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Remember when all you wanted for Christmas was a bicycle?

My first one was a surprise three-speed “Raleigh” style – but not that brand name because my parents always would find a similar, obscure brand from the one all the other kids had – with “regular” handlebars, in  burgundy. I think I went right out to ride it in the snow that Christmas day – not for long – and don’t remember what happened to that bike; only that my last memory of it is that my dad – who apparently never learned to ride a bike (which is still amazing to me), took it for a ride to the corner, which was encouraged or dared by me and my mother – only to return it with the handlebars bent in some awkward way that made me cry like he had broken them.  My dad was a weightlifter strong WWII veteran; but how could he not know how to ride a bike??

A metallic-blue Pierce Arrow “Tour de France” 5-speed racer model with “bull” handlebars, replaced that one on Christmas Day 1969 and I’ll always remember the special feeling.  This was not a total surprise for me though, because mother took me to S. Bellitte & Sons to pick it out, so “Santa” would not bring the wrong one.  I must have waged quite a campaign for it.

Twenty-three years ago, my parents gave me a helmet for Christmas and I laughed; now I can’t imagine riding without it! Seven years ago, my boss at the time regifted a new Liberty bike given to him – to me at Christmastime – when he learned I cycle regularly. I tried to convince him to keep it and take up riding. “Nyet”, he said.

Now, I ask Santa for things like peace on Earth, a kind-but-firm President who is a true leader, in the ilk of John F. Kennedy; health for all of mankind; a cure for the virus and a vaccine that anaphylaxis vulnerable “allergy sufferers can actually take without it getting deathly ill; for my friends who have contracted the Covid plague to get well; to follow sage advices of mentors and loved ones no longer present and never be broke without hope again.  When I leave a Coca-Cola and some butter cookies out for Kris Kringle these days, instead of material possessions, philosophical and carnal passions are needed actions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not become a total corny sellout, or “old” like our parents; still forever young! Instead, I have become more of a realist, when I’m not acting silly with parodies and rhymes to stay connected to my past or amuse myself which is one of the secrets to growth via personal, mental and loyal therapeutic exercise. I find myself saying “it could be worse” more often, and speaking of “exercise”… at the top of my Xmas wants is that I continue to appreciate the embodiment and the meaning of the procedural memory phrase, “its just like riding a bicycle!”  Come.

Wallman

There’s a new villain out there…and he is nobody to marvel at.

The United States of American has been consistently “great”, with varying degrees, since 1776.  Wallman’s campaign slogan in 2016 was just a nationalistic ploy, in the mode of one of his heroes, Adolph Hitler, which set- up his modus operandi to bend our rules to the breaking point.

The world’s dictators like Putin and the guy in North Korea finally found a man so weak that they could whisper to him, “Then just don’t leave…”  and he’d try to do it.

He wanted to build a “wall” along our southern border with Mexico and played to those who complained that “those Mexicans” were coming across our border, “takin’ our jobs away…”

Now we have a “non-scalable “wall” around the people’s White House in Washington, DC, because Wallman thinks that he can stay walled-in and keep citizens who protest his overstaying his welcome away from the building after he pulls this coup-d’etat, in which he will use the military to enforce it against us. Suddenly, you can no longer see the White House from the street!  WTF?  Why would a lame duck President fire his Defense Secretary and replace him and others who quit the Pentagon in the aftermath of that with a bunch of lackeys? Maybe he is setting up his junta!

Talk about “bunker mentality”!  

I’d bet the con man is bluffing this scenario all the way to the end, as if sitting at some gambling table at one of his failed Atlantic City casinos.

I thought it very troubling that nobody picked-up upon the late-in-the-campaign speech and visit he made to Wilmington, North Carolina, which is the site of the only coup in United States history back in 1898, when a group of “white supremacists” overthrew the local government and killed many, many black American residents.   Wallman has been giving us signs that he would do this authoritarian tactic all along!

When he says there is “evidence of voter fraud” in our presidential election of this past November 3, what he really means is that his attempts at voter suppression in “key states” did not work. The reason they didn’t work is that enough Americans still have the common sense to be outraged by Wallman’s corruption and attempts to undo our checks and balances constitutional way of government and we came out and used the power of the ballot like never previously.

