Tag Archives: rants

The best things in life are free

We have wants and desires that are far beyond our reach – that 100 foot (30 meter) yacht, that palace on the Riviera or winning the lottery.

None of these are going to happen but we keep wishing.

Yet, we overlook the simple but wonderful pleasures of everyday life:

the best things

  • The sound of gentle rain in the early morning
  • Watching a sunset on a mild fall evening
  • The distant sound of a train whistle from the open window of your room
  • Being awakened by a gentle caress on your cheek…

 

                … unless you happen to be in jail at the time.

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Facebook Foolishness

I have spent too much time on Facebook rather than blogging.  Here is the result.

Outcome of Political Arguments on Facebook

The End

The End

Although I am not at death’s door, there are those moments when I can see the door from here.  To prepare for the Day of Atonement, I have a few requests for my all my loved ones (family and friends).

First, don’t say “He passed.”  I died.  Saying “He passed” sounds like I had a bad urinary experience or an unhappy encounter with cannibals.

“Two cannibalistic ship captains passed each other in the night.”

Second, don’t say “He is in a better place.”  Repeated requests to all Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – have produced diddly squat so there is no corroboration for this assertion.  You can say that I am in good company.

“You go to Heaven for the scenery and hell for the company.” –Mark Twain

I may have better luck with Buddhists because a Zen Buddhist pizza guy once said he would make me one with everything.

Third, please do not have responses say anything about resting in peace.  I have no such intention.  For eternity, I plan to pester, bother, aggravate and, in general, annoy anyone who ever incurred my wrath.

“Agitate, agitate, agitate.” –Frederick Douglass

If you wish to delay the inevitable arrival of death’s door at the end, you can listen to the interminable The End by The Doors:

Antique Stained Glass – Attack of the Clones

 

I have managed to get through two posts on antique stained glass without complaining, bloviating or pontificating.  Someone noticed this beatific attitude and wondered if I, as a curmudgeon, was ill.  Not to worry.  A three word phrase has gotten me back to angst and teeth-gnashing:

“Tiffany style lamp”

Why would something as decorative and pleasant as Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass get me so worked up?  Well, peruse any antique or collectable store or any online service like Ebay, Overstock or Wayfair and you will find this overworked and misused phrase on anything resembling a lamp with colored glass in it.

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc1

No.

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc2

No!

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc3

Hell No!

So what do I, as the main bloviator, pontificator, and stained glass snob, deem a “Tiffany style lamp?”  It would be a reproduction of one of the lamps in an official Tiffany collection.  Specifically, it would be one of the lamps in the collection of Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife Hildegard.

Never heard of Egon Neustadt?  Dr. Neustadt, an immigrant from Austria, purchased his first Tiffany lamp in 1935 for $12.50 (!) and went on to amass the largest and most comprehensive Tiffany lamp collection ever assembled.  See the Neustadt Collection.  Exhibits of the lamps are shown at the Queens Museum in New York City and travel to other museums throughout the United States.  If you love Tiffany lamps, you should go to one of these exhibits and also get Dr. Egon Neustadt’s book The Lamps of Tiffany.

Tiffany style lamp?

AnSGtfc4

Yes!

Aw, shit!

 

I had an “Aw, shit!” moment the other day.  We had received warnings of immanent, severe weather.  It was the usual blurb from local meteorologists:

“Nothing to worry about (if you’re Superman).”

“Secure children and small pets to sturdy fixtures driven at least six feet into the ground.”

“If you are driving on a major highway, abandon your car now!”

“Good news.  The storm has been downgraded by the National Weather Center from cataclysmic to merely life-threatening.”

I took the usual precautions by checking for loose objects, taking light weight items inside and resupplying my liquor cabinet.  I went out on the back porch to watch the storm, which did turn out to be rather severe.  As I sat there placidly and amusingly watching the rains beat sideways and the winds pick up, I noticed an object floating in the lake near my house.  Someone, I thought, has had the misfortune to have their shed blown into the lake and slowly sinking.

At the moment, I realized that it was MY shed blown into the lake and slowly sinking.

Aw, shit!

How many times in our lives have we had that unfortunate moment when we realize that no amount of prayer, wishful thinking, incantations to the gods or promises of remorse is going to reverse the irreversible.

All of this, by way of my swamp of consciousness, brings to mind a winner of the Bulwer-Lytton contest.   As you may recall, entrants to the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest are invited “to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” – that is, deliberately bad.  This one came immediately to mind:

“The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn’t heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn’t reacting yet to let you know.”

In other words, “Aw, shit!”

Ah shit