Sarah Palin is the “other” whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Friday - October 03, 2008

Ultimate Squeegee Project, Day 3

First off, I’d really like to thank Peiper for putting up lots of interesting posts in my absence. Well done old boy! I couldn’t keep this place running without you. But right now I’m mining gold as fast as I can swing a pick. Um, I mean wield a squeegee. I’m plugging away, making good progress, but let me clue you in. This is not easy work. I am exhausted. My feet ache, my hands are numb, my legs are all bruised from leaning on ladders. And I probably got scorched today too, as it was a bit chilly out and they had the heat on. Steam radiators under every window, right where I have to lean.

Well, the whole outside is done, except for behind a dozen storm windows I have to wait for the Mexicans to help me remove. They’re the size of a pool table, and weigh nearly as much. And the whole upstairs is done inside. All 11 thousand rooms. I didn’t make as much progress today as I wanted, because I put my foot down a little. The painters who did the windows didn’t do such a hot job of edging the paint. And they splattered a bit too. So now I have to do the glass scraping they should have done. But the customer is happy that I’m willing to do it, and is willing to pay me extra for that as well. So my guess is another 2 solid days of work, but between the scraping, the sill cleaning, and some detail work cleaning the outside lamps I can earn another few hundred bucks. Hey, the sun is shining, so it’s time to make hay!

I came home high today. Is it possible to fall in love with architecture? Because this house makes me giddy. Not only is the place utterly charming inside, it’s built like a damn fortress. The walls are at least two feet thick, solid stone. I bet there are 100 doors in the home, and each has a turn of the century brass lockset, in perfect working order, but with a 100 year patina you simply can not get at Home Depot. I went up into the attic late this afternoon. I climbed up the back stairs central servant’s stairs ( it turns out that there is another staircase that goes from the end of the servant’s wing straight down to the laundry room and kitchen at the back of the house. Who knew? But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I found a 4th staircase somewhere. This place is immense!) to the attic door, went in, turned on the light, and was magically transformed into a 7 year old boy in an instant. Wow. Stunning. What a sense of wonder. And this is the attic! For starters, it’s fully floored. And the roof is held up with post-and-beam woodwork. The old style “upside down peace sign” kind of framing you usually only see in old barns. No trusses thank you. It’s made from baulks of timber - 8x8 and 10x10 hardwood framing. Oak? Maple? Maybe Chestnut. Certainly not pine. And the beams are in lengths that defy the imagination. It takes some seriously strong lumber to hold up a slate roof, and the roof itself is immense. I swear the attic is the size of a football field. The lower part, over the servant’s wing, is your standard steeply pitched roof, so the peak is about 14 feet overhead. Varnished barrel stave joinery lines the 2 foot diameter half pipes that make the horizontal shafts of the dozen or so eyebrow windows. Head on over towards the main part of the house, go up four steps, and you’ve just entered another world. The main part is Mansard roofed. Which means the attic is over two stories tall. Inside. There’s a staircase with two landings that zig zags up to the hatch by the skylight. It’s 22 steps up to the hatch. Amazing. I wish I could take pictures. It’s beyond belief. If there was any stained glass around I’d swear I was inside Notre Dame.

You could fit a standard suburban home in the attic. Heck, you could fit half the neighborhood in with it. I’m just blown away by it all. There’s a fire supression system. In the attic. Old style: if you’re old enough, remember those folded up fire hoses behind the glass doors at school? Several of these up there. And of course all the wires, plumbing, A/C pipes and equipment. Two or three TV antennas hanging from the ceiling. Bronze plated iron radiators with fancy scrollwork. So the attic doesn’t get too cold you know. Cedar closets for storing the furs I guess, all around each of the 4 or 6 chimneys. Over the back portico, an area that could be a theater; half round, raised stage, lighting, even a seating area. It’s a trip. What did they use it for? Over here, the machinery for an electric dumbwaiter. Cool, but where did it come out? I’ve been through almost the whole house now, and I haven’t seen any ... well, maybe that sliding glass thing in the Indian Room. But why? The kitchen is on the same floor as the dining room; all the cook needed to do was trolley the meals over. It’s a mystery. And a museum.

And of course, the stuff of generations. Nothing worthwhile every got thrown away. No, I wasn’t snooping. But it’s hard not to notice. Entire rooms worth of furniture under cloth. Arranged, not stacked. Artwork. Statuary. Knick-nacks. Steamer trunks. Rooms full of clothing. An entire library of books. All nice and clean and dry. A first edition of Uncle Remus. Just sitting on one of the bookshelves. In the attic. One of the front rooms up there is the toybox. Every toy the son ever had, from his wooden rocking horse and his Big Chief tricycle right up to his hunting and fishing gear and his Army uniforms. I really wasn’t snooping. I was working. But it’s impossible not to notice. Especially when every time I turned around I was “hey, I had that toy! Cool, the Tolkien Beastiary! And look, another book I’ve read!” Son and I must be close in age. It was a time warp experience for me. But I felt bad for the kid. He is an only child. In that great enormous house set back way in the woods on the sparsely populated end of town. No wonder there are so many books. Poor little rich kid must have been awfully lonely.

And today, when I asked about some of the unusual detailing - not only do all the main windows have interior shutters that bi-fold away into little side niches in the walls, all the windows also have slide out, hardened steel locking gates that come out behind each window. Slabs of steel the lateral dimensions of a Snickers bar, built like those expanding criss-cross wood gates you put across the kitchen doorway to keep the puppy or the toddler from running amuck. What the hell for? I found out today: security. (well, duh!) Because this was really only the summer cottage. They only lived there 3 or 4 months a year, and then went back to the main house the rest of the time. So the place locks up tighter than a typical prison to deter thieves.

