Monday, November 30, 2009
Since my falangee is off today, I decided to look around and check out what other people might be working on today.
Looks like the folks at the Large Hadron Collider, who are going to destroy the planet, have a full schedule today.
8:00 software & computer workshop
9:30 Daily run meeting
10:30 LAr investigation meeting
11:00 OPM weekly meeting
11:00 Global release coordination meeting
14:00 Muon steering group
14:00 Long-lived particles meeting
14:00 Hadronic calibration meeting
14:30 Reconstruction shift meeting
15:00 Operations and Data quality meeting
15:00 Data preparation and data quality for minimum bias
15:30 IBL management board #19
16:00 Jet+X meeting
16:00 Tilecal calibration performance and tools
16:30 Muon calibration meeting
16:30 Data prep....
17:00 MET slice meeting
From atlas.ch, "Atlas is a particle physics experiment....starting in late 2009/2010 the Cern detector will search for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinary high energy. Atlas will learn about the basic forces that have shaped our universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate."
Did you know Monday is the most popular day to take off from work? Of course you did.
I never understand why some people feel the need to embellish their excuse, instead of just going with the least suspect excuse, like you could actually be sick. Maybe they have used those up already.
Every year Careerbuilder.com comes out with a list of really outrageous excuses people have used to get out of work.
1: Employee didn't want to lose parking space in front of house. (He must not live in Chicago where you can put your sofa out there to save your spot.)
2: Hit turkey while riding bike. (Use only around Thanksgiving)
3:Had a heart attack this morning, but was all better now.
4:Got mono from another employee. She wanted a sign hung up in the place of business, so others could be warned.
5: Crabby, and would not be good for business. (Eh, what a good employee, thinking of the company)
6 Got whiplash from brushing hair.
7: Groundhog bit car tire and now has a flat.
8: American Idol favorite got voted off last night, couldn't sleep.
9: Police were investigating a death in the house. (This is good, actually)
10: Psychic told her to stay home.
Well, you get the idea. Now get your arse up, and go to work.
*Photo by damian 78
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"A Kincade painting was typically rendered in slightly surreal pastels. It typically featured a cottage or a house of such insistent coziness as to seem actually sinister, suggestive of a trap designed to attract Hansel and Gretel. Every window was lit, to lurid effect, as if the interior of the structure might be on fire." - Joan Didion
Sunday morning, and I have my virtual paper before me.
Hmmm, looks like Tiger Woods is calling the shots. He blew off another interview by police. Must be nice to be rich and famous.
Oh look, that couple that crashed Obama's party are looking to cash in. They want 6 figures. Any takers?
They're still not talking. The two pilots who say they got "distracted", are appealing the loss of their pilot's license, yet they will not say what really happened.
Yesterday I wasted 28:30 minutes watching Kirk Cameron tell me why I am going to hell.
It was the most nonsensical and uninformative long lost minutes of my life.
A quote from Kirk: "God sees your thought life."
Vikings: 9-1 Ugh
Packers: 7-4 Oi.
Can a Viking beat a Bear?
*Photo by akahodag
Saturday, November 28, 2009
4,277 American casualties in Iraq.
Iraqi civilian casualties: 94,279-102,879
Military casualties in Afghanistan since 2001: 1,530
483 in 2009.
Afghan civilians casualties: direct; 9,260-12,057
It has become a voyeuristic world. I'm guilty myself of this habit. I get my kicks from finding beautiful live shots from across the globe.
I may be different on one point, in that I rarely have people in my shot. I prefer scenery to people, plus I do think it is rather invasive. How many people know that they are on camera? It's almost impossible to go anywhere in public now without a camera on your every move. Shades of `1984'? Perhaps.
There seems to be a vast load of people who love the camera and long for the world to see their every move and thought.
I do not watch reality TV. Of course I've heard of Jon & Kate, The Duggars, The Osbournes and on and on....
Reality TV is not a new invention. I vaguely remember the Loud family.
