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Showing posts from 2014

The Media, The Bill of Rights, and Grand Juries

I think that before media employees (all of them, but particularly those in the employ of MSNBC) begin to exercise their 1st Amendment rights, they should all be required to do the following:
Take a state-run class consisting of the theory, dangers, definitions, and responsibilities of speech Take an additional state run class in the practical aspects of the exercise of speech Pass a state examination to display all the necessary abilities to correctly and lawfully exercise speech
Then..... Pay a fee to the local jurisdiction wherein you desire to exercise speech in order to obtain your license for speech Be fingerprinted Wait for your background investigation to clear Be issued a license to exercise public speech (provided you pass all your classes and your background investigation) that will have to be renewed on it's expiration date
Repeat for each state or other jurisdiction in which you wish to exercise speech
If you are identified by law enforcement exercising speech withou…

Election Day 2014--Vancouver, Washington Edition

I live on the border between Oregon and Washington.  I get my local TV news from Portland, Oregon but live in Vancouver, Washington.  Vancouver is the poor cousin in this relationship.

As election day gets closer we are inundated with television campaign ads (just like everyone else, I imagine).  Here in Washington, the candidates and incumbents don’t have to declare their party affiliation in the TV ads.  Which is interesting.

Here’s what is happening at every commercial break---Every incumbent (regardless of party affiliation) running for re-election has the same pitch, to wit:  “I been fightin’ da’ man all along to get you folks sumpthin' good and keep da' man from doin’ sumpthin' bad.  Reelect me so I can keep fightin’ da’ man.”  The Republicans generally say that they are, in fact, Republicans.  The Democrats generally say nothing about party affiliation.  Like I said--Interesting.

The kicker, though, is that the incumbents seem to have been sheltered from the absolu…

On Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational Use

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As a retired law enforcement guy (32 plus years) one might be forgiven for believing that I am automatically against the legalization of marijuana. I forgive you.
I’ve advocated for the legalization of weed for a really long time. Back when my peers thought I was nuts--OK, many of them still do, but no longer for this specific reason.
My only beef is that the advertisements during the election season that push for legalization laws always include an interesting array of fictions. They perpetually claim that a repeal of criminality associated with marijuana will somehow free up the police to catch more child molesters and rapists (thereby making a vote to legalize marijuana a women's issue). Frankly, I'd like to see some stats from Washington and Colorado to see if that's actually the case. Or that nasty little lie that the extra taxes that will be generated (to replace the sin tax on tobacco, I guess) will help fund schools (another women's issue), and pay teache…

Comedy Central's Take on Profanity

Having nothing to occupy myself this morning, I turned on the high definition wide screen Sceptre and launched the Xfinity programming guide.  To my delight, I found that Comedy Central (which, frankly, isn’t all that comedic most of the time) was showing Animal House.  What a grand way to kill the dead time between awakening and the start of the Giants baseball game.

Animal House is a hoot.   Comedy Central..........not that much.

Endless commercials.  This is why I seldom watch regular TV and mostly stick with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pub-D-Hub Gold, and other offerings from my beloved ROKU box.  Via the ROKU box, I also watch some advertiser supported programming, like Crackle, Popcorn Flix, and Moonlight Movies but the ads on such, um, “channels”, I guess, is not nearly as annoying.  Don’t really know why, but part of it is that there just aren’t quite as many and they aren’t quite as pervasive.

Back to Animal House.  I’m watching and hooting along and then I notice that Comedy Cent…

The Intruder--1962

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Armed with my wide screen high definition TV, a working WIFI in the house, and my constant companions, the ROKU box and a fully paid up Pub-D-Hub Gold subscription, I took in that 1962 period piece, The Intruder.

A serious piece of work for the time, this movie is at the epicenter of the crossing paths of William Shatner and Roger Corman, and this can only mean one thing.....

