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calendar   Monday - May 04, 2009

CONGRADULATION DUE FOR MERELY HAVING MADE IT THIS FAR PAST THE USE BY DATE.

Dateline England .. May 4th 2009

Back in another time almost beyond memory but not quite all the way back, I looked at age 40 as ancient and it was incomprehensible to me that anyone could be that old and still breathe.  Forty?  Come on.  What was there after that age?  Well, 50.  OMG ..50?  Do folks really live that long? Jeez. What the heck next? Oh, just little things like middle age spread and suddenly finding your pant size has ballooned from 36 (how long ago?) to ...
Never mind. I am not gonna say. 
And please let us not even bring up hair loss.  That was the unkindest cut of all.  I miss my hair more then I do my yoot.

But 60 didn’t look so ancient anymore and 40?  Sheesh.  Kids.  At least when you reach 72 which I have done today.

On my mom’s side, grandfather was gone by age 69 I think. Not certain.  Grandmother at 68 and mother about 68 or 69. 

Yeah, I know there are a few geriatric supermen, Jack Lalanne comes to mind and he’s 94. WOW.  But the reason you know about those folks, and how many can you really name? Is because there are so damn few of them.  If they were common, you’d not be able to pick out one name to remember cause then they wouldn’t be outstanding.

So anyway ... never thinking I’d make it this far I woke up surprised this morning and realized I had.  Well past the use by date to be sure, but here.

So as long as I am here let me tell ya there ain’t nothin’ GOLDEN about what some call, the golden years. BS!  They most certainly are not.
Which does not mean I’m ready to jump off the nearest curb, of which there aren’t any to be seen hereabouts anyway.

I went looking for names I might know who were born on this date and at first was disappointed.

For example ....
Audrey Hepburn, Brussels Belg, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady

Oh wonderful.  A liberal’s liberal. Someone who thought the aclu was something worth contributing to. I should alter my birth date to hide that bit of embarrassment.

But then I found ...
Roberta Peters, New York City, operatic soprano, New York Met ... and
Luther Adler, New York City, actor

Now I do know who these were, even if not aware of their politics. I was never an opera fan, don’t even much like their confusing browser.
Luther Adler was a very well know supporting and character actor and a damn good one. He was hardly ever out of work I don’t think.  There were others to be sure.

But then things picked up a bit and didn’t look too bad after all.  Because I found country singer Randy Travis was also born on this date ...
BUT .......The really, really GREAT NEWS is that I share this date with ........

GEORGE WILL .... May 4th, 1941


HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE WILL AND A LOT MORE HAPPY AND HEALTHY ONES TO COME. CHEERS!


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/04/2009 at 06:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Personal •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - May 02, 2009

A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF OBITUARY FROM ISRAEL.  BOOTED JUST TO POST THIS STORY.

Salamo Arouch, who died on April 26 aged 86, survived the Auschwitz concentration camp by fighting exhibition boxing matches for Nazi officers; his harrowing story later inspired a Hollywood film.

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SATURDAY OBITS

Born in Greece of Jewish descent, Arouch became middleweight champion of the Balkans, but his professional career was cut short by the Second World War and the German invasion of his homeland. Like thousands of other Greek Jews, he and his family and friends were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Ordered to fight other prisoners for the entertainment of the Nazi guards, Arouch escaped the gas chambers. At the end of the war he emigrated to Palestine and witnessed the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948. His story was the basis for Triumph of the Spirit (1989) starring Willem Dafoe, much of which was shot on location at Auschwitz, with Arouch making an emotional return to the site as an adviser.

Salamon Arouch – he dropped the final “n” and was always known as Shlomo – was born in Salonika in 1923 into a family of Sephardic Jews. His father taught him to box, and in 1937, when he was 14, he made his debut in his home town, knocking down his opponent twice to win by a technical knockout.

Adopting a traditional style of jabbing and crossing, by 1939 he had an unbeaten record with 24 knockouts. His fancy footwork earned him the nickname “The Ballet Dancer”, and before the outbreak of war he was reportedly a member of the Greek Olympic boxing team.

Drafted into the Greek military, Arouch became a member of the army boxing squad. But when the Germans overran Greece, he was arrested and, because he was Jewish, deported with his family to Auschwitz on March 15 1943.

