Saturday, February 28, 2009
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Take a look and decide for yourself.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What I hear President Obama saying is that we're going to spend ungodly amounts of money that we don't have, enact huge mountains of red tape and regulations on business and the private sector, and get a new version of the National Recovery Act of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Will we get the blue eagle to display and a sign that says "We Do Our Part"?
There was a lot of the same old crapola: we must achieve energy independence with windmills and solar power -- no mention of domestic drilling or nuclear power; we must make health care affordable to all, not through restraining the predatory class called lawyers through tort reform, but by socializing medicine. This will ensure that health care is cheap and affordable by all, if you can get it. And when you do get it, it won't be worth what you pay for it, even with its government subsidies.
The American people really shot themselves in the foot when they elected this bunch. Oh well.
When Penn received his latest Oscar, he thanked his fellow movie folk by referring to them as "Commie Homo loving Sons of Guns."
I don't know about you, but that remark about guns really offended me.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Senator Reid never appears to be having fun. He looks like someone with a serious case of hemmorhoids, which in turn has given him heartburn, which has aggravated his bunions.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Keyes also points out that Obama may not actually be the President of the USA under the Constitution, since he has never proved he was born in the United States. Keyes also says the economic turmoil and unconstitutional acts of the Obama Administration may lead to Civil War. I have been thinking that myself.
Do give it a listen. Alan Keyes is a great man in my book. I have always been impressed by his passion, moral clarity and articulation.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
|Clutter Family Coffins Awaiting Burial|
The fools were soon caught, tried and convicted after confessing to the crimes. They were sentenced to death and were hanged in Kansas on April 14, 1965.
The story was very compelling. I had heard of it before but was never interested in learning the story. The black and white movie, however, just grabbed me.
I have been reading about Hickock and Smith on the internet, their crime and their execution. I saw photos of both men (Smith is on top, Hickock on the bottom); I saw a photo of the gallows where they were hanged, placed in the corner of a prison warehouse and referred to, appropriately, as “the corner.” It had 13 steps leading up to the platform.
Before being led to the corner, however, the men were held in a waiting room with tables and chairs where they could smoke, wearing their execution harnesses while waiting to be processed. That’s how the whole procedure seemed to me: as a bureaucratic processing procedure, like standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles to fill out paperwork and get a driver’s license. Unlike the DMV, however, the Kansas State Department of Corrections was coldly efficient. From the standpoint of the condemned prisoner, that’s probably best. Get it over with fast.
I read about the leather harnesses the condemned men wore, so their hands could be bound to their waists with chains, preventing use during the execution, and the leather restraining belt tied around their ankles to keep them from blocking their fall through the trap door. The men flipped a coin to see who would die first, and Hickock “won.” He went first, followed by Smith a half an hour or so later. The 1967 film ends with Smith, harnessed and hooded, plunging through the trap door and bouncing at the end of the rope. It was a realistic and horrifying scene (see video clip below). The fall breaks the victim’s neck, but he doesn’t usually die immediately; it often takes 15 to 20 minutes for his heart to quit beating and for him to be declared dead. The neck break, however, renders the victim unconscious and it is believed he is conscious of nothing after that. No one knows for sure, of course, except the dead men, and they aren’t talking.
I even saw photos of the graves at findagrave.com. Hickock and Smith are buried side by side in Kansas. They both have the same date of death: April 14, 1965. The efficiency and uniformity of their deaths extends even to the grave.
The warehouse where the executions were carried out had a tin roof, dim lighting and smelled musty. On the night of their execution a rainstorm drummed on the roof overhead and the last thing either of them ever heard was the sound of rain.
See video clip of Prosecutor's closing argument in the trial of Hickcock and Smith, filmed in the original courtroom where the real trial took place.
Video clip below: Movie scene, the hanging of Perry Smith.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Gee, I wonder what gave it away? The severed head, perhaps?
These same experts are now postulating that the 9/11 attack on New York may have been an act of terrorism.
Other experts of this genre have concluded that the destruction of San Francisco in 1906 may have been caused by an earthquake, that JFK's severe migraine on November 22, 1963 may have been the result of an assassination attempt, and that the rapid depopulation of Pompeii in AD 79 may have been the result of a volcanic eruption.
More as the story develops......
The Democrats must feel like those barbarians. Carry off the gold and silver, ravage the women, drink the wine! There's no one to stop them. No accountability, no deterrance, no consequences.