I don’t know what he has over or on those in the GOP, that more of them do not stand up to him and say, “You can’t pull that dictator shit here, Wallman!”  So, this is his plan to “make us great again”? By causing more angst and constipation of our electoral process; by not conceding with dignity?  Well, somehow, some way, by man or The Creator, he must be thwarted and evicted – and maybe given a room with bars in the front and window on its wall – before he overthrows life and legislative law, as we have always known it, in this land.

Unmasked (as usual, and a super-spreader)

[Be sure to flash on over to our satellite blog, “Achilliad’s My Vinyl Record Shoppe” to check out what we’ve been up to…]

It was Halloween Evening and all of the adult masquerade parties were in full physcally-distant ghoul.

The fish in the aquarium tank were agitated and kept seemingly trying to jump out! Since I didn’t feel like cleaning the tank, I decided to just add some distilled water from my electric kettle to top it off.

I could hear the neighbor’s party guests outside; maybe it was breaking up or they were just spreading-out to keep safe, when I heard a knock at the door. I peeked and saw a copper-skinned woman who I did not recognize, in a seemingly brown fur coat. Looking like a bear and figuring she was lost or looking for the neighbor’s party, I decided to ignore it and went back into the living room, closing the vestibule door behind me.

Soon another knock and then I heard a key in the door lock. Grabbing my ole boy scout knife/letter opener, I quietly neared the doorway to confront this intruder, when suddenly the door opened. It was that same female lady and now that I flicked the porch light upon her, I recognized the full length pumpkin-orange woolen coat! Her faintly Asian eyes flashed at me knowingly, through a sequined silver partial costume mask and Covid-19 mouth.

“Hey, you’re the one from the job! What the hell are you doing here!?” I said.
“I told you I was gonna make a copy…” She replied.

I looked her up and down. She was super-attractive, brown-skinned about five foot seven with wavy-curly, while yet straight-down hairdo and carrying a spooky plastic orange Halloween “Trick or Treat” shopping pouch.

“Tanya, right? From Goodwill… You wasn’t bullshittin’ when you said you’d copy my key..” I said.
“I told you..”
“How’d you do that? I was watching you the whole time you was in my cubicle. I asked.

I was working a part-time, temporary assignment with Goodwill administration as a Media Consultant. It was a hen house; so many females and very few men working there – except in the part dedicated to helping armed service Veterans – most of them didn’t flirt overtly, but my intuition told me that this one was curious (“yellow”).
My first impulse was to toss her out. After-all, she was uninvited and it was after midnight. I decided to mess with her for a minute for my amusement and possibly teach her ass a lesson.

“Nice coat. So you just show up?”
Her curly-lipped smile was slightly impish.
“Would you like to rest your coat?”

She peeled it off to reveal an orange lingerie bikini , nothing else.

“Hmmm, nice. But it doesn’t match your lipstick.”
“Thank you, never mind that” she smiled.
“What you got in that trick or treat bag to get me going? Maybe a li’l sniff?” I said, for shock value.
“Let me check. May I sit down?…”
She then did a 180, bending over, her bikini-clad ass almost inches from my growing bulge, as she rifled through one of her Halloween-colored bags. I wondered aloud if her costume was that of a “Bag Lady”. She chuckled as I snickered, “C’mon! Maybe you’ll find out, but I value your friendship either way.”

What the fuck did that mean on Halloween? Is this bitch an evil witch? Or a switch-hitter?

Its your turn, dear reader…
What do you think she pulls out of that bag? Does she have me a treat? Or does she turn a trick?


In The Watergate Girl, My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President
[Henry Holt & Co. $28, 9781250244321], Jill Wine-Banks combines vignettes from her inspirational and touching personal memoir with her work as the first Washington, D.C female Assistant Prosecutor, which happened to be during the Watergate Scandal, helping to develop the case against President Richard Nixon and his associates in the early 1970s, into an exciting read.

You’ll not want to put this book down (even though I did so, in order to sleep), as it may remind you of the immorality of the current White House (page 141).

Over 47 years ago, Ms. Wine (as she was known as at that time) dutifully made her way, with educational skills and class without sass, up the sexist boy’s club legal ladder, ultimately to become General Counsel of the US Army during the Carter Administration; but on the way, became an assistant Watergate prosecutor. This refreshing page-turner is far from all dry legalese, as plenty personal spice and feminine reality becomes the mortar between the jurisprudence.

