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Sunday, September 28, 2008

economist/journalist jimmy smith talks economics on a haircut blog

jimmy smith has a solution for the economic problems now being faced. read on . . . the economic mess this country is in . . . how did it happen? jimmy smith remembers when folks began to favor foreign automobiles. they bought and they bought foreign cars . . . and where did the money go? overseas. atlanta once had three automobile assembly plants and now atlanta has none. the once-big-three barely hang-on. chrysler needed a government bailout - only to be acquired by the germans. growing up, jimmy smith remembers everyone had a favorite pickup truck - be it ford or chevy. and everyone had a loyalty to a gasoline brand - gulf, or texaco, or standard, or amoco, or sinclair, or pure, or . . . and how many brands remain? and how many that are left are american owned? not gulf (bp). not amoco (american oil company, right?) . and all this foreign oil . . . watching our money go overseas to people that don't like us is not reasonable. and congress is impotent. and beer, yes, beer . . . budweiser, and miller, and coors . . . now foreign owned. really, really, impotent. millions of illegals consuming and consuming and consuming our resources - working for american wages - and sending their paychecks back home. that money is leaving the united states, too. and all this buying goods from china - while american owned companies are forced to close . . . americans are allowing the country's wealth to go out the window. even the 7-11 is foreign owned (true, has been managed by foreigners forever). and a good humor bar is no longer american. and who makes nestle's crunch? hmmm . . . and who brags on american cheese anymore? now, jimmy smith, being ugandan, has no grudge against foreigners but enough is enough. soon, our banks and investment houses will be owned by foreigners. we finance now with foreign capital. we buy foreign airplanes and all the while our aircraft industry falters. our troops wear uniforms made in china. every decent piece of electronics comes from japan, jimmy smith remembers the first transistor radios from japan - made from an old tin can. quite frankly, america is letting its wealth get away. the oil fiasco is significant case in point. and now the crux of this post . . . what can be done? jimmy smith sees parallels with the grand old game. fix the game and fix the economy! To wit: (1) eliminate the designated hitter. things have not been right in this country since introduction of the designated hitter. (2) no more wild card and 5-game playoff series. threw everything off kilter. (3) regular season inter-league play must end. something is and has been wrong about this. these simple steps, along with an entirely new congress and a re-written tax code, might right the wrongs now being suffered. this is enough for now. jimmy smith will not go into what jimmy smith thinks about a braves season with 90 losses.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Plato's Place

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Plato's Academy
The Old Barbershop, circa 300 b.c. ... its first proprietor was also the founder of the Democratic Party though I understand he didn't attend this year's convention, some say it was due to gas prices but, I don't think he was invited ... nice fellow by the name of Democritus, though his shop didn't really start out having no name. Methinks you'll recognize the names of some the lead barbers during those early days: Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Parmenides, Xenophanes, and Socrates. Plato watched Socrates who taught him everything he knew about cutting hair ... turned the shop over to Plato and went fishing with Isaac Newton. Plato designed a complete set of new bowls ... of different sizes and shapes, and some high quality cutting tools too ... truly an advancement in the technology of the day ... and, man could he cut hair ... that was in about 387 b.c., based on some of his manuscripts recently sold on EBAY, that were so dated. He got so famous that the shop became known as Plato's Place, and the lead barbers that followed were famous too ... Speusippus, Xenocrates, Polemon, Crates, and Crantor ... every one a member of the Barbering School Hall of Fame. Aristotle was a long time patron, cut a good head of hair, and made the hall too, but was never the Place's lead barber. Arcesilaus bought out Plato's Place in 265 b.c. ... remodeled and renamed it "The New Barbershop" ... ever since then, folks have referred to Plato's Place as "The Old Barbershop" ... it was before my time but folks say Plato hung a sign over the door to his Place ... "No free Hair Cuts" ... no, methinks that was something Polonius said to Laertes ... Plato's sign supposedly read "Let no one who cannot think geometrically enter". We looked for that sign all over shop ... even under the floor and in the attic ... never did find it ... but, back in the Back Room under all the trash was a battered old sign ... so caked with dirt and crud that you couldn't even tell it was a sign ... not until we used some ST37 to clean it up ... "No Free Hair Cuts" ... it's true! we checked the county records and they show that Laertes owned the old barbershop long before John bought it. Dang! Double Dang!! Well that's a mighty valuable artifact ... and it would be neat to use it, but like Cato's father, John thought it best that we hone our skills and get more patrons before adopting such a rule. Most folks would've been satisfied but finding that old sign really piqued my interest and I renewed the search for other treasures ... more money in finding such things than in barbering, methinks ... and besides, no folks to get mad when you snip off a piece of their ear. I finally found what I was looking for ... that's right, the ancient old sign that Plato hung up in the shop, back when it first opened ... "never give up" ... no, that's what I say, not the sign ... the sign reads "Let no unfair or unjust person enter" ... well, that's not exactly what folks thought it said ... but it was Greek to them so they didn't really know. It's been said by some, and I'm sure thought by others, that I live in an Ivory Tower ... 'tis true! ... No, not that I live in a tower made of ivory, though George would say that's better than pearl ... but that some have so said, as others have so thought. Yes, I misuse and abuse the language ... sometimes even intentionally ... but, even were that not the case, folks usually see and hear what they expect and/or desire. Where am I headed? ... only Mr. Cranston knows for sure, and he hasn't told me a thing ... there may be some misdirection for effect, but chances are it'll simply be me getting my bearings and changing course ... gee, haw, mush, whoa!
