Posts Tagged With: Sheldon Siegal

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 18 Mopey 0004 (February 4, 2015)

 

“… the origin of Hells Kitchen? Before Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, there was Indigestion on Ninth.”
Peter Grenell, July 1, 2012 (11 Shadow, 0001)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

For the past week or so the weather has been unseasonably warm and sunny here behind the locked gates of the city on the Golden Hills. Spring flowers on some trees have already begun to bloom.

Very little breaks the monotony of life within the security walls and landscaped medians except swimming and sleeping. Swimming because I can zone out in almost drug like bliss until my head strikes the cement edge of the pool. Sleeping because my dreams take me far away to places, if not happier then, at least, more interesting.
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Today I decided to skip work. Work to me now is writing love letters to myself on the computer and emailing them to my close friends and to those not so close, reading unbelievably trashy novels and taking long naps. Instead, after breakfast and swimming, I ate a pretty good pastrami sandwich at the local Italian deli, went for a long (for me) walk around the lake and finished off digging through a chocolate, yogurt and cranberry gelato. I think I am going to cry.
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It is somewhat unsettling to have January days at this latitude of the Sierra Foothills where families bring their children to swim and sunbathe at the community pool. It is also disturbing, if enjoyable, for there to have been not a drop of rain during that same month. Such circumstances in the short run are vagaries in weather and usually not determinative of changes in climate. Their immediate origin appears to be caused by a massive distortion of the North-American jet stream bringing cold wet weather to the eastern half of the continent and warm dry weather to the western half. But if, here in California, they persist for a decade or so, I do not think any Peripheral Canal or other geoengineering proposal will be able to ameliorate the consequences.
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Recently I read and article in some medical journal that vivid (lucid) dreamers have larger occipital lobes in their brain and that because of their size sort of fold over on each other — in other words, the brains of vivid dreamers are deformed. The article also maintained that those afflicted with this problem experience a similar state while awake. No, they do not go around believing that their lives are just a dream and that the hope they will soon wake up, although, God knows, I cannot count the times I had hoped it was so. According to the article, like in their dreams where they know they are dreaming and can manipulate them when they are awake and thinking, they know they are thinking. Alas, I have no idea what they are talking about here. Doesn’t everyone have an ongoing conversation with themselves about what they are thinking and why they are spending their time doing so? The few times I do something that can be referred to as thinking and not emoting, I find most of what I think about rather silly. Often I then write about it in T&T and send it out wondering if it annoys some of you as much as it does me.

B. BOOK REPORT:

Mystery novels and thrillers written by lawyers or ex-lawyers have become almost a sub-genre in themselves. Of course, what impels them to give up the emotionally rewarding vocation of an Attorney for insecurity of a literary life remains a mystery in itself (Snark alert).

Except for novels by my friends Sheldon Seigel and Chris Moore, I try to avoid books written by fallen members of that class parasites who often see themselves as counselors to society, or at least to that segment of society who can afford their fees. Alas, so many are now writing books it is difficult to avoid them completely.

The Big Kahuna of this group of authors is John Grisham. For some reason every now and then I pick up one of his works to read. He appears more stylistically accomplished than many of his brethren and quite clever in his plotting and story telling. But, what distinguishes him most is that he may be this generations muckraker in chief. The majority of his stories the often about a lonely and dangerous fight by an individual attorney with little power against representatives of formidable economic interests. Much of his books are devoted to describing the industry and the means by which it exercises its will to the detriment of society. His latest, Gray Mountain takes on big coal in Appalachia.

Pookie says, “Check it out…”

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

A. Climate Change:

I do not know if others have noticed, but there seems to be a shift in position among climate change deniers. Many of them no longer deny the reality of climate change and its associated global warming. Climate change is real they agree but now maintain that it is either not caused by humans or really all that serious. As for it not being human caused, I suspect that this only will be a short term political objection. Once one accepts that climate is changing and world temperatures are escalating there are very few “natural” causes to blame that can stand up to scientific scrutiny —Vulcanism? Variable solar output? — These have already been dismissed as untenable except by the most deranged deniers. That leaves the argument that it is not very bad and may even be a good thing, so we should just lie back and enjoy it. Be prepared for an avalanche of articles, blogs and television punditry cherry picking obscure and usually non-peer reviewed data that they claim “prove” that the seas will rise only a little bit and would never top your sea-wall; that the minuscule temperature rises promise a world of eternal springtime, and that the hoards of people fleeing the desertification of their homelands are simply too lazy to scratch the soil a little harder and use more pesticides and fertilizer, preferring instead to travel many often dangerous miles and suffer extreme prejudice in order to live on the largess of the welfare state.

B. Musings on Events in the Near east (continued from last issue of T&T):

Mohamed, born into a wealthy urbanized Arab clan in Mecca, suffered a dysfunctional childhood as a result of the deaths of his parents and his fostering by some poorer relatives in the clan. He grew into a not so prosperous businessman until in his 30’s he lead a trading caravan funded by a wealthy older woman who eventually became the first of his eleven (I believe) wives. At about the age when most unsuccessful and many successful men begin to wonder what it is all about, Mohammed began spending more and more time alone in the desert, ultimately developing a syncretic monotheistic religion composed of Jewish, Christian and pagan elements. The religion, fatalistic in tone as was the Arab society from which in sprung, required only a few distinct rituals for its adherents and absolute obedience to God’s Prophet Mohammed. Like Jesus before him, Muhammed’s religious mandates originally were exclusively directed only to his ethnic group.

Mohammed, having little success in Mecca, left that city for Medina twice. The Arab and to some extent Jewish clans in Medina, a commercial rival of Mecca, encouraged Mohammed hoping the growth of his religion would increase business. Mecca was a major pilgrimage destination that Muhammed’s family benefited from.

