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'Forever' Fan Forever

Posted 5/25/2016

Once in a while, and with Network Television that once is a long long while in happening a show comes along that is really good, clever, intelligent, and I may add entertaining. In this case I am talking about the TV show 'Forever' that ran on ABC for sadly only 1 Season.

'Forever' managed to combine elements from 'Sherlock' That ABC cancelled such a wonderful show only confirms my long held belief that network executives are idiots. 

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Germany’s Flash Mob

Posted 11/17/2015

According to Wikipedia a flash mob or flashmob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place and perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time before quickly dispersing. I am no expert on flashmobs, but I do know a thing or two about hosting an event. One being that if you leave your door wide open with the offer of free food and drinks everyone and their mother will show up. Another thing I learned about an out of control event like a flashmob is that it cost me lots of Euros. Not to mention that after the event is over very few if any of the guests will hang around to help with the clean up, or offer to pay for damages. So I have to wonder what kind of drugs the German politicians in Berlin are on to leave their door wide open shall we say for every one to show up for a flash mob of epic proportions? And Germany is a wonderful host by offering not only free food, but free medical care, housing, whatever the mob needs or wants to make their flash complete. The sad thing for Germany is that this current huge out of control flash mob will not be brief or disperse quickly. No, this flash mob will be around for a long time demanding many things.

 

Now this is not the first time that Germany created such a large flash mob. In the pre InterNet days of the early 1960’s Germany, West Germany at that time needed able bodied workers. The German ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ was in full bloom and workers were needed in the booming German factories. Hey(Doch) those little pre-electronic beetles were selling like hot cakes all over the world. Germany also at that time still considered Women as housewives and baby machines so what was wanted and needed was hard working Men. What showed up to answer Germany’s man power shortage? Young men from Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia(that was a country then, look it up for more info), Spain, and from Turkey. Germany needed the workers so they were welcome, sort of. The German mentality was that these men were ‘Guest Workers’ meaning they would stay a few years to work and then go happily back to where ever they came from. Well(doch) strange as this seems and I know from my own personal experience that living in Germany can be nice so why give up my Mercedes and go back home?  So many of these ‘Guest Workers’ stayed to start families while trying to fit into Germany as best they could. They continued to work, paid German taxes, and many  started businesses. For example take a walk around a German city or good sized town that still exists where you will find an Italian, Greek, or other ethnic style restaurant. My personal favorites are the local Döner places around just about every corner in Germany. Ok, maybe they are not on every corner in the former DDR. I mention the Döner because it sort of symbolizes the Turkish people in Germany. Not politically correct I know, but if you want PC Filtered stuff then read else where or talk with a German Politician. So while the Turkish people are a large distinct minority in Germany many of them have managed to integrate themselves into Germany without being handed teddy bears. Now this sort of integration has taken 50 years to occur and is still ongoing. Even the pill popping politicians in Berlin have admitted that the Turkish people who came to Germany were not integrated properly over the years. A big Duh because not even West and East Germany have properly integrated together after 25 years of ‘Unification’ regardless how much ‘Solidaritätszuschlag Steuergeld’ was tossed Eastward. So this early German flash mob of something like 2 Million Men(Maybe more?) was not a huge fiasco because these men showed up to really work to eventually become part of Germany. The politicians in Berlin must have taken some great pills to think this current flash mob will show up ready, willing and able to work in Germany.  

 

Another thing I am wondering about is how did the Berlin politicians expect this latest flash mob to show up in Germany? Fly in on a Lufthansa flight? Not on a strike day of course. Charter buses via the best free things in Europe App? Or, did these intelligent Berlin politicians who can not even get the airport in Berlin built in a timely manner think all these flash mobbers would arrive on the Orient Express? Poor Austria is asking the Von Trapp Family to come back to lead the flash mobbers out of Salzburg and into the welcoming Alps of Germany. I mean really if I set up a flash mob and thousands or more came that ended up trashing my neighbor’s yard and house, not to mention using up all of the toilet paper then my neighbors would have every right to be angry. But no, the politicians in Berlin after smoking some really good stuff demanded that neighboring countries share in this wonderful flash mob experience. It is the humane and nice thing to do if you are a member of the EU. Another big Duh for the Berlin Politicians because the flash mobbers want to come to Germany for the best in nice and humane things that are all offered for free.   

