Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lester Rodney: He Helped Get Jackie in the Game


Lester Rodney, the sports editor and columnist for the American Communist Party newspaper the Daily Worker who crusaded to end segregation in major league baseball in the 1930s and '40s, has died. He was 98.

Mr. Rodney died Sunday December 20th at his home in a retirement community in Walnut Creek, Calif., said his daughter, Amy Rodney.

Beginning in the decade before Jackie Robinson suited up with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, Rodney began pressing for the desegregation of baseball via columns and stories in the Daily Worker's sports pages. By joining with the black press, Rodney was able to implement a plan to get a black player on a major league roster.

He called the ban against blacks in the major leagues "un-American" and "the crime of the big leagues."

During World War II, Mr. Rodney served as an Army combat medic in the Pacific. But he was back home in New York to cover Robinson's debut as a Brooklyn Dodger on April 15, 1947.

"It's hard this Opening Day to write straight baseball and not stop to mention the wonderful fact of Jackie Robinson," Mr. Rodney wrote. "You tell yourself it shouldn't be especially wonderful in America, no more wonderful, for instance, than Negro soldiers being with us on the way overseas through submarine-infested waters in 1943."

Clare, Rodney's wife of 58 years, died in 2004.

Writing for the Daily Worker: “I ran the entire sports department, including laying out the sports section and then I had to get my ass to the ball games, and so on and prove myself as a sportswriter. At first, my main objective was to show that we were a real sports section. Then, the one scoop we had never covered smacked me right in the face. No other papers would talk about the amazing fact that halfway through the 20th century in the land of the free, qualified and over-qualified baseball players couldn’t participate in our national pastime. And it was our national pastime back then much more than it is today. There was no NBA or NFL at the level it’s at today. There were no video games, no Internet, no cable TV. If the Dodgers were playing in Brooklyn and a truck pulled up next to you, it would be unthinkable to not hear Red Barber on the radio or people would find it peculiar. Baseball was huge back then. No other paper said anything about the fact that the black players were locked out of major league baseball. If the Negro leagues had a game in town, you could read about the game, but nothing was ever mentioned that these players were not allowed to play in the majors. Did this mean that all of the sportswriters in New York during this time were racists? No, they were ordinary people, but they knew what they could turn into their paper and if they wrote something saying things like, ‘why aren’t these guys playing in the big leagues?’ their editors would have asked them something like, “why are you bringing this stuff up here?’ That was the culture of the times. Racism was accepted. And that was one of the things that attracted me to the Communists. What the Communists were going down in the South was working for black voting rights, putting their bodies were their mouths were.”


The Ban: “I talk to my granddaughter’s friends and I try to make a connection to what happened back then compared to now. I tell them ‘look at Barry Bonds today’, the superstar (this interview was in 2004 right before the steroids hearing). Supposedly everyone knows how great he is, just the same way that people back then knew how good Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson were, but they weren’t allowed to play. Unspeakable! It’s dastardly and un-American. Ridiculous! But that’s the way things were back then. Josh Gibson, the greatest catcher who ever put on a uniform, never played an inning of big league baseball, and he died in a bitter, drunken wreck. You know, we’ve really gotten off the hook a little light about this time in our history. And so this is what motivated me to write for the Daily Worker. People will ask me, ‘were you doing this to get the Negroes to join the Communist Party?’ No. I was doing it personally because basically I wanted the ban to end. I was a baseball fan since I was six years old it was the game I loved. I wanted the best players in the game to show their stuff to America. I never met a black player who told me he wanted to stay in the Negro Leagues. That’s ridiculous. If you feel you’re the best violinist in the country and you live in Paducah, you don’t want to stay in Paducah. Of course, you want to play at Carnegie Hall, for the money and the acclaim.”


Jackie Robinson: “Oh, the things Jackie had to go through, you can’t imagine. First of all, he was hit by pitchers twice as much as any other player in baseball. He was called all kinds of names. The first time they played in Philadelphia, they threw a black cat out of their dugout. Why didn’t he say, ‘hey, who needs this, to hell with it, I’m outta here.’ Some people are thrust into historic roles without their understanding, but Jackie was an intensely bright guy and he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew what his role was and that’s why he took all this stuff. It has to be the single most heroic act ever performed in the history of sports in this country. I think I can say that. He made a real difference in America.”


The Best Managers He Ever Saw: “Stengel and Durocher are my top managers. They’re the only ones I saw that really know how to manage in the World Series. They wouldn’t hesitate to yank their ace pitcher in the fourth inning or to use an ace in relief. They knew it was a different ball game in the postseason. Charlie Dressen was a good regular season manager, like Dusty Baker, who hasn’t yet shown that he can win a World Series, but managing successfully in the big games defines the great ones.”


Leo Durocher: “I was talking to the Lip. I was chatting with Leo before a game and he suddenly turns to me and says, ‘you know, Rodney—for a #@%!# Communist, you sure know your baseball.”


Don Newcombe: “Newcombe was a corporation guy and he still works for the Dodgers today. But, he knew what what’s going on. His father was a union organizer. He didn’t beat the Yankees often in World Series play and that haunted him. The first time he pitched against the Yankees in his rookie year in ’49, it was a 0-0 game until the bottom of the ninth, when Tommy Heinrich hit one out and beat him.”


McCarthyism: “They didn’t go after me, because I was right out in the open. Many of my friends went down, but I wasn’t a screen writer using another name. As a baseball writer, they didn’t go after me and probably didn’t think of me as a serious Communist. They would kid around it jovially, say things like, ‘hey, does Marx follow the box scores?” Writing about baseball wasn’t perceived as doing politics. They didn’t see me as a threat.”


Joe DiMaggio: “He was a different guy. During his first two years up, before the aura of superstardom socked in on him, he was more convivial. After that, he was very closed-mouthed. You know he never certainly joined in with the rowdies like Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, but importantly, he was always curt and monosyllabic with reporters and he became mean-spirited. He was known to be a cheap sonofabitch, a notorious note tipper, and at the end he was over-selling his signature, all that stuff. But, I remember a different DiMaggio. During his first year, I was asked to take Joe down to see a bunch of kids from the International Workers Order, a left wing group. But, Joe agreed to show up and throw out the first ball for their tournament. And he enjoyed it and he really mingled with the kids. He was great. So, something happened to him somewhere along the way. He changed.”

Inside Secrets of the Great Monsters


When I was a kid I used to dream about being the Werewolf of Frankenstein. When other children worshipped heroes like Superman of Batman, I admired the scary monsters of Hollywood. I imagined being in their paws or enormous boots, frightening young virgins and terrifying everyone in town. But, later I found all the real facts--the secrets of these cellulite monsters. For instance, the Werewolf had skin problems and had to spend most of his fortune on under eye cream. And Frankenstein was fleeced by his accountants. In the end, he had to sell the posts on either side of his neck on eBay to pay his bill with the IRS. Just another couple of meaningless factoids from Life On the Edge! Have a Great New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dental Implants

Do you need one or more dental implants? If you do--don't fret. We recently have a friend who got the work done and it was 100% safe and effective. Our friend got it done Mexico-style. Many folks are saving $$ by going to Tijuana to buy dental implants Mexico. You can possibly buy a sombrero or a donkey punch while South 'O the Border! Mexican medical procedures are the method for mahy Americans to afford these procedures--so take a long careful look at this and think hard and long before making the move! Good luck!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Shut Your Pie Hole Anti-Diet




As of today, I’ve lost approximately a total of 100 lbs. within a 26-month period, which roughly means a drop of 3.84 lbs. per month. What took me so long, some people have asked me? Losing the weight slowly by gradually changing my diet and lifestyle has helped me keep it off, because now I’m confident that the poundage will stay off forever. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to lose it, because you’re changing your life and in my case, I saved my life. Now maybe I can possibly live into my 70’s or 80’s. How many old people do you see walking around at more than 300 lbs. plus? Not many.

