Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Rich

May 25, 2013

Cabin
~

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers”, he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!” “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

http://music.msn.com/michael-jackson-the-wrap-pt2/story/feature/?gt1=28102

Bone Island Abattoir / Part 1: A Pilar Preamble

January 9, 2011

Author’s note:  This is the fourth book of The Shades of Hemingway series.  While reading this installment, Bone Island Abattoir is complete in itself, it is recommended that the reader search out the begining of this incredible story…

~

It was a perfect dream to be awakening on the Gulf waters, the waves pitching the Pilar in a slight, bobbing loll alternating back and forth as a watery hammock. I could not have imagined a bluer sky devoid of all but a slight willowy wisp of clouds swirling off like over sprung, cotton corkscrews. I was seated in an elevated Windsor styled wooden chair with an enormous fishing rod clutched in my hands. A gruff, familiar voice spoke from behind me.

“Better cinch that belt down tightly there, Sport. You latch onto a black marlin all loosey goosey like that and it’ll pull ya ass over tea kettle right into the drink! …along with that expensive rod and reel of mine!”

I spun around to face the person speaking to me. It was Hem, grinning and pointing a large cigar at me with all the bravado of a salty sea captain. Standing at the wheel was a man I recognized to be Goyo, his expert guide and companion.

“We are going after fish that are big enough to pull me off this boat?” I asked in disbelief, still trying to figure out where my dreams had taken me this time… and why. I was far from the confines of Jake Barnes and the Villa Vinales de Eden.

“Not just any fish, Sport… marlin! Best game fish on the planet! And yep… powerful enough to net ya up and over topside; hook, line and sinker!”

“Hem, I don’t think I’m prepared for this!”

“Relax… all you need do is hook ’em. Pilar and Goyo’ll do the rest!”

Hem came up and helped me tighten the harness that held the fisherman to his seat. He was robust and crusty, wind whipped and sun blown with a canvas billed cap perched atop of his head. The swaying of the Pilar seemed to jostle his mood and sent him sauntering to the ship’s console like a half drunken pirate. Goyo placed his hand to the throttle and eased us forward. I faced our slight wake with morbid trepidation.

“What? Where are we going?” I yelled, startled at the boat’s growling gasoline powered engine slowly trolling us forward.

“There’s a school of shiners off our port side, we’ll try to get around behind ‘em with our backs to the sun.”

“Why?” I shouted. I thought the fish came to us. All of my fishing experience was on a lazy river bank back in the Midwest under a shade tree. The actual act of catching a fish was only secondary to the art of incidentally fishing.

“Marlin like to follow schools of fish but if we don’t position ourselves right the sun will keep him from spottin’ your bait.” Hem spoke as Goyo steered, allowing his voice to be carried back to me by the hollow of the cowl overhead. “We get too close and the fish will scatter. We’ll get your hook behind ‘em and troll for a bit… might get lucky.”

“Where’s the school? I don’t see anything!”

“Look off to your right! See that area of little smatterin’ fish tails breakin’  through the water with them seabirds overhead?”

I turned in the fighting chair, looked to my right and sure enough, there was a span of nearly half a football field filled with minor disturbances just below the surface of the water as white gulls drifting in the updrafts above. No sooner had we placed my bait behind the school of shiners did I get a strike. The reel revved like a small motor and spun out hundreds of feet of fishing line. The marlin vaulted out of the water twisting and turning.

Immediately I panicked. “What’ll I do?”

“Let him run with it!” Shouted Hem as Goyo maneuvered Pilar to circumvent the marlins escape. Instantly the line went limp.

“I lost him!”

“No, you didn’t! I’ll tell you when you’ve lost it! Reel in that line!”

I tugged and pulled while I clasped the reel in my excited fingers, working the line back around the spindle as quickly as I could. Just as Goyo had swung the Pilar around and I had reeled in a mile of fishing line, the marlin bolted once again. The rod lurched forward as the line screamed off the reel.

“Loosen up that drag!” Bellowed the voice behind me.

Next thing I knew Hem was at my side pouring the contents of an iced drink on the fishing line remaining on the reel causing the steam of a miniature Mount St. Helens to erupt. Instinctively I pulled back on the pole that appeared to be on the verge of snapping in two. Time and again I recoiled the line only to have the big fish repeatedly surge lightning fast through the waters pulling hundreds of yards of yarn with it. Seemingly hours of battling the marlin passed and yet the sun hung motionless in the sky, as if Joshua himself had petitioned the God of Israel to make it stand still over the plains of Gibeon. Goyo expertly maneuvered the Pilar anticipating the direction of my catch, allowing him to run unhindered but still well within our control.

“Easy, Sport… let him run! All you can do is out last the big fella.”

It was the marlin’s last surge and somehow Hem knew it.

`“Out last him? What on earth… you mean until he’s tired and gives out?”