All the female members of his family were gassed on the first day, as were all the children and infants. With his father and younger brother, Arouch was forced into slave labour. When a Nazi officer found out that inmate 136954 had been a boxer, Arouch was forced to fight in matches held at the camp on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

These bloody encounters – often preceded by juggling gipsies and dancing dogs – involved Jewish and gipsy boxers at Auschwitz; they were forced to fight each other, with Nazi officers placing heavy bets on the outcome.

The bouts ended only when one fighter was unable to continue. For the winner there would be bread and soup; the loser would be executed and incinerated.

On his second day at Auschwitz Arouch’s first fight was against a Polish Jew, with a senior officer at the camp, one “Hans”, acting as “referee”. Arouch knocked the Pole out. Twenty minutes later, he knocked out a six-foot Czech with a single punch to the stomach. “He fold like a camel,’’ Arouch remembered. “Hans says: ‘You good, you good.’”

For the next two years, Arouch would fight two or three times a week in a smoke-filled warehouse for the amusement of his Nazi captors, knowing that a single defeat would almost certainly result in death. Thanks to his speed and nimble footwork, he could beat opponents who outweighed him by more than 100 pounds. On one occasion Arouch (135lbs) claimed to have knocked out a 6ft 6in, 250lb gipsy fighter in 18 seconds.

His toughest opponent was a German-Jewish boxer called Klaus Silber, who had an undefeated pre-war amateur boxing record (44-0) and who had never lost any of his 100-plus fights at the camp. His fight with Arouch was so fierce that at one point, both men fell out of the ring. Silber went on to stun Arouch and then to knock him down. But Arouch recovered to knock Silber out. After the fight, Silber was never seen alive again.

By the time Arouch was removed from the slave labour force and put to work in an office, his entire family had been murdered. His father was executed after becoming too ill to work; when his brother, Avram, refused to pull gold teeth from those gassed in the ovens, he was shot dead on the spot.

Arouch managed to survive at Auschwitz for nearly two years, racking up a record of 208 knockouts. When the camp was finally liberated, he asked the British forces if they had any boxers who would fight him in an exhibition. When two were found, Arouch knocked them both out.

Asked how he approached his life-or-death battles at Auschwitz, Arouch admitted he felt terrible. “I trembled,” he said. “But a boxer had to be without compassion. If I didn’t win, I didn’t survive.”

While searching for members of his family at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, Arouch met 17-year-old Marta Yechiel, from his own home town. After their marriage later that year, in 1948 he emigrated to the fledgling state of Israel and served in the Israeli Army, where he continued to box. In civilian life he ran a successful shipping and moving business in Tel Aviv.

Salamo Arouch’s wife and four children survive him.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/02/2009 at 09:54 AM   
Filed Under: • IsraelMiscellaneousNews-Briefs •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Brit Airline Bows Down to Islam

Sorry Peiper, I saw this UK story and had to run it.

British Airline Removes Israel from the Map

The British airline, BMI, has removed Israel from the electronic maps displayed to passengers in some of its planes, Army Radio reports. The report claimed that the reason was to avoid offending Muslim passengers. However, the maps showed passengers the direction of Mecca.

Israel does not appear in maps on BMI flights between London and Tel Aviv, and Khefa, the pre-independence Arabic name for Haifa, appears on the maps.

In addition, the electronic maps display the distance between the plane and Mecca.

The airline claims that the map has not been changed due to a “logistical problem.” Instead, it has presently been removed from the two planes that transport passengers to Tel Aviv.

“For this reason, the inflight entertainment system in the two planes was made to adapt to the passengers flying to and from those destinations and therefore the map showed mainly places holy to Islam,” the airline company said in a statement.

BMI denied that it had a political agenda. “If BMI had any political agenda in order not to anger neighboring countries, it would not have invested so much in the Tel Aviv line,” the company stated.

BMI is apparently bending over backwards to accommodate the sensitivities of its Saudi passengers. The British weekly Sunday Times reported last week that a stewardess was fired because she refused to don an abaya head covering and to walk behind male flight attendants on a flight bound for Saudi Arabia, regardless of rank.

The BMI internal document issued to crewmembers bound for Saudi Arabia stated: “It is expected that female crew members will walk behind their male counterparts in public areas such as airports no matter what rank.”

The flight attendant, Lisa Ashton, refused to abide by BMI’s policy, and was fired when she refused to travel to Saudi Arabia if she would be required to don an abaya.

