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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rant #1,914: My Back Pages ... It Happens Each Day



As I have said in previous Rants, I love to read the newspaper in the morning. It is a routine that I have had for much of my adult life, and although online news appears to be the way news delivery is going, I much prefer to read the newspaper to get my news, and then I pick up the latest news from the Internet as the day goes on.

I start the newspaper from back to front, because I like to start reading the sports page first.

I guess I am a true sports fan, and have been since I was a little kid, and what better way to ease into the harder news than by starting out on the sports page? Even our late former president, Gerald Ford, admitted that as our commander in chief, he checked out the sports pages first, so why not me?

Once I get through the sports pages, I don't necessarily flip the paper over to get right to the news.

The next section I get to is the obituaries, where some of the most interesting stories of the day can be found.

People passing away is nothing new, of course, but some of the people covered in the obituary section really led remarkable lives; some were famous, some weren't, and sometimes the lives led by people who perhaps had one stroke of brilliance that gained them some notoriety is more interesting than people who were famous and well-known.

And when I am done with the obituaries, I still don't necessarily flip the paper over just yet.

I have found that one of the most interesting sections in the entire paper can be found in the news coverage at the back of the newspaper.

Yes, the main news of the day is in the front of the newspaper, but there is plenty to chew on in the back, too.

The back news is where you get coverage of events, people and things that maybe don't deserve main coverage in the front of the newspaper, but are interesting nonetheless.

The articles are also basically much shorter than what you can find in the front of the newspaper, and that makes the back news a pretty quick read.

For instance, in yesterday's newspaper, there was a story about zookeeper that was killed by a tiger in Britain ... news, but not hard news, and interesting, even in its brevity.

According to the report, a tiger killed a female zookeeper on Monday in Hamerton Zoo Park, which is 80 miles north of London.

Police reported that a tiger entered an enclosure with a zookeeper, and evidently, the tiger attacked the zookeeper, and she died at the scene. However, the tiger did not escape from the enclosure; one could surmise that the tiger felt encroached upon by the zookeeper, and attacked her, and the attack was fatal. The name of the dead zookeeper was not released, nor the fate of the animal.

That story was all of about 50 or so words. Certainly, it is not Page One stuff, or even Page 25 stuff, but it is interesting for what it is.

I go through the back news section, and then, finally, I turn the paper over to move on with the harder news.

All of this makes the journey through the newspaper more fun and more interesting.

I don't know how you read the newspaper--or if you read it at all--but this is a ritual I have been going through for decades, and I am not about to stop any time soon.

Yes, my newspaper is truly black and white (and in color nowadays) and read all over.

Classic Rant #568 (August 26, 2011): Hello, Irene (Part 2)


As much as I dislike writing about this thing again, I guess I must, because there really isn't much else going on in my neck of the woods.

Gov. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in New York, and people who live in areas near the water are starting to be herded out of their homes to safer ground.

Many events have been cancelled, postponed, or moved to a different time. The Jets vs. Giants preseason football game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., has been moved up to 2 p.m. The Yankees games in Baltimore over the weekend are threatened, although the Orioles have refused to play a doubleheader to get them all in. The Mets games vs. the Braves at CitiField have not been moved, at least not just yet.

People are buying up things in the stores as if we will be meeting Armageddon on late Saturday and into Sunday. I am sure that the supermarket chains here are reeling in millions of dollars during this panic period.

People are worried that cell phone service will be disrupted during the storm, and I have one word to say to them:

GOOD!

Saturday appears to be fine until the evening. Sunday appears to be a total washout.

But from what I understand, that will be it.

Of course, if it gets near land--and even if it doesn't--there will have to be some cleanup, but it will take place on a sunny Monday.

Again, I am talking about New York. I am not talking about North Carolina, which should get hit pretty good by this hurricane.

But I am several hundred miles away from where the hurricane will hit the hardest. I was in that area driving home from my vacation with my family just a few weeks ago, and I can tell you, when it rains down there, it really rains. We drove through some of the worst rain I have ever seen when we were down there, and I can only imagine that a hurricane will go beyond that 100-fold.

But where I am, it will be lots of wind and rain, but that is about it.

I hope.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rant #1,913: Hot Fun in the Springtime



Well, not really, because the weather in my neck of the woods wasn't very good during this Memorial Day weekend, but we made the best of it.

The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the beginning of summer for many people, even though the calendar says that we are still a few weeks away from the actual first day of summer.

But the holiday symbolizes the fact that yes, warmer weather is coming our way, and even though Memorial Day 2017 wasn't ideal weather-wise, at least for me, it symbolized a period to step back and take things easy for a few days.

This holiday period did not begin well for me. Without going into details, although we got out of work early on Friday, I spent pretty much the rest of the afternoon trying to make right my finances related to my former 401K and profit sharing plans.

It took hours, but as of now, everything is squared away.

However, I will never forget that the problems all began with my work, how they handled these monies and the horror I went through to make things right.

I am not a vindictive person, but no one should have had to go through what I went through these past six-plus months, culminating with the horror I went through on Friday.

Thank goodness that horror appears to be over.

The perfect antidote for this horrid Friday afternoon that I experienced was to relax on Saturday, but since it was the only day that we, as a family, could celebrate the holiday, we decided to take a big drive out east on Long Island, and we went to a town called Greenport to spend the bulk of our day.

It was the nicest day, weather-wise, of the entire weekend, so although it was kind of cool, it was the perfect day to venture out there.

Long Island is called Long Island for a reason, and yes, the Island is long, whether you go to the South Fork or the North Fork. Greenport is one of its longest points, a town that is so different from the rest of Long Island that, as my son said, it feels like we were somewhere else, maybe even in another state, while we were there.

Rather than Long Island, or even New York, Greenport resembles New England in a funny way. It is a small town, with one school for all the grades, and it has rows and rows of shops and restaurants to interest anyone who goes there.

So there we were, 80 some odd miles away from where we live, and we did what good tourists do, which is frequent the shops and eat lunch there.



We ate in a very nice, pricey restaurant, pretty much the only restaurant we could get into during a very busy lunchtime, but even though it was pricey, the food was good and it was worth it.

It was nice to eat "good" for a change, so yes, we spent a lot of money, but again, it was a holiday, so one time wasn't going to hurt us that bad.



We walked around a bit, went to the water, took some pictures, went into several shops to browse, and then, that was it. Eighty-plus miles there, 80-plus miles home.