After his first sojourn in Medina, Mohammed encouraged by the local clans returned to Mecca to preach his new religion. This enraged the Meccans for among other things Mohammad condemned the worship of the Kaaba, the pilgrimage site that was the source wealth for several clans including his own. An attempt to kill him led by his own family prompted Mohammed to flee back to Medina. There he implored the Midianites to fund his return to Mecca in order to subdue it. They refused. So Mohammed, probably noticing the excess of young males with limited opportunities in the area, proposed to them that if they were to agree to become raiders for Islam for free they could keep the loot — provided they give Muhammed 1/5 of it. He also exiled one of the Jewish clans in the city and took their property as starter capital. This worked very well and after a period of pure brigandage, they wiped out the other Hebrew clans, expropriated their wealth and went on to conquer, in short order, most of the Near East.

Thus, two institutions arose in Arab culture, the military that conquered but had no idea about how to govern and the teacher/ministry who had no interest in doing so. As a result, government as we know it eventually fell into the hands of non-Arabic Muslims or existing non-Muslim populations in the conquered lands. This inability to create or manage a state ultimately resulted in the non-Arabic Muslim converts taking over management of the states and eventually supplanting their Arab masters. (to be continued)

DAILY FACTOID:

2015: Aging. Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a procedure for slowing or stopping aging in cells by restoring the Telomeres in chromosomes. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA called chromosomes, which house our genomes. In young humans, telomeres are about 8,000-10,000 nucleotides long. They shorten with each cell division, however, and when they reach a critical length the cell stops dividing or dies. This internal “clock” makes it difficult to keep most cells growing in a laboratory for more than a few cell doublings. The new procedure permits cells to divide up to 40 or more times.

2015: The Tattooed Iceman. The 5300-year-old well-preserved cadaver discovered in the Alps and nicknamed the Iceman has been found to have 61 tattoos on his body corresponding to the skin acupuncture lines developed in Asia thousands of years later.
tattoos

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Should Cities be more Resilient?

In April of last year, San Francisco appointed the world’s first Chief Resilience Officer as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The appointment comes with a two year $100,000 per year grant from the foundation to develop a city’s ability to recover from acute shocks and chronic stresses or, as the initial appointee explained, keeping track of everything that could test the city, from resource scarcity to social inequality. He seems to believe that, after discovering who does what in the City bureaucracy, the position entails encouraging those other city emergency, response and recovery entities and personnel to feel good about their jobs.
B. Musings on Heaven:

Have you ever wondered about why the Judeo-Christian heaven so resembles North Korea with its endless chanting and adoration of its blessed leader? At least for those Muslim men who die in battle, they get to eat and fornicate forever. For Muslim women, however — well, they are just screwed here on earth and in Heaven.

Statistically and historically, the number of those “humans” with immortal souls (as maintained by most Christians) who have died in the womb through miscarriages, death of the mother or during childbirth is somewhere between ten and twenty times the number of live births. These soul-endowed humans not having the opportunity to do anything prohibited by God, supposedly end up in Heaven. So, when the elect pass on to their just rewards, they will find a Heaven overwhelmingly filled with fetuses. Catholic theology deals with this horrifying image by segregating that mass of helpless individuals into “Limbo” so that the saved can avoid the shock.

In Heaven one spends all eternity chanting hymns and staring at the Great One in adoration, much like watching endless reruns of Seinfeld. Or, in the case of Islam endlessly fornicating with the same 72 virgins who of course after the first couple of weeks would no longer be so. Wouldn’t, in very short order, one want to get out of town so to speak? Is there a difference between Heaven and Hell? Are we all simply being punished for existing? Have we been tricked?

Is it true that those who die with the most money win? If so, what do they win? Many non-Catholic and Orthodox Christian sects believe that those with the most toys get better seats in Heaven’s arena. I could see where that would have some appeal in a fetus-filled stadium. But, even so, what could possibly be the appeal of spending all eternity in a private suite overlooking an endless Superbowl. Imagine automobile, insurance and fast food commercials without end. Jean-Paul Sartre would love it.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Rising prices benefit debtors and injure creditors, while falling prices do the opposite. A debtor called upon to pay a debt at a time when prices are higher than when he contracted the debt must yield up less goods and services than he obtained at the earlier date, on a lower price level, when he borrowed the money. A creditor, such as a bank, which has lent money— equivalent to a certain quantity of goods and services— on one price level, gets back the same amount of money— but a smaller quantity of goods and services— when repayment comes at a higher price level, because the money repaid is then less valuable. This is why bankers, as creditors in money terms, have been obsessed with maintaining the value of money, although the reason they have traditionally given for this obsession— that ‘sound money’ maintains ‘business confidence’— has been propagandist rather than accurate.”
Quigley, Carroll.

TODAY’S CHART:

biblemarriage
Examples of marriage options approved in the Bible

Marriage is and always has been a means of establishing a socio-economic organization focused on child rearing obligations, financial responsibilities and allocations among the parties and inheritance rights. Love never had anything to do with it except to make the lovers routinely oblivious to the economic implications of their liaison and the often unexpected burdens of parenthood requiring the state to step in. Today, most of the legal rules that inure to the marital ceremony determine the economic relationships between the parties not otherwise affected by a contract between them and defines those obligations and rights society determines cannot be signed away. Theoretically, any arrangement of people choosing to share living, economic and parental arrangements should be able to choose this option.

