red head, pin up, gree

Shooting -

There was a shooting today in an Amish school house less than two hours away from where I live.

A 32 year old milk truck driver went into an Amish one room school house. He had two weapons and a bunch of tie offs with him to bind the feet of the kids. He let the boys and a pregnant lady leave, while keeping the girls as prisoners. The girls were aged six to twelve. At least six have died, and more are in the Lancaster General Hospital in critical condition.

The gent called his wife after barracading himself in the school house on his cell phone. He told her he was acting in revenge on an incident that happened over twenty years ago to him.

This made me cry. I know there is so many awful things in the world. But, this just seems to me to be the worst type of this kind of crime. So a guy is mad obviously at little girls for some unknown reason that happened when he himself was just a child. After twenty years of thinking on it and stewing, he finally snapped and goes in a school house of the most peaceful type people there are around, and kills a bunch of the little ones.

They didn't do it. These particular kids aren't the ones at fault for whatever happened to this guy. These girls weren't at the root of the evil in the world of milk truck drivers. There is no secret Amish plot to take over the milking industry. (well, there might be after all - but the Amish just don't have the manpower to pull it off.) We're talking about a group of people that are dying out like the all the natives in so many places these days. They lose numbers every year and are soon going to be just another story we tell our kids of the way things used to be run.

But, because of this act on some crazy milk guy's part... all our schools are going to be even more closely watched 'for our protection'. Including those that are homeschools, and little one room school houses in western PA that don't bother no one. It seems everything the government steps in and does to 'protect' us from crime - whether from abroad or some crazy at home... All it does it put us more in danger.

There was no way to know this guy would flip. Not unless his wife knew he was losing (or had lost long ago) his marbles. There are just those kind of people. Some people you never have an inkling they are going to go. There are those you suspect long before they lose their last marble that they are going to one day take out a bunch of people around them when they go. And, then there are those that you know from day one there is just something 'not quite right' with them.

We should all be able to protect ourselves just as best as we can for these situations. It is our job. Not the job of our government. Someone could just as easily walk into the wee one's school and decide to kill a bunch of boys who are blonde and blue eyed. All I can hope is that I give him enough knowledge to do whatever he can do to get out of it alive and with all his marbles at least in their general place.

This is why there is no god. Just the miserable sons of marble-less bitches that we are stuck living with every day.

Somehow I doubt highly the Amish will reply to this incident with a fear and hatred of the national milkman association. And, it would be completely in their rights to do so. No, I imagine they will continue just being the kind of peaceful regular people they always have been.

If I were the pilgramage type, I would go see these folks in this area.
It's not a thing that matters in my day to day life at all.
Just seems to me to symbolize the very thing that is wrong in our world today.
I won't ever forget this, and I am sure it will always make me cry when I think of it.
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Family ties that are not bound

So, I can't sleep.

I read the local paper online.
And, I found that my son's great grandfather passed away.

He is not familiar or close to the family. Mostly by their choosing. He wishes to see them and get to know them however.

Should I offer him the option to attend the service?

or as an alternative...

Should I attend the service and offer the family our condolances and a way to reach him should they wish to do so.

or lastly...

Do nothing in person, send a card with contact information.

I am simply randomly thinking about it.

It seems rude to be in the area and not at least send reguards for their loss. Especially since my son is the only male grandchild they have. (The only grandchild period I believe.)
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I, Pencil (I love this philosophy)

I, Pencil
by Leonard E. Read (The gent who began the
Foundation for Economic Education or FEE)

I am a lead pencil — the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.

Writing is both my vocation and my avocation; that's all I do.

You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. Well, to begin with, my story is interesting. And, next, I am a mystery — more so than a tree or a sunset or even a flash of lightning. But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace. This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, `"We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders."

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me — no, that's too much to ask of anyone — if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because — well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn't it? Especially when it is realized that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the U.S.A. each year.

Pick me up and look me over. What do you see? Not much meets the eye — there's some wood, lacquer, the printed labeling, graphite lead, a bit of metal, and an eraser.

Innumerable Antecedents

Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents. But I would like to suggest enough of them to impress upon you the richness and complexity of my background.

My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls, the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!

The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California. Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems incidental thereto? These legions are among my antecedents.

Consider the millwork in San Leandro. The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil- length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces. People prefer that I look pretty, not a pallid white. The slats are waxed and kiln dried again. How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires? Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Yes, and included are the men who poured the concrete for the dam of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company hydroplant which supplies the mill's power!

Don't overlook the ancestors present and distant who have a hand in transporting sixty carloads of slats across the nation.

Once in the pencil factory--$4,000,000 in machinery and building, all capital accumulated by thrifty and saving parents of mine--each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop--a lead sandwich, so to speak. Seven brothers and I are mechanically carved from this "wood- clinched'" sandwich.