Speaking of detailing ... if you happen to have a whole pile of money and nothing to spend it on, and you happen to have amazingly high ceilings, I saw the greatest thing today in the Indian Room. Actually, it’s the library. A library. But the whole room is done up in a Native American motif, so the name fits. Anyway, picture Atlas Supporting The World. Now transform Atlas into a Quetxicoatcocktail pre-Columbian Atzec statuette. Carve a whole shitload of them, each about 4” tall. Out of ivory or marble or something fine like that. In the Indian Room a flat topped bit of fancy crown molding runs around the walls, and on top of it every foot or so is one of these Quetxi-Atlas little statues, and together they support the next layer of crown molding up by the ceiling. It’s humorous, beautiful, and artistic all at the same time. I mentioned that this place sort of feels like a museum. But it’s also very much a home, some place where families were raised and lives lived. You can feel it. So I want to respect that, and not gossip about too much that would be personal to the owners. I find the place enchanting though. Everything ... everything is done right. Done better than right. It’s all done the best way. So yeah, I’m in love.

Oh, and I was wrong. This is not merely a house that George B. Post designed. It’s his actual home, where he lived and died. See page 10 of this link. Claremont is actually a modest home for that era and area. But “modest” is a flexible definition that a good architect can play with. This house is much bigger than it appears to be, because everything is built to a grand scale: the windowsills below the windows on the upper floor are 21 feet off the ground. The eyebrow windows up in the roof are about 2 feet across. The battlements over the front door are long gone, though the stone lions still remain. They are life sized:


Horry Clap, it is a museum!

Well no, it’s somebody’s home. But it looks museumy because the whole place seems transplanted from another place and time. I go there and it’s 100 years ago.


This is the carriage that I saw yesterday, still out in the carriage house. It needs a bit of work at this point.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/03/2008 at 09:30 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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THE NEW FRENCH CAR LAW ….  couldn’t make this up although the story isn’t brand new.

A new piece of motoring law has been introduced in France, which could catch holidaymakers driving in the country off guard.

It is now compulsory for motorists to have a reflective jacket in any vehicle with four wheels or more in France, says the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

With nine million tourists expected to reach the nation by car this year the change in legislation is something that could affect a large number of holidaymakers.

Neil Greig, director of the IAM, said: “Its worth investing in [a reflective jacket], before you leave, to ensure you don’t end up with a nasty fine when you’re on holiday.”

He added that when travelling abroad people tend to go into “holiday mode” and think that they are safeguarded from break downs or run ins with the law, which is a fallacy.

OK, that little blurb appeared back in July in a P & O Ferries newsletter.  But that isn’t exactly what I caught in today’s paper.
Of course, being the Telegraph, I couldn’t find any link to the Telegraph story which is still close enough. But, here’s the way The Telegraph reported it today.


Motorists who drive in France without a reflective jacket or a red warning triangle in their car could be fined by police from today. (03 Oct.08)
Under new laws any driver not traveling with either piece of safety equipment could be fined $140 to $200.

I guess it isn’t any big deal in the overall scheme of things, but it just smacks of another nanny like thing the public now has to endure.
Yeah, I guess safety gear is a pretty good idea. Better then pretty good then. But should it not be up to the individual driver? Maybe not.

It’s like here in the UK, and it either started yesterday or today, 40% of the surface on the backside of a cigarette pack now has to show gruesome
photos of cancer victims.  Black diseased lungs and autopsy photos. Mouth cancer etc. GAK. Totally gross. I’m not a smoker anymore but if I were, I’d simply paste something else over the photos.  Hey, bet ya when smokers start doing that on their own packs, a new law will be passed to prohibit that.

Of course, no photos of bad liver and kidney stuff on booze bottles.  That industry is NOT an easy target.  The health commies only go after the soft targets where they will get their way.  Like bullies in a schoolyard.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 12:21 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsNanny StateUK •  
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Council tells allotment holders NOT to lock sheds in case thieves wreck them during break-in


I guess it makes sense to Moonbats.  What next?  Leave your front door open like it’s 1949 again? 

Council tells allotment holders NOT to lock sheds in case thieves wreck them during break-in

By Daily Mail Reporter

Allotment holders are being urged not to lock their sheds - in case burglars damage them while breaking in.

They have been warned that padlocks force robbers to smash their way through doors and windows, damaging the buildings in the process.

Bristol City Council is advising allotment holders not to leave expensive equipment where it might be targeted - and residents with only minor items such as tools should consider leaving their sheds unlocked.

Shocked: Allotment holders Colin White, Terry Nichols and Ted Morse received letters from Bristol City Council, urging them not to padlock their sheds

The council has issued a letter to one site of allotment holders which reads: ‘Don’t padlock your shed, it can save the shed being damaged if someone does try to get into it. If there is a break-in, always inform the police.’

But gardeners at Bifield Allotments, in the Stockwood area of the city, say the measure will leave their property unprotected.

Pensioner Terry Nichols, 71, who has rented a plot at the site for more than 25 years, said: ‘It beggars belief that the council are telling us to leave our sheds wide open.

‘Everyone who has an allotment has been sent a letter. I’ve never read anything so ridiculous in all my life.

‘Imagine what the response would be if they told council tenants to leave their houses unlocked to stop them getting damaged during a burglary.’

Police said gardeners should ignore the council’s advice.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 12:07 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeFun-StuffHumorStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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Barack Obama is ‘aloof’ says British ambassador to US .

