All Hallows Eve 2012

For all my lifetime, through 2006, the end of Daylight Saving Time in most of the United States was on the last Sunday in October. But thanks to the powerful candy lobby, which wants children to be able to trick or treat on Halloween with more daylight, and its ally, the dentist lobby, which want children to rot their teeth, it’s been pushed back to the first Monday in November. It’s this time of year that always confuses me in terms of what time it in other countries, since the start and end of DST/British Summer Time does not happen simultaneously. Go to this site to see what time it is around the world.

Glad to see that Continue reading

Video reviews: Iron Man 2 and The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap (1961), if I saw it – and surely I MUST have seen it at some point – mustn’t I? – I watched SO long ago that the details are surely erased from my memory. It was a Disney film starring Hayley Mills… and Hayley Mills! I DO recall that ad campaign. The script was based on Das Doppelte Lottchen, a novel by Erich Kastner, that had been made into British and German films, using twin girls.

Two girls, one from tony Boston, the other from freewheeling California, meet at a summer camp and take an instant dislike to each other. Each just doesn’t like that other girl with her face. Antics ensue Continue reading

40 Years Ago: October 1972 – The Draft Board

After getting a letter from the Selective Service, a/k/a, the draft board, indicating that I was reclassified 1-A (eligible for military service) over the summer, I filed an appeal. Though I was living in my college town of New Paltz, NY, I had to return to my hometown of Binghamton, NY.

There were three men on the draft board. The chairman said that his daughter talked about me all the time when we were in high school; I was president of student government and involved in the theater club, among other things. Did I remember her? I said, “Oh, yeah!” I had no idea who she was, at least by name, though maybe I would have recognized her by sight.

One guy said, after introducing himself, said absolutely nothing.

The third man Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 103: In as a clown, out as an angel

What a strange weekend we had the middle of last month.

On the Saturday, I took the Daughter to play her first soccer match. She had gone to the practice on the previous Monday night, and been assigned to a team in the U8 (under eight) division. But when we got there for her 11:10 a.m. match, we found that she had been moved to the U10 division, and thus on another team. Worse, because the opposing team in their 12:20 p.m. match was initially shorthanded, she was temporarily traded to the other side. She was more disappointed than unhappy by all of this Continue reading

Movie Review: Argo

It shouldn’t have worked: six Americans avoid being taken in the Iran hostage crisis, which started November 4, 1979. They hang out at the residence of the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber) for several weeks. The CIA, trying to get them out, reject the idea of pretending the six are Canadian farm aid workers. Instead, CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) came up with this ridiculous idea of wanting to scout Tehran as a potential backdrop for a science fiction movie called Argo, with the six becoming part of the crew, a plan approved by his boss (Bryan Cranston) as the “best bad idea” available.
Continue reading

40 Years Ago: My 1st Presidential Vote, for George McGovern

There were a LOT of people running for the Democratic nomination for President against Richard Nixon in 1972. The general consensus early on, though, was that Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine would be the selection. He had been the Vice-Presidential nominee in 1968, and had been a credible candidate in a close race. But he was sunk early on by the crying incident, which, to this day, I find utterly bewildering, and dropped out of the race early on.

This seemed to give segregationist Governor George Wallace of Alabama some momentum, much to the chagrin of all right-minded people. Continue reading

O is for Olympic Observations

I’ve watched a lot of Olympic Games over the years. Somehow, though, they are starting to run together in my mind. What year was it that Sarah Hughes won the women’s figure skating finals, after being in fourth place after the short program? It was 2002, but I couldn’t have told you this without looking it up.

So here are my now fading recollections, without checking sources except to verify that my memory was in fact correct.

1896 Summer: Athens, Greece – obviously, I don’t remember the specific event – how old do you think I am? – but I do recall that this was the beginning of the modern Games
1904 Summer: St. Louis, MO, United States – the debacle that Shooting Parrots mentioned
1936 Summer: Berlin, Germany – this will always be the Jesse Owens (pictured) Olympics for me, with Hitler’s assertion of a master race being shattered
1948 Summer: London, United Kingdom – I must admit that I learned much about the still bombed out city holding the first summer Games since the end of World War II from NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Games

1960 Winter: Squaw Valley, CA, United States – I don’t specifically remember these games Continue reading

A political false equivalence

There’s this blogger I came across who I like. But I was puzzled by a comparison made between President Obama’s birth certificate and Gov. Romney’s tax returns, as being similarly not newsworthy.

In the case of the birth certificate, it was authenticated to a degree acceptable to anyone who isn’t a conspiracy theorist.

Whereas the tax returns are interesting because they were not released, save for the last two years, though a self-provided “summary” was made available. Truth is, I don’t care whether Romney releases the documents or not. It DOES, though, speak to his transparency, or lack of same, for his father George set the bar when he ran for President back in the 1960s, and put out a dozen years of returns.

The Gospel lesson a couple weeks back Continue reading