Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brontesaurus with barrier breaking feminist vision!

Video by Phil Lord and Chris Miller:

This was a fake commercial we made in 1998 for a series of educational shorts about action figures based on historical figures. Its educational value was somewhat suspect. It was never aired.

Friday, May 14, 2010


reposted from 4/2009

I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:

A half-gallon of 2% milk

A carton of eggs

A quart of orange juice

A head of lettuce

A 2 lb. can of coffee

A 1 lb. package of bacon

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk
standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the cashier.

While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated,

'You must be single.'

I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the
derelict's intuition, since I indeed had never found Mr. Right. I looked
at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my
selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said , "Yes you are correct . But how
on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "Cause you're ugly."

From Margaret and Helen's place, comment by Honolulu Sally on April 21, 2009
at 5:47 PM.

Had I been drinking milk, it woulda gone out my nose. Honolulu Sally was commenting after a post that included the Susan Boyle saga -- so this was a nice counterpoint to virulent political correctness. 'Splain to me, though, why the guy has to be a drunk, a derelict? That makes it funnier?

[addendum: it's over a year later and i know the answer to that question. we suppose that drunks, like children, are simple, either by nature or acquired chemistry, and therefore speak nothing but the uninhibited truth.]

I am awful at telling jokes and stories, always forgetting the order of things and schtuff like the punchline. My favorite joke?

Ahem. Cough. Cough. Okay:

Three guys walk into my bar.
I yell: "Get the hell out of my bar!"

I think of it as The Preemptive Strike of Jokes.

Helen Philpot: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I love finding new posts from Margaret and Helen sitting in my Google Reader. It feels like Christmas. Also, Friday.

Margaret's nephew Howard is a good boy, and we love him. He's also an easy mark for Helen, and we love that, too. While we are loving on everyone, here's a bear hug for Matthew, Helen's grandson, who makes all this possible, from the technical end of things, that is.

I'd give my left shoulder to see some of Margaret's paintings... and all of Helen's short stories.

Anywho, here is the beginning of the latest post from over there, and please do follow it back home so as to read the rest... Shoot, why not camp out on The Porch with some fortified tea or lemonade, and check out the archives?

Margaret, tell Howard that the difference between me and Rush Limbaugh is that I don’t lie in order to support my opinion. That fat bastard Limbaugh will say anything to keep his ratings up and counts on his fans being too lazy to check the facts. And as far as the next election, Howard is probably right. This fickle country of ours will probably put the Republicans back in control of something and it will start all over again. It’s sad really.

I wonder if the Grand Old Party has taken a step back recently and gotten a good look at just how tarnished they have become? You’ve got one Governor shooting wolves out of helicopters and another using laser guided missiles to take out coyotes during his morning jog. You’ve got the Tea Party rooting for insurance companies instead of kids and the Right-To-Lifers shooting doctors at church. The GOP even has homophobes practicing homosexuality. And “drill, baby, drill” isn’t sounding too great for a battle cry these days, but by God they’re sticking to it. From where I sit, the entire Republican Party should head to OZ – looking for a brain, a heart and a pair of testicles. [continued, here...]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paparazzi the Rocks

If any of you out there have actually seen the Wedded Rocks, I am hungry to hear about it. It is a simple idea -- indeed, here at Marlinspike Hall, deep, deep in the Tête de Hergé, we modeled our turret-to-stables contraption after the idea of twining two things together in the pursuit of three. I believe I briefly described our sad effort in a post meant to embarrass Fresca the Wordlemeister. On that count, I can claim success.

It astonishes me. Enthralled by a series of photographs of these rocks, this worshipful effort, I showed them to Fred. I share everything with Fred, much to Fred's annoyance.

He was unimpressed. Unimpressed by the Wedded Rocks, and unimpressed by the photo series.

In turn, because I am increasing in mental midgethood, I became fascinated by his ennui.

[Note well, dear friends, that being sucked into another's boredom is the Nadir of Everything. You might as well lay down and die.]

