Monday, February 28, 2005

Ode To Billie Joe, by Bobbie Gentry

I have always loved songs that tell stories (even if I do not understand the story), and "Ode To Billie Joe" certainly fits this bill.

During 1967's Summer of Love rock revolution, there was a bit of a country music blip on the screen. "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter, "Harper Valley P.T.A." by Jeanne C. Reilly, "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," by Glen Campbell, and "Ode To Billie Joe" all seemed to be on the radio around the same time. I remember singing along to the lyrics I could discern, and inventing my own lyrics when I hadn't a clue what was being sung. (Which I am still guilty of doing.)

This weekend I received a gift certificate for an online music store and "Ode To Billie Joe" was the first song I planned to purchase. It isn't there! The original "Billie Joe," by Bobbie Gentry is not available for download. I am able to find a number of jazz instrumentals and a couple other country versions of the song, but Bobbie Gentry's original is absent. (I did find Harper Valley PTA!) None of Bobbie Gentry's songs are available! Not "Fancy," none of her duets with Glen Campbell. Nothing!

This, of course, got me surfing the web to find Bobbie Gentry.

I found the Ode To Bobbie Gentry Site at and spent a bit of time perusing. The site hasn't been updated in a couple years, but since there has been no new news of Bobbie Gentry, an update isn't really needed.

Ode To Billie Joe
Sung by Bobbie Gentry
Words and Music by Bobbie Gentry
Billboard position #1 for 4 weeks (1967)

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "Y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

So . . . what is this song about? Why did Billie Joe MacAllister jump off the bridge? And what were he and this girl throwing off the bridge beforehand? What was Billie Joe's secret? What personal devil drove him to suicide? Is there a clue in the song I am missing?

I would like to have an MP3 of "Ode To Billie Joe," so if you can send it along, I would be most appreciative.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Bobbie Gentry
Greatest Hits

All of this month's posts

Friday, February 25, 2005

Some Good Things About Getting Old

  • In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

  • It's harder and harder for sexual harassment charges to stick.

  • Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

  • No one expects you to run into a burning building.

  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

  • People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

  • There's nothing left to learn the hard way.

  • You can eat dinner at 4:00.

  • You can live without sex but not without glasses.

  • You can't remember the last time you laid on the floor to watch television.

  • You constantly talk about the price of gasoline.

  • You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.

  • You get into a heated argument about pension plans.

  • You got cable for the weather channel.

  • You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

  • You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

  • You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

  • You send money to PBS.

  • You sing along with the elevator music.

  • You talk about "good grass" and you're referring to someone's lawn.

  • Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.

  • Your back goes out more than you do.

  • Your ears are hairier than your head.

  • Your eyes won't get much worse.

  • Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

  • Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

  • Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

  • Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

Thanks to Dave for sending this along.

Happy Birthday to all who are aging!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Godfrey Reggio

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Prez Uses Services of Male Escort In White House

J.D. Guckert has been saying horrible things about homosexuals and liberals. He is a male prostitute, or a man who has sex with other men for money, at night, and promotes the president's anti-gay, anti-family, anti-worker, anti-American, anti-progress, fundamentalist agenda from his position within the White House as a day job. His services help the current administration foster an attitude of hatred and fear in the hearts of American taxpayers, and he gets paid to do it. J.D. Guckert is a male prostitute who sells his services to the president.

It doesn't make sense, I know; but, so little does!

J.D. Guckert writes his filth for the Talon News Agency, a fascist lie machine, under the pen name Jeff Gannon. Talon publishes articles like "Intelligence Officials Warn of Future Terror Attacks." They spread fear and hate and intersperse what they call "accurate, unbiased news coverage." The claims of accuracy and unbiasedness are generally reflective of a totally inaccurate, biased, unbalanced news service.

Guckert is a dullard who is using the current American trend of hatred and fear to make even more money than he gets selling his anus on an hourly basis.

There is nothing wrong with being homosexual or being a male prostitute. Both of these things are perfectly normal and have existed since the beginning of time. There IS something wrong about being a male prostitute and furthering your own career by saying horrible things about homosexuals and those who are trying to pass laws that protect homosexuals, and using the label of homosexuality to smear people. It is repugnant to do that! It is hypocritical! Worse: it's tedious!

Now, Guckert's Jeff Gannon website says:

"Jeff Gannon
"A Voice of the New Media

"The voice goes silent.

