Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by Lantana Lad.
Hey, that worked quite well! I will be able to start illustrating blogs again.
I'm going to ride this horse yet. Three c heers for Flickr and iMac.
Any one for Ice skating?

Path to Beach

Path to Beach
Originally uploaded by Lantana Lad.
This picture has almost nothing to do with anything. Un less you want to go to the beach which is down there at the end
. I am again just testing. I could not get picture on my blogs from the iMac computer so I am trying delivery from Flickr, a wondeful
invention by two fine people ./

Reality Shows

As a kid I listened to certain radio programs faithfully. One of my favorites was Tom Mix. I sat in front of the “big” radio in the living room and imagined I was right there on the range beside Tom. My visualization of the range was a large open area. The widest space I had ever seen was a golf course near our home. So I had Tom and I galloping down a fairway and hiding in a sand trap to have a shoot out with the bad guys.

My mind couldn’t make sense of what I was told about those radio shows though. Bobby Benson, another of my hit shows, was not a real person according to my mother. He was just a man that was acting as though he was Bobby Benson. His stories were not real, while surprising, but logical since Bobby Benson wasn’t real. However, I knew Tom Mix was real. So how can you say that his adventures were not real. I used to mull this business over at night in bed. Was Errol Flynn a real person or was he really the pirate I saw in the movies. Maybe he was Blackbeard acting like he was Errol Flynn for the newspapers. He was in the newspapers a lot, but I didn’t understand those stories.

This question of what’s real and what’s not in show business has followed me at times all my life. Just recently I saw a picture of Jessica Simpson and my first reaction was, ”That CAN”T be real!”

PS. Disillusionment came into the scene when I later learned that Tom Mix was so rich that he refused to play in the Tom Mix radio show. He felt it didn’t pay enough to be worth his while. I am still wondering about Jessica.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Conspicuous Consumptiion

When I was 21, I got a real rush out of wild driving. We tore along the roads of Europe freezing our toes off in an open jeep and assuming there were no rules of the road and that jeeps never rolled over. Actually, we knew the rules and saw jeeps roll over, but I couldn't happen to us! In the Philippines we climbed up mountains and accelerated down the hills with the driver blind folded and just taking verbal instruction.

At the age of thirty, we got a Pontiac Gran Prix and proved they could exceed 100 miles per hour on the New Jersey Turnpike.

When our son was 17, we bought an old International S cout with rusted out floor boards and springs and shocks that increased it's height by more than three feet.(as a second car to go with the second home). Before the state inspectors forced us to restore its normal stance, we proved that raising the center of gravity too high is a bad idea. It turned out to be a rotten beach-buggy, it kept getting stuck in the sand.

By age 60, I had discovered the joys of "My Father's Oldsmobile". I marvelled at gas prices, but didn't really care.

At 70 I was driving a comfy Buick Park Avenue. We purred along at the speed limit (right!) without a care.

The knees were really acting up by 76, and a Buick Rendezvous made it easier on the knees than the lower sedans. Now at 80, I get that rush when I pass a cop at 3 miles over the limit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Think I Have Been Collected

If you happened by in the last day or so, you know that my post before this was about some horsing around I was involved with in the army 63 years ago. I posted it at about 2:30PM yesterday. Now like a lot of bloggers, I have a site meter that records the domain of everyone that tunes into my blog. It doesn't tell me who it was nor record an address, but it does tell general location - city, state and country usually. It also gives the time someone starts reading and when they quit. Oh yes, and it tells how they got there, links, search engine, and search words.

With all the talk of your telephone records being collected by the NSA, you might be interested to know that my story of Army Hi Jinks was read this morning at 7:25 by someone at the domain named "pentagon.mil". The domain was further identified as "Army Information Systems Command-Pentagon". The location given was "Falls Church, Virginia, United States, North America".

The search engine used was "search,blogger.com" and the search words were "us army".

You'all feel safer now?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Army Hi-jinks

The standard organizational chart for an infantry company in WWII called for two "messengers" (MOS 527, I believe, if my memory is still on track.) Jack Moffett and I got the two openings in our company way back when we finished basic training. We carried and cared for the company radios, we were responsible for communications, literally "ran" messages, and when otherwise not occupied acted as bodyguards for the company HQ and the company commander. In training in the States we had frequent idle times. Times when we could get in trouble.

In Louisiana we lived in "6-man huts". Their doors had basic door latches. There was an inmovable handle and a thumb latch that extended through the door and hooked on the inside. Pressing the thumb hold down, raised the latch up on the inside and unhooked the door. Everyone has seen them. They are used on gates, shed doors, etc., to this day.

Jack and I extended the bolt that held the handle through to the inside. We insulated the latch from the handle with electrician's tape. We wired together four walkie-talkie 104 volt batteries so that we had 416 volts available. Then we wired one contact to the thumb latch and the other to the handle via the bolt thru the door. Anyone trying to open the door was treated to a very substanial shock. It tossed some on their backside.