It was a nice day, something different that we don't usually do, and it calmed whatever fire was in me from the day before.

We arrived at home, I went out to get our usual weekend fast food for dinner, and we settled into the normalcy of the rest of the weekend.

Our son worked the past two days, so we really couldn't do too much, and we didn't.

I did get to see my daughter yesterday, which was nice ... but back to reality today.

Not only does our son continue to work, but so do I, but at least my wife is off, as she is on a few days of vacation.

Memorial Day, where we honor our war dead, was a nice respite from the pressure that I am feeling from all sides at my work, a place which is a cancer to me in so many ways.

Thank goodness this break came when it did, but now, it is back to the grind.

To some, Memorial Day signifies the beginning of summer; to me, at least at this juncture, it represented a break, a time to reflect on what I am going through and to look ahead to something better.

I haven't lost the faith, but sometimes, let's just say that that flame needs some added firewood.

And Memorial Day provided that to me, as I take on the next day of my "career."

Yes, keeping positive is a difficult thing to do.

Classic Rant #567 (August 25, 2011): Hello, Irene



We've been through an earthquake on the East Coast this week, and now the time has come to look at the next odd disturbance that is supposed to come upon us here in the East.

Depending on where you are on the East Coast, Hurricane Irene is supposed to be hitting us either today, tomorrow, on Saturday, or on Sunday.

The storm pummeled the Bahamas earlier this week, hit North Carolina today, and will slowly move up the coast. It should hit New York late Saturday and into Sunday.

I am sure the religious zealots are saying that we are getting these disturbances because we are sinners, and we now have to pay for our sins.

New Yorkers, like Californians, are full of sin. Me too, I guess.

Anyway, as I said in my previous post, my family and I have been through one major hurricane, Charley in 2004. I would hate to think another one of that magnitude is coming to my doorstep this weekend.

Some are already calling it the East Coast version of Hurricane Katrina.

That may be going a little bit too far, but some people are scared. Those in North Carolina--where the hurricane will supposedly be at its worst point--are reasonably concerned. Many are patching up their homes as best they can to survive the expected onslaught, others are just getting the heck out of the state until this thing blows over.

In New York, we are kind of taking a "wait and see" attitude about the whole thing.

By the time it reaches here, it should be way out in the ocean. That doesn't mean it will be harmless, but I am sure we can withstand the rain and wind that this thing will generate.

I live less than a mile away from the water, but it is a long mile, being on the other side of a good stretch of roads. I am sure that people who live on the water are concerned, and I guess they should be.

But me, I am prepared for the wind and the rain, and that's about it.

I am hoping that I am right, and that this is nothing more than a blip to the summer.

Funny thing, we are supposed to get a lot of rain today in an unrelated system, so we just might be water-logged even before this thing supposedly comes to our doorstep.

We'll know for sure on Sunday.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rant #1,912: Soldier Boy



With everything going on in the world today, it would not be very surprising if this little news item was missed, but it is major news to those boys who grew up in the mid- to late 1960s.

Stanley Weston passed away on May 1 in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 84 years old.

Who was Stanley Weston?

He was a man with a vision, took a major chance, and ended up creating one of the most iconic toys in the history of toydom--

G.I. Joe.

Weston, an Army veteran and marketing agent, thought it was odd that the market for dolls had only captured the female part of the equation. Barbie, and seemingly thousands of spinoffs and copycats, had only been directed at young girls, and he saw a niche that had not yet been filled, that of a doll for boys.

But the toy could not be marketed as a doll. Boys, and more importantly parents, would not buy a "doll" for a boy.

But they would buy an action figure, and Weston, along with Donald Levine, Hassenfield Bros. (later Hasbro) chief of research and development, went along with that theme, and released the then nearly foot high G.I. Joe for the 1964 Christmas marketplace, and the toy was one of the biggest selling toys during that season, and for many seasons thereafter.

G.I. Joe was more than those little plastic men that boys used to play with when they were playing "War" in earlier generations. G.I. Joe had nearly two dozen moveable parts, and could actually grasp onto weapons with a moveable thumb.

He also had hair and sometimes facial hair, and even a scar to show boys that people can get hurt during combat.

And like Barbie, he had outfits that could be purchased separately.

The toy was such a strong seller that it even was able to withstand the growing backlash against the Vietnam War, and went into the 1970s with some subtle changes.

However, even G.I. Joe could not outlast public opinion and more importantly, boys getting into other things, like the earliest of the video games, and the toy bit the dust in the late 1970s.

However, G.I. Joe was far from done. The toy was revived in the 1980s in a much smaller form, and G.I. Joe expanded his grasp on "manly" pursuits, and he could be a serviceman or an astronaut or whatever he wanted to be--or what the boy wanted him to be.

The character also branched out into other media, like TV, comic books, and yes, video and video games. The toy was the basis for a couple of movies, and lives on today.

But getting back to Weston, he later sued Hasbro over rights to the figure, and he reached a settlement with the toymaker just last year.

Whatever the case, Weston's idea turned into a multi-billion dollar success, and in these times where the sexes want to be treated equally, he was pretty much ahead of his time; if girls could like dolls, why couldn't boys?

The only difference was that girls, even young girls, were smart enough to accept Barbie as a doll; boys could not accept a "doll," but would accept an action figure.

Good for the girls, and good for the boys, too.

Have a good weekend, and a good Memorial Day holiday, and I will speak to you again on Tuesday.

Classic Rant #566 (August 24, 2011): Shakin' All Over



Did you feel it too?

If you lived on the East Coast, from Virginia all the way up to New England, you probably felt a shaking sensation at 1:51 p.m., because we had an extremely rare earthquake in this part of the U.S.

It reached anywhere from 5.8 to 6.0 on whatever scale they are using now, and while it was mild, you would think that the world was ending based on some of the news reports I heard.

Sure, the shaking came unexpectedly, but it really unnerved some people.

I was typing something on my computer at work, and all of a sudden, I felt a tremor. It was like I had vertigo for a second, as I couldn't position myself correctly as I was typing. And my computer was shaking pretty good.

But then it was all over. I doubt it even lasted a minute.

The New York Metropolitan Area wasn't really hit too hard, although many office buildings had workers file into the street--which I heard is the absolutely wrong procedure, as you are supposed to stay where you are, whether in the street or inside. I don't know if this is true or not, but this was part of the hysteria surrounding what happened yesterday.

