Monday, December 31, 2007

You can't get there from here...

When did we start caring about the damn Iowa caucuses?
Was it when one of those clodhopper hillbilly governors the Democrats are so fond of won one?

No really...I don't remember Iowa being at all important to the electoral process when I lived there in the 60's. Iowans are not typical voters by any measure; so why should we care who the hardcore clowns who vote in these things are in love with?

Have you been paying attention to some of the things being said by the incurable sociopaths who want to be our head honcho? It doesn't matter which party you prefer, there is enough cow flop being broadcast in the "tall corn" state to allow farmer Brown to ship the entire herd to the Omaha Steak folks and call it a career. It's embarrassing.

Whatever you want, you can have. Just ask.

If you have never read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", I suggest that you correct that error of omission immediately. She saw all of this coming more that fifty years ago. The government can't run anything. It can only get in the way of the doers and thinkers who made this country great. We are dangerously close to promising ourselves unearned and undeserved goodies that will kill what made us the envy of the rest of the world. Sad.

Ayn Rand

Look at poor Mike Huckabee. He apparently thinks that he can rid us of the IRS. He's proposing an end to the income tax by replacing it with some unspecified sales tax. FAT CHANCE!
No, Mike...It ain't going to happen and you know it. We'll just end up with a new sales tax AND and income tax. Nobody ever gets rid of a federal agency. Once they're created they self perpetuate because NOBODY has the guts to close one down. And, how about the accountants and lawyers who have built entire practices around the fact that we can't figure out how much we owe? It's an industry unto itself.

So, get ready to laugh your ass off at all those Iowa caucus attendees. They are about to cast their ballots for one of these lying bastards who knows full well that real change in Washington is a sucker's game. You can't get there from here...We're too far down the road for that.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking for Laughs?

When was the last time this guy made you laugh?

A prostate exam is funnier than Al Franken

Lucky for us, Mr. Franken is now Minnesota's problem.
But, maybe that is just me. Humor is subjective.
All I know is that Al baby never made me laugh. And, that includes the period before I knew he was a whining liberal wienie.

On the other hand...Bob Newhart and Fred Willard can cause milk to come out of my nose just by showing up. My dad hated Newhart and would actually leave the room if he was on TV.
Go figure.

The reason I bring this up is that with the writers' strike looking to go long term we will all soon be forced to go hunting for yucks in new and different places. Reality shows amuse some of you, but frankly they merely make me want to hunt down and kill each and every one of the unbelievably stupid participants.

Lately, I've been ordering lots of TV classics fill the comedy void at our house. Shows like Sgt Bilko, the old Newhart shows and one of the funniest classics of all time...Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life" still hold up as incredibly funny and entertaining fare.

Of course, it's always hard to beat the comedy of politics.
Hillary and the rest of the pathetic sociopaths running for president in the new year will have us all peeing our pants with laughter...until we wake up to the fact that THIS REALLY IS THE BEST WE CAN DO.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out what Amazon and others have to offer.

Tell ' em Groucho sent ya...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hand to hand combat on the 24th

I'll be out there tomorrow.
Will I see you? Or, are you one of the finished? You know...The people, usually of the female persuasion, who are sitting at home smugly admiring their nicely wrapped and well thought out purchases resting under the tree for all to see.

Gutless! That's what you are!
It takes a real man, (granted...he's an idiot), to risk life and limb Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. The flying elbows, the smell of cheap perfume and fruitcake, ahh...that's what the season is all about. Shopping coupled with all the excitement of a "Steel Cage Death Match" produced by the WWF, it's the quintessential Christmas in America.