Or, it's like watching one of those movie westerns where a band of bad guys ride into town where there's no sheriff and shoot the place up, ride their horses into the saloon, guzzle whiskey from stolen bottles, break windows while hollering "Yahoo!" Find a tinhorn and make him dance by firing bullets at his feet. We the audience are so P.O.ed watching this and can hardly wait til Clint Eastwood shows up to put the bastards in their place. Only we don't have a Clint Eastwood in our current drama.
Or, it's like watching the pandemonium on the Titanic as the passgeners realize, finally, that the ship really is sinking and there are only a few more lifeboats left. I remember one of the passengers in the film saying, "We've been dealt a bad hand." And so we have. The U.S.S. Economy has hit an iceberg and all the Democrats are below decks with hand drills, making new holes in the keel to let in more water. That'll save us.
I feel like the rich gentlemen passengers on the Titanic who saw the pandemonium and quickly surmised that they were doomed. They didn't scream and shout and run around in circles. They just stayed at their table in the smoking lounge, playing cards and smoking cigars. They figured: it's over so screw it. Let the damn ship sink.
I know how they felt.
Update: I think I just figured out why I feel like doing nothing in light of this unfolding disaster. While a train wreck is happening, you can't do much about it. You have to wait until until the wreckage stops moving before you can survey the damage and come up with a repair plan. Until it does all you can do is duck.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
It's great having the boys home for a couple of days and great to have a dog in the house again. Bogey will be staying with us for a couple of weeks while our son goes snowboarding.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
And get this: the husband was only charged with second degree murder for the deed. Second degree murder for decapitating someone! Good thing he didn't use a hand gun.
The cowardly news reporting is predictable, however. That's because, no matter how barbaric, backward, violent, cruel and savage Islam is, we simply cannot print facts that put Islam in a bad light. After all, what's really important? Merely protecting lives and property or avoiding offense to Muslims?
This is yet another installment in the continuing story of Islam in the West. It is why I have said, and will continue to say, "I HATE ISLAM." I want ISLAM BANNED FROM ALL WESTERN NATIONS. I want all devout Muslims DEPORTED, all mosques torn down, every Qur'an burned in a massive bonfire. Am I intolerant? You bet your ass I am: Intolerant of EVIL. Intolerant of MURDER. Intolerant of VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. And most of all, INTOLERANT of Western cowardice and denial in the face of it.
The reason is simple: ISLAM IS AN IDEOLOGY THAT TURNS MEN INTO MONSTERS.
There, I said it and I'm glad.
RELATED: See what Mark Steyn has to say about this.
Sometimes it's just cathartic as hell to be cynical. And fun, actually.
Here's a more melodic rendering of the same message in the great old standard "But Not For Me." Pamela Joy with her jazz trio does a nice rendition in the video below. Dig that workin' double bass player.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Charley's latest gambit is to trash Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and to oppose Geert Wilders. Seems Charley is very adamant about the right of individuals to freedom of religion, apparently any religion, regardless of their practices, e.g. honor killings, genital mutilation, wife beating, polygamy, jihad, insistence on Sharia rather than democracy. No doubt Aztecs performing human sacrifices of virgins would be just fine with him. You can't oppose "freedom of religion" after all. Charley is so open-minded and tolerant that he would probably accept an invitation to dinner by a tribe of cannibals, and never notice when they shove an apple in his mouth and push him into a big pot of boiling water.
Another of Charley's annoying habits is that he has become a fanatical supporter of Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution. That's fine if that's your bag, but every other post is an ideological screed in support of this pseudo-science. Who cares?
Evolution, says Charley is absolutely true and beyond criticism. Today he was running an article entitled "Transitional Fossils Do Exist."
Charley should know. He's one of them.
Obviously, Geert Wilders' attempt to visit London (where he was turned away by Euroweenies on steroids) has generated renewed interest in his film.
If you are interested in owning your very own copy, go to this page and download it for free. You can play it with Windows Media. Just click on the file and it will play.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
The political situation for our country seems dire to me, if not disasterous. The far left is in control and poised to do all the nasty things they've been promising forever: gut the military, socialize the economy, remove guns from private ownership, and shut down conservative talk radio. Their latest gambit is an attempt to take over the national census which will allow them to influence the number of representatives in Congress -- probably by adding "estimates" of non-responders in Democrat strongholds and thereby increasing the number of Democrat representatives. They tried that once before under Clinton, but didn't have control of the census. Rest assured, Barack "Acorn" Obama will try it again, and that explains this latest power grab.
I don't see how the country can hang together with these fools in power. America won't be America any more. In many conservative blogs and online venues, I see conservatives talking revolution and secession if the liberals make good on their promises. Perhaps we have come to that; only time will tell.