“Marlin fight to the end, Sport. It’s not uncommon for them to be dead or dying by the time you’re all through.”

“But why? What is the sense in that?”

“It’s in their spirit, hard to break that in nature.”

I am spinning the line back in now as rapidly as I can. Just as sudden as the fight had begun it seemed to be over. Soon I could see the massive fish coming up towards the surface just off the stern of the Pilar.

“Okay, I’ve caught the fish, now I’d like to let him go.”

“Let him go? After all you’ve put into it? Mount the brute, Sport… this is a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life!”

“I will remember it. I’ll remember coming this close to a leviathan and letting him go back to his world unharmed. He lived there peacefully before I came along and disturbed it.”

“It seems like an incredible opportunity wasted if you ask me… but, if you insist.” Hem took the rod from my hands as I undid the harness that held me in the fighting chair.

“Grab the bill with one hand but be careful … it’s like grabbin’ hold of a cheese grater. Now use that pair of fishing pliers and remove the hook with your free hand.”

Doing as I was told I lean out over the back end of the boat and gently caress the fish. Hem reaches with one hand and latches on to the waistband of my jeans. Effortlessly the hook pops out of the jaw it has lodged into.

“ Hold the bill and push it down so the fish’s entire mouth is underwater.” Hem’s voice is calm and soothing, an abrupt turn from the dismayed and obvious disappointment from just a moment before. “As the boat starts forward, water will run through the mouth and over the gills.”

My face is down, inches away from the gulping marlin. The Pilar’s engine throttles forward and we slowly advance. It is all I can do to contain my excitement. The black marlin seems to be responding.

“You’ll feel the fish comin’ back to life soon. Watch and you’ll see the color start to return to his body. Feel the bill beginnin’ to twitch? The big fella is tellin’ ya that it’s time to let him go.”

Gently I do as I am told and release the massive fish. I watch as it gracefully sinks down and out, then swims off with quiet satisfaction. Hem’s hand clasps down upon my shoulder.

“Well, you’re no Louis Schmidt… but you’ll do in a pinch.”

“Thanks Hem, that was exhilarating!”

“Yep, ya let him get away… to live and fight another day.”

“And what’s the harm in that?” I feel all smug and sure of myself. “If he can be caught once, he can be caught again.”

“Oh, ya thing so?” Hem’s eyes lock onto mine. “Not every decision you’ll make on this trip will be so cut and dry…”

We are left floundering in the water for a moment. Hem reached down and pulled out a machine gun that heralded back to WW II and began polishing it with an oil rag. It appeared more of a caressing than a chore for him but I was surprised at his ease in producing such a weapon.

“A machine gun? I thought this was a fishing boat!”

Hem smiled but did not look up.

“This is a Thompson, Sport. A great equalizer in the field of battle.”

“Are you expecting a fight way out here?” I mocked, “ and do the bad ol’ fishies get to fire back?”

Hem propped the butt of the relic upon the seat and smirked at me.

“Ya never know…”

“How’d you manage to find a gun like that in the first place?”

Hem picked up the weapon and aimed high into the air, placing his eye down the sights like he was following a target. Then he brought the Thompson back down and offered it to me, but I refused it. Hem pulled the machine gun back and returned to polishing it with the oil rag.

“We did a stint during the war, patrolling the coast and the Florida Straits hunting U-boats. This piece has traveled with me halfway ‘round the world… saw the liberation of Paris, among other things.” Hem thoughtfully let his fingers caress the stock and trigger guard. I probably didn’t act all that suitably impressed because the owning and operating of guns never interested me. Instead I look off to one side and spotted land off in the distance.

“What’s that over there… Cuba?”

Hem looks up where I am pointing to as he leans the Thompson back into the corner. Stuffing the oil rag into his back pocket Hem gets off of his perch and moves to the railing of the Pilar.

“Naw… that’s Bone Island, Sport… you’re home away from home.”

“What’s a Bone Island? I’ve never heard of it before…”

“That’s Key West.” Hem drops back in the fighting chair and wipes his brow with a handkerchief.

“Key West? Why did you call it Bone Island?”

“That’s what Ponce de Leon called it when he discovered it back in 1513. Casa Hueso… ‘Isle of Bones.’ “

”I don’t get it.”

Goyo approaches and puts a bottle beer in Hems hands, which Hem uses to cool his forehead with before taking a long, thirsty chug. Finally he wipes his mouth and pulls a stogie from his shirt pocket which Goyo immediately offers a lighted match to. Hem puffs the life back into it and then leans back into the chair.

“Legend has it that when Ponce de Leon arrived on the shores of Key West he found it littered with bones… the skeletal remains of a tribe of Calusa Indians.”

“What happened? They die of a fever or something?”