In an effort to pull myself free from Fred's voracious vacuum, I decided to just revel in the damn photographs, and to share the one above with you. In the process, I took a longer, more appreciative look at this photographer's work. Ever so humbly, I commend Rolfe Horn to you. Spend some time in his galleries at For My Beautiful Life. Tell someone where you are going first, and use the buddy system -- it is easy to go under, to get lost. There are some lovely images of Monterey and the Mendocino coastline, as well as more exotic watery locales.
[Just when you have your sea legs? Wham... a forest, a desert.]

Called Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩) or the Loved one-and-loved one [I'm thinking Beloved might be a better translation?] Rocks, they form part of a cogent tour of Shinto shrines.

Ah, as to the purpose behind the wedding of the beloved rocks? They represent the marriage of kami izanagi and izanami, man and woman, creator and created, and are considered sacred in Shinto spirituality, which is, itself, best expressed as a link between Japan's now and Japan's long, long time ago. Something along the lines of history meeting myth, then joining arms to dance with folklore, the whole lark covered in the simple beauty of careful repetition.

With a dash of Buddhism, a sprinkle of Confucianism, and a hint of smoky paprika, to taste.

Yes, that is The Castafiore Version of Shinto. I know, I know, all my stuff ends up as a 1950s casserole, finished with an impermeable sheet of melted orange cheese.

For information grounded in reality, clearly expressed, that you can safely trot out during afternoon tea, try reading this from the good people at the BBC.

Funny, but the whole thang with Fred over these lovely stones had to do with purpose. What are they for? he demanded, insisted, and fairly carped. I've been feeling pretty darned snarky, so he is lucky to have escaped with a referral to Wikipedia.

Put that in your ennui, and smoke it, y'know what I mean?

The rope connecting the rocks is made of rice straw. Although I fantasized about the rope enduring as well as the rocks have, I read that they require replacement a couple of times a year. The ceremony around that endeavor must be noteworthy. On my next mental foray, I think I will try to see if there are available videos of... the roping.

Visions of a rodeo on the high seas.

Did you know that California (and many other places, I am sure) has a thriving Rice Straw market going?

I learned that Rice Straw, as a commodity, comes in the following forms:

Small 3-String Small 2-String
Large 3x4 Large 4x4
Barn-Stored Certified Weed-Free
Building-Quality Forage-Quality
Loose/Unbaled Certified Organic

It is commonly used as a product in the following industries and endeavors:

Erosion Control Formulated Animal Feed
Animal Bedding Construction Materials
Door Cores Paper/Pulp
Packaging Material Fuel/Chemicals
Energy Compost

If you want to break into the Rice Straw bonanza, these are some of the goods and services you might wanna try:

Baling - Small Bales Baling - Large Bales
Chopping Grinding
Swathing Transportation
Loading Storage
Bale Construction Export

I know, it's hard to get The Graduate out of your head. I mean, just replace "plastics" with "rice straw" and it's uncanny:

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: RICE STRAW.
Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?

Anyway, either great minds think alike, or we are all just copying each other, because as I browsed through travel blogs recounting visits to Meoto Iwa, the recurring advice is to plan to spend a whole whopping 15 minutes there, unless, as one young Christian woman worded it, you want to "paparazzi the rocks."

Excerpted from Rolfe Horn's biography:

Rolfe Horn was born in Walnut Creek, California, in 1971. His fascination with photography began as a child when he used his father’s camera to capture memories of hikes around the trails of the East Bay and Lake Tahoe. His passion for photography blossomed in high school when he enrolled in his first photography class. Within a couple of months, he constructed a darkroom in his father’s workshop, where he spent much of his free time. This passion earned him several first place awards for images of Yosemite Valley and the Mt. Diablo area. His High School graduation honors include Awards for Excellence in photography.

Rolfe received his Associate of Arts degree from Diablo Valley College in 1993. During his years as a student, he worked as an assistant to a commercial photographer, where he learned a great deal about the zone system, as well as printing techniques.

