Archive for the ‘History’ Category

07-27-2017 The Extremist Fad!   Leave a comment

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How does one become an extremist.  First they need to find their alleged passion and then the real problems can begin.  It may just be me but I feel that in the last fifty years extremism has become the newest and most dangerous fad ever created by man.

Of course it all started with the ever so popular and murderous religions that exist on this planet. How many millions of hapless souls have been sacrificed for their supposed God. It’s not good enough that you believe in God but it must be done only THEIR way. The crusades should have taught everyone a valuable lesson but they didn’t. Cities were burned, whole populations murdered, and for what? Both sides were responsible for that horrendous slaughter and we learned nothing.  March and die for Jesus or Mohammed, cut off a few heads, murder some children, what’s the real difference? There is none.

Religion has turned us against each other time and time again. Now extremism has slowly worked it’s way into the fabric of our society.  Everyone insists that everything they do or believe is the absolute right way. Anyone that disagrees the least little bit becomes an enemy and must be dealt with.  I’m sure many of you would disagree but let’s look a little deeper to prove my point.

This example is a minor bit of extremism called Veganism. Vegans are militant about how their life style is the only and best way to live. Tell a Vegan you don’t agree with them and your looked at suspiciously and become a non-believer. It’s a mild extremism that is a little annoying but no one will kill me over it (YET).

Next in line are the environmentalists who believe that the earth is their newly found god or goddess. It has morphed into a pseudo-religion that has produced a small band of terrorists who’ve murdered for their cause for years and continue to do so. Who hasn’t heard about ecoterrorism?

Of course we always have those fun loving extremist crazies at PETA to listen to. They’ve successfully made themselves into a laughingstock with their lame antics of blood throwing and other nonsense. All terrorists consider themselves complete failures if they can’t get a five minute mention on the nightly news.

What’s next?  Just take a moment and think of the dumbest thing you can imagine.  I’m sure that at some point two assholes will put their heads together and have some sort of an epiphany, maybe talk with their God, and begin a movement to convince the rest of the world to change and believe and think as they do. If you don’t believe you could become ostracized or maybe your life could become forfeit.

Unfortunately for civilization and society most of the really over-the-top extremists cannot be convinced of anything. It makes dealing with them next to impossible as we’ve all come to find out over the last few decades.

It appears that the human race in it’s infinite wisdom can’t find common ground with anyone about anything. Scientists are constantly talking about the coming “Singularity”. That’s supposedly the tipping point when machines become so intelligent they’re able to get rid of the human race entirely.  Honestly I don’t think we really need their help.  We’ll eventually destroy ourselves by arguing over all of the so-called important differences we have rather that celebrating our many similarities.

It’s a side state of affairs and I see no why of fixing any of it. Maybe I should pray to God for help.  Shit, which one should I talk to, there are so many choices.

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09-22-2016 Final Post!!   Leave a comment

I’ve been contemplating something for the last few months and I’ve finally decided to end my blogging career here on WordPress. I’ve been blogging on a regular basis for almost seven years on two different blogs and I’ve had a lot to say. I’ve voiced my somewhat irreverent opinions on everything from politics to religion. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve made some good friends over the years as well as a few liberal enemies.

I also have a number of other interests that have slowly but steadily taken over my daily activities and turned blogging into a secondary concern. I’ll be shutting down this blog the week prior to Halloween and it should remain available for a time until my domain renewal next year.  After that who knows . . . .

I’d like to thank all of my followers and other regular readers for stopping by as often as they have and I’ll certainly miss their intellectual and opinionated emails. The email, everyuselessthing@yahoo.com, will remain active indefinitely.

SAYONARA, ALOHA, and SHALOM!

09-20-2016 Journal – Jim Croce Remembered!   Leave a comment

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I’ve had the pleasure over the years of listening to and sometimes enjoying many styles of music.  I have eclectic tastes ranging from opera to blues to jazz but by far many of my most favorite singers have been the balladeers such as Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Chapin, and of course, Jim Croce.

Both Harry Chapin and Jim Croce died before their time which was a great loss to me and remains so to this day. It’s been 43 years sine Croce was killed in a plane crash in Louisiana and 35 years since Chapin died in 1981 in a car accident.

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Here’s a short blurb on Croce’s death.  He’ll always remain on my IPod and continue to make me smile when I listen to his music.

“On Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce’s Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single “I Got a Name” was released, Croce, Muehleisen, and five others died when their chartered Beechcraft E18S crashed into a tree, while taking off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Others killed in the crash were pilot Robert N. Elliott, musician Maury Muehleisen, comedian George Stevens, manager and booking agent Kenneth D. Cortose, and road manager Dennis Rast. Croce had just completed a concert at Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches and was flying to Sherman, Texas, for a concert at Austin College. The plane crashed an hour after the concert. Jim Croce was 30 years old.”