TODAY’S CARTOON:
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Today’s Photograph:
10155104_10152838669020242_6799419858627281396_nRoccantica, my grandmother’s birthplace

 

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Categories: January through March 2015, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. April 19, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1964, November 4: Terry Reilly’s minimalist masterpiece “In C” premiered in San Francisco. Alfred Frankenstein, the San Francisco Chronicle said about listening to it, “At times you feel you have never done anything all your life long but listen to this music and as if that is or ever will be.”

Steve Reich another prominent American composer played the electric piano that night.

Several years later, through my then friends Mel Moss and Rasa Gustitus, I got to know Reilly, the marvelous sitar virtuoso Krishna Bott and many other musicians (Hamza el-Din, Ali Akbar Kahn, and even Peter Grenell) in the vibrant Bay Area music scene that existed during the 1970s and continued until it began to fade at the end of the 80’s. Reich had left the Bay Area and returned to New York before I had arrived in 1970. Reputedly he couldn’t stand California’s descent into hippiedom and mysticism. Besides the job prospects for composers were better on the East Coast.

Many of those same musicians would show up at the cottage in the rear of Mel and Rasa’s home on Jersey Street to jam on the amazing collection of home-made and folk musical instruments Mel had collected and stored there. Sometimes I would join them. The music at times would go on from early afternoon until two or three in the morning. Although, I understand that Reilly attended some of these sessions, I do not recall if I was there at the time he did. Everyone was usually too stoned and into the music making to know, care or remember.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

a. Songkran:

The government of Bangkok was among the sponsors of what was reputed to be the world’s biggest water gun fight. Guinness is now checking if Bangkok mêlée has surpassed the size achieved by the current title holder for a similar event previously held in Spain.

b. Insurance:

Insurgents in the southernmost provinces of Thailand have begun setting up their own businesses to help finance the increasing cost of the rebellion. Among their new business ventures are firms that charge other companies doing business it those provinces 3000 baht per month to assure the covered companies that their assets will be immune to damage due to insurgency attacks.

c. Electioneering:

.”THAKSIN THINKS, PUEA THAI ACTS”
Puea Thai election slogan.

(Wha…?)

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I plan to return from Paradise by the Sea at SWAC’s urgent request that someone (me) needs to attend to Hayden as she and the maid are too busy with their responsibilities at AVA Wine Bar to do so. I expect grief, anguish and conflict when I tell her that I have to return to PbS on Tuesday evening to finish packing in preparation for my trip to the US. She has volunteered to book my flight to SF for me so that I can accompany Hayden and her on their voyage to wherever. I suspect that she will attempt to pry some money out of me as commission for arranging the flight, claiming EVA has raised their prices.

Here in PbS, I continue my morning walks and afternoon swims. This evening, I went down to the pool for my swim and sat on one of the pool side lounges to finish up reading today’s newspaper. Upon finishing, I leaned back and suddenly felt awash with anxiety that I had something to do and I was wasting my time. I realized that I often feel that way, that I must be doing something and not be idle. Luckily for me, doing something included reading and watching television. While contemplating this, I also realized that I was sitting up in the lounge chair and that when I was lying prone, say on a bed, I had no such feelings of anxiety. So I decided, not to take my swim but return to my apartment and lie down. I did so and my anxiety disappeared.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Chapter 18 (cont.)

The First wrinkled his aquiline nose slightly as though he detected a whiff of something that smelled bad. He then spoke. “That is an interesting question and request.” “Hmm… are you sure you want to get in to that,” he asked buying some time?

“Yes.”

“Well, then, ah, I will have to look into whether my representation of the partnerships as a whole under those changed circumstances, may affect my obligations to the individual partners, and of course whether or not there is anything in the partnership agreement that may limit that course of action.”

Vince knew that normally such hesitation by any attorney is a prelude to opening negotiations regarding fees, but here he got the distinct feeling that the First appeared ill-disposed to the request. “Well,” he said, “please look into it and let me know what you think by the end of the day, if that is at all possible.” And with that Vince without further ceremony excused himself and left the First’s office.

Convinced that the First was unwilling to antagonize potential future clients represented by his tainted clients, Vince decided to seek other advice. He first called Mike Daly of the firm of Daly and Perez. Although crime of the white-collar variety was not Mikes specialty, he knew Mike and his partner and ex-wife Rosie and followed their careers for a while now. He liked and admired them and trusted their advice.

Mike answered his cell phone on the first ring. After an exchange of greeting and inquiries as to the welfare of their respective families, Vince explained his quandary.

“Vince, since you have been away, Rosie and I closed up our practice and returned to the Public Defender’s office. We were always happiest there. Anyway, as you know that federal corporate stuff is not my field or interest. However, I can recommend that you confer with someone who I think is one of the most brilliant practitioners in the area. But I have to warn you he is quite unusual, and may be too unconventional for a white shoe firm like yours.”

Seamus, Arroyo, Cohen agreed to meet Vince at the Starbucks at the corner of Market Street and Drum Street in downtown San Francisco. It seems that attorney Cohen practiced out of the basement of his home in a large restored Italianate stick Victorian house on Liberty Street in the Mission District.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Projected Patterns of Precipitation Changes:


These maps, prepared by the IPCC in 2007, display the anticipated changes in precipitation (in percent) for the period 2090–2099, relative to 1980–1999. The values indicated are multi-model averages (that is, assembled out of many different computer models) for December to February (left) and June to August (right). White areas are where less than 66% of the models agree and stippled areas are where more than 90% of the models agree.
(I assume the white areas indicate a disagreement among the models over gradations and not of trends. If that is so, the maps are even more disturbing. For example in the June to August map the United States is entirely white between two large areas where the models agree to a substantial drop in precipitation from normal. Does this mean the US as a whole is in for increased wetness or increased dryness and the only disagreement is how much? The answers, would, for example, indicate whether the central portion of the US would or would not experience substantial migration.*)
If they accurately predict the future weather patterns pictured, what these maps show is that (as I mentioned in a previous post), precipitation in Northeast North America and Northeast Asia may increase up to 20%, while Southwest North America (from Southern California through Texas and south to Panama) and the Mediterranean basin (Southern Europe and North Africa) and the Near and Middle East will substantially dry up.
These projections signify on a social level , among other things, the probability of significant human migration from the drying regions and increased weather caused catastrophe costs in the areas receiving greater rainfall.
Two things should be noted. The first is the potential expanded cloud cover due to greater precipitation over much of the northern hemisphere may slow and even reverse shrinkage of the Arctic and Greenland ice sheet melt, thus slowing sea water rise. Secondly the highly populated portions of northeastern US and Asia (China, Korea and Japan) may for a while experience the feeling of a cooling trend.

