Monday, August 28, 2006

Good Vibrations!

©2006 The Pyramid Collection
Click on picture for larger image.

I was thumbing through a catalogue my wife got on Saturday. It's from The Pyramid Collection, subtitled "A Catalog Of Personal Growth & Exploration."

Hey, explore this! A nifty little set of battery-operated fingertip vibrators for only $19.95. Could the person who translated the name of this item from the original Japanese (if it was translated) been amused or aware of how the name Fukuoku looks to American eyes? It's a perfect name for what it is.

Personally, I'd also like to explore the spider web dress and thigh-highs on just the right black widow.

They've even got a video of nude aerobics from the pornmeister, Ron Harris. I'm sure that'll be a big seller from those interested in self-exploration.

Considering the innocuous cover of this catalogue, there are quite a few little surprises inside.

Ciao for now, El Postino

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ring, Ring Goes The Bell...

School starts on Monday. Even without a calendar I'd always be able to tell when school is starting because the kids start hanging around the school and playground. They ride their bikes in the parking lots, kind of circling around, like they're reacquainting or re-acclimating themselves. Maybe they're telling themselves what I told myself many, many years ago: this year I'll do better. This year I'll do my assignments the night they're assigned and not the morning they are due. This year I'll be quieter in class, less of a class clown (maybe most kids don't need to remind themselves of that, since there is usually only one class clown per classroom). This year I'll be popular, this year I'll get a girlfriend, this year I'll write a book, this year I'll fly into outer space, this year I'll become a secret agent, a popular cartoonist, a star of my own TV sitcom, a superhero like Batman, or a rich person like Uncle Scrooge with a money bin full of ca$h.

Or not.

I'll be anything this school year but I won't plan for what I'll end up being, a guy who drives a truck for the school district and is reminded constantly that lives often don't go as we wish them to go.


I checked in with another blog I read occasionally, Bored Housewife. Lisa is a young woman with a successful husband and twin boys. She is a vivid writer, but sometimes her blogs can get more stream-of-consciousness than I like. Still, I enjoy most of her jottings and skip past the prattling to get to the sexy parts. Lisa's blog led me to a blog I also enjoy, Rachel Stephens Photography. Rachel takes pictures of women in all of their sumptuous and gorgeous glory. I think women take better pictures of women than men do. Women know the inner woman, the real sensuous being inside a woman better than men do. Men project their fantasies to the outside of a woman, women project from the inside. Something like that, anyway. Check out this blog, because Rachel takes some really nice pictures.


In my secret identity as an eBay seller I occasionally get a nice letter from a satisfied customer. Last week I got a note from a former Playboy Bunny thanking me for selling her a couple of 1979 issues of Playboy, because a friend of hers, now deceased, was in one of the issues. So now I can say, I satisfied a Playboy Bunny!

Ciao for now, El Postino

Monday, August 21, 2006

Prison Break Is Broken

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I gave the Fox show Prison Break one more chance, watching the second season opener tonight. My AD/HD was really apparent during the show. I couldn't sit still, jumping up several times to go check my e-mail, downstairs to throw a load of wash into the dryer, into the bathroom to count my gray hairs.

My wife noticed, "You can't sit still during the show, but you're watching the commercials. Isn't that the opposite of what everyone else does?"

I answered, "At least the commercials make sense."

I'd been hoping that Prison Break would start making sense to me, or that I could start to care about the characters. I watched five or six episodes of the show last season and gave up. There wasn't much about it that I thought was good. The premise is completely silly, the acting is wooden, the characters aren't interesting or likable. Are you getting the drift of where I'm going with this?

I thought maybe once they actually made the break of the title that maybe the lead guy, Michael, played by Wentworth Miller, might smile. But no. I've seen more expressions on cigar store Indians. That guy has what you call chiseled features…chiseled into one look which covers everything: anger, joy, love…

But the one thing that absolutely sank the show for me, the reason I'll never watch it again is, they killed off the character played by Robin Tunney. Guys, in Robin you had a beautiful woman who can act, even though it's apparently not necessary to act to be in a Fox Network program. So, bah, I hope you all go back to prison. Can't be soon enough for me.

Oh yeah, I heard some lines somewhere in the story about them heading for the "desert of Utah" to look for something. Ha-ha. Utah has a lot of desert. I mean, a lot. Where would you like to start?


Here's a picture of my granddaughter, Gabby, with the popular Vietnamese singer, Bao Han, who appeared at the Vietnamese Fair here on Sunday. Bao is one beautiful woman, and she sings pretty good, too. You can check out this video with another popular singer, Loan Chau. It's very traditional in style, very beautiful and elegant.

