Saturday, October 8, 2011

Things people say: Ordinary people can be drop dead funny

Human speech is directly responsible for almost every thought and emotion we have throughout life's journey. The complexity of language and the complex messages we use it to communicate leave the possibilities wide open for just about anything. Among other things, people can say things that are funny. We pay good money to see comedians say funny things, and a lot of them come through. But due to the nature of the human comic sense, the deliberateness of a comedian can dilute the potential for humor.The humor here is, for the most part, unrehearsed and unintentional:

Accident Reports - Accident insurance claim forms ask for a brief statement about how the accident happened. The combination of the finger pointing instinct and the small spaces provided on the forms can lead to some curiously phrased explanations:

  • "A pedestrian hit me and went under my car."
  • "The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention."
  • "I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way."
  • "Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have."
  • "I thought my window was down; but found it was up when I put my hand through it."
  • "No one was to blame for the accident, but it never would have happened if the other driver had been alert."
  • "The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him."
  • "I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car."
  • "I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident."
  • "I was taking my canary to the hospital. It got loose in the car and flew out the window. The next thing I saw was his rear end, and there was a crash."
  • "I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner when it was struck by the other car in the same place where it had been struck several times before."
  • "The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."
More Slips and Gaffes -
Things Kids Say -

Can’t get enough? Go here for Questions, Suggestions, and Complaints – Stupidity - Famous People

World Zombie Day, a ‘fantastical exoskeleton,’ and Dutch coffee shops face curbs on cannabis

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Another day in paradise! It’s beautiful out there so don’t spend too much time reading my offerings this morning. Grab a quick cup of coffee and check out what’s happening in this crazy world we live in:

Join the shambling masses for World Zombie Day

Think zombies milling around Wall Street are a weird, one-time anomaly?

Think again: With World Zombie Day on Saturday, legions of the undead will moan, march and munch on brains in cities across the country. The event was founded in 2008 by Mark Menold, who knows his way around the creepy side of life as Professor Emcee Square, the host (and producer) of “The It’s Alive! Show,” a horror-themed TV program on WGBN in Pittsburgh.

The 'fantastical' exoskeleton that could help patients walk again

A breakthrough study involving monkeys could one day help quadriplegics move and feel again. Here's a quick guide

It might sound like science fiction, but a new experiment very much rooted in reality may help quadriplegics move on their own again — with the aid of robotic exoskeletons. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center attached electrodes to the brains of two monkeys, and trained them to move objects on a computer screen by commanding a virtual arm simply with their minds. Plus, electric sensations could be sent back through the electrodes, convincing the monkeys' brains that they "felt" different textures. The findings, reported in Nature, may have repercussions for people crippled by paralysis.

Dutch coffee shops face new curbs on cannabis sale

- Coffee shops in the Netherlands were left wondering on Saturday how to comply with restrictions announced by the Dutch government on the sale of "strong" cannabis, saying enforcement would be difficult given the laws on production.

The Netherlands is famous for its liberal soft drugs policies. A Dutch citizen can grow a maximum of five cannabis plants at home for personal use but large-scale production and transport is a crime.

On Friday, the coalition government said it would seek to ban what it considered to be highly potent forms of cannabis -- known as "skunk" -- placing them in the same category as hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine. But the industry said the guidelines were not clear enough.

Time to walk on down the road…

Friday, October 7, 2011

Biggest ID theft in history revealed as more than 100 charged

Bank tellers, restaurant workers and other service employees in New York lifted credit card data from residents and foreign tourists as part of an identity theft ring that stretched to China, Europe and the Middle East and victimized thousands, authorities said Friday.

In total, 111 people were charged and 86 are in custody; the others are still being sought. Five separate criminal enterprises operating out of Queens were dismantled. They were hit with hundreds of charges, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, calling it the "largest identity theft takedown in U.S. history."

Repugnant backlash over the growing protests across America

I honestly wonder how some of these Republicans are able to sleep at night. They’re already attacking the people who are protesting the inequality of taxes and corporate power in politics. Cantor says he's concerned by 'mobs' at 'Occupy Wall Street'.

Mitt Romney accused the protesters of engaging in "class warfare." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called them the "Obama demonstrations.” The only honest Republican, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, encouraged the protests.

Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) accused the Occupy Wall Street protestors of attacking businesses and freedom. Broun said the protestors “don’t know why they’re there. They’re just mad,” and that “I see people angry in my district too. But this attack upon business, attack upon industry, attack upon freedom and I think that’s what this is all about.”

