Monthly Archives: May 2015

marketing malarky

Today a short complaint .

I got a  30% discount coupon on-line from CVS . CVS is one of the many NSA affiliates who collect personal information on me . I don’t think that they monitor my phone calls , yet ; but I’m sure they do a more efficient collection job than the government does .

I printed the coupon and walked on over to CVS . It’s not far from my crib house . I wanted to get some good sunscreen . The coupon didn’t work . I hadn’t hit the right button on the computer screen . Okay . So I went home again and started over . A little free exercise never hurt anyone .

I tried again at the store . The clerk had held my item aside . I also had decided to purchase a roll of Tums antacid chewies . But , I didn’t need the Tums yet . So , why didn’t the coupon work the second time ?

” It’s a sales item , ” said the clerk . She was smiling . Good customer service style . ” The coupon won’t work on sales items . ”

I abandoned my original choice and tried the store brand . Probably it’s the exact same stuff . The store brand sunscreen is  $3  cheaper , though .

” It’s on sale , ” the clerk said .

” I didn’t see any “on sale” sign , ” I said .

” Buy two , get the second one half price ,” she said .

” Everthing in the [#!!.*#–!#::#*]  store is half price off on the second item ,” I said . I was beginning to eye that roll of Tums with more interest . ” That’s what they call  ‘on sale’ ? ” , I asked her , even though it wasn’t the clerk’s fault . She was just clerking , with a smile and a customer-friendly corporate expression. She wasn’t the CEO making the big bucks , after all , who was making store  policy .  She was just clerking .  human geography book

Yeah , that’s what they call ‘on sale’ . But , when you buy one item , because you need only one , nothing seems to be on sale . What is that ? Bait-and-Switch ?  I have other terms for it , too ; but better you use your imagination than I spew it out here in print .

” Did you find everything okay ? ”  I hate that line  , too , by the way , asked more and more by store cashiers as I’m paying for my loot .  Did I find everything okay ? I’m now checking out . If I hadn’t found everything by the time I’m pulling out my credit card , would I not have asked already ?  It seems like an idiotic exchange , but maybe it’s just me .

And I’ll put a small complaint about Ralph’s markets in here , too , as long as I’m at it . It can be generalized a bit , too , I think . Ralph’s has taken to putting signs up for several items— great prices !  At first I’d grab a can of beans , or oatmeal , or whatever , to take advantage of the cheap price . Great ! I’m lucky to be here in the store during such a good sale !actor old


In very tiny print under the large , bold print , the amazingly great price , is the information that you get the good price only when you buy 15 cans of beans , or fifteen boxes of oatmeal , or 15 of whatever .  I have words for this devious marketing ploy , too . But , same rules apply —- I’ll keep my screed to myself for now . You’ll have to use your imagination , if you want . But , if you do , have the Tums ready .

Back to CVS . When I checked my e-mail later in the day  I had , ironically ,  another 30% discount coupon . I wrote the corporate gang out in internet-land a succinct reply . I gave them a piece of my mind , so to speak . I explained how if a customer wants any one item in the store , nothing is on sale . The second items seem to be on sale , but not the first item . Therefore , in my way of thinking , this is deceitful marketing and , in effect , the 30% discount is useless — a trick to get you into the store . So , I told them ( as if they care ) that I’m re-considering my loyalty to CVS ( slight exaggeration here , I admit ) and seriously considering courting the Rite-Aide across the street .

I was shocked and dismayed when I got a hasty reply . Someone cares ! , I thought . Wow . But when I opened the e-mail from CVS it was only a message saying that ” there is no monitor ” at the destination I attempted to send my e-mail . They gave me a couple of aIternate addresses .

I could spent the rest of my life complaining about the phony 30% CVS coupon strategy , I suppose ; but that would be a waste of time . But , at least , I hope in my secret file  they’re writing all of this down . I’m sure they are . They could share it with Ralph’s , too , if they like , and Google , and whoever . They have my permission ( a little joke there at the end  ) .


Filed under humor


On April 3, 1912 , Cal Rogers was flying his aeroplane over Long Beach , CA . Crowds on the beach were watching . Cal flew right into a flock of birds and , as a result , crashed into the ocean and died . His was the first aircraft downed by a flock of birds .orville wright in flight

1911 cal rogers on phoneCal Rogers crash

Of course , CA wasn’t CA back then . 1912 was too long ago . People , at least in this country , still spoke not only in complete sentences but also in complete words . CA was California back then .

Then it became Cal . That got a little confusing since one of our great state universities was also called Cal . I have a nephew who attends Cal . They call it  ” Berkeley” now , I think . I guess you could call it  ” UCB ” , too . I haven’t heard that one much . Maybe never heard that one .(But , of course , I’m a southern Cal guy .)  Not like “UCSB” , and ” UCLA “. Those are all over the place .

