Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bob Clark; Gladys Stahley; Cartooning; Music; Drums; Comedy;

This was both  a very sad and a very joyous day...  in the morning, I attended the funeral for my old friend, Gladys Stahley.  Gladys and I were connected through working at the Social Security Administration,  AARP,  NARFE, and other senior organizations and activity. 

Gladys was a wonderful dancer and tried to get me to take lessons from her, but I persisted and remain to this day an "undancer" even though some of you may recall my adventures at age seven with a future famous dancer.. and you might even remember that I first met my future wife, Elaine, at tap dancing lessons.

Gladys was diagnosed with esophageal cancer when she was 89 (she was 94 when she died).. but she did not let it get her down.  She kept on dancing and volunteering at the local hospital, and I guess that kept her functioning for an extra five fruitful years. (Incidentally, the folks currently enrolled in one of Gladys' dance classes did a dance "number" during the funeral.  It was wonderful and Gladys would  have loved the gesture.)

In the afternoon, I got a call from my daughter, Elizabeth's husband Will to tell me that Bob Clark had passed away.   Bob was the first husband of Elizabeth, and even though divorced,  they were still close friends. Bob was a good guy.   A talented cartoonist, a talented drummer for Heavy Metal bands, a comedian with a great delivery, and a very friendly persona.  Everybody liked Bob.  Most loved him.

Bob's family has a history of cancer.  His mother, his father, his sister, and now Bob all were conquered by this horrible scourge.  Another sister is currently fighting it too.

Bob and Elizabeth had two beautiful children together:   Heather and Danielle.  Bob was a grandfather as well.. Danielle has a son, Cameron.. and he and Bob were buddies.

Let's talk about some of Bob's gifts:


Bob was an amazing cartoonist.  I don't believe he ever had a lesson.  He just had a natural talent.  Like those guys who drew pictures on the walls of French caves.  Most people draw stick figures, but Bob's cartoon folks had body and life to them.    

At one point, he taught (or encouraged) Elizabeth to do cartoons and she also became quite good at it.  (What I can't figure out is how he worked his magic on my son, Chris, because Chris is also a talented cartoonist.  I try, but I am more of a copyist, whereas these other folks draw from their "mother wit."

Bob's grandson, Cameron, seems to  have inherited a gift for art.  Time will tell if it will be cartoons or other types.


Bob played in several Heavy Metal bands, I believe.  Y'all know that I hate Heavy Metal... but I did recognize that Bob was good at what he did.  He and his buddy, John Cole, and other musicians would "jam" together and had a great time.  John is doing some solo gigs right now at Wine venues.

I love music, and, as the Vaughan patriarch, I am supposed to be playing hymns in the night, serenading the neighbors... just as uncle Allen Vaughan and aunt Mary Wilson did.  My son, Chris, can play the guitar and God knows what else.  Sometimes I plug away on my harmonica. 


Bob was a funny guy.  I thought that his best effects were one-liners, punctuated by an invisible drum smash.  To be in Bob's company for any length of time, meant that you would be laughing your head off most of that time.

We are all going to miss Bob.. especially around holiday time, when he came by to grace our festivities with his marvelous wit.      

Rest in Peace, Bob..  we love you!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring; AARP; NARFE; EMAIL Reduction: Stroke; Missing Planes; UFOs; Religious Study; Cat Hair; St. Francis; Tea Party; Far Right

I keep getting behind in my blog entries.  My goal was, of course,  to have daily entries, because I read and watch and hear the news every day.  But, life has a way of getting in the way of plans.. so, I'll do entries when I have time, and hope that my readers (the couple of you out there) will understand.

Today was a beautiful sunny day with a 67 degree temperature.  Lots of gentle wind and bursts of beauty as the local azaleas do their thing. 

In the morning, I attended the AARP Board Meeting.  A nice group of people.. and guess what, almost every one of them is not burdened with computers and email.    I had been up to  over 2,000 unread emails on my MSN account, and after a massive effort, the number has been reduced to zero!

I was very happy until I checked into a part of my Chrome computer that I seldom check, and found duplicate emails for 100 or more of the ones I thought I had eliminated elsewhere.. all with indications that they had not been read.  I can't figure out why.. but it's obviously something that I am doing wrong.

At noon, it was time to attend the NARFE monthly meeting, where a fantastic ball of fire spoke about stroke.  When I set the presentation up, I wondered how the attendees would take to it... well, they sure did take to it... they asked many many questions.    The "take away" from the presentation is, if you have the symptoms (drooping Face; weak Arms; slurred Speech..)  get on the phone Fast and call 911.

Meanwhile, I ate two marvelous chicken legs, drank two coffees (no sleep tonite) and gobbled down a peach turnover (a "nono").. I took 3 of the legs to Elaine for her lunch.. and she enjoyed them as I did.