Please download Java(tm). Sometimes I think all great thoughts have done been thunk ... and all great deeds done been did ... Methinks it's as easy to become victimized by an overwhelming sense of irrelevance as it is by an unwarranted sense of relevance or self-importance ... I'm not sure which claims more victims, but there are a whole bunch of us that have tasted both ... that's for sure! ... I've been thinking some about history ... The Christmas Stealer is writing about it ... The "Weed's" dad is teaching it ... and we're all living it, whether or not we so realize. And, from a baseball perspective, it appears that the Braves are it ... history. What we are, we are ... what we've been is history ... what we're going to be ... and do ... is history waiting to be written. As a result of what is, it's anticipated that massive changes are in store for the Braves ... we've already had some ... Tex and Kotsay are history ... we're seeing others ... and more are yet to come, or so methinks ... Conventional wisdom? ... bah, humbug! ... Dang, Double Dang! ... Oh the humanity!! ... There's nothing wrong with the Braves!! With the injuries, we could use some pitching perhaps, but we can win it all, mostly with what we've got ... it's not a matter of money ... the talent hasn't disappeared ... it's the heart, soul, leadership and those things above the neck that need fixing! We're still on the outside looking in ... but, close your eyes, use your ken ... there's nothing wrong with your vision, the picture's crystal clear ... No, I don't think this is about baseball ... maybe, but rather what we've been ... what we are ... and what we can or will be. Mama always said ... and Daddy agreed ... first impressions are important, only in that they're hard to overcome ... and Daddy emphasized that it may take a man some time to establish his good reputation ... but only a moment to destroy it! I can attest to the validity of that ... and so can many of you, including Bobby Cox and the Braves, methinks ... at least one or two Understood perhaps by few, and rejected by those who are victims of an unwarranted sense of self, is that we ourselves are the ones most responsible for the perceptions held of us by others ... Regarding the changing of perceptions held by others, Mama said "tain't easy McGee" Fibber McGee... after the 'Fibber' ... "but, telling folks they're wrong is a knife that ain't gonna cut soft butter, much less the cake" ...
Speaking of which ... I can attest to that too ... My abilities at self-expression are admittedly limited, and my bouts of "hoof-in-mouth" disease are infamous in some circles ... as are my attempts to explain my intent and/or rationale ... but, underpinning it all were and are good intentions, at least I so rationalize, and do certainly so hope ...
No, tain't easy McGee, but it's a ride that's been worth the taking, methinks ... and I'm appreciative of all who have tried to understand ... I'm especially appreciative of the few crazies who have an understanding and appreciation of my distorted sense of humor and what I sometimes try to seriously convey ... and all the resulting friendships, goodness ... This isn't where I was headed ... how did I get here? ... or is it hear?
Yes, the insights, imagination and wit of the Ugandan journalist of Cordele ... these are among my most favorite things. Like the wonderful Sarah Cannon said more often than Redundant Robert debased Bobby Cox, "Howdeeee! I'm jest so proud to be here!" with these two unbelievable talents ... and if that sounds contrived to you, then kiss my grits! No, I wouldn't wish my grits on anyone ... I don't eat 'em myself ... but, it's true, every word, give or take a lie or two!
Some may wonder, given his history, how it is that "sja" received total and unequivocal acceptance from Bob, journalist ... he who demanded strict adherence to a standard of behavior deemed unrealistic by most ... while others did not? Have you ever pondered that? ... I'm sure some have ... their conclusions would be most interesting ... Could be it's because we're so much alike ... or maybe that opposites attract .. I'll never tell ... We're all unique ... it's just that John and Jimmy are so much more unique than others! It's hard to comprehend such creative genius ... but it's awfully easy to enjoy! ... The original Bob, journalist was far more of a character than a mask ... though that was never understood, for better or for worse, regardless of repeated efforts to make it clear. However, the preoccupation with the importance of understanding meaning, motivation and intent rather than words was, and is, me. That I psychoanalyze is both a misconception and a joke ... indeed, it's something about which I know nothing ... but I do know the "why" is usually more important than the "what" ... as is effective use of the third eye and ear more important than the use of the other two, or so methinks. Excluding those most severely victimized by an overwhelming sense of irrelevance, most of what the majority of us do is either agenda or self-interest driven ... that's both good and bad depending on how well it's kept in proper perspective, or so I honestly believe ... of course I do support some agendae, oppose others ... stand up, stand up I say ... for that in which you believe ... better that than staying seated, methinks ... the King of England and taxes you know. It seems to me that among those many forces deep down inside that causes John to be what he is ... is a true blue, foursquare compulsion ... God didn't pass that around to everybody. For some, nay for many, friendships are a matter of convenience ... friends are but bedfellows based on agenda, and when the chips are down or adversity must be faced, those folks come up short, or at least those friendships become fractured ... not so with John ... John has that compulsion while most of us do not ... perhaps he does because we don't ... I believe we should, but I'm not sure it's a reasonable expectation. Compulsion or no, my friendships are not agenda based, and I treasure my friends ... all of them ... I'm somehow reminded of having once been told of someone's disappointment in my liking folks who didn't like them ... 'twas the wrong thing to say! ...
