highway near Half Moon Bay Harbor looking out over the vast, grey and brooding Pacific Ocean. Meg was in an unusually contemplative mood. She liked men. She also liked women. She liked Ray. He was all man. He also was all woman. She liked that about him. She didn’t understand why. That’s why she was standing here looking at the boring ocean and trying to sort out her emotions. She soon gave up. Contemplation was not Meg’s strength. She was a woman of action. And the action she craved now was to get her iron pumped and steroid enhanced hands around the neck of whoever killed Stephanie. She now was convinced Stephanie was murdered. So was Ray.

She got back into her automobile and drove to the coffee shop in the harbor. As she sat at one of the tables stirring her coffee Paul Grossmacher, the director of the Harbor District entered the place. Grossmacher was a kindly older gentleman who ran the District for as long as she remembered. She liked him. He had a dry sense of humor that she enjoyed, always listened sympathetically when she talked even when she just rambled on and he flirted outrageously with her.

He sat at her table ordered a cafe-latte and a poppy-seed bagel and inquired, “Meg, why so pensive, trying to solve some great mystery or are you just recalling some special pleasure you enjoyed last night?”

She laughed, “A little bit of both.”

“Ah, and is the mystery professional or personal?”

“A little bit of both.”

“Maybe I could help. I read a lot of mysteries.”

She laughed again. “No, I do not think so.”

“Why don’t you get everyone in the room and sweat them? Isn’t that what the detectives do?”

“Well, no,” she responded. “I have no witnesses and only one person who could know something, but I spoke with him and he doesn’t seem to. There is no family.”

“Why not try him again? Maybe he remembered something he forgot when you grilled him.”

“We don’t grill people. Besides, I really don’t think he knows anything.”

They talked for a while more. She finished her coffee, got up and went out the door back to her cruiser. As she stood by the car door she thought that maybe there was something to Paul’s suggestion. Maybe I will go up to San Francisco and interview him in his office. It couldn’t hurt. I might even see Ray again.

So she took out Ray’s business card, called the office and asked to speak to Vincent Biondi.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches (milling), while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren’t notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

b. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”:

THE INFAMOUS SEASIDE RESORT OF PATTAYA — Known worldwide as a den of crime and vice, Pattaya municipal officials have decided to embrace its reputation by officially renaming the city “The Infamous Seaside Resort of Pattaya”.


Explaining the decision, Mayor Tik Kunplome said, “We found that almost every international press report referred to us as ‘the infamous seaside resort’. Rather than waste more money trying to brand our city as a family-friendly destination, we’ve decided that the moniker will help bring in more of those tourists to whom we cater best. Let’s not pretend anymore. Sex, drugs, prostitution — this shit sells.”

c. Real Headlines and Ads:

HEADLINE: “New Owl Creek School chooses a new mascot: it’s an owl”

HEADLINE: “Federal openness workshop closed to public”

NEWSPAPER AD: “Community Church Family Night! Featuring AMAZING GRASS”

AD: Vegan Flouride-Free Tooth Care Products. Tested on grandchildren–never on animals. Healthy Smiles!”

CLASSIFIEDS: “Sheep. Slightly used. Housebroke. Free. You pick up.”

HEADLINE: “Worker suffers leg pain after an 800-pound ball is dropped on his head”

MEDICAL COMPANY AD: “COUPON/FREE BAG OF SUGAR WITH ANY PURCHASE OF DIABETIC SUPPLIES”

AD: “NORTHSHORE HILTON HOTEL/ 9 AM / “SHOULD YOU GET A FACELIFT? ASK YOUR GYNECOLOGIST”

d. What the OCCUPY Movement is all about:

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

“You have indeed brought into being a mighty wild bull, head raised! There is no rival who can raise a weapon against him. His fellows stand (at the alert), attentive to his orders. Gilgamesh does not leave a son to his father. Is he the shepherd of the haven of Uruk? Is he their shepherd, bold, eminent, knowing, and wise? Gilgamesh does not leave a girl in the care of her mother, does not leave the daughter of the warrior or the bride of the young man untouched.
It was you, Aruru, who created this man. Now create a [zikru] for him. Let him be equal to Gilgamesh’s stormy heart. Let them be a match for each other. And so Uruk may find peace!”
Gilgamesh, the original testosterone crazed hero upon whom the God of the “People of the Book” is modeled. Perhaps that God was actually the “Zikru” that Aruru created.


