I Used To Be Amused, Now I’m Just Disgusted

12 12 2016

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“But if you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t.” ~ Comedian John Fugelsang

A short post today, because this feeble-minded writer needs some help. I’m hoping someone out there on the World Wide Webs can explain this.

I’ve been doing some quick research into presidential campaign spending. I’m not a numbers guy, so don’t look here for exhaustive data and structure.

According to information culled from sources like the Federal Election Commission and Bloomberg.com, the Trump and Clinton campaigns combined raised a total of $1.84 billion to support their candidates run for President.

Currently – after expenses – they have about $39 million left. So I have to ask some questions:

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Why are both campaigns still actively seeking donations? (The photos on the right are screen shots from the home page of each candidate’s campaign website.)

And…

Why would anyone contribute?

And…

Do these numbers make anyone want to vomit? I do.

I have no answers, just questions. Sorry…

I’m not singling out specific people, parties or organizations. And I thought of expanding this post to a full diatribe about wasteful spending – inauguration parties, televangelists private jets and mansions, tax exemptions for corporations and churches, etc. But I exist in the blog world, without space for information probably the size a bible. Ironically…

For today, I’ll keep it simple and ask no more questions. There is way to much blame to go around for allowing this ridiculous balance of wants versus needs, and or greed versus good.

We can’t drain the swamp and risk flooding the rest of the country.





Lost Love – A Survivor’s Story

8 08 2015

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

tumblr_nkm8od0w621rvn4sfo1_500I missed you. All this week I wanted to text, or send a photo. I just wanted to have a talk… you weren’t there. It is a terrible void felt… not having your mobile phone.

Yep… it just died. It worked fine all day Saturday and Sunday morning, and then it wouldn’t charge. What the hell!

Someone reminded me that phones are made to die, like a car devaluing when you drive it off the lot. I thought about that comparison… and we do connect some of the same terms to our phones like upgrades, energy conservation, bigger, better, more powerful and efficient!

People always used to wonder what it was about men and their cars. You could always tell a little bit about someone’s personality by the car they drive. Now it’s the type and way they use cell phones that have become part of a person’s identity. I’m an iPhone guy, and have had debates over the years about the pros and cons of the different platforms with Android and/or Blackberry users. Passions run high.

dead_iphoneBut I don’t care about these other people. I was left abandoned… alone for four whole days!! This personal hell contained endless chunks of time that I was detached from the world. Whether it was driving in my car, or walking down the street… minutes and minutes of zero communication! Or those other mad moments when I didn’t have access to information like maps, or game scores, or a clock… what the hell time is it????

What if I needed to take a photo or video? Possible precious moments missed… never to be repeated and shared with a breathlessly waiting world. And business… Everything ceased! It was a nightmare.

I went to a concert on Thursday night and I was unable to easily find my friends. I did, but it wasn’t easy. Elvis Costello played a song during his set, and I had no way to immediately determine which album it was on. I did, much later. And I found my way home without my Waze app.

But I was roughing it!!

Of course, these laments are made tongue firmly in cheek… nothing of consequence was missed. Two customers left me voicemails that were handled the following day. Certainly no one died or was injured. In reality being without a phone was a bit inconvenient, and also a bit liberating.

This geek does have an iPad to pick up some of the slack. But I did find myself absentmindedly reaching for that invisible phone a few times. And once or twice I picked up the dead phone and pushed some buttons… #resurrection?

IMG_3453After four gruesome days I got a nifty, brand spanking new iPhone 6, replacing my rotary-like iPhone 5. How did I survive so long with such outdated technology?  The nightmare was over. I was connected once again after a quick setup, restore from backup, and a new lock screen photo – Stay Classy!

It is delightful, sleek and sexy, just like me… opening that box felt like Christmas Day! And it’s way better than a Galaxy S-whatever, I am completely positive… how dare you say otherwise!

Learned lesson? Understanding suffering helps one appreciate the gifts you have, so I am thankful to those who helped me through this rough patch.

I’m back, world… if you’ll have me.





Incident Protocol for Your Town USA

9 06 2015

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Something cray cray happened in Texas this weekend. Let the national incident protocol begin!