Over 300 hours of film was condensed into a twelve episode PBS special following the lives of `An American Family', which aired in 1973.
What I do recall was a feeling of despair and loneliness. Bill and Pat were the parents of five children. Pat took this time in their life to announce how unhappy she was and wanted a divorce.
Their son Lance was openly gay, although it was never addressed and that word was never used in the series. The New York Times did label him the, "evil flower".
The series had over ten million viewers during its run.
I am not sure where the family is today and maybe that's a good thing.
Lance died in 2001 from liver failure. He did not fare well. He was addicted to crystal meth and was HIV positive.
He did have some success as a columnist and played in the pop/punk band, `The Mumps' that was a regular at CBGB in New York.
I'm not sure what the fascination is when watching families implode. Do we feel better about our own lives, or do we get some solace knowing that they/we are not alone?
I think I will stick to clouds and lovely seashores for now.
*Labeled, `The Affluent Zombies' by Newsweek.
I am normally not up at 4 am, texting, but I knew my friend would be up, and he had left me a text earlier, asking if I knew about the Nook?
Well, I knew about the restaura......no, no says he.
Barnes and Noble is coming out with their version of the Kindle on January 4th. I hear it may even be sold out already. With a price of $259, I can see why.
It can store up to 1,500 books, with its 2GB internal storage space, plus you can add a SD card, which will give you more space for another 17,500, e-newpapers, books, pictures, music and PDF files.
The books are free to upload through Barnes and Noble.
You can also loan e-books to your friends for free. It notes on their website, "What goes around, comes around."
Sound to good to be true, or is it a good business strategy?
I don't see the demise of real paper books quite yet, but I love to see that B&N is looking and planning ahead, unlike that other company, G&M.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Aah, I love my slippers.
I'm thinking about that commercial that gives data on what people are doing in that exact moment.
How many of you are up, waiting for the stores to open?
Hee-hee. How many people will be disappointed?
Aah well. Good luck.
By the way. Did you hear about the couple that crashed the White House State dinner?
Who am I madder at? I keep switching my anger towards the absolute gall of the couple, who have no remorse and find the whole situation humorous and have posted photos on their FB.
Or, do I aim my anger towards the incompetents who let these boobs through?
You say no one was in any danger?
This time. This time.
Anyway, I'm here to discuss fat. Seems like a good time, when some of us are at our lowest point of defense. Okay, I'll just speak for myself.
I caught the show, `Biggest Loser' and where are they now?
Hmmm, says me. Nice stories about people who were extremely obese and got a chance to get healthy. Of course, it looks like they all went into the health and fitness biz to maintain their latter selves. It seemed that most of them are doing well, although a few slid back to their old ways.
There is a 600 Lb woman in me who wants out. I've managed to keep her at bay, but someday she may win the battle. I already know that I have an addictive personality. (thank-you genes)
I have empathy for people who cannot get a hold on the weight problem. You can't quit eating, and you can't break old habits in a twelve week program.
That is one of the problems I see with this type of show. Apparently they exercise 4-5 hours a day, which is completely unrealistic in real life (unless you buy your own fitness center)
I found a blog, munfitnessblog.com that wrote about one of the 'loser's', Ryan Benson.
Ryan claims that in the last ten days of the competition (that is what it is) he went on the master cleanser diet.
I won't say what that consists of, but you basically starve yourself. He also stated that he wore a rubber suit while jogging. He went from 330lbs. to 208 lbs. and I'm assuming that was in the twelve week period.
Crazy. He also said that he gained back five pounds immediately just by drinking water.
They have learned nothing useful to carry them through. That Jillian Michaels is a bitch.
Maybe she's a nice woman, but I only saw her scream in people's faces. I cannot respect that kind of behavior. You do not need to treat people like crap to get them to achieve certain goals.
Now my true confession.
I like Richard Simmons. I like him a lot.
He knows what it is like to be fat and unloved. As silly as he may seem at times, he has helped many, many people learn how to eat and exercise in a healthy way.