Ciao for now, El Postino

Sunday, August 20, 2006 It Up...

I was talking with a Special Ed teacher I've known for many years, explaining to her about my coworker, who I'm sure has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. I talked to him about it two years ago and said he'd probably be in less trouble with our boss if he did something about it. He never has and he's still in constant trouble.

The teacher friend looked at me and said, "Have you considered that you might also have AD/HD?" She said it in her own gentle way, but she could have sucker-punched my kidney and it would have been less of a blow.

I again looked up AD/HD online and read about it. Two years ago I saw my coworker as the person with the disorder, now I see myself. Sometimes it takes a third party to make you see yourself as you really are. My symptoms are not as bad as my coworker's, so it hasn't taken over my life, but I see that I have definitely had Attention Deficit Disorder during the course of my life. It made a lot of things about me click into place and suddenly make sense.

Will I do anything about it? I'll talk to my doc about it when I see her for my yearly this fall and see what she says.


In my last blog I showed an ad for a photography studio that poses your kids with Jesus. I found some other things online, all of them that a devoutly religious Christian would find upsetting at Archie McPhee. A Jesus nodder? The only thing missing from the bunch are Jesus and Mary salt-and-pepper shakers.

People in the Muslim world rioted over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, but while some Christian religious people would find these Jesus caricatures offensive, this is still America where we're all allowed to be offensive.


I went to a family reunion for my wife's family yesterday. It was a luau, pool party, lots of food, talking to people I only see at functions like this--or at funerals. Three of my wife's cousins and I were standing poolside chatting when my wife's cousin, Cindy, came over to us, looked at four middle-aged guys with white beards and Hawaiian shirts and said, "You guys look like the Beach Boys."

It was a lot different when we met 40 years ago in high school, when we were all trying to look like The Beatles.


Finally, I'm not listening to The Beatles or Beach Boys this week, but to another old-timer, John Fogerty. After decades of lawsuits and countersuits over the rights to his songs, he has resolved that and is back with Fantasy Records. This record is a compilation of hits by Creedence Clearwater Revival and some of John's more recent work, mixing in live and classic tracks. It's wonderful to hear Fogerty in such strong voice, still rockin' out at age 61.

It's also interesting to hear great songs like "Who'll Stop The Rain?" and "Fortunate Son," both antiwar songs of their day, become relevant again, 35 years on. Timeless stuff like this will always be relevant.

For all that, the song on the album I find most affecting is "Centerfield." That song is poignant to me and it makes me smile; it is a very optimistic song, using baseball and a guy who is "ready to play, today," as a metaphor for starting over. Fogerty wrote it years ago, but I hope it means something different to him now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Have Your Picture Taken With Jesus

Click on picture for full-size image.

I'm not religious, but I find this ad from a local ad flyer over the top, even for an area mostly populated by Mormons. Have your kids' picture taken with Jesus? I thought the department store Santa Claus at Christmas was going too far--promoting the idea that there is a man somewhere wanting to know what you want, and willing to give it to you--and now we have pictures of your children with "the Savior."

Lord save us all.


I haven't written in a few days. It's because of the dog days of summer. I ain't just a'woofin', but I feel the heat and all I want to do is lie down in the shade and pant.

The days start out hot, then in the afternoon clouds boil up from the south. We get some lightning, some thunder, occasionally some rain or hail, but mostly it just makes the hot air muggy. In the desert where we live people like to say, "But at least it's a dry heat." Ah, so what. Hot's hot.


Along the lines of the Jesus ad above, here's a picture of Homeland Security Director, Michael Chertoff, from Saturday, August 12. "St. Michael, deliver us from the terrorists that come from the sky." A very apt picture, don't you think?

Ciao for now, El Postino

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Funny Dick

Click on picture for full-size image.

See funny Dick.

Dick is a joker. See Dick at work.

See him put Vaseline on doorknobs. See him put salt in the sugar bowl on the lunchroom table.

Funny, funny Dick!

Dick bought a fake hand grenade. He got it from an ad.

See Dick do what the ad says. He threw it when his coworkers were standing around having break.

See Dick now standing around in the unemployment line.

Funny, funny, jobless Dick!

See Dick at the airport.

Dick tried to sneak the hand grenade on a plane as a joke.

Naughty, naughty Dick! See Homeland Security see Dick!

See Dick in Guantanamo.

Sad, sad, funny Dick.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Oops. Been caught, huh?

What I want to know is, if there was all this publicity about Lance Armstrong being accused of doping before his first win at Tour de France, if there is common knowledge that testing is done after the race, after the win, then why the hell would a guy risk it? Is the win worth the public humiliation afterwards?

