True stories with a twist!

I have a great idea for a new business. It’s sure to be a success. No question about it. To be conservative I’ll predict that I will probably earn several millions of dollars . I shouldn’t let the idea go public before I’m ready for the launch of my multi-million dollar idea, but you’re all my blog friends, and I trust you with my exclusive, secret plan.

We all know that to an extent, ordinary space exploration is already quite ordinary. It’s been done: no longer a shock to hear about. Billionaires all over town are getting into the act: Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have attempted producing and flying their own commercial space ships for years.

To set me apart from those original thinkers, my trips are out of our comfort zones and out of the “old familiar.” Unlike theirs, which are quite ordinary, mine are fantastic. In the true sense of the word, meaning that they are fantasy-like. Just ask yourself: Would you go through all the trouble of space exploration just to experience the sensation of weightlessness? Would you try to Break the sound barrier just to feel the gravitational pull of earth? Walk on the moon with your true love just to have an original, first of its kind wedding ceremony?

Nah, not for me. I want to organize … here it comes…space trips to Cyberspace.

Think about how amazingly wonderful a trip to cyberspace would be. Getting into a rocket ship and be fired up to the secret place in the universe that all of our old missing emails live. The place where all our erased documents hide, especially the ones we did not purposely erase. The ones that disappeared with one mistaken click. All our deleted documents take sabbaticals at that site.

unnamed

We could zoom up to that secret spot and find old and wonderfully familiar, brilliantly written reports, intellectually executed final term papers and carefully documented tax forms. Oh, to see them again!

We all need to visit cyberspace to understand where those precious pieces of works of ours have gone. After spending hours, days or months of work on a new project, or cramming for a big exam just to have it disappear into cyberspace is simply unacceptable.

So be kind to yourselves and sign up for my new concept trip into cyberspace. Watch your world welcome all your hard work’s documents, and experience their rebirth! Recapture the hidden brilliance of your mind’s inventiveness, cleverness and adventurous spirit.

Sign up for my “MAKE HASTE  TO CYBERSPACE” adventure.

NATURE

As I watched a Public Broadcasting Company’s beautifully, scenic show, “Nature,” I came away with the accusation that we humans have done terrible damage to this planet and the wildlife that populates it. Building roads and destroying natural habitats, poisoning waterways and poaching animals are some of the evils we have imposed on our planet.

That was my mind set as I sat peacefully in my kitchen, calmly sipping a cup of tea, enjoying the peace and quiet. And then a flash! What was that? A streak of movement zoomed across the floor, heading for the stove. The blur disappeared underneath it. I didn’t scream! Not audibly, anyway. But along with the internal scream I shuddered and shimmied all over, like a salsa dancer feeling some “hot” music.

imgres-3

It was a traumatic sighting, and a new awareness that my private property had a mouse interloper. A rodent intruder. A field invader. This hair curling, scream inducer had to be dealt with. So a call to the exterminator was the only reasonable move, if not an admirable one. The foe must be destroyed!

In the six years we’ve lived in this house there has never been a mouse on site or in sight within. There’s not even been an awareness that those outdoor monsters could insert themselves into the sanctity of these four walls. And now, along with the list of traumas to the planet: earthquakes, floods and  tsunamis, it is fitting to me to add a mouse in a house in Morristown.

In the season of Passover here is one more blight that tales of problems befalling Egyptians can add: mice overrunning peaceful private homes. Egyptian plagues of locusts haven’t anything compared to the plague of a mouse running across the kitchen floor, almost colliding with my right foot!

So the exterminator did his job, leaving our property once again clean, unfettered and peaceful.

But my mind went back to the television show, “Nature,” as I realized that I too, am contributing to the damage to nature that we humans impose on our natural world.

But what’s  a person to do, Public Broadcasting System?

 

 

 

 

 

What television kiss shocked, shook and scandalized the TV world more than any other kiss before or after? It’s a bit of a surprise to think that television viewing was so insulated as recently as 2012.