I know that the Pentagon was emptied, just in case this was an act of terrorism and not an act of Mother Nature.

Anyway, it was over and done with pretty quickly, and that's all anybody was talking about, including me.

Heck, it was my first earthquake.

I have been in some hurricanes. The most recent one was in 2004.

My family and I were vacationing in Orlando, Fla., and lo and behold, Charley was headed straight for downtown Orlando, which is about 20 minutes away from where we were.

Orlando got hit hard, and we got hit, too.

I remember how it turned the blackest black I have ever seen outside right before Charley hit. We lost all power, and I was using a portable TV as a beacon to see where I was going.

My son--who, appropriately, turned 16 yesterday--was little then, and I think he slept in the same room as my wife. I know that that night, I slept on the couch.

The next morning, we saw all the damage, mainly uprooted trees. I remember being on line in a Burger King--the first fast food restaurant in the vicinity that reopened--and talking with other East Coasters who were on vacation about how Floridians panicked due to Charley, and laughing about it.

Well, now I know how East Coasters, in general, panic about an earthquake.

I am sure Californians are laughing at us. They probably get 10 of these types of things a year, and they are used to it.

But, I guess for one moment, I must have been puzzled myself.

What was happening?

But what else can you say about it? We have now had an earthquake in New York City.

What's next--a tidal wave?

With Hurricane Irene on the horizon for this weekend, who knows ...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rant #1,911: Eat To the Beat



What are your thoughts on White Castle?

I have many memories of the chain from my childhood.

It is probably the first fast-food chain I ever ate at, simply because in the early 1960s, White Castle was probably the only of the burgeoning fast-food chains that was available in New York City.

White Castle has been around for decades, and it plans to be around for many, many more years. Recently, it released a couple of bare-bone details of its “Restaurant of the Future,” and the chain itself said that while it moves its restaurants into the future, it is not at the loss of its history.

Coming in 2018 at an undisclosed location, the “new” White Castle prototype—designed in partnership with architectural firm MGS--will feature outdoor seating and flexible indoor-outdoor convertible dining areas.

In addition, there will be numerous interactive features in the prototype, including an interactive drive-through and mobile ordering.

I guess that is all fine and good for the chain, and I am sure that it will be successful. We have two White Castles in my neck of the woods, and they both seem to do very well, so I am sure that the chain knows what it is doing …

But frankly, people don’t go there for the architecture, do they?

They go for the hamburgers—the original sliders—they go for the fries, and they go for the milkshakes.

And they also go for the nostalgia factor, too.

No, it isn’t as cheaply priced as it used to be, but you can still get a bargain at White Castle.

I remember that when I was a little kid, my father and I used to go to the White Castle near my grandparents house in Flushing, Queens. I think it was on Hillside Avenue, but I don’t remember the exact location, but I do remember the fun we had at that place.

We would order our hamburgers, our fries, and especially, our milk shakes, bring them to my father’s car, go into the car, being careful not to drop anything, and sit there and eat like we were kings.

I think for less than $5 we had enough food to fill us up for the entire day, and it was economical, too, although probably not too healthful.

But I just remember how much fun we had doing it.

I still eat White Castle, although most of the time, it is the supermarket-bought versions of what you get in the restaurant, meaning the hamburgers.

No, it isn’t as good as having them fresh from one of their restaurants, but I just can’t get to a White Castle by me, because even though two are near me, I would have to go out of the way to get to either one, so the supermarket-bought ones will suffice.

And again, architecture aside, high-tech aside, the hamburgers really are the calling card for the chain, so if they want to bring your local White Castle into the 21st century, that is fine.


But honestly, who goes to White Castle to admire the architecture? 

You can’t eat the walls, you know.

Classic Rant #565 (August 23, 2011): I've Had My Fill of Dr. Phil



Who is Dr. Phil anyway?

That is the question I ask to start off this rant, and it is a question that the millions of people who watch his show on a daily basis should really be asking themselves.

This guy, whatever his real credentials are, is a TV creation, nothing more. And his fame and notoriety have often jumped over the edge of reasonability.

I remember when he poked his nose into the life of Britney Spears when she was pretty much at the lowest point of her existence. Her father had taken over care of her finances, her concert tour was panned, she had been going through rough marital times, and her kids were being looked at by the state as being improperly cared for.

Whatever you think of Spears, why did Dr. Phil feel he had the right to poke into her affairs?

To me, it was a publicity stunt to spread his name around the world, get him known as the TV self-help guru who chastises people when he should be looking at his own behavior.

The latest fiasco related to Dr. Phil is the case of a child who was filmed being abused by his stepmother so she and the boy could get onto his show.

A woman put hot sauce in her adopted 7-year-old son's mouth, not to punish the Russian boy for lying, but to create sensational footage to get on the TV show, said a prosecutor in a child abuse case in Alaska.

Jessica Beagley, 36, recorded the punishment on Oct. 21, 2010 for a show segment titled "Mommy Confessions," said prosecutor Cynthia Franklin. The Anchorage woman faces misdemeanor child abuse charges stemming from the footage.

The eight-minute video allegedly shows Beagley confronting her son Kristoff about misbehaving in school and lying, and then pouring hot sauce into the crying child's mouth and not allowing him to spit it out for more than a minute. The footage also shows Beagley forcing the screaming boy into a cold shower before sending him off the bed.

The episode aired on Nov. 17, 2010, and it evidently sparked public outrage in Russia, with some demanding that Kristoff and his twin brother, who were both adopted by Beagley and her husband, be returned to their native country.

The boy is in therapy now for an issue causing his misbehavior. And why isn't the mother in some type of program to cure her behavior, which was downright nauseating.

Beyond the outrage about how this child was treated by his adopted mother, why was this video shown on Dr. Phil's show without the proper background checks? Evidently, this woman has tried to get on the show before, but was unsuccessful. Shouldn't a red flag have gone up?

I am sure Dr. Phil, himself, doesn't screen anything. He lets his staff do it. But he is the big name, the guy being paid the big bucks, so he is responsible for what goes on his show. And he is responsible here.

Why anyone wants to air their dirty laundry on national and international TV is beyond my comprehension.

But to stage an act just to get on a TV show is reprehensible, especially when it involves a helpless child.

Dr. Phil should be ashamed of himself for airing this segment.