Mr. Broun really needs to learn exactly what the word attack means because if peaceful protests can be misconstrued as attacks, then this nation is in worse shape than it appears.

This growing movement is class warfare brought on by the oppression of the wealthy few. So let the Republicans call it whatever they want. They just don’t get it anyway. The majority of Americans are angry and tired of being marginalized by the power of a corrupt federal government and the puppet-master corporations.

Medical marijuana supporters protest at Federal Courthouse in Sac


Medical marijuana supporters are rallying to protest the Obama administration's crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries outside a press conference by U.S. Attorneys at the Sacramento Federal Court House today from 10 AM to 1 PM.

"The federal government has no business dictating local zoning issues.," says California NORML Director Dale Gieringer. "This is government over-regulation run amok."

The DOJ forfeiture threats are the latest in an escalating series of federal attacks on medical marijuana by the Obama administration:

• The IRS has assessed crippling penalties on tax-paying dispensaries by denying standard expense deductions.

• The Department of Treasury has browbeaten banks into closing accounts of medical marijuana collectives.

• The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has warned firearms dealers not to sell drugs to medical marijuana users.

• The DEA has blocked a 9-year old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use, ignoring extensive scientific evidence of its medical efficacy.

            • NIDA has blocked proposed research on medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

California NORML estimates that the state's medical marijuana industry generates $1.5 - $4.5 billion in business, over $100 million in taxes, and tens of thousands of jobs in the state:

With the federal budget on empty, the economy in disarray, our prisons overflowing, and prohibition-related violence raging across the border, it's an outrageous misuse of federal resources to wage war on marijuana dispensaries," says California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer.  "Federal  anti-drug bureaucrats are afraid because the dispensaries are proving that it's possible for marijuana to become a safe, legal, tax-paying industry and so expose their own last-century policies as  bankrupt and obsolete."

Supporters are urged to call on the President to respect state marijuana laws - White House Hotline: 202 -456-1111. A bill to let states regulate medical marijuana legally, H.R. 1983, has been introduced by Rep. Barney Frank.

Release by Dale Gieringer, Director, California NORML - (510) 540-1066

Invasive Starlings, Signs of the Times, and ‘Text Neck’ from Mobile Phones

   Good Morning Humboldt County!
The birds are singing outside (not starlings however) and the sun is slowly stretching over the horizon. Another day in paradise. Don’t worry if you didn’t bring your coffee cup, I have extras and a hot pot of steaming joe ready to go. Are you ready to read?
The Invasive Species We Can Blame On Shakespeare

If you live in North America, you probably recognize European starlings, those little black birds with white polka dots that chirp and chatter and, in the winter, hang out in flocks of thousands. There are 200 million of these birds on the continent, and they can be found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Mexico. Numerous though they are, starlings are actually non-native invasive species. And we can blame Shakespeare for their arrival in America. Steven Marche explains in How Shakespeare Changed Everything:

On March 6, 1890, a New York pharmaceutical manufacturer name Eugene Schieffelin brought natural disaster into the heart of [New York City] completely without meaning to. Through the morning snow, which congealed at times to sleet, sixty starlings, imported at great expense from Europe, accompanied Schieffelin on the ride from his country house into Central Park—the noisy, dirty fulfillment of his plan to introduce every bird mentioned by Shakespeare into North America. Schieffelin loved Shakespeare and he loved birds….The American Acclimatization Society, to which he belonged, had released other avian species found in Shakespeare—the nightingales and skylarks more commonly mentioned in his plays and poems—but none had survived. There was no reason to believe that starlings would fare any better. Schieffelin opened the cages and released the birds into the new world, without the smallest notion of what he was unleashing.


      Signs of the Times

This is one of the most powerful images I've seen emerge from #occupywallstreet.

Not for the drama of the image, but for the devastating truths contained within this sign and the brave Marine holding it.


            Mobile phone users suffering from 'text neck'

A new condition dubbed "text neck" is on the rise due to the amount of time people spend hunched over their mobile phone and tablet computer screens, chiropractors have warned. The affliction, caused by flexing the neck for extended periods of time, can be a forerunner of permanent arthritic damage if it goes without treatment. Cases of the repetitive strain injury are on the rise as smart phones and tablet computers such as the iPad become increasingly popular, experts said.

In severe cases the muscles can eventually adapt to fit the flexed position, making it painful to straighten the neck out properly. One chiropractor said her company had treated thousands of patients for the condition, which can also result in headaches and shoulder, arm and wrist pain. Rachael Lancaster, of Freedom Back Clinics in Leeds, said: "Text neck is caused by the neck being flexed for a prolonged period of time.

