Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rant #1,075: Happy Halloween

First off, let me congratulate the Boston Red Sox for their World Series win.

They went from worst to first in a single season, which is a pretty hard thing to do.

This horror show for New York Yankees fans continues tonight, but in a positive light.

It's Halloween, and unlike last year, people can enjoy the holiday this year.

If you remember, last year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many areas on the East Coast basically cancelled their Halloween celebrations, because all of the devastation was, well, horrific in and of itself.

This year, things are generally better, although many folks are still living a real-life horror show because their homes and businesses have not been rebuilt, and they are far from a full recovery.

But for most of us, this Halloween, at least on the surface, appears to be a better one than last year.

Kids will go trick or treating, lots of candy will be handed out, and hopefully, it will be a safe and fun day for all.

We dress up our house for the holiday, but we get a scant amount of kids coming to the door.

As I have said many times before, the current celebration of Halloween is so different from the one I celebrated as a kid, that the holiday doesn't even resemble what I remember.

Today, kids generally walk around with their parents, and they go only to houses where they know the people inside.

In my day, we went anywhere and everywhere, got bags and bags of candy, and it was like an all-day party.

Also, Halloween is so commercialized now that it really isn't even a kids' holiday anymore.

Adults participate as much as, or even more than, the kids.

It's like the holiday has been co-opted.

Everyone can enjoy the holiday, but it really should be one for the kids, but it has become a multi-billion dollar business for costumers, many restaurants, and the like.

And then you have the Greenwich Village Halloween parade nearby in Manhattan, where every freak in the world comes out to play and show how "normal" they are.

Bah, humbug! Give the holiday back to the kids, I say.

That being said, have a wonderful Halloween.

I am taking the day off tomorrow for personal reasons--nothing terrible--and I will be back on Monday.

Eat lots of candy until I get back. See you then.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rant #1,074: Hoops!

No, not Oops!, although as I said a few weeks ago, that would be a good word to use in the description of New York sports recently.

Anyway, the New York Knicks begin their NBA season tonight at their kind of brand spanking new home, the refurbished to an idiotic level Madison Square Garden, against the Milwaukee Bucks.

People believe that the Miami Heat can be unseated this year as champs, and many say that one of the teams that could push them off their throne is the Knicks.

Yes, I have heard all of this before, and this is a franchise that hasn't won the NBA championship since 1973 and the days of Walt Frazier and Willis Reed.

Now, about their palace, Madison Square Garden ...

It took three years to reconstruct this thing. It was done in phases, so the Knicks and the Rangers wouldn't lose their home for any extended period of time (the Liberty lost their home the past three years, but who really cares about this WNBA franchise?).

Anyway, the place had its playing surface lowered, new seats added, and new restaurants and other amenities tacked on.

It also had its ultimate amenity--a seating area that originally was supposed to be a walkway, but now has been outfitted with seats--which is directly over the action below.

It is very hard to explain, but if you are sitting in the upper-level seats, your view of the new oval scoreboard is just about completely blocked, and you have people's butts in your face.

Well, not quite, but by the photos, it does appear that this is the latest obstruction heaped upon people who spend just $100 a seat to see a game live at the Garden.

Of course, those who spend $200, $300, and even $1,000 or more to see a game don't have this obstruction.

The Knicks are virtually sold out for the season, their 41 game home schedule eaten up by corporations who send people to do business at the games, not really to enjoy them.

I would love to go to a game, but I am not going to spend $100--prior to fees--to see a game between the Knicks and, let's say, one of the lower level teams, like the Washington Wizards.

And if you want to see the Heat, the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers ... well, forget it.

The Garden, with all its razzle dazzle, has completely shut people like me out.

Even searching the resellers, the prices are idiotic.

So this season, unless something incredible comes my way, I will sit at home and watch the games.

Funny, my first game at the Garden was at the old Garden in 1965.

Tickets were plentiful, cheap, and available on the day of the game.

I went with my father, and I have been hooked ever since.

But now, nearly 50 years later, I can't get in there with my son unless I spend upwards of $300 for the game at the very least, adding in ticket cost, extra costs associated with the tickets, transportation, food, and the like.

This is disgraceful, to say the least.

I am in a quandary. Do I root for the Knicks to win, which would make the availability of tickets to even the worst matchups way out of my financial reach?

Or do I root for them to flop, which might make available ticket prices lower?

I am a Knicks lifer, so I will root for them to win, but it's difficult telling my son that we might not go to a game this year.

But management, the NBA, and most people really don't care about this, I have found, so I have to say, as I have said for nearly the past 50 years ...


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rant #1,073: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and What Else?

This year, for the first time in recent memory, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day on the calendar.

Actually, Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah fall on the same day this year.

Jewish holidays begin at sundown, so Hanukkah, actually, starts the night before Thanskgiving.

Now, I know that a large majority of the populace is not Jewish, so this really is of little or no concern to them.

But I am Jewish, so it is a major concern to me.

How do we light up the bird and the menorah at the same time?

And my family has an extra added attraction to all of this.

My father celebrates his 82nd birthday just two days later, so since we have the whole family here, we will actually be celebrating three occasions on that day.

When I think about it, all this might actually play into our hands as something better than we thought it would be.

We can now celebrate three things at once, not one thing at a time, so it might be beneficial to us.

But when you celebrate three things at once, it kind of dilutes each one, so maybe it isn't as beneficial as I thought it was.

The reason for the convergence of the two holidays this year?

It has to do with the Jewish calendar, which is very much unlike the calendar that we use.

The Jewish calendar has leap months--not days--and that is why Jewish holidays are never on the same day year to year, or at least one of the reasons. There are other reasons, but I won't go into them here.

Suffice it to say, the Jewish calendar is a pretty wild one year to year.

And I haven't even spoken about the gifts ...

This year, Jews have to buy their gifts very early to meet the holiday.

My wife and I have already started buying gifts, and in doing so, I also have an extra added attraction to this "month of holidays."

My wife's birthday is November 10, a little more than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

So I really have to get a move on with my gift buying.

I have purchased several things online at this point, and I will probably be buying things up to and including the big holiday.

But there is a silver lining in all of this, too.

By Black Friday, when people run around like chickens (or turkeys) without their heads buying presents for the holidays, I will be done--DONE--with my gift buying.

Let them run around, I won't have to bother this year!


The negative, as I have already explained, is that I have to start my present buying early, earlier than most people.

