Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now Back To The Important Things - The Addams' Family TV Series

I joined Netflix last week, and since I have done so I had two DVDs sent to my home for my family to watch. One was star trek, the latest movie. The other was Disk one of the first year of the television series The Addams' Family. I have been downloading the same and watching it on my PC here while away from home in Phoenix. I plan to watch at least the first season here, and probably watch the next two seasons when i get home (only because season 2 and 3 cannot be downloaded and i used my home address for DVD mailings).

As for the show itself, it was and remains the greatest television show that ever graced the boob tube (no degradation intended toward the show). It was advant garde, extremely funny verging on hilarious, and it actually made some pretty good political and social statements. In addition, the characters in the show exhibited the absolute best manners of any show characters i have ever seen. Just listen to the family as they speak to one another. They may have been creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky and all together ookie but them were polite, they did things together as a family (no matter how weird) and while they did not understand with the customs or habits of others they respected them so long as they were decent. They were, in comedy, the all American nuclear family more so than Dick van Dyke and his spawn, more so than Andy, pie and Aunt Bea, more so than Danny Thomas and his clan, more so than the Cartwright's, more so than the Waltons, more so than Steve Urkel's neighbors (I forget the family name), more so than those on the Cosby show, more so than friends and on and on - they were it. Weird for sure, but yet polite, nice, with strong family ties and values and they had other good conservstive values too - heck they were filthy rich because of investments and good business.

Besides all that the show was insanely funny. The only other shows of its time that came close were Get Smart and F Troop. Shows since then like Seinfeld were funny - sure they were but lost something in the way they tolerated everything - especially the lack of family togetherness in the younger characters, in other words none of Jerry's crew were married with kids. Believe me folks no other show came close to the wonderfulness of The Addams' Family - not even The Muntsers.

Well, time to go, I have some shows to catch up on - maybe episodes 5 and 6 tonight before hitting the hay.

All the best,
Glenn B

Brown Wins - Hopefully a Harbinger of Things to Come

It was just announced by Fox news, while I was making my donation to the American Red Cross for Haitian Earthquake relief, that Scott Brown has been projected as the winner in the Massachusetts senatorial race. It was by a virtual landslide considering how much of a Democrat stronghold is MA! (It was also hinted that Martha Coakley is about to concede.)







One can only hope that the elections in November of THIS YEAR go likewise - sending not only a message to the likes of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid but delivering a mandate to them forcing them to surrender to the will of the American People under our Constitution.

All the best,
Glenn B

Haiti, The Earthquake, and Donations

I don't hold the country of Haiti in high regard. I was there in 1996 or maybe it was 1998 for a 30 day work assignment. I was asked to go back a second time but that for only a few days right after my first stay. I was hesitant to do so but did it because it seemed an important assignment, the fate of the first mission (a training mission teaching Haitian law enforcement how to smuggle interdict narcotics coming into and leaving the country. The first mission would continue if a group of diplomats, who dragged me along with them, could convince Haitian government officials that the program was worth it. We did as far as I know convince them. It was probably all for naught as Haiti was the most corrupt country I have ever visited in my limited travels, and this was also the opinion of some others on my team who had traveled world wide and who had been in many other very poor countries. The country was an ecological disaster. It was densely overpopulated, the people were poor, they were under the control of a corrupt and probably somewhat tyrannical government (which was a great improvement over the previous administration there, it was extremely unbalanced in regard to class structure from the ultra rich directly to the dirt poor with virtually no middle class. It was dirty, is stank to the high heavens, the people (at least those with any money) were obviously racists for the great part and disliked American although they made lots of money in the good old US of A. To say it was an utterly wretched shithole full of the scum of the earth would be an understatement.