For the first time in 30 years I can wear jeans that aren’t so large that they don’t look like they came from the interior of an old Pontiac. I can sit in the middle of a row at the movie theater, because now if I want to get up I don’t have to worry about stepping on everyone’s feet and sticking my formerly huge ass in their faces during the film.

Back in my obese days, the neighbor kids used to enjoy watching me getting into my 1976 Corvette Sting Ray. I’d have to completely lay down sideways perpendicular to the car while grabbing onto the steering wheel column to hoist myself into the vehicle. It took me five minutes each time and I eventually bent the steering wheel to the point where it required an expensive repair.

My three-decade battle to lose weight consisted of an unending series of false starts and bad endings. When I do the math, I can honestly say that from 1976-2006, I lost an average of 20 lbs. per year, but the problems occurred when I gained approx. 25 lbs. back, like clockwork every year. It’s called yo-yoing and it’s worse for your body than actually keeping the weight on.

My seasons were like this—I’d start off the year with a great push, but I’d lose the weight too quickly. When the weather got cold, around Halloween, I’d start eating like a bear preparing to hibernate. Buffets and happy hours in my town closed down during this time of the year--because of me and a couple of my fellow fatty friends.

So, if I look at the numbers, I can see that in 1976 I weighed roughly 180 lbs. Gaining five-six lbs. per year over 30 years means I gained a total of 150 pounds, to the point where I weighed 340 lbs. So, I know exactly how I got there. Suddenly, the health problems that were predicted became real, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a wide assortment of other health issues.

Over the years, I attempted several different diets. Actually I think I tried most of them. Many failed immediately while others worked initially, but eventually I gained all of the weight back. I’ve done it all—from the pineapple diet to Atkins all the way to South Beach and back.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that many of these diets are ineffective, while several are actually dangerous. Here is a quick review of some of these:

NutriSystems is a rip-off for many reasons. The main one is the food tastes nasty. In addition, after you’ve purchased a month’s food, you still have to go to the store to buy fruit, vegetables and dairy. They don’t provide complete meals.

If I’m already going to the store, why can’t I buy all of the healthy food I will consume there? It tastes better and costs less overall than what they’re selling me. Some people say that they will lose weight more easily by eating pre-measured controlled portions. If you don’t have enough will power to determine portions on your own, how will you do after you go back to eating normally? Will you live the rest of your life eating out of these little TV dinner trays? The failure rate with NutriSystems is logically high.

Weight Watchers is a little better, but the meal substitutions are still not a great idea. You need to learn new eating habits if you’re going to keep the weight off and this is essentially not the way to do it. The food with Weight Watchers is bland, but at least edible. The meals contain a lot of sugar and fat. And the customer service is terrible. If you do get somebody on the phone, it’s usually someone clueless. Once I asked one of their reps about how much one particular entrĂ©e contained cholesterol and she said, “I just looked at the ingredients listed on the side of the package and there’s no cholesterol in it.”

Both of NutriSystems and Weight Watchers make money by selling you sub-par frozen food. Everything else—like counseling or support—is weak or non-existent. Weight Watchers promotes group counseling, which really wasn’t effective for me. Sitting around with a bunch of overweight people talking about food is an exercise in frustration. One time several of us left a counseling session to go to In ‘N Out. It was more enabling than anything else.

Jenny Craig is the worst of all of these types of diet programs. They’re so hard-sell that if you agree to buy all their food, management tapes and extras, you’ll end up broke. It’s the timeshare program of the diet industry. And once they’ve got you hooked, they’ll try to sell you anything and everything. It’s the ultimate “turn and burn” program and I can’t recommend it even remotely.

I’ve also tried things like Isagenix, Atkins and The Zone. All of these have admirable aspects, but in the end you have to change your life gradually. The diet might give you a good start, but in the end replacing meals is a formula for failure. Losing 60-80 lbs. in 8-10 months will make you look and feel good, right up until you gain every pound back.

Atkins was popular until people realized that meat-heavy diets lead to heart attacks. High-protein diets with lots of red meat and very few carbohydrates are not healthy. Evidence proves that these types of diets will eventually result in atherosclerotic plaque build-up and cardiac arrhythmia.

So, what’s my diet technique? After all my research and hit and miss experiences, I am the ideal guinea pig for how do lose weight right.

So, here it is. I call it the Shut Your Pie Hole Anti-Diet. And it’s simple. The ideal amount of weight to comfortably lose and keep it off is in increments of 10. That’s right, 10 lbs. You slash your calories by cutting out dairy (sorry, no cheese and ice cream), bread and sugar. Then, you limit eating red meat to a maximum of twice per week.

Then, start with physical exercise 5 times per week. Start off walking for 20 minutes twice per day. Do it at your own pace. Soon you will feel better and within no time you’ll be running, biking or whatever you prefer. I like swimming. It’s a gradual thing, but the more energy you get, the more you’ll want to do work our harder. When I started, I couldn’t make it to the corner without panting. The old bag ladies in my neighborhood were racing past me on these insane San Francisco hills, but now I lap them and they don’t like it.


Then, I joined Club One on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. The people there are so supportive and they really inspired me to get into a workout regime that I can stick to. Physical exercise is the key, because if I cheat and eat a chili dog or a few slices of pizza, it's not a tragedy!

Why lose only 10 lbs. at a time? Here is the logic. If you lose 40 lbs., for example, in three months, your body freaks out. It starts asking you what happened. It feels like you’ve starved yourself and soon your body will try to re-gain that weight back any way it can.

If you lose just 10 pounds, your body is not shocked. Lose it and maintain that weight for 5 months. Then, go lose another 10 and do it all again. You can only lose 20 lbs. per year with this system, but you’ll keep it off using this technique.

The problem is that most people want to lose the weight fast, just like everything else. And many folks don’t want to work out on a regular basis. How many of you bought club memberships that you never used? All of us have probably done it.

Regular exercise is the key. If you embrace physical exertion of any type, it will allow you to treat yourself to your favorite foods once in a while. If you feel deprived, you won’t succeed. My theory about food is pick your spots and enjoy a decadent, unhealthy meal as an exception. Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you can’t live it up now and again.

So, that’s my plan in a nutshell. The 10-lb. set point concept makes a lot of sense. It took me a long time to find the right approach to shedding pounds and this is it. The one thing to remember is that it’s a complete lifestyle change. If it takes four years to lose 80 lbs., so be it. You’re not in a rush, because you know you’ll eventually get there. And the best thing is you’ll never gain it back.

Many folks have helped me in my quest, including of course my wife, who implemented a healthier diet and Greg Hubbard at the Haight Ashbury Clinic, who has been so supportive and has given me nothing but great advice.