Rolfe studied landscape photography with Mark Citret, an associate of Ansel Adams, prior to entering Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, California, in 1993. While a student at Brooks Institute, he studied with Nick Dekker, who introduced him to alternative processes and pushed him to create powerful images. He received multiple awards for his black and white photographs of the California landscape and recognition for pioneering interactive digital photography. When Rolfe received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooks Institute in the fall of 1996, he was named as the most outstanding graduate of his class and presented with a plaque in recognition of his accumulated achievements in landscape and digital photography.

After graduation, Rolfe moved to the Bay Area, where he continued his love for landscape photography while pursuing a career in digital interactive photography. He began to study the surrealistic nature of the land, searching out abstract forms or working at night, as he had done when he was a teenager.

In 1998 Rolfe decided to give up commercial photography in order to assist Michael Kenna. Working for Kenna allowed Rolfe to concentrate all his efforts in the fine arts. During the three years assisting, Rolfe created new work, found gallery representation and eventually was able “retire” from assisting in 2001.

Rolfe continues to live and work as an artist and photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographs have been in numerous exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as widely published in magazines and in several books, including three monographs.

Mitigating Factors: Dame Marjorie Chardin, P-876954, and Nathan Hale

Do you remember Uncle Victor, Harold's one-armed relative, the sleeve of his dress uniform folded neatly and rigged to a mechanized salute? The one described as "General Bradley's right hand man"?

The one who said: The two best wars this country ever fought were against the Gerrys. I say get the Krauts on the other side of the fence where they belong. Let's get back to the kind of enemy worth killing, and the kind of war this whole country can support.

While I wasn't exposed to statements exactly like that, as a military brat, I did grow up tapping my toes to the tune of regret. Regret that the average soldier was more interested in the benefits promised after a few piddly years of service; Regret that black men were enlisting in disproportionate numbers; Regret that the military found itself more and more in the position of a finishing school for people that never really even had a start.

I am still confused about my father's view of war. He did not love it or hope for it, though he did wax poetically nostalgic about the unity war supposedly gifted to this country prior to, say, 1950.

Brilliant, in some ways, my father rationalized his involvement in the decision to kill other men and women. It was, thought he, inevitable that they should die. Therefore, he served proudly as their personal Mitigating Factor.

As Mitigating Factor, he transformed what might otherwise be seen as -- simply -- sanctioned murder, into the cleanest, quickest, most painless death possible.

He was a pilot, of course. Dropping bombs (and other things) -- not onto people but onto strategic targets. Eliminating those targets would advance some battle plan or other, and the smooth advancement of that plan would likely have a domino effect of smoothness on the overarching blueprint for the war.

Fewer of "our boys" would die. The "conflict" would be shortened, the enemy thereby benefitting as much as our own valiant selves. Collateral Damage, meet my Dad, the Mitigating Factor.

I think he was only at peace in the sky, flying high. He didn't become a Total Fart until they pulled him down from up there so as to better pick his brain for its brilliance in organization and logic.

His logic could, and did, drive people crazy. Foundational logic. As if it were so decreed by the Boy Scout Manual, he never did or said anything without the sturdy tripod of an unassailable foundation.

This liberated him from responsibility and guilt, and rendered him always right. He had a heart, and he loved deeply, but those emotional twinges couldn't compare with the imperative to be always right.

Someone who drops bombs on people cannot afford to entertain the notion of being wrong.

So it only followed -- oh, how tired I grew of everything following, everything proceeding logically -- So it only followed that when his 20 year old son, a tall, good-looking, and terribly smart piece of Collateral Damage, bared his soul to reveal that he did not have enough money for food, my Dad, his Mitigating Factor, replied, "You once told me to get out of your life, and I have."

In the world of a Bomb-Dropper, choices and options appear but once and you don’t have the luxury of “opting out” of your choice. It’s all or nothing, black or white. The bombed people are either dead or alive, never wounded, never forever barely there, pursuing promises in prosthetics the way a hormone-driven boy might pursue a twitching skirt.