I may cheat just a little and confine my shopping to Home Depot and the grocery store. (I'm thinking a nice ham or a power drill for Linda this year.) Maybe I'll even buy Santa a drink when he takes a break. Have you noticed that fat tolerance is high just before Christmas? (In a couple of weeks, Santa will be just another fat guy taking up too much space in an already crowded world.)
I saw this picture of a sleigh with flamingos in the Chicago Tribune. I'm wondering if Home Depot or Lowes might have a set for the front yard. Talk about a home run! I can just see the look on Linda's face. Let me know if you've seen this elegant yard art anywhere. Okay?'s an idea: Maybe I'll just make up a story about ordering something fabulous that,...DAMN THAT FEDEX!, hasn't arrived in time for the big day. Yeah, that's the ticket. Now I can sleep late tomorrow. Brilliant! They should put somebody like me in charge of Christmas every year!

Like you have a better plan?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's all about the MARKETING

Striking writers are settling in for a protracted battle with the Hollywood big shots.
In an effort to add some dollars to the guild strike fund they have created a "writers' swag" website which sells t-shirts promoting their cause.

Having been screwed blue by broadcast management types myself, my sympathies belong to the computer toting geeks who provide the funny and mostly intelligent dialog mouthed by overpaid actors. So, in a show of support, I logged on to the writers' website to see what I could buy. To my dismay, they were out of shirts in my size. I made a mental note to try again.

WOW! When I checked again I was gratified to see that these guys and gals are not only great writers...They know how to move merchandise! Instead of a picture of your basic striker tee, they now had they lovely Katherine Heigl of "Grey's Anatomy" modeling the now impossible to resist striker-wear.

I ordered FOUR for Christmas giving and am giving serious consideration to requesting seven more for my back-to-school wardrobe. (Wait a minute...I don't go to school. See how effective good marketing can be??)

So, there you are. They're the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone. Check it out at:

I didn't think it was possible to find a gift almost as good as one of those leg lamps from "A Christmas Story", but I did.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sure Smells like Christmas...

I've been putting off doing Christmas cards for several days now.
It's not that I really mind doing them. After all, it is the only time most of us reach out to old friends that we don't want tossed overboard on the sea of time. The folks that you shared a job, neighborhood or foxhole with at some point, but it was so long ago that you're not certain there's enough left to sustain a phone conversation. Well, at least a few of them fall into that category. The rest are just on the list.

I always know it's time to do the Christmas cards by the smell of the decorated tree down the hall. It's funny how the sense of smell is one of the more powerful touchstones that we have yet we relegate it to a lesser status. People never mention "falling in love at first smell". No, it's sight and hearing that get the nod when it comes to romance but smell can be the most powerful stimulus of all.

There was a girl in my fourth grade class; her name was Joan. She was gawky, skinny and not especially good looking but she used to wear some (probably cheap) perfume that was undoubtedly of the dime store variety which made me swoon whenever she walked by my always messy fourth grade desk. I have no idea what it was, but can recall it to this day and would most assuredly marry her on the spot if I were not already off the market.

Whenever I smell Carter-Hall pipe tobacco I invariably look for my dad. It was his smell.

Sometimes a scent can haul up nearly devastating emotions. In 2001 just a couple of days after 9-11 my wife, Linda, nearly died from complications involved in a liver operation at UCLA Medical Center. It was one of the darkest periods of my life. I would spend my days visiting her in the intensive care unit and then return to my hotel in the evening to watch non-stop TV coverage of the tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C. This all came close on the heels of a sudden cessation of thirty plus years of hard boozing. In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, "It was rough I tell ya!" To this day...whenever I catch a whiff of the liquid soap that all visitors were required to use before entering the ICU, my knees buckle and I have to brace myself. To my nose and my brain it's September of 2001 all over again and it scares the bejesus out of me.

Then there is the olfactory stimulant that has laid waste to more wallets than any tax collector or woman of the evening. The smell that leaves you with a mountain of monthly debt and nothing but heartache after the "new" is gone. I refer, of course, to that most expensive perfume...the NEW CAR smell. Try not to succumb to it this Christmas. Not even if they promise you that big bow.

Time to sign-off. Linda is baking and I smell Christmas cookies.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa too fat? Grease the chimney and get over it!