I couldn’t help but compare her description to the current group of “plumbers” , thugs and the GOP criminal wannabees (Senate Majority leader), who are against most of our open society citizens and hell-bent on undoing us better than Nixon tried to do, via narrow loopholes in our eighteenth-century-modeled Constitution.

The parallels of history repeating itself (Epilogue) in a very scary way are very apparent. For example, Mr. Trump assaults challengers to his lies with outrageous stories like Phyllis Schafly did, post, H2Ogate about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for American women!

Additionally, you’ll be able to draw the comparisons between the way both men hate the news media, act in ways that show they think they are above the law, to the similar street protests – excited in the Nixon case by the dismissal of Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox – against their policies and policing; the corruption is the same. We only need another “Jilly Bean” (as one of her K Street colleagues nicknamed her) these days to save us similarly.

If you lived through the Nixon-Watergate scandal years, you already know that “law and order” really translates to a code that suggests police mistreat and incarcerate anybody except angry Caucasian-American men in-general. There are so many names which were the backdrop of my undergraduate university years in this book, like Ehrlichman, Haldeman, John Mitchel, Leon Jaworski and Judge Sirica, plus a neat photo section, that the read was like a reunion! Two other great names that she writes about are the first black American elected to Congress from Texas since emancipation, Congresswomen Barbara Jordan and and Brooklyn’s own, Elizabeth Holtzman!

“The Watergate Girl” could be required reading for a Political Science class these days for anyone under fifty years of age, who wants to understand how history is repeating itself in a very negative way due to the criminality of Donald Trump and his hand-picked gang of (often only “acting”) administration members. You will learn what the “Saturday Night Massacre” was all about. I came away reassured that we cannot, in good conscious, re-elect a man who has openly obstructed justice, soiled the office of the United States Presidency, cavorted with Russia (who would like take us over for many reasons), was impeached and continues to selfishly be a pall on the highest and most respected executive office in our country.

Although I borrowed this volume from my fantastic, new local public library, I plan to purchase a copy for my personal collection. I am not a television watcher, so can only take her word for her MSNBC accolades. Yet, anytime I read a book, cover-to-cover in seven days, it is worth five, compellingly fun, fascinating and readable stars in my “book”!


Suddenly, since the outrage caught on-camera of George Floyd, every company is trying to clean up their acts. Heh, lets drill deeper into this for a moment…

I link it to a man by the name of Thurgood Marshall, who was the first non-Caucasian American to become a Supreme Court Justice. ‘Marshall’, is a movie I just finished watching, which is based upon his early years, catapulting him to become an excellent magistrate. At the bottom of my last post is a Black Heritage Month postal stamp in honor of him.

This post is both a review of the movie “Marshall” and of expressions about which I have been holding back, while thinking of how this giant of our legal system highlighted lives that matter – via Brown v Board of Education of Topeka – and how his legacy is revitalized by the current George Floyd movements.

Aunt Jemima’s image has actually been evolving for decades.

In the marketing landscape of Madison Avenue, I applaud and simultaneously wonder how much difference will it make to the new movement, if Quaker Oats (another almost oxymoron of ethnic difference)/Pepsico removes the “Aunt Jemima” from the pancake box, or Mars Corporation removes “Uncle Ben” from the suddenly similarly sensitive rice brand?

And by the way, “Uncle Ben” could’ve been someone’s chef or maybe he was somebody’s real cool uncle! Who knows? One version is that he was a Maitre-d, whose image was admired and copied to a rice brand box (I bet he never received a ‘red cent’ for it either!).

According to Emily Becker in WomensHealth, “In 2007, Uncle Ben was made over as the head of the company as part of an advertising campaign that included changing his blue jacket to a business suit…”

Id’ have a problem if it was , like “Uncle Tom’s Rice” because, as most of us know, there is a book called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and it was definitely about American slavery and the Negro race, but Uncle “Ben”? not so much. I never heard my parents complain as they stayed true to the brand as long as they lived!
I mean, are the Carolina states upset because they call it “Carolina Rice”?
Some of this seems trite with a preconceived bite. As Munich, Germany marketing expert Pascal Lauscher says, “Why can’t Uncle Ben just be a white guy?” [See “How Germany Dealt With A Similar…”] <a href="http://https://www.dw.com/en/uncle-bens-and-aunt-jemima-logos-how-germany-dealt-with-a-similar-problem/a-53862646” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>

Back to Aunt Jemima, I grew up in New York City and really, never thought about it much. It was always a brand and, yes, it smacked maybe of slavery, but I didn’t dwell upon it. Recently, they took off her bandanna or scarf to make her seem like anybody’s “auntie/ant” – however you pronounce it, lol I’ve always cared more about the contents of the box than the packaging.

I guess there were many female slave “Jemimas”, and I wouldn’t name my daughter that, lol for sure! I wouldn’t do THAT to a girl, or even “Beulah”! To me, those are “black-sounding names” as we’d laugh about it back in the 1970s. This is all the result of a southern USA connotation.

I didn’t think deeply about the name; if their pancake mix tasted good, that’s all that mattered!! Lets try some other names: Aunt Katherine’s Pancakes? Aunt Millie’s Pancakes? Aunt Maria’s Pancakes” Aunt Katia’s Pancakes? Aunt O’Hara’s?
I’d like to know the story of why that company chose to market pancake mix that way; what does slavery have to do with pancakes, for example?

Take breakfast cereals. How about “Cherrios”. Do British people get annoyed about that because that is their way of saying “hello” which is hijacked by American marketing? I don’t think so.
How about the rooster who used to crow promoting Kellogg Corn Flakes – do the animal rights people now have an ax to grind about that, visa v abuse?

You see how many ways one can twist and turn things if you really want to make an issue, or a mountain out of a mole-hill, of something innocently marketed?

Oh, I shouldn’t have written “mole hill” because the Mole Lovers will get upset. We can’t live like this as a society with a sense of humor!

How about “Mrs Butterworth’s” syrup; I never felt insulted by this promotion. Yes, it is a brown-skinned woman on the bottle who used to talk on the commercials like a cartoon, but does she look slaveish? No. She could be my next door neighbor, who makes good maple syrup, or who has a tree out back which gives good syrup, which she shares! I don’t take it as a racist stereotype thing.

Along these same lines, what do you think the new nickname of the storied NFL franchise, “The Washington Redskins” should be? I’d hate to see them lose their color scheme and logo entirely, so I suggest something like “The Mattaponi” (they are a native American Indian tribe indigenous to the D.C region).
Our youthful, energetically accurate about how the system has had its knee on our necks for centuries generation, should keep a narrow focus upon how American policing policy has always been about protecting systemic supremacy of a minority of insecure Caucasians in the United States.

Back to breakfast cereals, do the gays get offended now by “Fruit Loops”? How about the Irish being offended by “Lucky Charms” now, because the Irish are very self-deprecating with a great sense of humor? Then there is “Tony The Tiger” visa v “Frosted Flakes”? Again, an Animal Rights or Animal abuse cause?? Nyet. Come on, people! Stop the madness and have some laughs.

As for the movie, “Marshall”; I give the movie five (5) stars because of its great acting, historical positioning, educational value and portrayal of the roots of the greatest black American to hold jurisprudence on our United States of America Supreme Court, to date, which we never knew about. “The only way to get through a bigot’s door, is to break it down.”, Judge Marshall accurately said. I recommend it.

‘Don’t know about YOU, but I still write paper letters and mail them to companies who try to screw me or even friendly letters to friends I love, with an expressive stamp. I love to receive and send greeting cards for special occasions like my birthdays, Christmas or even sympathy, as opposed to nothing, social media or a text, and surprise friendly letters, plus the occasional (economic stimulus) “check in the mail”!

I fondly recall when my Grands, aunts, uncles and other friends of my parents would send me money for my teenage birthdays inside of greeting cards – in cash!!


The suspense of going to open the mailbox is almost like Christmas morning everyday , and I have made so many lasting acquaintances through the decades with the postal gentlemen and ladies at the windows, who I came to know while mailing my voice, radio or acting demos!

Therefore, it is with particular dismay and even anger from which I view our fake President, the current resident of the White House’s current attack on the USPS.

Why? He is mainly doing this to get at his rich-guy rival, Jeff Bezos. He wants the USPS to charge Amazon more money to deliver their mail, because Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post newspaper, which is often critical of his ineptness. Simple and stupid. The thing is, the Washington Post has always opined on the various legislative characters who form our government; it is nothing new!

Another reason is that our mail carriers are mostly non-Caucasian in many cities, as if you haven’t noticed, in the past ten years. Yet, this current unfit-for-the-office-of-President guy is so thin-skinned, that he wants to jeopardize another cherished, traditional and very necessary American institution in-order to polish his image in the mirror.

I wish we could vote NOW!…Have the presidential election tomorrow and boot this unqualified-to-lead nor govern guy out on his scumbag ass. Oh, by the way…voting by mail, which makes social/physical distancing sense these days, is another reason he is attacking our cherished descendants of the “Pony Express”.

“{the current resident of the White House’s] attacks come at a time when we need the Post Office most for our ability to hold accurate elections in November, 2020 and to fulfill our constitutional obligation to hold a national census depends on it.” [www.theusconstitution.org]

Do not let the current resident of the White House do it. Call your Congressperson, Mayor, Governor and Senator and write copious PAPER letters, post cards (yes they still exist!) to any and all you can think of who will help keep our United States Post Office open for business as-usual, so they can feel the power of the pen during this Plague!

There are ALSO several petitions working virtually; this is but one https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/petitions/sign-the-petition-to-congress-save-the-us-postal-service-seriously

One more quote from the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). “The shutdown of the American economy to fight the COVID-19 virus has resulted in plummeting postal revenues – just as we have seen in the airline and hospitality industries, which have been given massive relief. The USPS needs the same kind of relief because it must still keep delivering. Every day it delivers tens of millions of prescription drugs, invoices, payments, newspapers, e-commerce deliveries, and soon it will be needed to deliver stimulus checks, home virus tests and other pandemic-related goods and information.

Thank you for CARING ENOUGH TO READ my shared life experiences.

**(please flash on over to my satellite, musik-only site to see what blogs I’ve been up to!)
https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/

Once upon a time, Albert Camus wrote a book called “The Plague”. Loosely summarized, it is about how the cremation of dead rats spread a mysterious viral disease (Bubonic plague), which infects humans and its social ramifications. IMO, it was written in true Orwellian style!

Every so-often, some disease or virus comes along which is supposed to end life for humans as we know it; only this time, with the twenty-four hour daily news cycle in super-breaking news mode, America’s presidential election year and the information super traffic-jam highway often bumper-to-bumper, the (don’t believe the) hype machine is on full-blast, especially in the big market cities.

As I write this, there are 145,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 30,000 are said to be in Italy. There are 7.8 billion people on earth as of early 2020, therefore the infection is less than 1% of the population of Earth! Yet, the news media and politicians are verging upon spreading widespread panic, especially if you listen or watch too much coverage of it.

Do you remember the “SARS” panic, which started in China in 2002? (Its a form of coronavirus!) How about “The Swine Flu” which had a noticeable outbreak in 1976, during the Richard Nixon presidency? Or “Cholera”, which brought New York City to its financial knees in the 1800s? How about “Ebola”, which reappears from time-to-time since 1995? If you are on either side of my generation, then you have the mark of a “Smallpox” vaccination on your left shoulder! All of these viruses came and went; changed economies and lives – and we are still here. Interestingly, the best methods for avoiding contamination are the ones most of our ole-school, common sense mothers taught us: wash your hands under warm, soapy water while you recite the alphabet immediately when you come home and in the meantime do not touch any orifices on your body with your fingers!

I’m surprised that the guy who is running for re-election as President of the USA hasn’t decried it as “fake news”, or accused some far-eastern country of “bio-terrorism”! I bet that he tried to, or even blame “the Democrats” for wanting to hurt his chances. Truth of the matter is that his weak oratory skills and lack of a policy forming, diplomatic mind are exposing his basic lack of credentials for the job. I am also shocked that people have not taken to the streets to protest or question his lack of leadership in forming a nationwide policy! Are we just skeptical “sheepole” nowadays, due to our convenience devices having dumbed the populace down? Education is key in these instances,to separate the truth from agenda-driven conspiracy theorists.

