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Tuesday, March 28, 2017



Do they even teach Latin in school anymore?  When I was in high school, lots of people took Latin. 

Latin is the base for many languages.  SO? NO ONE SPEAKS IT!!
Latin is required for anyone who wants to be a doctor, engineer or a lawyer. WHY?  Because these professions use many Latin terms.  SO WHAT?  TEACH THOSE TERMS, NOT A WHOLE LANGUAGE that NO ONE SPEAKS!!
Well those bull crap arguments made me take Latin, and I never became a doctor, engineer, or lawyer.  My brother is a lawyer and he never took Latin. 
So anyway, I took Latin, and I hated it; useless fecking language. 
Veni, vidi, vici.  Tempus fugit.  Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.
Two years and that’s all I got, and I’ve never had a reason to use any of it.  Once it got me the right answer while watching Jeopardy, but then I forgot to say What is tempus fugit?”
I was horrible at Latin.  I’m not good at languages anyway, but it was extra hard to get excited about learning a language that NO ONE SPEAKS.  I got straight “D’s” and one year was in danger of failing all together.  In those days if you failed a course, you had to take it over again in summer school, and if you failed that, you did not graduate…you stayed back!!!  Oh the horrors.  The threat of being left back was frightening.  Your life would be ruined.  It would be on your PERMINANT RECORD.
So, I had a tutor for Latin.  Getting tutored in those days was a little like getting left back, except no one had to know.  It was not on your PERMINANT RECORD.
My tutor was around 90 years old.  He lived in a dingy room in an old house that smelled like a musty basement, and he smelled old.  There is no other way to explain it, he smelled old.  He also had bad breath.  It was not “I forgot to brush my teeth” breath, or “I just ate garlic” breath, it was clinical halitosis, and he was also a close talker.
I don’t think he helped me in Latin, other than giving me the incentive to study extra hard so I could get away from the smell of old and the close talking halitosis breath.
I did not fail Latin that year.  I got another “D” but I did not fail. 
I did win an award. 
Of all the subjects I ever studied, of all the sports I ever played the one award I won was for proficiency in Latin.  

We had to take some special national test, and I got a 92 which was good for a special certificate.
I was very proud.  I’m not completely sure what the certificate represents, it looks impressive, but most of it is in Latin.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.
Actually, the quote is breast, but that just gets my thirteen-year-old self to giggling.
Does anyone not like music?  It does so much more than soothe a savage breast.  Music can address any attitude.  It can create many moods.
My friend Frog introduced me to Bluegrass.  Frog played a mean banjo until his fingertips had a fight with a table saw and the table saw won.  I remember Frog laying down a lick on “Soldiers Joy” and saying,
“Doesn’t that just make you happy.”
I replied, “Yes, but I can feel my IQ dropping!”
It’s true, Bluegrass makes you happy and stupid, though it is generally a short-term condition.  Which comes first, happy or stupid?  It seems to me that really smart people are never very happy, like they are so smart they are more aware of all the things that can go wrong in life and are miserable for it.
Music has something for that condition also. 
Classical music. 
Classical music lets your mind wander to more pleasant things.  It relaxes and calms.  I have never seen a savage breast when classical music is played.
Frog now plays the bag pipes.  Bag pipes make you want to go to war.  They were invented to scare the crap out of opposing armies.  Three pipers on the other side of the river sounds like a whole shit load of angry soldiers. It would make me retreat.  I tell Frog that he has no insects or rodents in his house because he practices the pipes.
Rock and Roll of many varieties all does the same thing, it incites rebellion or at least releases feelings of rebellion.
My youngest son loves RAP music.  I don’t get most RAP.  There is some that I do enjoy, though if I listen long enough I feel like punching a random stranger in the face.
Remember calypso?  Calypso just makes you happy.  Why Mr. Tallymon tallying me bananas makes you happy I have no idea; that is the magic of music.
Why is it that jazz mellows and does not jazz you up?
Folk music makes me want to protest something…anything…when I hear Joan Baez sing, I want to grab a sign and complain about something and or demand somebody stop doing something.
Does an Irish tenor make you want to call your mom?  Does an Italian crooner make you horny?  Does the sitar make you pull your hair out and contemplate jumping of a cliff?
Emotions are enhanced by music. There is not an emotion that music will not have you experience. Many emotions are best experienced only through music.  
Music is the universal medium that brings people together.  Any random group of people will never all share the same attitude or opinion, but put 1000 people from all over the world in a theater, play a little “Soldiers Joy,” and there will be 1000 feet tapping in unison and for several minutes the room will be filled with happy stupid people.

Regarding today's comments, "OMG people do you not get satire?  I friggin love Bluegrass music...DAMN!! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017


This cranky re-run is from March 2013
I was watching the TV show “Cops” the other day and it became crystal clear to me that I would be a lousy cop.

I do not like or know how to shoot a gun, so that would be bad.  I am a confirmed chicken and do not like confrontation, so that would be bad.  I am not that fast a runner, so if there was a chase that would be bad.  I cannot wear a suit without getting it wrinkled or stained, my shoes never looked polished never mind spit shined, so that would be bad.  All these factors would make me a lousy cop, but the number one reason that was driven home to me while watching the show was I believe every perpetrator’s excuse.

In this particular episode, cops arrived at the scene of a shooting.  The alleged perpetrator was found with a pistol in his hand.  The pistol was smoking.  A man who was hit by a grazing shot to the leg was screaming and pointing at the perp, “That’s the guy!  He shot me.  Arrest him!”

The cops grab the man and disarm him.  They put him in cuffs, pat him down and find a bag of cocaine.  

“What’s this?”

“Man I ain’t never seen that before.  I don’t know nuthin.  I was walking down the street, I hear a gun shot and then this dude bumps into me and runs away.  Next thing I know he put this gun in my hand, and he must have dropped that bag of coke in my pocket.”

The victim steps in.

“Officer this guy was trying to take my watch, I resisted and he pulled a gun.  It went off and grazed my leg here.”

“Naw man, you crazy it was the guy…the guy what bumped into me.  He went that way, ran like a mother-whater!”

As the cops were throwing him into their patrol car and doing that Miranda thing I’m thinking, “Hey it could be.  Maybe someone else shot the guy and planted the coke and the smoking gun on this poor sap.  Why not?  The guy that was shot could be in shock and misinterpreted the events.  How can the police be sure he isn’t telling the truth?  Shouldn’t they run after and look for the guy who planted the gun on the perp?"

It’s probably a good thing I’m not a cop.