I talk a lot about mirrors and self-portraits ... the perception that others have is one thing, how we see ourselves is another. The notion of mirrors and ; Registration code (if you have it) ; Reglink opened in new frame? ; Name of new frame for reglink ; resolution (1-8) ; pause (value = milliseconds). ; Num. of horizontal tiles ; Num. of vertical tiles ; Num. steps for tile rotation (8 .. 32) ; Optional background image ; Red in background (0 .. 255) ; Green in background (0 .. 255) ; Blue in background (0 .. 255) ; Optional image over applet ; Over image X offset ; Over image Y offset ; Memory deallocation delay ; Task priority (1..10) ; Min. milliseconds/frame for sync Please download Java(tm). self-portraits ... seemed rather easy to grasp ... but, when you try to grab hold of it, things just ain't as simple as they might seem, ... danged if some self-portraits aren't almost photographic in their reproduction while some mirrors give distorted renderings of reality. It's not enough to just use any old mirrors for reflection ... they must be of the right stuff and kind. I talk a lot about things of which I know nothing too, but if I didn't, I wouldn't have anything to say ... it's another thing that differentiates John from most methinks ... His ability to reflect and look deep down inside ... and to be honest with himself ... is rare ... at least my experience has been that most either cannot or are unwilling to so do ... it is not coincidence that Polonius, a secondary character, is among the best remembered of the Bard's creations ... for his advice to Laertes ... to thine own self be true ... Most of us hear it ... then knowingly nod, hardly giving it another thought ... but, nothing much compares with it's profundity ... Why? Methinks it's because of recognition, not only of it's importance, but also it's rarity as an innate quality ... and for those who try, the difficulty lies within it's effecting ... I'm envious ... true blue and foursquare John .. who knows himself so well ... it's that for which I strive but fail ... It's true that I sometimes take license when referring to Mama ... but, my mother is the picture I try to paint ... she admonished me, it seems like 10,000 times, when I articulated my weaknesses, limitations and faults ... that's my boy you're talking about ... careful what you say! ... She did more than that when others joined in and articulated my weaknesses, limitations and faults! ... This was my perception of true blue and foursquare John ... but after so writing and reflecting, I'm not sure that I can answer the question ... but it was rather obvious that he was something other than how he was being perceived ... that he was honest, consistent and opposed to apathy was the impression I then shared with others. But, I can assure you that I am sure that he is that ... that, and oh so much more! ... John's my friend, Jimmy too ... so careful what you say! ... PoloniusMother knew Polonius ... and agreed with him too ... though she would loan anyone in need anything she had, without expectation of it being returned, including money. Like Houseman's wisdom ... Mama's words weren't truly appreciated until long after they were received .. though they were the topic of frequent discussion ... Being true to yourself ... knowing yourself .. the individual behind the many masks ... it's a rare gift, perhaps the rarest of all .. the trick methinks, is knowing how to use it ... Knowing who and what we are ... recognizing our limitations ... shortcomings ... and weaknesses ... that's power that the majority of humanity does not possess. Unfortunately, those few so gifted frequently turn it into a liability rather than an asset. They allow the realization of their limitations ... shortcomings ... weaknesses ... and past failures or rejections to give them fear of failure rather than confidence in success as it should ... and when adversity is encountered, they see history repeating itself ... oftentimes giving up in frustration rather than defining and addressing the problems ... Those who confuse self-portraits with mirrors admire themselves and blindly go forth with total confidence, for they believe they possess all the answers, usually surrounding themselves with non-threatening, kindred spirits ... they are the truly enlightened! ... Say it ain't so Joe! ...