"Because of the attention being paid to me I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News. In consideration of the welfare of me and my family I have decided to return to private life.

"Thank you to all those who supported me."

So . . . because he has been exposed as a hypocrite and probably can't get any more money from the whackos running the wrong-wing media, his voice has gone silent.

What's up with his and his family's welfare? Does this guy have children, or is he referring to his siblings and parents and uncle when he mentions his family? This is such a dull thing to do: say that your welfare or your family is somehow jeopardized by others, when there is absolutely no proof of this and it is actually YOU who is jeopardizing the welfare of others. It is a ploy used by wrong-wingers: they victimize anyone they choose to, then turn around and pretend they are somehow the victims.

If this guy was a liberal, or was working for liberals, or if the current American president was a liberal, there would be impeachment hearings daily. The wrong-wing congress would be up in arms if the president was a liberal democrat who provided high-level press credentials to a male prostitute.

The Jesus-freaks would be out of their minds, screaming from every nickel-dime pulpit that the end was near and the bible says blah-blah-blah and the heathens had to be stopped before they forced all god-fearing American men to become male prostitutes.

Why aren't the Jesus-freaks going after the current American president over this?

Why is the wrong-wing media silent about this story?

Where's Fox News when there's a story about the current Americans president using the services of a male prostitute?

Why did the current American president grant a male prostitute special media privileges?

How much does the president know about this?

Does the president have a position on male prostitutes being granted special privileges at the White House?

Does the president use the services of male prostitutes?

I think the truth should be printed like this: "Since taking office, President Bush has been using the services of a male prostitute. President Bush today gave his full support to male prostitution within the White House and does not deny granting special rights to members of the media corps who are male prostitutes."

It's true isn't it?!?!?!?

Has the president condemned male prostitutes working in the White House. Has he? NO!

Has the president denied his role in granting special privileges to male prostitutes? Has he? NO!

Have the president and his staff used the services of Guckert/Gannon? Have they? YES!

Therefore, my statement of the truth is perfectly accurate and I repeat it:

"Since taking office, President Bush has been using the services of a male prostitute. President Bush today gave his full support to male prostitution within the White House and does not deny granting special rights to members of the media corps who are male prostitutes."

Personally, I wish there were more male prostitutes working at the White House.

Female prostitutes, too!

I actually know quite a bit about male prostitution myself, and I can say that most of the male prostitutes I've known in my life are rather bright, interesting people. They are generally not male prostitutes by night and wrong-wing smear journalists by day.

There is the occasional dullard jock-type trying to make a buck to make ends meet; but, most of the male prostitutes I have known are not muscle-brains or jocks. They are hard-working young men, paying the rent and financing their education (or drug habit) by spreading a little joy to repressed homosexuals. Their clients are usually conservative, mainstream, boring, married, reich-leaning, dull suburbanites -- the type you have to sit next to in church. They vote republican and condemn the poor and blame everyone but themselves for the problems in the world. They are wrong-wingers!

And they hate liberals.

They hate liberals because liberals get laid (for free).

Maybe if the dullards running the White House got laid more, they wouldn't be so mean-spirited in their efforts to pass bad laws! They wouldn't always be trying to pass laws against fun.

I say: get prostitution off the street and put it in the White House where it belongs!

Links of interest:


Washington Post

Editor & Publisher

Media Matters

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Unconfirmed Sources

Newsweek Periscope

Hell, the list goes on and on: Just do a Google

Dick Mac Recommends:

Taking Liberties
Michael Bronski

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Same-Sex Unions To Be Codified By British Law

The British Parliament passed The Civil Partnerships Bill last year, giving same-sex couples the right to form legally binding partnerships. This entitles them to the same things all other taxpayers receive, including tax and pension rights enjoyed by married different-sex couples.

Beginning December 5, 2005, couples can apply to their local registry to form a civil partnership. After a 15-day waiting period, they will sign an official partnership document in front of witnesses.

Remarkably, the armed forces will also recognize same-sex unions; even in dispensation of military benefits such as housing and pension!

In 1989, Denmark became the first European Union nation to legalize same-sex marriages, and many civilized nations in the world have followed suit.

British authorities predict that more than 45,000 same-sex unions will be registered in 2005.

Well done, Britain! Cheers!

British civil union details

Britain to Allow Same-Sex Civil Unions article at

Dick Mac Recommends:

Pulp Friction
Michael Bronski

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ligers?!?!?!? Tigons?!?!?!?!?

