Nothing to do with anything

To quote jimi







On this day in history


It's funny the stuff you remember.  

I'm posting this story because I can distinctly remember my mother telling me about going to Saginaw, Michigan as a young woman and seeing a giant who she was pretty sure stood 9 feet tall.

I vividly remember thinking to myself that this was an extreme exaggeration at best.


Robert Pershing Wadlow, "The Gentleman Giant" passed away on this date in 1940 at the age of 22.

At 8'11.1" he is the tallest person in known human history.

Robert was born on February 22, 1918, in Alton Illinois.  At birth he weighed a normal eight pounds, six ounces. At six months of age he had grown to weigh 30 pounds. A year later at 18 months, he weighed 62 pounds. He continued to grow at an astounding rate, reaching six feet, two inches and 195 pounds by the time he was eight years old. 

At age 18, he had reached eight feet, four inches tall, and weighed 390 pounds. His clothing required three times the normal amount of cloth, and his size 37 shoes cost $100.00 a pair (a lot of money back in the 1930's). Two years later his shoes were provided free by the International Shoe Company.

At 20 Robert began travelling for the shoe company, visiting over 800 towns and 41 states. His father had to modify the family car, removing the front passenger seat so Robert could sit in the back seat and stretch out his long legs. The father and son team traveled over 300,000 miles on their goodwill tour for the shoe company.

Robert's size 37 feet had troubled him for many years. He had little sensation in his feet and did not feel any chafing until blisters formed. While making an appearance in Manistee, Michigan in July 1940, a fatal infection set in when such a blister formed. On July 4th, doctors had Robert confined to a hotel bed, unable to find suitable accommodations at the local hospital. Days later, after emergency surgery and blood transfusions, the infection lingered and his temperature continued to rise. At 1:30 a.m., on the 15th of July, Robert Wadlow passed away in his sleep.

Robert's body was brought back to his home town of Alton for burial. The 1,000-pound casket required a dozen pallbearers, assisted by eight other men. Out of respect for Alton's Gentle Giant, all city businesses closed for the funeral. Over 40,000 people signed the guest register.


Click on the photo of Robert and his 5'11" father for Robert's page in the Alton Web Museum.




Apologies ... it was too strong.


The running of the bulls starts today ... tomorrow actually but I'll be away from my machine.


That's gonna leave a mark!!!

Tomorrow July 7, 2012 begins the seven day festival of San Fermin held in Pampalona, Spain the highlight of which is the famed "Running of the Bulls".

I've put together posts on this before and have always failed to post them as this week is usually sketchy for me since it features the US Independance Day holiday, the little wiffer and my wedding anniversary and a number of family birthdays.

I'll be honest with you here, the Roan family is out partying.

Should you care to attend in the future, these guys claim to have the best balconies.

Of the many short videos I've seen on this, the promo featured below shot in HD, much of it slow motion is clearly the best.  It makes me want to watch the movie when I get back home.



The Jetlev R200 can now be yours for about a hundred grand


The following was taken from the Jetlev200 history page.

With a minimal amount of flight instruction, you too can be flying back to the marina.


Raymond Li, a Chinese-born Canadian from St. John’s Newfoundland, first sketched out his JetLev concept on a yellow Post-it Note in 2000. After seeing his masterpiece on paper for the first time, Ray unceremoniously retreated, filing it under I for Impossible by burying it in the trash.

The sketch was long gone, however, Ray couldn’t shake his vision...he couldn’t shake his passion.

Three years later, Ray began conducting extensive research, concept development and testing on the first ever, water powered jetpack.

With assistance from the National Research Council of Canada in 2004, JetLev kicked into high gear and Ray conducted a series of unmanned flight tests.

 The first fully operational JetLev prototype was completed in August 2008.  A few months later, various clips from these test flights leaked online and went viral, surfacing on a variety of video sharing websites.

From 2009 to 2011, development continued and Ray and his team worked to perfect the prototype.

Finally, a model was ready for commercial production.

And after numerous prototype iterations, dozens of test pilots, hundreds of flights, thousands of hours and countless modifications, JetLev Technologies, Inc. has finally completed development of its JetLev R200 model, arriving Spring 2012.



Speaking of Eleanor Powell


Here she is in 1940 with Fred Astaire tapping to Fascinating Rhythm in Broadway Melody.




A tune for Egypt


We posted this for the first time the day Hosni Mubarak resigned, in light of the news coming out of Egypt today, it seemed appropriate to post it again.


There is only one tune for a day like today.

Young Egypt celebrates as Hosni Mubarak cedes power back to the Military (from whence it came) and rides off into the sunset.

I'm sitting here thinkin' ..... Pete Townshend.

Here he is on an acoustic with John Williams at Amnesty Internationals "The Secret Policemans's Ball" in 1979.

Won't Get Fooled Again.



A little different without the band.


Whoa ... is all I gotta say.



I repeat.



Deep Tissue Massage


This is what happens when unemployment goes through the roof.



People have way too much time on their hands.


The Great Doc Watson


Arguably the greatest flat picker in the history of American music and among the greatest pickers ever to take up a guitar anywhere on this earth, Doc Watson passed away this week at the age of 89.

Here he is with Jack Lawrence in 1991.

The Black Mountain Rag.



The Lion Sleeps Tonight


I went out looking for a good Joe King Carrasco video and wound up with the following, which is about as far from Joe King Carrasco musically as Joseph Shabalala and JKC are seperated physically.

Which is to say about a continent, if not two maybe three ..... depending on which way you're travelling.

It all kind of made sense as it was happening.


This is Ladysmith Black Mombazo in 1990 who have had so many guys go through the group that I'm not even going to try to identify this particular batch except to say that that's Joseph Shabalala out front.