01.  Missing Airplanes

Harper's magazine mentions that ten passenger planes have gone missing without a trace since 2000.
(This has kept CNN busy for a long time.)  I am a member of MUFON, and I follow news stories that sound like aliens have kidnapped some of us.  (Remember Barney Hill?) 

Someone recently pointed the Hubble Telescope at an apparently empty area of outer space, expecting to see nothing when the pictures were developed.  They were very much surprised to see that the "empty" space was really filled with untold galaxies.   So.. why couldn't some advanced creatures on some planet of some galaxy have discovered "hyperdrive" and come to visit us and scoop up some earthlings to study or put in their museums or laboratories?

02.  Religious Study

I started my latest Great Courses study this week.  It's title is "How did Jesus become God?"   Very interesting.  Meanwhile, Carroll Lutheran Village, where I live is doing part seven of a study series investigating religious matters.  I was thinking about joining in, but I can't keep my big mouth shut and would probably disrupt the group with my questions.

The wonderful Funny Times recently listed some religious sayings that well-known people have said, for example:

Quentin Crisp:  "When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and asked if it was the Catholic God or the Protestant God I didn't believe in."

Richard Lederer:  "There once was a time when all people believed in God and  the church ruled.  This time was called the Dark Ages."

William Inge:  "Perhaps the most lasting pleasure in life is that of not going to church."

Luis Bunuel:  "Thank God I'm an atheist."

03.  Wise Saying from Elaine Lottes:

"You're never fully dressed until you have a few cat hairs."

04.  Wise Saying from Saint Francis:

"For it is in giving that we receive."  (So true!)

05.  Politics: The Tea Party wants to:

1. Overturn Healthcare Reform.
2. Block equality for Gays and Lesbians.
3. Block judicial nominees.
4. Disenfranchise certain voters.

Any arguments on this?

06.  Politics: The Far Right wants to:

1. Reduce access to Birth Control.
2. Curtail the rights of Gays and Lesbians.
3. Have churches advocate for political candidates.
4. Put Creationism into Science classes.

Any arguments on this?


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Tulips; Wassilla, Alaska; Water and Health; Beer and the Work Ethic; Dawson's Beer; Shredding; Sending Cash to Jamaica

Spring Flowers:  Lots of beautiful flowers blooming now that warm weather has arrived.  Richard Lederer (Mensa) likes tulips, and says:  "The tulip's cup-shape "mouth" may remind you of "two lips,"  but that is not how the flower got its name.  The Dutch borrowed tulip from the French (tulipan), who purloined it from the Turks (tulbend), who noted that the shape of the flower reminded them of a turban."

Spring Throwers:  I'm glad to see that Bernie Sanders has thrown his hat into the ring...  I had expected Sarah Palin to get involved by now.  Since I don't watch FOX News, I don't know if she has made any statements yet or is hiding out in Wassilla.

I did like Sarah's statement from her last attempt at higher office:  Only dead fish go with the flow.

Water Flowers:  Somebody sent me an email with information about drinking water and health:

1.  Drink 2 glasses of water after waking up.. this helps activate internal organs.   (Who can do this?)

2.  Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal.. it helps digestion.  (A good diet tip too.)

3.  Drink a glass of water before  taking a bath.. it helps lower blood pressure.

4.  Drink a glass of water before going  to bed..  it avoids stroke or heart attack.

What about getting up during the night and sipping a few ounces of water each time?

Beer Flowers:   Archaeologist and Brewer, Patrick McGovern, likes to cite the role of beer in ancient workplaces.  He says: "For  the pyramids, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters. It was a source of nutrition, refreshment and reward for all the hard work.   It was beer for pay.  You would have had a rebellion on  your hands if they'd run out.  The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn't been enough beer."  And let that be a lesson for you!

I've mentioned before about me working as a cab driver and picking up some Dawson's Brewery workers after their shift.  Sometimes, if I had to wait, they would invite me in to have some beer, poured directly from spigots aligned next to the hot and cold faucets.  Those guys drank their beer all day long.  (It was gooood beer too!)

Paper Flowers:  Today, Carroll Lutheran Village arranged to  have a shredding truck visit the campus.  Lots of us got rid of lots of material that ID thieves could put to good use.  I could hardly carry the box of paper that I handed in for shredding.  And... since I got an extension of my 2014 Income Tax filing date, I need to get all my paperwork together now  and hope that I have not mixed important tax documents in with the shredding material. 

Cash Flowers:  Yesterday, at the local Giant Supermarket, I saw an elderly lady pass $500 to a clerk to  have sent to Jamaica.  Oh Oh!  This has SCAM written all over it.  I said to the lady: "I know it's no business of mine, but usually money sent to Jamaica is sent because of a scam."

The lady very politely said: "I know this lady, so it's OK."

Do you think I believe her?   Not a chance. But, what can you do.   Lots of older people send money to other countries based on phone calls and emails.  I really do hope that she was right and that she is just sending money to help out a friend.