Back to the trick ... Thanks to Prince Albert Gore's invention ... Internet's Fatherthat which he purloined from Vinton Cerf methinks ... everyone has a potential audience of millions ... nay, billions I say ... and with such potential, folks can easily get disciples and a flock, no matter what it is they're preaching ... Polonius ... Mama ... Jesus Christ ... and the Dalai Lama too ... they each said ... to thine own self be true! In plain talk, don't apostatize! Mama's admonishment was out of concern that I would allow critical self-evaluation to undermine my self-confidence, thus preventing me from being all that I could be ... and though I protested, methinks her concerns were probably well justified ... just think, I coulda been a contender ... I coulda been somebody! I'm uncertain of where I was going and not really sure of where I've been ... but here we are, right back where we started again ... Yes, "TheOldBarbershop" is about history too ... we are what we are as a result of our experiences ... history ... views ... interests ... memories ... stories ... decisions ... beliefs ... our likes and dislikes too ... all reflect our past history ... I hope others will share theirs with us ... in so doing, they'll be making history too ... TheOldBarbershop is diverse from most ... or I would so hope ... if not, you can rest assured that's it's soon going to be. "No Free Hair Cuts Here" ... well, maybe one or two, but everybody carries his weight ... but our sign, all polished up and ready to be hung, is the one methinks Plato first so did, right here in the shop some 875,000 days ago, give or take a few ... "Let no unfair or unjust person enter." No, we ain't replacing no mirrors ... though we're going to watch them close ...Jimmy, John and Me and if you can't think geometrically, that's okay ... the three of us can't cut hair neither, were it not for the bowls, but as you can see ... it was that or jail for Jimmy, John and me! It's done wonders for us too ... I've slept at the Holiday Inn twice, methinks John's becoming more famous than Chill Wills and jimmy smith is now a serious contender for the Presidency! Which one is which? ... Mr. Cranston ain't talking and my lips are sealed but now who do you think might have a whig to throw in the ring?
We truly love baseball and our team(s) and that will always be on the agenda ... but for goodness sake, there are so many Braves' blogs already out there ... and Tigers ... and Mets ... and Yankees ... and Cards ... and Orioles too, just to name a few ... The Proprietor's vision is to feature a flow of diverse topics such as world affairs, politics, religion, tall tales, current events, true stories pertaining to actual life events and sports, including the Braves ... topics that aren't presently being discussed on most of the other sites, and those which may not be warmly welcomed on many others ... topics such as those you might find if you walked into an old barbershop on a busy Saturday morning ... just a friendly and lighthearted atmosphere, with everyone being equal ... simply a place where folks feel welcome and comfortable discussing whatever might be on their minds ... a place that ultimately stands on no other foundation than that of the strength of it's characters and quality of it's content ...
I strongly share and support this vision ... and while implementation will dynamically evolve, his original greeting was truly inspired ... "Welcome to "TheOldBarbershop" ... characters with character preferred, ladies too ... please take a seat and wait your turn ... leaf through a magazine or shoot the breeze with a friend ... when it's your turn in the barber's chair, be ready to share an interesting story, a tall tale or whatever is on your mind ... tips encouraged and appreciated ... no topic off-limits ... if you can't behave, use profanity, pick fights or spit on the floor you will politely be shown the door" ... John's GrandDad ... Cato's Father ... Little Walter ... jimmy smith ... Blue Worms and Baby Seals ... Little HillBilly ... "Let no unfair or unjust person enter." That means we welcome all beliefs and points of view ... just keep it fair and keep it just ... that's a must! No free haircuts except on special occasions but the candy's always on the house! No matter the grandiloquence, regardless the form ... this is what "TheOldBarbershop" is to me ... this is where my passion lies ... it's of little significance whether we have a multitude of visitors each day ... or just a few ... as one good friend said, "to thine own self be true, to hell with the naysayers!"
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The Thinker Do you know me? The intended purposes of this post are two fold ... (1) give folks a better idea of how the layout works and why I'm interested in using it ... and (2) to address my having requested help from the "Braves' Beat Blog" and "?Braves 'n Stuff", including the responses of Carolina Lady and Savannah Guy. Although there are but the two "posts" shown here, "The Old Barbershop" aka "Plato's Place" ... and this one "The Request For Help", hopefully you can see that this format allows us to feature multiple posts at one time ... as many as we like(i.e. the earlier "The Grand Old Game" Post could have been 6 different posts) ... and you will note that the comments all go the same place ... facilitating our having several topics being discussed at the same time in the Barbershop ... consistent with our vision and toward which we're aiming ... much ado perhaps, but it's one of the reasons for us to use this format on occasion. The Proprietor's Greeting lets folks know up front what we're about, and that for which we strive, and I hope those who choose to frequent the Shop will enjoy their visits, join in and help us make it the place that he envisioned. Enjoy!
