Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Best Thing I Said Today!

It's time for a new segment!

The best thing I said today:

"It's like being Dahmer's neighbor... I'm in no way responsible... yet I'm helplessly involved."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Don't You Think?

The merchandiser at B&N should probably read this book.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dontchoo Monkey With The Monkey.

Even after 33 years, I maintain that Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" is the finest music video ever, ummmmm, music video'd. What have you all been doing for 33 years?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mission Trail Of Tears.

For those of you who weren't required to do the Missions project in the 6th grade, Junipero Serra was the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan priest who created the first Catholic missions in California. The Pope called Serra "the embodiment of a Church which goes forth..." many Native Americans call him something different.

Today Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra.

His sainthood was actually fast-tracked, no lie. Serra was beatified in 1988, and while the world waited for his canonization, Pope Francis raced through the usual process for saints, which requires the Vatican to certify two miracles attributed to them. Serra's got only one miracle to his credit: a nun who prayed to him in 1960 said she was cured of lupus. For the record, I had a neighbor once who prayed to me, then later he found a cassette behind a freezer that he'd been looking for all summer, so, y'know... whenever you're ready, Pope Francis.

Before a group of strangers from a distant church decided California's Native Americans oughta' be Catholic (one assumes the church just really needed the dues),  these (estimated) 60,000 free people spoke 64 to 80 distinct languages and were part of the most diverse and densely populated region of indigenous peoples in North America. Thanks to their subjugation by the church, they were decimated by disease, war and the conditions in the missions, where they were worked and starved to death.

By 1910, after a century and a half of welcoming strangers to a land that didn't belong to anyone, there were fewer than 16,000 California Indians left. On the plus side, California had 21 brand-new missions, and I won a "Best of Show" award for my rendering of one of them in crayon in a 2nd-Grade art show.

Though the missions were actually considered temporary, the pain they caused still lingers. If there's any hope for enlightenment and true atonement here, it's this: not that long ago I happened across the mission a friend's daughter's had constructed for her class project. She'd chosen Mission San Gabriel, which is a long, boxy mission featuring a 6-bell bell wall. I was drawn to the functioning bell wall, but had to ask about the large, uneven open area opposite that bell wall. It was an uncultivated area, shaded by trees she'd fashioned from pipe cleaners and yarn. "What's up with the clearing," I asked. She said "It's not a clearing... it's a cemetery." I looked closer, and saw she'd created a couple dozen mounds in the "dirt." Straightening, I noted that there weren't any markers... and she sighed "They didn't let them have markers."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

There's Certainly a High Way, But I've Never Seen A Free Way.

“Is there a rhyme or reason to the numbering of Interstates?” asked Angelique.

“Yes, there is. But first you need to know a little about the interstate highway system,” replied the internet.  So here it is:

Known officially as the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways, this massive federal road-building project began in the late 1930s. But it wasn't until 1952 that Congress authorized spending and construction began. In 1956, uniform construction standards were adopted, governing such things as access, speeds, number of lanes, width of lanes and width of shoulders.
Standards were also established for numbering the routes:
  • Routes with odd numbers run north-south.
  • Routes with even numbers run east-west.
  • For north-south routes, the lowest numbers are in the west.
  • For east-west routes, the lowest numbers are in the south.

So, I-5 runs north-south along the west coast, while I-10 runs east-west in the south.
The major transcontinental routes are:

East-west Transcontinental Routes
Interstate #
Los Angeles, CA
Jacksonville, FL
2,459.96 mi
(3,959 km)
San Francisco, CA
Teaneck, NJ
2,906.77 mi
(4,678 km)
Seattle, WA
Boston, MA
3,085.27 mi
(4,965 km)

North-south Transcontinental Routes
Interstate #
San Diego, CA
Blaine, WA
1,382.04 mi
(2,224 km)
San Diego, CA
Sweetgrass, MT
1,436.89 mi
(2,312 km)
Laredo, TX
Duluth, MN
1,831.43 mi
(2,947 km)
New Orleans, LA
Chicago, IL
943.69 mi
(1519 km)
Mobile, AL
Gary, IN
888.08 mi
(1,429 km)
Miami, FL
Sault Ste Marie, MI
1,787.49 mi
(2,877 km)
Miami, FL
Houlton, ME
1,892.76 mi
(3,046 km)

When an interstate hits a major urban area, beltways around the city carry a three-digit number. These routes are designated with the number of the main route and an even-numbered prefix. To prevent duplication within a state, prefixes go up. For example, if I-80 runs through three cities in a state, routes around those cities would be I-280, I-480 and I-680. This system is not carried across state lines, so several cities in different states can have a beltway called I-280.

--All words and effort courtesy of A. Thomas

Monday, September 21, 2015

Old News Is Bad News.

This is just the kind of news that flares up and out... but before you know it, Nic Cage is tapping at your door, asking if he can come in to use your phone.

Remain vigilant!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Here's To The Max.

And then, every so often, I say to myself "Oh, yeeeaahhhhh... there was a bionic dog."

Friday, September 18, 2015

Turn And Face The Strange.

This was hard...

This made it a little easier, though.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Life 4 Feet Behind

A long time ago, John Parker came home.

Before too long he had his own blog:

Before too long, he got bored with sharing his stories, so like me, he started to keep them to himself.

If you're interested in life with John Parker: The Early Days, check it out. If you're not, well then... it kinda' sucks to be you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Musical Chairs.

Here's the thing: Musical Chairs is a really mean game only kids play, and those who win? I promise you they all become Senators. Check the tape. It's true.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Aaaaaannndddd We're Back!

I used to say stuff on here. Then I didn't.

Now I'm back... and John Parker says "Hi!"