* While a single weather event cannot be generalized into a trend, the recent unprecedented rash of tornadoes throughout the middle of the US, would be consistent with the type of weather events that could be expected within that particular white area on the maps.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) :


“There is no such things as supply and demand because they are both infinitely manipulatable.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“A wasteland, dominated by these maniacs, these creeps, who were trying to make everyone write this crazy creepy music”
American composer Steve Glass describing the European musical avant-garde he encountered in Paris during his studies there during the 1960s.

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 7, 2010

Today’s factoid:

1968 – A divorced Dutchman named Louwrens Voorthuijzen who proclaimed himself God and renamed himself  “Lou the Eel Vendor”, died. He mixed marketing European eels with proselytism. His followers considered him a living God on a mission against evil.

Petrillo’s dyspeptic advice for the unwary traveller in Thailand:

Always remember, nothing is what it seems.

Pookie’s adventures in Thailand:

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

Pookie awoke the next morning feeling not much better than he had the night before. Nevertheless, he got up and went out to have breakfast because he thought it would be best to get some food into his stomach even if he could not keep it all down.

At the café he thought about how lucky he was to get sick while at the pharmacy and not somewhere else and how fortunate it was that the pharmacist was so kindly.

He also began to contemplate the decision that had been plaguing him for a while, whether to remain here in Paradise by the Sea or return to the US, at least briefly. It did not appear that his preference to drift and allow circumstance to decide for him was going to save him the trouble of figuring out what to do.

His plan was to travel to the US in late November of early December, remain there for two weeks or so and visit with family and friends that he was finding he missed more and more. He could also see, for perhaps the last time, his mom, now 91 years old and living is a rest home. Toward the end of the month he would travel to Italy with Hayden and stay in Milan until H’s mom returns from visiting her parents and boy friends in Thailand. Then he could return to Thailand or go to Ghana, Ecuador or another low-cost jurisdiction.

But it all ment too much planning and effort for him. What about his apartment? Give it up and perhaps lose the opportunity to live in a place he had grown accustomed to? What about the hassle of Thai Immigration again? And finally there was the cost. He would have to dip into his meager savings. What to do” What to do?

He finished his breakfast, went for a brief stroll along the beach and returned to his apartment, feeling exhausted. He laid on his bed trying to deal with these matters as well his feelings of inadequacy to do so. Eventually he drifted off to sleep. The last words he recalled bouncing around in his mind were “Tomorrow is another day.” And indeed it will be.

Mopey Joe’s memories:

TOO MANY JOES (CONT,)

JOE

Although this story is mostly about Joey, me, it is appropriate that it begins with my grandfather Joe or Peppino as he was sometimes called, because of the shadows that his life and legends cast upon the family, especially me. I always considered him as heroic character. A view not shared by everyone, especially his wife Elisa and my mother.

Joe was a big man. Not as tall as most Americans, but above average for italian immigrants of the time. He was the ideal mesomorph, broad and blocky with heavy strong muscles. His body looked a lot like that of Rocky Marciano the undefeated Italian-American Heavyweight boxer. This physical type is not uncommon in the mountains surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

These mountain people differed in culture and history from those people who lived in the lowlands. They were probably the original inhabitants driven into the highlands by the waves of invaders that swept across the mediterranean basin for thousands of years. There they remained undefeated except by economic adversity. The mountains were harsh and unproductive, good only for the herding sheep and goats and the hiding of the smugglers and brigands who provided additional sustenance to the meager resources available to these mountain people.

Joe was born in a small village called Prato on the slopes of Mt. Vergene in the mountains above Naples. Prato is not far from Avellino a largish mountain town. I know little about the town, never having visited it. The little I do know I learned from uncle Aldo, my fathers youngest brother, who visited it shortly after the Second World War and found the partisans and fascists still shooting at one another as though the war continued unabated. He left quickly. As far as I know no one in our immediate family has ever visited the village since.


.
Prato

Pepe’s potpourri:

1. The wisdom of Miracle Max:

Miracle Max: “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.” 
The Princess Bride

2. Today’s album cover:

(I don’t know what to say.)

Today’s quote:

” War makes thieves, and peace hangs them.”
Nicolo Machiavelli The Art of War

Ciao…

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. September 25, 2010

Todays factoid:

1589 The woman credited with introducing haute cuisine to France, Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II of France dies. When she arrived in France from Italy she brought with her ice cream, the fork and had a strong influence on the development of sophisticated dining in France.

(She also had a fondness for roasted Huguenots)

Today’s quote:

“Want prompts a thousand crimes, you must admit. Why do men steal? why break burglariously into houses? why hold men and women captive and make slaves of them? Is it not from want? Nay, there are monarchs who at one fell swoop destroy whole houses, make wholesale massacre, and oftentimes reduce entire states to slavery, and all for the sake of wealth. These I must needs pity for the cruel malady which plagues them. Their condition, to my mind, resembles that poor creature’s who, in spite of all he has and all he eats, can never stay the wolf that gnaws his vitals.”
Socrates in “The Economist” by Xenophon.