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

‘No sight is more provocative of awe than is the night sky’

photo source                                        quote by Llewelyn Powys

Feds threaten California pot dispensaries with draconian actions

Shame on Obama!

He lied about not harassing medical marijuana users and dispensaries.

Now the Feds are threatening to seize property and jail the dispensary owners.

I hope that Californians and people from the other states that have legalized marijuana turn out in droves to vote come election time. The Feds are threatening Arcata and Eureka. To my surprise, Eureka didn’t cave in to the threats. It seems that the Feds have cried wolf numerous times, and they really don’t have the money to carry out their nefarious raids. At least that’s what cities like Eureka and Arcata are counting on. It shouldn’t have to be like this. The damn Feds should stay away from state laws and quit trying to overturn them. When will this senseless war on marijuana stop?

Clothes from milk, Sausage the riot dog, and Snappy the orange gator

Fashion designer and microbiologist Anke Domaske poses with a pitcher of milk, milk fiber and milk yarn in Hanover

Good Morning Humboldt County!

What a day! A break in the weather. Grab a cup of coffee and join me for a few quick reads to start your day. We live in a wacky world and here’s proof:

German fashion designer makes clothes from milk

A young fashion designer from the German city of Hanover is revolutionizing high fashion by designing clothes with a staple she can find in her fridge -- milk. Anke Domaske, 28, has developed a fabric called QMilch made from high concentrations of the milk protein casein -- the first man-made fibre produced entirely without chemicals. "It feels like silk and it doesn't smell -- you can wash it just like anything else," Domaske told Reuters.

Policemen avoid petrol bomb during protest in Athens

Tear gas? Woof! It's Sausage the Athens riot dog

There he is, yelping with delight as the youths start hurling chunks of paving stones, barking his admonition at a cordon of cops fending off petrol bombs, sneezing as he scampers through the tear gas.

Meet Sausage the riot dog, an amiable ginger mongrel resident of Syntagma Square in central Athens, who doesn't mind if you show up for a day of mayhem as long as he can join in.

Whenever there's a demonstration, Sausage is there, always taking the side of the protesters and cheerfully lending a sense of comic relief to the occasionally violent proceedings. It's made him a local celebrity. He's appeared on the front of just about every newspaper in Greece and wagged his tail on TV screens and websites around the world.

On Wednesday when state workers marched against government cuts, Sausage was in his usual spot at the front, egging on the crowd with a hearty "Gav!" (Greek for "Woof!"), tripping up baton-wielding officers as they charged down the steps.

Mr. Snappy says it’s not easy being orange

Kermit may find it hard to be green, but he might want to Snappy the crocodile before he starts feeling too sorry for himself.

Snappy, a resident of a wildlife park in Australia, decided to take a bite out of his enclosure's water filter. Unfortunately for Snappy, the water filter bit back: The ph levels from the damaged filter turned Snappy orange. Bright orange.

But all is not lost for the color-challenged croc: Snappy is expected to change back to his original green self soon.

Time to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Milestones: Goodbye to Steve Jobs and Arthur C. Nielsen

 He took a huge bite out of life and never stopped devouring knowledge. Steve Jobs will be remembered with the greatest inventors of all time. The MAC, The IPAD, the IPhone will always be associated with him

His impact on communications cannot be overstated.

May his family be comforted by his accomplishments. RIP

                  Mr. Ratings – Arthur C. Nielsen - RIP

Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., whose family company has been the final word on whether television shows are hot or not for more than a half-century, has died in the suburban Chicago community where he lived most of his life. He was 92. Nielsen, who died Monday in Winnetka, suffered from Parkinson's disease, his son said. It was the company founded by his father and then run by Nielsen that created the measurement system under which the entire multi-billion-dollar television industry is based and, from the late 1950s on, the name synonymous with U.S. television viewing habits. Children and parents alike wondered who in their neighborhoods was being contacted and asked about what they were watching or, later, whether Nielsen had attached electronic meters to their TV sets.

One third of veterans say wars not worth it, 3 dead in Cupertino shooting, and burgler tripped up by red underwear

Image: A soldier with an injured ankle from the US Army's 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division is assisted past his burning M-ATV armored vehicle after it struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a seat, it’s another day full of news. We’re looking for a break in the rain today before the next next wet front hits. The birds are singing and a doe is outside my front porch nibbling on the flowers! Things aren’t quit so pretty around the rest of the country.