Meanwhile the gigantic porkfest underway in Washington will debauch the economy for decades to come and all but bankrupt future generations of Americans, who will still be paying for it when we're all dead.
What can we do about it at this point? Try like hell to organize and elect Republicans in the next midterm elections; create effective opposition and resistance to the Democrat power grab, any way we can. Stall for time until we can boot the bums out.
There's a gentle rain falling outside my window. For now I will let it whisper me to sleep and let tomorrow's cares wait.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Authorities soon found the plane, crumpled like a ball of tinfoil, up against a fence where it came to rest. The pilot was still inside, but Holly, Richardson and Valens were thrown out on impact and scattered around the snow covered field. All were killed on impact.
Buddy Holly was the first well-known artist to use the new Fender Stratocaster and was a rising star when he lost his young life at age 22. His group, "the Crickets" inspired four British lads to name their group after insects too, i.e. "the Beatles."
One of my favorite all time songs is Don McLean's "American Pie" that was popular in 1971. The song's refrain keeps referring to "the day the music died," which of course, was February 3, 1959.
Here's a video of Buddy Holly performing in 1959:
Here's Don McClean's American Pie, with lyrics:
Yesterday, on the 33rd anniversary of Vince Guaraldi's death, I decided to visit the site where he died and then visit his grave. I accomplished all of my goals, in spite of a driving rain and hazardous road conditions.
I programmed my GPS system and started out on the road towards Menlo Park, California and the Red Cottage Inn. Guaraldi died in his room at the Red Cottage Inn, resting between sets at Butterfield's nightclub. I knew from my research that the Red Cottage Inn was still in existence, but that Butterfield's nightclub was not. However, I hoped to find the building that once housed Butterfield's. It appeared that Butterfield's must have been within easy walking distance of the Red Cottage Inn -- that would explain how Guaraldi could leave the nightclub to rest in his motel room during 15 minute breaks (bands generally take a 15 minute break after every hour of performing).
The drive north to Menlo Park took well over an hour and a half. I played Guaraldi music on my CD player all day long -- his most famous hits as well as songs from "A Boy Named Charlie Brown." Don't be fooled by the name of the CD -- these are not kiddy songs, but excellent mellow jazz.
I turned off of Highway 101 and found the El Camino Real, drove past Stanford University on my left (where Vince once performed at half time in a football game back in 1963). A couple of miles past Stanford I found the Red Cottage Inn on the right side of the road.
I took several pictures of the Red Cottage Inn, thinking that, behind one of those red doors is where Vince Guaraldi breathed his last.
The building and grounds of what was once Butterfield's is now in shabby condition. The shrubbery is badly overgrown and littered with discarded paper coffee cups, wrappers, pizza boxes and other debris. The shuttered windows were full of dead flies. On the far left side of the building was a large sign that declares "Psychic Readings." I captured it all with my digital camera and left for Colma to find Guaraldi's grave.
|The Red Cottage Inn, Menlo Park, California|
I found Guaraldi's grave in the Star of the Sea section, Row 40, Grave 8, just where findagrave.com said it would be. He is buried there with his mother Carmela, who was only a few days shy of 91 when she died in 1999.
The rain had stopped, but I was the only one there. There were no flowers on his grave or anything else to indicate Guaraldi had any visitors but me on the anniversary of his death. That was kind of sad. Google Vince Guaraldi and dozens of articles and websites pop up. It's not as if he were an unknown personality, even three decades later. Again, I took several pictures of the grave site and surrounding grounds. I prayed for Vince Guaraldi and his mom before leaving, imploring God to "forget the harp, let him play his piano."
|The Red Cottage Inn, Menlo Park, California|
It was time to go home, but first a stop at my favorite tobacco shop in Morgan Hill where I had a bottle of authentic Bavarian wheat beer and a huge cigar that cost $11.50. After that, it was home and a nap.
It was a long day but well worth the trouble. I felt that I had solved the mystery of Butterfield's location and how it fit with the Red Cottage Inn. I had seen the actual sites and now Guaraldi's last day seemed real to me, and not just a misty myth from out of time.
Update: I received this commentary from a reader, confirming that the Indian Restaurant was indeed the original site of Butterfield's nightclub. Here it is:
You were at the right place for Butterfields Restaurant and Bar. I used to hear Vince with his trio there. For no cover charge you could hear one of America's top jazz pianists. I heard that he came to Menlo Park to perform because he was dating the daughter of the CEO of the Heublein liquor company who lived nearby and he would stay next door at the Red Cottage Inn.Thank you Lynn, for this invaluable commentary, for fleshing out the true story of Vince Guaraldi's last gig. I envy you for having heard his trio live and in person.