  • Event happens.
  • Fox News immediately begins panel discussion to determine if the incident was racially motivated. White panel members say “no”. Black panel members say “yes”.
  • Quick, aggrieved people! Get your snapshot videos up on YouTube!
  • Quick, accused people! Get your statements together and your stories ready!
  • Facebook and Twitter top brass in emergency meetings to come up with clever hashtags.
  • Civil rights leaders claiming victory for finally getting black panelists on Fox News.
  • Protest! Protest! Protest! Protest!
  • People on social media outraged by a version of the event that fits their long stated beliefs.
  • Aggrieved family hold first press conference. Family calls for peaceful protests. #SpokesUncle
  • Riot! Riot! Loot! Loot!
  • Flounder buys ten thousand marbles at Woolworth’s.
  • Raging Twitter discussion begins about how black guys say the N word all the time “but we can’t”.
  • News media art departments update “Crisis In (insert town name)!” graphics.
  • Anderson Cooper! Get your ass to (insert town name)! Report on what gets the most ratings!
  • Media cameras focus on that one guy brave enough to stand up to protesters.
  • Katy rescues Boone…

  • People on social media share appropriate righteous, “thank god it’s not happening in my neighborhood” indignation.
  • Reporters on the street in (insert town name) shocked that tear gas makes it really hard to breathe.
  • Housewives in every major city in the country complain on Facebook about television news coverage “fucking with my soaps!”
  • Church and community leaders call for resignation/prosecution of senator/congressman/mayor/city councilman/police commissioner, chief, captain, officer.
  • Al Sharpton and Rush Limbaugh report on exactly what is going on – via satellite.
  • News media interviews small business owner whose store was looted. Hopefully an immigrant… accents equal ratings!
  • People on social media immediately become experts on the constitution/medicine/law/police procedure.
  • Government officials state determination to find out exactly what happened. The truth is the most important thing. Justice will be served.
  • Church and community leaders call for calm and peace after checking for scratches on their Mercedes.
  • NoTyreseProtesters finally take well-deserved break to eat tasty treats rescued from local Pathmark.
  • News media sharing celebrity tweets expressing outrage/support for the people of (insert town name).
  • Professional athletes begin wearing t-shirts in support of (insert town name).
  • Outrage that no one from the White House attended funeral/memorial service/candlelight vigil. Republicans are incensed. Democrats… not so much.
  • Anderson Cooper sipping Evian on private jet back to palatial country estate.
  • Event is over. Media is gone.

The country has moved on to the next news cycle… Walter Cronkite stops spinning in grave. Good night, and good luck.

I assume that everyone understands this is meant to be a joke. What is serious are some of the real problems that we have in this world… Racism, media bias, out of whack priorities, and a general disrespect of our fellow man. Clearly, I’m taking some shots at news media. But journalists have a responsibility to provide the truth, and they don’t. We have a responsibility to expect the truth, and we don’t. 

I’m guilty of making rash decisions about situations – or incidents like I parody above – based on minimal evidence. Must work on that… Be better.





Glance Links – August 2014

1 08 2014

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I like to fill this post with links that will help your marketing efforts. But since I’m on vacation and in a pretty good mood, I thought I would share some examples of “social media done right” with these favorite Facebook pages. The only criteria is that each are funny or interesting (or both), and engaging to their communities. Enjoy!

Upper Darby Police Department – The boys in blue in this Philadelphia suburb (pictured above) stay connected to their community with this hilarious page, with great stories about just how funny peeps and perps can be. It’s also full of news and crime reports… serious when it needs to be. Kudos to this genius content creator.

George-TakeiGeorge Takei – Actor, artist, activist… renaissance man. He’s done it all and he posts some hysterical stuff. Oh Myyyy….

The Order of the Good Death – Caitlin is a Los Angeles-based mortician who sees death everyday, and shares her interesting, albeit unusual insights into dying. Not very funny, but certainly insightful. And definitely worth a look.

10462459_928795490469983_2205502833807129176_nRandom Hearts with Roxy and Friends – This is a charming page that my cousin put up a few months ago, and it never ceases to make me smile. Roxy challenges us all to find and post images of hearts, and her friends have responded with photos… everything from clouds to water stains to bruised toenails. I’ve yet to be so inspired, but I’m still looking. Shouldn’t we all be? Follow her for that extra little nudge…

We Are Ultras – Allow me just one soccer page to promote… dedicated to the Women Soccer Supporters of the world – The Ultras. The women who hold nothing back. The women who know Ultra is a way of life! May the soccer gods bless them all!

10590473_692454767476177_3217539378266761369_nDangerous Minds – Celebrating weirdness of all kinds, with specific favorites like 60’s and 70’s advertising, obscure punk rock and various counter-culture oddities. You may not find it funny or interesting, and you may just shake your head a little… if it is still attached! I guarantee you will share something on this site with your warped friends!!

The Onion – Yeah, yeah… who doesn’t know about the Onion? But they make me laugh multiple times a day, and any list would be incomplete without them. The standard bearer for online, irreverent satire since 1765.

This is my weird, fun stuff… where is yours? Share your favorite pages…





B-Musings – Scary Blueberry Pancakes Edition

15 10 2013

“B-Musings”… sharing random blurbiage and ping-pong balls rattling around my dome.  Why?  Because I can, and I have a blog!

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Dead Inside – If someone had told me ten years ago that my favorite television show would be about zombies, I would have snorted derisively. That snort has evolved into a sinister laugh… I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead, and the zombie genre as well!