Santa is FAT.
He is supposed to be fat.
And now, on the cusp of the evening when fatboy gases up the sleigh and sets out on his sacred mission to bring all kinds of useless but cool gadgets to all the chimneys in the free world and assorted communist countries some clueless morons want him to lose weight.
Where do these nitwits come from???!!!
These health freaks want Santa to set a healthy example for all the good boys and girls by looking like Slim Whitman. Please! Santa is like your uncle Louie...a fun loving gasbag who always knows where the cookies, beer and dad's good booze are. (Not necessarily in that order.)

If these clowns are serious about the health thing, let them set Santa up with a January package at the Lavender Lips health spa to be followed by a February stomach stapling. We cannot let them have their way!
What's next??? An intervention for Rudolph???? (You've seen his nose.)

No, a skinny Santa simply will not do.

And while we're at it...
I want the fat goober to get his pipe out of mothballs. Fire that baby up with some good ol' stinky Carter Hall so that we can see that head encircling wreath and smell his trail. Also, an ass pocket full of good whiskey would do wonders for North Pole Fat's Christmas Eve disposition. ( They're making wonderfully safe plastic flasks these days.)

I would also like to mention that it is absolutely imperative to maintain the current Mrs. Santa in her present condition. The old boy seems to have done a really good job of picking out a caring and sensitive helpmate who is an inspiration to us all.

And to all a Good Night.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Here we go again.
It rained in San Diego last Friday. Supposedly it was the most rain to fall on us since a day in 2005. (Something in excess of an inch of precipitation.) Now, it is supposed to start raining again tonight. Already the TV stations have their "Storm Watch" reporters at the ready telling us breathlessly that they will be the FIRST to have the latest on the wetness.


This must have the folks in Buffalo and Detroit peeing their pants.

Sometimes living in paradise can be such a bitch.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Global Warming? You don't know the half of it...

So there they were, all the weather prognosticators with their maps and pointers.
I think it was last Wednesday. The standard line went something like this: "We expect some clouds and a slight chance of scattered showers over Southern California as we head toward the week-end."

Naturally, it poured heavy rain all day Friday causing mud slides and traffic mayhem in a corner of the world that considers anything over ten inches of annual rainfall a "wet year". DAMN those meteorologists!! Can't they get anything right?
But wait...Aren't these the same guys who currently have their panties in a bunch over global warming? The very same clowns who can't tell us if it will rain tomorrow or be hot next week? They're absolutely sure that the earth is warming at such an intolerable rate that we're all doomed to have oceanfront property in the future whether we like it or not??? These guys?

Frankly, I've always been a little chilly. I'm the guy who's constantly sneaking up the thermostat when nobody is looking. So the prospect of not having to carry a sweater or wrestle somebody over the setting on the car air-conditioning is my idea of heaven.

However...if we are indeed destined to experience a global hot flash in the near future I am very worried about some of the "fallout" from this phenomenon.
I am talking LITERAL FALLOUT! I refer, of course, to a major increase in the number of fat guys in speedos hitting our newly extended beaches.

Think about it.

The horror...the horror!

Stop global warming NOW!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remember books?

The writers seem to be settling in for a long strike against the money grubbing dirtbags who run the TV and movie business. Producers seem to believe that the American public will be content to watch crappy reality shows and reruns until the sun blows up. They think that writers and others responsible for content are about as necessary as trained apes .

My advice to the network and studio bigshots is: Take a look at what has happened to the radio business! Ratings are going down faster than a Sears tire and advertising revenues are in free fall. Why? Because owners and managers thought content didn't matter. People will listen to the radio...because they always have, was the thinking. Why pay good money for talented people when you can have a dog fart the Star Spangled Banner for minimum wage???
That kind of thinking is the reason you can now buy a radio station of your very own with your MasterCard. (Good luck trying to sell it in a couple of years.)

So, until the creeps in charge of Hollywood and the major networks wake up and give the writers a fair deal, here is a plan: READ A BOOK!