And again, I ask, who is Dr. Phil anyway?


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rant #1,910: Secret Agent Man



Shaken but not stirred ...

Sir Roger Moore, who played James Bond in some of the most popular films of the all-time movie franchise, has passed on.

He was 89 years old.

He was the "Moore" comedic Bond than any other, and the Bond films that he starred in grossed millions, if not billions, of dollars.

In past interviews, Moore said that there was no way he could play Bond straight, because he wasn't a real secret agent. He said something to the effect of, "If everyone in the world knows his name, how can he be a secret agent?," and thus, he took a comedic turn with the character.

It made sense, because there was no way he was going to even come near Sean Connery's James Bond portrayal, so he had to handle the role a bit differently.

And Moore was a bit different, or at least his career was, leading up to the Bond role.

Unlike Connery--who starred in a few films prior to his Bond role, but was not that well known an actor--Moore was very well known, in particular in the U.S.

Moore was first on the popular TV series "Maverick" as the long-lost British relative of the title character.

Later, he was the star of the very popular "The Saint" TV show, which ran for several years.

He seemed to be perfect for American TV, the affable, stereotypical British roke, good looking, smart, and conniving, all at the same time.

So when he got the Bond role, it was not like anyone could say "Who?" like they first did with Connery and later with George Lazenby.

He kind of set the bar for someone like Pierce Brosnan to assume the role years later.

He portrayed Bond in seven films over 12 years, beginning with "Live and Let Die' in 1973 and ending with "A View to Kill" in 1985.

He was also the oldest Bond, being 45 years of age in "Live and Let Die."

And with his passing, he becomes the first big screen Bond to leave us, as Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Brosnan and the current Bond, Daniel Craig, are all still alive.

(As an aside, Davie Niven played Bond in the original, comedic "Casino Royale," but as not an official portrayal of the character, this screen legend doesn't count in the previous Bond roll call.)

Moore did not hide from public view after his Bond years, appearing in some movies and TV shows, but he kind of faded off the map during the past few years, which, after the high-profile Bond years, was probably what he wanted to do, anyway.

Although no Connery, I personally thought Moore was probably the best Bond after him. He gave a different look to the character, but he handled the role with a lot of aplomb, making it his own for the dozen years he was in the role.

I mean, like I said, he couldn't be Connery, so why try to be?

Moore will be missed. R.I.P.

Classic Rant #564 (August 22, 2011): Window Pain



Now that the Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries nuptials are history, we can all rest easier ...

That is, if you have youngsters in your home and you have protected windows.

A study by Journal Pediatrics has found that more than 5,000 children in the U.S. are injured each year in falls from windows, with many of the injuries occurring from falls from the first and second floors of structures.

The youngest children, pre-schoolers, are at the highest risk, which shouldn't surprise anyone, because they just don't have the knowledge to stay away from open windows. They are more apt to suffer head injuries than teenagers who fall from windows. Teenagers, of course, you would assume should know better.

All told, an estimated 98,415 children were hurt from window falls during the study period, which was from 1990 to 2008. Less than 1 percent of these falls led to deaths, but the survey said this probably isn't accurate, because not all children who die from such injuries are brought to the hospital.

You have to wonder about such accidents. New York City requires window guards in apartments with children 10 years old and younger, but you can bet that not all windows with children this age are properly protected.

You can also almost understand toddlers being the greatest victim of such falls, because they are curious and don't understand the circumstances of an open window.

But teenagers? Why are they falling out of windows?

Although I don't see any facts about this in the study, I wonder whether the percentage of falls out of windows by teenagers goes up as they get older. In other words, are there more 19 year olds falling from windows than 13 year olds?

If there are, then you have to say that they are probably alcohol and drug related, and probably some of these falls are due to attempted suicides.

I say this because once you are that age, I would think you would know that you shouldn't be leaning out of open windows enough where you could fall.

At any rate, window guards are probably the best protection, and I guess a window guard might even stop a 19 year old from plunging from a window, whether on purpose or accidentally.

Now, the next thing I would ask is about adults. How many fall out of open windows?

Like teenagers, I guess that brings up questions that are far beyond the scope of such studies.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rant #1,909: The End



Last night's terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, signifies the end of the politically correct era, the official end of an era where too much was allowed to pass by us without anything being done about it, where we, as a supposedly civilized society, turned away from things where action should have been taken because we did not want to offend people.

This type of idiotic behavior was spearheaded by our leaders, who wanted to please rather than lead.

That era is officially over, and it took an act of grand proportions to show us this.

Last night, at a concert in Manchester attended by young people, a coward suicide bomber exploded himself at the end of Grande's concert, killing at least two dozen people and injuring hundreds more.

From the report I have heard, the bomber was not actually a concert goer, but exploded himself in the foyer of the concert hall, where many parents waited for their children to leave the concert.

Thus, he was not scrutinized by security as would a concert goer be, for what he brought into the arena.

There is plenty of video of what happened, and I am sure they will find out who did this horrible act.

Grande is, understandably, inconsolable at this point, and people are stunned that such an incident could happen at such an innocent event.

Don't tell me that the bomber didn't pick such a venue and such a concert to not make a statement. He knew the world would sit up and notice such an act, where youngsters were the prime target.

People who do such things, and factions that sanction such acts, must be obliterated off the face of the earth.

Being PC against certain factions is over.

Coincidentally, and perhaps purposely, the bomber did his evil deed when President Trump was in Israel, and where a meeting with the Palestinians was planned for today.

I guess the bomber was probably making a statement about that meeting, too, and took out several kids to prove his point.

Now is the time for world leaders to galvanize their efforts against people who would do things like this.

Put aside the basic differences the countries have with each other, and get down to business, together. Weed out terrorists and their backing organizations. Educate those who would joint these organizations that what they are doing is wrong.

An international coalition must be formed to remove these groups from the face of the earth, by any means possible.

Sure, I am jumping the gun a bit, assuming that the terrorist was someone who was backed by these organizations. He could, in fact, have been a lone wolf.

But the actions of this coward demonstrated the actions of those organizations, and how they unleash their terror, so the assumption is probably a good one.

A statement has been made by the terrorists. They don't care who they attack, as long as they produce carnage.

It is time for the world to make a grander statement, that being that these organizations will be found out and obliterated off the face of the earth.

And the lesser impact of this attack is that every concert venue, every stadium, and every arena in the world will now have extra security, akin to what they have at airports.

It is going to be that much more difficult to get into a concert or a ballgame that you have a ticket for, and no one should complain.

Yes, the PC era has officially ended, and world leaders must undo all the damage they have created in the past by looking away from potential problems with certain people.

People must be less concerned with protecting the "rights" of those who have no rights, and more concerned with protecting their families, our country, and our world from those who would attack us and attack our way of life.

And we must be vigilant in doing this, and doing it the right way, without mincing words or actions.

Enough is enough.

The PC era has ended, and unfortunately, it took a heinous, cowardly act to alert us to this fact.

We are in World War III right now. And it is so different than any other war ever fought that people are not aware of it, because it does not follow the pattern of any other war ever fought on this planet.

What a shame, and what a tragedy.

Rant #563 (August 19, 2011): Hatred's 20th Anniversary



This is the 20th anniversary of one of New York City's darkest days, and since it made international headlines, one of the worst days in the history of this country.

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, rioting erupted after Gavin Cato, a seven-year-old black kid, was run over by a driver from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Lubavitch community. After striking the boy, the motorcade stopped, the driver checking out what he had done. He was beaten by an angry mob. (I was corrected on this point by someone who regularly checks out this blog.)

A few hours later, once word spread in the community that the child had been killed, there was rioting in the black community, and a group of black teens attacked--and one fatally stabbed--rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum.

The mayor at the time, David Dinkins--New York City's first and still only black mayor--did not read the situation correctly, and fewer than needed police were there to stop the rioting and bloodshed, and this mess was often cited as leading to Dinkins' political downfall.

The Rev. Al Sharpton rose to prominence during this incident, and was one of the main rabble rousers, fanning the flames of hatred in this community while at the same time becoming a national figure.

Crown Heights had already been something of an explosion waiting to happen prior to this incident. With boombox-carrying black kids walking on the same streets with ultra-Orthodox Jews, the two communities basically eyed each other as the enemy, and this incident put everything into perspective.

Now, 20 years later, the incident has, reportedly, served to make the community somewhat closer, although there are still rumblings that haven't died down.

Programs were started almost immediately after this incident to get the two communities together in ways that would not interfere with their own ways of life. I remember news reports that basketball leagues were set up where Orthodox kids could actually mingle, for probably the first time, with black kids living in the same area.

There were also numerous groups set up for adults to begin a dialogue of healing.

The dialogue started, and an uneasy truce was drawn up, which pretty much exists to this day.

However, 20 years ago, that incident divided the city, destroyed the political career of the city's mayor, and took a bite out of the Big Apple that it took years to just partially repair.

Although unnecessary deaths like these are despicable acts, perhaps the legacies of Cato and Rosenbaum have made these communities understand that if they are living in the same neighborhood, they don't necessarily need to like each other, but they need to get along.

Rabble rousers aside, it appears as if each side has learned its lesson.

But there remain hard feelings, especially when it comes to Sharpton. Norman Rosenbaum, Yankel's brother, has decried Sharpton's participation in a panel discussion of the incident and on relations between blacks and Jews which is being held at a Long Island synagogue. Rosenbaum said that it was insulting that Sharpton participate in such a forum since he showed such a lack of sensitivity 20 years ago.

Sharpton subsequently bowed out of the forum. Although defending his actions in Crown Heights, Sharpton acknowledged that "his language and tone has been questioned and at times has been over the line ... . Clearly, the Al Sharpton of 2011 is not the Al Sharpton of 1991."

And there are still some hard feelings about those involved in the deaths and the riots, and the way the legal system has handled these cases.

I guess the real lesson to be learned here is to never forget Crown Heights, because there might be another Crown Heights just around the corner.

You never know.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rant #1,908: X Divided By X


Happy Monday (not really)!

Last week was a pretty slow week, wasn't it?

And this slowness was shown on the Internet.

This famous math problem from a few years ago reared its ugly head once again, and once again, I don't get what the problem with this thing is.

Here it is, and I will give you a moment to get the answer:

6/2(1+2)=?

I got the correct answer right away, but I wonder if you did?

This is confounding so many people, both when it was first posted and now, when it was posted again, that it has become something of a viral "sensation", for people who look for such senations.

And again, I don't get it.

Let me tell you how I arrived at the answer.

First do the "6 divided by 2" part of the equation.

The answer is 3.

Put that number on the side for a moment.

Then do the second part of the equation.

(1+2) equals 3.

Then bring back the original number 3 that you came up with, so the equation now reads like this:
3(3)=?

Multiply the 3 times 3, and what do you come up with?

You come up with 9, and thus, 6/2(1+2)=9.

I have read that many people have come up with the number 1 for the answer, and I simply cannot figure that out.

You have to figure this out as a multi-part equation to fully get this, which I think is confounding some people, leading to the incorrect answer.

Take it step by step, and you will see how relatively easy it is to get the answer.

This is not Abbott and Costello's famous "13 x 7=28" routine.

Nor is this brain surgery. Any kid who has taken even basic math should be able to get this.

Why us older folks are having such a tough time is anyone's guess.

I don't even have one of my flip end sentences for this Rant, because I just cannot believe that people are having trouble understanding this and coming to the correct answer.

It's all in the numbers.

Classic Rant #562 (August 18, 2011): Bachmann Poses For Calendar ... No, Not What You Think



Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann will appear in a 2012 calendar put out by a nonprofit conservative women's group.

The "Great American Conservative Women" calendar, organized annually for the past seven years by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, features a full-page photo on its December page of the Minnesota congresswoman in the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

And no, she doesn't pose in the altogether.

Bachmann is, without a doubt, the best looking candidate ever to run for President of our country. Sorry Sarah Palin, but in my mind, Bachmann has you beat hands down.

However, Bachmann may also be the most uninformed about cultural events candidate ever to run for President of our country, too.

Her lastest error was saying earlier this week on August 16 that it was Elvis Presley's birthday, when, in actuality, it was Elvis Presley's death day.

She tried to explain that mistake away, tried to cover herself, but hound dog! It didn't work.

And if she doesn't know the difference between a birthday and a death day, what does that say for her competence to run our country?

Maybe you have to give her a pass on her errors. She represents Minnesota, the state that gave us, several years ago, former professional wrestler Jessie "The Body" Ventura as its governor.

But again, Bachmann is good looking, so in our world of video-bites, she always comes out ahead.

