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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

29 NOV 11

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

I'm a fan of the TV show, "The Big Bang Theory."
The central character on the show is one Sheldon Cooper.

Lately, I've been tracing my family roots on Ancestry dot com.

I have a half-brother who is also from Texas...
his name is Sheldon Cooper.
He's about a decade younger than I am.

I've tried looking up my half-brother on Google or facebook but
whenever I enter the name... about 10,000 hits come up...
all of which concern the fictional "Sheldon Cooper" from the
TV show.

I also have a half-sister... her name (in 1974) was Lisa Cooper.
She's a couple of years younger than her brother.
Cannot find her either.

I've never met them.
Perhaps one day...

I'll continue searching.


PS: I was born, "Joseph Michael Cooper," my brother,
"Thomas William Cooper."

              Pictures of Lisa and Sheldon Cooper, ca. 1974
(An explanation of the photographs: The mother of Sheldon and Lisa contacted my mother in the mid '70s and requested medical information about my brother and I. Seems that one of her children was symptomatic for a possible genetic disorder and she was wondering if either of us had had similar medical problems. She sent along the pictures with her request. According to my mother, my brother and I had never displayed any of the symptoms that were described... I don't know what the symptoms were. I never asked. My mother never said.)


Monday, November 21, 2011

21 NOV 11

Somebody said...

The Penn State circus grinds on... and on.
Everyone is pointing fingers and promising
to get down to the "truth." (Whatever that is.)
I find the alleged crime to be disgusting.
If Coach Sandusky is found to be guilty, then a long, long
stretch in prison is what he deserves.
(Forever and a day wouldn't be too long a sentence IMOHO.)
But here's the catch... he hasn't been found guilty...
of anything!
He's merely been accused.
He has rights...
which are guaranteed by our system of law and justice.
The media seems to have already convicted him and
to consider a fair trial as being incidental to the process.

Paterno, on the other hand, has earned the scorn being heaped on him.
He dismissed an assistant's claim as frivolous and passed it up the line
for the school to investigate... washed his hands of anything that may come
from it.

If the accusations prove true, the victim was a ten year old boy.
He needed somebody to champion his cause.
How could he have fought this fight alone?
He was ten years old.
(I remember ten.)

                                                      ( ... so say I )

22 JAN 12
Penn State Football Coach, Joe Paterno, has died.
In the tradition of not speaking ill of the dead, I've
removed the harsher criticism from this blog post.
I left just enough to let the reader know that I was
unhappy with Mr. Paterno's lack of concern for a
young boy.
R.I.P., Paterno... your God can deal with you now.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

20 NOV 11

From a news source...


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW... it has an expiration date!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

16 NOV 11

"...and weeds become wildflowers."

We (my wife and I) spent the day down in NYC attending
a matinee performance of the musical, "Wicked."
A birthday present from her daughters.
(My wife is a huge "Wizard Of Oz" fan.)

This show is a triumph of technical stage-craft
... well written and well played.
The script is a prequel/back-story to the original
spun tale of a young girl's adventures in a land
called Oz.

It turns old concepts upside down.

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and highly recommend it.

The entire quote in the title:
"Change your point of view and weeds become wildflowers."


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

15 NOV 11

"Better dead than red"

The premier political saying in the days I was growing up.
Russians were "Reds."
The Chinese were "Red."
Red was the color used to designate enemy forces on maps.
Blue was us.
Blue was the color designation for our own forces.
A commander's nightmare was always a "Blue on Blue Incident."
Red was left.
Blue was right.
My question: How did liberals become the blue folks, while conservatives became red?
That flip-flops the learned political history of this country and sets up the left (now blue) to be the de facto good guys in the new narrative.
Words have weight and power to influence thinking.
I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to language.
I don't like the use of "associate" in lieu of "clerk" or "cashier."
Cannot figure out how a "sale" became an "event."
Don't know why cars are now "pre-owned" instead of used.
The kids are giving new meanings to old words too.
My grandson described the movie, "Captain America," as being "sick!"
"Sick" is a good thing to be, I guess.
Sorry if I bore you... just an old man ranting.



From the "Army Security Agency Open Discussion" facebook Page
 A posting from Bob Roth:
Origin of Left & Right, or why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left."
By chance I stumbled upon this verse in the Bible:
"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

Spelling Lesson:
The last four letters in American..........I Can
The last four letters in Republican.......I Can
The last four letters in Democrats.........Rats
-- End of lesson --
Test to follow in November, 2012.

Remember, November is to be set aside as rodent extermination month.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

09 NOV 11

"Damning with faint praise..."

...words taken from Shakespeare, I do believe.

Veterans Day is two days away.
At the 11th hour, on that day, we shall all pause and remember
what it is that veterans have given in the service to this country.
The business community wishes to appear cognizant of the veterans'
service and to reward them with some token of gratitude. Restaurants
are offering free (or discounted) meals with proof of service.
This bit, from the listing of eateries offering freebies, caught my eye:

"Krispy Kreme - Where participating stores will present a free donut on Nov. 11 to all active-duty members, retirees and veterans. Officials encourage people to call ahead to ensure that their local Krispy Kreme is participating."

Don't wish to appear ungrateful but...
I'm underwhelmed.


Having just written all that...

I came across this: