Friday, March 31, 2006

Have I mentioned how wonderful and understanding Donna is? She spent hours trying to book flights for my California trip and then going crazy trying to explain to me what I had to purchase my tickets. Needless to say I blew it, ending up taking a different flight to LAX rather than the flight to Santa Anna she had planned. (sigh)

If she had opened the car door and told me to walk back from JFK at that moment I wouldn't have blamed her.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

With everything else going on, both at work and home, I'd totally let an anniversary go by without notice.

Twenty years ago last month I moved into Apt. 3-Eye in Brooklyn following an early release from the U.S. Navy. A month later, which would be about twenty years ago last week, I began working a series of Temp jobs. One of those, which became permanent for several months, was as a file clerk for a law firm situated on the 53rd floor of one of the World Trade Center towers.

It has been a strange & eventful twenty years, that's for sure!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It will be interesting to see what the resignation of Andy Card as White House chief of staff will do. I can't see anybody outside of political junkies even knowing who Card is for that matter. It appears to me to be one of those somebody having to fall on the sword for Bush.

On more important matters, I got the CALL last night from California. I'll be flying out in a couple of weeks for a 'face to face' with Human Resources. I have a good feeling about all this, but will continue to keep you all posted.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Enjoyed a good time yesterday, despite a sprained wrist, at a Christening party for the twins. Megan and Daniel were both baptized into the Catholic Church yesterday about a hundred folks were on hand to join in at the party after. If I remember I'll probably post a couple of pictures here in the next day or two, since the kids were on best behavior for most of the day.

Still haven't heard back from California, so my spirits needed the cheering up. We continue to remain hopeful that I'll get a phone call later this week, but I'm still sending out resumes to other California libraries.

I was lucky this morning that my commute wasn't affected by the sinkhole and subway tunnel collapse in Bay Ridge. It only caused problems on the "R", which I rarely take now that I'm working in Ridgewood. Fortunately, except for one SUV which all but disappeared into the hole, nobody was injured as the driver escaped unhurt.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Not sure if this qualifies as anti-war, but it is anti-GW:

The Wartime
President Song!

My old man, he had oil...
so I'd never have to toil !
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
My old man, made a call...
so I didn't go to 'nam at all!
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
Did my time in the Guard...
Went AWOL... It wasn't hard!
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
DUI? I made bail...
Then Daddy sent me off to Yale!
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
We won the war, so wave the flags...
just ignore those body bags !
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
I'm in charge. I'm the Prez...
Cause I do just what Cheney says!
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !
I'll do fine in the end, cause
Halliburton is my friend !
With a knick-knack, bomb Iraq
all your money's spent...
I'm a wartime president !

Got this from over at

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How can you not love a strip that begins a storyline about Homeland Security with a POWER PACK reference?

Monday, March 20, 2006

We are on pins & needles here at Chez Chaput, waiting to hear from the folks in California. Fingers crossed, of course, but a bit nervous nonetheless.

Naturally, I realize that I’ve only gone through the initial interview process but I feel pretty good about things. It would be great to get a call for the second interview, even though it would mean flying out to the OC. (I can’t believe I’m saying that!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Just when you thought it was safe to check out the blog, Christina S. sent along a few more photos from the cruise. There are still a few I haven't annoyed you with and I'll get to them eventually.

The lovely sunset was taken by Christina, who'll you will see posing with my Uncle Charlie by the hottub. Also a nice group shot of the four of us at the pool, possibly shot by one of the waiters before he took our drink order.
Is there not a single Democrat in the Senate with the courage to stand up beside Sen. Russ Feingold?

Feingold introduced a resolution yesterday to censure President Bush for authorizing a no-warrant domestic surveillance program, and accused G.W. of breaking the law and misleading Congress about it.

"When the president of the United States breaks the law, he must be held accountable," said Feingold, but it doesn't seem that his fellow bench-warmers have the backbone to support the measure. Naturally, the GOP is going to paint this as pure political grandstanding, but it's sad to see some name Democrats speaking out against this.

If not now, when is the Democratic Party going to stand up for the rest of us? The Republicans dragged the Clinton family and his administration through the mud for minor (and generally unfounded) matters, yet the Dems will let His Smugness trash the Constitution at will.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I've added another link over on the Left to LIBRARYSPOT.COM. I have found it to be a great reference resource and a quick way to find things without searching Google everytime you can't find something for a patron. Filled with links to almanacs, calendars and misc. databases which you can use for actual research or just to waste some time.

It's sponsored by West Law, a database/information provider so it may not have every source you mind find otherwise. Still it has come in useful, especially when you're alone at the Reference Desk with several patrons all asking for different things at the same time.
Now granted I love a good conspiracy as much as the next Leftist, but it does seem a bit odd doesn't it that Milosevic's death comes less than a week after the star witness in his trial, former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic, was found dead in the same prison?

I don't think many a tear will be shed over the former strong-man, but it will be interesting to learn what the autopsy turns up.
If you haven't been reading it since I posted a link, you should click on UNSHELVED MEDIA at the Left. The strip has been doing a story on blogging at work the past week. Today's talks about just how addicting it can be.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Today was one for the books, since we had our "Grand re-opening" with a score of local & state politicians dropping by for a photo op. There must have also been a dozen folks from Queens Public administration, including the Director. Actually heard my name mis-pronounced once, which was as close to an acknowledgement as one could expect.

Interestingly enough, at lunch time Donna told me that I'd gotten a response to a resume I submitted to a library system in California. I may be able to set up a telephone interview, as I've apparently gotten through the first round of consideration. Not going to hold out much hope but a bit of California Dreaming never hurts.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The silly outfits over in the picture are the new work uniforms being approved by the U.S. Navy for enlisted personnel E-6 and below (this would be anyone below Chief Petty Officer). They are buttugly, IMHO, but I suppose some folks may find them attractive. Do you really need to be 'camouflaged' aboard a ship?

During my first enlistment (1/69 thru 12/72) the Navy decided to try a new uniform to get away from the traditional dungarees we were all wearing onboard ships. It was rumored then (and I don't have a reason to doubt it) that it had more to do with political payback for some Senator or Representative, in whose district these new outfits would be manufactured.

It will be interesting to see if this new outfit lasts any longer than the two-three years that other uniform remained in rotation. Remember that military uniforms are NOT free, but actually come out of a 'clothing allotment' active duty personnel receive. In other words, all enlisted sailors will have to pay for these!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Not a great Oscar telecast, but certainly enjoyable. No real surprises either, not many political rants. I believe that Jon Stewart did a good job of hosting, although some of his monologue stuff fell flat. Then again, you don't really know how the audience is miked so hall response might have been better than we at home seemed to believe.

Loved the beginning with appearances by all the recent hosts and Jon Stewart's 'dream sequence.' If you saw the ABC 'red carpet' special, plus the various bits in the telecast itself, you'll understand Stewart's joke about their running out of clips. Still some nice tributes, but was sort of surprised that neither Don Knotts nor Darren McGaven were shown in the memorial sequence.

Since I never saw any of the nominated films I don't feel strongly enough about the winners or losers. If nothing else it was good to see George Clooney getting the Best Supporting Actor statue and later talking about how it's difficult if not impossible to judge performances against each other unless they all did the same role.

One of me favorite Stewart lines, which both Donna and I laughed at, was "Michael Scorsese Zero, 365 Mafia One."

One note was that Stewart and others seem to have dropped the "watched by billions worldwide" bit, since as Mark Evanier pointed out in his pre-Oscar piece this has been disproved and mentioned even in the mainstream press of late.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I've got nothing to say about what's going on with His Smugness showing the flag overseas. The riots & protests being shown on CNN and MSNBC should give us pause, however. There is also little I can add to all the Bush/Chertoff/Brown fingerpointing going on over the Katrina response. Both Pacifica and Air America Radio have been giving all this decent coverage, though naturally coming from the liberal/progressive viewpoint.

On a personal note, if you have any interest in my own shady past you can check out photos of the five U.S. Navy ships on which I served during my eight years on active duty. I've posted them over the last few weeks over at SHOT'S SHACK with a comment or two.
This is a long distance dedication for Michelle at Forest Hills. The closest thing I have to Mountain Men.

The guy on the Left was going through a divorce from a former artist model and cult member. The guy on the right, Rob, was just beginning to tour the pro circuit in the then new sport of motorcross. The unseen photographer, my shipmate Jeff, would go on to do FX and makeup for the likes of Roger Corman and in films like THE HOWLING.

This was taken in 1975 in the desert near, I would later learn, the Spawn Ranch hang out of the Manson Family. At the time there were still rumors of (and folks searching for) stashes of arms and supplies buried by the Family for the coming "race war."

Within an hour of this picture being taken, fueled by large quantities of beer and Jack Daniels, one of these individuals would begin the game of tossing live ammunition into the fire.

And you wonder why I am often amazed to find myself living to the age of 55?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I had this whole Country & Western thing going on in my head that I was going to do. Stuff about listening to Kenny Rogers on the CD player.

“Talking about BS and BJs and women we’ve known.
Our years in the service and just growing old
Too much comped food & drink with second hand smoke.”

I think I may have been channeling that old Tin Pan Alley song writer that Martin Short would play on Saturday Night Live. “Give me a “B”, a bouncy “B!”

Unfortunately, getting hit with a stomach virus Sunday afternoon upon getting back home sort of put a damper on that whole thing. It was difficult enough making it to the bathroom from the bed in the guestroom let alone making a dash from the computer room down the hall. One of those violent projectile emissions from both ends for over 24-hours kind of thing. Hey! What are blogs for if not sharing those special moments?

Caesar’s in Atlantic City is still fun and they are expanding quite a bit. They bought the old Boardwalk Mall (the one that looked like a beached ferry) and are turning it into higher-end shops with a walkway directly from the casino. Guess they are trying to compete with the expansion that Tropicana did the other year.

Frankie Valli (shown above in a recent publicity pic) and The Four Seasons (at least the latest incarnation of the group) were excellent. You can note some changes in the arrangements to cover for Valli’s slightly decreased high notes, but overall he’s still the same amazing singer he’s always been. You tend to forget that Frankie has been at this since the early 1960s (his first few hits with the FS are from that period) so he is himself in his late 60s. The FS look like the Backstreet Boys standing next to him, but were all quite good during their solo bits. Valli’s current back up band, directed by his long-time arranger Robbie Robertson, were really professional and every song was immediately recognizable. After all that is what you go to this type of show for anyway.

Hard to believe that after a little over twenty years of taking trips down to Atlantic City the place still gives me a kick when I'm there. The gambling part isn't what it once was, but I still love walking about checking out the new machines and watching things change. Las Vegas, where I've been three times also holds that same fascination.