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


India at night taken from space.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 28, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

“Never forget that if you chose to be a teacher, policeman, fireman, soldier, or nurse, it is your own fault you are not rich.”

For that matter, you are also incompetent inefficient government drones, parasitically living off the public payroll. Why don’t you get a real job in the private market flipping hamburgers instead of living on public handouts paid for by our taxes?

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

Parody this: Rick Santorum Republican candidate for president, who opposes abortion for any reason including conception as a result of rape or incest and who also opposes any form of governmental aid for the health and welfare of the children that are born, forcefully advocated for the selective assassination of nuclear scientists from countries such as Russia, North Korea and Iran because they may at some point become a threat to the US.

Santorum considers himself to be one of the most moral men in America today.

Hmm… let’s see, should abortion be legal for Muslim women because their children may become a threat to the US. How about poor women because they are more likely to birth children who grow up to be Democrats and therefore are…?

And how about this:

“I don’t care about that, if that’s what comes, I’ll take that criticism.” Rick Perry, another Republican candidate for President, in an interview with The New York Times, said this about the massively increased economic inequality that would result from his proposed tax plan.

OK, Rick I really don’t care what becomes of you either, as long as you do not become President.

OK it’s not just politicians:

“I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good all of you do, whether its volunteer hours, charitable giving we do, serving clients and customers well.You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us.”
Bank of America CEO Bryan Moynihan in response to customer complaints about the bank’s plan to charge $5 a month fee for debit card purchases.

Huh? And do you wonder why the banksters and the other masters of the universe are shocked when people suggest that they may bear some responsibility for the world’s economic crisis? They are idiots, that’s why.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. The city with the lowest poverty rates in American is the Washington DC metropolitan area.

2. The World’s fastest growing city is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

Thailand: Residents of Bangkok are stocking up on food or leaving the city entirely ahead of impending floodwaters. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the flood water could reach five feet in the city and remain for up to a month, and the government has called for a five-day holiday to allow people to evacuate the city. Inmates from prisons near the city are being moved, and flood refugees being housed in Bangkok’s airport are being moved once again. Worried about hoarding, stores are limiting people to small quantities of rice and eggs. Bottled water is already sold out. The floods—the worst to hit Thailand in half a century—have killed 366 people and left 113,000 in shelters. (See today’s photograph below)

America: Things are looking pretty good for the richest 1 percent of Americans. A new report by the Congressional Budget Office reveals that their after-tax income increased 275 percent in the past 30 years, compared with a 65 percent increase for the top 20 percent and an 18 percent growth in income for the poorest fifth of the population. The report, based on data from the IRS and the US Census Bureau, blames the widening income gap on the decline in government action to redistribute wealth and an unprecedented increase in executive compensation.

America: Good news, I guess, GDP growth has met expectations.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Thailand: According to my friends in Thailand, Gary and Gerry things in BKK have gotten pretty bad and they are deteriorating rapidly as the flooding has struck many parts of the city. People from the inundated areas are pouring into the Pattaya region, that seems to have avoided the worst of the disaster, to buy foodstuffs they cannot get elsewhere. It appears that my decision, based on SWAC’s warning was a sensible one, although I cannot help but to feel some regret that I am missing the experience of immersion, so to speak, in a calamity. On the other hand, I am sure I would only be in the way of those trying to deal with the crises and risk becoming a burden rather than a help.

San Francisco: Today I went to visit my 93-year-old mom accompanied by my grandson Anthony, daughter-in-law Annemarie and her extremely pregnant daughter Christina. My mom appears much recovered from whatever malady she suffered last week that hospitalized her for a few days and even modeled a tutu she may wear on Halloween.