Fear not, the dedicated international scientific community will develop an antidote or vaccine to this latest “pandemic” (a very scary-sounding word, by the way) in-spite of how this “President” has poo-pooed and dismissed their findings during the past four years. (“Shhhh… I read where it is based upon Vitamin C…) And it must be a cooperative effort internationally [see: the risk of alienating our historical allies]
As a spokesman for St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Richmond, Virginia USA said recently, ““We want to be thoughtful but not live in fear. We have been monitoring the current news daily and we believe common sense is king here. We are asking people to use their common sense. If you are sick, stay home. If you have concerns, stay home…

And yet, something still seems suspicious, with genocidal implications, about how this all came to be; and I am not pointing at China. Nyet, No…this could even be a self-imposed plague, in-theory, planned so that the current abomination in the Oval office could take credit for “solving” it – until the Genie escaped the bottle.
Therefore, if you know someone who has “the cooties”, please comment!
Ask, what compelled them to be “tested” and how? Otherwise, we need to ask more questions to QUALIFY the genesis of this “plague”… And also… Why do some people not believe the obvious biological origins of plagues like this these days?

**Please be sure to flash on over to my satellite, musik-only blog to listen to whazzup! https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/ Thanking you in-advance.

Just like in a company, where the employees reflect the personality of the CEO, so goes a nation or country, IMO.
Hearing about more terrible acts of gun violence, antisemitism and racial intolerance in-general these days is directly related to the individual who is, unfortunately, the current “CEO” of our country, The United States of America, residing in our “White House”.

Every American should own one of these. Just call and they will send you one!

As a general rule, I intentionally steer clear of polity here, but my diary is exploding with the need to carry this cautionary educational message for our last post of 2019.

Like the late American President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down economics”, so goes the behavior of our country morally, socially, attitudinally and emotionally. Not saying all of us are so influenced – we who have education, independence and individuality enough to make our own decisions don’t quickly fall under the spell of the “soup-of-the-day” – but many people who erroneously feel their voices aren’t heard, do drink the (spiked with hate) cool-aid.

This individual of whom I speak has no shame; when he is wrong in thought, word or deed, always finds someone else to blame – like Adolph Hitler did. His absence of character staidness has filtered dangerously into pockets of our populace, similar to how a cult would.

His recreant attempts to somehow bend the traditional and established norms of the office he and his contrivers misinformed groupies into casting electoral votes for and acts in depredation of our Constitutional rules terrorize our very way of life over the six decades that I have been alive and beyond. It is as if the late Alabama Governor who stood in the doorway of educational institutions to deny black students entry in order to preserve segregation has been reincarnated into a slightly slicker, taller version! Without shame, lying and then lying again as a spoiled child would when caught red-handed time and time again, while querulous about the press (aka “media”) he is at the very least pernicious to our civil discourse among a diverse nation of people. He doesn’t know when to belt-up!

Fantasy: I wish I could run for president so I could beat him! Reality: Yet, I am too much an imperfect human being, and in this climate of looking up candidate’s assholes, those willing to take me down would find some shit they would try to wipe my face with. Therefore, I feel that something/someone else will have to happen to save us “normal” educated majority masses from this dictator wannabe. Denial never solves; it makes it worse. This guy plans to campaign for another term with soiled underwear showing through his pants, without compunction about his repulsive smell, because he refuses to wipe his own behind.

He can’t wipe enough!

The solution is to elect a leader who speaks not in 140-character “tweets”, but to us all with televised speeches and with the traditional “weekly radio address”, eloquently, teaching and uniting upon the civil manners, mores and etiquette-based values of yore. Too much contentious nonsense with this guy; time for a return to compromise and civility in America. Even with the few things that disappointed me about President Obama, I know that we were a happier country during his two terms and neither Bush, Clinton, Bush the Father, Reagan nor Carter and their predecessors trampled upon our sacred U.S. Constitution like this guy is!

And that brings me to my Word of The Year for 2019:

Every time I turned around this past year, from the time my Charleston, South Carolina Wando landlord sought to not renew my lease in early spring, for reasons which are still a mystery, I found myself thinking or uttering aloud, “TERRIBLE!”