Oy vey!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rant #1,072: Newly Departed

Three personalities passed away over the past couple of days.

They say these things happen in threes, but with Noel Harrison passing last week, this makes four significant deaths, so that theory is thrown out the window.

All of these people had their days in the spotlight, faded, came back, faded again, but they all will be well remembered.

You might not know the name Bill Mazer if you live outside of the New York metropolitan area, but he was a major star in these parts.

He was a sports broadcaster, but more importantly, he was the "Maven," a guy who knew his sports inside and out, trivia about those sports, and he was a trailblazer of sorts.

Mazer probably had one of the first call-in sports radio shows in the country, if not the first one, and he also hosted probably the first sports clip show on television, "Sports Extra."

He had an encyclopedic knowledge of not just the four major sports, but many, many other sports.

Mazer was on New York television and radio for years, and his influence is still being felt today by sports radio and outlets like ESPN.

Marcia Wallace looked like your next door neighbor, spoke like your next door neighbor, and carried that through an acting career that lasted about five decades.

She is probably best known as the wacky receptionist on "The Bob Newhart Show," in need of a couch as much as many of his patients on the show.

Wallace, who had had many physical and financial setbacks during her life, came back strong on "The Simpsons," winning an Emmy for her voice portrayal of the teacher on that show.

Almost forgotten, but not by me, was that she played a very small role on probably the most popular episode in sitcom history, as the teacher on the "Getting Davy Jones" episode of "The Brady Bunch."

Lou Reed may not have had many hit records, but his influence on the world of pop and rock music was pretty substantial.

Growing up as a Jewish kid in Freeport, Long Island, Reed gravitated to Manhattan and the wild and wooly New York pop scene in the mid to late 1960s, with all the sex, drugs, and more sex and drugs that that scene popularized.

He was the leader of the Velvet Underground, an amalgam of fellow disenchanted artists who were directly linked to Andy Warhol. Their music celebrated that scene, as evidenced by one of their most popular songs, "Heroin."

He later went solo, had his first and only hit record, "Walk on the Wild Side," and he had been a ubiquitous figure for decades, even without a hit record.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who lived a hard life, had had liver problems in recent years, and went through a recent liver transplant.

A lot of people probably don't know about a single one of these people, but they all had incredible popularity during their runs, kind of faded into the woodwork, and all came back to one degree or another.

May they all rest in peace.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rant #1,071: You Are What You Eat

Food is the bane of my existence.

I love to eat, and although I am a picky eater, I just love to eat the things that I love to eat.

Here is my horoscope for today. I usually don't pay much credence to things like this, but I just found that it is a pretty interesting one.

"It's a good time to gather around a meal. It can be at home with family or out with colleagues, but you're at your best combining the social with the earthy. Enjoy -- and leave a generous tip!"

I have to work today, and I won't be going out to eat when I get home.

My wife, if she is home from her work, usually makes me dinner.

She is an excellent cook, but she also knows that I love certain things, and hate others.

I do not like chicken, so she doesn't make me chicken.

I love hamburgers and hot dogs, so I have either one at least once a week.

I also love things like meat loaf, pasta, meatballs, fish, stuff like that, so she has those things for me when I get home from work.

On days where she has to work late, I have to fend for myself, which is fine with me.

I usually have some frozen entree ready to go, and I love to make myself pizza.

It is fun to cook for myself, but honestly, I am happy that my wife does 99 percent of the cooking in the house.

I am a slob and the stuff gets all over the place when I cook.

On Saturday, I go out and buy my family and I dinner.

Honestly, it is a lot of fast food and stuff like that.

My wife loves salads, so I go out to the local pizza place and get her a salad.

She watches what she eats to the nth degree, and you can tell if you see her that she does that.

She looks smashing, and has a great figure.

Me, I look smashed and my figures are "ferklempt," if you know what I mean.

My son is as skinny as a rail, so at least right now, he is like a walking, talking pencil, and he eats just about anything and everything.

Oh, to be a teenager again!

Anyway, I love to eat, and I love to eat so much that I look past a full day of work, wondering what my wife will be preparing tonight.

Last night it was turkey cutlets ... tonight, who knows?

But I can already taste it ...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rant #1,070: Whirled Series

I am a huge baseball fan, and now is supposed to be prime time for me, as it is World Series time.

The two best teams in baseball, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, are battling it out for this year's championship.

It should be a good World Series, and blowouts like last night's game should not be the norm.

But you know, I am just not into this World Series.

I can trace it to the New York Yankees' failings this year, and their arch enemy, the Red Sox, being in the Series.

The Yankees, beset by injuries to their biggest name players all year, really never had a chance.

They fought to be in the playoffs, failed, and the season was pretty much dedicated to, and will be remembered by, the retirement of Mariano Rivera.

The Red Sox, who were a last place team in 2012, went from worst to first this year, and they made the Yankees look like saps the entire season, from the very first game on.

The Yankees were awful, the Red Sox were terrific.

So this year, it is really hard for me to get into the swing of things with the World Series.

As an American League fan, I have to go with the Red Sox, but it's like saying that if Lex Luthor beats Superman, then I have to back Luthor.

Not gonna happen.

So to me, this year's World Series is gong to be one of those classics that I basically pass on.

Actually, to myself and many Yankees fans, it is just a precursor to an off season which promises to be very active, as the Yankees hopefully rebuild themselves into a contender.

So the Red Sox are one up, and I look forward to basketball, where the Knicks will probably rip my heart out as they have for the past 40 years.

Curling anybody?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rant #1,069: Crying U.N.C.L.E.

Each year, people that we remember from our past move onto the great beyond, people who have touched us in a major way or somehow very briefly.

Such is the case of Noel Harrison, who touched us very briefly in the mid-to-late 1960s, and then pretty much vanished off the face of the earth for most of us.

He died yesterday at age 79.

Who was Noel Harrison?

Harrison, the son of British legendary actor and womanizer Rex Harrison, crafted a nice career for himself during the swinging '60s, and then unlike his father, decided he had had enough at the apex of his fame.

He had gained some fame in the 1950s as a British skier, good enough to make the Olympics in 1952 and 1956.

Later, he turned to show business, and the actor and singer starred opposite Stefanie Powers in the short-lived "Girl From U.N.C.L.E." TV show, which would make him an icon from that era apart from the other things that he did.

If you remember, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," tapping off the spy craze started by the James Bond films, was one of the hottest shows of the decade, making Robert Vaughan and David McCallum two of the decade's biggest icons. It also stretched the career of Leo G. Carroll beyond anything that it should have been, too.

