"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

About to comment here for the very first time?
Check Where'd my Comment go?!!! to avoid losing it.
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Monday, November 19, 2018

To ALL Veterans ... with LOVE ;-)

Found THIS on facebook some time ago;  and WISH I had remembered it in time for Veterans Day. ...


Paul Gordon - Ex United States AIR FORCE.  ;-)
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Roundel ...

... for folks who just DON'T take themselves all THAT seriously.  ;-)

From the Royal Australian Air Force ( https://www.airforce.gov.au/about-us/your-air-force/roundel ) ...


A roundel is a circular disc used as a symbol. In order to identify aircraft, the Royal Australian Air Force initially adopted the Royal Air Force's red, white and blue roundel.

During World War II, when an 11 Squadron Catalina was mistaken for a Japanese aircraft by a United States Navy Wildcat, the red inner circle was removed, but re-introduced after the war.

On 2 July 1956, the red kangaroo ‘in motion' was chosen as the most popular centrepiece from a range of other options (including the Southern Cross, a boomerang and a sprig of wattle). It has been displayed with pride, not only on aircraft, but on various promotional material since 1982.

The kangaroo within the Air Force Roundel always faces to the left except when used on aircraft or vehicles, when the kangaroo should always face the front of the aircraft or vehicle.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any Royal Australian Air Force logo. They are protected nationally and internationally by the Defence Act 1903, Trade Marks Act 1995 and the Chester Herald Act 1939.

I think it takes SOME VERY COOL GUYS to adopt something like THIS to go on their warbirds; guys who just  DON'T take themselves all THAT seriously.  ;-)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

I am STILL RUNNING OUT OF MONEY ...

... and find it NECESSARY to BEG for donations yet AGAIN (less than TWO MONTHS after the LAST plea).  PLEASE!!! 

I tell the folks at the VA about this;  that the ONLY thing that could SAVE me in the long run is to become EMPLOYABLE.  They nod and smile;  but I can SEE they do NOT really comprehend.

How COULD they?  This is BEYOND any experience THEY'VE ever had.  HOW could running out of money KILL anyone in THIS country?  

I hope they NEVER find out;  I wouldn't wish THAT understanding on ANYONE. 

In an earlier post ("Not with a bang ..." 18 SEP 2018) I noted ...
It has taken over a month and a half for that eye to stabilize enough for glasses to be prescribed.  It could take ANOTHER three or four weeks to RECEIVE those glasses.  

I've now learned that those special glasses have somehow become LOST IN TRANSIT.  I (and THEY) have NO IDEA how long THIS will take to sort out.  

In the meantime, I am barely FUNCTIONAL (let alone EMPLOYABLE).

Until I can reach THAT exalted status, I DESPERATELY need donations to get by.

There/s a PayPal donation button in the upper left of this web page ...

... OR,  a check could be mailed to ...

 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St.  Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas  77019

I STILL HATE begging, and am STILL ASHAMED of doing so;  but PLEASE!!!

This is VERY discouraging.  I KNOW you folks CANNOT SUPPORT ME FOREVER;  but I don't know WHAT the HELL ELSE to DO.  :(

THANK you.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I'm gettin' too OLD for this sh*t!!!

- Yesterday (Tuesday, 06 NOV 2018) I had two appointments at the VA Eye Clinic.

To use Metrolift, one needs to make a reservation at least a day before. When I remembered (Monday) that I had NOT done so, it was already just past 5 PM, and the reservation office was closed.

Taxi fare would have been so expensive that I took a chance and used the regular buses (FREE with the special card I have because of my age and condition), hoping the new walker mentioned in my My NEWEST Toy ... post, would let me handle the bus stops (some of which had broken pavement) without injury.

It DID!!!

On my return trip, I switched to another bus which dropped me off at the polling station so I could vote (Normally, I would wade through all the different races, BUT;  because of the recent behavior of a certain unmentionable party, STRAIGHT REPUBLICAN!!!).

I then walked several blocks over to the Kroger near my apartment for some groceries, only AFTERWARDS using a taxi to get home (just TOO MUCH of a load to carry that far).

Yesterday was more walking than I've done in MONTHS, and that walker made it POSSIBLE.

