22Feb

I Don’t Wanna Be a Spaceman!

I love sci-fi, every angle of it: music from David Bowie and his “Space Oddity” to R.E.M singing “Man on the Moon,” mostly about Andy Kaufman and hoaxing, you know, like putting a man on the moon; movies like Alien, where we got to watch Sigourney Weaver give birth to a monster (and to this day still causes me to fear the worst whenever I have stomach ache); and TV from My Favorite Martian to Alphas. We’ve been spacing out for generations, if not hundreds of years, fascinated with what’s over yonder or out there. Somehow the place we’ve been planted is not the place we want to grow. In fact, it seems we are hell bent on destroying what little earth we have been granted.

Now, if missing out on the winning Powerball wasn’t enough to make you cry, I’m sure this will do it. The process is over for picking the final 100 applicants out of 200,000 who had their hearts set on the Mars One program and so desperately wanted to be shot to Mars and die there, 33 of them Americans. This is a $6 billion trip financed through sponsorships, crowd funding, intellectual property revenue, and the sale of broadcasting rights.  Broadcasting rights, wow! Maybe Brian Williams would like to go; I understand he needs a new gig. Or imagine being the first spaced-out spaced-out DJ. All this makes me wonder, why they are trying so hard to get off the earth? What are they not telling us?

In 1903, the Wright brothers successfully flew a plane for a whopping 59 seconds, Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, and just 55 years later, in 2024, we’re off to Mars. I heard one scientist say it would help us better understand the meaning and origin of creation, but sweet mother of the cosmos, we haven’t done anything but screw up Earth. If there is intelligent life out there, and I’m sure there is, at some point they are going to say, “Back away from our planet, Earthlings. This is a pollution-free galaxy. Just turn your little spaceship around before we have to show you what a real probe feels like.”

 Oh! Guess what they are going to shoot into space next. Really!  

There are more thoughts both orbiting and submerging on the shores of Rambling Harbor and one obvious blunder.  In the podcast, I say that Lesley Gore died on Monday the 23rd instead of the 16th. Oops! Give a listen.


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15Feb

To Flock or Not to Flock

I’m looking out my window, thinking there may still be life across that snow, behind that row of evergreens, but it probably has fur, sharp teeth, and walks on all fours—and that's just the people of Rambling Harbor. Winter’s getting to be a bit much for some of us. They say that if the snow continues for much longer we all may begin to howl, and if the rum ship gets delayed, I fear the worst.

If you haven’t heard, Rambling Harbor has had over eight days of continuous snow, and at this writing a total accumulation of 73.5 inches for the winter, or slightly over six feet of snow. Yes, over SIX FEET, and it has been below freezing the entire time so the snow is staying put, and at least another foot is due by the end of the weekend. Mother Nature celebrated Valentine’s Day with the white stuff, and the combination of cabin fever and lack of sun through my windows creates an emotion in me that I call FFF.

Have you ever suffered from not giving a Flying Flock of Finches about anything? While I could have used geese instead of finches, considering the wildlife outside my windows, it would not have made as good an acronym as FFF. FFG just doesn’t have the same stress release as screaming FFF over and over, clinching your fist. Now try it—I’ll wait—and then try again with FFG. See? It’s not the same. By the way if you say FFF out loud in public and someone says to you, What did you say? How dare you?, simply respond, What do you have against a Flying Flock of Finches? Must I call the wildlife society on you? What I am going through is Flying Flock of Finches syndrome, a freezing-to-death of the spirit with no relief likely until the first thaw.

On other matters, in the last few months we have gone from deflated balls on the gridiron to inflated boobs at the Grammy awards. Believe me, I love the latter view, but what do body parts have to do with talent and the awards female artists are vying for? Is there something they are not telling us? And Kanye West just surprised me twice, once at the Grammys and again with his Ryan Seacrest interview. Beck, I think, handled Kanye beautifully by inviting him to come back on stage at the Grammys, but my brain is still debating this one. If you missed it, Wild Wild West tried to interrupt Beck’s acceptance speech, or did he? I haven’t decided whether I give a Flying Flock of Finches about that or about one last FFF: What has taken Roger Goodell and the NFL so long to look into Bill’s balls? The Watergate investigation took less time.

Other things to give a flock about, or not, are Bob Simon, Brian Williams, Little League baseball champions, and again, believe it or not, Kanye West. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.



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8Feb

Rand Paul and Other Political Morons

Hello again from the buried-in-snow shores of Rambling Harbor. Forty-eight inches at last count and more on the way is not my idea of white beaches.

One issue I try not to blog about is politics. I feel we all get enough crap thrown at us by the political junkies from both sides of the aisle and by the media, and it’s often hard to tell who’s hooked on which drugs.

There are some that medication might help. Let’s start with Rand Paul, a true moron; John Boehner, who always looks like a poster boy for A.A.; and Ted Cruz, who hasn’t picked up a book since Green Eggs and Ham, which he’s still working on. And let us not forget Sarah Palin, who would have made a great saloon girl in the old west. Hee-haw, Sarah!

Rand Paul’s certification as an ophthalmologist is from a group called the National Ophthalmology Board, which he founded. While he is a specialist trained in diseases of the eye, he is not a research scientist or medical practitioner in childhood diseases, yet last week he said, as if he were an authority, that vaccines should be an individual’s decision. This reignited a controversy and recleared a path many parents followed as a result of a scare a few years ago that speculated there might be a relationship between vaccines and autism. In the intervening years, though, research has shown there is no relationship between the two, and even the organization Autism Speaks spoke out in favor of vaccinations, reacting to Rand Paul’s comments.

I was about 8 in the 1950’s when I saw a newsreel about polio. Shadows representing polio would pass over a child, and the child would fall paralyzed. This was an effort to push parents to get their children vaccinated, and thank God, it worked. I remember being terrified I would die or end up in a big scary thing called an iron lung or a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Fortunately, my dad and mom were not stupid and neither were many others, and polio was brought to an end in this country. If prayer had anything to do with it, then Jonas Salk was God’s answer.

Yes, there are some questionable practices in medicine, but using a proven vaccine is not among them. Let’s not destroy the lives of our children, or other people’s, because some self-centered politician is trying to promote his own libertarian political agenda, especially one who probably thinks Green Eggs and Ham is what Ted Cruz has for breakfast as he and John Boehner have some gin and watch Sarah screw up the political spin…again.

There’s more on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.

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