Anyway, that show was geared to adults, but NBC, the network it was on, found that lots of kids were staying up to watch the show, too, so they figured that a similar show geared to their tastes could be a hit.

Thus, the companion show was created. Although it was not a hit--it lasted just one season--it did make Powers--as April Dancer--a star, and it made Harrison--as Mark Slate--one of the great cultural artifacts of that generation.

I always like his hat, one of the great hats of the 1960s.

He parlayed his stardom on that show into a music career, and for a few years, it was quite prolific.

He put out a few albums during this time, but his greatest triumph probably in his show business career was that his "Windmills of Your Mind," from the original "Thomas Crown Affair" film, won the Oscar for Best Song in 1968.

He had a few chart hits during this period--his "Suzanne" is supposedly the best interpretation of the Leonard Cohen classic--and he probably could have had a long show business career like his father did, but at the height of his popularity, he decided that he didn't like the spotlight, and he dropped out of that scene.

His marriage was crumbling, and he just felt it was better if he took time off.

Since the early 1970s, he performed occasionally, moved to the United States and Canada until his last years, when he returned to England, and pretty much lived out his life as he wanted to--out of the spotlight.

So another icon of my youth has passed away.

Harrison sparkled for seemingly a millisecond, and then became basically, "Whatever happened to Noel Harrison?" for the rest of his life, but it appears that is exactly what he wanted.

So bravo to him and his life, and R.I.P.

He did it exactly as he wanted to do it, and you can't ask for anything more in life than that.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rant #1,068: Again

There has been another school shooting, yesterday in Nevada at the Sparks Middle School, and again, myself and probably you, too, are asking ourselves why is this happening?

I have no idea.

I am not a psychologist, nor am I a social researcher, but without going into the shooter's mind, I would have to say that the availability of guns, once again, is the culprit here.

Once again, like what happened in Connecticut, the shooter got his arsenal from his parents stash of weapons, according to some sources.

Look, I know that most people who keep guns in their homes do it safely, put it under lock and key, and go about their business without anything ever happening.

But here again we have an instance of a mentally unstable person having easy access to weapons.

I do not understand the gun culture, and probably never will.

I do not understand why guns must be kept in the home.

And I do not understand how having a gun available is going to be used for protection, used to prevent anything from happening.

Yes, we have the right to bear arms, but it has gotten to the point where our forefathers who gave us that right would, if they were alive today, question how we have twisted and turned that into something that I dare say they didn't foresee all those years ago.

And no, I don't buy this theory that it is the person who should be looked at as the culprit here, not the gun.

Yes, there are problems with out mental health system, but no, sorry, the person is to blame, yes, the person pulls the trigger, yes, but the problem is the ready availability of firearms, and the availability of firearms to people who don't understand, or don't care about, the consequences.

You can't "ban" guns. They are out there, and people who want to get them will get them, through legal or illegal means.

But those who decide to keep them in their homes had better have a good reason to have them there.

All it takes is one unstable person to again steer the debate about possessing guns into another chapter.

All I can say is that do we want any more chapters added to this book?

I don't think so, but what can be done about it?

I really don't know, but all I know is that a gun will never be in my house.

I don't think it prevents anything, I don't think it solves anything, I don't think it serves as any warning to anyone.

And that is what I feel today, a day after more needless violence has erupted again, all because an unstable person had access to guns, supposedly from his own home.

How sad that is.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rant #1,067: Pumpkin Pickin'

My family and I decided to celebrate the season, and we went pumpkin pickin' yesterday.

No, we didn't actually pick the pumpkins, but we went to a local nursery and purchased several pumpkins to spruce up our house with.

The nursery, Hick's, has been around forever, and they put on a real good show during this time of season.

They have pumpkins all over the place, and people bring their kids, their very young kids, because of everything else that goes on there during this time of year.

They have a petting zoo, have hay rides, you can buy popcorn and lots of other food and drink there, and it really is one big party.

I remember when my kids were small, we took them to the haunted house there. It really wasn't that scary, but my kids loved it.

Hick's really makes the season fun, and makes it fun to shop there amidst everything else going on there.

And you need that, because I cannot believe the prices on stuff there.

In the old days, you couldn't give away pumpkins.

Today, pumpkins that they had there cost anywhere from a few dollars for the really small ones up to $18-20 and up for the larger ones.

And all the other finery of the day--the haystacks, the ornaments of the season ... well, you better have some big bills handy, because they don't cost pennies anymore.

My wife and I were talking about this very subject while we were there and on the way home.

This is prime time for these places.

Not only do people buy things for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the season, but they buy other things during this time of year.

Along with the pumpkins, we bought mums, too.

So nurseries count on this season to help them meet, and exceed, their annual bottom lines.

And as you know, since adults got into Halloween, they have corrupted the season, anyway, and Halloween is very, very big business for not only nurseries, but for costume stores, party stores and the like.

That is how it is now, big business colliding with fun, and I guess that is how it is going to be for now on.

But anyway, we bought our pumpkins, our mums, and I got out of there spending less than $40.

It could have been worse, but we really watched ourselves there.

And now, with all the pumpkins around and other stuff my wife puts up, it really looks like Halloween.

Now we just need some kids to come to our door on the holiday for candy, and it really will feel like the season.

Just five weeks to Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah this year too!).

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rant #1,066: What I Like

As you read yesterday, I do not like the annual nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

They never ring true to me, never demonstrate to me that the people that vote on performers who they think belong in this thing have any clue about what they are voting on.

No, I don't like that.

But there are many things that I do like, so I decided to make a list of my likes.

Maybe you will find some of your likes on this list, too.

I like "Retro" television: I much prefer the old TV shows to the new ones, and to me, the old ones are much better written, have better characters, and are simply more interesting than the new shows that are out there today.

Every day, I record shows like "Bachelor Father" and "My Three Sons," shows that are so well crafted that you have to ask yourself, when was it that TV fell off the cliff like it has.

I like baseball and basketball: No, I am not happy that the Yankees are not in the playoffs this year, but I just enjoy watching baseball. It is the purest of all the major sports, and really, the most dramatic. It has the longest season, and during those 162 games in 180 days, just about anything can happen, and often does.

Basketball is another great sport, not up there with baseball, in my eyes, but a great sport nonetheless. Sure, I root for the forever hapless Knicks, but this is the sport featuring perhaps our top all-around athletes, and on the excitement level, it is at the top of the scale.

