Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quick Quip

It occurs to me that many days I don't have a lot to say, but I have a stray thought or two that might be grist for the blog mill.

So today I'm watching a commercial for L.A. Weight Loss. A rather attractive blonde, standing in that "after" pose, is offering a testimonial about the efficacy of this system. She continues that since she is now so attractive and energetic she and her husband can step out and do things--like go to dinner.

Hey, isn't it all that dining out that chunked you up in the first place, Mimsy?


In a commercial for one of those godawful schools that teach young innocents to be dental assistants or fashion designers, a cute little airhead is listing her reasons for not attending a regular college. Among them: she wouldn't know anybody and would feel intimidated about speaking up.

What? Is she planning to attend Matchbook University with a coterie of friends? Is she anticipating asking foolish questions in a real college?

Just a thought. Okay, two thoughts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


On my previous post I typoed the word "cavalry." The irony of this is that I've corrected scores of people on eBay for misspelling that word. Usually they spell it calvary, which is a legitimate word, but has nothing to do with mounted soldiers. I saw so many different misspellings of cavalry on eBay I started keeping a list. To date I have 17 variants, all incorrect. One or two might be typos, as mine was, but usually they're just the products of people who can't spell the word and don't want to look it up.

Also, I'm a terrible typist. I never learned to touch type, and my two-finger method is quick but sloppy. I have a feeling it'll only get worse as I achieve my dotage. Sorry.

Monday, June 25, 2007


June 25, 1876, is the day Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer perished along with some 210 men of Companies C, E, F, I, and L on the hills above the Little Big Horn River. Another 50 to 60 men died with Major Reno and Captain Benteen on Reno Hill, about four miles away. That battle has generated more debate, books, movies, and emotions than any other in U.S. history--perhaps world history, as well. Exactly what happened, and when, and for how long has fed speculations from armchair generals young and old, pro and con, and at all points of the compass. Was Custer an heroic figure who perished trying to enforce a policy set forward by greedy, unscrupulous politicians? If so, he wouldn't be the first. Or was he a glory-seeker trying to recapture some of the fame he'd enjoyed as a Civil War hero? Everyone has his own opinion and it's not my desire to either change or reinforce what you think. I do want to pay my respects to thoe who fought and died that day, on both sides. And so I do. "Garryowen in Glory!" "Hoka hey!"

There a couple of myths about that day I'd like to clear up. First off, it wasn't a massacre. The soldiers died in battle. Second, the 7th Cavalry wasn't destroyed. Of the 1250 officers and men authorized to fill the ranks of the 7th, about 260 died. The regiment was brought up to strength and has lasted in one form or another until this day. Custer did not kill himself. Nor was he killed by Rain-In-The-Face and have his heart cut out (RITF probably mutilated Tom Custer, George's brother). Sitting Bull did not participate in the fight. No white man survived the battle who fought with Custer's five troops. A recent article in WILD WEST says there was one, but it's buncombe.

Speaking of those who fought and died, my Uncle Gene passed away yesterday after a long bout of Parkinson's Disease. He was a WWII vet and worked for Uncle Sam for many years. This marks the end of an era in many ways. While my mother and her sisters are still alive, all the men from that generation (my father and uncles) are gone. A daunting prospect, to be sure, and the realization that one day I'll be one of the oldest family members bums me out a bit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Catching Up is Hard to Do

Since my last visit here I've spent three weeks in Charleston, South Carolina, bought my younger daughter a car, and got the local paper to agree to do a story on my book.

Charleston was hot, the school I attended fairly easy, and the tourist attractions interesting. I didn't know, for example, that rice was a major cash crop in the Charleston area before the Civil War. However, it was such a rotten job to keep the paddies up that they couldn't get anyone to work them once the slaves were freed, so the industry died.

As a result of the school I'm qualified (pending a certification review) to be a ground loadmaster. That means I can do most of the jobs a regular Air Force loadmaster does. I was already qualified for some of them, but this class expands the envelope. What it doesn't expand is my paycheck. A letter to my congressman will address this issue forthwith. When some of us mentioned to the guy that started this APEX (Aerial Port Expeditor) program his response was, "Just be glad you've got a job." Hell, I was glad to have a job before they added more responsibility to it. And who the hell does he think he is, some coal mine owner in 1890? What an arrogant ass.

OJ skated, Bobby Blake may have skated, and Christian Brando got off easy, but Paris Hilton is doing hard time in the Crossbar Hilton and I can't help feel a sense of satisfaction. If I'd never heard of this vapid, self-centered, no-talent brat I wouldn't have cared about her at all, but the way she and the media have conspired to shove her useless life down our throats has made me wish she would simply dry up and bust. That goes for all those other celebrity media whores out there. Who needs them?

And remember my 2008 Presidential Slogan: ANYONE BUT HITLERY!