I’ve never been much a horror fan, with the violence so gratuitous. But what intrigues me about The Walking Dead and the zombie apocalypse genre is that it usually focuses on the victims and how they are reacting and interacting in extreme situations. Yes, there is violence and gore, but it is so over the top you have to laugh – in a “Dan Aykroyd playing Julia Child” sort of way. With characters that are so well realized and outstanding effects, the show is a breakthrough at a time when television has never been so good.

I saw an interview with series creator Robert Kirkman, who asserts that the “walking dead” in the show are actually the survivors, not the zombies. I thought that was brilliant, and it helps me understand my fascination. It’s all about people struggling to live and understand. Cool stuff… that’s why Sundays are “dead” to me.

Speaking of Being Dead Inside – The laundry list of what sickens and appalls me about this world continues to grow. Adrian Peterson played football for the Vikings on Sunday, mere days after his two year-old son was murdered. It boggles the mind that he would do that, or that his family and friends would not counsel him otherwise. God forbid, if something like this happened to me… I would be numb, unable to speak or move. And I’m positive my employers would refuse to even let me work.

I had similar shock and indignation when the Kansas City Chiefs played a game just days after one of their own players murdered his girlfriend, then shot himself at the team training facility – in front of his coaches!

Have we all lost our humanity? Peterson and the Vikings, you should be ashamed.

Dark Days for Philly Sports?  The Phillies are in free fall, and face at least a few seasons of retooling.  The Eagles are lucky to be in a weak division, and also rebuilding. The Flyers are in limbo and the Sixers just plain suck.

My friends, the team to watch in Philly is the Union… young, aggressive and fighting their way into the playoffs. Union manager John Hackworth is the most tenured professional coach in the city, and PPL Park is selling out every match. With average attendance outpacing the Sixers, soccer is now the fourth most popular professional sport in Philadelphia.

It’s time for those on the fence to embrace the beautiful game! Haters? We don’t need you…

Pet Peeve of the Month – People “Liking” their own posts on Facebook. Dorks!

And speaking of dorks…

government-shutdown-heroHow About A Shut “Up”? – I can’t believe I’m going to attempt to add to the enormous, smelly mound of dung that is  “government shutdown” commentary… and where do I start? Certainly, I’m not going to pick a side in this argument because both have an equal share in this mess. Also, I think we are too far gone to make any substantive improvements without a complete overhaul of the system.

Partisan politics is here to stay, folks. When Mr. Smith goes to Washington, he brings the party noose tied tight around his neck and a boatload of owed favors. In a few months he sees that it’s a pretty good gig – lots of money, power and a huge ego boost. So, he wants to stay and to do so he needs money and the backing of his party. What is right – and what makes sense – is replaced by an overwhelming primal need… survival!

Every decision made by a congressman or senator is about being re-elected, not about what is right for his constituency. A prime example is the bullshit legislation passed by the House the other day approving back pay for the 800,000 furloughed government employees affected by the shutdown. Co-sponsored by Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (D) and Frank Wolf (R) , it is clearly an attempt to buy votes in a state that has the most furloughed federal employees. What this actually amounts to is a vacation funded by tax dollars, and if somebody did that for me you’re damn right I’d vote for them!! More than once! I’m not saying that these people will not experience hardships being furloughed. But like any citizen out of work they deserve unemployment compensation, not back pay.

I know it’s not that simple. Of course we should be concerned that 800,000 non-essential government employees will be without income. But shouldn’t we also be concerned about the ridiculous number of positions in the federal government deemed “non-essential”? And what does it say about us that we have allowed this whole situation to spiral out of control?

As usual, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave me a comment, or check the box that calls me an idiot. What? You can’t find the box? Insert another sinister Halloween laugh… 





B-MUSINGS… Cool August Night Edition

13 08 2013

“B-Musings”… random blurbiage and ping pong balls rattling around my dome.  Why?  Because I can, and I have a blog!

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Beachin’ It – In a previous post, I mentioned my new found longing to be at the beach. It hasn’t waned. Fortunately I was able to get to the shore a couple of weeks ago and quench that thirst. My friends know that I am not one to stay at the beach for more than an hour… two tops. So the 10 hours over two days I spent sitting on the sand was a revelation. Granted, I was blessed with the right mix of great weather and great company… the perfect storm. It also came at the right time, in what has been a very hectic few months.

I’m going back next week, to plop my ass on that chair again. Can’t wait… I seem to be a poster boy for change lately, and I have to say I’m enjoying it.  Look out, fudgy wudgy man…

Culling the Facebook Herd – I like to go into my social media contacts periodically, and “unfriend” some people and places with whom I no longer interact. Recently I cleaned out a bunch of brands, bands, movies and other assorted “Likes”. Alas, I also jettisoned about 10 people who have thus far failed to enrich my social media experience. But as I was going through the exercise I came to four Facebook friends who are deceased. Obviously I was aware of them in my list, and each had very different levels of friendship for me. It’s nice that friends and family still drop comments on their pages for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.

