Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the tag “News”

Bum Voyage!

I CHECKED TWICE TO MAKE SURE that I was reading it correctly. Unfortunately I was.

“Frenchman to float across the Atlantic – in a barrel.”

Me: “Geezer to get up and to not spill coffee.”

That Frenchman has his challenges. I have mine.

Some people just have more ambition I guess, but some of those people also have more in the way of daily medications.

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Throwback Thursday… From Dec. 2015 “Houston, We’re Cool – No Problems Here”

Today is Throwback Thursday… From December 2015

“Houston, We’re Cool – No Problems Here”

 

I’M WRITING THIS IN LONGHAND, on lined paper, in cursive, using one of those so-calledspace-shiba-inu-astronaut “Space Pens.”

The makers of this pen used to advertise all over the place when the pens first came on the market several decades ago. Now you have to do a Google search to find them. At least I did.

They called them “Space Pens” because; on some early NASA space flights they discovered that your basic, every day ball point pens didn’t work very well. Everything was weightless, including the ink inside the pen, and it wouldn’t flow onto the page. Apparently, in those early days of space travel, the Astronauts took a lot of notes. Or maybe they whiled away the long hours in orbit by connecting the dots or doing crossword puzzles.

Faced with this dilemma the brilliant minds set to work hunting for a solution. They found one.

The “Space Pen” is like other pens, with a reservoir of ink, but it is different in that the ink is in a pressurized capsule so that, no matter at what angle you hold the pen, the ink will flow. It even works in the weightlessness of space. Hence, the super-duper nifty advertising idea to call them – “Space Pens.” I’ll bet that name was coined by a graduate of the Wharton School of Business.  

I remember having a Space Pen decades ago. I think I got as a gift from some relative. It must have been a gift; because there was no way I was going to spend the money for one. When they first hit store shelves these pens were going for both an arm and a leg. I honestly don’t recall the actual figure, but it would have meant no lunch for a long time. No lunch? Not this boy!

It was like when the small electronic digital calculators hit the stores. I remember dropping close to a hundred dollars for one. (I was working by then and thought I could afford the calculator AND lunch. I was ultimately wrong.) Now you can find those calculators being used as give-aways to kids, or if you want to actually spend money for one, you can find a nice selection at your local Dollar Store. You can get one there that has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on it if so desired.

Those cheap calculators put the slide rule manufacturers out of business. Those gizmos are museum pieces now. When I was in High School we had a Slide Rule Club – a group even Dorkier than the Audio-Visual Club.

There was never a Space Pen Club. When you get right down to it, the Space Pen is — a pen. It can do whatever one can do with a pen and do it at whatever angular orientation you choose. But it is still — a pen.

The odds that I will ever get the opportunity to test out its efficiency under weightless conditions are pretty slim. NASA doesn’t actively recruit Astronauts my age, unless you are a Senator or something equivalent – like a member of a popular, yet aging, Boy Band.

Why did I get this Space Pen in the first place?

Idle curiosity and access to the Internet. What brought it to mind in the first place is beyond me, but I did a search and, Eureka! – They are still on the market. The prices have dropped by about 99.9999%, so I figured, why not?

I am proud to say that I am the owner of three Genuine, blister-packed, patent and copyright protected. honest to Alan Shepard, “Space Pens.” It was four blister-packed pens, but I had to take one out of the pack so I could use it to write this.

Don’t you feel like you just rubbed eyeballs with history? Just a bit, maybe?

alan-shepard

It’s Either Time Travel Or Weed Pulling

I WANT SOMETHING. Actually, I want a number of things, but none of them are very big. I want a nice lunch. I want someone to pull up some weeds for me. I wouldn’t mind it if I could figure a way to eliminate stairs.

See, the things I want are simple and don’t require a big honkin’ commitment from somebody else = except maybe for that weed pulling thing. Not everyone is like me. There are some people who want things that call for another person to put it all on the line – even to the point of risking their life in the process.