I leave for LA this afternoon and will probably not return to SF until the middle if next week. Happy Halloween to all.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Ike Agonistes (cont.):

As soon as he answered Ike’s call Fat Al launched into a tirade of indignation and accusation that seemed to go one forever. In one form or other is was basically, “Why didn’t you or Vince tell me about this?”

To which, when he could finally join into the onside rant, Ike responded, “Because first neither Vince nor I knew about much of it, and Vince even less than me, and second much of it still is speculation and paranoia.”

“Do you intend to resign the assignment?”

Fat Al ignored the answering the question directly. “I did not sign up to be party to a vendetta. I am not happy being mixed up in some religious lunatics’ plot for world conquest either.”

After a moment’s hesitation he added, “I’ve got to talk about this to Vince.”

“Well, hold off about and hour, if you can, so that I can brief him. I have a few more calls to make to follow-up on a few things. Maybe then we can all get on the phone together and try to figure out what, if anything, we should be doing now. Meanwhile, I do not think, we can rely any more on Russell to provide whatever security Vince needs. What do you suggest?”

After hanging up, Ike called Ray to watch over Vince this evening. Ike could not help but feel like a nanny minding a foolish unruly boy.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?
A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called ‘pygg’. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as ‘pygg banks.’ When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.
b. What the OCCUPY Movement is all about:

c. Cracked news from “Not the Nation”:

1. BANGKOK – Police have upgraded their security around fat foreigners following the killing of wanted terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden in by US Special Forces in Pakistan. Although there is no specific evidence of a threat against Thailand, the government has urged heightened vigilance for possible revenge attacks on US-based targets such as the American Embassy and really fat white people.

2. BANGKOK – Saturday’s highly publicized “lai nam” ritual, organized by City Hall’s senior members, has been declared a total failure as Water Goddess Ka Kang has openly refused the appeal and sent the following explanatory note:

“Her Holiness The Water Goddess Ka Kang completely and without qualification rejects the appeal from the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority,”

“The Goddess would like to remind the people that for decades, her rivers have been treated as open sewers for their industrial and personal waste, and as a transport highway for carrying their trade. And yet The Goddess’ generosity is rewarded with yet more exploitation and abuse.”

“Your appeal for salvation is that of ants to the child whose flesh it has bitten . And so shall you be trampled beneath the feet of vengeance that has displaced forever-lost innocence.”

“Fuck you, Bangkok. The Water Goddess has spoken.”

d. Real Headlines and ads:

AD: “NORTH AMERICAN MANURE EXPO. EXPERTS FROM WASHINGTON, DC ARE COMING”

WASHINGTON POST HEADLINE: “Internet Addiction Treated Online”

AD: CUPCAKE CACHE “BRING IN YOUR REPORT CARD WITH TWO OR MORE ‘C”S AND GET A FREE CUPCAKE!”

HEADLINE: “WE HATE MATH”/”Four in ten–a majority of Americans”

HEADLINE: “Schools: Neutering Young Brains”

SCHOOL AD: “LOOKING FOR A READIN SPECIALIST”

AD: “A High-Definition TV for your car that allows you to watch TV at speeds up to 85 miles per hour!”

HEADLINE: “WCA spelling bee winers.”

“DEAR ABBY” HEADLINE: “Lingering sadness is a symptom of depression”

CLASSIFIED: “FOR SALE 2001 Ford Taurus. Slightly used in bank robbery. Ready to go!”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.”
Steve Jobs, in a conversation with Rupert Murdoch.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by3Th. October 26, 2011

Never forget, it is all your own fault that you are not rich.

(Paraphrase of a statement by Herman Cain, candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States)

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

Is Parody enough?

According to Kansas City-based International House of Prayer founder and evangelist Mike Bickle–who played a major role in the August 6 “The Response” prayer event that served as the de facto kickoff for Rick Perry’s presidential bid–in the near future Jews who refuse to convert to Christianity and move to Israel will be pursued by “hunters” sent by God and can expect to be thrown into “prison camps” and “death camps.”

