Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

30 Random Things… including Meadowlark Lemon!

December 1, 2015


1. Gorillas are my favorite animal.

2. I once had an autographed picture of boxer Duane Bobick.

3. My favorite musician is Warren Zevon.

4. In 1978, Olympic swimmer John Naber rushed me off a pay telephone at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

5. My 1999 Toyota Corolla has over 275,000 miles on its odometer.

6. I know all of the words to the Canadian National Anthem.

7. I’m a card-carrying member of The Three Stooges fan club.

8. I once rolled ten strikes in a row the very first time I used a new custom bowling ball that I bought on eBay. Never came close since.

9. Boiling in hot water is my preferred way of cooking hamburgers.

10. Shoulders are my favorite female body part.

11. I once ran into goaltender Bernie Parent coming out of a convenience store and held the door open for him.

12. I regret not picking up the cork from a champagne bottle celebration after Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Shiek to become wrestling champion.

13. While also working at the Madison Square Garden Network in New York City, I once gave Wayne Gretzky a television set.

14. As a child, I remember throwing up in the dentist’s chair. The dentist had hairy fingers and I gagged on a loose hair.

15. I like redheaded women.

16. Of all the movies that I have ever seen, I think I have watched “Goodfellas” the most.

17. The tip of the middle finger of my right hand needed 14 stitches when it nearly got cut off in the spokes of a bicycle.

18. I always had success fishing using slices of hotdogs as bait.

19. I remember crying when I once missed an annual episode of The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Had to wait 364 days to see it again.

20. Tying a postcard to a helium balloon to see how far it travels is something I always wanted to do.

21. In my youth, I was almost electrocuted playing “Hide The Penny” at a neighbor’s house. He hid it inside a lamp fixture.

22. I unofficially once held the world’s record for snatching a pile of quarters that were first balanced on my extended elbow.

23. Seeing Meadowlark Lemon and the Harlem Globetrotters perform live was a childhood thrill of mine. Immediately following that exhibition, I got to see Billy Cunningham score his 10,000th point as a Philadelphia 76er against the Cincinnati Royals.

24. My blood type is O Positive… universal donor.

25. As a kid, I nearly choked to death on a sour ball piece of candy.

26. “Act your age, not your shoe size” was a common expression. The closet I came was wearing size 12 at age 13.

27. I once won something in a drawing from a local television station but the letter arrived AFTER the deadline to pick up the prize.

28. I stand exactly 6 feet 0 inches tall.

29. I keep currency inside my wallet in ascending order with all Presidents facing the same way.

30. I once accidentally sent my first-born child to school with a can of beer in his lunchbox. Later I had some explaining to do with the school principal.


The United States Of America is anything but united

November 1, 2015


The diversity of our country that once was the glue in the fabric of our existence is now at its core in tearing us apart.

No longer is America the model melting pot that it was at the start of the 20th century. It’s now the 21st century and its individual parts are screaming among themselves and shattering this country into pieces.

Whites push their own agenda.

Blacks have their own stance.

Hispanics demand to be recognized.

Asians stand up for themselves.

Christians. Catholics. Jews. Muslims. Episcopalians. Methodists. Mormons. Gays. Lesbians. Feminists. Undocumented Immigrants. Democrats. Republicans. Liberals. Conservatives.

Every individual group that makes up our country is out for themselves. They form their own caucuses. They have their own newspapers. They create their own websites.

They broadcast over their own stations. They form their own opinions and hold fast to their own convictions.

They network. They organize.

Social media provides for their own voices to be heard but no one is listening. The voices are talking over one another like the biblical Tower of Babel.

In our infinite wisdom in the advancement of technology, we’ve gotten dumber.

We’re so connected that we’ve become disconnected.

We’ve alienated ourselves from each other.

We’ve lost the ability to co-exist.

One for all and all for one and every man for himself.

The United States of America is anything but united.

The Divided States of America.

It’s seen on our television sets. It’s written about in newspapers.

It’s plastered in blogs and comment sections all over the internet.

We’re in trouble. We’re in serious trouble. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Not only is our country in trouble. This phenomenon has spread globally.

Our entire planet is in trouble.

E.A.R.T.H. = Educate And Reform The Humans

We need unity. We need harmony. We need compatibility. We need understanding.

We need peace. We need to work together. We need to re-group.

We need reform. We need to recognize our own humanity. We need each other.

We. Not I. There is no I in team. We need to become better team players.

We need to realize that our whole is greater than the sum of our parts.

R. Buckminster Fuller was right. The belief in Spaceship Earth is our only true salvation.

Writing To Women With Wardens

October 30, 2015


Even though I grew up being jewish, my family didn’t belong to any synagogue. I never went to hebrew school but was tutored at age 12 in time for my bar mitzvah.