You go, sista. But don’t hold your breath waiting for all those international womyn’s rights groups to rally ‘round.



image


In other exciting UK news, Mattel has released a special edition Chav Barbie. She comes with several seedy outfits and her own tattoo gun.

PS - who is this Cheryl Cole woman mentioned in that article?
Gosh Drew, why not just be Mr. Google and answer your own question?

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/02/2009 at 03:09 AM   
Filed Under: • UK •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

no comment necessary

Anyone who would pay $35 for these ugly ass sneakers, much less $540, can’t be taken seriously.

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As a news item, it gets a fail. As a fashion statement, it gets a FAIL. Especially when combined with high water stretch pants. Yikes.

image

I don’t even want to read the article. But here it is anyway.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/02/2009 at 12:08 AM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefs •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - May 01, 2009

and back home again

I had to run for a couple days to do some unscheduled family stuff. Back now. Except right this instant I have to grab a shower and go do my Friday night job. Must remember to bring a power saw and an extension cord; I’ve got some huge packing crates to chop up.

Back later.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/01/2009 at 07:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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THIS OLE HOUSE AND WATER, COOL,CLEAR, WATER. HOLD THE GAS!

OMG, the instant I saw the title I thought maybe it was you or your neighbor!

How’s that gas leak situation going?

[ Peiper’s neighbors are rebuilding the whole house, so they have the lawn torn up, and all the pipes and wires are breaking. Extra extra fun to live next door to! ]
Posted by Drew458

Drew posted that yesterday and when I saw it this morning the idea came to me that perhaps I should tell everyone what’s been happening the last couple of daze.  No, I’m not trying to be arty. DAZE is what we feel like we are in.  Pay attention. There will be a test when we come to.

This olde house is named Avalon. All houses on the street have names. No numbers. Avalon is one of three dormer bungalows built between 1923 and 1926.  Ours was the second one built and the last, in ‘26 was called Roydon. It still is.  That bungalow was knocked down last year and there’s this large red brick eye sore in its place now.

Avalon was owned by a wonderful old fellow, a glass eyed veteran of the first world war. He passed away some 23 years ago and the MIL looked after the empty house and kept it looking lived in.
image

There was always the worry of squaters or travelers who could have easily moved in and just taken it.  They do that sort of thing and as most of you already know, are quite successful in getting away with it.  I guess mostly because nobody has the guns to just shoot the bastards graveyard dead. 

Well, the lady who was raised in Avalon married a Harley Street heart surgeon. Yeah. Think MONEY in caps.  She just could not give up her girlhood home and so it was maintained all these years until her own passing a bit over a year ago.
By maintained I mean they kept and paid for heat,gas,electric and water.  If repairs were needed, they got done and the bills went to the doctor and his wife.  The lawn was done every other week even if it didn’t need it. Hedges were trimmed etc.  When the MIL fell too ill to continue, the wife took over once we’d moved here.

Washing was done in our house but in winter as I discovered when I came here, the wet laundry was carried next door to the vacant Avalon, where it was all hung to dry usually overnight but sometimes perhaps another day.  That was because Avalon had central heating and the temp. was kept at around 70 degrees all winter. Day and night.
Electric here btw VERY EXPENSIVE.  MIL had no dryer nor did she want the expense of one. Hardly anyone has air and windows open outward almost everywhere and so NO screens on windows in summer.

Well, the old Avalon is now gone. The lady who grew up here passed away and her husband and granddaughter sold the place a bit over a year ago, at the very top of the market. Money to money.  The place was sold to a local dentist and his family and two freekin dogs and yes they do damn well bark, for very near one million dollars if your thinking in American terms.  It has a very large lot in back, longer then ours but I don’t think quite as wide though I could be mistaken. Anyway, it’s bigger. 


So this all brings me down to the last couple of stress filled days.


See that tree to the right?
Yeah. That one.  Well, it’s large ok and its roots deep AND .. image

it sits right on top of the main gas supply.  Long before demolition started, gas and water and electric to Avalon were cut off.  Ah but …. our house and Avalon have shared since the homes were built, the same water main.  Right. Should the water be turned off in one house, the water gets turned off in the other two.  Gets interesting huh? Hope so.

They did something so that our water wasn’t touched and all was fine.  I guess they were able to cap Avalon and leave ours in place.  When the house on the other side of us was built last year, they got a direct water line and were taken completely off the old system. But they are also on a water meter now.  We are on the old flat rate system.  There were no meters when this place was built.