“No… it is thought that they were chased out of Florida by a rival group of Indians, clear on down through the Keys until the reached the end. Apparently the Calusas made a stand on the beach and were slaughtered then… their bones were left to bleach out in the sun.”

“So Casa Hueso was deserted when Ponce de Leon discovered it?”

“No, and that’s the interesting part. The Calusa Indians were here when ol’ Ponce first showed up and they seemed to get along fine. But when Ponce de Leon came back a few years later they were hostile towards him and tried to turn his ship away. Originally they sent out a few canoes full of Calusa warriors but the Spanish turned them back. The next day the Calusas showed up with about 80 canoes and managed to persuade the Spanish to leave, wounding Ponce de Leon in the process.  The Spanish retreated to Cuba and poor Ponce ended up dying there.”

“What made the Calusas so angry with the Spanish when they seemed to get along so well the first time they met?”

“I dunno.” Hem took another swig of beer and gazed out across the blue Gulf water towards the sliver of land on the horizon. “Maybe the ship’s sailors were going after their women or desecrated the beach where all those bones had been left scattered about. One thing is for certain… they were one tough brood.”

“Why do you say that?’

“Well… the Spaniards were armed with the latest weaponry of their day. The Calusas only had knives and axes made of stone or coral, maybe some spears… possibly bow and arrows. They turned back a group that represented the most powerful nation of that period. It took 200 years to finally relocate the Calusa Indians over to Cuba. I’d say to turn Ponce de Leon on his ear and force him to show his tail feathers and flee took some doing.”

“Casa Hueso… Isle of Bones. Sounds like a bad horror story.”

“Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, Sport. The abattoir Ponce de Leon found on Key West probably signaled the beginning of the end of world domination for the Spanish.”

“I’d say that is pretty powerful stuff, Hem… what’s an abattoir?”

Hem rose from the chair and downed the last drops of beer then pitched the bottle out towards the water which made a bloop when it dropped in. He clapped and rubbed his hands together as if to remove any grit then wiped them on his shirt. He looked at me and grinned.

“A slaughterhouse, Sport… that’s what an abattoir is. To Ponce de Leon and his men Key West was an abattoir… the end of the line for the Calusa Indians and eventually for him, too. Key West was a friggin’ island slaughterhouse…”

Hem took up the Thompson and began rubbing it with his oil cloth slowly, appreciating every mechanism including the short barrel and wooden stock. He smiled at me as contentedly as a boy with his Christmas BB gun.

“Bone Island abattoir,” I looked to the horizon, “ the beginning of the end…”

Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!

~

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, google.com, stumbleupon.com, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010
3 comments

2

rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007
8 comments

3

The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007
9 comments

4

songs to play at your funeral April 2008
16 comments

5

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008
10 comments

~

I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.

Peace.

2011 – The Bell Tolled 50 Years Ago

December 31, 2010

Okay. I’ve started, stopped, (paused) started, stopped and started again. Now for the pay-off. I began Shades of Hemingway several years ago and then wrote two sequels and promised a third. After some delays… here it is.

Almost.

Before I commit the next few months to putting the final chapters online I wanted to do a recap.  So, if you are new here and don’t want to review the archives… cool, the recap may suffice.  If you came on board from the beginning… cool, the recap will refresh your memory.  If you came on board from the beginning and remember the story and its sequels… cool.  Tune in next time for the concluding chapters.

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s death.  While Shades of Hemingway, Medium Exposure and Deja’ Voodoo are works of fiction I tried to remain true to the image of the man.   I hope you will agree that these stories all or in part convey the spirit of one of America’s greatest authors.

~ 

Summoned by The Shades of Hemingway; Chris Fiore, a tourist in the Florida Keys, turns amateur sleuth as he sets out to expose the killer of a Key West policeman. Drawn into Cuba by an ancient voodoo ritual that eventually links to Ernest Hemingway’s past, will the bell toll for Chris as well?
 

While vacationing with friends, Chris meets the shades of Hemingway in Key West.  Originally enticed by Hem who wants to be Chris’ ghostwriter for a supposed Hemingway revival, he is later recruited to expose the killer of Robert Jordan.  Chris is continually visited by each of the shades at different intervals of his quest to help guide and encourage him.  Eventually he goes to Cuba to rescue Brett Jordan and learns of his friend Keith’s involvement in human trafficking.
 
 
 Excerpt from the story…*

“You’ll have some big shoes to fill usin’ that, Sport. I wonder if you’re up to the task?”

I looked up to the entrance to the study, and only then did I see another door off in the corner leading to a small bathroom. In the open door, a man of about 40 stood there, drying his hands on a towel. He was dark haired, mustached and stocky wearing a silky-looking bathrobe over pajamas and dark leather slippers. He smiled at me as I gulped down my wildly beating heart.

“I’m sorry,” I stammered, then hopefully asked, “are you part of the tour?”