BUT, it DOESN'T prevent FATIGUE.  Several times I felt about to COLLAPSE, even in my apartment afterwards.  I was so tired when I hit the sack, I really wondered if I WOULD wake up the next morning.

I suppose I'm just gonna have to EASE into it.

This may all be academic;  I'm STILL RUNNING OUT OF MONEY and find it NECESSARY to BEG for donations AGAIN.  PLEASE!!! 

I tell the folks at the VA about this;  that the ONLY thing that could SAVE me in the long run is to become EMPLOYABLE.  They nod and smile;  but I can SEE they do NOT really comprehend.

How COULD they?  This is BEYOND any experience THEY'VE ever had.  HOW could running out of money KILL anyone in THIS country?  

I hope they NEVER find out;  I wouldn't wish THAT understanding on ANYONE.  :(
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

My NEWEST Toy ...

... sometimes, LIFE just SUCKS!!!  :(

Today (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) I had a Physical Therapy interview at the VA hospital, and came home with THIS ...


They had noticed my DIFFICULTIES with walking on less than perfect terrain, and were DETERMINED that THAT simple act NOT result in my death.

It really DOES help (a LOT), but for SOME (unfathomable) reason, I feel it kinda APPROPRIATE that I acquired it ON HALLOWEEN.  Sigh ...   ;-)
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Revisiting "The HORROR - NO TV - :(" ...

On Wednesday, 17 OCT 2018, I sent THIS email to all my friends ..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The HORROR - NO TV - :(

DIED;  and I CAN'T AFFORD to DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

MAY seem TRIVIAL;  but when you can BARELY even get about, it DOES kinda SUCK.


ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHH!!!!   :(


-- 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
Got THIS from a WONDERFUL gal who's donated a LOT to me ...
Hey Paul-what size tv do you have?

I answered ...
A 27" Sony Trinitron WEGA  KV-27V42 that I got from Sears in 2001.  It's a MONSTER, weighing about a hundred lbs.  When I moved into my current apartment in 2007,  I managed to lift it onto the heavy duty steel shelving I used for a stand  THEN, but I'd probably KILL myself trying to handle it in my condition NOW;  so I'll just call the leasing office and let one of their maintenance people take care of it.  The FUN part is FINDING something, and THEN going going out to GET it and bring it back when going ANYWHERE is SUCH a HASSLE.   ;-)


Her follow up ...
Paul-I would happily buy you a new tv :=). Why don't you pick something out online and I will order it and have it delivered to you? I'm a best buy or sears/Kmart fan (since looks like they are going out of business :-( ) if you could find something there or even macys-lots of coupons :=). Or amazon ... What do you say?

I replied ...
I may take you up on that.  I'll see what I can find on Best Buy's site;  need to check specifications to be sure it has the right connectors.  I'll try to get back to you in a few days.  Thanks.

BUT ...

My initial email was slightly exaggerated;  instead of "DIED", I should have said "DYING".  I REALLY believed that it WAS.

What was happening was more and more frequent LOSS of video for five to ten seconds followed by its return.  I felt this was a symptom of impending FAILURE of that 17+ year old picture tube.

It's STOPPED doing that, and if that monster is STABLE, I'm content to simply STAY with it for NOW.

That gal has helped me with donations SO MUCH, I regret that she can't claim me as a dependent on her income taxes.  I CAN'T (and WON'T) add THIS to her burdens.

Of course, THIS POSTING could JINX EVERYTHING.  We'll see.   ;-)
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Not with a bang ...

... but a whimper.

I am slowly (but SURELY) running OUT of money.  For a LONG while I figured on handling THAT situation with a .44 Special Hollow Point when the time arrived.

BUT, as that time gets closer, I fear that I may NOT be able to DO the necessary.

What's going on is that the VA is doing what they CAN, but have so much on their plate that it's taking longer and longer.

My second cataract surgery was done on 12 JUL 2018.

The first (on my left eye) was done late July of 2017. At that time they put a drainage tube in the eye, to relieve pressure that caused some of the optic nerve damage.

When they did that second surgery (right eye). they intended to install a drainage tube then;  but for some reason, could not.  So I depend on eye drops to control internal pressure.