The Grave of Vince Guaraldi, Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, California
Butterfield's had oriental rugs, Victorian furniture-sofas, and Tiffany lamps where you could sip on a drink and be thoroughly entertained. I lived locally so my friend Karen and I would go there. We got to know the bartenders. The bar had been bought by the owner from a Hollywod set. Carved oak with Victorian lamps. One night after closing following his performance I sat down at the Yamaha he used and played some improvisational music and a couple whom I didn't know was still there applauded me. I was very flattered. I hadn't played a Yamaha and didn't know how to play jazz but really liked the touch.
I moved back East for 3 years and during that time had heard that he had suddenly died. Wikipedia listed the cause of death as a heart attack but I had heard that it was a heroin overdose. In any case it was very sad. I feel so lucky to have heard him live for free!!
The building that Butterfields was in has changed hands numerous times over the years and as you say is not well maintained. If it opens again I might take a look and see if that oak bar remains. --Lynn Huidekoper, Menlo Park, California
Butterfield Site: View of the Interior
Lynn Huidekoper directed me to this online photo of Gaylord's Restaurant, which was previously Butterfield's Nightclub, at 1706 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, California. The window has Tiffany glass and you can see the rich wood paneling inside. Gaylord's has ceased business and the site is vacant once again.
|Vince Guaraldi and Girlfriend, 1975|
UPDATE: You can view the site of Butterfield's using Google Earth or Google Maps. Go to Google Maps and enter the address of Butterfield's, 1706 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA. You can view Butterfield's (Gaylord's India Restaurant in its latest incarnation) from an aerial view or also from a street view. The street view can be manipulated so you can see all sides of the building.
UPDATE 6/30/2010: Jim, who has spoken to Vince Guaraldi's son, sheds some important light on Vince's death. He writes:
Guaraldi died of an aneurysm that developed in a major blood vessel just next to his heart. He had been feeling unwell for at least a day before he died, and no one, including himself, knew he had an aneurysm. It could have been removed by surgery and he could have still been living today (he would be 81).Update 4/18/2011: I received the following comment from a reader at a related post. He has a valuable correction to make: the drummer with Vince when the latter died was not Eliot Zigmund, but Jim Zimmerman. He writes:
I know this from Guaraldi's son, who read the coroner's certificate.
The only person with him at the moment of his death was drummer Eliot Zigmund, who lives in NYC now. He was playing with Vince at Butterfield's that night. When they took their set break, he and Vince went into the provided motel room to relax. Vince headed for the bathroom but never made it. The aneurysm burst mid-stride, VG fell to the floor, and since the blood flow was not reaching his brain he died instantly. JB
Anonymous said...Update 4/20/2011: Reader Doug writes to supply another invaluable narrative on Guaraldi's death. He writes:
Thanks for these pages, especially the Butterfields photos.
I think one of your facts is mistaken, though (about Eliot Zigmund being w/ VG when he died). This portion of the Wikipedia entry on Vince Guaraldi comports with the Guaraldi documentary "The Maestro of Menlo Park" that is included on the Peanuts 1960s Specials DVD set. It contains an interview w/ Jim Zimmerman, the drummer who was with Vince when he died:
"Guaraldi died at age 47 on February 6, 1976. The evening before, he had dined at Peanuts producer Lee Mendelson's home, and was reportedly not feeling well, complaining of indigestion-like chest discomfort that his doctor had told him was nothing to worry about. The following evening, after concluding the first set at Butterfield's Nightclub in Menlo Park, California, Guaraldi and drummer Jim Zimmerman returned to the room they were staying in that weekend at the attached Red Cottage Inn, to relax before the next set. In Zimmerman's words, 'He was walking across the room and just collapsed. That was it.' His cause of death has been variously described as a heart attack and/or an aortic aneurysm. Guaraldi had just finished recording the soundtrack for It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown earlier that afternoon."
One other find, from the July 1981 edition of Keyboard Magazine, which featured a VG profile and retrospective:
"[bassist Seward] McCain had played with Vince for about two years at a club in Menlo Park called Butterfield's when they began their last gig there on February 6, 1976. 'It was a Friday night, I think. We had just played to a pretty full house the first set, and it was quite good. The last song we played was Eleanor Rigby -- he had a nice, exciting version of that. Then he went back to his room with our drummer, Jim Zimmerman.'
'When Vince fell and hit the floor, Jim got me. We went back and tried to revive him, but it didn't work. He passed away.'