Today’s news from Thailand:

The Bangkok Post recently reported that the chairman of commission to revise the Thai constitution announced that the new document will not deal with either Political or Military reform.

Although in my opinion this should result in a very short document, the chairman estimated that the commission will take at least three years to produce the first draft.

Petrillo responds:

Some of you have enquired whether or not the dog in the photograph a few emails back was mine.

No, the dog I believe is Petey, the canine star in the “Our Gang” movies of the 1930-50’s who, following his illustrious career in cinema, retired to Thailand where at night he sits on the beach and stares at the surf.

Other’s of you have wondered why, in my most recent emails, I have wandered away from describing my wondrous adventures here in Thailand, writing fanciful tales instead.

The answer is that for the last few days I have suffered from an attack of ennui, a condition that makes one uninterested in doing anything different today than he did yesterday.

Yes, I know that is the normal condition of most people. But, I have always conducted my life like it was a rudderless boat blown about by any chance wind that may come about. Sometimes I land on a strange shore where I root about a bit until I foul my nest and move on. Other times I just drift aimlessly. Sometimes I feel as though I am floating through some great garbage dump in the ocean where the residue of past lives can be seen bobbing about.

It is interesting to compare the Great Pacific Garbage Dump with the Bermuda Triangle. In the Bermuda Triangle things go to disappear, it the Great Pacific Garbage Dump the past just floats up all around you.

For the past few weeks I have been bereft of even the hint of a breeze to fill my sails.

Pookie’s further adventures in Paradise:

Most day’s after breakfast I spend the mornings walking the 1000 paces that I read somewhere one should do as part of ones daily exercise. It seemed easy enough, so that is why I do it.

I usually try to walk barefoot in the sand on the beach. True, the gritty feel of the sand on my bare feet sets my teeth on edge and I am terrorized that I will inadvertently step on some sharp-edged detritus that will puncture my foot and cause pain, sickness and even death. Nevertheless, I believe walking on the sand allows me to exercise those small muscles in the foot and ankle upon which our ability to balance ourselves depends. Shoes, even those preceded by the word “athletic,” immobilize these muscles. So, I feel that if I am going to exercise anyway I should not ignore them.

This morning while on my way to the pharmacy to pick up my months supply of pills that prevent my prostate from expanding like a weather balloon, I passed by the skinny woman I wrote about in a previous email.

Although it is against my above mentioned philosophy to initiate contact of any kind, I had sort of hoped she would acknowledge me with a look or a nod that might be interpreted as that slight breeze in my sails, so to speak. But she took no notice of me.

On the way back I passed her again sitting on the sand. I was afraid that she might think I was stalking her and start screeching and embarrass me, but again I was ignored.

Today is my regular massage day so I happily avoided contemplating the winds of chance and settled for doing what I generally do on Fridays.

Yesterday I read Sheldon’s new novel “Perfect Alibi” in one sitting. For a story that has little of the kind of action one often sees in thrillers, (there are no shoot outs, no wild car chases, no terror and the like), Sheldon keeps the reader riveted to each page.

Today’s medical chart:

I have no idea what the medical specialty may be of the doctor displaying the attached chart in his examining room. If you do, please let me know.

Ciao

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3Th. September 21 2010

Today’s news from Thailand:

Explanation given to Saudi’s for The promotion of Somkid Boonthanom, who has been indicted for alleged involvement in the 1990 disappearance of a Saudi businessman, to assistant national police chief: Under Thai law, the senior policeman’s promotion was appropriate due to a blanket amnesty given to all state employees facing disciplinary charges on the occasion of the King’s birthday in 2007.

Unfortunately,the amnesty does not apply to criminal matters. Somkid is a strong opponent of the Red Shirts so, although the Saudi government requested a meeting to discuss the matter, the Thai government appointed him anyway. The Saudi’s are pissed. Stay tuned.

Today’s factoid:

Myrceugenia correifolia is a species of evergreen woody flowering shrub native to South America belonging to the Myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The common name of this plant is petrillo.

Why any plant should have a so-called common name “Petrillo” I have no f***ing idea. Why not Schatzman for example?

Nevertheless, you may be pleased to know that one notable character of the noble Myrtle family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants. Chew on that for a while.

While on the subject of things Petrillo, as you may recall in a previous email I introduced most of you to the notorious murdering Petrillo brothers. Recently, I also learned that Dominick “The Gap” Petrillo introduced Joe Valacci to the Cosa Nostra.

As coincidence will have it, Dominic Petrillo is also the name of a character in one of Sheldon’s books. And to continue on, Sheldon is not the only well-known author to include an unflattering description of me in his novel.

In “Roses are Red,” James Patterson’s protagonists attempting to solve a series of baffling bank robberies go through files of hate mail from the banks that were robbed. One letter in particular draws their attention. The man who wrote it lived nearby. The man’s name is Joseph Petrillo. Petrillo wrote a hate letter every week for the last two years. Petrillo also was a former security guard who was laid off by Citibank. The letters were intelligent and well written. They go to see Petrillo, who shoots at them. Once back up arrives they burst in, but find Petrillo had blown his head off. (Again, and hopefully for the last time, “sic transit gloria.”)

For those with some interest in the matter, I seem to recall that my daughter briefly dated James Patterson’s son. As I understood it, it was a relationship that she would just as well forget.

Oh well, as long as I am one a roll with Petrillo and mayhem, I may as well add one particularly gruesome and tragic story.