My rabbi enjoyed working with me so much because I was a quick learner and, since I had a decent singing voice back then, he was hoping I would continue with my studies to eventually become a cantor but that did not occur.

Recently I found myself looking for and writing to female pen pals in prison out of sheer boredom. I like to draw cartoons and am creative in my letters to these imprisoned women who hopefully enjoy receiving my correspondence. As an ice-breaker, I usually include a copy of the Monopoly “Get out of jail free” card to be funny. Not done mean spirited.

I stumbled upon an online jewish organization in Miami that encourages its members to write to jewish inmates as a way to cheer them up. Their website quotes Maimonides as saying “Helping the imprisoned is the loftiest of all charitable acts, superseding all other forms.”

I may have gone slightly overboard in my caring.

I first wrote to an African American female in Alabama who held up a bank in Rhode Island using a fake bomb.

Next I wrote to a 47-year-old white woman from Texas who had a psychotic episode in 1998 and stabbed a man to death in order to sell his vehicle to supply her own crack cocaine habit. She now claims to have found Christianity and repented her evil ways.

I wrote to a Korean woman from New York who was guilty of mortgage fraud and swindled banks out of millions of dollars before getting caught.

I wrote to an African American woman from Atlanta GA who is locked up in Florida for mortgage fraud where she made defunct businesses appear active and applied for loans and lines of credit in their names.

I wrote to a beautiful hispanic woman who is originally from the Dominican Republic and only knows Spanish. I needed to use the internet to translate my words so she will hopefully understand me. That took work.

I am planning on writing to an African American woman in Las Vegas once I find out what her crime is. I am waiting to hear back from the Nevada Department of Corrections to see if they will disclose that info.

Lastly I decided that I wanted to include a jewish woman as my final pen pal. Instead of this Florida organization to match me up with someone, I went onto a prison pen pal website and did my own search by religion. I found three jewish ladies behind bars.

Two were very young so I opted for the third one who is closer to my age. She was convicted for 1st degree murder in Arizona. Yikes, I thought. I did some further research and googled her name. I was in for a shock.

Her horrific crime story was sensationalized all over the news eleven years ago. She was a former Las Vegas showgirl who killed her husband and disposed of his body using a chain saw. CBS ran her story on “48 Hours” and the Oxygen Cable Network did an
episode of “Snapped” about her case. She even had an investigative reporter write a book about it.

I changed my mind about writing a letter to her. Then I started feeling bad about her young son who lost both his father and his mother from this incident. He recently turned 18 and was likely raised by his paternal uncle.

Then I started feeling empathy for this convicted murderer who never got to see her son grow up and become a man. On his Facebook page he makes no references to his past. No acknowledgements of his mom in “cell block H.”

Her facility accepts first-time email messages so I decided to be nice and gathered tidbits of information about her son: jobs he held, activities he was involved in, girls he liked, etc. I also attached a small montage of his photos to go along with the email
so she could see what her boy currently looks like. I did it from the perspective of one jewish parent to another.

Even though she is condemned to serving a life sentence for a terrible crime she committed, she still should be entitled to know how her offspring is doing. I know I would want to know.  So I gave her a small anonymous glimpse into her son’s life.

Heart strings plucked. My mitzvah mission completed.

Telling The Truth About Kitty Carlisle

October 3, 2015


Kitty Carlisle Hart was born Catherine Conn on September 3, 1910 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her grandfather, Ben Holtzman, was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War and later became mayor of Shreveport. Kitty’s father died when she was ten-years-old.

Her mother took her to Europe hoping to marry her off to European royalty. She was schooled in Switzerland, London, Rome and Paris.

Upon her return to the United States in 1932, she performed on Broadway, sang operas and appeared in movies including “A Night At The Opera” (1935) with the Marx Brothers.

Carlisle married her husband, playwright and theatrical producer Moss Hart, in 1946, the two having met at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. They had two children together before Mr. Hart died in late 1961.

Her notoriety became most prominent as a panelist on the game show “To Tell The Truth” from 1956 to 1978. She also appeared in revivals of the syndicated show through 2002.

In its infancy, the weekly program was sponsored by Geritol, the high-potency tonic that was said to help people feel stronger fast. Sounds like an early form of the Red Bull energy drink but it was dispensed more like medicine by the teaspoon.

She also occasionally appeared on other game shows such as Password, What’s My Line and Match Game.

Ms. Hart was a New York socialite and philanthropist who became an advocate for the arts and served on many boards and cultural councils. Her dark hair, off-the-shoulder outfits and elegant necklaces gave her an air of regal bearing well-suited for high society.

Graceful and glamorous to the very end, Kitty Carlisle Hart passed away on April 17, 2007 at the age of 96.

Gutzon Borglum: Four Presidents Get Stoned

September 27, 2015


The faces of four American presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln –
are carved from a granite mountainside high above the treetops of the Black Hills.