Every now and then something gets under my radar. The cross-breeding of lions and tigers, to create a liger (or a tigon) is one of those things. I am using this photo without permission, so enjoy it:

My buddy Mark sent this and I couldn't believe it, so I followed a link to the Daily Mail and I learned:

  • his name is Hercules (of course it is!)
  • he is the offspring of a male lion and female tiger
  • he is the largest of all the cat species
  • he stands ten-feet tall
  • he eats 20 pounds of meat per day and can eat 100 pounds at a sitting
  • he is 3-years-old and weighs over 1,000 pounds AND he is not finished growing
  • his birth was accidental and was the "result of two amorous big cats living close together at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, in Miami, Florida . . . "
  • he can run 50mph
  • he likes to swim
  • there are also tigons (male tiger bred with a female lions)

Wow! Absolutely amazing.

Some links:

Free Dictionary Listing


Dick Mac Recommends:

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bruschi Goes Home

Less than a month after his team won the Super Bowl, New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi has suffered a stroke. on Sunday, he left the hospital to recuperate at home.

Although the stroke has been reported as "mild" it is well-documented that one "mild" stroke will eventually lead to another. Can Bruschi ever play in the NFL again? I would think not. And that is bad for the NFL. I hope he can, but I hope any return does not jeopardize his life.

The 31-year-old Bruschi has been a huge asset to the Patriots. He is smart and strong and savvy and handsome. His work leading the defense from the linebacker position makes him one of the best in the game. He is one of those all-around good-guy athletes whose attitude and mere presence are necessary ingredients for a championship team.

Bruschi has returned to his home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, which is remarkably close to Foxboro. It is quite rare for a wealthy athlete to take-up residence close to his place of employment, if it is in the North where Winter is more exciting than Summer. Most players move into gated communities in sunny climes far from the bothersome employers and fans. I think this is another testament to his character and his commitment to the team and his fans.

He is a team booster always available for PR campaigns, active in his community, and accessible to his fans and fan clubs. He cares about his relationship to the world around him and he works hard to be a good person. There aren't many like Bruschi in professional sports, and any early departure from the sport will be a sad one.

In England, a young soccer star named Chris Coleman was severely injured in an automobile accident. His career was over. But a couple years later, he is the manager at Fulham Football Club, and the team has stuck with him through his ongoing medical challenges. He is one of the youngest managers in the history of professional sports. Fulham did the right thing for Chris Coleman.

Let's hope that in New England, the fat cats will see what they have; not just the on-field talent, but the spirit and smarts of a young man dedicated to them. Let's hope the Patriots have a long-term plan that includes Tedy Bruschi. Irrespective of his athletic abilities.

Good luck, Tedy!


A picture at Mrs. B's Patriot World site

A nice article at the fan site

Clcik the picture to visit Mrs. B's Patriot World

Zip's Patriot Page

Go Pats! site

Here's an article about Manchester City Football Club and their relationship with Paul Lake.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Super Bowl XXXIX - New England Patriots Championship Video

Friday, February 18, 2005

Roy Keane Wants Wristbands for Divers

"Diving" in soccer is a foul that is not often enforced. The act of pretending you have been fouled by an opposing player by falling dramatically to the ground is a bookable offense, because it can affect the outcome of the game.

Manchester Untied defender, Roy Keane, wants players who dive to be embarrassed into stopping by being forced to wear a diving wristband.

After Arsenal defender Ashley Cole was spotted diving against Keane a few weeks ago, the United captain became more irritated. After the match he said: "If I had known, I might have reacted differently. Before the game there was all this stuff about anti-racism and anti-bullying. It would be a good idea to start wearing wristbands for anti-diving."

(Roy Keane is a bully supreme, and maybe a flaming racist, which would explain his irritation with his industry taking a stance against these things.)

Keano continued: "It’s not just about foreign players because Ashley Cole is English but it’s something that has crept into the Premiership.

"Players are going down far too easily and it seems to be getting worse."

Though diving is tedious and bad for the sport, Keane's teammates Ruud vanNistlerooj and Cristiano Ronaldo (who has actually been cautioned for diving) are just as guilty as Cole or teammate Robert Pires, or the scores of other players around the world who dive. Even his teammate, the boy wonder, Wayne Rooney, is as guilty as anyone else for flagrant diving.