I have one for you... Race You to the Fountain of Youth.
It's a funny read about how men and women cope with the ravages of aging. You'll laugh a lot as you recognize you and your really old friends. It's written by Brad Dickson and Martha Bolton, both seasoned longtime writers for the likes of Jay Leno, Bob Hope and lots of other people you see on TV and in the movies that you thought were funny on their own. They're NOT! Writers put those words in their mouths.

"Race You to the Fountain of Youth...I'm not dead yet, but parts of me are going fast"

You can order it from Amazon. can hear Brad Dickson interviewed on "Clark & Copper" Tuesday December 4 at 11 AM Pacific time on

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Like so much cotton candy...

Somebody had the TV on in the locker room at the gym today. Come to think of it, the damn thing is usually on and tuned to something so incredibly stupid it hastens my shower and egress to the parking lot. It must have been one of the more gifted members controlling the tuner on this Sunday after Thanksgiving because there was actual NEWS on the box for a change. As I was dressing I heard a reporter intone from somewhere on the frontier of journalistic commitment that "There are nearly five million people airborne today as they return from the Thanksgiving holiday."
FIVE MILLION fellow humans jammed into those increasingly sticky and dirty sky coffins we are forced to use if we want to get to our respective destinations in a timely manner? WOW! All I could do was feel good about NOT being one of them. What a miserable way to spend a Sunday.
Remember when it was a BIG DEAL and somewhat glamorous to fly? You dressed up, looked forward to a restaurant quality meal, weren't frisked like a common criminal and most always got to your destination on time.

My kids began flying as babies. On the other hand, I never traveled by plane until I was nineteen or twenty. It was a memorable trip that expanded my small town Midwest being by not only giving me wings but also providing me my first look at the Pacific Ocean and a palm tree. Heady stuff that I thought at the time would be something I would look back on "through the mists of time" as I grew old.
Boy was I stupid!
I remember it like last week! Life really is too short.

My Aunt Shirley, now somewhere north of eighty, told me a couple of years ago that she has never been on a plane. Odds are her meter will run out before that changes. She said that she just never wanted to try it. Maybe she missed the good years and some good times, or maybe she was just more prescient than the rest of us. Think about it the next time your wasting a day at the airport. "Time to spare? Go by air!"

Speaking of life being WAY too short...
The Chargers are on TV. Screw them!
I'm going outside.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home Cookin'...The old One Two Punch

I believe that this picture of my son-in-law, Doug, says it all.

I smoke a mean Thanksgiving turkey!

Or, was it perhaps the Snickers cake and the other 40,000 calories that Katie's husband consumed that induced this digestive coma?

I hope that all of you reading this had an equally traditional glutinous fat ass American Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas is coming...Al is getting fat

It has been awhile since I've spent some quality time with my pal Al the alligator lizard who roams the nooks and crannies of my backyard patio.
Going back to work cuts into important things like "pal time".

Al has been living outside my back-door for at least two years now. He was here when we moved into the house; so I'm not certain what kind of relationship he had established with the previous owners or just what kind of deal he cut with them regarding amenities. I've basically told him that ANY bugs or other varmints he cares to capture and ingest on the ol' Copper spread are his exclusively. It looks like he has been taking advantage of my largess as he has gained considerable girth over the past two years. Some of the "wide load" quality is due, I realize, to his impending hibernation. His speech has become slurred of late and he moves with the speed of a glacier. Perhaps some of this near catatonic state has been induced by the play of this year's Chargers, but he has always been more of a baseball fan and I know he'll be scurrying around the patio like a gerbil on crack once Spring training begins. Al's first appearance from hibernation usually coincides with the reporting to Peoria of Padre pitchers and catchers.

Also, the addition of several new members to Al's lizard family has probably made for an exhausting season for the aging veteran. I couldn't help but notice that this year the Mrs. popped out at least three little Al's...Or, were they Alices?

One new member of the brood has a distinctly orange cast to him which makes me wonder about how seriously alligator lizards are with regard to fidelity. (Mrs. Al has never seemed especially warm to me.)

