I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3


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During the Thursday night pool game we found ourselves holding our hands in front of ourselves , straight and vertical as if engaged in some original salute aimed at the door to the kitchen . Line it up with the door jam , both eyes open , we were told . Now close one eye . Now open it and close the other eye .

A few minutes earlier Bill had asked me : ” Are you left -handed ? ”

” You’ve only been playing along side of him for fifteen years , ” said the guy next to Bill .textile swahili

So , we lined up our sights with our hands and the door jam . One eye lines up straight with the jam , but the other doesn’t . The one that lines up is the dominant eye . Mine was the left eye .

I’m right -handed but I play pool left handed . I do other things left-handed too . Now I find my dominant eye confirms the notion that I am naturally left-handed . The trouble is that the grade school nuns taught me to write right-handed . I was too dumb to know right from left in those early years . If the result was that I became ambidextrous , then that’s fine ; but unfortunately ,  that’s not the case .

I don’t blame the nuns for a lifelong  befuddled diffidence  . It wasn’t a case of left-handers being considered sinister . Not like that at all . I hope not , anyhow . Let’s just say that I was not very assertive in those days . textile largeNot like Jesse James .

Not like Bonnie and Clyde .

And not like John Dillinger .


POLAND JUNE 2017 Willie,etc. 526



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December 7 , 1941

machine gunner

pearl harbor -damaged Nevada

pearl harbor -burning w. virginiapearl harbor uss arizona

pearl harbor smoking ships

pearl harbor uss california

steel helmet army
volunteer WWI

induction to navy2 sailor


December 6, 2017 · 8:27 pm

sailor from the Arizona

boatswains mate USS Arizona 1919This is a photo  of a boatswains mate from the USS Arizona taken in 1919. He has his collection of souvenirs . The Arizona was off the coast of Turkey in 1919 .

The USS Arizona had been launched in 1910 .

The ship can be seen in the 1934  Cagney film . Here Comes The Navy .


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2 ships damaged at Pearl Harbor

Both launched in 1914 .
USS OKlahoma  USS Oklahoma

USS Nevada

USS Nevada


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I am re-blogging this one to remember Pearl Harbor .




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the truth

 You can’t handle the truth !  

I think Jack Nicholson said that , playing Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men .

And what is truth ?  , says Pontius Pilate , when Jesus of Nazareth is on trial for his life . We both have truths . Are mine the same as yours ? 



I thought for a minute that I’d write a little on the topic of truth . That’s not really what’s on my mind , though . I was thinking more of all the recent political craptrap and my flimsily assertive ideas like the world is going to hell in a hand basket and the inevitable upcoming  sunsetting  of the great American experiment at the stubborn hands of ham fisted bigots and simple minded ignoramuses and self-interested fools , many of them holding the reins of intelligence and probably fine educations only to put all of that potential to use plundering  the moral , civic , and historical riches of this nation .

You know , temporary but discouraging  thoughts like that .

A lie told often enough becomes the truth .   —- Vladimir Lenin

headless 1

skull museum

spam and pancakes.jpg

BELARUS TRIP 2017 305betty compson.jpg

[fact or reality , fact or reality, fact or reality, fact or reality , fact or reality]


Here I sit in the USofA , fat and coddled , pecking upon the keyboard of a laptop computer while  munching candy-covered peanuts and  , well , disappointed , weighted down with the endlessly circulating lies these days flying crazily around what’s been called the public square . frenc liberty brit slavery

Even if you are a minority of one , the truth is the truth .

 Ghandi said that .candy worker 1925

Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it . Emily Dickenson said that .Edwardian Girls From between the 1900s and 1910s (13) (1).jpg

2 cents…………………..and that’s my two cents for today .



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Once again , a short complaint of “so” used , what ? , as a verbal smokescreen ? I’ve heard it used by the talking-heads class of people . So  I’ll take a deep breath , count to ten , and  just barge into my little mild fulmination on the subject of the silly “so”.following the fashion

So , what these people do is use the word ‘so’ as an introductory word , instead of a small forced cough , or an ostentatious  puff of smoke from a pipe , or some other outmoded method of buying a little bit of time before offering a profound-sounding tidbit of deep erudition .

Q.  So , what is your take on this phenomenon ?

A.  So , what we have is a condition brought about by ………………

So , I know that language is a constantly changing bag of worms . So , I realize that my comments may sound somewhat petty to many people , and I accept that observation . However , if you have not noticed this particular idiomatic occurrence , I would say , ” Good for you ! ”   So , in that case I might guess that you don’t listen to the so-called talking heads  . I don’t much either , to be honest , but I can’t totally avoid them.

So , on the other hand , perhaps you have not yet noticed this dubious linguistic quirk .no nothing

Q.    So , is it just me who sees this trend ? 

A.    So , sometimes people make mistakes , imagine things that aren’t there . You know .

Well , to paraphrase the old Irish woman : You may not believe in leprechauns , but they’re out there just the same . 

Women with a pipe (8)

So , is this the end of civilization as we know it ? Perhaps not , not because of this , but it irritates me to no end when I hear it . So , I suppose what irritates me the most is that I don’t know when or how or why this creeping trend started . I hope to heaven that it doesn’t seep out and spread more widely into common language. So , if any of my friends start  “so”- ing , I will tell them to stop , at least quit the practice when I’m around . So , I expect that some of them will honor my request and some won’t . So ,  friendships have ended for less , I guess .

So , I’ll end this little diatribe here and now . So , if you consider this all irrelevant to your life and reading about it a waste of your time , then so be it . So , sorry . So , no one’s holding a gun to your head .fishing and guns

girl scout shooters 1920



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