Some folks apparently don't know shit from this stuff.
Ciao for now, El Postino

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cool Cash

You couldn't grow up in America in the past 45 years without hearing Johnny Cash on radio or TV. He had a persona that transcended his early rockabilly or country image. However, I never paid a lot of attention to Cash because he was just there, just like Ray Charles was just there, or the Kinks or The Who were "just there."

It wasn't until I read some reviews of Cash's album American Music IV: The Man Comes Around that I started to pay attention. When I listened to it for the first time I was deeply moved by both the choice of material and by Cash's sense of his own mortality.

So I was pleasantly surprised this summer by the release of American Music V: A Hundred Highways. I didn't know there was more material that Cash had recorded before his death. I understand there's even enough for a sixth CD next year.

That's good news for both of us: those of you who have been lifelong Johnny Cash fans, and those of us, like me, slow to appreciate him.

Cash's voice varies in quality from track to track on American Music V (as was the case with IV), and the best songs are those where he is in a voice closer to the one familiar to all of us from the songs "I Walk The Line" or "Folsom Prison Blues." Producer Rick Rubin should take a lot of credit, because the arrangements and interpretations of each song spotlights Cash's strong points, even when his voice isn't at full strength.

I bought American Music V a few weeks ago and it's been in more or less permanent rotation in my car CD player ever since. My favorite songs are his own song, "Like The 309," and Don Gibson's "A Legend In My Time." I don't dislike any of the songs on the CD, and coming up a close second as favorites are "Love's Been Good To Me," which I was shocked to see was written by the old schmaltzmeister Rod McKuen. "Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson (was the original by Ian and Sylvia? I've forgotten) is also a great cover.

Sometimes I've heard a song hundreds of times and I've stopped listening, if you know what I mean. That would describe "If You Could Read My Mind," Cash's cover of the old Gordon Lightfoot song. I liked it by Lightfoot, but Cash's version, quavering voice and all, has made me really hear it for the first time in years. That's the beauty of a great cover version. You have something very familiar reinterpreted, and made new.

In my local newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, music critic Dan Nailen, who also reviews punk rock, rap, hard rock and music I don't even try to describe, gave this CD an outstanding review. Paraphrasing him, he mentioned that there would be another CD next year and said if the material was as strong as this CD then Johnny Cash went out pretty close to the top of his game. Because of his background in rock the reviewer reminded me that there are really no genres for an artist like Johnny Cash; it's just American music.

What it's done for me is make me appreciate and listen to a very important artist, but one I'd been mostly ignoring for decades. My loss, but I'm trying to catch up!

Ciao for now, El Postino

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cool Will Rule

The heat wave that has been hanging around the Western U.S. for a couple of weeks has moved East. Sorry, Midwesterners and Easterners and Southerners, Mr and Mrs North and South America and all the ships at sea…now you'll see what we've been going through for most of July. It's been 100º or better for quite a while, a couple of days hitting around the 105º or 107º range. I know that doesn't seem like much to you folks in Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona, where you put on your winter coats if it gets under 95º, but to me, descendent of Northern Europeans who spent thousands of years in their frigid climes freezing their asses, 100º is just too damn hot.


Monday was my mom's 85th birthday. She's in an Alzheimer's care center, where she's lived the past two years. Despite the fact that Mom sometimes knows us and sometimes doesn't, despite her not being able to walk since breaking her hip in April, 2004, despite the fact she mistakes me for my dad with whom she had major issues, she seems to be doing very well.

She's well medicated. She's on an anti-psychotic for her paranoid delusions, she's on the antidepressant, Zoloft, she's on Ambien so she can sleep at night (insomnia has always plagued Mom, and unfortunately, I inherited that tendency), she's on three Lortabs a day to manage her pain, and Aricept to slow down the process of her disease. Mom likes to sit in the hallway and watch the world go by. She has the proverbial three hots and a cot, like we used to say in the army. She has no responsibilities, she can participate in activities or not, she has my brother visiting her every day. Her daily life is not empty, as we tend to think life in a nursing home would be.

We visited her on Sunday, taking our 19-month-old granddaughter, Bella. Bella is a big hit in the nursing home, but all of the people making over her scare her. She's a good sport to put up with it for a while, but after that she wants to get out of there.

Today one of the secretaries I work with told me her husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I feel very sorry for her; it's a long road to travel, and always comes out a dead end.

Despite all of that, Happy Birthday, Mom! I know you won't be reading this, and even if someone reads it to you it won't mean anything, but I hope you had a happy day.


I found this VIP cartoon which with a few pen lines and pithy one-line caption perfectly captures my paranoid boss.

Ciao for now, El Postino