I have a few of his 'Dancing to the Oldies' videos. He makes me feel good about myself.
Yeah, he makes money and has not always followed his own advice, but I have never heard him berate or humiliate anyone for their poor eating habits.
I'm glad that these people have found a new life, but I think what they really may have learned is that you must open up a fitness center and exercise for 6 hours a day to maintain that beautiful bod.
* A simple low fat dessert.
Raspberries, honey, yogurt and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.
Ah. The day of giving thanks.
For some it is just another day.
For others, it is a day of anticipation to see family.
I'm somewhere in between.
I've had a few holiday meals alone, sitting in front of the television and eating a boca burger, and I've worn my purple dress and heels, kissed long lost relatives.
It is a day of reflection; to pull out from somewhere what we are grateful for.
Oh, I love the optimists who can find gold in a pile of poo. I admire you. I really do.
There are others who find it a nuisance when businesses are closed and e-mails go unanswered and count the hours when this day is over.
Again, I'm somewhere in between.
Life can be as dull as a Kevin Treudeau infomercial, or as amazing as listening to a rockin' band, while the Northern lights dance.
I hope you have a somewhere in between day.
*Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hmmm. He's taking the long way to Granny's. From Flora Rapids in Spokane Valley, Wa.
Hope he didn't smash the pies.
*Note: This looks so photoshopped. I even asked myself if it was real, when at that moment the dude came rafting down the rapids. Weird.
By now most people know what is on the food menu for tomorrow, but do you have your outfit picked out yet?
I think I got a C+ in Home Economics. My idea of sewing is straight pins or velcro.
I do love fashion, though. I loved the look of the 40's, although I'm sure it was very uncomfortable.
I loved my midi coat with my mini dress.
The 80's and 90's were a blur. It was the casual decades for me. Jeans and T's.
I like today's fashion. It's a little of this, and a little of that.
I also happen to like the Goth look (((gasp))) I will go Goth Lite on occasion.
A lot of black, but that doesn't mean the widow or zombie look.
I've got the pies cooling and the bread pudding in the oven.
Now, I've just got to find that perfect what?........
I grew up watching old movies, but I never paid too much attention to technique, or tried to get into the mind of a director. I just wanted to be entertained.
I have gotten an education in the last few weeks from Mythical Monkey, as he guides us into the world of the 1930's.
If you have never seen the movie M, by Fritz Lang, I highly recommend heading over to Myth's place. I was on the edge of my seat. There is no violence, yet you can imagine the horror. I admire any director who can take you somewhere, but lets the viewer think, without pointing out the obvious, and not so obvious.
I don't want to step on Mr. Myth's toes, but I think I'll be safe if we move up to the 21st Century.
As wonderful and informative as his essays are, he should be about 140 when he gets here.
I do like Quentin Tarantino, although I close my eyes during the violent scenes.
I'm sure that there have been many debates on whether the violence in his movies is needed.
Lang didn't need it, or did he? M is about as horrific and violent as any movie can get, but we fill in the blanks. That may be worse than anything Tarantino can conjure up.
Violence is a reality, so to pretend it doesn't exist, or soften the blow with certain camera angles, or shadows is rather insulting to the audience.
It can work in the right hands. Lang proved that.
There were some absolutely fabulous directors working in the 30's and 40's, and you do yourself an injustice if you pass them off as too naive or amateurish.
But, there are directors in this Century who do care about their craft. Of course, there are so many people who are involved in the making of one movie, but it is the director who is at the wheel.
Whether he drives like an old granny, looking at every hole and bump along the way, like Lang, or goes all out at warp speed, like Tarantino, there is room for both.
Go take a look at M. It is genius.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I wasn't the brightest bulb. I had licked my way through two books, when mom came in and showed me what the sponge and bowl of water were for.
They never stuck very well in the books, but my baby sister's footsie pajamas were a walking advertisement, along with balls of sticky puffed rice that missed their intended target.
