Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

I'm still around

I mentioned a while back that I was having some surgery and would be off-line while I recovered. The surgery went well. My recovery -- which consists of sitting in a lounge chair addled with painkillers and watching lousy TV shows is going OK as well.

Anyway, I figured I should tear myself away from the Bomba the Jungle Boy movie to let you know I survived and will resume my posting soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Never Forget

From Patricia Morrison's recollections of the 911 attack in the post WTC RIP:
I forced myself up to the roof again that night to look, and unless you live here and know how it is, you cannot imagine how strange it is not to see them there, those giant towers. I’ve seen them there as long as I’ve lived here as an adult in the city where I was born; I watched them in all weathers, as people in hill country watch their hills. I saw them go up, and now I’ve seen them come down. And all that was there that night was evil glowing smoke.

But except for that first night, I had not yet been able to look at where they stood. In my East Village neighborhood the towers were omnipresent; you’d look downtown on First or Second or Third Avenues and there they were, looming over the low-rise buildings between, mountains standing tall behind a range of foothills, somehow making the other building around them look not smaller but taller themselves.

And yet I knew that I had to look, that I dishonored the people who died there and even, in some strange way, the towers themselves, by not being able to look.

So yesterday, Sunday September sixteenth, I went out for an immense walk. I went up to a park near my home, passing a hospital whose walls are covered with photos of the lost, and praying as I passed, then took a bus to the Hudson River side of town. I got off at Abingdon Square, walked the couple of blocks to the river edge, and just started walking south, as far as I could get.

And I MADE myself look, every step of the way. At where the towers were, at where they now were not. At the flame and smoke still pouring out of their graves, and the graves of those who died there, as out of the throat of a volcano.

They’re not there. They’re not there. They will never be there again. After a while your eyes start playing tricks and you think you see their ghosts rising up through the smoke. But they’re not there.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

I'll be off-line for a bit

Not that, considering my flakey posting schedule, anybody would notice, but I'll be off-line for a while. I'm having outpatient surgery and I'll need to recuperate.

Nothing serious, but you never know -- mistakes do happen. My only hope is that, should I be the victim of a surgical miscalculation, -- say an accidental head transplant like above for example -- is that I not be stuck with the noggin of a soy boy on my left shoulder.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Thursday, September 06, 2018

McKinley smiled and extended his hand...

Leon Czolgosz in custody

On this day in 1901 the anarchist Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley. From History's The Assassination of President William McKinley:
Despite the sweltering late-summer heat, a long line of people waited outside the Temple of Music when the reception began at 4 p.m. As the theater’s organist played a Bach sonata, the visitors slowly filed inside, many of them eager for a chance to meet the president and shake his hand. Near the front of the line stood 28-year-old Leon Czolgosz, a shy and brooding former steel worker. An avowed anarchist, Czolgosz had arrived in Buffalo only a few days earlier and purchased a .32 caliber Iver Johnson revolver—the same type of weapon that another anarchist had used to assassinate the Italian King Umberto I the previous summer. He now waited with the gun wrapped in a white handkerchief and concealed inside his jacket pocket. “It was in my heart; there was no escape for me,” Czolgosz later said. “All those people seemed bowing to the great ruler. I made up my mind to kill that ruler.”

McKinley’s anxious staff had added police and soldiers to his usual complement of Secret Service agents, but the security detail took little notice of Czolgosz as he strode up to the president at around 4:07 p.m. When McKinley smiled and extended his hand, Czolgosz raised his pistol—still wrapped in its white handkerchief—and fired two shots at point blank range. 
The above picture is of Czolgosz in Buffalo's jail. He did not repent his crime, saying in his confession, “I don’t believe in the Republican form of government, and I don’t believe we should have any rulers. It is right to kill them.”

Justice was swift. Czolgosz was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death in short order. He was executed by electric chair on October 29th of the same year as the assassination.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Taste testing WWII combat rations

In these videos a fellow by the name of Steve opens and samples WWII combat rations. Not sure I would be that pleased to munch on a 70 year old cracker, but he seems to quite enjoy the experience. I must say that his enthusiasm -- and possibly the stuff he is eating -- is infectious.

There are more videos, including ration packs from different countries and eras at his YouTube channel Steve1989MREInfo.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Labor? What's that?

I'm retired so's my days of laboring for the man, water-cooler gossip, punch clocks and tedious office politics are behind me. Still, a holiday is a holiday so here's hoping all you worker bees have a good Labor Day.

By the way -- I have no idea what Buster Keaton has to do with any of this.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

1950's minimal California

Click any image to enlage
These are the photographs of Marvin Rand, a mid 20th Century photographer who specialized in architectural photography. He did a wonderful job of catching the clean and simply lines of the design sensibilities of the time. Found at Flashbak's Marvin Rand’s Gorgeous Photos of California Modern where there are more examples of his work.