One-in-three vets say Iraq, Afghan wars were not worth it

One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday.

The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they struggle to shrink the government's huge budget deficits and reconsider defense priorities while trying to keep public support for remaining involved in Iraq and Afghanistan for the longer term.

Nearly 4,500 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and about 1,700 in Afghanistan. Combined war costs since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have topped $1 trillion. Read the Pew report on veterans attitudes (PDF)


Report: 3 dead in Calif. workplace shooting

CUPERTINO, Calif. — A gunman reportedly walked into a meeting at a Northern California quarry, killing 3 people and injuring others, KNTV reported Wednesday. The suspect was reportedly still at large.

Santa Clara County sheriff's officials have confirmed the shooting happened early Wednesday at the Permanente Quarry, but a dispatcher would not confirm any of the injuries or deaths. The suspect reportedly arrived at Permanente Quarry in Cupertino in a red Dodge Neon, according to unconfirmed scanner reports, NBC's San Francisco affiliate reported. He is on foot and apparently carrying a 9mm handgun.

Deputies were on the scene, according to the San Jose Mercury News. According to the Santa Clara County website, Permanente Quarry is a limestone and aggregate mining operation and cement plant located in the foothills above Cupertino.


Saggy Pants

 Burglary Suspect Tripped Up By Red Underwear

A suspected teenage burglar whose shorts fell down as he fled after being confronted last night on a Florida street was later arrested after a witness was able to identify him by his boxer shorts, police reported.

As detailed in a Charlotte County Sheriff's Office report, witness Donna Decker called 911 to report spotting a suspicious male wearing a black hoodie inside an unlocked 1991 Dodge pickup in a Port Charlotte parking lot.

When the 65-year-old Decker approached, the teenager exited the vehicle, which he claimed was owned by his grandfather. Suspicious, Decker told the minor that he would have to wait there until police responded to the scene. Instead, the teen sprinted away. His getaway, though, was not a smooth one. The teenager’s shorts slipped down his legs, exposing his red boxer shorts to Decker (and anyone else in the vicinity).

To cement Antonio Kleiss’s ID, an underwear check revealed that the teen was wearing red boxers. Decker, deputies reported, “asked him to pull down his tan shorts a little and he revealed that he was wearing red boxer shorts underneath.”

Time to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sign language – are we really this dumb?

Funny Signs SidewalkAs carefully explained on this sign; the sidewalk ends.

Is this what we’ve come to? Warning people about everything from hot coffee to putting up signs telling us when a sidewalk ends?

It sure the hell is. Get use to it, if you aren’t already. Americans are getting dumber every generation because of a lack of good education. Now we’re reaping the rewards and forced to put up signs stating the obvious.

Hey buddy! Can you give me a hand with this art project?



These examples of hand painting art captured my eye. If you’d like to see more go here.

Homecoming Queen kicks winning field goal, police cursing comes under fire, and listing of the week- a castle with underground caverns

Image: Brianna Amat, a kicker with the Pinckney Community High School football team, at the school's football field in Pinckney, Mich.

            Good Morning Humboldt County!

Step right in and join me for a cup of coffee on this beautiful morning. As usual, I’ve tried to select three interesting stories to start your day. Enjoy:

Homecoming queen kicks winning field goal

In his 18 years at Pinckney Community High School, Jim Darga, the principal, said, the homecoming queen had always been crowned at halftime of the school’s football game. Never before, though, had she had to be summoned from the team’s locker room. And that was just the beginning of Brianna Amat’s big night.

If being named homecoming queen is a lifetime memory for a high school student, so, too, is kicking a winning field goal. For Amat, 18, they happened within an hour of each other. On Friday, with Pinckney leading powerful Michigan rival Grand Blanc, 6-0, at the half, Amat, the first girl to play football for the school’s varsity, was asked to return to the field. When she arrived, she was told that her fellow students had voted her queen. When the tiara was placed on her head, she was wearing not a dress, like the other girls in the homecoming court, but her No. 12 uniform, pads and all.

A short while later, with five minutes to play in the third quarter, Amat was called to the same field to attempt a 31-yard field goal. She split the uprights. The kick proved decisive as Pinckney held on for a 9-7 victory against a Grand Blanc team that had come into the game ranked seventh in the state in its division. It also earned Amat the nickname the Kicking Queen.

Excuse me, sir, can I please arrest you? Police cursing comes under fire

The police officers in one of California’s toughest cities are being asked to fight crime with a little less of a potty mouth.The Bay Citizen reports that several police officers in Oakland, Calif., have been reprimanded for swearing on the job.