On September 25, 2009, Annie Morrell Petrillo, daughter of slain newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas with first ex-husband Anthony Morrell, jumped to her death from the same bridge her stepfather Scott Douglas jumped to his death from on January 1, 1994 after murdering his wife. According to a witness, she stopped her car on the Tappan Zee Bridge and got out and jumped. A suicide note was found and its contents released on the ABC show 20/20 in 2010. Family friends stated that Annie never got over the senseless tragedy of her mother’s murder and she had been hospitalized several times for depression. At the time of Annie’s death, she was finalizing a divorce from Petrillo and that also may have contributed to her despair.

Just in case you have the impression that the Petrillo clan is only associated with death, dying and violence, I will have you know that apparently we also like music (and of course sex).

It seems that the Grand Prince of Tuscany Ferdinando de’ Medici (1663-1713), also known as the “Orpheus Prince,” principal delight, aside from music, was in intimate liaisons and affairs, often with men. These included someone named (you guessed it) Petrillo. Petrillo was a musician, famous for his beauty. The over sexed prince also had an affair with a Venetian castrato by the name of Cecchino (I could be wrong, but I think Cecchino means either “little garbonzo bean” or “Frankie”).

(Now there may be a gay Petrillo or two, but a castrato, never.)

Petrillo’s cracked historical analyses:

Analysis of Executions in Connecticut From 1600 to 2000, with Conclusions.

From 1600 to 1699 12 people were executed in the then colony of Connecticut of which 4 were for sodomy, 7 (Women) for witchcraft and one Native American for Murder.

Conclusions: Only Native Americans committed murders, white males were too busy buggering each other and woman too occupied casting spells (maybe just to get some of the men to show an interest in them. Then again probably not.)

From 1700 to 1799 there were 16 executions of which 7 were of Native Americans (including two women) for murder . Two white women along with two white men were also executed for murder. Two men both black, were put to death for rape. One man was executed for robbery and two for treason.

Conclusions: After being prevented from casting spells, women went on a killing spree; Native Americans continued to exhibit a greater tendency to violence then white men and; it suddenly became obvious to white males that black men were obsessed with white women and would soon be sleeping with their wives or daughters if not stopped. Males learned to hide in the closet.

From 1800 to 1880 there were an additional 19 executions of which three were for rape all by black men. Two Native Americans were executed for murder. No women were executed during this period.

Conclusions: White men do not rape, women learned their lesson and for some reason there appeared to be fewer Native Americans around to kill.

From 1881 until 1999 there were 78 executions in the State of Connecticut of which 25 were of Italian men ( someone named (surprise!) August Petrillo was one of them), 3 were black men and two were Asian. There were no executions for rape. No women were executed during this time.

Conclusions: Since there were no Native Americans left, Italians stepped up to fill the “violent savages” role; women continued on good behavior, and; blacks prevented from sleeping with white women went on a killing spree. And as for the two Asians, it is uncertain if this is the beginning of a trend or just an anomaly.

Finally, the Petrillo clan clearly are violent, anti-social and a danger to society. They must be suppressed.

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3T (Thorba the Thai) September 16, 2010

Today’s quote:
“Stupidity is infinitely more fascinating than intelligence. Intelligence has its limits while stupidity has none.”
Claude Chabrol, courtesy of Ruth Galanter quoting from Claude’s obituary in the New York Times.

(Ah, so that is why I find Fox News so fascinating. I always thought it was the “Fair and Balanced” reporting of the news.)

Today’s definition:
System justification — the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest. (See also status quo bias.)

(If that is so, than why do I think Alex Smith should be replaced?)

Today’s Corrections:
1. In my last email I mentioned my bucket list success occasioned by appearing in my ex-client Rick Elfman’s movie Modern Vampires. Originally entitled “Revenant”, it was supposed to be about a war in LA between Vampires and the Mafia in which I had a walk on role as a Mafia Don. Although I saw the rushes with my scene still in them, apparently, as is the case with most movies, they went back and reshot parts of the movie before release. The Mafia plot was dropped, Rod Steiger was recast as a bumbling “Van Helsing”and my scene replaced by a black hip-hop gang that has the job of wrapping Kim Cattrel in strings of garlic and throwing her into the back of a van, instead of me and my Mafia gang gleefully tossing her garlic wrapped body (Rick rejected, with some disdain, my suggestion that we also smear her with tomato sauce and add some pepperoni) into the trunk of a black limousine. Again,”Sic transit gloria.”

I guess my bucket list has to be satisfied with Sheldon’s portrayal of me in his books.

If you are interested in Rick Elfman things, here is a link to his blog Buzzine Magazine Online (His logo is attached below). Apparently, much to my surprise, there is to be a nationwide retrospective of Rick’s film “Forbidden Zone” this fall. You may want to check out the video of Rick promoting the festival. You need only to look at the first few seconds to understand all. Rick is the balding red-head in the uniform. I also learned that Danny married Bridget Fonda, so maybe he is an artist after all.

2. Irwin pointed out to me that Soupy Sales was only suspended for his “send me the green presidents that you fine in your parent’s pants and pocketbooks” joke. Irwin suggests that you look up Soupy’s write-up in Wikipedia if you are unfamiliar with the life and times of Soupy Sales.

By the way, “Pookie the Lion” was a character on the show whom Soupy would sometimes kiss.

Pookie in Paradise:
The US dollar continues its precipitous decline versus the baht, as a result Pookie is eating less and happily losing weight again. On the other hand, in the mornings Pookie has begun to go for long walks along the beach. I know,- he hates the sand-, but it is better than being kissed by Soupy Sales…then again maybe not.