It has taken over a month and a half for that eye to stabilize enough for glasses to be prescribed.  It could take ANOTHER three or four weeks to RECEIVE those glasses.  In the meantime, I am barely FUNCTIONAL (let alone EMPLOYABLE).

Until I can reach THAT exalted status, I DESPERATELY need donations to get by.

There/s a PayPal donation button in the upper left of this web page ...

... OR,  a check could be mailed to ...

 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St.  Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas  77019

I HATE begging, and am ASHAMED of doing so;  but PLEASE!!!

THANK you.
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Shaking our tree.

- 04 Oct 1957 - SPUTNIK!!!

This little dingbat scared the Hell out of many of us then ...
from citizenship typepad.com

Nothing but a polished metal sphere of 585 mm (23 inches) diameter with a mass of 83.6 kilograms (184 lb) and carrying only a radio transmitter, it definitely got our attention.

THEY got there FIRST! Oh, Man!!!

You see, this was the thrilling days of yesteryear when the Soviet Union was ruled by Nikita "We will bury you" Khrushchev who, just the year before, had sent columns of tanks into Hungary to crush a rebellion there (just his way of stating "THAT is a NO-NO!").

The days of "Duck and cover" drills in public schools (not at all insane; if a nuke hit several miles away instead of on top of you, that could make the difference between surviving versus being shredded by glass blown in by the shock wave if all you did was just stand there and gawk at the explosion. Nukes are powerful, but not infinitely powerful. They can be survived, and have been. See reports of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for hard evidence. (Although, in an essay on civil defense, Robert A. Heinlein advocated situational awareness (paying attention to what's going on in the world) and summed up surviving the bomb in seven words: "Don't BE there, when it goes off!" ))

That innocent looking thing was placed into orbit by ...
from on6wj-sputnik.blogspot.com

... the R-7 launcher (for a long time referred to as T-3), which evolved from an ICBM whose primary purpose was to transport a thermonuclear bomb from Point A (somewhere in the Soviet Union) to Point B (somewhere in the USA).

The local newspapers ...
San Antonio Light, 05 Oct 1957 - from newspaperarchive.com

... published times of when to see it in the morning or evening, when it would be brightly lit by the sun.

To read or hear about the Soviets (listening to the radio when they were stomping on the rebellion in Hungary was heart-wrenching) while they were on the other side of the world was bad enough, but a bit abstract.

To walk out into your back yard and actually see this bright little silver dot in the sky slowly moving overhead, and realizing there they are;  well, that's a whole 'nother story.

(Originally published  1239 CST,  03 OCT 2012)
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Female of the Species ...

... is more more deadly than the male.

The Female of the Species
   Rudyard Kipling - 1911

When the Himalayan peasant
  meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster,
  who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted
  rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species
  is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra
  hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways
  and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion
  where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species
  is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers
  preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered
  from the vengeance of the squaws.
Twas the women, not the warriors,
  turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species
  is more deadly than the male.

Man's timid heart is bursting
  with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him
  isn't his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands,
  each confirms the other's tale—
The female of the species
  is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—
  worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations,
  Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely
  push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion
  in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him,
  ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial
  even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—
  Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—
  to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him,
  every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue,
   armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue,
  lest the generations fail,
The female of the species
  must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture
  for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—
  must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—
  not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by,
   is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living
  than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant
  and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking
  and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron),
  her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—
  in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children,
  Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion,
  but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species
  warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—
  even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—
  even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection
  of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—
  like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward,
  when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council,
  dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience,
  he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—
  which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover,
  that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—
  shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him,
  and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species
  is more deadly than the Male.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Total Mental Collapse ...

... what I FEAR more than ANYTHING.

Today, Friday, 25 MAY 2018, I've managed to reach Birthday # 76.

I DON'T expect to reach # 77.

I'm slowly running OUT of money and, because of my physical condition and my worsening vision, have lost all hope of EVER being able to EARN any more.

I have, for some time now, figured on just ENDING it all when it DOES run out.

What I fear MOST is the possibility of NOT being able to DO what NEEDS doing when the time comes.  THAT could result in a Total Mental Collapse, that might render me INCAPABLE of even FUNCTIONING. THAT would amount to a LIVING DEATH;  and is what I meant when I argued that there were WORSE things than merely DYING.