At the age of 16, I marched into the living room one evening and opined that I would like to, possibly, maybe, if it wouldn’t upset World Harmony overly much, visit my Mother -- from whom I had been separated for roughly a dozen years. It took more courage than I actually had to stand in that precisely decorated room and make that particular request. I clearly had not considered how it might be transformed by Foundational Logic, or how I might be promptly and expeditiously molded into Collateral Damage by the very dominant Mitigating Factor.

“I will get your luggage down from the attic, you can pack all your things, and leave now,” he answered. Within minutes, he had the trap door and rickety stairs pulled down, and my soft-sided, blue-plaid luggage set came flying and bouncing down, tossed one right after the other: 3 suitcases of graduated sizes, an overnight bag, plus one hard-sided makeup case that I inherited from my step-mother.

I've never much enjoyed arguing either side of nature versus nurture. I see my father's same frightening intransigence in myself, and therefore understand my nagging need to place my absolutism clearly in the Realm of That Which is Good.

And Right. Good, and Right.

I am sure that you can probably find there where I fly above it all and drop bombs for the furtherance of conquest, as well. Excuse me for excusing myself from that much insight.

I haven't seen or spoken to the man since 1989. I look at pictures of his father in old age and figure that he must look roughly the same now. My aunt, his sister, exploded the myth of that grandfather as kindly some time ago. I wrote about it, here. For some reason, my reaction has settled into complacency. I am not gifted with logic, for my thinking goes something like this:

Granddaddy was not the kind and gentle man I [thought I] knew. He terrorized and beat his children. So it makes sense that he was an orphan. That he was an orphan explains everything.

Huh? Do you follow that? I don't and I am the one thinking it.

Dad did not just bomb the life out of people. He also did brave things like fly a huge, lumbering (indefensible) aircraft very low over enemy territory so as to rescue a group of injured compatriots. We called them "hospital planes." They were converted C-141s, not exactly lithe and agile aircraft.

He was practically the Patron Saint of Hospital Plane Jockeys, and there were large numbers of female flight nurses who adored him. They would hoot and holler at him when he rode around base. He ate it up.

There is a remarkable photo essay, I suppose it might be called, that the Denver Post recently published on the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, April 30. It is called "Captured: A Look Back at the Vietnam War."

In the middle of all these words, I had to stop and look at something. I trust the visual, even knowing that it, too, can be manipulated. I needed to feel sweltering tropical heat again, that heaviness, that being-under-water feeling. Every afternoon at four, I would sit on the porch and watch the line of fierce rain travel across the rice paddies, the verdant hills. We lived right next to the Perimeter Fence. Negrito women who could not take care of their newborn babies threw them over that fence in the hope that an MP would find the tiny thing and take it to the hospital.

For some reason, an image formed in my mind of an MP with a wee enfant skewered on the end of a bayonet. That never happened, of course.

I find myself increasingly tired of people and their antics, even as a weird encompassing love for people is born in me. We are so foolish, so full of ourselves. So fundamentally fucked up.

Harold says to Maude: You sure have a way with people. She famously responds: Well, they're my species! -- and we all smile to ourselves, indulgent.

Of course, she waltzes through the film with a number (P-876954) tattooed on her forearm, as well. This is supposed to make the odd, beloved character an even greater life force, of course, careening toward suicide with unparalleled joie de vivre and Cat Stevens crooning "trouble..." in the background.

(A Curiosity: I have noted, over these many years of forcing my friends to watch Harold and Maude, that there are two, and only two, types of viewers in my acquaintance. There are those who come away chattering about daisies, and incessantly blathering about how they "feel that much of the world’s sorrow comes from people who are this [point to a daisy] yet allow themselves be treated as that [gesture to a field of daisies]." Then there are the people who realize that Maude's munificent world view was born of essential and terrible hardship, and maintained in spite of naked and recurring evil. It scares me sometimes that I, and people of my ilk, do not engage in any synthesis. One is either a daisy-pointing dolt or a sarcastic bit of Damaged Goods.)

I have dreamt about that film often enough. In my succinct dream style, the film just has a few scenes, pretty faithfully reproduced.