I was visited on Sunday by two friends who I had not seen for a while, Pui and Gary. Pui stayed for a few weeks at my place in SF before meeting Gary and moving in with him. He now works in Singapore and she owns a Spa in Bangkok not far from AVA Bar.

A spa in Thailand is usually the name given to a massage parlor that generally does not provide “happy endings” among its services. They mostly replace the “happy endings” with things like hot rocks or strange smelling oils and higher prices.

After a few days of marvelous weather the sky has turned overcast again and although it has rained a lot in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, there has been little precipitation here. During that brief hiatus, the weather turned from the sudden wild storms of the monsoon to the peaceful softness that follows the passing of the rain. The air was warm with a strong benevolent breeze making the palms sway with gentle rustling rhythms. For the first time it feels like what a tropical paradise should feel like. The colors have been transformed from washed out pastels to the vigorous palette of the Caribbean. Sunsets’ splash orange across a great arc of the horizon turning undersides of the clouds into burning embers. In the evenings, the brown green of the water has been transformed into dark blue velvet, not translucent like the waters around the Bahamas or in parts of the Mediterranean but a shimmering opaque like a great dark rippling curtain stretching beyond the green palms and the rust-gold sands to the purple and orange sky.

Ciao…

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment by Thorba the Thai. September 10, 2010

Today’s factoid:
A recent study by scholars a Princeton University found that an American is happiest day-to-day who has an income of about $75,000 per year.

(I must be very unhappy. On the other hand all you over achievers, knock it off and smell the flowers. Get a government job.)

Today’s quote:
“Obviously we loved sports, and the baby was born during the spring track season.”
Sarahpalin,–Going Rogue.

Today’s Thailand news bits:
1. In response to the where tourists in Bangkok are accosted by police and accused of violating the new law prohibiting the disposal of cigarette butts on sidewalks or streets and demanded to pay the 2000 baht fine to the accosting officer, the chief of Bangkok’s police has suggested that tourists refuse to pay the fine and fine another cop to complain to.

(This is a fascinating theory of police work, everyone should find his own corrupt cop. Then again isn’t it the way it works now?)

2. Recently the yellow shirt government has moved to consolidate its control over the red shirt leaning police by appointing as deputy police chief a government supporter who is under indictment for among other things conspiracy to commit murder.
3. Recent governmental investigations have uncovered widespread corruption in the disbursment of emergency relief fund for some recent storm caused flooding in various parts of Thailand.

(Oh my gawd, soon Thailand will become just another third world country like Louisiana.)

4. The dollar has dropped another 2% against the baht in the last two weeks.

Pookie’s news:
I just finished a John Gresham short story about a lawyer who gets fed up practicing law, rips off a few clients and runs off to a tropical paradise and lives happily ever after. While I like Gresham, he is no Sheldon Siegel. Once a week I trundle the two miles to the outskirts of hell, where the english language book store is located, to check for Sheldon’s latest publication. While his mystery and courtroom scenes are great, it is the latest doings of his main characters Mike and Rosie that I look forward to. They are more real to me than my life here.

Two of my favorite authors are Sheldon Siegel and William Kotzwinkle. At least Sheldon Siegel sounds like and author. Kotzwinkle sounds like a character in Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

Speaking of Pee Wee, I am waiting for a revival of Pee Wee Herman and Soupy Sales’ great performances. In case you do not recall (or are not old enough to recall) one of Soupy’s more memorable bits was to tell his juvenile audience to go into mommy and daddy’s room while they were asleep and go into daddy’s pants, take out his wallet, extract a dollar and mail it to Soupy. While most 5 to 10 year olds got the joke, their parents had Soupy thrown off television.

Pee Wee, on the other hand is the metaphor for our generation, a happy life in a children’s playhouse exposed in the dark theater of history. Pee Wee’s come-back was in one of my all time favorite movies “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the original) where he plays a vampire’s assistant. You should see it. There are memorable performances in it by Rutger Hauer as the chief Vampire and Donald Sutherland as Buffy’s instructor in vampire slaying.

One of my ex-clients, Danny Elfman, the oscar winning musician, got his start in movies by writing the theme songs for the Pee Wee playhouse movies. Danny told me once that he was an “Artist,” not a doped up guitar player. I wonder if Willie Nelson considers himself and artist.

Danny’s brother Rick was also a client. Rick is the director of some of the worst movies ever made. Movies so bad that they appear in the cult movie section of video stores. Movies so bad they use a pseudonym for the directors name. He directed such classics as “Forbidden Zone,” “Shrunken Heads,” “Streets of Rage” (Wherein he uses the pseudonym of “Aristide Pierre Laffite Sumatra of the Ton Ton Macoute”) and “Modern Vampires.”

The last of which, I made my film acting debut in a walk on role and crossed off item one of my bucket list. The movie was about a war in Los Angeles between the Vampires and the Mafia, one of the last movies in which Rod Steiger appeared (and justly so). I of course played a Mafia Don who, in my one scene, holds open the trunk of a black limousine into which my two mafia henchman, dump the “Queen of the Vampires”(played by Kim Cattrell in one of her earliest and most regretted roles) tightly wrapped in strings of garlic to keep her comatose (I kid you not). Sic transit gloria.

Ciao…

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. March 12, 2010

I have just suffered a minor tragedy. On Wednesday, she who must be avoided at all costs blew into town like the much-needed rain storm that unfortunately did not, leaving me with only with the unextinguished brush fires in the countryside and She’s wreckage at home.