The VA has this silly notion of persuading me OTHERWISE.

For a supposidly SMART organization. they have a LOT to LEARN.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

IFEL - K-4-61 - QUESTIONS

- Trying to sort out memories from 57 years ago.

The K-4-61 part of the title refers to Korean class of April 1961, at Yale University's Institute of Far Eastern Languages, that I attended as an Airman of the United States Air Force Security Service.

When I arrived, the the Company-sized detachment (Detachment 2 ???) was headquartered in THIS building at 109 Grove Street (???)'  ...

THAT building was one of FOUR dormitories we had; only ONE other of which I remember (the one I was assigned to) at 1 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven, CT,

Searches for "1 Hillhouse" come up with THIS pic of Warner House ...
... which looks KINDA familiar ...

... plus THESE, which look a LOT more familiar ...



Mistrusting my 57-year old memory, I HOPE some of you will help me get it RIGHT about Hillhouse.

My arrival was TWO YEARS before the release of "The Haunting" (based on Shirley Jackson's novel, "The Haunting of Hill House"; of which I was NOT aware at that time). but that TOP photo of the Warner House would CERTAINLY qualify as "spooky", and the OTHERS can be unsettling on a "dark and stormy night".

I HOPE some of my IFEL buddies can help me on the questions.  If ANY of you have photos from that time, I'd LOVE it if some were scanned and emailed to me.  I recall Joseph W*** sending a few, some years ago, but they were LOST when my previous computer DIED in 2015.

I HOPE I can UPDATE or REDO this post, FAR MORE ACCURATELY, down the line.

I'm ALSO gonna see if I can find some department at Yale that might help with the the Hillhouse history.

Thanks, in advance,  ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A post I GOTTA do ...

I hope to elaborate on this facebook post.



GOTTA get around to a blog post about this. I experimented with a beard in the 70's. In 2003, Scott Peterson was caught and convicted for the 1st degree murder of his wife, Laci, and 2nd degree murder of unborn son Drew. It SPOOKED me to see this arrest photo; my 70's look would have been a TWIN.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Immortality

    (Originally published 1451 08 FEB 2012 - He's 86 now. ;-)

While I whine and moan about approaching 70, this guy reached his 80th birthday today (Wed, 08 Feb 2012) and is still doing his thing;  still being creative.

Happy Birthday, John Williams.


His Imdb page (linked above) lists 139 movies and television shows that he has composed the music for, going back to the mid-50s, including Playhouse 90, M Squad  (a detective series starring Lee Marvin), Wagon Train, Gilligan's Island (Ok! Maybe not the greatest thing on his resume), Lost in Space (what I said just before).

He'd been working almost 30 years when he was picked to do the score for Steven Spielberg's Jaws.  I recall an interview with Spielberg (probably on one of the DVD issues of Jaws) in which he mentioned Williams coming over to his house one evening and playing on his piano what he had in mind for Jaws.

Spielberg confessed that his first reaction to hearing what would become one of the most iconic pieces of music since Bernard Hermann's Pyscho and Henry Mancini's Theme from Peter Gunn was "That's IT?!!!"  Not even Spielberg realized just what he had at the moment.

Williams had already worked with Spielberg before, and then went on to score almost everything from him afterwards.  At present, post-production work is being done on Spielberg's latest (Lincoln) and once again, Williams is doing the score.  I've no doubt at all that the result will be worth watching and hearing.

This kind of longevity is not all that unusual in the arts, especially in classical music.  There are composers (Igor Stravinsky, Ralph Vaughn Williams) and conductors (Leopold Stokowski) that were still doing fresh, original work in their 90s.

The secret almost certainly lies in doing something that you truly love.

(Consider this post as a work-in-progress.  I'm thinking of other examples and will probably either expand it, or do a follow-on.)


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Sunday, November 05, 2017

One last thing to DO ...

Since what is coming is INEVITABLE, friends and acquaintances desrve to know WHAT made it so, and to understand that there was NOTHING they could have done to prevent it.

SO, I'll try to have a post to publish when the time comes.
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