Make 2010 the year you do it. It will change your life in so many different ways. And living is the best part of it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are Your Mattress Covers Making You Sick?

I was experiencing problems every time I slept in my Lil Tykes Burger Bed, so I went to the Haight Ashbury Clinic to find out what was causing the problem. "Get an allergy mattress cover, you small-minded little man," my doctor replied. So, we now have the proper allergy mattress covers and my sleeping disorders have evaporated instantly. Excellent! Angelina and I have worked out a program--on Wed., Thurs. and Friday I get to sleep in my Lil Tykes Burger Bed. On Mondays and Tuesdays I sleep in my Lil Tyke Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bed and on Sunday we sleep together in the big person's bed. Sounds like a plan!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Dogs of the Holidaze!




Ratdog got into the egg nog and Shelly is telling me what she wants for Christmas! She whined and shed the entire year and Ratdog just stunk and ate everything in sight while licking the floor incessantly. Merry Xmas from Our Dogs of the Holidaze!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wii Can Get You There!

This season, everyone is talking about getting wii consoles. Wii is the newest video game craze not just nationwide but throughout the whole world. It's a sensation and everyone is getting onboard with wii. It's like a standard video game, except you can get physically involved in the mix. The technology is getting better all the time as well. Are you ready for a wii console? Jump in with both feet and you'll yell wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doing the Orlando Dance

My wife isn't 100% onboard for Orlando this summer. We're going to a family reunion in New York in August, and my brother and his wife are planning to go to Disney World and all of the Orlando resorts they have time to visit. My wife has been stalling about the subject for quite some time. The last time I brought it up, all she wanted to talk about was Orlando Bloom, the actor. Now, this time, I mentioned it and she starts dropping Orlando Cepeda's statistics and biographical factoids on me in rapid succession. Where did this come from, I'm wondering? Why all the interest all of a sudden for the "Baby Bull?" She's avoiding the subject. I have never been to Disney World or the Orlando resorts and I want to go there and my wife is not warm on the idea. That's the bottom line. But, I'm not done working on here about it yet. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm HUGE in the St. Petersburg (High School) Times

I received this e-mail today:

"Hello, I edit a newspaper for high school students published by the St. Petersburg Times. We are on deadline for our last issue before winter break and needed a little holiday fun, so I found your site and Ed Attanasio's tips for fledgling santas....below is the little item I have written that excerpts his piece and credits your Web site....To make sure I don't get any lumps of coal I wanted to make sure the excerpt is okay by you and that I am crediting your site correctly.
Thanks for your prompt reply...Gretchen Letterman"


I wrote back to give the school the okay to run my article. I made some dumb remark like "I'd love to run a few of my projects past your father." It was a bad David Letterman joke, but I couldn't resist. Then, I got this e-mail back:

"Ha, Ed!

Thanks much. We ended up having room to use only ONE tip, the hilarious one about dealing with insulting teenagers (our audience, those insulting teenagers). Tomorrow the print link will be up at tb-two.com, go down a bit to print edition on the left side and look on page four. We had photo of a local santa but needed something funny to run with it. I think I googled santa and teenagers and voila, there it was, the perfect item. If you'd like a print copy, send me an address and I'll drop it in the mail.

No one's ever asked me if Dave were my DAD, that's making me laugh. I actually am his younger sister but if you could see the color of my hair, you would not have made that mistake. Fortunately I have a staff of 30 or so high- school age writers who keep me young enough to do this job (I hope).

Thanks again, happy holidays. Gretchen"


After some negoitations, my Santa article will be appear in their school paper. For the excerpt, I will recive six Pee Chee folders, two macaroni & cheese mystery entrees from the school cafeteria, three deflated dodge balls and a lifetime all-access hall pass. I do believe I made out like a bandito!

Now after this incident, I've thought about making St. Petersburg my adopted high school. I did a little research about them and their mascot is called the Green Devil (?!)
What is a Green Devil? Is that like an Evil Al Gore? Why is this demon green? Is he green with envy because the kids at Manatee High School (who beat them in the 5A football playoffs a few weeks ago) have a better mascot called the Hurricanes. I have never understand why teams are named after bad weather! Maybe Manatee knew that their mascot could never be a Manatee, because a Manatee is like a bloated seal and not very threatening.

At least they have a good football program at St. Peterburg High School. They went 10-2, and had a good year right up until they run head first into Manatee.

But, I'll need to clarify the whole Green Devils mascot thing before I get onboard with this school. A goofy mascot could be a deal breaker

The Latest Poo on the Economy!!

In these supposedly post-recession times, I’m looking for any positive economic indicators that I can find. Well, I found a very promising one the other day and I’m enthused. The news is good and we’re on our way out of this slump…finally! And my information is 100% solid.

Let me explain. I was walking my dogs this weekend when one of them dropped a stinky package on the sidewalk. Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have a poo bag with me, which means I’m stuck. I pride myself on being a responsible poo-picking-up dog owner. Many people just leave their mutt’s feces on the ground and walk away and give dog owners in general a bad reputation.

So, what did I do? With no newspapers in sight; no leaves around large enough to work for the job; no litter to use, I was in a desperate moment, so I pulled a dollar bill out of my pocket and used it to pick up the offending deuce.

So, now I’m holding dog crap nestled in a dollar bill. What should I do with it? I decided to place it in the gutter and walked away. That was Saturday and the dollar is still there! Amazing! It’s a good sign. A year ago that dollar would have disappeared in minutes. And today it’s still there!

Move over, Alan Greenspan. I don’t need to study figures and economic forecasts until my face turns green to know that the recession has turned around. I’ve got news from the street and that’s more valuable than any spreadsheet analysis you’ll ever encounter.

Enjoy Christmas and run up your credit card balances, because we’re out of this mess and I was the first to tell you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Moon Needs Acne Treatments

When you look at the lifetime of the moon, it's really just a teenager. Will it be affected when the debacle of 12-21-12 takes place? Who knows? Maybe the moon will get a makeover and many of those deep craters will receive acne treatments. Does Mr.(or Mrs?) Moon have zits? Possibly. I think often about stupid things like this. Meaningless thoughts like this are a waste of time and effort, but I can't help myself. Am I crazy of just bored?

A Tough Interview

I was looking for a writer's assistant to do research for me and take some dictation. The first few prospectives seemed like decent candidates. And then this clown strolled in. His resume said that his name is "Hitler Bacon". That must have been a very good sign that meant I should abort this interview.

"What are your strengths?" I asked this guy. It's a stupid question and I hate it whenever an interviewer asks this, but I was in shock looking at this individual, so I resorted to this question as default.

And his answer was more bizarre than I anticipated.

"I help people because I am a people person. People like me and I dig them and everyone just gets real warm and fuzzy around me. They feel at ease when I talk to them, because I eminate a sense of confidence."

"What's with the bacon on your head?" I asked.

"This is bacon, yes--but what it represents is the fact that I won't live in a box. I'm an innovative, unique person who doesn't dance to the same band others enjoy."

"This interview is over. Don't call us, we'll call you."

(Thank God there's a thing called pre-employment screening.)

Mrs. Claus Wants Gifts Too!