I'm talking about S&H green stamps to be exact. A bonus for the shoppers. A bribe, if you will, to remain loyal to one store, although, everyone in the 60's seemed to be handing them out.
This creative idea was the work of Mr. Sperry and Mr. Hutchinson. (They are called Green Shield Stamps in the UK) They sold the stamps to retailers, in 1, 10, or 50 point dreams.
Nearly 80% of the American population was trading in green stamps. It was the largest publication during that time.
You could trade in for the usual household items, such as a toaster. You could also bargain on Life Insurance policies. I did read that a class bought a monkey for a zoo. (according to straightdope.com)
After all my trials and tongueing for the cause, mom let me pick out what to get.
I remember walking in a giant warehouse with metal shelves. Stuff looked like it had been there awhile. I go blank after that. I have no clue as to what I chose, but being not the brightest bulb, probably a metal detector, or something totally useless.
Green stamps are still alive and have gone digital. If you have accumulated 28,000 points, you can trade in for a BP gas gift card. 41,000 points will get you a Samsonite laptop pillow computer case, and with 71,000 points, a 5 gal. shopvac.
When mom and dad moved, I found a bag of booklets and stamps. Unfortunately, I tossed them out, unaware that they can still be traded in for more stuff. 12,000 stamps = $1.20.
S&H stamps/roadsidepictures, Catalog/Ha! Designs, Booklets/Joan Thewlis
Monday, November 23, 2009
"What a fool I must be. Why am I horsing around, moving from one warehouse to another, while everybody else is making a dandy living, have their own lives and apartments and houses, etc.? It's even a problem for me to buy a car." -Richard Nickel 1928-1972
If you love Chicago Architecture, you probably know who Richard Nickel was.
He photographed the destruction of some of the greatest buildings. He tried to salvage as much as he could and died doing something he loved. He was in the old Chicago Exchange building, when it collapsed.
Occasionally we would visit my mother's Aunt who lived in a Chicago bungalow. There was really nothing exceptional about it, except for a door that led into their basement. I had no idea what Art Deco meant, but I knew that door was something special. I would sit on the steps and just look at the intricate lines of the contrasting wood grain.
There are still bits and pieces of what Nickel tried to salvage, incorporated into other buildings.
So much was lost though. I recommend Nickel's wonderful collection of photographs, `Richard Nickel's Chicago- Photographs of a lost city'.
So, what am I babbling on about? Beauty, simplicity and a man who tried to capture it all.
Does this photo tie it all in? Laugh. Who cares. I like it.
*Photo by kudzuplanet
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Well, Mr. Whoanusanyway? has better eyes, or curiosity than I have. I just assumed the Kennedy boys were in Ma. Wrong.
Looked like the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fl., but I don't bother with facts here.
Rather a nice day in Palm Beach today.
If you have money, Daaaahhhling.
Oh my god. I love French toast. I've never been to Frankies 17. I may have driven by, but who knew? Apparently lots of people.
It is a small Italian restaurant on Clinton St., in NYC.
Mostly wonderful reviews about the food and atmosphere.
*Photo by roboppy
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Chicago had the Festival of Lights tonight, and the city is looking mighty pretty.
The skating rink down by Millennium Park has also opened. Don't be discouraged. The weather is bound to change any minute now.
*Photo by IceNineJon
The brothers, three.
A charmed and cursed life.
Some by choice. Some by the powers that be.
They loved each other
No woman would break their bond.
The other brother.
What will history decree
in the end
of the brothers, three?
*photo by John McNab
Note: I knew my story was too vague. Oh well, not the first, or last time. This is a photo of Teddy, John and Bobby Kennedy. A time when life was sweet.
What can I say? He is a brave and intelligent young man. He will go far in life.
He just has to get past....actually people who stand up for what they believe in will always have their enemies.
There are no prizes, Will. Just my deep respect for your courage.
Here's a clip from Stewart's show.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I was going to save this for tomorrow, but it is here, now.