Revealed: UK ambassador’s verdict on Barack Obama
Posted By: Toby Harnden at Oct 2, 2008 at 21:10:29 [General]
Posted in: Foreign Correspondents

The following is the full text of a July 2008 letter sent by Sir Nigel Sheinwald, British ambassador to the United States, to Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister, shortly before the visit of Senator Barack Obama, then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to London.

My news story about the leaked document is here.


This letter contains sensitive judgements. Please limit copying, and protect the contents carefully.

1. Ahead of Senator Obama’s visit to London next week, I thought it would be useful to give you a snapshot of his personality, politics and emerging policies.

Background and Personality

2. The key themes which are important in understanding Obama’s political makeup are the following:

- His struggle to understand his racial identity. His first book “Dreams from My Father” (1995) traces this struggle through Hawaii, New York, Chicago and Kenya. Raised by his white Kansas-born mother and her parents after his Kenyan father left, Obama made a conscious decision in the 1980s to choose his African-American identity – he worked as a community organiser in the poorest areas of Chicago, and went on to travel to Kenya to learn about his father. His decision after Harvard Law School to settle back in Chicago led to growing integration into the city’s black middle class culture and provided him with the political laboratory from which his career was launched;

- His personal makeup drives his view of politics. Obama talks of wanting to reach out to all Americans (“no red states or blue states, only the United States”). “I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible. It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story which has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many we are truly one.” The race issue is present in the campaign – the debate continues to rage over how much. Obama wanted to avoid it as much as possible until the Reverend Wright videos forced him to make his elegant speech on race in March and then, when this was clearly not enough for the latest Wright outburst, to disown him completely and leave his church;

- Star quality. Obama has always had it, at least since his arrival at Harvard. A friend in the progressive Chicago establishment said, “I honestly don’t remember what it was about him, but I was absolutely blown away. I said to several people that this guy, who is now 30 years old, is some day going to be President. He will be our first black President”. That was in the 1990s. His rise has been meteoric. He first came to the notice of the national political establishment when he won the Illinois Democratic primary for the US Senate in early 2004. But it was his mesmerising speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston which propelled him to stardom, at a low point for his party. He is the only black member of the Senate. He is already the most successful black elected politician in American history, to the discomfort of Jesse Jackson and others;

- The promise of post-partisanship. Throughout his career, from the time he won over the conservative board of the Harvard Law Review to today, Obama has succeeded in crossing traditional boundaries, and making a virtue of it. His political personality is much more difficult to define than McCain’s. His campaign has the features of a movement, but he has himself said that “without organisation, without policy, without plans”, movements will dissipate. He uses Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign as his example. More broadly, he is a mixture of idealism and progressive politics on the one hand and pragmatism and disciplined organization on the other. He resists pigeon-holing. People disagree about how sincere his post-partisanship is, and how successful his attempts to reach across the aisle would be, given his mixed record in the Senate;

- Obama is highly intelligent. Not just savvy – which most people at this level of American politics have to be. But intellectually smart; cerebral. His manner is frequently interrogative. He is a quick learner. He has the confidence to surround himself with bright people, and is said to listen carefully to and weight thir views. This can have its downsides – he can seem to sit on the fence, assiduously balancing pros and cons. He can talk too dispassionately for a national campaign about issues which touch people personally, eg his notorious San Francisco comments about small-town Pennsylvanians “clinging” to guns and religion. The charge of elitism leveled by both Clinton and McCain was rich coming from them, but not entirely unfair. Despite his blue-collar upbringing. Obama does betray a highly educated and upper middle class mindset;

- He is a supreme organiser and networker. Obama has 20 years’ experience of organising from the grassroots up. He has surrounded himself with experienced, creative campaign organisers, particularly David Axelrod and David Plouffe. He has broken all the financial records, especially for donations via the internet and from younger people. His campaign has been a brilliant combination of the strategic and emotional on the one hand (“change you can believe in”) and state-by-state organisation on the other. The latter, as much as the former, beat Hillary Clinton; and that remains in place against McCain;

- He is tough and competitive. That is of course the Chicago school. You don’t beat Clinton without being resilient (but, like her, his energy levels do dip and he can be uninspiring e.g. in debates). He loves basketball and poker. He demands loyalty.

- Ambition. Of course. He has talked at least since the 1980s about a shot at the Presidency. He plans each move carefully, and incrementally. The 1995 book was a very clever platform.

- Obama is cool. He looks cool, tall, slim. He is temperamentally cool (by any standards, not just in comparison with the more impetuous McCain). And maybe aloof, insensitive – see above. Friends like Tom Daschle told me that he demands calm and “no dramas” from those around him. That will, I think, be an important criterion for his choice of running mate;

- Luck. Obama has had his fair share, but also made his own. He was certainly lucky in having Democratic and Republican opponents for the US Senate in 2004 who were tarnished. He was lucky that Hillary Clinton had such a bad organisation in the primary campaign, and took so long to respond to Obama’s threat.

(This is a very long but interesting read. Therefore, see the link for the rest. There really is too much to post it all here)


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 10:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsInternationalMiscellaneousPolitics •  
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Mother is denied pill by Muslim pharmacist …..  RCOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I should not be so quick to blame the mudman because it’s the pc left lunatics and libtard fools that have indoctrinated various groups who now take for granted that they have all these “rights” under freedom of religion and civil rights etc.
This place is doomed anyway so it doesn’t matter anymore, I suppose. Nuts! 

Seems to me you’re hired to do a job and paid to service the community. Oh, but not so anymore.
Can you imagine what the reaction would have been say 50 years ago before this place got flooded with immigrants from another century?
Yeah I know this particular pill wasn’t around then but that ain’t the point.
Geez I am PO’d this could happen.  Tesco is WRONG and so is the organization that backs this kind of dumb and utterly moronic rule.