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R.I.P. JIM

YOU’RE STILL MISSED

09-18-2016 Journal – Nature Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I’ve always been a lover of Nature and almost anything related to it.  As a photographer I spend as much time as I can out-and-about communing with Mother Nature.  I come by it honestly because as a kid growing up I spent more than half of my time in the woods with my friends. We lived on the edge of huge state park directly adjacent to the Allegheny River and knew every inch of the place.  My father, a hunter, spent a lot of time explaining about local wildlife and how they lived and traveled in the wild. It was just a very cool place to grow up.

So I thought I’d share a few interesting factoids about Nature with you. Here they are.

  • Every year the world’s deserts produce 1.7 billion tons of dust.
  • Nature reserves and national park cover 3% of the worlds surface.
  • Over 99.9% of the land on earth is not occupied by a person at a given time.
  • A tenth of the world’s population relies on the Ganges for water.
  • It takes one hundred years for the deep-sea clam to grow to the length of a third of an inch.

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  • Nearly half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans since the beginning of the nineteenth century has been absorbed by the oceans.
  • An estimated 30% of Earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production.
  • Since the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, the sun has become 25-30% hotter.
  • More than 90% of the world’s rubies come from Burma (or whatever they’re calling it these days).
  • Lake Baikal in Russia contains about 20% of the world’s fresh water.

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That’s it for today. It’s time to turn off this computer and get to work in the yard. Winter’s coming and the garden has to be deconstructed.

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ENJOY YOUR DAY OF REST

 

09-16-2016 Journal – Look Out! X-mas is Coming.   Leave a comment

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Another week coming to an end and we’re already halfway through the month of September. The summer of 2016 went by in the wink of an eye and the holidays are again rushing towards us. I wonder to myself which retailer will strike the Christmas colors first. I suspect that as in years past Walmart will be the one to get things rolling 15 minutes after the Halloween holiday is over. That in itself is supremely depressing but it seems to get earlier and earlier every year regardless of how much we complain.

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Yesterday I received this list of companies that have already made it known that Black Friday will begin for them by being open for business on Thanksgiving Day. I guess that’s the new approach to companies who put their employees families second on their list of priorities. That seems to be the ongoing retail way of thinking these days and unfortunately I can bitch about it all I want but no one in the retail establishment gives a damn what I think or what you think. Look at the upside . . . you’ll have a great place to spend your holiday if you get sick of eating Thanksgiving dinner, spending time with your family, or God forbid actually relaxing and enjoying the day. The almighty buck rules all. Make sure to thank these folks:

J.C. Penny

Kohl’s

Toy’s r Us

Target

Walmart

Sears

Macy’s

Belk

Sports Authority

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Dollar General

Best Buy

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While I write this posting I have a Christmas wish that will never be fulfilled. I wish that the population of the millions of so-called consumers in this country would pull their collective heads out of the sand and stop allowing retailers to continue to think that the “great unwashed” are that easily controlled. It’s a lazy population that lets celebrities, the media, politicians, and big business tell them how to think, act, what to buy, and how to be politically correct at all times.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US ALL

You usually get what you deserve.

09-10-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-6!   Leave a comment

Our vacation began to wind down a little as we entered our fourth day in NO. We decided to spend the final day and a half just roaming around the French Quarter and shopping, people watching, drinking, and eating.  It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.

My first suggestion to my better-half was a required visit to a NO must-see, Pat O’Brien’s Bar.  During my first visit to NO many many years ago I was taken first to Bourbon Street and then directly to Pat O’Brien’s Bar.  I loved the place so much I couldn’t wait to introduce it to my better-half.

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It’s a nondescript hole-in-the-wall or so you think at first glance. You walk through the entry way into a dark tunnel with a barroom on either side.  That leads directly into the terrace filled with tropical plants and tables for patrons.

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Directly in the middle is a fountain that is somewhat famous.  During the day it doesn’t look like much but at night it’s on fire.

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It was difficult trying to capture the rising flames in a photo. This was my best attempt.

We took a seat in the bar and ordered dinner. Since O’Brien’s is the actual home of the famous Hurricane cocktail we ordered two. They were huge as was expected and strong enough to give you a glow after drinking only one.

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My entrée was something I’d been waiting for for years.  This is something the locals call “crawfish etouffee” and believe me it was the best I’ve ever had.  It was hot and spicy and effing delicious.

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It was a fun night spent people watching and just enjoying the atmosphere of the French Quarter.  Vibrant, crowded, and as much fun as any person could handle.  We retired to our hotel and the secluded pool to cool down a little before bed.  Another terrific day in the Big Easy.

WE’RE REALLY GONNA MISS THIS PLACE.

09-08-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-5   Leave a comment

Our fourth day in NO took us to one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been.  I’ve always been a big fan of graveyards but this one was the ultimate. It’s called St. Louis #1, the oldest cemetery in the city. Some residents have been there since the late 1700’s.  The temperature was 95 degrees but once we got inside the cemetery it rose to just over 100 degrees.

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Since all bodies are buried above ground in NO the cemetery is just concrete walkways and white tombs.  The heat actually accelerates the decomposition which is important I suppose.  The cemetery isn’t open to the public any longer but I’m sure the Catholic Church is getting their taste from all of the tour groups visiting every day.