The man laughed; a hearty, belly shaking laugh. “Part of the tour, you ask? Why, Sport, I AM the tour!”

I was at least ten feet from the entrance to the carriage house study, but I bounded out the door in two steps. Down the iron staircase I stumbled, and out into the back yard I ran like a scalded dog. Only after taking several steps did I realize I was not being chased. I stopped to turn around and looked back at the doorway leading to Hemingway’s chambers.

There was no one there.*

~

HEM, Hemingway at middle age and the most predominant of the shades.

Hem originally contacts Chris and sets him out on his adventure. Hem has all the vitality and vigor of Ernest Hemingway at the prime of his life and celebrity. He is the most ambitious and has the strongest influence of the three shades. Hem is the adventurer and the catalyst behind Chris’ search.

PAPA, Hemingway in his later years.

Papa is the more reflective and subdued of the three shades. He is the voice of reason and appears to reassure Chris during times of difficulty or to impart wisdom.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

“I dreamt again last night, Papa. I dreamt I was back at Sloppy Joe’s with Hem and he was telling me I had to expose Officer Jordan’s killer.”

“Yes, I know, Chris. Jordan’s spirit is in a state of flux, caught between the living and the dead. Your arrival came at an opportune time, giving him a chance to rest in peace.”

“But doesn’t he know who did it? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have him appear before the authorities and tell them?”

“Simpler, yes, but not possible… that ability is sort of ‘out of bounds’ for us.”

“Why not? He knows who did him in, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, he does. But we are not empowered to speak about certain things.” *

~

RING LARDNER, JR., the youngest Hemingway.

Ring is the unblemished and moral one, the idealistic teenaged Hemingway who went to war. He has the strength and virtue of character that Chris needs when his own courage fails him.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

Ring looks over at me. His eyes seem vacant and lost, he is a young man far from home having just witnessed first hand the spectacle and barbarian tactics of war. But his voice is strong. He calls to me.

“Wake up, Chris.”

“What? I am awake!”

“No, Chris… you’re not. Wake up this instant.”

“I’m awake! Ring; I see you, I can hear you… my eyes are wide open! The guy next to me needs a cigarette!”

I look back over at “the smoker” but he is flat on his back and out of it. I look back at Ring and shrug.

“She is still alive, Chris. She is still alive and she needs your help. Wake up, Chris… rescue her. You’re not too late…”

I turn away from Ring Lardner, Jr. and look up and down at the rows of hospital beds. Now they are all empty, even “the smoker’s” bed is vacant. My mind is racing. I can sense my body detaching, a booster rocket falling away into space… am I dying?*

~

KEITH, Chris’ friend who turns out to be the manipulative villain.

Keith is the reason Chris originally goes to Key West. On the surface, Keith is a happy-go-lucky guy with an import/export business. In reality, Keith is involved with human trafficking and becomes Chris’ adversary.

BRETT JORDAN, a Key West detective, is the former wife of Jake Barnes and the sister of Robert Jordan. Brett is unaware that she is a spirit medium for her dead brother and when she disappears, Chris’ infatuation with Brett leads him to Cuba in an attempt to rescue her.

JAKE BARNES, a Key West detective and Brett’s former husband. Jake has been investigating the smuggling of Cuban refugees into the Florida Keys in co-operation with the Cuban government. Keith’s kidnaping of rich Americans and holding them for ransom in Cuba has further strained the relations between the authorities. Jake eventually becomes Chris’ ally.

NATY REVUELTA, a Cuban refugee who has returned to Cuba to assist in the raising of her dead sister’s children. Naty’s family finds Chris after he has been beaten and left for dead shortly after his arrival in Cuba. Naty and her sister had a conflicting relationship with Keith, which led to her sister’s suicide.

ROBERT JORDAN, Key West policeman who is killed in his rookie year. He is the younger brother of Brett Jordan. His death has disrupted the spirit realm and causes the shades to recruit Chris to expose his killer.

“MANOLO” SGT. GARCIA, Cuban policeman who has been working with Jake Barnes. He takes Chris to Cuba when Brett turns up missing.

LORD CRISTOBAL, Cuban voodoo priest who has ties with Keith’s import/export business. Keith has used his connections with Lord Cristobal to expand into the ransoming of Americans.

LAURA, Keith’s wife. She is friends with Rachel and accompanies Keith when he invites Chris and Rachel to go to the Keys. Laura is unaware of Keith’s illegal activities.

RACHEL, Chris’ girlfriend in the first book. Rachel and Laura have a professional relationship which encouraged the friendship between Chris and Keith.

~

Excerpt from the story…*

“Let me get this straight. You say all that talk about me writing for you and making the world remember you and keeping the Hemingway name relevant was just a ruse?’

Hem is more interested in the women, he doesn’t bother to address me directly but is smiling and encouraging them. “In a manner of speaking, yes. Jordan needs you now, more than we do.”