There is the moment where Maude announces, "I took the pills an hour ago. I'll be gone by midnight," and we see the horror of comprehension spread across Bud Cort's young face and hear his scream coalesce with an ambulance's siren.

Not quite superimposed, more like... overlapping, is the scene where Harold's modified hearse flies over the cliff.

But, annoying as a computer popup screen, is interspersed Uncle Victor, the stump of his right arm flying up into a salute, crying: "Just like Nathan Hale... That's what this country needs -- more Nathan Hales."

The Nod

this is a repost from july 2009, reposted as it speaks to my present frame of mind, and particularly to my newest post, Mitigating Factors.

Just try to ignore Robert McNamara over there on the left. I may or may not get to him in this post, but -- even dead -- I need to keep an eye on him today. Let me know if he makes a move.

I'm in a downsizing frame of mind, an excellent thing.

Thrift: It makes me think of my nana and her wax paper milk cartons full of food scraps, ready to be taken out to compost. Her homemade biscuit dough, rolled out and cut into circles with a drinking glass (that little pfffft sound as she sinks the edges in!) somehow never leaves enough scrap to fashion more than one last deliciously flaky, leavened offering.

She didn't care about the world much. The vegetable and flower gardens, yes. Where her son was busy dropping bombs? No. His career in the Air Force meant that she collected jewelry from around the world, baubles never worn but carefully stored, to be given to me, the only granddaughter, when she died. It never seemed to occur to her that there'd be a kind of natural redundancy, given that I traveled with the man -- he "won" custody of us after Mommy Dearest walked away. I was 4; Brother Grader Boob was 8; and Brother Tumbleweed led the pack at 12.

And when Brother Tumbleweed [TW], now of draft age, raged against the Vietnam War during that long hot summer we spent with our grandparents, she responded by fussing at him about how he dried her dishes. How he left water spots on her silverware by not carefully drying each piece. He preferred letting them sit a few minutes in the drainer, then laying them all on a towel and doing a group dry job.

TW made a lot of money that summer, working as a caddy at the nearby country club.
The following year, he would be gone. No Vietnam for him! No more water spots for Nana!

Nana and Grandaddy were CBS folk. They believed Walter Cronkite was talking to them and sat themselves down in their parlor -- not a living room, but an oriental-rugged, loveseated parlor -- to watch him present and explain the nightly news.

Ha! It just occured to me... Nana's greatest claim to fame, in her opinion (I have my own ideas about her areas of greatness), was having taught Connie Chung to read. I tell you, the inroads my family has made in the educational history of this fine republic! Ms. Chung sent her an annual Christmas card, so I will always know her as a kind person, for those cards meant the world to that old pre-ESL-era schoolteacher.

Connie Chung's career spanned most all the networks, but for our purposes, Gentle Reader, we will consider her time at CBS as Washington correspondent during part of Cronkite's 19-year run at the helm of the CBS Nightly News, as being formative.

But Nana is long gone -- and whatever personal secretary saw to the delivery of those holiday cards to former teachers? Doubtless long gone, too.

And now Walter Cronkite is gone. Niney-two is an admirable age to have achieved, though I would have wished him more. I'm surprised I wrote that. I even paused and allowed my index finger to hover over the delete button -- but decided it is Too True. I would have wished him more...

Two things I choose to remember about Walter Cronkite. That's not to say that I don't know about, or enjoy learning about, the many things there are to recall and celebrate from his life.

I'm just being thrifty.

The one I share with many: those moments when, young as I was, I felt The Nod. For some reason, most of my young nods took place at the dining room table, and unless disguised, were usually met with open derision by my father, and sometimes with punishment.

The Seige at Khe Sahn.
The Tet Offensive.
Summary executions with the evening meal.
Cronkite travels to Vietnam.

My Dad was flying mission after mission, first doing ancillary things from Travis, then eliminating all the middle men when he flew from Clark. He had local fame as pilot of the Flying Hospitals, that fame coming mostly in the form of cheering nurses calling out his various nicknames when their jeep pulled abreast of his Cadillac avec famille. Kudos to him that he always grew flustered.