Here is Mrs. Claus's Wish List for The Big Day:
1.) Beard clipper

2.) Lots of spiked Egg Nog

3.) Reindeer poo picker upper

4.) Sedative to give to over-hyped elves


6.) Easter Bunny Chia Pet

7.) Victoria Secret gift certificate

8.) Ice trays

9.) Vodka

10.) 420 stocking stuffers

11.) New glasses

12.) A Bugatti Veryon

13.) A $6.4 million mansion in Malibu next door to Madonna

14.) A good divorce attorney


Did Santa get caught cheating like Tiger? At least he was probably smart enough to avoid texting!

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Grace White: A Standup Who Stood Up!


I've written a lot of things, but this is my first obit. I am proud and flattered to write this about a great person, comedienne and my favorite surfer hippie chick in the world.
Karen Grace White (1950-2009)

Karen Grace White, age 59, of Colfax, California, passed away on December 3, 2009. She died from complications from a two-year bout with lung cancer. She was born on February 11, 1950 in National City, California. One of two children, she was raised in the San Diego area.
Karen Grace White was preceded in death by her father Robert Lee White and her brother Paul White. She is survived by her mother, Velma Kathleen Swafford, age 80, her daughter, Alisa Kathleen Cook-Shaffer, age 30 of Colfax, California, two grandchildren, Brandon Christopher Cook, age 8, and Olivia Julienne Shafer, age 4, both of Colfax, California.
Karen Grace left the San Diego area after graduating from San Diego High School in 1968. She moved to San Francisco in 1969, during the Summer of Love, where she became a member of the Big Top commune with Dennis Peron, a well-known political pro-marijuana activist. In 1974, Karen Grace White left to buy a piece of land in Colfax, California, where she resided up until her death.
Karen Grace was a standup comedienne/show promoter for 13 years and helped so many comediennes defending the rights of female comics in a male-dominated industry. Her Woman Who Kick Comedy Butt shows throughout the country were very well-received and helped careers for comediennes including Beth Schumann, Reannie Roads, Rebecca Arthur, Gayla Johnson, Grace Fraga and Jovelyn Richards. Others that performed in WWKCB shows include Sandy Stec, Tina Allen, Jackie Kashian, Maria Bamford, Kira Soltanovich, Tissa Hammi and many many many more. White promoted the theme that women work hard on stage and are just as funny and cutting-edge as their male counterparts.
As a comic, Karen Grace opened for such musical acts as 3 Doors Down, Starship, Edgar Winter, Leon Russell, and Jethro Tull, as well as comedians Kevin Pollack, Jack Mayberry, Rocky LaPorte and Father Guido Sarducci. Her television credits included appearances on "Good Morning America" and the "Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon," and made her film debut in "The Independent," starring Jerry Stiller and Janeane Garofalo. She also made thousands of fans laugh in Golden Gate Park from the stage of San Francisco's long-running annual "Comedy Day" celebration.
White, who had been given three months to live by doctors in November 2007, defied the odds and launched on a campaign to educate and raise money to fight the deadly disease, through the Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. She also started Laugh Prescriptions, writing jokes to cheer up cancer patients--a concept that will hopefully live on for many decades to come.
During her amazing life, Karen Grace worked as a paralegal, house cleaner, waitress, legal secretary and an entrepreneur, as well as a comedienne. In the 1970’s, she owned and operated Cook’s Pastries in Colfax, California and ran a cookie business in the 1960’s.
Karen Grace White’s greatest pride and joy was her daughter Alisa, her son-in-law Chris Shafer and her two grandchildren, Brandon and Olivia. The family was raised with love and was always there for each other. Everyone who met Karen Grace never forgot her—for her incredible energy and a positive attitude that never waned, right up until her final days.
Karen Grace loved surfing and was adept on a long board; she was known as a “hippie chick” and coveted the nickname. Her interests included traveling, great food, art, literature, theater, movies, gardening, music, cooking and her family.
Karen Grace White’s daughter Alisa will be planning a celebration of her mother’s life in the spring in her hometown of Colfax, Californ

Monday, December 07, 2009

Perry Solves the Case...Again



"I didn't do it! I didn't do it, I swear!"
"On the day in question, did you fall on the floor?"

"Well, no...I..."

"Don't stutter, ma'am...tell us the truth and nothing less."

"No, I did not fall!"

A hush came over the court room. The judge exclaimed,

"It's time for lunch."

But, they ignored him.

"Tell us why you didn't fall, Miss Pearles."

"I don't remember, I..."

"Fibber!"

"I can't recall, I..."

"Liar!"

"I...I'll admit it. The floor was made out of high-quality glass tiles. They were not those cheap, low-end tiles, these were top notch, top-tier, head of the heap, premium grade, true craftsmanship like this really..."

"Quiet, Miss. You'll wake the judge."

"Oh, I'll whisper."

"Thank you. We don't want the judge to get in the way of justice. Case dismissed!"

"But, I was guilty as heck and you didn't even try to prosecute me."

"Immaterial!"

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Meet the Freak


As a rule, I don’t like to bother celebrities when I see them in public, but every once in a while I’ll run into someone and I can’t resist. I’ll always approach them very respectfully, asking them like royalty if it’s okay to spend a moment with them and usually it’s a 50/50 proposition.

I’ve encountered some athletes in the past who were less than a pleasure to meet. Barry Bonds was considerably less than nice, to say the least, and other people like golfer Greg Norman, sports announcer Jim Rome, HOF pitcher Goose Gossage and of course, Willie Mays (who I tried to interview in 1999) were legendarily rude and fulfilled stereotypes about pro athletes acting boorish.

But, when I ran into double-Cy Young award winner San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum the other day at a Starbucks in the Fillmore of The City, it was a thrill and a refreshing chance encounter with a smart, engaging individual pausing to talk to an avid fan. (Even though I am Dodgers die hard for 40 years).

I approached Lincecum and told him that I was pro-420 and he instantly replied in muted tones. But what he said was off the record, so I can’t say anything more. (If you didn’t already know, he got busted for having a small amount of marijuana a few weeks back.)

While I was chatting up The Freak (one of Lincecum’s nicknames) and bombarding him with questions in rapid succession, I just got the feeling that Tim plays baseball just like he’d ride his skateboard or bicycle. Here I was, a supposed grown man drooling to talk to him and the impression he gave me was “it’s no big deal.” I even sensed a little sympathy from him for a middle-aged guy enthralled by a kid who can throw in high 90’s and make all-star hitters look like little leaguers.

My overall impression is that Lincecum sees himself as basically someone who just got really good at throwing a ball, but somebody who’s not even 100% onboard with the lore and wow surrounding major league baseball. When a 51-year-old male walks up to Tim and starts treating him like the Pope, Lincecum is amused, but no longer surprised anymore. Two Cy Youngs will do that.

I asked him if he gets noticed in public more all the time, especially now after the two Cy Youngs. “It’s so random. I’ll be at places where I’d think I’d be noticed and no one knows who I am. Other times I’ll be walking down the street and people will come out of their homes to talk to me, which is strange. But, it’s all cool.”

In one word, Tim is just cool. Wearing a wrinkled t-shirt, flip flops and shorts, sending texts on his iPhone and drinking one of those caramel, whip cream covered coffee things. (I call those concoctions “dessert camouflaged as coffee.”)

I did tell The Franchise (another one of his nicknames) that he only has to win three more Cy Youngs in a row to set the record. “Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson won it four times in a row,” I said. “So that’s the benchmark, I guess.” “Cool,” Lincecum offered.