*Relocating interstate into a falsely advertised house to find moldy, sickening air and an uncooperative property manager: “terrible!”
*Uncouth, embarrassing behavior by the so-called President alienating allies? “Terrible!”
*almost weekly reports of mass shootings of innocents and gun violence not seen in decades! “terrible!!”
*antisemitism rising to a level not seen since Hitler’s time. “Terrible!”
*Copy-cat violence and too many guns on city streets – “Terrible”
*Oh, did I mention the obstinate Property Manager? Yes, I did but he gets another “TERRIBLE”.
*Ageism making money hard to come by the longer you live? “Terrible”.
*Not being able to get back on the radio in the profession I loved and was very good at? “Terrible!”
*Watching senescent relatives aging and the breakdown of our human bodies with disease, is in many ways sad and…almost, ”terrible”.
*Corporate greed and the closing of brick and mortar stores: “terrible”.
*Increasing lack of human toll takers at bridges and tunnels and all those jobs lost? “Terrible!”
*Many loose nuts with mental illness running loose when they shouldn’t be, and causing harm to people? – “Terrible”
*Educational disconnect between generations born since 1999, which leads to the collective having to revisit atrocities we thought were settled and negative history repeating itself. “Terrible and tragic”.
*Housing construction codes so poor one can hear the flushed water of the tenant upstairs cascading inside the wall – gross and “Terrible!”
*People staying inside too much and watching too much video and television – especially the news – “terrible!”

We teeter on the edge of abysmal era where there is no punishment for obvious transgressions by an executive, if he can deny it long enough. – like Watergate in 1973. That would be truly terrible if it comes to pass. United we stand, divided we fall.

Please have a safe day and keep your head on a swivel while enjoying and having as much fun as possible, these troubled times due to a cheater who subverted our system to get into our White House.

I’ve made it a point to live in a few cities which were unkind to my black American slavery ancestors, partly due to my years as a radio disc jockey and lately, just because we can now. The latest was in Virginia, the state which, ironically, is the setting for the 2016 movie, “Loving”, which I recently rented from the public library after seeing the trailer prior to a different film.

Directed by Jeff Nichols, this isn’t just a romance story as its title might suggest. The Lovings and this “Commonwealth” state were the centerpiece for a landmark US Supreme Court case, Loving v Virginia and the 1967 decision which erased laws that made interracial marriages criminally illegal in the United States. I didn’t know this – or probably forgot the nuances of that high school American history lesson – until watching this movie revived those facts. This was going on while I was a young teen growing up in New York City where everybody went steady with anybody you liked! Wow. Scary.

“I’m pregnant” are the first words uttered by Mildred, played by Ruth Negga (interesting surname for this type of story, don’t you think?) to which Richard Loving, played by Joel Edgerton (famous for his role in “Black Mass”) replied, “Good. That’s real good.” The progress of the story tries your patience to get into, but is worth the wait. It could be categorized a docu-drama and used as a teaching tool!

All through the film, I kept asking, “who ratted them out?” Getting rousted out of bed in the middle of the night and offed to jail by the mean ole KKK-ish sheriff, played to the hilt by Marton Csokas (“Noah”, “The Equalizer”, “Aeon Flux”), cold southern drawl and all. “That’s no good here..” – pretty good for a New Zelander – just for being in love. They even threw Mildred in jail while pregnant and in her bath robe! One thing that hasn’t changed to this day is a woman getting pregnant out of wedlock, I noticed. Richard didn’t hesitate to ‘make an honest woman’ out of Ruth, however. You’ll see some slightly amusing “city-country-city” cultural moments among the uncomfortable heartbreak.

This is a reminder of many shameful episodes of America’s racial integration past, the vestiges of which some among us still struggle to eradicate. Watching it conjured emotions of anger, sadness and resolute hope deep inside. I couldn’t help wondering if this is why Virginia gives me a kind of weird vibe sometimes; like suppressed parsimony is in its soil.

During the end credits, they show photos of the original couple portrayed and I cheered the Casting Director, Francine Maisler.

I feel this film with four stars and can’t help wondering how the Supreme Court would have ruled if the man was a black American and the woman Caucasian; would it have even gotten the same attention and to the Chief Justices?

Pickhit: Thank you to WordPress for noticing that this is the date of my 10th anniversary here. Thank you, dear reader for reading my words!