Whether she comes out ahead when running for President is anyone's guess.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rant #1,907: Talk Talk

Back at my perch ...

I am happy to be back here. A day without a Rant is like a day without sunshine.

Today, I am going to look at how CBS is going about promoting its 2017-2018 TV schedule, and it is something that we should all be aware of--not the schedule, per se, but how they are promoting this schedule.

To me at least, it is a great turnoff.

This is the time of year when the networks promote their respective upcoming TV schedules. In with the new, out with the old, and since the current season is ending, it is time to talk about new shows for the fall.

CBS does this too, and that is all fine and good. But they are covering their new schedule as if it were a news story, which it is not, and that is not good.



It is promoting this new schedule on its local and network news shows, which really is kind of self-serving brown-nosing, and to do it on the CBS This Morning, which promotes itself as the only one of the network's morning shows that is actually all news, makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.

As I was home a bit later yesterday because of what I had to do in the morning, I caught a bit of the promotion on this newscast, and they had in attendance Chuck Lorre, the producer of the network's "Mom" show, along with actress Allison Janney, one of the show's stars.

"Mom" is one of those shows that is for the time, a show that exists because network television is just so bad. It is about how a group of female recovering alcoholics copes with everyday life, and while it is popular, I have watched several episodes--my wife likes the show--and every episode tends to deal with two subjects--alcohol/drug abuse and sex--you know, the typical themes of today's TV sitcoms.

However, what do I know, the show is quite popular, and the two guests came on the show to promote the new schedule.

If that was the purpose, that was all fine and good, but then, as is the norm with Hollywood today, politics crept into the conversation, I guess since they had the network platform to do so.

The duo were asked about the Emmy Awards, since the nominations come up soon, and both Lorre and Janney noted that this year, they were not going to expend the time and the energy--and the money--to push the show for an Emmy nomination.

All fine and good, but that is when things went political for no reason.

"We aren't going to openly campaign for an Emmy Award this year, and we decided to use the money that we would have used to promote our show in another way," Lorre said (paraphrased by me).

He continued, "We decided that the money that we would have used to promote our show for the Emmys would instead be donated to Planned Parenthood, which is a much better cause."

Janney is a statuesque woman, and throughout the interview, you could see that she was wearing a T-shirt, but you could not quite see what it said, since she had a jacket partially covering the words on the shirt.

Once, this announcement was made, she proudly opened her jacket to show that she had the message "Support Planned Parenthood" across the shirt. It was as if she were just waiting for this moment.

And no, neither Lorre or Janney spoke about the amount of taxes the show would save by making such a large "charitable" donation.



The two female anchors of the show--Nora O'Donnell and Gayle King--kind of took this lightly, but the male anchor of the show--Charlie Rose--seemingly knew that they had been had, that this was more a political pronouncement than a sneak preview of the network's new schedule.



Maybe they all had been had, maybe they all knew what this was going to lead up to, but whatever the case, why does Hollywood feel that everything they do needs to turn into a political discourse, seemingly because the American public is, in their eyes, too stupid to make their own choices?

Look, Hollywood has always been seeped in supporting causes, but it has run rampant today. You can't turn on a talk show, an entertainment show, an awards show or a news show without being harassed by a political bent.

Isn't entertainment supposed to be relaxing? Why must everything Hollywood does be punctuated by politics?

And by the way, this is not a Rant against Planned Parenthood. I personally support a woman's right to have an abortion ... this is a Rant against Hollywood's continued elitism, using the incredible podium that they have been granted to make political statements that have no place in the topic at hand.

Enough is enough already.

Have we all forgotten how to have fun and relax?

I will do just that this weekend, hopefully, without any more political nonsense to ruin my Saturday and Sunday.

Speak to you again on Monday. Have a good weekend.

Classic Rant #561 (August 17, 2011): Beauty Loves the Privileged Life



Salma Hayek is truly one of the world's most beautiful women. The Mexican actress is good looking, has a smashing figure, and I guess she feels she can say what she wants, since she has never had to worry about money.

As a child, unlike many in Mexico, she was raised in a wealthy family, and as an adult, she is married to a multi-millionaire if not billionaire, and she, herself, makes plenty of money.

But to rub it into the faces of her fans is another thing.

"I never understood the point of being privileged if you don't get to have the privileges," Hayek says in the September issue of Allure.

The use of the word "privileged" her strikes a dischord with me.

What exactly does she mean by the word?

Does she mean that since she has always had money, she is above others who don't?

Does she mean that since she has money, she deserves to get perks that others don't?

Maybe she means something else, but I guess when you have never had to worry about money, you get like that.

Yes some people are privileged, and some people are lucky, and some people are both.

And even more people are neither.

Hayek needs to come down to earth a bit.

I am sure she puts on her bra just like the other ladies, so what makes her more special than anyone else?

Sometimes, people of wealth kind of lose their sense of reality. They don't know what it is to work hard--and I mean a 9-to-5 job, not working on location in some exotic locale--and they just don't seem to breathe the same air as the rest of us.

Although in actuality, they do.

I am not knocking Hayek's talent or beauty. She has a lot of both.

But don't talk down to the masses. It has been proven time and time again that money doesn't bring true happiness. Maybe by saying this she is trying to convince herself that she is happy where she is now. Maybe she's not.

But her comment comes off as being very, very smug.

And that's not a beautiful thing.

Go count your money and stop pontificating about being privileged.

We would be extra privileged if you would just shut your mouth and act.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rant #1,906: This Door Swings Both Ways

This past Saturday was a horrible one in my neck of the woods.

We were hit with a nor'easter, we got socked with rain and wind and cold, and the best place to spend the day was inside.

My son and I were supposed to attend a game at Yankee Stadium, but happily, the game was postponed. We will be going later this season to two games to make up for the one game we missed (a story for another time).

Anyway, with little to do but to plant myself in front of the TV, I found a film on Daily Motion--a site much like YouTube but one that is often more liberal in what it will allow to be shown--that I was quite surprised at, one that really kept my attention and one that I would recommend to you.



It is called "Day of the Nightmare," and stars John Ireland and Elena Verdugo and several other actors and actresses who few people probably ever heard of, like the fetching Beverly Bain, who plays the tortured wife.

The 1969 black and white film--which appeared to be shot probably at least three or four years before that date--takes the "Psycho" vibe of several years before and moves it to the next level.