I like my car: When I bought my Kia, or actually financed it, more than five years ago, I really did it out of desperation. I really didn't have very much money, but my 13-year-old car had finally died, and I needed a vehicle badly.

My Kia Spectre--a model they don't even make anymore--hasn't given me the least bit of trouble. I have taken it up and down to Orlando several times, and it has held up with nary an incident. I would by another Kia in a flash now. They are not flashy, but they are well-put-together vehicles that give you everything they have, and more.

I like Lance cracker snacks: At work, sometimes I need something to get me through the day, and although I don't munch that much at work, I always bring with me Lance cheese crackers with the peanut butter filling inside.

They give me a great pick-me-up, and they are one of those little things that I liked as a kid and I still like as an adult. For a light snack, they are perfect until I get to lunch, and I buy them for $1 at our local Dollar Store ...

I like Dollar Stores: You do save lots of money shopping Dollar Stores, and my family and I have shopped them for years. Sure, you can't buy all of your groceries there, but you can buy snacks, some health and beauty care products, paper goods, and many other things there.

And you never know what they are going to stock during a particular week, so it is almost akin to having fun while you shop. They now carry lots of major brands, so if you know what you are shopping for, you can save plenty of money shopping these stores in concert with shopping the regular supermarket.

I like to write: Can't you tell? I can write many people under the table, but the very existence of this blog has to do with the fact that I can write all day at work--which is what I do for a living and what pays my bills--and write this blog too.

Some people, particularly on Facebook, do not understand this, look at me as a self promoter because I do put up links to this blog on that social networking site. That is only to drum up visits here. I genuinely enjoy writing, always have, and probably, always will. I just hope that you enjoy what I am writing, too.

And moving to the next level, there are things that I truly love.

I love my wife, my son, my daughter, my parents and my overall little family.

But I think if you read these columns, you already knew that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rant #1,065: Nothing Is New

"Beatniks and politics
Nothing is new
A yardstick for lunatics
One point of view"

That's a line from one of the great songs of the 1960s, "Incense and Peppermints," by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

And it fits perfectly in describing what the yearly nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are all about.

Business as usual for this joke of a Hall of Fame that sits in Cleveland, Ohio.

Yesterday, the nominations for the Class of 2014 were announced, and while I will give it that it is an eclectic mix of performers, sorry, it still does not meet the criteria that I believe the HoF should follow.

The bar has been lowered once again.

We have the following acts nominated:
Hall and Oates
Linda Ronstadt
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Deep Purple
Peter Gabriel
LL Cool J
Cat Stevens
Link Wray

Yes, eclectic, as I said.

No, vital, cutting edge, sorry, no, no, no.

If I had a ballot, I would give the nod to the Zombies--for their jazz influenced pop and rock, a sound that set the table for such later mixtures like that by Chicago, another band that should be in but isn't--Linda Ronstadt--more about her later--and perhaps Peter Gabriel and maybe even Hall and Oates, but that is about it.

But, of course, I don't have a vote, so all I can do is Rant and Rave here.

The rest either aren't rock and roll and/or simply don't deserve a nod, or a wink for that matter.

Now to Linda Ronstadt.

The criteria for the HoF is supposedly somebody who was a trendsetter with their music, and influenced countless others with this music, and certainly, Linda Ronstadt fits that bill.

But nominating her this year is going lower than low, as far as I am concerned.

Ronstadt has been making records since at least 1967. You might remember that her first big hit was "Different Drum," written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees--two more HoF no-shows--while she was with the Stone Poneys.

Since the criteria says that a performer has to have been recording for at least 25 years to get in, she has been eligible since 1992.

Why has she been nominated now?

Well, as you know, she announced a few weeks ago that she has Parkinson's Disease, and that she cannot sing anymore.

So, don't you think the HoF is kind of exploiting this unfortunate occurrence by nominating her now?

Where have they been since 1992?

The other nominations are acts that don't belong in the HoF, but there are other acts that get snubbed regularly, and that list includes:

Moody Blues
Mike Nesmith
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Lesley Gore

And the list goes on and on ...

Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and the guy who oversees this nonsense, has a hatred for many of the acts that were popular from 1960 to about 1968. He feels that many of them were corporatively created, let's say, and that is why he started Rolling Stone anyway, as he thought this music was getting too corporate for its own good.

Thus, acts like the Monkees, in particular, and the Raiders will never get in, because he looks at them as tools of larger organizations, corrupting this music.

Of course, Rolling Stone has not been a relevant rock and roll publication for years, because it has, itself, caved into the pressures, and the money, of corporations, too.

So you have an interesting dichotomy here, not wanting to bite the hand that feeds you but biting it anyway.

The Hall of Fame is a joke, most music fans know it, and it will always be one, until the powers that be really make it into a true, rock and roll Hall of Fame, and not a place where favorites are picked over substance, and where the public is consistently shut out of the process.

And yes, I do enjoy the Strawberry Alarm Clock, but they, too, don't belong in the HoF based on the strength of a single, wonderful song ...

Although if they ever get a nod, it might be when pigs fly, or rabbis eat ham.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rant #1,064: New York "Spurts"

New York sports really aren't very good at the moment, and yes, I did use the word "spurts" purposely, because that is the state of our professional teams here.

They give us hope, generally play well in spurts, but ultimately, they are pretty bad.

The Yankees and Mets seasons are long over.

Neither made the playoffs, which for the Mets, is an annual failure.

For the Yankees, it is just the second time in 19 years that they haven't been in the postseason.

Although I am not a football fan, both the Giants and Jets aren't very good either.

The Jets are at best a .500 team, while the Giants have yet to win a game with more than one-third of their season over.

I am not a hockey fan either, but the Devils and Rangers don't appear to be very good, and the Islanders, well, they have one foot in Brooklyn already.

The only hope this year is in basketball, where the Nets and Knicks look to be pretty decent teams.

The Nets are trying to make their second year in Brooklyn a championship year, stocking themselves up with former Boston Celtics.

The Knicks are coming off their best season in two decades, and any team with Carmelo Anthony has to be reckoned with.

Of course, that is what I am saying now.

These two teams can go down the chute, too, as most New York teams do.

With all the media coverage, the frenzy, and the mania for the four top professional sports in New York, our teams really aren't very good historically.

The Jets haven't won the Super Bowl since 1970, the Mets haven't won anything since 1986.