He got no shout outs for later cruising Laos and Cambodia, though you certainly didn't learn about that hobby here. Nor will we discuss his stint as co-commander of an air base in South Vietnam a few years later -- I remember naively protesting that he surely didn't need to actually serve in-country when he had logged all those hours in the air, flying in peaceful silence in the skies over Cambodia -- what were known as "incursions." (Shhhh. *Those* never happened, and I don't know *where* I got the idea...)

I think, though, that if you hear "incursion" instead of "mission," you may feel comfortable Doing the Nod. Or, if you like, you can continue the folklore of those USAF visitations as pure reconnaissance, simple map-making trips that were best done at night, without running lights. Or permission.

(Stopping the train of my thought: I just have to direct you to something I read in preparation for writing this post. In case you had any doubt about the lengths to which I go {sigh}? Check this crap out! How anal is it to research the origins of running lights? Have I nothing better to do? Choooooooooooooooooo!)

Then, on February 27, 1968 Cronkite delivers the famed op-ed at the end of the regular news broadcast, saying:

Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we’d like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I’m not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff. On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won’t show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.

We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi’s winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that — negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy’s intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.

The Nod happens when you hear the truth, put simply, usually after a lengthy period of evasion. The Nod takes place when something long awaited finally happens.

There's little joy in it, though the sense of relief can be palpable. These truths don't set anyone free; They are more, simply, in part of the Order of Things.

Dad came back a different man, as of course does every person who prosecutes a war. He oversaw bombing missions that proved wasteful of human life and property, as the Pentagon failed to send in ground troops afterward to claim the territory he had so meticulously... cleared.

He dropped Agent Orange.

A barracks full of his men was blown up by mortar shells early one morning, while everyone slept. My Dad was, and is, a good man -- with whom I have rarely agreed, and from whom I remain estranged. I am old now and know that what seemed so easy to navigate in my eyes was a true moral conundrum in his, and that he followed his conscience.

By the way -- my punishments were basically for dinner time grunts in agreement with Uncle Walt. When I cheered him on at the '68 Chicago convention ("I think we've got a bunch of thugs here, if I may be permitted to say so."), I was sent to my room. Look, I was a kid. I probably just got off on the word "thug."

Cronkite did nothing special, I don't think, when he reported the four dead in Ohio on 4 May 1970, but I'll never forget it. Dad was in Vietnam at the time. I was, of course, and in world record time, stuck in my room. What I said at the kitchen table that evening was construed as a slap in my father's face.

There was a third blow up, but I was older, Dad was home, but tired of war, my step-Mom -- well, she didn't know what to think, and it didn't involve Walter Cronkite because we had switched to NBC. We had the distinct pleasure of shaking Tricky Dick's hand after his reelection -- down at Homestead AFB, during our temporary existence as Floridians. I was horrified by the WETNESS. It was like shaking hands with a damp sponge.

It was Watergate, of course. I went ballistic over something -- maybe over everything. And for the first time, instead of rigid-spined established consequences (No TV! Go to your room! Do the dishes for a week! You're grounded!), he yelled and said... things. All I remember is that every thing he yelled began with "I'm so tired of..."

He was so tired of protestors, draft-dodgers, disrespect. He was so tired of pulling all the weight.

So many of us back then had the war, not just on the telly, but in our homes in more insidious ways. It was an interesting find -- the article pictured below in Hal Humphrey's column to the LA Times, on Thursday, April 28, 1966.

Given what came later, it's interesting to read:

"This is the first war which TV has been able to cover and get on the air in 24 hours, but just because we have the film, and sometimes at great risk, by our correspondents, that does not mean we should always use it." Constant televising of American GIs weary and shot up may even weaken our resolve at home to continue fighting, Cronkite suggests.

There's only a few who can draw The Nod out of me now, all grownup and no wiser. I like to think of a place where Cronkite and Tim Russert might be gabbing happily away.

How many of us noticed that Robert McNamera made it to Hell a few weeks back -- 6 July? I saw it as a headline, felt The Nod. I mentioned his passing to a friend who said, "Good." Now we can always know where he is.