Mother is denied pill by Muslim pharmacist
A woman was refused the “morning-after pill” by a supermarket’s duty pharmacist because it was against his religious beliefs.

By Paul Stokes
Last Updated: 3:56PM BST 03 Oct 2008

Ruth Johnson, 33, who has two children, including a month-old baby, had not been using her usual method of contraception with her fiancée.

She went to the Tesco dispensary in Hewitts Circus, Cleethorpes, Lincs, and asked an as assistant for the pill Levanelle.

Miss Johnson was told it could only be dispensed by the locum pharmacist who was called to speak with her.

She said: “He came out from behind a screen and told me that he would not be allowing me to buy the pill from him because he had a right to refuse to sell it on the basis of his personal beliefs.

“The pharmacist was of Asian origin so I asked him if it was because of his religion and he replied ‘Yes’.”

Miss Johnson, from Cleethorpes, was left feeling ashamed and worried and complained to the store manager who told her they couldn’t force the pharmacist to sell the product.

She said: “I asked him if a Jewish or Muslim checkout operator could refuse to sell pork or alcohol or if a Jehovah’s Witness could refuse to sell birthday and Christmas cards.”

Her concern is that the policy could deter teenage girls from seeking the morning-after pill.

“I appreciate we live in a multi-cultural society but what gives him the right to impose his beliefs onto me?” she added.

(Righst? What rights? In a multi culture society, only minorities have any “rights.” And these days, especially mudslimes. Stone age MFers)

A Tesco spokesman said the pharmacist was acting within his rights to refuse to sell the pill and the customer was advised where else she could buy the product.

(Well Tesco is bloody well WRONG!  Why should a customer have to go somewhere else to buy a legal product ok’d by her doctor as I’m sure she must have had an Rx or why ask the pharmacist? This kinda crap is getting worse by the day. And oh btw, a pharmacist can and they do refuse to sell legal drugs they do not approve of, as my post of some months ago pointed out.  They have a totally insane system here. )

He said: “We do apologise to Miss Johnson for the inconvenience caused. However, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s code of ethics allows pharmacists the right to refuse.”

The Society said its code of ethics and standards is adopted by all healthcare bodies.

Its does not require a pharmacist to provide a service that is contrary to their religious or moral beliefs but any attempt by a pharmacist to impose their beliefs on a customer seeking professional help without offering an alternative could form the basis of a professional misconduct complaint.

Two years ago Jo-Ann Thomas, a school crossing patrolwoman with two children, faced a similar situation in Thurcroft, Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

She was told by a Muslim pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy near her home that she should go to her doctor for supplies even though the item was in stock.

She said at the time: “I’m a 37 year old woman, not a daft girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing. It’s my choice not his. It’s his religion not mine. He’s a dispensing chemist and his job is to dispense drugs.”


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 10:19 AM   
Filed Under: • OutrageousRoPMAStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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What I find so very interesting about this short article is that the subject is even being discussed publicly.  What with PC and touchy-feely attitudes not to mention LAW SUITS!

Kids aren’t stupid and they are far more sophisticated then my generation was. They by god know their civil rights. They’ve been taught.
I think they learn those before their A B Cs.

Fifth of teachers ‘want cane back’

Press Assoc. - Friday, October 3 01:10 am

One in five teachers would like to see the cane brought back in schools, a survey has found.

The deterioration of pupils’ behaviour was the main reason teachers were in favour of corporal punishment being brought back.

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) survey of 6,162 teachers found that those in secondary schools were more in favour of it than their primary school counterparts (22% compared to 16%)

Overall, 20.3% supported “the right to use corporal punishment in extreme cases”. The idea was less popular with heads and deputy and assistant heads, with just 12% favouring the idea, the TES reported.

Supply teacher Judith Cookson told the TES said: “There are too many anger management people and their ilk who give children the idea that it is their right to flounce out of lessons for time out because they have problems with their temper.

“They should be caned instead.”

And primary teacher Ravi Kasinathan said: “There is justification, or an argument, for bringing back corporal punishment, if only as a deterrent.

“I believe some children just don’t respond to the current sanctions.”


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 03:55 AM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
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A VERY SAD GOODBYE.  Richard Sudhalter Cornettist and historian of pre-war ‘hot’ jazz.

Leave it to the Brits to remember this American.

Most of you I’ll bet never heard of this guy.  Unless like myself you’ve had an overriding passion for the period’s music and BIX in particular.
This fellow wrote the bio on Bix that for me was the definitive word on the subject.  (my lic. plate read, BIX LIVS)

My heroes since childhood have mostly been musicians and there wasn’t any higher calling that I could see.  All I lacked was talent. Gee, in today’s musical world, I couldda been a contenda. I couldda been a star. A talentless one but perhaps a wealthy one. 

So, today was a sad start to the day when I opened the morning paper and found this obit.
Had this man been a Brit, I’m almost certain there’d have been a Sir before his first name.

RIP, Richard Sudhalter

Richard Sudhalter
Cornettist and historian of pre-war ‘hot’ jazz whose playing was much influenced by Beiderbecke.

Last Updated: 12:31AM BST 03 Oct 2008


Richard Sudhalter, who died in New York on September 19 aged 69, was a jazz cornettist, critic and biographer; his career also included a period with United Press International (UPI) in Europe, first as political correspondent and later as a bureau manager.