Yet there was something in the Haitian poor that was almost unfathomable. It was hope. You could see it in the eyes of the school children, those lucky enough to be in school. You could see it in the yes of those who shopped in the markets, or those who sold there. You could see it in the eyes of the guys who carried the individual buckets of water to the wheelbarrows to mix the concrete for construction projects by hand. You could see it in the few beggars who were on the streets (here were very few beggars in evidence). You could see it on the faces of those who were aid workers. You cold see it on the faces of those few of the minute middle class who had jobs and were doing fairly well. You could see it on the faces of the folks standing there in their shanties and illuminated by a single electric light bulb in a bare socket hanging on a wire from a hook on the ceiling. What gave them hope was beyond me - that is unless it was all the handouts they were getting from the rest of the world at the time. They were the poorest nation in the northern hemisphere without a doubt and had little prospect of improvement within that century or this one. I had the thought that the best thing that could have happened to Haiti is that a 90 foot tidal wave would have swept away 75% of its population. I still believe it, that short of a miracle, that would have been the best thing that could befall Haiti and her people. Why? Not because I wished Haiti or Haitians ill but because if the country's population was reduced by about 75% the survivors maybe would stand a chance at a decent life - for example they would have almost enough resources, more employment per capita and so on. Of course, I never wished such on anyone in Haiti, it was just sort of a theory about what possibly would become their salvation, albeit by way of a horrible twisted path to get there.

The earthquake that just hit Haiti is not the same as the disaster that I believed would, in the end, help Haiti. Hundreds of thousands may have been killed and hundreds of thousands may have also been injured. Haiti's infrastructure, what little there was of it, is devastated for the most part. They are, in essence, helpless to help themselves They already were in terrible shape and have been left a hundred times worse off than they were. many countries of the world were helping them, and they probably were much better off than when I was last there, slowly but surely building up, but all of that or almost all of that has now been destroyed and they are back at a place beyond their worst state in the last 40 or 50 years by my guess. A lot of this is due to their own fault. Overpopulation, corruption, greed, raping the environment of the nation were caused, mostly, by Haitians. Then the nations of the world, or at least those of the United Nations (that disaster that should be shut down) stepped in and created the ultimate welfare state. Yes the country was building up but still remained, after about 12 or 14 years since my visit, the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. Why, because the country was now being raped by the UN under the guise of helping them.

Their situation, that of the people of Haiti, is now dire. Even though I feel no affinity for this country, I do feel for the people who are suffering. So why do i feel for them? I may not be religious now, but I was raised as a Catholic - a Christian - and to believe that charity (not welfare) is a good thing. They need help and they need it now. Sure, we are not as well off as we were a few years ago here in the USA, but we are darned sure better off than were Haitians just a few days ago, and are a million times better off than them since the earthquake. With that in mind, I am going to send them a donation as soon as I am done with this post. I ask that you consider doing, no make that I ask that you do send a donation likewise. Mine will go through the Red Cross or some other large organization that helps when a crisis like this hits. The banking crisis, the health care crisis, the economic crisis - they all look like a BB in a boxcar compared this smashing catastrophe in Haiti that resembles the size of the boxcar in comparison. So I urge you to give what you can. Give $1,00 or$50 or $25 or even $5 but give something.

I can only hope that some of the few good Haitian folks whom I met are alive and well. I hope our troops who were stationed there are also well. I also hope and pray for my fellow federal agents who are assigned there (probably mostly DEA agents). While I was there, I stayed at the Hotel Montana in Petionville (suburb of Port Au Prince). I understand it was destroyed; their website says it is closed until further notice. I met quite a few nice people there, some of the ones who I described above, those who showed hope on their faces for the future of their country and their countrymen. I can only hope that the look of hope will be reborn in their eyes after this disaster. With our help, maybe it will and maybe Haitians will be able to rebuild to the point where they will prosper. The road will be long and hard for them and our help at this time will maybe get them going in the right direction.

Edited to add: I donated $50.00. More than some and a lot less han others but I am sure it will help a lot. Please do likewise, give whatever you can afford. Nogt to create a welfafre state mind you but to help those who have almost no way of helpmg themselves in the face of an overwhelming disaster.