Attention: This is my 300th blog post here since November, 2009 and this month I mark the milestone: ten-years of blogging!!

Always a kind of counter-culture kind of a guy walking and dancing to the beat of a different drum, working the overnight shift playing music on the radio came easy for me. It was also encouraged by my mentors as a way not to become stereotyped as ‘just another black radio jock’ and allowed me to play mainstream, Top 40 music. The catch was, the powers that be usually only let the ‘black guy’ pull the overnight shift. I was okay with it.

I’m one of the kids of the 1960s who listened to his first transistor AM radio – a Zenith – under the pillow in his room when I was supposed to be asleep, parents in their room, not too far away, with my dad trying to put me down by calling me “an owl” whenever they caught me. I like “owl”; he was giving me a compliment. Why do everything like everybody else? I grew to never wanting to be part of the “Rat Race” of drones on the same rush hour, every morning and the same rush hour in the evening, day after day. Nyet! Nope. Going to work at 11PM, though sometimes hard, back when I was addicted to television, was always more fun once I got there, and the morning payoff of going home to chill with a beverage, maybe a female fan from my show or just to sleep while the world was awakening again was just really chill!

Little did I know, that the graveyard shift was resetting my body clock forever.

Or maybe I was born with that overtime set to my circadian rhythm’s DNA and the fate of career choices visa v the compliments I received on how my voice sounded over the air, extracted that natural inclination?

I surely adapted to it easily and it was fun, except when the day-timers at the job scheduled staff meetings back at the station in the middle of what was my “night” – sometimes as early as 11 AM – those would take me literally a couple of days or nights to recover from, and became sources of contention when I asked for a little consideration from the diurnal management.
I was fully committed to the day-coffin, learning to use heavy curtains with linings that would turn my day room to night until my alarm clock awakened me to watch the hottest soap opera of that era, General Hospital” with Luke and Laura at 3pm.

Recently, I began reflecting upon the radio stations boards which I learned to jock during the third shift throughout my two score on the air, at a point when I learned about the sale or demise of the name brand that I saw all the time but took for-granted, Gates.

Not sure if this one from my first commercial station, WFLB AM, is a Gates. Maybe your keen, expert eye can spot the characteristics.

Most of them had the Gates insignia on them until I graduated to stations in the mid-1980s that had sliding faders instead of round knobs we called pots.

The next one my research recognizes is the one I bounced with on WBSS FM, “BOSS 97”, Atlantic City, New Jersey fifteen years after ‘FLB. It is the Gates Executive 2.

Meanwhile, I learned that there is a whole world of fellow graveyard shifters who shared my unique pain mixed with laughter. Its almost cult-like…I developed “honored groups of the nyte” to acknowledge and play requests for such as hospital worker, cooks, street sweepers, bakers, bartenders, toll collectors, night watchmen, security guards,law enforcement types, like the detective who used to call into my show and ultimately invited me for a couple of boilermakers at this basic bar, at the unheard of hour of six A.M.! He became like a bodyguard for me up there in Worcester.
Next is a board that reminds me of the one I worked at New York City’s 1600, WWRL AM:

My unofficial research gleans that working the midnight shift may have altered when my body naturally produces melatonin! “Peak levels of melatonin are produced before 3 a.m., when it sharply decreases before natural daylight returns. (Higher levels of melatonin have been measured in the fall and winter when the days are shorter, thus the reason you may be sleepier in the winter months.)”  Wow, that might explain why I still can stay up with the best of ’em!
Even as I write this post #300, most of them are edited during the wee hours of the early morning – after midnight (an Eric Clapton song, btw).

Pickhit: On this “Blog Post #300” and upon our 10 Year Anniversary with WordPress, I was pondering what I would post so momentously. Originally pitched as a source of income in 2009 by an acquaintance, nothing of the sort has materialized – milestone not achieved.
I guess I came to keep doing this as writing practice, an outlet for free expression and a way to display my contemporary music knowledge via the amazing YouTube video attachments which accentuate my opinions and reviews.

***Thank you dear reader, who have happened by to peek and read my public “diary”. The private one? I will save for you, who I shall leave behind in the physical realm, someday. This is a milestone.
Peace.

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