Kind of like dating a Redhead.

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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

monk mummy 2

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

“THE AMAZINGLY INTACT REMAINS of a meditating monk have been discovered in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia, according to a report in Mongolia’s Morning News.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I want news from Songinokhairkhan province, I turn to the Mongolia’s Morning News.

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And Now – The News!

news1WHILE I SEE MYSELF AS A TRENDSETTER I am also the kind of guy who sometimes latches on to the latest fad. I’ve had Mood Rings, Roller Skates, a Pet Rock, and a Hula Hoop. And now I’m going along with another fun fad that is sweeping the nation. It’s in the News every day! 

Allow me to present –

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I Can See It All Now

newsflashNEWS FLASH!

Terre Haute (That’s French for “99¢ Shrimp Cocktails!”) is seriously considering leaping into the 21st century!

The local Chamber of Commerce, a body with all of the power and influence of a grilled cheese sandwich, has expressed its support for the idea of having a casino open here. This is an idea that gets floated about every two years. So far that’s all it has ever done – floated – like a dead fish.

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Our Legal System At Work

donut1SOME PEOPLE NEED TO GET OUT MORE OFTEN, and others need to just stay home. I was scanning the newspaper the other day and saw a small item about a lawsuit underway in California.

There is a chap out there in the Golden State, a lawyer himself, who is suing Krispy Kreme Donuts. It seems that he became royally upset with the donut chain when he learned that his Chocolate Iced Raspberry Donut did not have any real Raspberries in it.

Oh, the humanity!

Wait until he learns that The Golden Arches are not really made of gold. He may just faint away.

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Weekend At Fidel’s

castro1THE FIRST BIT OF NEWS I HEARD THIS MORNING was that Fidel Castro had died. At this point there has been no confirmation on that. What with all of the “Fake News” that is floating about on the Internet Castro could actually still be alive and dating Miley Cyrus.

When I think of Fidel Castro my memory takes me back to the late 1950s when he first showed up on the world’s radar screen. At first he played the role of Rebel Hero and only when he got the reins of power did he drop the mask and show himself to be your garden variety Despot with a taste for blood.

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Advantage – Bats!

bats1FIRST IT WAS MOUNTAIN LIONS, then it was Black Bears – and now it’s Bats. So far there are no Tigers involved.

I swear, this town is beginning to look like the Waiting Room for Noah’s Ark.

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“Luke, I Am Your Ad Man”


death starSometimes it is the confluence of two separate, and seemingly unrelated,things or events that produce the most interesting results.

The two things that I am talking about today are the upcoming release of another Star Wars movie and me reading last Sunday’s Terre Haute (That’s French for, “May the Force be with you at Walmart”) newspaper.

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside…And Inside

cryotherapySOME DAYS I THINK I AM SO FAR OUT OF THE LOOP that I am in an alternate universe. Today is one of those days.

One of the Usual Suspects handed me a clipping from last Sunday’s paper about a popular therapy being used on athletes to help them heal quicker:“Cryotherapy.” 

We’re not talking about putting an icepack on your head to sooth a headache. Nope. We’re talking some serious cold here.

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Do You Smell Something Burning?

candlesIT WAS A QUIET SUNDAY EVENING at home watching the Colts beat the Denver Broncos when I heard my wife, the lovely and eloquent, Dawn, call out, “What the heck is going on?”

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The Name Is Bond…

I TURN ON THE TV AND THERE IT IS. I open my Facebook and there it is again. I’m almost afraid to open the garage door lest it is hiding there waiting to spring. Everywhere it is: “Who will be the new James Bond?”

If my sources are reliable, as they most always are – Daniel Craig has that job already. There is a new “Bond Movie” opening momentarily with Craig and he is contracted to do at least one more. That sounds like job security to me.

According to the latest publicity-driven hype that I’ve seen the speculation whirlpool is centered around these four actors to replace Daniel Craig.