The Islanders haven't been relevant since the 1980s, and the Devils and Rangers go through good spurts and bad.

The Knicks haven't won a championship since 1973, and the Nets were great in the ABA, but pretty mediocre in the NBA.

The only teams that really have made a statement as champions are the Giants and Yankees, two teams with long histories of winning.

But they won't win anything this year.

As a Yankees fan, sure, I am spoiled by being a fan of the most successful franchise in American sports history.

When they have a poor year, like they did this year, I just have to take it as an anomaly, and look forward to next year.

The Brooklyn Dodgers always did that. "Wait 'til next year!" their fans always cried.

And yes, I am crying, figuratively, this year, because New York sports aren't very good.

Let's go Knicks!

I say that with a bit of resignation.

This just isn't New York's year.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rant #1,063: Attack of the Allergies

I have allergies.

I have had them my entire life.

I remembering suffering as a kid, and back then, the science of allergies wasn't as known as it is today, and I suffered, and suffered some more.

Today, the study of allergies has been well refined.

I have been getting allergy shots, continuously, for 41 years, since I was 15 years old.

They have helped me immensely. I am allergic to the usual stuff-dust, ragweed, and believe it or not, the season of fall, when everything, well, falls off the trees.

But there are days and instances when the shots don't help at all.

Last night, I got an allergy attack, and let me tell you, I am still feeling it right now.

I was watching WWE Raw with my son, which I do every Monday night.

And it was so exciting that I think I dozed off about 90 minutes into the three-hour show.

I was fine as I dozed off, but when I woke up a half hour later, I was wheezing and coughing like it was nobody's business.

It was time to go to sleep, and I couldn't even talk. I made sure my son was in his bed with the lights out, and then I went into my bedroom.

With my wife asleep--she dozed off watching her shows after working late--I was wheezing and coughing so that I figured that I was in for the long haul, and I was.

I was making so much of a racket that I thought I was going to wake her up.

I tried everything to return back to normal--blowing my nose, clearing my throat, turning over from side to side--but this thing was not going away so quick.

Finally, after about an hour of total discomfort, I guess I fell asleep, pretty soundly asleep after my struggles.

But as I am typing this, I am still feeling it.

It is in my throat, and really, it is just going to have to peter out on its own.

I have these types of attacks probably two or three times a year, and while I wouldn't call them scary, they do put me ill at ease, because they have to play themselves out on their own. There really is nothing I can do about them.

I have struggled with allergies my entire life, and one guarantee is that no matter how old I am, I am going to struggle with them.

That is just how my body is put together.

But hopefully, these types of attacks will be few and far between.

I am happy to say that my daughter does not have allergies, and my son apparently doesn't, either, so I guess I didn't pass what I have along to them.

Good. This is one character trait that needs to stop with me.

Why I am an allergic person is anyone's guess, because nobody in the family has what I have.

But happily, the buck--or more precisely, the allergies--stops with me.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rant #1,062: "Gravity" Has Weight

My family and I went to the movies yesterday.

We often don't do this for a variety of reasons, first and foremost being that today's movies, with all of their technical prowess, have generally lost their way with stories.

Filmmaker have forgotten how to tell stories in current movies.

Also, the price is so high for tickets that you can spend $50 for just two hours worth of entertainment, and it just isn't worth it.

Just when I get sour on movies, a film came out nearly two weeks ago that knocks my reasoning on its ear, and that film is "Gravity."

The film has just two stars: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

It is the number one film in the world right now, and for good reason.

He plays the experienced astronaut, she the tyro (a great word that nobody uses), and they are out on a space walk trying to repair the Hubble Telescope.

Suddenly, space debris hits them, and Bullock loses her attachment, and is literally floating in space.

The next nearly 90 minutes--yes, the film is a short one, long on story, short on length--basically shows her trying to get back to some type of control of herself in space and with her life.

I am trying not to give too much away, but with the help of Clooney, she comes to terms with both of those goals.

We are taken on a whirlwind tour of outer space, both through Bullock's eyes and as an observer, and it is pretty harrowing.

We get the sense of weightlessness while sitting firmly in our movie seats, and we see the terror on Bullock's face as she works her way to a dramatic conclusion.

My family and I saw it in 3D, and the theater that we saw it in didn't charge that much more for these tickets than for normal tickets.

Has the price of 3D movies come down because people simply aren't going to them as they had?

I don't know, but that was certainly a welcome site. I had expected to pay about $40 for the three of us, but it was quite a bit less.

Anyway, the 3D does add to the film.

Sure, you see the requisite things coming toward you, but it also gives you a third dimension to watching the astronauts float through space, often unbridled.

A lot of people are knocking the film because it isn't scientifically accurate--for one, they say that Bullock's tears would not be floating as they were--but to that, I say a big "Hooey!"

Is "Iron Man" scientifically accurate?

Heck, is the way people behave in modern films accurate? Does anyone actually behave like this in real life?

Throw that nonsense out the window--Astronaut Buzz Aldrin enjoyed the film, and if he can give it a thumb's up from his perspective, that is good enough for me.

The only negative is Clooney. His character, well, he pretty much plays George Clooney in space, and that can be annoying.

But the film is Bullock's, not his, and so that knock really isn't that great, certainly not a major distraction to take away from the glory of this film.

If you see one film this year--and I think my family has only seen maybe three movies because they are mainly garbage and a waste of money--see this film.

"Gravity," at least in my eyes, has weight, a lot of weight, and when Oscar time comes, for whatever that is worth, it is going to be getting lots of statues, and they won't be floating aimlessly in space.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rant #1,061: Keeping the Past Alive With YouTube

I think that YouTube is the greatest Web invention since, well, probably since the Internet was invented.

Our former vice president, Al Gore, says that he invented the Internet, so I have to go with him.

How can you doubt a vice president (snicker, snicker, or as they say on the Web, LOL.)

Anyway, I enjoy going onto YouTube from time to time to see what's there, what's new, and actually, what's old.

And as you know, I punctuate my posts here with lots of YouTube videos.

There are so many old clips of various things that I am interested in--TV, movies, music, sports--that you can literally spend the entire day on there if you want.

They say that you can find just about anything on the Internet, and the same goes for YouTube.

You can find old TV shows, and music either that you've never heard or completely forgotten about.

And you can also find movies that bit the dust a long time ago that few remember, but you do, and it's nice to see that you are not alone.

And you can find that chestnut, that thing that is so far out of the understanding of most people, that you really have to scratch your head and wonder why it was put up in the first place.