Sudhalter’s playing style was an elegant variation on that of Bix Beiderbecke, and his main interest was in the jazz of the 1920s and 1930s. Friends often observed that he seemed to have been born 30 years too late and was busily making up for the error.

Richard Merrill Sudhalter was born on December 28 1938 in Boston, Massachusetts, into a musical family. His father, Albert Sudhalter, had been a professional saxophonist and Dick’s brother and sister were also musicians.

Dick took up the cornet at the age of 12 after hearing Bix Beiderbecke for the first time. The actual Beiderbecke solo, he recalled half a century later, occurred in Paul Whiteman’s 1928 recording of San: “I couldn’t wait for my father to come home so I could ask him, ‘Who is Bix Beiderbecke?’ From that day on I was hooked.”

Through his father’s contacts he met, and later sat in with, many distinguished jazz musicians of the older generation, encounters which strengthened his attachment to “hot”’ jazz.

Between 1956 and 1960 Sudhalter studied Music and English Literature at Oberlin College, at the same time studying trumpet privately with Louis Davidson of the Cleveland Symphony. Shortly after graduating he moved to Europe, living first in Salzburg and later in Munich, where he taught English and played in the Bavarian State Radio jazz ensemble.

Sudhalter joined UPI, in Berlin, as political correspondent for West and East Germany in 1964, moving to London as UK correspondent two years later. In 1968, when the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia seemed imminent, he flew to Germany, and from there succeeded in reaching Prague just before the Russian troops moved in. He was one of the very few Western journalists on the scene and his reports were front-page news.

Leaving UPI in 1972, Sudhalter settled in London to concentrate on music and begin work on a biography of Bix Beiderbecke with a fellow-Bixian, Philip R Evans. The book, Bix: Man and Legend, was published in 1974 to great critical acclaim and was nominated for a National Book Award in the United States.

In the same year Sudhalter and the alto saxophonist John RT Davies assembled in London the 29-piece New Paul Whiteman Orchestra, dedicated to recreating the music of the band of which Beiderbecke had been the star soloist.

In the orchestra’s ranks were musicians of several generations, including Britain’s veteran master of the bass saxophone, Harry Gold. After a triumphant debut at the Roundhouse, the orchestra gave numerous concerts and BBC radio broadcasts.

Sudhalter returned to settle in New York in 1975. To his writing and playing schedule he now added the duties of administrator of the New York Jazz Repertory Company. For this band he produced a Duke Ellington retrospective series of four concerts at Carnegie Hall, followed by programmes devoted to Whiteman, WC Handy, Hoagy Carmichael and others. In 1975 and 1976 he also acted as artistic manager of the annual jazz festival held at Nice. Despite all this activity the flow of articles, radio scripts and album notes continued unabated.

In 1978 he became jazz critic for the New York Post, and from 1983 to 1987 joined three like-minded musicians to form the Classic Jazz Quartet. At first they wanted to call themselves Bourgeois Scum, but were advised that not everyone would see the joke.

Sudhalter’s biggest, and most controversial book, published in 1999, was Lost Chords: White Musicians and their Contribution to Jazz 1915-1945. This scholarly and apparently innocuous title caused a furore on the American jazz scene, poisoned as it had become by racial politics.

At public lectures, where he sought to explain and defend his book, he was often shouted down by a claque of opponents accusing him of racism and of attempting to belittle black jazz musicians. To the impartial reader, Lost Chords is nothing like that. It seeks merely to give due recognition to white players, such as Billy Butterfield, Bud Freeman and Pee Wee Russell, in the context of jazz history.

His last book, published in 2002, was Stardust Melody, on the life and music of the singer and songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.

Sudhalter normally wrote as “Richard” and played as “Dick”. The impression left by the recordings of Dick Sudhalter is of a player of great sensitivity and charm, regardless of his admitted debt to Beiderbecke. His 1999 album, Melodies Heard, Melodies Sweet, catches the flavour of the man to perfection.

He is also to be heard on the soundtracks to a number of films, notably Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose and The Shooting Party, unmistakable for his mellow tone and bright articulation.

In 2003 he suffered a stroke, which put an end to his playing career, and his health declined thereafter.

Richard Sudhalter was married and divorced. He is survived by two daughters.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/03/2008 at 03:20 AM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesMusic •  
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calendar   Thursday - October 02, 2008

Ultimate Squeegee Project, Day 2

Today I had an epiphany. I now know how Dr. Guillotine came up with his invention. I bet he was cleaning the windows one day, and saw a smudge on the outside of a double hung he wanted to get. He undid the latch, but nobody told him that the sash weight cords had rotted away ages ago. The latch opened and the entire upper pane - 3x4 feet - dropped like a lightning bolt. BAM! Huge shards of glass went flying in every direction. “Sacre merde!” he exclaimed in gutter fwench, “I could have lot mon head! ... ... ... ... ...  AH HA!!” And thus history was made.

A similar thing happened to me today. Scared the crap outta me, lemme tell ya. Luckily, the lower inner window was down, and the outer storm window was in place. So all the broken shards stayed between those two windows. At first I figured I was fired. This window was big, and the ancient glass was nearly a half inch thick. So I gathered up all my stuff and went and told the property manager. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

“Did you get cut?” “No, I’m fine.”
“Is there glass all over the place?” “No, it’s all between the other two windows.”
“Ok. Don’t worry about it. These things happen.”

Phew! I mean, come on, I’m working for a seriously old money rich person here. I expected at least a little flogging, you know? Throw me to the hounds a bit. Even one hound maybe? But I met the heir today. She’s in her mid-70s I think. She’s clean, she’s dressed well, her hairstyle looks very nice. She sits in a chair under a lap blanket, sort of facing the television, and smiles. And that’s about it. Early onset dimentia, poor old thing. So the property manager doesn’t really care; my piece is just a tiny slice (oops, a broken glass pun) of the latest million dollar renovation. So what’s another window when the bill is that big?