IHOP Kansas head Bickle says that, “the most famous [heaven-sent] hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler,” and has claimed that Jews collectively are “under the discipline of God because of… perversion and sin.”

In Mike Bickle’s view, a lucky one-third of the world’s Jewish population to survive the apocalyptic persecution he predicts will “get radically saved and become lovesick worshipers of Jesus.”

Notably, not a single candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, despite their public support for Israel, has specifically rejected Bickle or his views nor have they repudiated the many others and their followers with similar views, much less rejected them with the fervor with which they reject the “socialism” of the “OCCUPY” protests, or for that matter, unemployment insurance or Social Security.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

The world’s population has reached 7 billion this week and expected to reach 10 billion before the end of the century, more than 3 times the population of the earth that existed just 50 years ago. That means that since 1959 world population has increased by 4 billion and by 2050 or so it will have added 7 billion, all since I was 20 years old.

Is it all my fault?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

Thailand: A few years ago, a Buddhist novice monk, Han Raksachit, was arrested after he released a video tape of himself piercing, bleeding, roasting, chanting and collecting the drippings from a nearly full-term baby’s corpse at Nong Rakam Monastery in Saraburi Province (central Thailand). These drippings, which he called ya sane (lust medicine), he sold to visitors. Although he was forced from the monastery and arrested, he did not serve jail time and was arrested again in 2005 for tricking several women into sexual acts and defrauding them of money in exchange for dubious claims that he could help them attract their true loves. He is serving time now on 23 counts of rape.

You see, although Buddhist are considered non-violent and other worldly, they can still be as despicable as you and me.

More Thailand: (AP) — Workers and volunteers piled sandbags outside buildings in central Bangkok and erected barriers in its subway to ward off possible weekend flooding as high water that devastated parts of central Thailand flowed toward the low-lying metropolis.

Also, latest updates about the flood water surrounding Bangkok include warnings that the water supplies may become contaminated. There has already been a run on bottled water from the big box stores. Also a story about the US Navy pulling anchor and sailing away after the failure to receive a clear signal as to whether their assistance was needed.

See Today’s Photograph below.

America: “Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”
Republican commentator David Frum

Maybe the Republicans should put up Krugman for their nominee.

Budget Priorities: Determined to avoid spending reductions that would hit troop numbers, aircraft, ships and weapons, Senators Levin (D) and McCain (R) and other lawmakers are urging budget-cutters to scrutinize the military entitlement programs.

Say what! What about cutting military contractors profits, before cutting benefits for those who thought (wrongly it seems) they were putting their lives on the line for the rest of us?

More Budget Priorities: Republicans are objecting to new infrastructure spending because they don’t want the top 1/500 of American taxpayers to pay an average of 1/217 more of their income in taxes.

*If the new infrastructure proposal were enacted, the surtax on millionaires would impact a grand total of 345,532 taxpayers nationwide — or 0.2 percent of American taxpayers.

* If the new infrastructure proposal were enacted, the 0.7 percent surtax would amount to all of $13,457 on average for the millionaires that would pay it. Given that their average income is $2,923,000, this means they would be paying on average an additional 1/217 of their overall income, or just over an additional 0.4 percent. That’s less than one half of one percent.

Of course but for the threat of taxes, they [the 0.2 percent] would on their own expended more than $14,000 each on infrastructure to put their fellow Americans back to work. They would do this because it is right and they are patriots.

Occupy Schmarcupy: Police in Albany NY have defied both the Governor of the State and the Mayor’s orders to remove the “Occupy” protestors stating: “We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble. The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”

Oh, Canada: Bank of Canada (The Canadian equivalent of the Fed) head, Mark Carney, in a television interview, acknowledged that the “Occupy” movement is an understandable product of the “increase in inequality’’ — particularly in the United States – that started with globalization and was thrust into sharp relief by the worst downturn since the Great Depression, which hit the less well-educated and blue-collar segments of the population hardest. He added, “If some institutions feel pressure today, it is because they have done too little for too long, rather than because they are being asked to do too much, too soon.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Recently I have been looking without success for a soft sided collapsible travel bag for short trips. As a result, I have been carrying a paper shopping bag into which I put my clothing, tooth-brush and the like for short trips. While the semiotics of it leaves something to be desired, the paper shopping bag as practical matter worked quite well. Stevie surprised me by generously buying me the perfect bag. I am quite proud of it. Now as I travel, I no longer look like a homeless derelict but I have ascended in class to that of an aged vagrant.