"Norbert"....Al's son? What do you think???

This week I'll be smoking a turkey in the old dependable Weber kettle for Linda, me and our daughter Katie and her husband Doug. Thanksgiving day is generally the day Al and I say our good-byes for another season. He will waddle by as I fight off the hickory smoke to baste the bird and say, "Have a nice holiday, Ken...I'll catch you when the Padres' season is new and full of promise." I'll wish him a pleasant hibernation and promise to move the Malibu outdoor light that can sometimes wake him too early.

I'll also urge him to quiz the wife about the orange one.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The "Clark Gable" of radio turns 90

Jack Vincent is ninety.
Nobody who toils in the entertainment "carny zone" of radio hits that milestone. Do they?

Jack was one of the princes of the radio realm in that venue's halcyon era of the nineteen- sixties and he's still going strong as he begins his tenth decade. Remarkable...

I've met Jack a couple of times and took an immediate liking to him. Everyone does. He's just one of those guys. He's charming, in good shape, and still has the command of that great set of pipes that kept him employed at legendary stations such as KCBQ for many years.

Jack, and guys like him, were the reason many broadcasters of my generation got into the biz. They were men like our dads...only cool. They made radio seem exciting and romantic as they spun the hits and spoke to you...and only you. It was magic!
Most of them are gone now and radio is no longer cool or even sure of what it is... or could be.

There was a party for Jack last week at my friend "Shotgun" Tom Kelly's house. (Rumor has it that whiskey and cigars may have been on hand.) "Shots" is, I believe, the only radio pal of mine still actually honking the hits. He does a superb job of keeping the era of the sixties alive and well every afternoon on K-Earth 101 in Los Angeles. He has been a great friend to Jack.

I couldn't make the party. Linda was in the hospital at UCLA, but I plan to be there for Jack's hundredth. He's a living tribute to the most intimate medium in an increasingly isolated and disconnected culture.

Happy birthday, Jack!
I miss what radio once was and I miss so many of the radio troops from Jack's generation and from mine. Many left the airwaves and this world way ahead of their time. That seems to happen to people who are secretly sensitive in a creative yet hardass enterprise.
I miss them...but, I'm damn glad I don't have to miss Jack Vincent.

Many more Jack...many more.

Will the real Jack Vincent please take a bow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This year I'll get it RIGHT

Let's face it...
Women can do this; men can't.
In fact, you can take it to the bank that most members of the fair sex are probably flashing that Mona Lisa smile at the guys in their lives because they know that they're done and we are most certainly NOT.

Christmas shopping divides us as much as the Stooges and that "asking for directions" thing. Women have the uncanny ability to find appropriate and much loved gifts for everyone on their list because they...well, I don't know why. That's the problem. Why do they get it and we just DON'T.

This year it will be different! I'll start early and shop carefully.
I'll start this weekend.
What games are on TV?
Maybe I'll wait until next weekend.
How many days until Christmas?

Here are some of my not so well thought out gifts from Christmases of yore.
Kind of embarrassing, no?

My nephew Walt did like his X.T.C. Elmo. I'm not real clear on his mother's reasons for not letting him play with him.

Nothing but boffo gift-os coming from the ol' Kenster this holiday season!

How many shopping days left?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Affairs of the liver...

I have not been neglecting this blog.
I know it seems like it, but I haven't. Things have been going on.
Friday, just as I was about to rant about something important, no doubt only to me...we got the call.
Linda was up again.
"Up" being next in line for a liver transplant at UCLA Medical Center. She has been on their list for a number of years now and because of her blood type has rarely been close to getting a new liver.
There just aren't that many livers around and, unfortunately, somebody has to die to free one up. It's a fact of life we have learned to live with. The irony of the situation is that the only member of the Copper family who ever abused their liver enough to wear it out Linda's problem is genetic and not anything she could have prevented.
Who said God doesn't have a twisted sense of humor?
Anyway, we spent the majority of the week-end hanging around the hospital. Linda at least had a bed. I made camp on one of the most uncomfortable chairs ever created. I'm sure the designer used to work for the Marquis De Sade. Not only was it impossible to sleep in this horror, it wasn't even a decent place to plunk your ass for more than a couple of minutes. I did a lot of aimless walking around.
People watching at a hospital is almost as much fun as feasting your peepers on the crowd at a county fair or carnival midway. Geezus...what a freak show!! Half of the crowd was on cell phones too; so that provided the added bonus of insipid one-sided conversations as a backdrop.