All the best,
Glenn B

Happy Birthday

...to Edgar Allan Poe. As he lived, wrote and died, all involving a lot of mystery (he was the first author of the modern detective story), there is a new mystery today this one about a fervent fan. The man or woman, who for each year since 1949 appeared at the Poe gravesite at the midnight hour that marked the start of Poe's birthday and who left behind roses and a bottle of Cognac on each visit, failed to show at the Poe gravesite at the midnight hour this morning. The identity of this person has remained a mystery just as much of Poe's life and death and some of his writing were fraught with mystery. Now this latest mysterious chapter in the history of Poe in that this devout fan did not materialize. If it has truly been one person for all these years, that person is very old now. I wish him or her well and hope that he or she will return next year.

All the best,
Glenn B

This Bullet On Target Because of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John

According to an online published report by the NY Daily News and another report I watched on Fox Cable News 01/19/2010), the Trijicon sight manufacturing company of Wixom, MI is placing coded references to bible verses on their gun sights right next to the serial numbers. Reportedly there have been several complaints about this from soldiers and Marines received by Mickey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedon Foundation. (I'd be willing to bet that this organization name should read Oppression instead of Freedom, but that is just my guess.)

I happen to own a pistol with Trijicon sights. I just checked them out. On the right side of the rear sight there are four tiny characters, it looks like H3 08. There are many biblical translations, I chose, pretty much at random that from the New American Standar Bible (as per: http://bible.cc/hebrews/3-8.htm:

"Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness"

Not having to hard a heart is probably good advice for anyone who carries a weapon.

Now, mind you, my eyes are not what they used to be and I'll have to double check to see that I got the letter and numbers right. If I did, this post will remain unchanged but if I got em wrog then I'll revise chapter and verse later on.

By the way, according to one report, Trijicon has confirmed that these codes are indeed references to bible verses. I'd buy from them again - no problem here. They make good stuff, such as the set of night sights on my Glock 26 and if it is empowered by heavenly light - well good for me.

All the best,
Glenn B

Pick-up Trucks and Hefe Weissbier - Random Thoughts or Not so Random

Had a guy in a white pick-up truck almost run me over yesterday as I was crossing the street. I would have sworn he was stopping for the stop sign but when the grill of the truck was inches from where I would have been had I taken one more step I suddenly realized he was drunk as a skunk and wasn't trying to stop but probably had just hit the brake pedal and thought he already stopped and now was accelerating. He had no clue I was in the street nor did his female passenger, that is until I hollered "whoa"! Man that truck would have put a hurting on me for sure. After that he drove off a block, stopped about 40 feet before a stop sign, went through the intersection, backed back into the intersection, went forward again, turned the truck around, came zig-zagging back, tried to pull into a parking garage and did not make it on the first try or two, then disappeared into the garage. That happened when I was out for a walk for exercise. I took a nice 3 1/4 mile stroll through downtown Phoenix to a not so nice area and back toward my apartment.

Of course, having been almost run over put me in the mood so I stopped for a bier before going back to my apartment. At the bar, only a few blocks from my apartment, I decided to have a Franziskaner Hefe Wesssbier. What a treat to find a bar in Phoenix serving genuine German Hefe Weissbier. The barmaid, a lass of about 22-24 years old by my estimation, asked me if I wanted a glass. I said yes and she produced a glass that held every last drop in the bottle perfectly with just the right amount of head. As I poured she commented, and seemed quite surprised when doing so, that I knew how to pour that type of beer properly. I was rather surprised she knew how to properly pour one - barmaid or not. I did not tell her that. What I told her was that I had been drinking it for about the last 25 years. Somehow that got me to thinking and I realized that I had legally been drinking Hefe Weissbier for 36 years and a few months now. No that does not make me 57 plus - back in the day the legal age was only 18 not 21. I was probably drinking them for at least a year or two before that. Wow, I am getting old but I did not mention that to the barmaid - she already thought I was old enough to be considered an old man when I told he I had been enjoying them for only 25 years.

You know what though, I don't mind be as old as I am, in fact it isn't bad at all and I prefer and hope to live even longer - a good deal longer to enjoy those biers. I'll just have to keep my eyes open for drunks in pick-up trucks.

All the best,
Glenn B