#Without going deeply into the details, the development of my "The Old Barbershop" Post was both fun and frustrating ... fun because it allowed me to prove to myself that my limited skills, while in total disrepair and outmoded, could still be called from their recesses ... thanks to the help of books and the miracle of online resources. Folks know I mostly work off brain triggers, and it was fun to let my brain take the wheel and just follow where it took me ... and then the frustration started when I tried to write a script where you too could enjoy the ride. I couldn't do much, certainly nothing fancy, but It was also fun to embed applets, videos and polls into the body of the Post ... and hide stuff, that could be called upon command. That is was intended to be humorous is partially reflected in the Applet on the second page where the third of my great thinkers ... the one following Einstein and Descartes, is my father as a young man ... truly the only thing really meant to be esoteric ... but, even my brother missed it and had to be told. It was fun, but, Jimmy, John, Cato, Matt and others know of the frustration too, ... as I solicited their help on more than one occasion during the development of the first of the Posts "The Grand Old Game" ... proudly thinking that I had 'er done, I was taken aback when I tried to view it in Internet Explorer but couldn't. After much frustration, asked Cato and others to take a look and give me their feedback ... Here's the relevant part of one of my emails requesting help, back in late July ... "Would appreciate a small favor ... when convenient, would you take a look at the work site ... and tell me what you see and encounter ... it's obviously still a few days off at best ... but need to know what you see ... what I see is drastically different, depending on the computer, browser and OS used ... and I don't want to proceed without having a better idea of what folks will see. Thanks!" The responses received covered different things as the problems depended primarily on the browser, OS, and Screen Resolution of the user's computer. Cato was one of the first to respond ... "In Netscape, what I see is your article 'The Grand Old Game', text that covers a lot of ground, and pertinent photos. In IE, on both of my computers, I see nothing except the word 'TEST' and a comments option - - no article. My explanations range from full moon to empty moon, but none are authoritative. Cato The changes that had to be effected were significant and as one problem was resolved, it seemed another would rear its ugly head. John was so concerned that he asked on more than occasion if it was worth the effort, especially given my situation. Methinks it was ... but that's for others to decide... it took from late July to 17 August to resolve enough of the issues to feel reasonably comfortable publishing that first Post, though it's level of performance and compatibility was far from that intended. I've long been asking for help ... one thing's for sure, those requests weren't attempts to advertise or promote the shop! Perhaps much ado, for it wasn't that well received ... and those things thought to be obvious and/or self explanatory, were usually totally missed and/or misunderstood ... as were the real purposes of the post. Indeed, most thought it was but one page ... never read the second, and never saw the buttons for access to the other hidden sections.
The ThinkerShoes, Corns and Bunions ... How many different shoe sizes are there? Hard to say, what with all the different systems and variances by manufacturer... but, it doesn't really matter, I say if the shoe fits, ... wear it! One thing's for sure, for every size there are a whole bunch of folks wearing 'em ... problem is, footprints, like fingerprints are rather unique and as a result, a whole bunch of folks have corns and bunions too, Jimmy will vouch for that. If the shoe fits, ... then wear it, but do try it on first. That's especially true for custom shoes ... what looks to be a perfect fit for us or someone we know, may have been designed for someone else ... Tables are like shoes, methinks ... when I say table, some folks see a black maghogany, English Chippendale ... others, a walnut Sheraton ... or maybe a Hepplewhite, and no doubt some, a modern three legged thing, painted white with a glass top ... we see what we want to see, and sometimes what we don't. I once wrote a piece for the paper on Chippendale Furniture ... and, in order to meet the deadline, I called it in ... it caused quite a ruckus ... for everywhere I had said Chippendale, it read "Chip and Dale" Modern Art is like shoes too ... lots of folks are quick to tell you what it means but 'bout the only one who really knows is the artist and they're usually dead ... Shoes, tables, and art interpretation ... things with which one should not trifle ... unless you like corns and bunions. I know,"there he goes agan" ... more recondite musings ... No, it's just that private input from some of our friends of longstanding acquaintence seems to suggest that the much of the humor in my Post was pointed and directed at specifc individuals ... and that my intent and purpose lay within the onion layers. While that may appear to be the case ... and though my name isn't Joe, I was just telling you that it ain't so! ... and in the few cases where the humor is pointed, it's usually aimed at folks other than imagined. Enjoy!
Had folks gone to the second page, they would have seen ... "With all that's been going on, I ask you ... is there any wonder that the establishment of "The Old Barbershop" has gone largely unnoticed? It's only natural, what with no time for haircuts and such. Well, let's chew that rag a bit and find out what characters with character think about this baseball soap opera ... Is it really necessary that some player, coach, umpire or unfortunate fan die or become permanently injured? ... how many close calls and minor injuries have there been? ... and how many more must there be? They've found the simple and easy answer ... blame it on the Maple ... me, I blame it on vested interests and the mentality ... for the problem and the risk has long been obvious, as has their exacerbation ... and yet nothing has been done. In the coming days and weeks ahead, we'll also look back at the events of from 2002 forward ... Barry and BALCO ... the Senate Hearings ... The Mitchell Report ... Roger and Brian ... and finish where we started, ... with Barry ... should be interesting. Yes, the Old Barbershop's liable to get a mite busy over the coming days ... the boss might even have to add some chairs and start taking reservations 'cause we're gonna be scouring the countryside, here, there and everywhere ... Mexico, Japan ...even the Office of the Commissioner ... looking in the nooks and crannies and under all the rocks ... for thinking beyond their ken, Characters with Character who might enjoy visiting and sharing their thoughts on these and other issues currently facing the grand old game" Apologies for the redundancy, for those who've read the old post ... the current version has slightly diferent rhetoric ... but, yes, the Post called for discussion on the "Shattering Bats issue and outlined the plan to broaden our audience beyond that being sought by the blogs just focused on tthe Braves ... seeking Characters with Character from "here, there and everywhere ... Mexico, Japan ... even the Office of the Commissioner" ... our interest is Global, and relative to baseball ... while we follow and love the Braves, not limited to any specific team ... and certainly we're not targeting current Braves 'n Stuff participants. It also proved that, with some work, we could feature several Posts at the same time, different Barbers and Patrons, with the all comments flowing to the same place ... thus facilitating the atmosphere desired for the Shop. Indeed this piece, albeit simplistic, illustrates that possibility. However, additional testing was needed before launching any plan for reaching a broader audience ... first and foremost, modifications needed to be made to the template so that multiple script driven posts could be accessed by patrons at the same time ... I also wanted to introduce some applets ... browser issues were still being identified, and the shop still was being viewed as just another Baseball Blog. Thus, came the second of the Posts: "The Old Barbershop" ... again, fun and frustration ... choosing the "great thinkers" was a hoot, as was making a "barbershop" of Plato's Academy ... and, among other things, it gave me an opportunity to laugh at myself and to express my great admiration and respect for my two colleagues ... to test the applets, the polls, and just have some fun. It was simpler than the first post as there were no large hidden sections but, the frustration was even greater, as John and others can attest. Needless to say, there were and are many compatibility problems ... as there are so many combinations to consider. When I thought I had it ready, I again contacted those who had earlier responded with helpful input and we found that, among other things, it wouldn't even load on John's computer ... while on mine, it would freeze and crash when leaving a page containing an applet ... and on another, the hidden video on the fourth page started playing when the Post was first loaded, and of course, there problems when both Posts were up at the same time. I did my best to solve the problems we identified ... roughly 80% and, as most know, finally published the Post a couple of days ago.