My "lead'" itself--it contains no lead at all--is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon. Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships. Even the lighthouse keepers along the way assisted in my birth--and the harbor pilots.

The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow--animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid. After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions--as from a sausage grinder--cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase their strength and smoothness the leads are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats.

My cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all the ingredients of lacquer? Who would think that the growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil are a part of it? They are. Why, even the processes by which the lacquer is made a beautiful yellow involves the skills of more persons than one can enumerate!

Observe the labeling. That's a film formed by applying heat to carbon black mixed with resins. How do you make resins and what, pray, is carbon black?

My bit of metal--the ferrule--is brass. Think of all the persons who mine zinc and copper and those who have the skills to make shiny sheet brass from these products of nature. Those black rings on my ferrule are black nickel. What is black nickel and how is it applied? The complete story of why the center of my ferrule has no black nickel on it would take pages to explain.

Then there's my crowning glory, inelegantly referred to in the trade as "the plug," the part man uses to erase the errors he makes with me. An ingredient called "factice" is what does the erasing. It is a rubber-like product made by reacting rape- seed oil from the Dutch East Indies with sulfur chloride. Rubber, contrary to the common notion, is only for binding purposes. Then, too, there are numerous vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy; and the pigment which gives "the plug" its color is cadmium sulfide.

No One Knows

Does anyone wish to challenge my earlier assertion that no single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me?

Actually, millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others. Now, you may say that I go too far in relating the picker of a coffee berry in far off Brazil and food growers elsewhere to my creation; that this is an extreme position. I shall stand by my claim. There isn't a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how. From the standpoint of know-how the only difference between the miner of graphite in Ceylon and the logger in Oregon is in the type of know-how. Neither the miner nor the logger can be dispensed with, any more than can the chemist at the factory or the worker in the oil field--paraffin being a by-product of petroleum.

Here is an astounding fact: Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or makes the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my bit of metal nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the first grade. Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me. Perhaps it is something like this: Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants. I may or may not be among these items.

No Master Mind

There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred.

It has been said that "'only God can make a tree.'" Why do we agree with this? Isn't it because we realize that we ourselves could not make one? Indeed, can we even describe a tree? We cannot, except in superficial terms. We can say, for instance, that a certain molecular configuration manifests itself as a tree. But what mind is there among men that could even record, let alone direct, the constant changes in molecules that transpire in the life span of a tree? Such a feat is utterly unthinkable!

I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies--millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.

The above is what I meant when writing, "If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing." For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand--that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive master-minding — then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith.

Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn't know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation's mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of faith in free people — in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity — the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental "master-minding."

Testimony Galore

If I, Pencil, were the only item that could offer testimony on what men and women can accomplish when free to try, then those with little faith would have a fair case. However, there is testimony galore; it's all about us and on every hand. Mail delivery is exceedingly simple when compared, for instance, to the making of an automobile or a calculating machine or a grain combine or a milling machine or to tens of thousands of other things. Delivery? Why, in this area where men have been left free to try, they deliver the human voice around the world in less than one second; they deliver an event visually and in motion to any person's home when it is happening; they deliver 150 passengers from Seattle to Baltimore in less than four hours; they deliver gas from Texas to one's range or furnace in New York at unbelievably low rates and without subsidy; they deliver each four pounds of oil from the Persian Gulf to our Eastern Seaboard — halfway around the world — for less money than the government charges for delivering a one-ounce letter across the street!

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.
red head, pin up, gree

Meet the SS Delphine - I love her!

This is the most beautiful boat I've ever seen.

And, this is my favourite room (you'll figure out why) on the entire yacht. Obviously, there are several close seconds. But, this one wins hands down.

The website where you too can drool over her lovliness, is located here.

Staying on her has made my list of things I want to do before I die. :D

Oh! The name of my favourite room is The Smoking Room. Leather Chairs, books, cigars, and a nice glass of port.

Oh My!

They are hiring.
One 'must' stay onboard during the charter season and should speak and understand English.

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Red Buttons -

Red Buttons died today.

Red Buttons was born lucky - he was born poor - show me a comedian who was born rich? He was born on the lower east side of Manhattan in that miracle square mile that gave show business Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, George Burns, Jimmy Durante, George Gershwin, to name a few...

At age seven, Red (who was really Aaron Chwatt, and whose nickname was "Irish" because of his red hair, blue eyes and a green sweater which he wore in his public school graduation) could be seen performing on street corners for pennies. The act at that time consisted of singing the popular songs of the day - his boyish alto voice was a natural for choirs, and Red sang in the celebrated Coopermans Choir for three years with the then world famous Cantor Joseph "Yussele" Rosenblatt.

