Thinning The Herd

Posted July 30, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

A while back I posted an article “Big Brother is Watching . . . that mentioned Wal Mart’s computer program. (Why aren’t you reading the old posts?)

Yesterday we stopped by Sam’s and saw what can only be the bait for a new use of their computer prowess.

There, in the DVD section, you could buy a video of 633 television commercials. My only hope is that this triggers the big computer system housed in the Bensenville facility to place a call to Assassins – R – Us, forwarding all the relevant data from the purchaser’s Sam’s Club membership card and dispatching a club-wielding killer to pound them into oblivion.

Whoever coined the quote, “it takes all kinds,” surely didn’t mean to include people who actually like TV commercials.


If a Thing Is Worth Doing . . .

Posted April 9, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized


If you can believe whomever whoever those people the Southern Illinoisan plagiarized for today’s article on the latest round of mass murders, then there have been eight rampages claiming 57 dead since March 10th.

Coined by Thomas Paine in his first Crisis pamphlet; often quoted by Mark Twain; and immortalized by Jacqueline Steiner & Bess Hawes in Charles’s epic adventure around the Boston underground, these ARE, in fact, the times that try men’s souls.

Political unrest.

Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and probably Canada by the time Hillary gets through annoying everyone.

The economic disaster that’s hit all of us (with the exception of those eBay people who keep bidding against me for that Nikon D70 camera body.)

It’s all enough to set Margaret Anderson or Carol Brady off on a killing spree.

Unfortunately, I can’t offer solutions for our national crisis, but I do have a suggestion that may ease your collective troubled minds and efficientize the process a bit. I’m carrying a small notebook along with me and entering names and addresses of all those rude store clerks, telemarketers, cell-phoning drivers, politicians, and authors of garage door opener installation instructions. If I ever snap, go off the deep end and M-16 my way through the huddled masses, I want a purpose. Randomizing something this big is a total waste, and I want to take the people with me that deserve to go.

Get your own notebook – and if I rub you the wrong way, jot my name and address down in yours – it’s “Smith, general delivery, Chicago.”


Okay – give it a rest

Posted March 17, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

I got a call from a friend last night who told me that his wife’s cousin used to have  neighbors who had vacationed in Montana one summer where they had chatted briefly with a convenience store clerk who’s sister’s third grade teacher had heard rumors of a lady living just south of Portales, New Mexico who may have had an aunt named Jewel.

That doesn’t work for me either.

(If you have no idea what this is about, scroll down a couple of posts and read Where Have All The Flowers . . .  Sheesh! Keep up on your reading!)


Posted March 16, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

Teleporting Information to Headquarters

Teleporting Information to Headquarters

My daughter just spent spring break in North Carolina while my wife was in Costa Rica, leaving me completely unsupervised and baby-sitting daughter’s cat, Alfred/Pithy/Pissy.  Alfred is a girl cat who was nicknamed Pissy for some unknown reason as she has the sweetest personality of any animal (and a lot of humans) that I have ever been around. With my hearing not as great as I would like, I spent a long time thinking the nickname was Pithy; therefore any referral to her in print is Alfred/Pithy/Pissy.

Names out of the way, I’ll get on with my discovery.

This week has convinced me where Wikipedia comes up with  it’s information. There appears to be a large network of researchers, all busy gathering data on every known object and activity,  reporting  the raw data back to Wikipedia. Of  these researchers, I am convinced Alfred/Pithy/Pissy is a senior staff member.


Yesterday morning as I exited the shower, Alfred/Pithy/Pissy greeted me from the top of the chest of drawers. Apparently she was in the process of counting the many diverse methods and positions available for lying on an elevated 3′ X 2′ surface. (No,  Don, I didn’t measure it so don’t send me exact chest measurements.) Immediately after exhausting the position research, she began attempting all the possible Jiu-Jitsu moves that can be initiated from the back. Undoubtedly these will eventually appear in any Google of the Gracie Acadamy or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

A quick leap from the chest began a neck straining peek into a bottom dresser drawer left open about an inch. You could almost smell the brain cells overheating as she measured the opening and compared it to the possible drawer capacity, filing the information as a potential hiding place in the event that her immediately launched tactical attack on the imaginary Gs (gremlins, ghosts and goblins) fell short of the planned expulsion of these from the wicker basket holding the shower mat thingies.

And if you think that sentence is over long and runs together – you should have seen her in non-stop action.

The short lived battle for supremacy over the Gs was followed with a test of obtainable speed in an all-out run halfway down the stairs with a leap for maximum distance onto the first floor. Not one to waste the inertia, she continued the dash down the hall and capped it off with a sideways, four-pawed slide on the hardwood floor.