The crackdown is apparently part of Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts’ efforts to focus more on community policing in a city that has been plagued by homicides, poverty and gang problems.

Listing of the Week: Albion castle and its underground caverns

For Sale: $975,000

It's not every day that you find a home for sale with underwater stone caverns, but this isn't just any home. This unique property on the San Francisco real estate market is the Albion Castle, and it has a fascinating story behind it.

According to San Francisco City Guide, London brewer John Burnell immigrated to San Francisco in 1868 and purchased waterfront property in a section of San Francisco now known as Hunter's Point. The parcel featured underwater springs, and he set about starting Albion Porter & Ale Brewery.

Burnell dug out low, arched tunnels to serve as reservoirs and built a three-story, Norman castle-style stone tower in which to store the casked beer in a cool, dry space. Although popular, the brewery was short-lived. Upon the onset of Prohibition in 1920, the brewery was shut down and the property was abandoned.

Skip ahead to 1928 when the property found new life. Leonard Mees, president of the Mountain Springs Water Company, purchased the water rights to the springs and reportedly supplied San Francisco with spring water until 1947.

While Mees was tapping into the spring water, the property was falling into disrepair until 1933 when sculptor Adrien Alexander Voisin purchased the property and built a home and adjacent studio amidst the ruins.

And now, the unusual mix of medieval-style stone work and 1930s home is for sale for $975,000. The Hunter's Point home has bounced on and off the San Francisco real estate market in recent years, first listed in 2009 for $2.95 million with a few price changes before the listing was removed in 2011 and re-listed at $1.1 million, and then $975,000, respectively.

The home last sold at an auction for $2.1 million in 2005. Median San Francisco home values are $679,000. According to a mortgage calculator, at the current price, this home will have a $3,619 monthly payment with a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage and 20 percent down.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, October 3, 2011

Talk about get up and go: coffee-fueled car breaks record

Coffee fuels millions of human brains every day. Now, spent coffee grounds have set a land-speed record as a fuel for cars. That's right; a coffee-fueled car built by an enterprising team of British engineers recently zipped into the Guinness World Records with a top speed of 77.5 miles per hour and an average of 66.5 miles per hour.

The Coffee Car effort is led by Martin Bacon and a team of Teasedale Conservation Volunteers who were inspired after realizing that coffee shops produce tons of grounds that could be used to get something else going. The Coffee Car set the new record for a car powered by organic waste. The coveted honor was previously held by the Beaver XR7, a wood pellet burning car built by Beaver Energy, which averaged 47 miles per hour.

To fuel the car on coffee, Bacon's team collects spent coffee grounds from shops around town, dries them out and turns them into pellets that are cooked up in a gasifier designed to fit within the body of a heavily modified Rover SD1. (More than 550 pounds of excess weight have been removed to make room for the heavy gasifier.) The gasifer burns wood and the coffee pellets at super high temperatures, which creates a synthetic gas of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane capable of powering an internal combustion engine, CNET explains.

The record-setting car was developed in cooperation with the BBC One show Bang Goes the Theory and will be at Bang Live during the Manchester Science Festival Oct. 22-23.

source – Future of Technology

How to go out with a bang, aspirin tied to vision loss, and scientists report new ozone hole over the Arctic

       Good Morning Humboldt County!

C’mon in. Don’t be shy. I’ve got a fresh pot of coffee on and a trio of stories to start your day. Who cares if it’s wet outside? Tip a cup with me and read what’s happening on this fine Monday morning.

U.S. company turns gun lovers' ashes into ammunition

There's something to be said for going out with a bang.

Two Alabama game wardens have devised a smoking send-off for avid hunters and gun enthusiasts. For a small fee, they will turn cremated ashes into ammunition that the deceased's loved ones can fire at will. Since it launched in July Holy Smoke LLC has had only two clients, but founders Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell said they have seen an uptick in prearrangements thanks to word-of-mouth and a recent flurry of international press.

Daily aspirin tied to risk of vision loss:study

Seniors who take aspirin daily are twice as likely to have late stage macular degeneration, an age-related loss of vision, than people who never take the pain reliever, according to a European study.

The data do not show that aspirin causes vision loss. But the findings, published in Opthalmology, are of concern if aspirin somehow exacerbates the eye disorder, given how many seniors take it daily for heart disease.