No, it is nowhere as good as the Alfred Hitchcock film, but don't dismiss it totally; it definitely has its merits.

The film--written by Leonard Goldstein and directed by John Bushelman--is set in California, where a relatively newlywed couple--two years of wedded bliss--have set up shop.

The husband is an artist, and he has his studio well away from his home, a several hours drive away.

His wife understands this, and accepts the fact that her husband will be away from home for long periods of time.

What he is doing in his studio is another matter.

Yes, he is sketching, but he is also sexing with his models, behind his wife's back.

And we are talking about kinky sex.

Why is he doing it?

The story comes to a head when there is a report of a murder in the building that he has his studio in, and through trial and error, he becomes the prime suspect. The wife catches wind of this, and because she loves her husband and believes his every word, she tries to prove, in her own mind, that he did not commit the murder.

This leads to a number of twists and turns, all climaxing with a "Psycho"-like ending which I am not going to reveal to spoil the fun for you should you want to watch the film.

I just love movies like this. They push the envelope for what one could actually see on the screen, but this one goes over the edge on a few occasions. I will bet that yes, it was shot a few years earlier, but was held back because you could show much more in 1969 than you could in 1967.

Ireland plays a police detective who tries to get to the bottom of the case, while Verdugo has a small role as one of the alibis the husband uses to try to prove that he wasn't involved in anything.

This is one of those films that is definitely under the radar, but once you see it, it is a film that quite frankly, you won't forget, due to the subject matter and the story and how it evolves.

No, the acting isn't top rate, and the film appears to have been made on a real tight budget, but as a relic of a different time, this is one of those films which gets away with a lot, and has a lot to say.

I highly recommend it, and you can find it at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x204ldi_day-of-the-nightmare_shortfilms

I have something to attend to tomorrow, so I will have to skip a day here. I will speak to you again on Friday.

Classic Rant #560 (August 16, 2011): Game Show Icon



I know that to the majority of younger people, the name Anita Gillette means pretty much next to nothing.

Heck, for that matter, even for older people, the name Anita Gillette simply makes them scratch their heads and say they know the name, but they can't figure out why.

Well, today, Anita Gillette turns 75--and on the anniversary of the deaths of both Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley, no less!

Who the heck is Anita Gillette and why should anyone care about her?

To the baby boomer generation, Anita Gillette was the perky, pretty lady who was a celebrity contestant on just about every game show that there ever was back in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s.

Although she was an actress who appeared in many films and TV shows as well as on Broadway, Gillette will always be remembered by my generation as one of the celebrities on "What's My Line," "The Match Game," and countless other game shows.

Most of the shows were based in New York, allowing Gillette to be featured on soap operas like "The Edge of Night" while doing double duty on the game shows.

And she was really good. Regular contestants loved to go to, or be paired up with Gillette, because she really knew how to play these games as well as anyone. Sure, she got paid for her appearances like other celebrities, but I always got the impression that she really enjoyed appearing on these shows, as much for the gamesmanship as for the exposure and pay.

When the game show circuit dried up, Gillette's movie career picked up, and she has been in a number of popular films, including "Moonstruck." And on TV, she has appeared in a number of hits shows, including "C.S.I."

That being said, at least for my generation, Gillette is in the "Game Show Celebrity Hall of Fame," along with the likes of Orson Bean, Charles Nelson Reilley, Jamie Farr, Bret Somers, and Soupy Sales.

I have to admit that when she was on the game shows, I really didn't even know who she was. I knew she was a celebrity, but I didn't know the extent of her talent as an actor.

And to see that she is still going strong through her 75th year is great news.

Happy birthday and many more!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rant #1,905: The Dot Alexa



I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. Nice of me to ask a few days after the fact, but at least I did.

Anyway, for Mother's Day, I purchase the requisite gifts for my wife, my mother and my sister, and that usually involves gift cards and things like that.

I wish I could do more, but they enjoy their gifts, enjoy the spirit of the gifts, and enjoy the day, so these are the things that count the most.

This year, while I did buy my wife a gift card, I wanted to get her something more, something special, something out of this world.

I could not think of a thing, up until about a week before the holiday, and what I got her was sort of a cross between a novelty item and something beyond the ordinary.

I got her the Echo Dot, Amazon's smaller entry into the personal assistant area, one that few knew we needed, but because of these personal devices, an area that now exists.

What the Dot is is a little device, which looks like a hockey puck, which you plug into the wall and which can answer various questions for you, among other duties that it can perform.

You have to call it by its name, Alexa, which prompts the device to go to work for you.

You can ask it just about any question, and even if it doesn't know the answer, it will let you know that.

But most of the time, it will answer you.

"Alexa, what time is it?"

"Alexa, what is the weather?"

When you ask such questions, it comes out with a nice, polite woman's voice.

"It is 4:51 a.m."

"The weather in (your city) will be warm, with highs in the 70s."

It can do much more, but for my house, it really is just a question and answer device.

It can order you a Domino's Pizza, it can call you a Uber cab, and it can turn on and off lights and devices if you have a "smart" home.

It can also play music, and you can hook it up to speakers and listen to music from Pandora and Amazon Music from the device.

I don't think my wife knew what to make of this thing when I gave it to her. It really is nothing more than a gadget, a true novelty, and nothing more.

I personally found it useful to get sports scores, and since it is hooked up with Wikipedia, you can ask it about various people and events and entities and it will give you a short answer.

The other night, I woke up very early in the morning, and since I went to bed quite early that night, I did not know the Yankees game score.

I went into the kitchen in the pitch dark, and asked it for the score.

But I did not hear a replay.

With a half an eye open, I searched with my hands for the device, but the Dot was nowhere to be found.

Finally, I opened up both eyes, and I saw that my wife had moved the device elsewhere, but it was not plugged in, which it must be to work.

I plugged it in, asked Alexa for the score, and it came out loud and clear.

My wife has since moved it into the living room, and if we have a question about a TV show or an actor or something else, we can ask Alexa from the comfort of our couch.

Is the Echo Dot a necessary appliance for every home?

No, it isn't.

Is it a novelty item more than anything else?

For my home, yes.

"Alexa, why do you exist?"

"I don't have an answer to that question."

Classic Rant #559 (August 15, 2011): WWE: WOW!



Look, I make no apologies that I am a professional wrestling fan. Never have, never will.