Bond Elba

Bond Damien Lewis Bond Tom Hiddleston Bond Michael Fassbinder

Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Michael Fassbender, and Tom Hiddleston

I am familiar with Idris Elba from the Brit Cop and Robber series, “Luther.” He’d be good as Bond. The other three dudes – No. For one big reason – they all look like a bunch of wimps who would need Idris Elba to help them keep their lunch money from being stolen at school.

I want a Bond who has a “lived-in” face, not someone who looks like he’s shooting the film between modeling assignments for the Sears Catalog. I don’t want a Bond who is constantly worrying if the camera is getting his best side.

Daniel Craig has a face that looks like it has been around the block a few times and it was in a rough neighborhood.

Sean Connery had that face and, like it or not, every actor since then has been held up in comparison to him. Few have come off well in that contest.

I know that this is just my opinion – but I’m right. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery in my opinion – and again, I’m right.

Some people want a suave and sophisticated Bond who looks good in a tuxedo. After that, they don’t care. In that case I suggest they take that fantasy to the nearest tuxedo rental store and leer at the mannequins.

I’m not suggesting that Idris Elba is the only possibility out there to assume the role of 007 when the time comes. I’m sure that there are a hundred decent actors walking around who could do the job superbly without looking like a refugee from the advertising inserts in the Sunday newspaper. But of the four being touted by the Image Machine all over the place today, I would vote for Elba. He is a good looking guy, but when he looks at you, you know that you’ve been looked at. The other three look at you wondering if you’re an agent with a modeling gig for them.

Of course, it comes to mind that there is one man they are overlooking. One man who could do the job of making Bond come alive like no one since Sean Connery. One man whose presence would leap off the screen and slap you in the face if you looked away. One man who has thrilled audiences, chilled audiences, willed audiences to cry, willed them to laugh and willed them to tip their waitresses. One man who could take his Walther PPK and dispatch the bad guys without spilling his cocktail.

(Cue the Music.)

“Make mine Metamucil – shaken, not stirred. The name is Bond. James Bond.”

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It could happen.

So That’s Why The Aisles Were Crowded

Grocery MoonwalkDATELINE: TWO DAYS AGO  —  ELECTION DAY.

Just as in towns and cities across the land it is Election Day in Terre Haute (That’s French for “This ain’t Chicago. One to a customer”).

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Attention Shoppers!

Black Friday Gif

 Boo!

There, now Halloween is officially over – the Pre-Season, if you will. It is time for the professionals to take the field. We are into the Big Time, Serious Holiday Season.

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The Struggle To Tell A Story

writers-blockEVERY DAY I HEAR SOME WRITER GRUMBLING ABOUT “WRITER’S BLOCK.”  I’ve never had that and I find it hard to fathom. Not know what to write next? That has never been a problem.

I’ve asked a number of writers to explain it to me and they have trouble coming up with an answer that doesn’t go in circles, ending up with a shrug.

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Start Planning Your Vacation Now!

Casey windchimeIT IS PART OF HUMAN NATURE to want to excel, to be the best, at whatever one attempts. That is why we keep records of achievement. Sports keep records of just about every facet of a game, important or not. This mania for record keeping is why there is such a thing as the Guinness Book of World Records.

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More Questions Than Answers

bear in carTODAY IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE POSTS about the strange behavior of the human animal. If you have already heard or read about this please feel free to talk amongst yourselves or go get a piece of cake.

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Eclipse? What Eclipse? We had An Eclipse?

EclipseWE WERE ALL SET ON SUNDAY NIGHT to watch the Super-Duper, High Octane, Bloody Eclipse. I made popcorn. We had a Thermos of hot tea, and I even cleaned the windshield on the car.

It rained.

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Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff

TinyTownTHE TV HAS BEEN FILLED TO OVERFLOWING this last week with every moment of the Pope’s visit to the United States. Regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, this was a Big Deal for millions of people.

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