The ThinkerFishing Holes ... Without question, the Old Barbershop needs and would enjoy a broader audience and it's understandable that some have, and others will, concluded that my requesting assistance from the Braves Beat Blog and Braves 'n Stuff was for the purpose of advertising and promoting The Shop ... and pragmatically, that result may have to some extent been acheived. Certainly it's common practice to advertise and promote blogs on Braves 'n Stuff, ... as others have so done but the old barbershop (this one, not the Academy) opted at the outset not to advertise on either ... didn't even publicly give out the URL ... and had never so done ... that's never ... choosing instead to directly contact those for whom we had, or were able to obtain, email addresses ... who we thought might enjoy the further scribblings of jjs, sja, and me ... or otherwise have an interest in staying in touch, inviting them to participate to the extent of their interest in so doing. Some accepted the invitation, some declined, while others didn't respond ... and the converse is true ... all who were invited were folks with whom we thought we would enjoy blogging and/or staying in touch ... and still do. That's important to consider for had I not been made to feel uncomfortable and my presence unwanted by certain elements, I would still be actively blogging with the Carolina Lady. There was and is no real reason to "advertise" on Braves 'n Stuff ... we truly do hope those friends will choose to frequent the shop on occasion, but simply put, we have no interest in seining a small pond what's done been fished ... and to continue to "advertise" to folks what's done been invited would be doing exactly that. Admittedly, there was possibly some marginal utility in so doing on The Beat Blog where we had many friends but few addresses ... We think we're truly different from the other baseball blogs, or at least that's the vision ... roughly half of the posts cover something other than baseball and/or the Braves. We have a somewhat broader focus and as indicated in the "Grand Old Game" Post, ... we would like to attract new fish from other bodies of water. My recent request for assistance may have been ill conceived, but was exactly that... a request for help. No, my interest was not in advertising there ... never did ... and didn't ... had that been our interest, our strategy would have been quite different ... to otherwise think is to not think, methinks. I'm told that the truth will set you free ... so will a corrupt jailer, if he get's his price ... best to rely on the truth ... and that's it.
While receiving good input from family and friends, we recognized that our audience is currently so limited that there is no possible way to cover more than a fraction of the possible configurations in our efforts to address the problems, regardless of folks' desire to help ... so I imposed upon both the Beat Blog, ... my first visit since leaving ... and "Braves 'n Stuff" ... asking for help in identifying the problems. The need for help was and is real and the request sincere ... answering the unasked question, those two blogs were selected because I'm not an active blogger and it's there where I'm known, for better or for worse. I noticed on Braves 'n Stuff that Berigan had just published the lead post ... so I commented and included my request for help ... good, bad or ugly. For those of you having no interest, the rest of the page is what I posted. September 17, 2008 at 3:32 am Nice Post Lincoln Man … how’s your father doing? I’m seriously and sincerely envious of how well you tied it together … but we must agree to disagree on a couple of points … first, I’m not sure we know the WS winner will come out of the AL, but if it does, I would like it to be Tampa Bay. Second, the notion that we “just can’t predict injuries” … those which our players incurred were far more predictable than one might imagine … but those responsible for strategy and risk management would have us otherwise believe. I like too, your choice of words, especially “semi educated guess” … being semi educated, I can relate. You won’t believe it but I just posted something on the Beat blog, a little earlier in the evening. First time to even go there since leaving but needed their help as I do those of you here on Braves & Stuff. Here’s pretty much what I told them … though most of you already know … Jimmy Smith, sja and I are at the old barbershop … a blog powered by Blogger … http://www.theoldbarbershop.com. I’ve just written and published my second post for the site “The Old Barbershop”, and while I designed some web sites back in the day, … I’m only now beginning to realize how much their appearance and performance depend on each person’s operating system, browser, monitor resolution, and plugins … not to mention Internet connection. There are so many variations, and with our currently limited audience, it’s virtually impossible for us to identify, and/or anticipate potential problems or discrepancies… even with everyone’s help … and so the intrusion … Sorta like the