I know many of you will start your travel this week-end.
I think that most of you would like to get to your destination as soon as possible, but I wonder how much we miss when we think about what's ahead instead of what is right there, before us?
No expectations. Just be. Stay safe.
*Photo by Eric Begin
Are we getting closer to Kevin Bacon? I do believe that's Buster Keaton. (could be wrong)
Hey, the 60's had their bubble gum moments too, but there was some nice eye candy.
It's chilly in Venice Beach, so let's go to Maui. Very pretty this morning, but that's redundant.
As long as we're going back in time. I like this photo. It looked very 70ish, except for the albums.
I don't know much about Jackie Gleason. He had a semi funny show as a bus driver, and his own variety show in the 50's.
Moving up to the late 60's, and early 70's, there is video of Gleason endorsing Richard Nixon as our next President.
I was too young to really feel the enormity of the Nixon years. I do recall watching him give his resignation speech and then going into the living room to tell my mom. She looked up from reading her newspaper for a moment, then resumed reading her paper. I walked back into my room and started to cry softly. Everything just seemed wrong.
Who doesn't like Frankie Avalon. What a cutie.
*Photo by thrift store addict
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Were the 70's really that barren of taste and musical talent?
I did a little research. In the Billboard list of the top 100 songs of 1975, I had to go all the way to #75 before I found a song that I could stomach.
But that's today. I'm fairly certain when I was an angst ridden teen, these songs must have appealed to me. They must have.
I loved the ponchos and hot pants.
It's what we were fed. It was our time.
It did suck.
List of top songs for 1975
1: Love will keep us together/Captain and Tenille
2: Rhinestone Cowboy/Glen Campbell
3: Philadelphia Freedom/Elton John
4: Before the next teardrop falls/Freddie Fender
5: My eyes adored you/Frankie Vali
6: Shining Star/ Earth, Wind and Fire
7: Fame/David Bowie
8: Laughter in the rain/Neil Sedaka
9: One of these nights/Eagles
10: Thank God I'm a Country Boy/John Denver
Well, you get the horror of it all. The rest is too gruesome to list.
The movie is from 1973. (Did Quentin Tarantino do a remake?) I never heard of it, but the clothes would have been something I thought were totally cool.
You only need to scan the audience as the girls lip-sync their way through the song to see what people thought was fashionable.
Ah well, it's all Jive talkin'.
*photo by Zellaby
I've been known to go, "Martha Stewart" I love a hot glue gun.
My mother liked paper plates for daily use. We probably were responsible for the killing of hundreds of trees. She would only bring out the good china on Holidays.
I say, heck with that. Use those beautiful plates for everyday use.
I also like a nice centerpiece, usually flowers, or something natural.
I came across this site: www.tamponcrafts.com It's not for the squeamish or easily offended, but it is funny.
Hey, let's recycle. Well, up to a point. Let's keep it classy.
*Photo by envycleopatra
I don't often see bumper stickers on cars anymore. We do have a car in our town that is covered in them, but I think it's mostly to keep parts from falling off. Seems to be more of a liberal thing, or maybe it's just the area where I live. My favorite fair trade/hippie store carries only Liberal leaning stickers.
I went to Eric Zorn's blog in the Chicago Trib., and saw his post about an anti Obama sticker.
It reads: "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8.
Verse:` Let his days be few: and let another take his place.'
Okay, understandable. They don't want him to be re-elected.
But, there is more.
`Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.'
Look folks, no matter which side you feel is the winning side, you have got to stop this nastiness. On both sides. It is about as low as a human can get. We can listen and disagree without wishing one dead.
*Photo by Brittney Bush (just a coincidence)
Note: I could not find the sticker, so perhaps it's propaganda on the left's part. (including me)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I could be a mattress tester
an all day perfume sniffer
or open doors
with a hearty hail!
I can taste the chocolate
or walk the nature trail
I can watch your movie,
pass judgement on your dream
I will stock the books,
give snarling looks
Where do I apply?