Here's another situation I've noticed in hospitals like UCLA's: The food in the cafeteria is almost entirely unhealthy. There are islands of cheese pizza and fried chicken, but almost no decent items at the salad bar. I'm guessing that this is all part of the medical establishment's master plan to keep us all in the hospital and our wallets in their "caring" hands. ( I noticed that the patrons of the cafeteria with the most grossly unhealthy items on their trays were....DOCTORS. ) Maybe they know something.

One more observation: I have long noticed that it is almost a given that wherever you go in this country there WILL be some kind of bad music playing in the background. Muzak in elevators, (nothing sounds as cool as 101 Strings rocking out with their version of "Ain't No Woman Like the One I've Got") and people with radios tuned to stations programed by corporate morons. In my years of playing the hits on music radio I thought I had heard all of the REALLY bad songs it was possible to pour into your ears, but NO. In the past year I have been hearing the worst piece of audio garbage EVER produced! It is some insipid tone poem called: "You're Beautiful" by a screeching stooge named James Blunt. I first heard this retarded riff at the gym and dismissed it as a spoof. No such luck. It really is a song and it really blows monkey chunks! It is the worst song EVER!

I would rant on but I've decided to leave while there is still light. I'm going to hunt down James Blunt and SHUT HIM UP!

James Blunt: singing moron

I wonder if he's using his liver? Hmmm....

Monday, October 29, 2007

211...How may I help you?

The smell of smoke is still in the air.
It's not as bad as it was last week, but when the local landscape guys fire up those leaf blowers....Well, you get the idea.

The fires were a nightmare for lots of folks in San Diego and it was amazing to witness the help that was offered voluntarily by those who were able. My youngest daughter, Katie, was one of the latter. Her whole office pitched in to answer the county's 211 information line. It was an education for her.
Questions such as: "I see flames in my backyard. Should I leave?", were not uncommon. Or, try this one on for size: "My friend is driving down from L.A. to pick me up. Do you know where she is?"
Sometimes the confusion was on the other end of the line. Katie's favorite example went something like this:

Caller: I'm in Oceanside and I'm scared because I see smoke and I don't know if I should evacuate or not."
Katie: "I don't show that you are in an evacuation zone at this time. I'm looking at the map and it appears you are seeing the smoke from the Homo fire. The Homo fire is near the coast and does not pose a threat to your area at this time. You do not need to evacuate." (Then someone taps Katie on the shoulder and says, "Katie...It's the Horno fire...not the HOMO fire!"
Katie appreciated this information very much since she had been calling it the Homo fire all day. That lasik surgery seems to be working for her.

The fires are contained now. We can laugh again.

Katie and husband Doug hugging a tree that is NOT on fire

Friday, October 26, 2007

And then we had this fire...

You may have noticed that I have been negligent lately.
We had this fire...

Isn't that how it usually happens? You begin some new adventure and all hell breaks loose. Barely a week into the launch of SignOn Radio for the Union-Tribune newspaper, and the entire county of San Diego catches fire. It has been an unforgettable experience.