Movie Notes From Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington

The Intruder has a confused little plot, containing all of the necessary early 60s causes--Racism, Sexism, Sex (without the “ism”), KKK and Cross Burning, Southern Crackers.....Oh, you get the picture.  There’s not too much convalution to get in the way of the story here--Evil white agitator shows up in a conservative southern town, stirs the yokels into an anti n-word frenzy (they actually use quite a bit of the n-word, if you know what I mean and I think you do) on the eve of integration, and, ultimately, is shown for the coward that he is.  In other words, very bad…

Persons Unknown--TV Series 2010

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I’m quite a fan of the short-run TV series.  For whatever reason, some programs that are given the green light for production on TV only last a few episodes, or a single season, or something.  Some seem to be by design, (like Harper’s Island), some are summer replacements--although that concept is sort of dated, leading the enlightened reader to conclude that the writer has been around for a really long time (and he has), some were truncated long before their time (like Life and Brimstone), and other reasons--low viewership is a really good reason to cancel a series early on.  There is another important reason that a TV series only lasts a short time.  I’ll let you guess.


Television Notes from Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington

Having time on my hands, a Netflix subscription, a wide screen high definition TV, my constant companion (the beloved ROKU box), and a working home wireless network, I tackled a one-season wonder known as Persons Unknown.  13 one-hour episodes that originally ran o…

The Best Monte Cristo Sandwich

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The Monte Cristo Sandwich, Reminiscent of the Monte Cristo at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland
I don't really eat very many of these since, well, they'll pack the weight on you like nobody's business. On the other hand, they are SO GOOD!!!!
I've prepared them in the past for my kids and always called them Grandpa's World Famous Non Toxic Deep-Fried Sandwich.
So, call it a Monte Cristo, Grandpa's Non Toxic, or just Coronary On A Plate, it's worth it.
I've eaten Monte Cristo's in restaurants, bistros, saloons, and taverns all over the country, but the best ones are served at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland. And this recipe will remind you of it (if you've ever eaten it there), or it'll give you a hint of the delight that awaits you (if you haven't).
So, for my daughters Helen and Maureen and their kids (OK, and the rest of you, too), here's the recipe:
Ingredients
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
2/3 cup water
1 egg
2/3 cup …

Invasion of the Body Snatchers--1956

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Having time on my hands this Sunday--Look.....If I was a football fan I’d have something else to watch, but I’m not and I didn’t.  Via Netflix and my beloved ROKU box, I partook in that 1956 classic of the Silver Screen, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Movie Notes From Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington

Everybody already knows the story--outer space people pods take over the population of Santa Mira, California.  No, there is no real Santa Mira, and, as far as I know, there are no real outer space people pods.  Learned scholarly  movie people will tell you that this story is either a repudiation of McCarthyism or a warning about Communism, but they are full of (what I call) “Institution Of Higher Learning Bullshit”, or IHLBS as it is known here in Vantucky.  This is a Science Fiction romp, and a pretty scary one too.  Nothing more.  Good guys win, or so it would seem.

Genuine terror, even through these jaded eyes.

It was based on a serial in Collier’s.  Collier’s was America’s Weekly and…

The Length of MLB Baseball Games

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I read that we now have a new baseball commissioner.  That’s a good thing.  His name is Robert Manfred and I don’t really know anything about him other than he’s not Bud Selig.  What a relief to have that dud gone.  And yes, I meant dud, not dude.

The main order of business for the new commish needs to be some method of shortening game times.  Here’s a thought--

MLB Rule 8.04--

“When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.””

Just about as likely to be enforced as the “phantom” second base tag or a rule book strike zone.

Currently, the average game time is 3 hours, 8 minutes.  As recently as 2010, the average game time was 2 hours, 55 minutes.  In 1981, the average game time was 2 hours, 33 minutes.  1963?  2 hours, 25 minutes.

Here’s what I suggest--shorten the game to seven innings instead of the current nine.  Tha…

Thoughts and Beliefs

What do I think?  Well, I think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  I think that we should buy American.  I think that Mount St. Helens is gonna blow again.  I think the curveball in a full count is cowardly.  I think the price of bottled water is outrageous.  I think the full moon really does bring out the weirdness in people.