So… those four will remain. Until I see them again.

The Soccer Supporter Mentality – I spend a decent amount of time explaining this concept to my non-soccer friends, so I thought I would throw it out for some comments. I fully expect Philadelphia Union striker and rising star Jack McInerney to be playing somewhere else next year, and I’m okay with it. If he moves to Europe, he will develop faster and better than in MLS. And that is good for U.S. Soccer, the priority.

Unlike any other sport, the true fan places country over club.  I think it is the best way to go, we support our national team first, then we have favorite domestic and/or overseas club teams… and we are rabid about all of them!!!  For me… USMNT, then Union, then Manchester United. The goal is always to fortify the national squad. Nuff said…

photo1Wedding of the Century – I often call Joe O’Hagan my faux cousin, when in fact he is my oldest and dearest friend. Our Moms were best friends growing up in Belfast, and travelled to America together on the Mayflower (well… that’s what they led us to believe).  So Joe, myself, his and my sisters grew up as cousins. He’s been a swinging bachelor for all these years until the fair Jennifer finally lassoed him to the ground. When I got news of their pending nuptials I expected an epic event, and was not disappointed.

It was a grand day, epic in its tradition and simplicity. I was honored to be asked to do a reading at the traditional Catholic ceremony, and I delivered it with my usual panache. The reception was held at the same classic venue that hosted my Senior Prom 35 years ago, and the place hasn’t changed one bit! The flashback feeling was aided by a great DJ who played Sinatra and other standards during dinner, and pulled out all the classic wedding reception dance hits… “Celebrate good times, come on!!” Joe’s nephew gave what might have been the greatest best man toast ever, and the newly married couple danced to an absolutely perfect song choice – the beautiful “At Last” by Etta James.

It truly was an epic event. All that was missing was a whiskey sour fountain and the garter / bouquet tossing, omitted I assume because of the groom – throwing anything is dangerous at his advanced age. But there were four other things missing… Joe and Marie, and Bunty and James. No doubt they would have been delighted that after a half century we are all still together.  Real family… no faux, mofo.

Good times, good people, good craic.

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Meet Herb… Official “Face” of the B-Musing Blog Post.  Are you B-Mused now? A-Mused? Both?

Let me know by commenting below… Herb needs to know!!!





B-MUSINGS… Wet Summer Edition

3 07 2013

I hope to do this type of post periodically… “B-Musings” will be some random blurbiage and brain misfires that I have to get out of my head. Because I can make up words, and I have a blog, and you don’t!

babble_on_300Hollywood Babble On – My son John recently turned me on to this podcast with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman. Typically a two-hour long penis joke, Smith and Garman have a great time skewering celebs like Lohan, Beiber and the Kardashians, and anyone else who dares to cross their path. Solid entertainment, and good for at least 7 or 8 laughs that are bigger than Liam Neeson’s c&%k! (You’ll get that joke if you listen.) Check it out – it’s free!!

Mid-Week Holidays – Blow.

Hey! Phillies Fans – The season is over. I love optimism but it’s getting a little ridiculous. Stop trying to compare this team to the World Series team… FROM FIVE YEARS AGO!! It’s not fair to them, and more than a little delusional. And I love ya, Charlie. But it’s fond farewell time…

Roster Limit – More baseball talk, but not really… I used to joke that the worst thing about getting older is that you can’t find enough guys to get a game of baseball going. Think about it. When we were kids we had plenty of players for a full 9 on 9 game. When we hit our twenties, not so much. Now, getting older means that my sons aren’t around as much. We are going to my sisters for what I’m sure will be a great barbecue… food, sun and fun at Casa Taylor. No con hijos. Empty Nesters Day is still a few years down the road, but getting closer. So when we are all together, I’m cherishing it a little more.946524_646897272006089_302100249_n

Life’s A Beach – I’ve never been a fan of the beach. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the shore, and really want to go there more often. Last weekend I enjoyed a great day on the Wildwood beach, watching sand soccer and chatting with a bunch of old friends. I’m being drawn in, and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m changing, and need some new stuff. Think I’ll look online for one of those metal detectors… Powerball has been a big disappointment.

My Simple Take On Edward Snowden – Some call him a hero and a whistle-blower. I call him a traitor because he broke the law. And it’s that simple… he broke the law. Many are fired up because of the information about the NSA having access to our phone and emails. Guess what? They probably have access to a lot more than that. And if they use this information to protect the lives of Americans at home and abroad… bravo! I have nothing to hide. Do you?

U_S_-Declaration-Reproduction-ImageSpeaking Of Traitors – Here’s something you’re not used to seeing on my page… great, great writing:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happy 4th of July, my friends.