Then I decided to show off and run some other baseball factoids by him. “Koufax, Palmer, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens have all also won the Cy Young back-to-back like you,” I offered. “Nice,” he said. (Later I looked it up and I was correct, although I did miss Denny McClain, who won it in 1968 and again in 1969, a co-owner with Mike Cuellar from Baltimore—the only time there have been two co-winners.)
In summary, Lincecum was so open and forthcoming that is was a breath of fresh air. I sure hope he keeps that great attitude over the years, but it might be tough if he wins a couple more Cy Young awards.

In the end, I gave Tim (we’re on a first-name basis all ready) an official baseball hat from www.thisgreatgame.com, my baseball history web site. He didn’t don the cap when I presented it to him, probably because he didn’t want to mess up the do, but hopefully in the future I’ll see him wearing that hat out in public. He’s that type of kid.

Friday, December 04, 2009

My Post Stroke Mind


The Rolodex in my head gets mucked up once in a while and I scramble things like names, for instance. I was asked to write about Toto sinks, the best sinks in the industry by a large margin, from what I've read and heard. But in my brain, the first things that entered my conscious were the dog Toto (Wizard of Oz) and the band Toto. Instead of sinks, I'm thinking about a little mutt and a pop band. Life sucks initially and gradually gets worse. That's my new mantra.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Great Centerfielder Interviewed: Jim Landis








Jim Landis was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1952 and played for 8 years before being traded to Kansas City Athletics on January 20, 1965 where he played for one year. He then moved to the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, and finally the Boston Red Sox . He was a member of the American League 1962 All-Star team, a 5 time Gold Glove Award winner from 1960 to 1964 and played in the 1959 World Series. Landis played his final major league game with the Houston Astros on June 28, 1967.

Jim Landis, 75, now lives in Napa, California with his wife Sandy (Foster).

His First MLB game in ’57: “I was a scared rabbit. Half the time I didn’t even realize I was on the field. That’s how nervous I was. All I can remember was facing Herb Score, who was throwing 100 miles per hour up there. My first impression was I better get my lunch pail out if I’m going to be facing guys like this all the time. I figured I better get a job doing something else. I was so nervous it was unbelievable. It was a problem for a while. That was an issue for me, because being in the big leagues was like a dream, but I couldn’t wake up. I was sent out to Indianapolis, because I was playing so bad that first year.”
My relationship with Manager Al Lopez: “Let’s put it this way, there are two sides to everything. He was one of the best managers for understanding how to handle people. He was like my psychiatrist. He knew when to pat players on the back and when kick ‘em in the butt. Those were one of his best assets, I believe. He knew how to handle each player very well. On the other hand, he wasn’t always a great judge of talent, in my opinion. If he didn’t like a certain style of player, he’d bench ‘em and leave ‘em there.”
Three Hall of Famers on his White Sox Teams: “Luis Aparacio, Nellie Fox and Early Wynn were amazing just to be around. Aparacio was our team’s leader, Nellie was one of the best all-around players I ever saw and I was happy that Wynn was on my team, because he was literally unhittable most of the time.”

Toughest Pitchers He Ever Faced: “Wow, there were so many great pitchers in the major leagues back then, different than it is today. We could go up against the last place team and we’d face three good pitchers on that team. We only had 18 teams, so it was more compact. As far as the great ones, like Whitey Ford, he had to battle your fanny off every time you faced that guy. He never gave in and he was just a darn good pitcher. Others I recall are guys you won’t remember who were decent starters for so-so teams, like Dick Donovan (Cleveland), Hank Aguirre (Detroit), Bill Monbouquette (Boston) and Camilo Pascual (Minnesota).”

Performance Enhancing Drugs Back Then: “One day at the park I was tired and a couple of guys gave me some speed. They called them greens or blues--I don’t know what it was. But, it didn’t do anything except that night I couldn’t sleep a lick. I laid there tossing and turning and waiting for the sun to come up staring at the wall. And then I had a game the next day. I was beat that afternoon and I told myself right there that I would never take those silly pills ever again.”


Landis vs. the Outfield Wall: “I was never afraid of the wall and I think in some ways it was an asset. I remember running into that wall in Chicago and it was solid concrete. It was so bad, you know. I recall one time I ran into the wall so hard I was drowsy for the rest of the game. I was stumbling around and I don’t know how I ever kept in that game. I didn’t come around until that evening. If I had been afraid of that wall, I wouldn’t have been able to make some of the plays I made, I believe.”

Beaned in the 1959 World Series: “Podres of the Dodgers hit me pretty good and years later I saw Podres at an event and he told me that he was throwing at me that day. “I have to admit,” Podres told me. “We were trying to shake you guys up a little bit and they told me to brush you off.” Well he brushed me off a little too close. Pitchers throw at you and it’s part of the game. Most of the time they would hit me in the legs or on my back. I never got injured by a bean ball. I was very fortunate in that way.”

Won 5 Golden Gloves in a Row: “I’m very proud of that accomplishment. I always got a quick jump on the ball and it made my life in centerfield a lot easier. I anticipated well and I studied the hitters, trying to figure out where they might be hitting that ball. That helped a lot. You learn as you play more and you get better. I was very proud to play vs. Mickey Mantle, but he lost a few steps in the field when he hurt his knee. When he was healthy, he was the best-fielding centerfielder I ever saw. He was my idol, really. I don’t know how Mick played that huge centerfield, that cavern at Yankee Stadium. The monuments never bothered me that much, but it was a big outfield. Left center was plus 400 feet and it had this drainage out there where the ground dropped off a little for drainage. I lost my balance twice over that drainage area in one game. It was dangerous and that’s where Mickey blew out his knee. ”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

If You Want To Keep a Secret? Dont' Tell Star!

Star Jones lost a lot of weight, but she still has one of the biggest mouths in the entertainment business. Other than Joan Rivers, Star is a real blabber. If you wanted to communicate to your employees or co-workers using a high-tech mass notification system, all you'd have to do is tell it to Star Jones and get her to promise you won't tell anyone else. The more she promises, the quicker the information will be distributed to the appropriate parties.

Clamps!

When they asked me to blog about clamps, I didn't think about hardware, I thought about Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in the history of football. Rice was amazing for so many years. The man could probably don a uniform and take on the game once more and perform a a high level. His speed was elusive, his hands were stronger than industrial clamps and Rice re-set the standard each & every time he took the field. I have always admired Rice but I prefer stuffing if there's a choice. (Thanksgiving humor...sorry!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking for An Apartment? It May Not Be a Mansion, But Who Cares?

If you're reading this right now, then you must be in the market for an apartment for rent. Cash is tight and location is always king, so take a look for some apartments for rent on http://www.mynewplace.com/. They know their stuff and will find the ideal apartment for you. They give you a tight search within the parameters you decide. Don't waste your valuable time sifting through wannabes, could-have-beens and never wasses. It's just not necessary when you have great tools like http://www.mynewplace.com/. You might not get a mansion, but you might get something just perfect for you!