I believe in America and I’m proud to call myself an American.  I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe that Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. I believe Bill O'Reilly usually gets it right. I believe in accepting life as it presents itself. I believe that good things don't necessarily happen to good people nor bad things to bad......

I’m pretty sure that we were better off without Instagram and Twitter.  I prefer the concept of Joe Camel in public places over legal marijuana.  I’m absolutely certain that we need to bring back the military draft.  I liked the country better when we had a President who thought America was a …

Fright Night--1985

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I’m really not much into vampire movies.  With a single caveat--it’s the NEW vampire movies that are icky.  Starting, I think, with Tom Cruise’s Interview with...um, whoever.  I know that the Twilight series was supposed to be just capital, but I didn’t partake.  My daughters did, and enjoyed the ride.  Not for me, though. 

So, with time on my hands, a Netflix subscription, no baseball worth watching, a fully functional wireless home network, a 32 inch HD WS Sceptre, and my beloved ROKU box, I reclined on the couch for a presentation of that 1985 vampire classic--Fright Night.

Movie Notes from Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington.

This movie is just PACKED with goodness--special effects, stars, a story.....and some really nice big hair disco scenes, circa, well, 1985.  Pretty basic 80s era vampire set-up.  Good looking kid and his single mom wind up living next door to a vampire.  What WERE the chances?  Good looking kid enlists the help of a late-night TV vampire killer to rid his neighborh…

Wild Women of Wongo--1958

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Things are quieting down a little since our move from Ohio to Vancouver.  I find I have a little bit of time on my hands, and today I wasted an hour and a half watching a real classic on the 32 inch wide screen high definition Sceptre, fed through the beloved ROKU device, with the assistance of the Xfinity wireless home network (which was functioning, as usual, flawlessly) and my paid Pub-D-Hub GOLD account--

If you do watch Pub-D-Hub on your own ROKU device, you really should go all the way and get the Gold account.  It’s cheap, it’s delightful, it’s got groovy features (like searching) that you don’t get in the free version, and there are no ads.  Oh, go ahead....Go For The Gold.  You won’t regret it.  Find out all about at pubdhub.info.

Movie Notes from Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington

Today, I caught up with that all-time classic of cinematography, The Wild Women of Wongo.  There’s really not much plot to get in the way of, um, whatever this is.  Filmed entirely in Florida, the Won…

The Hard Ride--1971

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Movie Notes from Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington
I’ve recently re-located from NorthEast Ohio (the Rust Belt) to the Pacific NorthWest (HippieFornia). I live in Vancouver, Washington where living is reasonable--no state income tax, a winning football team in Seattle, and legal marijuana.
Not that I partake, which I don’t. I know, I know.....I was a teenager in the 60s and we were all supposed to be reefer-puffers from birth. I know, I know.....I enlisted in the Army in the 60s too, and we were all supposed to be addicts. That’s right children--I enlisted of my own free will during a time of anti-war protests and the SDS and all that nonsense. No draft-dodging for this kid. I did it because one of us had to, and the protesters didn't have the heart, spine, sense of duty, courage, or love of country.
I received my Honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1971 and left the active service of my country carrying the rank of Sergeant and the thanks of a grateful nati…

Mayonnaise is not Hip

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Restaurant Notes From Vantucky--Vancouver, Washington


Having recently arrived as a resident of the greater Pacific Northwest, from Ohio (of all places) my Bride and I had a sidewalk burger in the company of my step-daughter and her boyfriend.

They live in Portland, Oregon.  We live in Vancouver, Washington.  Separated by only the Columbia river and a short bridge on Interstate 5, one would think that the cities and people would be similar.  One would be wrong.  The denizens of Portland refer to Vancouver as Vantucky.

The Portland people are so fargin’ hip it’s painful.

We met at Dick’s Kitchen.  That’s in the Alphabet District of Portland.  No, I don’t know why it’s called that, but the street signs include that little bit of information.  You can find Dick’s on the web at http://www.dkportland.com.  The web site will be happy to explain just how hip a place Dick’s really is.

I had the Buffalo Bob Burger.  That’s water buffalo.  I had it with Cheddar.  That’s cheese.  The bun was a s…