Monday morning at 4:30, Linda and I were awakened by sirens outside our front door followed by a loudspeaker announcement ordering in all residents of San Elijo Hills to evacuate the area. It was a mandatory evacuation.
The immediate concern was, "what do we take"? As it turned out, we didn't have time to grab much. I would do it differently now, but hope that we never again are faced with the same dilemma. For us, the "all clear" came Monday evening and we returned to our home feeling mighty lucky. We knew that others had not been so fortunate.
Linda went to work with me and spent the day camped out with the SignOn crew as we broadcast the San Diego fire story to the rest of the world. The national and international response was amazing. We had calls from all over the world and the stories were compelling. Folks with family in the San Diego area were listening; also people who had lived here before and were wondering about friends and former neighbors. It was radio doing what radio used to do so well, only now it was internet radio.

San Diego 2007

As the situation slowly returns to normal, I will keep you current on how it is all going. Better yet, go to and hear it in real time.

In the GOOD NEWS file: The Nature Theater of Oklahoma, which was conceived and lovingly grown by Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska, was just named the "Breakout Theater Company of 2007" by New York's Village Voice.

Pavol & Kelly

All the hard work pays off!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

As usual, I didn't get the memo...

It happens all the time.
Something important is decided and I don't get notified.

Son of a bitch!

For example: At some point during the past couple of years it was decided that things no longer have a price, they have a price point. Have you noticed?
It is impossible to tune in a conversation on any of the TV business channels and not hear references to Apple's price point, the price point of chicken giblets, or the price point of toilet paper. What gives??!! Why the extra word? My POINT is what the hell is the word point doing that is so damned important to THE PRICE of something?

ATTENTION CNBC! Knock it off!!!!

Perhaps I have been watching too much financial television....
I can't help it. I trade stocks every day and seem to be unable to stop. It is not unlike going to the track. I'll admit that I'm hopelessly hooked, although MY bookies wear ties.

Here's something else I don't get: Maybe it's just a California thing. Lately I've noticed that often cars approaching an intersection will stop a car length or two short of the crosswalk. What is that all about??? Again, was there a memo telling all drivers that they should allow plenty of leeway for getting rear-ended at stoplights? My guess is that there was no such memo. Most likely this situation manifests itself because people are so busy talking on the phone that they are merely guessing the whereabouts of the intersection.

Then... there is that stupid TV ad for one of those special pills for guys who have trouble getting their "best friend" to uhh..stand up for them. I don't know the name of the product, but it starts with a C and it features a couple sitting in separate bathtubs admiring the sunset at the end of the commercial. Now, if this thing actually works and is literally the equivalent of having the Acme Crane company at your service in pill form, then what the hell are the happy couple doing in separate tubs??!!

Linda and I haven't been OUT to see a movie in over two years. This weekend we saw a good one, "Gone Baby Gone". It was well acted and the adaptation from the book was superb. We had both read the book and enjoyed it. But here's the rub: Even using our "senior" status to secure a discounted ticket, the tab for the movie, popcorn and two medium drinks was $30.
No wonder only kids go to the movies. Kids are the only ones with that kind of "whip out".
We'll be catching all of our movies on DVD and HBO for the foreseeable future.

Gone Baby Gone...

Good flick! Wait for the DVD.

Personal note:
Last week I began doing an Internet radio show with Clark Anthony on the website of the San Diego Union-Tribune. I'm not sure if it's any good...yet, but it sure is FUN. If you're at all interested, it is on from 11am-1pm Pacific time. All you need to do is go to: and click on signonradio. It should be in the right-hand corner of the home page. Well, it'll be there until they tell us to "get out!".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dock that clown a day's pay!

Two evil dorks pumping paws

Okay...who was the moron at the Pentagon that missed this opportunity???

Two major irritants in our sites at the same time and we don't drop some Hiroshima Hot Sauce on them? The general responsible for this military blunder should be docked at least a day's pay and forced to shine camel shoes while wearing a turban and gargling borscht.

One thing I know for sure...
If these two had been in charge, the after-action report would have been stamped: TARGET IDENTIFIED AND DESTROYED.

Dick and "The King"
Still America's Dream Team!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The "Old Salt" gets me thinking...

Capt. Erickson and your correspondent
Christmas shopping for our wives in NYC. I sure hope they like the cigars we've picked out.