My Interview with Bob Locker


Bob Locker pitched in the pros from 1965 to 1975 for the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs. At age 27, Locker made his debut for the Chisox, tossing two innings and giving up three runs. He settled down and made 10 appearances that season following that initial appearance and ended his rookie year with a respectable 3.15 ERA. In 1969, Locker was traded to the expansion Seattle Pilots, posting a 2.18 ERA for a team that finished last in the division. In 1970, Locker’s contract was purchased by the Oakland A’s. In 1972, he was a key member of the World Series champs, when he posted a 6-1 record with a 2.65 ERA. Locker frequently came into in the seventh or eighth inning to setup closer Rollie Fingers. Locker appeared in the AL Championship that year, giving up two runs in three innings. On October 21, Locker made his first and only appearance in the World Series, relieving Vida Blue in the sixth game of Game Six. He gave up a single to Tony Perez but got the final out of the inning. A month later, Locker was traded to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Billy North. Locker concluded his career with the Cubs, sitting out the 1974 season to undergo surgery to remove chips from his pitching elbow. In 1975, Locker made 22 appearances and posted an ERA near 5.00, thereby ending his baseball career. Locker and his wife currently live in Lafayette, California and he spends much of his free time fishing and hunting. He’s a graduate of Iowa State University and a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.


The Seattle Pilots: “I was traded from the White Sox to the Pilots for Gary Bell in June, 1969. Seattle certainly wasn’t the end of my career, but I spent a lot of time in Chicago trying to find my out pitch and I guess they got tired of waiting. The White Sox traded me after a couple of weeks pitching poorly, which turned out to be a mistake, because 2-3 bad weeks isn’t an entire career and they should have been more patient with me, in my opinion. I was upset and didn’t want to go to Seattle, but they don’t give you much of a choice—they trade you and you go. In Seattle, I found my out pitch, my sinker, and as a result I had a 2.18 ERA and gave up only eight runs in 30 appearances for the Pilots. Seattle lacked one thing--talent. It was a group containing many different personalities, let’s put it that way. Joe Schultz was the manager for the Pilots, and he was not a baseball strategist, but he was a very good manager because he knew his job, which was to get 24 guys on the same page. And with a bunch of players picked up from here and there, we were in third place going into the final one or two months of the season. I think we looked up at one point and said what are we doing here? So, we didn’t play to our capabilities after that. We had some real offbeat folks up there in Seattle, so I fit right in. Mike Marshal was a genius, especially about pitching, but he was basically a loner. Jim Bouton was scribbling stuff down in this notebook all the time, but I never thought twice about it. (Bouton wrote Ball Four, considered to be the best baseball book ever written.) He caught a lot of heat about it when his book came out and I heard Mickey Mantle never spoke to Bouton again. People felt like Bouton gave away inside secrets, but all he really wrote about was what actually happened. There was a lot of that type of behavior--chasing skirts and drinking to excess, simple rough housing most of the time--but I stayed clear of all that mischief. I’d rather fish or hunt than sit in a bar or in a nightclub any day.”


A Young Manager in His Formative Years: “Tony LaRussa sat on the bench with the A’s in the ‘70’s when we were playing together in Oakland and he absorbed all the information about the game that he could. The best managers are either catchers or guys who really aren’t talented but can figure out how to make the best of their situation, and Tony was one of those guys. He’s the best manager in baseball right now, because he’s the guy who understands the game well enough off--handling pitchers, utilizing each player’s best abilities and manipulating the mental side of the game to his team’s advantage.”


Charlie Finley: “Finley was a real character and a lot of people, maybe most of them, didn’t care for the man. But, I respected him because he did what he believed in and stood by it while everyone else called him a crazy coot and a bunch of other things I can’t repeat. Many of his players didn’t like Charlie or trusted him, but at least they recognized that he would do whatever he could to put a winning team on the field. Those A’s teams in the early ‘70’s are some of the best ever.”


Catfish Hunter: “An all-around prince—a real classy fellow. Everything you’d want on your team. Great pitcher, fielder, pretty decent hitter for a pitcher; he never said a bad word about anyone; a consummate competitor; the great competitor, and a great fisher and hunter—so he was my favorite guy on that team. When he got sick later in life, it was just terrible.”


Vida Blue’s Rookie Season: “1971 was his phenomenal year and I remember it very vividly. It was probably the most awesome performance by any pitcher I’ve ever seen. To watch what he was throwing up there was amazing. There are certain secrets to pitching—they’re guys who throw to the corners like Catfish did; guys like Drysdale or Ryan who can ride the ball and defy the rules of gravity or throw a curveball that falls off the table. But, Vida’s fastball was so unique; with it running in all four different directions. It would go anywhere except right out over the plate. It was a pleasure to watch. Vida attracted huge crowds on the road and there was a buzz throughout the stadium every time he pitched.”


Dick Williams: “Dick was the best manager I ever had, but I don’t think he liked me. If you asked him, he would say something not too kind about me, I imagine. I was a free spirit, or whatever you’d call it and Dick just didn’t dig my vibe. But, I respected him more than any manager I ever saw. He called me an “odd ball” and stuff like that. I pitched well for him in 1972 (6-1, 2.65 ERA) and he wouldn’t pitch me in the World Series except on a limited basis, but I can understand that. He had Vida Blue in the pen that Series and he used him in almost every one of those games, and his starters played well, so it just worked out that way--that was fine. It wasn’t personal. I was basically a setup guy for Rollie Fingers, who was a pretty decent closer (laughs.)But Williams wasn’t enamored with me, I imagine, because they traded me to the Chicago Cubs for Billy North one month later.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Los Cabos Es Muy Excellente!I've said it many tempos before.

Los Cabos Es Muy Excellente!I've said it many tempos before. I know the score and going to Los Cabos and taking advantage of these amazing los cabos vacation packages deal are just incredible! Es mucho bueno--book a trip to Los Cabos today to enjoy the sun, the fun, the beaches, the clubs, the tequila, the watersports, the fishing for Marlin and Dorado--it all happens in Los Cabos--so get there. Do what you need to do and do it, mi amigos! It's important to unwind and Los Cabos is the most primo-est spot in el mundo!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Wisdom of Wally Westlake


I interviewed Wally at his home in Sacramento last year.
Wally Westlake was a utility player who had a 10-year career from 1947 to 1956. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies all of the National League and the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles both of the American League. He played third base and outfield. He was elected to the National League All-Star team in 1951. Westlake is a graduate of Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento, California.) He currently lives in Sacramento.
No

Quitters Apply:
“There were quite a few pitfalls in my baseball career before I made it to the major leagues. I was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers at age 19 in 1940. They sent me to Dayton, Ohio, Mid-Atlantic League, Class D. They were paying me around $120 a month, and my first thought was, what on earth am I going to do with all that money? Well, I didn’t play well. Every curve ball fell off the table and I was a day late on every fastball, so it was not a real confidence builder, to be certain. They called me into the office one day, and gave me a pink slip and my bus ticket home. They told me I should go home, forget about baseball, because I’d never have the skills to be a professional ballplayer. So, that night I’m leaving for the bus, and on the way there, I swing by the ballpark; the lights are on and the game is on. Forgive me, but the tears and the snot was flowing and I asked myself right there--you think I am going to quit? Not yet. The worst thing that scared me was the idea of facing my dad. I couldn’t face him as a failure. Fear of failure is one of the greatest motivators in the world, believe me. So, they let me stay and pretty quick I started playing better. And before I knew it, I was moving up through the minors at a pretty good clip.”

