Showing posts from September, 2012

How Many Times

Do you like movies? Do you see your favorite movies more than once? How man y times have you seen your favorite movie?

My all-time favorite film is Casablanca. I lost count after seeing it 25 times. I own two copies of it, one on VHS and another on DVD. Funny how I haven’t watched in at least five years. Where is that DVD? I need to see this again.

I thought about this over the weekend as I watched Independence Day for the … hmmmm … 10th time? Maybe 15th? Movies that are regularly on TV don’t actually fit into my ‘how many times’ category because it is easy to see parts of them. I’ve probably seen Independence Day all the way through at least ten times, but parts of it at least another ten. Maybe more.

Lethal Weapon (all of them) are on my high count list if you include seeing them in parts. I’ve seen each of the series all the way through only once, but each in pieces several dozen times. Same with the Die Hard bunch and Terminator.

For movies of substance I prefer to watch them all …

Odd Dreams

Dreams, the kind you have when you sleep, are amusing to me. I don’t believe they mean much but I know sometimes they connect things that are already in your brain. In my case, they connect very odd things in very odd ways.

The one I remember from the other night was really strange, however, and included nobody I know. First, some background … I interview community leaders and representatives from non-profit organizations for a radio show. Usually I ask questions and they answer them. Sometimes rather than simply ask a question, I will start a sentence to lead the guest to finish it. A second piece of background … our studios have a light outside the door that reads “On Air”; that means the microphone is on and a recording or live show is in progress so if you see that light, do not enter the room.

This dream featured me interviewing a guest. He was not anybody I know but he looked a little like an actor named Richard Schiff (pictured here) and he never smiled. One thing I remember f…

Viva Las Money

I spent last weekend in Las Vegas. The place oozes decadence. It is bright, glitzy, sexy, noisy and intense. I love visiting because for that few days I am on another planet. I could never live there. I probably couldn’t go there if my employer wasn’t picking up most of the tab.

The reason for my visit was the iHeart Radio Music Festival. Part of my job is producing promos for the event; part of my payment is the trip to the event. Awesome music, including Jason Aldean and Bon Jovi (and 18 others plus celebrity surprises). Did some gambling … well, I played a few dollars in slot machines. My strategy is to decide in advance how much I am willing to lose. I lost it all. Spent some time with co-workers, introduced myself to the guy who runs the entire company.

I’d tell you more but like I said in yesterday’s post, I am busy. And tonight I’m tired. But I wanted to mention the trip a little. And show you a couple of pictures. More later. Thanks for visiting.

Busy Busy Busy

Busy busy busy busy beyond belief busy.  But I did have a few days off the busy stuff in Vegas recently.  I have random observations to make about that and even a couple of pictures.  But not tonight.  Too busy busy busy.

More coming.  Thanks for visiting.

Off the Cuff

Any candidate for President can make mistakes during speeches or interviews. Campaigning is stressful and challenging for anyone. But sometimes these mistakes show the ‘real’ candidate and not the ‘image’ candidate.

The rich, uncaring, out of touch man the Republicans have chosen to represent them in the upcoming Presidential election, the man who has nearly a 50-50 chance of actually becoming the leader of our country, certainly revealed a part of his attitude you might not have seen otherwise, unless you were at the $50,000 a plate fundraising dinner in Florida back in May.

Quoting an Associated Press story this week:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is shown saying in the video of a May 17 fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe tha…

Interesting ...


The Middle of History

Sometimes I forget that I live in the middle of history. When I look out my front door, past neighborhood rooftops, I can see the top of South Mountain, the site of a Civil War battle. Just a little further west lays Antietam Creek and the town of Sharpsburg, site of the bloodiest single day battle in American history. Between 5:30 am and 5:30 pm on September 17, 1862 the Battle of Antietam (also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg) claimed 23,000 casualties (3600 killed, the rest injured, captured or missing).

That was the first major Civil War battle fought on Union soil and many historians consider it a turning point in the war. The North won, sort of, and Lee’s Southern forces retreated, sort of. Union forces failed to pursue Confederate troops, which disappointed many in the North, including President Lincoln, but the battle did stop Lee’s advances.

Another ‘turning point’ aspect of that battle is this: it was the first time an American battlefield was photographed before the dead…


It is hard to believe that the terrorist attacks of September 11th happened eleven years ago today. I have so much to say but I don’t even know where to start. I’ll just write a few random thoughts.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was 9 am on a sunny Tuesday. I was stuck in a traffic jam in suburban DC, heading to a doctor’s office for a physical and some tests. The DJs on my radio station were chattering about upcoming songs when one of them stopped mid-sentence and said “oh my God!” He explained the breaking news flash he had just seen on the TV in the studio. All of this flashed back in my head at 9am this morning as I was stuck in a traffic jam on the same highway listening to the same radio station, only this time I was listening to a ‘moment of silence’ audio piece I produce for playback at appropriate times every 9/11.