The Mount Rushmore carving took fourteen years to complete and cost $1 million, yet this Shrine to Democracy is priceless to Americans.

Visited by nearly three million people each year, this bucket list attraction is a meaningful part of vacationing in nearby Rapid City, South Dakota.

Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the 60-foot busts to represent the first 150 years of American history.

Each head is as tall as the entire Great Sphinx of Egypt and majestically perched five thousand five hundred feet above sea level.

Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum Is Still Around? No way… Way!

September 16, 2015


Bazooka bubble gum came into being by the Topps Company of Brooklyn, New York shortly after World War II.

That distinctive little rectangle wrapped in waxy red, white and blue paper with a comic strip inside.

The pink gum had that horizontal ridge which formed two connecting pieces. Guess what? They are still around today. In place of comics, they include a brain-teasing puzzle wrapper.

And other gum flavors are offered for varied tastes: strawberry shake, cherry berry, watermelon whirl and grape rage. Plus it comes in sugar-free choices as well.

Well, burst my bubble. Good ol’ Bazooka Joe.

Jack Ruby Said LBJ Had It In For JFK

August 15, 2015

Original caption: Jack Ruby's defense lawyer, searching for evidence that the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald may not get a fair trial in Dallas, denied a report that Ruby visited Communist Cuba last year. Ruby seemed to be in a better mood as he talked to newsmen before the start of the second day of his court hearing, in order to get his trial to some other Texas city. February 11, 1964 Dallas, Texas, USa

Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, killed Lee Harvey Oswald, who the Warren Commission concluded was the lone gunman in the slaying of John F. Kennedy.

In a videotaped statement, Ruby said, “When I mentioned about Adlai Stevenson, if he was Vice President there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.” Asked if he would explain it again Ruby continued “Well the answer is the man in office now.” – that man was Lyndon B. Johnson.

Later, in a hand-written note, Ruby wrote, “Isn’t it strange that Oswald, who hasn’t worked a lick most of his life, should be fortunate enough to get a job at the Book Building two weeks before the President himself didn’t know as to when he was to visit Dallas, now where would a jerk like Oswald get the information that the President was coming to Dallas?”

He continued on, “Only one person could have had that information, and that man was Johnson who knew weeks in advance as to what was going to happen, because he is the one who was going to arrange the trip for the President, this had been planned long before the President himself knew about, so you can figure that one out.”

He wrote further, “The only one who gained by the shooting of the President was Johnson, and he was in a car in the rear and safe when the shooting took place. What would the Russians, Castro or anyone else have to gain by eliminating the President? If Johnson was so heartbroken over Kennedy, why didn’t he do something for Robert Kennedy? All he did was snub him.”

Jacqueline Kennedy was aware of Johnson’s hatred for her husband and his brother, often referring to the pair as members of the Irish mafia.

Googling Google: It’s One Wealthy Technology Company

August 9, 2015

cash doodle
Google started in 1998 and has its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

On NASDAQ, it’s trading at over $630 per share.

On Facebook, it has over 188 million ‘likes’.

On Twitter, it has over 12 million followers.

Its subsidiaries include YouTube, Nest Labs, Songza, Feedburner, BufferBox, AdMob and numerous other companies which appear to be extensions of the original Google.

Google is on the Forbes World’s most valuable brands list.

In net worth, Google has around $365 billion dollars in assets.

Not to be confused with Googol which is the number one followed by one hundred zeros.

Now that’s alot of zeros.

All Those In Favor Of Carl Furillo For Baseball’s Hall Of Fame? Say I-talian!

August 7, 2015

Ebbetts_Furillo“The Reading Rifle” was considered one of the best rightfielders of his time.

Carl Furillo played his entire 15-year career with the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, participating in seven World Series and finishing with a career batting average of .299.

He won the National League batting title in 1953 with a .344 average. In the field, he played the problematic rightfield wall in Ebbetts Field with brilliance. He hit 192 home runs and had 1,058 runs batted in.

As one of the star players for the Dodger team recalled in Roger Kahn’s book “The Boys of Summer”, he was a member of the only Brooklyn team that won the World Series in 1955.

His 1960 release from Los Angeles due to injury left him better for not qualifying for higher pension. He sued the team for back pay and felt this prevented him from future consideration within the coaching ranks. Perhaps it even discredited him from recognition of what he accomplished on the field.

Furillo was named to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 but enshrinement in Cooperstown is the missing jewel of baseball’s forgotten man.

Affordable Artwork For All

February 7, 2010


This past week, I launched an Etsy Art Store called “Graphically Yours.”  It features original acrylic paintings of Geography-On-A-Pole, custom-designed fashion jewelry and personalized ladies’ notecards. Check it out!



And don’t forget to check out my wearable artwork webstore from CafePress, also!!!