I go back to the era when Bruno Sammartino was the dominant wrestler, so my interest in pro wrestling goes back to the mid-1960s.

I admit I fell out of the loop a bit, until my son got interested in wrestling.

There are two major organizations, and many, many smaller, regional groups. The main wrestling organizations are WWE--World Wrestling Entertainment--and TNA--now known simply as Impact Wrestling.

Last night, as I traditionally do for my son's birthday, I bought the SummerSlam pay per view. And no, it isn't cheap.

Usually during these pay per views, you see just what you see on the free (or relatively free, since you pay for the shows with your satellite, cable or phone bills) shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night Smackdown.

But last night was something else, mainly because of one match.

I will try to explain the convoluted nature of this match as best I can. John Cena was the WWE champion, having been given the award because his opponent of several weeks ago and the one he lost to for the championship, CM Punk, supposedly left the organization. Punk beat Cena, but then supposedly hung up his WWE jockstrap.

Well, as you know, in the world of professional wrestling, nothing is as it seems.

Punk, who was supposedly suspended for his actions leading up to his leaving the WWE, returned, and claimed that he was the rightful champion. Cena claimed that he was, because he was still there and had the belt.

This led up to a clash between the two champions to determine who actually was the champion.

Sure, that is convoluted, but the buildup to the match was pretty huge. I think the WWE knew that the card that they had for SummerSlam--their biggest pay per view event of the year after Wrestlemania--was fairly weak, and they needed something super for this event to go over with wrestling fans.

Well, let me tell you, it did.

This was one of the best, most exciting matches I have ever seen. Each wrestler pummeled the other for 45 minutes, and you can see that many of the punches, leg kicks, head butts and everything else were hitting the opponents, not like most matches, where the wrestlers miss their opponents by several feet and it is phony baloney all the way.

I am not saying that every hit actually hit the target, but these guys were really going at it.

At one point, each was counted out of the ring, but referee Triple H--who supposedly took over the company from his father in law, Vince McMahon, and officiated because he wanted a fair match and a true champion--wouldn't have it and threw both competitors back in the ring, continuing the match.

Pin after pin was attempted, but none was made until the end, when CM Punk pinned John Cena as the referee missed the fact that Cena had his leg on the rope. When you have your leg on the rope, you have to break your hold or pin, but somehow, Triple H missed this.

So CM Punk was the champ, but it lasted maybe a few minutes. Out of nowhere comes former WWE wrestler Kevin Nash--the 7-footer who most recently was with TNA and is a long-time friend of Triple H--and he beats CM Punk to a pulp.

Then also out of nowhere, Alberto Del Rio rushes out with his "Money in the Bank" suitcase.

Let me explain further. Del Rio, a former Mexican Lucha Libre wrestler and one of the most popular villains in the WWE, won the "Money in the Bank" match at the last pay per view. This entitles him to wrestle for the WWE championship at a point of his own choosing, and he chose this moment to go for the championship.

With CM Punk being spent from the match with Cena and being beat up by Nash, Del Rio didn't have to do much to take the crown away from Punk. It took just a few seconds, but now Del Rio is the WWE champion.

All of this happened as Triple H stared ahead in seemingly complete disbelief as the pay per view ended.

Sure, you have to be a wrestling fan to "get" this. Sure, you know the Nash/Del Rio thing was 100 percent staged. Sure, you know that the whole scenario of the match itself was well planned and thought out.

But the WWE has a way of making this engaging. This is a modern circus, with just one, single ring.

And I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, as did my son.

This match lifted the entire pay per view into another stratosphere, and made the whole night worthwhile.

Congrats to the WWE--they really know how to put on a great, great show.

And I guess congratulations go out to Alberto Del Rio, who is the new WWE champion.

Where the defense of this honor will take him is clearly anyone's guess-- and up to the WWE writers' whims--and in the world of the WWE, just about anything can happen.

CM Punk vs. Del Rio at the next pay per view?

Sounds good to me!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rant #1,904: Papa Was a Rolling Stone (For the Past 29 Years)



From the day I had my birthday on April 28 through to the end of the month of May, so many personal milestones take place that I have to say that even though April is my favorite month, May might be my most important month on the calendar.

For instance, 29 year ago today, on May 15, 1988, I became a father for the first time.

The story is a long one, and I am not going to go into it here, but today, I became a father when my daughter was born.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, and actually, she was born in the wee hours of the morning, and as I write this, the exact time has just passed, as she was born at 4:15 in the morning.

What a stupendous time that was, because I never thought that I would ever be a father, and I could not imagine being a father to the little puff ball with pitch black hair on her head that was my daughter 29 years ago today.

I remember holding her and thinking to myself, "I helped to create this kid," and it was really, truly extraordinary.

I had a little daughter, and now, I had to really become an adult, whether I liked it or not, because this little bundle of joy could not yet do anything for herself.

What happened in the aftermath really isn't that important right now, although in the grand scheme of things, it is important, but through the years, I tried to be the best father I could be to her, even though most of my fathering was at a distance.

I made sure she spoke to me and saw me each and every week when she was growing up, and although I know she couldn't understand why our relationship had to be this way, it was what it was, and we all did the best we could with it, including her.

There have been lots of bumps in the road during the past 29 years, but I have told her time and time again that I am very proud of her, I am very proud of her accomplishments, and proud of her growing into a productive person.

No, I don't agree with her on many things, but she is my daughter, and as I have since day one, I will stand up for her 100 percent on everything.

I wish I could see her more, but that is what it is, and I try not to beat myself up over it, even though being human, and being who I am, I can't help but think about it.

But she is turning out fine.

Unlike her old man, my daughter was able to get out of what she considered to be an untenable situation at her workplace, and she found another job, a more challenging job for herself, with better pay and better benefits.

She begins that job today, and I wish her all the success in the world.

Ironically, her training will be in the outskirts of my old neighborhood in Jamaica, Queens, in the downtown area, and I guess what comes around goes around, and we can't get that neighborhood out of our veins, even if it is the next generation that will experience it.

Again, I wish her the best, and I am sure she will do well with her new vocation.

But going back to the original theme of this Rant ... 29 years. I cannot believe how the time has passed, right before my eyes.

Simply incredible, and I wish my daughter not only success in her new workplace, I also wish her a great birthday.

And next year, she will hit the big 3-0 ... that makes me feel older than me hitting the big 6-0 a few days ago!