What's the magic word?
Who do I have to know?
When will you reply?
Photo by Jesse Draper
[...there was always some deeper meaning to whatever Chuckles did. Remember Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo's little catch phrase, remember how when his arch rival Senor Caboom would hit him with the giant cucumber and knock him down? Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo would always pick himself up, dust himself off, and say, "I hurt my foo-foo."
Life's a lot like that. From time to time we all fall down and hurt our foo-foo's.
If only we could all deal with it as simple and bravely and honestly as Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo, and what did Chuckles ask in return? Not much--in his own words--"A little song, a little dance...a little seltzer down the pants."]
Cheers to David Lloyd, writer.
Lloyd died of cancer on Nov. 10th.
I did not start drinking coffee until I was in my twenties.
Tea was the winter drink of choice in our house. Lipton tea, to be exact.
There is black tea, oolong tea, green and white tea.
They are all made from the Camellia sinensis.
The leaves and buds are used, and the only difference with these teas is how they are processed.
The plants need a tropical climate to grow.
White and green contain a higher concentration of antioxidants.
We have all the heard the benefits of antioxidants. It has been proven to help in preventing some cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The bad news. Only proven in animals at this time.
Herbal teas contain no sinensis. They are made from flowers, fruit and herbs.
I'm not big on the Herbal teas, but when I gave up caffeine for a few months, I switched to Rooibos or Honeybush. It tasted to me, very similar to real tea.
I have also tried Anise tea. Very weird, yet nice. I would use it if I have a scratchy throat. Be careful if you have never had Anise. With all natural products, it is best to taste test a small amount at first.
I hear Orange Blossom is a favorite herbal tea, as well as Chamomile.
If you want to get really fancy, try a flowering tea. They are quite beautiful and absolutely have the most wonderful flavor. More and more grocers are stocking up on Flowering teas.
I found mine at the local Pic-N-Save, or go online to check it out.
*Photo by halide-at-art-co.uk
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Speaking of Nepal, there is one live webcam that looks down on the bazaar square, where six roads converge. I usually have the misfortune of going to the site when it is off-line, but today I caught a break. There is a twelve hour time difference from Kathmandu to Chicago.
The town square is looking rather seedy, but still some activity. Look, cows.
You can find the cam through EarthCam; search for Nepal, or go to mycampage.com.
We sat in the living room and listened to them yell at each other. I turned to L's brother with a, `what the hell?' look. He just shrugged his shoulders, got up and walked out the door.
The last thing that I expected was this. I had known L since school days. One thing that drew us together was our conviction that we would never marry.
We would sit in our room, drinking cheap wine on a Friday night and plan our trip to Nepal.
We talked of carabiners while others screamed about breaking another nail.
But, somewhere along the way, reality set in. I left school and L and I lost touch with each other.
Out of the blue, she writes a short note in her tiny scrawl. `I am sitting murders.' Hmmm.
`Lemon eating manners.'
I could not decode her message. It had been so long since I had to decipher one of her hundreds of messages that she left and no one bothered to read, except for me.
She was heartbroken when she had left a note to all that her father had died, and no one came to comfort her.
Now, five years later, I needed to learn how to crack the code. In the meantime, a child awaits my presence. Crayons and juice cups were my life now.
I could not sleep that night. I needed to know what my once comrade in arms was trying to tell me. `Just relax,' I thought. Look at it like one of those crazy pictures that transforms before your eyes. Ah.... `I am getting married.'
Ha! I felt triumphant and disappointment at the same time. We were both liars and cowards now.
The trip had been a long eight hour drive. Of course L would pick November to get married. As my car slid and crawled through a snow storm, I cursed the day we had met.
I had been dragging my body to class in a semi state of existence, when I saw him walk up behind her and grab her breasts. She slammed down her books and started to run after the bastard.
As I stopped to collect her belongings, I noticed a beautiful sketch book filled with pastel drawings of mountains and prayer flags.