I never herd [ intentional misspelling ] anyone talking about UCLA as ” The University of California at Los Angeles ” . Well , I’ve heard that once or twice in my lifetime , but I can’t remember when or where or why or who -( m ). Doesn’t matter , does it ?  Anyhow , I am an alum- (nae ? na ? nus ? ) of LA , so’s I should know  [ Na ! Nobody says  “LA” when they mean UCLA . Leastways , not in my neck of the woods . Could be they’re saying it behind my back , I suppose .I just put that in there to see if your [ intentional misspelling ] still paying attention . (Attention spans have gone down in this country , you know , from an average 16 seconds to an average 12 seconds . )[ type of script unintentional ].phone old

I should know grammar ’cause I took lots and lots of English classes at  LA  UCLA . I imagine they must still be teaching English classes over there . I haven’t been back lately to check . Probably their [ i. m. ] all on computer now , though  . Well , maybe not computers , as such . Maybe it’s all on Smart Phone , or iPhone , or clone phone , or whatever they got nowadays . I’m a little behind on the new tech stuff . I’m just now learning how to add friends’ names to the contact list on my flip phone . Keep learning ! They say it’s important !phone old (2)

Going back a bit :

one : Where you going to school ?

two :Berkeley . 

one :Wow ! Tough to get in there these days .

two : I guess . 


one : Where you going to school ?

two : LA

one : Wow ………

Well, back to Cal Rogers and Long Beach , California , and pigeons . Maybe sea gulls .  After California became Cal it quickly switched over  to Calif . It was kind of a perpetual question : Cal – if . If only ! No one  [ that I know of ] said  “Calif.” It was strictly a written thing . Businesses did business in Calif . People at the other end of cards and letters lived in Calif.oil field 1930 playa del rey

Calif. was a pretty good place to live [That’s ! a generalization . Kind of depended on who you were , when it comes right down to it , wouldn’t you think  ! ]  during the Calif. days . Lots of water , anyway , and green lawns for kids to play on . Little League Baseball . Pancake breakfasts . Prop planes scooting people around and letting them out on the tarmac . Disneyland . Davy Crockett hats . Smog.  Restricted neighborhoods, etc.   Etc. [  see Kevin Starr volumes ]

I’ve been working with old post cards over at the Arcadia History Museum . It’s no longer the History Museum , though . It’s the Arcadia Museum of Cultural Heritage . The thoughtful people in the city bureaucracy got rid of the history moniker . Too threatening , I guess . Not inclusive enough . ” Heritage ” sounds more  suave and  debonair , I’m sure .

Anyhow .

Some of the cards in the collection have  Calif . , some have  CA , and some have California addresses . Often that’s about the only clue I have to the date of the card .( If the ” Heritage” museum has a carbon-dating machine , I have found it yet .)  And , of course , there’s the zip code /or not , or  the  ” L.A. 46 ” , or ” Los Angeles 6 ” , and the occasional phone numbers , eg. ” Gladstone 4117 ” . Not to mention the stamps on some of the cards , too , as clues : the one cent stamps ; 2 cents foreign .

So , you may wonder , what does all of this have to do with Cal Rogers ? (or , with anything ?) Who remembers Carl Rogers , anyway ! Brought down by a flock of birds . All I can say is : Let that be a lesson to you !  (Or , maybe you weren’t paying attention ? )

Some heritage history : William Randolph Hearst offered a $50,000 prize to anyone who could fly across the country in less that thirty days . Cal Rogers took the challenge . He bought a Wright Bros. plane , took 90 minutes of instruction from Orville , and took off from New York . Cal landed in Pasadena 49 days later . No prize money , too late ;  but , he gave a demonstration over Long Beach for the interested crowds a few days later . His plane he called Vin Fiz , which was the name of a soft drink made by his main financial supporter of the cross-country flight.poster-vinfiz


Filed under humor

Photos of cool sculptures at Liberty Station.

A share from San Diego .

Cool San Diego Sights!

Mother by Robert Michael Jones appears complex and incomplete. According to the artist, his unusual sculptures represent ongoing life stories. Mother by Robert Michael Jones appears complex and incomplete. According to the artist, his unusual sculptures represent ongoing life stories.

I still have a bunch of photos to share from my long walk around Liberty Station several weeks ago!

Check out these cool sculptures! I stumbled upon them while wandering about the North Promenade area of the old Naval Training Center San Diego. NTC Liberty Station, with its rich history, unique architecture, many museums and fun public art, is a great place to absorb a whole lot of culture and beauty.

Runner by Robert Michael Jones with strange muscle, bone and energy. Three pieces by this artist stand in front of NTC Liberty Station's Barracks 14. Runner by Robert Michael Jones with strange muscle, bone and energy. Three pieces by this artist stand in front of NTC Liberty Station’s Barracks 14.

Close up photo of Ascend by Robert Michael Jones. His works seem like frayed, ancient images of human struggle from mythology. Close up photo of Ascend by Robert Michael Jones. His works seem like frayed, ancient images of human struggle from mythology.