I agree that diving is unsporting and I think it should be discouraged by issuing cautions outside the box and penalties inside the box. Using a Hawthornian Scarlet Letter to shame an abuser into changing has not been successful in the history of Western Civilization, so I am uncertain. I almost want to support Keane's idea, but he is such an ass and a wanker that I would only agree to it if all defenders who are alcoholic wife-beaters also have to be so marked.

That should make them stop! Right, Roy! coverage

The Scotsman

Don't Forget . . .

If you're in New York tonight, don't forget to come to Sin-é to see Andrea Gillis perform during the 8pm slot. Tickets are $8.00.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Profession footballeur:

Conversations avec Xavier Rivoire

by Robert Pires

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Andrea Gillis

Steve Morse of the Boston Globe says Andrea Gillis is one of the Top 10 Acts to watch in 2005.

Morse writes:
"Don't expect a shy, retiring night of music from Andrea Gillis. 'I like the primal side,' she says. Gillis, who has been knocking people out with the power of her voice, adds, 'I like to get up there and sing from the gut and scream.'

"Gillis's all-time favorite singer is Etta James. 'Her album Etta James Rocks the House is definitely the best live record ever,' Gillis says of the 1964 recording. 'And what I like about Etta is that she also sang a lot of men's songs, by people like Otis Redding. And she also did a beautiful job on standards.'

Andrea is performing in New York City at Sin-é on Friday, February 18, 2005, during the 8pm slot. Tickets are $8.00.

Andrea is formerly the lead singer of Red Chord. Some of you have seen and/or heard her in New York, Boston or London. This is the first NYC show of Andrea's new band.

Please join Mrs. Mac and me, along with other family and friends, at Sin-é tonight.

Andrea's new CD "Want Another?" will be available at the show and you can hear some MP3 excerpts here.

150 Attorney St. (at E. Houston)
(212) 388-0077

If you would like to hear a full cut from Andrea's new CD, let me know and I will send an MP3 of my current fave!

See you there!

An Andrea webpage

From the Morse article:

Seven years professionally. Her previous band was Red Chord.

Etta James, Rolling Stones, various Motown artists, and Led Zeppelin.

"I've listened to her enough, so I'd have to say Etta James."

"My grandmother knows my songs."

"When I was 18 or 19, I'd get free cab rides because I'd sing like Billie Holiday for the drivers."

Dick Mac Recommends:

Red Chord
Wicked . . . Live @ The Abbey

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My favorite part of the story is the (Laughter)!

This originates from Matt Drudge, but I think it's still worth distributing:

Last Friday [February 4, 2005] when promoting social security reform with "regular" citizens in Omaha, Nebraska, President Bush walked into an awkward unscripted moment in which he stated that carrying three jobs at a time is "uniquely American."

While talking with audience participants, the president met Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a "mentally challenged" son.

The President comforted Mornin on the security of social security stating that "the promises made will be kept by the government."

But without prompting, Mornin began to elaborate on her life circumstances.

Begin transcript:

MS. MORNIN: That's good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

The report ends there, and I would love to see a video clip of the woman's expression when the president and her fellow citizens laughed about her having to work three jobs to make ends meet and not getting enough sleep!

It's nice of the president to feel so close to the taxpayers that making fun of them is acceptable. I guess the word is "endearing."

It's likely her own fault, anyhow! Why should the president concern himself with the quality of life of the citizenry when there are struggling corporations to prop-up?

If we prop-up failing corporations, they can provide jobs for people like Ms. Mornin.

Of course, they should not be required to pay a living wage or provide health insurance or retirement benefits; because those things cut into profits, and that's the point of government: to protect corporate interests.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Last Words of Dutch Schultz:
A Fiction in the Form of a Film Script

by William S. Burroughs

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The 2005 California State Employee Handbook Update

(Soon to be adopted by the other twenty-seven Republican governors)

We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.

Normal size people get 15 minutes to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.

It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers, and carrying a $600 Gucci Bag we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under "Chronic Offenders."

Thank you for your loyalty to our great state.

We are here to provide a positive employment experience.

Thanks to Pat for sending this along.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance
Godfrey Reggio

Monday, February 14, 2005

2012 Olympics

Who should host the 2012 Olympics?

A small group of avaricious businessmen are trying to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York City. A worse idea I have never heard! London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris are the other cities hoping to host the 2012 Games.

One of the big lies about the Olympics is that the games will bring revenue to the city. The games never bring any revenue to the host city. Some businessmen profit dearly, but the citizens and taxpayers who actually live in the host city spend billions (literally billions) to host and their municipality receives almost nothing in return.