“I know nothing about Officer Jordan other than he was killed in the line of duty.”

“And that is precisely the point. Jordan needs to have his killer brought to justice.”

Now it begins to sink in.

“Wait a minute! You want me to find whoever is responsible for Jordan’s death? I’m no detective!”

Hem abruptly dismisses the women who in turn look at me with dejected contempt. Hem reaches for his shot glass, downs its contents with a single gulp, then returns it in favor of a tall beer chaser, which he thirstily swigs until it is half empty. The phantom bartender instantly appears to refill the shot glass and replenish the beer. Hem pauses for a moment, fingers the little condensation ring formed by the beer glass then again faces me.

“You don’t understand, Sport. We don’t want you to find Jordan’s killer, we want you to expose Jordan’s killer. *

~

There are four books in the series:

In Shades of Hemingway, Chris and Rachel go with Keith and Laura to Key West where Chris first meets Hem, Papa and Ring Lardner, Jr. Hem convinces Chris that the shades need him to act as a ghostwriter in order to represent them for a Hemingway revival, so initially Chris agrees. Chris meets Key West policeman, Robert Jordan, who directs him to the Green Parrot as an “off the beaten path” local bar. While there, Chris gains the attention of several shady characters but remains unaffected by their presence. Later, discovering a conflict between the shades, Chris decides fame and fortune is not worth compromising his principles for and rejects Hem’s offer to make him a writer. Chris returns an artifact he “borrowed” from the Hemingway Estate, thinking that would rid him of the shades. Unfortunately, Chris is caught, put in jail, but then released when he agrees to stay away from the Estate and return for a court appearance. It is while he is leaving the jail with his friends that Chris discovers Robert Jordan was actually a ghost.

In Medium Exposure, Chris returns alone for his court appearance, after breaking up with Rachel. He finds out that the men who saw him in the Green Parrot Bar are Cuban policemen assisting Jake Barnes in a human trafficking case. Chris meets Papa who warns him of the kyklos tod mene and that his own death is possible. Chris goes to another bar, the Golden Earring, and sees Brett for the first time. The next day, following an accidental meeting with Brett at the courthouse, Chris is kidnaped when he tries to leave Key West. After being dumped off on the causeway that connects the Florida Keys, Chris is picked up by Brett who reveals herself to be a Key West detective. Eventually Brett takes Chris back to her apartment and seduces him. The next day, Chris awakes to find that Brett is gone. Jake appears and declares himself her husband. Jake questions Chris on Brett’s whereabouts. Chris discovers that Brett is Robert Jordan’s sister. Sensing he is about to be arrested again, Chris flees only to meet up with Sgt. Garcia. Sgt. Garcia assures Chris he knows where Brett is, that she is in danger and he can lead Chris to her. Caught between being arrested by Jake or trusting Garcia, Chris leaves for Cuba.

In Deja’ Voodoo, Chris arrives in Cuba and ditches Sgt. Garcia. At a local bar, Chris meets Hem, who tells Chris to look up Lord Cristobal. When the bartender learns of Chris’ desire, a ride is arranged. The driver, thinking Chris is a rich tourist, tries to rob Chris then beats him, leaving him for dead. Chris is then found by the family of Naty Revuelta. Ring Lardner, Jr. appears while Chris seems to be fading off. Ring reminds Chris that he is there to find Brett. Because of his desire for Brett, Chris pulls through. The Revuelta family nurses Chris back to health. Naty turns out to be a refugee who has returned to Cuba from the U.S. to help raise her dead sister’s children. Later Chris learns of Naty’s former relationship with Keith which resulted in her sister’s suicide. Chris goes to Lord Cristobal to learn of the possible connection between Keith and Brett. Waiting for Chris at the Villa Vinales de Eden is Jake Barnes who takes him into “custody”.

 ~

And finally begins… 

 

Bone Island Abattoir.

~

I hope you will enjoy and Happy New Year.

Peace. 

 

 

Ol’ 55(000)

December 16, 2010

Hey cool! 55,000 hits and they keep on comin’!  I’m not smart enough to put a counter on my AMRFP home page, or maybe I’m too lazy to figure it out but here you are and that’s a good thing.  So in celebration, enjoy some music…

or how about from the original?

but I like this version, too.

Anyway, 55,000 is a pretty big deal here at AMRFP so from the bottom of my heart to the top of my heated brow…

thanks for reading.

peace.

Ho, Ho, Humbug? Share Merry Christmas or Declare Happy Holidays?

November 28, 2010

Living up here in Canada I was beginning to worry.  It was closing in on the last week of November and it hadn’t snowed yet.  Three years ago I flew up here and the snow was as deep and cold as I expected but now I lamented, “Where’s the snow?”  But be careful what you pine over because Old Man Winter has some big ears. 

It snowed Thursday and through the night it snowed again.  We awoke this morning to more snow.