This was a fairly successful prank until an officer decided he had business inside our hut. When he recovered, he came looking for us and threatened all sorts of revenge. But he let us off on the condition that we "equip" his 2-man hut the same way. His roomie then appointed us his #1 enemies and vowed our early demise. We gave up the electrician trade.

Combat was less fun. Jack was shot in the butt and came home early. His replacement died outside Ingostadt. I got hit in the back by a tank and still hurt.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Painful Learning

Remember your first day at school, that first date, that first week of calculas, first day in the army, etc.? There was that lost, what-do-I-do-next: what is that man talking about, should I speak up kind of feeling. That feeling that you are so helplessly lost that you can't even think of a question to ask?

Now you get the sense of how I feel about the new iMac computer! And I suppose I now know how a computer neophyte feels at his first SeniorNet computer class.

My first personal computer was from Sears Roebuck and if memory serves I think the hard drive was 110KB. OK, mabe it was 110MB, but it was small. As hard drives grew bigger, I grew older, but I learned to use each bigger hard drive and its contents. Habits formed concerning finding my way. But they are no help now, in fact, they are getting in the way. I wouldn't want to go back, but I could wish that Apple would include a decent manual or at least, sponsor one.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Finally There

This is quite an adventure I have embarked on. This is being written on my new iMac...and I have no idea what I am doing. Last night I was stalled until I figured out that the batteries that came with the machine for use in the keyboard were deader than a doornail. My problem now is that I am where I want to be, but I don't know how I got here. So if you don't see me around for a few days -- send out the St. Bernards.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Momentous Announcement

Remember a few blogs ago when I wrote that I picked up my push lawn mower and threw it? Well... this time it was not quite a temper tantrum, it was slower coming than that. And I havedn't thrown anything ...yet. BUT I am about to make a major change in my lifestyle. This week I will go to the mall, proceed to the Apple Store and come home with a brand new iMac.

I have spent a good hour each day getting this Windows PC either to come on, or turn off, or go where I want to go in between, or on general "fix-its". I don't need this agrievation. I feel better already. I'll let everyone know when it happens.

The Big One, thank you very much.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I can remember a time when I was a young boy when hand kitted dresses were popular. It was the late ‘30s and early ‘40s, I think. My mother was quite a knitter and she had knitted several dresses for herself. They were very attractive and she was admired for her skill...and for her figure which the knit did not detract from. Our seventh grade home room teacher also wore a knitted dress, but she wore the same one every day and her figure was a bit too ample to be flattered by anything tight. But Mrs. Murphy was a dear. She tried to be strict, but a twinkle in her eye took the edge off her discipline. Everyone in her classes loved her.

I thought of Mrs. Murphy this week when there were reports of a survey on school age children that showed them to be weak, weak failures in Geography. They haven’t been taught where anything is. They don’t know the capitols of the states. Only a wee percentage could point out Louisiana on a map despite its recent prominence on TV and in newspapers.. Foreign countries were beyond the ken of most. Mrs. Murphy was our Geography teacher. This was well before something called Social Studies replaced Geography in the schools. A little of what is now “social studies” may have slipped into her teaching, but her aim was to have her kids know where things were At lunch hour she would let us play games on the maps rolled up like curtain shades in the front of her room. We made great fun out of finding obscure towns and then challenging classmates to locate them.

Imagine...today you can easily get your Ph.D. in most anything without knowing what rivers flow through Pittsburgh. We couldn’t make it to eighth grade without knowing that and a lot more about the towns, cities, rivers, mountains, and people of the world.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Spontaneity is Fun

Spontaneity is a fun quality and I like almost everything about it except trying to spell it or trying to pronounce it. Anyway, we were “it” the last few days. On Sunday, personal business took us to north central Florida. We finished late and were tired. So we planned to spend two nights in a Holiday Inn up there before coming home on Tuesday (today). But Monday morning, I was unhappy that I couldn’t get online and the motel wasn’t the greatest in other respects. So in a quick decision, we checked out. Our brilliant idea was to go as far as Disney World and try to find a room in one of the tacky, inexpensive motels which surround the place. Notice now how one bright flash follows another. As long as we were near Disney, we might as well stop by and renew our annual passes which expired last month. This has to be done at a ticket booth. We knew that the closest ticket booths to the handicapped parking were at Animal Kingdom. As we rode down the parkway toward the park, we came to a fork. One side went to the park and the other to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. At the last second I swerved toward the Lodge.

And that is how we came to spend Monday afternoon and evening sitting on the porch of our room watching the animals munching grass and leaves in the savanna. Neither we nor the animals had a care. Of course, we substituted for the grass with a dinner at the Boma “Flavors of Africa” restaurant with delicious South African wine . .

Just can’t understand these people that say they don’t want to retire