Norbert and Stevie kindly drove me back from Sacramento. We went to lunch at Pino’s restaurant, Tiramisu, in Belden Alley. We lunched on Sand Dabs Dore. For those unfamiliar with Sand Dabs, many localities have a particular seafood delicacies for which they are noted, sea urchins in Eastern Sicily, Walleye in the upper Midwest, Abalone in coastal northern California, Conch in the Bahamas and Stone Crab in eastern Florida, Crayfish in Louisiana. In San Francisco in addition to Dungeness Crabs, that delicacy is Sand Dabs. It is a bottom dwelling fish that is rarely available in local restaurants except during that season where the waters in and around San Francisco Bay are warm enough to allow them to rise out of the mud to feed and in turn be netted by fishermen. It is served most often either lightly breaded and fried or in a Dore sauce.

The following day, I had lunch with my friend and NY Times best-selling author Sheldon Siegel, who many of you who read “This and that…” know. We met at a financial district restaurant named Harrington’s. Our waitress was from Dublin. When I enquired of her whether or not the restaurant’s hamburgers were as good and those at the place next door that claimed theirs had been voted, “Best Hamburgers in San Francisco,” she assured us that Harrington’s were much better. So, I ordered a hamburger and Sheldon a cheeseburger. We then talked for a while about the state of the publishing industry and the impact of electronic publishing. Sheldon’s new book has been completed and is awaiting resolution of some issues regarding publication. His new book departs from his previous novels that featured Mike Daley and Rosie by introducing all new characters. It takes place in Chicago, where I understand Sheldon grew up. He promised that it will be a real pot boiler.

I have met a number of published fiction authors in my life and found they generally fall into two types: the assholes who are so full of themselves and the reflected glory of their involvement in great art that they either are bitter dyspeptic twits desperate and furious because they had not received the glory and recognition (and remuneration, especially remuneration) that they believed they so justly deserve, and; the professionals who approach their life’s work as we all approach our own, with enjoyment or frustration as they go about it with not too much fuss. Sheldon, however, is one of the few who approach it with undisguised joy.

Lunch was interrupted by a telephone call from SWAC in Thailand. She said she heard that I was planning to return to Thailand next week and urged me not to do so. She claimed that BKK was inundated, the stores emptied and the people eager to evacuate.

Now, it is never a profitable endeavor to struggle over determining th veracity of  communication from SWAC, but it is much more advantageous to determine the motive. It could not be that her presence in BKK at the same time as mine would lead to some discomfort, because we rarely see each other during the few times we inhabit the same continent together. She, however, also mentioned that Joey had called and told her that he had to return to work soon and was urging her return to take care of Hayden.

On the other-hand sometimes she just says things for no reason whatsoever other than the circumstances are not neatly tied up within her frame of reference.

Whatever, I still intend to travel to LA on October 27 and visit with friends but instead of leaving from there to return to BKK I will come back to northern California for another week or two.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Ike Agonistes.

Ike put down the phone following his call to the US attorney’s office, negotiating his client Vince Biondi’s offer to tell all he knew about Red Star to the government investigators. Although Ike knew that Vince knew next to nothing he also knew that Vince was using him, Ike, to deliver a message to those who did know something about that mysterious company. The message was simple, you do not know what, if anything, I know about it, so you have to talk to me to find out. Ike thought this tactic was foolish and worse impetuous. Ike wondered how long it would be before Russell called.