They are appearing here with The Mint Juleps, who are Sandra, Debbie, Lizzie, and Marcia Charles along with Julie Isaac and Debbie Longworth.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight.



I don't even know what to say about this one.


From Bloomberg Business Week and Eric Spitznagel who clearly has way too much time on his hands.

Click on the photo below in the event you to have too much time on your hands.

Gregg Miller remembers the first time he realized just what an uphill battle he was facing with his new business. He was sitting backstage at the Pat Bullard Show in New York, waiting to introduce the world to Neuticles. He got into a conversation with comedian Joan Rivers, another guest on the show, and tried to explain to her exactly what he’d invented. “They’re testicular implants for pets,” he said. Rivers just stared at him blankly and asked, “What do they do?” Miller went into as much detail as he could, telling her how Neuticles help pets and their owners deal with the trauma of neutering. She just smirked at him, he says, and then repeated her question. “But what do they do?”

It’s difficult to quantify exactly what Neuticles do. Unlike the things they’re replacing —the actual scrotums that are removed during castration surgery—Neuticles don’t technically have a biological purpose. They’re an emotional Band-Aid for a procedure that Miller says “adds insult to injury.” He came up with the idea after noticing that his dog, a bloodhound named Buck, went through a long grieving process after being neutered. “Dogs aren’t stupid,” he says. “They would know if their eye was gouged out, or their foot was cut off. Why wouldn’t they know if their testicles are now missing?”

It’s that word—testicles—that makes his business especially difficult. It’s right there in the Neuticles name; “Neut-” stands for neutering and “-icles” for testicles. When he first launched the company, he hired a team of telemarketers to call pet owners and tell them about Neuticles. But describing the product was almost impossible without bringing up testicles. And testicles, even dog testicles, are not something most people want to discuss with a stranger who calls during dinner. It’s a subject that invariably leads to grimacing or giggling. Even Miller, who’ll be 59 years old this week, can’t avoid the puns. “When Neuticles were introduced commercially in 1995,” he says, “people thought I was nuts.”

Seventeen years later, Neuticles—still based in Miller’s hometown of Oak Grove, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City—have become a huge commercial success. Miller estimates that 517,223 neutered pets, living in all 50 states and 49 countries, are proudly (and unsuspectingly) wearing Neuticles. And they now come in a variety of styles and, yes, sizes. The less expensive option (priced from $119 to $149 for a set) is made out of rigid polypropylene and is, Miller believes, “easily detected” by discerning dogs, while the more expensive version (the UltraPLUS, which can cost up to $600) is made from silicone and, according to Miller, is “very lifelike.”


Which reminds me of my all time favorite Far Side cartoon.

Click on the cartoon below for


Chernobyl or Chaplin? ...... Chaplin.


My mood is being affected by the relentless, endless bad crap I've been reading lately.

The little wiffer suggests that maybe my mental health would improve were I to just spend a couple hours on the couch with her, watching Little House on the Prairie and Waltons reruns.

I dunno ....... maybe if she were naked.

So anyway, as you won't see below, on this day in history the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy began.

I've had this post hanging around for over a year as last year I forgot I had it until about July and it subsequently was never posted.

So anyway, this morning I pulled it out again and started reading through it having been notified that today was the day by my trusty little tickler program.

"Damn, this is some bleak stuff."

I deleted the whole thing.

Here's Charlie Chaplin from Gold Rush.

Infinitely better than Chernobyl, The Waltons, or Little House on the Prairie.



The Great Levon Helm


Levon Helm passed away today at the age of 71.

I never got to see The Band despite having tried hard three different times.


I had a couple good friends, ten or so years older than I am who got to see them perform a bunch of times all over Ontario, first backing Ronnie Hawkins and then later on as Levon and the Hawks.

I was and am incredibly envious.

Still, I've watched Last Waltz or portions of it at least a couple hundred times as it sits comfortably somewhere at or near the top of my "current pile" of music cds, books and video's, right there next to my headphone amp just about 2 feet from where I always sit, here in my office.

As it has ever since I've had this office.

From Last Waltz and their last ever performance together, this is Garth Hudson on the organ, The Band's other great voice, Richard Manuel on the piano, Rick Danko on bass guitar and vocals, Robbie Robertson on guitar and Levon Helm on drums and lead vocals.

Levon and the Hawks.

A.K.A. The Band.

Up on Cripple Creek.



The Pogues


Up until the Pogues there has never been anything that even remotely resembles the Pogues, who offered up an electric mix of Punk crossed on Irish folk music.

Tonight, depending where you happen to be, you can hear any number of bands that sound a lot like the Pogues including most notably Black 47, The Dropkick Murpheys and hopefully the Pogues themselves whom I believe still soldier on. 

Here they are at the absolute top of their game in 1988, live in Japan.  

This is Shane MacGowan on Vocals, a seemingly bored Spider Stacey on backup vocals, Penny Whistle and cigarette, James Fearnley on the Accordian, Phil Chevron on Guitar, Andrew Rankin playing Drums, and Darryl Hunt on the Bass.  Jem Finer who you never really get to see is somewhere playing the Banjo and Terry Woods who you also never really see is on the Mandola (think big Mandolin), the headstock of which you do get to see.

The Pogues.

If I Should Fall from Grace With God ... which I'm sure will never happen.



And because Jem Finer has moved to the saxaphone and catches a little face time on this one and even more because there are times when it's only a little Irish Punk that truly satisfies.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah ... not Year, Year, Year as some would have you believe.



The fan at the front of the stage is there to keep Shane from falling on his face.


Cute Stuff



We received this one three times this morning including one from the wiffer.

I'm figuring it'll be viral by Friday morning.



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