 

So now this flash mob is in Germany getting larger every day. Regular Germans bless their generous hearts are welcoming them as best they can. Do to otherwise would mean they are ‘Bad’ Germans and everyone knows what that means. Local politicians with common sense in small towns and cities are wondering how to manage and pay the costs for the flash mobs being sent to them? Those high as a kite Berlin politicians said the flash mob was welcome regardless of the size without bothering to set up any kind of structure or ‘Master’ plan to deal with the hundreds of thousands that have shown up with more on the way. Now serious questions are being asked? Where will these newly arrived flash mobs live? Affordable rental apartments for regular working people in Germany are rare these days. Frankfurt already has homeless people sleeping on the streets so I guess the Berlin politicians figure a few more thousand people can join them? Charity begins at home is an unknown adage to the politicians in Berlin. Another question is where will this flash mob work? The booming factories of the ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ years that employed thousands on assembly lines are gone(amazing what German robotics can do and build these days). Selling French fries, cleaning streets, or working in a warehouse can only employ so many. Even if there are jobs available for the flash mobbers they will have to learn to speak and understand DEUTSCH(German) if they wish to work and integrate themselves into the German way of life. Another question or issue like the preverbal elephant in the living room is indeed how many of these flash mobbers will even try to integrate themselves into the German way of life? Talk about a Taboo subject in Germany these days! The other Big Taboo subject is how much will this flash mob really cost Germany?  

 

I like to think that the politicians in Berlin meant well with their offer of a flash mob being welcome in Germany. Yes it is the kind and humane thing to do especially if you wish to atone for what another generation did. Helping people in need is one thing, But, did they actually even think about what kind of avalanche would happen when all these thousands of people showed up? Oh yes, those wonderful Berlin politicians have a vision. To bad that ‘Vision’ does not actually see what is really going on in Germany with this flash mob.

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Climbing The Ladder to Suc Cess?

Posted 11/4/2015

Years ago when I was working in a German office this joke showed up in my mail box. Email was still a new toy in my high tech German IT office. Back then jokes, lists, whatever would make the rounds. These days I still get a cartoon or two, but actual good old fashioned knee slapping jokes with a punch line have not landed in my inbox for a long time. Anyway here is the Joke that I still think is funny along with the 'Extra Punchline';

One day, a recently married man goes to the attic of his new home to put a few things in storage. While he is there he notices a large steamer trunk sitting in the corner. When he tries to open it, he finds it is locked. Puzzled and curious, he calls his new bride up to the attic and asks her about the locked trunk. She tells him that it is hers and that it only contains some personal things. He accepts her answer and eventually forgets all about the  matter.

A few years later when he is cleaning out the attic, he runs across the still locked steamer trunk. Again he asks his wife what's in it? She again tells him that it contains only personal things. But, this time he is more persistent. So she sits him down and reminds him that she makes him happy when he is down, that she keeps the house meticulously clean, that she cooks him fantastic meals 7 days a week, and that she gives him all the sex he wants, anytime he wants it. Then she tells him if he is happy with all of those things, that he should forget about the trunk because she will not talk about it. "Fair enough", says the husband and he finishes cleaning out the attic.

On their 25th wedding anniversary he pulls the still locked trunk down the stairs into the middle of the living room floor and calls to his wife. "Honey" he says, "We've been married for 25 years and I think it is time we had a heart-to-heart talk. What the Hell is in that trunk?" The wife immediately protests, reminding him once more about the clean house, the wonderful meals, and all the great sex even after 25 years. "I don't care", he tells her. "After 25 years we ought to be able to talk about anything. Now open this damn trunk or I will!" So, she takes a key from a chain hanging around her neck and opens the trunk. Inside is three ears of corn and 25 Thousand Dollars in cash.