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To add to the solemnness of the visit we happened upon what has become a common occurrence these days. A Hollywood celebrity showing up to spend 60,000 dollars to build an eight foot tall white pyramid right in the middle of all this history. Who else would it be but that way-out-there celebrity . .  Nicolas Cage.  Only one word comes to mind and that is A-Hole.

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I think I lost five pounds of water weight in the hour and a half we spent roaming around the place. Our tour guide was an encyclopedia of history of New Orleans and the people resting in that cemetery.  It was a highlight of our trip.

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The vacation continues with Pat O’Brien’s Bar scheduled for dinner and drinks tonight. We both need a dip in the hotel pool and a few cold ones to rehydrate before visiting there.  I’ll cover O’Brien’s in the next post.

MAN WAS IT EVER HOT

09-06-2016 Journal – The Big Easy-4   Leave a comment

Our third day in NO was a special day for me because for most of my life I’ve wanted to ride an airboat through these Louisiana swamps.  We boarded a bus in the French Quarter which took us across the Mississippi River southeast into the bayous. Our destination was a bayou named Barataria where the pirate John Lafitte and his men helped Stonewall Jackson defeat the British at the battle of New Orleans.  A beautiful place filled with as much history as you could ever want.

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These boats are just as fast as you can imagine. It’s like flying on water.

We left the dock and proceeded into the bayou and the beauty of the place was breathtaking.  I could have spent an entire week just riding around taking pictures. The guide took us to a rather cool cemetery where the brother of Jean Lafitte is buried. As you can see all bodies are buried above ground here in Louisiana.

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This is the ultimate spooky graveyard.

I was especially interested in getting some wildlife pictures and I no sooner had that thought and BAM . . . we found a few gators.  They were almost as curious about us as we were about them. This guy came to visit after we pulled ashore to get a better look at him.

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Doesn’t he have the cutest smile?

We played around with them for a few minutes then it was back into some isolated logging channels where we ran into a couple of turtles sunning themselves on a log.

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I hated for this day to come to an end but I was able to take some truly wonderful photos.  This last photo is the one that will remind me of this trip for as long as I live.

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WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?

 

 

09-04-2016 Journal – Big Easy-3!   Leave a comment

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Day two began with a walk through the French Quarter to the Toulouse Docks where the steamboat Natchez was moored.  My better-half has always wanted to ride the Mississippi River in an old steamship and we made that happen. We signed up for a three hour river cruise (hopefully better than Gilligan’s) that would take up south on the river through the busy port of NO. It was a brunch cruise and we had a great meal sitting on the main deck with a fantastic view of NO and the river.. It had been fully restored and was just like you would expect it to be minus the gambling tables and card cheats.

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One of the m0ost interesting sights was the massive amount of damage caused by Katrina.  There were huge section of docks and buildings that had been totally destroyed in the storm and had yet to be repaired or replaced.

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On the upper deck we checked out the gift shop and of course the bar. Their specialty drink was the Jazz Punch which was delicious and wickedly alcoholic. I wanted to have a second one but wasn’t sure I could off the boat without injury.  The views were incredible.

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We made a U-turn an hour later and proceeded back north to NO which was a sight to behold from the middle of the river.

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Another great day of relaxation to help us prepare for day three of the vacation.  Day three was on the top of my wish list and it meant an airboat and trip into the bayou’s.

HOPING FOR LOTS OF GREAT PHOTO’S

 

08-31-2016 Journal – The Big Easy!   Leave a comment

Well, my better-half and I arrived home last night after spending 6 glorious days in the party capitol of the USA . . . New Orleans.  If I disregard our god awful experiences with Jet Blue then we had a great time.  It’s been a number of years since I visited NOLA but I was thrilled to see that it was the same old exciting place that I remembered.  The evidence of Katrina’s visit eleven years ago has been all but erased.

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I grabbed this shot from their website because mine was blurry as hell.

I booked our hotel in an off-the-beaten-path location located in the old creole section of NO on Burgundy Street, 2 blocks north of Bourbon Street. The St. Pierre hotel was once the NO Jazz Museum but has since been converted into an hotel.

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It consists of a group of 150 year old creole homes joined together with small intimate courtyards and swimming pools hidden from street view.  If you ever visit there you need to know this is not the Hilton or Weston style of hotel.  This is an old building with 150 years of character and an 1850’s atmosphere.  We loved going native for a few days and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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This pool was 30 feet from our room. This is the view looking down from the balcony.

The weather was typical NO. It was 90 plus degrees all week with never less than 80% humidity. It was feel-like temperature of over 100 degrees.  Even though the heat was brutal that pool made it bearable. We visited it twice a day to cool off and have a drink and meet people from all over the world who were also staying there. Just fabulous.

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Another view of the courtyard from our balcony.

This posting is just the start of our trip. I’ll probably continue posting on our other activities for the next week or so. There was a lot to see and maybe I can give you a little taste of how it felt to be there.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WEEK BUT WE’RE GLAD TO BE HOME.