I have put up exactly one video myself on YouTube, and it pretty much fits that description.

It is me, playing baseball probably around 1966 in my old neighborhood, Rochdale Village.

The clip isn't that great. It is basically a kinescope of an old 8mm movie my father took way back when.

But in its less than one minute, it goes directly to what mattered most to me way back when--playing baseball with my friends in our community's Little League, the Rochdale Village Athletic League, or RVAL.

Family was, of course, very important to me, and still is.

School was important, too, and I wasn't a bad student at that.

But sports, well, that was the ultimate for me. Even though I wasn't a good athlete, I loved those games, dreamed about playing them, and I did OK.

And that is what YouTube brings to the table.

It is an outlet for stuff like this, videos that have been tucked away for years and years.

I wouldn't think that people would be interested in my playing ball, but the video has received many, many hits.

It's just a fun video of my youth, and I guess it taps into things that we all feel, we all remember.

And now, I have discovered that there is another video up that I am in, and no, I didn't put it up.

It is a video of the Reunion that I helped put together, from this past Saturday.

Nobody other than former Rochdale folk should have the least bit of interest in this video, but it was a revelation to me because even though I was there, and I was in the video, I had no idea at all that a video was being shot.

Video cameras are so small now--and they can even be shot by your phone--that you can walk by a camera and not know it.

Heck, I knew people were taking still pictures, but I had no idea that one enterprising soul was taking video.

And it just brings the whole thing back, which is fine with me.

Again, me and probably 150 others will have interest in this thing, and that is it, but YouTube allows these items to last into perpetuity, so this thing will be up for anyone to see.

And that, really, is what makes YouTube special to me.

What I find interesting might not be your cup of tea, but we can all enjoy what we want on that site, stumble onto things that we never knew existed, and have fun.

And really, that is what YouTube is all about.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rant #1,060: Wonder Who?

Every once in a while, I like to go back into my record collection and assess what I have, and today looks like a day that I am going to do that.

Do you remember the Wonder Who?

No, not the Who or the Guess Who ... the Wonder Who?

I didn't think so.

But around this time in 1965, they had one of the most unlikely hits of the decade rising up the charts.

"Don't Think Twice" was one of the best known songs in the Bob Dylan canon at the time, and at that point in rock and folk history, well, Dylan's music was untouchable.

However, as his music became more and more popular, acts that had little or nothing to do with the folk genre were starting to cover his songs, and have pop hits with them.

The pop-leaning Turtles were one, with "It Ain't Me Babe" around the same time as the Wonder Who were moving up the charts with their own version of a Dylan song.

But just who were the Wonder Who, and yes, I keep on forgetting to put the question mark after their name, so it really is the Wonder Who?

A group of performers who had finally broken through to pop stardom a few years earlier were the Wonder Who?

They were fooling around in the studio one day, and the lead singer, who was very well known for his falsetto voice, turned it up a notch when they recorded "Don't Think Twice."

His name is Frankie Valli and the group of performers who were the Wonder Who? was the Four Seasons. They were planning to record an album of Dylan covers, and this one was simply a goof, but it had a good sound, and the record company figured that they could release it and make some money off of it.

And that is just what they did.

Right at the time that they had a massive hit with "Let's Hang On," they also placed "Don't Think Twice" on the charts, and its uniqueness and falsetto whine got it up to #12 on the chart at its highest peak in November 1965.

With this unlikely success, the Wonder Who? actually released a few more records, with their takes on such chestnuts as "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" also hitting the Hot 100 in 1966, but "Don't Think Twice" was by far and away their largest hit.

I have the song with its picture sleeve in my collection, and I listened to it the other day after not hearing it for years and years.

It is simply a fun song, a different reading of a Dylan classic that showed how elastic his music really was back then.

Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did back then, and do now.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rant #1,059: Going Out To Eat

My family and I don't go out to eat very often.

If we do, it is usually for a special occasion.

We went out on Sunday, not to anything really special, but we ate at the local Dairy Queen.

Not only is this the local Dairy Queen, but right now, it is the ONLY Dairy Queen on Long Island or in the metropolitan New York City/Long Island area.

There was one in Suffolk County that closed probably 20 or more years ago, but since opening a few months ago literally in our backyard, the place has been busy from the moment it opens each day to the moment it closes.

We are very familiar with DQ, as it is called, from our trips to Florida. We always make at least one stop at DQ during our trips, and even though we won't be making those trips anymore, we have fond memories of the restaurant which we now can experience again just about right around the corner from us.

The place, which operates in a former Burger King, is nice and homey, and the workers are very professional and very pleasant.

Unlike most such restaurants in our area, the food is brought to you when it is ready. You don't have to stand around and wait; you take a number, they call the number, and they bring it to you.

Even if you order ice cream, and you want it after your meal, you just let them know, and again, they will bring it to you.

I am very impressed with the food, and the service, and the ice cream is very, very good. I told my wife that it is good that we only go here occasionally--this is just our second time at this particular DQ since it opened a few months back--because if we went more regularly, we would both look like houses (my son is so skinny that I don't think it would put an ounce on him if he ate this a few times a week).

It is a bit more costly than other fast foods, but at least in my neck of the woods, there is nothing else like it.

Dairy Queen in one of several restaurants that we discovered on our past trips to Florida that we have frequented once they come here.

Another that we go out occasionally to is Buffalo Wild Wings, which recently opened up about 10 minutes away from us.

We had first gone to the one in Orlando, and we liked the food and the atmosphere, although it was a bit loud, as it is really a sports bar.

The ones we have frequented on Long Island are less frenzied, and you can actually hear yourself talk in these places.

And I want to add that I don't even eat the signature offering of the place--chicken wings--but the other food on the menu is good tasting and reasonably priced.

I remember that up until a few years ago, there were no more Arby's on Long Island.

I have always enjoyed Arby's, and was unhappy when they left the area.

They have now been back a few years, and I still like them, although their prices have skyrocketed.

Most Arby's by us are more Express operations than full restaurants, although about two years ago, a full restaurant opened about 10 minutes away from us.

It features the full menu, unlike the Expresses, which only offer a portion of the menu.

The food is good but very pricey, and they don't stack on the roast beef like they used to, so you often taste more bread than roast beef.

But I still like it, and I still like their sauces.

We now have a Sonic within driving distance from us, although I have never eaten at one, even when in Florida. Also, some other restaurants are working themselves back to my area, including Hardee's and Roy Rogers, so I am sure I will at least try them out when they get here.