Then I figured, maybe they’re gonna go after my insurance. But I can fight that if they try. Nobody said a word about any of the windows not working or being dysfunctional. And it’s obvious that the only thing that made this one break was opening the latch. Opening and closing the window is part of it’s normal use expectation. So I think I’m Ok.

Good grief, this place is the size of a freakin hotel. Milady’s bedroom connects to her bathroom which connects to a dressing room which connects to m’lords bedroom which connects to his bathroom and to the eldest offspring’s bedroom, which connects to the middle children’s room which connects to the younger children’s room which connects to the nursery. And all these rooms connect to their own bathroom. You can walk around most of the upstairs of the house without even using the central hallway. At this point I’m keeping a lookout for secret passages. It’s a trip.

Tomorrow I hit the upstairs servant’s quarters. There’s about 5 rooms of them. Maybe more up in the attic? I haven’t been up there, but I know somewhere up on the roof there are at least two huge skylights, since all the bathrooms on the family wing have glass brick panels in the ceilings, and you can tell the light is coming in through another window somewhere up above. The back stairs - the servant’s stairs of course - are solid, but narrow, dark and steep. Not sure how I’m going to horse a ladder all the way up to the attic through there, with a flash light in the other hand. The main staircase on the family side - think Tara from Gone With The Wind, only this one has wall to wall plush carpet - only goes from the grand entrance way up to the second floor.

So at this point, the whole outside is cleaned, except for under the back portico because the Mexicans still aren’t done painting and fixing up the iron scroll worked balcony. I’ve got about half the upstairs inside done. So tomorrow I’ll finish the upstairs inside, go up and do the attic and go down and do the cellar (I can do them both together, Cinderella) windows, and hopefully get the portico done. I need to show up real early because I also have my regular Friday night office cleaning to do. So I’ll be there at least 2 days next week too. Then of course, there is the barn. Well, they call it a barn. I think it’s more of an actual carriage house - I looked in one of the windows and saw an actual carriage! - but no horses any more. But all the stalls and stuff are still there, and they’ve converted the upstairs into a couple of apartments for some of the caretakers. And the 8 black angus cows that keep the grass short in the front yard sleep somewhere else. (the front yard on the other side of the forest at the other end of the driveway. Actual cows in the actual front yard? I don’t think so!) But I look at it at 75 more windows, large, with mullions. Which need cleaning. $1000 please.

I’m winding down here with a rum and bottled tea. I’m living off of bottled tea lately, glugging down about a gallon a day of the stuff. Plus, the Arizona brand comes in really sturdy plastic jugs that are great for holding more window cleaning solution. So part of that wind down is watching the grand VP debate. It’s about 10:15 now, and I think Palin is finally getting her feet. She sounded like a chirpy idiot during the first part. OTOH, Biden just about oozes slime out of his pores, so even if he comes off better he’s still hard to watch and even harder to listen to, much less believe. So I’ll turn it over to the wise and fair media to tell me who wins this one.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about the dogs. They’re all my pals now. And they had a puppy party today. But I haven’t met the cats yet, though I have made peace with the parrot. He lives in a cage a little smaller than my first apartment. I have to go past that about 30 times a day, and he was shrieking at me and lunging against the bars the whole time. So I slipped him a bit of my sandwich, and now he just sits there and looks at me. So it’s either peace or heartburn. Parrots can eat salami and cheese can’t they? LOL


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/02/2008 at 08:40 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Nobel literature prize judge: American authors ‘insular and ignorant’ .


What an ass this jerk is.  I really can’t think of anything else to say on the subject.  Well actually I can but I recall being warned, rightly, that it never pays to post in too pissed a mood.  One loses track of the issue.  Typical euro attitude though.

Nobel literature prize judge: American authors ‘insular and ignorant’
American authors are too “insular and ignorant” to compete with their European counterparts, according to a member of the Nobel judging panel.

By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 8:16AM BST 02 Oct 2008

As the Swedish Academy enters final deliberations for this year’s literature award, permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said that writers from the country that produced Philip Roth, John Updike, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald were “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture,” dragging down the quality of their work.

“Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can’t get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world, not the United States,” he said.

“The US is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining.”

Although Mr Engdahl insisted later he had been misunderstood by the Associated Press, with whom he conducted the interview, the chances of the two American authors, Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates, thought to be on this year’s secret five-person shortlist now look slim.

His comments were met with outrage among figures in the US industry that published more than 50,000 works of fiction last year.

Harold Augenbraum, executive director of US National Book Foundation said: “Put him in touch with me, and I’ll send him a reading list.

“Such a comment makes me think that Mr Engdahl has read little of American literature outside the mainstream and has a very narrow view of what constitutes literature in this age.”

But David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine, said they came as little surprise since the 16-member Nobel award jury had historically overlooked some of the world’s best authors.

“You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce, and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lectures,” he said.

“And if he looked harder at the American scene that he dwells on, he would see the vitality in the generation of Roth, Updike, and DeLillo, as well as in many younger writers, some of them sons and daughters of immigrants writing in their adopted English. None of these poor souls, old or young, seem ravaged by the horrors of Coca-Cola.”

However, his criticism was given some backing by a French publishing magnate, who declined to be named.

“It is true that American publishers rarely buy books in translation from foreign languages. That is to America’s shame and also its loss,” he said.