Few of Vince's associates suspected that he suffered any health problems. Only a few weeks before his death, he had had a physical check-up, including an EKG, and the results showed him to be in pretty good condition. 'I saw him about a week before he passed away,' George diQuattro says. 'Vince seemed really fine. The only thing I'd heard was that he had seen a doctor because he had stomach problems and was feeling ill and tired. The doctor told him it might just be ulcers, and prescribed him some dumb medecine and told him to forget about it. But it wasn't that. That's really a shame, man. That should never happen, not today.'
[The Rev. Charles] Gompertz sees Guaraldi's death in a different light, though. 'I think part of Vince's problem was that he never really took very good care of himself,' he ventures. 'He stayed out late, he smoked, and he did a whole lot of things. He tried everything. I mean, when skateboards first came out, he was the first kid on his block to get one, only as a kid he happened to be about 30. He pushed himself to the limit, whether musically or physically. He saw himself as a very youthful person, but he didn't do any of the phyisical things you have to do to prepare yourself to live like that.'
'When it happened down at Butterfield's, when the end finally came, he went the way he would have wanted to go, with the piano,' Carmella Guaraldi [Vince's mom] insists."
Found your post, "Vince Guaraldi's Last Gig Site (Butterfield's) All Boarded Up." Since I'm in Menlo Park quite a lot, I stopped by Wednesday to see if anything had changed. Oh, it has. Butterfield's is gone. Photo attached.
Had to shoot through the temporary construction fence. Looks like this is pretty fresh demolition, since the heavy gear is still on site.
And so it goes.
|Butterfield's is No More|
Note on Comments to this Post: Many heartfelt comments from Vince Guaraldi fans are no longer available for viewing. In September 2010 I changed my commenting system back to the Blogger system. I had previously been using the ECHO system, which managed to lose many of my comments in the change over. I regret this as a great loss, because many of the comments were very touching. I won't be using ECHO again in the future. Feel free to post new comments on the more reliable blogger commenting system.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Guaraldi was born in San Francisco and was a Bay Area resident his whole life. He began recording with his jazz trio in the early 1950's and became famous in the 1960's for two reasons: (1) he wrote and recorded an all-time jazz super hit, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and (2) he was asked by cartoonist Charles Schultz to write and perform musical scores for television shows about Charlie Brown of "Peanuts" cartoon fame. Guaraldi went on to record such hits as "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," "Linus and Lucy" and others. On the morning of his death, he recorded the score to "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown," which is available for viewing on YouTube.
It's something I feel I have to do. Maybe remembering Vince Guaraldi doesn't mean that much to Vince, who's trying to figure out how to tune harps to play jazz somewhere above the clouds. But it means that much to me.
God bless you Vince Guaraldi. I'll visit you later today.
Meanwhile, you can all listen to Vince Guaraldi play the Peanuts theme in the video below.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
However, the testicle lock box is an effective and accurate metaphor for the wasted years that a Democrat occupies the White House. Every few years America likes to lock its own gonads into a testicle lock box, and assume a weak, cowardly and utterly naive position before the world's tyrants and despots.
The wrong-headed assumption of Democrats is that despots are only reacting to our own militarism -- they feel threatened, or insulted, or marginalized. All we have to do to ensure world peace is raise their self esteem by talking to them, giving them free billions, and above all, showing them RESPECT. After all, what is a third world tyrant anyway? He's just a frustrated Democrat.
Yes, tyrants may feel marginalized, insulted and dissed, but mostly they just feel constrained, i.e. in their ambition to invade, undermine, sabotage and enslave the surrounding populations. However, with the election of our latest gonad self-lockboxing wimp, our defense budget will be slashed and our moral clarity muddied. Despots the world over are breathing easier and plotting new excursions into other people's territory.
Case in point. This past week North Korea said it was ditching a nonaggression pact and all other peace accords with South Korea. A North Korean newspaper said in a commentary that the tension may lead to "an unavoidable military conflict and a war."
Another case in point. President Ahmadinejad of Iran said that Obama's offer to talk proved that America was weak and that our policies have failed, and that we should apologize to Iran, presumably for standing in their way of Islamacizing the world and nuking Israel.
The huge cockroach posing as the President of Venezuela has been particularly brave and obnoxious lately, sending Israeli ambassadors home and kissing up to Ahmadinejad. Then there's the old Commie Revolutionary Fidel, who is demanding we give back Gitmo. Under a Republican Administration, he wouldn't have wasted his breath.
The world's despots know all about the Testicle Lock Box. They also know that it currently bears the official seal of the President of the United States.