He heaved himself out of his chair and took the small elevator to the hot-house on the roof where he tended his orchids while he waited. About a half an hour later his cell phone rang. It was Russell. Russell always spoke in measured speech, never raising his voice. The only way one could detect Russell’s anger was by how sharply he clipped off the ends of his words. In this phone conversation, his words were sharply clipped indeed.

Finally he said, “I am sorry Russell, I cannot tell you any more than what I told the US Attorney, client confidentiality you know, but I will pass your message on to him.”

After he ended the call, Ike sat in a large wicker chair in the midst of his Orchids and tried to reason through what he knew; to see if he could figure out actually what was going on. He soon gave up. He knew only too well that magical deductions and sudden insight were the mother’s milk of mystery novels, but in the real world, the only way to manage events was to control them by action, even arbitrary action, because once one acts others must react if they want to stay in the game and if they do, then you have grasped control, for whatever that was worth. Obviously, that was precisely what Vince was doing. Unfortunately, unless you had some idea of strength of your adversaries and of your own resources that sort of action is more often than not merely evidence of foolhardy panic. And Vince clearly did not know what or who he was dealing with.

He let out a long sigh and thought, here the game is afoot and I sit idly among my Orchids unable to figure out what best to do or even how to do it.

Finally he decided to join in the game of the blind men and the elephant in hope that if he hit the beast hard enough it would cry out and from the sound he would be able to guess its name. So before calling Vince to relate to him Ike’s conversations with the US Attorney and with Russell, he decided to make a few other calls beginning with one to Fat Al.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:


Q: In golf, where did the term ‘Caddie’ come from?

A. When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game ‘golf.‘ So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day’ and the Scots changed it into ‘caddie.
b. What the “OCCUPY”movement is all about:

Are you better off today now that these CEOs have proven to be obviously so much better at their jobs than you are at yours or is it really just all your fault?

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“The bonus system has gone beyond a means of rewarding talent and is now Wall Street’s primary business. Institutions take huge gambles because the short-term returns are a rationale for their rich payouts. But even when the consequences of their risky behavior come back to haunt them, they still pay huge bonuses.”
USA TODAY

Well, perhaps not from God’s mouth, but when USA TODAY criticizes Wall Street, divine intervention must be considered.)

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


(I bet that is something you do not generally see when the Mississippi floods.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

On his blog [Dan] Savage posted an open letter to Herman Cain:

“Dear Herman,
If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that’s done, Herman, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick, Herman. Name the time and the place and I’ll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.
Very sincerely yours,

Dan Savage”

Is this the right-wing Savage or the left-wing Savage? Are they the same person? Does it matter? They both seem pretty savage to me, even if they are actually the same person.

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 24, 2011

 TODAY’S FACTOID:


TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

Thailand:

Comments on the flooding from my friend, the well-known ex-pat mystery writer Christopher Moore:

“News reports of cracks in flood walls, high tide on Monday, an unstoppable wall of water moving from the North and West into Bangkok, possible evacuation of FROC to Chon Buri. This is a long weekend in Thailand. Many have gone to Hua Hin or Pattaya. There is a nervous edge as people brace for a water world with food and water shortages, power blackouts, shutting down of transport and banking. It may be outside the power of government to prevent the flooding of Bangkok. No one can predict the amount of damage or the length of time before things resume to normal or what will emerge on the other side of this drama.”

Eurozone:

Christine Lagarde, a partner of mine during my time at Baker and McKenzie

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and now head of IMF, has recently announced that the IMF would no longer be willing to pick up a third of the total bill for rescuing Greece unless European banks were prepared to write off 50 per cent of Greek debt.

At last someone in power is willing to start the only sensible strategy for ending the debt crisis, default. The banks need to assume some responsibility and suffer significant losses instead of imposing them solely on the general public alone.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

After lunch, my friend Pino who owns the restaurant in Belden Alley (along with four others) that Mike and I sat at, joined us and treated us to an ungodly number of rounds of grappa while we discussed Pino’s ongoing conflict with the Shorenstein Company,” that owns the adjacent parcel and intends to build a hotel complex using Belden Alley as the entrance to the garage.