Yesterday She decided to spend my little remaining money for the month at the shopping center. Upon our return she stopped the car by a group of the previously described Burmese workers who occupy the same economic niche in Thailand that Mexican illegals occupy in the US, reviled, exploited and blamed for most of the nations social ills. Anyway they were pruning the trees alongside one of the streets in the subdivision. She called over one of the workers who appeared to be the boss and told him that some of the trees in our yard needed pruning and would he come and take a look. He jumped on his new motor scooter and followed us home. She told me that they work for free. She choose the large tree in the middle of the yard pictured in the first of today’s photos behind the fully blooming golden trumpet tree in the foreground. The chosen tree’s lower trunk leans precipitously, a condition I learned from my flowers guide that is common for this type of tree, as in its early years the its roots are very shallow. We all agreed that it would be better if the tree were shortened a bit and the branches on the side that the tree was leaning toward trimmed to reduce the weight on the trunk and roots. We then left for the sport club, She to her exercises, Hayden to his swimming and me to sit in the heat and stare balefully at the fundamentalists sharing the facility with us. Upon our return we found the entire top of the tree lopped off completely about 15 feet above the ground leaving the remnants of the leaning part of the trunk intact. All the limbs on the wrong side had been removed while those on the side of the lean retained. Why the tree had not already toppled over I could not understand. She said it was perfect and demanded that I pay them $15.37 that this free service cost (I later reasoned that the were allowed to work for the subdivision for free in return for protection from the authorities, shelter in the corrugated metal shacks I included in one of my previous posts). I asked them to cut off some of the branches of the leaning side in a forlorn hope that it would at least reduce some of the weight, paid the $15.37 and went to take my nap.

She flew out this morning. The tree now appears at it looks in todays photo #2 behind the golden trumpet flower tree that has dropped its flowers in anticipation of the hoped for rainy season.

Ciao


____________________________________________

FROM MY JOURNAL

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 2010 8 PM

Hayden appeared to be iN an exceptionally good mood today. After my nap, we went to the club pool where he had the children’s pool all to himself, as he likes it. After returning, I took the training wheels off his bicycle and we went to Leo’s. Upon our return, he took a call from his mother. He said to her, “I did not tell Nikki or Pookie”. He asked if she wanted to speak to me. Apparently she did not, since she hung up. I asked him what it was that he was not supposed to tell us and all I got out of him was “Nikki talks too much” and that he was going to Milan. Later he asked me to fix his cell phone. And now has gone off to bed without a story.

9:30

He returned for his story. Nikki said that Natalie is angry at me for not answering the telephone when she calls me.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2010 2PM

Waiting for Natalie to arrive.

10 PM

See emails to Nikki for today for entries.

THURSDAY, MARCH 11 2010 5PM

Got up at about 9 AM with Hayden shouting that my breakfast was getting cold. Ate breakfast on patio. Finished, went back to my room. Natalie had gotten up and barged into my room demanding 1500 baht. When I asked for what, she said “for cleaning the car and other things.” She said she had to go to “Central for some things.” I mentioned that I had to get a “top-up” for my phone. She suggested that I accompany her and Hayden. When we got into the car she began on its dirtiness. When she found some cigar ash in the seat track she became apoplectic. I said most of the smoking was done by Nikki. Hayden stood up for Nikki and ratted on me for smoking in the car yesterday. I called him a rat. I am pretty low, first I rat out my friend and then verbally abuse a 5-year-old. Does Natalie really bring that out in me or am I naturally this defective?

Drove to gas station. Natalie put in 500 baht. Gauge read the same as when we put in 1500 baht.

Got to Central, left the auto to be cleaned, took 1500 baht out of my SF account and gave her 500. Went to eat lunch at usual spot. She paid. Returned to Central, I went to a coffee shop to wait. Paid $2 for a cuppa. She came asked for 500 baht for additional shopping. Finished and went home. She took a nap. I took Hayden to the school to play with Leo. After Jerry returned him home, we went to the sport club where Hayden swam, Natalie exercised and I wrote this.

_____________________________________________
COMMENTS ON POST:

From Irwin:

cuz joe – i fear that the northern thailandian sun has very much cooked your brain. offer swmbaaac (“she who must be avoided at all costs”) a monthly allowance which is not be be exceeded. given that you have already placed the house in her name (drunk were we!) i think this step would exhibit a show of proper masculine strength. if all else fails, assuming that hayden’s birth certificate has you listed as the father, grab the five year old kid and run.

please be aware that you are receiving this good intentioned advice from one of the most pussy-whipped men in fountain valley california usa. i am so pussy-whipped that i periodically cough up a fur ball.

*************************

From Nikki

She was able even to mess up a poor tree from the garden mybe not explain well to the burmeses what to do or it was a language barrier.
Our burmese or mexican are the African mainly from senegal ghana mali and from those north african regions.
Those are really maintaining our economy since no italian is willing to clean toilets or swipe streets in the cold.
The east european those form the old IRON curtain are doing more skilled job like painting or constructions their women do the nannies or guardian for old senior people if they not end up into the flesh market of sex slavery
So we went in Africa to colonize LIBIA and ETIOPIA now we are colonized by them
Did u finish the story for HAYDEN?

From Terry Goggin:

Well, all I can say is: sinner pay for your sins.

From Ruth:

You do lead an interesting life. Is She your latest woman, or Natalie, or am I just hopelessly unable to keep up with you? I’m sorry about your tree, but one thing about trees is they grow back.

How’s your thriller coming? Sheldon’s book that was supposed to be out last year or the year before isn’t out yet. Kaminsky died. Parker died. I really need for you to get your book to where I can read it!

I just started “Corelli’s Mandolin,” which so far is quite good. Turns out my neighbor Bob (the mandolinist) taught Nicholas Cage for the movie, which of course I didn’t see. Bob liked Cage but didn’t like the producer, whose name he didn’t tell me.

Be well, hang in there, the rains will come and you will long for when they didn’t. We just went through that.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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