The first fast food place I ever ate in was a McDonald's in Queens that probably isn't there anymore. It was in the early 1970s, when these places weren't around the New York area too much, and my friend David's brother took a whole lot of us there, telling us that they had a special cheese that melted immediately when it was put on the hamburger. I thought the place was incredible.

Now, I can go to McDonald's anytime.

But I am still waiting for one concept I have not seen in years: fast food kosher deli, an idea which came and went several years ago under the Kosher King name.

It was good, but so high priced that it couldn't really survive.

I guess the original fast food was a hot dog and a knish, and I can go to a kosher deli for that anytime.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rant #1,058: Here and There

Now that the Reunion stuff is over and done with, I can finally give my full concentration to things that I have kind of passed over recently.

I notice that gas prices are down, way down. 

I can get gas in my neck of the woods for less than $3.50, certainly the lowest price I have paid for gas since 2012, when my family and I drove down to Florida on vacation for the final time and in certain places we could find gas for $3.

This is all good, but I don't expect this to last.

You just know that we will be paying near $4 a gallon again sometime in the near future.

Also, is the government shutdown really effecting me?

Well it is at work in particular, where the military commissaries had been closed since last week, and I couldn't get in contact with those people at all.

Since most of the commissaries have been open since yesterday, that is a good thing for people who rely on them, and for me, because I rely on them too, but just in a different way.

But overall, this shutdown is absolutely crazy. Our legislators all have agendas, and they don't care about their constituents at all. What else is new?

I would vote all of them out when their terms are up--and I do mean all of them. It doesn't matter what party they are, vote them out. They have proven, collectively, that they are not worthy of a cushy seat that we vote them into in Washington.

It is the only right thing the common person can do, to voice our disapproval for this political nonsense that is juggling people's lives.

How about Miley Cyrus?

I don't get this singer/actress, or purported singer/actress, I just don't.

Sure, she wanted to leave behind her previous teenage "Hanna Montana" persona, and that is fine.

But to parade around the way she does ... is this what they call entertainment?

Put your tongue back in your mouth. You may be smart, but you have absolutely no talent whatsoever.

And, did you know that Thanksgiving Day and the first full day of Hanukkah are on the same day this year, November 28?

This makes it especially difficult to keep the two holidays separate for Jewish families, so I guess you can kill two birds with one stone by celebrating two holidays at once.

But with my family, it is even worse.

My dad's 82nd birthday is on November 30, so we will be celebrating three occasions at once in my house.

Is there anything else on my mind that I need to talk about?

No, not right now, but I will bet that there will be more tomorrow.

Speak to you then.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rant #1,057: The Mother of All Reunions (At Least For Me)

We had our Reunion this weekend, and I have to say, it went off without a hitch ... or nearly without a hitch.

People were happy to see one another--many people hadn't seen other people for 40 or more years--and pretty much everything went hunky dory.

Again, this Reunion celebrated a neighborhood, rather than a school or a class, so it was a bit different than your normal, everyday reunion.

When you celebrate a school or a class, you generally khow a finite amount of people who will come to such a thing, because there are only so many people in a class, and even a school.

But when you do a neighborhood reunion, you really are looking at a pool of many, many people in many, many different age groups, and that is what we got at this Reunion.

We got people who were kids in our old development, Rochdale Village, kids who are in their 50s and early 60s, many of whom are parents and grandparents themselves now.

We also got people who were parents way back when, and are now in their 80s.

And not everybody knew everybody, which made it that much different from a class reunion.

We had 150 people, and everybody broke into their own groups, many of the same groups they fraternized with 40 years ago.

My group certainly did, and I saw my friends, basically sitting at one table, although I did have other friends sitting elsewhere in the room.

I also knew several other people there, and they were scattered across the room.

I spoke to dozens of people, welcomed them to our party, and made my way across the room pretty well.

There were some problems at the door with whether certain people paid, but all of the problems were resolved pretty quickly.

One person, who gave me heck over on Facebook for excluding his name from my final list of attendees--I was never told he paid by the person who received his check, and then I made the mistake of skipping over his name when I reviewed another list given to me of payees--actually was left off the master list this time, and my list had him! He was not a happy camper, not gracious at all, but you get all kinds at a thing like this.

Other people were standoffish, but again, this is a mix of people, so it had to be expected.

Most people were very complimentary, and I thanked them for being so appreciative.

I really appreciated it myself.

But I got to see my friends, my true friends in the old neighborhood, and heck, I even told a girl who barely remembered me that I had a mild crush on her way back when!

There was a point where I have to tell you, I felt like the father of the bride or the bar mitzvah boy.

I was sitting alone, and it all hit me at once.

I was the one who came up with this idea a few years ago, with the 50th anniversary of our development staring us in the face, to do something special to celebrate that mark.

It ultimately took four people to put this thing together, and while we fought like cats and dogs most of the time, the end goal was never part of those arguments--to make this the best darn party that we could.

And we did.

So here I was sitting like a proud papa, and it all hit me that the many months of agreements, entanglements and yelling and screaming had come to an end, and a very pleasant end indeed.

I guess I could not ask for more, could I?

Well, I could. I wish I could have taken more photos of my friends--I didn't get all of them in my photos, so guys, please send me what you have--and my family was there, and I didn't take a single picture of them. My bad, I guess. I was so caught up in the moment, I didn't think ...

Now for the 75th anniversary in 2038 ... nah, I won't be involved in that, not because I won't be here, but because I just can't do this again.

But be warned, anybody who does get involved ... well, you had better start your planning now.

Take it from me, you will be in for a long haul, a very, very long haul.

But I hope that it ends up as well as this one did.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rant #1,056: The Day Is Almost Upon Me ...

Tomorrow is my long awaited neighborhood Reunion that I had a hand in putting together.

We are expecting 150 attendees to this thing, which will play out in a hall on Long Island.

It celebrates Rochdale Village, South Jamaica, Queens, New York, where I lived from 1964-1971, an exciting development and revolutionary place to live at the time.

I have spoken volumes about the place on this site over the years, and I am not going to pontificate about it again.

I will center on the Reunion in this Rant.

What do I expect from the Reunion?

Well, it is like any other reunion.

I will see people I have not seen in decades, I will reacquaint them with myself and what I have been doing over the years, they will do the same to me, and most importantly, I will have fun.