Casey Took a Swing at Helping Wally:
“I had some great teachers along the way, like Casey Stengel during my career in the minor leagues. He was a very strong force in my career starting in 1946. He saved my butt. Called for me one day early in the season and said, “You got talent and you can catch and run well enough to play centerfield, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. I am going to teach you how to play at the major league level.” And he did. For six months, he rode my biscuit, let me tell you. “Mister, you got your head where the sun don’t shine,” he told me. He was tough, but he made the game fun. He taught me how to read the pitchers, how to anticipate in the field, so that I was in position to make the tricky catches. He turned it around for me. I was 25 years old at that point and I was running out of time. Today, if you’re 25 and still in the minors, they give up on you. So, every chance I get, I’m proud to say thank you to Charles Dillon Stengel.”

His peculiar place in history: “It turns out that I’m the first white player who ever got hit by a pitch from a black player. It was a kid named Bankhead, a rookie pitching in middle relief for the Brooklyn Dodgers, making his debut and pitching in front of a packed house at Ebbets Field in late August, 1947. He was the first black pitcher to play in the majors. Everyone kind of hesitated when he hit me, there was almost like a hush. It was like what’s gonna happen next? But nothing happened and the game went on. It didn’t matter to me one way or another. I didn’t care if he was blue, green or purple out there on the mound, because he’s trying to get me out and I’m trying to whack his butt, regardless of who he is. But, my name gets mentioned quite a bit with that piece of fairly meaningless baseball history.”

Jackie Robinson: “I look back at all the crap Jackie went through that first season and I have nothing but utmost respect for the man. They did some unspeakable things to Robinson, and he should have kicked some asses, which he was more than capable of doing. A real man has to turn his other cheek, but your average individual would have blown his temper and punched a few bigots. You talk about guts, he had it. I don’t know how he did it. Jackie sat there and took it that first year and then Branch Rickey turned him loose that second year. Those bigots got some comeback that second season, that’s for sure.”


His first year in the Bigs: “We were basically terrible. That Pittsburgh team in ’47 had two stars—Hank Greenberg and Ralph Kiner and that was it. Greenberg was in his later years by that time (age 36) but he still hit 25 home runs that season. And Kiner hit 51 homers, and batted .313. But the rest of the team is fairly forgettable. The Pirates in ‘47made a lot of errors (149) and the team ERA was close to 5.00. The pitching staff threw 44 complete games, because the bullpen was awful. The starters had to finish games. We ended up 62-92 in last place, 32 games behind Brooklyn. It was a long season to start a career in the majors, that’s for sure, but I loved every minute of it.”

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Dawgs of My Life

We get attached to our pets to the point of being ridiculous. Many years ago, a fellow employee of mine called into work sick because her cat was ill. As a non-pet owner at that stage in my life, I laughed my ass off at this person and razzed her for treating an animal like a human being. Now, I feel bad for ridiculing this woman. I have two pets now and I can completely relate. The pet person I was striving to avoid being for so many years is now ME.

Pets and their people have a long history together. From the beginning of mankind, the very first couple had a pet—a snake. Adam wasn’t 100% onboard, but his wife insisted and you know how that goes.

How do pets and people work so well together? It’s not rocket science. You live with these creatures and they become part of your family. Most of the pets you own treat you better than your own relatives. They don’t borrow money or require interventions or ask you to drive them to the airport in the middle of commute traffic on a Friday. Your pets maintain a fairly predictable simple relationship with you. You feed them, they appreciate it and worship you (with dogs) or begrudgingly tolerate you (with cats).

We have a little Chihuahua mix and his name is Ratdog. Some people think I named him after Bob Weir’s band, but I named him Ratdog because he looks like a large white rodent. He actually looks more like an opossum. For a while I thought of naming him Pogo, but no one would understand the connection, so Ratdog it is.

His first owner, a friend of mine who has been dead for six years now (a victim to meth) tried to give him to the Humane Society but I stepped in and saved him from the doggy gallows. Ratdog is deaf and yips and yaps all the time at vibrations, like garbage trucks, motorcycles or the wind.

Ratdog doesn’t have corneas or something in his eyes and he’s basically an albino. He would have been a perfect purse dog for Edgar Winter (bad joke). When you take his picture it looks like he has perpetual red-eye.

Ratdog was evidently starved at one point during his life. Consequently, he’s more food-centric than any animal I’ve ever seen. Have you ever witnessed hyenas eat on Animal Planet? Ratdog consumes things most pooches won’t even sniff – like garlic, tangerines, head cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, skate, prawn tails and live snails. He especially loves the “pope’s nose” of a roast chicken. He eats bones completely. As of last year, he stopped eating foie gras, for the ducks at the park.

He loves to be cradled in your arms like an infant, but only by people he knows really well. If another dog tries to mess with him, Ratdog will bite the offending mutt without hesitation. He’s a tough little guy.

He’s older now, probably more than 100 years in canine time. But he still loves his walks, although he has his limits. When we walk past our gate after the first leg of our standard half hour walk, Ratdog stops and plants his dirty little discolored paws in the sidewalk. His walk is over and he’s not going another step. He looks so pleased when I retreat back to home, opening the gate and ending our walk short.

For some reason, Ratdog is also very popular, especially with the ladies. One female friend of mine actually tried to buy him from us for $500! She was writing the check. Can you believe it? My question is: Why are people so attracted to this ugly little mutt? What is it that makes him so darn endearing? Everybody who knows me is always asking about him – How’s Ratdog? What’s up with Ratdog? Why didn’t you bring Ratdog? They rarely ask my other dog Shelly.

What is the attraction? Maybe because he really is the ultimate underdog. His bark is so annoying it makes you want to scream. He’s not particularly attractive. He’s licked his front paws so many times over the years that they’re orange-colored. He’s always a tad stinky, even right after a bath. He’s got “death breath” 24/7 and no matter how many times you brush his teeth, they’re always a shade of light brown.

Last year, my wife and I made a 5-minute movie for a short-film contest here in San Francisco. It was called “Our Last Dinner with Ratdog” and starred you-know-who. The finished product was terrible, it hurts us just to watch it now, but Ratdog was great. Doing the movie was a learning experience to say the least. When we did the film, half the crew was drunk, my spouse got into it with the director and the entire process cost me major bucks I didn’t have. But, Ratdog was awesome. He hit his mark every time and was a real trooper. You can see the film on youtube.com, but if you covet five minutes of your life, pass. It’s the Heaven’s Gate of short dog films.


PART TWO: The “P” Word: Our other dog, Shelly.

Good Sponsors for Linksys Routers

Abe Lincoln isn't available, but if he were alive, Honest Abe would be a clear choice to be a sponsor for Linksys. Linksys makes a very high quality router. I have a Linksys router and I love it! I own a Wireless-G Broadband Router and once I got it set up properly, it works like a champion! Who would be a good sponsor for Linksys? How about Linkin Park? They could get the young interest in the product? It would be a natural. Man, how do I think of these amazing things? I surprise myself!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dark Circles

When I was asked to blog about dark circles, I thought initially about crop circles. But, it's not the same thing--dark circles are a HUGE DANGER that can attack anyone at anytime. We're referring to the dark circles that will appear most likely under your eyes. It will make you look 20 years faster instantly when you get these horrid dark circles. Don't let it happen--get a product that can alleviate these terrible dark circles. It's a human problem, so deal with it on THIS planet...today!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Safety is No Accident!