Image: Arctic ozone loss

Scientists report ozone hole over the Arctic for the first time

The high atmosphere over the Arctic lost an unprecedented amount of its protective ozone earlier this year, so much that conditions echoed the infamous ozone hole that forms annually over the opposite side of the planet, the Antarctic, scientists say.

"For the first time, sufficient loss occurred to reasonably be described as an Arctic ozone hole," write researchers in an article released online Sunday by the journal Nature.

Some degree of ozone loss above the Arctic, and the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole, are annual events during the poles' respective winters. They are driven by a combination of cold temperatures and lingering ozone-depleting pollutants. The reactions that convert less reactive chemicals into ozone-destroying ones take place within what is known as the polar vortex, an atmospheric circulation pattern created by the rotation of Earth and by cold temperatures. This past winter and spring saw an unusually strong polar vortex and an unusually long cold period.

Time to walk on down the road…


Sunday, October 2, 2011

As It Stands: John Wayne - Forgiving an American Icon

                                                                                       By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
   Vietnam 1970 - I had been in country one week when my squad leader said, “We don’t need any John Waynes in this squad.” Nearly everyone I met during my tour in Vietnam and Cambodia agreed with that sentiment.
   At first, it was hard for me to understand why everyone seemed so down on the Duke.
At nineteen I knew very little about politics. I learned that Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes that kept the war going. That included rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned Green Berets in 1968.
   That movie was propaganda, pure and simple. After awhile, I understood why his name had come to represent the establishment and the senseless war we were fighting. I found out there were no heros like the ones in the movies. Just survivors. Most of the Vietnamese I met wanted us to go home. We came to realize we were invaders, not saviors. 
   I never saw anyone cry out, “for God and Country” and charge into enemy bunkers with an M-16 blazing away. That’s not the war I saw. I saw corruption on the South Vietnamese side and the American side. A thriving black market. Master sergeants in supply getting rich. And lots of Americans doing drugs.
   How could my boyhood hero have supported such a massive mistake? Why did he support the government that put us there for no good reason?  What made Marion Mitchell Morrison side with the bad guys?

   While he epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon, he was also known for his conservative political views and for being a hawk on the war. I believe the Duke felt he was patriotic and doing the right thing.
   Time has been kind to the Duke’s memory. A Harris Poll released in January 2011 placed him third among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who appeared in the poll every year since it first began in 1994.
    To millions, he symbolized and communicated American values and ideals. Nothing will ever change that. I’ll always consider him a great actor despite disagreeing with his politics.
    His son, Ethan Wayne, is selling some of his stuff in an auction at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and also online, Oct. 3-6.   Ethan has such a large collection of his father's movie memorabilia that he decided to open his archives for the auction.

   Among the items to be offered are the actor's Golden globe for True Grit  — with an estimated value of $50,000 — one of his eye patches from the movie, plus 400 other costumes, scripts, personal documents and awards, according to a story in the LA Times (9/7).
    Ethan Wayne said he believes his dad still resonates with fans around the world not only because of his movies "but he was also liked personally. People knew he was the same kind of guy off screen as he was on screen. You can sense that about him. He never got bogged down with the darker side of his life."

   Some hold Wayne in contempt for the paradox between his early actions - he never went into the military - and his rampant patriotism in later decades. His widow suggested he was that way because he felt guilty and not because he was a hypocrite.
  You know what? I’ve forgave him a long time ago. I’m beyond those bad old days when the Duke wore a Black hat instead of his customary White one. I have no problem watching a re-run of  him in Stage Coach , The Searchers, The High and Mighty, The Flying Tigers, or the Shootist. Wayne played the lead in 142 of his film appearances. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every film he ever made.

    It’s easier now for me to go back to my childhood days when the Duke ruled the cinema. If I could afford it, I would attend the auction and buy a piece of his memorabilia.
I once worked as a security guard at a gated community where he and his wife Pilar lived in Newport Beach (1974) and I saw him there regularly.
   Those memories serve me well. He was easy to talk with. We had many interesting conversations, him in his non-descript Ford station wagon, and me standing there in a rent-a-cop uniform at the main gate. He treated me with respect when he learned I was a Vietnam veteran. One day, when I told him I was getting married, he gave me a cigar and wished me the best of luck.  
    As It Stands, I wonder what that cigar would have sold for at the auction?

Websites carrying this column:

#1 All About Movies #2 Cigar Headlines #3 Cambopedia #4 Famous Dead #5 Hip-Hop newswire 

#6 PAIRSonnalit√©s # 7 NewsNow/ World News-Asia, Vietnam #8 ACT Cambodia  #9

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...