Saturday, July 30, 2011

a painful tail, er... tale!

I also was hit by an errant ball once.
Back in the 1990s the Toledo Mud Hens still played at the old racetrack in Maumee at the fairgrounds, which years ago had been converted into a baseball stadium.
It is only 70 minutes from home, so I attended games sporadically.
One Sunday I had organized a family outing at the place, Ned Skeldon Stadium it was called.
Everyone drove in from different directions, and I was standing outside the gate waiting for the families to converge and we could all go in together.
The games were broadcast and I had my radio on because everyone was late. I remember it well…Frank “The Cat” Catalanotto fouled one over the grandstand roof…I heard a WATCH OUT! and I covered my head, sort of figuring out the baseball might be heading my way , as I had heard that Frank had fouled one over the roof…just then a sharp pain…I had been hit square in the butt!
There was a bicycle posse out there, kids who patrolled the area to get those foul balls, and a kid got my baseball.
Yes, everyone showed up just after this, and I told my tail, er …tale. heh heh
I don’t think they believed my story, except my wife, because I showed her my bruised cheek. And no, she did not kiss it to make it better. Of course not. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rivethead by Ben Hamper

When I was done with the army and heading to school at what is now IUPUFW I think,and illness caused me to lose my part time job and I couldn’t devise a way to live on no money, I set my sights on getting into a union plant instead, and a year later was hired into a UAW factory. I never even tried any temporary foreman jobs but I jumped at every union job I could get, and I served a long time as a shop steward and I was a local trustee for two terms also.
Also, I couldn’t get enough of the history of US labor, and I read everything I could find on the Reuther brothers and all the histories of the great labor movement . It was heady stuff to me, but I must report I was so far left , so in tune with the spirit of the early days, I was alone, except for one other young up-and-comer, who ended up being an international rep for the union .
With my background then, I want to tell you about my favorite worker-book, by a former worker in Pontiac named Ben Hamper.
Michael Moore put Ben on the cover of Mother Jones magazine during the very short stay Moore had out there.
After much critical acclaim , Ben’s story of life on the assembly line became a book called “Rivethead”.
To read it today would be awkward; much has changed since the book was published. Things just are not done like they were done in Ben’s time on the line. However, as a historical look at the assembly lines of the 1980s, this is the book for you to read.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

drill baby drill...into my head!

Ever since I was a small child until I was a middle aged adult , it was COMMUNISM COMMUNISM COMMUNISM , every day, drilled into my head by schools, media, and friends and acquaintances as well as strangers . Communism was bad and we were all to rally to send ourselves or our loved ones anywhere it took to smash communism, which was bad.
Bad things were "communistic".
Well, when I was a kid I loved Robin Hood, and when, as an adult, I read about communism and found it to be a wonderful concept, just like Robin Hood.
Well! My friends were totally appalled ! "Yes, it looks good on paper, but..." and "it won't, can't ever work in the USA..."

Then just like the monsoon rain instantly stopping in Vietnam, communism dropped from the vernacular. When was the last time you even heard the word?

Terrorism became the watchword as well as the catchword. Terrorism was why George Bush 43 emptied the US Treasury to bomb and kill thousands of Iraqi citizens and innocent children, we were told. Rumsfeld had proof, Colin Powell vouched for the presence of phantom-weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the war continues, this war based on total lies, as the USA is now totally a bankrupt nation.
Afghanistan is another crazy war that is squeezing every last planeload of cash out of US treasure stores.

So let us review: Communism , we were told, was defeated by Ronald Reagan or some such story. In reality, Communism kicked our ass and handed it to us by throwing us out of Vietnam in complete disgrace to the USA.

Terrorism got us to give all our money to it, to fight it until we have nothing left to fight with; terrorism won also.

What will be next; what word will inspire us to drive ourselves to the poor house?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How's the heat? Today, it's the humidity. I am sick of it.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bottles and Bottles of Water

I may have purchased two bottles of water in my lifetime. I do buy soda in bottles but then I save the bottles and rinse them and use them as water bottles for years afterwards.
I also have a real water bottle used for tap water only.
Is the economy sound enough to allow most people to buy water in throw-away bottles which are used once and thrown away? At least the bottles in sports arenas are nicely recycled.
Still, plenty of water bottles are being thrown around on streets and onto sidewalks.
Not good.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

My brother is an avid cyclist, and he and his cycling friends, as well as our mutual boyhood friend who by chance ended up being neighbors with my brother, all have bicycle computers.
I guess they need them, but damn, does a recreational and go-to-the-store cyclist need a damn computer on his bicycle?
Back to my Luddite ways, I know, but I embrace computers and cell phones and now e-readers, and that is quite enough.
I take a relaxing ride of five or eight miles to get away from the computer for a while.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I am back

Yes, it has been a long time, but we'll get this thing back on the rails and rolling.