New York continues to close fire stations and subways booths and libraries, schools lack proper funds and health care facilities are over-crowded. The last thing New York City needs is a new tax-payer-funded Olympic stadium and Olympic village. We cannot host an international event requiring the highest level of security.

Athens reports that their final tab for the 2004 Games was over $14,000,000,000 which was double the $7b budget. Just the security budget alone for Athens 2004 was more than the entire budget for Sydney 2000; and still the marathon, one of the premier events, was disrupted by a whacko.

I have watched some level of terrorism disrupt three Olympics in my lifetime: '72 Munich, '96 Atlanta, and '04 Athens. Each of these disruptions was rooted in religious conflict: an anti-Zionist hostage-taking and murders of Israeli athletes by Palestinians in Munich, an anti-abortion and anti-gay Christian fundamentalist exploding a bomb in Atlanta, and some wired anti-papacy activist from Great Britain attacking the front-runner during the Athens marathon. Religious fanatics know that the Olympics is the best stage for making a statement.

America is ill-prepared to handle this. While promoting anti-terrorism on the one hand, the American government is promoting religious zeal and theocratic change on the other. We cannot instill religious fundamentalism into a new American theocracy while spending billions to fight fundamentalist terror, and expect it to be effective (or even make sense).

The American government cannot protect us from fundamentalism while promoting fundamentalism. We did not protect spectators from religious terrorists at the Atlanta Games, what makes anybody think we can do it in 2012? We can't.

London is a city that knows how to handle terrorism! I'll bet they could host an Olympics that would be safe from terrorism. London is tight, secure and very well run. Even The Tube (subway) is safe. They don't take any shit and they don't take any chances.

My first flat in London was within the ring of steel in The City. The ring of steel is not visible, per se, but is really a series of checkpoints around the perimeter of The City where vehicles are checked as they enter the financial and legal center of London. If you are driving a vehicle with tags from Ireland, it is unlikely you will get through. If you are driving a rented car you will be questioned. If you are driving an unmarked panel truck you will be stopped. So, there is not an actual ring of steel; but it is difficult to penetrate the area. London is a safe city.

Paris is a pretty secure city, too. On my first trip to Paris, I took The Metro from DeGaulle airport to l'Ecole Militarie and found my hotel near the Eifel Tower. While my then-girlfriend and I were entering the station, I noticed eight soldiers with automatic weapons policing the area. Throughout my short visit, I saw quite a lot of security on The Metro and around the city. Like London, Paris has had it's share of terrorism in the past, and Paris doesn't take any shit! Paris is a safe city.

Madrid? Not so much. Between the Basque separatists and the Muslim fundamentalists, Madrid is under siege. It would be a very bad idea to bring the Games there. Madrid is not a safe city.

Moscow? This is the great unknown, isn't it!?!?!? We don't really know what's going on in Moscow these days. The transition to a controlled market, financed by American tax dollars, seems to be a success but we never hear anything about them. We hear about new Russian billionaires, but little about the average citizen and the middle-class. The trouble with Chechnya, though, leads me to believe that a Moscow Olympics would be a very bad idea. We do not know if Moscow is a safe city, but is probably as safe as an American city.

The other cities vying for the right to bankrupt their local coffers, eliminate public services for their citizens and line the pockets of a small number of local businessmen are just as deserving as New York. At least two of them are better-qualified and sound like wonderful places for the games!

As a New Yorker, I think London would be a perfect place to host the 2012 games.

Visit the London site for promoting the 2012 Games.

Visit London's "Sign the flag" site to show your support for London as the host city.

Visit the Paris site for promoting the 2012 Games.

Visit the Moscow site for promoting the 2012 Games.

Visit the Madrid site for promoting the 2012 Games.

Visit the New York site for promoting the 2012 Games.

See a comparison at the Game Bids site. Be sure to download the Bid Books for some fascinating reading.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Playing for Uncle Sam
by David Tossell

Friday, February 11, 2005

New Workplace Terminology

Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

An office filled with cubicles.

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney.

An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. Trial, syndicated Friends episodes, and Celebrity Poker are perfect examples.

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message: "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.

Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.

Well Off Older Folks.

Surreptitiously passing gas while passing thru a cube farm, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust; leads to PRAIRIE DOGGING.

Thanks to jendi for sending this along.

Dick Mac Recommends
from the creme of the
New York Lo-Fi Scene
a new release!