According to the New York Times, February 11, 2012, the kiss to which I refer was given by Sammy Davis Jr. to Archie Bunker on the Number One show at that time, “All in the Family.” The episode was shown on February 12, 1972. Archie Bunker played the part of a bigot, and was the main character. Visiting guest star, Sammy Davis Jr., the black singing sensation of jazz clubs who had many hit records to his credit, was the cause of the ruckus. Sammy Davis planted an unexpected  kiss on Archie’s cheek, which caused a ripple down the spines of viewers, causing comments and discussion for weeks to come. (Youtube: February 12,1972; SAMMY DAVIS JR. AND ARCHIE BUNKER.)

And he was not the only one: Madonna, the 1970s pop star, kissed Brittany Spears, another younger pop star, at the MTV Award television show in 2003. It caused many shocked comments and much derision. It wasn’t common to see same-sex couples showing any physical expressions of feelings. This kiss was quite scandalous at the time of the show’s airing.

And finally, are any “Trekkies” out there? Do you remember the episode where Captain Kirk kissed Lieutenant Uhuru? The old southern saying, “I just wanted to get a rise out of you,” meaning I wanted to shock you” certainly did. That episode got “the rise” out of the 1968 television audience, even though Captain Kirk was supposedly compelled to kiss Lieutenant Uhuru by telekinetic aliens. No matter whose idea that kiss was, it was the first intergalactic kiss shown on television.

No matter how scandalous these kisses may have been at the time, interracial, same sex or intergalactic, the kiss was a definite attention getter.

Sometimes I wonder what will materialize as the top attention getter in this 21st century. Looking at the direction our society is heading, I don’t think I want to know!   

“Oh no you don’t; not without an argument, a fight and a lawsuit!” That’s what I’d say if they ever tell me to relinquish my driver’s license. They’d probably claim that I’m a hazard on the road. They’d reason that I could hurt myself and everyone passing, driving or thinking of entering my space. They’d say that they have no choice for the sake and safety of society but to get me of the road.

I’d be grounded: permanently. Condemned to a life at home except for the distance to which I can walk. Or totter. “Oh, Fie,” to quote Shakespeare.” Or as Mercutio said in Romeo and Juliet, “A plague on both your houses.” Shakespeare understood these feelings even though he couldn’t have known that this stage of life was approaching. Nobody had these problems with the horse and cart.

Do they plan to provide any compensation? Will the town provide  compromise? Will they offer free Uber service? A pogo stick as an honorarium? A bicycle as payola? No, of course not.

But now that scenario never has to be be played again!  We are fast-forwarding to a world that has invented self-driving cars! You’ll be the non-driver in your own driverless car, free to come, go, or stay in your car for as long as you’d like. Never again will there be a need for higher mathematics, figuring out how much of a tip to leave for a taxi cab driver. No more fears of “Road Rage.” No more facing the perils of backing into too small parking spaces.

 

imgres-1

And it won’t stop there! Maybe some day soon the car industry will re-partner with the computer industry and configure a vehicle for snowy, rainy, foggy days. It will drive you to the supermarket, the drug store or the shoemaker. And whether you’re a baker, butcher or candlestick maker it will park itself and go inside to manage your errands while you relax in the warm, dry car!

Downton Abbey has run it’s course so we can no longer be part of the scenario as footmen, butlers and maids see to it that everyone in the household is properly served. But we can maintain the freedom to move about independently and relish the joy of freedom. The future is bright and active!

IMG_0127.JPG

Monopoly

unnamed

We all have memories of the board game, “Monopoly.”

The game could be used for better reasons and more interesting results than entertaining people staying at home for the evening: how about for saving freedom and ousting the world’s “bad guys” once and for all?

Here’s how it would work:

A world wide Monopoly Game would be played between Free countries and Dictatorships on earth. The audience is assembled. Pulses race. Blood pressures rise just below the stroke level.

With a quick toss of the dice Russia advances to Park place. Putin snaps up the property, hungering for the next opportunity to land on its partner property, Boardwalk. Dreams of glory and victory fill his mind as he places his newly purchased homes on the property, awaiting the first sucker to land on it. Although Obama thought it would be a difficult concept for Putin to get involved in a capitalist themed game, Vladimir accepts the challenge of wheeling and dealing instead of his usual paying and accepting bribes.