My BB says now it appears like snow has always been here and it is true, we live in the Great White North.  Brrr… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

So imagine my interest when I discovered this on the Internet…  http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147486887  I didn’t know there were actually stores out there that refused to promote or minimized the approach of Christmas.  I had to stop and wonder about that…

Victoria’s Secret?  What do they have against the pagan sun-god worshippers ritual?  You’d think that they’d want to promote the sale of their sexy lingerie at all costs, wouldn’t you? http://www.spike.com/video/victorias-secret/2807705

Barnes and Noble?  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Barnes-and-Noble-Classics-for-Christmas/379000267/   Seems like they’d want to cash in on the Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men sales motto.  So I had to look deeper…

There you go, lots of Christmas language in that video.

And they mention Radio Shack?  How about this?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x88qhi_radio-shack-christmas-play_music 

or this?

Okay, so now I’m confused.  Either stores promote the day erroneously marked as Christ’s birth or they don’t.  Personally I don’t care and God bless ’em if they choose not to, but where does the AFA get their information?  From readers like you.

So I had to go back and view the Victoria’s Secret ads again and pay more than the usual (!) attention and guess what?  They left the word Christmas to the imagination (and little else) so, hmmm… does that really portray or betray the spirit of giving?  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp=40387119&#40387119

Now with a keener eye (ha!) I looked back at Barnes and Nobles then the Radio Shack ads.  B&N’s online ad merely mentioned Holiday gifts but their B&N Tags video seemed to balance Christmas in amongst their segments.  Both Radio Shack videos did the same.  So here’s the rub…

The American Family Association puts this list together implying retailers either support Christmas minimally, profoundly or not at all.  But does this aid us in discovering the true meaning of the holiday?  Or does it just boycott the notion that this spirit we are supposed to develop comes from within regardless of where we shop?  If I’m filled with the ghosts of Christmas! At last!  does it really matter if my retailer joins in that sentiment?  And what about their employees and their families, don’t they deserve the benefit of Christmas charity and prosperity?

Our 11-year-old is anxiously awaiting Christmas.  You’d think it would be because of the gifts he is anticipating and that is a  reasonable assumption.   Most 11 year olds can hardly wait for the new video game, new electronic gadgetry or music machine that is flooding the want lists of kids around the world and he’s no exception.

But lately, there is something more… he wants to give gifts.  A gift for his younger brother and one for his older sister.  A gift for his mother and even one for me!  Gifts all around.  And he’s worried time will run out before he is able to earn enough money to buy them all.  He doesn’t realize it, but he has already given me the grandest gift a child can give.  He has shown his willingness to share.  Not to say he hasn’t felt that spirit in the past but this holiday season it has had an impact on me.

These days it is hard to cultivate sharing.  Usually it is all about what you will get that matters.  That is probably the biggest turn off the Christmas holiday brings to me.  I don’t like the fact that a date on the calendar dictates whether I will be generous or not.  I feel that it means more when a gift is offered “out of the blue” with no strings attached.

Now seeing our young man get excited for the gifts he is about to present to others puts a warm feeling in my heart.  It is the feeling that perhaps all your parenting efforts have not gone un-noticed, perhaps through all your hits and misses, the joy of sharing has taken root and blossoms forth.

And that is a good thing. 

So, if  in your travels you notice… “Hey! They’re putting out Christmas decorations already!”  and you are trying to decide whether it fits in your politics or not to succumb to all the hype, remember this…

There really can be “Joy to the World”, even if it is only one giving heart at a time.

Have a safe and warm (!) holiday season.

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/naughty-and-nice-companies-this-holiday-season/q9n2vz7p?q=Christmas+Shopping&rel=msn&from=en-us_msnhp&form=MSNHED&gt1=42007

Peace.

P.S.  This was sent to me by an alert reader, thought it fit in perfectly with our topic…

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 




 

 

 

 

 

 



Cleverly done!!!   http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZSYYYYYYMNUS 

 Twas the Month before Christmas 

 


Twas the month before Christmas

 

When all through our land,

 

Not a Christian was praying

 

Nor taking a stand.

 

See the PC Police had taken away

 

The reason for Christmas – no one could say.

 

The children were told by their schools not to sing

 

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

 

It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say

 

 December 25th is just a ‘ Holiday ‘.

 

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

 

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

 

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod

 

Something was changing, something quite odd! 

 

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

 

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

 

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

 

At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.

 

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears

 

You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.

 

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

 

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

 

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

 

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !

 

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

 

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

 

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

 

 Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace

 

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

 

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

 

So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’

 

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

 

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

 

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

 

not Happy Holiday !

 

Please, all Christians join together and

 

wish everyone you meet

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Christ is The Reason’ for the Christ-mas Season!