Pepper Shaker

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dear Lord, Please Make My Wife Understand How Hard I Work . . .

A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home. He was a good strong man who voted right and attended church and belonged to a health club and he was sick of being under-appreciated.

He wanted his wife to see what he went through so he prayed: "Dear Lord: I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through, so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day. Amen."

God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man's wish.

The next morning the man awoke as a woman.

He arose, cooked breakfast, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home to take the dry cleaning to the cleaners, stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home and put away the groceries, paid the bills and balanced the checkbook.

He cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed the dog.

It was already 1:00 P.M. and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home.

Set out milk and cookies and got the kids organized to do their homework, set up the ironing board and watched TV while doing the ironing.

At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed.

At 9 P.M. he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren't finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and prayed: "Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please, oh please, let us trade back."

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You'll just have to wait nine months, though. You got pregnant last night."

Dick Mac Recommends:

It Takes A Village
by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Last Wednesday Was Groundhog Day

Last Wednesday was Groundhog Day and the current American president delivered his State of the Union Address.

It was an ironic juxtaposition.

One event involved a meaningless ritual in which we looked to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication.

The other event involved a groundhog and his shadow.

Dick Mac Recommends . . .
for those of us
who think we know
anything about God
and decent living:

The Problem Of Pain
by C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fiddle and Burn

I have always loved the image I have in my mind of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned. It's one of my favorite descriptions of bad leadership.

When the current American president was planning his inauguration, I assumed that (like other wartime presidents), a scaled-down, tasteful celebration of victory would be enjoyed, and impressed-upon, by all.

I didn't bother discussing it at the time, because I know that any criticism of the current administration is considered petty sour-grapes, and thoughtful analyses are truly unpatriotic. So, I said nothing and I analyzed nothing (I want to be a good American).

Then yesterday, I received an email from my friend Jim that included an article by a columnist named Mike Carlton who writes for the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald. I was thrilled by Mr. Carlton's depiction of our most recent inauguration as 'vulgar' because I (after assuming it would be toned-down) was appalled by the display of wealth and power by those living in safety while young men and women are sacrificing life and limb.

We have not had many wars since WWII, but during wartime it has been customary for leaders to tone-down their partying. (Keep in mind that neither Korea nor VietNam were actually wars.)

Mr. Carlton made points much more humorously and succinctly than I could, so I encourage you to read his piece. In particular, I thought these points salient:

  • "George Bush's second inaugural extravaganza was every bit as repugnant as I had expected, a vulgar orgy of triumphalism probably unmatched since Napoleon crowned himself emperor of the French . . .

  • "Difficult to know what was more repellent: the estimated $US40 million cost of this jamboree (most of it stumped up by Republican fat-cats buying future presidential favours), or the sheer crassness of its excess when American boys are dying in the quagmire of Bush's very own Iraq war.

  • "But restraint is not a Dubya word. Learning nothing, the dumbest and nastiest president since the scandalous Warren Harding died in 1923, Bush is now intent on expanding the Iraq war to neighbouring Iran.

  • "[Seymour] Hersh [investigative writer for The New Yorker magazine] reported this week that clandestine US special forces have been on the ground [in Iran], targeting nuclear facilities to be bombed whenever Bush feels the time is ripe.

  • "Naturally, Pentagon flacks rushed out to deny all. But then they did that when Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968, and again when he revealed the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. A tussle for the truth between Hersh and the Pentagon is no contest.

  • ". . . Douglas Feith, a mad-eyed Zionist largely responsible for the post-invasion collapse of order in Iraq, a civilian bureaucrat memorably described by the former Centcom commander, General Tommy Franks, as 'the f---ing stupidest guy on the face of the Earth.'

  • "Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin . . . is a born-again Christian evangelical, a three-star bigot who, in his spare time, stumps the country in full uniform, preaching that America's enemy is Satan, Allah is a false idol, and that George Bush has been ordained by the Lord to rout evil."
Wrong wingers can defend the current president's policies and this president himself as much as they like; but, they are wrong when they do so. The myth that current policy is a good plan for America is fallacy. Never has a single president proffered so much negativity and undermined the civility of our nation; and never has one fiddled so crassly whilst Rome burned.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because, when he is done convincing American television viewers that more war, not less, is in our best interest, he will get back to dismantling civil rights, gutting government services, and subsidizing the conglomeration of our once-great free market.