My longtime pal, The Skipper, is always a font of information on almost anything you care to talk about. Mention some obscure TV show from the 50's and he'll give you the list of cast members and some inside skinny on the network that ran it. The sludge that rises to the surface of his brain never ceases to amuse and amaze me. He spent years as a captain of tanker ships on the high seas, is an avid outdoors man and even flies his own plane. As long as you don't get him started on the falling dollar and what it means to the price of gold, you're usually in for some stimulating conversation when he's in the mood.

We've been pals since we were fourteen and we talk frequently.
The other day he asked me, "What kind of planes did your dad fly in WW II?" We had both been spending time watching the Ken Burns PBS series "The War" and were comparing notes.
The question took me by surprise. I didn't know the answer. Since dad never talked about the war, all I knew was that he was a member of VF 29 aboard the USS Cabot. I did know that as the war progressed my father was promoted to "flight officer" or something like that and was mostly ordering other men to fly missions.
Like I said, he didn't talk about it. My mother mentioned once that when he got promoted he had a hard time dealing with the fact that he was sending others into battle instead of getting in the plane himself. I can't imagine how tough that must have been.After our conversation I started doing some research and found a couple of books on the Cabot and its crew. It was a carrier in Bull Halsey's fleet and saw action in all the major campaigns in the South Pacific.

The next day I got an e-mail from the Skipper with a website dedicated to the USS Cabot. The pictures on the site were fascinating to me and I found myself wishing that dad were still around to fill me in on what I was looking at.
Where were his quarters? Do you remember this galley? How tough was it to land on a deck this small?
Who were these guys?
Why didn't you want to talk about it?

The USS Cabot

Dad has been gone for almost thirteen years now. We are losing the veterans of WW II at a rate somewhere near 1500 per day. The U.S. lost more than 400,000 good men and women in that conflict and we were the lucky ones. I kick myself for never sitting down with a tape recorder and insisting that he tell me his "war story". He may not have obliged me, but I should have tried.

If you still have a parent or relative who served in WW II don't let another day go by without getting their story. If nothing else we owe it to our kids and grand kids to preserve the memory of the sacrifice of what truly was "The Greatest Generation".

The Cabot was scrapped a few years ago and is now part of a reef somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, but it lives on the freedoms we enjoy in what is still the best damn country in the world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A New Yankee Skipper?

The Yankees are toast.
I've always hated them. They ruined my childhood.
When I was a kid I lived in Michigan and the Detroit Tigers were my team. Throughout the 1950's, every Spring brought me new hope that "this will be the Tigers' year". It never was.
The Tigers were usually in sole possession of last place by Memorial Day and my pals and I would spend the Summer stewing in the juices of our hatred for the perennially first place YANKEES.
Since I still carry a grudge, each baseball post season finds me rooting for ANYBODY but the Yankees. This year my heart was with the Cleveland Indians as they nailed the coffin shut on the Bronx Bombers during the playoffs. Now, I'll switch sides and cheer for whoever represents the National League in the World Series. (My long stay in San Diego has made me a Padres fan and a certified hater of all that is the American League.)

Now that the Yankees have been eliminated from contention, the world class awful George Steinbrenner has Yankee manager Joe Torre twisting in the wind regarding his continued employment as skipper of the club. It doesn't matter that Torre has done a good job with the team he had...George is a colossal jerk and will probably have Joe clutching his "blowout box" and calling a cab from the stadium parking lot before the week is out.

Joe Torre:
How could anybody fire a mug like this??!!

With the departure of Joe Torre, major stooge Steinbrenner will be looking for a new person to helm one of the most storied franchises in baseball history...And, I have some suggestions for George's consideration:

Not sure of his name...but he appears to have all the "tools".

Queen Liz: She has a lot of time on her hands and it would be good for international relations.

Eddie Haskel: Ready and rested. Need I say more?

Goober: Could have a real following south of the Mason-Dixon line; good for countering the Brave's lock on the South.

A few others to consider....