I’m sure the statistics obtained will eventually appear in the physics section, and also under friction heat, inertia, cornering force, acceleration, stopping power and possibly even finish-coating hardwood. And with the jump from halfway down the steps, maybe the world record section, also.

As I arrived downstairs, opening the pantry door to collect my morning Corn-Cheks also opened up a new world of exploration for this master researcher.

“Oh look up there – what’re all the cans for – why is the canned Tuna on the highest shelf, it needs to be . . . and why are there cleaning things down here –  is that a chicken – I need to maybe get up on a shelf –  ooooh a light came on when you pulled on that – were those socks in that drawer upstairs –  is there milk  here – wow, dark in the corner underneath the shelves – think there might be a mouse to chase – look at the pretty labels – what’s in the little boxes . . .????”

Another day begins.

Think Spring!

Posted March 16, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized


Where have all the Flowers …

Posted March 14, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

jewelthieflogo wanted

The short story by Lehane that I meant to write about yesterday, before I got sidetracked, was called Running Out of Dog. Great story with an underlying tale of a small town mayor who hired a man to kill stray dogs who might wander onto the interstate highway and repulse tourists with the resulting collection of road kill.

The center of the plot is a charismatic, beautiful, sexy woman named Jewel (reminiscent of Lorraine in A Love Song For Bobby Long). As I read the story just after watching that movie, the two left me in a rather weird mood. But what really bothered me was her name – Jewel.

The name Jewel appears frequently in books and movies, but given some serious thought, I cannot remember having ever known, or even meeting anyone named Jewel.  Somewhere in my peripheral memory there must be one, but I sure can’t focus on her.  I have known a March, some Aprils, Mays, Junes, even a July, an August and in the gem catagory a couple of Ruby’s, a Sapphire, Amber, Opal, Pearl, Beryl, and a Garnet. With the wave of “Hollywood” induced names we now see, I am sure that there are additional gemstone names, perhaps even a Dioptase or a Spodumene (look ’em up), but I’m talking about the ones I have met or known – again, no Jewel.

Again, as the name Jewel appears with some regularity in books and movies, but fails to appear in real life, I am beginning to wonder if the real Jewels have changed their names for some reason or other.

Was there originally a couple; Brad Pitt and “Jewel” Jolie, attempting to be the first to complete a  set of ethnic children?

Or a first family; Franklin and “Jewel” Roosevelt?

And was it really a “Jewel” Hamm who led the US woman’s soccer team to the gold in the 1996 and 2004 Olympics?

Have they all changed their names ?

Just where have all the Jewels gone?

Oops . . . sidetracked

Posted March 13, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized


Books of short stories seldom make the bestseller list and Dennis Lehane’s Coronado is no exception. Proof being the fact that I bought my copy from the “bargain book” table at Barnes and Noble for $4.98 (this in the day of $24.95 hard cover editions.)

Last night I chose my “read-me-to-sleep-story” from this collection. Maybe it was the movie I had just finished on television, A Love Song For Bobby Long that put me in a funny mood, but Lehane’s short story, Running Out of Dog left me with some serious, melancholy thoughts – and impressed me as one of his best works.

This is going to require a long post to cover – or – I’ll break it into two separate entries. First let me say a little about Lehane. I started reading him with his Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro detective novels which, although decent reads, were more of a “here’s a series that will give several good reads” than a “wow, that was good” type thing.

Then came Mystic River, changing my perception of his talent – and certainly changing his life. I picked up Mystic River with the thought of it being something different from his regular fare and quickly realized that he had dug deep and came up with a prize. Finishing the book, I told my wife that if they make a movie out of this, it will have Academy Award written all over it.

And the rest is history.

Of course, I said the same thing about Richard Price’s Freedomland and the movie was a disaster. I attribute that to the director, who ends up having the freedom to tell the story any way he wants. (See 101 Uses For Napalm #3)

Mystic River (the book) was followed by Shutter Island, and while not a bad read, just wasn’t my thing. A tricky ending, but the characters just didn’t come to life, and the story didn’t keep me from not wanting to put it down. I now see where Columbia Pictures has optioned it for a movie, with release scheduled for this October. I don’t see a great film developing here, although it will lend itself to all of these special camera effects (zoom in and out and skip ahead a few frames) that I find extremely annoying, but seem to be the vogue for all directors now.

In the meantime one of his Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro detective novels, Gone Baby, Gone was made into a movie. While pretty good, and following the book plot, the two detectives were portrayed as completely different from the book’s originals. Not necessarily bad, but after reading all of the series, I had some pretty set images of these characters that were blown away in the movie.

And tomorrow I’ll post what I originally intended to write about Coronado – but got sidetracked by the history of Lehane’s impact on me.