"Jesus Christ!" shouts the surprised husband. "What's going on here? Where did all this come from?" "Well, Sweetie" replies the wife, "You said we could talk, so I'll tell you what you want to know. Over the years I tried to stay faithful to you. But, I wasn't always successful. Every time that I cheated on you I put an ear of corn in the trunk." The husband can not believe the shocking confession that he just heard. But, after mulling it over in his mind for a few minutes he says to his wife, "All right, I admit I'm not too thrilled about this, but I did say we should be honest with each other, and I guess I can live with 3 times of infidelity in 25 years. But where did the all the money come from?" "Well", she replies, "Whenever the trunk got full, I sold the corn."

After reading this I burst out laughing. My German colleagues looked at me and I just answered that I read a funny Email. One colleague asked me to forward it to him. I stopped forwarding joke emails after spending hours trying to explain the ‘Climbing The Ladder To Success’ joke. But, I thought well Ok, his English is good enough so I do not have to explain the whole joke set up and punch line to him. After a few minutes of him reading it he asked me "How much does an ear of corn cost?"

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The Sound of Music and My Favorite Wonderful Memories

Posted 3/28/2015

At Happy Hour in Frankfurt while enjoying our Gin&Tonics the conversation turned to 'The Sound of Music'. After I mentioned seeing it in a movie theater the year it premiered a much younger person commented; 'You are that old old?' Yes, that classic film musical is celebrating 50 years of entertaining people all over the world. Besides the just plain old fashioned fun of watching and yes singing along with 'The Sound of Music' are the wonderful memories that the film has given me over the last 50 years. Seeing the film for the first time with my family was a real event that somehow just does not seem possible today? Some of the most fun and strange experiences in my life happened while I was trying to find the sound and the music in and around Salzburg. So, in a very low tech way I will share my 'Sound of Music' memories. 

In the 1960's my oldest brother Leo was dating which meant getting dressed up with a tie and jacket, even to go to the movies. The next day my mother Bernadette would ask him about which film he had seen. This was my mother's way to determine if the film was appropriate for herself and her younger sons. It was the 60's when Hollywood films were changing with the times. Thanks to my brother's film revues I was able to enjoy 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown', 'Oliver!', and 'My Fair Lady' with my Mother. Okay so my Mother liked musicals and maybe she knew what was going on with me before I fully realized it? We also saw 'Doctor Zhivago' which my Mother found confusing, but like she said with all the snow scenes and the theater's air conditioning it was a nice break from the August heat. My Mother and I saw many of these great films at the Strand Movie Theater in New Britain, Connecticut. Sadly like so many of those beautiful theaters The Strand is gone with the wind. It was a victim of the demolition business that controlled the city of New Britain so downtown was razed for 'Redevelopment'. But, in the 1960's it was still possible to go shopping and to the movies in New Britain.

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Padded Hangers Cheap&Easy To Make, Industrial Chic, Or What A Guy Would Use In His Closet

Turkey in the Oven

Posted 3/28/2015

This is a bit of my Creative Writing. It is based in part on letters my Mother wrote to my Father during World War II, what I experienced while working with the US Armed Forces in Germany, and a bit of my Hollywood style fantasy.   

 

Dear Morton,

How are you doing? Yes, I know you are wondering why I am writing you a letter on paper and mailing it when we have emails, cam sessions, and all kinds of modern technology to communicate with each other. Well like I told you in my last email I spent the weekend with your family. Really your family is so sweet to me. I mean when they met me at JFK after that long flight back from Frankfurt, oh I know sweetie not as long as some of your flights, but for a 'Country Girl' from South Georgia flying to Germany to meet up with you was a big journey.  So to have your family there to welcome me home was just so wonderful. For the first time since we got married I really feel like part of the family. They drove me back to the apartment telling me about their trip to Hawaii including the jet lag afterwards. Your Mom insisted we go by the grocery store to make sure I had something in the fridge to eat. They asked me at least 3 times what I was doing for Thanksgiving? I told them that I was saving my vacation days for when you return next year so I would not be visiting my parents for the holidays. Like you I am counting the days till you return to me. Even though I sent emails, your Mom called me to make sure I was doing Ok(that jet lag is a real thing!) and to make sure I was coming for Thanksgiving.  

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