I am a very safety conscious person who still retains the philosophy I embraced while a Boy Scout, which is Don't Screw Up! We recently had the 20-year anniversary of the 1989 Earthquake and it's a good time right now more than ever to make sure you have enough top-quality, reliable safety products in your possession when the next Big Shaker hits this city like a gyrating go-go dancer with red ants in her pantaloons. Get on the safety kick and stay on it--thinking ahead puts you ahead. And the Boy Scouts say Be Prepared, silly!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Custom Greeting Holiday Cards for the Holidays!

Every year, we think about doing a photograph series of holiday-themed Holiday Cards, but we never get it done in time, so we get left hanging, stuck with the lower-tier store-bought holiday cards. Custom Greeting Holiday Cards for the Holidays is a fantastic idea. People really enjoy getting these types of cards. Get the family (and the pets) together and take a great photo. Use the shot in your greeting cards and you'll be pleased when you do it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Loose Diamonds?

Women love 'em and guys hate 'em. I am not talking about Neil Diamond! I am referring to loose diamonds, an expensive yet very successful way of getting guys into back good with their ladies. So, listen up clowns. Make your lady a happy little gal by kicking in with some cash and pick up a couple of loose diamonds for her. Maybe throw in a Neil Diamond CD, because the females get all excited when they hear songs like Cracklin' Rose, etc. You're gonna get it done because you HAVE to get it done! An I won't even charge you for the advice!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lambo Doors

Do you like lambo doors? The new hottest thing that you have ever seen, to make the scene and to be seen--you need to get a lambo door set. Lambo doors are very popular right now. They basically by sliding to the sky. They open straight up....just the way I like it! And if you're looking for straight great prices on high-quality lambo doors, go the those who know. It's that simple. Cherry up your ride and strut out on the street with pride..with lambo doors! If you're not cool, lambo doors won't make you cool--but they might help!

Ahhhhhhhhh....Memories of Classroom Furniture

Remember the folding top desks that were so popular in the 70's classrooms? I recall them somewhat fondly. The world of classroom furniture has changed dramatically. The super high-tech, cutting edge classroom desks, cabinets, etc. have some a long way, baby! But in the end, the basic pieces of classroom furniture is pretty much the same. As a freshman at St. Francis High School in La Canada, Calif., I upset one of my teachers (Terry Terrazone?) and he kicked my desk top, so hard he broke the desk and broke his toe? I was a pain-in-the-ass back then, which I still am, but not quite as bad. Memories of classroom furniture--what a ride through the times of our lives?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking 4 Top Health Insurance Leads?

The gentleman in this photo had a small advertising business. Then the economy took a spectacular dump, and he got sick without having health insurance. The hospital and doctors fleeced him for everything he owns, except for his dog and the clothes on his back. If he could have accessed some high-quality, reliable health insurance leads, he would not be in the position where he sits today. All I can say in "Ouch!" Get on the right page and take a long look at some great health insurance leads. It's...it's...important!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are You Always Hungry?

The best appetite suppressant is out there, although the one that's ideal for you will have to be determined. Look at the ingredients and find the one that fits you and your lifestyle. Appetite suppressants have came a long way, baby. Just look at this hungry chimp. The poor thing is hoarding food. Humans are smarter (slightly), so we can figure out the best appetite suppressant for you. Get it done and watch the weight drop off! You'll get it done 'cause you gotta get it done!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Disney Is Always Hot!


The Disney name is always strong, because children and adults from all over the world recognize and derive extreme joy from the characters and films of Disney. Right now, they're a ton of great deals on downtown disney hotels. I also learned that a new Disney Family Museum opened here in San Francisco on October 1st, here in the Presidio (see drawings). I can't wait to visit it! Disney never fails, he never flails and he's always strong. Thanks, Walt! You've made so many millions people happy! From Mickey Mouse to the newest creations, there is nothing like Disney!

Monday, October 05, 2009

How Many Interns?

On his late night talk show Thursday, David Letterman shocked fans by revealing that someone tried to extort him over "sexual relationships" he had with female employees.
"This morning, I did something I've never done in my life," Letterman, 62, told his audience. "I had to go downtown and testify before a grand jury."
Are we supposed to feel sympathy for Dave Letterman? The apology he should be asking needs to be directed at his wife.
I’ve worked at radio stations with interns on staff. The rule was “No Touch Any Interns.” It makes it a very chaotic situation when guys are banging interns right and left. It offers so many potential sexual harassment suits, for one.
Letterman was loving life, until now. How many young, beautiful interns fell for his weak rap over the years? It must have been a thrill for these college girls to sleep with the boss. Did they expect preferential behavior? Probably.
So, say it like it is. You’re scum Letterman, and you can package it any way you want—you’re still scum!
The whole affair began when Letterman said he had received a package from an individual who claimed to have information on his flings with female employees and threatened to go to the press unless Letterman handed over $2 million.
Letterman contacted the Manhattan District Attorney's office, who launched an investigation.
Investigators advised Letterman to mail a phony $2 million check to the individual, which led to the extortionist's arrest on Thursday. Police have identified Robert Halderman, 51, an Emmy Award-winning producer, as a suspect.
Asked if he had sexual relationships, "My response to that is, yes I have. Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would," Letterman told his audience. "I feel like I need to protect these people - I need to certainly protect my family."
Protect whom David? Not nailing interns would have been the first step if he cared of “protecting” anyone but himself ?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gonzaga University Online Masters Degree

It's the new way today--college degrees online. Everyone out there right now who knows knows that this the best way to go. Stay fresh and get amidst in the education that's the best--you'll enjoy higher learning at any level and whatever age you are. An incredible online masters degree is available at www.Gonzaga.com. Gonzaga is an accredited, highly regarded and much respected university. They were rated on the top list of top-tier, cream of the crop schools, according to U.S. News and World Report. For 16 years, they've been at the top of the list, so go with the Gold. Go with Gonzaga and do it online every time. Respect. Education. Furthering to achieve goals. Excel. Be involved, engaged and ready to take it to the next level. Embrace the Passion. Answer the questions before they arise. And take a lean look at www.Gonzaga.online.com.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The History of Cardboard Displays

Working in advertising and marketing, I am occasionally asked to design a cardboard display, mini billboard concept or a type of banners or standard signage. Cardboard displays have a big market. Movies, videos, music CD's, toys--they all use cardboard displays one form or another. This type of signage goes all the way back to the 1920's, so it's a very accepted form that has a rich history. The new technology in this industry has made it a new renaissance. I'm seeing amazing new products in this segment all the time!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Orlando!?!?!

My beautiful bride recently mentioned a possible upcoming vacation.
I asked her, "What would you want if you could do anything anywhere?"

She said "Orlando."

So, being the dutiful husband, I started researching Orlando. Wow, it's a great place to visit. Of course, you've got Disney World, but they also have great golf courses, water sports, nature, great weather, super restaurants, entertainment, etc.

When I took my findings to the wife, she threw me a curve.
"I don't want Orlando the City. I want Orlando Bloom, the actor. You said whatever I wanted!"

Ouch, I thought to myself. How the hell am I going to get Orlando Bloom here?

(More to report...)