The emperor of vulgarity, by Mike Carlton, at the Sydney Morning Herald site

Dick Mac Recommends:
The Separation of Church and State
by Forrest Church

Monday, February 07, 2005

How To Get Out Of An Avalanche

"I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But I'm glad the beer I took on holiday turned out to be useful and I managed to get out of there."

I don't know if a non-drinker could save himself using this method, but a Slovakian man trapped in his Audi under an avalanche in the Tatra Mountains peed his way out from under the snow by drinking from the 60 bottles of beer he had in his car!

According to an article published by Ananova, a news service of the Orange telephone company, "Rescue teams found Richard Kral drunk and staggering along a mountain path four days after his Audi car was buried in the Slovak Tatra mountains.


Original Ananova article

Thanks to Frank for sending this along.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Visconti's Inventory, by Tony Visconti

Friday, February 04, 2005

Joke - Is This A Sensitive Man?

A woman meets a gorgeous man in a bar. They talk, they connect, they end up leaving together.

They get back to his place, and as he shows her around his apartment, she notices that his bedroom is completely packed with sweet cuddly teddy bears. Hundreds of cute small bears on a shelf all the way along the floor, cuddly medium-sized ones on a shelf a little higher, and huge enormous bears on the top shelf along the wall. The woman is surprised that this guy would have a collection of teddy bears, especially one that's so extensive, but she decides not to mention this to him, and actually is quite impressed by his sensitivity.

She turns to him . . . they kiss . . . and then they rip each other's clothes off and make hot steamy love.

After an intense night of passion with this sensitive guy, they are lying there together in the afterglow, the woman rolls over and asks, smiling, "Well, how was it?"

The guy says, "Help yourself to any prize from the bottom shelf."

Dick Mac Recommends:
20th Century Boy

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Joke - Beckhams and Jacksons

Victoria Beckham claims she had an affair with Michael Jackson as retribution for her husband's infidelity. But Jacko's lawyers deny it, saying he could not have been with Posh as he was in Brooklyn at the time.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Michael Jackson

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Joke - Bronze Rat

A tourist walked into a curio shop in San Francisco. Looking around at the exotica, he noticed a very lifelike, life-sized bronze statue of a rat. It had no price tag, but it was so striking he decided he must have it.

He took it to the counter. "How much for the bronze rat?"

"Twelve dollars for the rat, one hundred dollars for the story" the owner said.

The tourist gave the shop owner twelve dollars. "I'll take the rat. You can keep the story."

As he walked down the street carrying the rat, he soon noticed that a few real rats crawled out of the alleys and and began following him. This was disconcerting, so he began walking faster. But within a couple of blocks, the herd of rats behind him had grown to hundreds, and they began squealing. He began to trot toward the Bay, but looking back he saw that the rats, now numbered in the millions, were squealing ever louder, and coming toward him faster and faster. Now scared, he broke into a run, then a full Olympic sprint to the edge of the Bay where he threw the bronze rat as far out as he could muster. Amazingly, the millions of rats all jumped into the Bay after the bronze rat, and all drowned.

The man walked back to the curio shop.

"Aha!" said the owner. "You have come back for the story."

"No" said the man, "I came back to see if you have a bronze Republican!"

Thanks to Henry for sending this along!

Dick Mac Recommends:
The Separation of Church and State
by Forrest Church

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Joke - Alaskan Solitude

Woody was ending his 25th year in the liquor business. Finally sick of the stress he quit his job and bought 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total solitude, peace and quiet.

After six months of total isolation, there is a knock on his door. When he opens it there is a huge, bearded man standing there with his hand out for shaking.

"Name's Lars. I'm your neighbor from forty miles up the road. I'm having a party Friday night and thought you might like to come."

"Great", says Woody, "I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you."

"About 5:00, then," and as he leaves he stops and says: "Gotta warn you, there's gonna be some drinkin'."

"Not a problem" says Woody. "I worked 25 years in the liquor business, I can drink with the best of 'em."

Lars starts to leave and stops again. "More than likely gonna be some fightin' too."

"Well, I get along with people, I'll be all right. I'll be there. Thanks again."

"More than likely be some wild sex, too."

"Great! That's really not a problem" Woody says enthusiastically! "I've been all alone for six months! What should I wear?"

"Whatever you want. Just gonna be the two of us."

Thanks to Chris for sending this along!

Dick Mac Recommends:
Howl and Other Poems
by Allen Ginsberg