Thursday, July 29, 2010

Missing: Marc Wolin

I've blogged about this once before.

This most recent post is prompted by a call from an investigator.

Please do a mitzvah. Please help get word to your family that you're alive. You don't have to talk to, or be in touch with, anyone you don't want.

But please find a way to get a message to me, or to her.

If anybody has any idea of how to bring this to Marc's attention, please do.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh, Brother

A cowboy, who is visiting Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender acknowledges that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Right on Target

My mom's dear friend Kathleen passed this along to my mom, who passed it along to me. I'll see them both next weekend at the wedding of Kathleen's grandson. I'm going to tell them you laughed, so you might as well.

After he retired, Bob's wife insisted that he accompany her on her trips to Target.

Unfortunately, like most men, he found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. His wife loved to browse. Eventually, she received the following letter from the local Target:

Dear Mrs. [Redacted]:

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in housewares. Get on it right away." This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her supervisor. In turn, this resulted in a union grievance. The whole matter cost Target both time and money, for no good reason.

4. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

5. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

6. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department. 20 children obliged.

7. August 23: When a clerk asked if she could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?" EMTs were called.

8. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

9. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

10. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his "Madonna look" by using different sizes of funnels.

11. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"

12. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"

And last, but not least:
13. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here." One of the clerks passed out.

Re-reading this list, it occurs to me that a number of these ideas might work well in a campaign of civil disobedience against Wal-Mart.

I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Heinlein Primer

A friend read a bunch of Heinlein quotes I posted to a Listserv e-mail list. He was too young to know Heinlein, but as a libertarian, he found the quotes interesting. He asked for some book recommendations. When I was done writing, I realized I had a blog post:

I'd start with The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Other great stand-alone novels:

Podkayne of Mars
The Puppet-Masters
The Rolling Stones
Red Planet
Stranger in a Strange Land

Then there are a whole series of interlocking short stories and novels collectively referred to as Heinlein's "Future History".

If you can find a collection of the short stories before you read the novels, the novels will make more sense. The best collection is called "The Past Through Tomorrow". As a bonus, the foreword includes a timeline of Heinlein's Future History.

After the short stories, the series of Future History novels are awesome.

They all feature a long-lived fellow called Lazarus Long and his kin.

Methuselah's Children and
Time Enough for Love are my favorites.

After that, you read more of the adult novels he wrote after 1963 or you read all of the books he wrote for a "juvenile" audience and marvel at the subversive stuff he got past a blue-nosed editor whose only care in the world was selling books to libraries. Or you mix them up.

For a laugh, after you've read any two or three things, look over "Grumbles From the Grave". It's the book of unmailed correspondence he'd always threatened to have his widow publish after his death and it's hilarious.

Beware of the desecration of his literary legacy she committed thereafter. She had alternative versions of a number of books republished, restoring 10s of thousands of words his editor cut out.

In most cases, his editor was right. What she's permitted to be done to Stranger in a Strange Land is especially distressing. It turns a damn near perfect science fiction novel into a book so fat and thick, its essence is smothered.

Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.

Thanks for asking. Heinlein is one of my favorite topics.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Does She Like Her Ass?

There is a new study about women and how they feel about their asses; the results were pretty interesting:

30% of women think their ass is too fat.

10% of women think their ass is too skinny.

The remaining 60% say they don't care, they love him, he's a good man and they wouldn't trade him for the world.

Monday, July 12, 2010

One Ark, One Humanity

Clergy Beyond Borders came to my attention because my friend and teacher, Rabbi Gerry Serotta, is a co-founder and serves as its Executive Director.

Gerry and his friend and colleague, Imam Yahya Hendi, CBB's Secretary-General, and all the rest of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy who guide this blessed organization are leading the way to the repair of the world.

If only more of us would follow.
Keyn Yehi Ratzon.
May This be God's Will.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Computer Maintenance

A friend passed along a tip to me.

I'd thought I needed to have an eye exam, but it turns out my PC monitor needed cleaning.

There's a simple, open-source tool available online, to cut down on eyestrain if you spend much time in front of a computer screen.

You can find it here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where Did I Come From?*

A 5th grader asked her mother the age-old question, 'How did I get here?'
Her mother told her, 'G-d sent you.'

'Did G-d send you, too?' asked the child
'Yes, dear,' the mother replied.

'What about Grandma and Grandpa?' the child persisted.
'He sent them also,' the mother said.

'Did He send their parents, too?' asked the child.
'Yes, Dear, He did,' said the mother patiently.

'So you're telling me that there has been NO sex in this family for 200 years?
No wonder everyone's so darn grouchy around here!'

*Thanks, Michel

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Flag: The Next Big Viral Video?

A few preschools use this song in their commencement ceremonies. Two use it on a daily basis after the Pledge of Allegiance. It's thoroughly patriotic, thoroughly non-partisan, thoroughly life-affirming, and thoroughly beautiful. I'm so proud I know the guy who wrote it, I could just plotz.

Would you all please help make this 1-minute video go viral for Independence Day?