Bashir Assad throws the dice next and lands in jail: a harsh joke to most of the world glued to the action.

Now it’s David Cameron’s turn at the dice, and he lands on “pay taxes,” a subtle reminder of England’s debt to the United States during World War Two.

Now although it is Mexico’s turn, there seems to be some confusion about which warlord has the right to represent their county in the competition. With El Chapo in government control for the time being, nobody is bold enough to step forward to claim his turn at the Monopoly board.

Then Benjamin Netanyahu fixes his jaw into a rigid grimace to show the world who is the boss, and spins two sixes. Cheers! He lands on “Pass Go; collect $200.00.”He can use that money to add to his defense budget, as he rolls again. What luck; to have a second chance because he spun two sixes: a double, his first time up. He moves ahead to the first of the railroads, which he snaps up immediately.

The Arab countries, in a rare show of unity, pool their chances by joining together on the same team for a singular turn at the dice. They are so fierce and angry as they throw the dice that the small cubes hit the table with  force,  bounce up, and disappear in secret pockets of the room.

A “Time Out”is called by the United Nations, as the search begins for the defecting dice. Cuba might be involved in the caper, but since there is no proof and no records of the facts, the game is called until the original pair of dice can be located.

And the world awaits more news of the game.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are in a 1951 Pontiac convertible in Havana, Cuba. Our trip there was educational, interesting and sad all at once. Tourists may visit Cuba only in groups: not on their own. The people are sweet and friendly. But they are poor and live in tiny houses, often three generations living together. Here are some of the facts I learned:

The Cuban government owns everything. The people are employees of the government, which sets the pay scale for every category of jobs.

Everyone receives free medical care, free education and food rations which cover three weeks of food. Anything else, including food for the remaining week of the month, must be provided by the family members in whatever way they can manage.

There is no advertising in Cuba. If someone is looking for a job he must either listen to word of mouth or go in person from one place to another in search of work.

Much of their needs are provided by relatives who live in the United States. Often, parts needed for mechanical tools are made and improvised by the workers.

Music is everywhere: in restaurants, street corners and parks.

I was surprised by the number of “classic cars” all over the city. I thought only a few were preserved for display, but in actuality those old cars are the every day transportation for many people. New cars are not seen. Public busses are used by most Cubans. Hitch hiking is safe and is encouraged. If a person driving a car passes a pedestrian requesting a ride, he is encouraged to stop and give him a ride. If a government official passes a pedestrian on a highway he must stop and pick him up.

There are two currencies: the peso for the working people and the CUCs for tourists and wealthy Cubans.

Educationally, it is against the law to drop out of school; it is mandatory to attend school through high school. Text books are provided, but must be returned at the end of the semester. No private schools exist in Cuba. Three exams are taken to qualify for admission to college: Math, History and Spanish. Eighty percent of the population attends college.

After graduation there is a two year mandatory military service required. Afterwards each student is assigned to Social Service: three years for girls and two for boys.

Abortion is legal! Pregnant women work seven months before maternity leave begins, and returns to work in one year. In all this time she is given her full salary.

As we drove through the countryside I was astonished and saddened at seeing the terrible nutrition of the animals. Horses were tethered to wooden stakes in the ground tied to five or six feet of rope. The paltry grass in that small circumference was their meal each day. They were so thin that their ribs poked out of their bellies. Dogs were malnourished as well. I did not see any cats. Oxen are still used to plow fields, pulling hand plows with farmers steering behind.

We attempted to engage the tour guide in a conversation about the missile crisis of the 1960s. She insisted Cuba had only defensive missiles, and when we challenged her, she snapped back with “Well, we all have our own opinions!” End of discussion.

Everyone we spoke to expressed hope that the embargo will be lifted soon.

…and so the drama continues.

 

Ronnie and Harvey in a 1951 Pontiac, Havana Cuba

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 709 other followers