“But that does not mean all American contemporary literature is parochial or ignorant.

“Yes, it sometimes seems that the typical American novel is about a writer who has six friends who also happen to be writers. But there are also excellent modern American authors.”

The last American to win the Nobel prize was Toni Morrison, the author of The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, in 1993 before Mr Engdahl took charge. As permanent secretary, he is a voting member of and spokesman for the secretive panel that selects the winners of what many consider the most prestigious award in literature.

The academy often picks obscure writers and hardly ever selects best-selling authors. It regularly faces accusations of snobbery, political bias and even poor taste.

Since Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe won the award in 1994, the selections have had a distinctly European flavour. Nine of the subsequent laureates were Europeans, including last year’s winner, Briton Doris Lessing, who wrote The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook.

Of the other four, one was from Turkey and the others from South Africa, China and Trinidad. All had strong ties to Europe.

Mr Engdahl said Europe draws literary exiles because it “respects the independence of literature” and can serve as a safe haven.

“Very many authors who have their roots in other countries work in Europe, because it is only here where you can be left alone and write, without being beaten to death,” he said. “It is dangerous to be an author in big parts of Asia and Africa.”

But he insisted that his views on national prose had no bearing on the panel’s decision, which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“The Nobel prize is not a contest between nations but an award to individual authors,” he said.

The eventual winner of the prize will receive a one million euro purse, a gold medal and a diploma. The awards are handed out December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/02/2008 at 11:05 AM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsStoopid-People •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Shop staff fight off Samurai attacker with a broom.  (video and commentary)

I’m sorry they didn’t cripple or kill the creep, because you just know in three years time he’s gonna be out and doing the same thing. Maybe next time he’ll nail an easier target.
Animals like this that are caught right at the time and where there is certainly no mistake and no question as to what they were up to, should be immediately shot by the police. 

This store owner got very lucky. This Time. 

Shop staff used a broom to fight off a Samurai sword wielding robber and locked him in a store cupboard to until the police arrived.

By Richard Savill
Last Updated: 9:48PM BST 01 Oct 2008

Andrew Speed, 18, a drug addict, had not expected such spirited resistance at the Londis store in Southmead, Bristol.

Jailing Speed for three-and-a-half years at Bristol Crown Court, Judge David Ticehurst said the self-defence of the staff was ‘entirely reasonable’ given the terrifying circumstances.

Speed even begged officers to arrest him quickly to spare him from the family’s retaliation, the court heard.

He had burst in and leapt on to the counter before lunging at Rameshkumar Rasiah, the shop assistant, thrusting the 18-inch blade at him.

The teenager threatened: “I am going to stab you; I am going to kill you.”

But Mr Rasiah, 31, who only recently arrived in Britain from Sri Lanka, grabbed him and the sword and called for reinforcements.

Mr Rasiah’s sister, Suragini Jeyanthan, 28, and her husband, Nagaratnam Jeyanthan, 29, who were upstairs, ran to his aid armed with a broom and a metal pipe.

The three shop staff grappled with the robber for two minutes and eventually bundled him into the store cupboard, and locked him inside.

When he was eventually escorted from the shop by police he urged them to protect him, pleading: “Please, keep them away from me, I will not play up, get me out of here.”

Speed, of Southmead, Bristol, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ youth detention at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday. The court heard he went to the shop to try to get money for drugs.

Mr Rasiah, who suffered cuts and bruises to his palm and elbow, said the robber had “picked on the wrong shopkeeper”.

“I was absolutely terrified but adrenaline took over and I knew I had to stop him from stealing anything,” he said. “I was not backing down because I knew I had to protect the shop for my boss.”

The raid happened at a Londis convenience store run by Mr Jeyanthan in Southmead, at 5.30am on June 9, shortly after Mr Rasiah had opened up.

The shop’s CCTV system caught the teenager, whose face was hidden by a scarf, as he walked in and threatened Mr Rasiah with the blade.

Mr Jeyanthan, who has a five-month old daughter, said outside court, “We don’t feel like heroes; we were protecting ourselves and our shop.”

He added: “This was the first knife we’ve seen in four years here and I was shocked.

“I felt like closing the shop for good but now I think we will be staying because I feel we have the support of the community.”

Speed admitted assault with intent to rob and possession of an offensive weapon.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/02/2008 at 10:51 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeUK •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

It does NOT MATTER if you’ve been dead 200 years. Your bills must still be paid!


A bit of silly stuff here.  ALways have a laugh over these things. Of course the thought does occur that the same folks who do this are running govts. and and making decisions that others must live by. 

Poet dead for 200 years told to pay TV licence
Friedrich Schiller, one of Germany’s favourite poets and playwrights, has received reminders to pay his television licence - despite having been dead since 1805.

By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 9:58AM BST 02 Oct 2008

Two notices were delivered by GEZ, a licence-collecting agency, which threatened to mount legal action against the literary hero, who is best known for his poem Ode to Joy, which was put to music by Beethoven, unless he quickly settled his monthly €17 (£14) bill.

They were sent to a primary school bearing Schiller’s name in Weigsdorf-Köblitz, a town in the eastern state of Saxony.

The second came despite the school’s headteacher sending the agency a letter informing them that “the addressee is no longer in a position to listen to the radio or watch television”.

GEZ replied saying Schiller would only be exempt if he could prove he did not own television or radio sets.

After the confusion was settled, a spokesman for the agency apologised. “We have to deal with such a huge amount of data, that something like this can happen, and the name Friedrich Schiller is not so unusual that it stood out as strange,” she told The Guardian. “We will now alter his status in our computer system.”

