Archive for October, 2010

As mentioned earlier in this blog space (and elsewhere in the news-o-sphere), Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a gift for leaving voice mail messages.

So I can only imagine the following voice mail message being left on the phone come this Saturday morning:

Good morning, Lauren Valle, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the days and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology some time and some full explanation of why you did what you did to Tim Proffitt. Making that poor man step on your head was quite traumatic to him. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.

Wait…you think I’m kidding? You think I’m being snarky in saying Mr. Proffitt is the one who should get an apology?

As the saying goes…you can’t make this stuff up as it is indeed the head-stomper who is asking for the “I’m Sorry” from Lauren Valle.

I guess if he doesn’t get his apology, he’ll just have to put his foot down. (rimshot)

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Mark the day of Tuesday, October 26, 2010.

It was on that night, at the Saks Fifth Avenue located in Tysons Corner (that’s a mall in northern Virginia), that I saw a Christmas tree in the store window.

It is the week BEFORE Halloween and the Christmas displays are up.

Way to soon to be seeing these in stores

I wish I could celebrate my birthday two months early.

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If Hollywood ever makes a movie of the classic book by Edwin A. Abbott, FLATLAND, the studio executives will probably screw it up and want the movie made in 3-D.

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Imagine a world where news outlets only reported the news from California and New York. When asked, their stated reason for avoiding any news from Virginia is that less than five percent of the population lives there so it’s not considered newsworthy.

Imagine a world where news outlets only reported the news about Ford and Chevrolet and dismissed any news from Porsche because that company had less than fifteen percent of market share.

Of course such imaginings are preposterous as who can imagine a news outlet basing their coverage not on what is newsworthy, but instead on on some arbitary number.

However, this situation is exactly what occurs in the world of political coverage where candidates who are neither Democrats or Republicans appear to be routinely snubbed by news outlets because the alternative candidate does not reach some threshold of poll number as determined by the outlet.

I live in Virgina’s 10th Congressional District and while I know there is a candidate for the House of Representatives from the Libertarian Party, William Redpath, you would hardly know that from looking at our local paper’s coverage. The cover of the October 15 issue of The Indie has a picture of the candidate from the Democratic Party, Jeff Barnett, with the sub-heading:

This Week: The Challenger
Next Week: The Incumbent

next to a picture of the current Republican office holder, Frank Wolf.

There happens to be another challenger, Redpath, but I guess The Indie doesn’t think he’s newswothry enough for a cover photo. Inside, the paper devotes three pages to Barnett (pages 3, 4, and 6) and buries a profile on Redpath on page 12.

In the next issue of The Indie (October 22), the cover again slights Redpath with the sub-heading

This Week: The Incumbent
Last Week: The Challenger

Again highlighting the “fact” that Wolf only has a single challenger.

News outlets aren’t the only ones guilty of ignoring those who don’t have a D or R after their name. Redpath claims he was excluded from a debate being held October 12 by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

So why do organizations shun reporting on third-party candidates? I have no idea because it would seem that having more choices would make for more interesting and entertaining stories (just look at Jimmy McMillian and the “Rent Is Too Damn High” Party in New York).

My best guess as to why those in the mainstream don’t want to give a voice to an alternate party is that if they do, the alternative might actually win (just look at what happened when Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura was given a spot on the debate stage…he became governor).

All I’m asking…give me more stories about alternative candidates and less stories about Lindsey Lohan.

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Due to the sad fact that my portable music-playing device has mysteriously died on me, I have been relegated to listening to my favorite music on cassette. However, my old tape player broke so I had to go out into the marketplace and purchase one.

Now I needed to buy a tape player that does not record (don’t ask…I won’t tell), so I went to my local big-box store headquartered in Minnesota with the bulls-eye logo (hey…if they’re not going to buy ads for my blog, why should I give them a free shout-out) to purchase siad item.

I dutifully approached the first person I found clad in a red shirt and asked where I could locate a cassette player…and only a cassette player.

This gentleman looked at me as if I had asked for a buggy whip, a button-hook, a 56K modem, sock suspenders, or a Betamax (or pick your own favorite item denoting obsolesence).

I honestly didn’t think my request was that out of the blue, but then I read this item from BBC News about the death of the Sony Walkman and saw indeed that I was asking to buy a dinosaur.

Side Note: Why does the big-box store headquartered in Minnesota make employees bring thier own red shirts to wear to work instead of providing them with a standard vermillion top?

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Given that the Tea Party believes in a strict reading of the United States Constitution as underlined by the principle of constitutionally limited government;

And given that Article 1 Section 8 of that document states that one of the powers of Congress is “To coin Money“;

My follow-up question is this: Will the Tea Party stand by its strictness doctrine and declare, therefore, that all printed money is inavlid.

(“But wait, Nolan“, I hear you say through the monitor, “Certainly an interpretation of the verb coin means the ability to print money also“)

(“And you may be right“, I say to you back through the monitor, “But a strict reading of the Constitution means there is no room for interpretation as to what the Founders may or may not have meant. The words on the parchment are all that matter and in this case the word in question is the action word coin. The Constitution does not give Congress the power to “print Money“, so why doesn’t the Tea Party take up this cause?“)

(Probably because like every other political party that has graced the stage, they are picking and choosing what they want to stand for. The Tea Party is nothing new.)

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While trolling through the website that is BBC News, I came across this item about the original artwork by Garth Williams for E.B. White’s book, Charlotte’s Web, being sold at auction for $155,000.

The thought of art being sold (and for six figures or more) reminded me of a conversation I had with my oldest son, Christopher which was part of this ceditra entry I wrote on March 17 of this year which revolves around question number 1,629 from the book, Know It All, by Marsha Kranes, Fred Worth, and Steve Temerius.


Q: What was the inspiration for Cambbell’s red-and-white soup can?

A: The Cornell Univesity football team uniform

A can of Campbell’s soup evokes the image of pop artist Andy Warhol and his iconic prints.

I recall the moment of Lily Tomlin’s The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe (a show I was fortunate enough to see twice – in Los Angeles and Chicago). In that show, Tomlin talks about showing extraterrestrial aliens a can of Campbell’s soup and Warhol’s painting.

“Soup, art, soup, art…” she says as she alternates showing the aliens both items. The aliens are confused as to the difference, but later, Tomlin brings the point home when she takes the aliens to a stage play. When Tomlin asks the aliens why they are watching the crowd of people instead of the play, they tell her they are fascinated over the fact that such a disparate group of people could come together, sit down, and all experience the same event at the same time. Such a group of people will never, ever again be in the same place at the same time.

The play, the aliens say, is soup, but the audience is art.


Recently, my boys and I had a conversation about art. I blew Christopher’s mind by showing him a picture of Warhol’s soup can print and told him that people pay big money for it. He had the idea that he could make a piece of artwork that only consisted of the footprints of his pet hamster, Nutmeg, after walking over puddles of paint.

Why not?
Back to today and the art world is still waiting for Nutmeg Paws

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