Mike and I walked back toward his office where we parted and I headed to the tram to return home. Being befogged as I was from the grappa, I found myself in the midst of the “Occupy” protest in front of the Federal Reserve building in downtown San Francisco where I made several unrequested speeches on their behalf before hopping on the trolley.

The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries o...

The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries on the San Francisco Bay and an upscale shopping center located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The Bay Bridge can be seen in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next day I had lunch with another colleague, Bob Uram, at “the Slanted Door a Vietnamese fusion restaurant in the restored Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco. Bob is one of the better attorney’s that I know. His ability to deal in the nether world between the law and the ambiguity of administrative agencies is almost mystical. We sat outside at a table overlooking the Bay and the arriving and departing ferry boats and talked about things past.

On Friday morning I left SF to travel again to Sacramento, this time to go camping with Hayden, Joey the male maid and his adopted children James and John. Upon arriving in Sacramento, Norbert and Stevie met me at the train station with a sleeping bag they were loaning me for my adventure into the woods. They kindly drove me from Sacramento to El Dorado hills where I met my companions in the escapade, Joey (the new male maid), James (6 years old) and John (11) his adopted children and Hayden.

We roared off in Joey’s large extended cab late-model pick up heading toward the Sierras, stopping briefly in Placerville to hook up a large camper trailer to the truck. After about an hour or two we had climbed to about 5000 feet, deep into the land of the giant ponderosa and sugar pines, incense cedar and sequoia. We discovered that all the public campgrounds were closed for budgetary reasons, so we settled into an old private campground named Ice House Camp. Like most old private campgrounds in the Sierra it was best described as a slum in the forest. Its guano caked picnic tables more resembled kindling than something to eat at. The BBQ’s and fire pits were rusting back into the ground. On the other hand the trees that were no higher than shrubs when the campground was created on a part of the forest that had at that time been recently clear-cut, had now grown to cathedral-like splendor.

After downing a spaghetti dinner prepared by Joey on the stove in the trailer, we ineffectually attempted to start a fire in the fire pit that only succeeded when I donated my supply of newspapers and tissue paper to the attempt. We then sat around the flames toasting marshmallows. Surprising for me was the discovery that the new style marshmallows were not those one rounded square inch or so of congealed sugar, but have now ballooned into bricks of more that two inches on a side. Instead of biting through the bitter burned outer layer os sugar to get at the sweet warm mass at the center, these new super-sized marshmallows required consuming the burned outer layers and returning the unmelted and unheated layers to the fire to be toasted again.

The boys made s’mores. For those unfamiliar with s’mores, as I understand it northern California takes credit for their invention. They consist of pressing between two Grahame Crackers the freshly melted Marshmallow and a piece chocolate.

While staring at Hayden across the fire I was saddened by the realization that our relationship was soon to change. As his personality and approach to life are becoming set, my feeble attempts to aid him are becoming irrelevant and so things change and I must get on with my life. I washed all this, the bitter thoughts and the taste of burned marshmallow, down with an entire bottle of Amador Zinfandel.
Following devouring those gourmet desserts, at a request of the boys for a ghost story, I told one about the Sierra Creeper who snuck into the world from the darkness when Coyote opened up a slit in the darkness to allow the first people into the world. Then we went to bed in the trailer.

The next morning while Joey prepared a breakfast of scrambled eggs and chorizo, the children went fishing and my nose froze because the temperature had sunk down to the high thirties.

After breakfast, we drove to a relatively secluded spot where Hayden changed into his cameo outfit and Joey and the boys unlimbered their BB-guns and Pellet gun and took target practice at some tin cans and then marched off into the forest ostensibly to hunt some inoffensive tiny creäture or birds. Fortunately the innocent creatures seemed much more clever than the pseudo-hunters.