injuries, huh? … only different! I would appreciate any and all who might have time and feel so inclined … to visit TheOldBarbershop and look at the two posts … “put them through their paces” and report back any and all problems you might encounter. Your feedback is important, even if you experience no problems … for we need to know that too … and regardless, please include your operating system, browser, monitor resolution, and Internet connection information with your comments … if you know that information. All of my email addresses are still valid but you can also email me (bob@theoldbarbershop.com) or use the “anonymous” option to submit your input/comments if you so choose. And, should you have the time, the shop’s Proprietor (sja), journalist jimmy smith (jjs), along with Columnist Baby Seal and I would enjoy having you stay a few extra minutes … just visit a spell … let us know what how you’re doing, each of you … Mestillthinks we’re all unique, regardless of what Lady Macbeth may have said about the milk of human kindness! … Thanks! That’s what I told them … and that’s what I’m telling you … Thanks for listening, and thanks in advance for your help. Berigan, as expected, was gracious ... and typical Berigan
The ThinkerThanks! ... In spite of the cavalier reception in some quarters, I've received a surprising level of relevant input, including some from unexpected sources ... and some good suggestions which will be given most serious consideration ... thanks to all who were kind enough to respond, including the cage rattler. As a result, the videos should soon be performing properly in most browsers and you'll likely be seeing some changes effected in the format ... perhaps in the fare as well. Lest it gets lost in all my musings ... we have no interest in competing with anyone for audience and there will be no prostitution of the vision for that or any purpose. Though we're flawed and may stumble from time to time, all characters of character are welcome, regardless of view ... a good Liberal is just as valued as a good Conservative ... perhaps even more so, based upon apparent supply ... goodness! For those so looking, that's intended as humor ... the point is that each will be treated with respect, regardless of view, ... with the demands placed upon one, placed upon us all ... and we hope everyone enjoys their visits to the shop. In response to one suggestion, those interested in presenting pieces for publication need but to contact me via email and the Author Search sidebar has been modified so as to facilitate that ... thanks! I hope folks noticed the hot link back on page one and enjoyed Eddy Arnold's rendition of the song that he wrote ... selected for a variety of reasons. Methinks it explains shoes, tables, and art interpretation ... corns and bunions too; better than I ever could ... that is, if you'll click on "the thinker" ... on pages 2, 3, and 4. Thanks again to everyone! Time to more forward ... mush
The Carolina Lady's apparent reaction was expressed as a general comment to the Blog and is best evaluated, according to your individual perspectives ... but it was disappointing and seemed sad I thought, for there was a time when she would have considered such a response as improper and ill mannered, and would have never so done, methinks. Specifically, her response was ... "Are there sites/blogs where I can post free advertising for Braves And Stuff?" ... to which Savannah Guy responded ... "CL, think the folks at the Daliy Kos, MoveOn.org or the Al-Jazeera blogs might like a little Braves talk and kindly advertise Braves and Stuff? Maybe post a link for us too? Being all about freedom of choice and open-mindedness, maybe they’d go for a little diversity of opinion and stuff" ... . Both the lady and the guy are certainly entitled to take any posture they desire but it is both disturbing and disappointing to have encountered such cavalier attitudes toward my request for help ... and perhaps unfairly, I can only conclude that both were designed to encourage the bloggers to follow suit and the request to be cavalierly dismissed. Folks will evaluate those comments, intended meanings and purpose for themselves ... but I would hope that after due consideration, the notion that my posting comments on either of the Blogs was for the purpose of advertising the Shop in an effort to obtain patrons is rejected ... I've already given you the real reasons ... but additionally, had we wanted to compete for the same audience, we would have long ago adopted a different strategy ... that too is for others to decide. I do hope we get the requested help ... at least from those of you who currently frequent the Shop, regardless of whether you comment or simply observe ... asking you folks for help certainly isn't advertising. We think we have a site worthy of your support, or will so strive, given the chance ... we're flawed and make mistakes but our motives are relatively pure, and the need is certainly real ... we really need your help ... it's your feedback that allows us to be the best barbershop in town.