So while others blow dried their hair and filled the room with Shalimar, L and I talked of doing the big one. Everest.
Now here we stood, in her house filled with Buddahs and incense.
She had changed, but so had I. I think we both realized what frauds we had been. No talk of Everest this time. We hugged awkwardly and looked at our shoes.
An hour later, I am sitting with her brother while L and her betrothed fight in their bedroom.
"It's over!" she screams.
"Fine!" he shouts back.
"Oh, great," I say to no one.
Doors slam, and silence fills the void.
We sit at the kitchen table and drink wine.
"Make me some crepes, T."
"I have never made a crepe in my life," I laughed.
" So, let's dream big. Let's find those girls we left behind. They're still there, T. Can you feel them?"
Yeah, I could.
*Photo by my hovercraft is full of eels
Monday, November 16, 2009
At the end of this year, the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, Wisconsin will close its doors for good.
That will leave from, 400-600 greyhounds without a home.
They are beautiful and loving dogs.
I won't hop up on the soap box tonight.
I just want to get the word out.
If you are interested the site is: www.afgwm.org
Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan.
I read this from wsbt.com if you need further info.
*Photo by Daniel Greene
Well there I go again. Getting my shorts in a knot for no reason. Poppin' off on Power Pop.
Mr. Whoamusanyway? had a fabulous video of Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger playing together.
I love Arlo. This is one of my favorite songs that he does, written by none other than Steve Goodman.
Everybody loves folk. Damn, what was I thinking? : )
Arlo, what's with that blouse, sweetie? LOL.
We all have been affected by this `recession/depression'. Even if you have been a fortunate son and have had no money worries, you may still notice that, perhaps your favorite barber has closed up shop, or the wait staff at your usual restaurant have been a little on edge.
It's there, so I don't need to delve further into these hard times.
I do remember watching that television show with John boy, as he grew up during the depression. It seemed rather romantic and adventurous to live by the land; to fight for a day's wage. I know. I was so naive. Still am.
But in a time of ugliness and suffering, something happens to the human spirit. It is when we are at our lowest point that something takes over in our cerebellum. An instinct to survive. A need to live. Not just live, but live with beauty. We crave to find wonders to satisfy our senses, especially in hard times.
FDR created the WPA. Works Project Administration, also known as, Works Progress Administration.
From 1935 until 1943, it created 8 million jobs. $4 Billion was used for the construction of highways and roads.
Fortunately, money was also spent in the Arts. 15% of the people employed by the WPA were women. Dorothy West, who was a novelist and short story writer, worked with the WPA.
Some jobs were created out of sheer necessity. The African American community suffered the hardest, but with the start of the WPA, many started to make a decent wage and had money in their pockets.
They wanted entertainment, and they got it.
The first professional African American ball player was Bud Fowler, in 1878.
But the Negro baseball team nearly faded into oblivion until the 30's, when Cumberland Posey founded the East-West league.
I'm guessing for the majority of African Americans in that day, it was as bad as life could get.
But a step was taken. A wall was being chipped away. Professional teams were fighting for integration in baseball.
Not everyone could dig a ditch or pave a road. Many artists were put to work, creating beautiful murals that can still be seen today. Pottery, dishes and dolls made from that time are a collector's dream.
Life did not stop. The need to look and feel beautiful things did not go away. It may have even flourished in a time when they needed so desperately to believe there was a way out of this depression.
With a little help from our government and wonderful individuals whose creative ideas were not stifled or pushed aside, America prevailed, and once again prospered.
So here we are. Can we get out of this one? Has our American spirit been broken?
You tell me.
*This is a disclaimer. Nothing I write is followed up with any great amount of research. Many scoff at Wikipedia, but I find it quite interesting, and do use it as a source of information.
www.womenarts.org was another good site.
The `Baseball at Night', by Morris Kantor and `Artists on WPA', by Moses Soyer, are both courtesy of the American Art Museum. They can be shared only for personal and educational purposes.