I Loathe the View

October 15, 2010

http://theclicker.todayshow.com/_news/2010/10/14/5291131-bill-oreilly-sparks-walkout-on-the-view?GT1=43001

I don’t know where these women got their interviewing skills, but I think they suck.  With regards to my last post,http://advantagesofmutualrespectandfairplay.com/Ah I would PAY them to shut up! 

And I know I said I’d try to do better http://advantagesofmutualrespectandfairplay.com/2010/10/09/what-i-have-written-i-have-written/ but this show makes it extremely difficult.

What does being “sexy” have to do with running for the Presidency of the United States?  Yuck.

Pelosi’s cause for illegals is for the Democratic vote and nothing more.  Bill is right, take religion out or leave it in.  You can’t have it both ways.

Barney Frank should be held accountable, but nobody talks about that except Bill O’Reilly

Whoppi has gas, she needs to blow it out her ass.  You asked for an opinion, Bill is trying to explain why he thinks the chasm is growing between the President and the American people and you freak?  Joy has no couth, walk off when your guest is trying to back up what he said after you want proof?  Dumb ass.

Anyway, I say good for Bill O’Reilly.  You have to admire him for continually coming back on the View.  I will read his book.

peace.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4375328/a-view-of-the-view-one-day-later/

a little sad today

August 14, 2010

It has been overcast all morning long. I’ve been watching the neighbors across the street packing up to move. I feel badly because I have lived here a full year and I never got around to crossing the street to introduce myself.  I tell myself that he could have very easily crossed over to have met me (and since he was here when I arrived that would have been the neighborly thing to do) but now it is just one of those things.

My neighbor across the street has a wife and children.  As they load up their belongings I have seen what appears to be family and friends show up to help.  Moving is such a hassle.  And here it is just three weeks before school starts again.  I wonder what his family was like.  I’ve seen the kids out playing in the yard.  Seen his wife come home with the groceries.  I’ve even said “good morning” to him or “How’s it going?” as we each have left for our respective jobs, but I don’t even know his name.

It seems odd to me that they’d be moving in the middle of the month.  It couldn’t be because the rent was past due because that usually qualifies as a “midnight move-out”, slipping away with a frantic blitz of activity to avoid being detected by the landlord.  I know a lot about that.  When I was a kid my step-father frequently drank up his paycheck to the point that there was no food in the house and we couldn’t pay the bills.  I never knew from one day to the next whether we’d be at a certain local long enough to call a place “home”.   Nope.  My neighbor’s move is being done in broad daylight.

Maybe he got a promotion and has decided he wants better digs.  He could be one of those people who has won the lottery and is trying to remain low key until he relocates.  Maybe his wife’s mother is sick and they decided to move closer in order to be there for her during her time of need.  Perhaps the children have reached the age where each requires his own room and they just need a bigger place.  It is sitting here fabricating these different scenarios that has put me in the doldrums.

Even my BB has felt this way as she confides in me.  “I feel like going over and wishing them well, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it.”  I agreed with her.  “Yeah, it might come across like you’re glad to see them go.”  “Yes,” she says, “so sad.”  But now I reason within myself, why do we feel sad?  Maybe this move is a good thing for them.

But in reality I think I know the reason and it pains me to have to admit it.  Even with my lack of direct participation I have placed myself in line with the rest of the neighborhood’s residents.  Because I have tried to be friendly towards those on the left and right of our rented house and been met with indifference.  This is not a friendly neighborhood.  Perhaps if I had crossed the street I could have made it seem a little more so, but I waited for someone else to approach me first.  Those I have made the effort with have made it seem bothersome, like I had an ulterior motive.  As if the next time I showed up I would ask them to borrow their lawnmower or a cup of sugar or something equally invasive and annoying.  So I shrank back, too.  I turned inward.

I’ll be sorry to see my neighbor leave.  I imagine as I see their mini-van’s tailights disappear down the street and around the corner for the last time I will still ponder about where they’ll end up.  I see this as a lost potential.  Somehow deep inside I grieve a bit.  I picture myself seeing them somewhere in the future, like at the supermarket or down at the park.  Should I go up and introduce myself then?  “Hi, I’m the guy who lived across the street from you before you moved.  Sorry I didn’t catch your name before?”  No.  I wouldn’t do that.  Maybe I’d just say “good morning” or “How’s it going?”

I wouldn’t want to appear un-friendly.

 peace.

Sometimes I sits and think…

August 1, 2010

I have been reading a most excellent book, girls on the edge by Leonard Sax.  I am about halfway through it now and it has been very informative.   http://leonardsax.com/

I’ll admit that I probably was not the greatest parent, though I did the best I could with my limited knowledge and ability.  This second time around with my BB and her children I feel I would like to do better, but here’s the rub…

Kids will still be kids and parents (including step-parents) have the cards stacked against them.  It is a difficult task being a friend/mentor/counselor/guardian/disciplinarian/confidant in a world that portrays us as less than intelligent.  If you find this is true in your case, try a copy of one of Dr. Sax’s books. 

