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Archive for May, 2011

John Wayne

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

— John Wayne

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So, what does Darth Vader do on his day off? Why, he plays Salsa trombone at the Andrew Jackson Senior Center in the Bronx:
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[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07IhWD2Lr2A%5D
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“Join me, and together we can rule the Copacobana!”

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Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.

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“First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

— John F. Kennedy

May 25, 1961

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The other day, the girl mentions in passing that there is a company in England selling land on Mars, and did I want to buy some.

“They’re selling it really cheap, like, for $29 an acre,” my little real estate developer she continued. “That’s really cheap, right?”

Yes, I told her, but added that unfortunately, our space exploration program has stalled and I doubted that man would get to Mars in my lifetime.

She countered that since we got to the moon in less than 10 years, we could be on Mars about the time she was a junior in college. I told her if she promised to study math and science, I mean really study it, I might buy an acre or two on Mars. And maybe some for her and her brother, too.

So yesterday, when she got home from school, she called to tell me that next year, when she goes to middle school, she’s already been accepted into advanced 6th-grade math and science.

Anyone interested in buying some plots on Mars with me? We could be neighbors…

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Hey gang, here’s another one of my restaurant reviews for the travel web site UpTake.com:

The neon Birdland logo in the bar at the famed jazz club.

OK, so with business completed and a flight back to Atlanta the next day, I decided that since I was in New York, I’d do something I could only do in New York—insert your own jokes here. For me, that meant walking from back Rockefeller Center to West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, were the Birdland Jazz Club now resides.

I learned of Birdland as a kid, flipping through the stacks of my dad’s LPs. There, living next to the Dave Brubeck and Kingston Trio albums was the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ “A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1” disc. Playing that record, on my cheap turntable in 1980, was the birth of my love for jazz music. I had spotted the place on my walkabout the day before, and made a note to make sure to come back for a show before I left.

So, as I walked in the doors to Birdland at 8:45 on a Wednesday night, jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli and his seven-piece band were giving the swing treatment some pop tunes. Because I missed the beginning of the set, and because I was there solo, my only option was to sit at the bar. I had no problem with that. I paid my way in, sat at the bar next to a traveling salesman from Minnesota and a couple of tourists from Finland and drifted off into musical bliss.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The exterior of the Pig ‘N’ Whistle Irish Pub and Restaurant on West 44th Street.

Hey gang, here’s another one of my restaurant reviews for the travel web site UpTake.com:

Alright, as I had mentioned before, I was recently in New York City for business. I was staying in Theatre District, no more than 30 yards from Times Square. So, that first evening, I went out to gawk and the tourists and find someplace to have dinner.

It was raining, but that didn’t seem to keep the crowds at bay. The sidewalks were packed with folks who where meandering along the sidewalks, mouths agape, looking up at all the pretty lights and huge video billboards. “Wow, that there sure is a big ol’ sign,” one would say. “Yee-up, it sure is,” another would answer, musing “I wonder how many New Yorkers it takes to change those light bulbs…”

I should have guessed that my search for somewhere cool to eat was going to be a little harder than I thought. First of all, all I could see right off the bat were chain restaurants—three Applebee’s right there within four blocks of each other, forgawdsakes. Come on sheeple, you’re in New York CITY! Where’s your taste for adventure? I guess they used up all their allotted adventure just getting to mysterious Manhattan. You can’t expect them to eat something they’ve never had before, too.

Eventually, I walked up to the Pig ‘N’ Whistle. Not that I was surprised to find an Irish pub and restaurant in New York, but that after a hour and a half of wandering around, I wound up right next to my hotel.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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Robert Jarvik

“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.”

— Robert Jarvik

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