Archimage by Jeffery Laudenslager, whose sculptures often use odd geometry to boggle the mind. This piece, near the Dance Place, won an Orchid award in 1999. Archimage by Jeffery Laudenslager, whose sculptures often use odd geometry to boggle the…

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Filed under humor


man bearded old 3The  beard that I’ve worn for most of my life started out it’s career as a mustache when I was 18 . I was working part time at Redman Van and Storage . I worked with the warehouseman , Roy , inside the furniture warehouse and out on the yard where the trucks came in .  Up at the front of the place facing the street were the offices , full of guys ( one woman ) wearing suits , who parked their GTO’s and red sports cars  out back . They’d walk through the warehouse on their way to and from their alter egos , holding their breaths , I think ,  hoping not to pick up any grit or slime on the way , because those suits were expensive .

After I’d worked there for a time , anonymous notes began appearing , tacked to the walls near the loading dock and against the freight elevator . The author spoke in brief angry phrases about dirty hippies and Communists , and red-blooded Americans . I was so dumb then that Roy had to clue me in . I was no hippie and I was no Communist and I was no dirtier than I had to be working in the warehouse around the furniture ,  so Roy had to tell me what’s what .

” They’re about you ” Roy said . Really ? Dirty hippies ? Red-blooded Americans ? Evidently I was cast as the former , not the latter . Because of the mustache .

” The difference between a tart , a pie , and a quiche are a blur “.

Roy was my buddy , but I think he knew  the person who was posting the angry messages. It had to be one of those suited guys in the front offices , no doubt , too cowardly to confront the issue directly . There was  only Roy and I  working  in the back , and the drivers who came in and drove out  would have told me to my face if there was a problem .

I was too dumb to even realize that there was an issue . Bent out of shape over a mustache ?  Really ? But , it was those Vietnam War Love-it-or-Leave It  days , that stretch of American time before ol’ Willie Nelson grew his stringy locks long and made hair not such a reliable  loyalty oath test any more  . Had the angry fool secretly posting the notes  not been one of Roy’s front office bosses , I figure , Roy would have torn the things down .

” Do the best you can , and don’t take life too serious “.

[decades pass]Dandy man

When I got older and my beard turned white , I trimmed it down to a goatee , as older men tend to do , because I was uncomfortable with the Santa Claus look . Eventually I noticed that so many of us older guys sport those goatees I began to think of it as a requirement for membership in the old man club . I finally shaved the thing off a few weeks ago . Took the mustache off , too .

” Always do whatever’s next “.

I don’t care who the person was who posted the notes way back when . I didn’t care back then , either . Maybe it was old man S. , who had hired me . He never liked me . He had wanted to hire my brother Tom , but Tom had gone off to Officer Training School that year , I think , and I was the pinch-hitter .

It could have been any of those guys in the front offices . They were all snooty . It warms my heart , in a way , to know that whomever it was  had assigned himself something important to worry over and to fret about .  Hopefully , he twisted and turned and lost sleep over the fact that  I worked there three more years and  never shaved off my mustache .

” Things never go the way you expect them to . “

That dude is , no doubt , dead now , because it was a long time ago , and the mustache conniption  is merely another faded memory of mine . I do hope the poor guy got to heaven , though ,  got to meet God , and that God has a long bushy beard and a thick  and  unruly  mustache .god book


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Memorial Day


Easter Eggs For Hitler 10-3-1945

Tank commander in tank



airlplane wing stars

airplane noses

soldiers holding up jeep

iowo jima memorial

Hap Arnold and Jimmy Doolittle June 27, 1942WOMEN aircraft workers 1942 (3)woman worker

P-51 Mustang fighter plane

B-25 bomber

ARMY Gallivan stuff 014

ARMY Gallivan stuff 027

101st soldiers

101st bastogneAdmiral Farragut


General Daniel Sickles

General Daniel Sickles

ship 1901  2

Whaleback ship 1899USS Kentucky 1900battleship Iowa 009

battleship Iowa 064

Shell casing pile Korea

WWI gas victims


WWI graveyard

sailor WWI

black soldier guard duty

soldier WWI 3

nurse and soldier

aviator early WWI

poster army recruitment

poster army artillery

poster army

poster marine 7

poster fruits of victory

WWI wounded s

us army air forces

marines in bumper cars san diego

navy PT boat

steel helmet army

WWI ambulance british

Amer bomber

civil war sailor boy and flag

induction to navy

2 sailor

Battleship Iowa 007


confederate dead

plane fighters

soldiers massed

  1. tank
  2. d day memorialkorean war steel soldier
  3. Iraq War II Soldiers Helicopter
  4. iraq war 2m1 abrams tank firing
  5. amer. flags veteran cemetary
  6. pershing square, downtown 012


Filed under military

old men wearing beards

There was a time

when beards were oh so establishment . Maybe President Obama should try growing a beard . See what happens . Everything’s

gone to hell anyway .That’s what I hear , anyway , although I don’t keep up on it all . So what’s the big loss ? Maybe it will rekindle a vibrant spirit among people in the nation . It didn’t hurt Honest Abe , it seems , when a little girl wrote to him that he should try it , and so he did .  general crookman beard old 2

man beard old 3

man beard old 4

man bearded oldman bearded old 3man bearded soldier old


Filed under humor

7,000 words worth

airplane in hand

man bearded old

Ford track 1921

woman flier

woman taxi driver

Negro in a hatFanny Brice 1922


Filed under humor