I left the doctor’s office around noon, exiting the parking lot into the massive traffic jam caused by the evacuation of DC. It took two hours to …

So True


Political Discourse and Stupid Arguments

This Presidential election season is turning into one of the ugliest in my lifetime and I don’t like it. I have witnessed and engaged in some ridiculous political discussions during the past few weeks. On Friday someone who I consider to be very intelligent told me he believes the world will end within five years if Obama is reelected. He really believes this. WTF?! I have also heard predictions of dire consequences if Romney becomes President.

My fellow Americans … this is NOT a dictatorship. No one American, even the President of the United States, has that much power. The world will not end on Inauguration Day next January, regardless of who takes the Oath of Office. The Mayan calendar says it will end this December. So there! Actually recent studies indicate that the Mayan calendar ends in December 2012 because they ran out of room on their tablets. Hey, just trying to lighten the mood.

One of the arguments I was in with a co-worker centered on past President Bill Clinton’s speech…



Perspective Perspective

The illustration below is blunt, somewhat unfair and, well, true. Before you scroll down to see it and react to it or what I just said, let me point out that my circle of friends is fairly evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans, Independents and WTFs. Most of my Republican friends are intelligent and sincere; we just usually disagree on many issues.

That said, I have to think that many Republicans are wondering what happened to their party.

Look at this for a minute. The three Presidents pictured below were all Republican and are among the greatest leaders in the history of our country.

Let me site just one example related to each, purely from my basic knowledge based on things I read.

Abraham Lincoln – Ended slavery and enabled the United States of America to remain united as ONE country, not two or more.

Teddy Roosevelt – His numerous and diverse accomplishments include curbing the power of large corporations, advocating more pay and shorter hours for workers, banning misleadin…


Where have you been? Are you fortunate enough to have travelled? Do you live near where you were born or have you moved around?

The travel bug bit me at a fairly young age. My family took an annual summer road trip from the time I was ten years old. Those first trips were only a few hundred miles from our home in New Orleans. We went ‘all the way to Biloxi’ on one of them. Those two whole hours on a highway were pretty exciting to a ten-year-old and that was the first time I saw a beach. As my sister and I grew older and as Dad bought better cars, our travel expanded to places like Florida, Arkansas, Washington DC, Texas and New Mexico.

As an adult I added a few more places to my list. I have now visited forty of the fifty states and three nearby countries and have lived in five different states. I am very lucky and don’t take any of this for granted. But there are so many more places I want to visit and a few I want to revisit.

Two Travel Channel programs triggered these thoughts tod…

Understanding It All

I don’t believe the average American understands politics. I pay more attention to politics than the average American because knowing about it is one part of my job, yet I don’t understand it either.

Government basics were (and hopefully still are) taught in school in classes called Civics or Political Science. We learned about the three branches of government, executive (the President, the cabinet, etc.), legislative (the Senate and the House) and judicial (Supreme Court, federal courts). By the way, I had to look it up to make sure I got the correct names. We have fifty states and several territories, each with its own governments; some laws and policies are at the state level and can vary from state to state, and some laws and policies are federal.

Most Americans know that much. Do you know any additional details? Each state has two Senators and each state has a number or representatives determined by the state’s population. At present, that means we have 50 Senators and 435 Repre…

Who Really Knows You?

What do you share with people who are close to you? Do you tell close friends or siblings how you feel? What topics do you discuss and what topics are off limits? Do you share everything with your spouse?

I am deeply curious about people. I want to know what they think, how they feel, what leads them to do or not do what they do or don’t do. I do not have any hidden agenda; I am just curious.

Do you have deep conversations about sensitive issues? Who do you share with?

Mid boomers like me grew up in a time when established norms were questioned. Marriage, war, sex, drugs, race, money, politics and religion were all up for discussion and were all subject to challenges. We were the rebels; we didn’t take anything at face value. We wanted to decide for ourselves if beliefs and behaviors should continue as they always seemed to be or if we should change everything.

Attitudes like this could sometimes lead to deep thought and discussion, although I only remember one friend through my teens…


I am struggling with a few things this week. For one, I can’t believe August is already over; what happened to June and July? For another I had a ten-hour work day yesterday, which mostly consisted of finishing projects that were all overdue; I hate missing deadlines. And of course the week was filled with concerns about Hurricane Isaac. As far as I know, all of my friends and family in the New Orleans area got through the storm with little or no damage.

And I miss Mom.

I can’t believe it has been seven years already since she died. That week was filled with repeated attempts to get in touch with my sister, who had evacuated in advance of Hurricane Katrina. Phone service was sketchy and it took several days to get reach her by phone. Those same days were filled with repeated attempts to find out what happened to my Mom and the other residents of the nursing home where she lived. That facility was in the suburbs of New Orleans and did not face the same serious flooding issues, but they…