I remained behind leaning against a rock taking in the sun with my eyes closed. It all felt so manly that I soon trudged off into the woods to shit and wipe myself with pine needles (having burned all the tissue last night)

Below is a photographs of the crew at target practice. Given my feelings about guns, warfare and killing, I find it difficult even looking at the picture. It frightens me. I see no heroism in it, only the death of loved ones, yours or someone else’s.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR


Chapter: Fat Al’s Fantasy:

Fat Al wondered how best to acquire the background information about Red Star and the rest that Vince asked for. His musings were interrupted with visions of Isabella Yeung. Although happily married for 28 years, he was neither above nor beyond fantasizing. And, Isabella was something around which many fantasies could be built. She had challenged him, following the debacle that accompanied the last time he tried to tail her, to call her if he wanted to know her whereabouts, instead of engaging in a version of spy vs spy satire. So, taking her invitation as an excuse, he decided to call her before calling his other contacts.

She answered the first ring and in her deep throaty voice asked “What can I do for you Mr. Pischotti?”

A brief frission of excitement accompanied his surprise at her recognition of his number.

“Yes, how are you Ms Yeung,” he said lamely? “I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. I thought your request that I contact you included some information as well as your whereabouts.”

“Well, it didn’t,” she said. “But, what is it you want to know. If I know the answer I might tell it to you.”

“Thank you. I am trying to find out all I can about a company named ‘Red Star.'”

“Are you asking this on behalf of Vincent Biondi,” she enquired.

“Yes I am.”

Forty-five minutes later Fat Al closed the connection, leaned back in his chair and let out a sound somewhere between a sigh and groan.

He then began dialing up his friends and informers in the public safety and security agencies to try to verify the troubling information he had just received.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Why is someone who is feeling great ‘on cloud nine’?
A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

b. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

God is still vacationing in Pattaya.

c. News from Diskworld:

1. The Wit, Wisdom and Sometimes Discomfort of Sir Samuel Vimes.

“A Blackboard Monitor: One who can erase the writings, somebody who can rub out what is there.”

2. Snippets from ‘Unggue Theology,’ by Pastor Oats.

“…in reality, most goblins observe the Unggue Had – what one might term the common and lax form of Unggue – which encompasses earwax, finger and toenail clippings, and snot. Water, generally speaking, is reckoned as not unggue, but something which goes through the body without ever being part of it: they reason that there is no apparent difference in the water before or after, as it were (which sadly shines a light on the freshness of the water they encounter in their underground lairs). Similarly feces are considered to be food that has merely undergone a change of state. Surprisingly, teeth are of no interest to the goblins, who look upon them as a type of fungus, and they appear to attach no importance to hair, of which, it has to be said they seldom have very much.”

3. Aphorisms from the Oblong Office:

“In short, a certain amount of harmless banditry amongst the lower classes is to be smiled upon if not actively encouraged, for the health of the city, but what should we do when the highborn and wealthy take to crime? Indeed if a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?”
Lord Vetinari


d. Testosterone Chronicles:

“Sicarius… celebrated the feast of the Nativity… with Austrighiselus and the other neighbors…. The priest… sent a boy to invite some of the men to come to his house for a drink. When the boy got there, one of the men he invited drew his sword and did not refrain from striking him. He fell down and was dead…. Sicarius… took his arms and went to the church to wait for Austrighiselus. The latter heard about this and armed himself…. [B]oth parties suffered harm…. Sicarius got away unnoticed… made for his homestead… leaving behind… his silver, his clothes, and four of his servants who had been wounded. After he had fled, Austrighiselus broke into the building, killed the servants, and took away with him the gold, the silver, and the other things. When they appeared later before the people’s court, the sentence was that Austrighiselus was to pay the legal penalty for manslaughter…. Sicarius, forgetting about these arrangements… broke the peace… invaded the home, killed father, brother, and son, and having done away with the servants took all their belongings and their cattle. When we heard this, we grew greatly perturbed…”
Gregory, Bishop of Tours.

“Perturbed?” Freaked out is more likely I would think.

e. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

In my previous e-mail I mentioned that the author Furst was a classmate of Ruth’s. Actually he went to a nearby school but they had gone to camp together. My apologies to all concerned.

TODAY’S QUOTE:


TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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