Sunday, November 2, 2014

Now or Never

Graceland, 1987

After being dumped by our respective girlfriends, Hans and I decided on the spur of the moment to drive to Graceland in August 1987 for the 10th anniversary of Elvis' death.

We met two French girls who were on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. by bus. Something like 17 cities in 22 days. They'd drive all night (sleeping on the bus) then visit New York, Washington, Atlantic City, Disney World, New Orleans, Memphis and many other cities.

They didn't speak English very well (as far as we could tell) but they were just our speed and both of us being unattached, we tried our best with them. Our tour group of about 20 people were led through the grounds of Graceland when the guide called out to these two French girls to stay off the lawn, please. They had been taking pictures of one another in front of every historic marker and monument in the eastern U.S. and didn't seem to hear or understand spoken commands. Hans took our tour leader aside and kindly volunteered to keep an eye on these two as we made it through the mansion.

One thing about Graceland is that no matter where you are--the gift shop, the Zebra room, the memorial gardens--they pipe in Elvis music 24/7. And it includes a lot of songs that you don't normally hear on the radio. Sort of the forgotten Elvis, I would call it.

Well anyway, as the tour progressed and we were being led back down the lawn to the gift shop, we knew these French girls were about to board a bus to Chicago or something and we had to act fast. The song, "Now or Never" began playing and boy was it timely. It was almost as if He was sending us a message from the great beyond.

The U.S. Presidency and Hero Worship

The U.S. presidency has become a committee of a couple of dozen well connected and well educated people who advise a single, charismatic, photogenic person who implements the policies decided by the committee.

This may be objectionable, especially to those who have never considered the idea and who are accustomed to hero-worship. But it is unreasonable anymore to expect a single individual to have the capacity to handle the duties of the office. No single person knows the intricacies of energy and science policy and is at the same time able to negotiate trade or arms agreements with a variety of nations.

But that's just want most Americans want and expect from their president. They want John Wayne (as Gil Scott-Heron once surmised) or George Washington. A man who will walk over and punch the collective Islamic State right in the nose and tell them to sit down and shut up. Then walk calmly back home. That's an allegorical scenario but that kind of thing is just what this country thinks it can find if it just keeps looking for the right candidate. Delusional is what I would call it.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things We Used to Do

I guess I'm getting old when I start talking about the way things used to be. I suppose every generation could create one of these lists.

We used to go to the bank on Friday night to get pocket money for the week. Either that or we'd cash a check at a local grocery, liquor or other store. This was before ATMs and at a time when communities were small enough for the local grocer or liquor store owner to know a person personally and trust that his or her check was good.

Best Basketball Players in the World


Kevin Durant has pulled out of international basketball competition's U.S. team and few can blame him. Durant has been thinking about an NBA title for probably 10-12 years. 

The fact that the US team has lost some recent international tournaments only shows that basketball is a team sport which relies more on continuity of 10 or so players practicing and playing together full time and less on throwing together 10 of the best players in the world for 2-3 weeks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Beer Graduate

I started drinking beer when I was 16 and I spent the rest of high school in hot pursuit of the foamy beverage. Because I was too young to be served in a bar, my friends and I usually bought six-packs from the groceries and markets which were known to sell to just about anyone over 5 feet 9 inches. We then drank can after can in somebody's parents' car or basement when the adults were away. It all usually ended with some foolishness, unrestrained laughter and often vomiting. 

It was all loads of fun as the reader can imagine.