At age twelve, Red worked every amateur contest he could enter. The Depression was on thick and heavy, and a five dollar first prize was a bonanza. At age sixteen, while he was still attending Evander Childs High School in the Bronx, Red auditioned for and got the job as an entertaining bell hop at a tavern called Ryan's in City Island, New York. The red hair and the bell hop's uniform with all those buttons inspired Dinty Moore, the world renowned orchestra leader, to dub our hero Red Buttons - a perfect name for the times - there being very few performers with names like Aaron Chwatt. That summer, Red worked his first job in the Catskills (that great training ground that gave us, among others, Danny Kaye, Robert Merrill, Moss Hart, Jerry Lewis, etc.,) at the Beerkill Lodge for one dollar fifty per week plus room and board. His straight man was Robert Alda whose wife was pregnant with Alan.

In 1939, Red went to work for Minsky, the youngest burlesque comedian in the business. He billed himself as the "Only Burlesque Comedian With All His Own Teeth". In 1941, Jose Ferrer plucked Red out of burlesque for his first Broadway show, "The Admiral Had A Wife". The show was supposed to open on December 8, 1941, but it never did. The show was a farce comedy about Pearl Harbor - great timing! In 1942, Red did "Vicki" on Broadway with Jose Ferrer and Uta Hagen. Also, in 1942, Red appeared in "Wine, Woman and Song" for Minsky. This was the last burlesque show in New York City since the La Guardia administration determined to close it. Red was on stage when the place was raided. In 1943, Buttons, now in the Army Air Corp., was chosen for a role in Moss Hart's, "Winged Victory". First he did the Broadway show, and then the motion picture for Darryl Zanuck with George Cukor directing. When "Winged Victory" disbanded, Red joined Mickey Rooney's outfit in France, and together with Mickey, entertained the troops all through the European Theater of Operations during World War II. Red had the honor to perform at the Potsdam Conference and was among the first troops to enter Berlin. After the service, Red did two more Broadway shows - George Abbott's "Barefoot Boy with Cheek" with Nancy Walker, and Michael Kidd's "Hold It".

From 1948 to 1952, Buttons played the Broadway movie houses with the big bands - the Paramount, the Loew's State, etc.; the cafe circuit - The Copa, Latin Quarter, etc.; television guest shots - The Berle Texaco Hour, Cavalcade of Stars, and more. In 1952, came "The Red Buttons Show" (on CBS). A smash! Buttons won the Academy of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences Award (which later became the Emmy) as "Best Comedian of 1953". The series lasted three years, the last season on NBC.

In 1956, Red did "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Basil Rathbone and Leopold Stokowski directing a new score written by Carl Orff.

1957 brought the film "Sayonara" with Marlon Brando, and Josh Logan directing. In 1958 Red won the Best Supporting Actor for "Sayonara" and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. A movie career followed with "Imitation General" with Glen Ford; "The Big Circus"; "Hatari!" with Howard Hawks and John Wayne; Darryl Zanuck's "The Longest Day"; a cameo in Billy Wilder's "One, Two, Three"; "A Ticklish Affair"; "Your Cheating Heart"; "Gay Puree" with Judy Garland; "Five Weeks In a Balloon"; "Up From the Beach"; "Harlow" (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor); "Stagecoach" (the remake); "They Shoot Horses Don't They?" (for which he received another Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor) with Jane Fonda; "The Poseidon Adventure"; "Gable and Lombard"; "Movie, Movie" with George C. Scott; "Viva Knievel"; "When Time Ran Out"; "Off Your Rocker"; "Reunion at Fairborough" with Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr; "The Ambulance" with Eric Roberts and James Earl Jones; and "18 Again" with George Burns.

In 1966, Red did the ABC television series, "The Double Life of Henry Phyfe". Buttons has guested on every major television show - Ed Sullivan, Andy Williams, Dinah Shore, Perry Como, Redd Fox, Eddie Fisher, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Bill Cosby Show, and Dean Martin Roasts (where he did his famous "Never Got a Dinner" routine). Dramatic shows include "Playhouse 90"; "U.S. Steel"; "Studio One"; "General Electric"; "Knotts Landing"; and more recently, the Emmy Award winning series "E.R."

Specials include "Louis Armstrong, Chicago Style" with Ben Vereen; "Telethon Power"; "Leave 'Em Laughing" with Mickey Rooney; "The Users"; and "George Burns 95th Birthday Special."

Red is a frequent guest star in the gambling palaces of Las Vegas - Lake Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City. He wrote and recorded a children's album of poems on the Golden Record label entitled "Poems for My Daughter and Other Little People, Love Daddy."

Red Buttons has a star on Hollywood and Vine - full circle for a ghetto kid who started by entertaining on street corners.

Red Buttons has been honored by The City of Hope "Spirit of Life" Award; the Eddie Cantor Foundation's "Suzie" Award; the Friar's Club "Lifetime Achievement" Award; and the Junior Achievement Award for his charitable contributions to all causes.

*Above taken from Hollywood's Celebrity Corner
Author Unknown -
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