Michael Binder, the headteacher, said: “I told the GEZ that Herr Schiller has not been with us for quite some time, and included his curriculum vitae with my letter.”


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/02/2008 at 10:40 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - October 01, 2008

Wake me up I must be dreaming

Should Congress Be ‘Perp-Walked’?

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Justice: A federal grand jury in New York is probing the accounting shenanigans at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s about time, and we hope it doesn’t end there.

Remember the early 2000s, when companies such as WorldCom, Enron, Tyco and Xerox suddenly and spectacularly were revealed to have been cooking their books?

Remember the glee expressed by Washington politicians, especially Democrats, as they watched CEOs and their underlings get perp-walked out of their buildings and into federal custody?

Enron became the poster child for corporate misdeeds. In the accounting crisis of 2002, CEO Ken Lay was one of the most loathed human beings on Earth. And no, that’s not an exaggeration.

we now have an opportunity, thanks to the New York grand jury, to probe perhaps the greatest financial crime ever — one that dwarfs Enron in size and scope.

Fannie’s and Freddie’s top executives, almost all with deep ties to the Democratic Party? Did they get perp-walked to prison like WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers, Tyco’s Dennis Koslowski, Adelphia’s John Rigas, ImClone’s Sam Waksal, or any of the others who did time for corporate misdeeds in the early 2000s?

No. Jim Johnson, former Walter Mondale aide, became head of Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee. Franklin Raines, who headed Fannie from 1998 to 2004, the years of its worst excesses, pocketed nearly $100 million in pay and bonuses from Fannie. He, too, became an adviser to Obama.

Other Fannie-Freddie alumni did equally well. Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been front and center in crafting a new rescue bill. Ex-Clinton Justice official Jamie Gorelick careens from career catastrophe to catastrophe, and still gets top jobs. It pays to have ties.

Meanwhile, as previously documented, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd repeatedly thwarted reforms. Yet today they stand front-and-center as Democrats try to “fix” a problem they created.

As such, any investigation into Fannie and Freddie must include Congress, both current and past.

There’s lots of evidence that the two mortgage giants had become little more than taxpayer-guaranteed front companies for Democrats, who used them to reward supporters with cheap loans and to provide jobs for out-of-work politicians.

(hornswaggled from Rodger, The Real King of France)

Also at IBD today:


I think Mischa’s gonna need a bigger tree!

And on that note, I’m taking my poor tired feets to bed.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/01/2008 at 09:06 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsFinance and InvestingGovernment •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

The Ultimate Squeegee Project, Day 1

Hey, I’m still alive! My feet are killing me from standing on a ladder all day, and I had to leave at a normal time because it started to rain. But I got about 32 windows done on the outside. And I got them perfectly clean. That ate up 2 squeegee rubbers, 2 gallons of cleaning water, and several dozen rags and microfiber polishing cloths. I have already been invited back for next year, and they want me to do more things this time and add that to the bill. I guess they notice good work?

Well, they notice bad work, that’s for sure. The crew that did the glass last year was, for reals, a bunch of hippies who showed up with Windex spray bottles and a whole Goodwill Box full of rags. Needless to say they didn’t do a very good job. I was pulling their rag threads from the mullions all day.

And it’s stinkbug season. The little bastards are everywhere. They congregate on the windowsills in the fall, I don’t know why. It’s not just this place, it’s all over New Jersey. And it’s a new thing too; 3 years ago we never saw one. Must be that damned Global Warming. Personally, I blame Bush.

The glass in this mansion is 100 years old. I know firsthand, and then some, how old glass deteriorates. It gets pitted and rough from air pollution and weather, etc. But this glass also has waves in it. And air bubbles. And thin spots. It’s a challenge. Glass is actually a frozen liquid, and over a long time a big window will actually be noticeably thicker at the bottom as the glass slowly slumps down. Which means the glass at the top gets thinner, and if the house settles a bit then it’s the thin glass that takes the pressure first. In the worst cases it can be like eggshells.

My wife always notices when I complain about things not being properly made. Let me build something, and I’ll make it heavy duty enough to last 10 lifetimes. Most things are built to fall apart after 3 years - go take a look at your plastic vacuum cleaner and you’ll see my point. Anyway, her word for things made really well is that they’re built to “Drewspec”. LOL Hey, I appreciate that ... but today I found something that exceeds Drewspec beyond my wildest dreams. The windowsills on this house are solid marble slabs. Solid. Marble. They stick out from the windows a foot and a half and are as thick as a coffee mug is tall. That’s about 4 inches thick I think. More than sturdy enough to stand on, and no worries at all resting a ladder up against one. I’ve seen thinner marble used on tombstones. Try leaning a big extension ladder against the 3/32” thick vinyl siding on one of today’s homes, and then climbing up it. Goodbye siding! Or play it safe, and tuck the ladder ends against the base of the windowsill. That’s when you’ll find it’s made out of 22 gauge anodized aluminum. You know why they sell all these ladder stand-offs with great big padded feet on them? It’s because they have to! No, the way to do it is to get a bloody huge ladder, a big standoff, and rest the end up on the roof. That’s the only part of a modern home sturdy enough to take any pressure. Not this house. I think this place would stand up to moderate artillery. Sweet!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/01/2008 at 05:33 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Democrats in their own words Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our crisis

Drew’s post and his comments following pretty much say as much as can be said.
I really can’t add anything of my own but will let this speak for itself.  Perhaps some of you haven’t seen it. It runs 8 minutes so grab a coffee or tea or whatever, click the start button but don’t be repaired to relax.


Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/01/2008 at 09:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEconomicsGovernmentCorruption and Greed •  
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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:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

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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