Birth of a Post ... Regarding the shoes, tables, corns and bunions ... Mama never met a stranger nor anyone without some qualities she liked ... enabling her to be friends with most. I may not have inherited that as a trait but, I've had much the same experience and throughout my life, certain of my friends have had difficulty understanding how I could like those who didn't like them ... I guess it depends upon the basis of your friendships ... I've been referencing and explaining that since perhaps my third or fourth week's participation on the Braves' Beat blog ... privately and then publicly ... and more than once did it involve both of my current partners in crime, before any problems surfaced on that Blog ... and suggesting it should otherwise be, was always the wrong thing to say. The post didn't start out as it finished, few things do. There were no references to Plato's Academy ... didn't even know what it was or else I had forgotten. I felt bad that such a heavy load had been placed upon John and Jimmy as a result of my limited participation ... and was attempting to express my appreciation of them and their creative talents in a second post, using the same format as the first. I passed a first draft by John for his reaction which was typical John ... "it's fine but says too many nice things about me" ... and then proceeded to provide a critical evaluation of his work and his performance ... reminding me of Mama's "that's my boy, you're talking about, careful what you say" when I would do the same ... I changed it to "friend" and threw it back at him ... he laughed and it triggered a different direction for the post. For some reason, I had trouble completing the post and on one occasion, told John of my difficulty ... saying that I was about ready to give up ... "All the great thoughts have done been thunk" ... he sent me a couple of photos, including "the thinker" ... I thought it made a great opening line and it triggered the thought of including the applet of great thinkers ... but, when I began testing, it wouldn't load on certain systems, including John's ... so I need a different first page ... Carol was helping and in her search for pictures of the great thinkers, she found the picture depicting Plato's Academy ... something, with which I was unfamiliar ... but in looking at it and reading the document from which it came, my mind turned it into a barbershop because it was obvious that them boys needed haircuts and shaves ... and while I was unfamiliar with all but a couple of the referenced names, they became my barbers ... and so the story took shape ... needed something for that first page so that folks wouldn't get locked out of the Shop without options. The 3 Stooges is how I sometimes think of the three of us, ... not sure if it was John or Jimmy who first made the connection, or perhaps someone else ... but when I saw the poster at my favorite BBQ haunt, I knew it had to be included along with the great thinkers ... but its size suggested other use and I substituted my father's picture instead. It was a lark ... once the vehicle started rolling ... and as many from our current audience know us only through the Blogs, I suppose the trip does travel down familiar roads ... but hopefully, folks will find it humorous, with the original purpose held in tact ... I put John and Jimmy in the class of "Babe", the "Georgia Peach", and the "The Big Train" ... some boys are just better than others. There's hair to be cut, beards to be trimmed, shaves to be given and shoes to be shined ...
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Mare Humorum

The cool fall air tells me that it won't be long before the old pot-belly stove will glow with the warmth of firewood and good conversation. The old boys will gather 'round and tell stories that fit the season or fit their mood. HumorumThey'll reminisce about the past -- bestowing sainthood on their departed loved ones -- and complain about the relatives they still have. Let me pull up a chair and tell you one too -- it happened forty-five years ago this Christmas.

My father was a strict disciplinarian with a dry wit and an odd, comedic attraction to eye brow pencils. My Uncle Gordon, a long time bachelor and great gift-giver, showered me with all things scientific: chemistry sets, water-powered rockets, microscopes, ant farms, and for Christmas 1963, a thirty inch, Tasco refractor telescope with its own tripod. I would stand for hours in the winter cold Tasco Scopelooking at the moon, on the off-chance I would see an alien landing or make some other noteworthy scientific discovery.

I’d had the $39.95 “precision optical instrument” for less than a week when, one evening, my dad opened the front door and ordered me to come inside, it was time for bed. I kept asking for just ten more minutes to survey the pock-marked region of Mare Humorum, the dark dimple on the left lower jaw of the man in the moon; it looked suspiciously like an alien rendezvous spot to me. But, Daddy told me it wasn’t safe outside in the dark at the unseemly hour of nine o’clock. Things happen to children, alone at night, especially when they ignore their parents and stare at the moon.

You better come inside, before some lunatic gets you,” he warned. But, knowing that my father was a chronic worrier I wasn’t too concerned about roving child molesters in our front yard. As I continued to quietly gaze at the surface of the moon, lost in the Sea of Tranquility, I heard faint footsteps at the end of our driveway. I figured it was my dad, probably come to drag me inside. Charlie Chan I glanced up and casually put my eye back to the eyepiece. “Oh, it’s only you,” I said.

Then it dawned on me: my father was in the house and this man had an overcoat on with the collar turned up, and a felt hat drawn down over his eyes. Something wasn’t right. I bolted up and on closer inspection it definitely wasn’t my dad, it was a strange Chinese man with a thin, black Fu Manchu mustache, black slits at the corners of his eyes, and a menacing, almost maniacal smile. I yelled, “THAT’S NOT YOU!” and hurled my brand new, genuine Tasco 350 x 50mm refractory telescope with 2x Barlow lens, removable eyepiece, and sturdy aluminum alloy tripod at what appeared to be Charlie Chan in theatrical makeup.

I ran, screaming hysterically, into the house and didn’t stop until I was hiding under the dining room table, shaking in stunned disbelief that a lunatic really was after me. Mr. Chan chased me in the front door and stood over me as I cowered at his feet with my eyes shut, wondering where my parents were to save me.

But, when I finally calmed down enough to face my fears, there was Daddy holding the shattered pieces of my new, now broken telescope, sporting more eyebrow pencil than a Mary Kay representative. “I told you somebody might get you,” Daddy said. “Next time you’ll listen. I didn’t see the Humorum in that, or anything else through that telescope, after my dad’s brush with an eyebrow pencil.

David ...