I highly recommend him. 

peace.

What You Need…

July 17, 2010

Surprise!  Your momma was right!  Better eat your vegetables… ?gt1=43001  but oops!  somebody forgot to put the nutrients in!

Doesn’t that just beat all?  The good ol’ days were really good…

and good for us, too.  Seems like today we just are not getting what we need.

So this morning as I contemplate my second cup of tea, I wonder about what other things were better for us when we should have eaten our veggies…

1)  Music was better.  But don’t take my word for it, ask the recording industry.  Record sales have plummeted  recently and plug my ears with nostalgia but I gotta think it has to do with content.  Better music means more satisfied ears.  I keep telling RIAA executives this, but they don’t listen.  They are not giving us what we need.

2)  Automobiles were more interesting and friendlier, too.  It used to be you could tell a Ford from a Chevy at a glance.  Cars seemed to be made stronger, too.  I remember jumping up and down on the hood of our car when I was a kid and nobody thought a thing of it.  Backing into another car meant merely a “kiss” of the bumpers, you could lay down in the back seat and the trunk was large enough to rival a wading pool.  In fact, I think we filled ours on occasionally hot summer days in order to cool off.

  Simple transportation is what we need.

3)  Fashion.  Well, fashion is a funny thing.  Get some fool to wear a visor backwards and upside down then the world follows like he’s the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

One artist claims another is a copycat whilst archive footage reveals THAT artist ripping off another previous to her.

lady-gaga-gets-a-dventurously-intimate-wrassles-with-madonna-on-snl-1.html

 I use the term artist loosely… (see #1 above)

But fashion is one of those things that never go out of style.  Old is new and vintage is hip.  I remember when you had to wear out your jeans in order to have them faded, ripped and thread bare… now you can buy them that way.  It is almost as if fashion can’t wait.  I saw some knee-high lace up boots advertised for fall this morning, ugh! can you imagine? 

 The things we do to look good but is it really what we need?

4)  Money.  Remember when money was really something?  I mean, win a million dollars and you were set for life.

Millionaire-pets.aspx?cp-documentid=24877154&imageindex=1&cp-searchtext=richest%20pets

Nowadays millions are not enough.  8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx  Money can tear families apart.108590 or turn friends into enemies. crime  Still you gotta think, what’s wrong with money?

A devalued currency in the U.S. has made the Canadian dollar stronger while China blossoms into a financial juggernaut.  Remember the good ol’ days when our greenbacks were backed by gold and silver?  Substantial backing meant strong consumer confidence.  This Federal Reserve note business is a jinx.  It does not give us what we need. 

5)  Health.  There is an old saying that “health is wealth” and the key to happiness is longevity but it seems we are less healthy now than any time in our history.  Though our average life span has risen substantially, health issues are a multi-billion dollar industry. 

Some people blame the food we eat.  So are we living longer, unhealthier lives?  See the advertisements on T.V.?  Ask your doctor then get a second opinion?  Can we really buy better health? ?Do-We-Really-Need-to-Take-Vitamins-for-Our-Health?&id=1066888  Seems like a “pair of docs” to me. articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100260381>1=31036 

6)  Politics.  Do we all agree that our political system sucks? (see the post, un-American activities )  I have advocated a strong 3rd party on this blog for a while now. (see the post, Have a little cake with your Tea Party? )  I think it is past due.  When our society has to choose between the “best of the worst” it is no wonder that people get fed up.  Our political system has sunk into such a quagmire that our faith in our politicians has been shaken down to the roots.  Are we doomed to be lost in a vacuum that continues to draw out the worst in us?  When citizens view their representatives with contempt, that form of government is clearly not giving them what they need.

7)  Religion.  They say two things you cannot discuss with people are politics and religion.  I think that is wrong.  Politics and religion are the bond that holds a society together.  When either falter, the people suffer.  We can have our own views, ideas, beliefs and faith as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of another having their freedom of choice in kind.  You may have your moral convictions, but others have the same path they must travel to come by those beliefs.  If there is a God, we should all try to immolate His qualities of Love, Patience and Tolerance.  Because, as the Bible says, if God looked for perfection, who of us could stand before Him? (see the post, Does God Hate Haiti? )  If a religion divides us, that congregation does not have the teachings that we need.

So what is it that we really need besides better vegetables?

Maybe we need to laugh more and not take ourselves too seriously.  Let things roll off our backs and be satisfied with what we need rather than dwell on the things we want.  Have a little more faith in our fellow man.  Try some kindness and treat people the way we would want to be treated.   

This old world can be like a used car salesman telling you this and selling you that to the point that we are never happy with having just what we need.

  Ultimately, walking is safer and better for you.

peace.