So, the day before yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well, didn’t post anything and at one point had a headache but didn’t detect any odor. At first.  I’ve been taking photos of the demolition as it goes along and went next door and stood in front of where the old gate used to be.  There was a hole in the ground, the tree was gone, a pipe was sticking out of the ground and the guy who’d been running the digger that took the tree out, was then using a gas powered saw to cut up the fallen tree.  Two years ago that tree had been pruned because part of it fell across our front yard in a heavy wind.  So there he was cutting and suddenly it caught us.  Wife had come over to join me by then and we both suggested that there was a gas leak.  But the fellow doing the sawing suggested it could also be just earth and rotted vegetation as there was a bit of that about.  But no, we insisted it was gas and sure enough, it was.

When the tree came up, it tore a pipe attached to the main below.  Where that yellow paint is.  Gas company was out there and four guys walking around with clipboards etc.
image

About 7:15 that night, a two man crew from the gas company came out and started to dig out the main pipe. At 8pm there was this cloud of gas, of course ya couldn’t see it, but as my wife’s room is downstairs she caught almost the full force of it. Her room is in front and not that far away from the exposed pipe.

It passed and she almost did too but just ended up with a ripping headache and a bit of nausea which I’d caught earlier.  By 8:15pm they had it capped, but for now it’s temporary as they have to come back at some point and do something else and so the hole remains but is covered for now with a couple of metal sheets or planks. Whatever. It’s covered till they come back when ever that is. ? 
image

That was all the day before yesterday.  You’ve heard that when it rains it pours?  Yeah well, sometimes it ain’t rain.  Sometime ya just get pissed on. Like during political elections but I’m not going there. For now anyway.

So the nice man and his digger are doing what diggers do and all is well.  We thought.

image

I was tired and needed to stretch and went out on the front porch and as his machine turned and he saw me, he cut the engine and asked me if we had running water.  Huh?
Oh no.  I don’t wanna hear that.  Everybody from the new owner to their architect and the builder were advised on more then one occasion about the water supply.  Which our friendly digger guy had managed to run over and broke a pipe below ground.
Doesn’t end there however.  Wouldn’t you think it would?  But no.

image
First of all, the digger says he wasn’t advised of where exactly the water pipe was but only that it might be somewhere under what was once a driveway, long grown over with grass and weed.  Also, it turned out the pipe was not buried all that deep.  Only about 8 inches under the top.  He was digging a foot down and caught a small pipe out of which water flowed.

We are talking very old very original lead pipe, I think it’s lead.  So he called his boss who called a plumber who got there about 20 minutes later. BUT … no parts that would fit anything that old.  Photo.
Old pipe off to left, blue is new but it isn’t pipe at all as it comes rolled but I guess it’s what they use. I shot this from upstairs room.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/01/2009 at 10:53 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffDaily LifePersonal •  
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NY jeweler steals gold bullion—bit by bit , over a six year period.

Up way earlier then usual this AM and found this bit of news when I checked email. Came from Yahoo but I imagine everyone knows about it by now.

What struck me was the time she could possibly face in prison for this.
Now I am not saying that ppl who steal shouldn’t be punished. However, I really find this sort of penalty, if carried out, lopsided in view of the terms given thugs who maim and rape and kill.

For example, a group of miserable low life vermin they be habing dare fun bro, raped a young girl here and got 7 years. Which of course they will never serve all of. But perhaps had they stolen millions they’d have got life, and then perhaps served 12 years.

Got it. Comes the dawn.
Money wins every time and is always worth more then human life in what passes for the Criminal Justice System.

NY jeweler steals gold bullion—bit by bit

Talk about lining your purse...Reports Thursday said that for six years a woman used a purse with a false bottom to steal tiny amounts of gold from the New York jewelry manufacturer where she was a vault manager.

NY jeweler steals gold bullion—bit by bit

By the time she was caught, reported the Daily News and New York Post, she’d amassed 500 pounds (227 kilos), equivalent to almost 31 gold bars.

She needed a suitcase and a couple dozen buckets to return the loot to her employers, the newspapers reported.

The woman, aged 50, faces 25 years in prison if convicted, the Post said.

GOLDFINGER


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/01/2009 at 04:36 AM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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