Many of those who will be there are people who were very intricately involved in my life back as a young boy leading up to my early teenage years, and we have all moved on, lived our lives, and had our families.

We were kids when we met, and now we are adults, so a different dynamic will be in place at the hall that wasn't there 40 or more years ago.

I will probably see people who don't remember me, and if they do remember me, won't have much to say to me.

And that is fine.

We all had our friends, our groups, and sometimes, one group didn't intertwine with another.

And there is an age difference. We will have people there my age, people there younger than me, and people there older than me.

But just about everyone there will share the same common denominator--we grew up in this development, and saw it rise from the ground to a place that we called home in the 1960s and 1970s.

It should be a fun night, but it is way different from a class reunion, so that dynamic, at least for me, will not be there.

But 150 of us will get together, talk over old times, take lots of photographs, and put lots and lots of stuff up on Facebook and other places over the next few days.

And after just four hours, it will be over, and we will go back to whatever we were doing wherever we are doing it.

It will be fun, and I look forward to it.

It's almost like you can go home again, without actually physically going home.

And to be a part of getting this whole thing together makes it even more satisfying.

Needless to say, I can't wait for it to happen, and on the other hand, yes, I can't wait for it to end, too.

Sure, I am playing both ends here, but it really isn't against the middle, it is in concert with the middle.

And the middle is spelled F-U-N.

Monday's Rant will most probably be a recap, and I just know that even if you haven't a clue about my old neighborhood, you will read the Rant and get to experience a little bit of what I did this weekend.

Speak to you then.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rant #1,055: "Baby Blue"

I am sure that you have heard by now that the old Badfinger chestnut "Baby Blue" has regained new life, as it was featured in the final scene of the popular TV show "Breaking Bad."

The nearly forgotten song has been catapulted to hit status again by its inclusion in the show, and it is nearing the top 10 in digital downloads (and sales) as we speak.

This has happened before, and has happened several times throughout the years.

Most recently, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" got new life as it was featured in the final episode of "The Sopranos."

During the vinyl record age, it happened several times. One time that I distinctly remember is when the film "Stand By Me" came out in the 1980s, and the old Ben E. King hit was revitalized, making the Top 20 again.

I love "Baby Blue," have loved the song since it came out in 1971, and I also am a big fan of Badfinger, the band led by Pete Ham and Joey Molland.

They had other hits, like "Come and Get It," written by Paul McCartney, but "Baby Blue" was written by Ham, and I have it in my collection with its picture sleeve (see above, and it was bought at the old Sam Goody record shop by me).

Yes, Badfinger sounded like the Beatles, and "Baby Blue" is no exception, with a hook as deep as the ocean.

I don't watch "Breaking Bad," but I have been told that it was perfect for that episode because of the "blue" reference and the lyrics to the song.

"I guess I got what I deserved ... ."

Badfinger, itself stands as rock's most tragic case, with two band members committing suicide and another dying early, all supposedly linked to bad business deals, lost money, and never reaching the heights predicted of them.

Sure, a lot of that is all talk and conjecture, but I will bet the producers of "Breaking Bad" took that into consideration when they chose the song.

But overall, for whatever reason, it is great to hear the tune once again, and I am glad someone had the foresight to use it.

Now, I don't think there will be a renaissance for "1-2-3 Red Light," but there is always hope for the songs I love, I guess, and this example proves that.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rant #1,054: Short Sleeves

Professional basketball is probably the fastest moving game on the planet.

The players move quickly up and down the floor, and their pure athleticism is a wonder to behold.

The upcoming 2013-2014 season is almost upon us, and the Los Angeles Clippers have something in store for fans that I don't think has ever been seen in NBA history.

They will occasionally wear short-sleeve tops when they are on the court.

The blue short-sleeve uniforms are slated to be worn for Sunday home games during the season.

So, you won't see Blake Griffin's armpits on Sundays anymore in Los Angeles, which, when you think about it, probably is a good thing.

I don't remember any time in NBA history when short sleeves were worn.

Yes, I have seen them in college ball, but not in the pros.

It has always been those sleeveless shirts, which are always full of sweat by the middle of the first quarter.

But at least with the Clippers, that will now be covered up, at least sometimes.

This harkens back to another change in uniform, but this one didn't last too long.

A number of years ago, the Chicago White Sox went with shorts on certain home game days.

They were blousy, and quite ridiculous when you consider all the sliding that baseball players do.

At least they normally have their uniform to protect them on their legs, but the White Sox had no protection, and after a brief spin, they had no short uniforms.

Me, I am a traditionalist.

The Yankees' uniform hasn't changed in ages, and I like that.

Maybe that is why they are not in the playoffs this year, who knows?

But moving back to the NBA, I shudder to think what the likes of Wilt Chamberlain would think of wearing short-sleeve shirts while playing.

Would Chamberlain go out and score 100 points against the Clippers, or would he think the whole thing is the pits?

This nose doesn't have the slightest idea.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rant #1,053: Old Photos

They say that photos speak 1,000 words, and I think old photos--photos that were taken years ago--can speak even more.

Sure, the digital age has made picture taking into the easiest thing next to buttering bread, but seeing those old photographs again--those taken with old Kodak and Polaroid cameras--really is something else.

You see pictures of the moment, pictures that were taken to be preserved.

I mean, with digital cameras, you can take a picture, see it immediately, and if you don't like it, it is gone in an instant.

But with those old cameras, you were pretty much stuck with that you had, so the picture taker took extra care in taking photos, because the only way to get rid of them was to throw them in the garbage once they got developed.

And today, you can take those old photos and digitize them too, keep them for posterity on your computer or elsewhere simply by scanning them.

I have done that with dozens of photos from years gone by. It is a fun exercise, and really, the only way to go to preserve old photos, and preserve them for the next generation, kids like mine who don't know from actual paper photos.

And I think that that is important.

Preserving the past is extremely important. Kids need to know where they came from. Yes, they know their parents, but they need to know that their families did not start with their mom and dad. There are grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others who helped shape them, whether they know it or not.

And the photos of friends are very important too. Sure, you are not related to these people by blood, but it shows your personal growing up phases, and to your kids, it shows that you always weren't a mommy or daddy.

You were actually a kid too!

So I treasure those old photos, some of which I have put up in this Rant.

They mean the world to me, and it is just so easy to keep these photos today, that if you haven't done it yet, buy a cheap scanner--I have found the cheaper, the easier to use and the better--and get it done!

You will not regret it one bit.

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